Aisle Say Florals

Guest blogger Kyla Evans from Aisle Say Wedding Papers talks to Weddings by Rachel about what’s in this season.  Thank you to Kyla for sharing this.

Whether your wedding style is classically elegant or new-age zen, there is an invitation style out there to match. Use your stationery to give your guests a first look into the kind of wedding that you are going to have.  Hot trends this fall include floral patterns and strong graphic presentations. With that in mind, check out some of these gorgeous floral invitation designs from Aisle Say! Wedding Papers by Graphix Blue, LLC.

  1. Calm Lotus invitation: this invitation takes its cue from the traditions of Zen Buddhism. A bright and beautiful yellow lotus connotes serenity and harmony and blends beautifully with a palette of creamy yellow, spring green and rich brown. This invitation is perfect for a wedding blending old and new traditions; think about adding unusual or exotic touches to an otherwise traditional ceremony.
  2. Garden Rose invitation: this classic ivory invitation is a perfect example of timeless elegance. Highlighted with beautiful scrolling greenery and sweet pink roses, this invitation is the essence of romance. This invitation is a great fit for a romantic afternoon ceremony; think botanical gardens or even an exquisite backyard flower garden.
  3. Rococo Rose invitation: this invitation is another take on roses. Ornate and elegant peach and gold scrollwork adorn this timeless invitation design. An updated font gives the invtiation a modern flair. This invitation is perfect for a formal evening wedding; think black tie and champagne reception.
  4. Violet Grey invitation: this ultra modern invitation in bright purple tones retains some traditional styling with a pretty script font. This invitation is designed around a corner decoration of violets with vibrant scroll work. This invitation is perfect for a modern city wedding in early spring; think bright jewel-tone spring flowers popping up against a muted grey and white city backdrop.

For more invitations and inspirations, visit

Does Your Venue Have A Wedding Coordinator? Don’t Rule Out A Planner!

“I don’t need a wedding planner; the venue has a wedding coordinator included in the package!”

The logic is simple and completely understandable, and yes, most venues do have their own wedding coordinator and they will most probably be very experienced and capable. However, what is important to remember is that they work for the venue and not for the bride!

This is often a really grey area, especially for brides. A wedding coordinator from a venue is one whose duties are for the day of the wedding, a wedding planner means that this professional has planned the wedding from start to finish and works only for the bride/bridal couple. 

Most wedding coordinators that work for these venues are professionals and have extensive experience in this industry and will coordinate all that concerns the venue, but they are not there from the beginning and have a complete understanding of how the wedding day should pan out.

Professional wedding planners facilitate the whole process working hard to get the bridal couple the best quality services for the best prices. They are also there to help the bride pick her dress, hold her hand when she’s nervous or worried, listen to her when she’s complaining about members of the bridal party and much, much more.

The venue’s wedding coordinator will make sure things run smoothly for the venue on the day but not necessarily for the couple -sometimes these are completely different things. What would happen if your cake makers didn’t turn up? Or if the flowers all wilted or were the wrong colours? What if nobody could find the mother of the bride or the registrar’s car had broken down two miles away? A wedding planner will take care of these things. They will have complete communication with all suppliers and be on hand for any emergencies. They will go on the hunt for missing family members and drive around to pick things and/or people up if required.

If a bride can afford it I highly recommend at least getting a day of coordinator, it will lower the insanity level considerably. And if you’re lucky enough to be able to work with a coordinator for the entire time you’re planning your wedding better yet!

Remember: A Wedding Planner puts the bridal couple first above all else.

8 Top Tips For Wedding Etiquette

Wedding traditions are everywhere and many traditions have changed or been completely forgotten over the years. However, brides often ask me about wedding etiquette and the expected protocol in certain situations.

Wedding etiquette is an unwritten (though sometimes written) list of traditions and guidelines to follow in the planning and execution of a wedding. Generally, this type of etiquette can be traced back through centuries of tradition and routines, and most of it will play a big role in the weddings and marriage ceremonies of today.

