Wedding Thank You Notes: SIMPLIFIED!

Take a picture you can include
in the thank you notes!
After all the craziness of wedding planning, most new husbands and wives want to do nothing more than bask in their newlywed glow. While it's definitely important to take time to enjoy your new husband-and-wife status, it's equally important to thank all your guests for attending your celebration. Writing several - potentially hundreds - of thank you notes can be a daunting task for anyone, but it doesn't have to be as challenging as you think!

Here a few tips to make writing your wedding thank you notes a breeze! 

Simplify the Process!

Don't make writing thank you notes harder than it needs to be. If you're still planning the wedding, consider setting up a table with envelopes and pens so your guests can write their names and addresses for you! It will take each individual guest less than a minute, and it will save you hours.

Pace Yourself!

Writing one hundred thank you notes in one sitting would be too much for anyone. Keep yourself from getting burnt out by setting up a thank you note schedule. Divide your total number of thank you notes by five weekdays. This way, you'll have a reasonable amount of notes to tackle every evening and you'll be finished by the time the weekend rolls around!

Get Hubby Involved!

There is no reason why YOU should have to write all of the thank you notes. Your new husband is an equal recipient of all your gifts - let him take on an equal share of the work! Dividing the notes up by family can be an easy way to start. Some couples choose to have the groom send the notes to the bride's family and the bride write the notes to his to help solidify the new family bonds.

Keep your rustic theme going with
these beautiful rustic thank you notes!

Don't Wait!

We're all guilty of procrastinating every once in a while, but try not to put off writing your thank you notes for too long! The sooner you get them sent out, the better. Getting your thank you notes mailed out in a timely manner (within 3-4 weeks) lowers the chance of offending your guests AND gets the dreaded task off your list. It's a win-win!

Thank You Note Dos & Don'ts

Don't fall victim to any wedding thank you note faux pas! This checklist will keep you on the right track.


DO:

  • Be prompt. We know we just mentioned this, but it's so important we decided to say it again!
  • Make it personal. If they gave you a pasta pot, mention the pasta pot! Personalizing your notes will give them a more sincere, honest feel.
  • Acknowledge intangible gifts. Don't forget to send thank you notes to people who gave you gifts such as time or assistance with the wedding planning process. Those often involved just as much - if not more - effort!
  • Go the extra mile. If you're taking the time to write thank you notes in the first place, why not make them something your guests will want to keep? Send your favorite photo of you and your groom. If you have a photo of you and your guest, include it too!


DON'T:

Destination wedding? You'll love these
beach-themed thank you notes!
  • Send an email, text, or Facebook message. In today's increasingly digital world, people cherish handwritten notes more than ever.
  • Be too formal. You're thanking them for a gift and for celebrating your wedding with you - be happy and have fun with it!
  • State the specific dollar amount of the gift. Come up with a blanket statement that can apply to all gifts, such as "We are touched by your generosity and appreciate your thoughtfulness."
  • Indicate any dissatisfaction with the gift. It doesn't matter if you're going to return it or pass it on to someone else. What matters is that your guest went out of their way to give you and your fiancé something to help celebrate your marriage.

Remember, It's the Thought that Counts!

No matter how big or small your wedding is/was, all of your guests deserve to be thanked for attending your wedding and for the generosity of their gifts - and nothing shows gratitude like a personal, handwritten thank you note! Your guests made you and your groom feel special by sending a gift or traveling all the way to celebrate with you. Writing thank you notes is your opportunity to return the favor!


~ The WhereBridesGo.com Team

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16 Must Have Wedding Photos!!

If you're going to splurge on anything for your big day, splurge on your photographer. This individual will be responsible for capturing all the biggest moments of your special day, helping you preserve your memories. Experienced professional photographers should have some good ideas about what moments are especially important to photograph, but you should put together a list of pictures you want to be sure you get, too! Here are our recommendations for the top 16 wedding photos every bride and groom should have.

1. The Dresses and Shoes
Before you put them on, be sure to snap a shot of your dress hanging up next to your bridesmaid's dresses, and a pic of your shoes all lined up together! Feel free to get artsy with your shoes, your bouquet, your rings, and your dress. These will be the first steps towards recreating your day in your wedding album.

2. Final Makeup and Hair Touches
Capture your final "single lady" moments as you put the finishing touches on your lipstick, mascara, or hair. This can also be a perfect time to snag a few shots of you getting ready with your bridesmaids!

3. The Groom's Dressing Room
Send a photographer into the groom's dressing room to get a few final pictures of him and his groomsmen. A photograph of them doing a toast or fist-bumping can be great fun!

