calgary herald

hmm…our venue is on fire…isn’t that delightful!?!

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 | etiquette, Q&A | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, MAY 2005, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”

bride

Q. Our wedding is a few weeks away and our reception venue just had a big fire. Although we had our hearts set on this location, we decided to book another place close by instead of waiting for the repairs to be completed. What is the proper way to inform our guests? Can we just tell everyone at the ceremony?

A. All sorts of things can pop up (or burn down) when planning a wedding. The venue can double book, the church can flood, the photographer can unexpectedly choose another occupation (what do you mean you’ve really always wanted to be a plumber?), or there can be a family emergency requiring a postponement. Whatever the scenario, it is not uncommon for something to instigate either a change of date or a change of venue.

Typically, the appropriate etiquette to handle a change of wedding details is mailing the new details to your guests. Either a hand written note or a simple card – printed to match your invitations – is acceptable.

Had you decided to postpone your wedding the same rules would apply. It is the top priority to inform your guests if there is a major change – such as a change of date or a change of locale. Every wedding usually has at least a few guests coming from out of town – they’ve graciously taken time off work and made travel arrangements. Your local guests may have arranged baby sitters or transportation. Make sure you tell them…post haste!

With so little time before your wedding date I suggest using the telephone. Although your new venue is nearby, it is courteous to let your guests have some warning. A reminder at the ceremony – either printed on the programs or with a verbal announcement – is always a good idea. However, there are inevitably always a few guests that don’t make it to the ceremony (I told you it was left on Main Street), and even more guests that don’t bother reading the programs (Oh, doesn’t she look beautiful, I wonder what I’ll look like on my wedding day…).

So, enlist your family and your bridesmaids to help you man the phones. Then, take a deep breath and relax (having a fire extinguisher at the ready couldn’t hurt either!). Well done finding a new reception venue so quickly – your wedding will be smooth sailing.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

the etiquette of gift registries

Saturday, January 21st, 2012 | etiquette, Q&A | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, FEBRUARY 2005, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”

wedding-gift-ideas

Q: We recently went to register for our wedding and the store clerk offered us registry enclosure cards to include in our invitations. Is this acceptable? We were also a bit unsure what to register for. Help!

A: No, no, a thousand times, no! It may seem helpful, but it is never acceptable to enclose a registry notice or gift wish list with your invitation. Never. Ever.

One of the major etiquette dangers is the method of informing your guests about your registries. The stores themselves help perpetuate this etiquette no-no by offering you the offensive invitation enclosures.

Your gift registry can be one of the most fun aspects of planning your wedding (”Here, honey, just point this gun at things and voila, they’re on our wish list!”) but it can also prove to be an etiquette minefield.

The first major issue is the registry itself. Today’s engaged couples often have established households of their own, so a registry is an excellent way for your guests to know what you actually need (Oh look! Another toaster! Everyone needs four toasters, don’t they?). Make sure you think carefully about what you actually need and make a wish list that is agreeable to both you and your partner.

Your guests have different budgets, so register for items in a variety of price ranges. You cannot expect all of your guests to spring for that $400 food processor, or that they will be happy buying you one teaspoon because at $100 a piece it is the only thing on your registry they can afford. A thoughtful gift registry gives everyone the opportunity to buy you something you will love.

These days, it is also perfectly acceptable to register for nontraditional items such as hardware, sporting goods, charitable donations, or, yes, even the honeymoon. Keep in mind, though, that although lifestyle gifts are appropriate, some people are going to prefer giving you something tangible.

You may prefer to receive money, which is traditional in many cultures, or contributions to your honeymoon fund, but you cannot tell your guests what to give you. It is just not polite to request gifts of ANY kind. Giving a wedding gift is the socially acceptable thing to do – but no one is really obligated to buy you a gift. Informing your guests what kind of gift you would like at the same time you are inviting them to your wedding is like telling them the gift is more important than their attendance.

The way to let people know where you’re registered is via word of mouth.

Make sure your bridal party and family know where you are registered or if you have a preference for a more non-traditional gift. Then you have to wait until someone asks where you are registered, and just cross your fingers!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Financial Planning Leads to Marital Bliss

Monday, May 9th, 2011 | media | No Comments

Money is at the root of most breakups
By Shaun Polczer, Calgary Herald May 8, 2011

herald-8may11-2

The Wedding of the Century has come and gone, the cake has been cut and Will and Kate are man and wife.

