How to be a Gracious Wedding Guest

June is here: the most popular wedding month of the year! Whether or not you’re getting married this summer, you are probably invited to a wedding or two (or five!) Since every wedding varies based on the couples’ culture and personal preferences, it’s sometimes hard to know how to behave once the big day arrives.

  • When you get the invite, it will likely give you an idea of the format and theme. Take clues from this on how formal it might be and if there is a specific insight you can glean from the upcoming day.
  • You better RSVP!!! And don’t do it last minute. This is so important.
  • Try not to reach out directly to the couple with questions! You can always reach out to an immediate family member or someone in their bridal party. Instead, reach out to the couple with a word of encouragement before the big day. They are likely stressed and have a lot going on. If possible, offer help or take them out to get their mind off of everything going on.
  • Be on time! While most ceremonies never start on time, don’t assume that. Plan your day so you can have a buffer so you’re there before it starts.
  • The bride won’t get tired of hearing how beautiful she is, so make sure to compliment her if you do get to speak! Also, let the groom know how handsome he looks.
  • Take notice of the smaller details because either she or he put thought and effort into putting that entire experience together. Save those things in the back of your mind to tell the couple after the big day. Once things are all over with, they might question all of the effort, so it will be nice for them to hear a kind word of notice and appreciation.

Hope this helps! Enjoy wedding season, I know I will!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Helpful Wedding Planning Resources

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When I was planning my wedding, I found a ton of great  resources that helped alleviate some of the wedding planning woes. Here are a few that I’d like to highlight to help you on your journey:

  1. Grab a girlfriend and attend a bridal expo. Depending on where you live, bridal shows might be few and far between, so this is something that I’d recommend researching soon after your engagement. Most only cost a few dollars for an entrance fee, and you’ll likely find valuable connections and wedding tips. Not to mention, you’ll get swag and it will really help you get in the mood! Here’s a website to start, but a simple google search will find all of the options near you.
  2. Visit Etsy— it is literally a gold mine for unique wedding decor touches. Etsy is an online marketplace where small businesses and local artisans can sell products. I had actually never used it before my wedding and I am so glad that I found it when I did. You can order anything from a custom sign, in the exact color that you need, to a fun garter. If you download the app on your phone, don’t say I didn’t warn you! (You can spend HOURS just looking up search terms like “shabby chic wedding!”)
  3. Speaking of apps…I LOVE this list from Mashable with the “7 apps you need to de-stress your wedding planning“!
  4. Find local wedding vendors via The Knot A collection of businesses from venues to DJs that can put you in touch with some trustworthy recommendations in the area of your choice. Take some time to really research your vendors so you find the right fit. (Or…just do a destination wedding!)
  5. And don’t forget about the people right in your sphere of influence! Talk to your married family and friends (especially local newlyweds) and keep an eye out for wedding vendors or bridal stores near you that you might not have visited before. There is no downside to going in to say hello!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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My Top Social Media Wedding Tips

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Within the last decade, the usage of social media for wedding planning and sharing memories from your wedding day, have increased exponentially. Here are my top tips on how to use social media throughout wedding season.

BEFORE: Consider a wedding hashtag and encourage your guests to use it by printing it on your wedding invitation and putting it on display in key places of your wedding. It can be something silly, romantic, or straight forward, just make sure it isn’t popular already because your feed will be mixed with photos of other weddings! Can’t think of one? Hashtag generators are super helpful! My favorites are from Wedding Wire and Shutterfly. A bonus: come up with one early enough and start to use it during your pre-wedding activities like the Bridal Shower, then ALL of your wedding content will be in one place!

DURING: Have a member of your bridal party take one photo of you and your spouse right after the ceremony and have them post it to your social media pages (from your account.) This ensures that most people will see the first wedding photo come from you, instead of the 50 images that will tag you posted by your guests (including some that are likely unflattering!)

AFTER: Sign out of your social media accounts during your honeymoon! Your phone will be blowing up with notifications from your social channels for days following your wedding with comments. By signing out, you can truly enjoy your time with your new spouse. The kind notes from loved ones will be waiting for you once you get back home, and they’ll allow you an opportunity to look back on your big day all over again. (Even better? Turn off your phone completely during the honeymoon!)

In this new day, choose to use social media how you best see fit, but don’t let it get in the way of being present in the moment throughout your wedding festivities.

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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How To Have Realistic Expectations for The Big Day

cropped-7-18-2017-5-30-31-pm1.jpgAs I look back on my own wedding day, I think about all of the expectations I had for the big day as I went through the planning process. Think about it. You date your beloved for (what is often) years, to then get engaged. And then you spend months on wedding planning. All planning for ONE day. You will sit and day dream about the details. You will have borderline- panic attacks over the growing to do list. And you will second guess yourself while making (what feels like) a million decisions.

All of this leads to high expectations for your day, and hopes of “perfection.” While we know that perfection is impossible, it’s ok to have high expectations. However, make sure to add some flexibility in your mind so you can more easily go with the flow when things don’t go your way. Here are a few thoughts on expectations for the big day.

  • During the planning process, take some time to talk to other newlyweds. Ask them about their wedding expectations, what they might have changed, and what they wouldn’t have done differently. Their insights will likely be extremely valuable!
  • The day will go by incredibly fast. It’s not going to be worth having expectations that won’t ever be met because you’re going to miss out on some of the best parts of your big day by being too wrapped up in the details.
  • Your guests might not appreciate or recognize your effort put into every single detail, but they will remember the holistic wedding experience and cherish those memories. Some of the smallest details are more for you and not for them.
  • Things will go wrong, but they will likely add to some of the memories that you and your spouse make together.
  • No matter what, it is likely not going to end up being the “dream wedding” that you have had in your mind. It will be different, probably not as grand as what you’ve been dreaming of, but more magnificent and heart-felt in ways you couldn’t imagine ahead of time.

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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5 Reasons to Have a Spring Wedding

Spring officially begins on March 20th—-that’s right around the corner! As the snow begins to melt and the sun starts to shine, that means that spring weddings are here.

1 According to “BrideBox”, January, March, April and November are the cheapest months to throw a wedding celebration. Try a weekday or Sunday if you really want to save your money, too.

2 The weather is likely going to be perfect. Not too cold, and not too hot; a great time of year for an outdoor soiree. Do check the weather though and have a backup plan for spring showers.

3 Most people aren’t going to be traveling at this time (other than the peak spring break weeks) which means guests should be not have as many conflicts. Winter and summer can be spotty with availability, so this is right in the middle.

4 You can leverage unique themes like a brunch themed wedding, garden tea party, or spring pastels and it will feel right on trend.

5 Go overboard with flowers, and it won’t even be noticeable (in a negative way.) Whether it be a floral invitation, a bridal flower crown, or floral print bridesmaid dresses, flowers can be such a special addition to elevate the magic of your big day.

If you’re a bride-to-be planning a spring wedding, I’d love to hear why you chose this time of year! Here are some additional resources for you:

How to Have a Spring Wedding by The Knot

11 Expert Tips for Planning a Spring Wedding by Martha Stewart Weddings

100 Ideas for Spring Weddings by Bridal Guide

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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