Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

Weekly Wedding Tip: Is Your Ring Insured?

Juniker Jewelry 1 - Copy VanAtkinsEstate_F001 VanAtkins_VENR1329 Juniker Jewelry3 - Copy Juniker Jewelry 6 Juniker Jewelry2 Van Atkins_VA834You have this beautiful engagement ring that your fiancée meticulously shopped for in your honor. You may have had some input and some subtle suggestions. All the more reason why you need to ensure that your ring is insured. As soon as bring your engagement ring home, make sure that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy is updated to offer adequate protection in the event of a loss or theft. Take the time needed to learn the details of the coverage – what is and is not covered, etc.  Many times you must take out a special policy to cover your ring if it exceeds a certain amount on your homeowner’s or renter’s policy.  Contact your insurance agent immediately.

Your insurance agent may require a bill of sale or a receipt and an appraisal of the ring by the jeweler or an appraiser.  Most policies do require this.  To keep your insurance and any valuable current, it is recommended you get your appraisal updated every two to three years. Gold, silver and diamonds fluctuate in value. The pricing will affect the cost of your insurance policy.

Finally, always purchase your ring from a reputable jeweler.  You’ll find these trustworthy jewelers on and in Premier Bride of Mississippi.

Where to find the rings pictured?  Check out Van Atkins Jewelers in New Albany, MS – and Juniker Jewelry in Jackson, MS –



Why Photo Booths Spell FUN at Your Wedding


It’s amazing how advances in technology have changed every aspect of the bridal industry. The rise of digital cameras not only forever changed the world of wedding photography, but also changed the world of wedding entertainment. Your reception entertainment options go far beyond the “should we have a DJ or band?” debate! Photobooths, flipbooks, slow motion video booths, and even custom smart phone apps have all begun to make their way into wedding receptions all over the world!


The most popular of these entertainment options is by far the photo booth. Bridal industry experts have declared that the photo booth revolution is here to stay. It is no longer considered a fleeting trend or a one off. Photo booths are becoming more prevalent in today’s wedding receptions. Here’s a few reasons why this throwback from the 1850s been resurrected in today’s popular culture.


#1: Photo booths offer instant fun: Gone are the days of waiting 4 minutes for your black and white, slightly out of focus, 4” photo strip. Today’s photo booths print high quality, digital color images in as little as 8 seconds! Photo booth companies that use dye sublimation (dye sub) printers deliver the highest quality, crystal clear, smudge, water, and UV resistant photos in just 8-14 seconds! Other photobooth companies use ink jet printers, which can take up to 90 seconds to deliver a print. While ink jet printers, print great images, they don’t offer protection from water, smudges, or UV coating. You don’t want the condensation from your glass of wine ruining your photobooth pictures, right? When you’re shopping for a photobooth, be sure to ask how long it takes to deliver a print; the faster the printer the more photobooth fun you can have during your reception!


#2: Photo booths are flexible: No matter what your décor, there’s a photo booth to compliment it. Higher end companies offer authentic, vintage styled, one-piece machines; while others use pipe and drape with a wooden, plastic, or metal tower, back drops, or kiosk style photo booths. The construction of the booth will determine how many people can comfortably fit inside the booth. The external appearance and construction of the photo booth isn’t the only thing you need to consider while shopping. What about the photo strips?


Some photo booth companies don’t allow you to customize the photo strip at all, but most do. Most photobooth companies offer 2×6 photo strips with the option to customize the header or footer with graphics or text of your choice. While other companies give you even more flexibility by offering 4×6 or 2×6 prints and up to 18 square inches to professionally design and customize your photo strips with your own graphics. Take a look at their previous work. Look for a company that provides crisp, unique, error free graphics, and doesn’t promote their own business on YOUR photo strip! Ask the company you’re interested in if they have any upcoming public events where you might be able to catch the booth in action.


#3: Photobooths have mass appeal: Chances are everyone at your reception has had an experience with a photobooth. They often bring up fond memories for people. It may bring back a memory of a trip to Chicago’s famous Navy Pier for your grandparents, while your little cousin may remember jumping in a photo booth at Disney World. Everyone, regardless of age, loves getting in a photobooth! Even people that normally don’t like to have their picture taken will dress up with goofy props and squeeze in tight for a few shots. Of course, there’s always a handful of people that will never get in no matter how much their friends beg them, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get a kick out of watching everyone else dress up for their photos. A few photobooth companies offer external photo projection. Once a photo is taken it will appear on a screen on the outside of the photobooth. Some photobooths have small screens that sit on top of the booth or are built into the booth’s cabinet. These screens are typically only viewable from the immediate area. It’s a good idea to look for a company that offers a larger freestanding screen that can be viewed from further away so everyone can join in the fun!


