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Wedding Planning

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,


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,


Wedding Planning Checklist – Your Wedding Planning Guide

Oct 19, 2012

Are you planning a wedding?  Here at Little Things Favors, we are always “planning” a wedding.  Right now our Office Manager, Kristi, is engaged with her wedding scheduled for September 21, 2013 – so she is just in the process of starting her planning.  Our former assistant was just married this past May, and I am always daydreaming of what my perfect wedding would be like if I was to get married again!  We live, eat and breathe weddings around here.  Over coffee this morning we were just talking about non-traditional centerpieces and unique offbeat photo shoot locations. (Look for a blog on that next week!)

So when it comes to planning, we know brides have a lot of work ahead of them!  It’s a stressful but fun filled time – and it is one that every bride-to-be should enjoy without turning into a bridezilla.  However, with so many tasks your to-do-list may feel a bit overwhelming.  Where do you start?  What do you do?  What’s the first thing to plan?  How do you plan a wedding? What do you ask vendors?

With all this bridal information thrown at you, you may feel an information overload!  Don’t worry!  I’ve got you covered.  The wedding planning process is quite simple – all you need is a wedding binder and a wedding planning checklist to keep you in focus of your tasks.  “Ugh, a wedding binder?”, You may say.  (I know I said the exact same thing when someone recommended it to me).  You may not want a binder, you may choose to use color coded folders, a notebook, a journal, and online site – even an excel spreadsheet.

Use whatever method you like to use to organize your wedding – but you need this for two reasons:

  1. A place to keep your inspiration ideas.  When you visit a florist, for instance – you need to show them what you had in mind.  A binder or folder for each vendor will keep all of your ideas, photos, clippings and inspiration in one place.  Prefer to do it online?  Open a Pinterest account – but I would still encourage you to print up copies of the inspiration photos to give to your vendors so they know what you want.  They probably won’t go on your Pinterest account – but they will look at samples you physically provide.
  2. A place to keep your contracts & receipts. If you’re anything like me, you misplace receipts, contracts and slips.  A folder or binder keeps all the important documents you need in one handy place.  You truly do need something to hold your contracts – they are binding legal documents and if something God forbid should happen that affects your vendors, the only recourse you will have is to know your contracts and have copies on hand.

Now for the next steps ….

wedding planning

The budget is the very next thing you need to work on.  Ask your parents how much (if any) they can contribute or if there are certain areas of the wedding they would like to help out with.  Decide how much you and your fiancé can afford without breaking the bank.  Half that number, and that’s your ballpark figure for your reception and catering.  Once you know your budget you can ballpark out how many guests you can invite and how much per head you can spend on food.  After you have these figures you are ready to scout out reception locations.

Stay tuned, this is the beginning of the wedding planning process and we’re going to continue to blog in this series, every step of the process to help you along the way.

For this step we encourage you to print up our handy wedding planning checklists - these are 10 different printable PDF checklists that you can use to help plan your wedding.

Also be sure to print up our wedding vendor checklists - with questions for each of your vendors these are useful to have when you interview your wedding vendors.

And stay tuned – we have seating chart templates coming soon that you can download and use to help plan your reception seating.

Have a great weekend wedding planning!

- Erica & Team Little Things

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

Oct 18, 2012

Lace Hearts Filigree Paper Cupcake Wraps

Lace Hearts Filigree Paper Cupcake Wraps

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake day!  Did you know that today we celebrate these scrumptious little morsels of sweet goodness?  We at Little Things, LOVE chocolate – we don’t need a holiday to enjoy it – any day will do to indulge in chocolate in our office.  That’s why we were delighted when we found out there is a day that we can celebrate by eating more chocolate!

Let’s face it, who doesn’t like chocolate or cupcakes?  (If you are one of the rare ones who doesn’t like either, stop reading now!)

Cupcakes are so fabulous for so many events – parties, showers and yes, even weddings.  They are simple to make, easy to decorate and fun to eat.  Just look at these gorgeous little treats – any guest would be happy to eat one of these bad boys!

