3 Secrets to Being the Best Mother-of-the-Bride

As a wedding planner, one of the people I tend to see most involved with weddings (aside from the bride and groom) is the mother-of-the-bride. I have been fortunate enough that all of the mothers I have worked with have been absolutely wonderful–I truly mean it! But if you’ve been floating around any wedding message boards or talking to friends getting married, you are bound to hear stories of a mom or two causing some extra stress. Expecting my first child in January, it got me thinking–what makes a good mom (or even mother-in-law) during the wedding planning process? Keep reading to find out!

Bride-Grandma-Mom

Photo Credit: Photography by Dave and Chrissy

1. Understand that her taste rules.
I can see how things may get dicey if you are generous enough to be financially helping the couple with their big day. But as long as you have been clear on your budget and your daughter is respecting that, allow her to choose what she wants. Wedding details are an expression of who the bride and groom are, so only they know what is right for them. This is what makes weddings so unique and fun! If she outright asks for your opinion on something, just try to be mindful of this. 

2. Do only what she asks and nothing more.
If you’re anything like me, the mention of a wedding gives you a sense of excitement and throws your head into planning mode. That’s great!…but planning the wedding isn’t your duty. The good news is, there will probably be tasks that your daughter will ask you to handle for one reason or another. Graciously accept those tasks but don’t overstep your boundaries. For example, don’t assume that because she asked you to order the cocktail napkins that she doesn’t already have a special cake cutting set picked out. And it is always a good idea to verify details with her before finalizing anything. If she wants you to run with something completely on your own, she’ll let you know.

3. Trust that she knows what she’s doing.
Remember that the new rule of weddings is that there really are no rules. Of course, there are traditions and basic etiquette, but a lot has probably changed since the weddings of your day. Try to keep an open mind with the choices she makes. I know I haven’t raised a child yet, but don’t you consider this whole wedding planning process a good “test” for your little one? Isn’t this what you’ve been raising her for the last couple of decades? Maybe not to plan a wedding per se, but think about her tasks at hand–organizing details, following a budget, compromising with soon-to-be family? If she hasn’t already, now is the time for her to start making her own choices and dealing with any consequences that may arise.

Regardless of anything, at the end of the day, you are still her mom. There may be times she is in the process of a complete meltdown and all she wants is an ear to listen. Other times, there may be a complete wedding crisis in her eyes and she needs the superhero she knows to jump in and work her magic. By following these tips, you are on your way to stress-free wedding planning–and who doesn’t want that?

If you and your daughter are still in need of a little extra wedding planning help, Delvaux Wedding & Event Planning would love to part of the big day! Visit our website http://www.DelvauxWeddings.com or contact us for more information Kristen@DelvauxWeddings.com.

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Bug Themed Birthday Party

Jim and Trevor
Last month my youngest nephew turned one–I can’t believe how fast he’s growing up! He took his first steps recently and it reminded me, I never got to share the awesome party his mom and dad (Brooke and Jim) put together for him. They really ran with the bug theme they came up with and everything was absolutely adorable! Here are a few highlights from the party.

Nothing says a bug party like a caterpillar made out of colorful balloons!

Nothing says a bug party like a caterpillar made out of colorful balloons!

The birthday boy, along with his friends and cousins, loved the orange bug/butterfly net favors, courtesy of the dollar store! 

The birthday boy, along with his friends and cousins, loved the orange bug/butterfly net favors, courtesy of the dollar store!

The firefly mason jars centerpieces were my favorite detail of the party! The lights were another dollar store find by Trevor's mom!

The firefly mason jars centerpieces made by the birthday boy’s mom were my favorite detail of the party. The lights were another dollar store find!

Even the food incorporated the bug theme, like these caterpillar grape kabobs and lady bug chocolate covered strawberries. I'm disappointed I didn't take more pictures of all the themed food Trevor's parents and the rest of the guests put together including dirt (Oreo) dessert, complete with gummy worms!

Even the food incorporated the bug theme, like these caterpillar grape kabobs and lady bug chocolate covered strawberries. I’m disappointed I didn’t take more pictures of all the themed food that Trevor’s parents and the rest of the guests put together, including dirt (Oreo) dessert in a bucket, complete with gummy worms!

