Things We Didn't Plan To Do at Our Wedding, But Are Glad We Did.

As everyone knows, planning a wedding is complicated. In our case, before we started actually planning our wedding, we had lots of conversations about what we did and didn't want to include in our day. Many people feel pressure from all kinds of directions to include certain things into their wedding that they don't necessarily feel a connection to. This pressure can come from family members who have expectations, some sense of having to do the same thing as your friends, societal influence, or even a nameless sense of "but this is the way it has to be".

But, really, it doesn't "have to be" anything you don't want! It's YOUR wedding!

That being said, no plan (wedding or otherwise) survives for long without changing. Sometimes, all it takes is the right person or motivation to change your mind on something, and then, BAM, things get easier and better.

So, here is a list of things that we didn't plan to do at our wedding, but are glad we did.


1.  Have an Engagement Shoot: We are not necessarily the type of people that want everyone to look at us. Most of the time when we would see engagement photos, all we could think was "Wow, we cannot picture ourselves doing that." Most of them looked forced, posed in ways that the people in them would never pose, or just plain cheesy in a way that wasn't us. When we found our photographer (the wonderful Alexandra Roberts), part of her wedding package was that she would do an engagement shoot. Even though we kind of felt like we didn't need it, it was part of the deal, so we figured we'd go ahead and do it anyway, since we loved her work. Man, was it a good idea.

First, and most importantly, the photos came out great. Alex is a wizard, and really captured moments that felt distinctly "us", and even when we were doing things that felt silly to us, she would catch the little moments in between that were truly genuine. We had an absolute blast running around with her in a blueberry patch, and then down at the sea wall in Narragansett, RI. But the practical results of this exercise were just as important. For one thing, established a relationship between us and our photographer, and she got to know us and our vibe. This allowed her to come into the actual wedding with a plan for how she wanted to go about it, and knew about what we were expecting. Also, since we loved the engagment photos so much, it made us supremely confident in her ability to capture our wedding in a way that we were going to be happy with.

So, even though we dragged our feet on the idea, we are 100% glad we went this route. 

(Sidenote, our wedding photos came out amazing. Like, infinity better than we could have ever hoped for. I mentioned Alex is a wizard, and I'm not joking.)

2. Have a Bachelor Party: I am not a bachelor party kind of guy. The typical bachelor party activities hold no interest for me. As a non-drinker, most of the debauchery usually associated with bachelor parties essentially meant that I had written one off. However, as the wedding got closer, my work situation got more stressful, we bought our house and moved in, the stress started piling on stress. Jess and some of my Groom's Guard organized a pretty great day for me. We all went to a shooting range (Manly! But totally a controlled environment, safe, fun, and affordable.), and then went out for Chinese food. That was it. I even overheard one of my friends saying "No no, honey don't worry, it's not THAT kind of party...I'll be back by dinner time". 
Everyone had a great time, we ate good food, and we were done in time to go home and relax. The important thing, though, is that it gave me a little bit of mental space from the stress I was under. Just taking a day off to go do fun things helped immensely! 

3. Have a Day-of Person: We did almost all of the wedding planning ourselves. We dedicated a ton of time to all the little details and projects that were involved. But there is only one problem with that: On the day, you're too busy to attend to all those details! Luckily, the venue we had chosen  (the Tiverton Meeting House) assigns a day-of coordinator. While we were off getting photos taken, getting ready, or whatever else we were doing, she was there to tell people where to sit, where to set up, where to put the chairs, and (the thing we are worst at, ourselves) make sure it was all happening on time. We didn't expect to need someone to do all this since we figured "hey, we'll be there, so we'll just handle it" but...that's not very fun. On the day, you want to be able to enjoy it, see all the people you haven't seen in a long time, and really let all your hard work sink in. It shouldn't feel like you are working at your own wedding!

