Happy Maids and Gents = Happy Bride

Today, I have some advice on how to keep your bridesmaids and guymaids happy and you’re relationships with them in peak condition throughout your wedding planning process. First things first, remember that these are the women and men that you love and cherish the most. So much so, that you have asked them to stand next to you on what is the most important day of your life. Keep that in mind as you progress through the months leading up to your wedding. You don’t want to lose your besties by turning in to an unhinged Bridezilla.


Trust me, nothing positive will resort from Bridezilla antics.      Source:  http://marryingananti-bride.blogspot.com/2012/09/sooo-what-is-anti-bride.html

Trust me, nothing positive will resort from Bridezilla antics. Source:http://marryingananti-bride.blogspot.com/2012/09/sooo-what-is-anti-bride.html

Next, consider the body type of ALL of your bridal party when choosing what they will wear.  If you have petite or plus size maids, pick a style that will flatter everyone. No one should have to crash diet or wear sky high heels just to work an outfit. This too goes back to rule number one.Second, keep the finances of each of your attendants in mind when choosing your bridesmaid’s and guymaid’s attire. If you have one person who could realistically afford a $400 dress/suit and another who can only afford to spend $200 or less, don’t make the one with the smaller budget feel insecure, misunderstood, and feeling like he or she has to get a part time job just to pay for being in your wedding. What to do? Either choose a more affordable dress or pay the difference. Remember rule number one: these are the most important people to you, treat them with love and respect.

Fourth, when planning events such as the bridal shower and bachelorette parties, keep the budgets and beliefs of your maids and gents in mind. That trip to Vegas could conflict with religious beliefs or be unattainable due to finances. Trust me, you can have a great bachelorette party keeping it local and affordable and by everyone present keeping their clothes on. If you and your maids can do the weekend in Vegas, then by all means drop some dollars in the slot for me!

Finally, be respectful of your maids’ and gents’ time. Give yourself a good old fashioned reality check when it comes to your expectations of your crew. Expecting them to attend each and every wedding related event from dress shopping, making favors, to parties is incredibly selfish and unrealistic. They have lives too and you have to keep in mind that they have to work, take care of their kids, pay bills, etc. and that your only expectation should be for them to attend the rehearsal the day before the wedding, purchase their outfits, and stand next to you at the wedding. That’s all that should be asked and expected of them.

Don’t be like this real bride who sent this letter (that has since gone viral) to her bridal party:

“To my lovely Bridesmaid: [Names removed to protect the brideslaves]

As you all know I picked 10 wonderful ladies to stand by my side, share and make happen my special day to Jake. Each of you individually have a reason and a special place in my heart of why I picked you to be a bridesmaid. We have set our date for Saturday, August 31, 2013 in Vail, Colorado. That seems far away but it really isn’t, the earlier the planning the better. You may have already knew that my wonderful sister L— will be the Maid of Honor, she’s in charge under me. Also my lovely mom will be a big help as well. L— has a big role in throwing me a bridal shower and bachelorette party, of course all of you guys do but at the end of the day shes the go to person and makes it happen+Doe.

You all have a big roll in this wedding, so before we continue I’m going to be setting some ground rules and its very important you read and think about everything through before you accept this honor to be a bridesmaid. If you guys email anything I would also like you to put L— in the CC. Not all the bridesmaid need to be CC’d unless its coming from me or L—, if it something everyone needs to see then well do it. We set the date to August 31, 2013 if that’s a problem we need to know NOW. Also by the end of the week we will be setting dates for the engagement party, bridal show and bachelorette party.

Our wedding party is really the most important people at the wedding besides my self and Jake so we want every single one of our bridesmaid and grooms at our parties, I have 10 not 8 where two couldn’t make it so if you already know you cant make one of the parties then we have to find someone else, not to be harsh in the slightest it would sadden me and of course you’ll still be invited to our wedding, engagement ect. But it’s different if your not in the wedding party and couldn’t make it. We’ll give everyone well advance dates for the parties and it will always fall on a weekend. The wedding as I stated will be in Vail the engagement party will either be in NY or CT and the bachelorette party will be in Vegas, cliche yeaa but I’ve never been.