If you’re not a baker, (and its ok, not everyone is) go ahead and buy a better than average cupcake mix in a grocery store (I can vouch that BJs carries delicious Ghirardelli cupcake mix and frosting that is big enough to make a batch for a party) and whip some up for your next party.  Also purchase a frosting bag kit (I personally use Wilton’s Cupcake Decorating Set) which makes it easy to pipe out your frosting like a pro.  Trust me if you can move your wrist in circles, you can make cupcakes that look exactly like these shown.  Decorate with a little sugared glitter and use something like our Lace Hearts Filigree Paper Cupcake Wraps to dress them up.  Don’t forget if you are having a formal affair like a wedding, you’ll also want to offer personalized cocktail napkins and a pretty display stand for guests to ogle over your little treats. And if you want your guests to take home one of them as their wedding favors, you also will need some pretty boxes to carry them home in such as our Cupcake Favor Boxes set.

Cupcake Favor Boxes

Cupcake Favor Boxes

Personalized Cocktail Napkins

Personalized Cocktail Napkins

Grand Display Tower for Cupcakes Love Bird Damask Design

Display Tower for Cupcakes









While we’re at chocolate cupcakes, I came across these mouth watering cupcakes and gorgeous cupcake display which I think is perfect for our rustic / woodland and country themed brides:

Chocolate Cupcakes & Rustic Display Stand from

We love peanut butter and chocolate combinations and just looking at Sweetopia’s blog makes me want to go home and whip up a batch tonight.  As a matter of fact she’s got her Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing recipe listed over there as well for these cupcakes so if you’d like to try your hand at baking, these sound like a yummy way to start.

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

Wedding Planning Checklists

Oct 7, 2012

If your just starting your journey into the world of wedding planning, you may have tons of questions and not know where to begin.  If you’ve already started your guest list, have a general idea of how many people will attend and know the date you want to get married – the next step is to start interviewing your reception and ceremony locations before you start booking your vendors.

This process can be quite overwhelming – so much so that many brides become a “bitch” to their friends, family and even fiancé - or as affectionately known in the wedding industry, they become a “bridezilla”.  You can be in control and be the Boss without being bitchy, by knowing in advance exactly what you want, what you can afford and most of all, knowing the right questions to ask your vendors.

Don’t waste your time or your vendor’s time by booking an appointment and arriving without knowing what to ask or what you are looking for.  Approach every vendor with a plan in mind.  Your time is as valuable as there’s and a well prepared bride is a pleasure to work with.  Don’t be afraid to go to them with visuals of what you are looking for and an open mind to see what they have creatively designed.  And while you’re happily dreaming of your perfect wedding you may forget to ask some important questions, so show that not only you are the Bride but the Boss too, by being well prepared and printing out our 10 Wedding Vendor Checklists - consisting of vendor specific questions every bride should print out and take with them when wedding planning.

Will Guests Use Place Card Holders After My Wedding?

Apr 9, 2012

Although place card holders may not be your first priority when you begin your wedding planning, keep in mind that it’s the little things that matter! Place card holders are a must for every wedding and should reflect your personal style or the theme or colors of your wedding. Whether you want a place card holder that is elegant, whimsical or even completely personalized, there’s a wide array of styles to compliment any bride’s taste.

Contrary to many beliefs, the wedding card holders do not lose their purpose after directing the guests their seats.  After helping to maintain order at your wedding reception, they can serve as table décor or be used to hold photos or memos in your office, at work or around your home. Your guests will be sure to appreciate these trinkets during and after your wedding.

One of our most popular place card holders are these Small Chalkboard Frames (Pack of 5) which can double up as a writing board after the wedding.  Also popular are more traditional card holders, such as the Chic Silver Place Card / Photo Frame that can later hold a picture. Whichever style you choose, these favors will add lovely accents to your wedding tables.

And to be sure you’re not breaking the bank, check out our place card holders under $1!

Happy wedding planning and remember it’s the small details that count!  Be sure to check out all of the wedding favors we have to offer!


Choosing Your Winter Wedding Colors

Nov 17, 2011

If I was planning a wedding, I would definitely pick the winter season as my first choice.  I would also hope that it snowed on the day of my nuptials! (I think it’s so magical!) I know many of you probably think, I am crazy, but you are also talking to someone who travels to Helsinki, Finland on a yearly basis in the dead of winter.   So if you are like me and love the cold and the snow, but aren’t sure what colors to select for your winter wedding (I know light blue, white and silver are so yesterday) I have some great tips for you in my article Winter Wedding Colors and Ideas.

This blog is designed to expand on my article which instructs you to select a winter photograph and pull the colors and elements from it to design your perfect winter wedding.  If you read my article, the fourth photo is my favorite! I love the richness of color in it.  So from the photo, I have designed a Winter Wedding Color Inspiration board for you!

