Valdosta, Ga. – Just imagine: you’re lying face down, the massage therapist is working your shoulders into a state of bliss, and nothing could be more peaceful . . . until your cell phone rings. Oops!
“At some point leading up to the wedding,” said Beth Downs, an Etiquette & Leadership Consultant and Wedding Coordinator in Valdosta, Ga., “most brides enjoy a trip to the spa with friends, with family or even the groom, or as an escape from all the wedding hustle and bustle.” Going to the spa has even become a popular event for all of the ladies in the wedding party in lieu of a Bridesmaids Luncheon. But according to Downs, “it’s important to remember that a spa is a place of solace and even healing, and the experts who deliver those gifts deserve respect and good manners.” “Clients are here to escape the world,” said Violet Johnson, a certified etiquette consultant and a massage therapist in San Jose, Ca. “It is a place of relaxation and an adjunct to each person’s health care.” With that in mind, here are some tips that will make your next spa visit nothing but relaxing for both you and the person massaging your back.
Getting ready for your moment of Zen
Think of a spa like a medical office, and be mindful of policies on late cancellations or no-shows.
Remember to arrange for childcare: unless the spa offers childcare, your children should stay at home.
If you prefer a female or male massage therapist, be sure to say so when you make your appointment; you may not have a choice by the time you arrive at the spa.
Dress comfortably (and be prepared to remove jewelry) so you can easily and quickly slip into a robe and slippers. If you’re worried about clothing, know that you will always be draped during any service and never fully exposed. If you have any questions about what to wear, feel free to ask the staff.
Arrive at least 15 minutes early in order to fill out paperwork (which is confidential and will help your practitioner meet your needs) and to change your clothes. If you are planning appointments after your spa visit, remember to allow time to change back into your non-spa clothes.
Once there, stay quiet and comfortable
“Treat the spa like a library – be very quiet.” That’s the advice from Debbie Howell, an aesthetician, and Micki Wisenbaker, a massage therapist and aesthetician, both of Arbor Salon and Spa in Athens, Ga. So be sure to speak quietly, and turn off all electronic devices (or leave them in the car).
Tell your practitioner whether you have allergies that might affect the choice of oils or other products used during your visit. If you’ll be enjoying aromatherapy, you can inquire if they have your favorite scent.
Remember that you are there to be pampered. If you are too cold or too hot, or if the massage is too deep or not deep enough, let your therapist know.
Most importantly, remember to relax!
Afterwards, get ready to do it again
Be prepared to tip 20 percent for the service, and bring your calendar to schedule your next appointment of happiness.
Beth Downs has been teaching social etiquette and dance classes for 13 years, and she provides a variety of services for brides including Wedding Day and Rehearsal Coordination and event design. For more information, visit www.polishingleaders.com.
Etiquette & Leadership Consultant
If you're searching for a little cake inspiration, check out these works of art. We found these and a huge assortment of cake ideas on MarthaStewart.com. Categorized from traditional to modern, colorful to floral, and even by flavor, you are sure to find something that inspires you!
With our current gorgeous spring days, the thought of hosting an outdoor wedding ceremony can be very tempting. We've chosen a few images to share with you from Gandy Photographers of outdoor events that were absolutely perfect.
The list of settings seems endless for pulling off a beautiful outdoor wedding. We've seen ceremonies performed under grand, old oaks, on the porches of ante-bellum homes, on golf courses, and often on the back lawn of a private residence. The extent of decoration can even vary from the simple use of nature itself to elaborate floral and fabric designs. Arbors are also a great option for creating a "sanctuary" for the ceremony site.
Of course there are many obstacles to consider when planning an event like this and as a bride, you should certainly decide if you are cut out for the task. Keep in mind, mother nature has the final say in how the day unfolds, but with a great back-up plan you are still guaranteed to have a perfect wedding.
