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January, 2014
Valentine’s Day – Tips for a great date and maybe even a marriage proposal

Valentine’s Day – Tips for a great date and maybe even a marriage proposal

Valentine’s Day  is not only known for romance but it is also a popular day for dates with your significant other as well as marriage proposals.  We have some suggestions for activities that make for a great date and/or a backdrop for a marriage proposal.

Scavenger Hunt

Don’t you love and appreciate when your significant other remembers certain events and locations that are special to your relationship?  Create a scavenger hunt using these locations which have special meaning. Whether you put pictures, gifts or messages at each location, make it interesting so they are curious as to the next location you will lead them to.  At the end, you can make your treasure anything that you would like.  You could be standing there with flowers, a dinner, or even a ring.  After all is said and done, your significant other will always know you care and remember just as much as they do, and you can count on everyone knowing how special you made their Valentine’s Day this year.

Take a Class Together

Couples always want to experience new things together.  Why not try something new on Valentine’s Day?  There are plenty of classes that you can experience together such as a cooking or painting class.  If neither of these are of interest to you, think about what you want to try.  Perhaps you are seeking an experience that is not technically a class like a wine tasting, lessons in beer brewing or learning a card game you can play together.  Keep your eye peeled at your local community center brochure and read local publications where such opportunities will be advertised.

Picnic Inside

Since Valentine’s Day occurs in February, for many of us it is too cold to even consider an outdoor picnic during this time of year.  Set up a romantic picnic indoors!  Begin by laying out a blanket on the floor in a roomy area, light candles, turn the lights down low, open a bottle of wine or champagne and add some music.  Be imaginative when planning a menu to go along with your indoor picnic.  The great benefit to this is you don’t have to worry about the outdoor elements such as rain or even bees.  This is a creative and inexpensive opportunity to do something different.

Take the day off 

Surprise your loved one by taking the day off of work and spending it together.  This often feels like a luxury we just don’t take advantage of often enough.  Maybe you want to relax, rent movies and cuddle all day, or you could always act like a tourist in your own city, explore the city, go to lunch at a restaurant you have always wanted to try.  Just spending the day together with no interruptions (that’s right, turn off your cell phones and check your email later) is one of the greatest dates that one could ask for.

All in all, think about your significant other and your own relationship.  What does your significant other like, what do you like, what would make this year’s Valentine’s Day extra special?  Listen to your partner, think outside the box, and be romantic.  At the end of the day, whether it is just a date night or perhaps even a proposal, make it count and express your love.

 

photos: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20090211/PC1206/302119938

Newly Engaged? – Top 5 Planning Tips To Get You Started

Newly Engaged? – Top 5 Planning Tips To Get You Started

Congratulations on your engagement! Now it is time to start the wedding planning.  There are many aspects to planning a wedding. We can’t list them all but here we have included the Top 5 Tips that we think you should do first.

Set a Budget

It is important to determine who is financing the wedding and how much can be contributed. Will you have parental assistance or will you be self-financing?  Have these discussions from the beginning so you will know how to proceed with your budget.

After discussing who is paying for certain parts of your wedding, now it is time to set a budget.  Sit down with each contributing party and discuss.  When discussing, be considerate of each person’s budget.  Be realistic with your overall  budget and remember  that you may have to readjust expectations according to the funds you have available.  It is important to keep track of your expenses and make decisions on the items that will account for the largest percent of your budget such as venue and catering.

Set a Date

You may already know what time of year you would like to get married.  You may have even had this picked before you got the ring, however now it’s time to get your calendar and your fiance and agree on a time frame that works for the both of you.  It is essential to remain flexible with the actual date, venues book quickly for weddings, especially at certain times of the year that are most popular.  The popular wedding months vary depending on what part of the country you live in.  Having a time frame allows you to work with the venue that you are interested in without causing disappointment if they do not have a specific date available.

Venue search

Start researching sites that you think will fit what you are looking for when it comes to putting together your dream wedding.  It is best to have a list of venues, at least 10 or more, that you are willing to visit.  When searching for sites, we suggest you call each site that is on your list.  Be sure to ask them important questions such as, “What is your venue rental cost?” “Do you have a required or preferred caterer?” “What is the maximum guest count?” “What is included with the rental fee?” “How much time before the wedding do we have to set up?”  You must also decide if you are going to hold your ceremony onsite at the same venue or if the ceremony will be held elsewhere.  If it will not be held at the same site, then you must go through similar steps when searching for and securing your ceremony location.

