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Your Wedding Invitations 2018

Congratulations, you’re engaged!  Now who’s getting an invitation to share your big day?

How is it worded, when does it go out, what goes along with it? So many colors, papers, designs, fonts, what’s a bride-to-be to do?

She reads this blog! Featuring our good friend Lori Norcross from Cortineo Creative – The Wedding Studio.

Lori’s grandfather was a printer over 100 years ago and she admits, “Ink and paper are in my blood.”  A master in her field with thousands of invitations designed over her 35 years, Lori is a professional we are proud to know and feature.

She sits on the board of directors for the Graphic Arts Association, and you may  run across her at one of the many bridal shows where she presents throughout Pennsylvania and at the Jersey shore.  Lori loves what she does and that makes her a joy to work with!

Let’s jump right into it. Take it away Lori:

Lori Norcross, Cortineo Creative – The Wedding Studio

 

The real impression of your wedding day comes from your invitation set.  Uniquely you, it should bring a smile to your face every time you see it, from the first view and for many years after.

You want to capture the emotion with your theme, design, and colors and you will get great advice and ideas from a professional wedding stationer.  I’ve been doing this for a long time and every bride is different.  We tweak a few things and when we see that smile, we know that’s her design!

A few things to keep in mind to begin:

  • Save the Dates:  These are sent 9-12 months before the wedding, mainly if your guests will need to make accommodations (multiple day event, destination requiring advanced planning, etc.)  You can use a photo from your engagement session, or they can be designed as part of the theme of your wedding.
  • The Invitation:  These are sent 8-10 weeks before the wedding and includes the information of who is getting married, where, and what time. If the wedding and reception are at the same location, then all you need to say is “Reception immediately following the ceremony” which  can be added to the bottom of the invitation.
    • If you are getting married in one place and the reception is at another location, you will need a reception card stating the place and time. Receptions do not necessarily need to be right after the wedding, it can start hours later. This gives the entire wedding party time to have photos done without missing any of the celebration.
    • Reply card & envelope or postcard – very important!  This is a card that is returned to you stating whether or not the invited guest will be attending and who they are.  It is also used for meal selection (if a choice is offered). You may also add a line for any food allergies that your guest might have and/or add something fun, such as “What song will get you on the dance floor?”
      • Helpful hint on the reply card:  Place a small number on the back of the card to match your list of attendees, so that if anyone fails to put their name on the card front, you will easily find their name with the corresponding number on your list. Saves time in the long run and makes it easy to find out who they are.
      • Transportation/directions/reservations card:  Any additional information you might want the guests to know, such as a shuttle between the church/hotel and the reception, if parking is available and where, and directions, if hotels have rooms blocked for guests, etc.

For the design, the ideas are endless.  Think about your wedding first – is it formal or casual?  Is it on the beach or in a cathedral?  Is it a summertime outdoor event or a snowy winter wonderland?

Also consider any special interests you and your fiancee share.  For instance, are you Game of Thrones fans?  Do you share a symbolic tattoo?  A quote?  Design your invitations around it!

 

Many couples forgo those traditional or “expected” invitations and make their wedding day as unique as their relationship.  We couldn’t agree more!  Your wedding day is all about your new beginning together and writing the next chapter of your story.

 

Speaking of writing, let’s talk a little about the wording of them:

  • If you do not wish for children to attend, a simple “adults only” will suffice.
  • Dress code – if you have a specific dress code, state it clearly.  For instance, guests are confused about “Black Tie Optional”.  If you want them to wear a tux (or casual, themed, etc.) say it.
  • Blended families are the norm now, and there are a number of ways to simply state the invitation without causing hurt feelings. Ask your stationer for the simplest way to address your particular situation.

And what about pricing?  Most brides have a wedding budget and like anything else, the pricing of invitations varies considerably.  If you truly want a stress-free wedding, you hire professionals.  Your invitations are no different.  From consultations to drafts to tweaks to the perfect set!   You can have wax seals, ribbons and bows, textures and colors, metallics and gems, lace, there is nothing off limits and the inspiration is everywhere!