4. The First Look
Whether you and your groom first see each other on the aisle or in a secluded "first look" setting, make sure your photographer captures the moment when you first lay eyes on each other. This unforgettable moment will probably become your favorite photograph.

5. The Procession
Make sure you get pictures of each person progressing down the aisle. The ceremony will probably fly by in a bit of a blur, so these pictures will help you remember it in all its detail.

6. Exchanging Vows
This is the time when you and your fiance ultimately promise yourselves to one another. No doubt it will be an incredibly special moment you'll want to capture! Make sure your photographer is positioned close enough to the alter so he/she can get the perfect photograph.

7. Exchanging Rings
This is the perfect opportunity to get a close-up shot of your hands as you slide your rings on each other's fingers! The close-up angle will give the moment the intimate feel it deserves.

8. The Kiss
Need we say more?

9. Walking Back Down the Aisle Together
Congratulations! The walk back down the aisle signifies your first moment together as a husband and wife. This will be a photograph you will enjoy looking back at after years of marriage.

10. Couple Photos
Make sure you get a variety of photos of you and your groom. It's important to get some formal, posed shots together, but don't forget to take some fun, candid shots too!

11. Bridal Party Pics
You'll want to get several pictures with your bridal party. In addition to group photos with everyone, snag some shots of you with each of your individual bridesmaids - and have the groom do the same with his groomsmen. This is also the time to take pictures with your flower girl and ring bearer. As with your couple shots, it's important to find a good balance of formal and fun photos.

12. The Parents
Take the time to get several photos with you and your fiance with both of your parents. In addition to your individual family shots, take some pictures of the two of you with both sets of parents together - and your grandparents, too! These photographs will help represent the fact that today, two families become one.


12. Greeting Your Guests
It will probably be difficult to get a picture with every single guest, but your photographer should be able to get at least a few pictures of you and your new husband greeting your guests in the receiving line. What a fun memory!

13. Your First Dance
As with the wedding kiss, the first dance really doesn't need an explanation! Your photographer should be able to angle the shot to create a beautifully romantic effect.

14. Mother-Son and Father-Daughter Dance
Don't forget to get a picture of your groom dancing with his mother and you dancing with your father! Everyone in the family will cherish these incredibly sweet pictures.

15. The Dance Floor
In addition to the specific dance pairings, make sure your photographer gets a few shots of the dance floor filled with all your guests! These pictures will tell the story of your reception and help everyone reminisce about how much fun it was!

16. Cutting The Cake 
Whether you and your fiance choose to tenderly feed one another a bite of delicious wedding cake or ceremoniously shove it into each other's faces, the cake ritual will be a moment you won't want your photographer to miss!

When it's all said and done, your photographs will be the key to unlocking the beautiful memories of your wedding. These suggestions should be a great way to help you get started, but you can also check us out on Pinterest for more must have wedding photo ideas

Don't stress about getting the "perfect" photograph. All that matters is that you take pictures that help you recreate your big day. As long as you and your groom act like yourselves in your pictures, you're guaranteed to love them!

~ The WhereBridesGo.com Team

Where brides go®  ... for what brides love!
Don't forget about our Coupon Code VIPBRIDE. Save an additional 10% off your entire order at WhereBridesGo.com!! 
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Writing Meaningful Wedding Vows In 10 Easy Steps!

Simply put, the wedding vows are the most important part of the wedding ceremony. They represent the relationship that you and your spouse will have together for the rest of your life, so you want them to be special! Reciting traditional wedding vows is still a common practice, but many couple today are choosing to write their own. Customized wedding vows can be a great way to honor and celebrate your marriage, but writing your own vows can be challenging. To help you out, the WhereBridesGo.com team has put together some tips for creating the perfect wedding vows!

1. Get On The Same Page.

Talk with your partner and your officiant about having personalized wedding vows.  Some religions may require you to use traditional wording, whereas others may allow for some originality. After you determine your religious guidelines, you can decide whether you will repeat the same vows together or write them individually to read to one another. 

2.  Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute.

Coming up with the perfect words to say in such a special moment might not be the easiest task, so it's a good idea to give yourself at least a month to prepare. This way, you'll have time to organize your thoughts and still have time to practice them before the big day. As your wedding date approaches, you'll probably become more excited and possibly more nervous, so you'll be much better off writing your vows while your mind is still clear!