#4: Photobooths make great party favors: Have you ever walked around the reception venue once everyone has left and seen all of the bottles of bubbles, bags of uneaten candy, match books, and can huggers all over the floor? Do you know what you usually don’t find on the floor? Photo strips! That’s because people actually taken them home! Twelve years ago when my lovely bride and I said our vows, little did we know that we’d be going to our new home with a lifetime supply of custom matchbooks. Don’t get me wrong; having cases of matchbooks certainly did come in handy for all of those candle lit dinners over macaroni and cheese in the early years, but now they’re just in the way! Walk around your office and take a peak at the desks, I bet you’ll find a photo strip or two on some of your coworkers desks. If you need to free up some space in your budget, why not use the photo booth as your party favor as well as some entertainment?


Don’t let all of the entertainment options overwhelm you. Use the resources that are available to you to sift through less reputable companies. The Better Business Bureau, Secretary of State office, and local chambers of commerce are great places to begin your search to make sure you’re getting a true professional.


Thank you to David Johnson, today’s Guest Blogger.  David and his wife, Kat, are owners of Snaparazzi PhotoBooth Company LLC.  Although they live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, they service brides and others from Louisiana to Florida and everything in between.  Contact David and Snaparazzi PhotoBooth Company at: Snaparazzi Photobooth Company, LLC


For more information and local wedding resources in your area, check out  Do you have your copy of Premier Bride of Mississippi?  Pick up your free copy at any Premier Bride advertiser.  Find them at




Top 10 Points for Planning Your Wedding

People ask me all the time, “What are the top 10 tips you can give me in planning my wedding?”  I could probably give you 100 Top Tips, but these are the most important. Here is the countdown:

10. Get Help!  Don’t do it yourself.  I strongly recommend hiring a wedding coordinator, if not for the entire wedding planning, at least for the day of. Let the coordinator handle the stress. It’s money well spent and in the long run, with the coordinator’s contacts and knowledge of who to use and who not use, it will save you money.

9. Determine your guest list. Make a list of everyone you think you want at the wedding including all the attendants, wedding party, spouses, and significant others. Which family members do you want at the wedding?  Do you want children at the wedding? What about co-workers, neighbors, acquaintances in organizations and social clubs?  Don’t forget there are two sides to the aisle…bride and groom plus the couples’ friends. Write this all down. It’s a start it will help with Tip Number 5…

8. Determine the type of wedding you want, large or small, intimate or grand.  Do you want a particular style or theme?  Do you want outdoors and rustic with a tent, or indoors and grand with lighting and draping?  Have you always wanted a winter wonderland or a Disney theme?  This will help with Tip Number 5…

7. Start looking through magazines, books, websites, and cut or save pictures of what you like and what you don’t like.  This will help with Tip Number 5…

6. Make a list of what is important to you for your wedding. Think of what you’ve always dreamed and wanted:  a certain designer’s wedding gown, particular flower, style of photography or photographer, band or DJ, venue for your ceremony and/or reception. Then prioritize the list. This will help with Tip Number 5….

