Decoding escort cards & place cards

Lately, we've been getting a lot of questions about the proper etiquette of escort cards and place cards. There is no better time than NOW, to clarify when to use which type of card {they're often confused} and address some of the minutia, in effort to make that aspect of the wedding planning process easier. This chart is a starting point to tackle some commonly asked questions:

Happy planning!

Etiquette: How to Address Your Invitations


We found out today that our previous etiquette post has been doing some serious floating around Pinterest! It was quite a pleasant surprise. Even still, we decided to give it a little face lift. ;)

The best places for an all you need to know approach to etiquette are the usual standbys- Emily Post and Martha Stewart. Even so, having the basics laid out like this can be really helpful.

Address to your heart's content!

World Wedding Cultures

This week's Wedding Wednesday is full of culture, and tradition, and love, and red. Yes, red. While doing some research for this post, I found that there are a lot of cultures that use red as their special day.

WEDDING 1 2 3 4

In Indian culture (specifically Hindu ceremonies), brides traditionally wear red saris, as they symbolize new life and good luck. A necklace is also given to the bride to signify her new marital status. And the groom? He gets to wear a turban with a veil of flowers.

Like Hindu weddings, traditional Chinese weddings favor the color red for their ceremonies. In China, red represents love, joy, and prosperity. Everything from the bride's dress, to the invitations, to the day-of home decor.

Mexican weddings have one of my favorite things for their receptions: a piñata! During the couple's first dance, the weddings guests form a heart around them as they dance. How sweet. :)

Like any good Russian celebration, the weddings are full of drinks and fun. After the first toast by a close friend or family member, everyone throws their champagne glasses on the ground.

It's not that Kate and William didn't do a good job of showing us what a true British wedding looks like- I just wanted to do some digging. Did you know that British bridesmaids always wear white? Also, the top layer of the wedding cake is often used for the christening of the couple's first child. So long 1 year anniversary cake, we'll see ya after we've got a bun in the oven.

Now go celebrate your new cultured self by watching a foreign film. Maybe Kung-Fu, or Bollywood, or Doctor Zhivago. (Okay, maybe not the last one...)

The art of the knot

There's nothing quite like a man dressed to the nines & donning a classic tie. Admittedly, I never thought I'd be the gal attracted to a daily-suit-wearing guy, but my man has proven me wrong! While I thought tying ties was something all men are basically born knowing how to do, I realized the other day {as I found out that my guy ties all of his co-workers ties} that is just not the case. The art of the knot was underestimated and for that, I feel bad. So ladies, I urge you: if your man doesn't know how to tie a tie, take a look at this adorable little chart of basic knots and school him. :)


Happy weekending!!

Wedding Website etiquette

Even though we're OBSESSED with all things paper, we're also huge fans of wedding websites. They are a fantastic way to communicate info to your guests information about the venue, accommodations + links, pre or post wedding events, and so on. If you're looking to start your own site, check out The Knot, the Wedding Channel or Wedding JoJo to get the ball rolling {it's never too soon!} and then, take note of these etiquette tips by none other than Emily Post, to make sure your site is perfectly polished.

Patriotic & Proper

HAPPY INDEPENDANCE DAY!!! Whatever you've got planned today, we wish you sunshine, safe celebrating, lots of smiles and a heart of gratitude that we live in a free country. In honor of a day that revolves around our nations flag, we figured it only appropriate to share some flag etiquette that we stumbled upon.


**Display the flag only between sunrise and sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs**

**The flag may be displayed for twenty-four hours if illuminated in darkness**

**Do not display the flag in inclement weather**

** Always make sure the canton of stars is visible on the upper left-hand side**

**Do not let the flag touch the ground**

**The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously**

**A flag that is damaged/ can no longer be displayed should be destroyed in a dignified way by burning**

** When not displayed, the flag should be folded into a triangle, symbolizing the hats worn by soldiers in the Revolutionary War**

Who knew there was flag etiquette?! Happy 4th of July!!

