Saturday, November 21, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - The Legalities to Remember

As lovely and personal and exciting this wedding is going to be, the wise couple remembers that it much more.  Your very personal and beautifully planned event is also a civil event in which a new legal entity is created.  There are a number of factors to consider once the bride and the groom are pronounced man and wife.
·         The prenuptial agreement- While it may not be romantic to consider one, there are circumstances in which a contract concerning expectations or property can be very helpful.  These agreements give the couple an opportunity to cover certain circumstances.  For example, it is a second marriage for both and each has children from a former marriage, an agreement might protect the rights of each partner's children, or the parents of the bride or the groom may be giving the couple a valuable antique.  The family may wish to have this heirloom remain in the family in the event of divorce.  A prenuptial agreement may state how you will handle savings or how household expenses will be shared.  Such agreements should be well thought out and reviewed by a lawyer, signed by both parties plus witnesses and notarized.
·         The marriage license -   Know that each state has its own requirements for blood tests, waiting time and age of consent , so do check with public officials for all the details.
·         The marriage certificate - Following your ceremony, your witnesses and the officiant (and in some states the bride and groom as well) will all sign the civil certificate.  Some couples may include the signing in their ceremony (a Quaker custom).  Your church or synagogue may also issue its own certificate.  Generally your officiant will file your marriage certificate with the proper authorities and you'll receive a copy some weeks later by mail.
·         Changing your name -Once married the bride can choose to use her husband's surname, continue to use her maiden name, or combine the two to suit the couple's choice.  If any change of name is done, you'll need to record than name change on all legal documents and papers.  Here are a few:
*Driver's license                        *Car Registration
*Passport                                 *Social Security card
*Insurance Policies                    *Will
*Voter Registration card            *Checking Account
*Savings Accounts                    *Credit Cards
*Stock Certificates                    *Employee I.D. cards
*Post Office

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Bridal showers have a long tradition.  They are parties with a purpose!  They are given to help the couple outfit their new home or assemble a trousseau.  It is a vestige of the age-old dowry, or wealth which a woman brought to her marriage.  It is generally given by women who are good friends of the bride-to-be, sometimes by a relative or most often by the honor attendant or bridesmaids.  They may be given by relative of the groom's family and are a nice way for the bride-to-be to meet members of her new family.

While at one time showers were given to help the new couple furnish necessities, today's showers are given around a variety of themes.
·         Kitchen showers are probably the most popular because of the wide range of items that nearly every couple can use.  One variation on the kitchen theme asks each guest to bring a favorite recipe along with one item needed for its preparation (e.g., a flour sifter with a cake recipe).  Many hostesses sent out uniform recipe cards in advance so they can be assembled in an easy to use box or notebook.
·         For an around-the-clock shower, each guest is assigned an hour of the day and then brings a gift to match along with a note explaining why that gift was chosen.  There are many possibilities:  an alarm clock, coffee mugs, newspaper or magazine subscriptions, a casserole dish for dinner, a bottle of wine for the cocktail hour, comfy slippers for evening lounging.
·         A service shower is perfect for the couple that seems to have everything.  Guests pledge a way to help in the future - a catered dinner for two, an offer to paint the living room of the house they're redecorating, Saturday morning yard work, a weekend at a guest's lake cabin.
·         An office shower could be perfect for the woman with a busy career:  a leather-bound weekly planner for the home, engraved stationery,attache' case, books, gift certificate for a Kindle, a week's worth of dinners for two prepared, frozen and clearly marked.
·         Women only showers are naturals for lingerie, sewing accessories, closet and/or drawer organizers, gift certificates for beauty salon or masseuse services.
·         Couples showers suggest his-and-her tools for household maintenance, plants, wines/liquors, sporting goods and games.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - What if IT is canceled?

