Invitations 101

Invitations 101

The time is coming to start thinking about your wedding invitations! So you’ve got your list; now what?

Here are a few helpful hints to help you get started:

  • Send your invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding. Make sure and give yourself enough time to design, print, put together, and address them. If you have a lot of out of town guests or you are having a destination wedding send them a couple weeks earlier so guests can make travel plans.
  • Your invitations should reflect you as a couple and give guests a little peek into the style of your wedding. Have fun with it!
  • The RSVP deadline should be about 2-3 weeks before your wedding date. This gives your caterer an accurate guest count and saves you from more seating chart edits.
  • Pay attention to the way you address your invitations. If you want your guests bring dates write “Jack Smith + Guest” if you are inviting a whole household write “Jordan, Pamela & Family”.

Don’t worry, you can do this!

HELP! Wedding Overload!

HELP! Wedding Overload!

Does going through site after site, magazine after magazine, and attending show after show give you a headache? Has looking at every venue, DJ, florist, caterer and every pro in between start to make you feel overwhelmed?

You are probably starting to realize that planning a wedding is not all froof and flowers. Between every single logistical detail and the fun stuff like picking flowers, dresses, and linens, you just don’t seem to have enough time in this next year to get it all done.

This is what wedding planners are for.

Think of them as wedding industry matchmakers, a walking encyclopedia of everything wedding. Planners take the guess work out of shopping for your florist, venue, caterer, etc by leading you to the ones that fit your budget, vision and personality.

Planners know bridal logistics. It is the job of a professional to know the logistics of their specific field; it is a professional planners’ job to know the logistics of everyone’s fields. They know everything from how long it will take for three people to move 200 chairs to what to do in the event of a banquet crisis.

Clean up and set up is taken care of! Planners work with the rental company and other professionals to set up for your big day so you and your family don’t have to. This gives you more time to relax, spend time with your family and friends, and sip champagne.

A behind the scenes superhero! Something goes wrong during the planning process or at the event; Super Planner comes to the rescue to pull the solution from their bag of tricks! (You will never know anything ever went wrong!)

Hiring a professional wedding planner is not just an added expense, they can actually help you stick to your intended budget, bring your wedding vision to life, and relieve SO MUCH stress! I really can’t see a downside here, why not hire a planner?!

Relax, we’ve got this!

Choosing A Photographer

Choosing A Photographer

Your wedding is something you will remember the rest of your life. You will replay those moments of your first kiss as a married couple, the beautiful décor, and you with your family getting down on the dance floor at the reception. This is such an important and special day for you and your spouse-to-be. Doesn’t it just make sense to have a photographer that will capture these moments exactly the way you remember them?

You have probably already figured out that Portland has no shortage of photographers, but how do you differentiate between the professionals and the hobbyists, and between various styles?

Here are just a few things to help you sift through the haystack of photographers:

  • What style of photos are you looking for? Do you like more natural looking photos or do you like them photo-shopped to the max?
  • Look through photographers online portfolios. Do you like what you see? Does this fit the style you are looking for?
  • Do you want a lot of décor shots? You put a lot of time and effort into every little detail of your wedding, it is important that your photographer captures all your favorite décor items.
  • Look through online reviews. Was this photographer easy to work with? On time? Timely? Did they fulfill the couples’ wishes? (This is a great way to see who the professionals really are.)
  • Count on your Wedding Planner to know which Professional Photographers fit your style and budget. The best reference is a professional one!

Ready, Set, Strike a Pose!

3 Reasons to Hire a Professional Florist

3 Reasons to Hire a Professional Florist

Taking a stroll through the floral gardens of Pinterest, (search term: “wedding floral”), you look for that perfect wedding bouquet, boutonniere, or center piece makes inspirations blossom. I can totally make that, right?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but creating floral arrangements for your wedding day is more difficult than many think.  There is much more to creating those perfect floral pieces than most realize. Here are just a few reasons why you should leave the floral arrangements to a pro:

  • Most arrangements can’t be made in advance. They will wilt. Depending on the design, floral arrangements must be made the day of or day prior to the event. (Trust me, you do not want to be worrying about this on your wedding day. You have other things to attend to, like hair, make-up, and mimosas.)
  • Florists have access to more types, colors, and better quality flowers and other botanicals than you would come across in a store.
  • They do this for a living (obviously). They know all the little tricks to make flowers do what they are supposed to and can make the arrangements as vibrant as you are.

So sit back, relax, and know that those beautiful, botanical, blossoms for YOUR wedding day are in good hands!

Wedding Lounge Catered Favorites!

Wedding Lounge Catered Favorites!

In search of a caterer for your wedding who has just the right amount of seasonings? Check out the delicious morsels at Wild Currant. A catering company you won’t be able to get enough of, no salt, pepper, or additional spices needed, it’s all cooked to perfection! All you’ll need is a fork and you can dive right in!

