Archive for April, 2009

Back-off Mom…It’s My Turn!!

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 | etiquette, media, Q&A, trends, weddings | 5 Comments



Q. We’ve recently started planning our wedding and it seems like everyone has an opinion about how everything is supposed to be done. No one really agrees which one is the “right” way, but I’m fairly certain a lot of them are definitely the wrong way. I really like my future in-laws, but their ideas are making me cringe. I don’t want to offend them – but how do I tell them that their plans are way off base?

A. Getting everyone to agree on details when planning a wedding can often require more tact and patience than a UN peacekeeping summit. You want to make sure that you’re following protocol, and do not offend your guests. However, while you are planning your wedding you are also establishing a relationship with your future in-laws and don’t want to cause hard feelings that may still be lingering when it comes time to plan your 25th anniversary party.

If the details in question are small (your future mother-in-law wants programs that include all the readings for your ceremony and you don’t), the best idea is to let them go – by letting her take charge of something you don’t care too much about – it might take the attention off a more contentious issue. If they’re a big deal like she is determined your wedding colours should be purple and green (or some other combination you find equally distasteful), or she decided she didn’t get to invite enough people and has had her own invitations printed (even though you’ve already invited more people than the venue will hold) – then something should be said – but not by you. It will make for far less hurt feelings to always have your fiancé deal with issues involving his family, and you with yours (bringing in those UN peacekeeping forces might be a wise idea also).

Here are a few tried and tested rules of etiquette that will help the bride and groom, their families and the guests from pulling their (or anyone else’s) hair out:

• The mother of the bride or mother of the groom should never host the bridal shower.
• Don’t invite 400 people if you can only afford to host 100 – and similarly don’t invite throngs of people you know cannot attend in hopes they’ll send a gift.
• Make sure your guests feel welcome – think about details like parking and dietary restrictions – and don’t expect them to pay for anything at your wedding.
• Don’t refer to gifts or gift registries with the wedding invitations; however it is ok in the bridal shower invitations as the bride or bride’s family is not hosting (see above).
• The rules of “who pays for what” are traditional – but don’t be unreasonable: don’t ask the groom’s family for money – but don’t be shy about discussing the realities of the financial situation and accepting help or to split costs.
• The bride and groom must send a written thank-you note for every gift (yes, even those crocheted place mats!) – and do so in a timely manner – aim to get them out in a month – but absolutely no later than three months after the wedding.

Good luck with your in-laws…but don’t let anyone make you lose sight of the fact that the day is about you and your fiancé…enjoy!

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We’re So Pretty on Style Me Pretty!

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 | media, testimonials, weddings | No Comments

We just got an email from Style Me Pretty that one of our weddings is featured this morning on their little black book blog (now that’s a tongue twister!!).
Check it out:

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Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 | trends, weddings | No Comments

It doesn’t have to be Earth Day for us to think about making less of an impact on our environment.  Many of couples have been asking for advice on how to make their weddings green.  Here are some of the tips we like to share with all our clients:

1) Use green invitations.  Believe me the quality of recycled paper has come a long way from the 80’s.  This elegant invite gives you the chance to change the world one simple choice at a time.  The paper is made with 100% post-consumer fibers and created without the use of chlorine compounds.  The manufacturer uses a significant amount of renewable energy resources and responsible forest management practices.



2) Instead of cut flowers (which can be full of pesticides) there are several stunning rentals that can be used as centerpieces.  Take our bronze trees for example … you can’t make more of an impact in a room.


3) Banish disposable water bottles!  Hand out these gorgeous re-usable water bottles as favours instead.  These sturdy metal bottles can be personalized any way you like and will help encourage your guest to kick the plastic habit as well!


4) Use a beautiful seating chart instead of placecards.  We love seating charts because they don’t waste all that cardstock and are made using post-consumer material.  The best part is that they are 100% customizable.  Our brides love them so much that they often hang them in their home after the wedding.  Check them out at


5) We love, love, LOVE these organic favour boxes.  Need I say more?


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Calling All Tacky Brides!!

