Archive | April 2014

Top Wedding Etiquette Questions

Top Wedding Etiquette Questions

The best advice for dealing with sticky wedding situations.

Figurines of bride, groom, parents and in-laws on a wedding cake

From what to wear to what to register for, planning and preparing for an upcoming wedding can sometimes be tricky. Navigating through each and every sticky situation with a smile can be hard work. Enter Anna Post. The etiquette expert and co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th edition ($40,, is here to set the record straight on some of the most frequently asked wedding dilemmas.

Fortune cookie with an engagement ring

1. Who Should Be the First to Know About My Engagement?

Avoid broadcasting the news (photos included) to social networks before sharing your engagement with family and friends. If you have any children from a previous marriage, they should be told first. Parents, family members, godparents, and anyone you are particularly close with should also be told before the news is public knowledge.

Engagement party invitation

2. Am I Supposed to Bring a Gift to an Engagement Party?

Traditionally gifts were not expected at the engagement party but, some guests opt to bring a small token—like Champagne flutes—for the couple. Because engagement gifts aren’t a standard everywhere, don’t expect presents to be opened at the event.

Bride and her mother

3. Can I Have Someone Besides My Father Walk Me Down the Aisle?

The bride’s father traditionally walks her down the aisle, but you can have anyone who is significant—mom or stepdad, brother or sister—walk you down the aisle. You can even walk alone or with more than one person.

No matter who walks you down the aisle, don’t let it be a last-minute decision. The most important thing is to maintain an open and honest dialogue with anyone impacted by your choice.

RSVP cards

4. How Do I Get My Guests to RSVP?

Give guests at least 15 days between the invitation’s arrival and the RSVP deadline to figure out the logistics. Sending pre-stamped enclosure cards or permitting RSVP via email may also encourage guests to respond faster.

Approximately one week before the numbers are due to vendors, make follow-up calls to guests who have yet to reply. This is a great time to ask your wedding party or family for some help.

Stamps, invitations, envelopes, and pen

5. If I Know Someone Can’t Attend, Do I Need to Send an Invitation Anyway?

Because an invitation comes with the expectation of a gift, you don’t want people to think they have to give a gift even though they cannot attend. If someone lets you know that they have a conflict, don’t follow up with an invitation. In the case of very close friends and family, you may want to send an invitation anyway with a note that explains you are sending it as a keepsake.

woman holding flowers

6. How Can I Back Out of My Duties as a Bridesmaid if I Can’t Afford It or No Longer Want to Do It?

If you think financials might be a problem, talk with the bride about what expenses you might incur before accepting. Bridesmaids typically pay for their own attire (including any alterations), hair, makeup, and any travel expenses. Though the maid of honor may have a bigger time commitment, there is not necessarily a greater monetary obligation.

Other than illness, family emergency, or an iron-clad work demand, it’s not acceptable to back out once you’ve committed. If you have no choice but to cancel, it’s important to let the bride know as soon as possible.

Bachelorette party invitation

7. What Are My Duties as a Bridesmaid?

Bridesmaids generally assist in the planning of the wedding, help the bride choose her dress, attend fittings for their own dresses, and attend any parties they are invited to. Though it often makes sense for bridesmaids to throw the bridal shower, they are not required to do so.

During the wedding festivities, bridesmaids act as an ambassador of sorts to the couple and may be expected to help with the little details that keep the day running smoothly. They should also participate in any activities like a receiving line or a bouquet toss.

Ruffles and fall roses cake

8, Can I Skip the Cake?

There are certain traditions, like cutting the cake, that are okay to omit. Instead of cake, you may opt for something that provides more variety such as a candy bar or a selection of pies—it’s up to you.

If you do skip the cake, be aware that the cake cutting ceremony and serving of dessert is typically the signal to guests that it is okay to leave without being rude.

Bridal shower invitation

9. Who Hosts the Bridal Shower?

Anyone from the bridesmaids to the mother of the bride to the mother of the groom can host a bridal shower. In any case, the hostess should consult with the bride about the guest list, because shower guests should also be invited to the wedding.

Place cards for wedding guests

10. How Do I Decide Who Can Bring a Date?

You should extend a plus one to anyone who is in a committed relationship, whether married, engaged, or in a live-in partnership—even if you haven’t met the other half. You are not obligated to give single guests and guests who are involved in more casual relationships the option to bring a date. You do, however, want to be consistent and avoid making exceptions.

