Thursday, August 27, 2009
I came across Whole Wedding Productions's website and they have to have the most amazing wedding photography I have ever seen!
If you want your wedding pictures to look as incredible as these, book your ticket right now!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
- www.oncewed.com - Weekly DIY projects including centerpieces, place cards and boutonniers
- www.etsy.com - everything handmade and one-of-a-kind
- www.retailmenot.com - 150,000 coupon codes and 90,000 printable coupons for companies like wine.com, 1928 Jewelry and bridalpartytees.com
You can find a wedding dress in your budget if you have the time (I would suggest shopping a year in advance if you’re looking for a deal), determination, and patience. Here are 10 ways to save money on your wedding dress.
1. Get your dress from The Bridal Garden in New York. If you live near NY or taking a trip to the big city anytime soon, I suggest you visit this bridal shop. Make sure you set up an appointment before your trip, because this bridal shop is by appointment only. I WOULD NOT make a special trip just to go to this bridal shop, because some days are much better than others. One day a bride might find three dresses she loves and the next not be able to find one. The merchandise changes daily and they usually only have each dress in one size.
2. Purchase your wedding dress online. There are many websites that you can find gorgeous dresses for less than 50% of what they would sell in a bridal shop. Be careful when you shop online. Read reviews and try on similar dresses to the one you want to buy to make sure it looks good on your body type.
3. Look for wedding dresses on eBay. Some days there are great finds for wedding dresses, veils, and shoes on this website.
4. Buy your dress used from Once Wed or preownedweddingdresses.com. Many brides have begun to sell their wedding gowns after they wear them on their wedding day. If you go this route, make sure you see detailed pictures of the front and back of the actual dress (not pictures from the runway or designer’s website) and ask the bride if she had the dress altered.
5. Get your wedding dress custom made. If you can find a trusted seamstress that has multiple recommendations, make an appointment to show her pictures of your dream dress. See if she can replicate it or make something similar for less.
6. Wear your mom’s, aunt’s, or friend’s wedding dress. It doesn’t hurt to ask your female relatives about their wedding dresses. Sometimes a bride may like the basic design of her mother’s wedding dress but want to add some lace or beading.
7. Buy a sample gown. One of the world’s leading bridal shops, Kleinfeld Bridal, has sample sales on a regular basis. This is a good reason to visit New York. Also, go to your local bridal shops and ask if they have sample sales. Ask them to add you to their mailing list, so you’ll know when they big day happens to be.
8. Purchase a wedding dress from Dillard’s or Nordstrom. Did you even know they sell wedding dresses? Most of them are less than $400 and some are closer to $150. You can’t beat that price. Look online at the selections they offer.
9. Don’t buy a wedding gown. There are plenty of beautiful white dresses that aren’t labeled as wedding dresses which means they won’t be as expensive. Shop at non-bridal shops that sell formal dresses.
10. Arrange to sell your gown after the wedding. If you can afford to pay the bill upfront if you promise to sell the dress after the wedding, this might be the option for you. If you have to buy the $5000 wedding dress, you might be able to sell it for $3500 or $3000 after the wedding on eBay, preownedweddingdresses.com, Craig’s List, or Once Wed. That means you really only spent $2000 in the long run.
Article found at http://stylisheventsblog.com/2009/07/21/10-ways-to-save-money-on-your-wedding-dress/
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Here are a few ideas that can be done inexpensively:
- Small flower arrangements at each place setting could double as wedding favors and table decorations. I have bought glass containers at thrift stores for twenty-five cents. They don't have to match. If you're using artificial flowers you could use terracotta pots.
- Divinity fudge makes delicious cheap wedding favors. Wrapped up in white tulle and tied with a white ribbon it would be beautiful. Add a tag; you make yourself, with a little message like "Love is divine". Cut out the tag with scallop scissors and punch a hole for the ribbon. One warning, divinity doesn't come out well in high humidity.
- For a special deal at My Wedding Favors Enter coupon code SAVE5 to receive 5% off of your order.
- Candles made in seashells are pretty for a beach wedding or any wedding for that matter. Melt some beeswax but don't get it too hot. Pour it into the shell and add a wick. Get directions at your craft store. If you live near the sea gather shells yourself. Shells can also be bought by the bag.
