Just another MANic Monday…

A few weeks ago, we talked about men wearing bow-ties on their wedding day. You guys loved it. Today, we are paying a little extra attention to the men. Since we already covered attire, this week we are going to give some gift giving tips.
 
Gifts for groomsmen can be tricky. Buying a present for any boy is hard enough, but coming from a man makes it a little extra tricky. Here are our top five ideas for groomsmen gifts:
 
1. A man day-
As a groom, you have asked the special men in your life to take time out of their schedules to share in your special day with you. Pay them back by using their “gift” as a day just for the boys. Need some ideas on what to do during this day? Golf, fishing, or a football game are typically all big winners. Many of these can be combined with your bachelor party for complete guys weekend.
 
2. Cufflinks
For any kind of wedding gift, cufflinks are about as traditional as you can get. The perfect “timeless” gift, they are classically southern. Monograms and boys can be tricky, so go for something personalized or match the monogram with bold lines to make it a little more masculine.
These from Things Remembered are simple, yet classic:
These Lego cufflinks are the perfect gift for the boy at heart groomsmen:
And these New York Yankee’s stadium cufflinks would send any sports enthused groomsmen over the edge:
3. Flask
A flask could be one of the more “manly” things in life. Why not start your wedding weekend off right by providing your men with their own flask. With personalized options available you can make it just right for them.
 
 
4. Personalized sporting item
Whether your guys like baseball, football, golf, or anything in-between Gunther Gifts has them covered. I would be interested to know if guys would actually use a baseball bat with “Best Man” and their name stamped on it… But from a girls point of view it’s great!
 

 

5. Cigar Accessories
Men love their cigars. Personalized humidors and cigar holders are a great way to pair a personalized gift with something your groomsmen will actually use. Exclusively Weddings has some great options.
This Stainless Steel Flask and Cigar Holder provides your men with a drink and their cigar. Maybe give them this gift after the wedding…
 
When providing anyone with a gift, make sure it is a right fit. All of your groomsmen do not have to receive the same gift, so find something that will be a right for each guy.
 
A few others we love: ties that can double as their ceremony attire, beer mugs, ball-point pens, and sporting event tickets.
Did you receive a gift that you loved? Heard of one that was unique? Tell us about it.

Wednesday Showers

For the next few weeks, we will be featuring a different “shower” every Wednesday. First up on the list: Engagement Shower
An engagement shower will be the first shower a couple receives together. Most are couples showers, which means women, as well as men attend.

Because this is the couples first shower, and men may get intimidated by this easily, keep it casual. If you want to use a theme, keep it unisex. Some of our favorite ideas for engagement showers?

-“Stock the Bar”
This is fun because it gives your guests some variety in their gift. Planning the shower, it also helps you keep it causal. Guests can bring them the ingredients to the couples favorite drink, or get them wine, beer, or martini glasses. Also, keep it casual by grabbing a keg for your guests or have some fun informal drinking games to keep your guests busy.

-“Party Games”
As newlyweds, the couple will likely want to have friends over. Having board games for a party theme is always a fun idea. Guests can bring their favorite party game as a gift for the couple, and some can be played as a group. This may not be the best idea for a large party. As fun as board games are, couples do not want 100’s of games to store.
-“Memory Mat”
This will just require you have a large mat with the engaged couple’s picture inside. Guests can write their favorite memory on the mat for the couple to keep. You can also spice this up by using a “wishing wall” instead. Use chicken wire to create a board and gave guests roll up notes to put inside.
-“Love is sweet”
This shower makes it especially easy for the host to provide a fun event for all. By providing different “sweets” the food is simple and set up is easy. This shower is also easy to decorate with cute banners and signs.


Most of all, you want the newly engaged, as well as the guests to have a blast! Remember to keep things specific to your couple, and the environment they want to set up.

Saying Thank You

One of the most common faux pas committed by brides is the failure to say thank you in a timely manner.
According to The Emily Post Institute, thank you notes should be written as soon as possible and thank you’s for wedding gifts should be written within three months of the gift’s receipt.
The White Aisle stationery store makes it easy. Check out these beautiful thank you cards:

Some more of our favorites:
Lifeguard press makes it easy to get your favorite Jonathan Adler or Lilly Pulitzer notecards customized. Find your favorite print, then just add your monogram to the front. Try getting your monogram as a couple for thank you’s after the wedding.
There is something timeless about an ivory embossed notecard. Paired with your monogram, this makes for a perfect thank you. The Stationary Studio has these perfectly simply, fold over notecards. Great idea to go with a shower gift? I think so too.
Things to remember when writing a Thank You:
– Make it timely.
– Make it sincere. Try to keep some variations to each thank you so recipients do not feel like it is a cookie cutter thank you.
– Tell the recipient how you will use their gift.
– Try to make the thank you from the bride and groom by saying things like, “I cannot wait to try out some new recipes in our crock-pot. Kyle is excited that this will keep his clean-up duty easy!”
– Make it neat. Only write a few cards per day to keep your writing from getting sloppy.
– If applicable, include thanks for attending the wedding.

