Wednesday Roundup {guys gifts}

With Father’s Day just days away everybody has gifts for the guys on the brain. Be it quirky or sentimental, practical or fun there’s always something out there waiting to be the “perfect gift.” Below are some fun finds I rounded up from a few of my favorite retailers. (pssst – they could even make great groomsmen gifts too!)

From left to right starting at the top: stadium cufflinks (Red Envelope); beach radio (Anthropologie); tablet case (Thomas Paul); beer glass (Urban Outfitters); wooden tie (Uncommon Goods); bbq grill (West Elm)




 

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The Year of the Wedding

Given the look of my current projected calendar, it appears that 2012 will be the year of the wedding. This projection not only includes the weddings I have contracted as work, but also the weddings I will be attending to benefit my social calendar. I am really looking forward to being a guest at a handful of events this year because:

A. It will be nice to be on the other side of the party for a change (I’ll also get to dress up fancy in all those old semi-formal dresses hanging neglected in my closet)

2. It will provide me with an excuse for a little bit of travelling and vacation time and

C. I will be celebrating a very important moment in the lives of a lot of very important people in my life!

This is exciting.  One of the most exciting parts about some of these upcoming weddings is that I will also be in a few of them.  The downside to having so many events on the upcoming calendar….the financial burden.

I’m sure everyone has felt the strain of wedding finances at some point, whether it be questioning how to afford a simple gift for a recently married friend right out of school, finding the funds to travel to an out of town wedding for friends or family, or even having to buy that new dress to wear to said event. It can be tough. What’s shocking to me is how much the average person spends on weddings these days (as a bride/groom and as a guest), especially if acting as a member of the bridal party.

I recently stumbled upon this article and info graphic combo from the financial site Mint.com via Wedding Channel.com and they put the expenses of a bridesmaid into an interesting perspective:

(you can also check it out here or read the full article here) Now, obviously this is just the average and there are plenty of brides who keep costs down for their party members, but it’s true (and crazy!) that expenses can get exorbitant these days. I think that Mint provided a lot of great suggestions on how to save some pennies and I think some of these can apply to the guests as well such as sharing hotel rooms with others you know are travelling and getting creative with the gifts, even pooling with other guests for a larger item. Sometimes the sentimental gifts, i.e. homemade, gifts can be the most thoughtful.

Thankfully, I have some great, budget conscious friends in my circle so I’m heading into this year of weddings with a positive outlook, eager to celebrate!

Bring on the Music

I will admit, I am one of those individuals who starts playing Christmas music the minute Halloween is over. Tis the Season after all. And by season I mean holiday season, but Thanksgiving is anything but my cup of tea, so I prefer to skip right over it to Christmas. Just pretend it never happened, most people end up sleeping through it or drinking through it anyway so why not?

Anyway, besides the lovely Christmas music and decorations my favorite thing about the holiday is the gifts. Obviously, we all love getting gifts (free shit you can’t afford to buy for yourself HELLO!!!), but honestly I love to give gifts. The perfect gift. I start early with my planning/shopping so that I can be sure that everyone will legitimately love the present I am getting them and that it matches their personality/hobbies/lifestyle/living arrangements/current operational needs/etc perfectly. I know this is a big task and I’m probably setting myself up for  failure but whatever, bring it on. When I finally have the “aha” moment, pass the display when I least expect it, or flip to the catalog item that just jumps off the page it’s like a chorus of chill/punk guitarist just sing to me pleasant harmony celebrating my perfect find. I know. Weird.

source

This need to please also applies to birthdays/showers/anniversaries/random “thinking of you” moments/and of course weddings. I love registries, because its basically a giant lifelong wish list (everything you ever wanted but never bought for yourself because of X), but I also love my usual prep early and buy the perfect present method even if it means no registry.

My madness does make window shopping a lot more pleasant though! Anway, I really wanted to have a point to this post, but alas I got distracted so I suppose I don’t have one other than any excuse is a good excuse to shop, especially for other people (it means no post spending guilt trip). Or something like that.

Party Manners

a.k.a. – how to be a good wedding guest.

Every wedding has that “funny” story about the  guest that got blasted, or the MOG that showed up in a white glittery dress (monster in law style), or the fiasco of hunting down RSVP’s the night before. But wait – those aren’t really funny stories. While most people know what is appropriate for a wedding event, it never hurts to throw some reminders out there, especially with weddings trending back to a younger age group.

