Guestiquette: Honor vs. Pleasure

wedding-invitations-flowing-calligraphy-5680I was recently asked a question that I think a lot of people may have had confusion over. Recall, if you will, an invitation that you’ve received for a wedding or other formal event.  Chances are it opened with the line “request the honor of your presence” or “request the pleasure of your company” as part of the wording. Believe it or not these phrases actually have etiquette guidelines on when they can each be used and are not entirely interchangeable.

The phrase “…the honor of your presence…” is reserved for wedding ceremonies taking place in a house of worship, be it a church, temple, mosque, synagogue or another religious institution.

Meanwhile the phrase “…the pleasure of your company…” is used to invite guests to a wedding ceremony taking place anywhere else. Examples of this would include a country club, resort garden area, the beach, etc.

This rule does not take into consideration a religious ceremony, but rather the location. So if you have a Jewish ceremony, complete with a Chuppah, at a resort, you would still request the pleasure of your guests company.

If you want to stick with tradition in this area though, then each has an appropriate and specific use.

Is this etiquette rule breakable without being totally faux pas? I say, yes! Only the trained eye will notice that you used “…the honor of your presence…” to invite them to your beach front wedding. After all, God is everywhere and one could argue that the beach front is just as sacred as the Chapel. I personally believe that God is not limited to a building and that many things can be sacred, so I would have no problem using “the honor of your presence” to invite people to an outdoor wedding.

Do you have wedding questions that you need answers to? Email us at info@socialbfly.com.

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Bridezillas gone WILD!!

images (19).jpgAlthough I remember hearing about this story a few years ago, it can still be filed under: deplorable!   The young lady, who I think we can appropriately label as the victim, recalled a story of attending a wedding, and not too long after receiving a message from the Bride expressing her dissatisfaction with the $100 wedding gift she received from she and her date. You can read the message for yourself below, but we must warn you: Your blood WILL boil.

“Hi Tanya, how are you? I just want to know is there any reason or dissatisfaction of Mike’s and I wedding that both you and Phil gave 50$ each? In terms of the amount we got from you both was very unexpected as a result we were very much short on paying off the reception because just for the cocktail + reception alone the plate per person is 200$ (as per a normal wedding range with open bar is about) and Mike and I both have already paid for everything else including decor, photography, attire etc and didn’t expect we had to cover that huge amount for reception as well. As I know you both live together and work, so I did not see any reason for that amount, when it comes to your wedding hopefully you’ll know what I mean. I hope for the best as from what we receive is what we will give back. Anyways, good luck on everything.”

Now, I’m not sure if the Bride was aware but the young lady whom she is berating had recently graduate, was only working part-time and didn’t know the couple very well. Regardless, I think it goes without saying that this is a most inappropriate response to any gift.

But….just in case anyone reads this that is unsure, let me take this moment to clarify: there is no rule that states that a guest must give a gift to a party to which they are invited or what they should give. No, not even a wedding.  And as the recipient, it is just poor etiquette to question the amount of the gift that is given and you should NEVER rely on gifts to pay off the balance for your wedding vendors.

Thoughts….PLEASE!!!

Pollen-Proofing Your Wedding Day

Photo credit: mediabride.com

I don’t know about you but my allergy symptoms usually start around March, last until mid April, and are unforgivable.  I spend most spring days alternating between sneezing until I’m winded and blowing my nose just to relieve the sinus pressure building on my brain.  And I’m not alone – it’s estimated that some 14 million people also suffer the same runny,  watery, itchy, scratchy, pressurized existence that I do and fall and spring  – the peak allergy seasons – show them no mercy.  If you’re one of those people and are planning your wedding, be it set for any time of the year, the following are some tips to minimize the possibility of your nose interfering with your “I do’s”:

Okay, no-brainer here but your biggest allergy trigger will come from your wedding flowers.  It’s not so much the fragrance of a flower that makes us sneeze but rather the pollen.  Large, brightly colored flowers such as roses, daffodils or daisies have large pollens that are too heavy to be airborne and therefore, less likely to cause allergies. Here are a few wedding flowers that you can use for your wedding that have low pollen. Other low pollen flowers that would be suitable for bridal bouquets, bridegroom boutonnieres, and other floral embellishments, include:

  • Spray Roses – Tiny roses with less than 10 tiny heads on each stem. They grow in a huge variety of different colors and have a light fragrance.
  • Begonias – An odorless evergreen flower that can come in a variety of colors, including pink, yellow, red, orange, white, and a rose color.
  •  Camellias – A pollen free flower that has a very light fragrance and grows naturally in shades of white, red, or pink.
  •  Orchids – A beautifully radiant and durably versatile flower that grows in over 25,000 species; all of which are edible.

