Rock Paper Sweet

A collection of imaginative wedding ideas & stylish everyday living, from the rings to the favors to the 'happily ever afters.'

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wedding Gifts

Most couples create registries at several different stores, so you are sure to be able to find something on their list that fits into your price range.  Most stores will also offer the option of shipping the gift to the couples' home at no additional charge.  They will also offer free gift wrapping (usually) if the items are purchased from the registry.  Makes for easy shopping!  These, however, are just a few of my favorite ideas for wedding gifts, and I wanted to share them with you.

Chef's Classic 10 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set by Cusinart

Apron from Williams Sonoma

Cusinart 12 Cup Automatic Grind & Brew Coffeemaker

Kitchen Aid 5 Speed Blender in pink

Monogrammed Napkins by Pottery Barn

Le Creuset Casserole Dish
Everyday China "Marie Antoinette" Collection by David Cremieux at Dillard's

Marquis by Waterford Glassware

Pottery Barn Monogrammed Bar Towel

Set of 3 Canisters "Marie Antoinette" by David Cremieux at Dillard's

Monday, June 27, 2011

Guest Etiquette

"Wedding Season" is in full swing.  I got married last month, and now I have several upcoming weddings to attend.  I decided to compile a list of helpful reminders about wedding etiquette for guests.  Some of these tips are simply chalked up to good manners, others are things I saw my well-behaved wedding guests do and thought we could all learn from their good examples.  Abide by these tips and you will be able to relax at the event and enjoy the hospitality of the Bride & Groom.

1.  When you receive the invitation in the mail, RSVP on time.  If the couple has specified a date by which to reply, make sure you send it in on time.  If no date is specified on the invitation, make sure to send in your response at least 3 weeks before the wedding.  It is extremely helpful to the bride and groom to have an exact count of how many guests will be attending.  Even if you do not plan on attending, send in your reply card.  Caterers, venues and other various vendors are all trying to get an exact head count from the bride and groom, and without your response, they do not know whether to count you in or not.  It is also helpful to send in your response right away, just so it doesn't get misplaced or forgotten!

2.  Respect the invitation.  If the invitation is addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Joe Smith, then it is correct to assume that only Mr. & Mrs. are invited, not the children.  If it is addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Joe Smith and Family, then the kids are invited.  You may also look at the inside envelope to see what names it has been addressed to - sometimes the invitation will list each individual name on the inner envelope.  If your invitation says your name "and Guest," then it is perfectly acceptable to bring a "plus one."  If, however, it is simply addressed to you, don't assume you are able to include a guest.  Bringing extra uninvited guests are a huge breach of etiquette because most brides and grooms are trying to stick to a budget and have invited only a specific number of people. 

3.  Finding out where the couple is registered.  Most likely the invitation will not say where the couple is registered (that often comes across as tacky).  You may try asking the bridal party or family members of the couple where they have registered.  If you do not know the bridal party or the families, it is perfectly acceptable to ask the bride & groom.  You can also ask them what they really want most on their registry, that way you can be sure to give them something they will really enjoy.

4.  Gift giving.  It is acceptable to give a couple a wedding gift up to one year after the wedding.

5.  What to wear.  It is perfectly acceptable to wear black to a wedding.  These days, black is not considered appropriate only for funerals, and most likely nobody will be offended if you choose to wear it.  It can actually be quite formal and many brides are now dressing their bridesmaids in black dresses for formal ceremonies.  It may not be the best choice for an outdoor afternoon wedding, but it is just fine for an evening occasion.  Men do not necessarily have to be in tuxedos for evening weddings, unless the invitation says it is a "black tie" affair.  A nice, dark suit and tie will suffice.  Tuxedos can be worn at any time, though, just refrain from wearing coat tails to a wedding early in the day.

As far as women are concerned, be sure to dress appropriately for the venue.  If the ceremony is being held in a church, you would want to make sure your dress is not too short or too low cut, and most likely you would want to wear a wrap or shawl to cover your shoulders.  If you are wondering whether to wear a cocktail dress or a floor-length gown, take a cue from the bridesmaids.  If the bridal party is wearing cocktail-length dresses, by all means, you may do the same.  Just avoid wearing white at all costs, and steer clear of light beige or any shade very close to white.  White is always for the bride only!

6.  Be on time.  If you happen to arrive to the ceremony late, just stand in the back.  Don't try to find a seat after the ceremony has begun because you do not want to draw attention to yourself or interrupt the vows!  It's also a good thing to try to arrive early so you can hear the beautiful prelude music and see the procession.  Typically, most guests begin arriving 20 minutes early to the ceremony.

