How to format your address list for your calligrapher

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

bohemian invitation suite

You’re nearly finished! You’ve approved your invitation design, materials will soon go to print, and envelopes are on their way to your calligrapher. Next up: sending a properly formatted address list to your calligrapher.

Although the calligrapher with whom you’re working may have her own system and requirements, over the years we’ve noticed some standard requirements as it pertains to address list formatting:

1. Send a typed list in a word document, not a spreadsheet

2. The list should be in address label format, as below, max three columns

3. Use a legible font, such as Times New Roman, 12 pt

4. Alphabetize your list

5. If you have changes or updates to addresses after the initial list has been sent to your calligrapher, send changes and updates by email. Do not send a new, revised list. Updated drafts cause confusion.

This is what is meant by address label format:
Miss Sally Sue
14 Sunshine Street
Sunnyville, California 23456

Happy mailing! xoxo

 

 

photo katie stoops

Giddy for Greenery

Friday, January 13th, 2017

We’re giddy for greenery: pantone’s color of the year (and truth be told, we always have been — just check out this green and white wedding inspiration board on Pinterest). This perennially chic shade of green is classic, crisp and perfect for spring weddings. We loved pairing it with the palest shade of blue in this shoot for Southern Weddings Magazine at Tuckahoe Plantation photographed by Katie Stoops.

green and white wedding inspiration green and white wedding inspiration green wedding inspiration green and white wedding inspirationgreen and white wedding inspiration

To see more, hop over to Southern Weddings Magazine, where you’ll see a full list of vendors who graciously contributed to this shoot.

Making the cut

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

westover plantation wedding_merriment events_jen fariello

No matter how you slice it, making cuts to your guest list can be an arduous (and sometimes impossible) task. As you embark on one of the very first steps of wedding planning, drafting your guest list, bear this in mind: your guest count will drive costs more than most any other decision you make. That’s because food and beverage consumption will represent about half of your total wedding spend.

To get started, identify the maximum number of guests your budget and venue will allow. To kickstart that process, ask your caterer to help you identify a high and a low cost per person for food and beverage, including tax and service charges. Keep your maximum number on the conservative side, slightly lower than your total budget will allow and slightly lower than your venue’s capacity.

Traditionally the couple invites half the guest list, while each set of parents invites a quarter. If your parents are paying for your wedding, you may want to adjust these percentages in their favor.

Begin by making your dream list, a list of every possible person you’d love to invite, then divide this list into buckets that ultimately relate to priority to invite.

-Bucket #1: close family members (siblings, grandparents)
-Bucket #2: close friends and extended family
-Bucket #3: colleagues and other friends

When you merge your parents’ lists and yours together, you may discover you need to cull the list or revisit budget. To cut or not to cut? If you’ve never spoken to the guest, consider cutting that person from your list. As it relates to unmarried couples: unless the couple is engaged or lives together, considering cutting plus ones. If you haven’t spoken to a person on your list in a year or more and are not related, you may  consider cutting that guest. Consider eliminating co-workers from your list – have a close look at bucket #3 of guests.

Cutting a guest list can be a challenge, and sometimes it may be impossible, but giving your list a good scrub and knowing the commitment you’re making before you make deposits will empower you as you plan your wedding!

xoxo

 

 

photo by jen fariello

Best wedding planners in Virginia!

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

best wedding planners virginia

It’s always such an honor to be recognized by our peers for doing what we love: working with families to plan once in a lifetime celebrations. And it’s such a joy to plan weddings in Virginia in our beautiful capital city. Since 2012, Virginia Living Magazine has recognized Merriment Events, along with a host of other very talented wedding service providers, as one of the best in the commonwealth. We’re humbled by the recognition and so grateful! Look for the February issue on newsstands now.

classic winter wedding inspiration

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

winter wedding inspiration

Although we designed this shoot without a season in mind and shot it on a hot summer day, I’ve always thought this would be such a classic and timeless look for winter bride. The colors are a pretty twist on a classic winter palette, and the sparkling Christos “Arabella” gown and chic boxwood touches all whisper winter. xoxo

Halloween slime!

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Halloween Glow in the dark Slime Party Favors_Merriment Events

These glow in the dark slime favors were a hit at my daughter’s Halloween party, and they’re so easy to make. You can make a batch ahead to give away as favors and make another batch during the party so the kids can get in on the action (add fake eyeballs to the bowl, and you’ve got a winner). To make spooky and creepy glow in the dark slime you’ll need:

-(1) large mixing bowl
-(1) spatula
-(2) 4 oz bottles of Elmer’s glue
-(1) 2 oz bottle of glow in the dark paint
-3-4 drops food coloring
-1/2 teaspoon borax
-1/3 cup warm water

Method: Pour glue into bowl. Fill empty glue bottles with a small amount of warm water; shake to release any remaining glue and pour into bowl. Mix glow in the dark paint into glue. Add food coloring until desired shade is reached.

