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There’s no doubt about it: we are living in the digital age. Every day, men and women do their work online, shop online, communicate with their friends online, and find ways to be entertained online. Why not embrace the Internet when it comes to your wedding? Create a wedding website, use a planning app, maybe even send out an online invitation!

Hold on, I hear you say. A wedding is a classic ceremony, chocked full with tradition. There are rules and etiquette to everything, from the walk down the aisle to the tin cans on the bumper. And when it comes to something as important as a wedding, there’s no room for anything less than an elegant, paper invitation.

So… who’s right? Should we stick with the traditional invites of old, or usher in a new era in wedding announcements? The truth is that both invitation options have good and bad qualities. Let’s take them to task and review a few:

Paper: The Pros

Style and Sophistication

A save-the-date (and the subsequent wedding invitation) is a great way to introduce your guests to your wedding and the couple of honor. Is the wedding casual or formal? Is there a specific theme? Your invitations can help convey that information, and paper invitations in particular are far easier to customize.

An Air Of Importance

Email has slowly taken over our lives since the days of dial-up. But let’s be honest: most of what we find in our inboxes goes in one ear and out the other. Snail mail, on the other hand, has a more formal, important feel. If you want your guests to really remember your upcoming nuptials, paper is the best way to make them actually save that date.

A Cherished Memory

Invitations aren’t just for your guests. They can also be a great way for you to remember this important time in your love story. Paper invites can be saved for posterity in scrapbooks or picture frames, while digital invitations will be inevitably lost to cyberspace. If you (or your family members) are the memory-preserving type, you won’t want to pass up on a classic paper invitation.

Paper: The Cons

They Can Be Costly

According to industry reports, the average cost for 150 paper wedding invitations is $245. Save-the-date cards are $114 on average, and when you factor in thank you cards, wedding programs, place cards for your guests, and all the other paper products that go into a wedding, you’re looking at a $750 bill. Do you know how much digital invitations cost? Often free, with maybe a minor charge for using a company’s design. $750, or $0… ‘nuff said.

The Environmental Impact

We all want to live in a greener, more sustainable society, and one thing we can do is cut back on needless paper products. This includes (regardless of how important your wedding is to you) your wedding invitations. If you and your future spouse want to have an eco-conscious wedding, the paper trail has got to meet an abrupt dead end.

Digital: The Pros

Cheap, Yet Effective

We’ve already talked about the cost benefits of digital invitations and save the dates. When you don’t use paper and ink, you don’t have to defray the cost of paper and ink – simple as that! There are plenty of paperless post services that can help you design a beautiful invitation and get it sent out to all your guests in a snap.

RSVP ASAP

If you’ve ever been part of a wedding planning team before, you know how tough it can be to hunt down a final head count. People forget to RSVP, they lose their return card, the call the bride’s mom instead and think that counts. With a digital invitation, you can include an RSVP link. Your guests click away, and you watch as a guest list complies on your computer. It’s a small thing that will save you a massive headache.

Decrease That Carbon Footprint

There is no doubt that digital invites are better for the environment (sorry, paper fans). Fewer paper products means fewer felled trees – and less waste sitting in your guests’ garbage cans when the big day is over. With digital invitations, you can get your message out to the people you love and give a little love to good old Mother Earth.

Digital: The Cons

Limited Reach

This is a problem many couples with big families run into – it’s not always possible to reach your whole guest list online. Not everyone has an email address, nor does everyone have a Facebook page. For example, if you want Grandma Nellie at your wedding, you’re not going to be able to send her a digital invite. When this problem arises, it can be easiest to stick with the postal service.

The Void of Cyberspace

Have you ever sent an email that your boss (or teacher, or parent, or friend) swore they never received? You wrote it, you sent it, you see it in your Gmail “sent” folder, but it simply never reached its destination. When this happens with a someone you see every day, it’s annoying but no big deal. When it happens with your wedding invitation… let’s just say you’ll be wishing you splurged on that $750 dollar stationery set.

The Winner…

So which invitation style is better? Honestly, it depends on the type of wedding you’re having. For a big, formal ceremony with your whole family tree, you’ll want to go paper. For a whirlwind weekend in Vegas with a few friends, digital will probably suffice. Figure out how you want to celebrate first – once you do, figuring out how to get your guests there will be a breeze.

–Naomi Shaw is a freelance writer from Southern California. She loves writing about home decor and education. When she’s not writing, she loves to spend time with her husband and three children.

Category: Uncategorized

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Today’s couples often take an e-centric approach to both their wedding planning and the ceremony. Social media allows distant friends and relatives to become involved and linked into the daily updates of the couple, their adventures in wedding planning and share in the excitement of the big day…even if they can’t be there in person.

The beauty of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the host of other social platforms is the ability to reach multitudes with the click of one little button. Friends, family, acquaintances and even random ‘friends’ across the ocean can peek into the pre-marital bliss and musings of the couple and have instant updates about the big wedding day.

