How to Send Paperless, Email Wedding Invitations

How to Send Paperless, Email Wedding Invitations

Who says wedding invitations and save-the-dates have to be printed? Going paperless can be a great way to save money, and email wedding invitations can be romantic, lovely affair, just like their physical counterparts. “Invitations, whether they’re online or in-print, are the first piece of part of your wedding that your guests will interact with and they absolutely set the tone for your wedding and what your guests can expect,” says Seattle-based wedding planner Julia Pavlovski. If you’re considering digital wedding invitations, we say go for it. With the right approach and attention to detail, you can create all the panache of a traditional invitation at a significantly lower cost. Here’s everything you need to know about going paperless.

1. Lower Cost

The average cost of physical wedding invitations is $5,000 to $8,000. The average cost of digital wedding invitations, on the other hand, will cost no more than $100. Clearly, this can make a big difference for brides on a budget or for brides who would rather invest their money elsewhere (like, say, an open bar).

2. Less Hassle

If you go digital, you’re going to be saving a lot of time. Just think: no licking envelopes, no adhering rhinestones, no writing addresses in your best cursive until your hand cramps…The actual act of getting wedding invitations ready to mail out can be incredibly time-consuming, and when you’re already have a wedding checklist a mile long, anything you can do to save time is amazing.

3. RSVPs are Easy-Breezy

With an online invitation service, RSVP-ing has never been so simple — for both the bride and the guests. Rather than having everyone fill out an RSVP card and mail it back, your guests will be directed to your wedding website where they can immediately check yes or no.

4. All Your Designs will Flow

With online invitations, it’s incredibly easy to make your save-the-dates, wedding invitations, wedding website and even thank you cards all part of the same design suite. Incorporate your wedding colors and the general vibe of your wedding into the details of your invitation, just as you would with a traditional invitation.

5. No Trees Will Be Harmed in the Making of Your Invites

Eco-conscious brides can rest easy knowing their wedding invitations did not waste any paper whatsoever.

How to Send Paperless Wedding Invitations

If you’re convinced that email wedding invitations are the way to go, there are a few sites you should know about. The following online services are affordable, intuitive and offer plenty of great templates.


At one point or another, we’ve all gotten an Evite for a house party, bar mitzvah or bridal shower … but did you know Evite also handles weddings? It’s oh-so-easy to import your contacts and get to sending. Once sent, you will be notified as soon as guests RSVP or comment. On top of that, you can schedule event reminders in the days leading up to the wedding. You can also select an option that directs Evite to follow up with your guests post-wedding and asks them to email over any photos they took at the event. With Evite Premium, you will be able to further customize your invitation by adding photos and embellishments, and the invitation will also be sent with a digital envelope and without advertisements. Premium invitations begin at $5 for 15 invitations, $12 for 50 invitations, $20 for 125 invitations, and $35 for 300 guests. (You can also set up standard email invitations that do not include the ability to RSVP and have advertisements, and those prices go down to $2 for 15 invitations, $4 for 50 invitations, $12 for 125 invitations, and $20 for 300 guests). Check out some of Evite’s email invitations..

Paperless Post prides itself on being a “pretty and practical” solution for brides. With designs from Kate Spade New York, Rifle Paper Co., Oscar de la Renta and Mr. Boddington’s Studio, you’re sure to fall in love with one of their invitation templates. You can also upload your own design to use, as well. Their wedding invitations vary in price, but average about $18 for 30 invitations, $28 for 60 invitations and $42 for 90 invitations. Check out some of Paperless Post’s digital wedding invitations.


Greenvelope’s invitations are infinitely customizable. You’ll find every kind of design, from modern to floral to classic to bohemian. Whatever you choose, you’re able to edit the background, the text, the colors and, of course, the text. You can even customize the digital envelope that comes with it by adding a virtual envelope liner in anything from glitter to gold. Pricing begins at $39 and includes invitation tracking. Check out Greenvelope’s wedding invitations.


GLO is a one-stop shop for digital wedding invitations, save-the-dates and websites. GLO offers guest list management, making it easy to track RSVPs. GLO invitations are infinitely customizable. Pavolvski worked with a bride who used GLO and they were very pleased with the service. The primary motivation? Cost. As with all the other digital wedding invitation services, GLO is a money saver. “It was less expensive to use GLO than to print all the invitations and RSVP cards and postage and all that. The bride wanted to use the invitation money for other expenses, and the RSVP management was a big help. The bride uploaded a custom-designed watercolor and used it for the invitations she sent out with GLO,” says Pavolvski. Prices start at $19.99 and include web hosting. Check out GLO’s paperless wedding invitations.

Riley Grey

While Riley Grey specializes in creating unique, luxury wedding websites, they also offer save-the-dates and wedding invitations (online or physical) that are part of the same design suite as your wedding website. They release a new collection of designs with every season, and have a large catalog of past work. You can also work with them to create something entirely your own from scratch. Prices begin at $35 per month of site hosting, which will include a digital invitation design, and go up to a $240 for an entire year of hosting. Check out some of Riley Grey’s designs.

