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How to Say Yes to the Dress

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

I think it’s pretty safe to say that most of us have been dreaming of the moment that we get to say yes to that perfect wedding dress. Everyone says that when you find THE dress, you just know. But how do you get to that point? How do you go from looking at a thousand dresses on Pinterest to being confident in that one dress? While we don’t have a full proof formula for finding the winner, we do have some tips to make a difference as you shop for that important gown.

  • Do your Research

Before waltzing into a bridal boutique, make sure to do your research! Don’t be a shopper without a vision. Take the time beforehand to make that wedding dress Pinterest board. Find out what you like and what you can’t stand. Note the consistencies in the dresses that you are pinning. Do all of them have the same neckline or train? This can be a very helpful observation and something to definitely share with the sales representative of the bridal shop. It’s always good to give them as much information about your style as possible. It’ll make the appointment much easier for both of you!

  • Form a Budget

Before making any appointments with a bridal boutique, please make sure to form a budget for yourself. Consider how much you want, or can afford, to spend on your dress, alterations and accessories. Be realistic. The worst thing you can do is try on a dress you know you can’t afford, fall in love with it, cry tears of joy and have to leave without that dress. Don’t put yourself through that torture!

  • Find your Support System

Typically, a bride will want to go dress shopping with a few of her loved ones. It’s always great to have that support system and group of people to help you find your dream dress. Plus, it’s so sweet to share that “say yes to the dress” moment with someone like your mom or best friend. Find out who that support system is for you and invite them to join you. But on the other hand, don’t feel obligated to invite everyone. Don’t overwhelm yourself and the bridal boutique with 10 or 15 extra people. Too many people might equal too many opinions as well.

  • Give Yourself Time

Getting the perfect dress takes time. If you know you’re a picky or indecisive shopper, start the process well in advance. Consider the time it might take to find something that makes you happy. How many bridal boutiques will you make appointments with? You must also factor in the time it takes to get your dress altered. On average, it could take up to 6-8 months to get those alterations done. That means you might need to start that Pinterest board and shopping prep a year in advance of your wedding. It’s always better to be safe rather than too late!

Finding that perfect dress to say “I Do” in is one of the most special moments within your engagement season. Taking the time to do a little prep before you jump right in can ensure a smoother process and quicker success. I hope these little tips make the difference in your wedding dress experience!

The “Friendor”

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

When you’re planning a wedding, you quickly realize how big this task can be…it can get pretty overwhelming with the amount of things needed to pull this party off! That’s when you realize it might be nice to have some friends to help out. And more often than not, brides on a budget will find friends and family to take on the role of the vendor. It’s definitely not uncommon to see the best friend take on the wedding cake or grandma commit to the responsibility of alterations. So how do you go about navigating the relationship of the “friendor”?

  • Know what you’re signing up for

Since the “friendor” relationship can be very casual, it can be hard to know exactly what to expect. After all, it seems silly to write up a vendor contract with your Aunt the florist. But try to get past this and make sure you are communicating! Get things in writing, even if it’s just an email. Both the bride and “friendor” need to be on the same page with what is being provided. Never assume. Ask all of the questions and get details like who is delivering, who is cleaning up and what is included.

  • You get what you pay for

While your friend might offer their wedding services for 50% or grandma might just make it a wedding gift, the saying still goes, “you get what you pay for”. Make sure what they can do and the level of skill they provide is what you really want for your big day. Ask yourself if their photography capabilities are something you can be happy with 10 years down the road… or if you’re willing to compromise the quality of your bridesmaid dresses. To some, the savings outweigh the need for a vendor with 10 years of experience. But to others, this might be a sad mistake. Either way, it is super important to take that time to consider the pros and cons.

  • Don’t compromise the relationship

Make sure the decision to hire your “friendor” is a decision that doesn’t compromise the relationship. Be open and honest…communicate! And allow them to do the same with you. Depending on who it is, this person might not want to work on your wedding day. Your sister or grandmother might want to just be a guest and be in the moment with you celebrating your marriage. Be open to this possibility.

