Your Perfect Wedding Gown

Once you slip into your wedding gown, the magic truly begins, so savor the time you spend trying on one stunning gown after another until you find theone.  We’ve compiled some helpful hints to help make finding your gown as exciting and momentous as you’ve dreamed.

Start your gown search after you, your fiancé and your families have agreed on the style of your wedding. Carry photographs of dresses you like, but remember that the time of day of the ceremony and the degree of formality at the celebration determine the proper style of dress for each member of your wedding party.

To ensure sufficient time for delivery of the dress and headpiece you’ve selected, start shopping soon after becoming engaged. It is recommended that you allow at least four to six months for delivery. A full-service bridal salon is an excellent resource, one that will help the wise bride to look her very best on her wedding day.

Remember that white doesn’t always mean white. White can refer to candlelight, ivory and winter white. Your choice of fabric –silk, organza, taffeta, chiffon – may offer the opportunity to achieve the ideal shade that flatters your skin tone. And choose a dress with an attractive back. After all, you’ll be standing with your back to your guests for most of the ceremony.

Quality construction of your gown, headpiece and veil is a must. Make certain that buttons and other trims are securely hand sewn, not glued on.

Don’t forget about the train. There are three popular styles: The court-length train is the shortest, then the chapel-length train and for the most formal of wedding ceremonies, the grand cathedral-length train. Your gown can be bustled later for the reception.

Inquire about the store’s policy on custom fitting. Again, quality tailoring is worth the price you pay for a good fit and you’ll probably find the best at full-service salons.

At every fitting, wear the same shoes you’ll wear on your wedding day or a pair of similar height. Just as important, take along all the appropriate undergarments for your gown.

Fresh Ideas On Wedding Flowers

Never underestimate the beauty and charm of carefully chosen flowers. Even a single rose added to a place setting can guarantee a bit of magic and romance.

Here are some tips for adding nature’s touch to your special day:

  • Make your bouquet the “something blue” with a nosegay of sweet forget-me-nots.
  • Explore  locally grown flowers by visiting nearby gardens and nurseries.
  • Don’t overlook herbs as beautiful partners with your favorite cut flowers.
  • Have your attendants carry wreaths of flowers instead of traditional bouquets.
  • Savor the simplicity of a garland of greenery tied with colorful ribbon.
  • Consider more than just cut flowers for centerpieces, using lovely potted plants instead.
  • Planning a church ceremony in December? The church may be decorated for the holidays already, so simply add a few candles.
  • Create distinctive bouquets for attendants that reflect the flower symbolic of their birth month.
  • Make a large area a cozy setting by bordering it with large ferns or even a decorative screen.
  • Have fresh flowers delivered after the wedding to both of your parents’ homes.
  • Pansies are a symbolic way to say “thinking of you”.
  • Not marrying in a house of worship? Create an alter with fresh flowers atop white linen or damask cloth, or wrap a railing with greenery and ribbon.
  • Don’t forget t let your florist know of any specific flowers you don’t like.
  • Instead of the traditional mother’s corsage, consider a small floral bouquet held in a Victorian tussy mussy.

Wedding Tips – The Formality of the Event

Many elements contribute to the style of your wedding, including the expected size of your guests list, where you plan to marry and your personality as a couple. You’ll know from the start if the two of you favor the elegance and tradition of a church wedding with a reception in a grand ballroom, or a more casual setting such as a garden, an art museum or by the sea. The time of day you marry will also affect the degree of formality.

Seated dinners are decidedly more formal, while a buffet is perfect for more informal weddings or a setting where you want guests to mingle throughout several rooms. A buffet can be easily designed to accommodate a large guest list, with duplicate stations arranged on each side of the room.

Another point to consider if having a seated dinner is whether or not to have a choice of entrees. It’s considerate to provide a vegetarian choice if you know you have guests who would prefer that. It’s also nice to balance a beef entrée with a choice of chicken or fish. If you opt for a beef entrée. suggest that the caterer prepare a seafood appetizer for variety.

Taking a close look at the guest list is helpful, too. Would most of your guests feel more comfortable with assigned seating and waiters serving the meal? If so, that signals a seated presentation might be better.

Wedding Invitations – Instructions for assembling & Addressing

Assembling Your Invitation

The wedding stationery is assembled in order of size, starting with the invitation. Remember that enclosure cards are stacked on top of the invitation, never inside if you have a folder-style invitation.

Here’s  how to  assemble your components …

Place the reception card on top of the invitation.

Next, place the envelope for the reply card face down on the reception card.

The reply card is slipped beneath the flap of the reply envelope. If you have any other enclosures, add them to the stack face up in order of their size.

Insert the invitations into the inner envelope with the lettering facing the back of the envelope. You can be assured the envelope is correctly stuffed if you can read the invitation without turning it when removed with the right hand.

Finally, put the inner envelope in to the outer envelope. The front of the inner envelope faces the back of the outer envelope.

Addressing Your Invitation

When it’s time to address envelopes, remember that poor penmanship can spoil the entire look of the invitation. That’s why many brides hire a professional calligrapher to address the envelopes. Resist the temptation to use computer-generated labels.

