Seven Wedding Details Not to Share Before Your Big Day

Tiffany & Keith's October Wedding | Emerald & Gold wedding | Josephine Butler Park Center Washington, DC | Favored by Yodit Events | Wedding Coordination | DC Wedding | Black Bride | Bridal Party Photography by Danielle Real You’re probably bursting with excitement over your upcoming wedding – and want to shout your plans from the rooftops! But take our advice – hold back. Of course, it’s okay to share some of your wedding details with your nearest and dearest but there should be an element of surprise on your big day, especially when it comes to these things.

The Dress and Attire We’re telling you now: Everyone will want to see a picture of what you’re planning on wearing. But we recommend keeping your attire a secret from the majority of your guests until the big day. You want the gasps of delight when you first walk down the aisle to be genuine, and you never know – some Debbie Downer might say something negative about your ensemble before the big day that may make you doubt your decision.

Hair and Makeup Choices “How are you wearing your hair?” is a common question, and like your dress, there’s no need to tell everyone about your intended hairstyle or makeup choices. Everyone will likely have an opinion about how you should look on your wedding day – but in the end, it’s up to you (with the help of your hair stylist and makeup artist) to decide.  Simply say “I haven’t figured it out yet” to change the subject.

Color Scheme and Decor Again with the element of surprise. You don’t want your guests to walk into your wedding and know exactly what the room is going to look like beforehand – a little anticipation is much more fun. There’s no reason you need to tell them every detail about your décor in advance, and if they press you for answers, just say “We want you to be surprised!”

First Dance Song Your first dance song is a very personal choice, and not all of your guests will “get it.” But that doesn’t matter. Even if you’re picking a more traditional song, there’s no need to share it in advance with everyone. You may pick up some unwanted comments or even criticism (“Oh really? That’s a weird choice.”) – and who needs that? 

Guest List Details Try to avoid divulging too much information about your wedding guest list to others. You may get a lot of questions about why certain people were or weren’t invited, and it can turn into a sticky situation. Of course, your close family members should be aware of the invite list, but there’s no need to take it too far beyond that. And related to that, it’s best to keep the reception seating arrangements private as well!

The Favors Think of your wedding favors as a gift to your guests – and most of the time, you don’t tell people about gifts (whether it’s birthday, holiday, whatever) in advance.  So any favors or giveaways should be kept private, except for anyone who is helping to assemble or purchase your favors.

The Surprises Whether you’re doing a fun sparkler sendoff, having a photobooth, or you and your dad are performing a wacky dance together, don’t ruin your wedding-day surprises by spilling the beans! Even if you just tell one person (and swear them to secrecy), you run the risk of your entire guest list finding out about that thing that’s going to make your wedding totally unique. So keep any surprise wedding elements to yourself (and your future spouse and wedding planner, of course!).

Source: Wedding

#WeddingWednesday: 10 Things Your Bridesmaids Need to Do on Your Wedding Day

bridesmaidFor your bridesmaids, many responsibilities come before the actual big day – planning the bridal shower and the bachelorette party, dress shopping, helping with wedding-related projects, and more. And even though the wedding day is a time to celebrate, the bridesmaids do have several important tasks to do and roles to play. Check out the 10 things your bridesmaids need to help out with on your wedding day. Help keep things on schedule Usually, a wedding planner or venue coordinator will be make sure that everything is running smoothly, but it’s a good idea to give your wedding party members a copy of the wedding-day timeline just in case. That way, the bridesmaids can gently nudge the appropriate people if things start to get delayed.

Always stay calm There may be some stressful moments throughout the wedding day, and it’s a bridesmaid’s job to make sure you don’t get swept up in the potential madness and remembers why you are there in the first place. Whether it’s telling jokes, dancing around, or simply being a listening ear, your nearest and dearest should best know how to calm you down if you get those pre-wedding jitters.

Hold your stuff Even if you do have the forethought to prepare a clutch filled with your essentials (phone, lipstick, dental floss, etc.), there’s no way you’ll be able to keep track of it during the ceremony and reception. Assign a responsible bridesmaid to hang on to your “emergency kit.” If you need any of the items during the wedding day, you’ll know exactly who to turn to.

Be the personal mirror The sign of a true friend is someone who will immediately pull you aside and tell you that you have food stuck in your teeth. And that’s exactly what a bridesmaid needs to do for the bride, who should look her best at all times. So whether it’s a lipstick smudge on your cheek, your dress is out of place, or your hair needs a bit of smoothing, your ‘maids should let you know - ASAP. Because come on, you know you’d do the same for her.

Help the bride go to the bathroom Going to the restroom in a big ol’ wedding gown isn’t easy – so you’ll certainly need an assistant or two to help you, er, relieve yourself if necessary. There’s no need to be shy – these are your best pals and are there to help you no matter what!

Run interference There are going to be a lot of people who want to talk to you on your wedding day, but your focus should be on your new spouse and guests. Your wedding party members should serve as point people for questions (for example, “Where’s the restroom?”) or help move you away from anyone who might be causing you stress or anxiety.

Dance like no one’s watching

Your bridesmaids and groomsmen act as the epitomes of “party people” throughout the celebration and serve as examples to your other guests. They should be mainstays on the dance floor, but also listen attentively to the speeches and be present for the cake cutting and other important events.

Make sure you eat Eating may be the last thing on your mind during the reception, but it’s important that you not party on an empty stomach. Your bridesmaids should steal you away for a few moments to make sure you get a few bites in, and of course, sample the delicious cake!

Keep track of gifts Whether you set up a gift table or not, there is a strong likelihood that guests will be handing you gifts throughout the day. Assign a bridesmaid the role of “gift keeper,” making sure that all the gifts get to a safe place. You can give her any gifts you receive, and trust that they’ll be stored safely and properly so you can easily get them home later on.

Be there ‘til the end If possible, your wedding party members should be among the last to leave the celebration and should make sure any end-of-the-night details are taken care of before heading home.


