Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thank You Note How To

I finally sent out the last of my thank you notes yesterday.  It was a pretty big undertaking that stressed me out over the last 6 weeks since we got married.  I didn't want to forget anyone!  I decided to write all of our thank you notes and have Mr. 3 sign them because 1) he has terrible handwriting, 2) I didn't want to add to the confusion of figuring out who would write what note, and 3) my mama had bought me super beautiful stationery with my new monogram.  Here's a few tips to make your thank you note writing a breeze:

1. Get them out within three months...but really ASAP.  I've heard rumors that you have a year to write your notes, but according to the Emily Post Institute, it's really three months.  Regardless, I would not want these things haunting me for the next 10 months.  I have to get started on my Christmas cards soon!  Additionally, you guests will begin to wonder if you received their gift.  A few of my parents friends started asking around the 1 month mark.

2. Wait to send all of your notes at once.  I wrote many thank you notes as gifts came in prior to the week before the wedding...but once that week came, I had no time to send them out.  From that point on, I held off until after the wedding and I waited to send out all the notes for the gifts we received.  I knew if I started sending them out as they were written I would have had second guessed myself and gotten confused about which ones had been sent vs. which ones were left.  If you send them out all at once, you can cross check them against your registry lists.

3. To keep track of gifts you received on the day of your wedding, use the inside flap of the card envelope to write down what gift you received as you open the gift (ditto if you received a gift card or check), making sure to put the card back in the envelope so that you have the names of the gift giver handy.  This note will give you something to reference, but will take minimal time and speed up the gift opening process.  Once you have opened everything, make a master list of gifts using the notes on the envelope flaps.  If you are making a keepsake box you can discard the envelopes and just keep the pretty and thoughtful cards!

4.  Make your notes personal.  You should start off thanking them for the item, state how it will benefit/brighten/add to your married life, then end with a personal note so that it's not so generic/form sounding (a notable memory from the wedding is a good option to include).  A note should look something like this:

Dear ___________,

Thank you so much for the wedding gift money.  We are really looking forward to buying new toss pillows for our couch.  We were so glad you came to the wedding, it wouldn't have been the same without you burning up the dance floor and you sure did show all our other guests how it's done!  Thanks again for your well wishes and support.


____ & _______

5.  Be sure to send thank yous to people who may not have been able to gift you anything, but who really supported you during the engagement/wedding...especially if their efforts added to your day.  One of my mother's friends could not attend our wedding, but she wanted to do something for me that would help me out on my big day.  She made a few hundred pink and green southern buttermints (my wedding colors) in the shape of roses and leaves....which is NOT something you can purchase online or at the store.  You have to know a sweet Southern lady with know how and time.  In my opinion, buttermints are essential to a proper Southern wedding and I couldn't have imagined our reception without I sent her a very heartfelt thank you for handmaking all those pretty mints!

6. Even if you (the bride) are filling out all the notes, make sure the groom signs them!

Hope these tips help you with your notes!  If you have any to share, please send them our way...Briana's shower is coming up, so she will have plenty to write!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Registry Returns

Over the weekend Mr. 3 and I headed out to the mall to make some returns and spend some gift cards.  We wanted to take back a few things to Bed, Bath, and Beyond that we had gotten as repeat gifts and pick up new sheets for our bed.

I just want to say how EASY it is to make returns at BBB (besides the waiting in line part).  If you don't have your receipt but it was purchased off your registry, they can look up the present and give you cash back for what your guest paid...IN CASH!  If your gift giver used a coupon on your present, they also "give you back" the coupon that the guest used by printing it out on store register tape (such smart marketing, what girl can resist re-spending a fistful of moo-lah when she also has coupons in hand!).  If you don't have a receipt, BBB will issue a store gift card.

We had no issue making our returns or our purchases and our bed looks great!
Sateen 778 Sheets by Wamsutta, 100% Supima Cotton, 778 Thread Count
I <3 Linens!
Wamsutta 778 Sheets
Image from Bed Bath and Beyond
We also went by Williams Sonoma to spend some money and found out that the 10% completion discount is good on everything for the next 6 months WITHOUT having to go through the hassle of adding it to the registry before you go to buy (which is something I feel is so sneaky!).  The sweet ladies at Williams Sonoma also told me to wait to buy my glassware and cereal bowls because it goes on sale tomorrow!  They then placed everything I wanted in the back stockroom to hold for me until the sale starts.  Wahoo for 15% off tabletop, plus 10% registry completion!