5. Establish a budget. This will dictate everything else.

4. Ways to save money:

  • Time of Day — have an afternoon wedding…the food is lighter; the drink is lighter and the reception is shorter.
  • Day of the Week…Friday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • Off-Peak Times…July, August, January, February other than Valentines, March
  • Paper…save the date cards, invitations, programs, directions, maps, etc.
    • Go High Tech:  Use a website or e-mail for Save the Date cards, directories, maps, accommodations, registries, and other details.
    • If you are having an outdoor wedding in the blazing Mississippi heat, do a 2 for 1: and print the program on the fans that you will need to provide your guests.
  • Instead of a sit down meal, have a buffet or hors d’ouevres
  • Forego Favors.  It’s not as big a deal in the South as it is in other parts of the country and platinum weddings!
  • Your Gown:  Find out when the various bridal stores are having their sales.  The gowns on sale will not be current gowns.  These are discontinued or slightly damaged which may need a slight repair and well worth the savings.
  • Music…band or DJ/church organist or string quartet.  Some brides use all of the above.
  • Photography…
    • Go with a less expensive package with shorter hours…That means you’ll have to cut your cake early, do the bouquet toss, even leave early.  The good part of all this is there will be lots of people in the photos rather than if you wait to do this at the end of the evening.  Once all the expected things are done, you can enjoy the wedding and party all night.
    • Choose a photographer that gives you a CD and you make your own wedding album.  There are lots of good shoot and burn photographers.  My question though: after the wedding will you make this album?  Many people save money this way but then never make the wedding album or one that doesn’t look as nice as if you spent the extra money and the photographer handled this.
    • Some photographers also offer videography and can package all this together.
    • Again, with videography, cut the hours and go with a less expensive package.
  • Alcohol is the biggest expense…serve only beer and wine with enough champagne for toasting only or have a signature drink and a limited bar.
  • Flowers…Opt for flowers that are in season and locally grown.
    • Use the bridesmaids’ bouquets at the reception as part of the decorations.
    • If you use the same venue for both the rehearsal dinner and reception, share the cost of the centerpieces with the groom’s family.
    • Avoid cascades which require more labor and more money. Opt instead for small hand-tied bouquets.
    • Go with one kind of flowers instead of a variety in your bouquets and centerpieces. This way your florist only has to place one bulk order. This brings a chic monochromatic look to your wedding.
  • The Wedding Cake…
    • Many people leave before the cake is cut and don’t eat sweets, so opt for fewer servings, maybe 60%, if there’s a groom’s cake to 75% if this is the only cake.
    • Don’t have a groom’s cake…just have the wedding cake only OR serve the Groom’s cake at the rehearsal dinner and let that be part of the groom’s expense.
    • Pick a butter cream frosting, which tastes better, over fondant.
    • The more elaborate the cake in flavors and decorations, the more expensive.
  • Location, Location Location…
    • Choose a location that’s close to where most of your guests live. This is an obvious, simple, and effective way to limit unnecessary transportation.
    • Consider having both the ceremony and the reception at the same venue.
    • Look at a non-traditional space…a park (get the necessary permits and permission; the zoo; the beach; a friend’s home, backyard or barn; a restaurant
    • Remember, if the space is not equipped to handle a party, you have to calculate extra costs: tables, chairs, toilets, power, even a kitchen if the caterer doesn’t have a mobile kitchen.

3. Hire Professionals…Do NOT DIY (Do It Yourself) or rely on friends, family, church members, or friends of friends. Check the credentials of the professionals, ask for referrals and check those and only used licensed people for food, cakes, and confections. Make them show you their food permits and all licenses. This means they are serve-safe and have liability insurance should there be a problem with the food and are accountable.

  • True Scary Story 1: A bride hired a friend to cater her wedding of 125 and provide the groom’s cake for $250. Friday, the day before the wedding, the friend/caterer said she was sick and would be unable to do the food and the cake.  The bride was in a panic. Luckily an area caterer agreed to provide the food (not for $250) and the bride went to Sam’s Club for the groom’s cake.
  • True Scary Story 2: A bride from a prominent family hired a caterer in her hometown that many of their family and friends used on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the caterer had neither the proper license nor equipment to cater a wedding in the middle of a hot Mississippi summer. The chicken salad spoiled; guests got sick and because the caterer was unlicensed and did not have liability insurance, the bride’s family was sued.
  • There are more True Scary Stories involving DIY and using family and friends, but you get the point.

2. Start early.  Start now in your planning, your reservations of venue, photographer, music, flowers, coordinator, etc.  Order your gown now: it takes 6-8 months to get a gown in and then you have to allow for alterations, if any are needed.  Do as much as you can now and you will enjoy the wedding, the showers, and parties.  It takes the stress off you.  There will be enough last minute anyway.  Trust me on that. Things happen that are out of your control.

1. Keep your eye on the prize, the goal…the MRS, the marriage of you and your fiancé. Look at the big picture and don’t get caught up on the little things. First, people don’t care, and second, guests won’t remember. If you don’t have something or forget something, no one will know but you. And guess what: you’ll still be married. Because that’s what it’s all about…getting married. Focus on the end result…your marriage to your beloved. Stay true to yourself. This is your wedding, not your Mother’s wedding, not your wedding coordinator’s wedding. And the most important part of the entire wedding…it’s not the hoopla, it’s not the flowers, it’s not the gown, it’s having God’s presence. It’s having God’s blessing. It’s having God at the front and center of your marriage. If you keep this in mind, nothing else really matters and you’ll be able to handle whatever comes your way in the wedding, in the marriage, and in life.

