Thank You Cards

Getting mail in your mailbox, actually touching a magazine or a newspaper…it’s something that I will never see going out of style.

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Ah, stationary. According to most, it’s one of the world’s lost arts. As a writer, I find it fairly insulting. Sure, I get the whole “modernization” aka, Evites, not sending thank yous, and e-zines (just to name a few) BUT, it’s a huge part of what I loved growing up. Getting mail in your mailbox, actually touching a magazine or a newspaper…it’s something that I will never see going out of style.

I know for sure, that a blog on the internet isn’t the way to exactly..protest, but what can I say?

In the past couple of years, I’ve attended a ton of weddings, birthday parties, and showers. You know what? Every single one had a mailed invite. What it didn’t have? Personalized thank you’s. More than half did, but there were some that didn’t even sign their name..it just simply said, “Thank you.”

I get it, it’s hard to get yourself together after a huge event and then a possible move into a new home. My thank you’s weren’t even ordered until I got the proofs from my wedding, so I’m not here to throw stones. I will say, it’s kind of a necessity in my book. Take a wedding for instance: Travel plans, buying a shower gift, a wedding gift, hotel rooms, new outfits/shoes for the reception…I mean it adds up to even be a wedding guest, and guests take the time out of their lives to come and celebrate the bride and groom, I think the one thing they deserve is a thank you for spending the day.

After that long winded rant, let’s get to the point of my post:

Thank You’s! My favs right now, and where to get them.

Customized

Tiny Prints, Wedding Paper Divas…you get the gist. These are the easiest sites to get thank you’s in bulk– but you pay the price. A count of 50 cards can run you around $60-$70. The styles are cute, and you won’t get the customization at Hallmark. So, if you got the cash, opt in for this. A site that is customizable but is more reasonable than the other sites? Simply To Impress is cheaper per card than the other popular sites.

Lifeguard Press

Want something bougie and overpriced? Lifeguard Press is your place for all things basic. Not gonna lie, I go to this site all the time– but a set of 10 Thank You cards from kate spade runs you $20. That’s more than getting your name in gold foil from Wedding Paper Divas. They have free shipping, but you have to stalk your emails for promo codes, because they expire quick.

Home Goods

I know you guys are getting sick of me vouching for Home Goods SO hard, but have you ever been in the stationary aisle? Photo albums, gift bags, and a ton of greeting cards. If you’re lucky, there are a couple box sets for cheap. Grab ’em when you see them. They’re useful to have in the house.

Target

I’ve found that Target can be overpriced for some stuff, but depending on the kind of greeting cards you’re purchasing, you can get cards for $3.99 for a count of ten. They have a ton of options, and unlike Home Goods– you can see what they have available at home before you trek out to the store.

Anyway, I LOVE thank you cards. You can get so creative and send out cards for just being a friend. It’s a really nice way to show somebody they are appreciated.

Love you, mean it.

K

 

 

Pinterest, Etsy, and David’s Bridal…Oh my!

…and I suddenly was on the verge of my first #bridebreakdown.

Hi. You may know me as this bitch who lost her shit when she tried to plan the perfect pinterest inspired wedding…and forget about writing until after the blessed event. Sorry, charlie..it had to happen.

But, I’m back, and I have way too much to say about everything and anything that went on for the past couple of weeks (erm, months…sorry about it)

Anyway, let’s just call Pinterest a land of perfect dreams in an imperfect world, or where dreams of your wonderful, fantasy life go to die. Let’s start from the beginning:

I got engaged, and immediately started planning: Visions of mint and purple bridesmaid dresses flew around my head, while I decided on mason jars and an outside wedding with a sky of twinkling mason jar lights. I would have a princess ballgown, and my beloved would wear a tuxedo.

After many nights of planning, and planning some more…I realized that my fall inspired wedding would only be complimented by lace rust colored dresses and orange and purple flowers. Hours of searching, and I came up with nothing but frustration. Pictures of models in their wedding pictures, posed to perfection gave me nightmares…and I suddenly was on the verge of my first #bridebreakdown.

