Welcome to Steve and Darlene’s blog. Here we post articles about weddings, digital storytelling, technology, the charity programs we’re involved in, and whatever else Real Invites is doing. We’re always interested to hear your comments and feedback, so please don’t hesitate to comment on any of our posts or send us an email.
We’re also open to any suggestions for topics you’d like to see on our blog. We hope you enjoy our thoughts and opinions.
A lot of people are still discovering the versatile new medium that inspired our digital wedding invitations. Digital storytelling evolved out of the recent improved accessibility of consumer video editing software like IMovie, Adobe Premier, and Windows Movie Maker. Digital stories combine images, music, and narration into an emotionally engaging video. Nowadays anyone with a decent computer and an internet connection can tell his or her personal story online.
If you have a webcam on your computer and some video editing software, you have all the basic tools necessary to get started with your own digital story. However, there are a few things that can increase the quality of your videos. Photos from your home album can give a vintage feel to your story, but for those really stunning pictures, it helps to have a quality digital camera available. A decent DSLR isn’t too expensive these days, and with natural light and a tripod, you can get some very professional shots that will really improve your digital story.
If you’d like to add some visual flare but you haven’t got a quality camera at your disposal, free online stock photos, or images from public sites like Flickr can be great. Just make sure that you abide by the relevant license for the image. If there is an attribution condition in the license, remember to list the owner of the image and notify them if they ask you to do so.
Sound makes a tremendous difference in video. Those watching a video may not notice if sound capture has been done properly, but they will almost always notice if it has been done improperly. To avoid background noise, it makes sense to invest a bit more in your home studio microphone, rather than relying on the PC mic.
Most computers come with video editing software, but if you don’t have a program already, there are plenty of good free and open source solutions. Macs almost always come with video editing software. For Linux there’s PiTiVi and for Windows, there’s AviSynth. There is even a free cloud-based video editing program called, “WeVideo,” which allows you to collaborate with others using Google Drive. These days anyone can learn the basics of video editing and put something impressive together in no time at all.
The empowering range of tools available for digital storytelling is part of what inspired us to start making digital wedding invitations at Real Invites. There are so many possibilities with today’s technology that digital storytelling can serve more purposes than they have traditionally in the past. If you have the time and desire to do so, you can share your story with the entire world. Or, if you’d like something more professional, talk to us at Real Invites. Digital stories are what we do best, and we love to create truly powerful videos that make your experiences come alive.
Some wedding ceremonies and receptions expect a certain degree of formality from their guests. Although it was once considered tacky to tell one’s guests how to dress, occasions that expect formal wear are now the exception to the rule. A black tie wedding is usually specified as such on the invitation, so you will know if you are going to one. If you don’t ordinarily attend black tie events, this kind of instruction may appear slightly intimidating, but in fact meeting the requirements of a black tie event is quite simple.
In general, black tie formal wear is reserved for occasions after 6 pm. However, these days this is not a steadfast rule, and if the invitation calls for black tie wear, then you should dress accordingly, even in the afternoon. Similarly, even though black tie wear is traditionally reserved for adults, these days we often see young ring-bearers wearing tuxedos. More than ever, the interpretation of black tie formality depends upon the event and those involved in it. The best you can do is to abide by standard etiquette unless the occasion calls for something different.
For men, black tie wear consists of a suit a white dress shirt, a black bow-tie a waistcoat or cummerbund, and black dress shoes. Women’s dress for black tie occasions is traditionally an ankle- or mid-calf-length sleeveless dress, as well as a wrap or stole, gloves, and evening shoes. Nowadays, however, cocktail (knee) length dresses are considered appropriate in most places.
If you’re planning on hosting a black-tie wedding, remember to make your guests comfortable by clearly specifying that you expect black-tie wear on the invitation. There are generally three ways of indicating this: “Black Tie Required;” “Black Tie Preferred;” and “Black Tie Optional.” On a traditional invitation, this information will appear on the bottom right corner of the invitation. If you are using Real Invites’ unique digital invitations, you can inform your guests in a more creative manner if you prefer.
It’s enough trouble trying to get the right wording for wedding invitations when things are simple, but what about when your family has less traditional circumstances? These days so many engaged couples have a unique family situation to accommodate, and it’s never easy to ensure that everyone feels happy and included in your big day.
A lot of brides or grooms have divorced parents, or parents who have remarried, and sometimes we risk offending a family member if we word things improperly. Nowadays, it isn’t seen as bad form for the groom’s parents to chip in for the wedding expenses, and quite often some unique combination of parents, step-parents, and/or the engaged couple themselves end up shouldering the expenses. Even in untraditional circumstances, good form is important to let everyone know they’re appreciated.
