All Posts By

ruthejacksonce

Looking Forward to 2020 Weddings

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

2019 is gone and just like that 2020 is here…and so are some new wedding trends! If you’re like me, it’s always fun to see what new styles make an appearance from year to year. So for our trend-followers out there, here are four 2020 wedding trends that you’ll wanna know about.

  • Micro Weddings

Large guest counts seem to be slowly making its way out of style. From what we’ve seen, micro weddings are in. These weddings have a guest count under 100…some only have a count of 50! They may be smaller, but they don’t necessarily cut down on the wedding budget. Micro weddings choose to have a higher budget per-person. This allows for the couple to choose unique menus, drinks and entertainment for their family and friends. You probably won’t see a simple chicken dinner at this kind of 2020 wedding.

  • Inclusive Menus

Speaking of wedding food, 2020 seems to be the year of inclusive menu options. Couples are making sure each guest gets the dinner that reflects their individual dietary habits. We are talking about vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menus. More and more caterers realize this trend and push to include menus to satisfy everyone at the wedding.

  • Florals Everywhere!Flowers aren’t just for centerpieces and bouquets anymore! Dried flower petals are showing up in ice, drinks and cakes. Floral patterns make a comeback and appear in bridal and bridesmaid dresses as well as some linens and invitations. If you want your wedding to follow the next-big thing, you can’t go wrong with floral accents in your décor!
  • Videography

            While we’ve already seen this trend slowly appear in 2019, it has taken off completely! Now it is almost a necessity to hire a videographer for your wedding. It is just as important as a photographer. Couples want to be able to relive their day on film. Wedding videos often feature their personalized vows, ceremony, pre-wedding prep and reception. These are all moments that couples say they want their future children to be able to see on camera one day.

While this list doesn’t reflect every single trend of 2020, we believe these were the “greatest hits” and worthy mentions. We can’t wait to see these appear during our next events at RJC! We hope that you could even be a part of it and be one of our trendy RJC brides of 2020!

Advice for the Guy Planning to Propose

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

While all of our past pieces of advice have been for planning the perfect wedding, we decided to switch gears and tailor advice to those guys out there planning the perfect proposal! And if you’re a guy reading this about to propose to your girlfriend, let me be the first to say congratulations! This is a big deal! We hope these tips will help you better plan for this special occasion…and take some stress out of the experience as well!

  •  Communication is Key

While the proposal is supposed to be a surprise, the topic of marriage shouldn’t be! The easiest way to avoid your girlfriend from saying no is to openly talk to her about the idea of marriage. Make sure this kind of commitment is what you both want. Remember, your first conversation about marriage should not be as you are getting on one knee. If family is a big part of you and your partner’s life, consider cluing in the family beforehand as well. Depending on the family dynamic, asking her dad for her hand in marriage might be appropriate too.

  •  Go Shopping 

This one might be obvious, but make sure to have a ring to give to your partner when you propose. Unless you 100% know she does not want a diamond, do not assume she is okay with picking out a ring post-engagement. This step is also about communication as well. Take the time to get to know what she wants and what she’s expecting!

  • Get the Inside Scoop

Don’t overlook this step because it can save you so much stress! Before you propose, get the inside scoop from her family and friends what she likes and dislikes. Her sister might know exactly what kind of proposal she’s been dreaming of her whole life. Her mom might also know what she absolutely doesn’t want. Ask her best friend if she would rather have an intimate proposal or something in front of a crowd or stadium. Don’t guess! The answer to what she really wants is just a conversation away!

 

  • Document the Moment

Everyone in the wedding world seems to agree that the single most thing you should invest in for your big day is a good photographer. We believe the same is true for the moment when you get down on one knee. Your girlfriend will be so glad to know that you invested in someone to catch the whole event on camera. Proposal pictures are some of the sweetest out there, so don’t skip out on this step! Plus, if some of your family or friends can’t make it to the proposal, you’ll have pictures to show them later on.