- Regular candles are nice too for cheap wedding favors. Wrap in tulle and tie with ribbon. Stick a small flower in the ribbon.
- Tree seedlings, such as citrus or any kind of tree, are something everybody would love. They will always remember your wedding with this unique wedding favor idea. Wrap the plastic pot to disguise.
- Small frames for later use can also serve as place cards or to hold a message from you.
- Flower seedlings or seed packets are a nice wedding favors. Wrap in anyway that is appropriate for your wedding. Tie with ribbon, raffia or paper ribbon.
- Make wine glass markers from wire and beads. You can find instructions at the craft store. One is enough for a wedding party favor. Place in a small box and tie with ribbon.
- Sachets made from lavender. Make a small bag from lace. Sew up three sides, put the lavender in and sew up fourth side. Attach a small silk flower. Potpourris in drawstring bags made of lace or tulle are pretty. They smell nice too. You can use any kind of bag that's easy for you to make.
- Everybody loves herbs. Buy small ones and place plastic container right into a small terracotta pot. Put some moss around the top to disguise the plastic planter. Include a pretty tag with instructions for care and attach to a ribbon tied around the pot.
- A strawberry plant is another live wedding favor idea. It can be presented in the same way as an herb. Anything of this nature that is in season is appreciated.
- Candies, such as M&Ms in your wedding colors, Kisses or Hugs, mints, a wonderful piece of chocolate or any kind that you would like, look great in a cupcake liner. They come in different sizes and colors.
- If there is a special theme to your wedding, use anything that would carry out that theme. For example, you could use fall wedding favors for an autumn inspired reception.
Here are some ideas for candle wedding favors.
Wedding Favors Beau-coup offers a diverse selection of high quality wedding favors, bridal party favors, and gifts for any occasion, that include everything from eco-friendly to personalized and themed favors at the lowest prices guaranteed.
Article found at http://www.cheap-chic-weddings.com/cheap-wedding-favors.html
I've gathered together my favorite wedding buffet pictures that were used as inspiration towards mine. Don't get too hungry!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
- Do create a wedding website to provide information to your guests
- Don't Be surprised when most people don't read it
- Do create a gift registry
- Don't expect to get much off of it...you will get more money instead
- Do provide your guests a self-addressed and stamped envelope for their RSVPs
- Don't be surprised when you still have to hunt these people down for their response
- Do invite extra people to your wedding event
- Don't be surprised when people cancel on you that last week
- Do delegate other people to do things on your wedding day
- Don't give yourself anything to do on your wedding day except get ready (and have some coctails)
- Do over-budget
- Don't expect to get any money back from your over-budgeting
- Do find a deal on your wedding cake
- DO NOT try to make it yourself; you have too many other things to deal with!
- Do have a dress code
- Don't be surprised when someone still shows up in jeans
- Do arrange a hotel block for your guests
- Don't be surprised when most guests can't get the discounted rate because they didn't book early; DON'T MAKE THAT BE YOUR PROBLEM
- Do enjoy your big day
- Don't let other's make it about them!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
#3 Buy a small wedding cake and make it up with cupcakes or sheet cakes. Visit the supermarket for options, instead of the bakery.
#7 Stick to traditional shaped cakes (that would be round): even squares cost more.
#9 Price depends more on the style of the cake, rather than the flavors, so think about borrowing your cake materials or decorations, or requesting them as gifts (if it makes sense). For instance, opt for disposable cake pillars instead of crystal or get a cake topper as a wedding present!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Top 5 Biggest Wedding Money Wasters
1. Meaningless and Expensive Wedding Favors Wedding favors can be a thoughtful way of saying thank you to your guests. But far too often they're a meaningless knickknack. Your guests don't need a candy dish, or a little silver bell. Don't think their cute place card holder doubles as a favor; what are they going to do with one place card? And do you really want a plastic Frisbee with your friends' wedding date on it?
You're going to spend a lot of money on things that will just collect dust, or end up in the trash. I think it's far better to not give favors, or to make a donation to a charity. But cute favors include ones that are personal to the bride and groom. You might give food favors from the city you live in, or a box of your very favorite chocolates.