No matter what “friendor” you decide to commit to, we celebrate those that embrace this way of planning their wedding. It can be a life-saver and a stress-reliever…or just another way for your loved ones to show you how excited they are for your new, married season of life. Just don’t forget to say thank you just as you would to other vendors. Gift cards, thank-you cards or a bottle of wine are all appreciated I’m sure!

How to Make the Most of your Wedding Rehearsal

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

You’ve made it to the end of the planning! You can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Your wedding day is just weeks away. So the next big to-do on your list is the wedding rehearsal. This is the time to practice saying I do and getting all of the nerves out! Bridesmaids and Groomsman will practice walking down the aisle. But how do you make sure to use this practice time efficiently? After all, a lot of ceremony venues only allow a small window of time for rehearsals. The answer is knowing who is doing what!

  • Who’s walking who?

Take time before the rehearsal to think about how you want your ceremony to look. Do you want a traditional ceremony? Or maybe you want to make a statement? Either way, you need to decide how your wedding party, parents, grandparents, flower girls and anyone else involved is walking down the aisle. Are bridesmaids and groomsman paired or do they walk separate? If you decide to pair up your wedding party, make sure to consider height or relationships. Consider how you want everyone to stand as this will impact the look of your pictures.

  • Who’s running the show?

For wedding rehearsals and the day of the wedding, you need to decide who is running the show. The worst thing that you can do is have no one making the decisions and no one in control…or worse yet, have multiple leaders for your day! Make it clear to everyone involved who that main contact is. If you’ve hired a wedding planner, it’s easy to let them take charge. If you haven’t hired one, often times wedding venues will provide a wedding coordinator who can take on that role if need be. Just make sure you have someone that is reliable and trustworthy there to take charge and help things run as smooth as possible.

  • Who is performing?

A lot of times during rehearsals, couples might opt to run through a shortened version of the ceremony. This is the time to make sure everyone that is performing is accounted for. For example, if you have a family member speaking or reading anything during the ceremony, you need to make sure they are well-practiced and ready to go! Your officiant might also run through what he has planned.

  • Who’s got the details?

At this point you will also want to remember any last details you want at your ceremony. Do you want your officiant to tell guests to silence their phones? Or how about a parting announcement telling guests where to go after the ceremony? You will also want to consider who needs to stay behind afterwards to participate in family portraits. Oh, and don’t forget the rings!!

We hope these questions give you a good place to start. We understand how overwhelming venue shopping can be, but with a plan in hand, it can be a little easier for you! And we always say that once you get the venue down and a date set, the rest seems to flow a little easier. Best of luck to you!

Top 5 Questions to Ask While Venue Shopping

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

If your social media feed looks anything like mine, it’s pretty evident that engagement season is in full swing! It seems like everyone is popping the question and getting that gorgeous ring. This also means everyone is out venue shopping! If you find yourself falling into this category, you know this task can be very tedious! It seems like DFW has endless venue choices, price ranges and upgrades to offer you. But you find yourself wondering when all the comparing and pricing will end! To make this task a little less daunting, we have provided you with a list of must-ask questions when you’re exploring possible venues.

  • What is included?

This might seem really basic, but it’s a must to ask! Every venue’s list of what’s included is unique. Make sure you don’t get them mixed up. You might also ask what is not included, especially if that what’s included list is pretty long.

  • What upgrades do you offer?

Again, every venue is different. With some, you’ll only rent out a bare room. With others, they might offer you a whole range of upgrades! Consider whether using the venue’s upgrades will provide a better value for you and your budget. A lot of times it might make more sense to use them for things like lighting, linens or catering instead of buying these things separately. It could also save you the time and headache of finding alternatives. Plus, it makes the day of your wedding a whole lot easier when everything is coming together from the same vendor.

  • What is your backup plan?