A photo timeline of Trevor's first year was put together using string, clothes pins and fly swatters. How cute is that?! Here he 0-3 months old...

A photo timeline of Trevor’s first year was put together using string, clothes pins and fly swatters. How cute is that?! Here he is 0-3 months old…

Here he 4-8 months old...

Here he is 4-8 months old…

And 8 months to one year old!

And 8 months to one year old!

After all the yummy food and presents, it was time for his smash cake. Here's the birthday boy with his beautiful mom, Brooke. He was getting sleepy from all the excitement but still was smiling as usual. What better attire for his smash cake than his birthday suit? We'll call this the "before"...

After all the yummy food and presents, it was time for his smash cake. Here’s the birthday boy with his beautiful mom, Brooke. He was getting sleepy from all the excitement but still was smiling as usual. What better attire for his smash cake than his birthday suit? We’ll call this the “before”…

And the after! :-)

And the after! 🙂

Everyone had a wonderful time at Trevor’s first birthday party. His parents hosted a wonderful event and I just had to share all of the adorable-ness with you! If this themed party has inspired you to throw your own event, but you’re struggling with the details, we can help! Visit http://www.DelvauxWeddings.com for more information. One final thing…

Gummy Worm Favors

Our Modern Baby Gender Reveal Party

Last weekend my husband and I threw a baby gender reveal party. Instead of the traditional soft blue and pale pink color scheme, I chose to do a modern spin using navy and magenta. I’ve always loved the way these colors looked together and now was my chance to use the color palette somewhere else other than my dark wash jeans and pink sweater. 🙂

I definitely wanted a chalkboard where family could read whether old wive tales were predicting a baby boy or girl and then make their own guess. But with a chalkboard the size I wanted, it was going to cost at least $65. Instead my husband and I went to the Home Depot and picked up a 3' x 4' sheet of unfinished chalkboard and bought some white trim. They cut the board to the exact size I needed and when we got home all we had to do was paint the rough edges of the board black and glue on the trim. We thought it turned out pretty good and will make a great planner in our kitchen once our little one is in school and activities.

I definitely wanted a chalkboard where family could read whether old wives’ tales were predicting a baby boy or girl and then make their own guess. But with a chalkboard the size I wanted, it was going to cost at least $65. Instead, my husband and I went to the Home Depot and picked up a 3′ x 4′ sheet of unfinished chalkboard and bought some white trim. They cut the board to the exact size I needed and when we got home all we had to do was paint the rough edges of the board black and glue on the trim. For less than half the price of buying one, we thought it turned out pretty good and it will make a great planner in our kitchen once our little one is in school and activities!

After getting everything set up, I wanted to a shot of the entire party tent. I ended up having to lay on the ground (nearly 5 months pregnant, mind you) to get this shot--but I think it was worth it! Haha

After getting everything set up, I wanted to a shot of the entire party tent. I ended up having to lay on the ground (nearly 5 months pregnant, mind you) to get this photo–but I think it was worth it! Haha Doesn’t the cornfield make the perfect backdrop?

I handmade the navy and magenta ceiling decorations from tissue paper I purchased in bulk. I saved about half the cost of the white paper lanterns by ordering those online instead of in a store. We're thinking of incorporating those into the baby's nursery. :-)

I handmade the navy and magenta ceiling decorations from tissue paper I purchased in bulk. I saved about half the cost of the white paper lanterns by ordering those online instead of buying them in a store. We’re thinking of incorporating those into the baby’s nursery. 🙂 My husband was so incredibly patient with me while hanging these decorations and they turned out wonderful. I told him, if he ever wants a job… 

I also purchased the tablecloths and runners online for literally a few bucks each. The tablescape turned out exactly as I wanted.

I also purchased the tablecloths and runners online for literally a few bucks each. The tablescape turned out exactly as I wanted.

To make clean up easier for this tired mama, I purchased paper plates, but to keep things chic and contemporary, I went with square, navy dinner and salad plates. I also handmade the little flower napkin rings with tissue paper and floral wire.