One of my favorite ideas is a breakfast bag. Send guests home with some beautiful muffins, a couple of good quality tea bags, and perhaps a little pot of jam or honey. The next morning they'll be sure to enjoy your treat as they reminisce about everything that happened.
Money Saving Tip: Some of the most thoughtful wedding favors can be handmade. Put together a booklet of family recipes, or create a CD with an insert explaining why you chose each song.
2. Endless Bride and Groom Swag It may be fun to have a pair of track pants that say "Bride" across your butt, but how long are you really going to wear them? You certainly don't need to own multiple pieces of clothing that say "bride" or "groom" because they've got a limited shelf-life. And, you do have an identity beyond that of a bride. You don't own a sweatshirt that trumpets your profession, do you? So why would you want people out in public to see you first and foremost as a bride?
Perhaps the biggest money waster of all is giving your bridal party "bridesmaid" and "groomsman" gear. Do you really think that groomsman is ever going to wear that tacky hat ever again? Do you think he'll even enjoy wearing it the first time?
Money Saving Tip Buy a pair of pajama pants or underwear that says "bride" or "groom." Rather than feeling embarrassed about wearing a bride sweatshirt out in public, clothing meant for the home will remind the two of you of your wedding day. Leave the other bridal swag at the store.
3. Huge Wedding Cakes Some couples only invite 50 guests, but they still order a cake that serves 300. With cakes going for $2-$15 a slice, that extra size adds up quickly. While a large cake looks impressive, a small cake can be charming. If height is a priority, consider asking your baker to use a separator set, and adding fresh flowers between the layers. Or, use a large cake topper, such as this tiered floral centerpiece.
Money Saving Tip If you are having more than 100 guests, ask for a display cake that only feeds 100 people. Use inexpensive sheet cakes in the back to feed the extra guests. No one will know the difference! Read More: Questions to Ask Your Wedding Cake Designer
4. Too Many Mementos The wedding industry loves to sell you goods by promising they will be keepsakes you can pass down to your children. Having mementos of your special day is a good thing, but you don't need very many. Put together a wedding album, and perhaps preserve your wedding dress. But deeply consider every other item. Do you really need a personalized pen to sign the guest book? Is preserving your bouquet worth the money and the space in your home? You don't need to have a wedding video, unless you will really watch it and enjoy it regularly. And not every toasting glass, picture frame, and photo album needs to be monogrammed with your wedding date.
Rather than filling up your house with tons of wedding mementos, leave room for creating new memories.
Money Saving Tip If an album is not included in your wedding photography package, consider doing it for yourself! That way, you can include the shots that are most important to you, as well as any mementos like your wedding program.
Read More: Capture those memories on film with a Wedding Photography Shot Checklist
5. Too Many Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Have you ever seen a wedding with more than a dozen attendants? It starts to look like a wedding army. Of course, if you are inviting lots of guests, it makes sense to have a large wedding party. But before you start adding your friend who you haven't seen since high school, and all of your cousins, consider what the role of the wedding party should be.
Even if you're not paying for the wedding party's attire, each of those attendants requires a bouquet or boutonniere, a thank you gift, and an invitation to the rehearsal dinner and other parties. Tack on just a few unnecessary bridesmaids or groomsmen and you're potentially talking about hundreds of dollars.
Money Saving Tip Give some of your friends and loved ones different roles in the wedding. Consider asking them to read during the ceremony or give them a special role at the reception. You might even just thank them in the program for helping to support you during the wedding planning process.
Article found at http://weddings.about.com/od/weddingplanningtools/a/moneywasters.htm
· Use only in season and readily available flowers. Be honest with your florist about your budget, and have them recommend the most inexpensive flowers.
· Give your florist a general style and color scheme, and any “banned” flowers that you hate, but generally allow them flexibility so they can use what is in season and cheapest. There are some times when peonies cost a fortune, and other times when they are so cheap you can fill your hall with them. Make sure this flexibility will be reflected in your final price tag.
· Hold your wedding during the Christmas season or immediately after Easter when a church will already be decorated.
· Avoid holding your wedding in February when flower prices are at an annual high due to Valentine's Day.
· Large arrangements on an altar will only be seen from far away. Use inexpensive flowers such as carnations, or large filling flowers such as snowball mums.