It was an awesome spectacle of pomp and pageantry that took precision planning and the logistical skills of a tactician to pull off, in full view of the entire world.

But once the honeyoon’s over, what’s next?

That’s were the fairy tale ends and reality sets in.

Experts say most people put more thought into planning for one big day than the rest of their lives, with disastrous results. According to Statistics Canada figures, the sad fact is that one in two marriages in Canada are destined to fail by the 30th year. More often than not, the root of marital discord can be boiled down to a single cause: money.

After the ponying up for the cost of the tux, gown and cake, many couples fail to think about the cost of mortgages, retirement savings and contingencies such as insurance to make sure ‘I Do’ doesn’t become ‘I Don’t’.

“In my opinion, I would like to see couples put more time into the marriage than the wedding,” says Lisa Hanslip, a Calgary-based wedding planner whose company, The Wedding Planner Inc., has been organizing nuptials for almost two decades.

Hanslip, who has organized weddings that cost as much as $500,000 or as little as $5,000, says you don’t always get what you pay for and that there is no correlation between the cost of the ceremony and the quality of everlasting bliss.

Hanslip says she can often tell beforehand which marriages are destined to fail based on the way couples approach small details such as floral arrangements, but more importantly, how they’re paid for. In that sense, the big day is the template for the marriage.

Jennifer French and her groom Colum Furey are a lot like other couples getting married these days. Both are in their mid-30s with professional jobs; she’s a human resources professional and he’s an engineer for a large oil company.

This weekend they tied the knot in front of 85 invited guests in an intimate ceremony that cost their parents almost $40,000.

Although they didn’t have to pay out of pocket, the future Mrs. Furey says both are keenly aware of keeping it in perspective. “It’s a down payment on a house,” she jokes. “Every time you take out the Visa you get that sense of panic, it creeps up on you.”

To get married in their church, both had to take wedding preparation classes that dealt with issues such as financial planning. They already own a home together and have retirement plans through their employers. They both like to spend money, but have taken steps to save as well.

Although they’re starting on solid ground, French agrees money is the big stressor in any relationship.

“It definitely breeds its own sense of pressure, it can tear people up,” she says.

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/Financial+planning+leads+marital+bliss/4746936/story.html#ixzz1Lth7hXJb

Tags: , , , , ,

destined for a destination….?

Sunday, April 10th, 2011 | etiquette | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”
beach-wedding1

Q. My fiancée and I can’t quite decide what to do about our wedding. She is the youngest of 10 kids and her immediate family alone now numbers about 52 people, not to mention all the cousins and aunts and uncles. I have three siblings (all married with kids), countless aunts, uncles and cousins, and my parents are both re-married. By the time we actually start inviting all of our friends our guest list will be huge. We’re actually considering a destination wedding because we know very few of them could afford to attend, but we’re not sure we’d be happy with this decision. What should we do?

 

A. The guest list can be one of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding – even without such an expansive family tree.  Destination weddings are increasingly popular for many reasons. Although thinning out the guest list often falls near the top of the list, it’s not the best reason to run off to the islands to get married.

 

“Is there really a bad reason to get married barefoot on the beach at sunset?” you ask… Actually there is. It really depends on what you want to remember from your wedding day – the pool boy bringing you a Mai Tai in a coconut as soon as you say “I do,” or that your family was there to share it with you.

 

Destination weddings can be wonderful if you choose a place that has particular meaning to you as a couple. Many resorts do a lovely job with weddings, however most of the time it’s a crap shoot what kind of officiant, flowers and photographer you’ll end up with, so do lots of research before you choose a location. You also want to look into residency requirements – some islands require you to be there several days before you can get a marriage license.

 

If you do decide to opt for a destination wedding to avoid feeding all 52 of your fiancée’s immediate family (yikes!), just make sure you do a good job of selling them on your penchant for fruity umbrella drinks so no one gets offended. Aloha!

 

paradise20in20vellum_lrg

http://www.mystylishwedding.com/store/destination-wedding/paradise-in-vellum-wedding-invitation-set

Tags: , , , ,

Bride vs. Murphy’s Law…bets anyone?

