6 Tips to Reduce Wedding Show Stress

6 Tips to Reduce Wedding Show Stress

Congratulations! You’re engaged! You have figured out how to land your perfect partner, but now what do you do? Where do you go first? How do you even know where to start? Winter begins the season of wedding shows, so you are in luck! At a wedding show you can find planners, venues, florists, caterers, photographers, DJs, custom stationery designers and all of the little details you could possibly need for your big day.

With so much information in one place, wedding shows can get overwhelming if you are not prepared. Here some helpful tips to keep in mind while preparing to visit a wedding show.

1) Bring someone with you. Whether it is your partner, friend, or parent; a second opinion can help take the stress off.

2) Figure out what it is you want out of the show. Don’t go into the show without a plan. There are so many different wedding professionals at each show; it helps to have an idea of what you are really looking for.

3) Wear comfortable shoes. You are going to be doing a lot of walking, don’t let your time get cut short because your feet are sore.

Photo by Aralani Photography

Photo by Aralani Photography

4) Bring a notebook. Write down some questions you may want to ask, answers to those questions, and which wedding pros you want to follow up with.

5) Leave your kids at home. A wedding show can be an all day affair and bringing a kid can easily turn it into just a couple of hours (you definitely need more time than that). It will be a much more enjoyable day for you and your kids to leave them with a sitter.

6) Make sure you take time to rest. Take some time to grab a drink and some lunch to fuel you for the rest of the day. You can use this time to discuss everything you have learned so far.

Good Luck!

Edible Favors – A Delicious Idea!

Edible Favors – A Delicious Idea!

When you are deciding to offer a favor at your wedding reception, consider something edible. Everyone will appreciate a scrumptious chocolate, a bag of M & M’s or a beautifully decorated sugar cookie that they can eat right away.

A bottle of wine or craft beer, while not a something you would place on the table, can be handed out at the end of the evening for your Guests to enjoy later. Rarely do such treats ever get left behind.

These monogrammed chocolate favors doubled as place card holders.

While cute, things monogrammed with your initials are not as exciting as you might feel. Don’t get caught up in the marketing of the thematic and trendy items that will truly be a waste of your money.

Remember you are providing something for your guest’s enjoyment. Do they really want mini pictures frames, paperweights, cups, glasses etc. to take home? Are they truly interested in planting a tree in your name? Hotel banquet staffs across the country dispose of thousands of these types of items annually.

Bridal Exclusives – Maggie Sottero Event

Bridal Exclusives – Maggie Sottero Event

Maggie Sottero Event!
Exclusive look at the Spring 2015 collection.

November 8th and 9th, 20115
Call 503-213-1292 NOW to make an appointment to try on dresses!

Bridal Exclusives
16850 SW 72nd Ave
Tigard, OR 97224

The Wedding Lounge will be on hand to discuss planning your wedding. No appointment needed to meet the Wedding Lounge professionals.

For more information visit the Bridal Exclusives website.

As the largest and longest running bridal shop in the Northwest, Bridal Exclusives knows how to create the best experience for each blushing bride. They even welcome you to bring some champagne for yourself and those sharing in this special time with you. Being in business for more than 45 years definitely has its perks!

From wedding dresses to bridesmaid’s dresses, shoes, and accessories, Bridal Exclusives has a wide variety of colors, fabrics, fits, and styles to compliment all body types and personalities! Be sure to make this stop a top priority on your to-do list!

From classic to sassy, Bridal Exclusives has it!

Save the Date Cards

Save the Date Cards

You’re engaged and the date is decided, the planning process has begun! Once the date and place are set, don’t hesitate to get your save the date cards out before your newly engaged friends.

You don’t want to have a real life “Bride Wars” on your hands (and let’s face it, we can’t all make things work like Anne and Kate). To save you from stress, start thinking about save the dates now.

Save the Date - Antique Roses by 1st Comes Love

Save the Date – Antique Roses
by 1st Comes Love Invitations

Here are some tips regarding save the dates:

  • Make sure the date and place are set and will not change
  • Send out to entire guest list (yes, even parents, siblings, and bridal party)
  • Send 6-8 months in advance depending on how many need to make travel plans
  • Be clear about who is invited (“John Smith + Guest” or “Ronald, Wendy & Family”)
  • Set up a wedding website and include your save the date. We recommend mywedding.com

Happy Planning!


Don’t Forget Your Manners – Say Thank You!

Don’t Forget Your Manners –
Say Thank You!

We are always taught to say “please” and “thank you”, but too often does the “thank you” get over looked in the hustle and bustle of wedding planning. Hopefully you saved your list of names and addresses from sending out your invites because you are not done with them until the Thank You notes are sent!

Don’t worry about spending a lot of time on each; all you need to do is write a few sentences thanking them for their attendance and gift in a relatively personal way.