· Some people think they can save money by moving the ceremony flowers to the reception. However, keep in mind that many churches and houses of worship require you to leave any flowers. Florists also hate to do this because large arrangements are hard to transport, and can become easily bruised or damaged in transit. (It's probably also least partially because it does cut down their bill.) You also will need to coordinate it so that the reception will not be held up by waiting for the ceremony flowers to arrive.
· Find a venue such as a park or garden that is already lush and beautiful.
· Talk to your venues and see if any other brides have booked for the same day. If the two of you can coordinate flowers and split the cost, you’ll save a lot of money.
· Carnations are one of the cheapest flowers out there. A lot of people, myself included, really dislike them. But when they are used in abundance so that the blooms are packed together, they can be quite striking. Consider a low square table centerpiece of 20 carnation blooms with all of their stems and greenery removed.
· Talk to party rental suppliers about renting large potted plants such as tropical palms or ficus. They visually fill a lot of space, and will help frame your ceremony site or warm up your reception. Best of all, renting a potted plant is far cheaper than buying large flower arrangements. Also, you may consider purchasing these large plants and using them in your home afterwards to get more use out of them.
· More and more brides these days are arranging their own flowers such as bouquets of simple roses tied with a ribbon. Four or five pillar candles on top of rose petals makes an easy and cheap centerpiece. You can also easily create a centerpiece using wide shallow bowls filled with water and several floating gerber daisy blooms. If making boutonnieres and corsages intimidates you, these are generally inexpensive to order from a florist.
· Consider ordering flowers from an online wholesaler such as freshroses.com, Marisol Blooms, or Online Wholesale Flowers where you can get some of the best prices. Unlike at a florist, you will be responsible for all of the prep work of cleaning and trimming them, and keeping them alive until the wedding.
Article found at http://weddings.about.com/od/weddingflowers/a/Cheapideas.htm
1. Trim Your Wedding Guest List
Each time you add a name to your invitation list, you're increasing your budget significantly. It's not just the catering costs, but also the extra centerpieces, favors, rentals, etc. Don't invite anyone you haven't talked to in five years. Don't feel obligated to let single people bring a date. Avoid feeling pressured to invite all your work colleagues. And don't let your friends bring their children. You can also decide to eliminate categories like "relatives more distant than first cousins" or "friends from volunteer work." By not inviting anyone from that group, you'll help avoid hurt feelings.
2. Save Postage on Your Wedding Invitations
Forgo the inner envelope and blotter paper, which are leftover relics from times when ink needed time to dry, and people wanted a pristine envelope. Rather than having a reply card, ask guests to reply online or by the telephone. Not only will you save money from the printer bill, it should also reduce your postage expense.
3. Shop Sample Sales and the Internet for Cheap Wedding Dresses
If you wear a 6, 8, or 10, check out sample sales, which generally happen once a year. It's a great opportunity to get a designer dress at rock-bottom prices. You can also look on eBay, Craigslist and other websites for deals on used wedding dresses. Remember that cleaning the delicate fabric of a wedding dress may cost up to $250, so avoid the cheap dress with the filthy hem. And many towns have a shop where you can rent a wedding dress, saving you hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
4. Change the Day of the Week
Have your wedding on a weeknight or a Sunday. There is less demand for these dates, so vendors will often be willing to give you a better rate.
5. Save Money on Church Decorations
For religious weddings, consider having your wedding near a major holiday. The church will already be decorated, saving you lots of money on flowers. On other days, look for simplicity. A candlelit ceremony can be romantic, gorgeous, and inexpensive.
6. Learn to Ask for Help to Save Money
If you want to have a cheap wedding, pool your friends' and family's resources. Think of musicians you know, well-spoken friends who could be your officiant, and crafty people who can help you assemble things. They will generally be honored to be a special part of your big day. Also look for money-saving tips everywhere. Check websites such as www.wedfrugal.com and www.frugalbride.com, and ask friends and family members for what they did to save money on their big day.
7. Get Crafty - Do It Yourself
Throw a "pitch-in party," where you ask your friends to be a special part of your wedding by helping you assemble favors and make invitations, centerpieces, and other homemade inexpensive touches. Be sure to put out delicious snacks and have inspiring tunes on the stereo, so that your friends feel like they're at a party, not just part of an assembly line.
