brooke-charles_two-cove-farm-wedding-invitation-suite1Today we welcome the oh-so talented Lauren Rachel Design to share her advice to make sending Save the Dates a piece of cake. From information logistics to timeline etiquette, Lauren is a pro when it comes to paper. In Lauren’s words:

You’re ready to get the ball rolling for your “Save the Date” but you’re not sure where to start. There are plenty of things you have to determine now that you are engaged and planning your wedding day. Below are a few helpful hints to organize yourself for sending your Save the Dates to help all the details just fall into place.

The Top 3 Things to Set up:

  1. Set a date

If you haven’t already, you must set your date! This will mean you will need to have a few important things booked as well (venue, caterer, planner, etc). You shouldn’t settle on a date until you have some major components of a wedding booked for your desired date.

  1. Take engagement photos

This is not an essential piece of your Save the Date but it is recommended. It is great to have those informal, loving relationship photos because they will become some of your significant wedding memories. They can be used on your Save the Date, on your wedding website or in  other fun details for your wedding day. In this case you will likely want to have your photographer booked for your date as well. Many photographers include engagement sessions in their photo packages which are included in the price.

  1. Wedding Website

A website is a nice place to keep some of the essential details of your wedding day, especially if you are planning a long weekend wedding, a destination wedding or if many of your guests are coming from afar and will need additional information for planning their stay. A website isn’t a must but it has become a popular way of keeping all essential and important information in one place. The internet has become one of the most used ways of finding information for people so a website can be extremely important. You can’t possibly fit all the details on your Save the Date so the website is a great “catch all”.

What details go on the Save the Date?

  • Couple’s names, first and last
  • Wedding date or dates if it is over a weekend or holiday
  • Location (remember to include City and State)
  • Note that the formal invitation will follow
  • Website address

Remember the Save the Date should be out to your guest at least 4-6 months before the big day. For a destination wedding or a wedding over or near a major holiday, we recommend the Save the Date be sent 6-8 months in advance.

Why do you need to send a Save the Date?

  • Gives you and your guests plenty of time to prepare
  • Block off your date
  • Arrange travel, ask for time off from work, and arrange pet or child sitting if necessary
  • Helps you make sure you have all the correct mailing addresses before sending your wedding invitations

Always send your Save the Date to all of your wedding guest list. This should be information for everyone not just the people who are from out of town. Once those Save the Dates hit the mailboxes you will have guests excitedly awaiting your wedding invitation next!

Follow Lauren Rachel Design on Facebook to see her latest work and visit her blog for helpful planning tips, paper inspiration and more!

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Baby it’s cold outside! Here in New England we’ve said another goodbye to foliage and holiday season is officially here. As the days get shorter and the nights get chillier, we look to our favorite winter wedding trends to keep our spirits bright. From longtime favorites–we see you, hot cocoa bar!–to newfound inspo, we’ve gathered our favorite decor ideas to inspire all the couples out there planning winter “I do’s.”

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When it comes to winter weddings, embrace the beauty of the season! Whatever the weather, the Atlantic coastline makes a beautiful backdrop for portraits. [Photo: Emily Delamater & Leah Fisher  via Junebug Weddings]

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Consider an outdoor ceremony. Unique altars like this repurposed mantle bring a romantic touch to the frosty landscape. [Photo: Cat Meyer Studio via Stonewood Vintage]

new-england-winter-wedding-inspiration-3Keep loved ones warm with winter-friendly favors like DIY hand warmers or fuzzy flannel blankets. [Photo: Swoon Studio]

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Go for fashion and functionality with bridesmaid gear. Opt for faux fur stoles for an elegant look, or keep things rugged with wool wraps. [Photo: Christina Szczupak via Ruffled]

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Kick your tablescape design up a notch with glam details and natural accents. This season, we love seasonal accessories that strike the perfect balance between festive and sophisticated. [Photo: Luxe Event Productions / Hazelwood Photo via Style Me Pretty]