Say Yes to the Dress

The most exciting part for every bride is the dress. What girl hasn’t looked at wedding dresses and imagined the day that they would be in one!  You may know the exact dress you want and have researched where you can get it, although we suggest you gather several different styles when looking at dresses.  The dress you may have had your heart set on in the beginning may not be the dress you love after all.  Trying more than one dress on will help make the process of saying yes to the dress a fun experience and it will help you choose the right dress.

Consider a Wedding Planner

Perhaps you know from the beginning that hiring a wedding planner is the right decision for you.  How do you know if you should hire a wedding planner?  If you are overwhelmed by the idea of planning without a professional, simply don’t have the time it takes to plan all of it on your own (wedding planning can total hundreds of hours), or you don’t want to burden and put added stress on your friends and family members- then hire a wedding planner.  A professional wedding planner has done this countless of times for a number of couples and will save you time and money in the end.

If hiring a full service wedding planner is not in your budget or planning your wedding on your own is something that you have always dreamed of doing, consider hiring  day-of coordinator.  A day-of coordinator is hired just for the day of you wedding as well as some advance preparation time.  They will come in so that you, your family members, and your wedding party do not have to worry about vendors being on time, everyone being prompt and ready, and any other stressful matters that brides put themselves through on the day of their wedding.  You and your entire bridal party can relax, enjoy your special day and be a guest at your wedding.

Newly Engaged?

Photos:

Erin and Cory Photography

Erin and Cory Photography: Facebook

Anna Polite
 

Radiant Orchid – Incorporate it into your Wedding

Every year people all over the world from wedding planners to florists to fashion designers anticipate the color of the year.  Pantone LLC, a group of people gather to decide what color will be the new trend for the new year.  People are inspired by the newly chosen color.  It will be seen on runways, red carpet events, and maybe even at your wedding.

The Pantone color for 2014 is Radiant Orchid.  The color is said to inspire confidence and emanates great joy, love and health.  You may think this color is too bold for weddings, however, there are many ways to incorporate Radiant Orchid into your wedding even if it is just in small doses.

Accessories for the Bride

In most cases the bride is wearing a white or off white gown and a neutral shoe.  Perhaps you could dawn a touch of orchid with a purple stilletto?  Brides love a surprising element like an unexpected colorful and fabulous shoe.  There are different ways to incorporate Radiant Orchid into the shoe you choose to wear, whether it be the entire shoe, a few words written on the bottom  or maybe even Radiant Orchid rhinestones on the heel of the shoe.  Be creative, it’s your shoe, your color; people will love whatever you choose to do.  You could even wear the shoes again after the wedding with a suit, jeans, cocktail dress or anything that pairs well with them in your wardrobe.

Flowers

Radiant Orchid pairs well with its sister shades of lavender, purple and pink.  This would be great for bouquets for either the brides or bridesmaids bouquets. You can also have your groomsmen’s boutonnieres Radiant Orchid to match your bridesmaids flowers.

An elegant flower that is also eye catching is the Phalaenopsis Orchid.  This radiant orchid blooms cascade down a dramatic stem.  It is a beautiful flower to use in your wedding where it can make an appearance in your bouquets, centerpieces, floral garlands or even as hair accessories.  Also, putting a Phalaenopsis Orchid in your hair that is Radiant Orchid extends the color that you are looking to bring into your wedding.

Attendant Attire

Bridesmaid’s dresses and groomsmen’s ties and vests are ways many couples get their scheme across.  You may think that having all of your wedding party in Radiant Orchid may be too much.  You can alternate with the sister shades previously mentioned to use an ombre color palate.  If you do not want different color dresses or vests/ties you may consider a Radiant Orchid sash for the dresses and only ties for the men.  Radiant Orchid is a beautiful color and will make a statement no matter what you choose, play around with your options see what your best fit is.

Print Materials

Print materials are used to introduce your color scheme to your guests.  Invitations, seating cards, programs, menus, favor tags and more are all details your guests pay attention to.  Radiant Orchid is a great pop of color to stand out on printed materials.

Décor

Linens, chair covers, centerpieces and tableware are all a vehicle to incorporate Radiant Orchid into your décor.  Uplighting is also a great way to use Radiant Orchid into your décor.  You can use dim lighting around the room with colors in uplighting focused on the dance floor, the couple, or the bar.  If uplighting the room is not what you want at your wedding, consider using a monogram on the wall in the Radiant Orchid palette.  Along with the monogram, using throw pillows on lounge furniture or using colored tie backs on chairs will help display the Radiant Orchid in a more subtle display.