In a separate container, mix borax and water. Stir until borax is dissolved. Pour borax/water mixture into glue mixture, mixing water in small pours until desired consistency is reached. You may not use all water/borax mixture. The more borax you use, the thicker the mixture will become. You may want to mix with your hands as the slime becomes thicker. Plastic test tube containers shown found at Target. 

Until next Halloween!

xoxo

 

What happens to your flowers after your wedding

Friday, October 21st, 2016

colorful wedding bouquet_merriment events_katie stoops

Without fail, in the two weeks leading up to a wedding, the question will be asked: what will happen to my flowers after my wedding? Surely they won’t all go to waste? Before you ponder the idea of asking a few friends to deconstruct those arrangements and deliver to your parent’s home tout de suite, take a breath. Often the vases are rental, meaning that arrangements will have to be deconstructed on site and loaded into buckets of water so the floral designer can collect her containers. It’s a big job and one that friends and family might not be able to easily take on at the end of the evening. As an alternative:

-You can offer “to go bags”  to guests and encourage them to pluck a few blooms on their way out. I love these from For Your Party. If you’re not interested in ordering custom printed bags, you can easily find clear cellophane candy bags at most any craft store. Display those with some pretty ribbon, and you’re all set!

-You can hire a company to donate your flowers after your event. Grace in Bloom in Richmond is dedicated to just that. Conceived by two friends, Brittany Heare, who also works with Merriment, and Brittany Mantiply, Grace in Bloom delivers “gently used wedding flowers” to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the Richmond area. Brittany will work closely with you, your planner and your floral designer to develop a schedule and plan for collection. We love Grace in Bloom because it is such a win/win!

 

xoxo

 

 

photo katie stoops

bouquet design by merriment

What a trial run is and why you can’t skip it

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

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When you draft your month-by-month wedding planning timeline, be sure to dedicate an afternoon to a hair and makeup trial. A trial is a dry run for your wedding day hair and makeup. It should be booked about six to eight weeks prior to your wedding date. This is the best time to talk about the styles you like and to collaborate with your stylist; it also gives the stylist an opportunity to learn about your hair and skin type, to discuss any concerns you might have, to try on any hair accessories you may be wearing, and for the stylist to pass along any tips and tricks she may have.

After hair and makeup are complete, get thyself to the dressing room! This is the best time to stage a dress rehearsal and your chance (sans wedding day jitters) to see how everything works (or does not work) together: how your veil looks with your hairstyle, how your undergarments are fitting with your gown, how your shoes feel when they’re worn more than a few minutes, and how your accessories look with the ensemble. Better to discover any issues prior to your wedding day while there’s still plenty of time to make adjustments! If your maid of honor and your mother can be there, practice bustling.

If you’re doing a bridal portrait with your photographer, this is the day to schedule it. It’s a great opportunity to break the ice and to get comfortable in front of the camera in your wedding gown. Be sure to order a mock up of your wedding day bouquet!

xoxo

 

 

photo jen fariello

Skip to the loo my darling

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

tuckahoe plantation_katie stoops_merriment events

Not all things wedding are inherently glamorous: the loo for instance. If you’re having an outdoor or an at home wedding like many Merriment brides do, you’ll likely need to engage in potty talk during wedding planning, and by potty talk I mean securing a restroom trailer.

If you’re just starting your search, there are a few questions you must ask: How many stalls are in each unit? How large are the stalls? How many sinks are in each unit? Will the unit play music? Does the unit have heat and air? Running water? What type of flooring is in the unit? And now for the cliff notes:

Generally you need one stall for every 75 guests.

The unit will need to be installed on level ground near a water spigot and power. Be sure the location you identify for RR trailer installation is easily accessible by truck and that the truck can easily pull in and out. Also think strategically about the location of the trailer. How far will your guests have to walk from ceremony, cocktail and dinner to facilities? Golf carts are always nice for guests with limited mobility.

Make sure the loo is easy to find: consider signage. Lighting is a must — always light the path and always uplight the trailer! Depending on your budget, you may consider decorative elements to conceal/enhance the look of the trailer. I’ve even seen trailers draped to look like a tent!

Inside: consider embroidered hand towels, monogramed paper hand towels, candies or mints in your colors, scented oil diffusers (my favorite), hand cream for the ladies room, and liquid hand soaps in pretty containers. In my opinion a few of these little treats go much further than bathroom baskets loaded up with bandaids, mouthwash, etc.

xoxo

 

photo katie stoops

Happy First Day of Fall!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

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photos by katie stoops 

floral design by janie medley 

planning + design by merriment