No one wants to ever talk about the possibility of a wedding being canceled, but for a variety of reasons it can - and does - happen.  There are guidelines we can share with brides to handle this difficult time in as pleasant and civil manner as possible.  Everyone involved finds planning a joyful occasion but no one ever plans to cancel or postpone that event.  Our experienced consultants can ease the stress and guide your moves to handle the situation with dispatch.
If a formal wedding is postponed or canceled after the invitations have gone out, all invited guests must be notified as soon as possible.  When time permits, this is best done with printed cards, rush-ordered from your stationer.  Here are some samples:
·         If there has been a death in the family, the card would read:
Mrs. George Franklin Davis
regrets that the death of
Mr. Davis
obliges her to recall the invitations
to the wedding of her daughter
Saturday, the second of April

An invitation recalled in this manner just indicates that the wedding will not take place as originally planned.  It may take place as a small family ceremony since a large wedding may be considered inappropriate.  The couple may wear their formal attire but they will usually have honor attendants only.

·         If a wedding is postponed and a new date is set, new invitations may be sent out with this copy:
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas John Smith
announce that the marriage of their daughter
Carolyn Jane
Edward Patrick Murphy
has been postponed from
Saturday, the 11th of May
Saturday, the 25th of May
at four o'clock
Grace Presbyterian Church

·         If the wedding is canceled, invitations need to be recalled promptly with an engraved or printed card which reads:
Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Benjamin Clark
announce that the marriage of their daughter
Eileen Marie
Harold Robert Smith
will not take place.

If time is short, invitations may be recalled by personal notes or phone calls.  Notes should be patterned after these formats and signed by the person issuing the invitations.   Phone calls should be made in the name of the bride's parents.  Reasons other than death or illness in the family are not usually mentioned.

·         What do I do with the gifts I have received?
When a wedding is merely postponed, send an announcement to all the guests, keeping the presents you've already received.  When a wedding is canceled, however, every gift - even those that have been monogrammed - must go back to the person who sent it.  A note expressing gratitude and explaining that the wedding will not take place should accompany the gift, but you do not need to give a reason for the cancellation.

Monday, October 12, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Wedding Customs

We are frequently asked about the origin of many of the customs that are apart of today's weddings.
These customs make weddings unique and special and offer the comfort that comes from replicating many of the actions that generations have made traditions.

*Why a wedding ring?
The whole idea of a circular shape with no beginning and no end has been the symbol of unending love since the early Egyptians.  Early rings were made of hemp or braided rushes which had to be replaced frequently.  Early Romans made their rings out of iron which symbolized the durability of marriage.  Eventually, gold became the standard for wedding rings.  Today the symbolism remains while the ring itself may be made from silver or platinum or onyx in addition to gold.

*Why the third finger of the left hand?
The most widely accepted reason is that ancient peoples believed that the vein in the third finger of the left hand ran directly to the heart.  In the Middle Ages, during the ceremony, bridegrooms placed the ring on three of the brides’ fingers in turn to symbolize the Trinity.  The ring was left on the third finger and had become the tradition.  However, in some European countries, the wedding ring is worn on the right hand.  Many Greek women wear their ring on the left hand while engaged, moving it to the right hand after they are married.

*Why does a bride carry a handkerchief?
Not all brides do, but if a bride chooses to, it will be a lucky sign.  Early farmers thought a bride's wedding day tears were lucky and brought rain for their crops.  Later, a crying bride meant that she'd never shed another tear about her marriage.  Today's brides embroider their initials and wedding date on a lovely hanky, then pass it on to the next woman in the family to marry.

*Why rice and old shoes?
In the Orient, rice means, "May you always have a full pantry".  In other cultures, it is a symbol of fertility.  Today, rice remains a token of a life of plenty.
A red slipper thrown onto the roof of a house, indicates that a honeymoon is in progress.  Among early Hebrews, sandals were often exchanged as evidence of good faith in the sale of property.  Today, throwing a shoe after the bride or tying shoes to the back of the couple's car signifies the recognition of a new family unit.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Some Thoughts on Enclosure Cards

We help many brides with their paper trousseaus and have a wide selection and variety of wedding papers and accessories that can help to make your wedding invitations uniquely yours.  Brides we assist have lots of questions about those print items as they work to create a unified look and feel for their upcoming wedding celebration.  We are delighted to assist and advise our brides on invitations and other items that will compliment their wedding look, and we answer questions!  Some brides will say, "I want to include a card that tells guests where I am registered."  Others will say "We don't want/need gifts.  We are trying to buy a house and prefer money over gifts.  I want an insert card to let guests know."

