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Before The Wedding

Valentine’s Day!

Feb 12, 2013

A survey done by American Express says that approximately 4 million people will get engaged on Valentine’s Day.  What is it about that day?  How is it on February 14th you can have a warm feeling come over you despite it being the middle of winter? Regardless of what many people think it is not a holiday created by Hallmark. It’s romantic history is linked back to the middle ages and the time of Geoffrey Chaucer. A time of courtship and chivalry.

So why do so many people choose Valentine’s Day to get engaged?  I was discussing this with someone who said she doesn’t understand it?  Is it really romantic?  When two people are looking to start their lives together any day is a good day to start.   There is no question that when done right a date with your loved one can be a magical night and if it happens to be on Valentine’s Day, even better.  When you plan the evening out, men and woman want everything to be just right.  From your attire to the food to evening’s activity, the goal is to give your partner a night they will never forget.  Well think about, if you are truly going to plan such an evening wouldn’t the best topper be ask them to marry you? You were thinking about doing it anyway!  Put the cherry on top of that sundae! Add that exclamation point at the end of the sentence that was your evening! The site of joy and surprise is evidence that you made the right decision.  Next week we will explore this Valentine’s Day phenomenon a little more!

In celebrating Valentine’s Day, Little Things Favors is offering 14% OFF all its Red and Pink Favors or 10% OFF your entire purchase.  If you are looking for favors for you Wedding Day, we can help! Just go to: www.littlethingsfavors.com for more.

24% Genuine Lead Crystal Red Rose

 

Wedding Planning Step 3: Selecting Your Wedding Venue

Nov 13, 2012

Michael Anthony's, Jersey City, NJ

Michael Anthony’s, Jersey City, NJ

Hello my fellow brides-to-be! So you’ve celebrated your engagement with your family and friends – what’s next? Selecting for the perfect venue for your special day! Choosing your wedding venue is one of the first and most important steps in the wedding planning process. Steve and I have chosen the Michael Anthony’s, located in the Newport section of Jersey City. Located right near the Hudson River, our venue offers stunning views of the New York City skyline (and even a glimpse of my favorite building in NYC, the Chrysler building!) There is also a perfect view of the new One World Trade Center building that is still under construction, but always lit up in bright, beautiful lights. The restaurant itself has a modern touch, with exposed brick walls and large windows. Steve and I decided early on that we wanted a wedding venue that was out of the ordinary, but also reflected our personal style. Before you begin your search, there are several important factors you should consider.

First, and most importantly, you must decide on your wedding budget.  Will you and your fiancé be footing the bill? Will you receive help from your parents in any way? Once you have determined how much you are able to spend, you will be able to search for venues that will fit your budget.

Next, you should determine how many guests you plan to invite. This will help you narrow down the venues that will be able to accommodate the size of your wedding. You may also want to consider the fact that many venues have guest minimums for certain days. For example, Saturday is the most desirable day to have a wedding, and will require a higher minimum of guests. Fridays and Sundays will usually have a lower minimum guest requirement, as the availability will be greater for these days.

Now that the budget and amount of guests have been decided, you and your fiancé can discuss what you both envision for your special day. Do you plan on having a religious ceremony? Or are you looking for a venue that can also accommodate your ceremony? Also, do you have any particular theme in mind? Some of the most popular wedding venues/themes right now are the rustic wedding (think vintage-style barn or farm), a summertime beach wedding, a modern-style wedding (in a loft or re-purposed warehouse), and the always popular destination wedding. Ballrooms and banquet facilities are also excellent options, and can be found in any location. These venues can be blank slates that you can decorate and enhance. And don’t forget about up-lighting!  Something so simple can make all the difference in the overall look of your wedding venue.

Once you have found some wedding venues that suit your style, you can start visiting them to get a first-hand look of what they have to offer – and be sure to bring your camera! I must admit when Steve and I began visiting wedding venues, we were a little discouraged at first. I felt like we would never find a venue that would fit all of our needs, because each one had its pros and cons. The first venue we visited, a modern loft space, had an odd layout, and would not be able to comfortably accommodate the amount of guests we planned to invite. The second venue we visited was a beautiful re-purposed warehouse, but it did not have ample parking for our guests. You may come across similar bumps in the road, but don’t give up hope!

Here are a few questions to keep in mind once you have chosen that perfect wedding venue:

-Do you have to choose an outside caterer, or do they provide on-site catering services?

-Would you have to supply your own alcohol, or do they offer packages that include this?

