DIY Wedding Wednesday: Place Setting 101

place setting how-to

Whether you’re planning your wedding on your own or working with a professional wedding stylist, there are certain wedding design principles that you’re going to want to get familiar with to help ease the planning process. And one of the most important no doubt involves the setup of your guest tables, beyond the centerpiece, focusing on the details that make the difference between an average and a stunning wedding day look. To help you guide your way through the structure of your personal tabletop formations, for today\s how-to we’re sharing our top place setting tips, all easily executable and applicable to any wedding day theme. Happy Planning!

The Place Setting How-To

Tip #1 – Placement is Everything

The first thing to remember when designing your place setting is that no matter what you’re planning to include, all pieces should serve a purpose, logistical or decorative (or ideally both!), and all should work together to create a balanced big picture.

place setting 101

Tip #2 – Layer on the Lovely. Plate Top Details.

Add instant eye candy to your set up by incorporating layers of useful details onto your guest plates. Consider a menu card to get their taste buds going and include their takeaway at their marked spot for a more personalized approach to a guest favor display. And of course there’s the must-include floral detail to finish off the look.

place top layers plate top details

menu card deatils

Tip #3 – Mark Their Spot

It may take a lot of work to plan out your wedding day seating plan, but it’s all worth it. Assigned seating not only leads to a more pleasant overall event experience for your guests, taking the guess work out of their hands, it also gives you another opportunity to personalize your affair. Go for a unique choice for your place card holder to up the interest factor.

place card lavender

Tip #4 – The Unexpected

A napkin is a straightforward place setting must, but how you go about displaying it comes with plenty of creative possibilities. Go the extra step and think through a way of incorporating yours in such a way that provides for another excuse to add detail to the overall look. A napkin ring, both traditional and DIY’d like we used here, is a natural choice.

napkin ring

featured here: oval tin tag

metal tag

Tip #5 – Go for the Upgrade

Your venue will likely provide you with all the place setting staples required for dinner service. But if budget allows it, consider upgrading the options for a look more suited to your specific event design. At the very least make sure you review the standard offering to ensure all your service needs are indeed covered.

Star Players – The Stationery

What’s the easiest way to incorporate personalized details into your place setting and event as a whole? A custom stationery line with pieces that subtly shape and elevate the specifics of your wedding day design. Here’s a recap of the pieces featured in today’s post.

wedding day stationery

Personalized City Style Design Stationery In the Following Pieces:

xoxo.

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7 Tips for a Stress-free Wedding

It can be easy for time to run away on you while you are planning, but your wedding week does not have to be a stressful one. We promise that with a little preparation and these tips, you will be smiling on the day of your wedding!

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1) Cheat sheet

On the day of the wedding, it is important that your bridal party and family members are all on the same page. Make a little cheat sheet with some of the important details that they can refer to. A timeline and list of where they need to be when, a list of phone numbers they might need, addresses of the ceremony and reception locations could help prevent little timing mishaps throughout the day.

2) Payment

In all the excitement of your wedding day, a few key things might unintentionally escape your mind. Like paying your vendors. A great way to avoid this is by placing your cheques in a Thank you card. The night before your wedding, give all your cards to a trusted member of your bridal party or family to give to it’s owner on the day of your wedding. Not only is this a nice way to thank them for all their hard work, but it is a great way to avoid that awkward money conversation at the end of the night!

3) Plan ahead

With such a large list of things that need to get done a few days before the wedding, the thank you speech is often the item that gets bumped to the very last minute.Don’t get caught sitting in a corner on the morning of their wedding scratching everything down. Throughout the whole planning process, keep a little list. Booked your photographer? Add them to the list. Your cousin is helping with the guestbook table? Add them to the list. When the time comes to compile what you would like to say, it is going to be so easy AND the chances of forgetting someone is a lot less likely.

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Featured here: Rustic Wood Pencils

4) Hydrate

Ok, we know this is the most obvious tip, but it is also one of the most forgotten by brides. So we are going to say it again… Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated will keep you calm, keep your mind clear and make you feel your very best. Not only will you feel your best, but it can do wonders for your skin. Think of your wedding like you would think about preparing for a marathon. Athletes spend the days leading up to a marathon drinking extra water to ensure that their bodies are ready for the big day. We encourage all our brides to adopt the same practice to ensure they are powered up and ready.

