How to Write an Engagement Announcement

With everyone getting engaged around the holidays, many of you are wondering how to write an engagement announcement for the newspaper. There is no wrong way to write an announcement but many newspapers prefer to have certain information included in your announcement. Make sure you include the following:

  • Both or your names
  • Your parents’ names
  • what city you’re both from
  • Your job title and company
  • when you plan to marry
  • where you plan to marry

If you don’t know what kind of format to follow, look at the engagement announcements that have been printed in your local newspaper and don’t forget to to send a photo of you both.

Announcing Your Engagement

Now that you’re engaged its time to tell your family and friends. This is the very beginning of your wedding planning. Letting your family and friends know that you and your significant other are engaged can be nerve racking for anyone. Even the closest of families can put some pressure on you when you announce your engagement. So remember to be relaxed and honest with your family. They are your family and will love you and your fiance(e). If you find you do have trouble with your family accepting your decision, find a counselor, church minister or priest that you trust and honestly tell them what is happening. Some fresh perspective that is unbiased is always helpful.

Choosing Your Wedding Ceremony Site

One of the first things to plan for your wedding is where your ceremony will take place. This is the most important part of your planning because there are many issues to consider. The site you select will be influenced by the following;

  • Budget – Typically, the average ceremony site will cost between $100-$1000. The entire cost of the ceremony, inluding site fee, officiant’s fee and gratuity, and accessories (guest book, pen, ring bearer pillow, flower girl basket) is 5% of your overall budget.
  • Wedding Formality – Will your event be an informal garden style ceremony or will it be an evening elaborate event?
  • Season – Will you be married in warmer months or colder months? Does it rain, or snow or is it pleasant and warm this time of year? This will determine whether you can have an outdoor or indoor wedding.
  • Number of guests – It goes without saying that you will need a site that is large enough for everyone to be comfortable but make sure it is not too large. A large space with few guests will not feel as intimate as a space that is smaller.
  • Religion – Can you be married at a church or temple if you do not share the same religion? Could you be married somewhere else that will not offend your family and friends if you do not share the same religion?
  • Location – Will you marry close to home or do you want a destination wedding?

Wedding Flower Considerations

Do a little research before you go shopping for wedding flowers.  Be sure you know your budget guidelines, any rules your ceremony and reception site has for flowers, and an idea of size.  Remember bigger isn’t always better, a small to medium sized arrangement can make the same or better statement than something huge.  If you want to know what a flower may look like, you can check it out here or ask the florist.  Always be sure the flowers you choose will not stain your dress if they tend to bleed.  These tips will ensure your success in flower shopping.  

Small Town Weddings

If you’re like me and you come from a small town, you may be wondering how to get that intimate feeling into your wedding day. Its the little things that make people feel welcome on your day. Greeting your guests and welcoming them to your ceremony is one way to bring that intimate feeling on your wedding day. If you’re looking for a more intimate day, try these tips:Turn the lights down. If the reception room is a little darker, it feels more intimate. Its like telling secrets in the dark it adds some mystery and lets you get close to people.If your wedding requires travel for your guests, welcome them with some information on where your wedding is being held. A map of the city, some highlights of things to see and do, and a little snack lets your guests know you’re thinking about them and their comfort.Keep your reception table settings small and in proportion. Nothing kills table conversation like a large flower arrangement that obscures your guests view of you and each other.Mix with your guests and introduce them to each other. You’re breaking the ice for them and giving them the information they need to start a conversation with each other. Remember not everyone is outgoing especially in a crowd.If you’re wedding will be uniting two very different cultures and families, make sure you spend some time telling your family and attendants about any unique events or traditions that are a part of your day. Explain what they mean and what everyone will be doing. Also let everyone know if they need to bring something special like a scarf to cover their heads at this event. This will make sure everyone feels welcome no matter what you’re doing.

Real Deals for Your Wedding

Check out these links for clearance items.  If you’re looking for deals on anything and everything for your special day you’re going to find them here.

Deals on gifts, favors and more

Wedding gown clearance items

Favors, charms, ribbons, anything for crafting your wedding

Ordering Wedding Invitations? Bring this information with you.

So its time to look for your wedding invitations and stationary, do you have all the information you need? Make sure you have the following information with you:

  • Full name of bride and groom
  • Full name of all parents
  • Date and Time of ceremony
  • Location of ceremony
  • Location address
  • Name and address of person for the envelope return address
  • Name and address of person taking RSVPs

If you are looking for invitations click here to check out our site featuring Carlson Craft wedding invitations, accessories and gifts.

Taking your fiance(e) home for the Holidays

For those of you who have recently been engaged, congratulations! But have you told your family yet? The best advice I can give you is not to wait to tell your family. This makes it easier on your family and your fiance(e) if they know what is going on in your life. Tell your family about them and introduce them to each other if they have never met. Its natural for everyone to be curious about your fiance(e) and want to see the engagement ring. This is your time to show off your love for each other, so make the most of it and enjoy being together with your family.

Diamonds Unmasked- the 4 Cs of diamond shopping

When you go shopping for your engagement or wedding rings make sure you know the 4 Cs of diamond shopping. The more you know about the diamonds you are viewing, the easier it is to bargain for a better deal.

Carat Weight means how large a diamond is. The larger the carat weight the rarer the diamond.

Cut is not only a diamond’s shape but also its proportions and finish. The cut of a diamond is not naturally determined, it is determined by the cutter. There are three categories for cut: Ideal, Excellant, and Very Good. These categories describe the brillance, dispersion, scintilation and luster of the diamond.

Color refers to how well the diamond reflects a rainbow of light. Colorless diamonds reflect light the best and are traditional in engagement and wedding rings. Diamonds can come in a lot of different colors from yellow, red, to blue and green which are also seen in jewelry.

