Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cake Smashing - Cute Wedding Tradition or Bad Manners?

Q: My fiancé and I have been to a few weddings highlighted by the cake cutting and cake smash that followed. We think smearing a little cake onto each other’s face is a lighthearted way to display our joy and affection. My mother and some family members have suggested it’s in poor taste. It’s our wedding and our day, can we do it anyway?
- Allison -

A: You are right - it is your wedding, and your job as host and hostess is to make your guests feel comfortable. Since some of your guests have explicitly expressed that they find cake smashing offensive, subjecting them to it would be inconsiderate. Of course, no one can stop you from smashing the leftovers in your hubby’s face in the getaway car.

If you want to be sure your guests have a great time at your wedding, consult this list of the top wedding guest complaints and learn what to avoid.

-Cori Russell - Style and Etiquette Editor

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Catering - What is the Average Cost Per Head at a Wedding Reception?

Q: What is the average cost per head for food and beverage at a wedding reception?
-Erin -

A: Cost per head depends on the meal and beverages you choose to serve your guests. For a full sit-down dinner with a full open bar, you can expect to pay around $100 per person ($65-$75 per person on the meal, plus $25-$35 per person on the bar). If you serve a soft bar with just beer and wine – you can reduce the beverage cost by about $10-$15 per person. Serving no alcoholic beverages can reduce this even further to about $5 per person for soft drinks and tea.

If yours is a morning or afternoon reception, the cost per person is usually much less, as breakfast and lunch menus typically range from about $25-$50 per person (depending on your caterer and what you serve). Daytime receptions are also more likely to have limited bars or no alcohol – which again, will save on the per person charge.
-Cori Russell - Style and Etiquette Editor

Find a complete guide to Planning Your Catering Menu at - Elegant Galas Made Simple

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wedding Bathroom Baskets - What to Put in Them?

Q: I have been asked to put "necessities" baskets in the mens and ladies restrooms. What is typically included in these wedding bathroom baskets?

A: Between sitting, dancing, talking, eating, and drinking for 5 or more hours, your guests might find themselves in need of some handy items they probably didn’t think to bring with them. How considerate of you to have thought ahead to provide these things for them!

You will need to create two bathroom baskets (one for the men, one for the ladies).

Here is a list of common items to include in each:
breath mints or breath strips
individually wrapped toothpicks
small Band-aids
tablet antacids like Tums
safety pins
individual packets of an OTC pain reliever like Advil or Excedrin
pocket-packs of tissues
a few matchbooks
travel bottle of hand sanitizer
Shout wipes or other stain-remover wipes
Spray deodorant
Nail clippers
Small sewing kit
Cough drops Hand Lotion

Additional Items for the Ladies Basket:
travel-sized hair spray
tampons and pads
bottle of clear nail polish
bobby pins
emery boards
a packet of replacement earring backs

When it comes to arranging your baskets, layer the larger items in the back, then tuck the smaller things on top and in the front. Especially if there is a unisex bathroom, you should try to be discreet with the ladies’ unmentionables by sticking them in the back. You can get as creative as you want (and have time for) with decorating your baskets to make them inviting or complement the rest of your wedding décor.
-Cori Russell - Style and Etiquette Editor

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Save the Dates - Wording Samples

Q: I am sending out my save the date magnets and want to include hotel information. Do you have an example of the proper wording?

A: The content of your save-the-dates should be short, sweet, and to the point - providing a basic who, what, where, and when. There is no standard wording; they can be as formal or as whimsical as you'd like. In any case, make sure to include "Formal invitation to follow" somewhere on the card.

Here is the basic layout for the save-the-date cards:

Save the Date: [bride & groom's name] are getting married on [wedding date] in [city, state]

If you’re including hotel information – here is a basic format:

A block of rooms has been reserved at [Name of Hotel]. Please reference the [bride’s last name/groom’s last name] wedding to reserve the special rate of [hotel rate]. [hotel phone number, hotel website]

If space is an issue – you can simply state: Room block reserved at the [name of hotel, hotel phone number]

More advice on sending save the dates can be found in the original article source at - Elegant Galas Made Simple.

-Cori Russell - Style and Etiquette Editor

Monday, August 13, 2007

Guest List - Invite Guests to Bridal Shower and Not Wedding?

Q: My maid of honor is throwing me a bridal shower, and my co-workers are on the guest list. Our reception space is limited though, so I wasn't planning to invite them to the wedding. Is it ok to invite guests to the shower and not the wedding?

A: General rule - if a guest is important enough to be invited to the bridal shower, that person should be important enough to attend the main event. So choose your shower list wisely, and give your maid of honor the wedding guest list ahead of time.

The only exception to this rule is if your co-workers decided to throw you an impromptu office shower - they would not necessarily expect a wedding invitation just because they threw you a happy hour send-off. The very fact that they planned it themselves suggests they are not expecting a wedding invitation.
-Cori Russell - Style and Etiquette Editor

Get even more advice on creating your wedding guest list at - Elegant Galas Made Simple

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Wedding Guest List - Can We Invite More Than Our Venue Capacity?

Q: My wedding reception site holds 75, but my guest list is at 87. How much can we afford to go over - isn't there a standard percentage of guests who typically decline?

A: You can generally expect about 10-15% of invited guests not to come to your wedding. It’s definitely better to err on the side of caution (you never know – they could all show up), but with a venue size of 75, you should be fine inviting 87 guests – just don’t stretch it any higher.
*Note - another thing to consider is whether or not your venue holds 75 or seats 75. If your venue seats 75 - you can get away with inviting more if you're planning a stand-up cocktail and appetizer-style reception.
-Cori Russell - Style and Etiquette Editor

Get even more advice on creating your wedding guest list at - Elegant Galas Made Simple

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Setting the Date - Must We Plan Our Wedding Date Around My Sister's Wedding?

Q: My sister got engaged a few months before me and set her wedding date for a year and half from now. I would really prefer to keep our engagement shorter, but she says I have to wait and name a date after hers since she got engaged first. She's afraid no one will want to travel to her wedding if I have mine first. Do I have to wait?

A: Technically, you are under no obligation to wait until after your sister has had her wedding. However, a big part of wedding etiquette is being gracious to all involved, no matter how petty or selfish they may be acting. If having an earlier wedding is going to cause a family feud, you may want to hold off. If you really don't want to wait, consider a very short engagement and have your wedding several months before hers. With enough time in between the two events, family and friends will be happy to attend both your wedding and your sister's wedding.
-Cori Russell - Style and Etiquette Editor

Answer more of your Wedding Etiquette questions at - Elegant Galas Made Simple

Friday, August 03, 2007

Wedding Colors - Must Ceremony and Reception Colors Match?

Q: Do the wedding colors and the reception colors have to match?

A: Your ceremony and reception colors to not have to necessarily match; however, they should coordinate or complement each other so that your wedding day has a complete feel. An easy way to do this is to have one or two colors featured at your wedding ceremony – then add a complementary color at your reception. For example - decorate your ceremony in shades of green and white, then add touches of brown (for an organic feel) or bright pink and orange (for a tropical feel) to the mix at your reception.

Remember also that the style and décor of your ceremony and reception sites should guide your color scheme decisions.

You can find a complete guide to choosing your wedding colors at - Elegant Galas Made Simple.
-Cori Russell - Style and Etiquette Editor