  • Don’t Wing It

This is a huge thing to plan. Don’t wait until two minutes before getting on one knee to decide what you are gonna say. Take some time to process what you want to communicate to your partner. Be romantic! Tell her how much she means to you. You could even write a poem or speech beforehand and read it to her in the moment. I promise that will really show her how much you care! Secondly, don’t wing it when it comes to planning the proposal. Create a moment that you will both be proud of and something that you can cherish for years. Did you know there’s even proposal planners out there? Yep! You might even consider hiring someone to help you pull-off that surprise for your girlfriend.

Conquering the Bridal Show

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

It’s a new year and that means a new wedding season! There’s no better time to sign up for all the local bridal shows if you’re newly engaged. The first two months of the year are very popular times for vendors to host these fun events. While you might be the bride that is already signed up for every show imaginable, we realize a lot of brides might not feel the same way about these crowded events. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in a sea of vendors, tables and businesses wanting your attention…not to mention the hundreds of other couples in the building. But if you attend these shows well prepared, there’s really nothing to fear! Let’s help you make the most of the bridal show!

 

  1. Recruit Your Team
    Once you find a show that you think you’ll want to register for, the first thing you want to do is make sure your team is available to assist you on this day. Whether it’s your maid of honor, mother, sister, or fiancé, don’t underestimate the importance of having others at the bridal show to help you. They will be there to help you talk to vendors that are your number one priority. They will help you stay on task and track. And they will help you make decisions or give you their invaluable opinion when considering vendors. Not to mention, being with your team is a lot more fun than taking on a bridal show alone!
  1. Dress Confidently
    You might not think to dress confidently right away when considering a bridal show event. However, it’s super important to make sure you’re dressing to fit your style and comfort. Express your personality! If you walk into any event dressed to impress, it’ll only boost your own confidence. You’ll feel a lot more prepared to take on the day and conquer this crowded bridal show. You might even find it easier to communicate your wedding style to vendors and connect with them on a more personal level.
  1. Create an Email
    Logistically, creating your own separate email address for all wedding planning business is super important. It’ll keep everything organized and separate from your other emails that flood your regular address. It’ll also make sure nothing slips through the cracks or gets lost in the sea of your unread messages. This new wedding email can be given out to all vendors from here on out!
  1. Take Pictures
    What better way to keep track of vendors and their work? Taking pictures of that beautiful cake or floral arrangement is probably the easiest way to ensure you don’t forget about it when you leave the bridal show. Even if you don’t end up hiring that vendor, you at least have a picture to show what styles and colors you like. Think of it as creating a bridal show Pinterest board!
  1. Don’t Forget the Labels
    We think this last tip is pretty ingenious! If you’ve ever been to a bridal show, you know that just about every vendor table you visit will want you to fill out a card with your information. Next thing you know, you’re spending way too much time filling out your name and contact information over and over. Trust me, it gets old really fast. Save yourself some time, and create your own contact information label stickers at home. There are plenty of templates out there that’ll allow you to type up these labels fairly quickly. Just don’t forget to use that wedding email address we talked about before!

Once you try out these tips on that next bridal show, you’ll feel like a pro in no time! Bridal shows could even transform from a dreaded chore to find vendors into a fun date with your fiancé or bridesmaids! Don’t forget to be creative with it, enjoy the process and take a moment to really appreciate the engaged season that you are in.

Minted Tutorial

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

Once you set your wedding date and got a handle on who you want to invite, I’d say the most exciting moments of planning your big day is choosing your invitations. This piece of mail is something that all of your guests will see! It describes you, your fiancé, your personality, and what they can look forward to in regards to your day. So don’t be afraid to get creative with it! One of our favorite ways to get creative is by utilizing Minted. This online shop allows you to create fully customizable wedding invitations, suites, and other wedding papers you might need. They even provide you with a free wedding website that matches your invitations completely. We thought we’d just share a quick tutorial with you on how this process works.

Step 1:

While Minted offers a multitude of customizable paper goods for all kinds of events, you’re going to narrow down what you want to invest in for your wedding. Consider whether you want invitations and save the dates. Or perhaps you want to add in some RSVP cards and reception details? You might even decide investing in a full suite is best for you. Whatever it is, Minted has you covered!

