Be My Guest News

  • Your Post-Wedding Admin List

    So you’ve made it down the aisle, partied the night away and managed to get away for a honeymoon… now married life can begin!

    The conclusion of your wedding day doesn’t mean your wedding admin (aka “wedmin”!) can finish up just yet though. There’s still a few must-dos on the list before you can wrap things up. No stress though, let’s cover off what needs done (and we will give you some tips along the way).

    Return your Rentals

    This is a great task to delegate, especially if you pop off for your honeymoon straight after your wedding. Get anything hired back as soon as you can to save on late fees and receive back your bond, so you have cash on hand to…

    Pay your vendors

    Many of your wedding vendors will have been paid prior to the wedding day, but some don’t require paid until the day of, or just after. If you’re heading away straight after the wedding, set up a bill payment online so there’s no delays in receiving those final bits (like the edited video, or your photos).

    Change your last name

    For those of us with hard to spell and/or pronounce last names, changing our last name is a major perk of marriage. And you may want to practice your new signature by signing all those thank you notes.

    Here’s some tips for changing your last name:

    Get your wedding photos and video

    First priority for many couples is reliving their day again through the magic of photography (and videography if you went for that). If you’ve signed a contract with your photographer, it will probably say when you shall expect to see your photos. Most photogs get their photos to clients between 4 weeks and 4 months after, as they tweak the colours and work their magic while juggling other weddings. Good things take time, but once they are here, you can move onto…

    Thank you cards

    This is an often-dreaded part of wedmin, but flip it this way – if you’ve got lots of thank you cards to write, you have lots of people who love and celebrate you!

    Heres’s some advice to help make this task a little easier:

    And here’s some design inspiration. Pick something that strikes your fancy, or match the rest of your wedding stationery:

    Clean your wedding dress

    Whether you plan to sell your wedding dress, or stash it away for future generations, your first step here is to get it cleaned. There are professional services that do this, but I have to admit to a DIY clean of my bridal gown.

    Once your wedding dress has been freshened up, maybe take a read of these 5 ways to repurpose your wedding dress.

    Store your Wedding Photos

    It’s vital to store your wedding photos safely, so make sure to back up your wedding photos. Think of it as insurance. And don’t rely on your wedding photographer to keep a copy.

    While you are uploading those photos, perhaps select a favourite to get printed for your…

    1st wedding anniversary celebrations

    Paper is the traditional gift for 1st wedding anniversary presents, so why not get your vows, a wedding reading or lyrics to your first song printed onto paper?

    If you did plenty of photo printing after your wedding, then a commemorative print designed to match your wedding stationery is a thoughtful idea too:

  • What are your seating plan options?

    If you’ve been busy reading The Epic NZ Wedding Seating Planning Guide, then you’ll know that seating plans don’t just tell guests where to sit. They also mark the significance and formality of your big event.

    Naturally, most of the seating plans we design are for wedding receptions, since couples love to match their wedding stationery to their Be My Guest designed wedding invites, but our seating plans are also used for formal dinners at school reunions, sports reunions and corporate events.

    Wedding Seating Plan Printing Options

    You can select from a range of different table plan printing options to suit different budgets and display styles (i.e. whether you want to display your plan on an easel or something smaller that you can frame):

    • Canvas Seating Plans: Printed onto a lightly textured canvas which is then stretched over a 40mm frame. These give a seamless, sleek modern look and can be propped onto an easel or hung on a wall.
    • Board Seating Plans: Printed onto 220gsm synthetic poster paper then mounted onto 10mm thick foamboard. These are a lightweight option that can be propped on an easel or hung from a sign stand.
    • Poster Paper Seating Plans: Printed onto 220gsm synthetic poster paper. This option needs to be framed, then you can pop it on a table or easel. Tip: pick a frame that you’ll reuse for your wedding photos!
    • Single Card Seating Plans: Perfect for smaller weddings, as these only go up to A3 size. There’s a variety of card types available. Prop on a small easel or frame.
    • Multiple Cards (Individual tables on each card): These smaller card sets are popular to clip to string or bespoke seating displays. There’s a variety of card types available.
    • Electronic/Digital PDF File: If you’re in a rush and don’t want to risk the couriers, or perhaps you have access to a large format printer. Whatever the case, we are able to assist with an electronic version of your seating plan with a turnaround of 2-3 working days.

    The right seating plan for you will depend on where you’re putting it, how long you’ve got, the look you’re going for and your budget.