#TipTuesday: Interior Design Tips For Newlyweds

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When you get married building your first home together as a couple is important. But furniture negotiation and conflicting styles can lead to meltdowns and drama. It’s not always as simple as deciding which sofa to buy. You’re blending two different styles, preferences, and previous lives (old furniture) under one roof. A common question that arises is -- how to do you pull it all together in a stress-free way while letting your voice be heard? DC based interior designer Danielle A. Gray of Gray Livin’ has compiled a list of tips for maintaining your sanity and love for each other while decorating your new home.

Take Inventory. Let’s face it. We all hate parting with our treasured belongings. Whether it’s the grungy arm chair from your first apartment or your massive collection of snow globes, each person walking into a marriage owns something that is valuable to them. Unless you’re moving into a mansion, you may not have enough space to store everything you both own. Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of can be a daunting process. The best solution in this case is to meet in the middle -- choose a number that you both agree on that represents the number of items of sentimental value that you each get to keep. Everything else gets trashed, donated, or sold on Craigslist. For example, if your number is three, then you each get to bring a total of three personal items with you to your new home. The number of items you keep can be determined by how much storage space you have. Additionally, some couples like to limit the “keep” list to one box per person. Either way, taking inventory and coming up with a purging plan right off the bat eliminates clutter and frees up space for new items that you can purchase as a couple.

The Big Compromise. Ladies, I hate to break it to you but he’s going to want to have a large television in the family room. Don’t fight it, let him have it. That means you get to have something you want like the floral wallpaper in the master bathroom. Give and take is the key to blending styles and preferences. Know when to put your foot down and when to bend a little.

Pick a Style. What do you do when your spouse’s style doesn’t match yours? You envisioned a contemporary space with clean lines and neutral colors while your mate prefers bold colors and a clunky leather sofa. The first step is to settle on a neutral color for the walls. Whites and grays are great neutrals to consider. Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray, Snow White, and Vintage Pewter are my favorites. Next, select an accent color for pop. Sprinkle the accent color in your artwork, throw pillows, or rug. If your mate only prefers neutrals only, add depth to the room with a mix of textures like a glass table, shiny metal accents, faux fur fabrics and varying wood tones. In terms of furniture, a Chesterfield sofa like this one from Restoration Hardware tastefully combines both masculine and feminine elements. The classic design is sturdy enough for lounging and watching sports while the tufted detail and curved lines add a touch of elegance to a room. You can also find similar versions available at any price point.

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Divide the Workload. Most women want free reign for designing the house but don’t really care about the backyard. Most men to do so make him the King of the backyard. While the wife is busy selecting paint colors and fabrics, the husband can focus his attention on planting trees, routine yard work, and his beloved BBQ equipment.

Designate Personal Space. From time to time you may find yourself needing a breather from your love muffin. This isn’t because you dislike them, but a little “me” time or solitude is great for self-reflection, prayer, meditation, time-outs or relaxation. This can take place in a designated area of your home like the man cave in the basement. For the ladies, large walk-in closets and spa bathrooms have doubled as our lady caves. Spare bedrooms also make good neutral zones. Stake out your zone and claim it.

Hire A Designer. When in doubt, hire a pro! A good designer is skilled at creating gender neutral spaces and helping couples discover a design aesthetic that suits their lifestyle. Be sure to visit Gray Livin’ online to learn more about my services and to book a design consultation.

Source:Danielle Gray


Is It a Bad Idea to start a Business with my spouse?

STARTING A BUSINESS COMES WITH A LOT OF RISKS. BUT WHEN YOU STAND TO LOSE NOT ONLY YOUR LIVELIHOOD BUT YOUR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THE STAKES BECOME MUCH HIGHER. LEADERSHIP COACH LOLLY DASKAL IS HERE TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE WHAT COULD BE THE BEST OR WORST DECISION OF YOUR LIFE. Business-Couple "For better or worse, for richer or poorer," take on a whole new meaning when you consider all you have to gain and lose by starting a business with your spouse.

For the answer to this week's classic and potentially difficult reader question, we turned to leadership coach Lolly Daskal.

Hi, What are some considerations for starting a business with your spouse?

We know there are lots of successful couples with successful businesses. I'm guessing there are many that failed, along with the marriage, that we never hear about.

I once started a successful business with my best friend, which led to us splitting up after two years, never to speak to each other again. I don't want the same thing to happen with my wife.

We have a picture-perfect family: a great relationship and two kids--I feel there's a lot at stake if the business doesn't work out. Any advice?

Thanks, TC

Dear TC,

Everything in life is a gamble, although you’re correct that in this situation the stakes are quite high. The most important consideration at the outset is making sure you’re perfectly clear on your vision, values, roles, and purpose.

So begin by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Do you share the same values?
  2. Is your marriage more important than your business?
  3. Will you continue to work on your personal relationship?
  4. If you were not married, would you still want to go into business with this person?

If both of you can honestly answer “yes” to all four questions, you’re ready to work together on the next steps.

Creating a solid partnership in business involves many of the same areas as creating a solid marriage, just within a different context.

Create shared vision and values. Creating a shared vision based on shared values allows you to work together in a mutually agreed direction that minimizes conflict. When things go wrong--and they will--you’ll have a good foundation to keep you grounded.

Position strengths and skills. Know your personality types and position yourselves to take advantage of your strengths. Having an idea of what each of you is good at to maximize skill sets and avoid stepping on each others toes. Consider taking a personality assessment to figure out your individual strengths and how you can best work together.

Set roles and responsibilities. Write job descriptions for yourselves and set clear expectations about who will take on which tasks for the business.

If you continue forward, there are other issues that you’ll need to be mindful of in your day-to-day lives at work and at home:

Be mindful of boundaries. Focus on your own responsibilities, and let your spouse handle theirs without interference. Of course you can collaborate, but in most situations the best thing you can do is stay out of each other’s way.

Refrain from telling your spouse how to do what they do best. Let each other have some room and flexibility to work independently.

Keep communication open. Open and honest communication keeps minor issues from developing into major problems. Problems must be communicated, recognized, and worked through in a mutually agreed way.

