Caroline Ro, Fabulous Fete

The Engagement Ring Lowdown

So you’ve been dating the man of your dreams, and you guys have talked future, houses, babies, the whole thing. You haven’t gone ring shopping, but you’ve been doing some online exploring of your own…  sound familiar?  Me too.

First, learn your gemstone shapes.  Round, Marquise, Pear, Oval, Square, Radiant, Cushion, Trilliant, Emerald, Princess, and Heart.  Which do you prefer, which do you hate?

The Four C’s.  Clarity, Cut, Color, and Carat are all things you have to become familiar with when looking at engagement rings.

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Cutting The List Means Cutting The Cost

Creating and editing your wedding guest list may be your most difficult task throughout this whole process. It is a daunting duty that raises a lot of questions and often times can lead to arguments if it is not handled properly. By setting guidelines from the get go and by being open and honest you can avoid this and be ten steps ahead of the average bride.

Clearly, by cutting the guest list you will be cutting the cost, but how on earth do you tell people that they aren’t invited? The answer is rather simple but does need some preparation. Set those guest list guidelines and

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Caroline Ro, Fabulous Fete

Advice Without A Price

The main purpose of our blog is to help make the wedding process less stressful and to ultimately save you a buck. We all know how expensive this industry is and we are always looking for new ways to keep you on budget while getting everything you want and are always on the prowl for the best deal. Our advice saves you money however… sometimes the best advice comes without a price.

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10 Ways To Save On Invitations

1.  Forgo upgrades.  Envelope liners, custom ink colors, & hand-painted details add up!

2.  Take advantage of technology.  Offset and digital printing run less than half the cost of labor-intensive techniques like engraving and letterpress.

3.  Order extras.  Spend now, save later… If you end up needing to print additional invites at the last minute, your stationer might charge you big bucks in rush fees.  You will want extras for yourself and family members may ask for an extra copy to frame so you won’t be wasting money!

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10 Ways To Save On Flowers

1.  Research budget blooms – consider an affordable, year-round flower such as roses, stock flowers, chrysanthemums, and carnations.

2.  Let them do double duty – reuse your ceremony flowers at the reception

3.  Go “monobotanical” – use just one type of flower for the centerpieces and bouquets, the look is stunning and cost-effective.  You will get a better deal if your florist can purchase flowers in bulk.

4.  Be flexible – Don’t insist on specific flowers, instead tell your florist the colors and look you want to allow her to consider the most budget-friendly options.

5.  Use bigger blooms – In season, fluffy-headed blooms such as hydrangeas and peonies can stretch a budget, since you only need a few to fill a vase or bouquet.

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10 Etiquette Rules You Can Break

Our blog this week features The Huffington Post and other wedding-etiquette gurus.  Below the experts share 10 etiquette rules that you can break.

1.  Bride’s family foots the bill.  With more couples marrying later in life when they’re financially established, the rules concerning who pays for their weddings have changed. Even when parents are writing the checks, they no longer have to follow strict guidelines about which family handles what (i.e., the bride’s pays for the reception and the groom’s pays for the alcohol). Instead, couples who accept their parents’ financial help should decide “what items are their highest priority, as in the things they want to pay for and have more control over, and the items that are less important, that they would be okay with parents paying for and controlling,” says Sharon Naylor, best-selling author of “The Essential Guide to Wedding Etiquette.”

2.  Brides must wear white.  White is no longer just for virginal, first-time brides, nor do brides have to wear it at all. “Really, a bride may wear any color she desires on her wedding day,” says Washington, D.C.-based wedding planner and etiquette expert Claudia Lutman. “Before Queen Victoria, who is solely credited as establishing the tradition of the white bridal gown, brides wore their best dresses, despite the color.”

3.  Guests can’t wear white.  While white is typically “reserved for the bride,” according to nationally recognized etiquette expert Diane Gottsmand, other experts see the tides changing on this rule. “As long as guests do not upstage the bride or appear to be in competition with her, a winter white or summer cream dress is now considered okay,” says Lutman. As Post advised New York Times readers in March, what matters most is making sure you’re not “unintentionally calling attention” or “causing offense to the bride.” She said that guests should avoid wearing any outfit — regardless of color — if they doubt its appropriateness for the occasion.

4.  Mother of the Bride can’t host the shower.  Etiquette rules used to dictate that a bride’s immediate family, particularly her mother, couldn’t throw her bridal shower. “It was taboo because it was thought as being self-serving or raking in the gifts, but that’s changed immensely,” Post says. In fact, as more couples plan their own weddings, brides’ mothers tend to feel left out as far as orchestrating the festivities goes, Naylor explains. Because of this, she says it is more than acceptable for a mother to “join in with the bridesmaids to co-host the shower, which skirts the etiquette ‘don’t.'” She adds that having mom’s help can also ease the strain on bridesmaids who might be overwhelmed by the money they’re spending on dresses, travel and other pre-wedding costs.