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Wedding Chapel – The 12 Best Sparkling Wines For Toasts (Under $50!)

The 12 Best Sparkling Wines For Toasts (Under $50!)

From holiday festivities to memorable milestones, a great celebration calls for a great bottle of bubbly. But, like anything else in life, quality is more important than quantity (here, we’re talking price tag). Even the nation’s top wine connoisseurs know that choosing the right sparkling wine does not mean require you going broke in the process. “Expensive bottles are usually the result of more time aged in the bottle and more expensive grapes,” says Mari Coyle, Director of Wine for ONEHOPE. “But there are still great-tasting bottles that are less aged and use less expensive grapes.”

The key to finding the right bottle for you starts with your preferred level of sweetness. “Depending on your taste preferences, it’s important to note which sparkling wine types will be dry versus sweet,” Coyle says. Next up: Know grape flavors. Coyle explains that Blanc de Blanc, for example, is made of Chardonnay grapes, which often evoke crisp apple, pear and citrus flavors, where Blanc de Noir is made from black or red Pinot Noir grapes with red berry flavors. Rosé, on the other hand, is made by blending a small percentage of Pinot Noir into the Chardonnay to make the wine pink. So which bottles will pack a whole lot of celebration into one expensive-tasting, but affordable, bottle under $50? We asked top sommeliers for their best recs.

This non-vintage sparkling wine hails from Champagne, France, so it starts with a level of OG-ness that’s hard to recreate. It features a relatively high proportion of Chardonnay, which exudes an extra crispness and elegance, says Sarah Tracey, sommelier and founder of The Lush Life. “It’s blended with 15-20 percent aged ‘reserve wine’—a true signifier of luxury!” Grab this bottle if you’re in the mood for fresh fruity flavors of apple and citrus combined with nutty notes of almond and elderflower.

If you’re trying to stay in a more affordable range, but retain quality and deliciousness, Stacey Khoury-diaz, founder of Dio Wine Bar in Washington, D.C., suggests this California sparkling wine. “The Blanc de Blancs, made from 100 percent Chardonnay is creamy with notes of toast and citrus,” she says. “While not technically a champagne, this sparkling is made in the champagne method, with champagne grapes.” Plus, the winery practices sustainable farming, which is always an welcomed bonus.

If you’re trying to stay in a more affordable range, but retain quality and deliciousness, Stacey Khoury-diaz, founder of Dio Wine Bar in Washington, D.C., suggests this California sparkling wine. “The Blanc de Blancs, made from 100 percent Chardonnay is creamy with notes of toast and citrus,” she says. “While not technically a champagne, this sparkling is made in the champagne method, with champagne grapes.” Plus, the winery practices sustainable farming, which is always an welcomed bonus.

“It is impossible not to taste Duval-Leroy’s 150 years of Champagne production in every sip of this wine,” says Tim Wallace, staff sommelier at Stowe Mountain Lodge. “Duval-Leroy balances Pinot Noir and Chardonnay through the terroir of 15 different Cru vineyards in Champagne.” So whether you’re celebrating with oysters or pork chops, you can pretty much count on Duval-Leroy to go with everything.

When it comes to Champagne, the term “cuvée” means the first-pressed (aka the best) grape juice of the year. You can expect a not-too-sweet, chardonnay-forward blend that has a pleasant, honey scent. “The first sip has a lemon-meringue, creamy taste with a tart finish, and just seconds later your mouth is dry,” says Jeremy Allen, sommelier and general manager of MiniBar Hollywood. “It’s more clean than complex and more red apple cider than grape juice, which makes it great for a celebration longer than a one-bottle sitting, or for earlier in the day.”

This American winery from California’s Anderson Valley is owned and operated by Roederer, one of the top houses in Champagne, explains Tracey. “They definitely bring all the care and craft they have cultivated for decades in France to their American outpost.” This bottling, called L’Ermitage, is made only in years where the fruit quality is truly exceptional, so you can expect nothing less than celebratory-worthy flavor.

The straw yellow hue of this dry Champagne exudes aromas of white flowers and summer pear, so it has a soft and delicate flavor. “It smells like fresh laundry in summer,” says Allen, who finds Lanson’s Brut to be a little too lean, so he much prefers the dryer (sec), label. “The White Label is a deeper color with a bigger mouthfeel and only a hint of sugar on the finish,” he adds.

According to Josie Zeiger of MFW Wine Co., this is one of the most readily available Champagnes on the market. “Perrier-Jouët (you pronounce the t) is classic and feminine, made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay,” she says. “It carries notes of fresh apples and lemons with aromas of tropical fruit and spices.” Since it is so elegant and crisp, she loves to see it served with a raw bar, or any light shellfish dish, though it could easily be paired with wedding cake, too.

Gosset only uses juice from the first-pressed grapes of the season and conducts the fermentation process in small oak barrels. This gives the Champagne an unrivaled richness that’s typically found in slow-maturing wines. “The flavors include lemon cake, poached pear, ginger and apple with delicate acidity and a creamy finish,” says Justin Evelyn, sommelier and executive hospitality manager at Bagby Beer in Oceanside, California. “This is a great option if you’re looking for a Champagne to carry you through from aperitif to dessert.”

