The Street · Wedding Planning Essentials · Weddings & Receptions

SURVEY SAYS … What Your Wedding Guests Care About MOST, a couple of things they say they DON’T … & three things to AVOID

Featured Image: Kellie Pickler, Steve Harvey & Lance Bass on Celebrity Family Feud

With 2018 wedding planning here, it is worth spending a moment considering WeddingWire’s 2017 survey results about what wedding guests consider most and least important.  It is your wedding, and you (and maybe your parents and future in-laws) are paying an average of over $35,000 for your *Best. Day. Ever.*, not your guests, so you might be tempted to ignore these findings.  I totally understand, but you want friends and family to have had a good time and leave feeling glad they made the effort to attend.  So while this one survey should not determine your every decision, I think it is helpful information when thinking about how to allocate your wedding budget …  and maybe your guest list!

The good news is that 68% of guests surveyed rank celebrating with the couple as what matters most about your wedding, followed closely by the opportunity to catch up with family & friends, with 63% checking that box.

HOWEVER…when asked about what your guest is paying the most attention to, the top attention getter is  — DECOR — the setting, furnishings, attire, colors & how these all work together.  Your guests are appreciating the aesthetic your wedding and reception choices create.

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Photo:  Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Aesthetic is that hard-to-define, but you-know-it-when-you-see-it vibe you feel when an event is cohesive, coordinated and pulled-off in a beautiful and tasteful manner.  Aesthetic is a sincere and focused expression of your personal style, completed with surprising details and by combining various components to create a unified whole.  And maybe most important, it’s not about how much you spend, it’s about how you spend it.  Style comes through best with a light touch, IT’s A PARTY after all, and it needs to be enjoyed and able to be messed-up a bit.

What Guests DON’T CARE ABOUT

Taylor Street is excited to report what landed at the bottom of the list in terms of guest importance – escort cards.  We happily report this because wedding favors are usually toward the bottom of the list as well, so it is with relief and some delight that we report this result. WeddingWire’s survey also reports guests found toiletry amenities as unimportant.  I’ve honestly got nothing more to say about that finding, however…I do have a few comments on favors.

David and I also absolutely understand that wedding favors naturally are not going to rank high on a list that includes blockbusters like food, drink and dance.  It also is well known that favor shopping is left to the very end of most wedding planning — which kind of guarantees a rushed, less-than-optimal outcome with a budget that’s already maxed out.

So while trying to not sound too defensive, we suggest that wedding favors can not only be something your guests could appreciate, they absolutely contribute to your wedding’s aesthetic and help to create an overall impression that guests will carry with them (literally!) back home.

We humbly observe that wedding favors are [way] down the the priority list because they are not a concern of any of the big-ticket vendors – venue, caterer, photographer/videographer, florist.  The wedding planner is the only wedding professional who may consider favors important enough to discuss with you, and she or he is also usually already trying to stretch a budget to cover a very long priority list.

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Capiz Shell Gold Trimmed Lotus Candle Holder | Taylor Street Favors

Enough on favors — if you want great favors that your guests will love, we know they exist.  If you want some ideas, check us out on instagram, our WeddingWire or the knot storefronts, or send us an email letting us know your aesthetic, your budget, your guest count, and your wedding date, and we’ll get busy.

TOP ANNOYANCES TO AVOID

Guests ranked what bothered them most at weddings as: (1) drunk guests; (2) not knowing anyone & feeling alone; and (3) bad music.

So, might this WeddingWire survey have any impact on you?  Maybe those friends you were going to send a stag invite to (so you could manage head count) will now receive “+1’s”, or maybe you’ll rethink the DIY DJ mix tape decision you already were feeling unsure about.  Maybe you’ll even carve out some $$$ for wedding favors!

Next post – Choose your aesthetic in 5 [mostly easy] steps.  Plan on!

The Street · Wedding Planning Essentials

Totally Awesome Same-Sex Wedding Cake Toppers

Acrylic Custom Cake Topper #caketopper #samelove #gaywedding #gayweddingcaketopper #gaycaketopper

A post shared by TheTaylorStreetGuys (@thetaylorstreetguys)

Gifts · The Street · Wedding Planning Essentials

Raise Your Glass-ware

Choosing glassware for your wedding table, reception or bar can feel like a daunting task. There are many types and styles out there to choose from and wedding glassware is an item that you, and your guests, will hold onto long after. Remember, as with all things wedding, have some fun and don’t over think it.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

Champagne Flutes.

