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Wedding Ideas

Shop Philly: The Best Places To Order Your Custom Invitations

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News, Vendor Features

So it’s time to start thinking about invitations. Should you opt for a digital design? What about calligraphy? Or maybe even letterpressed text? It can be overwhelming to design your wedding invitations, and most couples don’t even know where to begin!

Luckily, Philadelphia is home to some outstanding local businesses that will help you design and print your wedding invitations, as well as your save-the-dates, escort card, thank you cards, and more! We’ve put together a list of the best local places to order your custom invitations from.

The Paperia

Chestnut Hill Instagram | Ardmore Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

With two locations in the area, Ardmore and Chestnut Hill, The Paperia offers so much more than just invitations. Their gift shop features unique gifts for all occasions, many of which are paper-themed. This family-owned business has been providing invitations, announcements, and stationary to Philadelphians since 1983. “We have years of knowledge and experience with wording and etiquette and we love to share it with our customers,” shares Ben from the Paperia. Although the wedding invitation industry has experienced change in recent years, the Paperia remains a Philadelphia staple in this era of everything electronic. “If you believe marriage is forever and your wedding day is one you will never want to forget, come to our store and let us help you make it the day you’ve dreamed of all your life,” says Ben.

The Papery of Philadelphia

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Owner and operator Carolyn Brandhorst has an extensive background in fashion retail, graphic design, and advertising. Through passion for these industries and hard work, The Papery of Philadelphia was born. “Our customers love that we not only do invitations, but we create a complete brand for their special day, from the beginning to the end. It starts with the save the dates, continues with the invites, the welcome boxes/bags that we create for them, bridesmaid proposal boxes, custom logo design, and more,” says Carolyn. The Paperia creates a bond with their clients to make the design and print process stress free, unique to their event, and most importantly, fun.

Papertree Studio

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After over 10 years of experience in graphic design, advertising, and marketing, owner Christy opened Papertree Studio in 2012. At the time, she was the Marketing & Advertising Designer at Philadelphia magazine, and was creating wedding invitation designs on the side. As word of mouth grew and her client base expanded, she decided to take the leap and make Papertree Studio official. Conveniently located in Old City, Papertree Studio isn’t just limited to wedding invitations. They also offer stationery, baby announcements, vow books, and more! “I think we have a unique take on the invitation design. We design to evoke a feeling and I think that in itself is a different approach,” shares Christy. Their custom designs take time to create, so book early with Papertree Studio.

Chick Invitations

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This custom design studio opened in 2010, and celebrated the grand opening of their retail store in Old City in April 2019. Don’t let the name deceive you… Chick Invitations is so much more than just wedding invites, offering custom crafted products from bridal party robes and cocktail napkins to drinkware. “Since we are a custom studio, we have so much more flexibility than places that are beholden to simply selling designs. We’re able to pull concepts from our client’s stationery and apply them throughout their Big Day, so their entire event feels coordinated, personal, and thoughtful,” says Caitlin from Chick Invitations. Chick Invitations loves going the extra mile to make their clients happy. “Whether they need a last minute engagement gift or help creating welcome boxes for their hotel guests, we have all the supplies needed to make it possible!,” shares Caitlin.

 

Did you use one of these Philadelphia businesses to have your wedding invitations printed? If so, we would love to hear all about your experience! Contact us today!



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The Recipe For Making A Perfect Wedding Toast

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

When building a recipe for a delicious meal, a chef will make sure all ingredients are fresh, balanced in flavor, and compliment each other. If one of the ingredients is off in some way, it can change or ruin the entire dish. The same can be said for writing a wedding toast, which is typically done by the best man and/or maid of honor. We’ve put together some tips to help you write a toast that is as deliciously great as the wedding cake.

Where to Begin

Sometimes the hardest part of writing is the first few sentences. There are different ways to start off your toast, with the most basic as introducing yourself to the wedding guests. How do you know the wedded couple? Childhood friends? Did you meet in college or at work? Share some background to your relationship. An alternative is to simple intros is to share how you feel about the couple and what they mean to you.