This intensely salmon-colored rose is a delicate balance of fruity flavors—ripe red currants, cherries, strawberries—with a hint of earthiness. “The nose on this intense, deep pink sparkler is awesome—halfway between meat and cherries, which means it can go with anything,” says Allen. “The blend is about 45 percent white wine from white grapes, 45 percent white wine from red grapes and 10 percent red wine from red grapes.”

This famed Champagne house still delivers quality and consistency year after year, according to Taylor Grant, wine director at Scopa Italian Roots in Venice, California. “It’s robust, yet elegant, with more Chardonnay in the blend than traditional NV cuvées. “It’s a versatile option that guests can enjoy well beyond cocktail hour and throughout the dinner.”

This is a Champagne Zeiger would like to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drink this at their 2018 wedding (which, clearly, says a lot!). “Pronounced ‘sawn-GHER,’ this wine is the product of the enology school responsible for training 80 percent of Champagne’s winemakers, where current students are trained by former pupils (now Champagne’s most accomplished winemakers) using grapes donated from some of the most prestigious vineyards throughout Champagne,” he says. “This cuvée is equal parts Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. The bubbles are very fine, the nose presents white peach, apricot and strawberries.”

“As American wine embarks on its newest frontier, the northeast, Hermann J. Wiemer has been producing world class wines for what feels like forever,” says Wallace. “It’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, so it’s marked by serious acidity that help you celebrate with those chickens that have been on the rotisserie for the past few hours.”

6 Unique Wedding Ceremony Seating Ideas

6 Unique Wedding Ceremony Seating Ideas

If you’re looking for a way to make your wedding ceremony feel fresh and memorable, consider one of the first things your guests will see once they arrive—their ceremony seats. Instead of the expected straight rows, why not switch up your ceremony seating plan? Rearranging the chairs into interesting shapes—like squares, semi-circles, and even spirals—can make your ceremony feel more intimate and inclusive (you’ll literally be surrounded by your loved ones!).

Of course, you’ll need to adapt your seating plan to work with your ceremony space, but as long as you’ve accounted for the number of guests and ensured that everyone has a good view of the ceremony proceedings at the altar, anything goes. Keep reading to see some of the most creative ceremony seating arrangements we’ve seen.

Ceremony In the Round

Arrange your seats in a circular pattern so you’re literally surrounded by your loved ones—it’ll make everyone feel included in the ceremony, instead of just looking on. We love how this couple chose translucent ghost chairs; they’re the perfect choice since you wouldn’t want anything to detract from such a spectacular view.

Circular Ceremony Seating (Intimate)

A circular-seating style also works for more intimate ceremonies, as well. Arrange the seats so that you’re encircled by your guests; you could also add lush garlands of fresh greenery and flowers to help define the center space. Be sure to leave an aisle (or two!) to help with traffic flow.

Square Ceremony Seating (Chairs on Three Sides)

If you’re planning to exchange vows beneath a large ceremony structure, like a chuppah, arrange the chairs so that they surround the structure; this way, your guests will have better views of the ceremony all around.

Half-Circle Ceremony Seating

Instead of arranging the chairs in straight rows, curve them to create a semi-circle shape, which feels a bit cozier and more intimate. Bonus: Guests seated furthest away from the aisle will have a much-improved view.

Spiral Ceremony Seating

Make an outdoor wedding a bit more intimate by setting up chairs in a spiral. This will create a dramatic, winding aisle—plus, how amazing will it be to see each and every guest as you circle your way to the center?

It’s important to work be flexible with your ceremony space

How to Plan an Unforgettable Wedding in Less than 6 Months

How to Plan an Unforgettable Wedding in Less than 6 Months

While most traditional wedding planning timelines are designed for a couple with a year (or more!) to get the details ironed out, sometimes that’s just not realistic—especially if you get engaged over the holidays and are dreaming of a summer wedding! But can you actually pull off a fabulous wedding in only six months? You bet! You might actually be surprised by how easy the process can be (you know, since there’s no time to second-guess your decisions). No matter your budget, you can get from “yes” to “I do” in a flash. Here’s how to plan a wedding in just six months, so get planning because there’s no time to wait!

6 Months

The Budget:

First things first. Start by determining the budget for you wedding and figuring out who will be contributing (and how much). Now is a good time to make a list of your must-have items (like a certain photographer or a live band), since you might want to allocate extra funds toward these items. (Check out our guide to creating a wedding budget in 5 steps!)

The Guest List:

In order to properly prioritize your budget (and choose a venue!), you’ll need to know how many people you’re hoping to have at your wedding. Sit down with your S.O. to make a preliminary list, then talk to your parents about any other guests they’d like to add. Think about the size and style of wedding you’re hoping for, and keep your budget in mind—more guests means more people to feed and a bigger venue to rent!