Invitation stuffing

The wedding planning is in full swing and your invitations are en route. After the brainstorming, the custom design rounds, choosing fonts, choosing paper, selecting stamps & arranging for addressing, the time to stuff & send is finally here! Well we figured that rather than making you figure out how to stuff your invites on your own, we'd lend a hand and try to simplify the process. No, it doesn't take a rocket scientist, but there indeed is etiquette involved and that cannot be messed with. Soooo, that being said, here's the scoop:

For more insights and specifications on stuffing, visit Emily Post! Oh, we should also add that once everything has been addressed, assembled and sealed (suggested in that order) we advise that you take back to the post office and drop off by hand to avoid any error. We do not suggest dropping them off in the blue postal bins. One can never be too safe with such pretty paper!!

Addressing those Invitations

We often get questions about the proper etiquette for addressing invitations. If you've decided to hire a calligrapher {we LOVE calligraphy!!}, they are usually knowledgeable in the area and can help guide you through the process. If you've chosen to address them on your own however, these tips from some of our favorite etiquette divas {Emily Post & Martha Stewart} can help nudge you in the right direction. They are both great resources for etiquette in all areas of wedding planning, so if there's something not listed here, don't hesitate to do some research of your own on one of their sites!!

Happy Mailing!!!

A little goes a long way

Well lovlies, we made it to Friday yet again! These short weeks just sneak by so quickly!! What fun things do you have planned for the weekend? The other day, we came across some sweet "common courtesies" on Emily Post and it got us thinking. It's easy to get so busy throughout the week and at times we forget how true this is:



Emily Post reminds us that the best way to show your appreciation for someone is by doing something unexpected, thoughtful and kind. These "common courtesies" are an easy place to start:

  • Say “Have a good morning” to the server who’s been pouring cups of coffee since 5 a.m.
  • Help your son or daughter pick flowers {from your garden, of course} to give to his or her teacher.
  • Want to thank your grandma for the sweater she sent you? Put that digital camera to good use and show her how really great it looks on you.
  • And last but not least, SMILE! Make it a habit to show your appreciation and make others feel good by flashing those pearly whites. It’s a simple gesture, but it can have the greatest impact of all.

It's amazing how far these common courtesies go! With that etiquette inspiration, we send you off into the weekend! May it be full of fun & relaxation with those you love the most! :)

Well suited

If your man is in the market for a new suit {whether it be for your wedding, another wedding or a job interview} you simply can't miss these words of wisdom! Especially when it comes to the wedding party, the last thing you want is photos of the groomsmen in ill fitting attire. Of course, if the guys are renting a tux this won't be an issue, but it's becoming more and more common now for them to buy their suits. So, listen up on what Emily Post has to say about suit shopping: 1. Go to an established men's store where trained professionals are on staff. These experts are more knowledgeable about make, style, cut, and fit than most of us can ever hope to be. They can teach you the different between traditional, European, and athletic styles and which will work best for you. Yes, even if they're donning an all seersucker suit!


2. You should be aware of the following fit issues:

  • If it feels too tight, it probably is. You should be able to fit the flat of your hand in between your chest and the front of the jacket when buttoned and the back vents should lay flat.
  • If it feels a little big, it can probably be tailored: men's suits can often be taken in a full size.
  • Trousers should fit at the waist (one finger inside the waistband) so you have room when you sit.


3. The correct jacket length? Stand with your arms hanging naturally at your sides. The jacket should hit just under the curve of your derriere.


4. The sleeve of the jacket should hit where your wrist bends so that your shirt can poke out 1/8" to 1/4". {This guy knows what's up.}


5. Trousers: a "full break" is the bottom of the pant altered to hit 1" above the floor. Pleated trousers should have cuffs.


Happy suiting!

Baby shower etiquette

Remember all of those weddings you were in a couple years back? Well, if they haven't already popped one out, chances are that babies are in the near future. Hosting a baby shower is fun but if you don't have a child of your own, hosting your first shower might seem a little foreign. Here are a few basic tips for baby shower etiquette that you may not know:

Timing and Inviting

Showers are usually given four to six weeks before the baby's due date. Parents who receive gifts in advance of the birth have the advantage of knowing what additional items they'll need to buy or borrow.

Invitations are sent out three weeks before the shower. Gift information is never listed on the invitation itself, but it's fine to mention the nursery colors {or theme} or the gender of the baby. Traditionally, the host should be prepared to give gift suggestions and nowadays it's acceptable to include baby registry information on a separate enclosure.


While registering for shower gifts at a store or online is practical and time-saving for the parents-to-be and guests alike, many people feel that a registry list robs a shower of its charm. Guests should always feel free to choose whatever gifts they think are best, and half the fun of giving and receiving presents is the element of surprise.

