Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Invitation Pointers

I've been thrown into wedding invitation craziness this week as I'm on a mission to get three suites prepared and mailed by Thursday. So considering this fact, tons of thoughts have crossed my mind about the very 1st impression your guests will see regarding your wedding day...the wedding invitation.


Instead of using clear mailing labels on your envelopes (because they aren't really clear) consider contacting a calligraphist to hand address the envelopes. But should that be out of the budget, ask the calligraphist or invitation designer about digital calligraphy. The cost is a fraction of what you would spend on actual calligraphy, plus their are tons of lavish fonts and still adds elegance to the envelopes.

Also, add a tiny number to the back of the reply card consistent with the spreadsheet you have created for tracking the replies. This way, should a reply card be returned with no name or the hand writing isn't legible, you will still know who sent it.


Make sure to take a completely assembled wedding invitation to your local post office to have it weighed. You will need postage for the outer envelope and for the respond card envelope. Most standard invitations will need a $.61 stamp for the outer envelope and a $.44 for the reply envelope.


Upon speaking with one of my friends that works inside of my local post office, she disclosed to me - do not mail wedding invitations around the holidays because the flow of mail is usually backed up due to closures. Also, don't mail invitations on a rainy day. Sometimes the adhesive from the envelopes comes untacked. Last, don't drop the invitations into a mailbox. Take them inside and have an invitation weighed one last time before mailing them off to your wedding guests.

Until next time...WEDologize!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wedding Websites That Guests Use

As I prepare WEDology Notebooks for The 2011 Bridal Show at the Mid-America Club this evening, a thought came to me about wedding guests and the information that's available to them regarding your wedding day. As I searched the bridal show site, I was given driving directions and parking directions among many things. This is the very type of information that should be made available to your wedding guests.

Some wedding websites are FREE while others you will have to pay a small fee, but they all very user-friendly, so why not create one?! The perfect opportunity to let your guests know that you have a site is to have the information printed on your Save The Dates. That way, guests will have the information early enough to make arrangements to attend your wedding festivities. I've listed some easy-to-use wedding websites below:

S0me invauable information to post on your site would be information about the ceremony & reception including the times and attire; gift registry links; travel and hotel accommodations; driving directions to wedding locations and local activites going on the weekend of your wedding. And to make the site more personalized, add the story of how you and your fiancee' met or the proposal story and mention your bridal party and their relationship to you.

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit -

Monday, March 21, 2011

Script the Reception

Some reception venues will assist you in organizing your reception script of events, but once the dinner and dessert is served, you are on your own. Of course, hiring a wedding coordinator will alleviate this stress, but if you consider doing it yourself, below is a script you might consider:
  • Introductions - This is when the MC or DJ will introduce the bridal party, including family and children, ending with the new Mr. & Mrs.
  • 1st Dance - I always love the bride and groom to be introduced into the reception and hit the dance floor for their 1st dance. The guests are still excited and the focus is 100% on the newlyweds.
  • Cutting of Wedding Cake - If your cake will be served as dessert, here is the perfect opportunity to cut the masterpiece. This will then allow the caterer to get the cake off the dance floor, into the back, cut and plated for the dessert portion of the meal.
  • Toasts - So not to turn your wedding reception into a roast & toast, allow your Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor to make those special toasts. Some venues like to have the toasts before meal service begins, but should you want to incorporate it during dinner service, I'd suggest toasting right before the main course is presented.
  • Father & Daughter Dance / Mother & Son Dance - After meal service (and the bar is most likely about to open) now is the perfect opportunity for those dances with the "loves" of your life. Should your parents be shy or unable to dance an entire song, consider doing the dances together or shortening the song.
  • Garter Toss & Bouquet Toss - For those that still love this tradition, the perfect opportunity to watch your guests go wild is approximately 30-45 minutes after the dance floor has opened.
It's always important to discuss the order of events with the banquet manager prior to wedding day to ensure that all involved are aware of each activity and the scheduled time of the event.

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit -

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Go Green! Go!

First, let me say Happy St. Patrick's Day to our Irish followers and friends! Inspired by today's holiday, I think I'll address the green wedding celebration and list some useful tips should you decide to go "GREEN" for your wedding day!