Our response is careful not to offend the bride, but it is advice firmly given:  "an invitation to a wedding is just invitation for guests to share with the couple and their families, a celebration of the marriage.  It is not a solicitation for gifts."In fact, it is entirely possible that a guest could come to your wedding gift-less!  You have invited the person(s) to help you witness and celebrate.  If they bring (or send) a gift - that is lovely.  If they can't or don't, you still welcome them.  A gift is their choice, not yours.

You register for gifts for the convenience of your guests.  Just because you have done so doesn't mean that each guest must abide by your choices.  A registry is really your attempt to "help" your guests who feel inclined to provide a gift.

Since Bridal Registries began in the 1920s, guest have been able to find out where the couple has registered simply by asking family members or attendants.  Now with the easy access to the Web, guests can go on line and access the bride's wedding site and find out the bridal registry.  Either way, the information guests need, is easily accessible.  Don't send enclosure cards listing your registry choice.

Likewise with requests for cash.  It isn't done!  Don't include it with or on your invitations.  Guests can find that out the same way they discover registry choices.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Memorable Wedding Photos

If most brides were asked what they would save after a disaster like a fire or flood or hurricane, chances are they would say photographs and many would specify wedding photographs.  For something that important it makes sense to take steps before the wedding to insure those photos and videos are special.

Choose your photographer (and videographer) carefully.  You will view the work of many.  You've gotten recommendations from friends.  You've sought references.  You will have discussed his/her style of photography and made sure he or she had the flexibility to shoot the wedding that way you wish to have it done.  To insure that what you want happens as you want it, take steps to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome by developing your own contract or by reading closely the terms of the one the photographer offers.

Some thoughts for inclusion:

  • ·         Be sure to give your photographer a list of people and events you specifically want captured.  (Be careful not to script the shots so closely that the "must have" list you provide precludes his/her ability to take advantage of candid or "can't miss" shots.  At the same time, you should feel comfortable saying NO to shots that just aren't you.

  • ·         Make sure that any written agreement includes a clear statement of the package details you have selected.

  • ·         Be sure you are clear on the photographer's copy right policy.  Read it carefully.  Make sure that you are clear about posting any photos you wish to your website or that you can email photos to family and friends.

  • ·         It wouldn't hurt to have the name and number of any backup photographer who would be available in an emergency.

  • ·         You will want the date that proofs will be available and how long you may keep them.

  • ·         You will want to know how long the photographer will keep negatives.

  • ·         You will want reorder pricing.
  • ·         You will want confirmation in writing of deposit amount required and total cost and payment due dates.
  • ·         If yours will be a large wedding, check to make sure that your photographer has an assistant along to arrange group photos and assist with special lighting needs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Dressing the Groom

While the bride usually purchases THE GOWN for HER DAY, most grooms choose to rent their wedding apparel from a well respected and well known men's formalwear specialist.  Most grooms will find their best selection and service at a retailer known to or affiliated with the store where the bride found her dream gown.  Having one consultant can give the couple the confidence to know that the wedding party will be well fitted and dressed for that special day.

Because most couples want all the men in the wedding party  (with the possible exception of the groom,) to wear matching tuxes with the same shirts, same ties, same vests, it makes sense to select a vendor who can provide all of the members of the party with the sizes, colors and styles and accessories chosen.

A formalwear specialist will have a wide variety of styles and formality available.  They will have samples of the latest looks available for try on and sizing.

A good formalwear shop or retailer will have trained staff on hand to take and record measurements to ensure an excellent fit.  They will encourage the groom and best man to work closely with the male attendants to insure that they get in to be properly sized in a timely manner. 

 They will urge members of the wedding party to pick up their tuxes well in advance of the wedding to insure that there will be time to complete any last minute size adjustments.  

The formalwear specialist you select should have experience in sizing and selecting tuxedos for wedding parties whose groomsmen are athletes or fitness buffs or are otherwise big and/or tall men.  Not all styles worn by the "average" man will work well on bigger groomsmen.  The best formalwear retailer will advise on which styles will flatter all members of the wedding party.