From beautiful fruit and breakfast displays for the couples’ suites the morning of, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres for cocktail hour, and hearty entrees for the reception, Wild Currant has mastered it all! As a member of the Wedding Lounge, Wild Currant has created many delicious bites for other members to enjoy.

What are the Lounge favorites?

  • Gougére – puff pastry with cheese and other goodies wrapped inside
  • Lobster Risotto Cakes
  • Crab won-tons – a Botanica favorite
  • Bacon and Thyme Shortbread Cookies (sweet and savory)
  • Housemade Apricot Salad Dressing – though it is quite delicious on salad greens I am sure there are many of us who would (or have) eaten it with a spoon.
  • Chicken Parmesan

Grab a fork and napkin, it’s time to dive in!

Operation: Gown Shopping

Operation: Gown Shopping

You’ve got the ring and you may or may not have the date, but you know it is time to start looking for dresses! If this is your first time trying on gowns, you probably aren’t exactly sure what to expect from this experience.

Avoid additional stress and frustration by following these 4 tips:

Above Photo by Aralani Photography  Top Photo by Gabriel Boone Photography.  Dresses from Bridal Exclusives

Above Photo by Aralani Photography, Top Photo by Gabriel Boone Photography. Dresses from Bridal Exclusives

  1. Bring fewer people. The more opinions you bring, the more difficult this experience will be. Keep it down to just a few people whose opinions truly matter.
  2. Know your budget and stick to it. It doesn’t get much worse than falling in love with a dress you can’t afford. Only try on dresses within your price range unless you are prepared to pay the difference.
  3. Keep an open mind. Most likely, you have not tried on a wedding gown before. Trust your bridal consultant to also pull some dresses that are a little different than what you pictured. You may just find that THE dress is not necessarily one you would think to try.
  4. It’s okay if you don’t find a dress the first day. Don’t let it upset you too much; the right dress is out there somewhere!

Let the search begin!

6 Tips to Reduce Bridal Show Stress

6 Tips to Reduce Bridal 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 bridal shows, so you are in luck! At a bridal 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 bridal 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 bridal 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!

Committed! YOUR Kind of Wedding Show!

Committed!
YOUR Kind of Wedding Show!

The start of wedding show season is upon us and we can’t think of a better way to kick off this party than at Committed!  As Portland’s Indie and Alternative Event, Committed! is a wedding show for ALL engaged couples, Mr & Mr, Mr & Mrs, and Mrs & Mrs!

"Stripes" Style Scene from Committed! 2012 Photo by Atelier Pictures

“Stripes” Style Scene from Committed! 2012
Photos by Atelier Pictures

With a more party-like environment than the traditional show, you will see that a wedding doesn’t have to be white, doves, and roses. Find new and funky inspirations to make your wedding your own at the style scenes throughout. Curious what our style scene will be? You will just have to wait and find out!

Get your tickets today, drop by our scene and say “hi”, and have the best time you’ve ever had at a wedding show!

Friday, October 11th
5-9pm
CASTAWAY Portland
1900 NW 18th Ave, Portland

This is NOT your mamma’s wedding show!

It’s All In the Details  A Cake Breakdown

It’s All In the Details
A Cake Breakdown

You have looked over our cakes page trying to get a little bit of help before meeting with cake artists. We have a list of things to consider in choosing the design of your wedding cake, but still need some help. Let’s go into some further detail.

“Fondant or Buttercream” – In choosing between these frosting options remember that fondant is more easily manipulated thus you have more design options and the look is crisp and clean. If you are wanting a  show stopping, elaborately designed cake then go with fondant if your taste is more classic and simplistic, buttercream would be a good option.

“Cake Shape”- Which shape fits best within your wedding aesthetic? If you have more organic lines choose a round cake, more angular lines, choose a shape with more angles.

“Number of Tiers” – Your professional cake designer will know how many tiers of what shape will feed your guest count. If you have a smaller guest count but want a larger cake, consider adding a dummy layer so more cake isn’t wasted.

Photos provided by Simply Sweets

Photos provided by Simply Sweets

“Fresh Flowers” – if you are having any colors on the cake, make sure you coordinate between your florist and cake designer so your colors don’t clash.

“Intricate Patterns” – Looks great on fondant! If you really want your cake to be the centerpiece of your reception, go big! Have it hand painted, fondant ruffles, or draped in sugar flowers!

“Number of cake flavors and filling combinations” – Before meeting with a cake designer, know which of their offered flavors you would like to try. It’s okay to pick multiple flavors for each tier. Try not to do all safe or all out of the ordinary combos. You want the cake to get eaten and you want to give your guests some variety!

The sky is the limit!

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!