Other floral alternatives include using dried or silk flowers or perhaps, a brooch bouquet but if you are a traditional bride and real flowers are a must, I’ve read tips that suggest using the freshest flowers available help minimize the amount of pollen that is released.

Yet, in anticipating all potential allergy triggers, couples should think “beyond the bouquet”.   If the wedding or reception is to be held on a lawn, I’d suggest that the lawn be mowed two to three days ahead of time by a really good mower with an even better grass catcher.  Other nasal symptoms can be caused by everyday non-allergic triggers in the environment — such as hairspray, smoke, perfume, strong odors.  No, this doesn’t mean that couples should avoid topping off their look with a good scent but you may want to limit just how much, especially if it’s a new scent and you aren’t sure how you’ll react to it.

When it comes to allergies and weddings the best plans don’t always account for and stand up to mother nature – ragweed can be a you know what – so you’ll want to make sure that your wedding emergency kit includes moisturized tissues and a no-dose allergy medication just in case all precautionary measures fail .  Drink plenty of water to keep the toxins, uh, “flowing”.  Rinse and repeat.

Are you an allergy sufferer who planning their big day?  What precautionary measures are you taking to avoid the “A-choo” when its time to say “I Do!” ? 

Back to School Night with David Tutera

You’ve seen him on WEtv’s, “My Fair Wedding”.  He’s been lovingly crowned ‘Wizard’, ‘Godfather’, ‘Fairy Godfather’, and ‘Prince’ by the brides who’s wedding dreams he’s made a reality.  And last night I had the pleasure of being taken back to school by event planner extraordinaire, David Tutera at a Learning Annex event held at the lavish Hilton Hotel in Downtown Manhattan, NYC .

What can I say besides…He was fabulous! Throughout the course of the night we learned little DT Gems like he doesn’t belong to any associations, which is especially ironic considering he’s starting one in 2011, and he’s never paid for any form of advertising (thanks David!! I finally have an answer to my, To Advertise or Not to Advertise, question!). Just to give you an idea of how much information was covered, I went home with 8 pages of notes but because this is not a book report (remember those?), I’ll bestow upon you a few of my [paraphrased and in my own words] favorites, which I’ve categorized below:

Learn your Client. David urged us as planners to learn how to listen to the client and to learn what they want and who they are.  “Become emotionally connected to your client…” He suggests that 75% of the conversation, during the first hour spent meeting with a new client, should be about them and as you’re listening jot down five adjectives that are a recurring theme in the discussion.  Include those words in the proposal so they feel like they’ve written their own proposal.

Looking for ways to motivate (or rejuvenate) your creative edge? Opening up your client base and vendor base were two of David’s simple suggestions.  In both cases, lack of variety can quickly lead to stale and cookie-cutter ideas.   Creating a story also has many benefits to ensuring each event experience is unique.

Keep the Party Going. “Weddings are about the Bride and Groom but more importantly it should be about the guests.  Something different should happen every 30 minutes putting guests on a journey and preventing boredom.”

With plans for 2011 that include the launching of a new jewelry line of wedding and engagement rings, the David Tutera Wedding Certification Course and the launching of a line of bridal crafts, it’s hard to not think of him as some kind of super wedding action hero so imagine how great it was to learn that he isn’t impervious to things like burnout, planners block, and annoying clients.  Yes, annoying clients get on his nerves also! Here are some of his tips to help cope and better manage Life as a Planner:

  • In order to avoid burnout minimize the amount of time spent socializing with people in the business because what you end up doing is talking about work all of the time!
  • “Never under price yourself.  When you do, you’re under pricing your confidence”.
  • Take baby steps.  Don’t leap.  Become good in one section and segue way into another.
  • Networking with organizations such as MPI, ISES, and ABC to build your contacts is good but also branch out and make your own networks.
    • Your network mix should be 70% social and 30% corporate.
  • “As event planners it is important to create a team of vendors who you are confident can deliver and are willing to support (even if something goes wrong)”.
  • Reforecast yourself every 3 years and in that time, always move prices a little higher.
  • Breaking even on a project is fine but losing money is never good!
  • You are a Mediator, Therapist, Counselor, and Wedding Planner Last. Know when you switch hats”.

There were also valuable little tidbits about destination weddings and the real story behind the Joan Rivers scandal but you had to be there.  Overall the learning experience was priceless and even though his manager came across as more of a sharpshooter for the CIA thus preventing me from getting a picture with David, I will still continue to be a faithfully loyal My Fair Wedding watcher til death do us part.