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Nothing says, “cozy” like a muted palette of warm neutrals. Keep the theme going with a dreamy bouquet in creamy shades of ivory, blush and alabaster. [Photo: B&B Designs / Bradford Martens via Meggie Francisco Events]

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Classic winter motifs get a beachy makeover in this whimsical invitation suite. [Photo: Melanie Gabrielle Photography via Style Me Pretty]

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Get toasty with a hot beverage bar that will warm partygoers from the inside, out. [Photo: Erin Wheat via Junebug Weddings]

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Last but not least, every celebration needs a dose of dessert. We’re still smitten with tried and true favorite, the Hot Cocoa Bar, and sugar-dusted accents that add new meaning to frosted cakes. [Above: bakery47 / Tandem Photo/ via 100 Layer Cake | Below: Whitney Jade via Wedding Chicks]

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This week we’re sweet on cake toppers that take nautical wedding style to a whole new level. From timeless classics like candied sea treasures and nautical stripes, to modern gilded touches, these creative cake toppers will surely spark your inspiration. Who’s ready to cut the cake?

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Painted oyster shells add an elegant touch to this simple white cake.
 [Cakes by Graham
 / Annamarie Akins via Southern Weddings]

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Classic beachy details take a modern turn on this fondant confection.
[Kakes by Karen / Hunter Ryan via The Knot]

creative-cake-topper-coastal-wedding-7Candied sea glass adds makes this petite treat oh-so whimsical.
[Sweet and Saucy Shop/ The de Jaurguis Via 100 Layer Cake-let]

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Another modern take on nautical classics–we love these playfully bold accents and ruffled fondant trim.
[Something Different Cake Couture
 / Mirelle Carmichael Photography via Style Me Pretty]

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Simple, yet sophisticated. A single golden anchor dresses up this buttercream cake.
[Emily Delamater Photography
 via 100 Layer Cake]creative-cake-topper-coastal-wedding

Coral? Yes please! This topper makes this single tier cake steal the show.
[Brooke Boling Photography via DIY Weddings Magazine]creative-cake-topper-coastal-wedding-5

Nothing says, “nautical” like a flag and a preppy anchor pattern.
[Sweet Lisa’s /
Christina Szczupak via Brides]creative-cake-topper-coastal-wedding-9

Take beachy vibes to a whole new level with petite surf boards and brown sugar “sand.”
via Popsugarcreative-cake-topper-coastal-wedding-8

Coastal charm doesn’t have to be sailor sweet. We love abstract watercolor style and copper floral crown.
[Sweet and Saucy Shop
  via Wedding Chicks]

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In our book, fresh flowers and simple stripes always make the perfect pair.
[Peaches and Mint
 via MODWedding]

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Bethany and Dan

The “First Look” trend has become a staple in wedding photography. Stealing away for portraits before the ceremony allows the bride and groom a few moments of intimacy before the festivities begin and result in gorgeous photos that truly capture the raw emotions of joy, excitement and surprise. Here are some of our favorite First Looks captured by local New England photographers. [Photo: Bethany and Dan]

 AM SARAH V Photography

I AM Sarah V Photography

Rachel Buckley Weddings

Rachel Buckley Weddings

Bethany & DanBethany & Dan

emilie inc.

emilie inc.

Angie Devenney Photography

Angie Devenney Photography

 

 

Hailey & Joel

Hailey & Joel

Jessica Jaccarino

Jessica Jaccarino Photography

Melissa Koren Photography

Melissa Koren Photography

Joline Cameron Photography

Joline Cameron PhotographyRodeo & Co.

Rodeo & Co.

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Tying the knot in Maine? Show your appreciation for the guys by your side at the altar with thoughtful gifts from some of our favorite local vendors.

Maine Craft DistilingFifty Stone Whiskey, Maine Craft Distilling

Nothing sets the tone for celebration like a quality dram of whiskey. This Single Malt whiskey is as local as it gets, made from Maine-grown barley. If your friends prefer a different pour, Maine Craft Distilling also makes several other spirits, like Alchemy Dry Gin and Queequeg Spiced Rum.

