The Handmade Wedding Blog

Category: tips

“Am I Ordering Invitations Too Late?” – Ask Emmaline

Happy Monday, lovelies! We’re kicking off the week with an Ask Emmaline question. When is too late to order your wedding invitations? Sasha wrote to us on Friday afternoon a little nervous about her looming wedding date and her lack of wedding invites at the ready. She wonders whether she is ordering invitations too late. She writes,

“Emmaline, I’m freaking out. My wedding date is November 21st and I have not ordered my wedding invitations yet. I was talking to my best friend who got married last year and she told me I need to hurry because most invitation designers are all booked up way in advance. She also said I’m way behind. Am I ordering my invitations too late?”Sasha

When to Order Wedding Invitations - Ask Emmaline | photo: Eric Boneske

photo: eric boneske | see the real wedding

“Cake Topper with Dog — Or, Am I Being Weird?” – Ask Emmaline

When we received the latest Ask Emmaline question from Breanna, we couldn’t wait to share it with you. She writes,

My fiance and I have a dog named Sadie who has been a big part of our history. We adopted her just a few months after we began dating and it has been now five plus years together. Sadie lives with us both and we all hike, go for walks, etc. together and consider her a part of the family. We don’t have any kids yet so we pretty much treat Sadie like our “kid”. I was telling a bridesmaid about how we plan to have Sadie at the wedding as the “ring bearer” and I even want to include her as part of our wedding cake topper. My bridesmaid thought I was absolutely nuts. Am I being weird? Or is having a cake topper with us and our dog something I should reconsider? Thanks in advance for your help!”Breanna

P.S. This is the cutest ↓

dog sitting while bride and groom get married
photo: skye blu photography via style me pretty

Groom: These 30+ Wedding Duties Will *Really* Help the Bride

Brides: this post is for your Groom. Share this post with him!

Dear Groom, It’s me, your Bride. I know I’ve been a little preoccupied lately, pouring over wedding blogs and Pinterest for more wedding ideas. I’m just really excited to marry you. And I realized something: there are a ton of groom duties you could do that would *really* help me out. So, I’ve made them into a list. Some of these are really simple, while others are a little more elaborate. And, a few of these are cute ideas I found that I really want you to do. You’ll see what I mean once you start reading the list. Oh, and have I mentioned lately how good looking you are? It’s true. I really should say that more often (cause I’m sure thinking it). Anyway, thanks for helping with our wedding plans. You’re awesome. But you already knew that. On to the list…

groom kissing bride

photo: bonnallie brodeur

Table Numbers: 3 Easy Tips You Should Know for Weddings

Table Numbers:  3 Easy Tips You Should Know for Weddings |

by whimsical prints

If you have assigned seating at your wedding reception, you will need table numbers so guests can easily find their seats. But there are a few tips you’ll need to implement that you may not have considered. These three tips will make your table numbers better and bolder, so you’ll definitely want to take note. Read on to find out more and see some inspiring table numbers we spotted over at Whimsical Prints. You’ll love these pretty table numbers…

7 Wedding Song Tips for a Perfect First Dance

Have you given any thought to what you will pick as your wedding song yet?  Your wedding song is traditionally the song played during your first dance.  Although picking a wedding song sounds easy enough, it can be a daunting task.  You only get to pick one, so you ought to make it a good one! And we’re here to help. In this post, we’re sharing seven wedding song tips so your first dance goes off without a hitch. Read on to get started…

7 Wedding Song Tips for a Perfect First Dance | photo: peterson design & photography |
photo: peterson design & photography | see the real wedding

Wedding Song Tips

1. Choose a song that is meaningful.

The song you choose will forever be your song.  Don’t pick one that’s popular at the moment, just for popularity’s sake. Dig a little! Look for one that represents you as a couple or one that draws upon your unique story… maybe even the first song you danced to together or heard on a first date. (I mean, I wouldn’t pick Escape by Enrique, that’s just me. Ha.)

2. Choose a song that isn’t too long.

When Andrew and I got married, our original song choice was six minutes long. Six whole minutes! We were sort of kidding when we brought it up to our DJ, but thankfully he coaxed us in a different direction.

Two to four minutes is a pretty good rule of thumb.  Any longer and guests are going to get bored. You will also start to feel like you have been dancing FOREVER. Our song was 2:30.  It was perfect: just long enough for a nice slow dance and a few twirls, for good measure. ;)

3.  Make sure you can dance to it.

A slow song is good, but it should have a little tempo to it. You want to be moving on the floor instead of an awkward sway, like you did during your sixth-grade dance in the gym.

4. Practice.

Listen to it at home and dance in your living room. See if it works for you.  Practice will make you feel less awkward on the dance floor, too.

7 Wedding Song Tips for a Perfect First Dance | photo: photos by kristopher |

photo: photos by kristopher | see the real wedding

5. Listen to the lyrics… very, very closely.

I can’t tell you how many couples chose a song that is seemingly perfect, only to hear the lyrics closer and realize it is really not appropriate for a wedding song.  Consider what the song says and what it really means before selecting it. You MUST read this hilarious article about 17 songs that aren’t as romantic as you think. It is SPOT ON.

7 Helpful Tips to Be on Time for Your Wedding

Want to get to your wedding on time? Follow these tips and you’ll be good as gold. Oh, and be sure to follow along or you might miss other helpful tips like this.

