Ask the Bee: Belated Reception wording

I am looking for wording for my wedding invitations. Two weeks after our ceremony, we are having a casual reception. Also, we would like to include our parents names on the invitation.

Here is an example of a belated reception. Since you are planning on having the reception two weeks after your wedding, the guests will be receiving the invitation before you are married. Therefore, I would not include the wedding date on the invitation as it might confuse guests.

Best Wishes!!

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Thomas
Mr. and Mrs. Steven Wilson
request the pleasure of your company
at a reception in honor of
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Michael Wilson
Saturday, the second of October
two thousand and ten
at half after three o’clock in the afternoon
Yellowgate Club
Hammond, North Carolina

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Ask the Bee: Tables + Guests * Centerpieces = HELP

How many guests can I fit at each table?

It depends on the size of the table.  My personal favorite is a 60″ round with 8 guests.  The table is a nice size for intimate conversation and there is enough room for everyone to feel comfortable.  

Since it is not always possible to break up your guest list in groups of 8, I recommend a 72″ round for 10 guests. This is a comfortable seating arrangement that so that guests are not “elbow to elbow”. Remember, there is going to be a lot on each tabletop! Besides the centerpiece, that for each guest, there is a charger, menu, napkin, several glasses (champagne flute, white wine glass, red wine glass, and water glass), flatware, bread plate, and possibly a place card. Below is a photo of a 60″ round set for 8 guests.  As you can see, there is already a lot on the table before guests arrive with escort cards, cameras and handbags!

On a budget?  Seat 12 guests at a 72″ round to get the most bang for your buck in terms of centerpieces.  Be sure not to crowd the table with elaborate centerpieces.  I would also recommend putting the favors on the escort table in stead of at each place setting.

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Ask the Bee: Should I Invite Her?

I have a quick question about etiquette…it’s probably a dumb question, but…I sent a Save the Date card to a friend of mine, with whom I’ve rarely spoken.  Because I sent her a Save the Date card, should I still invite her to the wedding, even though we no longer have a friendship?

In a word, yes. 

Sending a save the date is a type of invitation. It’s an invitation to Save the Date for an invitation that will be forth coming. The It’s an invitation to save the date for an invitation that will be forth coming. It is just as rude as dis-inviting someone from a party.  

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Ask the Bee: Reception Only Invitation

Do you have any suggested wording on an invitation to a reception for a couple who both have been married previously and are getting married in a private ceremony that will take place about a month before the reception?

The invitation should highlight that it is an invitation to a wedding reception, not a wedding. See below for some sample text!
Sheila Amy Stephens 
Gary Brian Pierce 
request the pleasure of your company 
at their wedding reception  
Saturday, the seventeenth of May 
two thousand and eight 
at half after six o’clock in the evening  
Hotel Allegro 

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Ask the Bee: Compromise with our wedding?

My fiance and I want to have a cocktail reception.  Both of our parents, who will be paying for the wedding, insist that we have a sit down dinner.  Are we stuck?

Why not do dancing between the courses?  Often referred to as a “New York style reception”, dancing between the courses allows breaks to the very long dinner hour.

If you have never been to a wedding with dancing between the courses, you are missing out!  Once the first course is served, then the guests head out to the dance floor for the first dance set.  At our wedding, we kicked off the first set with the First Dance.  Each additional dance set was kicked off by a “special dance” such as a Mother/Son dance and the Anniversary Dance.  

It’s a tremendous amount of fun although it does require additional costs.  Since the bar and the band never stop, there is usually some added hourly charges. Additionally, it does require a fair amount of coordination.
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Ask the Bee: Menu Advice

I have a question for you. I’m working on the menu and I’m trying to get it structured lay out wise/format/wording etc. I’m kind of at odds with what I should do at the top. I have a graphics designer friend who will help.
Some of the things I’m thinking about adding:
1. the kind of wine served w/ dinner
2. tea and coffee service w/ dessert
I put it on there, but I’m wondering if I should make it different by adding the room # for the after party.
Thanks for your help 🙂

Here are my suggestions:
  • No need to spell out the wine unless it has some sort of special meaning.
  • I’d add the coffee and tea.
  • Do you have a monogram? If not, I would put your names in top with the date.  
  • If you can, I’d also make some of it in color.
  • I made less lines of text.
  • I played with the language a bit.


After talking with the Bride, she is also going to heat emboss parts of the menu to jazz it up.  
I was glad to help! Let me know if you have any other questions or need advice.

Ask the Bee: Tuxedo Shoes

You write that the shoes that men wear with their tux don’t have to be patent leather. I’d love to see what your husband wore, and even links to other formal footwear that you’d also recommend. Thanks! 