If the invitation does not say, for example, Anna and guest, guests can assume they cannot bring a date. If someone does show up with an uninvited guest, avoid an uncomfortable situation by finding a place for them and follow up with the invited guest via a polite phone call afterward.

White present on blue background

11. How Much Should I Spend on a Wedding Gift?

There is no minimum or maximum. When shopping for a wedding gift you should consider two things: your personal budget and your relationship with the couple. It’s not necessary to pay for the cost of your dinner, but rather spend what you can afford and feel comfortable spending on something that suits the couple. Don’t be afraid to diverge from the registry if you need to.

Holly Curtis and her bridesmaids

12. If Someone Asks Me to Be in Their Wedding, Do I Have to Ask Them to Be in Mine?

You shouldn’t feel obligated to reciprocate. If you feel uncomfortable about the situation, ask them to be a reader or to fulfill some other role in the wedding. Similarly, it’s a nice gesture to include your fiancé’s siblings in the wedding party, but you are not required to do so.

Wedding invitation envelopes

13. I’m Paying for the Wedding Myself, How Can I Tell My Parents I Don’t Want to Invite Certain People?

It may be best to give your parents an allotted amount of spots they can fill as they wish. If there are certain people you do not want in attendance, it’s best to have a private and honest conversation when you first discuss the guest list. Don’t insist your parents feel comfortable with the situation, but be clear about your wishes.

Kraft-paper envelope labels

14. Am I Expected to Invite All of My Coworkers?

You do not have to invite everyone you work with, but try to pick a logical dividing line, like your division or team, so people don’t feel excluded. Treat any invited coworkers as you would friends, and invite them outside of work. Mail invitations to their home addresses and discuss wedding plans outside of the office.

Pinwheel centerpieces

15. Can I Tell My Bridesmaids What Kind of Shower I Want?

It’s a good idea to discuss the shower with bridesmaids—or whoever is hosting—but avoid demands, especially those that dictate the budget. For example, if you really don’t want games, you may express that sentiment but shy away from requests that add extra expenses.

Wedding ceremony with umbrellas

16. How Do I Deal With Guests Who Ask to Bring Kids Even After We’ve Made It Clear They’re Not Invited?

You have to nip this in the bud. Call the guest (even if they’ve contacted you through another medium, like email) and kindly, but firmly explain that the invitation was just for the adults and that you hope they can still attend. Don’t make exceptions—it’s not fair to other guests who respect your wishes. You can, however, invite the flower girl and the ring bearer without being hypocritical.

Rehearsal dinner invitation

17. Who Should Host the Rehearsal Dinner?

Traditionally, the groom’s family hosts (and pays for) the rehearsal dinner and arranges a guest list in conjunction with the bride’s family. Though some families now choose to split the cost or let the bride and groom host their own rehearsal dinner, the groom’s family should get “first dibs.”

Wedding map

18. Am I Obligated to Invite a Guest’s Date to the Rehearsal Dinner?

Because the rehearsal dinner is traditionally a close-knit event for wedding participants and family, it is not necessary to extend an invitation to an attendee’s wedding guest.

Cash in an envelope

19. How Much Should I Tip My Wedding Vendors?

You do not have to tip vendors with whom you have a contract. Depending on service and relationship, a small gift or a cash tip is at your discretion. You should, however, distribute tips to non-contracted staff like musicians and servers.

Meals for vendors are typically included in your contract, but you should plan to pay for their dinner regardless. Discuss meal options with your venue or caterer to find something that works with your budget.

Henry's Stationery Set

20. How Long Do I Have to Send a Thank-You Note?

Though it’s best to send a thank-you note as soon as possible, you have approximately three months to express your gratitude. If the three-month timeframe has elapsed, send any lingering thank-you notes as soon as possible. Sending an email or putting a generic thanks on social media, your wedding website, or anywhere else does not replace a handwritten note.


