Wonderful Wording at the Blue Pig Tavern in Cape May

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blue pig 2

Our recent visit to the Blue Pig Tavern in Cape May (make that two visits, since we just had to have that awesome, farm-fresh breakfast again!) revealed a wonderful inspiration: the wording on the placemats. Get this: on the bottom corner of the delightful, soft blue-toned menu says, “A report of any indifference or inattention will be appreciated as a favor by the management.” Isn’t that fantastic?! It’s such an elegant throwback to the days of propriety, to the rich history of Cape May, which brings to mind images of well-mannered families dressed for breakfast, and manners still mattering.

On my husband’s menu (and yes, I took them both home with us, so that I could get this post just right!) it says, “In the event of any item not proving entirely satisfactory, we will be favored to have Patrons direct our attention to their requirements.” I am swooning! We will be favored! I love that!

This is definitely wording you’ll want to copy for your wedding menu cards, to impress your guests with your own elegance and propriety.

Thanks, Blue Pig Tavern, for that wonderful return to the past, and for bringing a little taste of polite times to our modern era!

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The Top NEW Wedding Tips for the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom

motherofthebridelargestMother_of_the_Groom

 

Moms, you have it good these days when it comes to the wedding! So much has changed in the past few years, giving you more opportunities to join in the fun of planning the big day…and lots of other fabulously fun events surrounding it.

Today’s magnificent mom isn’t being left out in the cold while the bride and groom plan and pay for their wedding (as we saw for a few years there.) She’s a welcome member of the bridesmaid circle, helping to plan and co-hosting the bridal shower, attending dress shopping trips with the bride, going to cake tastings and site tours. And she gets to dazzle in her wedding day dress, not to mention hosting a number of great parties.

So here are some top tips for you, moms of the wedding:

  1. Engagement parties are back! Parents are once again throwing parties to celebrate the big news, and these at-home or restaurant parties are impressive even on a budget. They can be casual backyard cookouts, or champagne cocktail parties, even family-style dinners with just the family present. You get to plan a chic or simple party of your own styling, using your choice of colors and themes, picking the menu and even designing the cake!
  2. You get to wear an amazing dress. The bride isn’t telling the moms what color to wear. She does get to say whether she wants you in a long or short dress to coordinate with the bridal party and match the formality, but your dress trying-on excursion with the bride has you making all the calls about the color you’d love to wear, the amount of sparkle you want on your dress, and the style that you feel best in. Gown designers offer the most stylish dresses for moms that we’ve ever seen, so you’re ultra-lucky to be the mom of the wedding now with so many fashionable choices open to you.
  3. You may get to co-host the shower. With bridesmaids spending over $1,000 for each wedding they’re in, they need an extra planner to share the work and the cost, so moms are often welcomed into the circle to make that great bridal shower possible for the bride. You’re not the lead planner – that’s the Maid of Honor – but you are a part of the circle, with your ideas likely included in the celebration.
  4. Connect with the other mom, or moms. It’s old-world etiquette for the parents of the bride to invite the parents of the groom for a meeting. You might already know each other, but if you don’t, and even if a get-together isn’t possible due to your locations, it’s now a Must for the mother of the bride to reach out to the mother of the groom to share her excitement and say she’s looking forward to working with her on the big day for the bride and groom, and to being an extended family after the big day.
  5. You’ll work with the other mom, and step-mom. You might think that certain tasks are yours, according to etiquette – like the rehearsal dinner being the mother of the groom’s to plan, and the morning-after breakfast being for the mother of the bride. But now, the wedding couple might ask you both to pair up to work on one of these parties, or on other elements of the wedding preparations.
  6. Your skills come into play. You may have a talent or a craft that can save the bride and groom a ton of money, so you might be asked to graphic design their save the dates, or make a cake for the bridal shower, sew the table runners, or make any DIY favors or décor items.
  7. Your contacts come into play. If you know someone who owns a floral shop, your contact can get the couple a great Friends and Family discount. So look through your contacts list and check with friends to see who they might be able to connect you with. Your network can get a fabulous wedding location, flowers, food, décor, a classic car…you never know.
  8. They get to create the guest list. You may want all of your best friends and colleagues at the wedding, but the bride and groom get to decide how big a wedding they want, and that they want to personally know everyone there. So expect that you might only be ‘given’ a few extra invites, and skip the big drama that so many other moms experience when they forget whose day it is and want more of their own friends there than the couple has of their own.
  9. Be there for the bride. Planning a wedding is stressful, so make sure you take the bride out of wedding world every now and then for a girls’ day out or for coffee, with no wedding talk allowed. Just let her have time with her mom.
  10. If your ideas aren’t accepted for the wedding, save them for your own parties! You can also plan your own after-party with your close friends and relatives, or a welcome soiree for your circle at the start of the wedding weekend, or you might even save your brilliant plans for your wedding vow renewal, or some other party you’ll plan in the future.
  11. Here’s the big one, the best for last: don’t offer to pay for everything, or for anything big, at the start of the engagement. The bride and groom will count on that when they start booking their sites and pros, and if something happens along the way that takes a chunk out of your funds, you don’t want to crush them and feel horrible if you have to cancel your offer. Just hang tight, and wait a little bit before you make any huge financial promises, and it’s a smart idea to stash the money needed for your promise into an untouchable savings account so that you can deliver on that promised element.