5.  Single women are obligated to participate in bouquet toss.  Unattached women who dread — or feel downright offended by — this tradition don’t have to put on a happy face and make their way to middle of the dance floor when the DJ beckons. “As a single woman, if you don’t want to chase down a bouquet, it is in your right to abstain,” says Gottsman. “You shouldn’t be chastised into doing it.” But she warns that standing off to the side with your arms crossed or shaking your head at those clamoring for the coveted bouquet will come off as rude. Just quietly slip off to the ladies’ room when the time comes if you’d rather not participate

6.  Your registry information should only be shared by word of mouth.  “It used to be considered bad etiquette to spread the news of the registry any way other than by word of mouth,” says Naylor. “But that rule was created when everyone going to the wedding lived a couple blocks from each other.” Now, she says, guests appreciate having these details on the wedding website so they don’t have go searching for where a couple is registered — it’s actually bad etiquette NOT to post this information. While this rule has changed over time, Gottsman says it is still in poor taste to put any gift-giving guidelines on your wedding invitations.

7.  You can’t ask for cash.  While it’s common in certain cultures (like Chinese & Italian) to give cash as a wedding gift, this wasn’t always the case for Americans — in fact, it used to be considered rude to ask for it. But Post says that giving money is becoming more popular as couples get creative with their registries. “It used to be that you only had traditional household goods and linens on your registry,” she says. “Now, they are just so much more practical — they can be for a home-improvement store, a wine store or even a down payment for a house.” That said, couples should still provide a traditional registry for more old-fashioned guests, who might want to purchase a more conventional gift or feel uncomfortable giving cash, says Naylor.

8.  Out of town guests must be invited to rehearsal dinner.  While the rehearsal-dinner tradition began as a pre-wedding meal for those just in the wedding party, it’s evolved into more of a welcome dinner for the out-of-town guests. Naylor says this shift can put a huge financial burden on couples, as the rehearsal dinner becomes “almost like a second wedding.” To cut costs and avoid offending anyone, she suggests giving out-of-towners a list of restaurants in the area where they can go to dinner on their own or planning an evening cocktail party in lieu of a dinner. “It will cost less, and it will still give guests something to eat and something to do,” she says.

9.  “Unattached” guests over 18 should get a plus one.  As another way to trim their wedding budgets, “many couples are not including ‘plus ones’ for their single guests,” says Lutman. This goes against the once-standard rule that unattached guests of a certain age should be allowed to bring a date. The tricky part about breaking this rule is deciding what constitutes “single” — for example, a couple may have guests who are unmarried but live with their significant others. Naylor advises making a rule of inviting only “the non-married couples with whom you socialize.” Though some guests might be offended, “it’s one of those sticky things that is necessary in today’s financial era,” she says.

10.  You have a year to send Thank You notes.  According to Naylor, this rule dates back to the days when it was customary to include a wedding photo with your thank-you notes — and when getting those pictures from the photographer took at least six months. Now that photos are digital and take about half that time to receive, couples should put pen to paper two to three months after they say their “I do’s.” In fact, Naylor adds that couples are now expected to write a personal message to guests rather than just the standard “thank you for coming,” so it’s best to get a jump on those notes while the details of the night are still fresh.

– Natasha Burton at The Huffington Post


Caroline Ro, Fabulous Fete

Getting Married in Charleston

Charleston is the most magical, historical, and wonderful town to get married in – just ask Kate!  Not only is this an amazing destination wedding location for out-of-town brides, but your guests will thank you for picking Charleston and are sure to remember their trip for years to come.

If you are planning a wedding here in Charleston, we are the wedding planners for you… We are affordable, knowledgable, and hard-working – plus there’s two of us!

Contact us today to get more information about how we can help you plan the day of your dreams, without breaking your budget!

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What Makes Us Fabulous

So what makes us so Fabulous?

What you see is what you get.  Unlike other planners who have assistants and interns that show up the day-of to set up and coordinate your wedding, whether it is an email, a phone call, an appointment, or your wedding day – it is always us and never a replacement.

It is important that the person at your floral appointment is the one carrying out your vision, the person at the rental appointment is the one watching the rental truck to make sure everything has arrived… wouldn’t you agree?

Plus, for under the price of one planner, you get 2 of us managing your big day!

Fabulous Fete, Chi Photography

Fabulous Reception Food Trends

Spending time with our vendors, we started to notice a reoccurring theme – brides everywhere are asking for newer and trendier ways to serve food to their guests!  So what is on trend for 2012 and 2013 brides?  Check out the list below for Fabulous Reception Food Trends…

Savory cupcakes.  Thought the cupcake craze was going away? Think again! Caterers have taken our fascination with all

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