Thank you notes

Thank you notes should be written for baby shower gifts, and the wise expectant mother or father writes them as soon as possible. Even when the giver has been enthusiastically thanked in person and has told the new parent not to bother with a note, a note is still always appreciated, if not a must.

*Etiquette tips courtesy of Emily Post

*Photos courtesy of The Cake BlogLaura Ashbrook Photography; Real Simple; Etsy

Defining those duties

Just last week, we were asked to be in our brothers wedding {YAYYYY!} We adore his fiancée and are ecstatic about being a part of their big day in September. While getting in the mindset of being in the wedding party, it seemed appropriate to define some of the traditional responsibilities for wedding attendants. This is such a common question for many people, so what better time to find an answer?!  

General Responsibilities of Attendants

  • Pay for their wedding attire and accessories (excluding flowers).
  • Arrive at specified times for all wedding-related events.
  • Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner; attend other pre-wedding events when feasible.
  • Give an individual wedding gift to the couple, or contribute to a group gift from all the attendants.
  • Assist the bride and groom whenever possible.

*** Specific Duties for the Ladies***

Maid or Matron of Honor

  • Helps the bride select the bridesmaids' attire
  • Organizes the bridesmaids' gift to the bride
  • Holds the groom's wedding ring and the bride's bouquet during the ceremony
  • Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate
  • Helps the bride during the reception {gathering guests for the cake cutting, dancing, the bouquet toss}
  • Helps the bride change into her going-away clothes, and takes care of the bride's wedding dress and accessories after the reception


  • Attend the bridesmaids' luncheon, if there is one
  • Supervise flower girl(s) and ring bearer(s) if asked
  • Assist the bride at the reception as requested
  • Contribute to the bridesmaids’ gift to the bride
  • Host a shower, bridesmaids’ luncheon, bachelorette, or other pre-wedding party or get-together

*** Specific Duties for the Dudes***

Best Man

  • Coordinates the groomsmen and ushers' gift to the groom.
  • Organizes the bachelor party for the groom, if there is one.
  • Instructs the ushers in the correct seating of guests.
  • Keeps the bride's wedding ring during the ceremony.
  • Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate.
  • Offers a toast to the bride and groom at the reception; dances with the bride, the mothers, the maid of honor, and other single female guests.
  • Gathers and takes care of the groom's wedding clothes (returning rental items on the next business day).

Groomsmen and Ushers

  • Attend the bachelor party, if there is one.
  • Contribute to the ushers' gift to the groom.
  • Greet guests and escort them to their seats.
  • Know the seating order; review special seating arrangements prior to the ceremony.
  • Help guests who need directions to the reception site.
  • Be on hand to assist any guests who are infirm or disabled.

For the FULL rundown of duties according to an etiquette expert, visit the Emily Post site.


*Photo courtesy of  {bridesmaids} Jill Thomas Photography and {groomsmen} Rebekah Westover Photography


It's a tie!

One thing that every woman should know is how to tie their man's tie. Yes, chances are he has had years of practice, but it's still necessary. Maybe a broken arm will require some assistance? Perhaps you'll be amongst groomsmen who need a hand perfecting their ensemble? Just in case, we figured it was only appropriate to start with 2 classics:

Now remember, practice makes perfect! ;)

*Vintage WWII photos courtesy of Hardscrabble Farm

Being a good guest

We spend a lot of time giving inspiration, suggestions and etiquette tips for how to throw a great party or wedding, but we must not forget about GUEST etiquette! Sure you keep a busy social calendar so lets make sure that we cover all bases necessary to be good hostesses and gracious guests. Here are six tips from our fave, Emily Post that are applicable in any setting from casual to formal: 1) Tell your host whether you're attending. If you delay your reply, you could hinder the host's planning and also make it seem as if you're waiting for something better to come along.  Even if no RSVP has been requested, it's thoughtful to let your host know if you won't be able to be there.

2) Be on time. Arrive at or shortly after (usually only fifteen minutes) the time stated in the invitation.  Do not, however, arrive early.

3) Be a willing participant. When your host says that it's time for dinner, go straight to the table.  If you happen to be asked to participate in an activity,  accept graciously and enthusiastically no matter how you really feel.

