How to Create Your Guest List for Your Wedding

Before a bride can send out her beautiful invitations that provide meticulous details about her wedding day, she needs to narrow down her guest list.

It can be difficult to choose the most important family members and friends that have shared a role in the lives of both the bride and groom, and the task can quickly become overwhelming.

These tips for how to create a guest list will help any couple while planning their wedding.

How to Create Your Guest List for Your Wedding

Master List

Create a master list of all the people you would potentially like to invite to your ceremony and reception.

This will give you an idea of how many people you may want to invite, but also help you begin to narrow down if your list is too long.

It’s important to be fair about inviting guests — not only do you and your future spouse have people to invite, but both sets of in-laws also will have guests that they want to include as well.

Break into Groups

Separate the guest list into various groups including immediate family, extended family, friends and co-workers. Begin to filter through each list in order to determine who should make the final cut. Again, it is important to be fair and to set a consistent number that each person has to stick to when it comes to inviting guests.

B-List

Create a “B-List” in order to send out additional invites as you receive declines from the original guest list. You may want to place extra friends and co-workers on this B-list in the event that some relatives and close friends cannot attend the wedding.

Be Consistent

Set a standard for who will be cut from the list, and be consistent between all parties who are hoping to invite people to the wedding. For instance, some couples set a rule that all guests must be at least 18 years old in order to be invited.

Creating the guest list can be one of the most chaotic parts of wedding planning, and it honestly should be one of the first tasks that the couple checks off of their to-do list. When a guest list is determined and set well in advance of the wedding, the bride and groom will be able to easily and accurately plan for every other part of the big day. For more information on wedding guest lists and to see options for stunning invitations, check out PaperDirect today.

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Team Building: Thinking Outside the Box

Teamwork Poster by PaperDirectThese days, the words “team building” is more likely to elicit groans than excitement from employees.

Many times what spring to mind are silly games or trust exercises. Plus, it can mean rearranging deadlines and interrupting already packed work schedules.

However, when done right, team building can be a powerful tool to improve morale, create camaraderie and increase productivity.

When developing a team-building program, ask yourself what the ultimate goal is. Is it to strengthen the bond between coworkers? To encourage creativity or spark new ideas? To work on a company problem or issue? Focusing on the goal will help determine which exercises or activities will best accomplish it.

Next, ensure that you provide a safe environment. It’s okay to ask participants to step a bit outside their comfort zone. But if an employee is terrified of heights, for instance, group bungee jumping can be hugely counterproductive.

Finally, try to think outside the box and escape from the predictable, worn out team-building exercises of years past. Pleasantly surprising participants with a non-traditional activity will set the tone and get the ball rolling in the right direction.

Here are a few fun and quirky ideas to inspire you:

Scavenger Hunt

As a kid, you probably participated in scavenger hunts at birthday or Halloween parties. Little did you know you were learning how to work together and problem-solve.

Turns out, grown-up kids like scavenger hunts, too! The hunt can take place in your office building, a nearby park or your entire city.

Break the group up into teams and give them a list of items to find. Include word clues, pictures, brain teasers, etc. Each “find” is worth a certain number of points and the team with the most points wins!

Team-Building for Good

Great-Job-CertificateWhat could be better for employee morale than giving back to a worthy cause? Choose a local charity for your company to support. Then ask employees to bring in donations that will benefit the charity. For instance, non-perishable food items for a food bank or clothing for a women’s shelter.

Teams will use these items to build or make something (without destroying the items, of course). It may help to come up with a central theme like “Great Buildings of the World” or “Paris Fashion Show.” Award points for ingenuity, design and overall creativity. Afterwards, disassemble the “building blocks” and deliver the donations together.

All in the Family

Micro Prize Wheel from PaperDirectWork-life balance is crucial to employee morale and productivity. Overwhelmingly, employees crave flexibility and time with their families, even more than money or benefits. So why not include their families in team-building activities?

Organize a Family Fun Day complete with face painting, a bounce house, sack races, food and drink. Have a smaller budget? Opt for a good old-fashioned ice cream social. Hold a charity raffle or give away door prizes from other local businesses. And be sure to host the event during work hours.

That way, employees get extra time with their families, instead of having to come to work with their families during the hours they should be off.

Swirly Stars Casual Certificates by PaperDirect

No matter which team-building activity you decide on, remember to recognize your employees’ accomplishments. PaperDirect has a full selection of awards and certificates that say, “Job well done!”