To make clean up easier for this tired mama, I purchased paper plates, but to keep things chic and contemporary, I went with square, navy dinner and salad plates. I also handmade the little flower napkin rings with tissue paper and floral wire. We had salad, homemade lasagna and bread for dinner followed by semi-homemade cinnamon rolls for dessert–a nice, light meal. 😉

In keeping theme, each cup had either a navy or magenta chevron patterned drinking straw. My nieces absolutely loved these. It was a small, inexpensive detail, but really helped to tie everything together.

Keeping with the theme, each cup had either a navy or magenta chevron patterned drinking straw. My nieces absolutely loved these. It was a small, inexpensive detail, but really helped to tie everything together.

Here you can find my answers to all the old wives tales. (They're underlined in white.) You can also see that our family was pretty split on whether the baby was a boy or a girl. AND that my brother still likes to torment me by doing things like using pink under the boy category   for his and his son's votes.

Here you can find my answers to all the old wives’ tales. (They’re underlined in white.) You can also see that our family was pretty split on whether the baby was a boy or a girl. AND that my brother still likes to torment me by doing things like using pink under the boy category for his and his son’s votes! Instead of messy chalk, I purchased Wonder Chalk, which are liquid chalk markers. They were easy to use and wiped off easily with just water. I don’t think they will last long, however. My white one seems to be low already.

Once everyone voted, it was time for the reveal. We kept how we were going to reveal a secret and explained to them what was going to happen. We purchased silly string in either pink or blue. Since the cans looked exactly the same aside from the colored tops, we just removed the caps ahead of time.

Once everyone voted, it was time for the reveal. We kept how we were going to reveal a secret and explained to them what was going to happen. We purchased silly string in either pink or blue. Since the cans looked exactly the same aside from the colored tops, we just removed the caps ahead of time.

On the count of three, we all aimed and fired. It's a boy!!

On the count of three, we all aimed and fired. It’s a boy!!

I think some of the adults had more fun with the silly string than the kids. Both my brother and Dad (toward the left side) had the biggest smiles on their faces.

I think some of the adults had more fun with the silly string than the kids! Both my brother and Dad (on the left side) had the biggest smiles on their faces.

My brother-in-law, Rob, also enjoyed the silly string fight with his "little" brother. They will always be kids at heart. :-)

My brother-in-law, Rob, also enjoyed the silly string fight with his “little” brother. They will always be kids at heart. 🙂

We all had a great time and are so excited about the news of a baby boy! Looks like our next big project is creating a cozy nursery for our little one. 

We all had a great time and are so excited about the news of a baby boy! Looks like our next big project is creating a cozy nursery for our little one.

If you have an upcoming baby shower, reveal party or other event and need some help, contact Delvaux Wedding & Event Planning. You can visit our website at http://www.DelvauxWeddings.com or reach us directly at Kristen@DelvauxWeddings.com (330) 770-7667.

Wedding Budget Busters You Don’t Want to Ignore

Planning and sticking to a budget, especially for a wedding, can be very challenging. But did you know there are several factors that can end up busting your wedding budget altogether?  Since we know you work so hard to create and maintain it (for the most part anyway!), Delvaux Wedding & Event Planning decided to give you a few hints to keep your budget in check. Here are wedding budget busters you do not want to ignore. 

Bride and Wedding Guests

The Ever-Growing Guest List
The topic of the wedding guest list can be a very sensitive subject. We’re not saying not to invite everyone you feel should be there for your special day. But often times, parents and/or in-laws have a tendency to gradually add people to the list the closer the time comes to send out the invites. This situation can get even stickier depending on who is paying for some or all of the wedding.
What we suggest: As soon as wedding planning begins, set a limit to the number of guests you want. This will obviously depend on the capacity of the venue you choose, so that’s a good starting point. Both the bride and groom should start making his/her guest list. We also like to suggest going to the parents and future parents-in-law at this point and letting them know that the guest limit you have set, share with them your list and if there is room available, ask them to make their own list. However, you must explain that their list is a tentative list and you will try to accommodate their requests as best as possible.

