Happy New Year! Time to send Save-the-Dates!

Now that the holiday rush is dying down, it's time to send save-the-dates for your 2016 wedding!

Normally, Save-the-Date cards or emails are sent about six months before the wedding, although they can go as early as one year in advance. This means you should design and order them about seven or eight months before the wedding to give you time to print, address, and send. Invitations are sent eight to twelve weeks before the wedding, so order four to six months out.

Do you have to send save-the-dates? No, there is no etiquette requirement for these, but they are highly recommended if you have more than 30 guests coming (where you couldn't just get the news out by word of mouth), and if there are a lot of out-of-towners who will travel in order to attend. This way they can get a heads-up on the date, so they can make arrangements to request time off work, to make travel plans, and in many cases, save up for the trip!

What goes into a Save-the-Date? The only required items are your names, the date, and city of the wedding. If you know your venue, and if you have a wedding website, it's a good idea go ahead and list that too, even if every last detail isn't fleshed out yet. Sure it's great if you know your overall design, but the save-the-date doesn't have to match exactly to what you decide to do down the road with the print invitation — it's OK for it to just be in the same general design family or color. Remember, it's just a save-the-date to give folks a heads-up – not all planning needs to be completed, so try not to stress!

Here are some great ideas in several styles:

Stately_statement-save_the_date-sarah_hawkins_designs laser-cut-save-the-date-wedding save-the-date-wedding

#1 can be personalized to your specific location. We love the laser cut design of #2! And #3 is a coaster and super catchy and lighthearted – would be great for a casual or semi-formal wedding in the outdoors. All examples above come from Wedding Paper Divas.

Save the dates can also be sent over email as well. Make sure to include all the same information – name, date, city location, and your wedding website.

Our friends at Wedding Paper Divas are offering a 25% sale off your save-the-dates if you use our coupon code WEDO2016. Just click this link and it'll take you right to the sale.

Looking for great local sources for your save-the-dates and invitations? Try Puddle Jumpin' Cards, The Card Bar, or The Wedding Cottage.

Happy save-the-date hunting, and Happy New Year 2016!

(for more information about our affiliate partners, please read our FTC disclosure on this page)



When and how do we sign our Oregon marriage license?

via awesomethingsaregoodforyou.tumblr.com

Here's a question I get asked quite a bit: when and how do you sign the marriage license? I've seen it done a number of ways.

(First though, make sure you go in person to the county office and pick up your marriage license within 3 and 60 days before the wedding! You can start the process online in Multnomah County, but you both still must go in person to pick it up, with valid ID. More about that here.)

You will have given the county clerk $60 and your personal information, and signed your names to a triplicate form. The license is then given to you to wait until the day of the wedding when your witnesses will print their names, your officiant will sign it and add his or her contact information, and make the license legally binding.

There's also a commemorative license. This is the "pretty" certificate that is included along with your marriage license, and you will want to also have your witnesses, officiant, and yourselves sign this too. It's just for looks though, and is NOT proof of legal marriage. (It is fun to get your witnesses and officiant to sign that one too, and to flash it on your honeymoon, in hopes of getting freebies 🙂

So, again, when does all this happen? If you don't mind not having the photographer there, you can cheat a little and get it out of the way by signing everything the night before the wedding. Usually your officiant and witnesses are present at the rehearsal dinner, so this makes things really easy. This is a little unorthodox though, since you are technically now married the day before the wedding. However, it does make for one less thing to worry about on the day of.

The next option is to pre-fill out all the paperwork and witness names, and let the officiant sign on the day of. This way you are still officially executing the document on the actual day of your wedding, but it still cuts down on the paperwork and poring-over-fine-print part.

The final option is still the most traditional; gather your 2 adult witnesses and officiant on the day of the wedding, either right before you walk down the aisle in the dressing room, or right after, and do the form filling and formal signing with your photographer present. Just make sure to decide where in the schedule this will fall, and that the witnesses know, and pick a good location with a table and light where all this can take place. With the triplicate form and the commemorative license, it can amount to about 10-15 minutes of careful paperwork and can take up to 20-25 minutes out of the wedding day schedule.

And that's it! Just make sure that your officiant does MAIL the license back to the county within the following week. That final step ensures that your marriage is recorded by the government and you can have your happily ever after recognized in the eyes of the law as well as your family and friends.

{ Wedding Etiquette } Where can I tell my guests about my registry? {Sponsored}

Portland-weddings-gift-registry-etiquettePhoto courtesy asenat29 on flickr licensed by Creative Commons

Today I received a question from a bride who wanted to know how she should let her guests know about their wedding registry.

"We've been wondering how couples typically let their guests know about their registry. Is it a part of their mailed invitation, a word of mouth thing, or something else?"

Let it be known: it's generally frowned upon to put information about gifts or gift registries into the wedding invitation. The reason is that you would never imply that your guest wasn't welcome without a gift, right? Nor that attending your wedding comes with an obligation to give a gift. The focus of a wedding invitation should never be on gifts.

That being said, most everyone attending will want to fete you and shower you with blessings and gifts! So you should definitely register for gifts if you want them. But how to let people know, since you're not supposed to put it in the invitation?

There are two ways: old-school word of mouth, and new-school wedding websites. Both are etiquette-correct. Simply let your family and friends know where you are registered, and if a guest asks them, your besties/familia can pass the word along.

Or, list it on your wedding website on a secondary page, not the home page. This way, your wedding website acts as your etiquettely-correct, 21st-century word-of-mouth, since by clicking on a link to your registry, your guest is inquiring where you are registered and it's not you pushing the information at them. And you CAN include a link to your wedding website in the invitation, as long as, again, the focus of the website isn't the gift registry but information about the wedding overall such as maps, directions, and the like.

Our blog is sponsored by many great merchants. Feel free to click on the link below for some great deals from our merchant partners at Wedding Paper Divas.

Wedding Paper Divas Sale

Top signs you do NOT need a wedding planner

I know, crazy, right? Why would The Portland Wedding Coordinator blog about not needing a wedding planner? The plain truth is, not every wedding really needs one. Here are some signs that yours might be one of them:

1. You are very laid-back about the look and feel of the wedding and don't need for things to turn out or look a certain way.

2. Your event has very little etiquette, protocol, or time constraint

3. Culturally, the expectations of family and guests of your ability to host a party experience are low.

4. Your guest list is small (less than 40) people, and you don't have friends and family coming from out of town

5. The how-this-will-all-come-together is pretty cut and dried. Logistics are really easy, and your vendor team has all worked together before in that venue. Additionally, you are not creating a script or schedule that deviates greatly from what's been done before.