4. Have a small "Welcome" map/guide: One thing we realized was that a ton of our friends and family were going to be in town for our wedding, but we wouldn't be able to hang out with all of them the whole time they were be here. What we ended up doing at the last second was putting together a little welcome guide. We made a small program to leave at the hotels people were staying at, and inside it had tips on things to see, places to eat, directions to the venue, and other general information.  Our guests really seemed to love getting to know our city through our favorite haunts, and we loved hearing about the adventures people had while exploring! Because of this, and the little map we included, we started offering Day-Of maps, and our clients really seem to connect with them. There's just something about sharing what you love about your home town!

 

5. Hire a Travel Agent for our Honeymoon: We knew going into the wedding that we were really going to want to get out of town right afterwards! It was something we were looking forward to immensely, and we had all kinds of ideas about where we wanted to go, and what we wanted to do. We ended up deciding that we would go to a part of the world that neither of us had been before, so that it was a new and memorable trip for both of us. This left only one problem: neither of us knew anything about traveling in the part of the world we wanted to visit!

Normally, this is something that we'd have a blast planning and looking forward to, but, when planning a wedding at the same time, it was just another stress causer that we needed to navigate. So, enter our friends Don and Steven.

It basically all went like this: We all sat down at our favorite local Indian restaurant and we got out a map. We started with a city we hadn't been to yet, Prague. From there, we pointed at cities that were close to it, and asked them if they were awesome or not. If the answer was yes, we put it on our itinerary. A week or so later, they sent us a proposed trip. They had planned out all of our flights to and from Europe, our hotels in each city, transportation to each city, and one thing for us to do in each place. So, that was all the hard stuff all done, all in one fell swoop. All we had to do was get to the airport, and everything else was all set. We even had transportation lined up for between each train-station and each hotel, so we really just needed to stumble out of the hotel and get in the waiting car.
This left us to just figure out what we wanted to do in each place, which was really all we wanted to deal with. It was an amazing trip, and incredibly hard to come back from!

 

So, those are the things we didn't plan to do at our wedding, but are glad we did. What about everyone else?

 

When do I send out my wedding invitations

Hello! We hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July (if you're in the States), and are all bearing the summer heat as well as possible! We thought we'd take a little time to answer one of the questions we get asked the most (and, according to Google, one that gets asked by a lot of people on the internet), and that is:

When do I send out my wedding invitations?

Like most things in life, the answer is: It depends! 
Thankfully, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind, in order to find your correct timing. We'll start with Save the Dates.

Save the Dates: 6-8 Months. If you're having a destination wedding, a year or more may be needed.

Save the Dates are really important. Most people can't fly around the country on a whim, grab a hotel for a weekend and party for a few days without some advanced notice. We all need time to take days off of work, find arrangements for kids or pets, and get those hotel and flight reservations in early so we can get good rates. On top of just those logistics, there's a financial aspect to be considerate of, as well. People need time to save for your wedding, and giving them an early heads up is going to give the best chance that all the people you care about can make it to your wedding.

Save the Dates go out well in advance to your actual invitation. You need to have the basics figured out, but you don't need every single detail ironed out yet. As long as people know where and when your wedding is going to be, they can start making the necessary arrangements. The actual invitations can handle things like meal choices, dress code, exact time, and that kind of thing.

Generally, the further you are asking your guests to travel, the more notice they're going to need. If you are having a destination wedding, you need to give them lots of planning time. Be conscious of what will be considered a destination for the majority of your guests. To some people, traveling up or down the coast can be quite a feat, let alone traveling across the country, or even to another country all together.

When it comes to Save the Dates, think of them as a preview of the theme of your wedding. They should have a little info for people to start planning, and they should have the feel and design that you want people to think of when they are wondering what your wedding is going to be like.

Invitations: 6-8 Weeks.

A lot of you are probably saying to me right now "I already sent my Save the Date, I don't need to know that... when do I send out my wedding invitations?" 

Once your date is only a couple months out, it's time to send out the full invitations. By now, you'll have your exact time of your ceremony settled, you'll have tasted all your samples and decided on which food to offer, and you'll know things like what time time the reception is going to start/ if you're going to have a cocktail hour.

