Sunday, June 26, 2011

Is Your Wedding “Normal”?

After stumbling across this link you can see how your wedding stacks up to the typical U.S. wedding.
The Stats:
• 2.3 million couples wed every year in the US. That breaks down to nearly 6,200 weddings a day

• Average age of the bride in the US is 25.3

• Average age of the groom is 26.9

• Average number of wedding guests 178

• The average wedding budjet is $20,000

•The average cost of the bride and groom's rings $1.016

• Average honeymoon budget $3,657

• The average wedding guest spends $70 and $100 on a gift

When are all these weddings?
January 4.7%
February 7.0%
March 6.1%
April 7.4%
May 9.8%
June 10.8%
July 9.7%
August 10.2%
September 9.6%
October 9.4%
November 7.4%
December 7.8%

Creative Guest Escort Ideas

Some of the most creative ideas I’ve seen at weddings come in the form of escort cards. From stunning trees, to compasses there are a range of creative products to help make your reception unforgettable.

These BEAUTIFUL compasses are made by LHCalligraphy over at ETSY. Your guests will be sure not to get lost at your reception.

For the DIY Brides this looks like a fun project!

A LOVELY DIY Project from Here Comes the Guide. This tree can be used as both a place where guests can post "wishes" for the Bride and Groom, or you can modify it for a very elegant escort tree.

Martha Stewart always has fabulous wedding idaes. For your upcomming summer wedding these escort cards are perfect way to bring the beach to your guests. You can purchase a bag of seashells from your local craft store and some printable cards, super glue, and Voila! You're guests will be impressed.

Sweeping the nation these simple, yet fun escort cards are becoming a staple at country weddings. Featured here at you can see how these escort cards become a part of the decor at the reception.

A super easy DIY project. Supplies: Clothes Pins, String, Stamps, Ink pad of your wedding colors and a pen.

Taking a Gamble? These playing escort cards are perfect for your Las Vegas wedding. You can purchase them here at and have your calligrapher do the rest. Or, if Aunt Sally has great handwriting enlist her to compelte your escort cards in exchange for a tickets to a show at Cesars Palace!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How To Politely Limit Your Guests From Brining A Guest.

After working with over a hundred brides this question comes up a lot “How do I politely tell a guest they cannot bring a plus one?”

First, I’ll cover the reasons you would limit your guests, and then I’ll cover how to write the RSVP. Limiting guests can be a touchy subject and can be the cause of a lot of stress when planning your wedding. I’ve seen more drama over the invite list that anything else. Make sure you and your fiancé discuss the guest list and are on the same page when it comes to budget, capacity and rules.

There are pretty much two reasons you want to limit your guests from brining a guest:

1) Personal Choice
Most etiquette guides will tell you that if you want to invite your cousin Jennie you must allow her to bring her unpleasant boyfriend to your wedding. Not allowing your cousin to bring her chosen plus one is the same as telling her you do not approve of her choice. I will say from experience working with other brides that not allowing someone at your wedding can make the event about the fact that “that person” was not invited, and has the possibility of taking attention away from your beautiful day. So make sure you and your fiancé talk about who and why you are limiting at your wedding and if the fuss will be worth it.

2) Budget
There are other reasons that many couples decide to limit the “plus ones” at their wedding, and its simple- Budget. It’s not that you don’t approve of your cousin’s boyfriend, but you just don’t want to fork over $35 to feed someone you’ve never meet. If budget is the issue, make sure you and your fiancé lay down some rules as to who can bring a guest, and stick to your set rules! Other guests will take note if you bend the rules for one family member and not others.

Tips to keep in mind:
If you are going to limit your guests from brining a plus one you need to set a rule across the board. I’ve had brides limit guests who live with their boyfriends to bring them; if they are not co-habituating they are not invited to bring a guest. Remember- you can’t allow one family member to bring a boyfriend and not another simply because you don’t like them. This is a quick way to bring drama to your wedding.

I’ve had some brides place guests that have the most concern about near the back away from the front tables. I’ve also had brides assign another family member to keep the guest in question busy and occupied during the event.

I’ve also had brides that wanted to limit children at their weddings and made a rule of “no one under 16 can attend”. Make sure your fiancé does not have any relatives that are 14 or 15 that would be hurt by such a rule.

How to write the RSVPs
Now that you and your fiancé have figured out where you will draw the line on who can bring a guest and who cannot you can start writing the language of the RSVPs.

I’ve had brides get pretty creative with these little return cards. They key is to remain positive and stay away from phrases like “Limited to invited guests only” or “Due to budget you are not allowed to bring a guests”

Here are a few ideas:

1) Write their names on the card
- This makes it pretty clear who is invited.

Please RSVP by September 1st, 2011

Mrs. Jennie Smith ___Will Be Attending ___ Regretfully Declines
Mr. Robert Hawthorne ___Will Be Attending ___ Regretfully Declines

2) Write the number of guests invited on the RSVP
- This is good for families that say have a newborn and a toddler. Letting them know the invitation is only for 2 people makes it pretty clear.

Please RSVP by September 1st, 2011

Name(s) ________________________________
___Out Of 2 Will Be Attending
___ Regretfully Declines

Some of the hardest work and planning comes from managing the guests list. Keep in mind that despite all your hard work and actions some guests will inevitably not listen and bring a guest or their child. Some will cancel and the last minute and others will let you know the day before they are coming. Remember you can only control so much, so let go as the wedding day nears and enjoy the day, it’s all about you and your fiancé (despite what Aunt Sally tells you).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Say “I DO- Love your mustache”

I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve attended where guests sit back patiently at the reception waiting for dinner and cake while carrying on polite conversations.

The weddings I have thoroughly enjoyed are the ones where the bride and groom focused the reception around the entertainment of their guests. Recently, I attended a wedding that had some wonderful felt photo props that made for some whimsical photos and some wonderful interactions. My friends and I are always trying to create amazing facebook profile pics and these little props were in full use for the entire reception.

In the past year I’ve seen the rise in popularity in these adorable felt photo props. The mustaches, glasses and lips are always a crowd favorite. These photo props are available all over ETSY like at the wonderful shop of “
FunnySideofLife” or "WhiskerWorks".

If you’re a DIY kind of bride you can check out this great tutorial for making your own photo props.

If any of these fun props are left after your big day you can always keep them for future house parties. However, at the wedding I attended all of these cute props made their way home with happy guests.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Back in Business!

Cottontail Digital Press is back in business and ready to help brides all over the world bring their dream weddings to life!

After a 1 ½ year hiatus, I’m finally ready to give 100% to my baby- Cottontail Digital Press.

This blog will be dedicated to talking about anything related to weddings, special events, and the love of my life- paper.

I’m looking forward to sharing with the world my passion for weddings, paper and crafting.

Take a look at my new ETSY shop: