Wedding Etiquette: What To Expect When You’re the Plus One for a Bridesmaid or Groomsman

It’s another week of #CoffeeWithCalluna and we’re so excited to share a few more tips and tricks of the industry. Each week we’ll answer questions from YOU! Send us your questions to or send us a message on instagram at @callunaevents!

Xo, Calluna

Getting invited to a wedding is fun and exciting! It’s a chance to dress up and socialize while enjoying the evening’s festivities. But what happens if your date is in the wedding party? Now, being invited as a plus one can be a little intimidating, especially if you have never met, or barely know the couple. What do you do if you don’t know anyone else at the wedding? How do you spend your time while your date is busy with wedding party duties?

Here are some tips on how to have fun while also being a gracious guest!

Information Is Key

The more information you have, the better chance you have to set yourself up for success. Stick to the dress code! I think it goes without saying, avoid white, and don’t show up in a ballgown if the event is more of a spring garden wedding. Ask your date about the couple and what they’re like. Even better, if you can get your hands on the invitation or wedding website, you can get a definite dress code.  If you can’t get a clear dress code, play it safe and aim for classic dresses that you know you look great in! If you’re unsure of what a dress code means, you can read more about it here!

Manners, Manners, Manners

This one seems obvious, but if you’ve already RSVP’d yes, don’t back out at the last minute. If your date is part of the wedding party, know that you’ll have a lot of down time for yourself. Take some time to enjoy your morning on the day of the wedding, but make sure to be on time for the ceremony!

If the couple has a receiving line at the end of the ceremony, congratulate the newlyweds and thank them for having you at their wedding. If they don’t have a receiving line, find some time to meet them during the reception and offer your congratulations then.

Pitch in for the gift with your date! This is great especially if you don’t know the couple very well. Talk to your date about what they’re planning on giving, and if all else fails, you can always gift something small off of their registry, or give a reasonable amount of cash along with a nicely written card wishing the couple well.


I know we like to use our phones as scapegoats in uncomfortable situations, but try to unplug and enjoy the moment to connect with other guests. Follow your date’s lead and let them set the tone, but don’t be afraid to get out there and mingle. Make your date feel like they don’t have to worry about you! They are there to support the couple, and you’re there as a supporting role for your date.

That being said, being a plus one doesn’t mean you have to be the most poised person in the room. Partaking in the festivities is one of the best ways to be a good guest. Grab a drink and hit the dance floor, just don’t get too sloppy and make a scene!

Overwhelmed? Take a little break!

Meeting new people can take a toll, and can be intimidating to some people. If you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed, find somewhere quiet and take some time for yourself to regroup. You can also find a smaller group to hunker down and chat with so you don’t feel like you’re getting dragged from group to group. 

At the end of it all, weddings are a time to celebrate the new couple and to have fun! We hope these tips help you as we approach the upcoming wedding season!


Featured Photo | Laura Murray Photography

Coffee With Calluna: Fall Wedding Trends

It’s another week of #CoffeeWithCalluna and we’re so excited to share a few more tips and tricks of the industry. Each week we’ll answer questions from YOU! Send us your questions to or send us a message on Instagram at @callunaevents!

Xo, Calluna

I’m planning a fall wedding – can you share some fun and inspiring fall wedding trends?

Elevate your menu. Plan an autumn-inspired menu and impress your guests with festive food and beverages like mulled wine or a gourmet s’mores station!

Make it cozy! Add blankets and playful throw pillows throughout the space to make your guests feel warm and at home.

Read more about these ideas and other fall inspiration we had in collaboration with Artifact Uprising here!

Photography | Beet + Yarrow

Perfect the tablescape. Another way to prepare for a fall wedding is with an eye catching table setup. Our beautiful fall tablescape design shown in a recent article by is the perfect inspiration! See the full article along with more beautiful fall trends here!

Photography | Rachel Gomez
Planning + Design | Calluna Events
Florals | Siloh Floral Artistry
Tabletop decor | Yonder House
Table + decor | Elective Hive
Napkin | La Tavola Fine Linen
Stationery | Jolie and Company

Vendor Love (feature image):

Photography | Alison Vagnini Photography
Florals | Lalé Floral Designs
Decor + table top | Yonder Floral + Decor House

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner

Congrats, you’re engaged! You and your love are eager to get started planning your wedding. Now comes an important question: do you hire a wedding planner, or do you do it all on your own?

Wedding planners are professional organizers, creatives, go-getters, and service providers. They are there to make your big day run as smoothly as possible and make your vision come alive. Here are our top 5 reasons why you should hire a wedding planner:

-1- They are on your team. Planners are there to protect your investment and make your wedding everything you dreamed of and more. They can help you negotiate with vendors and find creative ways to get the most bang for your buck!

-2- They have done this before. They bring years of experience and lessons learned. They know the tricks of the trade and will keep an eye out for any red flags throughout the planning process.

-3- They are unbiased. You can run your vision by them, and they can provide constructive feedback from their years of experience in the industry. They don’t have the same level of personal involvement that your family or friend might have (and that can be a good thing)!

-4- They have connections. Skilled wedding planners have connections to vendors that they know and trust. They can recommend the very best vendors for your big day based on your personality, style, and budget. Some vendors will even offer you a discount if you are working with a trusted wedding planner!

-5- They can take your stress away. Your wedding day is one of the few days where you get to be swept off your feet surrounded by all of your favorite people. Your wedding planner will be running around behind the scenes to make sure that you don’t have to worry about logistics on one of the most important days of your life.

Ready to get started or have questions? Find out more about why Calluna Events is unique or send us a message.

Photo | Cassie Rosch

Coffee With Calluna :: Bachelorette Parties, Wedding Traditions & Technology!

We are back with a brand new #CoffeeWithCalluna and we are absolutely loving some of the questions you all have been asking! This week we have questions ranging from Bachelorette party ideas to technology at weddings. The industry is constantly changing and so are the “rules” so tonight we are sharing our answers with you!

This is a great question and we truly believe that it should be your choice which wedding traditions you choose to embrace or ignore. Ultimately, whoever walks you down the aisle is your choice and we have seen plenty of brides stroll down the aisle with both their parents, just their mom, a step-parent, sibling or you can even go solo! Don’t be afraid to mold the tradition to your own personality, after all it is YOUR big day!

Photo Credit :: Dana Romanoff

This is a fantastic question! While Vegas is always a fun option, tons of brides also stray away from it as a bachelorette party location. The answers to this question are endless but here are a some of our favorite spots for a potential bachelorette bash!

For the Outdoorsy Bride : We mentioned the Vail Collective in our Bucketlist Venue blog a few weeks ago, and we think it would be the perfect spot for a girls weekend getaway. With locations in Vail, Montana and Aspen, the outdoorsy bride will fall in love with these spots for a bachelorette weekend! For more information click here!


For the Foodie Bride : Admit it, sometimes vacations that are planned around delicious food are the best vacations! Try taking a culinary tour with your best gals and you are guaranteed to have a great time. We loved Travel & Leisure’s list of “America’s Best Cities for Foodies” which includes some seriously amazing places like San Francisco, New Orleans, and Nashville. Good food is often accompanied by great nightlife, arts and culture so any of these places would be a great option!

Technology is such a huge part of our world and we completely understand if you want your wedding day to simply be focused on good friends, delicious food and of course you and your new hubbys love! We love the idea of a having an “unplugged” wedding and we think there are some fantastic ways to express this to your guests. One option would be to include your desire for a phone free celebration in the wedding program, this way all of the guests will see and respect your wishes. Another way would be to have your Dj or officiant make an announcement. Your guests will understand what you want to focus to be on, and everybody will have a great time no matter what!

Want to have your questions answered! Send them to!

Featured Image :: Bridget Burnett Photography

Coffee with Calluna :: Logos, Welcome bags, and coffee!

It’s week 2 of #CoffeeWithCalluna and we’re so excited to share a few more tips and tricks. Each week we’ll answer questions we receive from our readers. Send your questions about weddings, planning, style, or anything really and we’ll answer them! 

For our second Coffee with Calluna we present these questions from some #callunabrides!

 1. Do you create custom logos? While it’s not our main area of expertise, we have been known to create a custom logo or two for some of our couples. We created a custom brand for Rebecca & Ethan’s wedding at C Lazy U Ranch just last month that was then put onto a variety of goodies – bandanas, koozies and signs! We also love working with some of our vendors like Lana’s Shop and Sweet Zion Paperie to create some really amazing logos.

2. What do you suggest putting in welcome bags?  We love a good welcome bag! We always suggest putting in some personal touches. Is one of you a chocolate lover? (chocolate addicts unite!) Add in some chocolate like Chocolove or Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups. It’s always nice to have a bottle of water for the morning after, as well as a fun little recovery kit with Advil, Pepto and Emergen-C. An itinerary of the weekend is always a nice touch, too. We’ve even had welcome bags with small bottles of wine wrapped in a custom logo. Wine in a welcome bag? Yes, please!

3. Whats you favorite coffee shop? Ah! That’s such a tough question! We like so many shops for different reasons. We like to consider ourselves amateur coffee connoisseurs. When we need a break from the office, we bring our computers to some of our favorite local joints – Blackeye Coffee in LoHi (order the pour over, trust us), Logan’s and Spruce Confections in North Boulder, Boxcar Coffee in The Source and in Boulder. 

Want to have your questions answered? Send them to!

xx, Calluna

Feature photo via The Collaboration Blog

Should I Book A Wedding Planner?

The special few months between the holidays and Valentine’s Day is like a continual Christmas Eve for us… it’s Engagement Season!! If you’re a newly engaged couple, we encourage you to fully absorb and soak in that “OMG!!” moment and then once you are seeing wedding bells, consider looking toward the direction of a wedding planner.

Why do you need one, you’re wondering? Beyond the obvious – impeccable organization, detailed scheduling, resourcefulness, calm presence, creativity (seriously, do not hire a planner who doesn’t exhibit all five of these qualities in the very first meeting) – we suggest hiring a planner for these reasons (and countless others!):
| Photo: Ashley Sawtelle Photography |
  1.  It’s important to have someone who isn’t in your “emotional inner circle” advocating for you and your visionI_0090-344x470 throughout the entire planning process. A wedding planner will offer constructive ideas and be a sound voice while navigating the twists and turns the wedding planning process will take. Which leads us to reason #2.
  2. Most brides have never planned a wedding. And, as a result (understandably), it’s a world they aren’t familiar with… a world that comes with a learning curve. Hiring a planner allows you to bypass the learning curve and immediately bring years of experience into the planning process, essentially skipping the time and energy it takes to figure out how the wedding business works. Not only that, a good planner has deeply rooted relationships with each of your vendors. These relationships will enable you to quickly address concerns with practical solutions. Solutions that don’t require a sacrifice of creativity or personal style.
  3. Weddings are very emotional for brides, their grooms, and their families. As they should be. It’s a very exciting time and the emotions are what make weddings such a memorable occasion. But for everyone IMG_0027-353x470behind the scenes – florists, bakers, the band – it’s still a business. And every bride needs someone who will keep tabs on the business side of the event to protect her investment and to make sure each contract she has signed is delivered in full.
  4.  A good planner will connect her bride to vendors who not only fit her budget but who will deliver their promises on time, on budget, and with a sincere desire to create the most amazing wedding for the bride and her groom. Many vendors (photographers, bands, DJs) and venues have a time limit on their services. During the planning process and development your wedding planner gets everyone’s buy in on the timing and activities of day, and then is there on the day of to make sure everyone is executing the plan. Worrying about overages should be the last thing from a couple’s mind as they are celebrate throughout the night.

Read more about why Calluna Events is unique and attributes that might be important to YOU when choosing your wedding planner.

CandB_0760 | Photo: Pamela Ludeke Photography |

12003319_10153258848961634_4798189726761568245_n | Photo: James Christianson Photography |


The Dos and Don’ts of Sending Wedding Invitations

You’ve crafted the perfect wedding invitation suite, now what? Next comes the sometimes-daunting task of assembling, addressing, and mailing out those beauties. The pressure of logistics and etiquette can be an unexpected stress at this time, but don’t worry; Whimsy Design Studio has got you covered. Here are her top five dos and don’ts for sending your wedding invitations with confidence:



 Do write out your guest’s addresses by hand.

Addressing by hand is a personal touch for your invitations that sets a warm, inviting tone for the event. Hate your handwriting? Hire a calligrapher or even a fun hand-lettering artist if you are going for a modern, playful vibe.

Don’t use adhesive labels.

Adhesive mailing labels have a time and place but your wedding invitations are not traditionally one of them. That said, I have seen them used with very contemporary or minimalistic invitation suites and they do coordinate beautifully. Use adhesive labels purposefully and not because you’re trying to save time.


Do use proper titles.

Titles are always important, but particularly necessary to include when the guest has a distinguished title such as doctors, judges, or military personnel. Your guests have earned these titles and it is disrespectful to forgo including them. When in doubt, ask before addressing!

Don’t write “and guest” for long term significant others.

Inviting a non-married friend with a long-term (typically over a year) or live-in significant other? Please learn their significant other’s name and include it on the envelope! Writing “and guest” instead of their name can be insulting to the sincerity of their relationship.




Do stack largest to smallest.

Traditionally your invitation is on the bottom, followed by the reply envelope and response card on top. Inserts such as reception cards and maps should be stacked accordingly depending on their size. Have more than a couple inserts? Pocket folders are a great way to organize all of those pieces.

Don’t wait until the last minute to assemble.

Assembly takes longer than most people realize. I recommend giving yourself at least two weeks for addressing and assembly; even longer if you have extras such as pocket folders, belly bands, wax seals, etc.


Do mail 6-8 weeks before your big day.

Wedding planning timelines can be chaotic. Remember to send your invites 6-8 weeks before the big day. I always recommend a little longer (roughly 8-10 weeks) for destination weddings or if you are expecting a lot of out of town guests.

Don’t ask for a reply within a week of when you mail.

Give your guests enough time to make a decision. Make your RSVP by date 2-4 weeks before your wedding date. This should not only give you enough time to track down those who don’t respond (there are always a few) but also allows enough time to give a final head count to the caterer, finalize your seating chart, and provide guest names to your stationer for escort cards.



Do include postage on your reply envelope.

Make it as easy as possible for your guests to RSVP by including a stamped envelope with your invitation set. Budget savvy tip: postcards require less postage than a reply card and envelope. The savings is roughly 13 cents per reply, but that can easily add up if you have a large guest list!

Don’t guess on the postage needed to mail your invite set.

Bring an assembled invitation set with an envelope and all inserts (reply, maps, etc.) to the post office and have them calculate what postage will be needed. Want something different? My favorite thing right now is mixing vintage postage in with modern designs for an eclectic and unique look.


Wedding invitation etiquette is difficult to navigate for most engaged couples and it’s hard to keep up when the “norm” is constantly evolving. When in doubt, think of the overall tone and mood you are trying to set for your wedding and keep that in mind when designing and sending your stationery pieces. Your invitations are a preview of what is to come on your wedding day; everything – even your envelope – should reflect that vision.

Want more tips for your wedding invitations? Follow Whimsy Design Studio on Instagram: @whimsydesignstudio and check out her weekly Manners Monday posts with advice, etiquette, and tricks for all things wedding stationery.

| Feature Photo Courtesy: Colby Elizabeth Photography |

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Bridal Beauty Trend :: Make Up on Your Wedding Day

We love getting the chance to sit down with our vendors to get the inside scoop! Especially the vendors that are involved in beautifying the bride and the bridal party! Most recently, we sat down with some top notch make up artists – Ashley from Ashley Smith Beauty, Kristin from Bleu and Willow Beauty, and we even heard Emmy from Sage Studio Salon! We loved everything these amazing artists had to say about tips for you on your wedding day, and we know you will too!