Step 2:

Next is the fun part: deciding on your design! Minted allows you to browse their designs by color, theme, trends, or patterns. They have plenty of inspiration to get you started. Or, if you have your own design in mind, Minted will allow you to use their artists to design something totally custom and totally you. Some couples have even added a watercolor painting or silhouette of their venue onto their design! And of course you can add in your very own engagement pictures.

Step 3:

Once you’ve selected a design you feel great about, you can then make those fine-tuning adjustments. You can select different colors, fonts, and wording. Minted even has an advice section on their site to help brides determine proper invitation etiquette. In this step you will also select if you want custom envelopes, belly bands, stamps, vellum overlays or other extras. If you’re unsure of how much this will all cost you, they have a simple calculator on the right side of the screen to help you determine what you want to invest in.

Step 4:

We think this next step is pretty cool because now you get to order free samples! Yep, free! Minted will send you your invitation in the mail so you can see it up close, feel it in your hands, and decide what further edits need to be made. This takes the worry out of ordering over a hundred custom invitations!

Step 5:

Alright you got your free sample, you love how it looks, and now it’s time to finalize your guest list. Go back to your profile and saved design. Enter in all of the guests and their addresses into their address book feature. And guess what? Minted gives you free recipient addressing on all your envelopes! Now your invitations are looking fab and ready to send!

Step 6:

This step is easy: simply place your order! It’ll be a great feeling getting that checked off your list as well! And if you decide later on that you need more paper goods like menus, place cards, table numbers or programs, you can always come back!

We hope this tutorial helped you navigate through wedding invitations. It doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Make it fun with online ordering and Minted!

Tips for the Budget-Friendly Bride

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking about your wedding day since you were 6 years old. While it’s been a far off vision, you haven’t stopped planning it in your head…or on Pinterest. Now you’re engaged and that vision is quickly becoming a reality! But your fairytale wedding with extravagant florals in an England mansion venue doesn’t come cheap. You and your fiancé have to start getting real creative to afford the wedding of your dreams! I’m here to tell you that thinking about the small things really do add up. You can stand to save a lot of extra cash by following some of these budget-friendly tips.

Pick a less than popular date:

Since picking a venue is one of the first things on your wedding planning to-do list, you have to consider picking a date that is not during peak wedding season. Some venues might offer discounts to couples that book their date during slow months. See if a January-March date works for you and your family. Or maybe a weekend in August? Perhaps you and your fiancé are even open to picking a week day for your event. You will be happy to see a huge price difference in the quote you receive from venues.

Keep your eyes peeled for promos:

Wedding vendors constantly advertise sales, discounts, and promotions. The best way to keep up with this? Follow their social media accounts! Find a few promising vendors you like and don’t forget to check back with them regularly for sales. Some vendors even host social media giveaways for free or discounted products and services. It never hurts to try and win! Additionally, you can sign yourself up for a few local bridal shows. Vendors often slash their prices for brides that commit to them at the show.

Save the trees:

Ordering printed menus on beautiful stationary is definitely Pinterest-worthy, but is it really necessary? Save the paper and the cash: say no to menus. Instead, post your dinner menu on your wedding website or have it displayed on a single acrylic sign at the reception. Speaking of stationary, you can save even more of your budget by simply addressing your invitations yourself. Get your bridesmaids together for a wine and invitation party! You’d be surprised how much cash will stay in your pocket.

Less is more:

Flowers can be another huge item on your list. While I am a huge lover of grand flower arrangements and archways, it might not always be practical for everyone. Consider sticking to one large statement arrangement and a few smaller flowers everywhere else. Or perhaps you can reuse your ceremony flowers and bouquets for the reception space. Placing those arrangements near the bar, on the cake table, or the sweetheart table can really make a difference. Whatever arrangements you choose, make sure you are selecting flowers that are in season! Don’t pay the hefty price tag for those flowers that are hard to get at the time of your wedding.

Think of the children:

Lastly, if you’re having children at your wedding, don’t pay for additional plated, four course meals. Ask your venue if they have kid’s menu options at a more affordable rate. Plus, those options will probably be more popular among the kiddos rather than your steak dinner and shrimp cocktail. If you’re reading this and you’re an RJC bride, we even have a special space just for the kids. We’ve had babysitting companies and even bounce houses entertain the kids while you dance the night away with your new husband.