8. Look for Cheap Wedding Food and Drink
Be honest with your caterer about your need to save money. Ask them which are the least expensive entrees and whether a buffet is cheaper than a seated dinner. See if they'll let you provide your own liquor, or if serving only wine and beer will be cheaper than a full bar. Also consider only having the bar open during your cocktail hour, then serving an inexpensive wine with dinner. Especially if you and your fiance don't drink, consider having a dry wedding.
9. Make the Most of eBay
eBay, eBay, eBay. It's a great source for everything from second-hand dresses to wedding favors, cake toppers, ring pillows and more. Be sure to allow ample time for the auction to end, and for shipping. Look for trusted sellers whose feedback indicates they have accurately represented what they have sold.
10. Consider Cheap Wedding Invitations
Don't go for engraving - regular printed invites work just as well. There are a variety of cheap wedding invitations available on the internet. For a casual wedding, consider printing your own invites from your home computer. Stationery stores now sell printed paper meant to use in a home printer as cheap wedding invitations.
Article found on http://weddings.about.com/od/weddingplanningtools/tp/Costcutters.htm
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Save-the-Date cards are expensive. Invitations are expensive. RSVP cards are expensive. Envelopes are even more expensive. Postage will destroy your bank account!
I went to war with these necessary evils a few times during my wedding and here is what I've learned from my battle scars:
Problem: Save-the-Date Announcements
Yes, those Save-the-Date magnets are cute, but they aren't for brides with a budget. Ideally, you only have to send those to guests that would be coming in from out of town. However, if you don't want to hear guest's whining that they didn't know about your event soon enough, then you want to send everyone on your list one of those magnets. Just remember, you won't know if everyone received their announcement. Plus, the announcement doesn't give much information.
So, let's recap:
~ They are really expensive
~ You have to pay for shipping to get them sent to you
~ You have to address every one of those envelopes
~ You have to pay for postage to send them
~ You will have to call everyone and make sure they received them
~ They provide minimal information to your guests
Solution: Send a Save-the-Date announcement using www.evite.com
Here's why it works:
~ It's FREE!
~ Evite already has pre-loaded Save-the-Date announcements ready to use
~ You can track who received the announcement and get preliminary numbers on who is going to attend your event
~ You can provide as much or as little about your event; Once you add more information to your announcement, all the addresses on your list get automatic e-mails alerting them to the changes
~ ABSOLUTELY NO POSTAGE COSTS!
Congratulations! You just cut $300 from your wedding budget.
Copy and paste the link to visit a sample Save-the-Date announcement through Evite: www.evite.com/pages/invite/viewInvite.jsp?event=FNXBOFPCCWFDQKKYXJCI&showArchive=true
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I'm not talking about about diet pills that strain your heart or green tea that keeps you in the bathroom for most of the day. Ever heard of the cookie diet? No, not oreos or girl scout cookies...(wouldn't that be great, though?) I'm referring to Dr. Siegal's diet cookies.
Ladies, these cookies are the exact same supplements that the weightloss doctor's will give you-BUT THEY ARE A LOT LESS MONEY!
Here's what you do:
There are 6 cookies in a bag that you eat throughout the day.
- Eat a cookie; drink a bottle of water
- Do this throughout the day whenever you are hungry
- If you eat a cookie and drink a bottle of water each time you are hungry, you WILL NOT BREAK your diet!
- Eat a dinner that has around 8-1,000 calories
- If you want to speed up the process, go to the gym and do some cardio every day. Not crazy, run until you wipe out on the treadmill cardio. Just normal eliptical machine for 15 min (if you can.) By doing this, you can lose atleast 3 1/2 to 4 pounds a week.
Why won't you gain your weight back? Because the diet teaches you to control your portions without even realizing it. Plus, after eating these cookies for a while, your sure don't want to gain it all back and do it again! The cookies taste pretty decent. The chocolate are the best.
I lost 20 pounds on these cookies last year and have maintained my weight. All of my friends and most of my coworkers were on these cookies at some point. They really are incredible.
Still cautious? Here is a group of people that are on these cookies. You can read what they are going through and how great they work.