*cue dramatic music*

Soon, I was spinning out of control, worried about what everyone would think, and how everyone would judge my color scheme, my dress, my hair, and my crafty way of proposing to my bridesmaids. (Hint, I forgot to propose to half of them, and still have their “will you be my bridesmaid?” cards upstairs in one of my many packed up boxes. Oops.)

I started planning my Etsy purchases, deciding on tie clips and necklaces for the bridal party. Shot glasses, and headbands, and cigar boxes for everyone! The one thing that everyone seems to forget is that everything costs money– that sure, you gain back later, but seriously? $2,000 on invites, stamps, shoes, and my FIRST wedding dress was necessary? To me, yes…and I would do it the same if I could hop in a time machine, because the end is my favorite part.

The end? Yea, the end was in sight when I looked at the 10 cartons of mason jars that I decided to HAND CRAFT with lace and burlap ribbon…and think, “jeez, these suck…I’m not using them” on the 18th of September…a day before my wedding…and you know what? It didn’t matter, and no one cared, and no one missed them…and I was happy.

5 Of The Worst Bridesmaids Ever

Bridesmaids can make or break your wedding.

Bridesmaids can make or break your wedding. They are supposed to be your best girlfriends and your closest family members. Bridesmaids are supposed to make your life a little bit easier…but sometimes there can be a sour fruit in your basket.

The Drunk One
Ok, this is a dig at myself circa 2009, but c’est la vie, right? Whatever. Girlfriend definitely doesn’t know her limit, and she is totally fine with it. You will usually find her with a beer in her hand while everyone is having a mimosa on the morning of the wedding. We aren’t exactly sure how many she had before she got to the bride’s house, but we know that she probably pre-gamed. Your drunk bridesmaid will most likely ugly-loud cry at your ceremony, and make a scene at the cocktail hour about the lack of mixed drink options. Keep her around, she’s a lost soul.

The Slut
I don’t have any desire to have this lady in my bridal party…for good reason. Not only are your guy’s groomsmen all in committed relationships, but the guests that she’s hitting on all have dates that are currently present at your blessed event. Jesus. Does it ever end? Girlfriend couldn’t decide which squeeze would be the lucky guy, so she actually had the nerve to ask for a plus 2 for her invite. It’s a train wreck and a half, and is usually super entertaining…however, today is not the day for an airing of Desperate and Slutty.

The Overly Opinionated
OH GOD. Let’s just say, shut it. This one is the worst of the worst. Yes, opinions are fantastic…and are even better when you are already leaning against an idea. It’s not a great idea to have this one overly involved in your wedding plans, or you’ll end up planning her dream wedding instead of yours. Piece of advice? Keep this one at arm’s length. Word of advice to this bridesmaid? Get it together. This is your friend’s day…not yours. You two have different styles, and she may want to have a Newsie’s themed wedding. Back her up and ask what color suspenders you should wear.

The Ghost
You won’t see this bitch until she shows up without her jewelry on the wedding day. She probably made an excuse to not come to the rehearsal dinner, but instagrammed her mojito at that classless bar down the block. She will never respond back to your texts, and certainly will not be present at your bachelorette party. Whatever. How do you deal? Make sure to buy an EMF meter and hover it over your wedding pictures. She’ll show up again just in time for you to get pregnant, she loves a good baby shower.

The One Who Ain’t On Board
This one is single, and certainly ready to mingle. The one who ain’t on board should not be confused with the slut, due to one difference: she hates all men, and believes that she will never get a boyfriend. She loathes the fact that you have decided to enter into holy matrimony, and she literally cannot believe that you…the girl who swore off men in college…would ever “break” and get hitched. Let her know your RSVP to her wedding in 2020 to an elderly doctor is an obvious yes.