When it comes to toasting with your significant someone, select something unique just for the two of you. Stemless or stemmed, champagne flutes are the crown jewel of toasting. You will bring these beautiful glasses out every year on your anniversary and reminisce about that amazing day you first raised your glass as a married couple.

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Modern Stemless Champagne Flutes Silver Ombre Cheers Etched

Gold rimmed.

Gold rimmed is a nice choice because of its elegance and simplicity. From flutes to wine glasses, gold rims make a statement – and a little goes a long way. Gold works with everything and if you decide to get it personalized, go for something simple and specific to the two of you. A quote or nicknames works well.

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“LOVE WINS” Stemless Wine Glass with Gold Rim – 21oz

Vintage.

Vintage glassware is great when you want a pop of bohemian or an eclectic vibe. The awesome thing with vintage is that it feels romantic without trying too hard, and if you can get toasting flutes in some awesome vintage color – all the better!

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Vintage Inspired Pressed Glass Goblet – Blush Pink

Stemless.

Stemless glassware is all the rage, it feels modern, and there are so many choices available for personalization. You can have logos with names and dates or some quotes that express your love.

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Small Personalized Stemless Wine Glass – 9oz

Pint.

Pint glassware is perfect for younger guests as well as the married couple. The below age soda-sipping guests can feel like they are part of the grown up beer-guzzling crowd with pint glasses. There are some really fun designs that can be added to personalize your pints. And the awesome thing is that you can get gold rimmed pint glasses as well.

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Rustic Farmhouse™ Gold Rimmed Cheers Pint Glasses (set of 2)

Shot Glasses.

Toward the end of the night the bridal party should have a chance to shoot back a couple of shots to the newly married couple.

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Belmont™ Hammered Brass Shot Glasses by Viski

Personalized shot glasses are a perfect takeaway for your besties who stood by you at [and probably helped you get to] the alter.

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Personalized Shot Glass, Candle Holder Favor – Wedding Theme

Beer Stein.

Be unconventional! Beer Steins are a perfect throw-tradition-out-the-door glassware, without actually throwing tradition out the door at all. This ingenious Moscow Mule Stein with Stacked Monogram Etching makes a great gift for dad, and mom too! We say, go for it — it’s your wedding! And… they also make awesome groomsmen or bridesmaid gifts!

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Moscow Mule Stein Stacked Monogram Etching

Mason Jar Mugs.

Personalized Glass Mason Drinking Jars are the perfect “go-to” glass for rustic barn weddings. They have a super casual feel — they are mason jars after all. Fun for daytime garden weddings filled with strawberry lemonade or winter weddings filled with hot chocolate! With lids, they can be filled with sangria and kept in a large bucket during the summer evening reception.

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Personalized Glass Mason Drinking Jars (Set of 4)

No matter the glassware you choose for your wedding, it will be perfect. Cheers!

DIY · The Street · Wedding Planning Essentials · Weddings & Receptions

Wedding Favor Table Ideas

Barn Wedding

Welcome guests with a charming outdoor display and stack personalized jam favors beneath an amazing floral arrangement.

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Beach Wedding

Send your guests home with a personal thank you message in a bottle.

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Rustic Wedding

Find an vintage dresser and fill it with jars of candy or kettle corn.

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Garden Wedding

Stack personalized handmade craft beer soaps wrapped
with a thank you message from the couple.

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Winter Wedding

Cover the table with a light dusting of “snow” and set out nests of Jordan Almonds.     Festive and fun.

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Vintage Wedding

Stacked suitcases topped with warm throws
for the guests to grab as the evening gets cooler.

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Bend the rules!

There is nothing wrong with sticking to traditions, just as there is also nothing wrong with bending the rules — just a little bit!

When planning a wedding it’s easy to get so wrapped up in your expectations that some details slip your mind. Just remember keep it simple and easy. An elegant visual of easy to grab favors is a sure bet and your guests will love the effort. This is your day. Have fun!

Your guests will leave feeling like it really was the best day ever!

 

How to's · The Street · Wedding Planning Essentials · Weddings & Receptions

3 Tips for selecting favors your guests will take home.

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Classic Baby Blue Gumball Dispenser | Taylor Street Favors

There are way too many party favors.  [We feel your pain every day]. Determining good value for the money is difficult, and even some of the better known industry names have wide variances in the quality of their products (we will not mention names).  And while some couples choose to go DIY, skill levels vary (!) and not everyone has the time or desire.