“Thank you Aunt Beth and Uncle Bob for flying out from Denver to be at our wedding, it was great to see you! We love the stainless steel Crockpot you gave us, now I can make an attempt at Grandma’s famous clam chowder!”

It’s as simple as that! Short, sweet, and personal. Even if it was the fifth blender you received or it is a frog sculpture Aunt Marge made in her beginners sculpting class, a Thank You note is still a must!

Stationery by 1st Comes Love..

Stationery by 1st Comes Love…

Trying to figure out how you are going to squeeze in the time to write all these Thank You notes? Even though they don’t have a lot of writing in each, there are still a lot of notes to write. It’s okay if you don’t get all of them done in one sitting, in fact you should take a little break! Write part of your Thank You notes on the flight to your Hawaiian honeymoon and part on the way back. Break it up into groups of 25 notes and it will seem more manageable.

Whether they drove across town or flew across the country, your guests took the time to be at your wedding AND pick out a gift or write a check. Show them your appreciation by sending them a Thank You. This small gesture can mean a great deal!

Mamma would be so proud!

The Key to a Great Party

The Key to a Great Party

We all want your big day to go as smoothly as possible. You want both you and your guests to have the best experience possible and have a great time from ceremony through reception. There are many factors that go into a great experience, one of these being the music. It creates the mood going into the ceremony, amplifies those special moments, and (along with the bar) keeps the party going.

Here the keys to a great party:

Consider live music.  It has an intimate and personal feel. If your ceremony happens to start later than you expected, listening to a solo acoustic guitar makes the wait more entertaining.

Cut down the time of the first dances. Your first dance and the father-daughter and mother-son dances are special, but having your guests wait through three whole songs makes them antsy. Consider cutting the songs down to just a couple minutes each or perhaps combining the father-daughter and mother-son dances.

Photo by Atelier Pictures

Photos by Atelier Pictures

Get everyone on the dance floor. Grandma, Grandpa, and those with kids are most likely not going to stay the whole night. At the beginning of the night have songs played that are more family friendly that everyone can have a good time with and dance to. Bust out the Salt-n-Pepa and Sir Mix-A-Lot when it’s your high school and college friends later in the night.

Trust your DJ.  You want the majority of the guests to stay there the whole time and the way to do that is to keep them dancing. If the Electric Slide or Shout is what gets them all out there then go for it! Trust that your DJ will keep your taste and the feel of your wedding in mind when receiving song requests from guests.

Get up and dance!

Mini Desserts for Weddings

Mini Desserts for Weddings

Mini Desserts for Weddings

In choosing mini desserts for weddings to give guests at your reception, the first thought is cake. In addition to the traditional cake, consider adding a variety of mini desserts or a “dessert bar”. Adding mini desserts for weddings allows your guests to choose what will satisfy their sweet tooth and still get that cake cutting photo.

Your dessert bar can include:

  • Cake Shooters
  • Mini Tarts
  • Cupcakes
  • Caramel Corn
  • Mini Pies
  • Biscotti
  • S’mores
  • Fine Chocolates
  • Cream Puffs
  • Chocolate Dipped Fruit
  • Mini Cakes
  • Petit Fours
  • Mousse Cups
  • Cookies
  • Petite Cheesecakes
  • Macaroons

The possibilities are endless!!


Above: Mini Cakes & Cake Shooters – White Rose Bakery,
Cupcakes – Cupcake Jones, Chocolates – A Yen for Chocolate.
Top Image: Above: Cake – White Rose Bakery, Cheesecake – Food Lush, Fine Chocolates – A Yen For Chocolate, Cupcakes – Cupcake Jones

The varieties of desserts do not necessarily have to coordinate with each other, but it may be fun to have some sort of theme or story that goes along with each. The flavor of cheesecake you always fight over the last bite of or an espresso infused truffle because you are both coffee lovers (just a couple thoughts).

Whatever petite desserts you choose make sure flavors aren’t too out of the box. Still make sure they are memorable (and delicious) enough that your guests continue drooling over them long after your wedding day has passed!

Life is short, eat dessert first!

Be Specific: Make Sure that Grandma Gets a Chair!

Be Specific: Make Sure that Grandma Gets a Chair!

Be specific: make sure that grandma gets a chair! With all of the excitement and planning for the big day it is easy to overlook some of the most important details.

The ceremony and cocktail hour are over and it is time for the reception. Your reception area opens and it turns into a mad dash for a table so the whole family or group of friends can be sure to get a table together. How do you reduce this stampede of stilettos and bowties? Have a seating chart, seating cards, or place cards!

Don’t think of it as more work for you, think of it as a better experience for you and your guests day-of. Create the seating arrangement then pass it over to the pro who made your save-the-dates and invitations to be sure they fit with the aesthetic of your wedding.