Monday, April 20th, 2009 | etiquette, media, Q&A, trends, weddings | No Comments

Ok…seriously…I know no one sets out to be a tacky bride. I know sometimes friends, families and retail establishments give engaged couples erroneous information & advice. After writing an etiquette column for many years…and having a website titled “ask” a wedding planner…many people do just that…It wasn’t a bride that asked the last question, it was a wedding guest that was perplexed by a wedding invitation they received:

“We have been invited to a wedding and on the invitation was told there would be a presentation basket at the reception. What is this? Thanks in advance.”


So I may as well tell you what I told them:
Typically a presentation basket is referring to money – which by they way is COMPLETELY tacky to reference on a wedding invitation. You should not feel obliged to give them money if you would prefer to give them a tangible gift. It is a complete etiquette no-no to reference gifts of ANY kind on the invitation – and registries & suggestions are merely there to make things easier for the guests – it is not appropriate to mandate what, if anything, you give as a wedding gift.

Hope that helps!

When it comes to gift registry cards, sending guests gift requests, having a cash bar before dinner, letting the tulle fairy throw up on you or your reception venue….JUST SAY NO!! When you look back on your wedding in 20 years…you’ll be oh-so-glad you did! :D

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Kim Returns From the Jewel of the Rockies

Monday, April 20th, 2009 | travel, trends, weddings | No Comments



The team at the Chateau Lake Louise extended a very warm welcome to our team to come and experience first hand what their hotel has to offer our clients.  Their AMAZING staff did a wonderful job at making the hotel feel like a luxurious home away from home.  Everything from their friendly staff, romantic turndown service, and luxurious suites with breathtaking views makes this hotel a great choice for a destination wedding of any size.


If you’re thinking of having a wedding in the Rockies give us a call.  Our personal relationship with the team at the Chateau Lake Louise will guarantee the very best service at the best price.

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What’s a bride to do with the mystery gifts?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 | etiquette, media, Q&A, weddings | No Comments



Q. We just got married a couple of weeks ago and there are a couple of things we’re a bit concerned about: there were a few gifts that seemed to have lost their cards (we can “sort of” figure out who they are from based on some cards that weren’t attached to anything) and a couple of guests who normally always observe stringent rules of etiquette but didn’t give us anything – and we’re worried that maybe it got lost. Should we actually ask them (what if they actually didn’t buy us a gift – then it would be weird, wouldn’t it?)?

A. There always seem to be a few gifts that manage to lose their cards, and a few guests that amazingly seem to attend a wedding without giving a gift.

As for the guests with no gifts – this is both cheap and tacky (always a marvelous combination). Ideally, wedding guests arrange for the couple to receive their gift before the wedding – so someone doesn’t have to be responsible for getting all the gifts home from the reception.

Attention all wedding guests: although it is completely appropriate to give the newlyweds their gift anytime in the first year of marriage – if you plan to wait, whatever the reason, tell them (“We’re very sorry your gift is not here – it will be arriving at your door in six to eight months – it’s being delivered by pack mule from Argentina!”). This will save the poor couple from worrying that your gift got lost (or from deciding you’re a big cheapskate).

As for the etiquette sticklers that did not give you a gift or mention the absence of one…this is a sticky situation. Perhaps just tell them you’re worried that their gift went missing and were curious if they left it on the gift table at the reception (who knows, maybe they forgot it in the trunk of their car, or it is sitting carefully in a closet at their house).

Now…where Emily Post dictates a wedding guest has a year to give a gift – it is quite the opposite on the thank you card front. Everyone knows you’re very busy – but don’t make your guests wait forever for their thank you cards. You absolutely must send them within three months of your wedding day…no slacking! If there are a couple of cards that were not attached to anything – and a couple of gifts with no cards – simply thank them for the “lovely gift”.

So all you wedding guests out there – if you attend the wedding – give them a gift – and if it will be coming some time in the future – tell them! If you do bring the gift to the reception – make sure you’re actually putting it on the gift table…and get friendly with the scotch tape – don’t make them guess which gift is from you because the card fell off (you don’t want credit for a set of plastic mixing bowls when you actually bought them a silver gravy boat).

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