Food and Cocktails

When considering ways to display your color scheme, do not forget about the food choices and cocktails.  Consider your wedding cake.  You could have Radiant Orchid flowers displayed on the cake, the cake itself as an ombre color, or even having a different flavor for each layer.

Cocktail hour is a great way to display your color scheme by having a color coordinating specialty cocktail drink.  A great Radiant Orchid cocktail is:

Pomegranate Splash

  1 oz Pom or pomegranate mixer/juice   

½ oz wild blueberry mixer/juice   

1 oz vodka   

½ oz raspberry Chambord 

  Add ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until cold and frothy.

Pour through strainer into chilled glasses.

 

Radiant Orchid is a bold choice for a wedding color, but play around with it, see what you like best and go with it.  In the end, your color palate is your choice and as long as it is used tastefully, enjoy it and own your decision.
Radiant Orchid Radiant Orchid 6 Radiant Orchid 5 Radiant Orchid 3

Radiant Orchid 4 Radiant Orchid 2 Radiant Orchid 1

 

 

 

Photo Credit

Pantone https://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/pantone.aspx?pg=21128&ca=10

Visions http://www.visionsweddingboutique.com/2013/12/16/ravishing-radiant-orchid/

Weddingomania http://www.weddingomania.com/30-trendy-and-gorgeous-radiant-orchid-wedding-ideas/pictures/20641/

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/pin/17240411047663425/

Hairflowers.net http://www.hairflowers.net/hair-flowers/purple-realistic-phalaenopsis-orchid-flower-hair-clip.html

LMD Floral http://www.lmdfloral.com/blog/

ConfettieStyle  http://confettistyle.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/2014-color-of-the-year-with-a-christmas-spin/

Writing Thank You Notes

After your celebration, you are tired probably tired and you don’t even want to think about going through all of the gifts that you received let alone write all those thank you notes. However, thank you notes are a very important event detailed but often not emphasized as such. Guests look forward to those notes. It shows that you appreciate your guests sharing in on your wonderful celebration. When opening all of the gifts, make sure to keep a detailed list of who the giver is and what they have given you.

Timeline
When should you send thank you notes? After a bridal shower or party, notes should be sent within 2 weeks. After a wedding, a longer timeline is acceptable. Guests understand there is a lot going on with getting settled as husband and wife, returning home from the honeymoon, opening all gifts and writing all thank you cards so there is a bit more time for these. It is best to send thank you notes within 6-8 weeks of the wedding. Any later, people will begin to think that you forgot about them or maybe you didn’t receive their gift.
Thank you notes can be tedious and tiring. The best approach to getting these written and mailed is to set a goal to write a certain number each day. This will help keep your sanity as well as helping maintain sincerity in each note. Here is a tip for the bride and groom, if you are travelling a distance for your honeymoon, try to open your gifts in advance and then take the gift list, address list and your thank you notes with you. You could get most or even all of the notes written during the lengthy travel to and from your destination and have finished before you return home.

Saying Thank You
When writing thank you notes, it may seem difficult to think of something to say. The outline for a note is in three parts- 1.Express gratitude for the gift (be sure to be specific about the gift and mention what you were given), 2. Explain how you may use the gift. 3.Thank them for attending the celebration. If they could not attend, thank them for thinking of you and let them know you wish that they would have been there.
If it was a monetary gift, thank them for their generosity. Do not mention the monetary amount. When receiving a monetary gift, it helps to tell the guest how you plan on using it. Whether it be used for a house down payment, the honeymoon, or simply to start a savings account, guests enjoy knowing what it may be used for.

Addressing and Mailing
Thank you notes should be addressed to each individual who attended your event and/or gave the gift. For families, Mr. and Mrs. should be addressed on the envelope. Inside on the note, address each individual family member that attended and express your gratitude.
Thank you notes can be tiring to write but they are a great keepsake and memory for guests. Thank you notes also show that you truly appreciate each guest that helped celebrate your day. We hope that following these steps will help to make writing thank you notes a little less intimidating and stressful.

One Last Thing
Electronic communication through text and email often replace the written word these days. Please do not use that as a substitute for hand writing a thank you note. Hand written thank you notes are timeless and show that you care and have taken the extra effort to let people know you appreciate them.