When you’re planning a wedding on a budget, and most all weddings have a budget, it goes without saying that you need to stick to the budget. I firmly believe you can have the wedding of your dreams and be financially stable at the same time! Thinking through each wedding purchase and following money-saving tips is sometimes all it will take. And if you’re ever caught in a bind or need extra advice, don’t hesitate to reach out. Best of wishes to you always!

Bridal Hairstyle Guide

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

When you get in the middle of wedding planning, little details begin to pop up! You begin to think and consider every part of your big day. One of those little details is how you decide to wear your hair! If you are like me, this is a super exciting topic! However, if you need some guidance on how to select the best hairstyle for you, look no further!

 

Step One: Find Inspiration
If you have a specific aesthetic in mind for your wedding, you can easily coordinate your hair around it. For example, if you are going for a casual, rustic evening, you can opt for a loose half-pinned hairstyle that incorporates loose flowing curls. Pieces of hair can be left out of the pinned portion to frame the face. On the other hand, if you want a formal event, you might consider an updo with tight curls or buns. A great idea is to check out Pinterest and find styles that you like. Once you have a few picked out, you can present them to your stylist to see if they can be done.

Step Two: Decide on Length
Long or short? It’s as simple as that! If you want long, flowing hair in your wedding pictures, make sure you give yourself enough time to grow it out. Alternatively, you can always buy hair extensions to speed up the process. If you’d like to keep your hair short, consider what options of styles are doable for your length. And as always, communicate with your stylist. They can point you in the right direction depending on your hair type.

 

Step Three: Accessories!
Now that you’ve decided on the hair style of your dreams, it’s time to consider accessories! Lately, I’ve noticed a trend towards veils that are clipped into the pinned hair. If you want to go this direction, find a veil that suites your hair and won’t give you trouble. The last thing you want to be worrying about is if your veil is going to stay on your head or not. There’s also a plethora of bridal clips, flower crowns, and elegant pins to compliment your beautiful style!

Considering your hairstyle is one of the many fun decisions to make for your wedding day. With these easy steps, you’re sure to find the best fit for you! And I hope that this small read makes your decision process a little less overwhelming!

XOXO,

Ruthe

Get the Most out of Your Honeymoon!

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

With all the wedding planning you and your fiancé have been doing lately, I bet you both can’t wait to get away! Once all the wedding stress is done and over with, you’ll be able to finally relax and enjoy married life! And a honeymoon is a perfect way to unwind and connect with your partner before settling into reality again. But before you get on that plane, make sure to consider these helpful honeymoon tips to make the most of your special vacation.

 

Pack Ahead of Time:
Obviously, if you’re going somewhere for your honeymoon, you’re gonna need to pack. However, don’t wait until the last minute. Try getting this done before the wedding! Once your wedding is over, the last thing you’ll want to do is laundry and pack luggage. Do yourself a favor and get the chores done so you don’t have to stop the wedding fun.

 

 Do Your Research:
Another thing that shouldn’t be taken lightly: researching your destination. Make sure that super nice hotel deal online isn’t too good to be true. Maybe there’s a reason the price is so low? Also take the area around the hotel into account. Make sure there isn’t anything concerning that is deterring business.

Balance Your Activities:
When it comes to planning the perfect getaway, you want to make sure you have a balance of scheduled, fun activities as well as downtime. Having too many places to see or activities to go to can get overwhelming. Before you know it, your honeymoon will be over and you’ll realize you had zero time to actually relax! On the other hand, too few scheduled events can make your honeymoon kinda boring. You can only spend so much time in that hotel room. Find a fun thing to do at your destination and make memories that will last beyond your trip!

 

Make it Romantic:
This is super important! A honeymoon is such a special vacation. Often times, it might be the only vacation that solely focuses on you as a married couple. Life goes by so fast and before you know it, you might be vacationing with young kids or other family members. Take advantage of being alone. Choose a destination that you might not be able to enjoy later on in life. Invest in a nicer hotel or couples package. Do something out of the ordinary!