-Do they have any wedding decorations (centerpieces, etc.) that you would be able to use for your reception? If so, is there any additional set-up fee if you choose to use them?

-Do they provide linens and chairs or if you will have to rent these from an outside vendor?

-Would you be able to hold your rehearsal at the venue prior to your wedding day (if you choose to have your ceremony/reception at the same location)?

-Are there any restrictions with the space (for example: no confetti, etc.)

-Is there a cake cutting fee? (some venues will add on an additional fee per person for cutting and serving your wedding cake)

-Is there a contingency plan? (should there be inclement weather, and your ceremony was to take place outside)

Do you have any other helpful tips to offer our fellow brides-to-be who are still searching for their perfect wedding venue? I’d love to hear them!

And if you’re still planning, or just beginning to plan your wedding, be sure to check out our wedding planning tips

All the best,

Kristi

Wedding Planning Step 2: Your Preliminary Guest List

Oct 24, 2012

My fiancé Steve and I

My fiancé Steve and I

Hello my fellow brides-to-be! I am so excited to say that Steve and I have started to plan our wedding day! After getting engaged in the summer of 2010 (right outside of the Little Things office), my fiancé and I have set our wedding date for September 21, 2013, and we found ourselves asking, “Where do we begin?” Thanks to Erica’s extremely helpful ‘Wedding Checklist’, we now have a step-by-step guide to keep us on track. We have recently chosen our wedding venue, Michael Anthony’s in Jersey City, so now we are on to the next step – planning the guest list!

There are a few questions that you and your fiancé should ask each other before making your guest list. For example, do you envision an intimate gathering with close family and friends, or a huge bash? Steve and I do not have particularly large families, and we are both on the same page about the type of wedding we would like to have – a gathering of our close family and friends.  With that being decided, we will be inviting close to 100 guests to our wedding. After you and your fiancé have decided on an approximate number of guests, you can start to discuss how the two of you will break up the guest list. Which one of you has the larger family? Which has more friends to invite?  Once you have discussed these important factors, you will be able to see which one of you may need a little more space on the guest list.

Now on to the next step– putting together a guest list! The first people you will add would of course be your immediate families. I would start out with listing your parents, grandparents, siblings and their spouses, etc. After you have listed your closest family members, you should then list your Bridal Party (+ guests) if any of your Bridal Party members are single.  A great resource to use to get started is our guest list worksheet which you can download and print.

Once these guests are listed, you and your fiancé should begin to add extended family members, co-workers, mutual friends, and college/school friends to your guest list. If you are approaching or have exceeded your approximate number of invited guests, you and your fiancé must discuss where you may be able to make some cuts to the list.

Cutting down your wedding guest list is no easy task, but in order to stay within your budget, you may need to make a few adjustments. First, I would go over the list with your fiancé, and assign each person the letter A or B. The A’s are the definite invites, and will include your immediate family and closest friends. The B’s are for the remaining guests on your list. You and your fiancé can begin to cut down the B’s by asking yourselves a few questions:  Are you close to this person? When is the last time you saw them? Would you truly be upset if they were not there to celebrate your wedding day? Once you have answered these questions for each of the B’s, you and your fiancé should be able to make some substantial cuts to your guest list.

There are several other ways to cut your final guest list. You can start by omitting high school/college friends that you do not really keep in touch with, and will probably never see again. Also, are you both working in large offices/companies? If so, don’t feel obligated to invite everyone in the office! You can eliminate all of your co-workers and business associates from your guest list, or keep it simple by inviting just your immediate supervisor(s).

Finally, don’t beat yourself up about not being able to invite everyone to your wedding. Of course in a perfect world, you wouldn’t need to cut back on any aspect of your special day – but sometimes that is just not possible (unless you’re Kim Kardashian!) No matter what, your wedding day will be one of the most memorable days of your life, and your friends and family will be there to share it with you!

Stay tuned for next week’s installment on our wedding planning process – choosing your perfect venue!

All the best,

Kristi

How to Have a Tea Party

Oct 10, 2011

The trend of hosting a tea party for bridal showers is growing more popular every year.  I attended what is also known as a high tea, and it really is the perfect theme for a bridal shower:  the perfect combination of girly, chic, cute and elegant.

Tea parties are best to host during the late morning or early afternoon.  Most tea parties don’t include full course meals.  Instead, serve finger foods such as cheese and crackers, cookies, Biscotti, scones, petite fours, cupcakes (on a tier looks beautiful!), cucumber sandwiches, and even soup (French onion is my favorite!).