Tell Stories & Make A Few Jokes

Any stories from the past should be light hearted and have a bit of whimsy. Stay away from embarrassing tales or sad times. Guests love hearing stories from the couple’s past that they may not have heard before. Did you all go on a trip somewhere and something hilarious happened? What about a story from college that ended on a positive note? Guests will enjoy seeing another side of the couple that they may not have known.

Familiarize Yourself with Your Speech

If at all possible, practice your speech repeatedly to memorize it so you don’t have to rely on cue cards. Not only will guests focus on your speech instead of watching you fumble with cards or your phone, but it will also sound more authentic and from the heart. That said, a speech that is written down is always better than making it up as you go!

Don’t Write A Novel

Although the wedding toast is a key part of a reception, it shouldn’t be a filibuster. Keep the toast to 3-4 minutes on average. If others are speaking, you may need to shorten it up a bit more.

Don’t Drink & Speak

Wedding cocktails are usually offered well in advance of the wedding toast. Try to limit your alcohol to avoid giving the speech on unsteady feet or slurred words.

To Finish

Raise your glass to the room, give the guests and couple a nod, and then take a sip of your drink. You’re all done!A great wedding toast can leave a lasting impression on the couple, so take the time to honor the couple in the best way possible during your speech. We hope these tips helped you build the perfect recipe for your wedding toast. We would love to hear all about it, so contact us today!



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How To Decode The Wedding Guest Dress Code

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

When you’re designing your wedding invitations, there are obvious pieces of information to remember to include, such as the venue address and the date and time of the event. There is also one important detail to remember to include that will help guests determine what they’ll wear to your event: the dress code request.

The terms frequently used to define the dress code can be a bit confusing, so we’re here to help you crack the wedding dress code.

White Tie

White Tie Attire is the most formal request, even above most awards ceremonies. Women are expected to wear full length gowns in dark or neutral colors, and men are expected to wear a full black tuxedo with tails, a white shirt, vest, and bow tie, and black shoes.

Black Tie

Weddings are generally a formal event,so requests for black tie dress are fairly common. For men, this means a request to wear a tuxedo. A tuxedo is comprised of a vest, bow tie, patent leather shoes and a cummerbund. For the ladies, this is typically a floor length formal gown. A shorter dress is also acceptable, but stick to dark colors and formal fabrics. A dressy little black dress (LBD) with complementing jewelry would also be acceptable.

Black Tie Optional/Formal

Many couples are choosing the Black Tie Optional/Formal dress code for their weddings. This lets guests know that the wedding party will be wearing formal attire but it is optional for guests. This doesn’t mean guests should show up in jeans and tennis shoes! Women should still opt for formal floor length dresses, the LBD, or a dressy jumpsuit. Men have the option of wearing a tuxedo or a formal suit.

Festive Attire

Festive Attire is not frequently used, yet more common in the winter months. This attire suggests that the guests take liberty in being a little creative with their outfits. Patterns, sequins, velvet, and other eccentric pieces are perfect for these weddings. Outfits should follow the semi-formal or formal guidelines, but steer away from simple black dresses. Suits and ties of any season-appropriate color are perfect for gentlemen, and we recommend a funky patterned tie if the suit is simple black.

Cocktail Attire/Semi-Formal

This dress code is in between formal and casual. A formal dark suit with a tie for men is appropriate. For the ladies, the infamous LBD with complementing accessories or a brightly colored cocktail dress are great options.

Garden/Beach Attire

Typically used during the spring and summer months, Garden and Beach Attire are becoming more and more popular. Sundresses and floral jumpsuits are appropriate, and should fit the vibe of a garden or beach. Soft colors are recommended for all guests, so khaki, pastel, and neutral tones are great for the gentlemen. Trousers with a button down shirt is suitable, and a tie is optional.

Casual

For a relaxed wedding, the casual dress code is appropriate. This allows guests to wear what they want within reason, of course. Casual dresses such as sundresses are great for the spring/summer months, whereas a midi or flowy dress with sleeves would be great for the colder months. Gentlemen should wear trousers and a button down or a polo shirt depending on the season, and a tie nor jacket are necessary.