Clarity refers to inclusions that are formed with the diamond. The fewer the inclusions the higher the quality of the diamond.

If you are looking for more information on the 4 Cs of Diamonds check out these sites:

Best Man Wedding Speeches

If you’re the Best Man and its time to write your speech, check out these videos and websites for some inspiration. Remember, your speech is about the newly wedded couple, right?

Wedding Speech Rap

Best Man Wedding Speech

Wedding Speech


Wedding Reception Settings for Less

Wedding Reception Settings for Less

If you are planning your reception at home or somewhere you have to provide the table setting, check out some of these ideas for beautiful tables at a fraction of the cost.

Plates, silverware, glassware



Ask your family and friends to see if they have glassware, plates and silverware you can mix and match. The cost to you is free but you will need to remember which set belongs to whom. Be organized and take a picture or describe the set and include the name of the person who let you borrow it. This will help when its time to return everything you borrowed. Table settings can be anything you want them to be and by borrowing from family and friends you are including them in a special way for your big day!


If you can’t find enough for your table setting check out sale items at stores or a thrift store. Thrift stores often have an abundance of plates and glassware and it can be pretty and appropriate like the coffee cup and hors d’oeuvres plate. Finding thrift store bargains may take some time and organization but you are helping people by buying from these charitable stores and reusing existing products is always good for the environment.

LinensIf you’re looking for linens, check out stores like Kohls. This week they are having a sale of 50% off their linens. Also, try stores like Target after Christmas. You can always use linens from a holiday for your wedding if they match your colors and style. If there are too many tables, check out party rentals as well. You can always ask for a discount if they provide multiple services for you.

Gifts for Groomsmen & Bridesmaids

If you’re like me and totally lost when it comes time to thank your attendants for their participation and help in your ceremony, then you’re probably wondering what gifts to give them. Lots of companies sell all kinds of attendant gifts but if you’re looking for something special keep these tips in mind. Find something meaningful to them. Think about the things you’ve done together as friends or family. Is there a day when something really memorable or wacky occurred? Remember their personality. Are they outrageously outgoing or really introverted? What kind of hobbies or activities do they like? Have they helped you or your fiance(e) in some special way?

Once you’ve thought a little about your friendship, it gets a little easier to choose a gift. Look for gifts that remind you of a special or wacky day together and they could maybe use. Include a card for them to read about your memory of the day and say why it was so special. This will make it more meaningful for your attendants and really thank them for standing up for you.

Choosing Your Wedding Dress

Remember these tips when you choose your dress:

  • Be true to yourself. Choose a dress that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable.
  • Look for cuts that emphasize what you like about your figure and camoflage what you don’t.
  • Don’t be afraid to wear color whether its a sash, bodice or garter.
  • Match your dress to the style of your wedding. For example, outdoor weddings require dresses that do not have extra long trains.
  • Remember in what season you’ll be married. Winter weddings can be cold if you’re wearing a strapless gown.
  • Think about what accessories you will need to go with the gown including lingerie.

Double Duty

Are you still looking for ways to wed for less? Try some of these tips to get more out of your special day!

  • Instead of buying flowers for the ceremony and flowers for the reception, use your bridesmaids bouquets, your bouquet, and the ceremony flowers to decorate your reception.
  • Try booking the same location for both ceremony and reception. If you use the same location for both, you can always ask for a discount.
  • If you are using an Inn or Hotel for your reception, ask for a discount for any guest who will want to stay the night. You may even want to honeymoon there.
  • For brides choosing their wedding lingerie, choose items that you can wear again either everyday or if you are going out.
  • When sending your thank you cards, check out stationary that you can personalize to use for any occasion.

Flower Power

For many couples, wedding costs are the most important concern. You can have a beautiful ceremony and still save money. Ceremony and reception flowers can be a large part of the cost in getting married. Here are some ways that you can save money.

One way to cut costs is to arrange your flowers yourself. Buying your flowers at a bulk grower or discount store like Sam’s Club can help you manage your budget while still finding selection, quality and freshness. However, you must remember that making your own floral arrangements will take time and you will need to do it as close to the ceremony time as possible. If your wedding is later in the day, trying doing your arrangements with all the girl and guy help you can find at brunch. If your ceremony is in the morning, you will have to do them the night before. Gather your bridesmaids around and put your flowers together at the ceremony rehearsal. This will give everyone something to do while waiting for the person who is inevitably late. Most brides who choose this route are not creating elaborate arrangements. Don’t forget to have lots of vases and floral arrangement foam to keep your flowers hydrated if they will be over-nighting at the ceremony site.

If you still want to save money but you do not want to have a lot of arrangements to make just before your ceremony, consider silk flowers. With silk flowers, you can create larger arrangements in advance of the ceremony. Giving you more time to enjoy your day, silk arrangements can look just as beautiful as the real thing. Don’t forget you can mix real and silk flowers together in your ceremony. For example, I carried a bouquet of real flowers and was married in front of an arbor decorated with silk flowers.

All of these money saving tips will help you wed for less!

Feeling Crafty?

Feeling Crafty?

page0_blog_entry0_2.jpg If you are having difficulty with choosing your reception party favors, stationary, or wedding style check out Jo Gartin’s Weddings by Jo Gartin. The ideas in this book will inspire the Martha Stewart in you. Many of the ideas can be adapted to suit any budget or style. I liked the idea for the wine bottle opener with the invitation tags. I think this is also an effective reception favor for adults. It is an inexpensive and easy favor to assemble and does not require any special crafting skills or tools. This book also has ideas that require a little more skill like the Preserves Jar invitations that Mother-In-Law and Bride-To-Be spend time together canning and label themselves. This book offers ideas that are fresh and have not been repeated in someone else’s wedding. So pick up a copy and get crafting for your wedding today!