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Wedding Slideshow Guidelines and Tips

As the age of social media and ever-changing technology is upon us, it comes as no surprise that many people want to add multimedia elements to their wedding receptions. One of the most popular events at any reception is the wedding photo slideshow.

These wedding slideshow tips will help any bride and groom create a memorable, fun and sentimental montage for their guests to enjoy.

tips for creating a wedding slideshow

Variety

Choose a variety of photos from many different stages of life. Your guests will love to see those cute and slightly embarrassing baby photos, but don’t forget to add in some from the awkward teenage years and your early years as a couple.

Set a Time

Allow each photo to be displayed for approximately 2 to 3 seconds. This allows your photos to run in-sync with the song or songs that you have chosen for the slideshow, while also not lingering too long on the screen.

Your slideshow should continue moving at a steady pace in order to keep the interest of your guests.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Do not create a slideshow that lasts for more than 7 minutes.

Your guests may get antsy or lose interest if you make a slideshow that lasts for much more than this. The goal of 5-7 minutes works well, because it is about the same length of time as two songs.

Have a Backup!

cloudAlways back-up your slideshow on multiple platforms, including the cloud. You want your wedding day to be flawless, and this means you should always have a back-up plan.

Bring the slideshow on multiple discs, but also back it up in the cloud in order to make sure you can access it no matter what.

Music

Pick songs that have meaning for both the bride and the groom. The songs should also reflect the personality of the couple. For instance, a couple that is comfortable showing their romantic side might choose slow and meaningful songs.

Another couple that prefers to keep things fun and fresh might choose upbeat music that keeps guests smiling and laughing for the duration of the slideshow.

There are many aspects to planning the perfect wedding, and creating a stunning slideshow is just one of them. Brides and grooms also will want to prioritize the details of the day, including programs, napkins, invitations, menus and seating charts. To find the best paper products for all of your wedding planning needs, be sure to visit PaperDirect today.

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10 Employee Service Award Ideas

Formal Blue Standard CertificatesOne of the best ways to ensure the success of your business is to secure the best and most productive employees — but hiring high quality candidates isn’t the only way to guarantee that you are going to get a good return on your investment.

You need to reward your employees and show them that you appreciate their hard work and effort. Employee service awards are a wonderful and affordable way to show your workers that you care.

These employee service award ideas are sure to be a hit among the workforce at your business.

10 Employee Service Award Ideas

  1. Provide your employees with a gift certificate to a local restaurant, allowing them to fully enjoy their time off from work.
  2. Create a certificate that allows them to enjoy a casual day of dress at work.
  3. Reward an employee with an extra day off to use as they wish.
  4. Throw a company party, allowing all of your employees to let their hair down and relax while at the office.
  5. Bring in breakfast as a surprise. Perhaps create a hot breakfast buffet, or opt for a continental breakfast of fruit, coffee, donuts and bagels.
  6. Gift your employees with a token of your appreciation, such as an engraved plaque or a trophy.
  7. Designate a special parking spot for a top-notch employee, and rotate who gets to use it on a regular basis.
  8. Send a personalized thank you note to an employee who has put in extra effort or shown a lot of growth in recent weeks.
  9. Create awards for personal accomplishments that employees might achieve, such as running a marathon or celebrating a milestone anniversary.
  10. Design a certificate that provides employees with an extra-long lunch hour. Give it out every once in a while to employees who deserve a little reward for something they have done around the office.

Sienna Specialty CertificatesYour employees are an integral part of your business, so it’s essential that you recognize their contributions and the important role that they play.

These employee service award ideas will help you easily and effectively show your employees that you care, while staying within your tight budget at the same time. Your employees are sure to be excited when they receive a reward, and they will be motivated to continue to do their best for you and for the company as a whole.

For more great ideas on rewarding your employees, visit PaperDirect.com today.

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Slogans Made Simple: Free Tagline Generators

Taglines and slogans can be essential to creating buzz around your business. Everyone knows Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan. And of course, even after decades, most people can name the brand associated with “Where’s the Beef?”

But coming up with even the most simple tagline can be a lot of work. Luckily, there are automated online tagline/slogan generators that can help get your creative juices flowing. With most, users simply plug in a keyword to receive suggestions.

We tried out three of them, using PaperDirect” as our keyword, to get a feel for how they work.

Slogan Generator

This site has a nice, clean design and is simple to use. Plus, it gives you a few tips on how to create a good tagline or slogan. It created some decent ones but also came up with some that were totally out of left field.