One of the biggest things to avoid on your wedding day is being late, right? It doesn’t matter if you’re the bride, the groom, father, mother, best man, maid of honor, bridesmaid or groomsman; being late is stressful. Even guests and wedding vendors worry about being on time for the ceremony. There’s a reason why this song from My Fair Lady was such a hit. It’s not just about being punctual, either; being on time for your wedding will give you peace of mind all day and keep you stress-free. We want you to be a happy bride, not one who is stressed out, sweating, and freaking out as she’s traveling to her ceremony site. And that’s why we’re here to help you out.

See? You can spend less time stressing + more time snapping photos that are happy & carefree, like this (if you’re doing a first look):

carefree bride and groom | via 7 Helpful Tips to Be on Time for Your Wedding

photo: kristyn hogan via cedarwood weddings

Today we’re sharing seven helpful tips to be on time for your wedding. And hey, it may not be the sexiest or the most exciting topic, but it certainly is important. We’ll even let you in on the number one time-waster that happens to nearly every bride — but you can totally avoid it. Read on to get started…

Tips to Be on Time for Your Wedding

1. Don’t leave any projects or last-minute tasks for the day before or day of the wedding.

As tempting as it sounds to say, oh I’ll get to that tomorrow, you don’t want to be running around to finish a project or deliver favors to the reception site or do anything but be pampered on the day of the wedding. I recommend avoiding anything non-pamper-y the week of the wedding, simply because you’ll be busy enough as it is with the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and packing for your honeymoon. Oh, and you know, BEING EXCITED FOR THE BEST DAY EVER. You don’t have time to worry about to-dos at this point! It’s time to relax.

2. Set two alarms for yourself.

Make sure you’re up way ahead of schedule, too. Get up earlier than you think you would need to. And set two alarms in case one fails (or, you’re like me, and in your sleep still manage to hit ‘snooze’.) It also helps to have someone make sure you’re up by coming over or a simple phone call.

And it never hurts to have an actual watch. We rely so much on technology and, if you’re like me, you lose your phone every two minutes.

left: girls love like | right: lillyanlou

Oh, and a gift for the groom? Definitely a watch. And a cute note to tell him to meet you there with the time.

cute gift idea for the groom | via 7 Helpful Tips to Be on Time for Your Wedding
photo: leoni bolt photography

3. Pack your bag the week before.

Gather up all of those things you’ll need the day of the wedding the week before. (Pssst… here are some tips on what to pack in your bag.) You’ll want to include what you’ll wear while getting ready, your wedding photo list, your makeup, touch-up lipstick, wedding emergency kit, nylons, lingerie, heels, etc. If you have everything ready to go one week ahead of time, you’ll still be able to add to it when you inevitably think of things you forgot (like these for the reception, or your checklist of things not to forget at your wedding). Other things to remember are tip money for vendors, gifts for your wedding party, and a small notebook with the numbers of all of your vendors in case you need to reach them. Also, a spare phone charger is absolutely necessary.

4. Have a back-up plan.

What’s your plan B if your hairstylist doesn’t show? Or if your car breaks down? Or if your gown is wrinkled? Have someone reliable you can count on who may be able to help, just in case. Elect one of your bridesmaids to help you style your hair. And, bring a travel garment steamer — for SURE. You’ll need it for eliminating wrinkles on your gown and bridesmaid dresses.

5. Provide a itinerary for your entire wedding party, parents, and vendors.

An itinerary is crucial to keep everyone on schedule. And plan the times a little earlier than you would think: it’s surprising how fast time goes by and you’ll want to allow plenty of extra time for getting ready and travel.

Also… delegate someone to be in charge of the schedule. Pick someone who is incessantly punctual, whether that is your Maid of Honor, bridesmaid, or mom. And make sure it’s someone who takes charge and speaks up, so they can keep everyone in line and on schedule.

groom wearing watch | via 7 Helpful Tips to Be on Time for Your Wedding

photo: matt ramos photography

Also, you’ll want to elect one of the groomsmen — like the Best Man — to be in charge of keeping the gentlemen on time while they are getting ready.

wedding itinerary | via 7 Helpful Tips to Be on Time for Your Wedding

via splash of silver

6. Schedule your hair appointment at least one hour earlier than you would think.

It goes by too fast — and you can always use a little extra time, just in case.

And the number-one time waster…

7. Don’t schedule everyone’s hair and makeup at the same time and location.

This is a big one! As tempting as it is to have your entire crew get their hair and makeup and nails done at the same time and location, it can really put you behind schedule. Here’s what we recommend instead:

o get ready at a salon with a team of dedicated stylists (plural), hired for the whole crew

Or, if you’d prefer to get ready at your hotel, resort, or somewhere else…

o have bridesmaids arrive with hair and makeup done

They can still join in on the getting-ready festivities (and photo-ops) and put on their dress, shoes, and accessories then, without the added stress of getting everyone’s hair and makeup completed while the clock is ticking.

bridesmaids helping bride get ready | photo: milk photography | via 7 Helpful Tips to Be on Time for Your Wedding

photo: milk photography via style me pretty

It’s also worth noting that you should ALWAYS…

o get ready as EARLY AS POSSIBLE

Nothing is worse than running late AND hurrying on your hair and makeup.

♥ | ♥ | ♥

And, keep in mind… sometimes it happens. Being late won’t ruin your wedding! Being on time makes it less stressful, but don’t let something small irk or get in the way of your perfect day. These things happen.


Now it’s your turn…

What tips to be on time would you add to the list?

Tell us below!