For the best local professionals in your area, visit

Have a question for The Bridal Guru?  Email


Weekly Wedding Tip: Personalize Your Wedding

“How can I make my wedding my own?”  This is a question I am often asked.  Here are some tips for personalizing your wedding:

  1. Select a pretty mat that will eventually go into a frame that you can hang in your new home.  A mat instead of a guest book, which guests sign, is a fun way to remember your day.  Another option is a ceramic platter with a permanent ink pen.  This too, will be a nice addition to your home décor.
  2. Some couples are have guest books made by their photographer featuring photos from their engagement session.  Others select a picture book that is meaningful to them, maybe the city in which they live.  Guests can sign their names and brief message on pages throughout the book.
  3. Personalized gifts for your attendants:  How about photo books with old photos of you and your friends?  Think of all the things you’ve been through and give these cherished, personalized gifts to your maid of honor and best man.
  4. A thumbprint tree is fun for you and your guests.  Guests will leave their thumbprint and name on a tree that you can frame and hang in a special place in your new home.
  5. A wishing tree is another fun idea at your reception.  Ask guests to write you notes of best wishes and hang them on a tree or branches in a decorative pot.  You and your husband will savor these good wishes and enjoy reading them long after your wedding and honeymoon.
  6. Monogrammed Bath Robes: Who wouldn’t love this plush gift idea?  This is perfect for your bridal party.
  7. Your parents have been saving for this big event in all your lives.  This is a big day for them, too.  Acknowledge their generosity and love with a personalized gift.  There are so many ways to say thank you. Whether it’s an eloquent quote about parenting or your special relationships or a favorite picture of something you shared together, what better way to say thank you and I love you!
  8. If you choose to show a video at your wedding, remember to include photos of family and friends, not just of the bride and groom.
  9. Are thank-you cards more meaningful than your invitation?  Yes! By acknowledging your guests with hand-written, personalized notes, you are saying that it mattered to you that they attended your wedding and/or sent you a gift.
  10. For your out-of-town guests who are staying at nearby hotels, have a guest basket or bag with water, naps, candy and other refreshments plus maps, an itinerary of the festivities, along with a personalized note from you, either at the check-in desk or in their room!
  11. Every bride needs a nice set of sheets and towels.  These are extravagant keepsakes.  If friends ask what you need, ask for a luxurious set of sheets and/or towels that are monogrammed or embroidered with your initials.
  12. Use the buddy system for out-of-town guests. Assign a friendly, outgoing family member or close friend to your out-of-town guests.  Your family and friends will act as your “ambassador” for the wedding weekend. Your ambassadors can greet guests at the airport, chauffeur them around, and help them in this strange city. What better way to welcome your out-of-towners!

Want more tips?  Check out Premier Bride of Mississippi.  Download or find where you get a free copy at

Have a question for The Bridal Guru?  Send your question(s) to


What is Your Wedding Day Style?

What is your wedding day style?  Is it traditional, contemporary, eclectic?   Are you quirky, elegant, modern?  Whatever your style is, express it!  Fortunately with today’s weddings you can have fun, be whimsical, and be your own bride!

First:  you’ve found the guy; you’ve found the dress, but you really want your bridal look to scream YOU/ME!  Consider the following suggestions for your bridal style on your wedding day.

Personalize it:  Have your initials and your wedding day monogrammed into your gown or your veil.  Who knows?  This might start a family tradition.  Making the embroidery blue give you that “something blue”.   Now you don’t have to rely on that standard blue garter.

Surprise Everyone!  Add a fun layer of fabric under your gown.  You can go to a local seamstress and have the fabric sewn on the inside of the gown.  This is a way to add a little color and fun into your gown.  The underlying fabric can be your wedding colors.  If your gown isn’t full enough, consider having crinoline added and dyed to your favorite color.  What a perfect photo op this will make!