Puzzled as to where you should host your tea party?  If you’re looking for a venue, tea houses and tea rooms are becoming increasingly popular.  Do a little research to find the closest one in your area.  Of course, you can always host a tea party at someone’s home or any other venue you can find.  But tea houses provide a much more appropriate environment.  You’ll find a lot of them use antique teapots and tea sets – many of which don’t match for a creative, eclectic feel.

Of course, you’ll serve tea at your tea party!  If you’re hosting the affair at a tea house, you won’t have to worry too much about what tea you’ll serve or how to serve it – the tea house will take care of all of that, including the food.  But if you’re hosting the party at a home, consider having a tea bar.  Arrange hot water dispensers and a large variety of tea out for your guests to choose from.  Besides tea bags, you can serve loose tea with infusers handy as well – I’ve found most people haven’t had the chance of making their own tea with an infuser, and I personally find it more fun.

Don’t forget – you’ll need tea party favors!  Popular tea favors include tea infusers, but I recommend giving your guests a personalized tin of loose tea along with it, since most people use tea bags over loose tea.  Or you can send your guests along with a personalized tea bag, any other tea themed favor, or even some personalized Biscotti.

So invite all the ladies to put on their prettiest dresses – it’ll be just like playing tea party when you were little girls!

Hope this blog provided a lot of inspiration for anyone planning a bridal shower.  – Kelsey

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“Will You Marry Me?”: 5 Great Proposal Ideas

May 5, 2010

So, it’s time to pop the question?  Well, gentlemen, we know what you’re going through.  You’re asking yourself a million and one questions – How do I ask her?  When do I ask her?  Where do I ask her?  Some guys worry that their ideas are a little too over the top, where others may think they’re being just a bit too boring.  Here are five great ways to propose perfectly.  Don’t forget to shop for  wedding favors while planning your wedding!

1.  Popular among celebrities, but only if you have an extra buck or two in your pocket:  Have a plane sky-write your proposal.  It’s costly, but you can really surprise her by just asking her to take a walk where she can see it.  You also have to remember that the weather forecast isn’t always set in stone.  On the bright side, you won’t have to worry about stuttering or accidentally sneezing in the middle of asking her.

2.   A classic idea for the sports fanatics is to propose on the big screen at a sports game.  Years back this may have been unique, but nowadays it seems so many people do it that it’s unoriginal.  You also have to remember that if you get rejected, it’s in front of thousands of people.

3.  It seems that beach weddings are becoming more and more popular, and here at Little Things we’ve noticed that our Personalized Tiger Clam Trinket Box has been cleverly engraved with “Will You Marry Me?” and used as ring boxes to propose on more than one occasion.  We couldn’t think it to be more adorable when men call us up excited and nervous to use this idea to propose.  Aw!

4.  Couples who eat Chinese food regularly out also seem to think of ways to incorporate a proposal on a night out at their favorite restaurant.  If you’re able to actually remove the fortune from inside a real cookie and stick another one in that says “Will You Marry Me?”, or just have a cookie custom made, then go for it!  For a great alternative idea, our Personalized Silver Plated Fortune Cookie Box can be engraved with the words as well, or you can even scribble it on the blank fortune paper that comes inside of it.

5.  Finally, for the ever traditional man, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking your love to the first place you met, or where you had your first date to propose.  By doing this you’re assured that your proposal will be meaningful and memorable.  Of course there are a million different ways to propose, but only you will know what works best for you and what will be appreciated by your significant other.  Good luck and best wishes!

With Love <3 Kelsey

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Leash In The Cats and Dogs, We Mean – In-laws!

Sep 17, 2008

Oops, maybe we shouldn’t call them cats and dogs, but when they fight, we just can’t help but see the comparison. If you’re lucky, your parents and your husband’s parents will never fight throughout the wedding planning or the actual wedding.

Well, we can’t all be that lucky. Chances are, parents are going to clash. Stress often causes ordinarily calm people to become a tad angry or annoyed, and as you know, wedding planning can be quite stressful.

As Dr. Dale Atkins, in “Getting Hitched? Tips to Handle the In-laws” notes, “Wedding planning can bring out the best and the worst in people, and understanding what is important, and why it is important to each member of the family is essential.”

