Life After I Do!

As a bride we often get consumed with the thought of walking down the aisle, and the big moment when we will be introduced to all our friends and family as husband and wife.  What about what comes after I Do? After you have sent out all of your thank-you cards to your guests, it is time to put those gifts to use and learn to be a good host for future dinners and entertaining events for friends & family.We are fans of the Better Homes and Gardens Bridal Edition Cookbook which includes tips & tools to get familiar with cooking terms, ettiquette & table manners tips on welcoming guests to your home and of course how to throw a great party! Learn how to pair wines with meals, food safety & food storage, and lots of delicious recipes.  This book makes a great gift for new couples who are starting a whole new chapter in their lives.

If cookbooks aren't your style, you can you can always search online for the correct table settings for your occasion, as casual dining will differ from formal or buffet-style dining.  We found a helpful diagram online at Todays Bride Online showing how to set your table for both informal and formal dining.

Learning  basic table manners will not only be a good idea for going out to eat but also for having guests over for dinner, and teaching your future children the do's and don'ts at the table. A few tips: 1. Flatware: Take silverware from the outside of the place setting for the first course and work your way in toward the plate. 2. Nakpkins: At informal meals, put your napkin on your lap when you sit down. At formal meals wait until after the hotsts puts the dinner napkin in his or her lap.  If you leave the table temporarily, place the napkin on your chair or folded to the left of your plate. 4. Finger food: When in doubt, use ustensils! Find more information on all things etiquette, check out Emily Post.

When it comes to planning a meal, think ahead by selecting recipes that you feel comfortable making because you don't want to be stressed out while you are cooking.  Make sure to read each recipe carefully, and ensure that you have all of the necessary ingredients.  If possible, plan time two weeks ahead of time to try cooking any new recipes so that you are not cooking under pressure, and you have had a chance to work out any issues with oven temperatures or flavors.

"For holiday meals, ask your mother-in-law to bring the holiday dish she is known for. She'll be flattered, and you wont have to worry about recreating her masterpiece while she critiques your efforts at the table." (Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, 14th Edition; Family Celebrations)

You can find great printable recipes online at some of these helpful websites!

If you have questions on etiquette or wedding registry, shoot us a line! Ask The 530 Bride

Things We Like: Gift Registry 360

Wedding gift registries have evolved significantly over the years, now technology has brought us the capability of having online wedding registries.  Guests can browse your wedding registry on websites such as Bed Bath and Beyond, and once they select the gift they can have it wrapped & shipped to you including a personalized message on the tag. Gift Registry 360 gives you the option of combining wedding registries so that guests can view all of the items the couple has registered for through multiple retailers.  This helps guests because they can see your entire list without having to search your registry at each store, and it helps the couple to keep their registry list straight and make sure they haven't registered for the same item twice by accident. Add items from some of the following retailers:

  • Macy's
  • Crate&Barrel
  • Williams Sonoma
  • Target
  • Home Depot

If you have a smart phone, you can even get an app to update your registry by scanning the barcode!

The Gift Registry 360 website allows you to create a Style Board online to design themes for your home room by room.

Create a Widget to Share Your Registries

Share your 360 list with friends and family. Send an email or download our widget to add to your wedding website, facebook profile, blog, or other social networking sites to allow guests to easily access your 360 list.

Send out announcements to your guests by selecting one of their many stylish designs...

Unsure of what you should register for? Each couple is different, some are brand new starting out so they will need a lot of the start up items for their new life together in their new home. Others have been living together and may already many of the day-to-day items but could really use a nice pot & pan set, kitchen appliances, serving platters, and other little home goodies.

Refer to some of these great websites for creating your wedding registry, finding registry checklists, frequently asked questions, must-haves & more.

Bed Bath and Beyond - Registry Essentials Club Wedd - Target - Frequently Asked Registry Questions Crate&Barrel - Checklist Macy's - Wedding Registry Checklist Kohls - Create your Wedding Registry JCPenney - Create your Wedding Registry

Personalize Your Wedding Registry

Traditionally, a wedding registry consists of crock pots, cutlery, kitchen gadgets & bathmats, but times have changed.  Many couples move in together prior to getting married and may already have the majority items needed in the home department. If you are still in the early planning stages of your wedding, consider asking potential vendors like photographers, DJ's, florists, or caterers if they have registry services available or if they are willing to make an arrangement with you.  If so, you will be able to include information for your guests to help contribute to your wedding by helping you upgrade to better photography packages, and maybe a few extra decor features that you wouldn't have opted for without their help.  We recommend sticking to your wedding budget, and simply registering for the "extras," because you do not want to count on your registry gifts paying for your entire wedding.

Your guests can contribute towards upgraded packages including more hours with your photographer, premium wedding album, custom canvases. Wedding Photo Albums, make a great keepsake and are a  neat way to always have your wedding memories handy!

A wedding photography registry can increase your budget for photography and give your friends and family a way to give you something meaningful that you really, truly want! This is a personal gift that won't be returned or re-gifted.

Floral budgets can take up a large portion of your wedding funds, by adding your florist to your wedding registry you may be able to add some of the premium centerpieces and decor that you have always dreamed of!

How to let your guests know about your registry: - Include an insert with your invitations with vendor information, and what you have registered for. - Post your registry information to your wedding website, Facebook or your personal blog. - Word of mouth, pass on the information to your friends and family and delegate your mother or another relative to be in charge of providing all of the details.

For your own privacy, most vendor registries will not include the balance, or the price of the package you register for.  You might also have the option of having your guests purchase gift cards towards a package or service as well.  Make sure that you have discussed all of the details with your vendors in regards to what happens if you receive extra money after the balance has been paid in full.  Another detail to find out is if there is a charge to your guests for using online registry payment methods such as paying by credit card.  Some websites charge a nominal fee, and others charge a percentage of the monetary gift.

Travel Companies such as Unforgettable Honeymoons, offer a registry option for your guests to help you pay for your dream honeymoon.  Create your own wedding website, blog  & photo album to share with your guests and let them in on all of the details of your wedding & honeymoon plans.  We are willing to bet your guests will be thrilled to make your trip even more amazing by purchasing some of these honeymoon essentials!

-  Airfaire -  Champagne & Strawberries Welcome -  Room Upgrades -  Sunset Cruises -  A night on the town -  "It's Always Happy Hour" Drink Vouchers -  Snorkeling Adventure -  Glass Bottom Boat Rides -  Breakfast in Bed -  Dining ( local dining, steakhouses, romantic candlelight dinners) -  Couples Massages -  Grooms Day at the Spa -  Manicures, Pedicures, Facials & Body Wraps -  Gratuities -  Tray of Hand Dipped Chocolate Fruit

For more information on Unforgettable Honeymoons' Registry click here. If you have already booked your honeymoon and have made your travel arrangements, ask your travel agency if they can set up a registry arrangement for your trip.  They may have a deadline of when all monetary gifts must be received, in order for them to ensure your trip is paid for.