The Planner:

There are a lot of details to address when planning your wedding, and a short timeline can make all those specifics feel a little overwhelming. Set yourselves up for success by hiring a planner or month-of coordinator, who can help arrange your planning documents and to-do list and recommend vendors. Even if you’re taking care of most of the specifics on your own, knowing there’s a pro you can turn to will ease a lot of pressure and keep you moving along at a good pace.

The Venue:

While most traditional wedding venues book a year—or more—in advance, you can still find a fabulous venue on a short timeline. First, consider alternative dates like a Friday or Sunday, which might get you that ballroom or country club you’ve been eyeing. It’s also a great idea to look into non-traditional spaces, like a restaurant, art gallery, or even your parents’ backyard.

The Vendors:

Just like venues, a lot of wedding vendors get booked pretty far ahead of time, so you’ll want to get yours lined up fast. Get in touch with photographers, videographers, florists, bands or djs, and cake bakers A.S.A.P. so you have a little time to consider your options and keep looking if the people you reach out to are booked up.

The Dress:

Custom-made wedding dresses should usually be ordered six or more months in advance, but can be had in a shorter time frame—just know you’ll have to pay a rush fee if you go that route. For a more affordable option, check out ready-to-wear bridal shops, salon sample sales, non-bridal ready-to-wear designers, or even rental sites for options you’ll be able to take home the same day or schedule for delivery. Schedule fittings for closer to your wedding date so your dress fits like a glove. (Check out our 8 favorite bridal salons in NYC and make your appointment!)

5 Months

The Wedding Party:

You’re not the only ones heading down the aisle! If you’re asking friends to stand by your side at the altar, get them on board early on. While bridesmaids’ dresses can be purchased and delivered on a shorter timeline than a wedding dress, they still take a while, so consider ready-to-wear alternatives or ask your ‘maids to pick their own dress in a specified color palette. Get rental orders for suits or tuxedos placed quickly, or go the same route with groomsmen and let them wear their own suit in a certain color.

The Save-the-Dates and Invitations:

As soon as you have your venue selected, get those save the dates sent. You can opt for digital save-the-dates (since you’ll have plenty of time for custom invitations, but not quite enough for custom save-the-dates) or semi-custom printed designs from companies with a quicker turnaround time (think Minted or Shutterfly’s The Wedding Shop). Some will even print your guests’ addresses on the envelopes for you, making mailing as easy as peeling and sticking stamps. For your wedding invitations, get working on the design early on so you can have them ordered and on your way with plenty of time to mail. And don’t forget to get your wedding website (and your registry) set up before those save-the-dates go out!

4 Months

Additional Vendors:

Wedding Bands:

Whether you’re getting married in six months or a year and a half, this is the latest you should shop for wedding bands. Like engagement rings, many are made-to-order, meaning it could take 45 days (or up to 90!) for your wedding band to be made and delivered. Start by shopping at the store where your partner purchased your engagement ring, especially if you’re interested in a matching set, or devote an afternoon to visiting a few different jewelry stores to find the one you love.

3 Months

Trials and Tastings:

With a little time to spare before your big day, it’s time for the fun part: Tasting your menu and cake, and doing a test run with your hair and makeup stylists! This will give you plenty of time to make any changes to the services, like adjusting the menu or opting for a different hairstyle.

The Honeymoon:

After a whirlwind of wedding planning, you’ll be ready for some R&R after your wedding day! Worried about flight prices? Search within the U.S. (think Nantucket or Kiawah Island in South Carolina), where you can find great beaches and affordable flights. Try looking on sites like Airbnb anywhere across the world, as these spaces tend to need less time to book than many hotels or resorts.

The Invitations:

You’ve already designed and ordered your invitations, so now it’s time to get them in the mail. For a destination wedding, send these 12 weeks before your wedding date. For a local celebration, eight weeks is the perfect amount of time.

2 Months

The Pre-Parties:

Now’s the time for your bridal shower and bachelor or bachelorette parties. You shouldn’t have too much planning to do when it comes to these parties, but want to make sure they’re scheduled a month or two before your wedding so you’re not distracted by last-minute stress.

1 Month

The Final Details:

No matter how long you’ve been planning, there’s a long list of things you’ll need to take care of in those final weeks. Confirm timing and orders with all of your vendors. Finalize your seating chart and have your escort cards printed. Outline the timeline for your wedding day. And of course, don’t forget to pick up your marriage license!


Florida Wedding Chapel – Open Bar or Nah?

Open Bar or Nah? 

Sure, weddings are cheery celebrations of undying love and steadfast commitment. But they’re also parades of unpleasant budgetary decisions that constantly force you to ask, should I splurge on this or save on that? It’s stressful and it sucks. For that very valid reason, we completely understand the temptation of a cash bar. After all, booze can be a hefty line item on your wedding budget—according to Bridal Guide magazine, an open bar could cost up to 20 percent of your overall wedding budget. But not if your guests foot the bill for their own drinks! And without free-flowing alcohol, there won’t be any embarrassing drunk uncle incidents! Everybody wins, right?