Don’t ever forget to ask a venue what their backup plan is when it comes to bad weather! Make sure they are able to easily move your event to an indoor location when the rain starts to pour. How much notice do they need to implement this backup plan? Can you make the call for an indoor location just hours before your ceremony or do you have to make that decision a week in advance? Will there be people on-site to help make this transition? These are all important things that need to be considered…especially with Texas weather!

  • How long is my rental?

Don’t assume you will get the venue reserved on your wedding day for the entire day! Make sure you know what you are paying for. Does the venue have multiple events per day or are you the only wedding that Saturday? How much time do you have to set up and tear down? How many hours will be reserved for your ceremony and reception? Make sure you and your vendors have enough time to accomplish your wedding vision!

  • What happens when the unexpected happens?

While this question isn’t exactly the easiest to ask, it is important. In the light of recent venues shutting its doors unexpectedly, many brides are left with no wedding day and no refund. This leaves brides still searching for venues just as concerned as they are trying to find a place perfect for them. So make sure you ask the hard question: what happens to my wedding if the venue goes under? Do they have a backup plan for the brides affected? What is their refund policy? A good rule of thumb is to start by considering venues that have proven to be reputable businesses. While there’s no way to really find out what their financial situation is, you can always keep your eyes open for good signs and years of experience to back them up.

We hope these questions give you a good place to start. We understand how overwhelming venue shopping can be, but with a plan in hand, it can be a little easier for you! And we always say that once you get the venue down and a date set, the rest seems to flow a little easier. Best of luck to you!

The Perfect Boho Chic Wedding

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

For those of you that attended our latest RJC Bridal Show on February 18th, you know we created a boho chic look for everything we decorated. We were inspired by the many weddings we’ve seen embracing this style. But we knew we wanted to put our own flare to it as well. So we’ve put together a few tips to recreate this look for your own special day!

  • The Florals

Our whole inspiration originated from the florals we knew we wanted to use. I say florals, but in fact, they weren’t really florals…we used grass! I have been obsessed with the look of pampas grass for a long time now and I just couldn’t envision our 2020 bridal show without it! While the look was gorgeous, it did take us a while to find them. Pampas grass usually isn’t in season around February, so we paid a pretty penny for the ones we finally found. My tip to you is to make sure it’s in season at the time of your wedding. To compliment the pampas grass, we also chose to use palm leaves painted gold. Yes, we spray painted leaves to create this look! Lastly, to create beautiful centerpieces, we chose to use burnt orange roses and white orchids.

  • Elevate your Boho!

Because we realized our venue is a traditional ballroom, we knew we couldn’t pull off the typical boho look. We needed to elevate it in order for it to make sense. In other words, we had to make boho and pampas grass look formal and elegant. That’s why we ditched the typical, rustic, wooden farm table for a beautiful, classy glass table. This long, rectangle table was perfect for our wedding party table display. The table had this beautiful gold trim with gold legs. We rented three of these elegant pieces and instantly it created an elevated boho look! We continued by adding gold Chiavari chairs, gold chargers and flatware, French blue napkins and white furs. We fell in love with how this style instantly clicked with our venue.

  • The Cherry on Top

Once we had our main focal points designed, we continued to carry out our theme throughout the rest of the show. One ways we did this was by asking our favorite cake decorator, Matthew from Cake-a-holics, to create that trendy, black wedding cake. The result blew us away! We loved the black cake with gold trim and florals. We only hope our future RJC brides will order that design from him! Another way you can continue the boho look is through your wedding dress. Find a dress that embraces florals, tulle and even lace. Don’t be afraid to try dresses that aren’t traditional or typical.

Want to copy our look even more? Check out our “Bridal Show 2020” Pinterest board! Get inspired by the pins that we were inspired by. And as always, please reach out if we can help you plan the perfect day! RJC can’t wait to bring your wedding vision to life!

Making the Most out of the Engagement Shoot

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

After getting engaged, planning to get those engagement photos taken is one of the best ways to celebrate the next step in your relationship. Coordinating this photo session can be really exciting as it makes the engagement season feel really real (for those of you that still can’t believe you’re actually, finally engaged)! But before you jump right in, make sure to take some time to really think about what you want to accomplish through your engagement photos. Make the most of this once in a lifetime experience!

