Announcment: Invitations Coming Soon

Y’all. My son is turning four years old. I can barely believe it. As I was looking through Etsy to find an invitation I liked, I kept stumbling across absolutely beautiful bridal and baby shower invitations. However, I noticed a common theme. The registry was written on each and every one of them. I do know that it’s simple and easy. However, I also know that it can look cheap and as though that’s the only reason you’re having a shower.

So, instead of lamenting this problem forever, I decided to take matters into my own hands! Coming soon will be etiquette-approved invitations for all occasions! Bridal, baby, graduation, birthday…you name it! Also, in case you’re wondering, I will have a way to let people know that you are registered without it being the primary focus of the invitation. I’m so excited to bring this to you!

As always, thank you for reading!

 

RSVP Explained

I’ve talked about RSVP, the translation and what it means before, but since then I’ve received questions from people regarding it a little more. More commonly the question is, “When can I back out of an RSVP?” To be honest, only in the event of an emergency. If you receive a “better” invitation, that’s not the appropropriate time to back out of an RSVP’d event.

Backing out after accepting an invitation is telling your would-have-been hosts that something more appealing came up. By sending a positive RSVP, you are, in truth, forgoing any other options that may be presented to you later. Acceptable cirumstances you would be able to later decline would include becoming sick or having a child or a dependent become sick. It would not include having a friend decide to come to visit last minute or that you received a party invite that seemed more fun.

I know this may all sound harsh, but the truth is, when someone extends you an invitation, they aren’t just trying to fill a seat. They want you there. And it is, to be blunt, rude when you initially accept and then back out once something “better” has come along.

All of that being said, the people who are asking the question are not people I consider rude. I think this is just a case of people living busy lives and time being limited. This is not a generational thing either. It’s a cultural  and societal problem.We glorify busyness for the sake of being busy and think that if you can survive without caffeine, you’re not doing enough. We live in a time where store are open 24/7 so that we are never without. We don’t have to wait for anything, adding to the instant gratification issue. Heaven forbid anyone who has a cell phone not answer a call or text. We are held hostage in our lives.

I say we all deserve better. We deserve months that aren’t so packed with activities that we don’t know what to do with an evening off. Consideration of other people’s time starts with consideration of our own. Do not feel pressured to accept every invitaiton you receive. You don’t need to give a reason. Simply let them know you will not be able to attend. That being said, have respect for any invitation you do accept and make sure to attend.

So, how far out do you need to send your reply? Unless a date is stated, two weeks prior to an event is a solid amount of time to give the hosts time to prepare. Let’s all do our part to send our reply from this point forward. Thank you for reading!

Shower Invitations

One common question I had following the Wedding Shower Basics post was over the registry. So, I’m here to clarify today! When sending a wedding shower invitation, there should be 0 reference to the registry on the actual invitation. The invitation is to inform the guests of when and where the shower will be held, as well as RSVP information. As most brides now register, an insert is customarily added to the invitation on a separate piece of paper with the bride’s registry list. One thing I really want to stress: no where is it written that anyone much EVER purchase something from a registry. While many people appreciate a registry for ease of purchase, many others prefer to pick out a sentimental gift for the couple. This is not only perfectly acceptable, but it should be received with the same gratitude as a gift from the registry.

For the givers: Don’t be afraid to purchase a gift not on the registry. Many stores now offer discounts for registered gifts not purchased. It was because of this money-saving trick that my husband and I registered for a TON of diapers when I was expecting. It wasn’t because we thought others would buy these diapers – it was so we could receive a 15% discount! 🙂

On a personal note, one of my all-time favorite wedding gifts I received is a crystal cross that was from extended family on my mom’s side. It’s absolutely beautiful and far from the practical gifts we registered for. Additionally, I would love to see the trend come back for fine china. We have two sets (one is our wedding set, and the other was from eBay), and we use them every Sunday. Even my three-year old knows to be careful and place her napkin on her lap. It’s fun to use and makes any day special.

I hope this post helps to clear up some confusion! Thank you for the question. 🙂 We will continue on the wedding series with addressing wedding invitations. What are some other areas you would like me to hit?