    Be My Guest Seating Plans include:

    • Custom designed to suit your specific table layout and guest list. You don’t have to worry about how many tables you have, or how you want them laid out – we will make the design fit your wedding guests!
    • An electronic draft mockup of your seating plan before it goes to print – so you can see how everything looks, check your guest’s names are correct and request any changes.
    • Fast turnaround: For card and poster prints, allow two weeks for design, printing and delivery. For canvas and mounted board seating plans, allow up to three weeks. We offer an urgent turnaround option for an additional charge.
    • All Be My Guest Design’s seating plans are NZ designed & made and professionally printed on a high quality commercial digital press.
  • Saying Thank You to your loved ones for their support with your wedding

    One of the lessons I learnt when getting married was the importance of delegation. On your wedding day, you can’t very well roll up your sleeves and cook your reception dinner, or take selfies while reciting your vows.

    Yes, plenty of the people you are delegating to are being paid for their help, but what about the volunteers? The Mother in Law who picks up the flowers from the florist and drops them off to the bridal party. The friend who stacks the chairs away after the ceremony to clear space for the dance floor. The friend who calmed your nerves, carried your bouquet and fended off the weird relatives you didn’t really want to invite.

    The art of the thank you note is being lost, which is sad in some ways, but in others it’s a bonus. Why?

    When you write a thank you note now, you’re typically doing it because you WANT to, not because society is forcing you to. So the act of sending, and receiving a thank you card is a whole lot more genuine than it once was.

    The other positive, is that because we are receiving less of them, the thank you notes we do get are all the more impactful and appreciated. Lordy, any physical mail we get that’s not a bill is a surprise these days!

    So, if I’ve convinced you not to forgo a thank you, what are your options? Well good news, there’s a few.

    Saying thank you with a gift

    For your bridesmaids, your parents and any friends who spent a substantial amount of time contributing to your big day, you may wish to give them a small gift accompanied by your thank you note. I love the personalised wine labels for this – it’s a fun way of adding personality, showing you’ve put some thought in, and a memento that your giftee can keep if they choose to.

    Our labels come in a variety of sizes, so if cider, beer or spirits are more their thing, you can get something that suits! We can also customise the text, so if you want to add your thank you message right on your wine labels – no problem at all!

    Sharing your wedding photos

    It’s not often you hire a professional photographer, so how about sharing your wedding photos somewhere other than Facebook?! There are lots of options, whether you want to share a heap of photos or just one. I personally love when couples share their group shots!

    Wedding thank you cards are typically sent out up to a year after your wedding to all guests and anyone who gave you a wedding gift, so some couples opt to pre-print a thank you message on them.

    Personal Thank you notes

    Getting your wedding photos printed on a card is all well and good, but if you want to share your gratitude prior to getting these photos (like, on your wedding day!) then we have some lovely cards for this sort of situation too.

    Thank yous come in all shapes and sizes, so just pick the one that sits nicely with you! All our stationery is designed and printed in New Zealand, and is accompanied by NZ made envelopes (yep, even the ‘basic’ envelope option). Check out more options for thank you cards from Be My Guest Design below:

  • How to get your wedding guests to sign your guestbook

    After all the time and effort you spend in selecting the perfect guestbook, the next hurdle is ensuring your wedding guests actually sign it!

    Today we are going to cover off 5 sure-fire ways to have your wedding guests lining up to jot down their well wishes and messages of luck.

    Give your guestbook pride of place

    Make sure your wedding guestbook doesn’t get tucked in the back corner. Have it set up on a table right at the entrance. Ask a trusted guest to move the guestbook to a more central point later in the wedding reception, when the center of the party moves closer to the bar and dance floor, and away from the front door.

    Set up a sign

    Frame or prop up a matching sign to request your wedding guests sign the guestbook. Seems simple, but it works! If you have a instax camera or something similar you’d like guests to use, mention this on your sign too.

    Make it as easy as possible

    Ensure there’s a stash of pretty pens, and include tape, embellishments or gluesticks for adding instax/polaroid photos onto the guestbook pages.

    Offer an incentive

    You can’t go wrong with a bowl of lollies sitting on the guestbook table – slow your wedding guest’s partying down long enough to notice there’s another activity to partake in!

    Rope in your bridal party

    Ask your most outgoing bridesmaids to take your guestbook and pens around the tables during the wedding reception. Your MC can also direct guests to sign the book. A little light peer pressure might be the ticket to getting your reticent friends and family to share their messages of congratulations.

  • The Best Pens for Signing Guestbooks

    Hello gorgeous humans!