It is no longer a hard-and-fast rule that middle names be included on the outer envelope. Many people only use a middle initial and they may be addressed that way on your invitation. Abbreviations, however, are not used except in the case of “Mr.,”, “Mrs.,” “Dr” or “”Lt.” combined with “Colonel”, etc. Where street numbers were once written out, it’s now perfectly acceptable to use numerals for ease in postal delivery, and to utilize the two-letter abbreviations for states.

Although full names appear on the outer envelope, the inner envelope should be addressed simply to “Mr. and Mrs. Jones.”

Young children’s names should appear on both the inner and outer envelopes beneath their parents’ names.

Children over 18 should receive their own invitations.

Instead of writing “and guest” on the outer envelopes, obtain the names of live-ins, fiancés and significant others and mail them a separate invitation.

Trying to choose the perfect invitation can be intimidating! Exclusively Weddings has made it easier for you by offering free invitation samples. Order Free Invitation Samples

Wedding Invitations – Each component explained

Your wedding stationery suite or ensemble consists of many options, depending on your needs. Most invitation designs have complementary components, which will give everything a coordinated look. We hope our listing of stationery components will help simply your wedding invitation purchase.

The Save-the-Date card gives advance notice of your wedding date. This is especially helpful to guests, if you are getting married on a holiday weekend or having a destination wedding.

The Invitation informs your guests of the date, time, location and hosts of your wedding. Invitations are normally mailed four to six weeks beforehand.

The Outer Envelope is the mailing envelope and includes the full name and mailing address of your guest(s). The Outer Envelope Flap can be pre-printed with the return address.

The Inner Envelope holds your invitation and all enclosures and it may be lined or unlined. Your guests’ name are handwritten, using their titles and surnames only. This envelope does not have glue on the flap.

The Response Cardis a convenient way for your guests to RSVP while providing you with timely information on how many guests to expect. It is normally pre-printed with the hosts’ address and usually includes a postage stamp.

The Reception Card is used when the wedding and reception are in different locations.

The Accessory Card/Multi-Purpose Card is a way to inform your guest of special details such as directions and accommodations.

Table Assignment Cards and Place Cards direct each reception guest to his/her assigned table or place at a table.

A Wedding Program describes the order of service for your ceremony which is especially helpful for guests of a different faith. It also identifies the wedding party and other wedding participants by name.

The Informal Note cardis used as your personal stationery for thank-you notes. It can be printed with  your name or monogram on the front. The flap can be pre-printed with your return address.

The Announcement is normally sent after the wedding has taken place. This allows the couple to share their good news with those to whom wedding invitations were not sent.

An At Home Card provides your guests with your new address.

The Exclusively Weddings free catalog includes a wide array of invitations and their components. Order Your Free Catalog

This Exclusively Weddings' invitation shows a separate reception card, since the reception and ceremony are held in two separate venues.

This Exclusively Weddings' invitation ensemble includes the invitation, response card, and informal note card.

Wedding Invitations – Top 10 Tips

Nothing is a more regal proclamation of your love than an elegant invitation. It’s also the first glimpse guests will have of the style of celebration you’ve planned. Keep these tips in mind as you choose every element of your wedding stationery.

1.  Spell out words such as Doctor, Junior and Avenue.

2.  Spell out middle names

3.  Spell out the date, as in “fifth of July” rather than “July 5”. Use “half after six” rather than “6:30”.

4.  Use the joining word “and” on a line by itself ONLY when joining the bride’s and groom’s names.

5.  Use the phrase “honour” of your presence” only when you are having  your ceremony in a house of worship; otherwise, use “pleasure of your company.”

6.  Include a name on your invitation (such as a stepparent) when in doubt. You won’t regret being gracious.

7.  Keep in mind that lettering size depends on the number of lines you request and the amount of space available.

8.  If you are including copy in the bottom corner of your invitation, limit the length to one line. Choose a separate card if you need to provide more information.

9.  Take a sample invitation and enclosure to the post office to be weighed for the proper amount of postage.

10.  Mail your invitations four to six weeks before the wedding. Send a Save-the-Date card if you want your guests to reserve the date far in advance.

Exclusively Weddings has made it easier for you to choose the perfect wedding invitation by offering free wedding invitation samples. Order Free Wedding Invitation Samples

Wedding Invitations – How to choose a font

With paper chosen, you’ll want to add the perfect font, or type style, to your invitation. It’s easy to be confused by the many font choices available, but a good rule to follow is to choose lettering that complements the formality of your celebration. Also note that a smaller sized invitation looks best with a more delicate font and that a simple font is easiest for guests to read.

Some couples choose two fonts: one for their names (printed slightly larger) and one for the rest of the invitation copy. If you choose a double font, select styles that complement each other.

When you envision the total look of your wedding invitation, remember that no more than 14 lines of wording is the recommended length, with the reception information included on a separate card. With more than 14 lines, the words can be crowded and more difficult to read. If you absolutely must have more than 14 lines, remember that black will be the most legible ink color for the smaller font size.  For an invitation that has more than 14 lines, a font that is darker and thicker will allow small type to be more legible.

The Exclusively Weddings free catalog has a wide array of invitations with many examples of font choices. Order a Free Catalog.

To see all of our wedding invitations online: Wedding Invitations by Exclusively Weddings

This Exclusively Weddings invitation uses two fonts so that the bride’s and groom’s names will stand out. Their names are in a different color from the body of the invitation.