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.

bruno-nascimento-198170
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.

5249-box__82957.1511213945
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!

Real Weddings

Megan and Ryan

August 5th, 2017

Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | August 5th, 2017
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
meganryanwed969.jpg
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography
MeganRyanWed2970
Megan & Ryan | Heather Nguyen Photography

Who proposed to whom?
Ryan proposed to Megan

How did you get engaged?
Ryan proposed at Chamisal Winery in Edna Valley

Wedding date?
August 5, 2017

Venue?
The Grace Maralyn Estate & Gardens

Coordinator?
Molly @ The Grace Maralyn Estate & Gardens

Catering?
The Ribline

Cake?
Cupcakes by Ribline

Cake Topper?
A replica of our dog

Photographer?
Heather Nguyen Photography
Second Shooter- Leana Myra

DJ?
Adept Events

Florist?
Costco

Hair/Makeup?
Kat Slay @ Luna Loft in Paso Robles

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.

4210e9a4f9e8fd41ad62998782510986.jpg

Beach Wedding

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

dd07e36a5d200239241c73044f875d11.jpg

Rustic Wedding

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

760e31cbf84e32baebbfadf172530145.jpg

Garden Wedding

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

7d7b05ca62cb97771cb33ca756112a3a.jpg

Winter Wedding

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

3e5842cd56287e7a624b7d45821be152.jpg

Vintage Wedding

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

82fc8eb6e4a934be5771a654b5466645.jpg

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.

cropped-IMG_5621
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?

9752-77-i_xoxo-rectangular-tin-box-with-lid6486308e992dfc4d80c09c86e79fbcdf__16787.1501529275.1280.1280

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.

white-layout-IMG_4952__92299.1492553199
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.

Real Weddings

Shannon & Brent

Who proposed to whom? Brent proposed to me.

How did you get engaged? We had been happily living in sin together for two years and we were packing for a January weekend away at our favorite little hotel in Philadelphia. He was acting so oddly, I could see him perspiring a little bit on his face, pacing around our bedroom and I thought, Hmmmmmmmm, something is up. I was in our closet grabbing clothes to pack and I turned around to put them in my bag, and he was standing right behind me. He said, I can’t wait until we get to Philadelphia, I wanted everything to be perfect, but I can’t wait. I’m sorry. He pulled out a little vintage ring holder from his pocket, opened it up… and said, I love you, will you marry me? And of course, I said yes. Standing in our little closet, in our little bedroom, in our little house, it was perfect.

Wedding date? June 10, 2017

Venue? Sombrero Beach, Marathon Key, Florida

Coordinator? Moi

Catering? We had dinner reservations for two after our ceremony at the Butterfly Cafe on Marathon Key.

Cake? No thank you. Key Lime Pie!

Cake Topper? LOTS OF WHIPPED CREAM!

Photographer? Oh we chose a cute, quirky couple that took all of the pictures

DJ? No DJ, we were serenaded by ocean waves, the island wind, seagulls… and some little boy chasing after an eel swimming around in the reef just off to our right.

Florist? Me again! I decided that I would make my own bouquet out of crepe paper flowers.

Hair/Makeup? Me: Thanks to mother nature I had some fresh sunshine on my face, a few loose curls and mascara and done. He: Thanks to poor judgement with head protection and the sun, he was sporting a mean tan line.

Anything else you’d like to say?
A little history of us. We met when we were in 2nd grade. We graduated high school together in a small town in rural Pennsylvania. He driving his 1989 Trans Am and sporting a moustache, that could be mistaken for a dirty lip and I with my acid washed jeans and hair lacquered half way up to Jesus. Yes, my friends, it was 1990. We never dated in high school, he hung out with much cooler people (upperclassmen) than I. He had no time for me, and even hung out with my older brother! Ahhh unrequited love. He reconnected with me in 2010 through the magic of Facebook. I was in the Navy in Virginia Beach and he was living in Pennsylvania, we were both newly divorced. He sent a message to me and I thought Go pound sand buddy, you lost your chance a long time ago. But he wore me down and I decided it wouldn’t hurt to be friendly. Besides, it was more than a little flattering that he was interested in me. But I was busy finding myself again after my divorce and wasn’t interested in any sort of relationship. So, we were just friends for a few years and dated other people. I finally retired from the Navy in 2012 and moved to New York to be near family and to figure out the next chapter of my life, about 3 hours away from Brent in Pennsylvania. We were still friends, communicating through text messages… eventually that turned into phone conversations that started lasting longer and longer each time we talked. We eventually decided that he would come visit me in New York, so he drove up to visit me early in January 2013. He stepped out of his car, thankfully not the 1989 Trans Am, and it was the first time we had seen each other since we had graduated in 1990. We spent the day together driving around the area where I was living, visited with my parents, and we went out to eat – our first date.  When he left the next day, we knew that was it. I knew I had finally met the person who set my soul on fire and made me feel deep comfort all at once, this was the love I had hoped for all my life. And he felt the same way. Yippeeeeeeee! I moved to Pennsylvania the following month to go back to school for Graphic Design and to live happily, in sin, ever after. 🙂

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.

 

9752-77-i_xoxo-rectangular-tin-box-with-lid6486308e992dfc4d80c09c86e79fbcdf__16787.1501529275.1280.1280.jpg
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!