Handle conflict with care. How you handle conflict is critically important to any business, but even more so when the partners are in a personal relationship. Put a time limit on disagreements and arguments, speak about them, deal with them, and move on.

Reciprocate, respect, and reverence. Respect is another element that’s essential to both business and marriage. Cultivate a mindset that is appreciative of your spouse's talents, gifts, and insights, and then convey that respect by listening, by sharing, by appreciating.

Avoid second-guessing and micromanagement. The good news: working together allows you to achieve a higher level of trust, which in turn will strengthen your relationship. As it’s said, to be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.

Develop routines to keep your relationship and business separate. Keep a good balance by creating strategies for the transitions between work and home life. Make rituals to help you stay connected as a couple no matter what’s going on at work. As you spend more time with each other, business conversations tend to move to the dinner table and then into the bedroom. It is important to make time for your relationship.

Show appreciation and gratitude. Make a point to thank each other for a job well done, and be kind about how you approach constructive criticism. In a close relationship, it’s easy to forget these basic rules of business. Don’t take your partner or their contributions for granted.

At the end of the day, you are partners working together for something meaningful and purposeful. Remember you are in this together in business and in marriage.

Every marriage is already a partnership, one in which you work together, love together, create together, and support each other. With the right alignment and planning, and a commitment to making it work, sharing a business can be a meaningful extension of that partnership.

Good luck!


#TipTuesday: Surviving Wedding Season

Attending a wedding can get to be expensive. Here are some tips to make it through wedding season without going broke :

1. Start saving early. If you're close with a couple who gets engaged, begin putting cash away then.

2. Don't forget to budget for the extra events, such as wedding showers and bachelor or bachelorette parties.

3. Look beyond the hotel that has been selected for guests. Other hotels may be cheaper. Shop around.

4. For out of town weddings, ask the engaged couple if they know anyone with a spare bedroom who would be willing to host you.

5. Ask other guests if they would be willing to buy a group gift.

6. If you plan to attend more than one wedding, try wearing the same outfit more than once.

7. If shopping on a bridal registry, search for the item on another site. It may be less expensive.


#TipTuesday: Five Tips That May Save Your Wedding (and Your Sanity)

wedding-rings-wallpaper1 1. Give in to the chaos

The ice swan may melt, the sound system could go on the fritz, it might rain toads -- you'll still be just as married as you would have been had everything gone according to plan.

2. Remember that they're all rooting for you

Say something does go off kilter -- you trip on your hem and faceplant into the cake, the wedding elephant has an accident on the floor or you fumble the name of your beloved. If people laugh, it's because it's all part of the grand story that's unfolding -- not because they're gleeful about a screw-up. They're there because they're on your side and are grateful to be part of this momentous occasion, and if they're not, why the heck are they at your wedding? Seriously, take a look at that guest list and snip, snip, snip.

3. Let your loved ones help -- but on your terms

My husband and I had a fairly DIY wedding -- both to cut down on costs and to put our own stamp on the ceremony that would mark the beginning of our married life. We also didn't have a wedding party, because it was a small-ish event and we didn't want people to feel left out.

So we asked people if they'd like to help in ways that didn't cost them anything, celebrated their talents in ways they were happy to share, and where we provided supplies and general guidelines. Two musician friends sang as we walked down the aisle, an artist friend carved pumpkins to decorate outside, my sister-in-law rallied willing guests to arrange the flowers we'd bought and picked, and some writers crafted a ritual that celebrated our communal love of food.

My best friend from college looked after our mutually-beloved whippet dog, another surprised me with a piece from my favorite poet (Frank O'Hara). My husband's best friend officiated the ceremony, and we let our musically-inclined friends pick the songs they'd most like to dance to. People were also free to simply eat, drink and be merry.

The upshot is that our loved ones felt like they had a stake in our wedding -- and in our marriage -- and that feeling continues to this very day.

4. Stay awake and pay attention

Ask just about any married person if they can remember every detail of their wedding and reception and chances are that it's riddled with big, blurry chunks. It's a joyous, often overwhelming day -- and it's only going to happen once.

5. There's a letdown -- and that's OK

After our post-wedding day brunch, I sat down in a walk-in closet and cried. This had nothing to do with regret, second-guessing or sadness; I'd just married my favorite man on Earth and I was happier in my life than I'd ever been before.

But we'd just spent the vast majority of our time over the previous months focusing our energy on planning the joyous event, and the last guests had just said their goodbyes. All those wedding guests we adore were never again going to be in the same place at the same time, the spotlight was off me, and I was no longer a single woman, girlfriend or bride-to-be. I was someone's wife -- a wonderful, but slightly scary new role. And it was time to step into it.

I cried a little more and spent a moment saying goodbye to the single self I'd always known. Then I took a deep breath, stood up, walked out of that closet and went to find my new husband.

Source: By By Kat Kinsman

#TipTuesday: 31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

1. Wake up refreshed.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Get to bed at a decent hour the night before so you can be your best. For this reason it’s wise to plan bachelor and bachelorette parties at least a week ahead of time.

2. Eat a breakfast that is high in protein and complex carbs.

Eat a breakfast that is high in protein and complex carbs.

Bonita Suraputra / Flickr: 21185968@N00

This food will take a while to break down in your body and keep you going, which is important since brides and grooms can go long periods without eating.

3. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready.

You want to be able to relax and have a good time with your bridesmaids, not stress over whether you’ll finish in time.

4. Wear a dress shirt when getting your hair styled.

Wear a dress shirt when getting your hair styled.

Brides often wear T-shirts that have to be pulled over their freshly coiffed hair at the end. Dress shirts, however, can be unbuttoned without doing any damage to your beautifully done hair.

5. Grooms should make a list of all the things they need to do on the morning of the wedding.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Bridesmaids are great at helping a bride remember everything. Groomsmen are less helpful in this regard, though they are more likely to bring beer.

6. Speaking of groomsmen, it’s a good idea for the groom to discuss expectations for behavior.

Speaking of groomsmen, it's a good idea for the groom to discuss expectations for behavior.