Trapps Eyewear

Wooden Cufflinks, Traps Eyewear

These cufflinks are a coastal-cool alternative to classic tuxedo studs. Made from brass and repurposed oak of lobster traps, this set is ruggedly sophisticate and about as “Maine” as it gets.

The Maine Brew BusThe Maine Brew Bus

It’s no secret that the craft beer scene has become an integral part of the Maine experience. Invite your buddies to tour of some of the best breweries on the coast with The Maine Brew Bus. Book an exclusive trip for the bachelor party, or present gift certificates to taste another time.

LiveMELiveME

LiveME t-shirts are made from breathable cotton and completely customizable to the hobbies you and your friends enjoy together.  RunME, FishME, HuntME, HikeME–you name it!

Coastal Root BittersCoastal Root Bitters

This one goes out to the cocktail guys! Aromas from Coastal Root Bitters,  like Coffee and Garam Masala, transform classic beverages into something extraordinary. These small-batch bitters are made in Maine with only the very best ingredients.

bowlineco_maine-weddingBow Ties from Bowline Co.

Offering a variety of prints, ranging from timeless nautical stripes to dapper plaid, you’re sure to find something to suit each member of your bridal party. Bowline Co. also offers several Wedding Packages.

L.L. BeanVictorinox Rambler Pocket Knife, L.L. Bean

Outdoorsmen will love this versatile pocket knife from the one and only L.L. Bean. Take your gift to the next level and have an engraver customize each knife with your friends’ initials.

Portland General StoreWhiskey Aftershave Splash, Portland General Store

Pampering isn’t just for the ladies. This aftershave is made with natural sea minerals–including sea kelp extract, blue-green algae, organic aloe vera juice, and tea tree essential oil–to leave skin glowing and refreshed.

FlowFoldMinimalist Wallet, Flowfold

Products from Flowfold are made for no-nonsense types with a taste for adventure. The Minimalist Wallet will hold everything your buddy needs in a sleek, compact casing made from water-resistant racing sailcloth and sturdy nylon webbing.

Maine-ly Fish PrintsLobster Rope Bottle Opener, Maine-ly Fish Prints & Mercantile

Crafted from reclaimed lobstermen rope, The R’OPENer is another great option for the beer lovers out there. These bottle openers come in a variety of colors and will surely come in handy for a toast the morning of the wedding.

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You’ve asked your best ladies to join you at the altar, now it’s time to pick the perfect, “Thank you!” present. Shop local–either in your hometown, or at your wedding destination–to support small business and make your gal pals feel extra special.

The Ropes ME

Jewelry has always been a fan favorite. We love how local artisans, like The Ropes and CHART metalworks take inspiration from the coast to create nautically chic pieces that your ladies will love.

CHART metalworks

Seeking something that will accessorize any style? Stop by your local jewelry shop for simple, yet elegant studs or charm necklaces–like this state necklace from D. Cole Jewelers.

D. Cole Jewelers

Accessories are another great option for fashion-forward friends! Hit your local boutiques to find unique pieces, like bright wristlets made from marine-grade materials by Alaina Marie and cozy knit hats from Swans Island Company.

Alaina MarieSwans Island Company

Brides have been embracing the goodie bag trend with full force. Custom canvas totes from Sea Bags would make the perfect base for a New England-themed gift pack stocked with more of your local favorites.

Sea Bags

Remember to shop with your recipient in mind! If your friends aren’t the all about fashion,  treat them to a taste of your destination. A bottle of their favorite varietal from a nearby winery, like Cellardoor Winery, or olive oil from Fiore Olive Oils & Vinegars are sure to please every palate.

Cellardoor Winery Fiore Olive Oils & Vinegars
Last but not least: everyone loves to be pampered! Local beauty products are great for our skin, the environment and for small business prosperity. Seek out something like the Salt Cellar‘s salt scrubs that your friends will gladly unwind with after a weekend of wedding fun.

Salt Cellar

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