We hope this information has helped you understand the wedding dress code a little better to make the best decision for your wedding. We would love to hear all about your wedding event, so contact us today!



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How to Make Your Wedding Reception Entrance Unforgettable

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

The wedding reception entrance is the first time that the newlyweds present themselves to the public after the ceremony. Making your grand entrance to your wedding reception makes the special day even more memorable for everyone. Check out some of the ideas that we’ve put together to make your wedding reception entrance unforgettable.

Take Advantage of Your Venue

If your wedding venue has a grand staircase or a glass elevator that leads to the event space, take advantage of it. Entering the space as newlyweds by one of these lavish methods will ensure all eyes are on you.

Wedding Party Coordinated Dance

This will take a bit of practice, planning, and commitment from your wedding party, but the effort will make a spectacular impact on your big day! Choose a song that has a catchy beat and plan a dance for your wedding party to learn the steps… then perform it as the grand entrance. If it is in the budget, hiring a professional to help the process will make things much easier! Check out our blog post on the five Philly-area dance instructors that we love.

A Tunnel of Sparklers

Not only will this be fun for all of your guests, but it will also set the stage to create some incredible photos! Dim any lighting and supply sparklers for all of your guests to hold and line the walkway to the event space. When the newlyweds are announced, everyone will ignite the sparklers and create a glittery display. Just make sure safety measures are put into place and you have pre-approval from your venue!

A Red Carpet Entrance

Much like the red carpet that your favorite celebrities walk on at award shows, you can celebrate your newlywed celeb status by entering on a red carpet. Lighting is a key factor to make your entrance, so dim the overhead lights in the venue and have a bright pinspot or spotlight to make a big appearance! Your wedding band can play romantic or upbeat music, depending on the mood you want to set.

Enter By Land or Sea

Based on the location of your venue and availability, one of the most memorable ways to make a grand entrance is by transportation! If your ceremony and reception venues are at different locations, consider making a grand entrance by arriving to the reception venue in a beautifully restored classic car or horse and carriage. If your venue is near a lake or river, consider taking a ride down stream in a row boat. Guests will love it!

Did you use one of these Grand Entrances? We would love to hear all about it, so contact us today!



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Wedding Registry Tips

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

One of the most fun things you can do as part of your wedding festivities is add items to your wedding registry. Whether you hit up the store in person or add the items online, it’s always a fun experience. Before you begin your registry, take stock of the items you already own. If you do not already live together, you can use your registry as an opportunity to envision how you would like to decorate your home.

Don’t build your registry alone.

Both you and your future wedded spouse should provide input into the registry. You should pick out items together as well as both choose items individually that you would like to own.

Include items of varying prices.

Loved ones that will be buying you gifts will have different budgets. This will make your wedding guests feel more comfortable as they will find items that they can afford. You can include some pricier items for those that want to splurge.

Start it early.

As soon as people find out that you are newly engaged, they will ask to see your registry. Make sure you start your registry early, even if you add only a few items to begin with. The great thing is that you can continue to add as time goes on, right up until the big event.

Register at multiple stores.

Choose a couple of stores that can be accessed both online and in person. Not everyone that attends your events will shop online, so choose stores such as Macys, Target, Lord & Taylor, JCPenney, and others that are easy to shop at and are nationally known.

Check the return policy.

If you receive an item from your registry that you might not be in love with and may want to return it, make sure you become familiar with the store’s return policy on items. Some stores have a small window of time where they will accept returns, so avoid any stress by familiarizing yourself with each store’s policy.

Did you find these tips helpful when starting to plan out your wedding registry? If so, we would like to hear from you! Contact us to let us know! 


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Tips For Building Your Wedding Guest List

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

When you are newly engaged and begin planning out your wedding guest list, it can be daunting to figure out who you should invite and who you shouldn’t. Your second cousin, once removed that you see once every 10 years? Your coworkers? Your best friend’s sister in law that you met at that one party and are Facebook friends? By following some tips, you can determine who should make the guest list and who you can leave off.

Your Immediate Family

What constitutes family? That varies for every single person based on the type of relationship you have with your loved ones. The best thing you can do is take a pen and paper and write down the names that come to mind first and foremost when you think of the word family. These people may be family by blood, marriage, or friendship. However you know them, family should be at the top of your list to invite to your wedding.

