I wanted to introduce myself - my name is Melanie and I am from PA. I am new to this board; this is my second wedding and I was actually a member back in 2001 for my first wedding. I found The Knot to be very helpful then so thought I would re-connect.
We were engaged about two weeks ago but had discussed it for several months. He has three beautiful girls ranging from 8 to 14 years. We included them from the beginning; we even told them with a sparkling grape juice toast before we told our parents. I asked them to be my bridesmaids and they accepted :-). Still working on what else to do for including them - I did see there are some good posts on this topic.
Next is the idea of a second wedding (both of us). What we know so far: Church ceremony and wedding reception for about 40 adults and 10 children hopefully in April or May 2016. No showers etc. Thinking some sort of rehearsal will be needed simply because we have children and others in the ceremony. I do plan on wearing a white or cream dress that I hopefully find and love :-). Yes to a cake and minimal flowers (perhaps just bouquets). No DJ but friend will bring her equipment so we have microphone etc. Yes to a good photographer. Most important is a good experience for ours guests given we will be selecting those most important in our lives. As such, thinking the reception meal, open bar is probably the most important. Favors thinking glass coffee mug with some sort of treat inside. Simple invites, rsvp and thank you cards ordered online. Also thinking Save the Date cards simply because we have limited to about 20 people each (40 adults) and we really hope everyone can attend - wonder if advance notice will help with scheduling.
Now to the only real quandary I have at the moment. Gifts. We do not want or expect gifts. Mainly because we are established in our careers and do not feel right accepting anything. We just want people to come and enjoy some time with us. That being said I know people will bring or give money even if we say no. I have seen some boards with posts regarding gifts but nothing on point about what I am wondering. Can we suggest a donation to charity or perhaps to make people feel like they are bringing something - toys or children clothes for a local shelter as choice one and choice two something for military or law enforcement fund. I do not know if any of this is acceptable - If I received this as a guest I personally would think it is a great idea. However at this age I know I don't even know half of everything. So open to opinions and ideas. I also know this is posted under "New to Board" but thought I would throw it out here - I can re-post the same if I still need to as I get closer on having to decide.
I think that is all for now.....next step is to finalize date. May xxx? Oh I forgot also thinking of a Fri or Sunday wedding if venues are taken on Sat.
Thanks in advance for all the wonderful helpful posts!!