    We’ve had a few enquiries about the best pens for signing your wedding guestbooks. So we took the credit card and spent up large at our favourite stationery stores, purchasing a ton of pretty pens so you don’t have to!

    There’s a few things to keep in mind when picking the perfect pen for signing your guest book:

    • It’s got to write smoothly straight off the bat (the guestbook is going to be kept for a while, after all!)
    • We don’t want the ink bleeding through to the other side of the page (or even the page below!)
    • Smudge-factor – the less it smudges, the better it’ll look. Especially if you have some left-handed guests
    • You want the tip of the pen to stay crisp and clean. The thicker the tip, the bigger the handwriting
    • It would be nice if the ink matches the colour scheme of the wedding, and the pen looks as good as the guestbook too 😉

    We’ve conducted these tests on our guestbooks, so note that your results may vary if you’ve picked a different page option or another brand. We especially picked the card stock and weight after lots of tests and feedback, as a thinner weight or glossier finish can cause issues on the day and leave you with a guestbook that’s less than perfect (even if it ends up cheaper to produce… what’s the point if it doesn’t perform its function?!)

    Our last requirement was that the pens needed to be readily available in New Zealand. As a proudly New Zealand owned business, we wanted you to be able to call into your local stationery shop to grab the pens we recommend. The majority of the pens in the videos are from Paper Plus.

    Without further ado, here’s our pen tests compiled in one place for you.

    Pens texted on our standard white 210gsm guestbook pages:

    Staedtler Metallic Pens

    Various Branded Black Pens:

    Uniball and Sharpie Metallic Pens:

    Smiggle pens

    Pens on our standard black 210gsm guestbook pages

    Uniball and Sharpie Metallic Pens:

    Staedtler Metallic Pens:

    Smiggle Pens

    To order one of our beautiful wedding guestbooks, visitor log books and special occasion guest books, please browse our range and order online – and thank you for your support!

  • Entertaining your wedding guests

    Give your wedding guests something fun to do at your wedding reception and make memories with our fun range of advice cards, wedding activities and fill-in-the-blanks cards.

    Lots of our options can be used for bridal showers, hen’s nights or engagement parties too!

    Advice and Activity Cards

    Simply pick your favourite design or activity, and order however many you need online. All these are in stock and ready to ship, so they are perfect for a last minute addition to your big day.

    With most activity packs, you can opt for:

    • Different sizes – small (A6 105x148mm), medium (A5 148x210mm) or large (A4 210x297mm)
    • Customisation – change the wording, add your names… give us the details and we will design something customised to you and your event
    • Picked your wedding invitation from the Be My Guest wedding collection? Matching advice cards can be designed at no extra charge

    Guestbooks and Thumbprint Trees

    Collect messages and well wishes from your guests and stick photobooth pics in them with our range of guestbooks. We offer:

    With most activity packs, you can opt for:

    • A generous A4 size (210 x 297mm) and spiral bound, with a protective plastic sheet. Inside pages are blank and can be white, black or silver.
    • You get an electronic draft mockup of your guestbook before it goes to print – so you can see how everything looks and request any changes.
  • Adding guest’s names to your wedding invitations

    One of the most popular perks of working with Be My Guest Design is adding your guest’s names to your invitations – and at no extra cost!

    We’ve put together some guidelines as often the first question we get is “well, how do you want the names then?”. And that’s a great question to hear. Submitting your guest’s names in the correct format means your design can be created faster, and has less chance of typos/errors happening.

    Typed please

    All information submitted for design is to be typed up.  This is because there’s a high chance of error when trying to type up a document and/or trying to decipher someone else’s handwriting.  This typed up file/list does not need any fancy formatting. In fact, I’d prefer it didn’t! Where possible, we copy and paste the exact text we are supplied, straight into the design file.

    Plain Text List Required

    What’s plain text? I’m not talking about a special computer code or special program.  Just simply, a list of your names that we can copy and paste with no fancy formatting. Here’s some examples for different situations

    Submitting your guest list for your wedding invitations

    • Please submit your guest names written exactly how you want them to appear on the wedding invitation. i.e. if you want your guest’s first names listed on the invitation, then only submit their first names (in this case, supply Amanda rather than Amanda Cookson)
    • Group your guests names together – one line is one invitation (Craig and Amanda rather than a separate line for Craig and another line for Amanda)
    • Decide if you want to use “and” or “&” and use this consistently throughout your guest list
    • No special formatting – i.e. no numbering, tabs, multiple spaces, bullet points, columns. They just create more work. Seriously, it doesn’t have to be pretty (that’s what you’ve got us for)
    • You can submit your list in the body of your email, or in a single column within a spreadsheet. If you’re using the Southern Bride Guest List Planner Template we love that too.

