Wedding 101: 6 Things To Consider With Invitations

There is proper etiquette when it comes to sending out invitations and all sorts of fancy fonts… but you can Google that.  What’s really important, is how to make your life easier for you and your guests by remembering a few key additions:

1) Add a visual timeline

A timeline people can hang onto the day of or post on their fridge is much more beneficial than the invitation that is crowded with calligraphy and fancy words.  Either add this to the top on your formal invitation or include it as a separate card in the envelope… maybe even make it into a magnet.

2) Children or No Children

If you are inviting everyone and their kids, make sure to include a choice of a children’s meal on the reply card.  If you do not want guests to assume their children are invited or only certain children, make sure you DO NOT add a children’s meal choice on ALL the reply cards.  If you address the invite to “Mr. & Mrs. Turner” and not “Mr. & Mrs. Turner and Family”, you will almost certainly get a phone call from them asking, “I see a children’s meal on the reply card…are the kids invited too?”.  AHHHH O NO!  Then you have to explain to them how only certain kids are coming and not theirs…that’s added stress you don’t need.

Avoid most of those inquiries by only adding a children’s meal choice with the invites who have children who are invited.  It might seem like a lot of extra work, but it is well worth it.

3) Include postage on the reply card

Not only would it appear to be tacky, you might not get many replies back.  Make sure to budget for the extra couple hundred dollars in postage for the reply cards because you might be shocked after you spend all that money on your dream invitations.  Most people will assume postage is added and drop it in the mail without even checking.  This creates a chance for reply cards to be lost or returned and never re-sent…then you will have 50 extra people show up who RSVP’d, but you didn’t know.

4) Make meal choices clear, but not too clear

If you decide to offer plated meals, remember to have guests let you know which meal they would like so you can mark the place cards accordingly.  You do not need to tell them you are having “Seared Sirloin with a light demi-glaze and a side of asparagus and twice-baked garlic potatoes”…just tell your guests it is BEEF!  You will avoid endless phone calls asking what you mean by “demi-glaze” and if they can get chicken strips instead.

What you should do is allow for a place to:
-accept or decline your invitation
-initial or circle a meal choice for each guest invited

5) Number the back of your RSVP Cards. 

This is such a good idea and you’ll thank me later for it 😉 because some people write a no where they should put their name and you have no idea who it is! Once you get them back in the mail, go into your excel spreadsheet and mark them coming or not coming. Then you also don’t have to worry about losing the cards and you can easily tell who still owes you one.

6) Most importantly…  DO NOT include registry information with the formal invitations

As much as you would like people to know where they can buy you all sorts of goodies, it is rude.  Call me old fashion, but a wedding is a celebration of love, not gifts and money.  You should be happy to be blessed with your guests’ presence and you do not want them to think anything other.  Registry information should be common knowledge to your bridal party and they can spread the word, posted on your wedding website, or only spoken of if asked.  If people really want to know, they will ask.

 

 

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7 Wedding Registry Tips Every Couple Should Know

If you’re planning your wedding, have you thought about your gift registry yet? Registering for gifts is one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding, even if you have no idea where to begin. Today I’m sharing seven wedding registry tips every couple should know to fire up that scanner gun and go to town. It’s easier than you think… and more fun, too!

1. DON’T register on an empty stomach.

Grab a bite to eat before you register. Also, don’t go at a busy time of day (like the middle of a Saturday afternoon). These things will make your registry experience stressful which takes the fun right out of it. Or, do it online in your pajamas!

2. give yourself plenty of time to look around.

Don’t start registering right before a store will close… and don’t save the wedding registry until the last minute. You may want to check out a few different stores, so don’t rush yourself. Span registering over a few days if you’d like to give yourself a fresh set of eyes, or you’ll start scanning everything in sight at the last minute.

3.  Register together as a couple.

The wedding registry should definitely be a wedding to-do that is tackled together whether in-store or online. You may not share the same taste in everything, but now’s the time to start meshing together your styles. Also, be open-minded: it goes a long way.

4. Register at your favorite stores… even HANDMADE!

Many stores now have registries – even online-only stores (like Amazon.com). If you want to register for handmade items (like in The Marketplace), we recommend using Amazon’s Wish List, which enables you to add ANY item you see to a wish list guests can download. It links up to your toolbar and you can add an item from ANY site. It’s truly amazing. And FREE!

5. DON’T register for something unless you’re going to keep it.

Guests want to give a gift you’ll keep (and enjoy). Don’t register for a gift you don’t like only to return it later. And, most importantly, have fun picking out items (and opt for a few fun items you wouldn’t normally buy yourself). Don’t register for items you feel necessary because it’s your wedding, if you already know you’ll probably never use it (like fine china – unless you really, really want it).

6. DON’T check the registry list before the shower…

… unless you a) don’t mind ruining the surprise, or b) simply can’t wait. It’s more fun to open gifts without knowing what’s inside, so if you can save the excitement for the shower. Plus, many people buy gifts at the last minute… so you won’t have an accurate list anyway. 😉

7.  Show your appreciation for shipped items at your shower.

Last but not least… many gifts will be shipped from the registry store straight to your home. If you’re planning to bring the gift to the shower – great! If not, be sure to spend a few minutes mentioning any gifts received to your home and thanking guests publicly. Also, if you want to REALLY show your appreciation, snap a photo of you opening the gift at home and print + mail to the gift giver (or send a digital photo via email) with a thank you. It’ll mean a lot to them knowing you liked the gift and they’ll also rest assured knowing the gift arrived in time (and in one piece).