The Basics of Wedding Showers

Weddings are an event many spend the entire first part of their life planning in some sort or fashion. In today’s Pinterest age, this is done more easily than ever before. So, it’s a good idea to get prepared for the big day ahead of time. Even if saying “I do” isn’t on your immediate agenda, it is likely you’ll attend weddings for family or friends in the future.

This is an area of etiquette many people eventually become interested in. Even if they could not have cared less before, when they anticipate being front row and center in their own wedding, sudden urges of perfectionism creep out. I’m here to happily help you prepare, etiquette-wise, for what to anticipate.

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This post will primarily cover wedding showers. First things first: who hosts the shower? As I mentioned in the Baby Shower post, the hostess should be a friend, not a family member. While it may not be as standard today, it is still assumed that your family will help you out, even if only emotionally, when you get married, so having an immediate family member host a shower makes it appear like you are only asking for gifts. The exception is if your bridesmaids co-host your shower, and your sister is also your bridesmaid. The rule of thumb, though, is that it is friends only. As with any party where you are the guest of honor, you should have a token hostess gift as a thank you for the time and effort (not to mention money) your hostesses made for you. Hostesses: I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again…if you are the hostess, no one attending the party should pay anything, other than any co-hostess. Therefore, you are responsible for the bill if you host at a restaurant. Please no “we’ll provide appetizer, meals are on you” type invitations. They make people resent the bride. Host a shower you can afford. If you cannot afford to host, be honest about it. No one should ever make you feel guilty for not being able to host. To anyone who has ever made someone feel guilty for not being able to afford to host: Stop.

Okay, now that that’s settled, let’s cover some “trends” I wish would make their way out (along with the Nae Nae song. I’m over it). Hostesses, PLEASE do not have guests address their own envelopes, which the bride will use to send thank you notes. Everyone knows what you’re doing. A guest book is timeless. Seriously, I’m 29, and I’m getting one for our home My husband doesn’t know this, yet, so ssshhh. A guestbook is also a forever keepsake that she can look back on to remember who attended her shower. Once those cards are mailed, there is no getting those babies back. While we’re on the subject of thank yous, this is an area that is not debated among the EE’s (etiquette experts) of the world: regardless of the “If you say thank you for a gift in person, you do not have to send a thank you note” rule, when it comes to weddings, you do. They are considered a formal affair, even if you plan for your guests to sit on hay bales.

To back up just a bit – you should send the invitation around one month before the shower date, which should be held between two weeks and two months from the actual wedding. Unless it is a work shower or the couple is having a destination wedding with immediate family only, you should only invite those to the shower who are also invited to the wedding.

A fun tradition: When the bride-to-be is opening her gifts, attach the bows and ribbon to a paper plate for her to use as the bouquet for the wedding rehearsal. Many of you may already know of this tradition, but if you don’t, I’d love to see it make a comeback. Also, in the South, we are fairly superstitious. Every ribbon the bride-to-be breaks when opening her gifts means she’ll have one child. That can add up quickly. Don’t ask me how I know.

While people can, per etiquette, send wedding gifts up to one year post-wedding, you should send thank you notes as immediately as possible, at least within one month of receiving said gift.

That’s it for now! I’ll continue with the wedding etiquette soon, venturing towards sitting at the rehearsal dinner, the reception and on!

What are your favorite shower traditions?

Preview For Card Orders

Ladies and Gentlemen…I am so happy to introduce a little preview to the readers for the cards and stationary I will soon have available for sale. Check out the pictures, and let me know your favorites!card halloweencardvalentinescard

I will try to maintain a solid stock through each holiday, as well as some general cards for everyday use. I truly hope these designs will inspire you to bring back the written letter. Additionally, we will start to cover what to include in a Christmas card (and what to not include), as well as how to address the envelope.

Fun fact for the day: When combining a husband’s and wife’s name with no titles, you list the wife’s name first. Ex: Jane and John Smith. The old Southern rule of thumb is “You never separate a man from his name.” If you use titles, in this case, it would be Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, and I will answer you privately (if you prefer) or will answer via the blog. Thanks for reading!