Will you be serving a sit-down meal at your wedding reception? Wondering how exactly to set an informal table for your relaxed outdoor luncheon, or a formal table for your multi-course black tie dinner? With the help of Josh Gruetzmacher, Celeste Green, Studio Mondine, and Frances Lane, we’ve got you covered!


Informal (Semi-Formal) Table Setting

An informal (semi-formal) setting includes: a dinner plate with a smaller salad plate placed over it, two forks on the left, a knife and spoon on the right, a wine glass and water glass above the knife and spoon (the majority of the population is right-handed, so glasses are placed on the right).

Tip #1:  To help you remember what utensils go where, picture the word “FORKS” and notice that F (for ‘forks’) is on the left while K and S (for ‘knife’ and ‘spoon’) are on the right.

Tip #2:  Always be sure to set your knife with the blade facing toward the plate.



Formal Table Setting

When setting a formal table, you have quite a few more pieces to work with! You can have up to three of each implement at the table, and as many as five different glasses (water, white wine, red wine, champagne, sherry). Instead of placing the dinner plate directly on the table, a service plate (also known as a charger) is the base of each setting. A bread plate is set on the upper left side of the place setting. Formal settings can also include individual salt and pepper shakers or cellars.

Tip #3:  With any table setting, the placement of utensils is determined by the menu, starting with the outer utensil for the first course, and working your way in toward the plate.

Tip #4:  The napkins can be placed on top of the plate, under the charger so that it hangs over the edge of the table, or under the forks if space is tight.

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La Fleuriste & Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink La Fleuriste & Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

Two of our lovely Select vendors, Lidia from La Fleuriste and Christina McNeill, teamed up to bring us these super simple instructions on how to pin a boutonniere. Who hasn’t been to a wedding where the gents are running around trying to figure this out? Well, we’ve got you covered with a step-by-step video as well as step-by-step photos.


How to Pin a Boutonniere: Step-by-Step Video


How to Pin a Boutonniere: Step-by-Step Photos

La Fleuriste & Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink La Fleuriste & Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

Step 1. Decide on the placement of the boutonniere. Hold it against the suit, centered on the left lapel.


La Fleuriste & Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink La Fleuriste & Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

Step 2. Using your finger to keep the boutonniere in place, fold the lapel so you can see the back side of it. Be sure not to smash the flowers.

Step 3. Push the pin through boutonniere at a perpendicular angle, making sure to catch the stems with the pin. A second pin may be used if needed.


La Fleuriste & Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink La Fleuriste & Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

Step 4. Secure placement and adjust as needed. Return the lapel to its proper place and confirm the boutonniere feels secure. Make sure the pin is not visible from the front side.


La Fleuriste and Christina McNeill are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.

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How To Tie a Bow Tie from Snippet & Ink and General Knot & Co. How To Tie a Bow Tie from Snippet & Ink and General Knot & Co.


If you ask us, not enough gents (or ladies for that matter!) wear bow ties on a regular basis – we just love that dapper look! If you’re tying the knot in a bow tie, or you’ve asked your groomsmen to wear them, then this post is for you. We’ve teamed up with General Knot & Co. to bring you this video on how to tie a bow tie so you can look your very best… and it’s easier than you think!



Haven’t picked out your bow tie yet? We’ve got you covered: General Knot & Co. makes charming ties from vintage fabrics (so each design is limited edition!), and if you have something specific in mind, they’ll even create something custom just for you and your wedding party.


General Knot & Co. General Knot & Co.

This post is sponsored by General Knot & Co., who creates limited edition ties and bow ties, handmade in the United States from vintage fabrics. Custom designs are available, and General Knot & Co.‘s personalized customer service makes it easy to coordinate your tie, bow tie, or bridal party gifts with your wedding colors. 

Director, Producer: Christina McNeill / Co-Director: Jill Vice / Director of Photography, Cinematography: John Burke / Bow Ties: General Knot & Co.
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honeymoon packing checklists honeymoon packing checklists

Photo St. Regis Princeville, Kauai

I was so busy getting ready to get married that I totally forgot to pack for my honeymoon before the wedding, which meant I was exhausted and pressed for time when I actually did start throwing stuff in my suitcase (at the last minute, of course). And guess what I forgot to pack? My digital camera! On my honeymoon!