Your Shoes:  No more plain ivory or white heels for today’s bride. Here’s where you can add fun and color.  If your wedding colors are purple, have purple shoes. If this year’s pantone color of the year, radiant orchid is also the color of your wedding, have shoes dyed radiant orchid.  The shoe fun doesn’t stop here.  From cowboy boots, to bridal sandals, to running shoes, brides are finding shoes that appeal to them, and express their personality.   Have fun with this one, and make sure you get shoes you can wear over and over again and that are comfortable!

Not just white or ivory:  Who says you have to wear a white or ivory wedding gown?  If your favorite color is pink, then wear a pink gown.  If you are having trouble finding your gown in your favorite color, try a sash or belt in that color.  Your options are endless.  Have fun!  This is your wedding.  Bring your sense of style into your wedding and into your gown!

Want more great ideas?  Pick up your free copy of Premier Bride of Mississippi by visiting

Have a question?  Ask The Bridal Guru:


Ask the Bridal Guru: Who Pays for What?

Dear Bridal Guru,

My fiancée and I are arguing over what each is responsible for in the wedding.  Is there a guideline we can follow?  Stacy in Senatobia

Dear Stacy,

We don’t want discourse before the first course.  Here are some tips for you and your fiancée.  Keep in mind, many brides and grooms are flexible with the budget and who pays for what.  Some couples do cross the lines and help in payment for the other’s list.  The groom may want a particular band and it is above the bride’s budget, so he pays.  The bride may want a particular car in which to leave the reception, so she foots the bill.  Over-all, here are the traditional expenses for each:

Bride and her Family

  • Wedding coordinator/consultant
  • Invitations, announcements, save the date, programs and other printed materials
  • The bride’s wedding gown, veil, shoes and accessories
  • Event Designer
  • Rentals for the ceremony and reception
  • Floral decorations for the ceremony and reception plus the bridesmaids’ flowers                        
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Music for church and reception
  • Transportation of bridal party to ceremony, and from ceremony to reception
  • Reception:  Venue, catering, lighting, floral, décor
  • Bridesmaids’ gifts
  • Bride’s gift to groom, optional
  • The groom’s wedding band
  • Fees for church, if required
  • A traffic officer, if necessary
  • Transportation and lodging expenses for priest or rabbi if from another town and if invited to officiate by bride’s family
  • Accommodations for bride’s attendants, if required
  • Entertainment, like a photo booth
  • Guest favors
  • Guestbook or mat for the guests to sign
  • Guest bags with food, drink, an itinerary and map for out-of-town guests.
  • Bridesmaids’ luncheon, if one is given by the bride

Groom and his Family

  • Bride’s engagement ring and wedding band
  • Rehearsal Dinner, including venue, catering, flowers and event design, rentals
  • Honeymoon
  • Marriage license
  • Groom’s gift to bride, optional
  • Gifts for the groom’s attendants
  • Accommodations for groom’s attendants, if required
  • Boutonnieres for the groom’s attendants
  • Ties and gloves for the groom’s attendants, if not part of their clothing rental package
  • Bride’s bouquet
  • Bride’s going-away corsage, optional
  • Mothers’ corsages or bouquets (bride may pay for this sometimes)  
  • Officiant’s fee or donation
  • Transportation for the groom and best man to the ceremony
  • Transportation from the reception to the honeymoon suite or leaving the reception
  • Transportation and lodging expenses for the minister or rabbi if from another town and if invited to officiate by the groom’s family
  • Transportation and lodging expenses for groom’s parents

 Finally, yes, there is a guideline you can follow.  Pick up a copy of Premier Bride of Mississippi.  All this is listed in the Bridal Guide.  You’ll also find it online:

Have a question?  Ask The Bridal Guru:



Weekly Wedding Tip: Honeymoon Options

I am often asked, “What are my honeymoon options?”  Some like to speed away to destinations unknown.  Others like to have a short three days for nothing but rest.  Here are some options for you:

