Thursday, April 17, 2014

7 Must-Read Tech Tips for Engaged Couples

This article is shared from The Huffington Post.  It has great information. Enjoy.

7 Must-Read Tech Tips for Engaged Couples

1. Pause-before-sharing: engagement
You said 'YES' and you want to tell the world, right? Well remember that some of the world may appreciate hearing about your major life milestone directly from you, either in person or on the phone. When I got engaged I first called both sets of parents, which sparked a phone tree to all aunts and cousins. My fiancé and I each called special relatives over the next few days and surprised a few friends at dinners the following weekend. After about two weeks, we finally made the news Facebook-official to share with the world.
Family and closest friends truly appreciated being given the chance to share in our celebration and, for newly engaged couples, it's really fun to play the game "do they see the ring yet?!"
2. Pause-before-sharing: wedding planning
The "pause-before-sharing" rule should also be applied throughout the planning process. As a general rule of etiquette, always consider the feelings of the audience. Things that fall under the don't-post category include: your bridal party selections, your wedding website and anything about price and budget.
Tech savvy tip: Create a list in your 'friends' section and title it 'wedding guests'. Then when you start to post about playlist requests or instructions to the flash mob, you won't make enemies.
3. Ladies and gentleman, start your #hashtags
If you've made the decision to document your wedding on social media, it's best to create your hashtag as early as possible. Include it as you ask friends to be in your wedding and share it on shower and bachelorette party invitations. If you start to incorporate the hashtag phrase early, people will use it to capture any activities related to your big day (for example: going shopping for their dress, baking cupcakes for your shower, etc).
Just remember that Instagram is a public search engine and anything with that hashtag can and will be seen by friends and friends-of-friends.
Not sure if you want to use a hashtag? Consider these risks from The Knot before deciding.
4. #Awesomepics - Now what?
As many social media users are aware, Instagram photos can't be saved to your photo library unless you take a screenshot of the post. Luckily there are many fabulous aggregator apps (like Wedding Party, Appy Couple, Capsule and Wedpics) that allow you to create an app, invite guests and allow everyone to upload all images and video from the wedding to a single location. These are definitely beneficial and highly recommended if you are incorporating social media as an integral part of your wedding experience.
5. Tweeter of Honor
Almost as popular as the maid of honor or best man, the Tweetmaster or Tweeter of Honor is becoming a normal addition to bridal party lineups. This is a tech savvy person that can document your wedding from your perspective or just on your behalf. The TOH could be used in addition to or in replacement of asking all guests to post, especially if your crowd is not so tech savvy. It still allows for your wedding day to be documented to the masses but in a slightly more controlled fashion.
6. With this phone, I thee hide
The only other vow you need to take on your wedding day: You shall not have your phone on you! The day goes by so quickly and it's quite a rare occasion that you're surrounded by all your closest friends and family, so find peace in the fact that you hired someone (and possibly even assigned someone) to capture the day on your behalf. The only exception to this rule is an awesome newlywed #selfie.
7. Communicate expectations
In order to successfully include social media into your wedding, you need to provide direction and expectations. It's one thing to want your friends to post funny pictures that you normally would not see but it's another to have a sea of iPhones and iPads attempting to capture your walk down the aisle (also a nuisance to your paid photographer).
Here are two examples of phrases to include on your wedding website and/or ceremony program.
When photos are not allowed during ceremony...
We are so excited that you've joined us on this special day. We want you to be present during the ceremony and ask that you refrain from taking pictures. We have hired professional photographers to capture these memories and request that all phones and cameras are turned off until the reception.
When photos are allowed during ceremony...
We are so excited that you've joined us on this special day. Feel free to capture this day on your cameras and phones. Our only request is that you wait to post any photos until the reception, allowing us the honor of posting our first pic as husband and wife (#selfie).
We found some other awesome copy & paste phrases to help set these expectations at Offbeat Bride.
Are you a guest of a tech-friendly wedding? Click here to brush up on your social media manners.
Author: Amanda Goetz is the Founder and CEO of Availendar

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sometimes even the "Professional" don't have the right answers for the Groom and Groomsmen

Here is the second part of the Wedding Party 101 from The Knot magazine.  This one will focus on the groom and groomsmen. This is a topic that many people are not familiar with since many men normally do not wear tuxedos on a regular basis. Here are some tips to help you decide your look for the special day.

  • Brush up on your tuxedo terms and take a peek in your own closet before you begin suit shopping.  This will give you an idea of what you like best--notched or shawl lapel, standard or spread collar.
One thing the magazines often forget is where the reader is from. This is great advice for a business man who regularly wears a suit.  But I live in farm country!  My typical customer maybe owns one suit and rarely wears it. So searching the closet will not be much help. On the other hand, brushing up on your tuxedo terms is a great hint.  The best way to do so is to visit a website for tuxedo rentals. My advice is to go to . Here you will find answers to most questions about a tuxedo.  There is also a great tux-builder feature. You can select your coat, shirt, vest and tie and see what it will look like together. But if the information you are looking for is not there, don't hesitate to ask your local formal wear dealer.

  • The groomsmen should dress around the groom.  A consistent look is great, but the groom should sport some detail(a boutonniere, tie or pocket square) that differentiates him from the pack.
This is great advice.  The groom can be dressed closely to everyone else but should have at least one small difference.  But sometimes the groom wants to be completely different.  That is good too!!  Remember it should be as much his day as the bride! Again, the bride and groom need to communicate their ideas of the wedding style before selecting attire.  The groom and groomsmen should compliment the ladies for the day.  And here is my newest pet peeve.  The bride and bridesmaids have on gorgeous gowns with beading in satin or chiffon, pretty hair dos, nails done--the works.  The guys come in blue jeans and t shirts!?! This just doesn't compute.  This is your one special day.  If he is not willing to sacrifice a few hours in a nice suit or tux, how will he do with the really hard stuff in the relationship? Maybe this is just my thinking as a wedding professional. We are all free to have our own opinions.