3. Consult the Experts.

Read traditional vows to get yourselves in the mindset, then branch off from there. Do you have a favorite quote about love? Some couples use a famous quote to set the tone for their vows and then go on to describe what they value about their partner and how they plan to be the best spouse they can be. Whatever direction you choose, traditional vows always serve as a great starting point!
 

4.  Set the Tone.


personalize your wedding even further with this
unity sand photo frame set!
Before you start writing, you and your fiancé should decide on the tone you want your vows to set. Do you want to be humorous? Romantic? Both? The angle you take is completely up to you. Your vows should show your commitment to and love for one another, but a few small, good-natured can definitely add to the occasion!
 

5.  Plan a Vow Date.

Plan a date night when you can sit down with your partner and conduct a vow brainstorming session over dinner. Talk about what you mean to each other, how you've grown together, and what you want to give to your partner. Here are some questions to get you going!
  • What are you most looking forward to about married life?
  • Why did you decide to get married?
  • What type of wife/husband do you want to be?
  • What have you supported each other through?
  • What do you want to accomplish together?
  • What was the first thing you noticed about each other?
  • What is the glue that holds your relationship together? 
  • How have you grown together?
Talking through questions like these can ignite sparks of creativity that will help you write your vows. Don't worry about trying to find perfect vow material at first, just enjoy reminiscing about your favorite memories together and sharing your dreams for the future. Feel free to take some notes, but don't focus too much on writing anything down right now. Great ideas can come from natural conversation - you don't want to disrupt the flow!

6.  Self-Reflect.

After you have discussed your relationship with your partner, take a moment to reflect on yourself - how you've changed since you started dating your fiancé and what you hope to get out of your marriage. Here are some questions to get you started.
  • What went through your mind the first time you saw your partner?
  • When did you realize you were in love?
  • What do you respect the most about your partner?
  • How has your life gotten better since you met your partner?
  • What about your partner inspires you?
  • What do you miss most about your partner when you are apart?
  • What qualities do you admire the most in your partner? 
  • How have you grown personally since you've been in a relationship with your partner?
  • What is your partner's favorite quality?

Take as much time as you need to answer these questions honestly. If you're a visual person, you might find it helpful to write your answers down. Again, feel free to jot down quick notes if you have any moments of inspiration. By the time you've finished with your mutual brainstorming session and your personal reflection, you might find that you have enough written down to officially begin creating your vows!


7.  Create an Outline.   

An outline helps create the foundation you can use to support your vows as you build them. Plus, deciding on the outline with your fiancé can ensure that the two of you are on the same page; you'll be less likely to end up with one of you taking an overly comedic or romantic approach. You can structure your outline however you want. Some couples choose to make their vows a series of promises, beginning each line with "I promise to..." Honestly, there is no right or wrong way to structure your outline. As long as you make sure the style matches you and your fiancé, you'll be golden!

8.  Consider Your Audience.

Unless you decide to elope, you and your fiancé will most likely be surrounded by your friends and family as you recite your vows. They are there to support you as you begin this exciting new chapter of your lives, so make sure your vows don't exclude them! They have no way of knowing your entire relationship history, nor do they need to hear about all your embarrassing stories. You can make your vows fun, but be careful not to focus on too many inside jokes or anything else that your audience may not understand.
 

9.  Time It Right.

Guests may lose interest if the ceremonies get too long, so make sure you keep yours succinct and to the point. The ceremony typically encompasses much more than just the vows, so you'll be better off keeping your vows brief - one minute per spouse is usually a good length. This may sound short at first, but you'll be surprised how much you can say in one minute if you've prepared well. Rather than trying to cram multiple ideas into one brief minute, expound on the few points that mean the most to you.
 

10.  Practice.

Then practice again! Reciting your vows in front of a mirror is one thing, but reciting them on the big day will be a completely different experience. Keep in mind that on your actual wedding day, you'll be surrounded by your bridal party, the officiant, and all of your guests. Knowing your vows inside and out will help ease your nerves. You might also find it helpful to practice in front of your maid of honor, your mother, or someone else you can trust who knows your relationship well. We suggest you try to memorize your vows, but it's usually a good idea to give a written copy to the best man or maid of honor just in case!
 
Ultimately, you and your fiancé can choose to make your vows into anything you want. If you're avoiding traditional vows, you probably want to make your wedding a unique and special ceremony - so do that! As long as you make sure your vows accurately reflect your relationship, and you can't go wrong!

 
~ The WhereBridesGo.com Team

Where brides go®  ... for what brides love!
Don't forget about our Coupon Code VIPBRIDE. Save an additional 10% off your entire order at WhereBridesGo.com!! 
We also offer FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $100 (continental US only).
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