A few girls live out of town so if there is going to be a problem with coming to either one then I need to know now because after this week I don’t want to be surprised. I would like everyone to send me any dates they are going away or planning to go away after February so if your going away in January I don’t care. I want any dates from February to the day of our wedding in August, that way we know not to plan something when your away. But after this week the dates are set in stone. Also if money is tight and you cant afford to contribute to say the bachelorette party or wont be able to afford a dress etc then L— and Myself don’t have time to deal with that, I’m sorry. This includes flights as well, everyone knows the states where the parties are going to be held so if you wont be able to afford a flight then that means you cant make a party which ultimately means I cant have you as a bridesmaid. Obviously we’ll get the best deals and were not gonna books flights for $1000 and shit that’s why were doing this in advance, that goes for bridesmaids dresses as well everything will be affordable but if you think by affordable its going to be a $25 forever 21 dress then your going to the wrong wedding.

If your out of state though don’t think you have to fly in for all fittings, that we will work with you, find stores in your town, get measurements..you don’t have to worry about that. Also if you accept this honor another thing is that you need to be available, I’m not going to harass you with wedding stuff every hour of everyday but if its something important and it takes you a week even 2-3 days to get back to me seeeee ya! I don’t have time to wait around for responses, everyone has their phone on them, it shouldn’t take you more than a day to get back to me, even if your out of the country, check your email!

Furthermore, Ever since I could remember I have dreamed about this day all my life. I want to share it with the people that are most important to me. You only get one time to plan your dream wedding and I couldn’t pick a more amazing group of girls to make that dream come true! So please, what’s stated above think about it all and by Wednesday I need to know if everyone is 100% in, and what I have asked about sending me dates if your gonna be away between Feb-Aug ill need that on Wednesday. If you don’t think you’ll be able to attend one party but can make the rest of them I’m sorry but I’ll have to take you out as a bridesmaid and put you as a guest. If you want to get back to me before Wednesday, that’s fine. Really think about everything I’ve said. This is really going to be the most epic wedding ever so I hope you girls can share this special day with us!


Read more: http://www.uproxx.com/webculture/2012/10/this-bridezillas-letter-to-her-potential-bridesmaids-is-sad-terrifying/#ixzz2I1Xnn8rF

Really? That is one big mess of crazy and I would hope that her bridesmaids stood up to her.

So, with that said, how about some affordable bridesmaids dresses for under $150?! For your guymaids, rental suits and tuxes are typically under $150, but here are some great accessories under $50 so your guys can spice up those cookie cutter rentals.

Bridesmaid Dresses under $150

Men's Ties "Guymaids" under $50

Little Borrowed Dress

Ladies, ever been jealous of men and their tux rentals? I know I have! Well, you’re in luck, because I’ve found absolutely stunning bridesmaids dresses available in the first online wedding boutique to offer bridesmaid dresser for rent, Little Borrowed Dress!  From the moment I set eyes upon the gorgeous gowns in the Little Borrowed Dress collection, I was smitten.

These beauties are 100% silk and come in a range of colors (order your free fabric swatch here) sure to work with any palette!  The stylish silhouettes flatter all figures and have built-in adjustment points to ensure a perfect fit.  And best of all? Rental prices start at just $50!

It’s $50 for knee-length, $75 for floor-length, plus a $5 insurance fee.


So how does it work: Browse their website, littleborroweddress.com, and pick the style, size and color you want and then reserve the date. Not sure what size you are? They’ll send you two options. When the wedding’s over just pop it back in the mail in the pre-addressed and stamped envelope that came with your dress.






You can follow Little Borrowed Dress on Pinterest…. just click HERE.

Bachelorette Party Games

We are all aware of the fun but corny games people play at bachelorette parties… but here are some games you can play that don’t get old too fast.

Never have I ever…

Here’s how to play:
As far as I know, we all pretty much know how to play this game. Therefore, we all know it can get really dirty pretty quickly (WHICH IS SO FUN FOR BACHELORETTE PARTIES!). Although, be sure you are aware of your audience and adjust the game to make it age appropriate or to avoid embarrassment. If you are unfamiliar with the game, anyone who has done the deed drinks. If you are the only one to drink, you have to share the juicy details!

*FYI* ^That’s my sister :-)

Lingerie Shower Guessing Game

Here’s how to play: Have every guest bring some type of lingerie (teddy, g-string, victoria secret maids outfit…) have the bride go out of the room and give each person a hanger and hang their piece of lingerie all over the room. The bride will be brought back in and she will write down who she thought brought which item of lingerie. She has to drink every time she guesses incorrectly!

(^Note how airbrushed her “tummy” is!)