Here’s some tips to keep the sanity in your life:

  • Go in with a good attitude. Just because you’ve rented movies like “Monster In-Law” and heard horror stories about in-laws doesn’t mean that your situation will be the same. Put a smile on your face and hug the new people you’re about to share your life with.
  • Talk it out. So your in-laws want a light blue theme and you’ve always dreamed of seafoam green. Rather than feeling like they simply have it in for you, explain your side. Chances are, they’re probably just didn’t know what your intentions were anyway. If they still overstep you, be sure to firmly state that this is you and your fiance’s wedding, not theirs.
  • Pick your battles. Arguing over the wedding theme is one thing, bickering over whether to have pot stickers over potato pancakes is another – don’t fight over little matters, you don’t need the added stress. Be sure to assert your opinion, but don’t go into a screaming match with your mother-in-law over small details. Plus, it’ll show your maturity and calm everyone down.
  • Don’t take sides. You may be tempted to side with your parents instead of your fiance. Don’t! Remember, you’re about to be married and this is the time you need to be united with your fiance. Don’t bad-mouth your parents and in-laws. Instead, listen objectively, and offer ways to help and find a solution that is agreeable for all parties.
  • Daughter-in-laws, spend quality time with mother-in-laws. We’re guessing looking at bridal accessories like wedding veils, cute wedding t-shirts, wedding flip flops, and more will have you both excited and looking forward to your wedding! Spend some quality time at LittleThingsFavors.com, have a cup of tea, and check out our fun products!

Join Us Over At Ning!

Sep 16, 2008

Hey brides and brides-to-be! Come and join us over at our brand new Ning.com page at http://littlethingsfavors.ning.com . It’s full of great wedding favor ideas and a forum so you can share your favorite wedding favor ideas, and feel free to start a new discussion about all those wedding thoughts in your head!

We created it with you in mind – so start posting and interacting with each other!

Wedding Guest Bag Tips & Ideas

Aug 7, 2008

wedding-welcome-bags-4
Welcome to Our Wedding, Wedding Guest Bags

A great way to show your gratitude to your out of town or destination wedding guests is to prepare welcome bags for them.  A rule of thumb is one bag per hotel room, or one per single or one per couple sharing a room.  You should begin to gather your items at least 2 months before your wedding, and assemble them one to three weeks before it.

Once your bags are assembled make sure to give them to the hotel manager with a list of guests to receive them.  You could have your welcome bags distributed in one of three ways: when guests check in, already in the guest rooms when guests arrive, or you can have an hotel employee deliver the bags after your guests’ arrival.

Ideas to place in your guest bags:

The Wedding Hunt: Searching For The Perfect Wedding Items

Jul 25, 2008

Part of the fun in planning your wedding is the hunt: the search for the perfect item. (Sometimes at the perfect price too!) It reminds me of the days of scavenger hunts – you have a list, you know the general areas to look, and the search goes on. Fun! Fun! Fun!

And then there is the thrill of finding the items you were looking for – like the perfect dress! Or the thrill from finding a completely unique item you can incorporate into your wedding. Or the thrill of finding the perfect matching items – it completely delights you and you know it will “wow” your guests.

You know what I’m talking about too! (I know you do, it gets me just as excited as it does you!) Finding bargains, shopping online, discovering the cutest pink heart wedding favor boxes or the trendy monogrammed hot cocoa packets to add to your tables.

What are you looking for? Congrats or Farewell wedding wands? A beautiful silk wedding fan? Silver wedding bells to ring for a kiss? Well look no further because at Little Things, we carry all the little things to make your wedding or event memorable and unique! I get so excited when I discover items to add to our collection, and I’m sure you will be too. Just check out our new wedding favors or our wedding favors as seen in bridal magazines – and I’m sure you’ll knock off a thing or two off your Wedding Hunt list.

Happy Planning and Have a Great Weekend!
Hugs,
Erica

When To Send Out Your Save the Dates & Invites

Jul 23, 2008

fleur de lis save the date magnets

Fleur de Lis Save The Date Magnets (10 Colors Available)

“I just got engaged and I am not sure when to send out our invitations and save-the-dates.  Can you help?”

Although the timeline for sending out invitations and save the dates can be a daunting task, here are some basic guidelines for you to follow:

Engagement Party – send out invites 3 to 4 weeks before the celebration

Save the Dates – 6 months before your wedding, 8 months if your planning a destination wedding.

Wedding Invitations – 6 weeks before the wedding, 8 weeks if your guests have to travel to your venue.

Bridal Shower Invites - 4 to 6 weeks before the shower date

Thank You Notes – traditionally within 1 month of receiving, however it is acceptable up to 3 months after receiving the gift.