  1. Consider taking an easy three-day trip right after your wedding, but plan for a more extensive honeymoon six months later, or on your one-year anniversary.  You’ll be more relaxed.
  2. Lots of guys like to plan the honeymoon because this is where they get to be adventurous and romantic.  Brides, give him a few “dreamy locations” and a couple of “absolutely-not’s,” and let him surprise you!
  3. Overwhelmed and exhausted with wedding planning?  Arrange for a relaxing pre-honeymoon and don’t over extend your illusions for an elaborate, adventurous getaway.  Consider staying at a posh, spa hotel within two-hours from home for the first few days, and then, after you’ve come down from the clouds, leave for your big, dreamy trip.
  4. If traveling overseas on your honeymoon, use your credit card for every reservation or purchase.  You will receive discounts, have a better exchange rate, and will have an itemized monthly list of transactions.
  5. Think about a honeymoon that becomes an annual event.  Make this a location that has meaning for you and combines a getaway with mutual interests.  Think about whether you want exotic beaches or a place with bike-trails.  Consider the ease of transportation and consider whether you will be able to swing a once-a-year return trip.  Make your honeymoon into a meaningful tradition – something you can look forward to year-after-year.
  6. Destination weddings are the big trend.  This combines wedding/reception and honeymoon all in one package.  Remember to ask your bridal party and family members what their budget is before booking your date.
  7. Cruise ships are a big craze in wedding planning.  You can have your wedding in the on-board chapel, hire the ship’s wedding planner, have your gala in one of their party rooms, and then sneak away for a few day trips alone!  Your friends and family will share the vacation fun and talk about wedding memories for years to come!
  8. Coordinating an overseas honeymoon requires long-range planning.  Get a passport at least ninety-days prior to date of departure; plan shots if visiting a third-world country; and consider learning the language if different than yours.
  9. When working with a travel agent, confirm all honeymoon arrangements a month prior to your wedding, and again, one-week ahead.  Get an itinerary in writing and have a back-up plan in case of inclement weather.

Want some honeymoon ideas?  Visit   We have domestic and foreign travel ideas for you.


Castle and Beckett: Managing Your Guest List

One of my favorite television shows is Castle.  The show is about a novelist, Richard Castle, who is partnered with a female detective, Kate Beckett, to learn more and be more realistic in his novels about a female detective, Nikki Heat.  His role has changed, in that many times he assists and helps solve the crime.  Originally, Castle and Beckett were protagonists, but love rules and the two crime solving partners are now engaged to be married.

The other night they were working on their guest list for their upcoming wedding. The guest had topped 500 and was getting out of hand. If you invite this person, then you have to invited that person and so on. Finally, they gave each other a minute to write who they really wanted at their wedding. In about two seconds, they each wrote down one word, “You”.  After all, the two of you are the most important at the wedding.

Certainly, you want close family members  and close friends. Everyone else may be extra. So, if you invite one person at the office, then you have to invite the entire office, even your boss, who at times is contentious. And if you invite your fourth cousin removed on your Dad’s side, then you have to look at your third cousin on your mother’s side. And you haven’t looked at your fiancée’s guest list.

How do you manage your guest list?  The budget may be a big factor.  What can you afford?  If you want a sit down dinner with prime rib, then figure your costs.  And don’t forget to include your costs for invitations for all of these guests or prospective guests.  If you want to have your wedding in a quaint venue that only holds 100 people, then that’s your guest list total for both sides.  If you have divorced parents, you might say, you have a certain number that you can invite to the wedding and only give them that number of invitations. With divorced families and combined families and all of their relatives and friends, that can really affect the numbers.

What do you do? Decide the type of wedding you want: Intimate or all your friends and family? What is your budget? If your budget can only handle 150 guests, don’t invite 200 and have a cash bar. That’s just plain tacky! How big is your venue and how many guests can your venue accommodate? If your venue can only hold 200, don’t invite 300.  Where are you going to put these people?  Be considerate of your guests.  Friends and family will understand if you have limited funds and cannot include them. Friends and family will understand if you want an intimate wedding with immediate family and friends. Everyone wants the best for you and your groom.  And, in the end, you’ll be married.

For great bridal tips, checklists and timelines, pick up your free copy of Premier Bride of Mississippi.  Find out where by going to

Have a question?  Ask The Bridal Guru:


Ask the Bridal Guru: When do I need to send Thank You notes?

Dear Bridal Guru,

I am lost.  How soon after a bridal shower and how soon after receiving gifts do I need to send a thank you note?  Lost in Laurel.

Dear Lost in Laurel,

My sweet mother always said immediately, but never more than seven days.  Over the years, I heard you had up to a year to send a thank you note.  That is too, too long.  I believe the sooner, the better.  With everyone’s busy schedule that can be hard, but if you set up a system of when the gifts come in and a deadline of when the thank you notes go out, it will not be so taxing.