Although patent leather is the most popular, it is not the only option for men.  My husband opted to wear a formal leather oxford like the shoe below.  The shoe needs to be polished and sharp!  

However, if you do opt for the patent leather show, you can buy a pair, starting at $35 at Buy4LessTuxedo.

Ask the Bee: Bridal Party Gifts

I was wondering if you have suggestions for bridesmaids gifts. I was just in a fabulous wedding as a bridesmaid – and got a monogramed tote bag, 2 fancy bubble baths, fuzzy socks, and nice flannel PJs from VS. My wedding is coming up soon and now I’m nervous that I don’t have enough of a gift for my 6 bridesmaids. We do have a bridesmaids’ luncheon planned (the above bride didn’t have one), are planning on treating them to hairdos with a stylist, and I purchased monogramed robes for them…any other ideas? I figured the robe will be especially nice while they’re getting their hair done 🙂

First off, don’t worry about keeping up.  Every bride has a different budget. There is no need to blow the budget.  If you do want to give something else, why not give the girls a gift that isn’t wedding related?  
I prefer personalized gifts that reflect each girl’s personality.  And by personalized, I do not mean the exact same gift for each gift with her monogram!  If you are close enough to ask a friend or family member to stand beside you at the alter, you probably know their tastes as well.  Why not give a gift to reflect her personality.  Or, another source of inspiration would be to give a gift to reflect your relationship.  
Since I don’t know your bridesmaids, I have some ideas based on my three very unique maids. Here they are:

business card case, for the bridesmaid that is practical.  We went to business school together so the business card case reflects our shared interest of networking!

xo necklace from etsy, for the bridesmaid that appreciates the homemade.  My sister-in-law loves unique and and petite jewelry. I think she’d adore this piece.

Heart Vase, for the bridesmaid that appreciates modern design but is a romantic at heart.  I think my best friend/ Maid of Honor would have loved this for her home.

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Ask the Bee: Budget Friendly

I would love to see some suggestions for a budget friendly beautiful wedding. Us girls without $50,000 budgets also want to have a beautiful day and who better to give ideas than a wedding planner.
What is the easiest way to save money? Well, that is an easy question for me to answer- cut something. Now, the hard part comes, what do you want to cut?

If you are going to make a cut, it should be on something that comes lower on the priority list. Therefore, you and your fiance need to sit down and come up with the three most important details to you. The two of you should also come up with things that don’t mean that much to you. Awhile ago, I posted a list of things that I did not want.

I can’t tell you what to skip because I don’t know you or your fiance. However, I can give you a list of some ideas.

  • Videographer: If you want a video, then have one. If you aren’t dead set on it, skip it.
  • Centerpieces: Having a non-floral centerpiece is going to save you money. There are plenty of other beautiful options.
  • Save the Dates: Unless you are having a destination wedding, these are not only necessary, they are a total waste.
  • Bridal Shoes: Buy a metallic shoe that you can re-wear again. They are often cheaper than shoes aimed at brides.
  • Bridal Party: Large bridal parties require more money (personal flowers, transportation, bridal party gifts). While I wouldn’t recommend cutting siblings or best friends, do you really need to have your nine closest friends up at the alter?
  • Transportation: While it is necessary to provide transportation for your bridal party to the ceremony and reception site, it is not necessary to blow the budget. There are many more reasonable options out there than expensive trolleys and stretch Hummer limos. No one is going to remember the transportation.
  • Wedding Album: Buy the rights to your wedding photos and make your own album with one of the numerous online companies. I am actually doing this myself!

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Ask the Bee: Menus

My fiancé and I, with the help of my mother, have put so much effort into our menu (food-wise) since we’re having an entirely gluten-free kosher pescatarian event. Try saying that 3x fast! We are both food lovers and really enjoy cooking together so the food selection/offerings and quality has been one of our higher priorities.

My mom suggested that my fiancé, who has a wonderful sense of humor that is especially highlighted by his writing, write up a menu with an explanation about why we chose to have our gf kosher event…but I haven’t really seen many menus that would accommodate such an idea (ie, room for a description). If it matters, the wedding will be formal and the colors black and white. Any inspiration would be very helpful 🙂 Thanks!

Nothing pleases me more than seeing a personalized wedding! I don’t think a two sided menu is necessary. At the top of the menu, I would simply write,

Our menu is Gluten-free kosher pescetarian.

We carefully choose the dinner selections

based on our personal preferences.

We hope that you enjoy the meal!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a sample. If we were to take this menu below as a rough template/ idea. I would make it longer and more narrow, to the dimensions of 4.5″ by 10″. At the top of the menu, I would have a monogram (as seen below) or write your names. At the bottom, I would I would write the note. Since your fiancé is so much more clever than me, I am sure that he will be able to come up with more creative verbage.

I hope that helps!