A blog with planning tips, fun new trends, and info related to Ethereal Events.
Photo by Barbie Hull
"Today I am marrying my best friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, and love."
~ Erin & Forrest Pangborn

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thank you, Gracias, Merci!

20 Ways to Thank People Involved in Your Wedding 
So your wedding day is approaching and all the final touches are coming along, but what about thanking everyone who helped make your day so special. Here are 20 ideas of gifts you can give, from your groom, to your wedding party, of course your parents, and even your vendors. 

1. Cigars: If your groom enjoys a nice cigar on a special occasion or holiday why not give him a box of rare cigars. You can include a note that he can save some cigars for life changing moments. Your wedding day, the day you buy your first house, your first wedding anniversary, and even the birth of your first child.
2. A watch: Now-a-days a watch is not as common an accessory for most people, but it is a nice timeless staple, so why not get your groom a nice new watch. You can even take a step further and have the watch engraved to add a personal touch.

3. Cufflinks: Personalized cufflinks can add a special touch to your grooms suit on the Wedding Day; you can include your wedding date, your initials together, or a small message only your groom would know. He can then wear them to a special work meeting and think of you.

Bride’s maids 
You chose your Bridesmaids to be a part of the most important day of your life. They’re a family member (or about to become one), a best friend, or a college sorority sister. They have helped you throughout the wedding planning process, whether it was going to a dress fitting, cake tasting, or the all-important Bachelorette Party. Why not thank them with a great gift along with the special memories?

4. Personalized Bag: This website is filled with different bag designs which would fit each girl’s personality. You can fill the bag with ‘Day-Of’ Essentials from lipstick, to a personalized hanger for their dress, to even a pair of Reception Dancing Shoes. You could even include something personal representing the relationship you share with each girl.

5. Jewelry: A very popular gift idea is always jewelry. It’s the perfect gift to give and your wedding is a great place for all the ladies to debut their new accessory. However a good idea is to add some personalization to the jewelry and to make sure the design can be something worn outside of the wedding festivities. You can even include a personalized jewelry box or travel case to go with the piece of jewelry you give.

6. Spa Day: A gift card to a near by spa is very special treat. Most bridesmaids will probably be getting a mani/pedi prior to the wedding day so receiving a spa gift certificate can help with that. You can even include a massage or facial in the gift certificate and the bridesmaids can use it after the wedding as well for a nice day of relaxation from all of the wedding festivities.

Your Parents have been the most important people in your life second to your Fiancé, and may have played a huge role in planning the wedding. Whether they are footing the bill or giving great input, thanking them is just as important!

7. A Weekend Getaway: Why not give each set of parents a weekend getaway trip. I mean, you’re going to be going on your honeymoon after all the planning, why not give your parents a chance to relax as well. It could be a trip to a local Bed & Breakfast, the coast (if there’s one nearby) or a weekend at a nearby winery. A retreat where they will be able to relax and enjoy!

8. Photography: It is becoming more and more popular to replicate past photos of your parents with you & your groom. There are a number of ways to create these special moments in your photography with your parents; this particular photo has been widely spread around the internet. Talk to your family about the special heirloom photos that might be great to recreate on your wedding day! *Be sure to ask your photographer for some additional ideas. After you get the photos from your photographer you can pick your favorite one and have it framed for your parents.

9. Personalized Handkerchief: A great keepsake for both sets of parents to show them how thankful you are. You can personalize each one to have a special saying or message for each parent. Plus they can then use the handkerchief to wipe away the tears during the wedding ceremony.

This is your fiancĂ©’s chance to thank his groomsmen one last time. He made need some help on what to give, but make sure it’s more about the guys and less about the girly touch you may have added.

10. Favorite Liquor: While getting ready why not celebrate with a drink. You can gift each groomsmen with their favorite liquor and include a nice cigar to enjoy together at the reception.

11. Engraved Flask: One of the most popular gifts to give the groomsmen and can even be combined with liquor and cigar. You can personalize the flask with getting the groomsmen initials or names engraved on the front and then the men can enjoy their favorite liquor in their new personal flasks.

12. Vintage Shaving Kits: Most men enjoy a nice, clean shave. Why not treat the groomsmen to their own vintage personal shave kit. You can even get monogrammed bags for the shave kits to add some personalization. Or if a kit is not their style, a gift certificate to a professional barber for a shave is a nice treat! It is the manly equivalent to a spa day!

Lil’ Ones 
You don’t want to forget about the Flower Girl and/or Ring Bearer. They aren’t as involved in the wedding, but you still asked them to be a part of it, so don’t forget to give them a gift to make them feel just as special. Some great ideas for your Flower Girl and Ring Bearer can be things to keep them busy during the ceremony and/ or reception. It doesn’t necessarily need to be as detailed as a gift for your bridesmaid/groomsmen.

13. Gift Bag: You can get any sort of gift bag, and personalize it with each child’s name on it to give that personal touch and just include things that can help keep the kid happy during the ceremony and reception if necessary. Some great ideas could be including a coloring book with crayons, bubbles, play dough, and maybe their favorite snack.

14. Personalized Shirt: A great gift that they can wear both before and after the wedding to show off how they were involved. You can even get some with a cute saying to add some fun to the shirt.

15. Personalized Piggy Bank: Why not give them something to help start saving for that new toy that they may want. You can even get them personalized with their names to add a special touch.

Kiddos Parents 
You may consider giving a thank you gift to parents of the flower girl and/or ring bearer. I mean after all they did buy a dress/ suit for their kids to wear along with making sure they are at any rehearsals. It is not a “required” gift, but definitely a thoughtful token of appreciation! Many parents of the FG or RB are doing double duty as a family member or in the Wedding Party. It can get tricky!