Needless to say, whether you’re flying or driving, checking bags or carrying on, it’s a good idea to have a plan about packing for your honeymoon. With the excitement of your wedding, it’s easy to either overlook something important, or end up traveling with twice as much stuff as you need. To help you avoid my mistake, we’ve teamed up with our friends at our favorite honeymoon registry site, Traveler’s Joy, to bring you printable checklists to make sure you haven’t forgotten any essentials, plus some of our best packing tips and what we’d want to bring to Hawaii, Paris, and Jackson Hole.

Download our printable honeymoon packing checklists right here:



A beach destination like Hawaii is such a classic honeymoon spot – it’s where I spent my first week as a newlywed! Here’s a few of the things I’d love to bring with me on a beach honeymoon if I were doing it all over again…

Hawaii Honeymoon Packing List Hawaii Honeymoon Packing List

1. Even though Hawaii is a super laid back place, you’ll still want some sort of beach cover up (sold out; similar here) for walking through the lobby. | 2. Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses from Nordstrom. | 3. You can cram this squashable sun hat into your suitcase and it will bounce back beautifully. | 4. You want to bring at least two swimsuits, so you’ll always have one that’s dry and ready to wear, and I love this high waisted banana leaf bikini from ASOS. | 5. This georgette sundress by Soft Joie can be dressed up or down – pair it with nice jewelry, shoes, and a wrap and you’re ready for an elegant evening in Hawaii. | 6. Slim gold flip flops by Havaianas. | 7. Use this canvas tote as your personal carry-on bag and it can double as a beach bag. | 8. If you plan on doing any water activities, like snorkeling or stand-up paddle boarding, you’ll definitely want a one piece swimsuit in addition to a bikini for lounging. | 9. Don’t forget your Kindle or a few beach reads! | 10. Now that our phones double as cameras for most of us, a waterproof and sandproof case is a smart investment for an island honeymoon. | 11. These strappy sandals by Coach are perfectly relaxed, but dressier than flip flops.

Packing Tip: You can buy things like sunscreen and aloe vera once you’re on the island, but it’s guaranteed to be way more expensive than at home. I’d recommend bringing them with you. Depending on your destination, other things that are better to bring with than buy there include: lip balm, bug repellent, ibuprofen, tampons and pads (especially if you’re traveling outside the U.S.), and band-aids.

Packing Tip: Ziploc bags are a must-have whenever I travel. They keep toiletries from getting all over my suitcase, protect souvenirs like local honey and jam, and generally help me keep all my little items organized. Oh, and if your swimsuit is still damp when you’re packing to come home, just throw it in a Ziploc!




Paris is about as romantic as it gets; Paris in the springtime? Even more so! If you’re headed to Paris (or another European city) for your honeymoon, this is the packing list for you – minimalist but still appropriate for all your Parisian activities.

Paris Honeymoon Packing List Paris Honeymoon Packing List

1. The little black dress originated in France (thank you Coco Chanel!), so it’s only fitting that you’d bring one with you. Pair it with a cardigan and flats for day, a wrap and heels for evening. | 2. Paris can still be quite chilly in the spring, and definitely rainy, so a classic khaki trench coat (similar here) is a good bet for that time of year. | 3. A silk scarf to wear around your neck, tie around a ponytail, or even as a belt, feels très parisienne, and adds a little something to an otherwise basic look. | 4. Carry your wallet, ID, and other important items in a cross body purse that won’t get snagged off your shoulder. | 5. Classic blue oxford from J.Crew | 6. Perhaps it’s a bit cliché for a trip to France, but I do love striped sailor shirts. | 7. You can always purchase an umbrella once you arrive, or you can plan ahead and bring one that is adorable like this red-trim bubble umbrella, or super compact.  | 8. What to do with all those chocolats and macarons you want to bring back from Paris?! How about a large red fold-up nylon tote – keep it folded in your suitcase until you need room for all your souvenir goodies. | 9. Calf hair cheetah print flats by Loeffler Randall. | 10. Don’t be like me and forget to bring your digital camera! (This is a great item to add to your honeymoon registry if you don’t already have one). | 11. Black skinny jeans with a little bit of stretch walk the line between comfy and chic.