Ultimately, deciding on your honeymoon details will reflect on you as a couple, your personalities and your interests. Any trip, both across the world or a few minutes down the road, can be beautiful as long as you focus on each other! We hope as you consider these honeymoon tips, you take the time to celebrate the love that you both share and have the best experience ever!

Post Wedding To-Do’s

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

Congratulations! You’re finally newlyweds! All the planning paid off! But did you realize that there’s a lot to get done after the wedding as well? Sorry to burst your bubble, but the to-do’s aren’t over yet. Let’s go over a few of the main items to check off your list!

 

1. Make it Official (on paper)
Besides getting your wedding certificate, there’s a lot of other changes you need to make formally. If you’re legally changing your last name, you’ll need to change it on all of your accounts. This could include your bank account, memberships like Netflix or the local gym, and your driver’s license. Trying to remember to change your information on everything can be overwhelming, I know! But there are plenty of online services that can help you get this done in a flash.

 

2. Keepsakes
If you’re sentimental like I am, you’ll want to keep a lot of your precious wedding items. You’ll want to preserve these things relatively soon after the wedding, especially if they have an expiration date. For example, you might want to designate someone to save the top tier of your wedding cake after you have left the night of your wedding. You can preserve the cake for your one-year anniversary by simply wrapping it up well in plastic wrap and storing it in the freezer. Another item you’ll want to designate to a loved one would be your wedding bouquet. If you’re planning on preserving or drying your florals, it needs to be done as soon as possible. Don’t wait until after you get back from your honeymoon! Lastly, if you want to keep your wedding dress, look into ways to store and preserve it from the test of time.

3. Thank You’s
Your guests, wedding party, friends and family have all done their part to make your big day a success. Don’t forget to properly thank them for their help! Mailing thank you letters is always a great way to do this. To shorten your list of to-do’s, you might consider starting these thank you notes in advance. If you have received a bridal shower gift, for example, go ahead and send that thank you card before it piles up with the rest of your notes!

 

4. Purge
For those less sentimental wedding items that you bought, you probably don’t want them taking up space in your garage. This might be table centerpieces, wedding signs, or candles. You might consider giving them to friends or family that you know are planning a wedding next. There’s also online marketplaces for wedding supplies where you can potentially recoup some of your wedding cost. And if nothing else, there’s always the option of donating them to a local charity!

While this list isn’t exhaustive of all post wedding to-do’s, I do hope that this will help you move forward with your newly-married life. Once you start checking things off the list, it’ll be easier to get back to a routine with your new spouse. And if you happened to celebrate your wedding at the RJC, don’t forget to leave us an online review or send us your sweet wedding pictures! We hope your wedding day was nothing but amazing!

How to Plan the Perfect Winter Wedding

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

So you’ve picked the date! You’ve decided to make it official in the winter! This time of year is always perfect for weddings. With the holiday spirit in the air, what could be more romantic?! If you’re local to the Ruthe Jackson Center, you know that even Texas gets a chilly winter. And if you decide to get married in this area, you know you have to plan around that. We understand the challenges that surround this season, however beautiful and romantic it may be. That’s why I’ve decided it was time to share some of my tricks for having a perfect winter wedding…

 

Stay Warm:
Pinterest will show you a lot of beautiful pictures of bridesmaids in flowy dresses tramping in the snow. While this looks gorgeous, it’s incredibly impractical. No one wants to be stuck in the snow or freezing cold wind for an hour for pictures. Especially if your dress is sleeveless. So do your wedding party a favor and pick out your attire to help fight the cold. Maybe you could consider a bridal fur coat or shawl? Bridesmaids can having matching winter accessories that will look adorable and warm. There’s plenty of options out there!

 

Plan for the Weather:
Like any other time of the year, you’ll need to check the weather on your wedding date. You can research what the weather was like in your area on that particular week from years past as well. This will give you a sense of what to expect. If there’s a good chance of inclement weather, plan accordingly. Help your out of town guests by giving them travel and weather information ahead of time. Plan your wedding pictures efficiently to ensure your loved ones aren’t standing out in the cold longer than necessary. And always give you and your guests extra time for travel if the roads don’t look too good.