Wedding etiquette is important because it is there to ensure that weddings progress smoothly and that all guests are treated with care and appreciated for attending the wedding. It also really does impact just about every aspect of your wedding, from the invitations to the thank you cards.

Here are 8 top etiquette tips to help guide you through your wedding day.

Paying For The Wedding
Traditionally it will be the parents of the bride that will pay for the majority of the wedding, with the groom paying for suit hire, rings and the honeymoon. However, nowadays many couples are paying for their weddings themselves or even splitting the cost between both families. It is a difficult subject to approach when starting to plan a wedding but it is important to sort this out early on so you know what, if anything, each family would like to contribute.

Setting Dress Codes
When it comes to dress codes, traditions have changed. A formal engraved invitation used to mean that guests were expected to wear morning dress. However, nowadays dress codes are much more varied but are still known to be quite formal. If you do wish to set a dress code this is fine, just make sure that any invitation wording is simple and clear.

This is an age old question of who sends the invitations and when? Traditionally invitations are sent from the bride’s parents, nowadays it is becoming more common for couples to send their own or for the wording to be from whoever is paying for the wedding. If a number of people are contributing, it is best to send it from the couple.Order your invitations four months before your wedding and post them approx. 10 weeks before the wedding.

Arriving at the Ceremony
The groom and best man should arrive at the venue at least 30 minutes before the bride. This is also true of guests who would usually arrive half an hour before the start of the ceremony.
The groom usually does not mingle during this time but sits quietly at the front of the ceremony room waiting for the bride to arrive.

Traditionally the bride would enter first and bridesmaids would follow, sometimes with the flower girl going before the bride. In the States it’s the other way around, and this is becoming more and more popular in the UK. There’s no set rule for this so go with your instincts and what you would prefer.

Favours are not necessary, especially if you are on a tight budget. The most traditional wedding favour is sugared almonds. These are usually given in a box or bag in sets of five, representing fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness.

The speeches are usually made as coffee is being served. The father or the bride usually speaks first, followed by the groom and best man. However, you could have the speeches before the meal so that the speakers can relax and enjoy their food, or hold them later on when your evening guests are also present.

Gift Lists
Register your gift list sooner rather than later, especially if you’re planning to use one of the popular department stores. Some will let you register online early, but otherwise 12 weeks is about standard. If you’re sending your invites out eight to 10 weeks before, you can include information about your gift list with them. Although it’s more acceptable now to ask for money as a gift, some guests may still prefer to buy you a present. A compromise could be to set up a small wedding list and suggest that vouchers for a variety of retailers would be just as useful.

For more tips on etiquette or for help planning your wedding, please contact us at Weddings by Rachel.

10+ Tips on Going Green with The Green Bride

Weddings by Rachel are happy to welcome guest blogger, Sandy Stringer. Sandy is a Wedding and Events planner at Strings and Champagne, a wedding planning company based in Sacramento.


Couples all across the nation are adding a personal touch to their weddings. It doesn’t surprise us to see that the eco-factor is also very important to our brides and grooms in 2011. A green wedding is any wedding where the couple tries to decrease the impact of their event on the planet – and there are many ways to do it without sacrificing style or elegance! Green weddings are eco-chic and just as amazing and beautiful as your “regular” wedding. You minimize waste while not sacrificing style. Nature’s elements and beauty help us design events that compliment the environment.

If you think about, every little detail of your wedding can carry a shade of green. You can start with wearing a silk or vintage dress, serve organic foods and decorate your venue with bamboo and potted plants. Every green choice will make a difference!

Here are some more great ideas on going “green” on your wedding day! 

~ Offer an organic signature cocktail and toast with your local, organic wine!

~ Have your bridesmaids wear cute purses decorated with gems and rhinestones

~ Use local vendors! Have your local wedding bakery bake an organic cake!

~ Decorate with soy candles at your reception. They not only last longer than other candles, but are also better for the environment.

~ Save some paper when creating your invitations, there are companies out there that use recycled paper or enjoy the world of online invitations for date-savers and pre-wedding-parties.