Winter Wedding Colors & Ideas

Winter Wedding Colors & Ideas

As you can see the top center is the photo I was working with, the 4 colors I pulled from it.  I selected David’s Bridal Horizon Blue for the bridesmaid dresses, a stunning Navy tux for the men, red roses for the aisle runner, bouquets, church decorations and wedding favors.  I’m not sure if I would go with Blue (Unknown designer) or the Red Louboutins – both are stunning! Red berries would accent the rustic centerpieces and if I could splurge on my groom I would go with a handsome navy and steel watch as his wedding gift.

So don’t be afraid to pick colors that aren’t “traditional” winter wedding colors – if you select your colors based on a natural winter themed palette, you can’t go wrong.

A Honey Themed Wedding

Sep 30, 2011

Many of our honey themed wedding favors boast that your love is “as sweet as can bee” – just like honey!  A honey themed wedding is a great idea, even for those who don’t love honey.  I personally love honey, so for me, a honey themed wedding would not only be cute but a reflection of my personality as well.  Here are some great ideas:

A honey themed wedding would be best to host in the spring or early fall when the weather is not too warm yet not too chilly either.  Since honey is often used in the morning in tea, on toast, etc., this is a great idea for those who are not having a wedding in the evening and even better if the wedding is outside.  After all, honey is derived from bees, and bees live outside…you get the picture, right?

You can incorporate the color of amber in many ways:  the bridesmaid dresses, your eye makeup, even the flowers (mums, tiger lilies, carnations).  Amber is a warm color, and if you have your wedding in the early fall, will coordinate beautifully with the natural colors of the changing leaves.

Your food, of course, should also have honey!  There are so many ways to incorporate honey into your food:  honey glazed ham, toast with honey, honey in tea, honey buns – whatever you can think of, or whatever you enjoy eating honey with.

And of course, your wedding favors can also reflect honey.  You could fill your own mason jars with honey, top them with a vintage-inspired cloth and seal the jar with a ribbon, rubber band and/or personalized tag.  Check out our honey wedding favors for personalized honey jars, honey scented candles, and much more!

<3 Kelsey

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Engagement Parties 101

Nov 9, 2010

Everyone in the office is attending Alecia’s engagement party this weekend, and we couldn’t be more trhilled for it! All the talk about engagement parties led to us asking questions; and we found answers. Lately I’ve been writing a ton of articles about engagement parties: how to plan them, what to wear, what to give as a gift, and proper etiquette.

Many argue that the engagement party is a dying tradition, yet there are many couples who opt to have this pre-wedding party. To put it simply, the engagement party is to congratulate the newly engaged couple, and to begin creating bonds between the families of the bride and groom. Here are the basics you need to know when planning an engagement party:

- These parties can be thrown anywhere–from five star restaurants, to banquet halls or even a backyard with the BBQ going.

- Anyone can throw the engagement party, though very rarely do the maid of honor or best man host it as they take care of the bridal shower, bachelor and bachelorette parties. Usually the parents of the bride or groom, or another close family member or friend throws the party. Even the couple can throw the party for themselves.

- Dress accordingly to the weather and location of the party. No matter where the party is taking place, definitely avoid jeans and sneakers. The most casual should be khakis and a polo for the guys; a skirt and fancier shoes for the ladies.

- Typically it is thrown three months after the proposal; six months to a year prior to the wedding. Everyone invited to the engagement party should be invited to the wedding.

So there’s an engagement party in a nutshell. Check out our pre-wedding articles for all of the latest engagement party tips! I’m so excited for Alecia’s party this weekend. I already have my attire picked out, and have her gift wrapped and ready to go. Tune in next week to read about her party and get all of the juicy details. Congratulations, Alecia!

Don’t forget: if you’re planning an engagement party, you’ll need engagement party favors. Though most of our wedding favors can double for engagement parties too!

All my love <3 Kelsey

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Announcing Our New Daily Deal

Sep 15, 2010

Daily Wedding Deal

Daily Wedding Deal

Save a bunch on your wedding favors and wedding accessories with our new Daily Deal.  Every day, once per day, we post a NEW deal for our customers including wedding favors and wedding accessories. Above you will see some of the upcoming daily deals.

Visit us often and Save 20% on each daily deal – because its not just a deal – it’s a steal!