4) Offer to help when you can. Be specific when you offer to help. Even if your offer is refused, your gesture will be appreciated.  When the party's end draws nigh, you could also offer to help with the cleanup.

5)Don't overindulge. Attacking finger foods will not only attract the wrong kind of attention, it will also leave less food for other guests.  Also be sure to keep any consumption of alcoholic beverages on the moderate to low side.

6) Thank the host twice. In some parts of the United States, a second thank-you by phone is customary the day after the party (the first having been delivered on leaving the party) - a gesture that's gracious anywhere.  If the party was formal, written thanks are in order.  In fact, a written note is always appreciated - even after casual parties.

*Photo courtesy of Real Simple

Holiday Entertaining Etiquette

With Thanksgiving behind us, our minds are fully set on holiday parties, more family dinners and all the fun Hanukkah & Christmas festivities. To make sure they run as smoothly as possible, here is a mini guide to help you prevent some common holiday faux pas. While they are just suggestions, these are nuggets of insight from etiquette expert, Peggy Post - this sister knows what she's talking about. Read on to insure a classy holiday season.


1. If you're creating a holiday "newsletter" to send with cards, keep your readers in mind. Newsletters should be short (a page or less) and sweet. Keep them upbeat — most people don't want to hear about your dental surgery. On the other hand, avoid turning your letter into a brag sheet. Saying, "Sam and I were lucky enough to visit Europe — at long last!" is low-key and friendly. But "Sam and I spent a week at a deluxe French spa and were utterly pampered" screams "Don't you wish you were us?" Personalize each copy with a handwritten salutation and always sign your name. Also, be sure you're sending the newsletter only to people who are genuinely interested in your family news.

2. When you receive a holiday card from someone you didn't send one to, reciprocation is optional. Send if you wish. But beware of turning the exchange of holiday cards into a table tennis match. Say a card arrives from your cousin Myron on the seventh day of Hanukkah, and oops, you'd accidentally forgotten him. Instead of thwacking a card back across the Web — which may seem perfunctory rather than sincere — wait a few weeks and write him a letter. Or, call Myron to thank him for such a thoughtful note.

3. When Aunt Irma, feeling inventive, brings her cucumber-banana gelatin mold to Christmas dinner, accept graciously (no eye rolling, please). A good host responds to an unexpected — and perhaps unwelcome — contribution with aplomb. Thank your aunt and serve her creation with your spread. You might think cucumber and banana is a disgusting combination — but now's not the time to tell her so, and you'd hurt her feelings if you failed to offer it to your guests.

4. If gift giving with your relatives is getting too expensive, it's okay to scale back — as long as you discuss it with them well in advance. Ending gift escalation is not as hard as you think, if you're willing to be frank. Months before the holidays, bring up the idea of alternative giving schemes. Some options: drawing names, limiting presents to a specific dollar amount, giving gifts only to kids and not to adults. Others will probably be grateful that you were brave enough to start the discussion.

5. When you receive horrible, wrong-size or duplicate gifts, smile, say something polite, extend a thank-you...and then run for the returns line. A collector's plate featuring Yosemite Falls? Really, what was your mother-in-law thinking? Still, you can probably come up with something appreciative to say: "This is so thoughtful! You know how much I love the outdoors." But being gracious about a gift doesn't mean you always have to keep it. Yes, if the item is one of a kind or homemade — like a painting or a knitted scarf — you're stuck with it. Otherwise, you can take the item back to the store and exchange it for something else. And when your friend asks how you like your new hand blender? Don't lie. Say, "I love those so much, I already owned one — so I didn't think you'd mind if I exchanged it for a food mill. Thanks for making my life in the kitchen so much easier!"

6. Regift rarely...if ever. You have a surplus of "stuff," and it seems like the best way to downsize is to pass things on to other people. Makes sense. Problem is, if the truth emerges, two loved ones will feel hurt — the original giver (because you obviously didn't value her choice) and the recipient (who thought you'd take the time to find something special just for her). The basic guidelines for regifting: First, you must be positive that the gift is something the recipient would love. Second, the item must be brand new and in its original package. And third, it shouldn't be something the original giver took great care to select just for you. An example: Regifting a nice bottle of Pinot Noir to a wine lover is okay. Regifting a crystal vase your mother brought you from Bermuda is not.

For the complete holiday etiquette guide, click here!