  • Select Your Season

Consider how you want your photos to look. Did you want a romantic, wintry engagement session? Or how about a boho, summer look? The time of year you take your pictures will determine what your photos will look like. Unless, of course, you’re taking indoor photos. Once you decide what season you’re aiming for, choose your attire to reflect that season. That means don’t try to pull off that yellow sundress during this February weather. The outdoor landscape of bare trees will give it away anyway!

  • Don’t Feel Pressure to Match

While coordinating outfits with your fiancé is definitely a must, this doesn’t mean you have to look like twins. Don’t be afraid to choose attire that compliments each other. You don’t have to be identical. This also opens up more attire options for both you and your fiancé, which might save your man a trip to the store for a new shirt.

  • Express Your Style

Engagement photo sessions are all about capturing you and your fiancé. And not just capturing a picture of you in the literal sense, but capturing your sense of style and personality as a couple. Let it shine through! Dress it up or dress it down, but don’t choose a style that doesn’t really express who you are. And on that same note, this means it’s also important to collaborate with a photographer that understands you as a couple. Find someone that is willing to embrace the photoshoot vibe you’re looking for. Hire that photographer that is going to think outside the box and allow your personality to radiate in your pictures.

  • 2 Outfit Rule

Don’t overthink your photoshoot! It might be easy to get carried away and want to commit to all of those Pinterest ideas. Instead, choose what you know will work for you and your fiancé. That means try to narrow down your outfit changes to only two outfits. When you start adding several wardrobe changes, it can take away from your scheduled photoshoot time. This might result in fewer pictures you really love. Plus, changing in and out of clothes for a few hours is never fun. Your photographer will also thank you.

Now that you’ve solidified your engagement shoot vision, it’s finally time to make these pictures official! Make sure to have fun with it, express yourself on camera and really embrace this beautiful season of life that you’re embarking on.

The Wedding Registry Explained

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

The wedding registry has been a long held tradition in which friends and family of the bride and groom are able to send their best wishes by helping them furnish their new home together. Registries are super helpful because they allow the couple to receive exactly what they want for their new home. But registries can also be a little awkward to maneuver. You might feel uncomfortable announcing to your guests what you want to receive as a wedding gift. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for this part of the wedding planning process!

  • When to Start

Typically you’ll want to send out your registry list to your loved ones between 4-6 months from your wedding day. Don’t wait until the last minute! Give them ample time to browse the registry, buy their gifts and ship them to you. Also remember not to put your registry link directly on your mailed invitations. Guide guests to your wedding website for gifting details.

  • Give plenty of options

When selecting housewares, kitchen essentials or home décor, make sure you fill your registry with items from all price ranges. Consider your guests and what they are comfortable spending. On top of a wide range of prices, make sure to provide a large quantity of items. Don’t limit yourself to one item per person on your guest list. This will severely limit your loved ones on what is available to buy. Instead, try having a registry with 2 or 3 times your guest count.

  • What about cash?

Maybe you have all the dishes and vases you could possibly need in your house? Asking for a ton of things you already have seems like such a waste. Good news is that a lot of registries have the option for guests to donate to a fund. Couples might opt to have guests contribute to their honeymoon or a larger piece on their registry that might be best funded by several people. This method also helps guests give the exact amount they want, without having to search for the perfect item on your list.

  • Thank You’s!

No matter what kind of gift you’re asking for, it’s super important to keep up with your thank-you notes. Don’t let them pile up! A lot of times loved ones will purchase and ship gifts to you way in advance of your wedding date. Don’t wait until the big day is over…send them a warm thank-you right away! It’s not only courteous, but it keeps your post-wedding to-do list a little shorter.

  • Returns and Exchanges

What if that serving dish you’ve been wishing for just doesn’t look right in person? Don’t panic! When it comes to wedding registries, it’s perfectly normal to return and exchange items that aren’t the best. Just don’t forget to send a thank-you letter to the gifter anyways!