These two artists are among our favorite make up artists to use and we would certainly recommend these lovely ladies for your big day!  So if you don’t have a make up artists yet for that special day all of us from Calluna would give Ashley, Kristin, and Emmy two thumbs up! xx, Calluna


Tell us about your favorite traditional bridal style.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 2.49.42 PM

From Kristin: Timeless Look: “My favorite traditional bridal style would have to be a wedding that encompasses timeless elegance and classic trends that never go out of style. I absolutely love traditional color palettes such as ivory, gray, and gold that also incorporate lush, full ivory blooms! I believe that every bride radiates timeless elegance and this to me, is the most fabulous bridal style!”

From Ashley: The Natural Look: “I love doing bridal looks that are soft and natural but enhance the brides features. I think that the bride should look like herself on her wedding day, just a more enhanced version. I always recommend getting lashes because that is one way to bring out her eyes in photos. Make up is so important because, you want to look back at your photos and love the way you looked on your special day. I love using Mirabella make up which is a mineral based line because of it’s flawless and natural finish. The bride should be wearing that make up, the make up should not be wearing her!”

Tell us about a fun new trend you are seeing.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 2.50.13 PMFrom Kristin: A Floral Color Palette: “I absolutely love florals! There is something so magical about beautiful, plush blooms throughout the room. I love soft, saturated palettes of orange and peach that resemble “freshly gathered from the garden.” Locally grown, seasonal, flowers for your wedding are an excellent way to incorporate the eco-conscious, style-savvy trend!”

From Ashley: Emerging Techniques: “This season brides have been all about highlighting and contouring, which is not a new make up technique. Brides are more aware of this technique because of it’s popularity on social media. Highlighting and contouring can be a great way to define you facial structure and deter from any problem areas. This technique can also be overdone and make the bride look patchy in photos if done incorrectly. Blending is key! I love using Mirabella’s Bronzed to contour. It is easy to control and build beautiful true color. It can be used on the cheeks as well as eyes! To highlight, I love using Mirabella’s Brilliant. It is a blush and highlighter in one!”


What do you wish you could tell your bride to do leading up to the big day?

From Kristin: A Crucial Skincare Regimen: “There are several things I would tell my bride prior to her wedding regarding her skincare regimen and makeup. First, I would tell her to begin a good skincare regimen about 6 month prior to the big day. This might include monthly, facials, peels, or microdermabrasion. If she has an acne or rosacea issues, it is important to consult with the proper skincare professional ie, an esthetician or dermatologist to determine the best treatment plan.”

From Ashley: A Clean Diet: “The bride should be drinking lots of water and eating clean. Avoid eating a lot of dairy, salt and sugar. Those three food categories cause the most breakouts and inflammation. The bride should avoid getting any skin treatments within ten days of her big day!”

How crucial are make up trials?

meigan+canfieldFrom Kristin: A worry free trial: “I think makeup trials are extremely helpful as there are many women who are concerned with the amount of makeup they will be wearing the day of. It’s important for a bride to feel comfortable and look like herself on her wedding day, but also have a the correct  amount of makeup applied for optimal results in regard to professional pictures. There is a delicate balance between the two and a makeup trial can definitely ease the concerns a bride might have! Lastly, I would tell my bride to revel in the joy of the time before the wedding because it is absolutely wonderful!!”

From Ashley: A transparent trial: “Make up trials are a must before the wedding! It gives me and the bride a chance to come up with a plan, so that there are no surprises or miscommunications the day of her wedding. I also suggest creating a Pinterest board for inspiration, and bringing that in on the day of the trial.”

From Emmy: A happy medium trial: ” Make up, always I like to have a trial. How much or how little is natural to a person varies very strongly. This way the bride and myself feel more comfortable having it locked down beforehand. Going home with it and getting a reaction out of their fiancé is great too because then we can tweak of need be so that he still sees you how he sees you everyday but a more polished version. I’ve learned a lot of men prefer their finances without make up so its finding that happy medium.”


Cover photo provided by the lovely Sage Studio Salon | Photos throughout provides by both Bleu and Willow Beauty as well as Ashley Smith Beauty


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