Trending: What to Wear to a Winter Wedding

It’s hard enough to decide which beloved item of clothing in your closet is best fit for a special occasion, regardless of the current climate situation. Factoring in sub-freezing temps (well, if you’re in TX- we’ll call them “almost” freezing temps) and winter weather advisories to this decision-making process reveals a whole new level of difficulty…and often leaves us feeling defeated, reaching for our favorite pair of sweatpants. Unfortunately, last we checked, sweatpants are incredibly inappropriate to attend a wedding in… thus, we’ve decided to make this choice in wardrobe a tad bit simpler by creating an inspired guide of winter-wedding appropriate apparel. Scroll on for quick tips and pictured outfit examples!

1. Deep-hued, wintry sheaths are an obvious choice for semi-formal affairs. Pair with jewel-toned statement accessories for added elegance. (Via Anthropologie)

2. For added warmth, slip on opaque black tights with your mini-dress. Opting for same-shade, black booties creates a seamless look.

(Via Devon Rachel and Antrhopologie)

3. Go long! Full-length gowns are appropriate for formal dress code events, and have the added coverage to keep you cozy throughout the evening. Don’t be afraid to choose an eye-catching color or silhouette to avoid blending in with the bridesmaids.

(Via Neiman Marcus and Anthropologie)

4. Topper jackets in statement prints and colors are an easy additional layer to throw over your mini-dress, without compromising style.

(Via Neiman Marcus)

5. Florals aren’t just for Spring! Don’t shy away from these printed, maxi-length gowns. They’re elegant and breathable, allowing you to stay on the dance floor as long as possible.

(Via Nordstrom and Anthropologie)

6. Opt for a dress with sleeves. These brighter styles caught our attention + would pair well with tights.

(Via Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus)

7. That’s a wrap (well, almost!) Faux fur stoles, wrap sweaters, and pashmina scarves are all beautiful staples for winter soirees. We love them paired with fuller skirts!

(Via Gal Meets Glam, Chic Wish, and Dessy)

AYW Exclusive: The Little Things

It’s true what they say, a “little” does go a long way. We’re all about attentiveness to the minute details when it comes to planning a wedding. And, of course, this mindfulness for the minutiae extends past the design and decor of an event. Today, we’re talking small additions to your big day that make all the difference for family members, bridal party attendees, and guests. “Little things” incorporated throughout the wedding festivities that speak of your grand gratitude + appreciation for them; be it personal mementos or notes gifted to parents and bridesmaids or supplementary conveniences for guests that make your reception that much more memorable, these small notions make for a very special wedding celebration! Take a look at some of the ways our As You Wish brides have incorporated “little things” into their big days..

Image by f8 Studio 

Image by f8 Studio

Welcome boxes or bags are an increasingly popular way to set the tone of the upcoming wedding weekend experience for your guests. Upon checking into their hotel accommodations, they’re greeted with a box full of goodies- bonus points if the contents echo the wedding design theme, or pay homage to the bride and groom’s home state!

Image by Sara + Rocky Photography

Personal gifts from a bride to her immediate family members, usually presented during the hours leading up to the wedding ceremony, warrant teary eyes and precious memories. These customized handkerchiefs, scripted with a special message from the bride, were perfect!

Image by f8 Studio

Image by Bradford Martens

Cocktail hour fun! These brides offered theme-specific merriment to guests before their receptions even begun.

Image by Allison Davis Photography

Image by Bradford Martens

Image by f8 Studio 

Image by A Guy and A Girl Weddings

A crowd favorite, for sure: the late night pass. When all the dancing has ensued after-dinner appetites, these snacks are just what guests need to keep spirits high and the party going! We love when our couples choose to offer their miniature servings of their own late-night cravings to the crowd. How cute are those grilled cheese and tomato soup shooters?!

Image by Edmonson Weddings

To encourage guests to freshen up but waste no time returning to the dance floor- include cute bathroom signage, along with baskets of powder room conveniences such as hairspray, breath mints, hand lotion, etc.