Guys can get pretty crazy at a reception. If you want a level of decorum it’s best to spell that out before someone tries to do a body shot off your grandma.

7. If you bought new shoes for the big day, be sure to break them in ahead of time.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Otherwise you’re liable to feel awkward in them and have sore feet.

8. Don’t overdo the perfume.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Heavy perfume can make you feel nauseous and even attract bugs.

9. This goes for you too, grooms.

Remember, a little cologne goes a long way.

10. Hire a wedding coordinator if possible.

Hire a wedding coordinator if possible.

Couples often decide to cut this expense, but coordinators let you enjoy your day by keeping drama at bay. Favored by Yodit Events can take care of all your wedding needs! Choose from day of coordination, partial planning or full planning.

11. If you can’t hire a wedding coordinator, let your bridesmaids handle some of the day-of logistics.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day
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They’re literally falling over themselves to help.

12. Don’t forget a wedding day survival kit.

Don't forget a wedding day survival kit.

Colleen Melarkey-Beattie / Flickr: 107771213@N02

A typical one includes a first aid kit, tampons, a Tide To Go stain remover pen, and anything else that might fix a minor emergency.

13. Take a few selfies.

Take a few selfies.

These candid shots make a fun counterpoint to your photographer’s stylized professional shots.

14. But other than that, put your phone away.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day
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Nothing is happening that’s more important than your wedding, OK?

15. Get loose before you walk down the aisle.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Do some light stretching to release tension and get your blood flowing so that you don’t — gasp — pass out. Hey, it happens. Check YouTube.

16. Stop to take it all in during the ceremony.

Stop to take it all in during the ceremony.

Ask your officiant to include a “deep breath” moment so you can look over the audience, gaze at your spouse, and burn the memory into your brain.

17. Make a five-minute dinner date.

Make a five-minute dinner date.

Taking the time to enjoy a full meal is almost impossible with so many guests clamoring for your attention, but a five-minute dinner date — where you grab a few bites and enjoy your new spouse’s company — is more manageable.

18. If five minutes is too much, get your food to go.

If five minutes is too much, get your food to go.

Arrange with the caterers to send a couple to-go boxes of food with you when you leave the venue. They’ll be glad to do it.

19. Be magnanimous.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Greet everyone with a smile even if it’s your second cousin whom you haven’t spoken to in a couple years because she said that thing (you know what I’m talking about). No one likes an angry bride, and you won’t like being one either.

20. Similarly, stay poised during the best man and bridesmaid’s speeches.

If something inappropriate is said it’s best to let it pass without having a big reaction. Many people will have missed it, but they won’t miss you screaming at the best man.

21. Give a thank you speech with your spouse.

Give a thank you speech with your spouse.

It’ll feel good to thank your parents, grandparents, and guests (especially those who traveled great distances) for making such a momentous occasion in your life possible.

22. Arrange for group photos at the reception.

Arrange for group photos at the reception.

Have the DJ call over college friends, co-workers, and teammates for a few quick group photos. Your photographer may suggest doing these before the reception, but save the more formal, time-consuming shots for the wedding party and family only.

23. Be careful with alcohol.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day
HBO / Via

This is a day you’ll want to remember clearly for the rest of your life, so make sure you don’t drink too much (that’s for doing at your friends’ weddings). One tip is to drink a full glass of water between each alcoholic drink.

24. Pack flats for the reception.

Pack flats for the reception.

Sophisticated ballet-style slippers look great with a wedding dress, so bring a pair to put on when you want to cut loose.

25. Appoint someone to save you from chatty guests.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Inevitably someone, whether it’s your great aunt from Poughkeepsie or the dad of your old college roommate, will talk your ear off seemingly unaware it’s your wedding day. That’s why having someone to politely pull you away is a must.

26. Have a moment with each of your parents.

Have a moment with each of your parents.

Brides dance with their fathers and grooms dance with their mothers, but there’s no moment on the schedule for your other parent. Make one.

27. Don’t do the cake smash.

Brides, you still have people to see and photos to take, so you don’t want to get cake in your hair and on your dress (nor do you want to reapply makeup). Grooms, this is not how you want to start married life. Trust me on this one.

28. Give the DJ a list of songs you want to hear.

Give the DJ a list of songs you want to hear.

This way you’re more likely to hear your jam than “Y.M.C.A.”

29. Make sure you dance.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day
Paramount Pictures / Via

Your favorite tunes are playing, the dance floor is packed with people you love, and you have reason to celebrate! With conditions like that even grooms who “don’t dance” will regret it if they don’t let their inner Bacon loose.

30. Have a relaxed attitude about the wedding night.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day
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If fireworks explode, awesome. But after a long day many brides and grooms collapse in exhaustion. Don’t worry… there’ll be plenty of time for fireworks later.

31. Remember why you’re there.

Remember why you're there.

Amid all of the fun and celebration be sure to take a moment to look over at the person you’re pledging your life to and reflect on the incredible journey that lies ahead of you both.


#TipTuesday Checklist: 8 Things to Ask Your Rental Vendor Before an Event

Rental items are essential to almost every event or meeting, but aside from knowing which pieces your rental house is supplying, you'll want to discuss other issues that could impact your budget, planning, and setup. cortevents_04

1. What other fees can I expect? You may know the stated cost of each item on your list, but don’t drop that number into the budget until you know what it really includes—or excludes. “Some delivery companies have additional fees like card processing fees, transportation or facility-to-facility transfer fees, separate labor and delivery fees, and after-hours or weekend fees,” says AFR Furniture Rental & Event Furnishings Southeast sales manager Lindsay Masterson. “When comparing prices, ensure you compare a whole quote to a whole quote.”

2. What is your damage policy? It’s a simple question, but an important one—and could end up making a big difference to an event’s bottom line. And make sure you know not only the damage policy, Masterson says, but specifically what constitutes damage for which the vendor will charge.

