What to Wear to a Spring Wedding

The Finer Things came out with a list of suggestions for what to wear to a spring wedding and I must say it’s a great list. I have included it below and added my own two cents as well. 😉

1) Do not wear white or cream. Leave this look for the bride, and the bride only. This an obvious rule but I have seen it broken again and again. Guests are not supposed to wear white because the bride should stand out amongst her guests. It’s a form of respect for the bride and the last thing you want to do is draw negative attention to yourself. Many of the guests will not care. In fact, the bride may not even care, but what if she does? Unless the bride specifically asks you to wear white, do not wear it. It doesn’t matter if your white/cream dress looks nothing like a wedding dress, you still shouldn’t wear it.

Most people know the answer to this question but rather want to know if it is permissible to wear a white top or white pants with a colored skirt, pants or top. Err on the side of caution with this but generally I believe this is acceptable. Ask yourself these questions: Is there anything else in my closet I can wear that does not have white in it? If a group picture were taken of all the guests at the wedding, would I stand out along with the bride in this outfit? Our eyes tend to be drawn to white in pictures. Don’t make the mistake of being the only guest other than the bride standing out in pictures. Your job is to blend in white the guests, not stand out with the bride.

2) If you know what color the bridesmaids will be wearing, try to find a dress that is a different color. If you aren’t sure what they will be wearing, look to the invitation for clues. What color is the invitation? If you receive an invitation with a lavender ribbon, it’s safe to assume that lavender is one of the wedding colors.

3) Choose a look that you will be comfortable sitting, walking and dancing in. If you’re uncomfortable, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the evening. This is such a smart suggestion. If you want to wear five inch heels to the ceremony, throw another pair of shoes in the car to wear to the reception. Also, always bring a shawl or sweater for an indoor wedding or if it is going to be cooler at an outdoor wedding.

4) This might be an obvious rule to follow, but choose a dress that isn’t too revealing or flashy. This is my favorite rule because as obvious as it is, it is another that is broken way too often. Weddings are classy events and the “girls” are not invited, if you know what I mean. It’s just another way that attention is drawn away from the bride and onto…well, you know.

The Finer Things recommended a few dresses to wear and I wanted to include a few I found…

The top three dresses are from ModCloth and the bottom two are from Anthropologie.
And as always, for a black tie or cocktail attire wedding you will need to pick a dress that is much dressier and perhaps floor length. BHLDN is a great place to start. Hope that helps!

Escort Cards, Place Cards and Seating Charts

I recommend reserved seating at any event whether you are having a seated dinner or not. Here’s why. Who your guests sit with and where they sit leaves a lasting impression and can determine whether or not your guests enjoy themselves. You might assume your guests won’t be sitting at their table much and perhaps they won’t but you don’t want your guests feeling left out, stressed out or bummed out because they are sitting next to complete strangers. The only disadvantages to having a seating chart is the necessity to know the status of each and every one of your guests at least two weeks prior to your wedding date and the lack of flexiblity if an unexpected guest does show up. To this I say it is the responsibility of your guests to respond to your invitation. With that said, you should always have an extra table or extra chairs at specific tables to accomodate unexpected guests or dates of guests. That way if a guests does not respond in the appropriate amount of time or shows up unexpectedly s/he will at least have a place to sit.

In order to create a seating chart you must first finalize the layout of your reception. Once this has been determined you can match families and friends together and even request chairs added or taken from specific tables to accomodate your seating arrangements. After you have decided who will be sitting with whom there are several ways you can go about organizing the process so your guests will know where to go when the reception begins. One way to go about doing this is to create two spreadsheets: one with the guests listed alphabetically and the other with the guests listed by table. I then advise that you have a layout of the reception area with all your tables numbered and labeled with the number of chairs at each table. On one of these pages you should make note of any open tables or chairs for your unexpected guests. At the reception, designate at least two people (or more depending on your guest count) to direct guests to their seats using the spreadsheets and layout. This can be your wedding planner, house party or any volunteers who want to help on your wedding day. You can also put a seating chart board on a pedastal at the entrance to the reception where guests can locate their seats themselves. Whoever you place in charge of your guest book can also direct guests to the board. This is a great option if you are trying to save money and don’t want the added costs of escort and place cards.

Speaking of escort and place cards, many of my brides ask me what the difference is between the two. Escort cards are the cards your guests will need to find as soon as they arrive to the reception. It will have your guests’ name and table name or number on the card. Once they find their escort card they will be able to look for their table number at the reception. Escort cards can be written for couples or individuals…whichever you prefer.

Place cards will be at each place setting on the guest tables. When the guests arrive at their tables, the place card will show them exactly which seat to sit in. If you are trying to save money place cards are not necessary and often escort cards can be used as place cards. In this case guests would arrive at their designated table and place their escort card at the seat of their choice.

Escort cards, place cards and table numbers are a great way to incoporate detail into your wedding design. Here are a few examples.