1254-14a_city-style-wine-labeld1475e18a4d3054c784c3ca45c7a2b20__21616.1501536582.1280.1280
City Style Wine Label
41008-pad-i_stemless-wine-glass-smallbcf31e91b6b1a2bfc64342dc52391fe1
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.

9864_77_i_twisted_fork_vintage_inspired_stationery_holders7cbd547ee2db67666ad5e11fc15411c7__89210.1456344864
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.

plate-top-details-2
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.

classic glass votive holder in silver
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.

statinoery-overview
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.

DIY · How to's

Assembling a Mini-cube Favor Box

You’ve got this!  A few simple steps and your mini-cube favor boxes will be ready for you to fill.  If you ordered lots of these, stop reading and go find a friend or two to do this with you before continuing.  You do not need glue, tape or scissors.  You do need to take your time and follow these instructions carefully for the first few boxes.  Once you’ve got a few done you will be able to adjust these instructions to your abilities – including any perfectionistic tendencies you may have…like me.  Send us a picture when you’re done!  And thank you Event Blossom for these images.  David and I work with many wedding favor wholesalers and Event Blossom’s attitude is reliably helpful and reasonable.  We believe strongly that attitude is important.  It’s a feeling — an approach — and we know our attitude influences everything from your satisfaction with Taylor Street to your box building success.  So are clear instructions…

1025HowTo5

Begin with the end in mind – so now that you know you have a two piece box to create…let’s build the top first.  And no – do not skip over the pre-folding step.  It helps make the finished box much more square if you take the time to pre-fold creases.  That said — you also don’t want to go over the creases too heavily as it will damage the glossy finish on the paper. 1025HowTo1

Last steps for the top…

1025HowTo2

Now for the box itself…

1025HowTo3

Do these next steps in order – the big tab must be last to be folded down…

1025HowTo4

Done!1025HT20-764x1024

Don’t forget to send us that image – info@tsfavors.com.

Gratitude for Beginners · The Street

A Little Inspiration Goes A Long Way

bake-1838364_1920

 

I haven’t written a post in awhile  — since November 8 I haven’t felt inspired, honestly — not an okay space to set up shop and wallow in for long.  So, just in case you too find yourself motivation-challenged, I’ve linked to three recent posts from a few of my favorite sources that are helping me to get up and go — to work.

Parisian Walkways:  Passage du Grand-Cerf, by Jeffrey T Iverson

img_8820_terraceofpassagerestaurant_passagedugrandcerfjtiverson

I love reading this online magazine.  I mean – it’s Paris!  But more than the city itself, this article’s inspiration comes from the small shop owners, who have taken a chance, focused on their trade, and believe in the value of a well-made item.  These artisans take pride in their work and the master-craft traditions they preserve. Many of them also set up shop originally when this passage was a neglected eye-sore and stuck with it.  These stories helped to reenergize my passion for Taylor Street Favors, our wedding favors and gift business, whose inclusive message may become less accepted, making it ever more important for us to stick with it and promote.  

 

 What I’ve Learned In 38 Years Of Surrounding Myself With Confident People

bremen-town-musicians-1651945_1920

This inspiring article, from Fast Company contributor, Michael Thompson, ticks off 7 qualities he’s picked up from the confident people who have been a part of his life.  I was nodding in agreement as I read.

Finding joy in others success, and celebrating it with friends and family, is so important – both to your friend [duh!], and to your well-being as well.  The act of celebrating is empowering – doing so makes you, your friends, and family happier and stronger.  

As Michael quoted in his piece from Kareem Abdul Jabbar, truly confident people just want “to play the game well and go home”.  In the wedding industry, trend spotting and trend-following are omnipresent, so Kareem’s notion of not requiring other people’s approval really resonates with me, which connects me to my third inspirational piece, on…

 The 17 Hottest Wedding Trends for 2017

drone-1080844_1920

Articles pertaining to trends in this industry are  e v e r y w h e r e, and not surprisingly  often repeat the same tedious do’s and dont’s of the season. David and I believe strongly in helping you create a ceremony, a reception, or a party that feels authentic to you. We believe that just because some look, color or theme is trending does not mean it is worthy of following or repeating. However, we don’t live under a rock. We do like, and need to have, an awareness of what is going on in this industry to be able to keep our store fresh and relevant.  I think this article does a good job of providing an overview without gushing or selling you on any particular view.  Most importantly for me – these trends are not a surprise, and I am realizing David and I are getting quite adept at hand-selecting items that are well made, a good value, and will be interesting to our customers.  Woo hoo!

Here’s to confidence in all you — and we — do. 

Let’s aim high and do this.

Real Weddings

Seaside Wedding: Michael & Barry

Michael & Barry were married on August 6, 2016 at Gearhart Beach, Oregon.

Who proposed to whom? I Proposed to Barry

How did you get engaged? We went on a 4 day cruise through the San Juan Islands with friends for Barry’s birthday and in the sculpture garden in Roche Harbor, on San Juan Island, the question was popped.

Wedding date? August 6, 2016

Venue? Reception: McMenamins Gearhart Hotel, Wedding: Gearhart Beach, Oregon

Coordinator? Amanda Wolf

Catering? Gearhart Hotel

Cake? Laurie Clarke Cakes

Cake Topper? Sammy’s Flowers

Photographer? Donny Mays Photography

DJ? Spencer Crum

Florist? Sammy’s Flowers (sammysflowers.com)

Hair/Makeup? We are naturally that beautiful (none needed) LOL

Macaroons? Didn’t have any