Here’s the problem: Of the four wedding experts we interviewed for this story, no one would recommend a cash bar. Not a single one. When pressed for reasons, they offered words including “tacky,” “challenging,” “out of vogue,” and “more important than wedding cake.” Oof. There’s also the fact we live in a largely cash-less society these days—it’s arguably unreasonable to ask guests to bring $50 in small bills to your intimidate shindig in the backwoods of Vermont.

But! Our experts have plenty of tips and tricks that’ll save you from having to make that tough call in the first place.

Tip #1: Nix the hard stuff

“No one is going to complain about having only beer and wine at a wedding, but they will complain about no alcohol,” said Nicole Sheppard, who runs the wedding planning outfit All Who Wander. Cutting down on pricey hard liquor will save you a boatload, she explained. Sure, it means no signature cocktails, but everyone will be happy so long as there’s alcohol of some kind on offer. And we have a feeling Wild Turkey-only Grandpa Tom will be juuust fine.

Tip #2: Opt for a daytime affair

Unless your wedding is anchored by a bottomless mimosa bar, people are likely to drink much less during daylight hours than at a Saturday night wedding. You can plan accordingly with a scaled back liquor order.

“At a summer brunch wedding, they may be happy with white wine, rosé, a little bit of bubbles, and beer,” said Rebecca Shenkman, owner of the NYC-based wedding planning service Pink Bowtie Events. “Throw in a bloody Mary and Aperol spritz, and you’re pretty good.”

Tip #3: Get booze from a store with a buy-back policy

First, check if your venue allows you to bring in your own alcohol. If it does, find a liquor store that’ll let you return whatever you don’t drink. It can potentially save you hundreds of dollars.

“You’re buying what you think is an appropriate amount, but you have no idea,” said Sheppard. That’s because even a seasoned wedding professional won’t know, for instance, that your high school friends are really into Manhattans right now and will completely deplete the bar’s stash of sweet vermouth, or that your parent’s friends only drink Corona light.

At a recent wedding, “we bought a ton of alcohol—more than we needed—because knew the liquor store would buy it back,” Sheppard said. It was a smart move: “People were going through Aperol spritzes like it was their job. Seventy-five percent of the guests drank them, and we wouldn’t have been prepared if we’d bought what we thought we needed based on industry standards.” The stuff she’d originally guessed people would go for—beer, wine, and other liquors—went back to the store.

Tip #4: Serve pricey liquor at the end

Having top-shelf liquor available all night long can become nightmarishly expensive. Instead “have a cognac at the end,” suggests Adam Howard, the corporate chef of catering at Mike Isabella Concepts in Washington, D.C. You can even make it the focus of a nightcap station alongside other after-dinner drinks and maybe a few cigars.

Tip #5: Set places with one wine glass

Convention dictates that place settings include two wine glasses—one for red, and one for white. But empty wine glasses are meant to be filled, and that’s bad news for your budget.

“If you’re trying to limit cost, put one white glass at a table instead of both white and red,” suggested David Mawhinney, the chef at NYC-based catering company and event space Haven’s Kitchen. People who want to drink more will—they can always ask—but this lessens the likelihood of double fisting.

Final takeaway: As far as American wedding conventions go, the cash bar is likely gone for good. Let’s all pour one out for it.


Wedding Planning 101: 8 Essential Catering Tips

Wedding Planning 101: 8 Essential Catering Tips

Wedding Planning 101: 8 Essential Catering Tips

The ultimate goal of a party is to entertain and entice all your guests’ senses. When you mix the right combination of sights, smells, taste, sound, and touch, your wedding reception is one your guests will remember.

While that might sound like a lot of work, we have good news: you can tackle a few senses – smell and taste – with just one vendor – your caterer.

This year’s Wedding Essentials Idea Show will feature a variety of caterers to connect with, but WE wanted to give you a head start and a better understanding of what different caterers have to offer.

Lindsey Grote-Rodgers from Hy-Vee and Brenda Tharp from Save the Date Catering fill us in:


If you have a big wedding with a lot of people to get through a buffet line, think about a simple, yet delectable, food item and requires fewer condiments. If kids are in attendance, consider having a separate kids buffet.

Plan as early as possible. Making sure your caterer is locked in with your date and an idea of your guest count, so they come prepared with options catered to you.


Do you like home cooking? Do you like different eclectic things? Do you have some recipes from grandma or ethnic backgrounds? “From there, your caterer can suggest items,” says Brenda. “I always say our menu is a template and it can be so much more, we can think outside the box and pick up ideas from wherever you are.”

Do you like home cooking? Do you like different eclectic things? Do you have some recipes from grandma or ethnic backgrounds? “From there, your caterer can suggest items,” says Brenda. “I always say our menu is a template and it can be so much more, we can think outside the box and pick up ideas from wherever you are.”


We know — it sounds crazy. Save the Date Catering sees many couples try to think of their guests first, but at the end of it, this day is for you. “It’s one of the only days in your life that’s totally yours so pick out your favorite things and do what you want to do,” says Brenda.