Finish his sentences

Here’s how to play: In a sense, it is like Mad Libs. Before the shower/party the MOH will ask the groom to write out sentences such as “I love when I come home and the bride is…” or “My favorite thing to do with __ the bride__ is _____”. After you get enough sentences, make copies and have everyone fill out what they think he would finish the sentence as. Trust me, it can get dirty, so make sure you know the crowd. If you need to tone it down a little to avoid embarrassment, it is easy to do so!


Wedding Night Preview

Here’s how to play: At the shower, when the bride is opening her gifts, someone records all of her reactions to each present she opens… such as “Oh, WOW!” “You’re going to have to show me how this works..?” or my personal favorite, “Oh, I have wanted this for SO long!”. After she is done opening all of her presents, you play the game. The recorder will inform everyone that your reaction to each opened gift is our preview to things you will say on your wedding night. Pretty hilarious at times. Make sure she says some good ones!



(Reblogged From TwoBirds,One Stone Wedding)

Wedding 101: MOH Duties

Just been selected as the brides maid of honor and have NO clue what your duties are? I am writing this post for you! As a young MOH, I was very confused about my duties until I became part of the wedding world. I was thinking things like,” I don’t have enough money to be the MOH” and “I don’t know the first thing about how to be the perfect MOH”.  But the good news is, you don’t have to have tons of money to carry out the duties, all you need to do is pay attention to the brides needs, calm her down if she is freaking out, and communicate with the bridesmaids. To spell it out for you, I listed many of the duties as MOH, but realize, you do NOT have to do all of them. It completely depends on the bride, and every bride is different (which makes this *SO* much fun!)



  • Go shopping! Help shop for the brides dress and the bridesmaid dresses (she will want to see it on to get the full effect of the dress, so wear clothes and shoes that are easy to slip in and out of).
  • Be the leader of the pack! That’s why she picked you. Make sure the bridesmaids have gotten their dresses and their shoes. Make sure they have transportation and lodging settled if they are from out of town. Basically, be sure they pull their weight. Also keep them informed about all of the showers and pre-wedding events. They are NOT expected to go to all of them if they can’t.
  • Attend all pre-wedding events (or at least try as hard as possible).
  • Host/cohost a bridal shower. This one is iffy for me… it isn’t expected. I mean, I was 5 hours away in college when I was MOH and I was, stereotypically, a broke college student. It isn’t cheap to host a shower and it isn’t cheap to travel 10 full hours in one weekend. Like I said, it depends on the bride so try and get a feel for what she is expecting. If your vibes are screaming “Yes she is expecting this”, try and split it between you and the bridesmaids, that way the finances aren’t all on your shoulders. (Brides- remember your girls are paying for their dresses, shoes, travel, and lodging already). Or, you could ask to help at one already scheduled from a family friend.
  • Plan the bachelorette party! You could make this into a lingerie shower, and I have the BEST bachelorette lingerie game in mind!
  • Be there for the bride! Whether its lending an ear about the same planning worries or the marriage, you are her maid of honor, so be sure and be there for her.
  • Spread the news about where the bride and groom are registered.
  • Get the bride a special gift she will remember forever and give it to her on the day of her wedding, when y’all are getting ready together.

Day of Wedding Duties

  • Make sure all the bridesmaids are on track with getting their hair and makeup done and to the ceremony on time!
  • Bring the 6 emergency items needed when getting ready with the bride and bridesmaids
  • You’re in charge of the grooms ring. Wear it on your thumb, it’s the safest place!
  • Arrange her veil and train before you walk down the aisle and right after she gets to the alter.
  • Hold bride’s bouquet while they exchange their vows.
  • My favorite part: Sign the marriage license as a witness! (the best man will partake in this event)
  • Help direct guests with things such as where the bathrooms are and where to put their gifts.
  • Dance with the best man, other groomsmen, and even the groom (especially if  you are a sister to the bride and he is becoming your brother-in-law).
  • Toast the couple (doesn’t matter if you or the best man go first – it’s up to the bride and groom).
  • Keep the bride looking perfect! If this means packing her lipstick/gloss, fixing her hair, or getting rid of smudges because of earlier tears… it’s your job!
  • Help bride change (if she chooses to) to head to the hotel/honeymoon.
  • Make sure you grab all of the stuff (clothes/makeup) she is going to leave after the couples grand exit. And have her bag packed and put into the getaway transportation.


Reblogged from Two Birds, One Stone

What NOT To Say To Your Bridesmaids

Reblogged from Two Bird One Stone

Of course you love your bridesmaids, but sometimes it is easy to get swept away with “me, me, me”. Put yourself in their shoes and remember their are always better ways you can send a message.