5) Ditch your device

After countless hours of putting this day together, it has finally come. Now, it is time to let it all go and enjoy it! Step 1 is to hand over your cell phone. It is likely that there will be friends, family and vendors trying to get a hold of you on the day of your wedding. Assign a reliable bridesmaid or family member to man your cell phone on the day of your wedding. Trust us, the day is going to fly by and the last thing you want is to be on your phone all day long. Be present and soak it all in!

6) Put a sticker on it

Wedding décor and accessories can come from many places. Maybe you have gone through a rental company, borrowed from a past bride or purchased some things yourself. When the wedding is coming to an end, chances are that there will be lots of people willing to help with the cleanup and tear down. The last thing you want is to be bombarded with a million questions or for anything to get misplaced or forgotten.  The solution is as simple as a subtle sticker. When you are setting up for your wedding, place small colored dot stickers to the bottom of your decorations. We advise that any rented items be left without a sticker, then use one color for the items you own and one for the items you borrowed. This way everyone will be able to divide and sort things properly and know where they go.

WS - Burlap Chic Creative_129

7) Organize

There are a lot important pieces of paper, lists, receipts and emails that need to be kept track of when you are planning a wedding. As simple as it sounds, it is something that will save you a lot of headaches. Keep everything in one place. Find a file folder, binder, or even shoe box (if that is what it takes) and keep all of your wedding related information in there. When you are doing some last minute searching for the rental contract or a vendor phone number, you will be so glad you did!

 

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: Lace Flower Napkin Ring

diy lace flower napkin ring

What’s the number one rule of setting a stunning table setting? Remember your layers. From centerpieces made up of a mix of flowing floral arrangements and delicate votive holders, to place setting touches that finish off the look, it’s all about layer upon layer of details that catch the eye. We’re personally especially fond of dainty specifics that can by DIY’d well in advance and on a budget, just like today’s pretty little feature, the lace flower napkin ring. Made up of its own set of lovely layers, playing on a variety of textures and colors, this is definitely a reception accessory must have!

The Supplies

diy lace flower napkin ring supplies

The Step by Step

diy flower napkin ring - step 1

Step 1: create a simple ring using your gold craft wire. Make it approximately 2 inches in diameter,

diy flower napkin ring - step 2

Step 2: Hot glue the lace flower to the ring. Hold the flower for 30-45 seconds to secure in place.

diy flower napkin ring - step 3

Step 3: Individually add in the faux flowers and gold leaves, securing in place with hot glue.

The Details

diy floral napkin ring diy vintage napkin ring   lace flower gold leaves gold craft wire napkin ring diy napkin ring

xoxo,

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Weddingstar Quiz: What’s most important to you? Prioritizing your wedding

 

Quiz: What are your priorities

From our Brides: 4 Ways to be the Worst Wedding Guest of all Time

It is wonderful to be able to celebrate your new Mrs. status with friends and family, but sometimes the combination of large numbers, varied personalities and high emotions can cause a little bit of stress along the way. When these moments happen, there are three things we want to remind you of.  1) You cannot please everyone. 2) There is always a solution. And 3) You’re not alone. We asked our brides to weigh in with their own personal experience dealing with difficult wedding guests.

Bride and Groom First Look

1) Dealing with the Narcissist:

“When family members who have conflict with each other make the day about them and their issues.” – Sarah Beth

If you have found yourself in this situation, we promise that you are not the first. Emotions and adrenaline are at an all time high at most weddings and this can sometimes cause tension. When diffusing a situation keep in mind that you want to make it better and not worse. If you let your emotions get the better of you. things will only escalate. With a level head and a calm voice, politely remind them why they are here today. Your wedding is a celebration of your relationship and it is OK to remind them of that.

2) Runaway guest list: “I can invite anyone I want to your wedding, right?”

Asking the morning of my wedding if you could bring your daughter, when you didn’t even bother to send your RSVP. And RSVP-ing for 3 when your invite specifically said to Mr and Mrs your name there.” — Michelle Flowers

There are 2 types of guests: 1) There was an unintentional miscommunication and your guest didn’t realize who exactly was invited. or 2) Your guest disregarded your wishes and didn’t think  a plus one was a big deal.