Your Extended Family

Next, consider your extended family. This could be uncles, aunts, cousins or the like. You may or may not be close with these people, but may want to invite them to celebrate this incredible event with you.

Your Friends

This is where a guest list can get padded if your friends list is long. If you have not spoken to someone in the last several years that you call a friend, it may not be a good idea to invite them to the wedding. Something else to consider is if your friends will be appropriate to invite to the wedding, and if they will make your event more memorable. Taking into account your per-person cost for each guest for your wedding budget should be taken into account when deciding which friends to invite.

Work/Office

Don’t forget to invite your work colleagues and bosses to your wedding, too. If you work with a large amount of people, think about the quality of relationship that you have with them. You do not have to invite every single person you work with, unless you want to, of course.

Taking the time to consider who you want to celebrate your wedding with is an important part of the planning process. It can be daunting, but working with your future spouse to finalize the list can be a fun process.

Did these tips help you to plan out your wedding guest list? If so, we would love to hear from you! Contact us to let us know.  


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Venues We Love: Reading Terminal Market

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News, Vendor Features, Venues We Love

Food lovers in the Philadelphia area are all too familiar with the Reading Terminal Market. Walking through the market, customers will find unique treats, meals, cookware, produce and flowers that will bring all of the sense alive. If your love of all things culinary travels beyond just the plate, you can bring your next event to the market directly and celebrate in style while experiencing a taste of Philly.

Photo by Jason Varney

If you’re newly engaged and looking for a unique location for a wedding in the Philadelphia area, The Reading Terminal Market is the place for you. With a central location across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Philadelphia Downtown Marriott, it is not only a special gem in the city of brotherly love, but conveniently accessible for guests as well.

One of the oldest and largest public markets in the United States, the Reading Terminal Market has been housed in it’s location since 1893 and is a National Historic Landmark. Some amazing vendors that provide delicious fare that we absolutely love are Pearl’s Oyster Bar, Fox & Son’s Fancy Corndogs, Little Thai Market, and Beck’s Cajun Cafe. This unique market is a staple in Philadelphia and is world-renowned. How cool would it be to get married there?!

The Reading Terminal market can house up to 4,000 guests for a single event, and guests will enjoy an after-hours experience while enjoying the fruits of the market. Events are held in The Center Court to create an interactive dining experience for your wedding guests.

The basic cost of the event covers a large range of services such as providing chairs, tables, linens, security, and, of course, the food! Given the option of creating food stations with the restaurants of your choice or allowing guests to graze at specific restaurants, the dining experience will be one that is hard to forget.

This amazing Philadelphia location provides the perfect backdrop for any wedding, and can be thought of as an open drawing board. It’s time to create a perfect event where your imagination in design is the only limit. Are you ready?

Lisa Hornak Photography

Cover & Feature Image: Swoon Over It Photography

Was your wedding event held at The Reading Terminal, Philly? If so, we would love to hear all about it! Contact us to let us know about your big day. 


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The Top 10 Songs To Avoid At Weddings

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Every couple wants to create a unique musical experience during their party that sets them apart from the rest of the newly-wedded couples out there. Creating an amazing musical experience for guests to dance their booties off to during the wedding reception is what every couple strives to achieve. Keep in mind that there are some songs to ask your wedding band to stay away from, as they are overplayed, outdated, and just downright boring.

Songs That Forces Everyone To Do The Same Dance

We know that you know them, but we will list them for you anyway. Just tell your wedding band to avoid them. Your guests will thank you.