  • Make sure you don’t look TOO good. I don’t want anyone upstaging me– Instead you can say something like: Help me get ready, I want to look my absolute best!
  • Let’s go get personal trainers and spray tans to be ready for my wedding day. – Please feel free to do so, but your bridesmaids didn’t sign up to get in shape for your biggest day or get tan. If they want to, great, but don’t expect this!
  • Can you get your hair and makeup professionally done and pay for it? – It is really expensive for the bridesmaids to pay for their dress, shoes, lodging, and on top of all of that their hair and makeup. Dress, shoes, and lodging is normal, but it is up to them whether or not they want to get their hair professionally done. If you insist, put it in your budget. Also, you could have them get ready with you. That way, if you want all the girls to have the same kind of hair-do, you can ask kindly and show them how cute it is.
  • I’m going to need you to cover up your tattoo for my wedding. – If you have a very conservative family or just want the tattoo to go away for the day, try asking it and not demanding. You can say something like “Hey, I love your tattoo on your shoulder and any other day I’d say SHOW IT OFF, but would you mind covering it up just this once? Sorry.”
  • Would you throw me a shower? Here’s my whole guest list, I’m going to need you to invite everyone. – Brides, brides, brides… In the world of weddings, friends/family offer to host a shower. Trust me, people will offer… Be careful if you are expecting your bridesmaids or MOH to host a shower AND to invite 100+ people. Their duties are to be there with you along the way, but it isn’t cheap or easy to throw a shower and they are already giving you their time and giving up money to pay for the dresses and shoes so keep that in mind.

  • My wedding this, my wedding that, Oh, did you get that job you… oh that reminds me about my wedding. – Yes they are excited about your wedding, but don’t forget they are friends first. Their life keeps spinning when you are planning your wedding (I don’t mean that to sound rude), whether it be their jobs, boyfriends/husbands of their own, try to remember to ask them how they are doing. That being said, it is OKAY to be super excited about your wedding and talk about it… just don’t dominate the conversation every time. It is an exciting time and it is easy to get swept away, so it is definitely understandable!
  • Okay maids! I’m going to need all of you to come over tonight and tie those bows around favors and add the finishing touches to my DIY decor. – Hey, most are up for it! Just remember that you can ask if you need some help and not demand. Try and say “Girls, grab some wine and head over! I’ll order a pizza and put on Bridesmaids movie and we can have fun tying some bows!”. That will get a much better response out of them!
  • I know you are pregnant, but this tight fitting dress won’t show your belly *that* much. – If you are deciding to have a pregnant bridesmaid (which is adorable) I would suggest either picking a dress that doesn’t hug the tummy or letting the brides pick their dresses in your color scheme. Different styled dresses is *very* trendy right now and it looks amazing. Keep an open mind when planning your wedding, because you never know until you try it.

  • When talking to another bridesmaid or MOH and say the other bridesmaid is not pulling her weight. – No one wants drama on their wedding day, so try to be the leader and not talk behind their backs. If someone is truly giving you trouble, ask them to a dinner date or something and talk to them. You never know what is going on in their lives that they aren’t sharing. Most of the time they are going through something, so try and remember to “confront them” instead of talking behind their backs. It will save you *SO* much drama!
  • It’s MY day so… Did you forget about the fiance? Haha. I am guilty of saying this to brides all the time. It is your day, but it’s more like “y’alls” day so try and ask him what he wants out of this wedding. It is fun to discuss and hear his ideas!

I am saying all of this not to get onto brides, but to bring you back a little from the life of a bride. I want to help you have a better experience with your girls. Your bridesmaids will be so flattered you took the time to still ask about their jobs or to help them feel more comfortable at your wedding, which will lead to a *MUCH* better time for you and for them! ❤

Bridesmaid Dresses

One of the most challenging decisions brides face is finding bridesmaid dresses. In fact, many brides say this takes much longer than finding their wedding gown. After all, bridesmaids dresses play a significant role in the overall look of the ceremony.

Here are some bridesmaid dress color pallets: Pastels, neutrals, blush, mint and metallics.

Bridesmaids Dress Tip: When beginning your search for those ideal dresses, make it an event. Invite your maids to join you at boutique appointments. Make them feel special by asking them how they like and feel in the dresses; the more comfortable they are, the better your pictures will be!