3. What design and planning assistance do you provide? Cort Event Furnishings' director of marketing and product development Kevin Dana advises finding out how much design assistance your vendor provides, and who is responsible for the task of planning the layout ahead of the event. He suggests asking, “Does the rental company provide 2-D and 3-D models of all their products to create plans that assure everything fits into the event space?”

Masterson recommends organizers ask if the rental house can provide scale floor plans or design assistance, or offer CAD renderings of its furniture that can be used to get an accurate depiction of spacing. “Your rep likely has some great creative thoughts that you may not have considered,” she says, so keep the vendor in mind as a resource if design consultation is an available service.

4. What can be customized? Many hosts want every part of their event to match the message or overall theme, so knowing which items can be personalized for the occasion in advance can save time and money later. If pieces can be customized, be sure to ask whether or not a proof will be provided for review.

5. How much access will I have to trained rental staff—and when? Aside from load in and out, you’ll probably want access to your rental staff for any time-sensitive needs that may come up during the event. So find out whether—and when—your rental vendor will be available to meet on site with other relevant vendors, like the florist, lighting team, or caterer.

It's also worth asking who’s providing the labor for your event—whether it's trained employees or outside temporary labor. “Experienced delivery staff should be able to work efficiently, fix a mishap that occurs in delivery like a broken leg, and can even help with preferred placement of the items,” says Masterson.

Once you know, adds Choura Events C.E.O. Ryan Choura, “Make sure you double check your rental contract for any phone numbers you may need during your setup.”

6. Do you have what I need nationwide? If you’re planning an event as part of a larger series across the country, check to make sure your rental house can supply the same or similar pieces for the entire series. “If doing multiple events nationwide, ask if the rental company can provide the same furniture in every major market in the U.S. for a consistent brand message,” suggests.

7. What’s new in stock? Fritz Williams, the owner of FormDecor, advises always asking what’s new in the rental provider’s inventory—even if it’s not what you need for the event at hand, it may spark ideas for the next big project in the pipeline. “We welcome clients into our warehouse to view our collection,” he says. “It can be beneficial to see the furniture in person for the current event you’re planning, but it also gives you the opportunity to mentally catalog items for future events as well.”

8. What’s your style specialty? If you’re specifically looking for a certain aesthetic or niche design style, make sure you ask up front if your rental company has a solid inventory of the kind of pieces you’ll need. Williams suggests, “Oftentimes boutique furniture rental organizations collect and curate around a certain aesthetic. If you’re looking for mid-century or modern furniture, for instance, you’ll want to check with specialty firms.”



Wedding Wednesday: Word to the Brides

Habesha Bridal Party

Being a bridesmaid is an honor, but it’s also a commitment. Just like the bride, the a bridesmaid is investing in adress, setting aside time for wedding activities and playing a pivotal role in the wedding ceremony. Some brides appreciate the effort, and some (who shall remain nameless) take it for granted. For all you brides-to-be, make sure you’re in the former category with these tips from bridesmaids who have walked the aisle so many times they could practically star in 27 Dresses.

No, your bridesmaids will NOT wear that dress again.

“Never pick a dress that’s a fortune and justify it by saying, ‘Oh, but you’ll wear it again’—she won’t,” says Melissa, 28, from Minneapolis, who has been in six weddings. Yes, it’s your wedding and your chance to make a fashion call for all your friends, but you should consider the three C’s: cost, color and cut. Ask your bridesmaids for their budgets and pick a dress you love at a price they all can afford. Another tip from Melissa: “Don’t choose a dress that has 75 layers. It’s an alternation nightmare and will end up costing more than the dress.”

Don’t make unreasonable demands of your bridesmaids.

There are legendary war stories of outrageous bride demands. At all costs, avoid becoming a cautionary tale. “I have one friend who told us that we could not be pregnant at her wedding,” says Melissa. For Erica, 27, another six-time bridesmaid, the request was painful. “We were not allowed to take our shoes off and change into flip-flops during the reception!” Instead of mandating that your friends highlight their hair, dance in stilettos or postpone pregnancy, make a list of the top three things you value most and then run it by a non-bridesmaid friend for a reality check.

Before you say “I do,” say “thank you” to your bridesmaids.

An unofficial estimate for the cost of being a bridesmaid? About $1,000. Before you walk down the aisle, take the time to thank your wedding party. They love you, they’re happy for you, and they’re thrilled to see you get married. But don’t forget to acknowledge the time and expense of attending your shower, bachelorette party and dress fittings, along with the countless phone calls, e-mails and errands that come with the territory. Five-time bridesmaid Nicole, 30, says, “Recognize that your bridesmaids are doing something for you by standing up in your wedding. It’s so touching to be asked to be a part of someone’s wedding, but by agreeing to stand up, I realize it’s committing to much more than just one day—it’s promising to play a big part throughout the entire year, and it’s nice for that to be acknowledged.”

Let your bridesmaids express themselves.

As the bride, you’re entitled to ask for an identical appearance. But if you don’t care about cloned bridesmaids, why not celebrate their differences? When it comes to hair, shoes or jewelry, talk to your wedding party and figure out how everyone can look—and feel—her best. For Mary, 29, it was letting every bridesmaid pick a different color shoe. “I think it’s really important to let your bridesmaids show their personality. My wedding party was from across the country and it was fun to let that uniqueness shine through.” Nicole adds, “If everything is so specifically dictated, it can feel more like you are a prop in the room than one of the bride’s best friends.”

Don’t ask for too much of your bridesmaids’ time.

Be aware of how much time you’re asking friends to devote to your big day, from wedding dress shopping to a four-day bachelorette weekend. If your bridesmaids have to sync their BlackBerrys to keep up, scale back on the number of events and ask them to attend only the most important ones. “I’ve been in weddings where I literally was booked solid every weekend leading up to the wedding. I was dying to just have time to do what I wanted to do,” says Kirby, 27, a five-time bridesmaid. And after standing up in six weddings this year, Brittany, 25, begs, “Don’t expect your bridesmaids to go to multiple showers. They can handle only so many tissue-paper games and spatula discussions.”

You don’t need an army of bridesmaids.