Packing Tip: No matter where you’re traveling, try to pack clothing with a common color palette. I generally stick with neutrals (black, khaki, white, gray), and then choose one accent color (like the red accessories pictured above). It allows me to bring as little as possible, while still feeling like I’m dressed appropriately.

Packing Tip: You can avoid wrinkled clothes by packing wrinkle-resistant fabrics (things like knits, denim, rayon and other synthetic blends, and jersey), but another way to go is to pack a travel-sized steamer. It won’t get things as crisp as an iron, but it gets the wrinkles out.




Heading to a winter wonderland for your honeymoon can be as simple as packing a few extra layers, or as involved as transporting ski gear to your destination. Here’s what I’d take with me for a winter honeymoon in gorgeous Jackson Hole.

Jackson Hole Winter Honeymoon Packing List Jackson Hole Winter Honeymoon Packing List

1. This gray cashmere wrap can keep you warm on the airplane, act as a scarf when you’re outside, and as a wrap for an evening out. | 2. Turtleneck sweater dress by Theory (sold out; similar here). | 3. UGG pom-pom beanie from Nordstrom. | 4. Keep warm and dry with a winter jacket with faux fur trim hood. | 5. Depending on your honeymoon plans, you might want an action video camera to capture your skiing or snowshoeing adventures. | 6. Pack a bunch of basic turtlenecks and some tank tops for layering. | 7. Look fabulous cozied up by the fire in this pink and gray fair isle sweater from J.Crew. | 8. Fair isle wool socks from J.Crew. | 9. When you’re not hitting the slopes, and you’re not eating at a fancy restaurant, a pair of jeans over thick tights can be just warm enough. | 10. The North Face winter boots from Zappos. | 11. Choose gloves and/or ski gloves with a pop of color – that way if you drop one in the snow, you stand a chance of actually finding it!

Packing Tip: Check out the real honeymoon stories and real member registries on Traveler’s Joy – even if you’re not much of a planner, having some sense of what you’ll be doing on your honeymoon can help you make better decisions about what to bring with you.

Packing Tip: Even if you’re traveling to Finland in the dead of winter, don’t forget to pack a swimsuit! There’s nothing quite like relaxing in a hot tub after a day of trudging around in the snow and ice.


Planning a honeymoon is so much fun, but worrying about what to pack can be stressful, so hopefully these tips and checklists have made that part easier. Let us know – what are your must-have items when you travel? Are you adding any travel items to your registry?


Download our printable honeymoon packing checklists right here:


Traveler's Joy logo Traveler’s Joy logo

This post is sponsored by Traveler’s Joy, an easy-to-use honeymoon registry site that now offers 100% free registry options, allowing members to accept honeymoon gifts via cash or check, with no fee for either the member or gift giver. Along with accepting gifts by credit card, Traveler’s Joy members now have more options than ever before in funding the trip of a lifetime.

Beginning in May and lasting through December 2015, every month Traveler’s Joy will pick one lucky couple on their wedding day, and triple the honeymoon gifts they receive from their honeymoon registry! Every couple that registers with Traveler’s Joy by April 30, 2015 will automatically be entered to win.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!

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A welcome bag is such a fun way to welcome out-of-town guests to your wedding. And as a wedding guest, there’s nothing quite like finding some thoughtful goodies waiting for you when you arrive at your hotel – especially if you’ve traveled a long way to get there! We’ve partnered with Zazzle to share some of our favorite ideas for building an awesome wedding welcome bag.

How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle


The Bag 

There are lots of container options for a welcome bag – anything from simple kraft paper bags to fancy gift boxes. My personal favorite is a customized canvas tote bag, because it doesn’t take up a lot of room in a suitcase, and it’s something your guests will be able to use again. I have a couple of these from weddings I’ve attended, and I use them at the grocery store on a regular basis – a fun reminder of a fun time!

Tip #1: Ask an artistic friend to create a fun wedding “logo” for you – or use some cool fonts to create your own – and use it to customize your welcome bag or other wedding swag (t-shirts, beer koozies, etc.). 

Tip #2: If you go with a reusable tote bag, don’t feel like you have to fill the whole thing – your guests don’t want to lug a bunch of extra stuff home with them anyway. Or, think bulky-but-cheap: full-size bags of popcorn or boxes of crackers take up space without breaking the bank, and people will likely polish them off while they’re hanging out between wedding weekend events.