Bridesmaids Dress Etiquette: Traditionally, the bride pays for the bridesmaids dresses, but these days, just about anything goes, depending on the situation. If they are making a long journey to your fabulous destination wedding, it’s polite to pay for their dress. Some bridesmaids pay for their dress, shoes, makeup, hair, etc., but if you’re not extending the offer to pay for one of these, it’s nice to give them a gift that shows your gratitude for their presence and support on your big day.

All images credited to Green Wedding Shoes.

Reblogged from: Embellished Weddings

100 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

Prepare yourselves for 100 incredible hot tips on how to make your wedding stand out from the crowd. Too many weddings are same-y and unoriginal, and this Before the Big Day mega-list is your way to make sure your wedding doesn’t fall into the same trap. There’s tons of incredible wedding inspiration in this list, so do share the love and forward it to all your engaged friends. So…. what are you waiting for?…..Scroll on down for a wedding ideas overload!!

♥ Wedding Details  ♥

1. Think about what you love to do together and build that into your day. If you love to read, stack old hardback books on the tables to create mini-stands for your flowers, if you love chocolate {and who doesn’t} how about sending out Willy Wonka inspired ‘gold tickets’ as your wedding invites?

2. Turn the wedding day on its head. Instead of starting the day with the ceremony, have it in the evening before dinner. This way you get to greet all your guests, and you’ll feel much more relaxed as you walk down the aisle.

3. Put together ‘welcome packs’ for out of town guests, giving information on the area together with a little gift.

4. If your guests will have to walk from the ceremony to the reception, consider p roviding them each with a single colored helium filled balloon that matches your color scheme. The vision of dozens of balloons all ‘walking’ their way through a country lane or a town centre (great way to make sure your guests don’t get lost!) is fantastic and makes for great photos. Once all of your guests have arrived at the reception, you could have someone ready to arrange them into two rows for you to walk through and as you reach each guest, they release the balloon into the sky, again fantastic for your photo album!
5. Set up a craft area where guests can make something to take home (e.g. a brooch or bow tie).

6. Choose a signature cocktail and give it a memorable name.

7. If you’re having a Christmas wedding, ask each of your guests to bring an ornament for a Christmas tree. You’ll use them on your tree every year, and it’ll be a fantastic annual reminder of your wedding.

8. Consider alternatives to the traditional wedding car. Many brides are wanting something different. Consider a horse-n-carriage, a pedicab or maybe a boat, if you’re wedding is on the water.

9. Arrange family wedding photos, going back as far as you can, in vintage frames and display them at your ceremony or reception – it will provide a talking point for guests and create a lovely decorative feature.

10. Ask your guests to circle words in a dictionary to remind you of their wedding day. Then ask them to write a message on a bookmark to explain why they picked each word. You’ll always need a dictionary in your home, and you’ll cherish this one forever.

11. Rather than getting your guests to sign a traditional guest book, you could get them all to sign some pottery such as a large platter. This will give you a lovely and unusual keepsake of your day which you can display in your home afterwards.

12. Tuck handwritten notes into the napkins for your guests – write about your favorite memory together or simply tell them what they mean to you.

13. What is your favorite book or film? Could it work as the basis of a wedding theme? I’ve seen fantastic weddings themed around the film ‘Up’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or “The Secret Garden.”

14. Instead of a traditional guest book, you could leave a card and pen at everyone’s place setting, with each one having a different sentence to complete such as, love is…, top tips for a happy marriage, or asking them to jot down a favorite memory of you both.

15. Include your pets in your big day, either in person {doggy ring bearer?}, or as a motif on your menus? You could give dog-shaped chocolate wedding favors, or name your wedding tables after your pets.

♥ Wedding Favors ♥

16. Create personalised fortune tellers for each guest. Instead of telling fortunes, write them up with fun questions about you as a couple. Then on the back, print the menu.

17. Order can koozies for guest’s drinks. Include your name & wedding date along with a fun saying or picture.

Photo Credit: Photos By JKay

18. As an alternative to favors {which can become costly as the guest list rises}, donate to a charity which is close to your heart. Charities will often send pin badges and cards for each guest explaining that money has been donated in replacement of a favor.

19. Personalized button badges and old-fashioned 3D glasses make great favours, and fantastic photo props too!

20. Ask your florist to design the table centres with multiple mini vases which guests can then take away with them at the end of the night, so they double up as favors and a lovely memento of your wedding day.