Years ago, a couple, both from prominent families, married.  I sent the creamer and sugar bowl from their fine china (and it was expensive) for their wedding gift.  (The groom’s family were close friends and I exceeded my wedding gift budget for him.)  The creamer and sugar bowl were not in stock, so they had to be ordered and then sent directly to the pair. I was assured this would be no more than two weeks.

About six weeks after I ordered their gift, I ran into the groom with a friend.  He raved to my friend about her generous gift and said nothing to me.  After he left, she said, “all I got him was a teaspoon for his everyday.”  I called the store and they said the gift had been delivered.  One year after their wedding date, I received a thank you note for the wrong gift.  I immediately called and asked if they received the creamer and sugar bowl in their fine china, which they said they did.  I told them that was the gift I gave them, not the two salad plates for which they thanked me.  They apologized and did send another thank you note, thanking me for the correct gift but it left me with a sour taste in my mouth.  It showed a lack of respect and that this couple received way more than they needed.  Needless to say, when they both later remarried, I did not send a gift.

All this is to say, people take the time for you and to shop for you.  Respect them by sending a thank you note in a timely manner.  For the hosts and hostesses of a party, no more than two weeks.  And for gifts received for your wedding, no more than three months.  Ideally, it is best to send the thank you notes the next day after the gifts arrive.

As my mother taught me many years ago, set a goal of writing three to four to six notes a day and you will keep up with everything.  Don’t wait until you are married to write your thank you notes; that’s a daunting task.  There is so much to do after the wedding anyway.  Besides, you will receive many gifts at the wedding, so if you are caught up before you leave on your honeymoon, you can come home without that disheartening job in front of you.

Enjoy the many parties and showers that are given for you!  Enjoy the lovely gifts that have been loving shopped for by family and friends and thank everyone in a timely manner.  The Bridal Guru.

Do you have a question about your wedding?  Ask the Bridal Guru by emailing your question to


Weekly Wedding Tip: Changing from Miss to Mrs.

A Bride by Any Other Name:  Updating Your Identity.

Miss turned Mrs. – Congratulations! Now that you are ready to take your husband’s last name, where do you begin? Step one is of course signing the marriage license! Easy enough, right? Now be prepared to do some waiting. You will be waiting on the phone and in lines wading knee deep through bureaucratic mess. Stay strong. It’s worth it! After all, you want your hubby’s name right?  Of course, anything you can change online, do it!  It will make your life so much easier.

 Now that you have your marriage license, it will be number one in your arsenal of proof. Be sure that no matter where you go to prove that you are married you bring the original with you. It must have a raised seal for it to be officially accepted. In addition to your marriage license, bring your social security card, driver’s license, passport, and even a copy of your husband’s driver’s license if you must! Some places require multiple forms of identity to be sure that identity theft isn’t in place.

Now that your arsenal is safely packed away, start by calling the Social Security Administration. They will help you via an automated system to walk you through the process of changing your last name. Or, go on line to  After the information has gone through you should receive a new card in the mail for free. Please Note: If anyone tries to charge you for a card, they are NOT the SSA. They are scammers. Write down the number that called you and ask for a number and extension to call them back. Then call the authorities to let them know what happened.

Now that you have a new social security card, go to everyone’s favorite place, the DMV! More lines and waiting!! Oddly enough it’s harder to prove to the DMV than the SSA that you are who you say you are. Bring ALL the ID’s you have to prove to them that you got are married and need a last name change. Be aware that the DMV requires you come in person, no matter what. Be prepared for the usual line and ridiculous wait time by bringing something to occupy your time.

After taming the beast that is the DMV, call everyone else! Call your boss or HR person to have your payroll changed, contact the electric, phone, and water companies plus banks, credit card companies, post office, insurance companies, lease/mortgage agent, and of course, your passport. Whew what a list! How is it that guys always get the easy end of the deal?

Here’s a checklist:

  • Social Security
  • Driver’s License
  • Bank Accounts
  • Credit Cards
  • Credit Ratings
  • Doctor and Dental Records
  • Employment Records
  • Auto Memberships
  • Registration
  • All Memberships
  • Passport
  • All Insurance Policies – Auto, Home, Life, Health, Disability to name a few.Good luck ladies! Prove to your man you’d do anything for him including calling everyone in creation, waiting in long lines and waiting on legalities to progress over a period of months! That’s true dedication!

Want more, check out Premier Bride of Mississippi.  To get your free copy, visit

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...