Love you, mean it

xoxo Kate

**Disclaimer: None of the aforementioned bridesmaid types represent anyone in my bridal party, for serious. Research has been done through many forums.

The Five Types Of Friends You Don’t Want At Your Wedding

There are a couple that should be left out…for your sanity.

Weddings are always a big talking point in a young woman’s life. Not always, but the girls and guys that decide that marriage is for them. What kind of dress, how many people, and who is invited are always big dinner conversations while preparing for the wedding. So, who do you invite? How about the people that make you happy, and the ones that love you and your fiancé. There are a couple that should be left out…for your sanity.

The Negative Nancy

Girl, you know this one is your catty BFF who you kind of love, but obviously love to hate. This friendship should have died when double popped collars went out of style, but you held on like some people hang on to the acid wash jean trend. She may or may not have a significant other, but she is worse when she has her own relationship. Especially if she hasn’t gotten the ring yet. Nancy just can’t seem to let go of the fact that you are getting married and never going to hang out with her again. She’ll whine and complain about your fiancé taking all of your time. Although she may have her own love she still makes you feel like crap when it comes to your wedding. She’ll make passive aggressive comments and try to work herself into the wedding by saying things like, “I’m going to get so drunk at your wedding!” My advice about this one? Tell her your busy…forever.

The Non-Believer

Much like the Negative Nancy, the non-believer is just as terrible. I’m talking about a girl or guy who has lost their mind completely. They think that their way of life, the single life, is the only way and you are making a huge mistake. Excuse me, but I don’t judge when you sleep with three men in a weekend…in fact I applaud you. This friend says things like, “I don’t believe in the institution of marriage, and you’re dumb to get married.” To this, I say…do you, but you can’t sit with us.

Your Overprotective Guy/Girl Friend

Maybe you had a fling, you dreamed of one…either way, stay away from that train wreck. Why? Do I have to even…okay? If this person is invited, they’re going to get super drunk and try to punch your new husband/wife. Even if they are well-behaved, it will bring up all sorts issues with your judgemental friends as well as your husband or wife. In the nicest way possible, you’re an idiot if you invite them. Purely for the fact that past feelings aren’t appropriate on your wedding day.

The Girl Who Used To Talk Sh*t On You

You know the one, the girl in your sorority who thought that you were faking when you had to drop out of school due to being sick. She also told everybody that you had an STD and that you cheated on your boyfriend. No, she didn’t want him for herself, she just didn’t like you then. Now, it’s a different story. Apparently she’s changed. You saw her at your friend’s sister’s birthday party at a bar and she totally hugged you. You talked for like, 5 seconds and she apologized for sleeping with #3…the overprotective guy friend. Send that girl to charm school, because she isn’t any sort of lady.

You’re Ex-BFF/Kind Of Reacquainted

The girl that you got into a fight with about the stupidest crap and text when you look at old pictures of you two together. Figure your life out, because honestly…that girl only texted you because she heard you were engaged. Get real. Sit down, and realize the reasons why you cut her off in the first place. She doesn’t know you anymore, and she couldn’t tell your fiancé from some guy in the street. Do yourself a favor and reconnect completely (if you dare) after the blessed event.

Guest List Etiquette

First Thing’s First

The first thing on the list is getting a handle on how big you actually want your wedding to be. It’s all a numbers game. If you want a big wedding, and you have the budget, go ahead! Make it a 300 plus wedding. If you want to be more selective, it’s your prerogative!

Narrow down who is important to you and who you don’t want to be there. Talk about the different “tiers” in your family. Direct family, 1st cousins, 2nd cousins, and their children are all on different tiers. If you are having complications, jot down your family layout and your fiancé’s family layout. Label each tier. Then, make a cut off after a certain tier, and invite everyone before the cut off. It may sound cut throat, but it’s necessary for your sanity.