Monogrammed gifts are a hot idea for weddings! Whether you want to include his and hers initials or a single letter, the personalization of the gift makes it so much sweeter. If you're the bride-to-be, Pottery Barn has a great registry for you to create a fabulous gift list. Here are a few items we selected to share from their very lovely collection of monogrammable gifts!
Top row: Square Vases, $12-$44. Monogrammed Square Soaps; set of 4, $39. Terry Guest Towels; set of 3, $29.
Bottom row: Classic Hotel Tablecloth, $39-$49. Organic Hemstitch Sheet Set, $28-$179. Glass Cocktail Shaker, $24.
Here at Valdosta Weddings, there is nothing we love more than Spring! With the change of seasons comes a sense of "wedding fever" and a renewed energy to celebrate with vivid color and detail. You can incorporate your style of color in utilizing some of these sweet ideas in your Spring wedding reception! Check out these great finds and a whole lot more exclusively at the ever-fabulous Williams-Sonoma.
Williams-Sonoma also has a gift registry you may be interested in signing up for. This company hosts some of the finest cookware, cutlery, and cooks' tools to make any gourmet chef green with envy. They also have home decor and furnishings as well as glassware and bar essentials. With their online catalog and easy ordering, your out-of-town guests may find this a very useful tool.
DETAILS: Top left, then clockwise: Mini Bird's Nests, Set of 4; $24.99. Springtime Nest Bell Jars; $39-$79. Easter Egg Browniepops, Set of 6; $26. Chocolate Truffle-filled Eggs; $6.50. Decorative Straw Bluebirds, Set of 4; $24. Caffarel Tissue-Wrapped Chocolate Eggs; $24. Cupcake Stand; $29.95. Feather Ducks, Set of 3; $19.95.
Center: Italian Alabaster Eggs, Assorted Colors, Set of 6; $36. Spring Art Lollipop, Set of 24; $12.50.
I am a sucker for anything to do with rules of etiquette. I believe this obsession began with a copy of Judith Martin's Miss Manners given to me on my 13th birthday. This book is more of a comedic spin on etiquette and really gets you to thinking about how rules change with time. Please note, I do not judge those who fail to follow the law, as I am often the first to prop my elbows on the table when I'm feeling a little exhausted. I am just fascinated with that which should be.
I often find great wedding etiquette tips from the blog of Blue Orchid Designs . Below you will find Liene's modern twists on the traditional rules of celebrating your engagement with a party.
Traditional: The bride's immediate family hosts the engagement party as a way to celebrate and share the couple's good news with friends and family. If the groom's family lives out of state or far away, it is not inappropriate to have a second engagement party hosted by his family.
Modern: An engagement party may be hosted by anyone, but the role should not be offered to anyone in the bridal party unless they specifically request to host. The reason for this is that your bridesmaids and groomsmen have several other obligations during the planning process that they need to focus their energy and finances on.
Traditional: The host foots the bill, even if the party takes place in a restaurant.
Modern: This stays the same. Guests should never pay for their own meal or for any part of the party. If it gets to be pricey, the person hosting your engagement party may also opt to host just a happy hour or an afternoon champagne and hors d'oeuvres mixer.
Traditional: Guests are not expected to bring gifts to an engagement party. If they do, the bride and groom should open them later in private and not in front of guests as you would at a bridal shower.
Modern: If you're a guest, a small token gift is not inappropriate, such as a favorite wedding planning book. While you're still not obligated to bring a gift at all, I would recommend a card of congrats at the very minimum.
Traditional: Toasts are given, beginning with the father of the bride. After him, the groom toasts his bride and her family and then opens up the floor to any other friends or family who want to share a few words.
Modern: If the party is being hosted by someone other than the bride's immediate family, they should be third in line to toast, but they are not obligated to say anything.
Traditional: No one should be invited to the engagement party who will not also be invited to the wedding.
Modern: This rule stays the same, even for the most modern of couples and even if you are planning a destination wedding. Being rude is never in style.