You want to make sure everyone is comfortable, but don’t forget there are a few basic pieces of information that you need to include on any wedding invitation, such as the date and time of the wedding and reception, the full names of the bride and groom, and some form of R.S.V.P. information. Other than that, it’s perfectly acceptable to include anything you want on the invitation, so long as you stay within the confines of good social behaviour.
It is good form to list the names of any parents or step-parents who contributed to the wedding expenses, even if they are not sending the invitations. If you are concerned about how someone might feel or might react to your decision, discuss it with them if it is appropriate to do so. Every situation is different, but here are some guidelines about proper form.
- The name of the mother of the bride should come first if the bride’s parents are divorced, whether she has remarried or not.
- Divorced parents should be listed on separate lines, one after the other, without “and” connecting them.
- When the bride’s mother has not remarried, she should usually be listed as “Mrs.” followed by her first name, maiden name, and married name.
- Parents who have remarried should be listed as “Mr. And Mrs.”
Of course nobody says you have to be bound by traditional paper invitations to demonstrate proper etiquette. Digital Invitations from Real Invites allow you to connect with your guests on a much more personal level, and ensure that everyone feels fully included in your romantic journey. We help you find the exact right words, music and pictures, whatever your situation may be.
“We request the honour of your presence at our wedding.”
“Be a witness to one of life’s loveliest surprises.”
“Something borrowed and something blue . . .”
We’ve all received wedding invitations that we skim over without much consideration, barely taking note of the date. Creativity is too often the missing ingredient when couples are trying to organize their special days. We all have that vision of a perfect wedding that we’ve wanted since childhood, and we get so caught up in the idea of everything being perfect that we forget it’s our own originality and unique character that makes a wedding so special and memorable.
If you’re the literary type, why not write a poem that conveys all the emotion that has gone into this special occasion? Or, if you’ve planned your wedding around a certain theme, write invitations that are in keeping with the theme. What Star Wars themed wedding is complete without a reminder to let the force be with you? A Hollywood themed wedding can remind your guests to bring their cameras and act as “paparazzi” to the bride and groom.
You don’t need to be confined to conventional forms – you can experiment, based on your own personality styles, and chances are it will be appreciated. Be true to yourself – send out invitations that reflect who you are. If you’re looking for something that really hits the nail on the head, why have a look at Real Invites’ selection of unique digital invitations that will truly engage your family and friends in a memorable experience from the very beginning, and take things beyond the level of simple, disposable paper invitations.
Everyone wants a wedding to remember. Do something different and original, and you’ll have just that. We’ve put together a list of ways to make your wedding stand out in the memories of your family and friends.
(1) A unique and versatile theme.
Everyone else is going with roses, diamonds, stars, and the typical fare. Why blend into the crowd? Whether you’re looking for something relatively traditional, or to convey a bit more personality, there are plenty options out there for unique wedding themes.
Vintage weddings can be a great time. Dress everyone in your wedding party as if it’s the 80’s, the roaring 20’s, or even Victorian times. If you’re looking for something a little crazy, you can always get married dressed as superheroes, or go bungee jumping after you say your vows. The important thing is to pick a theme that reflects who you are and what your marriage means to you as a couple.
(2) A unique location.
Nobody says you have to get married in a church or a garden. Why not get married on the beach, on top of a mountain, or even in a movie theatre, or a bookstore. What better way to remind everyone what your wedding signifies than to choose a location for the ceremony that everyone will remember? Wherever you get married, it should be meaningful, and signify something about your love for each other.
(3) Original and interesting vows.
Writing your own vows has been a common practice for many years. It’s rare, however, that we hear truly unique and poetic vows that stir the emotions and stay in our memories. The great thing about writing truly poetic and inspiring vows is, you don’t just touch the hearts of your wedding guests, but also of your spouse. Spending some time writing unique and meaningful vows is one of the easiest ways to make your wedding memorable.
(4) Unique digital invitations from Real Invites.
Your invitations will send an immediate message to everyone about what kind of wedding to expect. You can go with something traditional, but why not take a risk and do something out of the ordinary? Whether you go with traditional paper invitations, or something digital, remember that your guests want to be included in your romantic journey, and the invitations are the first step towards something bigger. Check out our samples at Real Invites for some ideas.
I love to hear how couples met and got engaged! It’s always a privilege to be included in such an intimate way in their romantic journeys. I feel a connection to others through their stories, and that’s part of the reason behind the founding of Real Invites. We want to provide engaged couples with something meaningful and lasting, and it’s always so rewarding to be included in the process of sharing such an important story.