    Yes:

    Amanda and Craig

    Mum and Dad

    Scott and Partner

    Wally and Glenys

    No:

    1. Amanda and Craig
    2. Mum & Dad
    3. Scott
    4. Scott’s Partner
    5. Wally Riach and Glenys Riach

    Submitting your guest list for your placecards

    • Please submit your guest names written exactly how you want them to appear on the placecards. i.e. if you want your guest’s first names listed on the placecard, then only submit their first names. (in this case, supply Amanda rather than Amanda Cookson)
    • Each guest goes on an individual line (as each guest needs a placecard)
    • If you order more placecards than you have guests, we will supply the extra ones without a name, so you’ve got spares. You don’t need to label them “Spare” as we will automatically add the extras on.
    • I do not require any special formatting – i.e. no numbering, tabs, multiple spaces, bullet points, columns
    • You can submit your list in the body of your email, or in a single column within a spreadsheet

    Submitting your seating plan diagram for your seating plan

    Many couples find it easiest to create these in spreadsheets, and that’s perfect for us.  Seating diagrams created in Word can be a bit harder to copy/paste from, as people tend to add columns, tabs or spaces that don’t copy and paste well. Simple is perfectly fine by me.  You can also share a plain text list. i.e.:

    First line is the table name and subsequent lines are the guests at that table:

    Table One

    Amanda

    Craig

    Glenys

    Wally

    Scott

    Table Two

    Mum

    Dad

    Danielle

    James

  • Free ‘Change the Date’ Editable Template

    Well guys, what a crazy few weeks we’ve had, huh? I know I’ve been all over the place bouncing between wallowing in self-pity and heightened motivation to be The Best Version Of Amanda 3.0 (I’m going to finally clean the house! Do I really have to shower again this week? I’m going to do yoga daily! Oh my god how are we going to pay the bills? Let’s write an extensive checklist of tasks to complete!)

    So I can’t imagine having planned a wedding, just in time for the whole world to (metaphorically) catch on fire and implode on oneself. Can’t say I’ve ever had “Check for imminent global pandemic” on any of our wedding planning resources.

    What does one do in this situation? There’s not really a guidebook for that (although She Said Yes would be a good port of call) but if you’re on Level 4 lockdown and your wedding is only weeks away, then you’ll be looking at postponing.

    Or perhaps your wedding is further out, but with the COVID-19 travel restrictions likely to last months, you want to change your wedding date, so your important international guests will be able to travel to celebrate with you.

    Maybe you’ve decided you don’t want to wait at all, and rather than risk a large gathering and endangering your favourite Grandma, you’re massively downsizing your guest list, or eloping with very few (if any) guests.


    The complicating factor in all these situations can be letting your guests know there has been a change in your wedding plans – particularly if you’d already sent out Save the Dates or wedding invitations (or poured some of that hard-earned budget into beautiful wedding stationery that is now printed with the incorrect date).

    However – it is at this point that we can help!

    Sitting in my home office amongst my checklists that won’t get checked, the yoga mat that is better off a dog bed, and a house that looks like it’ll cause the next pandemic, I’ve come up with a free, editable ‘Change the Date’ electronic template:

    If you want colours changed, or a physical copy printed, or want us to design something else for you – we can totally do that too. We are busy setting up some designs that match our existing wedding stationery (so your Change of Plans card can still match your existing stationery, because #matchymatchy doesn’t take pandemics off). You can check out the latest additions to our range here. If there’s a design that’s missing that you’re hanging out for, let us know and we’ll bump it up the list for you.

    For couples who got their Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations through Be My Guest, we are also offering free electronic ‘Change of Plans’ cards to match your stationery – just email them out to guests or take advantage of discounted reprints. Just email and we will make it happen.

    In the meantime – stay safe, stay sane and don’t stress – we are all in this together.

    x Amanda

     

  • COVID-19 Lockdown Update

    As you are probably aware, the NZ Govt has ordered a lockdown of all non-essential businesses.

    We are unable to print or dispatch items until the lockdown lifts. The Be My Guest team are working remotely from their homes, and are checking emails regularly. So any orders placed that require design work will still progress, up until the printing stage.

    This is an unprecedented time filled with uncertainty for everyone. Please continue to support small businesses, be patient with each other, and look after yourself.

    x Amanda