Creating a registry never has to be a chore or something awkward you have to handle before you wedding day. If you follow etiquette guidelines, give yourself plenty of options and follow through with that thank-you note, tackling this wedding to-do can be a breeze!

When Pet Parents Get Married

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

Now more than ever it seems like couples are taking on the responsibility of pet ownership. Being a pet parent seems almost more common than raising children, especially among young adults. I guess that’s how this trend of including your dog in your wedding day started. Well, I love this sweet personalization of weddings and I’m welcoming it with open arms. So I’ve dedicated this Tuesday to different ways to include your furry loved one on the best day of your life.

 

  • Take him for a walk down the aisle

What better addition to a processional than a sweet puppy?! This is especially cute if you don’t have a child to take on the role of a ring bearer. Some couples have tied a ring box around the dog’s collar. Others have simply chosen to decorate the leash with greenery and florals. This makes for really cute pictures!

  • Photo Session!

Speaking of cute pictures, you could include your four-legged friend by having him join in on the bridal portraits or engagement session. Find a photographer that has worked with animals in the past and can capture what you’re envisioning. This is an especially great idea if you can’t have your dog present at the wedding, but still want him included in the pictures.

  • Wanna Treat?

Make your dog incorporation delicious! Ask your baker to include a small figure of your dog onto the cake. Some couples have hid their fur baby at the bottom of their cake. You could even create a custom cake topper that looks exactly like your dog. If you decide to opt out of the traditional cake, you can order custom dog cookies, cupcakes or desserts!

  • Dog Décor

Lastly, if you really want to get creative, incorporate your dog’s silhouette into other decorations for the wedding. Consider placing that furry face on your invitations. Or how about signage for the reception? You could even find your dog on personalized napkins at the bar! Custom designers like brownfoxcreative.com and etsy.com are fabulous at bringing your ideas to life!

We hope you love these ideas as much as I do! I always say that if you can incorporate your personal touches to your wedding and really show who you and your fiancé are, your wedding will always be beautiful. I just hope that we get to be a part of it!

Stop and Save the Roses!

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

I think we can all agree that having fresh flowers at a wedding is one of the most beautiful ways to decorate the day. With the right florist, they’re designed gorgeously, add height to tables, smell wonderful and accent beautiful wedding dresses. But what about when the wedding is over? What happens to all those tedious arrangements that took a lot of time and money to bring to life? I did some research and found a few ways you can use your florals after the party is over.

  • Give to Guests        

Why not allow your guests to continue to enjoy them? As the party is winding down, allow some of those last guests that are lingering to take home the arrangements. They could even be given as a thank you to family members that stay behind to clean up that night. Who knows, some of those family and friends might have another event that weekend that they could use the flowers for.

  • Spread the Love

Continue to celebrate love after your wedding by donating your arrangements to local nursing homes or hospitals. You can’t go wrong with a simple act of kindness like this! You could also ask your venue if they host churches. If you have a Saturday night wedding, the flowers can be given to the Sunday morning church service. You wouldn’t even have to worry about delivering the flowers to another location at that point!

  • Preserve the Memories

If you’re a super sentimental bride, you might consider drying or preserving your flowers. There are numerous companies that specialize in post-wedding florals. Consider pressing some of your flowers into a scrapbook or preserving your whole bridal bouquet in a glass case.

  • Go Green

Nowadays, when everyone is wanting to take part in creating a better environment for us to live in, saving resources is very important. That’s why companies like bouquetforaday.com help brides find other local brides that are willing to share florals on their wedding day. Brides can choose to sell their florals at a discount rate, they can look for second-hand arrangements or simply share with another couple. It not only reduces waste but it saves your wallet too. It really changes the meaning of something borrowed!

Although weddings can be extravagant and exorbitant, they don’t have to be wasteful. Whatever way you decide to give your flowers a second life, it is helping you, possibly your wallet and the environment. Keep spreading the love!

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!