If you don’t want to make your wedding favors, we at Taylor Street want you know it is absolutely possible for you to purchase interesting or fun, well made, wedding favors.


Here are 3 tips to help make your favor selection process a success.

Tip #1:  Ask yourself the right question

Don’t start your favor search with the question: What gift would my guests be so impressed with / like enough to want to take home?

The mindset behind this question — that you must thrill your guests — is guaranteed to frustrate your efforts because:

1. you will never please everyone, and

2. you are allowing your decision to be dictated by guest preferences you can not influence and can not possibly guess correctly.

Better question:  What small gift/memento would I enjoy giving to my guests — a gift to thank them for coming that might remind them of my wedding day or make them laugh, and that I can afford — without stressing me/us out more than we already are?

Or turn it around — what small gift would I enjoy receiving if I were attending my own wedding?

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Tip #2:  Incorporate your Theme…

Since most guest favors are placed on individual tables or displayed on a reception table, incorporating your theme into the favor can help you narrow your focus.   One of the simplest, and often more successful, ways to to do this is with color, and/or texture.  Every wedding or celebration has one or a few predominant recurring colors or textures.  Use something you’ve already decided on as your inspiration, and you will have streamlined your decision making process.

Tip #3:  …But don’t replicate your entire theme.

Take elements from your theme and deconstruct them.  Do not recreate your entire event theme in miniature with your favor, but rather, take just one part of it.  If your wedding reception theme is the Great Gatsby roaring twenties – repeat a deco print or black and gold color combination with your favor or tag.

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Gatsby Matte White Chair Favor Box | Taylor Street Favors

…and a warning about Pinterest. It is invaluable, but it can overwhelm — too many ideas will have you second guessing yourself in no time.  Your objective is not to make your gift or favor “pin” worthy.  When you go to Pinterest – and you know you will – first set a goal and a time limit.  Get in, get out.

Your favor lets your guests know how much you appreciate them making time to celebrate with you.  It does not have to be a lasting souvenir, and it does not have to be handmade to be appreciated.  Keep it sincere, affordable – and have some fun.

Wedding Planning Essentials · Weddings & Receptions

Modernist

Causally arranged, repetition and simplicity are hallmarks of modern style showcasing minimalistic whites, dotted with shimmering votives, and enhanced with simple florals combine to create a table setting with a decidedly modernist vibe.

Accented with silver, white on white is a classic recipe for modern chic. Clean lines, unfussy elements create a setting that is both trendy and polished.

 

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City Style Tag, City Style Sticker, and XOXO Tin

To add an additional layer of personality, take traditional glassware and make it modern with a fresh new silhouette and custom message. A custom wine glass is perfect for giving to your guests as favors and adding a little something extra to your table decor!

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City Style Wine Label
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Personalized Stemless Wine Glass

Greet your guests with these impressive, and unique, twisted fork handle stationery holders placed at their seat. A perfect fit for a city style modernist theme.

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Twisted Fork Vintage Inspired Stationery Holders

Add an additional personalized layer to each place setting with these city style menu cards. Uptown flair with a subtle modern twist. The simple wrap of ribbon and a lavender detail finish off the look.

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City Style Menu Card, XOXO Tin with City Style Favor Tag
and White Satin Ribbon

Sometimes all a wedding reception needs is a little flicker of candlelight to set the mood and these glass votives with a reflective silver interior add the perfect glimmer.

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Classic Glass Votive Holder in Silver

Do what you love, keep it simple and remember this is your day. Each detail reflects you. A perfect balance of fresh and functional. Simple, neutral and anything but boring.

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City Style Menu Card, City Style Favor Tag
Wedding Planning Essentials

What’s In (and What’s Out) when it comes to Working with Wedding Professionals

 

David and I do not believe that you need to have any particular thing / ritual / color or song for your wedding.  We do believe that whatever you do decide to include and however you decide to express yourselves through your wedding and reception, you ought to be able to do it with class, with style, with confidence and within budget!  Your wedding day ought to be FUN!  Everyone you hire should be focused on making your wedding day uniquely yours & the best day it can be.