Wedding Republic

wedding republic

Over the last month Wedding Republic has been hard at work updating the look and feel of their online cash registry .

Just recently, they released a new design and east-to-navigate site!

Wedding Republic is an online registry that allows you to quickly set up a personalized wedding registry full of gifts that you really want and share it with your wedding guests. Whether you’re asking for a down payment for a house, an activity for the honeymoon, a donation to your favorite charity, a great bottle of wine, plans for date night or just cash….it’s up to you.

To ensure your registry creation goes smoothly, you’ll have access to your own personal wedding registry consultant. Your consultant is always available to answer any questions or concerns you might have about setting up your registry, wedding registry etiquette or anything else you can think of!

wedding republic registry

Creating your registry is easy, just add items from the gallery of recommended gifts or add your own customized gifts. Each gift is able to be customized, so you can add your own description and price. A great feature is that if you opt for an expensive gift, say a trip to Rome, you can break the total gift into smaller pieces so a bunch of your guests can each gift you a portion of the trip. And with Wedding Republic you won’t have to worry about return policies because you received cash.

With Wedding Republic you can register for exactly what you need to build your life together.

And as a bonus, Wedding Republic is offering a free wedding photo book, courtesy of Blurb.com, as well as an ultra-package from Snapable.com for an online photo album and print package valued at $400 to one lucky couple that submits their favorite engagement photo. Visit their blog for more information and enter through Facebook to win.

Contest ends August 29th and is open to all couples in the US and Canada. Must be 18 or older to enter. Good luck!

Alternative Wedding Gift Registries

One of my husband’s favorite parts of wedding planning and I assume it’s like this for many guys, is registering for gifts. Having control of the scanner gun was a must for him! We registered in 2 stores and each time he had to have control. I think I only got to scan a few items.

When it comes to the gifts, they can be difficult for both newlyweds and guests. Guests aren’t sure what to buy, and usually have a price range they’d like to keep. And the bride and groom don’t know where it’s best to register and what price range they should stay within. There’s also always the possibility that relatives will come with a surprise gift that you didn’t ask for, but they just knew you’d love. Couples can save the stress of registering with multiple stores or confining all gifts to one store while trying to keep a decent price range. And, guests can also no longer have to scope out multiple registries hoping affordable gifts are still available, while also wondering if they’ve spent enough on the item. Something that is meant to be sweet and caring can turn into a headache quite quickly for both parties. So, for those hoping to lose the stress on both the couple and the guests, consider an alternative wedding gift registry.

Here are 5 ideas:

HONEYMOON FUND

Photo Credit: Kate Miller Photography

This may be the current most popular gift registry idea. Rather than asking for specific items, the couple asks for guests to make a donation towards dream trip. This could be done simply with a jar at the reception or more technologically with a established fund at Honey Fund. Honey Fund is free and very customizable. With it, you can receive the money gifts before the wedding and therefore use it to plan your honeymoon. With the jar at the reception option, you will recoup the expenses you’ve already spent on the trip, or use them to plan a honeymoon at a later date. So, the method you choose is all a matter of time and presentation. There are also other websites that can be used, such as Upon Our Star, Honeymoon Wishes, and  The Honeymoon.

HOUSE FUND

One of the biggest dreams for couples after they get married is buying their own home. But after paying for a wedding, funds may be tight. This may be to help save up for a downpayment on their first house or to help renovate an old fixer-upper that was just bought. It’s all about making a home for the happy new couple. Hatch My House is a great website to use as a registry if this is what you’d like to do. It can be used to establish a fund for a downpayment or to break down each element of the house that needs to be paid for, so guests can choose what exactly they’d like to pay for. To make everything a little more real also, you actually create your house when you create your registry, so guests can get an idea (even if vague) just what your house will be.

COMMON ITEMS YOU USE

To help stock that new home with practical items and save newlyweds from receiving things, such as crystal stemware and fondue sets that will only be used when the gift-giver comes to visit, ask for things that you will always have a use for. This may mean a broom, soap, cleaning supplies, and possibly a few more permanent items such as a toaster or blender. This idea somewhat coincides with Greek customs. For Greek weddings, the newlyweds get their entire home stocked from top to bottom with everything they could possibly need.  All cupboards are filled to the top and the house is set up in a way that they can walk in the door and just begin their lives as husband and wife. So, ask for the items that you know you will need, so your guests can save you large and frequent trips to the store. And to escape multiple registries or confining to one store, use online registries such as Gift Registry 360 or Simple Registry.

DAILY COUPON DEALS

Ask for coupons, not for the grocery store, but from daily deal websites. Refer guests to YipitLifebookerLiving Social , Dealery  more so that they can buy coupons to restaurants, hotels, salons, spas and more to keep you busy with fun and useful activities throughout the first year of your marriage. Just create a fillable Google spreadsheet giving some outlines of your interests and tastes, so guests have an idea what to buy. Link that spreadsheet to your wedding website or blog as your registry, and let guests fill it out when they buy a daily deal, so no one double buys. You’ll be surprised with how many new places and activities you will discover in your city and you will also have date night plans and relaxing spa days for a long time to come. Best of all, your guests will be able to get great gifts at a fraction of the cost saving them money.

CHARITY DONATIONS

Last but not least is the option of charitable donations. It’s not a new idea, but is as important as ever. If you can spare your wedding gifts, consider giving it to those in need. Just Give makes it easy to for your guests give to your favorite charities. You can add charities of your choice to your registry on Just Give and your guests can choose which to give to.

Whether you choose a traditional or alternative wedding registry, make sure it’s what you want and you will be sure to enjoy it.