Tap into your bride vibe, talk it over with Lori, and let her design something incredible!

Lori Norcross can be reached at Cortineo Creative / The Wedding Studio 215-348-1100, or visit her website www.cortineocreative.com.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is an award-winning bridal and tuxedo store located in Warrington, Bucks County, PA.  We are proud to partner with some of the best vendors in the wedding industry.

 

How To Take Your Perfect Picture

In the age of selfies and filters, it’s easy to take your perfect picture. When someone else takes your picture, it’s a whole different story.

I had the idea for this blog at a Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce Women In Business networking meeting, which is where I met Amy McDermott of Heart and Soul Portraits. Amy was the photographer of our meeting and asked me to be in a shot.

Right before snapping the pic, she said, “Wendy, stick your nose out.”

I only had a second or two to figure out what that meant, and I found myself wiggling my nose like I was about to sneeze. Amy helped me  (without laughing at me) and said, “Push your face out.”  OOHHH Oh oh I got it, so no double chin action!

And it dawned on me that I should ask Amy to be a guest blogger with some basic and must-know tips on how to look great in photos that aren’t selfies!

Amy is the owner and photographer of Heart and Soul Portraits for over 17 years. Heart and Soul Portraits specializes in family/newborn portrait sessions, corporate events, professional head shots, and engagement photos.  After taking that many pictures, she has some easy and helpful tips for you to look your best in photos.  Read on, aspiring models!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy McDermott, Owner, Heart and Soul Portraits

I am happy to share with you some of my suggestions for taking your best photograph.

Most importantly, if you are hiring a photographer you must choose a one you love. You need to really “get”  his or her personality and vice versa.  An experienced, professional photographer can bring out your best and the person you hire should be able to get you to relax and laugh easily.  A natural smile is always better than a fake one.

It is best to have an engagement photo session with your photographer to be sure you love his/her style before the big day.  This helps build your relationship with the photographer which is incredibly important because you will be spending your big day with that person.

To make sure you get those must-have photos, have a trusted guest as a contact person at your wedding for your photographer. That person can point out key people in your family that you want included.

And  now:  How To Look Your Best

  • Eyes always closed in photos?  Close your eyes right before the picture is taken.  Ask the photographer to count 1.2.3 and then open your eyes on 3.  Don’t forget to smile!
  • The dreaded double chin.  To avoid a double chin, elongate your neck up and push your face forward a bit (or “stick your nose out”).
  • Remember the song Walk Like An Egyptian?  Ever see that dance?  That’s the way you do it.  Will it feel awkward?  Yep.  Will is look great?  Absolutely!  Practice this in the mirror to see how to make it work best for you.
  • Want a slimmer pose?  How you stand can do wonders.  Put your hand on your hip and angle your body to the side, and turn your head towards the camera. It may be cliché, but it really does help you look slimmer.
  • The arms.  Putting your hand on your hip keeps your arm from pressing against your body and widening out.  If you don’t want to put your hand on your hip, then keep a little “air in your armpit” so it isn’t pressing against your body.  Keep your arm just enough off of your body that there is a small gap of air in your armpit.
  • It can be helpful to have your photographer stand above you on a step stool. The higher elevation will instantly slim your face and be very flattering.
  • What not to wear.  Steer away from the loud patterns/bold prints and stripes.  They can make you appear larger. Instead, choose clothes in simple tones.  For your engagement session, make sure you both stay in the same color families.

We hope you remember these when someone has a camera on you, and I personally hope you remember to “stick your nose out”.   And after the wedding, should any mini-yous arrive, give Amy a call for a family session at 215-356-7408 or visit her website.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo was just named 2018 Pick of the Knot, 2018 Wedding Wire Couples’ Choice Award, and has been named Best of Bucks Bridal Store for five consecutive years.  Located in Warrington, Bucks County and serving Bucks as well as surrounding counties of Montgomery and Philadelphia. www.dariannabridal.com

 

The Seamstress

The dress of your dreams can turn into the stuff of nightmares with the wrong Seamstress.  Read on for tips to ensure your spot-on, perfectly-fitted dress!