Bring a basic menu up a notch by renaming food dishes and customizing the way that their buffet is set up. “Couples can do things like creating a menu board or a printed menu that has some play on words,” says Lindsey. “Or, if you decide to eat pulled pork, introduce a unique topping, such as a bride’s recipe with Mediterranean flavors and a groom’s recipe with bacon and bbq sauce.”


Bring a little more ‘you’ to your reception. If not for the main meal, a late night snack is the perfect opportunity for couples to stray away from traditional and give guests a sense of what a couple enjoys eating on a regular basis, such as a favorite pizza or breakfast burritos.


Who wouldn’t be excited to open a chafing dish and see breakfast? We see a lot of night breakfast as the main course with egg bakes, bacon, sausage, the full experience. Not only does almost everyone love breakfast, but it’s also an excellent way to have a lot of options if you have a mixed crowd of dietary restrictions rather than having them be stuck eating salad or green beans. Breakfast has been a fun way to have a wide variety without breaking the bank – plus it can be presented well in an unexpected way.


Save the Date Catering offers a “Drop-Off Tasting” where the couple can invite mom, dad, in-laws, a few of their close friends or wedding party and they can make an evening or afternoon of it- like a tasting party! Keep in mind that tastings are usually for 6 people, but more can be added (at a cost, of course).

Brenda says she’s typically not at the tasting unless requested. “I want my couples to feel comfortable talking among themselves, being critical and having their own opinion and not worrying that the catering lady is standing over them. I also suggest the couples take notes because if you’re doing your tasting 6 months to a year before your wedding, you might not really remember what it is you’ve chosen before the final meeting 30 days prior.”


A lot of times couples will meet with a Hy-Vee catering manager thinking they just want to look at one of our departments but part of the catering manager’s service is that it goes beyond the food. They can organize the bride and groom to meet with the florist, the cake designer and the caterer all in one sitting. Couples can knock out a lot of to-dos on their list at once. The bonus? Couples will only have one point person to have to contact rather than making separate calls for each three major parts of their wedding.

Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Florida Wedding Chapel – Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Whether it’s a warm smile, positive attitude, dancing shoes, or a desire to have fun, wedding guests play a pivotal role in orchestrating the perfect wedding. These 5 insights to U.S. wedding culture serve as a useful guide for making your attendance a smooth and successful one.

A Gift is Always Necessary

Even if it’s the neighbor down the hall in your apartment, your niece’s cousin once removed, or your very best friend, a wedding gift is always expected. This is simply due to the nature of tradition. Marriage is a new adventure for the couple and a gift is a sign of well-wishing as they take their next steps together. Always work within your means, and strive to put your best guest foot forward by looking at the wedding registry to find a thoughtful and useful gift for the newlyweds.

Recognize the Relationship

Wedding gifts vary greatly depending on your relationship with the soon-to-be-spouses. On average, research reveals spending is based on the relationship. These relationships on average, spend the following on wedding gifts:

· Family Member $127

· Boss/Supervisor $115

· Colleague/Co-worker $63

Selecting a wedding gift is a personal choice. These numbers are provided as a guide.

For those in the wedding party who have already spent a considerable amount on the event, consider combining contributions for a group gift. This can lighten the financial burden while still giving the couple something they’ll adore. If other groomsmen or bridesmaids don’t wish to contribute to a group gift, consider buying one of the moderately priced registry items. Add a sentimental touch with a handwritten note, or by personalizing the item with their last name or initials.Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Be Budget-Conscious

Express your genuine care. Be creative, personal, and use registries, like Zola, to buy gifts that the happy couple registered for and will use throughout their married life. This doesn’t mean emptying your savings account. According to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, the average amount spent by friends and family for a wedding gift was $113 in 2016. Stay within your personal budget. Plan ahead so you can save enough, express your affection for the couple with a beautiful gift, and enjoy their wedding celebration without breaking the bank.Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Do Your Homework for Destination Weddings

Destination weddings pose many questions to attendees; when do I ship my gift to the couple? How soon do I order an online gift? Do I need to buy an expensive gift? Be sure the registry offers direct shipping to the couple’s home, not the destination wedding site. They don’t want to lug gifts on a plane and neither do you.

Couples also understand that guests must plan, save, and prepare to attend destination weddings. The couple knows greater travel expenses are included and they are more understanding with presents. Rather than settle for a less special present, consider sending your gift early, well before the wedding ceremony, or just after the nuptials.

This will allow for more time to save. Etiquette experts agree up to six months after the wedding is still an acceptable time for gift giving. This way you are able to save up for the wedding, and also share a meaningful gift with the happy couple.

Check the RegistryWedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Check the Registry

This same study found that couples most enjoyed gifts from their registry. This was preferential to cash, honeymoon support, and gift-cards. If you would like to select your own gift, pair it with something from their registry for a combination gift they will undoubtedly adore.Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

All weddings come with a price tag; not only for the spouses-to-be in organizing it, but the wedding guests as well. If it’s a destination wedding, travel expenses are to be considered. If it’s a local wedding, dresses and suits have to be arranged. However, that shouldn’t stop you in purchasing a special and meaningful gift for the couple. Find a gift using registries based on your relationship with the newlyweds to contribute to a beautiful event!

