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21 - Sep - 2011

Just got ENGAGED!!!

Just got engaged? First off, congratulations! Second: these are the 10 things you should do next…

1. Share the good news with family and friends

This is a happy time and the great news must be shared with loved ones, preferably in a creative and fun way! Create a digital postcard with a photograph of the engagement ring or of the bride and groom and email it to all your family and friends announcing your engagement! Share the good news on Facebook, Twitter or other social media and keep your account up to date with all the next steps.

2. Plan an engagement party

Whether it’s a lunch, dinner or an all out engagement party, plan something special to announce and celebrate your engagement with close family and friends. Don’t forget to let them know that a fabulous wedding awaits them…

3. Choose the wedding date

In order to choose the perfect wedding date decide if you want a Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter wedding. Is there a special date on which you would love to have your wedding? Don’t forget to check the calendar so that you know exactly what day of the week you’re talking about when you decide to choose the wedding date.

4. Determine a budget

How much can you afford to spend on your wedding? What is your dream wedding? Can your budget cover it? What can stay and what must go?

5. Put together the guest list

Many decisions go into putting together the guest list: how many guests does your budget permit? Who do you invite? Who don’t you invite? Do you invite colleagues from work or just close family and friends? Do you want an intimate wedding or a traditional wedding with hundreds of guests?

6. Choose the place where the ceremony is going to be held

The place where the wedding ceremony is going to be held should be in agreement with the guest list, as well as the venue for the reception. If you expect 200 guests, then maybe getting married in a small chapel is not the best idea.

7. Choose the venue for the reception

Many popular venues, like hotels and other wedding appropriate spaces, require reservations a year or more in advanced, especially during wedding season.

8. Book an engagement shoot

It’s the perfect time to book an engagement shoot and document your love in a beautiful engagement album that will be a wonderful memory of this precious time in your lives. Since you have to hire a photographer for the wedding, look for one that also does engagement shoots – this is also a great way to get to know the photographer before the wedding and vice-versa. Make sure you get some very romantic shots and have fun doing it!

9. Decide if you’re going to hire a wedding planner

Idealizing, organizing and coordinating a wedding can be a full time job and stressful at times. So, if DIY is not a concept that applies to you, hire a wedding planner who will navigate all the pre-wedding organization like a pro. The result? Less hassles and unnecessary worrying for the bride and groom.

10. Choose the wedding dress

The wedding dress is one of the star pieces of the big day and requires a lot of idealizing and research, preferably in advanced, so you have time to check out all your options before making a decision. You don’t have to buy the dress immediately after the wedding proposal, but it is a good idea to start window shopping, magazine and online browsing… so the dream can start to become reality…
21 - Jan - 2011

Wedding Registries-the 411

Wedding Registries have long been a preferred way for the couple to ensure that people know what they need and for guests to know that their gift will be useful.

In recent years, gift registries have gotten easier for couples to establish and more convenient for guests to access. Most major department and even discount stores offer computerized registries, complete with in-store assistance in selecting items. Some registries can even be created online, and many more can be accessed online by guests looking to shop for the perfect gift.

Proper etiquette dictates that someone other than the bride and groom advises guests where a couple has registered. A family member or a member of the wedding party is acceptable. Etiquette dictates that you do not including gift registry information with your wedding invitations.

The nature of items in a registry has evolved in the past few decades. In the past, it was limited to items such as china and silver. Nowadays, the selections are much bigger. Major Hardware store chains, such as Home Depot offer wedding registry, so instead of china, you can register for a power sander, which you may well find much more useful.

It is, however, still a faux pas to register for cash gifts, anything lewd or vulgar, or anything with an exorbitant price. Whatever you do, don’t write “cash-only gifts” on your wedding announcements.
So you look at that rug that Uncle Lester bought you (you know, the one with the giant peacock on it?) and you think that it may not fit with your décor. That’s a sticky situation. Exchanging a gift may offend or hurt a loved one’s feelings, so you have to use your better judgment and consider the risk. If you decide to exchange the gift, you are not obligated to inform the gift giver and your thank you note should be for the original gift receive
d, not the replacement.

If a gift was received broken, was a duplicate or just an incorrect gift, go ahead and attempt to rectify the situation with the retailer. If you’re unable to do so, see if the gift-giver can help you get it straightened out. The store should offer to return, exchange, or replace the gift.

All gifts should promptly be followed by a hand-written thank you card, and not an e-mail. Etiquette dictates that all thank you notes must be written within 3 months of your wedding. This applies to engagement and bridal shower gifts.

When writing your cards, don’t worry about sounding original so much as sincere. After all, your Aunt Lucy won’t know that her thank you card sounded strikingly similar to your new husband’s cousin Ted’s card. Just be sure to specifically mention the gift they gave you and how thankful you are that you received it. If you’ve still got lots of space on the card, you can also mention when and how you might use the gift and that the gift will always remind you of the giver.

When writing thank you notes for cash gifts toward a larger purchase (a house or a car, for example), let them know how much you appreciate their cash gift and tell them how the buying process is going. If it’s feasible, invite them over for dinner or take a ride in your car once the purchase is made.

If you are a guest at a wedding and never received a thank you note for a wedding gift sent several months ago, it is perfectly acceptable to inquire whether the couple ever received the gift. You may ask their parents if you feel more comfortable. The gift may have been lost during shipment, a situation which would need to be addressed.