Wedding Sparklers: Tips and Tricks, and Where to Buy for Portland, Oregon Weddings

Portland-photographer-paul-richPhoto courtesy Paul Rich Studio

In the middle of #Snowlandia2014, why am I sitting inside thinking about weddng sparklers? Maybe because I am obsessed with making sure people don't make mistakes with their wedding, and sparklers are one place where it's really easy to screw up something that seems simple. Here are a few tips:

1. Order your sparklers really early. First, so you can get the benefits of super-low bulk pricing from the large favor sellers. Second, because in most places, sparklers are considered to be a type of firework, and thus cannot be shipped express air. So many people wait until the last minute/last couple of weeks before the wedding and then realize that they can't get the sparklers on time!

2. (Or maybe, #zero?) Check with your venue to make sure they will allow you to use sparklers on site! Just because you've seen a bunch of great pictures of people using wedding sparklers on Pinterest, doesn't mean your venue allows it. Also be prepared that, especially in the Gorge or Oregon's forested areas, where it can be very windy, a site that allows sparklers normally can all of a sudden ban them if there is a general burn ban in the area due to dry and windy weather.

3. Don't hand them out too early. Guests will get into them and start lighting them up on the dance floor or wherever, and all of a sudden, there aren't any left for the special getaway picture you were planning. Designate someone to pull them out of their safe storage place at the end of the night and hand them out as guests are leaving.

4. Organize your peeps. Those getaway pictures don't just happen. Guests are usually occupied getting one last drink at the bar or hanging out near the dance floor — they have no idea that you want them to gather out at the front of the venue to pose for a complicated photo composition. Again, designate your wedding coordinator or trusted friend who will have their wits about them at the end of the night, to round up guests a few minutes before you and your new spouse exit the venue. Or get the DJ/emcee to make an announcement.

5. Again, those getaway picture don't just happen! Make sure your photographer is well versed in taking nighttime photos with sparklers. Once more, your coordinator is key in making sure that the schedule will accommodate your photographer's package (you don't want them leaving before the getaway, right?).

6. Timing is everything. By the time the last guest lined up gets their sparkler lit, the first guest's sparkler could go out. That's why I recommend using 28" to 36" long sparklers – the really long kind – so they last a long time. As an alternative, you could give out two of the shorter (more commonly found) 12" sparklers per person so when their first one goes out they have a backup. It goes without saying that you should have plenty of lighters, matches, or a central large sparkler for everyone to light off of. And of course, pails of sand or water for guests to put them out. 

I hope you found these tips helpful! In Portland, here are a couple of great Portland-local places where you can order your sparklers:

The Wedding Cottage

Fancy That

Or if you want to order online, here are a few links from some of our great sponsoring merchants below.


12" WEDDING SPARKLERS (pack of 5)
Price: 1.75


Heart Shaped Sparklers (BULK Case of 72 Wedding Sparklers)

Price: 65.99
Koyal-wholesale-wedding-sparklers
36" Wedding Sparklers (6 Per Pack) – 3 Minute Gold Sparkle

Price: 119.88
Koyal-wholesale-wedding-sparklers
36" Bulk Wedding Sparklers (144 Per Case) – 3 Minute Gold Sparkle

Price: 183.90

Heart Shaped Wedding Sparklers

Price: 49.80

36 Inch Wedding Sparklers

Price: 3.95

Read more about our relationships with sponsors and affiliate organizations.

{ 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

{Wedding Attire Tips} Can I mix ivory and white at my wedding?

Today's tip is not just an attire tip, but it also touches on overall wedding design and colors.

I get a lot of clients every year who ask me if they can wear an ivory gown but have white tablecloths, and vice versa.  Or if they can use ivory and white on the same surface, for example, white tablecloths and ivory plates.  We receive so many inquiries like this that we decided to address it here on the blog at Portland Wedding Coordinator.
 
Some people seem to think that there is an etiquette or protocol issue at work here, but I have done some initial research at the Peggy Post and Martha Stewart sites, and to date have not yet found anything etiquette-related, except a reminder to guests not to wear white or ivory to a wedding.
 
So my feeling is that it boils down to your personal style and what you feel comfortable with.

Continue reading “{Wedding Attire Tips} Can I mix ivory and white at my wedding?”

{ Sponsored } Flash Sale from Tiny Prints!

Tiny Prints Gifts

So many of you are heading off to see family and friends for the holidays, and how awesome would it be to be armed with sweet custom gifts (like your engagement pic on an iPhone case for Mom and Dad!). So I had to let you know about an exclusive flash sale that is only tonight through our affiliate tinyprints.com. Click on the link above, and when ordering make sure to use the code 35GIFTS at checkout to get the whopping 35% off discount PLUS express shipping for only $9.95.

A better way to DIY for your wedding { Sponsored by Craftsy }

We are excited to welcome Craftsy.com to The Portland Wedding Coordinator’s family of affiliate partners. DIY is a very important way for us to put our personal touches on the wedding, (check out my DIY coffee cozy here); however, I will confess to you that I am a bit DIY-challenged and am sometimes stumped by the directions that come with some of these so-called “easy to make” kits for crafts.

Craftsy has the solution with on-demand online instructional classes that you can watch, pause and rewatch as many times as you like. (I will personally be watching the “casting off” knitting video myself, I mean just look at this mess:)

Emee-tries-to-knit

More about Craftsy, below:

What is Craftsy?
Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Craftsy-logo

 

Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Craftsy Class
Before filming even begins, hours and hours are spent determining what content will be covered in each class, and how to best teach specific techniques to the camera. Instructors work with an instructional designer to create an in-depth outline of each lesson, and decide how to best prepare props or “step-outs” that show what your project should like at different steps. Instead of a scripted class, instructors follow their outlines on camera to create an authentic and engaging teaching experience.

Most Craftsy classes are filmed in one of five Craftsy studios in Denver, CO, assuring that every part of the production process goes off without a hitch. They fly in instructors from all over the world to spend several days filming, then spend several weeks turning hours of footage into a two to three hour class experience that has been watched, rewatched, and reviewed by industry experts. The final result is an HD-quality video that takes you in-depth into specific topics in any given craft category- from cooking and fine art to sewing and knitting.

DIY-knitting-cable-sweater-craftsy

What IS the Craftsy experience?
Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class, with none of the drawbacks. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right.

Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee.

Free-online-crafting-classes-craftsy

 

Try online learning today with a free mini-class from Craftsy! Choose from 23 Free Craftsy Classes ranging from drawing and painting to sewing and quilting, from knitting to cake decorating and more.

Trying Out A New Resource for Canvas Prints, Car Magnets, and Promotional Materials { Sponsored }

canvas prints

I recently had the opportunity to sample Printcopia‘s online canvas prints service. I found the interface to be fairly straightforward and easy to use, and my print arrived within 7 days. While I’m not sure this would be the solution for personal items needing professional editing and cropping such as wedding portraits (please use your professional photographer for those!), I found the self-service canvas prints to be of excellent quality and more than adequate for my needs as an event planner. These would be great for display materials for tradeshows and decorative marketing of event photos around the office.

Printcopia also offers car magnets, custom banners, and inexpensive signs — items that all of us as event planners need to use at one time or another. I haven’t tried these items yet, but if they are the same quality as the canvas print I was able to sample, this would be a great resource to add to my list.

Disclosure: We received a complimentary 11×14 canvas print sample prior to writing this review.