It's That Time of Year!

This time of year is a popular time for proposals, and the beginning of the wedding planning process.  So in honor of engagement season here are a few tips and resources for the newly engaged!

Is that left hand heavier? First and foremost, try to resist the urge to admire your new bling while driving and focus on keeping your eyes on the road!  After you have settled down from the excitement you might be wondering what to do next, and what the etiquette is for this time in your life.  You can read our post on announcing your engagement for some of the various ways to spread the news (without shouting from the rooftops.)  Did we mention you get an excuse throw an awesome party? While not required, an engagement party is a great way to introduce and start merging your closest friends and family with his.  Read here about the Etiquette of Engagement Parties from Martha Stewart Weddings.

Now that you are engaged, you might be inspired to pick up a wedding magazine while checking out in the grocery line or maybe even DVR Say Yes to The Dress or Platinum Weddings on TLC. Take our advice and give yourself time to let it sink in and don't overwhelm yourself with wedding madness. Just enjoy this exciting time and take it step by step while communicating with your fiance about what you both want for the wedding.  Here are some of wedding buzzwords that you might not already know:

BM: Best man, or bridesmaid BP: Bridal party DH: Dear husband DOP: Day of Planner DW: Destination wedding, or dear wife E-ring: Engagement ring E-party: Engagement party E-pic/E-Session: Engagement pictures (usually taken outside in a variety of poses, outfits, locations) FFIL: Future father-in-law FG: Flower girl FH: Future husband FI: Fiancee FILs: Father-in-laws FMIL: Future mother-in-law FOB: Father of the bride FOG: Father of the groom FSIL: Future sister-in-law GM: Groomsmen GP: Grandparent HM: Honeymoon JP: Justice of the Peace LTBM: Living together before marriage MIL: Mother-in-law MOB: Mother of the bride MOG: Mother of the groom MOH: Maid of honor OOTG: Out-of-town guests RB: Ring bearer RD: Rehearsal dinner STDs: Save the Dates TY: Thank you For more check out

No proposal yet? Dropping the hint: If your significant other has expressed their intention of proposing or taking things to the next level but you aren't sure if they know your ring style, you can start by checking out the website of your favorite jeweler.  Most large jewelers will have a page or link on their website for "dropping a hint" this can either send an email link with the style number, size etc via email or you may have the option to print it out and leave out in plain sight.  If you want it to be a surprise, then give your significant other the confidence to choose out the ring style on their own, by letting them know you will love whatever they pick out.  As a fail safe, some jewelers will have the customer pick out the diamond to their specifications and propose with a basic setting until the couple can come in together and select the style.  For a helpful glossary on wedding jewelry click here.

Check back for more engagement related posts, and enjoy your holiday season!

The Etiquette of Parents Meeting Parents

An engagement season can be magical as a couple busily plan their wedding, shares their excitement with those close to them, and bask in pre-wedding festivities. No matter the length of the engagement, one of the crucial tasks during this time is for the couples' parents to meet and get better acquainted.After all -- they're about to become family!

Whose parents reach out first? Traditionally, if the couple’s parents have not met one another, it is the groom’s parents, or specifically mother, who arrange this meeting. However, this is one of those traditions that is more for the sake of tradition than for practical, modern application. In fact, it dates back to when brides would move in with the groom's family, thus making the groom's side a dominant figure in the marriage. Even if the bride's parents wish to adhere to tradition, if no invitation or arrangement has been communicated within the first few days or weeks following the engagement announcement, it is perfectly acceptable for them to take the initiative. His parents may even be waiting for hers to make the first move.

How to make contact As a parent, don’t be afraid to get the other parent’s phone number(s), and introduce yourself with a friendly call. If you’re comfortable with technology, you could suggest video chatting through a program like Skype for a more in-person vibe. If your schedules are very busy, or you find it difficult to coordinate, it is acceptable to use email, although this is seen as more of a last resort. From there you can arrange a time to meet in person that works best for everyone. In the event that distance prevents you from getting together in person before the big day, stay in touch throughout the engagement and wedding planning process.

What about divorced parents? If the other parents and/or yourself are divorced, the first question to field is how pleasant the relationship is between exes. This is a conversation to have with the bride/groom regarding their parents. If the relationships between all exes are on good terms, there's no reason not to all come together for this wonderful moment. If any relationship is not on the best of terms, you should decide to meet separately, but as close to the date as possible so as to avoid hurt feelings.

In any case, it's a good thing to keep in mind that whether or not you all become best friends, this is a time to think about the kids you share, and the grandkids you might share someday.

Posted by Kendall Arelleis, Event Coordinator with The 530 Bride

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