Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weddings 101: The Etiquette of Gift-Giving

Most people know that when you are invited to a wedding, you should buy a gift for the happy couple. What most people don't realize is that when you purchase the gift, it should be mailed to their house. Which means that ...yes, you guessed it... you technically aren't supposed to show up to the reception with the gift under your arm.

So how did this whole "gifts-at-the-reception" begin? Well, back in the day, brides and grooms actually used to open gifts at the wedding reception. Hence the reason guests started bringing them there in the first place. However, we all know that is not a common practice anymore and the wedding gift-giving process is much different today.

That leads to the following question: Should you ship your present to the couple's home vs. bring it to the wedding? In a word, yes. If you are able to. I mean I doubt there could ever be a scenario where giving the bride and groom a gift at the wedding would be unappreciated {after all, it's the thought of giving the gift in the first place that counts anyway}. BUT if you want to be helpful and save the couple the hassle of having to haul back a whole slew of presents from the reception, sending gifts directly to their home is the way to go.

~ Jillian

{Photo Credit: Puddy Toad}

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Are You Giving Validation to Others?

While catching up on all the fantastic blogs that I missed in the past week, there was one in particular that really caught my eye. The all-too-fantastic Leila Khalil of Be Inspired PR tapped into a great topic on her Inspired by This blog last Tuesday. The title of the post was "What To Do When You Have Been Mis-Credited or Left Out of Press You Deserve". Did you see this already? Well if not and you are a wedding industry professional, I recommend you read it.

This is a situation that {sigh} most wedding vendors deal with at one point or another. It relates to us on the receiving end, and the giving end {'cause let's be honest, it can be just as easy for you to slip on giving someone else credit as it is vice versa}. But accident or intentional, skipping out on recognizing a vendor for something they did is a big no-no. When someone pours their heart and soul into their work, they deserve to be noted for it. Plain and simple.

When you are submitting event photos for magazine publication, blogging about someone else's work, or even tweeting about something you saw and liked, are you keeping in mind that someone else's blood, sweat, and tears was behind it all? Hopefully you are. Because beyond the fact that it's the ethical thing to do, and even beyond the fact that readers deserve to know which vendors the work belongs to, it will damage your own reputation if you don't credit people where it is due. You could burn bridges. And fast. Trust me, you don't want to walk that fine line. Being respected by others in this industry is huge.

So remember, it only takes 3 seconds to give validation to something that took someone else hours upon hours {upon hours} to make beautiful and successful. Take that extra minute to double check and make sure anyone involved in the event is covered. And hopefully people are doing the same for you.

Definitely check out Leila's blog to read her entire post. As a PR pro, she includes great tips on how to deal with these potentially sticky situations. They are not fun, but they happen. And they can affect your business, so read up.

~ Jodi

Monday, February 22, 2010

Love these flower pots. Let's just chalk it up to that.

It is no secret that brides love a great DIY project. With good reason, too. Doing-it-yourself saves some money while still adding a personal touch to the big day. And, in my humble opinion, I always feel like it adds a little bit of extra love to your event when you have hands-on details.

So today I decided to share this little gem of an idea with you: An adorable flower pot, painted with chalkboard paint (love that!) and a hand-written 'thank you' on the front. Then, to top it all off, it's filled with lovely fresh blooms. Seriously, is this cute or what? And the best part is that it is very simple and inexpensive to make. To check out the easy instructions, hop over to My DIY Wedding Day and read the whole blog post.

Couldn't you see this as the favor for a warm-weather wedding? Or better yet, as a lovely bridal shower favor to send home with all your closest gals? I can definitely see it. And honestly cannot think of a more appropriate gift idea with spring right around the corner.

~ Jillian

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Etsy Goodness Week: The Garter Lady

Today's etsy find is something I'm excited to share with you. It might have to do with the fact that I'm not a real fan of the whole garter thing. I've seen some pretty tasteless acts occur surrounding the garter and its inevitable toss. And I'm sure you have a story or two to tell as well. But, my thoughts shifted when I came across the Garter Lady. Her garters are so pretty and elegant and classy. And everything a garter should be!

Don't you agree?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Etsy Goodness Week

So, I was a wee bit ill last week which is why you didn't hear from me. The highlight of my week was definitely the 7 hours that I spent in Urgent Care on two IV drips under 8 blankets from that oh-so-heavenly blanket warmer that only hospitals have. It was awful, for sure.

A massive sinus infection coupled with a serious case of strep throat was the final diagnosis. It wasn't until Saturday afternoon that I started to feel somewhat human again. So, needless to say, the piles are high-and-deep on my desk and a whole bunch of appointments have to be rescheduled. If you're one of those people waiting to hear from me, hang tight. I'll get to ya! I promise. :)

There seems to be more and more amazing goodies popping up on etsy. That's why I've decided to name this week the official 'Etsy Goodness Week' . Each day this week, I'll show you something a little bit fantastic for your eyes to gaze upon. {How fun is this gonna be!}

First up. A 1920s flapper fringe inspired clutch. Yum. Yum. Yum! I love every little square inch of this beauty. I can just feel my fingers running over the fringe. You must agree, it's pretty fantastic, huh?