2014 Wedding Cake Trends

6 New Wedding Cakes Trends for 2014 Weddings-

As known to all, wedding cake is definitely one of the most important aspects of the wedding reception or I should say the entire wedding. It stands royally as a main centerpiece while guests wait to get his or her share. So choosing the perfect wedding cake cannot be that simple. Here are 5 trends for wedding cakes to share with your  2014 brides.

new trends for 2013 and 2014 weddings

#1. Tall/Candle Cake Toppers

new wedding trends for cakes with candle toppers

beach blue wedding cakes with tall toppers 2013 2014 trends

2014 trending wedding cakes with tall toppers

#2. Burlap Decorated

lace and burlap wedding cakes 2013 and 2014 trends

burlap wedding cakes 2013 2014 trends

#3. Cupcake Wedding Dress

trending wedding dress shaped cupcakes

cupcakes wedding dress shaped for new wedding trends

#4. Naked Cakes

naked wedding cakes with red flowers and fruits 2013 trends

colorful naked wedding cakes 2013 2014 trends

rainbow colors naked wedding cakes

#5. Bling Bling

trending gray bling wedding cakes

trending disney bling wedding cakes for 2013 2014

#6. Fabulous Ombre

fabulous pink ombre wedding cakes with green decorations

beautiful ombre wedding cakes blue green purple

Image Credits: stylemepretty/snippetandink/disneyweddings

Marriage License in North Carolina

Marriage License in North Carolina

You do not have to be a resident of North Carolina to apply for a marriage license. The following are required to apply for a marriage license:

  1. A valid photo ID- diver license, military ID, birth certificate or passport
  2. Complete marriage application. It is available online:

  1. If divorced- the bride or groom must know the month and year of the last divorce. If within the last 60 days, a copy of the divorce decree signed by the judge is needed.
  2. Both parties must be present to obtain the license. If one party is unable to appear, a sworn and notarized affidavit is needed from the Register of Deeds Office.
  3. Proof of a social security number for both parties- W2 form or payroll stub
  4. Applicants under 17 must have notarized parental consent

The license is $60 and must be paid in cash. There is no waiting period or blood test needed for the license. Same sex marriage is not allowed in North Carolina, however first cousin marriage is allowed. The license can be used anywhere in North Carolina and is valid for 60 days.


Marriage ceremonies may be either religious or civil. A civil ceremony is conducted by a magistrate, who is the only civil officer authorized to perform marriages. There must be two witnesses at any marriage ceremony, whether it is civil or religious. Ministers must complete the marriage license and return it to the register of deeds who issued it.


The marriage license in Raleigh can be obtained from the following location:


Wake County Register Of Deeds
One Bank of America Plaza
421 Fayetteville Street
Suite 300 – Floor 3
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 856-5460
8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. / M – F
Closed for holidays.

Party Favors

Your event will never become a party without the guests. If you are having a birthday party or shower, you need to buy favors for your guests. This is a great tradition that shows you appreciate your guests’ attendance and want to thank them for helping celebrate the big day. A great choice of party favor will not only impress your guests, but will also give a lasting memory of the event. They will also feel grateful and will want to return for other celebrations!

Jungle/Safari Customized Birthday COMPLETE Favor Cowboy/Cowgirl Customized Birthday COMPLETE Favor Construction/Lego Customized Birthday COMPLETE Favor

Princess Customized Birthday COMPLETE Favor Jungle Bag- Favors Included Princess Purse- Favors Included

First Birthday-Jungle Theme

Preston’s First Birthday- Jungle Party

The invitations were so fun to make. I was able to get animal costumes on sale after Halloween  and I got the letters for the number ONE from Michael’s.


I used jungle themed labels for the food. Here are the labels in a word document Jungle Food Labels

Our menu consisted of the following:

  • Safari  sandwiches- Pinwheels from Harris Teeter
  • Pimento Cheese  Elephants
  • Chicken Salad  Hippos
  • Wilderness nuggets From Chickfila
  • Wildlife  Mac and Cheese
  • Animal  Crackers
  • Tropical Veggies
  • Sweet Fruit Lion
  • Trail Mix
  • Jungle Cupcakes
  •  Banana Split Dippin Dots


Preston’s outfit is from Etsy from Fashion for Kids.

Here are pictures of the decorations and from the party!

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Here was the goody bag from the party:

gift 001    They had animal stickers, animal bubbles, animal beach balls and an Animal ABCs book I made featuring Preston.

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Here are some files I created and used for decorations around the house and gifts:

Here are the thank you cards I ordered from Tiny Prints to stick with the theme!