I get upset when I come across wedding industry pros who willingly take advantage of a newly engaged couple’s lack of experience in planning a wedding to push their own agenda. A recent article written for a well-known publication provided wedding style comments from various wedding professionals, dismissing some wedding trends and elevating others.  It pushed me to think about how we each can identify & hire passionate, competent, and trustworthy wedding pros.  And in the spirit of the article that drove my motivation to write this, I’ve used their same “what’s out” and “what’s in” approach.

What’s OUT:   Wedding professionals who sermonize about “tired” trends — to be swept away with last year’s brides and grooms — in order to make way for a fresh crop of this year’s recruits who arrive flush with cash.  These pros take advantage of a couple’s inexperience and some insecurity, and sell “the latest trends” because “on-trend” drives compliments and new business – for them.

What’s IN:  Wedding professionals who listen to their clients, provide guidance and advice without preaching, and believe that earning their client’s trust by putting the couple’s interest & vision first is their priority.  These pros are both confident and modest.

What does “a trending wedding professional” look like in practice?  Here’s my list of the top 10 characteristics in trending wedding pros you absolutely will love working with…


TOP 10 Wedding Pro Characteristics

10.  Pros are careful to not take more clients than they can serve confidently, providing their highest level of service to every couple;

9.  Pros NEVER assume they know “what is best” for a particular couple – they listen more than they talk;

8.  Pros treat all couples, gay and straight, with equal respect — and back up “their talk” with gender neutral sales materials and contracts;

7.  Pros do not gossip;

6.  Pros are happy to share their success;

5.  Pros never allow anyone to feel as though they just asked a stupid question;

4.  Pros have no fear of having you shop around;

3.  Pros sometimes say no, knowing that they are not the best fit for every couple;

2.  Pros admit that sometimes they don’t have all the answers, but will always go find the answer if they don’t know.  Eagerness to continue learning is key;

1.  Pros still have A BLAST doing what they are doing – and it shows.

That’s how you’ll spot a real wedding professional.

Wedding Planning Essentials · Weddings & Receptions

The “I Do Crew” …for those couples doing things a bit differently… .

Many newly engaged couples, gay and straight, are involving friends and family members in their weddings in more creative and personal ways, redefining traditional gender-based bridesmaids & groomsmen roles.


[And really, why can’t brides and grooms have their BFF’s stand with them at the alter regardless of gender?]


Increasingly, today’s modern couples — whether two brides, two grooms or a bride and groom — are choosing to co-create their wedding ceremony from the ground up, mixing cultural and religious traditions with unique elements, and creating new terminology to fit.

Whatever your reason – here are a few examples of interesting and modern takes on wedding rituals, and some fun alternative names for your wedding party too.

Wedding colors:  Couples are managing the all-to-familiar bridesmaid matching outfit and coordinating groomsmen tradition with a much lighter touch.  Couples are selecting a color (or two) and inviting a close circle of friends and family to wear the color(s). Sometimes instructions include a particular article of clothing (bow tie / socks / shirt or blouse color) and sometimes the request is simply to include that color in whatever outfit is chosen. Not only are couples able to involve more people than they might if the wedding color was limited to the more traditional gang up front, it looks awesome when it comes time for pictures.  David and I went this route, but in hindsight didn’t take the idea far enough.  We now wish we would have had his mom and my dad wear some “poppy orange” too [really – see picture!].

Non-traditional processional – rather than the 2X2, invite your closest friends, and wedding party participants to walk down the aisle at the start of your ceremony with their respective significant others and then sit in reserved rows at the front. This eliminates the need to have everyone pair up nicely…and means you can forget about requiring an equal number of attendants for each “side of the aisle”. Isn’t it more natural and enjoyable if a family with children move as a clump, or if you have a friend who is happily single, stride down your aisle individually?

Combined bridesmaid-groomsmen party – Why not!  Especially if you each already have both men and women as attendants, why not have a co-ed party involving both groups.  Not only do these people then have more of a chance to get to know each other, you can have some fun with your best friends while getting to know your future spouse’s best friends – win/win.

And now, a few alternative terms that are gender neutral and more encompassing too. 

The safe, tried-and-true choice:  “attendants” or “entourage”

Lighthearted:   team [fill in the name of groom(s) or bride(s)];

And these too:  party people, wedding squad, bridal brigade paired with groom squad.

idocrewMy personal favorite is the “I Do Crew” .  It’s catchy, gender neutral, and – for me – a little bit sentimental.

…and it makes a great hashtag.   #idocrew