I Always Swore I Would Elope — Here’s What Changed My Mind

Florida Wedding Chapel – I Always Swore I Would Elope

I Always Swore I Would Elope — Here’s What Changed My Mind

Before my engagement ring was even a pear-shaped twinkle in my eye (fine, an absurd amount of years before I even had a boyfriend), I’d already mapped out a very specific vision of what my wedding day would absolutely not look like. There would be no gigantic white dress (maybe a nice off-white pantsuit, á la Hillary Clinton), I would never promise to “obey someone” in my vows (ugh), and my dad would definitely not hand me off relay race-style at the end of the aisle. I truly wanted no part in the sorts of patronizing traditions and unattainable standards of bridal perfection that seemed to take perfectly sane women and turn them into something like this:

More than anything, it was important to me that my wedding day not be treated like the pinnacle of my existence; there were other goals and dreams on my list that didn’t involve locking down a husband, you know? I figured that the easiest way to make it clear that being a bride wasn’t my lifelong dream was to keep it simple and straight up elope. If everything went to plan, I’d get married in a courthouse, preferably in a ceremony that lasted 10 minutes or less, with a guest list consisting only of the two witnesses necessary to make the marriage license

But fast forward to last month when I actually did get engaged (to my favorite person who would have been completely happy with any kind of wedding, I might add), and suddenly eloping didn’t seem like such an obvious choice anymore. Congratulatory calls rolled in from friends and family, with one after the other asking the same excited questions about what our wedding plans might be, or if there’d be a “real” wedding at all. (Probably a sign that I had publicly aired my opinions of traditional weddings a few too many times, my bad.) And despite my former rock-solid stance against it, I had to admit that it was really hard not to be just as excited as everyone else was at the prospect of a celebration. Did I really want to elope?

Looking for some reassurance, I rang up my family’s resident experts on bucking wedding traditions: my parents. They eloped without telling a soul back in the 80s (which I always thought was pretty cool and maybe a tad inconsiderate), and I’d always assumed they’d done it because of my mom’s distaste for all things sexist and traditional. After more than 30 years of marriage, it seemed to have panned out well enough for them.

Fully expecting my mom to espouse the many benefits of her own elopement and to remind me that traditional weddings with white dresses were festivals for the patriarchy, I asked for her thoughts on my conundrum. But she didn’t say any of what I had anticipated. Instead, she admitted having regrets about doing something so major without including anyone or really celebrating it. She said that it was a decision made from a place of feeling totally overwhelmed, and that if they could do it over again, they wouldn’t do it the same way twice.

That thought rattled around in my head for a while after we hung up: wouldn’t do it the same way twice. I’d been lucky enough to find my partner and intended on doing this marriage thing only once — no repeats, no do-overs, no takebacks. If we skipped out on marking the occasion, that was it. Could I really pretend that getting married wasn’t worth celebrating at all because I hated the gender stereotypes that might be attached?

Long story short, the answer for us was “no.” I still don’t want to wear a giant white dress or to promise to obey someone in my vows or to be handed off relay race-style at the end of the aisle by my dad. I am still the same person I’ve always been, with the same values and penchant for getting into heated debates about gender stereotyping with the nearest available human with ears.

But I’ve decided that I don’t have to make a choice between continuing to be the same person I’ve always been and having a wedding. Even though some people might disagree with the traditions we’re planning on leaving out from our ceremony, who cares? There is no official rule book that says my partner and I have to participate in traditions we’re uncomfortable with. And when all is said and done, some milestones are just too important to pass up on celebrating with the people you love — for us at least, marriage is one of

Average Cost of Wedding Invitations: How Much Are They?

Wedding Invitations: How Much Are They?

With the cost of traditional wedding invitations, maybe it’s time to look at a much less formal wedding at our Florida Wedding Chapel at Old Church Place, Orange Lake, Florida!

Average Cost of Wedding Invitations: How Much Are They?

When it comes to choosing wedding invitations, the options are seemingly endless. As brides choose paper, colors, printing methods, and accents, the price can start to really add up. The average cost of wedding invitations is $5,000 to $8,000 for a set of 100 invitations, according to Katherine Hollensteiner of Cheree Berry Paper. But that’s just an average, of course. “I’ve seen brides pay much more and much less,” she says, adding that brides should set aside 4 to 6 percent of their overall budget for wedding invitations.

How much do wedding invitations cost? On average, $5000 to 8,000 for a set of 100 invitations.

Unless you regularly interface with your local stationery store and printing press, it can be confusing to understand the all the options and how they’ll affect your wedding invitation budget. Read on for a rundown of the different options and how they affect the wedding invitation budget, plus discover seven ways to save.

Wedding Invitation Printing Methods

“The biggest factor that goes into the wedding invitation prices is the way the invitation is printed,” says Kristen Armstrong, COO of Cheree Berry Paper. “The cost of the paper itself—while there is going to be some variance—isn’t going to make a huge difference when you’re talking about 100 to 200 invitations.” Here are the four ways wedding invitations are printed and how they affect the price.