Monday, June 7th, 2010 | etiquette, media, Q&A | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”
strange-disaster-wedding-cake
Q. My sister got married last weekend and it seemed like every possible thing that could go wrong, did. The make-up artist showed up really late, the beautiful vintage car she had booked broke down, the Videographer missed the entire processional and shot the whole thing focused on the back of their heads, the hotel misplaced their engraved cake knife, and the bridesmaids’ dresses didn’t arrive until 2 days after the wedding. I’m getting married in the spring and although I wasn’t worried about anything, I’m now terrified about all the things that can go wrong. Is there any way to make sure these things don’t happen at my wedding?

A. Yikes! Your sister is apparently the Murphy’s Law poster-child. It’s difficult to plan a wedding without something going awry along the way (and thankfully equally hard to plan a wedding with everything going wrong). A lot of the mishaps at your sister’s wedding could not have been prevented – but planning for acceptable alternatives can help.

Most contracts are written to protect the vendor not the client, so keep that in mind when you’re reading them over. There is almost always a clause pertaining to the “what ifs…” – think about what contingency would make you happy – and don’t be shy to at least suggest it to them. For example, if the car you booked breaks down or is otherwise unavailable – ask to have it written into your contract that the driver will come fetch you in an ancient Egyptian litter (a la Cleopatra) rather than merely substituting a car of equal value. It is highly unlikely they will actually agree to this, mind you, but the mere thought of it may give your sister some satisfaction.

Before booking any vendor, ask about their background, and don’t choose simply based on price. Discuss potential problems with them at the time – it is a lot less stressful to think about these things prior to your wedding.

To help deal with any hiccups on your big day, have a list of all the vendors involved and contact numbers. Another great way to help alleviate stress: Have an emergency kit so you can tackle any last minute problems like a torn dress (which you caught on the door as you were running in because your limo broke down), too few boutonnieres (because the florist didn’t think you were actually serious about there being 12 groomsmen), a missing ring (because the jeweller didn’t quite finish and you don’t want to have to borrow your cousin’s skull ring), or bad breath (because corn nuts are your favorite comfort food – and it seemed like a good idea this morning ).

So…read over your contracts….then pucker up and enjoy that first kiss (breath mint anyone?)!

Tags: , , ,

One family’s zoo is another family’s small gathering

Sunday, October 11th, 2009 | etiquette, media, Q&A | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, JANUARY 2006, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”
The long road from happy engagement to wedded bliss is paved with potential etiquette faux pas. Wedding planner Lisa Hanslip is here to help you resist your inner Bridezilla along the way.
wdngszblog
Q. My fiancé and I are planning to get married in about eight months, but we haven’t made many plans yet because we can’t seem to agree on what the wedding should look like. As this is the second marriage for both of us I would like a small intimate event. My fiancé on the other hand comes from a very large family and is expecting a large celebration. Do you have any suggestions how we can plan a wedding that will make everyone happy?

A. A wedding is not just a celebration of the union of two people, but more often than not, it is the joining of two families – which brings with it a veritable treasure trove of opposing traditions and expectations. If the meeting of the in-laws doesn’t tragically mirror a scene from Meet the Fockers consider yourself lucky.

A good compromise in many situations is to split the difference – but I don’t think a medium-sized ceremony and reception will satisfy either side – you’ll still feel like the event was much bigger than you were hoping for (“There were 150 people at my wedding, it was a total zoo!”) – and your fiancé’s family will inevitably deem the moderate guest list too small (“How can we possibly have a proper wedding celebration with only 150 people?!?”).

You might consider having a small intimate ceremony with just your immediate family and closest friends followed by a large celebration later in the day. This way you’ll have the memory of a ceremony that reflected your sensibilities while your fiancé and his family can relish tales of the big bash.

Another option is to have the large wedding your fiancé’s family is hoping for, followed by a small gathering. Try a morning ceremony followed by a raucous afternoon reception – then in the evening you can sit down to an intimate dinner for just immediate family.

Whatever you decide to do – make sure it is a solution that doesn’t leave either of you disgruntled. Focus on what you two need from your day, even if that means ignoring your families. It doesn’t bode well if one of you spends your wedding night on the sofa (because that only leads to a honeymoon spent on the marriage counselor’s couch – and that’s no good for anybody).

Tags: , , , , ,

Eeeeek!! Hide your grooms…BRIDEZILLA has arrived!