Escort Cards:

Krisit with Luna and Chloe Weddings used pages of a book to represent the table numbers. She says, “”I like the idea of putting the numbers on clothespins as they are easily clipped on to something so your guests can’t lose.” Though not shown, guests names could be written on the other side or bottom of the clothespins.
These antique keys hold the escort cards at this wedding from Ruffled. The bride says “We collected vintage keys and …tied little tags onto each individual key and wrote all our guests’ names and table numbers on them. A friend lent us a gorgeous antique barn board door which we nailed 120 pegs into to hang the keys. Above the door we placed a hand-painted sign that read “You hold the keys to our heart”.

These cards designed by Morgan Gallo Events are a perfect example of escort cards used also as place cards.

These escort cards by Three were created especially for our Fall Photo Shoot last year. This is just one of the many creative ways you can display escort cards.
These apples act as escort cards and could also be used as place cards once guests find their seats. Courtesy of The Knot.

 Place Cards:
I used bundt cakes to hold the place cards for our Fall Photo Shoot.


Here are a few more traditional place card ideas from The Knot.

Martha Stewart always has great inspiration for place card ideas.

Table Numbers:

As you can see from the following ideas from Style Me Pretty, table numbers can easily be incorporated into the theme of your event.

This is a tile turned table number.

Spelling out the number as opposed to using the actual number is just a simple way to make your table numbers unique!

A teacups and a branch were incoporated into creating the stand for this table number.
Table “numbers” don’t necessarily have to be numbers, nor do they have to be a simple card on a stand. You can be as creative as you want when displaying your table numbers in order to add detail and personality to your guest tables.

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

A step-by-step guide on how to change your last name

One of the most common questions I get as a wedding coordinator is how to change your last name after the wedding. It doesn’t seem difficult until you start to realize ALL the cards, accounts and legal documents to which your name is tied. I have been married for 3 years and I still discover old accounts under my last name! So, here is a step-by-step guide* to changing your last name.

1. This is the hard part. Assuming you have already applied for a marriage license, completed the correct documentation and had it signed by a licensed officiant you will need to return the license after the wedding ceremony to the county clerk’s office from where you originally obtained it. This can prove to be problematic if you are married in a different county, state or even country from where you reside. You are permitted to mail your certificate to the county clerk’s office, but of course this means it will take longer for you to obtain a copy because they will have to mail you a copy in return. My suggestion to you: return your license to the county clerk’s office as soon as possible whether that be the day after your wedding (County Clerk’s offices are not open on Saturday or Sunday) or the day you get home from your honeymoon. Many resorts require a valid marriage certificate in order for you to receive the honeymoon rate so you might have to take it along with you. Furthermore, if you have booked your honeymoon travel in your new name (I recommend that you do not do this but if you have) you will need to take your marriage certificate along to prove your new identity. Some county clerk’s offices will issue you an official copy the same day you return the license but every state and county has different requirements regarding marriage licenses so be sure to ask the county clerk’s office when you obtain your marriage license how long they suppose it will take for you to get a copy. Regardless of whether or not you are in a rush to get your name changed, you must mail your marriage license in within a certain period of time (usually 30 days) in order for you to be considered legally married by the state. You should also order more than one copy if you intend to go ahead and change your name on your bank accounts and passport.

2. To change your driver’s license you will need to visit the nearest DPS office (Texas Department of Public Safety) with your marriage license. You will have to pay a small fee (around $10) for the name change. I also recommend bringing along your current driver’s license just in case.

3. Once you have received an official copy of your marriage license you can take it to the local Social Security office and the clerk can issue you a new social security card that reflects the name change. You will need to bring your official copy of your marriage license as well as a valid id (which can be issued in your old name and includes your driver’s license, a U.S. Passport or any other state issued identification). To speed up the process, you can print and fill out an application online before visiting the Social Security office. After processing your request the SSA will mail you a new Social Security Card.

4. Now you can change your bank accounts. This will vary depending on your bank but in order to ensure accuracy I recommend you visit the nearest branch location of your bank and handle the name change there. You may want to call your bank ahead of time to ask what type of identification you will need to bring with you. Many will require only your marriage license and a valid government issued ID but some may require your Social Security Card as well. I did not have all of my identification when I went to visit my bank and was forced to keep my maiden name and my married name on my new card until my bank was able to see my Social Security Card with my name changed.
Those are the major name changes you will need to make. Don’t even get me started on your passport, your company’s payroll and every single website you’ve ever registered for (amazon.com, ebay.com, gmail.com, etc.). Also, if you are a licensed professional you will need to contact the licensing board to request a name change as well.
I hope that helps and clears up at least a little of the confusion involved in changing your name. When in doubt, just call the appropriate government office and ask questions!

*This guide is for brides in the state of Texas only. Each state has different laws and regulations concerning name changes and marriage licenses.