The Surrealist Slogan Maker

Like its name, the Surrealist’s slogans are a little offbeat. But if you’re looking for taglines that are guaranteed to entertain you (even if you’ll never actually use them in business), this site is the place to find them.

Moxy Creative Tagline Generator

This fun interface allows you to select different data (product type, use, urgency) into robot-shaped graphic. The “robot” then spits out suggested taglines. The taglines are pretty basic and no matter what you enter, it’s the same variation of a central theme.

All were easy to use but there was a lot of variation in the quality of the taglines we received, as you can see below:

The (Pretty) Good

All You Need is PaperDirect and a Dream (The Surrealist)

PaperDirect, always a step ahead (Slogan Generator)

Try PaperDirect and Maximize Your Results – Soon! (Moxy Creative)

The Bad

Let the PaperDirect work for you (Slogan Generator)

PaperDirect, the fun overloaded. (Slogan Generator)

Go Home with PaperDirect at the Touch of a Button – Today! (Moxy Creative)

The Ugly

Big Chocolate PaperDirect (The Surrealist)

I Wish I Were a PaperDirect Weiner (The Surrealist)

Go Crack a PaperDirect (Slogan Generator)

If you’d like to try out a tagline generator, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Play around with the keywords; use your company name, your product or your industry.
  2. Prepare to spend time clicking through a lot of unusable material.
  3. Write down taglines that jump out at you and brainstorm with others about how to improve on them.
  4. Before going “live” with a tagline, ask yourself what you want the tagline to do (increase sales, build your brand, etc.).

In most cases, tagline generators won’t come up with the next award-winning slogan for you. They simply aren’t designed that way. But they can be a good jumping-off point to creating one that’s truly unique and unforgettable.

When you’ve finally settled on one, be sure to include it in all your business communications. The more customers see it, the more they’ll associate it with you and your company.

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How Small Businesses can Compete Online

In the past, when large businesses competed head-to-head with smaller ones, the winner was the larger businesses. However, today, thanks to many small businesses online presence, they are no longer being left in the dust by big corporations. Read below to learn how small businesses can compete online today:

Be Entertaining:

Consumers are more frequently surfing the web for no other reason than being entertained.

You as a small business owner can tap into the entertainment world by using social media and YouTube to create funny, engaging, memorial advertisements or videos for your company. Such a video was placed on YouTube recently and is worth a look.

Had you ever heard of PooPouri before this video went viral on YouTube? We didn’t think so.

But because of their smart marketing, they were able to expose themselves to a huge audience on a level with huge corporations.

The current generation of consumers are essentially glued to their media devices at all times. Therefore, using medians such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to get your business’s name in front of thousands of people is a great idea and one way in which you can compete with larger businesses that have huge advertising budgets.

Treating customers better than large businesses do:

Regardless of how big your business, how you treat customers will ultimately determine your success, and that is no different in regards to your online presence.

In other words, if you have a customer who reviews your business badly, contacting them and offering a solution to their issue–if possible–is wise. If you can make the fact that you have worked to rectify the situation public, that is even better. It will show other people that you are willing to work to keep your customers happy, and that you as a small business owner care about each of your customers.

Welcome and encourage online reviews:

schema-vs-no-schemaSpeaking of the reviews, which were just mentioned above, they are a great way to gain an advantage over large businesses. To encourage reviews, simply have a place on your website that will give your customers the ability to easily express their opinions on either the service that was rendered or the product sold.

What about bad reviews?

If you are worried about bad reviews, don’t, because according to many studies, bad reviews do not in fact make your business look that bad. In fact, when customers see all positive reviews and no negative, they may begin to wonder if you have paid for your positive reviews.

Therefore, a good mix of mostly positive with a few negative sprinkled in is actually what you want, so don’t fear bad reviews, because if you do good work, ultimately, your reviews will reflect that.

By accomplishing all the elements listed above, you can grow your business’s presence and easily compete with large businesses online. However, don’t forget that real-world advertising is still important.To assure your clients are seeing you in a positive light, shop online at PaperDirect for your business needs.

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Protect your Professional reputation: Linkedin Habits to avoid

LinkedIn has become a valuable tool in the business world.

In fact, according to LinkedIn data, the platform is especially helpful when landing higher-paying jobs. Unfortunately, if you commit certain faux pas on your LinkedIn profile, you can come across as unprofessional and in turn miss out of potential career opportunities.