Image by Jennifer Yarbro Photography

Image by Allison Davis Photography

Party props encourage all of your guests to have a good time on the dance floor! Not to mention, glow sticks and customized sunglasses make for awesome reception pictures!

Image by Edmonson Weddings

Finally, an impressively special way to wrap up the evening is a “same-day edit” film showing created by videographers. (Our friends over at Hakim Sons Films provided the experience shown in the image above.) Guests get to view- and virtually take part in- the moments leading up to the party!

Modern Day Etiquette: Gift Giving

Let’s face it, the do’s and don’t’s of wedding etiquette can leave friends, family members, and acquaintances of the bride and groom feeling restless. And especially when it comes to the mannerisms of gift-giving, the lines can seem helplessly blurry.

As You Wish team to the rescue… Take a look at some of our “must-do’s” and “un-necessaries” of gift giving throughout the engagement and wedding process.

The key here; being aware of your budget AND your relationship to the bride and groom. Assess a maximum and minimum that you are willing and able to spend on an engagement gift, a shower gift, and a wedding gift. Then, consider the bride and/or groom’s role in your life, and your’s in theirs. Are you close friends or acquaintances? Coworkers or family members? Distant relatives or first cousins who spend every major holiday and annual vacation together?

And as far as disbursing your finances among various events, our rule of thumb is to allocate 20% on an engagement gift, 20% on a bridal shower gift, and 60% on the wedding gift. Of course, if the couple opts out of an engagement party, we run into some confusion. In this case, consider your relationship to the couple, and if it feels most appropriate, give them a lesser-scale gift and a card congratulating them on their engagement, anyways. If not, save your means for the bridal shower and the wedding, and gift them something they’re dying to have off of their registry.

 If you are invited to a bridal shower in addition to the actual wedding; and you’re debating whether or not to bring a gift to both occasions, the most sound decision is to divvy up your resources between the two. However, it is not always imperative to every bride and groom that you have a gift for them at the wedding, in the case that you’ve already purchased them a full-scale gift for their shower. Make a judgment call based on your relation to the couple and your ability to extend your finances. Our recommendation: play it safe and get a smaller scale gift for the shower, and a full scale gift for the wedding.

Another question of much debate; to shop from the registry or give cash?  Typically, picking a gift off of the couple’s registry is your safest bet. The reason for a registry, after all, is so that the bride and groom will receive items they both need and want. Keep in mind if the couple has organized a honeymoon registry, too. If so, this is a unique and efficient way to put your dollars towards the pair’s future. If their registry is extremely picked over by the time you’ve gotten online to buy the couple a gift, chances are, the bride and groom will prefer a check instead of something you thought of off the top of your head. They’d likely enjoy a cash gift just as much as a gift off their registry, even. The typical cash or check gift amount is upwards of $100-$150. Again, distant friends and coworkers tend to spend on the lesser side of that approximation, whereas close family and friends will usually spend more than that.

If they didn’t give you a gift for your wedding, should you still give them one for theirs?  Our word of advice is yes. Cut a little slack and consider the circumstance they may have been in when you were saying your own vows. And in the event that they really just forgot, it’s probable that your gift-giving will remind them. If you feel better about scaling down the expense of the gift you purchase for them, that’s fine. The bottom line is, it will likely give you a happier spirit to choose to act out of pure kindness instead of spite.

If it’s a destination wedding or requires you to travel out of town; it is acceptable to spend less on a gift. However, this does not necessarily mean it’s appropriate to skip out on a gift all together. It’s never alright to deem your attendance at the event equivalent to a gift.

If you are unable to attend the wedding; you should consider your relationship to the couple above the financial cost to send them a gift. If it is someone you feel close to or see often, a gift is probably expected even if you unfortunately can’t be there for their special day.