We’re holding a launch contest to help engaged couples experience the magic of digital storytelling, and to share with the world some of our passion for this artform. We’re asking couples to share their stories with us and offering prizes to the most inspiring entries. For me, this is an exciting opportunity to connect with couples in love and share some of the joy they feel. We’re offering a $100 Visa gift card and a 15% discount on invitations for the three winners. We’ll also create digital stories out of the three winning entries and post them online for couples to share.
We started this business because we love hearing stories and we believe in their power. This contest is a huge milestone for us because over the next several weeks we’ll have the chance to hear stories from a variety of couples, and to share the power of digital storytelling with them. If you’re engaged and interested in entering the contest, visit our contest page. Check back here at the blog for updates and contest results.
- Keeping the spark alive. When your partner walks into a room or when you are speaking to them look at them like they are the most important person at that moment. What a wonderful feeling to know you are truly loved and respected.
- Romance does not have to cost money. When you pass by your partner doing some work, stop and touch them, give them a kiss or say something nice. It is the little things that can make the difference in your relationship.
- Plan date nights. Our lives’ are busy and hectic and we are constantly scheduling activities and events in our calendars. Make room for the one you love and watch the magic happen!!
- Let them know you are thinking of them. With technology today, it takes only a few seconds to text a romantic message. I promise you that will bring a smile to their face and warmth to the heart.
- Laugh with your partner. Watch a funny comedy, think about a funny time in your relationship or tell a joke. A sense of humor can help you get through difficult times.
“Remember relationships only work if we work at them”
Written By Darlene Lucas
Weddings are once in a lifetime experiences filled with wonderful memories and cherished moments. I so cherish those memories and still remember my wedding so vividly like it was yesterday, the wonderful memories of my husband helping me to plan our “Big Day”special wedding day. Unlike most men, my husband was particularly interested in the wedding plans, every little detail, every little task, every step of the way.
I just want to clarify it is the bride’s role, our rite of passage to plan our wedding, or at least the majority of the planning. After all it is not call the “bridal” industry for nothing!! Now I know times have changed and more men like to be involved and I do support giving them some tasks, smaller tasks, but really picking the wedding theme, honeymoon destination, banquet hall, designing the invitations, colors scheme, wedding cake and food menu…
Really!! What Do Men Know about planning a wedding!!!
Or at least that what I thought. You see at times it is hard for me to let others plan events of importance for me or even share in the planning process. And just a little insight into the situation I always thought I didn’t want a big wedding although my husband did. Now there are various ways to involve men in the planning that helps makes the process somewhat painless and less emotional charged. I thought I found ways to distract my husband’s interests in the planning by assigning small task like finding the best florist shop, not the flowers just a florist shop. Oops did I forget to mention not only did he find the best florist shop, but he found the perfect flowers, with the perfect colors that matched my wedding dress. Okay I know you are thinking after that “little”success I let go a little and handed over the reins of planning just a little bit more to him.
Nope, and I am sure that you women understand. I had to make sure that the best man and ushers looked perfect on my “Big Day”. I know my fiancé had been hinting that he’d pick the tuxedos out on his own with the guys. And yes, I picked my dress out without him and he wasn’t allowed to see it. But I still needed tag alone just in case. I know what the men are thinking; he is a grown man and he surely doesn’t need my help. And guess what men you are right, absolutely right, not only did he pick the right style he got an amazing deal in the pricing – without ME!!
Today is the day, the “Big Day”, the day I have been planning for. The day my family, my husband to-be and all our friends have been waiting for. You see it took me 8 years to finally take that final step to marriage. I knew without a doubt that he was my best friend, my confidant and partner for life and the man I wanted to marry.
You see you don’t always know what you have until someone reminds you. When I said I have many cherished memories there is one that stands out, one that I will cherish forever. One of my sister approached me after the wedding in the reception hall and said to me, did you see what Steve wrote on Facebook today. To be honest I had been so busy over the last little while I had not looked at any social media sites. However, my husband was counting down the days to our wedding and had posted each day a saying or thought on Facebbook for world to see.
On our “BIG DAY” he wrote:
20 years of Friendship
11 years of Romance
8 years of Promise
And today I marry my Best Friend!!
That is my STORY and the beginning of “Real Invites” an online community, where engaged couples come together with their wedding guest and enjoy a wedding experience that they will all cherish forever. Real Invites is for engaged couples who see their romantic journey as a STORY to be shared with their wedding guest in a creative and innovative presentation. Real Invites wedding services strives to makes your wedding experiences come ALIVE, by creating a virtual wedding invite and personalized website that allow wedding guest to be an intimate part of your wedding experience from your first romantic memory to happily ever after…
Real Invites – “Your Life Experiences Coming Alive”