How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle


The Snacks

Confession: I remember the welcome bag snacks from the past three weddings I attended. Homemade pretzel Hugs (seriously addictive), Garrett Popcorn’s Chicago mix (even more addictive), and chocolate dipped coconut patties. So my snack bias is probably showing, but I think if you’re only going to include one thing in your welcome bag, it should be something edible. Preferably something sweet and something salty. Bonus points for something made locally. For this San Francisco-inspired welcome bag we went with a couple locally made treats (479° Popcorn and Poco Dolce toffee squares) and yogurt-covered pretzels. For the popcorn and pretzels, we bought large bags and repackaged them in smaller glassine and kraft paper bags, then sealed them with a big round customized sticker.

Tip #3If you plan on packaging things yourself, glassine or cello bags are best for anything remotely greasy (chips, popcorn, cookies); kraft paper will show grease spots, so use it for things like chocolate covered pretzels or hard candies.

Tip #4: Don’t forget something to drink. Bottled water, soda, or sparkling juice are good options. Make sure you’re considering who your guests are before including booze in welcome bags – your college buddies might be excited to find something from a local microbrewery in their bag, but your fiancée’s grandparents might not. Or they might. Use your best judgment.


How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle


Welcome Letter & Itinerary

Send your greetings and gratitude in a little welcome note, and make sure to include an itinerary and transportation information – there’s nothing worse than traveling across the country for a wedding, only to realize you’ve left the invitation at home and have no idea what time the ceremony starts or how to get there! Depending on the location of your wedding, as well as how much of the weekend is scheduled, guests might have a little free time to explore the area. Give them a highlights tour with a list of your favorite things to see and do, and places to eat and shop.

Tip #5: Ask your guests to share their photos from the weekend on Instagram, and to make sure and tag them with a custom hashtag – we used #lizzieandjames for our imagined San Francisco couple. You might even set up Eventstagram at your reception to display all the pics!

Tip #6: Consider including the phone number of your wedding planner or a friend or family member who can answer any wedding-related questions. You probably won’t want guests calling you or your fiancé for directions while you’re getting ready to walk down the aisle.


How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle


Oops! Kit

Without fail, I forget to pack something important whenever I travel – usually toothpaste. If you want to go above and beyond snacks and a welcome letter, a little “Oops! Kit” is a thoughtful touch for your welcome bags. We used a fabric pen to draw a little red cross on small muslin bags for our kits (a rubber stamp would work well too), then filled them with trial size toiletries we think would be most useful: Kleenex, blister healing Band-Aids, Shout Wipes, Advil, TUMS, and mints.

(Note: Make sure to place a piece of cardboard or other liner inside the muslin bag before painting or stamping, otherwise the ink will bleed through to the other side.)

Tip #7: Drugstores should have travel size items, but they don’t always carry trial sizes. If you’re looking for a mini version of a specific toiletry, Minimus.biz is a great resource.

Tip #8: Depending on your wedding destination, you might want to include location-appropriate items that guests will be glad to have, like sunscreen or bug spray.


How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle


Fun Extras

If your budget allows, it can be fun to include little tokens of the trip for guests to take home with them. Some ideas:

– souvenirs like a magnet, shot glass, landmark miniature
– postcards for your guests to scrapbook or send (Zazzle has a huge selection to choose from)
– local treat to take home like a jar of honey, jam, or mustard
– playful, customized things like a deck of cards, beer koozie, temporary tattoo
– mix CD or thumb drive playlist of your favorite songs

Tip #9: If you include anything like local jam or honey, make sure it’s small enough for your guests to pack in a carry-on bag. It would be terrible to have your thoughtful gift get confiscated at airport security!

Tip #10: Avoid scented candles or soaps; the fragrance can transfer to edibles, making your carefully planned snacks taste like perfume.


So there you have it! Our tips for building an awesome welcome bag for your out-of-town wedding guests. Did we miss anything? If you’re doing welcome bags for your wedding, what are you including in them?!


This post is sponsored by Zazzle, who makes it easy to create custom items for yourself or to sell, simply by uploading your artwork or personalizing one of their existing designs. From invitations to bridesmaid tank tops, from custom postage stamps to table number cards, Zazzle is a great resource for your custom wedding needs.

Custom designs by Kirsten Eva for Snippet & Ink.

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