If you are on rocky ground financially; it’s okay to consider a thoughtful and creative gift. Something fun and lighthearted that the couple may or may not have registered for will let them know that you care for them and wish them a bright future together.

After all, it really is the thought that counts!

Photo Credits: www.huffingtonpost.com, A Guy and A Girl Photography, www.dexknows.com

 

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Couples planning a wedding no doubt work around financial considerations – and the biggest cost factor is the guest list. It can be frustrating when guests don’t consider the importance of following proper RSVP etiquette. If you’re a bride-to-be, consider the following tips to help convey the correct information to your guests. Avoid potential confusion before it starts!

-Send Save the Date announcements four to six months before the wedding, send invitations six to eight weeks in advance.

-Make sure to provide the date, time and hotel information. Include locations {and maps if possible} of both the ceremony and reception site. The more information that’s provided the better – it allows guests to make an educated decision on whether or not they’re able to attend.

-On the outer and inner envelope, list the name of each individual invited. If you’re limited on guest space, you can ensure there are no unexpected visitors by listing the invited individual or couple’s name on their response card as well. If they choose to bring additional guests {such as children or a new beau} the breach of etiquette is theirs, not yours.

-On the response card, include a “please respond by” date. Choose a date that allows you enough time to adjust the catering order and other arrangements, if necessary.

-It may be worthwhile to provide an online RSVP option for those with an internet-savvy guest list. This idea might not work for everyone though {say if you have grandparents or elderly guests aren’t comfortable surfing the web.}

If you’re a guest: don’t take the liberty of inviting someone not on the invitation. Reply to an invitation right away {even if you’re declining} so the bride or groom won’t have to track you down later. The only time a reply isn’t necessary is if it indicates “regrets only.” If you’ve RSVP’d but later realize you can’t attend, let them know as soon as possible. It’s bad manners to simply not show up.

**In a world of instant communication {Twitter, Facebook, e-mail} don’t neglect the art of filling out the reply card and dropping it back in the mail. The bride, her family, the wedding planner, and everyone involved in the planning process will be forever grateful.**

The Write Stuff: The Art of Writing a Perfect Thank-you note

Your mother probably taught you these rules since you were little, but every now and then we could all use a brush-up on etiquette! These are all found in the Fifth Edition of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette.
Whom to thank:
Everyone who gives you a wedding present
-This includes everyone who hands you a present, no matter how much you thank them in person. One exception is a group gift from more than four or five co-workers – you can send them a group thank you note.
Everyone who gives you money-Cash, checks, contributions to savings and investment accounts, donations to charities. You can mention amounts if you want, doing so assures the givers that currency arrived intact and account deposits were correct.
Your attendants-attach a card with a personal sentiment to their gift.
People who entertain for you- These notes should go out no later than two days after the event. When more than one person hosts a shower or a party for you, write each person or couple.
People who house and/or entertain your guests- When family and friends invite out of town guests or attendants to stay in their homes, you should thank the hosts.
People who do a kindness for you-Anyone who assists you during your preparations, the wedding itself, and after the big event should be graciously thanked. It’s also nice to send notes to your officiant and anyone else {musicians, etc.} who worked with you on the ceremony, even if you’ve paid them the customary fee.
Suppliers and Vendors-Anyone who exceeds your expectations will appreciate it!

A few other hints:
* A good suggestion is to set a daily goal. Completing three or four notes a day doesn’t seem nearly as impossible as writing a hundred notes within a month. The accepted standard: your thank-you notes should be written and sent within three months of receipt of each gift.
*Share the responsibility with the groom!
*Always sign with your maiden name before the wedding, married name afterward. If using monogrammed stationery, notes sent by the bride before the wedding will have her maiden name initials, post-wedding notes will have her married initials.

*If you have any wedding etiquette questions, contact us at As you wish… we’d be delighted to help! We carry a full line of invitations, announcements and thank you cards. Schedule an appointment today to view our extensive line of albums, or we can create a custom order just for you!