FAQ: Wedding Room Block Advice

FAQ:  Wedding Room Block Advice

Another question many of my brides ask me quite often is regarding their hotel room block for their wedding. Should you have one? What's the process in securing one? Do you need to secure a room block at more than one hotel? This whole process can definitely be a headache, but hopefully with the advice below, some of that will be alleviated for you.

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Wedding Stationery Timeline

Photo:   Angela Zion Photography  | Invitations:   Fat Cat Paperie

Photo:  Angela Zion Photography | Invitations:  Fat Cat Paperie

One of the things I get asked most often is, "When do I need to send out my Save the Dates?" and "When do I need to send out my wedding invitations?" So...to help all of you...today, I'm giving you the stationery timeline and tips I give to all Bespoken Brides:

Save the Dates:

  • These are sent 6-8 months before the wedding, but can be mailed up to a year in advance.
  • Include: the Date, Venue, City, and Wedding Website URL
  • Extra Touch:  Send a Save the Date to all of your booked vendors! We LOVE getting these!
Photo:   Ryan & Alyssa Photography  | Invitations:  Shasta Bell

Photo:  Ryan & Alyssa Photography | Invitations: Shasta Bell

Invitations:

  • Order them 4-6 months before the wedding. Order 10-25 more than you think you'll actually need. Trust me :)
  • Send them 6-8 weeks before your wedding.
  • Be sure to include RSVP cards with self-addressed stamped envelopes.
  • If you will have out-of-town guests, it's thoughtful to include a "Details" card with accommodation info and your wedding website URL.
  • Extra Touch:  Send an invitation to all of your booked vendors! We LOVE getting these, too!
  • Bonus:  Save at least one full invitation suite for your photographer to photograph on the day of your wedding.

Thank You Cards:

  • For gifts you receive BEFORE the wedding, send thank you cards within 2 weeks.
  • For gifts you receive AFTER the wedding, send thank you cards within 4 weeks.

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations:

  • Send these 1 month prior to the wedding, but you can also send them with the wedding invitations.

Menu and Programs:

  • Order these 1 month before the wedding.

There you go! 

How to Be the Best Bridesmaid

Being a bridesmaid can be a bittersweet experience. On one hand, bridesmaids get to spend amazing quality time with the bride-to-be. The giddy lunch dates and dress fittings make for incredible memories. On the other hand, all of the tasks that come with planning a wedding can be overwhelming. Bridesmaids may feel lost or incapable of helping to pull off the perfect ceremony. 

Luckily, Personal Creations has created a Bridesmaid Duties Guide that makes the process easier. They've broken down each bridesmaid duty by month, so the wedding party can breathe easier knowing they have a plan. This means more time for popping bubbly, and less time for stress eating wedding cake samples. Check out the guide to get started, and happy planning!

Getting Your Marriage License

Much of the wedding planning process is fun...choosing your colors, choosing your tablescape and place settings, and of course - choosing your dress! Some things aren't as fun, though...like getting your marriage license. But it's SUPER important. That little document is what makes your marriage legal :)

Each state has its own requirements, so it's important to do your research to see what your particular state requires. In the meantime, here are some additional tips to consider:

  • Apply for your marriage license from the county in which you are getting married in. Even if you live in a different county or a different state, you need to apply for your marriage license in the county in which your wedding is taking place.
  • Don't wait until the last minute!  This is sooo important. Sometimes this process can be long and require a ton of paperwork, so you want to remember to research the requirements several months in advance of your wedding date. 
  • Again...timing is everything. While you want to do your research early, you don't want to apply for one too early because many marriage licenses are only valid for a short time period. I generally advise brides to have their license 2-3 weeks prior to their wedding date. 
  • Understand that there is likely a fee involved. Like most things in life, obtaining your marriage license isn't free. It usually costs anywhere from $25-100, which isn't a whole lot in comparison to the rest of your wedding, but you do want to remember to budget for this. 
  • Ask questions. Most of the info you need can be found online, but if something is unclear, don't be afraid to call the county/clerk's office. They'll answer your question for you, which will save you time (and a headache) later.
  • Don't forget it! You need to bring your marriage license with you to your Ceremony (unless your Officiant asks for it in advance). You'll also need to designate a witness as you sign the license. Typically, this is your Maid of Honor and Best Man. 
  • Hang on to it. Once you send it in, you want to request a few copies of the certificate, especially if you plan on changing your name, because you'll need to provide proof of the marriage. And be sure to keep at least one copy safe (i.e., in a fire-proof safe).

While you will need to check with your specific county for additional requirements, here are some links to get you started (focusing on the Southern US since this is mainly where Bespoken Brides get married...but this list may update as we expand!):

Hope this helps!!! And don't forget - as an official Bespoken Bride, you get more tips like this and more ;)

How Many Hours of Photography Coverage Do You Need?

How many hours of photography coverage do you need for your wedding? | Bespoken

Most Bespoken Brides choose to splurge on their photographer, and I don't blame them. I actually encourage them to do so. Why? Because out of all of the things you purchase for your wedding, the photos are one of few things that will last.

Photographers have to work a certain number of hours of coverage into their contracts because if they didn't, they would be working all day and all night. Most photography packages will offer 6, 8, 10, or 12 hours of coverage. So how do you know how much you need?

6 HOURS

This is going to be the least expensive package your photographer is going to offer.

This package is right for you if:

  • you're on a budget.

  • you're having a small wedding.

  • you're eloping.

What to keep in mind:

  • 6 hours isn't very much time, so you probably won't receive all of the detail shots of the invitations, shoes, rings, etc.

  • In order to get pre-ceremony photos, ceremony photos, pre-reception photos, and a few reception photos, the photographer is probably not going to stick around for much of the reception, so you likely will not receive many dancing photos.

You will get plenty of photos of the important moments, though!

8 HOURS

This package is fairly common.

This package is right for you if:

  • you're having an average wedding of 100-150 guests.

  • you want a few more shots (detail, getting ready, some dancing, etc.).

  • your Ceremony and Reception both taking place at the same venue.

What to keep in mind:

  • If you want a First Look (I highly suggest it!), then you definitely want to book the 8 hour package.

  • If your wedding is taking place at two separate venues, then you may want to consider booking the photographer for more hours of coverage. If you don't, some of your 8 hour coverage will be eaten up by packing up of photography equipment and traveling time.

10 HOURS

This package is right for you if:

  • you don't want to feel rushed through the day.

  • you want the photographer to capture all of the getting-ready and detail shots.

  • your Ceremony and Reception are taking place at two separate venues.

What to keep in mind:

  • If you want a First Look, you want at least 8-10 hours of coverage.

  • If you are planning on doing a Grand Exit, 10 hours of coverage may not be enough time for the photographer to stay until the very end. The only way this would happen is if the photographer doesn't get any photos of you getting ready.

12 HOURS

Obviously this will be your most expensive package.

This package is right for you if:

  • you have a very large Bridal Party (12 or more Bridesmaids/Flower Girls).

  • you don't want to feel rushed.

  • you want the photographer to capture ALL of the details, several getting-ready moments, First Look, family photos, and all the way until you do a Grand Exit.

What to keep in mind:

  • If you have a huge Wedding Party AND a huge family, you definitely want to book 12 hours of coverage. This will allow the photographer to capture all of those friends and loved ones in a skilled way without anyone feeling rushed.

  • If you have a lot of custom details and decor (signage, paper products, floral arrangements, signature cocktails, etc.), then you likely spent a lot of time planning your wedding. And you definitely want to make sure every aspect is captured by the photographers.