16. Gift Card for a Date Night: Why not treat the parents of the flower girl/ ring bearer to a nice dinner once all the wedding festivities are over. It will show the parents you appreciate all the work they put in to having their kids involved in your wedding along with giving them the chance to have a night to be adults.

17. Babysitting. Offer up your services to watch their pride and joy while they have a date night! It will be good practice for you if you’re planning a family in the future!

Your vendors have put in time and energy to help bring your ideas and visions to life for your ‘BIG’ day. Tipping can get costly and confusing! Who do you tip? How much? An alternative is giving them a meaningful gift. You don’t have to get them all gifts but, a nice thank-you is a great way to show your vendors how much you appreciate all their help.

18. Thank You Photo: Include a Thank You picture of you and your groom in your wedding photos to send out to vendors and wedding guests after the wedding.

19. Tip: For catering, bartending, and transportation services, a tip is commonly included in the overall price of the service or a percentage is added to your final bill. With most other vendors it is not. If you are extremely pleased with the way everything turned out, it’s thoughtful to include a tip.

20. Shout out in your toasts: It is common for the bride and groom to give a toast welcoming everyone to their wedding. A nice touch you can add is thanking your vendors in the toast for everything they’ve done to make your dream wedding come true.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Give Big!

Giving back is a huge part of my business philosophy.  It is really important to me for many different reasons.  One of which is, I work in weddings, which is really fun and rewarding, but can occasionally feel materialistic and over indulgent.  I have many clients who are looking to give back through their weddings.  They also share my feelings of sadness seeing all of the beautiful flowers going into the garbage at the end of the night.  FloranthropyFloranthropy, is a Seattle non-profit company that helps people give flowers from their big event to local charities.  Started by a bride in June 2011 when she donated the flowers from her wedding the the hospital her Mother was a patient at.  She realized that there was a need for this service and began Floranthropy!
The flower arrangements would last a week, if not longer after the wedding if given the chance.  While doing some research for me this week, my assistant Charlotte found this amazing website.  I have not yet used it, but am really excited about it! 
Here is some information from their website:

"Floranthropy brings social responsibility to your celebration or event. We pickup and deliver event floral arrangements to re-purpose them in local hospitals, shelters, nursing homes, schools and other facilities. Many hospitals and social service centers do not have donation sites and do not provide pickups. Our donation pickup and delivery service provides you with a one-stop solution for giving green. Recycle and re-purposed your floral arrangements today.  If good karma isn't enough, it’s tax deductible too!

• Donate Wedding & Event Floral Arrangements
• Donate Corporate Event Floral Arrangements
• Donate Bar & Bah-Mitzvah Floral Arrangements
• Fundraisers: Online Donation Drive & Registry (Coming Soon!!)
• Provide Tax Deductible Receipt" 
If you've used it, I would love to hear about your experience, good or bad.  I'm excited about finding a this resource I can share with all of your and my clients.  I look forward to using it and giving back!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Want Your Wedding On TV?

TLC's Four Weddings is Casting Brides in Seattle.  Are you planning a Honeymoon winning worthy event?  Apply online here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blended... I'm not talking about cocktails!

Are you getting married, and have children? Why not include your children (or child) in the celebration that will join your blended family together.   Weddings offer a number of ways to include the whole family.  There is the ceremony itself, adding special reception moments, and during the planning process as a whole.  

Here are 5 ways you can include everyone in the wedding:

  1. Your (or your partner’s) kid(s) can help with many of the planning pieces: from picking the wedding colors and theme, to tasting cake and the wedding meal.  The wedding vendor meetings can be a great bonding activity for everyone involved. Bring the kiddos to the fun and appropriate meetings.  I would avoid bringing children to any meeting that is just talking and likely to be boring for them.  The photographer or wedding planner meetings might be prime examples.   Keep the children involved in the parts they care about and are fun.  The wedding becomes a shared event that is important to all when children’s’ opinions are included. 
  2. A great unifying piece is sending a ‘Family Wedding Invitation’.  There are many options on wording to include both the couple and children’s names.  Check with your invitation company for options and examples.
  1.  If a family ceremony is less traditional or more then you are looking for, you can include one or two of the elements.  Choose from any of these: Walk down the aisle together, include the children in your wedding party, have them read a poem, recite their own vows, or be included in yours, family unity ceremony with a candle or sand, etc.  
  2. Family ceremony: This wedding is about more than joining the two of you.  It is now about joining a family.  You can talk to your Officiant and opt to have a family oriented ceremony.  They can provide suggestions on how to best do this in your situation.  These ceremonies are centered on not just the joining of a couple, but instead the creation of a new family.   All of the traditional aspects of the wedding are transformed to include all members of the new union. Note: Depending on the age of the children, they may not be able to stand at the altar during the entire ceremony with you, or be able to recite a poem, so finding the right fit for your participants is important.
  1. The reception is generally more than 60% of the wedding day.  If you want to continue to share the spotlight here are a few ideas: create a ‘Family Table’ in your seating arrangements, where the entire family can sit together during dinner, and guests can come by and congratulate everyone, not just the bride and groom. Special Dances: Include your children (or child) in a special family dance, in additional to any traditional dances you may be doing, ie. father/daughter dance, or mother/son dance. There are a number of songs, out there that can really capture the relationship between Father/Daughter and of course Mother/Son songs.
If you are about to blend your family; including your children (or child) is a great way to allow them to be a part of the commitment that you are about to make to your new husband or wife. Because in the end they are joining the commitment as well.

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