  • Electric Slide by Marcia Griffiths

  • Y.M.C.A. by Village People

  • Cha Cha Slide by DJ Casper

  • Macarena by Los Del Rio

  • Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex

  • Cupid Shuffle by Cupid

 

Songs That Make People Cringe at Weddings from Cheesy-ness

  • We Are Family by Sister Sledge

  • Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry

  • Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees

  • I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor

  • What is Love? by Haddaway

Overplayed Wedding Band Songs That Everyone Has Heard Way Too Many Times

  • Let’s Get it Started by Black Eyed Peas

  • Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

  • Happy by Pharrell Williams

  • All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor

  • Sexy And I Know It by LMFAO

  • Sexyback by Justin Timberlake

  • Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice

Choosing the Best Songs to Play at Your Wedding with The Best Philly Wedding Bands

When it comes time to sit down with your Philadelphia wedding bandleader or DJ to choose songs that will be perfect for your event, select a few must-haves that you would love to hear at your wedding. They may be meaningful to your relationship in some way or tell a story that you would love your guests to hear. Allow the pros to give their input, too! They may have some great suggestions for songs to play that you may not have thought of before.

If you are ready to put together your song list and need some help, contact us to hear from the top wedding bands in Philadelphia today. We are happy to help you design the wedding song list of your dreams!


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The Wedding Off-Season Is The Best Time To Marry

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Every year around the same time, you start receiving wedding invitations to fill your calendar in the summer and fall. Before you know it, the majority of your weekends are completely filled, and you are left with little to no down time for impromptu weekend getaways or to just spend time lounging at home binging-watching Netflix. While getting married in the summer and fall months are ideal for many, there are some great perks to getting hitched between December and March. Here are some reasons why we think getting married during off-peak season is ideal for many couples.

More Guest Availability

During the summer and fall months, many people fill their weekends with vacations, family get-togethers, and other weddings to attend. During the off-season months, many guests will have better availability to attend your wedding. Exchange that ice cream bar for a hot cocoa bar and you will be golden.

Amazing Photography

Residing in the Philadelphia area, we are no stranger to snow storms during the winter months. Although storms can cause a bit of a hiccup at your event, with careful planning, you can capture some breathtaking wedding photos by hitting the outdoors with your photographer.

Excellent Discounts

Because many wedding vendors are more flexible during the off-season, their rates are typically discounted. Many venues run specials for hosting events during the winter months, which can result in your dream wedding location at a fraction of what you would pay during the summer and fall months. Remember to be respectful and professional when discussing these discounts and do not demand them.

Better Honeymoon Rates

Many resorts work on the same schedule as the wedding season – increasing their rates in the summer and fall then lowering them in the winter. Based on your destination, you can receive major discounts or perks by traveling in the off-season to celebrate your nuptials.

Photo by Elena Bazini Photography

Getting married during the winter months isn’t for everyone, but those willing to can save major bucks on their event while basking in the beauty of the winter months. Did you find these tips to be helpful in planning your winter wedding event? If so, we would love to hear from you so contact us to let us know!




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Fun Ways To Include Kids In Your Wedding

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Children have the unique ability to steal the spotlight of the event in the best way possible… just by being themselves. If you have children in your life that you would like to be a part of your wedding, you may want to consider these ideas.

Wedding Roles

Giving your little love a title such as “junior bridesmaid” or “junior groomsmen” is an honor that they will remember. They can wear an outfit similar to the rest of the bridal party and participate in all of the events (except bachelor and bachelorette parties, obviously). If the child is a bit older, you can enlist them to make a DIY project to be displayed during the wedding reception or ceremony. If you’re looking for an alternative to the traditional escort to walk the bride down the aisle, you can request your child to be the escort. This job is especially sweet for blended families, as your child can symbolically hand off their mother to her new groom.

Flower Girl & Ring Bearer

These roles are often held by younger children and can be so fun to watch. Young babies can also take part in the role of flower girl or ring bearer with the help of a wagon to tote them along, or another family member carrying them down the aisle.

Reading A Special Passage

To include children in the ceremony, they can write their own special message to the newlyweds or select a special poem or passage from a book to recite to express their thoughts. Alternatively, if the young one is especially talented with a musical instrument, they can perform a song.

Get Them To Dance

During the reception, plan a special dance between the bride, groom, and children that attend. Not only is this extremely endearing to watch, but it also makes the kids feel special and celebrated during the party. Make sure you tell your photographer to capture these memories too!

Photo by Casey Rose Photography

Did you use any of these tips to include kids in your wedding event? If so, we’d love to hear all about it. Contact us to let us know!




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