I have tons more tips for you in my books, so get them here:

The Mother of the Bride Book

http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Of-The-Bride-Book-Daughter-Wonderful-Wedding/dp/0806527188/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360688069&sr=8-2&keywords=mother+of+the+bride+book

Mother of the Groom

http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Groom-Everything-Enjoy-Wedding/dp/0806526459/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360688100&sr=1-1&keywords=mother+of+the+groom

 

WeddingMapper.com Question of the Day: Rehearsal Dinner Guest List Solution

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This great wedding planning question came in to my column at www.weddingmapper.com, and it’s a dilemma for a lot of parents. So I thought I’d share it here, in case you’re facing the same rehearsal dinner guest list questions:

Question:
Hi Sharon,
I am the Mother of the Groom planning a rehearsal dinner in July. My husband and I have our own idea of who is invited to this affair, based on 30 years ago, but today’s generation of 20 somethings have a different idea! My problem is considering what the Bride and Groom want-inviting all guests to the rehearsal dinner who will be coming in to town for the wedding, “after all they have to have someplace to eat dinner”, will turn the Rehearsal Dinner into another, although slightly smaller,’reception’. Most of my family will be the out of towners, all of whom my future daughter in law has met and knows very well. The only guests she doesn’t know are some close friends of ours from high school and college, who wouldn’t expect to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. Where do we draw the line in inviting guests to the Rehearsal Dinner? I thought it was supposed to be a time for the B & G to say thanks to their wedding party, and anyone else involved in the ceremony, and give gifts to them. That would be very awkward with alot of other guests around who they will be seeing the next day.
Thank you for your thoughts.

Answer:

Hi Terry!

The trend of inviting all out of towners to the rehearsal dinner has actually faded out a bit now, given the economy and the expense of the wedding. While it’s completely understandable that the bride and groom want to have their out of town guests’ dinner provided, what’s being done now, more often, is just the immediate family and bridal party invited to the rehearsal dinner — for the reasons you mentioned — and out of town guests provided with a list of nearby eateries, or a cocktail party planned for LATER the night before….after the rehearsal dinner. The out of town guests get the picture that they’re not invited to the rehearsal dinner (which may be early at 6pm) when they’re invited to a Welcome Cocktail Party at the hotel, where drinks and light hors d’oeuvres are served. They can take their time arriving, unpacking and mingling, perhaps going to the hotel lounge on their own to eat, and then they know they’ll see you all at the cocktail party later. It keeps costs down, creates a festive atmosphere for that night, gives the bride and groom quality time with their guests, and keeps the toats and gift-giving at the rehearsal dinner to the smaller group.

It’s always the host’s choice of which plan to do…if the bride and groom really want all of the guests at the rehearsal dinner, then think about doing a heavier-appetizers cocktail party for all to keep expenses lower, limit the bar list, and have the bride and groom give their bridal party members their gifts at an earlier arrival time set for them. Toasts can still be made, so this might be a good compromise plan.

Talk to the bride and groom to see what you can arrange…they might be looking for more relaxed time to spend with a greater circle of incoming guests.
Sharon Naylor

Smart start to wedding planning: What DON’T you want?

Your “Don’t” Lists

An important part of planning your wedding is knowing what you DON’T want, which clears away the clutter and all those suggestions from other people, allowing you both to get clear about what you DO want.

And talking together about your Don’ts gets you communicating about what’s most important for your wedding day.

So print out and use the following worksheets as an essential part of your planning process…

[Plus, it makes life easier when you can hand these worksheets  to your vendors!]

What the Bridesmaids Don’t Want For Their Dresses
What We Don’t Want For the Wedding Cake
What We Don’t Want In Our Ceremony
What We Don’t Want For Flowers and DÈcor
Foods We Don’t Want Served at the Wedding
What We Don’t Want for the Honeymoon
Songs We Don’t Want Played At the Wedding
What We Don’t Want For Our Wedding Vows
What I Don’t Want For My Wedding Gown
 

 

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Wedding Toasts Mistakes to Avoid

Wedding season brings about lots of opportunities for wedding toasts and other speeches, so if you’re a bride or groom, Best Man, Maid of Honor, parents of the bride or groom or other honored guest, check out my Top Wedding Toasts Mistakes to Avoid post on Wedding Scoops!