For couples, social media eases the frustrations of planning and managing guest lists, hotel accommodations and even gift registries. With a personalized wedding web page, couples can easily post all details of their wedding, including room blocks at hotels and links to all the stores that host their registries. The link to the wedding web site can then be shared quickly as an update or a tweet to provide easy access to all the possible guests.

The ease of the virtual world also has changed the way many couples manage their guest list. Online Save the Date cards and wedding invitations have streamlined the frustration of addressing, personalizing, stamping and mailing each individual invitation. Instead, guests can receive an emailed professionally designed virtual invite that also allows guests to deliver their RSVP with a simple click. The couple can easily save hundreds of dollars on stamps alone.

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Taking wedding planning into the digital world requires following a unique code of online etiquette. Follow these tips when taking the wedding and wedding planning social:

  •         Never mention registry information in posts. Guests need to ask about registries, but they should never be told about them. The rule of etiquette is that the only proper way to inform guests of a registry is through word of mouth.
  •         Requests for money should NEVER be made on social media. Honeymoon funds are very common, as is the preference for monetary gifts. If a site has been set up to raise money for the honeymoon or for any other marital need, link the registry site to wedding web site.
  •         Communicate with guests about photography at the wedding well before the date of the event. Most guests will come armed with a camera phone, and they will really want to take pictures. If the couple is fine with photos during the ceremony, let guests know via posts or updates on the wedding web site. If cameras are not allowed during the ceremony, make it very clear.
  •         Keep wedding planning posts positive. Guests don’t want to hear about problems with vendors or other personal issues.
  •         Refrain from posting any embarrassing photos. Don’t post any photos that could embarrass a member of the wedding party, a guest, family members or the couple. If Great Aunt Hilda has downed one too many martinis and is doing the Macarena, don’t film her. And definitely don’t post the video online.
  •         Hand-write thank you notes. Stay old-school when it comes to thank you notes. Don’t ever email a thank you…be personal and write a nice note acknowledging the gift.
  •         Respect the copyrights of the professional photographer. Never post a professional’s photo online without permission. The photographer always owns the copyright to the photo.
  •         Never post photos of the wedding dress or any details of the dress online. The dress is one of the most anticipated items of the wedding, keep its appearance hidden from guests.
  •         If guests are encouraged to take snapshots at the wedding ceremony and/or the reception, be sure to set up a photo sharing site. This allows the couple and the guests to view photos from the wedding and the reception and to also upload their own photos to the site for others to view.
  •         Check privacy settings on all social media accounts. This is extremely important if couples want to monitor who sees wedding posts and pictures. Make sure that all settings are reviewed and set appropriately.

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Social media enables today’s digitally-savvy couples to showcase their wedding events to their guest list instantaneously. Faraway friends and loved ones can have access to all the details and updates of the event and share in the joy simply by logging on.

–Naomi Shaw is a freelance writer from Southern California. She loves writing about home decor and education. When she’s not writing, she loves to spend time with her husband and three children.

Category: Planning

Crazy About Color? This Styled Shoot Is for You!

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There’s not much we can say to fully give this wedding the justice it deserves.  Our entire team gets goosebumps just looking over these absolutely breathtaking photos from Ciprian Photography. Crystal clear waters and not a cloud in sight, this day could not have been more perfect. The stunning mountain view surrounded them at the Kehlet Mansion, giving these two the perfect setting to say their “I dos” on the sandy beach of Lake Tahoe.

Each table displayed a gorgeous arrangement of floral blooms, courtesy of Stems by Diana, placed inside beautiful copper trays the bride had custom made. Strands of lights hung above to cast an elegant atmosphere all around, and with music jamming from Brian Hess, this couple along with friends and family danced the whole night through.

We are beyond ecstatic to share this fabulous feature with you over on Reverie Gallery

 

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Category: Uncategorized

This last weekend kicked off our 2016 wedding season with a bang. A stunning winter wedding at West Shore Cafe, followed by one of our favorite 2015 weddings being picked up by Style Me Pretty! Check out some of our favorite shots, from Bret Cole Photography, or visit Style Me Pretty to view the full feature with an exclusive story of the lovely couple.

Bret Cole Photography, Mike and Aubrey's Wedding with Summit Soiree, Ehrman Mansion Wedding in Lake Tahoe, Lakefront Estate Wedding

Bret Cole Photography, Mike and Aubrey's Wedding with Summit Soiree, Ehrman Mansion Wedding in Lake Tahoe, Lakefront Estate Wedding

Bret Cole Photography, Mike and Aubrey's Wedding with Summit Soiree, Ehrman Mansion Wedding in Lake Tahoe, Lakefront Estate Wedding

Bret Cole Photography, Mike and Aubrey's Wedding with Summit Soiree, Ehrman Mansion Wedding in Lake Tahoe, Lakefront Estate Wedding

Bret Cole Photography, Mike and Aubrey's Wedding with Summit Soiree, Ehrman Mansion Wedding in Lake Tahoe, Lakefront Estate Wedding

Bret Cole Photography, Mike and Aubrey's Wedding with Summit Soiree, Ehrman Mansion Wedding in Lake Tahoe, Lakefront Estate Wedding