Hope these tips help you out as you make your registry returns!  If you have any registry tips, send them our way!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Registry Breakdown: Most Popular Choices for Your Guests

If you engaged (or getting engaged anytime soon), figuring out your registries can be difficult.  Besides dealing with uncooperative fiances (luckily Mr. 3 was more than helpful as long as he was fed and caffeinated) and figuring out what you need (pots and pans usually) vs. what you want (toss pillows! crystal barware! monogrammed anything!), you have to also think about the number of gifts, the price points, what stores are going to be accessible to both you and your guests.

Mr. 3 and I chose to register at Macy's and Bed, Bath, and Beyond (BBB) because we figured that they would be the most accessible to our families in North Carolina and Virginia.  We also decided to put in Williams Sonoma because we LOVE their kitchen gadgets and kitchen linens.  From there, I decided I wanted to put Pottery Barn on the list because I love their home decor items and bed linens.  Finally, I added a Bloomingdales registry because they were the only vendor that carried these pretty bowls (and yes, that is the sole reason I registered at Bloomies...although after their wonderful registry store event, I definitely added a few more pieces).
So cute for fruit or sorbet!
Iittala Kastehelmi Bowl

I figured that our guests in DC would like all of the options because we have brick and mortar stores near by that are easy to get to.  For our friends traveling from afar who have a very limited selection in their hometowns, I figured they would appreciate the variety of places to scout out free shipping.

All of our guests were extremely generous and thoughtful in their gift giving, but Macy's and BBB were by far the most popular choice among all of our guests for both shower and wedding presents.  I would say about 90% of our gifts came from those two registries and all of our gift cards we received were to those two stores.

Macy's also has a great rewards program and BBB always has a 20% off coupon (btw...did you know that they never expire despite what the coupon says and you can combine coupons in the same transaction?!?!  try it!).  BBB also offers a $25 coupon for ever person you refer who sets up a registry, so tell all your engaged friends after you set up your own!  Both stores offer free shipping if you go to a location and they don't have the item you want to order in stock.

One thing I learned was that if you really want something, like your pots and pans, but them in multiple places and check back often to delete the duplicates as your guests purchased them.  This really works out well for the couple and the guest!  For example, All-Clad Copper Core is carried at Williams Sonoma, Macy's, BBB, and Bloomingdales. 

All Clad Copper Core
Image from Williams Sonoma

Macy's and Bloomies will sometimes put All-Clad on sale, but BBB does not .  However,  BBB may offer your guest free shipping and Williams Sonoma will sometimes offer price breaks on specific pans.  Williams Sonoma and Bloomingdales carry this brand in store, but you can usually only find it online at the other stores.  By putting the All-Clad at all the websites, you will increase your odds of receiving the pots and pans you want and your guest can 1) look for the best deal or 2) look for the easiest way to send you these pots!  It may be a little time consuming to check everything (Mr. 3 said I watched the registries like the stock market), but it definitely pays off.

All that stated, here is a ranking of our registries in order of guest popularity:

1. Bed, Bath and Beyond (BBB)
2. Macy's
3. Pottery Barn
4. Williams Sonoma
5. Bloomingdales

What's your favorite registry?  Any perks you want to share, let us know!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mrs. 3's First Blog Post!

Hi there Posh Purpose Readers,

I'm writing my first blog post as Mrs. 3!!!!  I'm so sorry it took me so long to get back in the swing of things, but the last month of my life has been crazy busy with pre-wedding shenanigans, post-wedding clean-up, moving Mr. 3 into my teeeeeeny tiny apartment along with all of our wonderful wedding gifts, and traveling around the great states of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina!

Now that things have calmed down a bit, I'm going to put together a series of quicker posts to catch all you readers up on what happened at the wedding and how it all turned out!  Although we had many numerous ups and downs, the wedding ceremony was perfect, I felt beautiful, and the reception looked great (the food was yummy too!).  We are still waiting on the release rights for our pictures from our photographer, so I don't have any professional shots yet to offer up, but here's a quick sneak peak from one of my co-workers.  Thanks Lauren P.!