DIY Weddings: Invitations

November 26th, 2012
Will your invitations look the way you imagine them if you do them yourself?  If so, then go for it!

Will your invitations look the way you imagine them if you do them yourself? If so, then go for it!

If you want to choose just one item to do yourself for your wedding, invitations could be on the list of choices.  As with most things you’ll want for your wedding, invitations do require a certain amount of skill, but if you feel up to the challenge, you can probably pull it off–depending on what you want.

If you must have traditional, engraved invitations or letterpress invitations, you’ll have to hire a pro.  Some of that equipment is very expensive!

But if you want something more casual, there are lots of options.  One of the easiest things you can do is go to a stationery store, paper store, or even an office superstore to find paper or cards you like.  Then you can run them through your printer. The hard part is figuring out what you want the invitations to say, laying it out and formatting it.

You can also do your own graphic design, including the text, if you have the skill.  This is beyond what I can do, so I have no idea what goes into it.  I have seen it done, however.  Sometimes, a friend or family member can do this part.

You can also do the design yourself and take it to your local printer for reproduction.  That saves on design fees but means you don’t have to slave over your printer for hours.  Some printers are also not up to the task, so be sure to do a test run or two–and have plenty of spare ink on hand if you are doing the printing yourself.

Leave plenty of time if you are planning DIY invitations.  Save-the-date cards should go out six months in advance, and invitations should go out six to eight weeks before the wedding.  Plan on spending several weeks getting invitations ready before your projected mailing date.  And don’t forget that it takes time to address, stuff, and stamp the envelopes!

State Fair Wedding

November 19th, 2012

The most recent wedding I worked on had another visually interesting reception.  The ceremony and reception took place in the rehearsal rooms at the Joffrey Ballet.  The view was spectacular, so very little decor was needed.  And what there was had a State Fair theme.  To complement that idea, the meal was served family style.  Here are a few photos to give you an idea.

runner-reception-tableflower-reception-tablefestive-reception-table2room-decorroom-decor-close-uptable-close-upplace-setting

Feeding Your Vendors

November 12th, 2012
This was an exceptionally nice vendors' table.

This was an exceptionally nice vendors' table.

If you’re throwing a big party, chances are that some of your vendors will have meal requirements in their contracts.  Generally, photographers, DJs, and planners are all going to need a meal.  That means, of course, that you’ll have to add the number of vendors to your guest count for catering purposes.  But where will they eat?  That’s a question to ask yourself early in the planning process.

Sometimes when I’m coordinating a wedding, the bride will arrange a place for me at one of the guest tables.  Sometimes, there will be no arrangement at all.  On rare occasions, there will be a vendor table.

Sitting with the guests is definitely an option.  I always find, though, that I jump up so many times during the meal to take care of something that it is disruptive to my table mates.  Depending on the timing of events, I might not even be able to sit down to eat when the guests do.  For those reasons, I always advise my clients not to put me at a table with guests.  Or, if that is the only choice, it might make sense to put me (and other vendors, who have the same issues) at the end of a long table, a little isolated from the guests.

If I have no assigned seat, I can always find a place to eat, so that is a viable option.  As long as you have ordered enough forks and napkins, I can find a chair somewhere out of the way to eat.

But if you have the space and if it’s not expensive to do, the nicest thing to do is to set aside a vendors’ table.  It can be in the least attractive corner of the room, near the kitchen, where you would not want to put guests.  It will probably need linens, unless it is not in the reception hall.  But it doesn’t need anything fancy.  Your vendors just need a place to sit for 20 minutes and eat quickly before getting back to work for you.

Eco-Friendly Clothing Ideas

November 5th, 2012
Going green doesn't mean looking less than fabulous.  Photo by Happy Buddy PhotoArt.

Going green doesn't mean looking less than fabulous. Photo by Happy Buddy PhotoArt.

When we think of eco-friendly events, probably the clothes you wear are not at the top of the list.  But even in this area you can make choices that are better or worse for the environment.  While venue, transportation, and food probably have a bigger impact, if this is an area where you would like to make a difference, here are some ideas:

  • Instead of buying entirely new clothes, try rented, borrowed, or vintage outfits.
  • Wear clothes made of organic fabrics.
  • If you buy clothes you think you won’t wear again, minimize their impact by donating them somewhere they will be worn.
  • If you’re wearing dry clean-only clothes, find a wet cleaner or a CO2 cleaner.

These are just a few ideas for greening your event apparel–or your everyday wear.