Flower arrangements cost a lot but also add beautiful detail to your wedding day. One thing you can do to cut down on the cost of table arrangements is buy the vases in advance. Many florists charge large fees for using their vases. Visit a local pottery store, yard sales and antique stores and buy a few at a time throughout the year. You can find beautiful clear and colored glass vases. Ask the florist to create the arrangements in your vases. Plus, you get to take them home at the end of the day. Feeling very adventurous, try your hand at the arranging. There are some step-by-step videos that can help you quickly learn the art flower arranging. Buying large bundles of fresh cut flowers and arranging them on your own will definitely save you a lot.
You would be shocked at what some grocery store bakeries can do with cakes these days. Visit your local supermarket and view the sweet confections they offer. One word of caution- if wedding cakes are not something they have attempted before but are willing to try, ask if the baker will make an attempt before the big day. I'm not sure you want to be their first experiment.
Providing an open bar can be one of the priciest elements of your reception. If you are determined to have an open bar, try to select a venue that allows you to bring in your own alcohol. Create a list of all of the beverages you'll offer. Split the list up and let your family members each pick up a bottle or 2 a week/month, until the wedding date. By the time the wedding date is here, you will have all of the ingredients for your full bar at a much lower cost.
Some caterers are more laid back and will allow you to bring in your own servers. Post an ad in the local paper for one day only event servers and bartenders. If you happen to be located near a culinary institute, contact the school to see if they have a catering services course. Many of these culinary institutes offer class credit for hours spent working in the field. You can cut your service fees in half using your own servers and bartenders.
Borrow a Dress
If this is something you are open to and you have a friend and or family member with an available dress. This is a great way to save money.
Information found from: http://www.belk.com/AST/Misc/Belk_Stores/BridalRegistry/RegistryTools/TipsandAdvice/planning/cost_cutting_ideas.jsp
A variety of local wedding businesses will be there, so you can meet them all at the same location. If you create a qualified registry, you will receive a gift of $25 off any purchase of $75 or more.
Go to www.belk.com and find a store near you to see if it is participating in the expo.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Here's how I did it:
- Buy your candy scoops from http://www.orientaltrading.com/. You can get 3 scoops for $3. Michaels will charge you $5.99 for two scoops.
- Get your large lollipops from CVS, Walgreens, or Wal-Mart. They sell them for $1 a piece. This is the cheapst you will find them. Don't take the wrappers off if you intend to use them for decorations-they will break instantly.
- Have family and friends keep an eye out for inexpensive, bright colored boxes. The colors make it seem like there is more on the table than there really is.
- Target has the penny jars ranging from $4.99 to $5.99. They aren't heavy duty, but look nice. The majority of our containers were purchased from Wal-Mart for less money than what Target was charging. We found boxes for $7.00 that had martini glasses and margarita glasses (4 in a box) at Bealls. The best deal we found was at Ikea. Their containers were heavy duty, very large, and the most expensive one was $4.99!
- I compared many bulk candy providers and these two companies had the best prices: http://www.ohnuts.com/ and http://www.bulkcandystore.com/
- Be on the lookout for candy sales after major holidays. The candy will freeze and you can get many bags of jelly beans and hershey kisses for $.29 a piece.
- Publix had the best prices on twizzlers.
- I was nervous that I wouldn't have very much candy, so I made brownie bites to fill up the buffet. These were a huge hit. Publix had the brownie mix on sale, buy one get one free. I was able to make over 400 brownies for less than $8! I used mini cookie cutters to cut out the brownies, topped them with homemade chocolate buttercream icing (so you couldn't see any flaws or cracks), dusted them with powdered sugar and placed them in mini cupcake papers. Everyone thought they were catered. I saw these same brownie bites at the bakery for $12 a dozen.
- I used bright wrapping paper over the table cloth. It really brought the colors together.
- I bought the cellaphane bags from Michaels for $6.00. I created our monogram stickers on Microsoft word and stuck them to the bags for a customized look.
Some things to remember:
- You don't need scoops for every container. Many of the candies are wrapped already. If you run out of scoops, use spoons.
- Purchase your candy early. It will save you tons of money on shipping.
- Purchase colored tissue paper. It can be used anywhere to brighten up the buffet and lift some of the candy in some of the containers.
- Make sure you eat some of your candy or else there might not be any left!