Wedding planning, invitations, and more

By Jean Sanders
Info Guru,

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Today's not-so-out-of-the-box weddings require careful planning.
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Wedding invitations set the stage

From the moment the envelope arrives, your wedding invitation invites comments. Shouldn't it be something special? There are online sites that will allow you to view a vast selection of wedding invitations from which you can choose the perfect one - whether you prefer a casual or formal style.

Not only that, you will be able to get expert advice and suggestions for the wording of your wedding invitation. The Internet can save you countless hours of precious time; it can also save you considerable money when you shop online for your wedding invitations.

Once upon a time, people didn't need response cards. When they received a written invitation, they would RSVP on their own stationery, offering congratulations and whether or not they would be able to attend.

With the invention of the telephone, it became customary to include a response card for formal invitations, and to ask people to RSVP by telephone for casual invitations.

But what should a response card say, what is the etiquette of response cards, and are there other ways for guests to RSVP? The good news is, there isn't a "correct" way of response card wording.

Instead, there are styles that are more appropriate for a formal wedding, and those best suited to a casual affair. There are also some styles best for a bride and groom with a very tight guest list, or for the person who needs to have a firm control on who is and isn't coming to the wedding.

The most common styles of RSVP wording are:

The favor of a reply is requested by June 16, 2006. M__________________________ ____Accepts with pleasure ____Declines with regrets or


Will ______ Attend

The line is meant for your guest to fill in Ms, Mr. or Mrs., and write their name(s). In the first option, they simply check off whether or not they can come. In the second option, your guest will RSVP in the affirmative by only writing their name and leaving the space in between "will" and "attend" blank. If they must decline, they will write "not."

Some still prefer to not include response cards; Miss Manners even calls them horrid. A compromise for a formal wedding is to use a simple small card that says "The favor of a reply is requested by June 16, 2006." or "We look forward to hearing from you."

Most people will either write a note on their personal stationery, or use the card itself to send back a note. A few will call or email you, and that will be okay in the end.

There are numerous online sites that can assist you and your future spouse in your wedding planning. These purveyors of wedded bliss offer a myriad of suggestions—from wedding invitations to floral arrangements. They can help you divert a disaster by showing you how to organize every aspect of your wedding planning to minimize the stress and expenses.

Most brides and grooms feel overwhelmed at one point or another in the process of planning their wedding. The most important thing to remember is to be calm, and stay organized. Some ideas:

10 to 12 months before your wedding:

  • Tell your parents, important family members, and close friends the good news!
  • Arrange for your families to meet, if they haven't done so already
  • Announce your engagement – either in the newspaper, on a wedding website with an email sent out to all your friends, or in the most traditional way, with mailed engagement announcements
  • Have an engagement party, if you'd like
  • Envision the theme and tone of your wedding: Formal or casual? Day or evening? Religious or secular?
  • Set your budget, Decide who's paying for the wedding, or who's going to contribute
  • Start your guest list
  • Select date and time (have backup dates in mind, in case a key element is unavailable)
  • Select and reserve your ceremony and reception sites
  • Hire a wedding consultant, if you're using one
  • Choose and book offi

  • From ribbons and bows to exquisite floral arrangements and balloons, the wedding decorations you choose will enhance the joyous occasion. Once again, online sites can assist you in selecting just the right wedding decorations. Here are some cheap wedding ideas for the flowers - ways to have a beautiful visual impact without spending a fortune.

    Use only in season and readily available flowers. Be honest with your florist about your budget, and have them recommend the most inexpensive flowers. Give your florist a general style and color scheme, and any "banned" flowers that you hate, but generally allow them flexibility so they can use what is in season and cheapest. There are some times when peonies cost a fortune, and other times when they are so cheap you can fill your hall with them.

    Hold your wedding during the Christmas season or immediately after Easter when a church will already be decorated. Avoid holding your wedding in February when flower prices are at an annual high due to Valentine's Day.

    Wedding decorations can include decorating the hall or restaurant where the reception is taking place, wedding tables, wedding chairs, stages… the list is endless. You can decorate with ribbons, lace, fabric, paper, flowers, balloons and etc. Table decorations can be as simple or as elaborate as your budget and taste allow. Wedding decorations are up to your imagination.

    Congratulations. Have a good and long life together!

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