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to your wedding party. You might feel obligated to include your best friend from preschool, your favorite coworker and your fiance’s cousin, but you shouldn’t pass the bridesmaid baton out of guilt. Instead, ask only the women in your life you truly consider your closest friends. “Be selective and ask only your very closest friends to stand in your wedding,” says Kirby. “There is nothing wrong with having only one or two attendants. More often than not, girls will be relieved not to be asked.”

Always give your bridesmaids a plus-one.

If you have single friends standing up in your wedding, be sensitive to their feelings and dating situation. Bridesmaid consultant and blogger Michelle advises, “As a bridesmaid, bringing a date should always be presented as an option.” Even if she’s unattached, it’s important to offer each wedding party member a choice. As the engaged friend, don’t forget to be sympathetic and see beyond the white dress to the friends holding your train along the way.

When it comes to bachelorette parties, keep your bridesmaids’ budgets in mind.

What started as one night of revelry can morph into a jam-packed weekend of activities, usually involving one or more of the following: lingerie gifts, multiple dinners, interactive classes, Jell-O shots, penis paraphernalia and a Sunday brunch. Needless to say, bachelorette parties also entail hours and hours of planning and hundreds of dollars. Ask most bridesmaids about bachelorette parties and they’ll admit it’s a double-edged sword. Raucous, raunchy and fun…but also stressful, time-consuming and expensive. “Know your bridesmaids,” says “Michelle. “If you have a really ritzy group of friends who love to party and have no problem dropping a couple grand going to Miami or Vegas, by all means let them spend their vacation time on something they’ll enjoy. On the other hand, if your friends are more low-key and budget-conscious, then you should keep that in mind as well.”

Feed your bridesmaids.

Even if you’re on a gluten-free vegan diet until you’re legally wed, keep in mind that well-fed bridesmaids are happy bridesmaids. “I almost passed out once from lack of food and water,” says Nicole. Sandwiches, snack trays and beverages are three must-haves, especially if getting ready is an all-day affair. For a celebratory touch, serve mimosas to lighten the mood—especially because at least one bridesmaid is guaranteed to hate her hair.

Remember what it feels like to be a bridesmaid.

Almost every bride was once a bridesmaid, so don’t forget what it felt like to stand in those pricey dyed-to-match shoes. Remember the weddings you enjoyed the most and how the bride treated everyone involved. As someone who has worn 10 bridesmaids dresses and once attended three weddings in eight days, I’ve seen bridal behavior run the gamut. My best advice is to cherish the friends in your life who were there before you met Mr. Right and the ones you want to be there after your big day. Make your wedding a priority—but not more than the people you’ve chosen to be in it.


Calling All Grooms! Tips for After You Say I Do.

So you just got married! Your wedding (planned by Favored by Yodit Events of course) is over. Cake tastings, tuxedo fittings and table settings are a thing of the past. Its now time to start your new life with your new wife! Here are some tips on how to insure a smooth transition into married life. Always remember boys, happy wife, happy life!

 “Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.” — Oscar Wilde (poet)

What You Say

What You Say

  1. Build a foundation of trust. Agree that if either of you ever say “do you promise” after a questions is asked that nothing but the truth will follow… no matter how tough the question is. You both need to agree that it’s okay to share even the hardest things with each other.
  2. Know the power of your words. The way you phrase things to her can make all the difference. Try to focus on the positive aspects of a difficult situation, and build from there.
  3. Make communication a conversation. Don’t just dump information on her. Be sure to provide opportunities for her to ask questions (ex. One of my co-workers mentioned something really interesting to me today…)
  4. Don’t talk like you’re placing an order. Phrase your communication in a way that not only tells her what you want, but does it in a way that also asks for her permission.
  5. Discuss the importance of time with friends. It’s healthy to have some relationships and activities that are not shared. Spending time with other people and doing other things helps you appreciate the time you do spend together.
  6. Share why you need some alone time. Make it VERY clear that you’re not making excuses to spend time apart from her. Before scheduling this kind of time, have a conversation about how important it is for both of you to have this, and the best way to ask for it.
  7. Never lie to avoid a fight. Doing this will just make you distant, and potentially create a future disagreement that gets blown way out of proportion due to unresolved feelings.
  8. Don’t just apologize after an argument. Instead of feeling good about being the bigger person just because you were the first one to say “I’m sorry”, try asking her why she was frustrated. Knowing this should help to alleviate everything instead of just sweeping it under the rug.
  9. Ask really good questions. Don’t just limit it to work, but include questions about what’s been on her mind. Make time for this every day.
  10. Discuss how to handle working with opposite sex co-workers. This includes working late hours, traveling or even working over lunch. These are all very common, so let your wife know when these activities will be happening. Also, talk about the steps you plan to take in order to keep it “strictly business”. This will build a lot of trust in the relationship.
  11. Share all your mistakes with her, and genuinely ask for forgiveness. This shows her that you can recognize and openly admit your faults, which will enable your relationship to continue in a positive direction.
  12. Establish your married relationship as a “new” family. Talk over the details together, and communicate your feelings right away with each of your parents. This will help establish necessary boundaries with them, and show how serious you are about making your relationship a top priority.
  13. Share what you’re in charge of managing. Be sure to share what you feel needs to be done to effectively manage each task, as well as including her when any major decisions need to be made.
  14. Talk each night. Each of you should take the time to share your day, what’s on your mind (especially the intimate details) and include some talk about a fun activity you will be doing together in the future. Try to do this when you first get home, or on a walk after dinner. It’s really important to reconnect this way.
  15. Maintain a healthy level of interest. If the interest level of the listener is fading, it’s probably because they don’t know the point of the conversation. If you both try to share the main point of your story first (then offer the supporting details), it should increase the listener’s level of interest.