Extra Wedding-Related Events
Most of the time, a wedding doesn’t just include the ceremony and reception. It is not uncommon to hold a rehearsal dinner the night before. Depending on what is decided ahead of time, this could end up being a cost of about $1,000 to the bride and groom. Often times, this is also where the bride and groom present gifts to their bridal party and parents, so don’t forget to factor in those costs. To wrap up the whole weekend celebration, there may also be a morning after brunch planned to see off the family and friends that will be traveling back home. 
What we suggest: Obviously now that you’ve been warned about these extra events and their costs, you can factor them into your budget. If you’re feeling a little more strapped for cash now, consider a more simple rehearsal dinner. An indoor or outdoor picnic-type dinner would definitely save you some dough. If a brunch just isn’t in your budget, don’t sweat it. We think most people will understand if the new Mr. and Mrs. want to enjoy each other and prepare for their honeymoon!

Vendor Incidentals and Tips
At first glance, these small charges seems like no big deal, but they can really add up fast! A venue may look like they are a more cost-efficient route, but once you really look into their contract and charges you will quickly see that may not be the case. Some items you will want to look out for are charges for: linens, cookie plating, cake cutting, corkage and security. We’ve even seen a place charge extra to have water-filled glasses on the tables as opposed to pitchers.
Often times, the venue itself will automatically charge about an 18% gratuity and you may want to give the servers a little extra if they have done a phenomenal job. To be honest, tipping can be SUPER confusing, so if you’re looking for more guidelines, we found this great article from the one and only Martha Stewart. Delivery charges can also be unforeseen expenses that may not be included in the price you’re given, so be sure to ask your vendors, especially your florist and cake maker. 
What we suggest: To avoid being blindsided by vendor incidentals, be sure to always ask specific questions about what is included in the price they are giving you. (ie: Ask the reception venue, does this price include all table linens and tableware that we will need? Ask your photographer, does this price include any prints?) Knowing all of the information necessary will also ensure that you are comparing apples to apples when making a decision about your vendors. Setting an amount aside for tipping can be a little tricky since it will depend on the quality of service you received. The best thing to do is budget a little on the high side and then distribute accordingly the day of the wedding.

The moral of the story is that you will always want to have a cushion in your budget. Set a percentage of your budget and label it miscellaneous, extra or emergency. This way nothing, will catch you off guard. We hope this article was helpful, but if you want the budget experts at Delvaux Wedding & Event Planning to help you with your next event, contact us today! You can reach us by phone (330) 770-7667, email Kristen@DelvauxWeddings or visit our website http://www.DelvauxWeddings.com.

How to be the Best Bridesmaid Possible

Maybe you are a professional bridesmaid at this point or perhaps you have your first bridesmaid duty coming up. Either way, we could all use some tips on how to help make the bride the happiest she can be leading up to and on her big day.

Photo Credit: Photography by Dave and Chrissy

Photo Credit: Photography by Dave and Chrissy

Only accept if you are financially willing and able to participate.
Even if you haven’t been a bridesmaid before, you know that there are expenses involved. Consider all costs possible: engagement party, shower(s), bachelorette party, dress, makeup, hair, nails, travel and then gifts for all of the events as well. Once you hit a certain age, you can expect to be in at least a few weddings. I suggest that once you have a steady job, you create a special account just for weddings. Each month, setup an automatic transfer from your main account into this account so wedding events never take you by surprise.

Always agree with the bride.
Whether it’s about your bridesmaid dress, how she wants you to wear your hair or the groomsmen she has partnered you with, just go with the flow. I KNOW this is easier said than done. But trust me, all the bride wants is for you to be as excited about every aspect of her wedding as she is, so really make an effort to do so.

Be prompt for everything.
There is nothing worst for a bride than feeling like she can’t rely on the women she chose to stand with her on her wedding day. If the bride or maid of honor has requested a deadline (ie: dress ordering) or payment for something (ie: shower/bachelorette party), do it as soon as possible. The same goes for returned wedding RSVPs–just because you are in the wedding, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be courteous and mail in your response for you and your guest. Being prompt also goes for the wedding events. Being late just adds unnecessary stress for the bride and groom.

Be self-sufficient.
As a wedding planner, one of my jobs is to not let the bride know that anything has gone unexpectedly. As a bridesmaid, that is also part of your role. You pick up your dress and it is totally the wrong size? No need to bother the bride–take it for alterations and make it look the best you can. The makeup artist or hair stylist the bride chose botched your look? Sneak away with another bridesmaid and touch it up the best you can but don’t make a big deal about it to the bride.