As you jump into your weekend, check out one of our summer weddings featured on Atlanta Occasions this week!

Guest Blogger: Chocolate Butterbean

I am so excited to send all of you into the weekend with this great post from Joni Lay. For those who don’t know, Joni is the owner of Chocolate Butterbean right here in Atlanta. I have been hooked on the work Chocolate Butterbean does since the first time a friend passed along their blog! This week she is going to share a little in wedding invitations trends, one of their specialties.

Wedding Invitation Trends

Wedding invitations have become an extremely important piece of projecting the look and feel the bride has in mind for her big day. After the save the date, it is likely the first piece of extensive information sent to your guests, and presents an opportunity to begin the event well before the actual big day. Giving your guests a taste of your style and what to expect is now the norm, and with so many options available, brides on any budget can find a way to express their style through these traditional paper send-outs. The following trends seem to be particularly appropriate:

(1) Do your research: With so many invitation companies whose portfolios are extensively pictured on the web, you can find a designer to match your ideal look as well as your ideal budget. You may be surprised at the array of options available that can be flat printed and still look stunning and perfectly custom, so don’t discount this option because you think it may be unaffordable. Many invitation designers also offer the option of giving the client rights to the monogram or mark used in the invitation suite, which can then be used on napkins, dance floor decals, favors, programs, or any other wedding day items where a personalized touch will add value.

(2) Be Creative with your Response Card: Tradition calls for a small card that the guests can write upon and then place in a small envelope to be mailed back to the bride’s parents, which often adds a lot of cost to the wedding invitation suite. Many brides are now turning to postcard style response cards, allowing further customization of your wedding suite, while cutting costs (you no longer need printed envelopes and you can use postcard rate postage, which really adds up!). This decision doesn’t reflect a tight budget, but rather looks to be a very thoughtful design detail. Some of my brides have written me to say their guests called in their response because they refused to mail back the postcards they found so lovely. This is especially the case when the cards have some sentimental value, such as a photo of the church where the couple will be married or a sweet picture of themselves from the engagement photo shoot. A last option if you are truly going for the traditional look is to include an RSVP card that is blank, with just a note that asks the guests to respond by a certain date. This corresponds more with the tradition that guests are expected to write back a response on their own (response cards are more of a recent addition to invitations to make it easier for guests). If you go this route of encouraging guests to fill in their own sentiments, these sweet mementos also can serve as keepsakes, especially if they are placed in a photo album or box to be looked through later to recall this exciting time and those who mean so much to you.

(3) Show your Style: Don’t be afraid of using color or custom illustration on your invitation.This is an opportunity to give your guests a picture of who you are and the unique relationship you have with your fiancé. You are giving them a taste of what to expect when the wedding day comes. Currently, I am working on a suite for a bride who wants silhouettes of her Yorkshire terrier and her fiancé’s chocolate lab mixed with formal fonts and flourishes to yield the perfect combination that reflects who they are. Even if you lean towards the more traditional, consider using a surprising and delightful color combination, or hand calligraphy that has a unique flair to it.

All pictures courtesy of Chocolate Butterbean

Joni Lay, owner of Chocolate Butterbean, is a designer and illustrator in the Atlanta area specializing in wedding invitation suites and custom, handpainted wedding signs.

For more Chocolate Butterbean resources:

Follow them on twitter: @cbutterbean

Head over to their blog: http://www.chocolatebutterbean.com/blog/

Or check out their website: http://www.chocolatebutterbean.com


Bridesmaids Style


Choosing bridesmaids dresses may be one of the biggest challenges a bride faces. As a bridesmaid, you should remember that this is your friends big day, support her decisions. As a bride, you should remember your friends want to be there for you, so don’t go overboard with difficult demands.

Dark jewel tones are going to be hot for this fall. Pairing the dark colors with a flattering one strap and ruffles is one of the biggest upcoming trends. Want to spice up your girls a little more? Try adding a detailed shoe in a neutral color to give them a little extra sass.

Favors for Friday

Ever since I saw this wedding

I have had dreams of using towels as favors for a beach wedding. Yes, just like here on the left.

Using screen-printed towels as a favor is a fantastic idea. Talk about making a favor unique to your guests’ needs. When people go to the beach/pool/lake they have to take a towel, in comes your favor. Then, your guest will remember your special day, and what fun it was. Thus, they will invite you to join them. See? Win, win.

Finding someone to make these towels is easy, just check out screen-printed towels on google, or ask your local embroidery shop- most do screen-printing as well. Towels may cost more than your average chocolate in a box, but is something well worth commemorating your day.

Now don’t YOU wish you had a special towel to use on this blazing hot weekend?
Enjoy!