Therefore, to help you avoid these pitfalls, PaperDirect, which is passionate about helping businesses appear professional, has complied the following list of LinkedIn habits to avoid:

Not Using a Photo:

According to LinkedIn Career Expert Nicole Williams, you stand a greater chance of having your profile viewed if you have a photo on your profile. When potential employers see a profile without a photo, they can make assumptions that something is wrong.

In addition, if you use your LinkedIn account as a way to follow up after meeting potential clients, having a picture on your profile will help those clients place who you are when you are following up. Therefore, a missing photo can easily result in a missed connection.

Keep in mind your profile photo should be professional. No, this doesn’t mean it has to be a “professionally shot photo,” but it should show you at your best.

Some Rules:

  • No kids
  • No pets
  • No spouses
  • Have a high quality file
  • If you are older, don’t attempt to “fool” anyone by using an old photo.

Not Posting a Regular Status

It is a good idea to post a status every few days on your LinkedIn account. However, keep in mind, this is not Twitter or Facebook. This is not the place for sharing with your friends the cute phrase your kid just said or the fact that you are enjoying your beach vacation.

Instead, use your LinkedIn status as a way to keep your potential clients and/or employers informed about your latest professional accomplishments.

Not Connecting

It is a great idea to connect to others in your field. Join as many groups as possible, but keep in mind that you want your connections to be professional. Again, this isn’t Twitter or Facebook, the amount of connections is not necessarily the most important issue. The most important factor, is the quality of the connections you have.

Not Updating

Some of us keep jobs for 5-10 years before updating our resume. Don’t wait this long!

If you get a new title, update it on LinkedIn. If you successfully complete a project, add it to LinkedIn. If you develop a new skill, add it to your skill set.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that every professional should be utilizing. However, there are many common errors like those listed above that will undermine the success you could have with the platform, avoid them and you will succeed in building up your professional persona.

Comment Below for Linkedin

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Cute & Lighthearted Songs for your Wedding

While romantic, heartfelt love songs certainly have their time and place, some couples want to take a more lighthearted approach to their weddings songs and first dance.

If that’s you, browse this playlist and find a simple wedding song that can become a romantic favorite over the next years together. 

Songs:

Nothin about Love Makes Sense – LeAnn Rimes

Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars

Home – Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros

You and I – Ingrid Michaelson

1,2,3,4 – Plain White T’s

I’m Yours – Jason Mraz

Lucky – Jason Mraz & Colbie Cailat

Would You go with Me – Josh Turner

Ours – Taylor Swift

I Do – Colbie Caillet

Everything – Michael Buble

Wildfire – John Mayer

Your Song – Ellie Goulding

Marry you – Bruno Mars

Do you have an amazing wedding song you’d like to share? Comment below! 

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What Kind of Dog is Your Boss? [Quiz]

Have you ever wondered what kind of dog your boss is? Maybe a kind golden retriever? A yippy chihuahua? Find out what kind of dog your boss is with our quiz!

Take the Quiz:


Then share your results (but maybe not with your boss)!

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Wedding Color Trends in 2015

If you are trying to break out of the norm with your wedding color scheme in 2015 these ideas might be just the mix up you are looking for.

Two trends we are really excited for in 2015 are calm neutral palettes and on the flip side bold bright color combos. So often we see 2 neutral colors and 1 bright color or just 2 complimentary colors, but for your wedding push outside what you commonly see!

Your wedding colors can reflect the tone of your wedding and the mood you are setting so pick something you love.

Check out these color palettes and see where this inspiration could take your wedding!

Neutral Palettes:

Cream & Tan

Wedding Color Trends 2015: Neutral Color Palette

Pair with: Intrigue Layered Invitations 

Blush, Cream & Gray

Wedding Color Trends 2015: Neutral Color Palette 2

Pair with: Elegant Lilies Specialty Flat Invitations

Bold Palettes:

Fuchsia, Hot Pink, & Orange

Wedding Color Trends 2015: Bold Color Palette 1

Pair with: Inspire Wedding Programs 

Yellow, Red, & Teal

Wedding Color Trends 2015: Bold Color Palette 2

Pair with: Ribbon of my Heart Programs 

Deep Purple, Magenta, & Lime Green

Wedding Color Trends 2015: Bold Color Palette 3

Pair with: Dazzling Thank You Cards 

Hopefully one of these wedding colors inspires you to try a new and unique color scheme. For all your wedding needs, be sure to visit PaperDirect’s Wedding selection.

Bio – Anne Preble is a marketer and event designer in Denver, Colorado from weddings to baby showers. She loves creating memorable events and parties. You can find more of her work on her website Colorado Anne

 

 

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