It is so important to be clear who the invitation is intended for. If you don’t feel like the names on the addressed envelope are clear enough, feel free to write the names out on their RSVP Card as well. This should help alleviate any miscommunication. If your RSVP mishap lands in the second category, ask yourself if it is a big deal. Do you have the space and the budget to have them there? Is it more of an annoyance than an inconvenience? If having extra person at your wedding is something you can deal with, consider letting it go and moving on. If having them there is not possible, a conversation is a great place to start. Explain to them that unfortunately you do not have any wiggle room with the guest count and although you wished more could attend, it is not possible at this time. And remember that asking is often more effective than demanding.

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3) Dealing with the Flake:

“We had a groomsmen back out the week of the wedding and then one of them “forgot” he was in the wedding all together.” — Ginny Raettig

Although situations like this are incredibly frustrating, they can often be the easiest to resolve. Many couples feel that it is really important to have an even number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. We are here to tell you that it is totally O.K to have an uneven bridal party. When you initially decided who you wanted to stand up with you, it was probably because they have been a key part of your life. Don’t feel pressured to find a replacement just for the sake of having a replacement. Sometimes the best solution is to let it go.

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4) Head Count:”RSVP’s are just a suggestion, right?”

“Not RSVP-ing or saying I don’t know yet but trying….” — Jamie Wieber

It can be as simple as asking your guests to send an RSVP email or click a button on your wedding website, but hunting down RSVP stragglers is just a part of the wedding planning process. That being said, there are a few ways to make it a little easier on yourself. A handy trick is to set the “please reply by:” date a few weeks before you really require a final head count. This will give some of the stragglers extra time to get their replies in and downsize the number of people you need to track down later.

Your day is about one very important thing, getting to say “I DO”. We know that planning a wedding comes with it’s up’s and down’s, but despite the fuss, it’s going to be worth it! We are so excited to be on this journey with you and helping to put those beautiful elements into your day. We know it’ going to be spectacular!

“None it was my day and everyone put all there problems aside and made it all about me my husband and six kids.” — Stephanie Hodgins

 

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How long will I need? – Your Guide to Timing your Wedding Day

Wondering how you will fit everything into your wedding day? We have a way to customize your timeline and create a solid plan.

Start with your wedding ceremony. Once you have a set start time, work backwards to create an outline for your wedding. Every wedding runs on a different time line, you can use this as a guide to bring the overall vision for your day to life. Once you have a general idea of what your timeline will look like, make sure you speak with your vendors. They are the pros and have done this many times. They will have a really good idea of how much time they will need to help create your perfect wedding day.

Vintage Wedding Couple

Hair and Makeup

A general rule of thumb for most hairstylists is 1.5 hours for the bride and 45 minutes for a bridesmaid. Talk to your girls about their hair in advance and get a couple of key pieces of information. Will your hair be staying about this length when the wedding rolls around? Will you be doing it up or down? By answering these 2 questions for each bridesmaid, your hairstylist will be able to provide you a more exact schedule for the morning of the wedding.

Most makeup artists will typically set aside 40-50 minutes for a bride and 25 -40 minutes for a bridesmaid. A  good question to ask your bridesmaids in advance is: Will you be wearing false eyelashes? As these take a bit more time to apply than regular mascara.

Getting Makeup done on Wedding Day

The Ceremony

A great starting point for your wedding ceremony is about 20-25 minutes. A wedding of this time-frame would include the following: Procession, opening words, a reading from a loved one, exchange of traditional vows, exchange of the rings, signing of the wedding licence, first kiss and the recession. If someone will be singing or you are having a unity sand ceremony, it is important to you than make sure to include that extra time in the traditional ceremony outline. Remember to speak to your officiant about time when you are planning the ceremony for the most accurate estimate.

Classic Wedding Ceremony

Featured here: Classic Wedding Theme

Photos

Make sure to meet with your photographer for a consultation closer to the wedding. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know them a little better, review times, addresses and a few shoot locations before the big day. Talk about a list of family photo combinations (ex: Bride’s parents with Bride and Groom. Brides parents with Bride, Groom and Siblings etc.) Your photographer will be able to call out the names and your family photos can be done in record breaking times! Once you have gone through the details of the day with your photographer, ask him/her for a time estimate. Keep in mind that you may need to cut out a location, or adjust a few things.