1. RSVP. Even if you are best friends with the couple and tell them in person – send your RSVP. Most people rely on this, and it makes everything so much easier if they receive it on time. Sometimes it can be nice to send a little love along with your RSVP, a note telling the couple how excited you are, etc. etc.

2. Similarly, if you and only you are invited, don’t bring a tag-along (or ask the bride if you can bring a tag-along). Weddings are expensive, an extra spot could tip them over budget, and let’s be honest – it’s just plain rude. If you are given a plus one but don’t have a significant other, gratiously decline that extra seat.

3. When it comes to shopping, the registry was usually made for a reason. It will give a nice idea of what the couple wants/needs. Also, if the couple has been courteous enough, they would have registered for gifts in a range of prices to satisfy that broke friend from college, or their aunt who won it big in the lottery. Don’t feel like you have to abide by the registry though – consider your relationship with the couple when shopping and make it meaningful. Do you go to happy hour every weekend together – how about a wine set, host dinner parties at each others houses – a nice slow cooker might work, vacation together – how about money towards the honeymoon or new fishing gear? Cash always has a place as well!

4. Mail the gift ahead of time, especially if you know the couple is travelling directly before or after the wedding. Not only will they not have to worry about getting it home – no one will steal it at the reception!

5. Contrary to popular belief, most weddings start on time. Don’t be late. This is especially true if the event is held in a religious facility or a very popular hotel complex. There are probably back to back events scheduled. Don’t be that obvious person shuffling in the back trying to be slick but really just making a lot of noise. The ceremony is the reason everyone has gathered in the first place, and they have asked you to be a part of it for a reason.

6. Watch what you wear. Most invitations will include a dress code. If not – take note of the time of day and location of the event for guidance. Whatever you do – don’t upstage the bride – a.k.a. no white, no obnoxious colors – keep it appropriate. If your in a religious facility, consider their rules, do you need a shawl to cover bare shoulders in the church?

7. Notice the details. While this may not be important to everyone, a lot of couples but serious time and effort into the little details. It’s nice to take notice and comment or compliment the couple – it shows you care.

8. Watch your behavior. And by behavior I mean your alcohol intake. No body wants to deal with the embarassment of a drunk wedding guest – and you don’t want to deal with untagging all those facebook pictures when you’re suffering a hangover. Do have a good time though, dance, enjoy yourself – it is a party after all.

9. Offer your congratulations to the couple and the host families, thank them for inviting you. It’s a little gesture that goes a long way. I would even send a snail mail thank you note after the event is over.

Nobody wants to be this person:

If you are looking for a surefire way to get kicked out though: read on.

Goodies, Goodies, Lots of Goodies

Ok so it’s been quite some time since the last post, so to makeup for it, i’m going to share lots of fun things with whoever it is that is reading my blog! 🙂

I had this week off and spent this past weekend visiting my sister. Basically this means tanning, lots of food, and shopping. All of the items linked below relate back to this weekend in some way or another – inspiration perhaps.

I took the opportunity of nice weather and a day to myself to tan. I love the beach so naturally I fell in love instantly with the below engagement shoot showcased on Junebug Weddings.

The next day consisted of lots of shopping. I was looking for new shoes. I am a sucker for flats – how cute are these custom made flats from etsy seller extraseed? Bride or Bridesmaid – you can definitely dance all night!

Barnes & Noble was also an important addition to the day. I love books and love to see them incorporated into events like centerpieces on style me pretty

and these DIY hardback books for pretty much anything from Elizabeth Anne Designs

And naturally, a shopping trip isn’t complete without some fashion purchases. Fashion, specifically Louis Vuitton, was a source of inspiration for this engagement shoot on 100 Layer Cake. How fun!

A final stop for the weekend was a hunt for Vera Bradley. I think with her latest lines Vera is on the way back in. You can’t help but love her for all things gift related, but I have specifically fallen in love with the below bag which will be arriving on my doorstep before long. The Ditty Bag is the perfect catch all for bridesmaids gifts, no?

And last but not least, not particularly related to the weekend, but my heart strings can’t help but pull from these adorable scratch off invitations from etsy seller unlesssomeonelikesyou.

Lots of things to drool over, at least I did. On another note, I start my new job tomorrow, so expect a lot from the world of events this week. Happy Monday!