What You Do

  1. Don’t be a coach or umpire; be her fan. Life is the big game, and being in the position to root her on will score you the biggest points. This will build her confidence, and at the same time put you in her cheering section and not the one calling the game (you know how people in those positions can make you mad).
  2. Just listen. Generally, she just wants someone to listen. If she does want advice, she’ll ask for it. By waiting for her to ask, your response will more than likely be appreciated. Just be sure to ask enough questions, so that you fully understand the situation before sharing your thoughts.
  3. Plan activities that build your friendship. The more interactive activities you do together, the more you’ll have to talk about.
  4. Hug your wife at least three times a day. While you do this, tell her how much you love her and how wonderful or beautiful she is. This should increase her emotional connection and deepen her level of trust with you.
  5. Make sure the timing is right. Certain times of day are going to be better for communication. If she’s not a morning person, let her initiate the conversation. If it’s an emotional topic, she may just need some time before she’s ready to open up.
  6. Focus on the issue during a fight. Don’t attack each other’s character. Instead, focus on the problem when venting your frustration. Try to see the other person’s point of view, and work from there to resolve everything.
  7. Agree that it’s okay to disagree. Acknowledging where she’s coming from doesn’t mean you agree with her. Just respect any differences you many have.
  8. Pick the right environment for an emotional conversation. If she’s comfortable, not threatened and in a private place… then the chance of your conversation going well drastically improves.
  9. Develop a plan for reconnecting. It’s hard to figure out what to do when you’re already feeling distant, so already having a plan in place will make it a lot easier to get close again.
  10. Be silly with each other. We all need to stay pretty serious at work, so it’s important to relax in this way with her.
  11. Pray for one another, as a couple, every day. Whether it’s part of your faith or not, this simple act will help you dedicate some time to really focusing your minds on each other – strengthening your marital bond.


#BrideToBride: Keys to a Successful Marriage


Greetings Fellow Brides! I am very excited to guest post this week for Bride to Bride! As a blogger myself, I rarely have the opportunity to write on the subject of marriage. Special thanks to Carol for allowing me to share a bit of wisdom with others :-)

My third wedding anniversary is in a couple of weeks and I can hardly believe it. It seems like just yesterday we said “I Do.” We have been together for 10 years and I thank God every single day for my husband. We have been through so much together, but Team Collins is strong in love and blessed to be happily married. Part of having a successful marriage is learning to truly give yourself to your partner so you can grow together as one. But another part is learning from past mistakes and having the capacity to love each other no matter what. I definitely don’t consider myself anywhere near an expert on marriage, but I have learned quite a few things since becoming a wife. Here are a few tips that can help make your marriage last a lifetime:

* Before marriage, talk extensively about your wants and needs as well as the goals and expectations of your relationship. Be willing to compromise and seek premarital counseling if you need to.

* Keep God at the center of your marriage. Pray together, go to church and rejoice together. These things will make difficult times that much easier.

* Always be honest and truthful. Trust is vital to any relationship, especially a marriage.

* Listen to your partner. Don’t just listen to their words, but put yourself in their shoes and really try to understand their feelings and point of view.

* Keep learning from each other and supporting one another. Building up your spouse makes them a better individual and partner.

* Continue to get to know and understand your mate. Marriage is for life so make sure you not only love them, you like them and get them.

* Never say never. The unexpected can come at any time. Be open and flexible for your spouse. Trials will test your relationship, but the strong and committed partners get through it together.

* Have time together and apart. It is very important to spend time with your spouse. Life can get busy, but set aside some time that is just for the two of you to reconnect and bask in each other’s love. Time apart allows each of you to miss one another. Have some fun without your husband and have a girl’s night out. He will appreciate the time apart just as much as you.

* Be prepared to argue. Couples are mistaken and think that a ring and a wedding will magically make them happier. Communication can be difficult in a marriage simply because men and women think and act differently. And while we would all like to talk through every issue rationally, it doesn’t happen. But remember, arguing is still a form of communication. When you’re no longer arguing, the relationship may definitely be headed for trouble.

* Touch often. Kiss and hug your husband as much as possible. Tell him you love him and appreciate him, but also show him. Men need and want to feel wanted. It will also keep stress levels down and makes marriage that much better. Just do whatever you do to keep a smile on his face ;-)

* Be discreet. Keep private things just between the two of you. Your union is the most sacred relationship you have and you want to be a trustworthy spouse. If your friends and family try to get involved, tell them to let you live your life the way you see fit.

* Don’t compare your marriage to anyone else’s. You never know what is going on in their household.

* Always be his bride. After the honeymoon period is over and the normalcies of life start again, we as women try to live up to these extremely high standards of what a wife should be. We get so focused on what we think we should be doing, we begin to neglect and even isolate our spouses. Remind your husband of your wedding day often and all the excitement that followed it. Take the pressure off and just be the best wife & bride you can be!



Kelly Collins is a 28 year-old college-educated, Georgia Peach currently residing in Raleigh, NC with her awesome husband DeAntony, and their beautiful little boy, Preston. Other than being a wife and mother, she is also a full time nanny during the day. She is what she calls a ‘Non-traditional Southern Belle’ with a touch of Mary Poppins. In her spare time she loves to write, run and cook/bake. Visit her blog for more information!

Happily living the Best of Both Worlds!

#BrideToBride: Top 7 Things New Brides Should Know

greenups2.jpeg I was asked to write a blog from the perspective of a wife to a new bride. In doing this, it allowed me to take a step back and evaluate my marriage in order to identify key principles that work for my husband and I. To my surprise, I found myself not accepting some of the items on my own list. Below are the top 7 things that work for The Greenups:

1. Keep God in your marriage

Bottom line: When God is not in your marriage it leaves room for the enemy to sneak in and create chaos. Pray for your spouse to be able to face day to day life. (An excellent book is “Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian)

2. Happy wife…happy life

Often times I say this to my husband jokingly when I do not get my mind. However, I have found that I have to say this to myself because I do not take care of myself as I should. I have found that I get so caught up in being a good mom to my son and supportive wife to my husband that I forget to take for myself. What do I mean by taking care of myself? For example, I will make sure everyone in the house has eaten and forget to eat myself due to other items I need to get done for my home of my family. This often ends in me being sick or burnt out. When married, make sure you remind yourself to take of YOU! It is impossible to be a good wife if you are not healthy. This includes mind, body, and spirit.

