Q's & A's {Ask Cassandra}

Cassandra dattoli. springfield, il wedding planner.

Hi sweet cheeks! Before I launch into today's questions - I want to thank all of you who emailed me last night and today sharing your journey and being honest about needing encouragement. I can't begin to tell you how nice it is to know that I'm not the only one needing a restart button. Some goodies from the (soon to be) Cassandra Shop are on their way to you!

Today's questions are some goodies that I really enjoyed answering for these sweet ladies. Let's all help them out shall we? Read on!


  • Is it okay to skip the cake? We love brownies. - Sarah, IL

Sure! I suggest skipping the whole cutting ceremony altogether and having the DJ, or best man just announce dessert is being served. I also recommend adding a note on your menus simply saying the two of you prefer brownies over cake. Something like "we hope you enjoy brownies as much as we do" or In lieu of wedding cake, enjoy our favorite brownies." Just so guests don't expect a cake cutting or worry they missed the cake cutting. Another idea is to have a brownie bar. Yum!

  • Cass, I am under a guest list attack! I want to keep it under 150, but everyone keeps asking me when they are getting their invitation. How can I make cuts, I don't even know where to start? It seems like everywhere I go I keep running into more people asking about their invite and how excited they are about the wedding! Help! - Renee, NJ 

So many couples struggle with their guest lists. It's only natural to want to invite everyone to celebrate this special day, but the hard truth is, you just can't. (Unless your resources are unlimited, then I say go for it!) The good news is, that most people will understand. I have my couples make a list starting with their wedding party. Bride, Groom, Best Man, MOH, BMs, GMs, Flower girls, ushers, ring bearer, parents and grandparents. By now couples can have 20 guests without even starting a guest list and that's why I have them list out the wedding party first - the numbers and seats go fast. Then I have them make their A list. Their inner circle of family and friends. Then I have them make the dream list keeping the wedding party and inner circle out. Everyone you think you want to invite. The dorm roommate from undergrad? Write her name down - the guy who gave your guy the answers to the test - if he suggests the guy - write him down too. That list is pretty long. I have them take a couple of days away from it and then we re-visit that long list going over each name asking the couple how close they are to the person, the last time they chatted with them, and why it's important they share in their special day. I have found this has been beneficial to my clients and helps alleviate any of that "guest-list guilt" that comes with nixing would-be guests. Your guest list is your biggest contributing factor to your budget - the more guests: the more everything is. Every venue has a limit and so does every budget. Think of your guests as "seats" and you only have so many tickets. And when you run into those pesky guest list questions, gently tell the inquirer that as much as you would love to invite everyone; your budget is limited. The majority of people will truly understand.

Congratulations Sarah & Renee on your engagements and upcoming weddings! Everything will all work out!

Big hugs and thank you's to Sarah and Renee for their questions. Some Cassandra fancy mail is on its way to you both! Please share your thoughts and any advice for these lovely brides in the comments below. Happy Thursday loves, Friday is just a day away!

xoxo Cassandra

Amazing photo above by the very talented Miller + Miller Photography.

Q's & A's {Ask Cassandra}


Hello lovlies! Welcome to the first installment here at Cassandra Dattoli of Questions & Answers. A couple weeks ago I posted on lots of social media - asking for submissions for any wedding- or party-planning questions. I would really like to spark some conversation about rules and etiquette, and see everyone join in. I love helping people plan celebrations and if I can reach out and pay it forward using my God given talents as well as dreaming up some fabulous details - you betcha I'm gonna do it! If you know me, then you know I have a sweet tooth for a perfectly planned party - any reason to talk wedding - gets me fired up!

Sweet emails came in far quicker than I imagined and I have lots of material to post here for quite some time, so I think I may make this a regular weekly post: what do you think?

So first up, I chose these two questions for this week.

We have unequal numbers of groomsmen and bridesmaids; is it necessary that they  match?    (Sarah, via Facebook)

Absolutely not. The only necessary thing you need is your fiancé waiting for you at the end of the aisle; and that the people standing up with you support you and whose presence is meaningful. In fact, in my own wedding, our groomsmen outnumbered our bridesmaids. I received a comment from a guest, that she thought it was special we had two groomsmen walk the last bridesmaid up the aisle. Ask either the best man to escort the maid of honor and another bridesmaid or the last groomsmen to link arms with two bridesmaids (a lady on both arms -what a lucky guy!) or have your wedding party walk single file up the aisle. In this case, the best man starts, followed by the groomsmen, then the maid of honor, followed by the bridesmaids. If something else suits your fancy, by all means go for it. Always remember, this is your big day.

Do you have to choose a family member as your maid of honor, even if you are closer with a friend?    (Jenna, Oklahoma)

In a short breath; no. Emotions and feelings always run high in the days, months, and sometimes years leading up the wedding. It is so common for a Bride (or Groom) to be closer with a friend, than they are with family members or siblings. If feelings are concerned, and you just want to skip any would be awkwardness or strange conversation - skip the titles and list bridesmaids as just bridesmaids, and groomsmen as groomsmen. In my experience, if you know you are closer with a friend than lets say your sister who lives across the country - chances are - that she knows it too. If having a maid of honor (and explicitly listing a bridesmaid as such) is important to you, then you should start a conversation about whether or not your family member is comfortable playing such an integral role and is able to make the time and monetary commitment. At the end of they day, it is your wedding day: but Shakespeare said it best:

 "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet." (Romeo & Juliette, II, ii, 1-2)

Thank you so much Sarah and Jenna for your questions and sweet emails. A gift from the Cassandra Shop is on it's way. Congratulations on your upcoming big days!!

I loved reading and still love reading all the questions that are landing in my inbox. If you have a question, or want a little advice, don't hesitate to contact me at cass@cassandradattoli.com. I'd also love see some comments below as to what you think and any advice you would have for these ladies. Don't be shy and join the convo!

 xoxo, Cas

Photo by the amazing, Ravetta Photography.