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Wedding Planning

Wedding Planning Step 2: Your Preliminary Guest List

Oct 24, 2012

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

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 www.sweetopia.net

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 Their 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!

Anna

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!

As Featured On The Today Show – Weddings Today

Aug 25, 2010

Our Favors Featured On The Today Show - Weddings Today

Our Favors Featured On The Today Show - Weddings Today

We’re all thrilled in the office, we feel like little TV stars! In case you missed it, many of our wedding favors were featured on The Today Show with Stylist, Bobbie Thomas.  You can see the clip here in case you missed it: Weddings Today, Featuring Our Double Duty Favors

But for our readers who want to know exactly what was featured here is a list of the items seen on the show:

A) Silver Bamboo Style Place Card Frame – These silver polyresin frames in a sleek and elegant bamboo design will make your place card presentation unique, and are an excellent choice as wedding favors.  Holds a 2″ x 3″ photo or place card.  $1.25 each, Orders over 144 pieces, .99 cents each.

B) Vintage Design Damask Mint Tins – Give your guests a vintage inspired, damask design mint tin as your party or wedding favors (.70 cents each).  We added our Blank Double Faced Satin Favor Ribbon in hot pink then sealed the top with our Set of 35 Small Round Monogram Labels in our Strawberry Pink, Modern Lowercase font.

C) Scattered Rhinestone Place Card Frame – These attractive place card frames pull double duty as inexpensive wedding favors that also welcome your guests to their seats Holds a 2″ x 3″ photo or place card.  $1.75 each, 40 pieces or more .99 cents each

D) Round Silver Mint Tin Wedding Favor Boxes – They’re ideal favors for any celebration and It’s easy to add your own special touches – customize the color of what’s inside the mint tins to match your color scheme, add a personalized sticker or adorn them with a bow.  .50 cents each.  We added our Blank Double Faced Satin Favor Ribbon in plum then sealed the top with our Set of 35 Small Round Theme Labels in the Plum color.

E) Candy Jars - at .99 cents each complete with personalized labels you can’t beat this deal.  Available in Themes, Monograms and many, many modern designs.

F) Mini Favor Cube Boxes – come in: Aqua (as shown in pic on right), Black (as shown to the left of the Aqua box), Brown, Pink, and White. ($9.90 – $7.20 Per Set of 12, quantity priced). On the Aqua Boxes we featured our Rhinestone Monogram Stickers and on the Black Boxes we featured our Set of 12 Personalized Round Cherry Blossom Labels.

G) Our Chair Boxes – These adorable little chairs are available in Gold, Silver or White and can be used as a place card holder (vellum strips are included) and inside the seat can hold candies, chocolates or even a truffle! (Prices range from $11.20 to $4.75 per Set of 12)

H) Monogram Pyramid Favor Boxes – Printed with your monogram for free, Pack of 50 boxes.  $49.00 first pack of 50, $39.00 orders over 100 boxes.  (That’s .39 cents per printed box!) We added our Blank Double Faced Satin Favor Ribbon.

I) Elegant Arc Photo Frame and Placeholder – Elegantly brushed metal curves gently around your guest’s name and table number. The soft bend of this unique place card frame wedding favor catches the candlelight at your reception, and later serves as a photo frame for your guest’s photographs. $1.70, order 96 Pieces or more and they are .99 cents each!

J) Silver Heart Shaped Mint Tin Wedding Favor Boxes – Packed with love, these heart shaped boxes / mint tins can hold tiny treasures and heartfelt sentiments inside .60 cents each.  We added to the top our Set of 35 Small Round Theme Labels in the Tangerine color.

K) Beautifully Beaded Place Card & Photo Frame – Shown in Gold but also available in Silver.  Both are top sellers! These exquisite place card frames made of metal and glass will brighten up your reception tables and your guests lives! Starts at $1.70 and drops to .99 cents each when you order 96 pieces or more!

L) Square Clear Top Mint Tin Favors – Popular as favors for all types of occasions, mints tins give you the opportunity to fill them with candies, mints, jordan almonds, confetti or whatever you can imagine. .65 cents each.  We added our Set of 20 Personalized Square Theme Tags or Labels for a personalized touch.

M) Lovebirds Design Photo Coasters and Damask Photo Coasters – insert your place card into the photo area and then guests can take home the coaster to use on their tables at home.  72 or more and their .99 cents each!

We hope you enjoyed the double duty, afforable and stylish wedding favors that were featured on The Today Show.  If you have any questions or would like us to make recommendations for your wedding or event, we would be more than happy to assist you!  Please give us a call at 732-654-5262 or stop by our Showroom on Saturdays at 137 Main Street Sayreville, NJ 08872.  Many Thanks to Bobbie Thomas and The Today Show for featuring us!

- Happily Ever After To You!

Erica :)