~ Instead of printing escort cards for every single guest, surprise your guests and have ushers in white gloves walk your guests to their seats. Don’t have ushers? Print your guest name and table number on a stone as an alternative..

~ Edible favors are a great way of adding that special touch to your table setting or instead of spending money on favors you can ask your guests to donate to one of the many deserving charities out there.

~ Believe it or not but there are also eco-conscious jewelers out there that use recycled stones and metals to create one of a kind jewellery.

~ Because many conventional cosmetics contain toxic chemicals, using all-natural beauty and hair products or seeking out a green salon for your wedding day will be much better for your health.

~ Most of our photographers are already one step ahead, they went digital a long time ago and we all know the huge benefits of that!

~ A romantic ride on a white horse carriage, a ride on that antique bicycle or even crossing the lake on a canoe.. all of these transportation ideas can reduce the air pollution if chosen instead of the traditional limousine.

I hope I inspired you with some of these ideas. Happy green wedding planning!

Sandy Stringer, Owner of Strings & Champagne Events


Getting Ready On Your Wedding Day

So, you’ve prepared your wedding, everything is scheduled and organised and the day has finally arrived.  I always tell my brides that one of the most important things is to have an easy, relaxing morning and enjoy getting ready. You do not want to be stressed out, worrying about arrangements or having to redo your hair or makeup. Be prepared! Think about the morning of your wedding in advance and make all of those around you aware of your plans.

Ensure that someone is assigned to organising everything at the venue. For example, setting out the ceremony room, laying tables, organising flowers, tying cravats, seating guests, chasing suppliers etc. You don’t want to have anything to do with this if you can help it. If you have a wedding planner they will do all of this for you leaving you free to do what you should be doing – getting ready!

Try and stay in bed as long as you can before you have to get up – stick to your usual sleep pattern (if you usually have 7 hours sleep, 10 might leave you feeling groggy), however, if you do get up early why not take a nice warm bath (of course, avoid oils and bubble bath if you have just had a spray tan).  The other option is to do some light stretching. This can help relieve any tension that you may have built up over night.

Have a good breakfast. It’s very easy to ‘not be hungry’ on your wedding morning but you will definitely need the energy and wish you had had something to eat later on. If you really don’t feel up to a full English breakfast, try just having a bagel or some toast or cereal. It’s really good to have something to line your stomach. Also, consider light snacks that you can eat when having your hair or make up done, and when you are dressed. You want to avoid chocolate or anything that could stain, so stick to things like carrot sticks, breadsticks and chopped up apple. Nuts are also very good snacks as they are high in protein.

Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the morning to keep you hydrated and healthy and to plump of your skin for a beautifully fresh look.

If you are staying at a hotel the night before the wedding and see guests in the morning, do not feel obliged to hang around chatting. The last thing you want is to get too involved in anything when now is the time to focus on yourself.

You will have pre-booked you hair and makeup appointments (make sure you do this a few hours before the ceremony to give you plenty of time. If unsure, ask your makeup artist/hairdresser who will be happy to advise). Ask your hairdresser in advance if you should shampoo your hair the night before or the day of the wedding.

Before you have your hair and makeup done, make sure you have a top on that can be unbuttoned rather than pulled over your head. If you have a dress that goes over your head, get a pillow case or a silk underskirt to put over your head first. This way your dress will slide on easily without damaging your hair or getting any make-up on it.

Get dressed first. Don’t make the mistake of dressing the bride last so everyone is ready to help. If things are running behind the bride should not be rushed to get ready! This will cause stress, and you need to be relaxed!

If your dress has laces or buttons, ask a friend to come and help you dress. Often a bridesmaid or family member will be there for bridal preparations, but it is likely that they may also have false nails for the occasion. If you have a friend present who isn’t in the bridal party they will be able to help the bride to get dressed. Don’t forget to take off any labels from underneath your new shoes!

Have a sip or two of champagne with your bridesmaids before you get ready to walk down the aisle!

For more tips and advice, contact Weddings by Rachel.