I hope these tips have helped you to be the best bridesmaid you can be! Did we forget something? Post your suggestions in the comments below. As always, Delvaux Wedding & Event Planning would love to help you on your big day! Contact us for more information: Kristen@DelvauxWeddings.com or (330) 770-7667.

Welcome Bags for Out of Town Wedding Guests

Everything is in place for your big day–flowers, cake, music, favors, etc. One last detail that could really make the weekend special for your guests are welcome bags to greet them at the hotel check-in desk. Most hotels will gladly keep these bags behind the desk and present them to any guest that is checking in under your block of rooms. (I suggest calling the hotel ahead of time to confirm this before you go through any trouble.) But, what should make up these out of town (or OOT) guest bags? Keep reading to find out!

1. Presentation
Let’s start with the packaging. You could easily find some craft paper gift bags for a reasonable price either online or at a craft store. If you have a certain theme for your wedding, think about stamping the bags with either a shape, object or even you new last name monogram to really personalize it. I was able to find recycled canvas bags for not much more than a gift bag, so I stenciled the bride and groom’s love bird theme in their wedding colors on each bag. Also, just because I’m calling it a “welcome bag”, don’t feel like you have to use a bag at all. There are always other options, like a cute, small hat box or a basket.

Welcome Bags for Out of Town Wedding Guests
2. Snacks
Be sure to include a variety of snacks–both salty and sweet. I also like to include breakfast or granola bars that the guests can easily tote along with them in their purse or car. Don’t forget a couple bottles of water, convenient (and high quality) instant coffee (think Starbucks Via), a couple teabags and gum and/or mints. Whenever possible, include snacks that are native to the geographical area. Maybe there is a local candy shop that makes amazing individually wrapped truffles. Or perhaps there’s a nut shop down the road that has the freshest roasted almonds.

3. Important Information
Although the welcome bags are meant to be fun, they can also be very useful! Don’t forget to include a schedule of events for the weekend including the times and locations of the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception (just in case someone forgot the invite back home.) If there will be transportation from the hotel, also include when that will be available and whether it is necessary for the guests to call and request a pickup. 

Of course if you really wanted to go all out with the welcome bags you could. Other fun things to include would be a nice bottle of wine and extra amenities such as sunscreen and aloe vera (for example, for a destination wedding). The options really are endless–it just depends on how many guests you have and your budget. 

Comment below with your suggestions on what to include in welcome bags for out of town wedding guests. And as always, don’t hesitate to contact Delvaux Wedding & Event Planning for all your wedding and event needs!

Easy Fourth of July Bash

With Fourth of July this weekend, I am sure we’ll all be either hosting a picnic or heading over to one. I thought I would include a few ideas that you can do last minute to make the guests feel extra patriotic and festive.

Do you remember those Rocket Pops from childhood? You know the ones that are layered in red, white and blue? What if I told you could recreate those, but in drink form? All it takes are a few ingredients and a little science. When you’re shopping for the ingredients, keep an eye on the colors and sugar content of the pops and juices because it’s the sugar content that will keep the colors separated in your glass. The drink with the highest sugar content needs to go into your glass first, followed by the remaining two drinks in descending order.

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Of course there is always the adult version of the drink using Grenadine, Blue Curacao and vodka (or cream). Personally, I would try using a lemon vodka, but you probably could use just about anything here and it would be yummy.

The perfect garnish for either of these drinks is a firework straw. You can either pick these up at a party store or online if you have enough time. OR you can have the kids make them! All you need are straws, some metallic tinsel in the color of your choice and some hot glue. (Just be sure not to melt your straw!) There is a great tutorial for making these that you can find here.

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Tables for the Fourth of July celebration can easily be incorporated into the theme by purchasing red, white and blue cutlery, plates and napkins. (Keep your cups clear so you can show off those pretty layered drinks!) Use stars and stripes scrapbooking or wrapping paper to wrap up old coffee cans or containers to hold your supplies and condiments. Red, white or blue bandanas washed several times are a great way to incorporate a rustic feel to your get-together. Simple vases or jars with floating star candles are another easy, great idea.

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The main thing to keep in mind is to look around at what you already have. You may have most of what you need!

Stressing out about your next event? Don’t! For personalized ideas and more, contact Delvaux Wedding & Event Planning.