7.  Sit at your assigned seat.  If there is seating for each guest, make sure to sit at the table you were assigned to.  Chances are, the bride spent a lot of time coming up with the seating chart, and most likely she placed you with people you already know or you will get along with.  She is not going to have you sitting somewhere you will feel uncomfortable.  Also, if you start changing seats around, you are going to put someone else out of their assigned seat and cause a mess! 

Many times there will be assigned seating for just the bridal party and immediate families (meaning: parents, siblings and grandparents of the bride & groom).  If this is the case, be respectful of those reserved tables and sit somewhere where there is an open seat.  Don't try to sit with just the people you know or reserve a table for you and your friends.  The point of not assigning seats for the entire guest list is for the bride's guests and the groom's guests to mix and mingle and meet each party's respective families and friends.

8.  Toasting.  Anybody can give a toast.  Typically, the hosts of the party will be the first to give a toast.  The bride's father and the best man are also two of the first people to give their toasts, then the floor is opened up to the rest of the guests.  The biggest rule here is that nobody has to give a speech if they do not want to.  Many people are intimidated by speaking in front of a large group, so keep in mind that toasts can be short and sweet and to the point - you don't have to stand up and tell a long story.  Be sure to introduce yourself and tell everyone how you know the bride or groom.  You may simply wish them all the best or tell a quick story about one of your favorite memories with the couple.  Keep your audience in mind as you give your toast - don't tell stories about crazy college days in front of everybody.  Save that for the bachelor party.  Another thing - the bride and groom do not want to be embarrassed in front of all of their closest family and friends on their wedding day, so be respectful and tasteful when giving your toast. 

9.  Pay your respects.  Thank the host or hostess of the party.  They put in a lot of hard work to plan the party, so be sure to introduce yourself!  Also, keep in mind that it is hard for the bride and groom to come find you and say hello at the wedding reception because there are so many other guests - but they would love to see you.  Feel free to approach the couple to say hello and congratulations, just be sure not to interrupt if they are in the middle of a conversation!

10.  Have fun!  Enjoy yourself and celebrate with the couple.  Their wedding is a very exciting and monumental occasion, and they invited you to join in their happiness.  Relax and be merry!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tip for the day

Having an outdoor wedding this summer?  Take this tip from Martha Stewart Weddings to keep your bridesmaids' dresses from blowing around in the breeze:

Slip a small weight into the hem on each side of the dress to keep it from blowing in the wind.  You can find these at most fabric stores, and they are very easy to put in - simply rip out several stictches of the hem and insert the weight, then stich the hem back and you're all set to go!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Martha's Best Summer Wedding Ideas

Martha Stewart Weddings has listed the top 85 ideas for summer weddings.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Citrus centerpieces - perfect alternatives to flowers.  They are bright and colorful, smell delicious and add a great touch of surprise!

Cupcake cones - bake cake mix into cones and top with icing & sugar crystals.  Perfect treat for outdoor summer weddings - and they won't melt!

Colorful polka dot theme - incorporate it throughout the entire wedding: from cards to stirrers to ribbon to favors.

Helium place cards - use helium to blow up balloons.  Write each guest's name and table assignment on the balloon and tie to a little gift box filled with sand.  Each guest can take their balloon place card to their table to make a very fun and unique centerpiece.  Be sure to tie each balloon at a different length so they can each stand out at the table.

Frozen fruit and vodka - in a large bottle, freeze a little bit of fruit juice, fruit slices and vodka.  As it melts, it will make the perfect flavored vodka guests can mix into their drinks!  Such a great idea for outdoor summertime receptions!

Use fresh fruits as a place card.  Any summer fruit will work - lemons, limes, peaches, oranges, grapefruit...the theme possibilities are endless!

Dress up your groom and his groomsmen with colorful pocket handkerchiefs - any fun color or pattern will work to add a little extra something fresh for summer.

Make handmade fans into programs or "thank yous" for guests to cool themselves off during an outdoor ceremony.

Nothing fits more perfectly with a summer wedding than paper lanterns.  Use two paper bags (place one over the other) and cover each twinkling bulb on a strand of white Christmas lights.  This will add an incredible amount of romantic ambiance to your outdoor evening reception!

In lieu of traditional wedding cake, try serving mini sorbet wedding cakes to your guests!  I am sure everybody would appreciate this refreshing alternative to cake on a hot day.

Picture perfect thanks - turn your "thank yous" into a postcard.  What a creative way to thank your guests!

Flower girl headbands.  Dress up the little ladies in adorable flowery head pieces - and they don't even have to match!  The most wonderful thing about flower girls is that they are even cuter when they all wear something go ahead, order these headbands in every color!