Top: Seating Cards by Puddle Jumpin' Cards, Photo by Erica Ann Photography  Left: Seating Cards by Alicia Zorn Calligraphy, Photo by Amanda K Photography.  Middle: Seating Cards by Puddle Jumpin' Cards, Photo by Alan Weiner Photography.  Right: Place Card by Puddle Jumpin' Cards, Photography by The Art of Joy AJ's Studio.

Top: Seating Cards by Puddle Jumpin’ Cards, Photo by Erica Ann Photography; Left: Seating Cards by Alicia Zorn Calligraphy, Photo
by Amanda K Photography; Middle: Seating Cards by Puddle Jumpin’ Cards, Photo by Alan Weiner Photography; Right: Place Card by Puddle Jumpin’ Cards, Photography by The Art of Joy AJ’s Studio.

What is the difference? How do you choose whether to use a seating chart, place cards, or seating cards?

Seating Chart – A good sized “chart” at the front of the reception area with all your guests’ names and which table they will be sitting at. Make it fit the theme of your wedding. Writing names on a chalk board or a vintage window pane are popular ways to make a seating chart pretty.

Seating (or Escort) Cards – Displayed as individual cards with a guests name and the table number. They can grab it before they enter the reception then find their table. Get creative with the display; attach the cards to the guests’ favors or pin them on a rustic display. Make every little detail fit in with your wedding aesthetic.

Left: Place Card by Puddle Jumpin' Cards, Photo by Atelier Pictures; Right: Place Card by Puddle Jumpin' Cards, Photo by Erica Ann Phtography

Left: Place Card by Puddle Jumpin’ Cards, Photo by Atelier Pictures; Right: Place Card by Puddle Jumpin’ Cards, Photo by Erica Ann Photography

Place Cards – The most formal of the three. These are placed at each place setting, telling your guests which seat is theirs at the table. We would recommend having a seating chart as well to direct guests to the correct table first rather than making them search for a needle in a haystack of possible seats.

Prevent that mad dash race to the table, let your guests meander and make their way to the table without tripping over every other person there. Decide which of these will work best with your wedding and get creative, the sky is the limit!

Sit back and relax!

5 Fun Bridal Shower Themes!

5 Fun Bridal Shower Themes!

Whether it’s five months or two weeks before the big day, if you are having one or multiple, your bridal shower should fit your personality and be as unique as you are!  It doesn’t have to be iced tea and cucumber sandwiches (although you could definitely modernize the tea party idea!).

If you are having trouble planning a bridal shower here are a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing:

  • Bridal Shower meets Cocktail Class – Appreciate a good drink? Hire a professional bartender to come in and give a tasting of wine, champagne or spirit. Have them teach guests how to make some popular cocktails with what you have just tasted.
  • Cooking/Baking Theme – Does the couple love to cook? Have the kitchen be the theme of the party! There are so many directions to go with this theme in mind. Decorate cupcakes, have a professional come in a teach guests how to cook or bake a favorite dish, or simply have the favorite comfort food on the menu.
  • Bridal Shower Pampering – Who doesn’t love to get pampered? Of course, everyone does! Nails, hair,  face, waxing? The possibilities are really endless!
  • Get her ready for the Honeymoon – Whether it’s lingerie, a bathing suit, or a sassy sun hat, base the shower theme on where the couple is going for their honeymoon. Have guests bring gifts surrounding that theme.
  • Enjoy the great outdoors! – Who says that a shower has to be inside?! If the couple is adventurous and the group is smaller take it outside. Go skydiving or white water rafting, embrace your inner adventurer! Great idea if you are involving the guys too!

Get Creative!

Wedding Liability Insurance – Are You Covered?

Wedding Liability Insurance – Are You Covered?

It is fast approaching your wedding day and everything is falling into place. We all picture our wedding day flowing smoothly without a hitch. However, though it is not something we would like to necessarily think about, unexpected problems may arise during the planning process or on the actual wedding day. Unfortunately, it is difficult to prevent or even predict these problems, so it would be wise to prepare and protect against the unexpected.

After reading a blog from Nationwide Insurance Company, it may put your mind at ease to see it can be quite simple to insure your wedding day. With two different types of coverage from this particular insurance company, not only your wedding day, but also problematic circumstances that arise during planning may be covered!

Photos by Atelier Pictures

Photos by Atelier Pictures

Wedding Cancellation Insurance –Depending upon the reason for cancellation, this plan may include reimbursements of lost deposits or retainers you have paid to your hired wedding professionals. Through Nationwide, you can purchase this insurance up to 15 days before your wedding date.

Wedding Liability Insurance – Just in case the party gets out of hand or Mom sprains her wrist getting tackled by ladies scrambling for that bouquet you threw just a little too far. A variety of accidents can happen. They may not, but just in case they do, wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?

Check with your insurance company and see what your options are and work one or both of these into your wedding budget. Professionals like your bartender and caterer should have their own insurance, covering food and alcohol, but there are so many other areas that need covering.  Be prepared for that unexpected strong bouquet toss!

Now relax, you got it covered!