I'll take a couple, please!


{Image Source}

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Found Love: Mercury Glass

I can't put my finger on it, but every time I see something made of mercury glass it completely catches my eye. Maybe that is because it is true "glass art" and created mainly for artistic purposes. And it shows. Not only have I seen mercury glass for wedding accents, but I have also seen it a ton in home decor items lately.

Personally, I have fallen in love with these votive holders that I found at Jamali Garden. Lets face it, most people use votive candles on their tables at weddings, and rightfully so because nothing beats the soft glow of candlelight on your guests' tables. But with these, you can really add some extra flare, and because they come in several colors, you get even more pops of color on the tables. What's not to love about that?

As for home products, I have been swooning over these vases, which I would of course buy in a heartbeat to put in my house. In fact, I put them on my registry because they are so great. Wouldn't you love these on your kitchen table or nightstand? They are absolute perfection in my book.

~ Jillian

{Photo 1: Pottery Barn, Photos 2 and 3: Jamali Garden}

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Monogram Hangers: A Steal-worthy Idea

Don't you just love when someone tips you off on a great wedding idea? Well, yesterday that is what happened when a friend informed us of her new Etsy shop. Meghan used these lovely monogrammed hangers for her bridesmaid dresses, and has now posted them on Etsy. Each hanger has the bridesmaid's initial at the top to add that perfect, personalized touch. A very steal-worthy idea, indeed!

We got to know and work closely with Meghan on the ArtPrize events this past fall, and she is fantastic. And I must say, her wedding was fantastic too. Filled with many adorable details like these hangers. Don't they make such a stellar photo? Not to mention how much your bridesmaids will love it.

Be sure to check out her site and see all the details. Thank you for sharing the wealth Meghan!

~ Jillian

Friday, February 5, 2010

Notes From the Future "Mrs." - Onto the Wedding Invitations

We are still months away from even thinking about sending out our wedding invitations, but that is not stopping me from ordering the invites already. After all, we selected which ones we wanted a while ago. So understandably, I cannot wait to have them in my eager little hands!

You remember my Save the Dates, right? Well, they are only a small morsel of goodness compared to the actual invitation. The invitation is heavenly. And yes, I reserve the right to swoon over them because they were not designed by me (...only in my dreams!) Our talented Andrea designed them, and if she didn't live in New York, I would be giving her the most gigantic hug right now for creating something so spectacular.

If you have been following our Gwyneth Paige blog this week, you probably caught the photos of some of our invitations on Wednesday's post. Of the select handful of Gwyneth Paige designs that were posted, you will see the Claire invitation. And she is the one. She is my invitation and is known as the "quilted beauty". When I saw her it was love at first site. Hop over to the post to see for yourself what I am talking about.

Stay tuned, there will be even better pictures of Claire to come. I cannot wait to show you ours when they arrive!

~ Jillian

Monday, February 1, 2010

Vintage Button Bookmarks

I've been doing quite a bit of reading lately. I've always enjoyed a good book but had reserved that pleasure for vacation only. How silly, right? In January, I read a total of 5 books. And my favorite was definitely Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. The runner had to be Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury. Both were fantastic and I couldn't put them down. In fact, Redeeming Love was so good I read the entire 500-page novel in 36 hours! And if you're wondering how that's possible, well let's just say no housework was accomplished and pages were read at stop lights while driving. {Yes, true story!}.

I promise, this post isn't a plug for the benefits of a good book but rather to introduce you to these lovely little bookmarks I found on Etsy. Since we all know about the soft spot in my heart for vintage buttons, you can only image the {happy sigh} that occurred when I stumbled upon these beauties. Don't you love them, too?


Follow up to Friday's Post on Bridesmaid Dresses

As I shared in my Notes From the Future "Mrs." post on Friday, this past weekend was all about bridesmaid dress shopping in Chicago for my eight beautiful friends. Fortunately we lucked out and found the perfect dress! And I just had to take a quick moment to show you. I could not contain myself and wait until this Friday to post about it! So, without any more delay, here is the winning Vera Wang dress...

Don't you just love it? It is simple yet romantic, and very pretty. The back has some beautiful fabric detailing, too. We ordered it in the lovely champagne color that is shown above. I can't even tell you how glad I am that we went to the Vera Wang bridal store. This dress is exactly what I wanted.

Having two of my bridesmaids with me was a big perk. When shopping for a dress that multiple people will be wearing, its good to make sure that the dress looks good on more than one girl. And I have no doubt it will look stunning on all eight!

~ Jillian

{Photo: Vera Wang on Weddings}