Honestly, guest lists are different for everyone. No person can sit you down and say, “Okay, this is who should be invited…and this is who isn’t.” Families in this world couldn’t be more different. Each situation is specific to the family. One bride may be close with her first and second cousins, while your fiancé has not spoken to his second cousins in a long time. Therefore, your fiancé will make his tier list shorter.

Children or No Children?

Specify if you want children, or just the ones (if any) in your wedding party. This is the exception to the tier rule. For some brides, children are not invited under 18, unless they have a relationship with the bride or groom. Some brides may think that is rude to request…but weddings are more of an adult activity. Most children are not going to remember the wedding, so leave them home. For children in the wedding party, leave the reception plan up to the parents.

Although children are cute and sweet, brides may not want someone to steal their thunder…and that’s okay. The wedding day is a day that is celebrating the bride and groom. Not a newborn baby and his or her newest development of being able to walk. It isn’t a selfish wish.

What Friends Make The List?

Make sure to invite friends that are spoken to on the regular and any friend who you want there. The rule is generally that an invitation can be sent if you have spoken to the person in the last year- six months. Make sure to take a long hard look of who has actually taken the time out to talk to you and be your friend. After the news breaks over social media, be prepared for a storm of “friends” congratulating you…hoping to get invited. Don’t fall for it, and make sure to keep your head on straight when sending out invites.

Coworkers can be chosen at the bride or groom’s discretion. A big rule: you must hang out with the coworker outside of work to invite them. People can be very different at work and out at a bar. Be sure you know how they are around alcohol, and around strangers. Make sure they will be able to mesh. If you don’t feel comfortable: don’t invite them.

Who Gets Dates?

The age old question: Is there a plus one invite? Our answer: not unless you are in a very serious relationship. Why? Do you think any bride or groom wants to see their friend throw themselves at a random date all night while celebrating a couple’s actual love? In many cases, single friends will be happy that you do not put them through the awkward process of having to ask a person to come with them.

**In other cases, guests will use their plus ones to invite a person that was initially left off of your guest list on purpose.

If you are asked why a plus one wasn’t given, explain that only people in relationships received a plus one. Tell your guest that there will be plenty of people in that age group without a date.

How To Not Lose Focus While Planning A Wedding

The Big Picture

It is fairly easy to get wrapped up in wedding plans. The bridal shower, the bachelorette party, the bridesmaid’s brunch, and much more seem to consume a woman’s life from the moment the ring is put on her finger until she walks down the aisle. In some cases, a groom can be swept under the rug while all the wedding preparations are put into order. Isn’t that ironic? The groom is half of the couple, half of why people are celebrating.

Whether the celebration is large or small, there are small details that must be perfect. Each couple envisions their big day to be a magical and wonderful day. Although the celebration will be beautiful, the bigger picture is more beautiful…and much more important. After all, the aftermath of a wedding is what it’s all about.

There are simple ways to remember the big picture, still plan a dream wedding, and keep your groom feeling loved. It’s just a matter of compromise.
Make time for each other to just be together. Focus on the reason you are getting married, not what colors the table linens should be. It has been said that many women often lose focus of life after a wedding and focus solely on throwing a great party. Party on, but don’t forget what is important. Focus on your job, your family, and your other half.

Make sure to step away from the wedding plans for at least one day in your busy schedule: Use that time to be with each other, and reconnect. Listen to your fiancé and ask questions. Let him know you are still interested in him, and still want to know about his likes and dislikes! It is often easy to get stuck in a routine, and leave your communication lines out of the picture. Go out to do something that both of you like to do, and keep conversation away from planning. If you must plan, plan for the future.