  • The tuxedo is classic, but consider all your options.  Marrying by the beach?  Try a more casual jacket and trousers.  Having an ultra-formal wedding? Pick a cutaway coat, gray-striped trousers, gray vest and ascot.

 Ok, we all know there is such a thing as etiquette.  The questions is do you always follow the rules?  Can we pick and chose the rules for our special day?  If you did your homework from #1, you probably found there are certain times and functions that you should wear different types of suits and tuxes.  If you did not, go back through my blogs and find one I wrote on Suits VS Tuxes.  Then you should be able to make your choice for the day.

  • Should you rent or buy? If you don't attend many formal events or if your weight is frequently in flux, renting may be the way to go.  If you'll have four or more good uses for a tux, the suit will pay for itself.
This is kind of a no brainer in farm country and why my tuxedo rentals have remained fairly constant during a national dip.  Many men in my area just don't have a reason to purchase a tuxedo and often not even a suit.  But remember that whatever your needs, we can take care of you.  Rushville Bridal has a full line of suits and tuxedos for rental or sale.

Here are the basics for tuxedo jacket styles.  It's all in the collar!

Classic Notch Collar Tuxedo can be paired with any vest and tie.

Shawl Collar Tuxedo

Peak Collar Tuxedo

Use this coupon for any complete tuxedo rental.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sometimes even the "Professionals" don't have the right answers for bridesmaids.

Today I received a new copy of The Knot, which has quickly become my favorite publication about weddings.  There are always tons of photos of new gowns and great tips for any style of wedding.  Since the magazine is so large, it is easy to overlook something.  But today, I found a page titled, Wedding Party 101.  Then I looked back at previous editions and found the exact same page!  Sorry, I had missed it before because it sparked what could be multiple blog posts.
So today I will start with the one that I agreed with the most--Bridesmaids.
  •  For a modern but still put-together look--pick the color and fabric, but consider letting your bridesmaids choose the neckline and silhouette. 
         This one is a little unclear on whether it is stating for all the bridesmaid to look the same or just in the same color and fabric.  But I feel that either one is great.  For a long time, I sided with the "everyone must look the same" or at the very least the same style but maybe different colors (like a rainbow wedding). Then I did a style show with at least 6 different stock gowns in the same color.  As each girl came down the aisle (yes, it was in a church), I was amazed at how great all the different styles complemented each girl's figure while also looking good together! I wondered how many times I had given the wrong advice to a bride. More importantly, I changed my view!!  I am often asked for my opinion but usually try to feel out the bride first.  Then will find the closest option to aline with her feelings.
        This is important for all the bridesmaids to remember too! Yes, the bridesmaid wants to look good and feel comfortable for the day but ultimately, IT'S THE BRIDES DAY! The bridesmaid was selected to support her decision on becoming a married woman. I think my daughter said it best to her cousin, "I will look ugly for you that day!" And guess what, my niece selected green gowns.  The one color my daughter hates to wear. But she will be there smiling her beautiful smile for her special cousin! I will post pictures after the wedding in July.

  • Ask for your maids' advice, but make the final decision yourself.  You're the one who knows the big picture--overall look, formality and people's budgets--best.
 I think I covered this in the last comment but I still think it needs to be repeated loudly and often. IF IT'S NOT YOUR WEDDING, YOU DON'T HAVE THE FINAL SAY!! Yes, it is nice to have opinions from the bridesmaids but the final vote is made by the bride.  If a bridesmaid refuses to wear what you as the bride selects, you have the right to kick her out of the wedding.  On the other hand, sometimes you have to pick your battles. Maybe in the long run, it is easier to give in than to fight.  But just remember that the wedding picture will be hanging in your living room not hers!

  • The bridesmaids should try to place their orders at the same time to ensure that the dresses will be made from the same dye lot.
From all the store owners I have known over the years (almost 18 years now), this is taken care of by the store.  Once a style is selected, the store will give the wedding party a date to have all the measurements and payments in.  If the date is coming close, the store will notify the bride of anyone that has not completed their order.   My best advice is to give the bridesmaids a date at least one week before the date given by the store.  This way if someone is running late, you don't miss the deadline to order the gowns or need to pay additional rush shipping charges. 
If you do have someone who misses the deadline, you can order the remainder of the gowns on time and add one later.  Remember that the one added later will run the risk of being a different dye lot color. This is usually not a huge difference but can be noticeable. Shipping charges may also be added for rush shipping or for shipping one gown by itself.

  • Allow three months' delivery and alteration time for the dresses.
This is the one I think that The Knot got wrong.  Many stores are now stating 9 months for bridal and 6 months for bridesmaids. Shipping from China has changed drastically in the past few years.  So don't run the risk of getting the gowns the week after the wedding.  Shop early!!

  • Don't forget the extras.  Should the maids all have the same shoes, jewelry, hairstyles, handbags or wraps?  Communicate your desires clearly to your maids.  Email works great for this.
This is something you should put some thought into before going shopping for gowns.  If the bridesmaids know upfront what your expectations will be, it is easier for them to be on board.  If you don't have any set ideas, it could be easy for one of the bridesmaids to run the show.

Here are some bridesmaid styles.  Which one fits your wedding style?

One shoulder, charmeuse gown
Sweetheart, taffeta gown

Short sweetheart, chiffon gown
Short V neck, satin gown

Scoop neck, lace gown available long or short.
Convertible Wrap Dress. Make the neckline to fit your bridesmaid or wedding style.