Below are a few really simple tips that have been labeled green, but truly should be considered by all couples:
  • Limit the amount of driving for your wedding guests
  • Donate the left over food and wedding cake to local charities, churches or shelters
  • Do not register for gifts you do not need, but consider asking your guests to give to your favorite charity on behalf of the wedding. The same idea could be done for wedding favors, too.
  • Select flowers that are in-season and grown locally and at the end of the reception, donate the florals to a senior home, hospital or send them home with your wedding guests
  • Instead of using large, all-floral centerpieces, consider adding candles, twisted branches, smooth stones and recycled vessels to accent your centerpieces
  • For your invitations, use 100% recycled stock and environmentally-friendly ink for printing
I hope some of these ideas help you with having a "Green" wedding. For more information on Green weddings, check out the following publications:
Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Gratuity Please

I get asked a lot about gratuity guidelines for wedding vendors, so below you'll find Ultimate Wedding Vendor Tipping Guide borrowed from

Hair/makeup pros: 15–20 percent of the total bill
Musicians: $25–$50 each
Officiant: $50 if you're married by a judge or clerk; clergy members, in general, don't accept tips, so instead, make a donation ($100 on average) to the appropriate house of worship.
Altar boys or girls: $5–$10; if they decline, add this amount to your donation to the church.

Wedding planners: 10-15 percent of contracted price
Photographers/videographers: $100–$200 if the pro is part of a larger outfit or agency (but not the owner). Second shooters should receive $50–$75.
Catering manager: $250–$500
Waitstaff: 15 percent of the total pretax food bill (given to the catering manager or "captain" to distribute)
Bartenders: 10–15 percent of the total pretax bar bill. Inform the bartenders of your intent to tip after the reception, and request that they refuse tips from guests. No rogue tip jars!
Reception band/DJ: $25–$50 per person, but take their performance into account: Did your bashful uncle boogie for the first time in 40 years? Then give a little more cash.
Chauffeur/driver: 15–20 percent of the total bill, typically presented at the end of the day
Valets: $1–$2 per car, given to the supervisor in advance, to be split among staff. Display a sign at the valet station stating that gratuities have been taken care of. The valets should also be instructed to refuse any tips offered by guests.
Restroom/coat-check attendants: $.50–$2 per guest; calculate this total in advance and give to your reception site manager to distribute.

Delivery people: $5–$20 per person for deliveries arriving from your florist, baker, rental company, and other vendors. These staffers may also be doing the heavy lifting, on-site setup, and hauling away that come with producing your wedding—so tip accordingly.

Bellhop: $1–$2 per piece of luggage brought to and from the room
Doorperson: $1–$2 per task for any kind of assistance, like hailing a cab
Housekeeper: $2–$4 per day
Concierge: $5–$20, depending on the request(s)

But of course these suggestions are standard guidelines. If you feel a vendor went above and beyond the call of duty, bless them accordingly. And if you are disappointed with the level of service of a vendor, you are not obligated to extend gratuity. But make sure to let them know how you feel so that they can improve for the next clients they service.

Until next time...WEDologize!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Fat Tuesday!

What exactly is Fat Tuesday, you ask? It’s indulging in all of the foods the last night before you give them up and begin the fasting of the Lenten season, which starts on the following day: Ash Wednesday. And I bet you didn’t know “Mardi Gras” is French for Fat Tuesday. Well in honor of New Orleans Fat Tuesday celebrations and parades, I've come up with a little inspiration. Enjoy...

Friday, March 4, 2011

WEDology Notebook Celebrations!!!

Well as many of you who follow us on Facebook and Twitter know...THE WEDOLOGY NOTEBOOKS ARE HERE!!! And we are too excited about the buzz they are creating with brides and industry professionals.

Please come out and support Desiree, President & Lead Designer of Dejanae Events, with the launch of WEDology Notebook: For The Budget-Chic Bride. The reveal and signing will be from 6 - 9pm on Friday, March 11th at Ven Sherrod Photography Studio, 1906 S. Halsted, Chicago, Illinois with wine and light refreshments served. If you are unable to make this event, there will be another signing on Friday, April 8th and plenty more events thereafter.

WEDology Notebook: For the Budget-Chic Bride is the newest and by far the most innovative bridal planner to date. An immense amount of wedding planning information has been captured in a Notebook format making it easy for working women to carry in their purse, tote or briefcase without being weighed down. Published by DE Publishing Group, the Notebooks can be ordered on or by sending an e-mail to

Below are some Noteboook sneak peeks:
Please follow the latest and greatest information about the Notebook at and The WEDology Notebook website will be unveiled next week!!!

Until next time...WEDologize!


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