 

Embrace the Aesthetic:
Winter can be bitter and cold, but it can also be magical! Embrace the natural beauty that surrounds this season. Use pine trees in your pictures, bright reds, or deep emerald greens. Velvet is also in style around this season. Maybe that’s a potential attire idea for wedding guests or your bridal party?

 

Wedding Favors:
If you’re planning a winter wedding, you can get real creative with favors for guests. If you want to give them an edible gift, consider hot cocoa mix, s’mores, cinnamon rolls, gingerbread, or more. Winter candles, blankets, Christmas ornaments can also be a sweet gift for those that helped you celebrate.

 

One location:
This last tip is all about being practical. We all know that winter weather can get pretty unpredictable. Don’t risk driving on dangerous roads as you travel from your wedding to your reception. Keeping both your ceremony and reception under the same roof can eliminate a lot of worry. This means less driving for your guests and more time to party! And if you are struggling to find a space that can do it all, don’t look any further! RJC can handle both your ceremony and reception. Even in winter weather!

 

I’m truly thrilled that so many couples choose to take advantage of the holiday season to celebrate their union. I hope that these few tips help you in making your dream winter wonderland come to life. Don’t forget that the Ruthe Jackson Center is always here to help! I hope that you’ll allow us to be a part of that magical day!

Why You Should Create a Wedding Website

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

A wedding website? Do I really need a whole website just for one day?? The answer is yes! In this day and age, everyone seems to be relying on technology. While mailing invitations certainly hasn’t gone out of style, there are plenty of wedding details that can’t be lost on one piece of paper. Creating a website can make your wedding details easier to access for your wedding party, family, and guests. Plus, there’s no chance of someone losing your invitation with a digital copy. And most importantly, most wedding websites are free to make! If you still need more convincing to create your website, here’s a few more reasons:

  1. A card won’t do you justice
    I will happily admit that nothing beats receiving a beautifully printed wedding invitation in the mail. There are so many aesthetically pleasing designs nowadays too! But you can only fit so many words on a small letter. And I’m sure there’s more you want your guests to know than just what day and time to show up. That’s why wedding websites were created! You can post all of those details for your guests to easily access. This can include information like if your wedding is an adult-only party, where out of town guests can stay, how to get to your venue, and more. No one is going to want to keep track of sending this information out by texts, emails, or snail mail. Don’t give your guests an excuse to lose this important wedding info. Make sure it’s all at their fingertips!
  2. Share Your Story!
    A website is also a great place to share the love story of you and your fiancé! Guests and relatives will love to read your sweet story. This can include how you two met, got engaged, and what you are most looking forward to. I’m sure your grandmother would appreciate this nice wedding website touch as well!
  3. Don’t Make Them Guess
    Besides where to meet and what time to show up, your guests will also have other questions. Avoid the 100 phone calls and upload all that extra information onto a website. For starters, they will want to know where you and your fiancé are registered for wedding gifts. Do you have a dress code? You can include this as well! You could even add a few pictures of appropriate dress for both guys and the ladies.
  4. Shoutouts!
    Another great wedding trend is to add a section on your wedding website all about your wedding party. You can include full bios of your bridesmaids and groomsman. Often times couples will include how they met each member of the bridal party and why they were chosen to stand by them on their big day. It’s such a cute way to make your friends/siblings feel special and included!
  5. Digital RSVP’s
    This might just be the biggest reason why you should create your website today! It’s so hard to get guests to RSVP on time or even at all! While a website can’t completely solve this issue (because this issue has been around since the beginning of time), having a digital way to RSVP sure does help. Guests are more likely to get that RSVP sent in if it’s as easy as a click of a button. If you still want to have the traditional RSVP card with your mailed invitation, that’s ok too! Some people have a mix of both mailed and online RSVP options. This might be a great option for you especially if you have older family members that aren’t as tech-friendly.

If I still haven’t convinced you after all of this, I’m not sure what else is to be done! But I do hope you consider this fabulous and free resource for your wedding planning. While there are plenty of wedding website options out there, I’ll leave you with the link to The Knot’s resource here.