3. He is who he is and will not change just because you say “I do”

Some women get so caught up in the mindset that “he will change once we are married.” WRONG! He is who he is. The same laid back demeanor and quiet disposition that my hubs has and the reason I fell for him is the same laid back demeanor and quiet disposition that works my last nerves at times. When this happens, I must take a step back and remind myself why I love this man and chose to marry him. As women we often get caught up in trying to mold and perfect things….eventually you have to let your man be who he is….flaws and all. The one thing men need to know is that you love him unconditionally with not only all his good…but with all his bad as well.

4. Forgive and let go

This point should be started off by saying “PICK YOUR BATTLES.” (I find that I am guilty of this at times.) If you find yourself always complaining about the socks he leaves in the middle of the floor, eventually he is going to get tired of hearing it….and you will be tired of saying it. Just save yourself the stress and kick the socks towards the dirty clothes hamper. Arguments should never be about right or wrong. It should be about what will encourage a healthier relationship. This is done by talking (not yelling) through issues and not only forgiving your spouse…but letting it go. By not letting go of an issue, they will fester over time and cause you to operate in your marriage as if you are in a war. Operating in your marriage as you would do in a war will cause you to look at your spouse as the enemy and not your partner. It is impossible to be happy and enjoy life when you are constantly in “defense mode.”

5. Men think differently from women

I am going on my fourth year of marriage and have been with my husband for eight years. So on top of thinking differently because he is a man, he is also left-handed!!! (My son is too and they look at me like I’m abnormal) This is one thing I struggle to understand! For instance, I have to allow him to things HIS way….no matter how much I disagree with his process of doing them. It is important to build your man up and not tear him down.

6. Men need sex AT LEAST 2-3 times a week

This means, do NOT hold sex as punishment for a disagreement or an argument. Unlike women, men NEED this release. I know…it sounds so simple. But after the wedding, when life goes back to normal and more items get added to your “To Do” list….do not forget your spouse. Date nights are a necessity.

7. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!

Marriage should be a fun, ongoing adventure. It’s easy to get so caught up in life that you forget that you married your best friend. The fun should not end because you both said “I do”.

- From one bride to another, Mrs. Greenup

#BridetoBr​ide Blog Post Series

advice-from-the-married-side It's one of the happiest moments of your life. The love of your life has proposed to you and now you get to plan the wedding of your dreams. You are excited to pick out your wedding colors, find the perfect dress, choose your bridesmaids, etc but maybe you are a little overwhelmed by everything. It is nice to get advice from your friends and family, but sometimes you need advice from someone who doesn't know you and has an unbiased opinion. Favored will now feature a series called #BridetoBride. Advice from real brides to future brides. Check out our very first post from T. Bremby.

Dear Brides to Be,

Here are....Things I've learned about planning a wedding:

By T. Bremby

- THE WEDDING IS NOT FOR YOU... It's for your family and friends... The sooner you learn that the less stressed you'll be...

- ALWAYS INCLUDE YOUR IN-LAWS... It helps set the tone you want for your new family... and I want two family to become one...

- DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF- at the end of the day the only thing that can really go wrong is if the groom or the bride doesn't show up...

- ENJOY EVERY MOMENT- God willing this will only happen once... make memories to tell your children in the process...

- BE APPRECIATIVE- people are spending time and money to be apart of your special day... no matter how big or small the gesture, make sure you show your gratitude for the people that are assisting you to make your day special.

So brides-to-be... Enjoy these last moments of this chapter in your life... bask in each moment... no matter how scary or under certain they may feel... Find comfort in your true friendships, and the positive marriages in your life... only gravitate to people who speak life into your future... and always refer to 1 Corinthians 13:4–8... " Love never fails."

 If you are a bride and would like to submit to our #BridetoBride series, email us at!


#BrideToBe Advice: 7 Foods That Can Reduce Stress

angry-bride Planning a wedding can be super stressful. Between finding the perfect dress, playing mediator between bridesmaids and dealing with several different vendors to ensure that your big day is perfect, it can be a lot for one person to handle. Hiring Favored by Yodit Events would be the PERFECT solution : ), but if you can't check out the seven foods that can reduce stress below.

1. Turkey: Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that boosts serotonin production, which helps alleviate stress. Add turkey to your morning omelet or slice it up into a salad at lunch.

2. Spinach: This leafy vegetable is great source of magnesium, a mineral that helps promote a sense of calm. Spinach, which is a great source of fiber, also helps boost your energy levels. Opt for this instead of lettuce in your salad at lunch.

3. Salmon: This fish is full of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which help to boost serotonin production. The DHA (docosahexanoic acid) in Omega 3 fats help to nourish the brain while mitigating stress hormones. Plus, the Omega 3 in salmon can reduce inflammation and promote healthy blood flow, both of which are compromised with chronic stress. Enjoy wild Alaskan salmon up to three times a week.

4. Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are a rich source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, which help reduce stress. Walnuts are one of the best sources of Omega 3s. Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain tryptophan, which boosts serotonin production and can take the edge off a stressful day. Have a handful of nuts as an afternoon snack.

5. Oatmeal: The complex carbohydrates in oatmeal help to boost serotonin production. Plus, oats have a lot of calming magnesium as well as potassium, which has been shown to help lower blood pressure. Have a bowl for breakfast with some walnuts and cashews, as well as some cinnamon to help stabilize your blood sugar, and you will on your way to a more tranquil day.

6. Citrus fruit: Oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits are a great way to get your vitamin C, which studies show reduces stress levels. Plus, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boosts your immune system. Have an orange in the afternoon for a calming and nourishing snack.

7. Sweet potatoes and carrots: Root vegetables are a good source of fiber and carbohydrates, which can help to boost serotonin production. Plus, because they are subtly sweet, they can offset cravings for sugar. Sweet potatoes and carrots are also a great source of vitamins and minerals that are good for your blood pressure and your heart. Have a handful of baby carrots with some almond butter in the afternoon or a sweet potato with dinner a couple of times a week.