Bride posing for photo

The Reception

It is a good idea to set aside 1 hour for dinner. This will vary depending on the number of guests, and style of service (buffet/table service), but this is where your Master/Mistress of Ceremonies are going to be very important. They can keep an eye on things and once things start to settle down and everyone has eaten, they will be able to get things rolling for the program and speeches. If you are worried about how much time the speeches and toasts will take, just mention it in advance. Provide the speakers with a set time to keep their toast within. 3-5 minutes per speaker is a great starting point. It is very important that your Master/Mistress of Ceremonies are kept in the loop. Provide them with the plan for the evening so that they can keep their eyes on the clock and make sure everything moves along smoothly.

Here are some of our favorite tips to help you stay on time:

1) Delegate: If you’ve hired a wedding planner, they will be extremely helpful in moving the day along and sticking to the schedule. But don’t worry. You don’t need a wedding planner to stay on time. Speak to a reliable member of your bridal party or family member about helping in this area. If you provide them with the day-of schedule and ask them to help move things along, they will be able to keep an eye on the clock and make sure no one loses track of time.

2) Prioritize: Ask yourself “what is the most important part of the day?” Is it the photography? Is it having some alone time with your new husband? Once you have answered this question you will have a good idea of where to prioritize your time. It is also a really good idea to schedule in an extra 15 or 20 minutes for your most important item. Which brings us to our next tip!

3) Leave yourself a little wiggle room: Even the most organized of wedding days will often have a few unexpected surprises. The good news is that if you plan for them, they won’t be a problem. There are 2 ideal times to leave some”buffer space”. #1 is before the ceremony and #2 is after the ceremony. Leaving yourself an extra 20 – 30 minutes is sure to keep you on schedule and keep your guests happy.

 

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Light Up your Wedding

Lighting is so important when it comes to setting the mood. Candles and twinkle lights are usually the traditional choice when it comes to lighting up your wedding. You all know how much we love to add our twist on the traditional. Well, we have done it again! We are lighting up the blog with these incredibly cute LED lights. They come in many styles so they will fit any wedding theme. Plus, they are battery powered, so you can use them almost anywhere. This is one of our favorite décor accessories for 2015 and we know you are going to love them too.

lace lanterns3

Featured here: Mini Lace LED lanterns

Drape from your ceiling, table or displays. You can even lay them directly on your table to accentuate your centerpieces. These Mini LED lights are a huge must have for any wedding theme. So go ahead! Light up your wedding!

 

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5 Ways to Make Your Wedding Even More Meaningful

Every wedding is special and personal in its own way. And it is obvious that your wedding day is already going to be one of the most special and meaningful days of your lives. You are marrying your best friend, afterall! But we have a few ideas that might just take your wedding one step further. Here are 5 ways to make your day even more meaningful.

1) Introduce the bridal party yourselves

There are probably a few reasons that you asked your bridesmaids and groomsmen to stand up with you at your wedding. Each of them holds a special place in your lives. Rather than having your MC tell your guests what they mean to you, try telling them yourselves. Sharing a fond memory or how you became friends is even more special if it comes straight from you.

2) Having a loved one sing or play at your wedding

Music plays a huge role in weddings. Ask a friend or family member to play an instrument or sing a special song to bring you down the aisle, while your guests are arriving or while you sign your wedding license. It will be equally as special for them as it is for you and will create a special memory for you to look back on.

3) Have family time before the big day

If you ask any married couple, they will agree that the wedding day goes by incredibly quickly. Take some time to do something fun with your friends and family before the wedding day. Your out of town guests will appreciate the extra time with you and it is a great way for friends and family to meet before the big day.

4) Toast each table individually

The receiving line is a tradition that we are seeing less and less of. One of our favorite variations is to visit each table during the reception. Once dinner is starting to wind down there is usually some time before the speeches begin for you to make a loop with your new husband. By stopping at every table, it ensures that you will get a little bit of time with all your guests. It is a wonderful opportunity to personally thank them for coming and celebrating with you. It will mean a lot to your guests to be able to have some time with you and there are sure to be some good laughs along the way.