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 | etiquette, media, Q&A | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, JUNE 2005, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”
bridezilla image credit: Alex Eben Meyer (http://www.eben.com)

Q. My best friend is getting married in a few months and I am so happy for her, but in the six months since she got engaged she’s changed into a totally different person. She never wants to discuss anything but the wedding and she’s obsessing about every single detail. Since I announced I’m pregnant she no longer wants me to be her bridesmaid because I won’t look good in the wedding photos. She’s gone completely crazy, is there anything I can do to snap her out of it?

A. Alas, I fear Bridezilla has reared her ugly head:

bridezilla (brId-ZILL-uh) n. A bride-to-be who, while planning her wedding, becomes exceptionally selfish, greedy, and obnoxious.

Bridezillas are a new breed of brides who abuse the idea that weddings are their day to get exactly what they want. They terrorize their bridal party and family members, make greedy demands and break all rules of etiquette. Their sole desire is to be the single most important person on the planet from the time of engagement right up until the last dance at their wedding.

Here are some tell-tale signs that someone you love might be turning into a Bridezilla:

-The bride is incapable of discussing any subject other than her wedding.

-The bride barely eats so she can fit into her dress and then complains that she’s hungry all the time.

-The bride obsessively watches what her bridal party is eating and gasps every time anyone reaches for a cookie.

-The mother-of-the-bride and the maid-of-honour are beginning to feel like medieval footservants.

-The bride chooses couture bridesmaid dresses, even though most of her friends are on a budget. She does not, however, offer to pay.

-When the bride is discussing all the details of her wedding (which she does to every person who crosses her path) you can’t help but picture more “Bride of Frankenstein” than “Princess Bride.”

-The bride is thrilled when her groom is sent away on business (“Finally, he’ll stop interfering in all of my plans…”).

Your friend may have been the sweetest girl you knew before she got engaged, but once a bride falls to the dark side, there’s very little you can do but grin and breathe deeply (slipping the bride a valium couldn’t hurt either). So, take a deep breath and count the days until your friend returns to her normal self. In the meantime…be afraid, be very afraid.

Tags: , , , , ,

Put the cupcake down & step away from the table!!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009 | etiquette, media, Q&A | No Comments

The long road from happy engagement to wedded bliss is paved with potential etiquette faux pas. Wedding planner Lisa Hanslip is here to help you resist your inner Bridezilla along the way.

315749_f496

Q. I’m hoping you can help me. When my fiancé proposed about eight months ago, I was so excited I ran right out and bought my wedding gown. I was so determined to get into shape before the wedding that I bought a dress a size too small. I was certain I could lose enough weight in 11 months to look fabulous in this dress – but now that the wedding is three months away I don’t think I’ll actually fit into it. What should I do?

A. Oh dear…you are certainly not alone in the “it will fit!” attitude to your wedding dress. However, now that it looks like “it won’t fit!!” you need a realistic plan of attack to make sure you actually have something to wear.

You’d be hard pressed to find a bridal magazine or website without copious amounts of information about fitness or weight-loss programs aimed at whipping you into shape for the big day. It seems to be the norm that engagement equates to frenzied fitness and beauty regimens – for the bride anyway. Just as most brides have a long-held fairy tale vision of what their wedding will look like, they have an equally long-held vision of what they’ll look like walking down the aisle.

A reputable bridal shop shouldn’t have let you out the door with a dress that “might fit.” So, unless you bought off the rack, and they didn’t know the dress did not fit you, you should enlist the store for help. You should also start asking everyone you know for the name of a seamstress.

I know you want to look your absolute best in the wedding photos – but remember that your fiancé proposed to you, as you are – not some ideal you may or may not achieve by the wedding day. What I’m sure will make him happiest is the knowledge that you’re actually enjoying yourself at the wedding. For that you need to feel comfortable – comfortable in your dress and comfortable with yourself.

I suggest you run, don’t walk, to the nearest skilled seamstress to see what can be done with your dress. Then take a deep breath, know that you will look beautiful and radiant on your wedding day – and perhaps steer clear of the woman that insists on bringing big boxes of doughnuts into the office!

Tags: , , , , ,

That’s Why God Invented Babysitters!