Keep your fiancé involved. It can be a small or big project, but keep him involved. Make sure to include him in planning and choosing various options. Although he may not want to be involved, he will remember that you were kind enough to think of him. Try letting him plan part of the honeymoon, or organize the catering. Chose a project that he will enjoy doing.
5 Quick Tips To Calm Down

1. Listen, Think, Talk: Listen to yourself when you are interacting with others. Do you sound like the beginnings of a bridezilla? If so, think. Think about a better way to voice what is going through your head. Lastly, talk to your friends and family in a more respectful manner.
2. Don’t Fight: It is easy to get carried away when money isn’t given on time, or guest lists aren’t handed over in a timely fashion. Don’t sweat it. Just remember: It’s not like people won’t show up to your wedding, remember that it’s a party for you and your fiancé, and weddings are totally awesome no matter what they look like. Only you can see that your table linens don’t exactly match, and your centerpieces weren’t just right. It’s not worth a fight with your wedding planner, family, or fiancé.
3. Overwhelmed? Stop: Overwhelmed with your wedding plans? Walk away. Walk away for a week or so and resume your life. Go out with friends, your fiancé, or your family. If asked about wedding plans, simply explain that you stopped for about a week due to feeling overwhelmed. Everyone will be impressed by your maturity to walk away. It’s just a party, you have your whole life ahead of you.
4. Time Management: Want to book a wedding venue? Narrow it down to three and visit all three on one day. Sit down and talk it out with your fiancé. If he likes one and you don’t, do not get into a fight. Instead, figure out a time to go back and evaluate what the appeal is. This will be a helpful tip throughout your marriage: If it is the only thing he wants, do it.
5. Enjoy It: Don’t get caught up in the myths that wedding planning is “torture.” Sit, relax, and enjoy. The wedding world is a multi-million dollar industry will hundreds of options. Do not see this planning adventure as a stressful endevour. Keep an open mind and be smart about your money. At the end of the wedding, you get to be with your fiancé for the rest of your life! How wonderful is that?

It’s Hard Out There For A Bride

I could literally see my wedding dreams going up in smoke.

If there is a simple fact of life, this is one of them: Weddings cost money.  A lot of money.  So when I got engaged at 25 years old, I recognized that fact.  But I don’t think I comprehended just what weddings cost until I began to actually search.  And I should probably also mention that I am luckier than a lot of people my age.  I have two parents offering to foot the bill for my wedding.  But that is within a strict budget.

I do a lot of reading online about other people’s weddings.  I’m a female, it’s what I do, get over it.  I got in my head that I wanted to have my wedding at the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park (Philadelphia).  Then their wedding coordinator sent me an email.  I could literally see my wedding dreams going up in smoke.

I don’t know what you’re throwing in your chicken parmesan if you want me to pay you $250 to serve it to my family.  Do you make it with gold?  Does Channing Tatum himself prepare, cook, and serve my dinner? Because if you are charging me that much money per plate, after asking me to give you $5,000 to rent your hall, there had better be a Magic Mike reenactment somewhere during my reception.

After touring seven different venues, I finally found somewhere that gives me what I am looking for within my budget.  I then began to search for photographers.  Holy hell! Everything adds up quickly.  But, I should probably mention that I am not willing to compromise on this either.  I dabble in photography, so finding a good photographer is a top priority for me.  I’ve spoken to three different photographers to date, all with prices starting at $3000.  Let me try and get that past my parents.  I can hear them already… “Do you know what I could do with three grand?!”

Pictures are not JUST pictures!  They are all you have left from the day, pictures matter.  And trust me, I’ve seen some jacked up wedding photos.  I don’t want to be the memes that Kate laughs at later when she’s on her break from work.

But since the theme of Kate’s blog is shopping on a budget, I will also share the few savings I’ve had so far!

My venue is including flowers for our center pieces, and ceremony site, which saves us a ton of money to begin with.  But they also work with the same florist that we wanted to use anyway and they will give us 20% off of any additional flowers we order, so bouquets, boutonnieres, etc are discounted! Score!

Here’s another tip for those soon to be engaged: pay attention at any weddings you attend for vendors you might like. I’m choosing a DJ from a previous wedding that will offer us a photo booth and his DJ services as a package deal, and discount for a repeat booking.  Plus my brother-in-law knows his wife, so we’re hoping for a little magic there too!