Not all of this has to go on the invitation itself, some of it can go on an information card, but the idea is that all of the details that your guests need to know ahead of time is in your invitation mailing. This way, any details they still need to figure out on their end can be attended to after they get the invitation. This is when people can decide on things like what they're going to wear based on the time of day/theme of your wedding, or figure out any further transportation or lodging details that may have come up.

If you send your invitations out too early, it gives people too much time to misplace their invitations, procrastinate sending your RSVP, and forget that they even had an information card! If you send them out too late, it doesn't give you much time to gather their RSVPs, and doesn't give your guests enough time to make their arrangements. Consequently, it's important to time the mailing of your invitations correctly!

RSVP Deadline: 2-3 Weeks before your date.

Like we just mentioned, you need to time your RSVPs correctly, so that you give yourself enough time to inform your caterers of your final headcount (some may need more or less time to prepare, so make sure you ask them what they need!), plan your seating chart, and make any final pokes to whoever forgets to send the RSVP back! 

Make sure that you give a deadline that allows for everyone to have a little time before they send it back. Sometimes, just having time to remember to get to a mailbox can be important!

Remember that you will probably not get every RSVP back. You may need to gently remind people you need to know if they're coming or not. Giving yourself a little bit of a buffer between when you ACTUALLY need to know how many people are going to show up, and when you SAY you need all the information, will give you that little bit of space to track down the last few stragglers.

So there you have it! Hopefully, all this information helps you decided when to send your Save the Dates, when to send your Invitations, and when when your RSVP deadline should be for your wedding!

All the images in this post are taken from our Olivia Collection. Head on over and check it out!

So, there you have it! "When do I send out my wedding invitations?" You send them out 6-8 weeks ahead of your wedding, you send out your Save the Dates 6-8 months ahead of your wedding, and you want your RSVPs back 2-3 weeks before your wedding.

If you're looking for even more information, you could try this helpful article on The Knot, or this article on Huffington post.

Round-Up: Goats, Kilts, and LGBTQ weddings.

Hi everyone! So, here we are in our first round-up of fun things that may or may not be wedding related. We want to use this space to share things that are inspiring/informative/hysterical to us, and let you know about any goings-on we've had in the last week or have coming up. So, without further ado:

Here is a video of baby goats jumping on a couch. We really shouldn't need to explain it any more than that.

Green Wedding Shoes has a feature on a glorious wedding from downtown LA. We love the colors and the outfits. There Will Be Cake is a pro-kilt, pro-parade, and pro-popsicle cart establishment. To see the whole feature,  click the link, or click on the following wonderful image:

 

Upworthy has this really great article about planning an LGBTQ wedding that one of our couples shared. Even if you're not planning an LGBTQ wedding, you should read this, and be a little more informed!

In case you missed it, don't forget to check out the post we just did last week, talking about wedding invitation timelines.

Also, we've shared a couple short videos on our instagram account that people seem to like. You should really follow us on instagram, because we post constantly! This video is us experimenting with time lapse videography. It's pretty satisfying! We'll be doing more of these, for sure.

A video posted by Robin+Jess (@therewillbecakeinvites) on

And, finally, we have this delicious recipe from The Kitchn to share with you! It's a scrumptious watermelon salad that we made and took to a cook out this past weekend. Watermelon salad is always a hit for summer barbecues, and we used local feta and mint right out of our garden!

That's it from us for now! Enjoy these snippets of internet gold, and don't forget to follow us on instagram, and join our mailing list!

Hello World!

After months of hard work we are thrilled to announce the launch of our brand new website!!

Our new site will allow us to; 

-Showcase all of our custom projects,

 Sam and Will's Rehearsal Dinner Invite

Sam and Will's Rehearsal Dinner Invite

Take orders of our collection pieces from our web shop

 Ingrid Invite

Ingrid Invite

- and share behind the scenes shots of work in progress and talk frankly about planning weddings!

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