In the weeks leading up to your wedding day, you will be meeting with your seamstress for any necessary alterations to make your gown fit like a glove.  These can be anything from a hem, bustle, take in, let out, and strap adjustments, to additional work to personalize your dress such as sewing in a handkerchief or other sentimental piece, adding buttons, changing the neckline shape, and more.

Some bridal stores charge a flat fee.  This is okay if you need lots of work done and multiple fittings, but definitely not great if you only need a few  changes.

Whatever alterations your wedding dress requires, there are some very important things to do prior to starting them.

  1. First fitting.  Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo recommends scheduling this 4-5 weeks before your wedding because you are closest to your wedding shape and weight.  You will put your dress on and consult with the seamstress on adjustments.  The communication must be clear and you must feel confident that she cares about you.  She will pin areas where the work will be done.  Also, bring your shoes for hemming and bustling purposes.
  2. Find out an estimate of costs prior to having the work done.  Hemming dresses with numerous layers, doing beadwork, removing/replacing appliques, these can add up so find out approximate cost first.  (If your bridal store charges a flat fee, reconfirm there are no additional fees involved.)
  3. If you feel like that particular seamstress is not a good fit for you, find another one.  Recommendations from other brides, community groups, and online searches/reviews can lead you to another who may provide you the peace of mind and confidence required.
  4. At your last fitting, make sure to take someone along for bustle instructions.  The bustle is the lifting of the train of your gown (using buttons or hooks) that is done prior to the reception, allowing you to dance and move about without stepping on your train.  You may even want to take a video of it, just in case a few glasses of champagne get in the way of remembering…

An idea to consider is to schedule your hair/make up trial just before your fitting, so you can see your look come together!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has trusted and experienced seamstresses doing fittings both in-store and in-studio.  We also have relationships with numerous others who may be more of a fit for difficult schedules, locations, etc.

In addition, we work with bridal vendors who will do custom sizing, changes, petite cuts,  custom lengths, and various other changes directly to your dress as it is being made and this can lead to real savings in your alterations costs.

The outstanding women we work with – our bridal consultants and our seamstress partners – are committed to making your dress perfect so you feel beautiful and confident on one of the most special days of your life.  From the dressing room to the aisle, make your bridal appointment with us, find your dream dress, and let us take 5-star care of you.

 

 

Darianna Bridal Real Bride: Allison Barrett-Ferraro

alison1

The Meeting:  Alex and I first met when we were introduced by a mutual friend during our sophomore year at Gettysburg College. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, and we only chatted briefly before going our separate ways.

Two years later, we were reintroduced by another mutual friend, and as we got to know each other better I developed a crush on Alex. With the encouragement of my girlfriends, I got up the courage to ask Alex to my sorority’s formal. Alex agreed to be my date, and I was thrilled when he also asked me out to dinner.

We started dating in March 2012, two months before our college graduation. After graduation, Alex moved to Pittsburgh for law school and I moved home to Philadelphia and started working at an advertising agency. It wasn’t easy being so far apart, but I knew he was the one so the countless hours spent in the car driving across the state to visit each other were worth it. Continue reading "Darianna Bridal Real Bride: Allison Barrett-Ferraro"

Darianna Bridal Real Bride: Dianna Hansen-Cichonski

wedding6The Meeting:  Justin and I met in 4th grade at St. Timothy’s Catholic School.  We went to our first boy/girl party at a friend’s house and he got down on one knee and proposed to me with a mood ring!  

Unfortunately, the romance did not last, and we moved on without contact until…

May 1, 2007 at another party.  We spotted each other from across the room. Justin came up to talk to me and we have been inseparable ever since.

Continue reading "Darianna Bridal Real Bride: Dianna Hansen-Cichonski"