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 | etiquette, media, Q&A | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, OCTOBER 2005, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”
nochild
Q. My husband and I just got married and we had a really lovely wedding, except there’s one thing that is really bugging me. We had both decided not to have any children at our wedding, both because of the type of wedding we wanted and because we had such a small wedding, our guest list was very limited. Friends of my husband asked him about our opinion of kids at the wedding and he told them that a good gift to us would be a baby sitter as we were not having any kids at either the ceremony or reception. The first thing I saw, and heard, as I entered the church to walk down the aisle was this couple with their children, including their newborn. Am I off base or was this totally out of line?

A. I have three words for you: tacky, tacky, and tacky! Not only were his friends rude and inconsiderate, but they can’t even claim ignorance as you had a specific conversation about your decision to have a child-free wedding.

Regardless whether you are having a small or large wedding it is completely appropriate to choose not to have children at your wedding celebration. The day should reflect you as a couple, and if there are no children you are close to, or if you wish to have a “grown-up” event, there is absolutely no reason you should feel obligated to include any children on your invite list.

The best way to handle this is to be consistent: if you don’t want lots of children, don’t invite any – however, it is also ok to only invite children over a certain age. Some couples want only certain kids, for example their nieces and nephews, but no others. This choice isn’t particularly appropriate etiquette, so you need to be prepared for a little backlash.

To all prospective wedding guests out there – it has been said before, but apparently it bears repeating: IF YOUR NAME IS NOT ON THE INVITATION – YOU ARE NOT INVITED!! This includes your children, the guy you started dating last Tuesday and that unexpected house guest you need to keep entertained.

You are completely correct to be ticked off at your husband’s friends – they were totally out-of-line. As to how you should handle it now – well, that’s entirely up to you – but you should probably set a couple extra places at the table the next time you invite them over for dinner, just in case…

P.S. If it is too problematic to “not” invite the children – consider setting up a kid’s room – hire a team of babysitters and stock it full of kid-friendly fun – they’ll be nearby so their parents can check on them – you’ll get the child-free wedding you desire and you don’t have to have that sometimes uncomfortable conversation with your guests.

Tags: , , , ,

My Bridal Party is Lopsided…help!

Friday, May 29th, 2009 | etiquette, media, Q&A, weddings | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, SEPTEMBER 2005, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”

The long road from happy engagement to wedded bliss is paved with potential etiquette faux pas. Wedding planner Lisa Hanslip is here to help you resist your inner Bridezilla along the way.

bridalparty

Q. I’m having trouble choosing my attendants (or support team, as I like to think of them). I originally wanted only a Maid of Honour (my sister) without any other attendants. Unfortunately, my fiancé really wants 3 groomsmen and has already asked two of them. So I now feel stuck. I’ve narrowed it down to 4 people (one is a guy) for two spots. Two are a husband and wife. He and I have been through a lot together and have known each other much longer than his wife and I, but she has become a good friend too (and I was a bridesmaid at their wedding so I feel obliged to include her). The other two are good friends from when I was in school. How does one make this decision? Please help.

A. Choosing attendants seems to fall into two categories: it’s either easy and clear cut – you have three sisters, you have a tight knit group of four that you’ve known since childhood, you have one sister and your fiancé has one brother, etc. – or, more likely, the whole idea of having to choose more than one, but less than 12, bridesmaids is more challenging than an advanced Sudoku puzzle.

Countless brides juggle choosing who they really want vs. who they feel obliged to ask, simplicity vs. having everyone you know in a matching dress at the front of the church with you…it’s rarely easy.

Just because you were a bridesmaid at someone’s wedding, does not mean you have to ask them to be your bridesmaid in return. Some women have had the (un)fortunate experience of being a bridesmaid a dozen or more times – it would be completely impractical to reciprocate. Sometimes it’s a case of – if you ask Sally, Jane will be upset, and vice versa, so you need to ask both or neither.

You could still make your friend’s wife feel included by asking her to be an usher, or do a reading during the ceremony. However, this depends a lot on her personality. You don’t want your wedding to be a cause of strife in their marriage – so if you really want him as an attendant – and you think she’d be completely insulted to be left out – then ask them both and get your other two friends to participate in some other way.

The other option is to avoid the whole mess by doing what you had originally planned – just ask your sister to be your Maid of Honour and leave it at that (don’t worry about it looking slightly lopsided).

When all is said and done, it is your day, and you should have the “support team” you want, not the one you felt obligated to have.

Tags: , , , ,


Meta

Search

       

        shop fun fashionable and fabulous wedding supplies