1. Digital Printing

“The most budget-friendly option is digital printing,” says Armstrong. “This involves setting up a file on the computer and hitting print. Because everything is done digitally without the need to manually mix ink, it’s a good choice for anyone who is printing invitations where there are many colors.” An invitation suite with all four cards, digitally printed, will probably run you anywhere from $700 to $1,200 for a set of 100.

2. Offset Printing and Thermography

“Offset (flat) printing has a similar feel to digital printing, but the inks are mixed and then the design is transferred to your invitation through a press,” explains Armstrong. “You get a higher quality print and can get very specific with the exact shade of color.”

Thermography is similar to flat printing except that a powder is added to the ink so you get a raised texture on the paper. “A suite of 100 invitation suites created using offset printing or thermography usually starts at $1,200,” says Armstrong.

3. Letterpress Printing

Expect to spend about $1,600 on the low end for 100 letter-pressed invitation suites, advises Armstrong. “The higher cost is due to the amount of supplies and manual labor to create custom presses for each design and color,” she says. “On top of the base price, each additional color will add an additional 25 percent to your costs.”

4. Engraving

“The most extravagant form of printing is engraving, which gives a formal, embossed look,” says Armstrong. “It’s a very labor intensive process and the same suite of 100 invitations will start at around $2,200 if you choose engraving.”

Wedding Invitation Accents

On top of printing, accents factor into the average cost of wedding invitations. Here are some popular wedding invitation add-ons and how much they’ll run.

1. Foil Stamping

“Usually foil stamping is done as an embellishment,” says Armstrong. “The bride and groom might want their names in gold foil, for example. Recently, however, brides have been wanting full foil stamp sets. It’s definitely a trend we’ve seen grow recently. As a full set, it does get pretty expensive because a plate has to be created. For a full foil stamp on a set of 100 invitations, anticipate an additional cost of $1,800 for a set of 100. If you choose just to do gold foil accents, the cost would closer to $400 per 100 invitations.”

2. Blind Debossing and Embossing

Blind debossing and embossing are done using the same process as letterpress, but without ink. When you blind deboss, you create a depression in the paper, and with embossing you create a raised text. Monograms, family crests, or other small accents are often debossed or embossed. These accents will cost $300 to $400 per 100 wedding invitations.

3. Edging

The edge of the invitation can actually be painted onto paper in a thick stock. “As the guest pulls it out of the envelop the guest, they will notice that subtle detail,” says Hollensteiner. Edging costs $150 per 100 wedding invitations.

4. Bevel Cut

The edge of the wedding invitation is cut at a 45 degree angle and then painted, making the edge more visible from the front than an invitation that is only edged. This is usually just done on the main wedding invitation. For 100 wedding invitations, this will cost around $400.

5. Wax Seals

The traditional way to create wax seals is to pour liquid wax on the envelope and stamp it to create a design. Now, however, you can use raised stickers with permanent adhesive that look really authentic but save a lot of time. Adding wax seals will cost $200 to $300 extra per 100 wedding invitations.

6. Insert Cards

The most common wedding invitation insert is a reception card, which is often used when the reception is at a different location then the wedding. A welcome party or brunch preceding the wedding also commonly goes on an insert card. “We suggest that insert cards are printed in the same way the invitations were,” says Hollensteiner. A set of 100 insert cards can range between $150 and $500 depending on the printing method.

7. Envelope Liners

“Nine out of ten of our invitations include a paper envelope liner, whether it’s a solid color or a pattern,” says Hollensteiner. The price per 100 wedding invitations is around $250 to $400 for envelope liners, with solid colors on the lower end of the range and patterns on the higher end.

Something new! Wedding couple hire a drone to film their big day as breath-taking video shows them tie the knot from 100ft in the air

Something new! Wedding couple hire a drone to film their big day as breath-taking video shows them tie the knot from 100ft in the air

A drone has captured a happy couple’s wedding day in Hull, leaving the pair with a high-flying memory to cherish for years to come.

The surreal film was taken during the ceremony of Roxanne and Luke Mallinson as they married in front of their 140 guests in Hull Minister – an old Anglican church found in the centre of Kingston upon Hull.

Aerial pictures show The Mallinsons and their guests waving at the camera that’s positioned 100ft in the air.

The couple, of Hull, East Yorks., had initially paid for a videographer with a drone to film their wedding, but when the company went into liquidation, they feared they would have to go without.

But Chris Fenton of Octovision Media saved the day, jumping at the opportunity to film inside the 14th century church.

The 28-year-old bride said it was the perfect way to capture her day.

She added: ‘It’s brilliant – I’d like to say a massive thank you to Chris for coming to our rescue and making my day extra special.

‘It made the service extra special as it was so unique and different.’

Reverend Canon Dr Neal Barnes, who led the service, said it was brilliant to have the drone flying inside the minster.

He said: ‘We are delighted again to be working with Octovision Media who show Hull Minster in a new light and angle showing off this magnificent building.’

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