5) Unity sand ceremony

While a candle ceremony is beautiful and traditional, it leaves no permanent keepsake for the couple. The sand ceremony allows you to retain the memory of their special day for years to come. Combining the sand symbolizes the present and future  of two lives joined and forever inseparable. Every ceremony creates a different sand design that is unique like you as a couple. You can even personalize your vases and containers for an even more meaningful touch.

These 5 little touches are sure to create special moments that you will cherish for years to come! But, the best advice we can give you is to remember to keep it all in perspective. It is so easy to get swept up in the excitement and wedding plans that sometimes you just need to take a little step back. You are getting ready to celebrate the next chapter in your life as husband and wife. If you can remember WHY you are planning a wedding, that will be more meaningful than anything.

Must Have Music: Valentine’s Day Playlists

classic love song playlist

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow (eek!), and at this point you’ve probably already purchased the present, are already chilling the bubbly, and have dinner all planned out. But have you picked your playlist? If not, no worries. We’ve got you covered! Spanning the most popular genres, covering 40 of the most romantic options out there, today we’re sharing our top picks for all time best love songs. So get your iTunes loaded, pick your faves for your own personal playlist, and consider tomorrow the perfect time to trial run the most important dance of all, your first dance. Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

pop love song playlist country love song playlist rock love song playlist

xoxo.

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Wedding Planning Essentials: You’re Engaged! So Now What?

top 5 tips for the newly engaged

For years December has held the spot for top month to get engaged, meaning right about now there are thousands and thousands of newly engaged couples basking in the glow of an incredible life milestone. It’s an exciting time, one of the best in a person’s lifetime, but it also happens to be one of the most overwhelming. So generally speaking, as soon as the excitement of the moment begins to subside, even just a little, the next logical thought most brides-and-grooms-to-be find popping up in their heads is, “now what?”. To help answer the question, and to help better manage the planning process the right way from the get go, here are the top 5 to-dos to tackle soon after declaring the big “yes”!

1. Share the Love!

You’ll have plenty of time to work the days away planning for the big event. Take some time to enjoy this wonderful time and include those closest to you in the celebration. Keep it low key with an announcement over an intimate dinner with your closest family members or go all out with a big engagement bash. Whatever your approach, just make sure you take the time to really soak in these special moments.

2. A Big Decision.

Not much else can happen unless you know what date you’re targeting. Try to set a date that’s about 12 months out, giving yourself a reasonable amount of time to plan all the details. And try to remain somewhat flexible in case your choice ceremony and/or venue locations are not available on your target date.

3. Get Inspired.

Before you can get down into the details you need to first decide on the big picture. Start to narrow down an event design by getting inspired by all the possibilities. Start up a Pinterest account and beginning following top wedding sources (follow weddingstar’s Pinterest’s boards here), buy some wedding magazines and start regularly following a few inspirational wedding blogs. Just remember to stick to a wedding day look that naturally fits your personal style otherwise you’ll find pulling the design together to be a challenge you’re not likely to enjoy.

2015 weddingstar magazine

featured here: 2015 issue of weddingstar magazine.
available on major newsstands now and here

4. Money Talk.

Before you get too far into what you have to have for your big day, set an overall wedding budget you’re comfortable with. Although we’d all love a big lavish event, the reality is not everyone can afford one. Make sure you’re not overextending yourself financially and that you’re realistic about not only how much you want to spend but also about how much things actually cost. Not sure where to start? Now’s a good time to consider hiring on a wedding planner to help you get things right.

5. The Perfect Spot

Start looking into venue options for both your ceremony and reception. Many locations book at least a year in advance, especially during peak wedding season (i.e. the summer months), so you’ll want to get a head start and consider as many options as possible. Here’s where that flexibility with date will come in play. To help get you started, check out our Top 15 Tips to Consider When Selecting a Wedding Venue post.

wedding planning tips - selecting a wedding venue

Next Steps

What’s the number one way to keep your planning as stress free as possible? Set a schedule right from the start and then stick to it. To get you started, check out our Buying Guide.

xoxo.

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