21. If the two of you love cooking, then why not create a little pamphlet of your favorite recipes, as a wedding favor. Or a list of your favorite restaurants? You could add little notes like ‘This is where X proposed’.

22. Only invest in favors if you really love them. Guests will only remember the truly great ideas. To save money, how about making favors such as home-made jam or chocolate truffles? You can save money and have fun with your favourite ladies at the same time!

23. Give your guests fancy-dress favors. Stick-on moustaches and silly glasses will raise a laugh, and get your guests talking to each other.

24. Make your favours – bake cookies, make jam or brew up lemonade, and bottle it with personalised labels.

25. Horse shoe wedding favors represent how lucky you feel to have found each other, and every guest goes home a little luckier.

26. If you can’t get going without a cup of coffee in the morning, give each guest a mug containing a little bag of your favourite grind. This works for tea too. Ikea sells mugs for about a $1 each.

♥ Wedding Decorations 

27. Decorate your venue with hundreds of paper lanterns. They’re cheap and cheerful, and you can always sell them on after your wedding. If you tie in tiny LED lights, they’ll even glow after dark.

28. If you’re getting married on a farm or in the countryside, use straw bales as seats. If you cover them with old tablecloths, it’ll fit in with a vintage-themed wedding.

29. Using unusual containers for flowers, such as old fashioned bottles, jugs and glass jars, can add a lovely kitsch look and can be picked up for a bargain at charity shops.

30. Bright table cloths can make a real splash at your wedding reception. Choose a colour to contrast with the flowers and napkins.

31. Use fruit instead of flowers to decorate your wedding tables. Paper bags filled with cherries, or baskets filled with apples make a fantastic display, and your guests can either eat them, or take them home as favors.

32. Children’s blackboards are a great way to communicate with your guests. Write little messages like ‘Love is Sweet’ or ‘All You Need is Love’. You could also use a large one for the menu.

33. Have you considered getting married at night? You could say your vows by candlelight, and then lead your guests in for an evening reception.

34. Paper is a great way to decorate your wedding venue. Not only is it cheap, but it’s incredibly versatile. DIY your bunting, pompoms, and streamers. For tutorials, search the wedding blogs.

35. Christmas weddings can allow couples to be more creative with décor and centre pieces by using Christmas decorations in the shops and incorporating these into the day. Often with winter weddings, couples can spend less on flowers and maximise the offerings already in place in the venue.

36. Use ribbon or lace to decorate your ceremony and reception. Wrap ribbon around candles and napkins, or use it to decorate the aisle and tables.

♥ Wedding Flowers 

37. Instead of carrying a bouquet, ask your florist to make you a crown of flowers. It’ll give your wedding a pagan feel. Bridesmaids could be given corsages instead of bouquets in another twist on the norm.

38. Make use of your mother or grandmother’s jewellery by pinning it to your bouquet. It’ll make your posy so much more personal, dress it up and act as your something borrowed.
39. Instead of the usual fresh cut flowers, how about using herbs or unusual pot plants to make a nice arrangement. Guests can then take parts of your display home with them at the end of the day.

40. Make your bouquet personal to you by choosing a flower that has a special meaning.

41. If you’re worried that your wedding flower budget is getting out of control, keep things simple by just picking one cheap bloom. Clouds of carnations or baby’s breath look just as beautiful as more expensive mixed bouquets of roses and peonies.

42. Choose flowers that are in season to keep the cost down. If you have plenty of time and some garden space available you could even think about growing some garden style flowers yourself. Not only would they look lovely, but the garden would then be a fantastic reminder of your wedding day too.

43. What about an alternative wedding bouquet? I’ve seen them made from butterflies, buttons, paper, flowers created from coca-cola drinks cans, lollipops, parasols, and more…

44. Try to be clever with the decoration pieces that you are using for the wedding to maximise their use. Can the flowers be moved from the church and repositioned?

♥ Wedding Venues 

45. If your wedding is going to span the whole day, your guests will appreciate a separate space to the revelry, where they can relax for a while. Personalize this area by having a screen showing you and your partner’s favorite romantic movies.

46. Choose an unusual venue for your wedding – from steam trains to aquariums, there’s a world of choice out there for something completely different. Or you could hold your reception in a stylish restaurant for a sophisticated and unusual wedding celebration.

47. Consider a weekday or Sunday wedding. Venues often offer lower rates for these days and it may just enable you to afford that perfect venue that was previously just out of budget! Dont worry so much about people taking a day off work, those who love you will do it in a heartbeat.

48. If you’re worried about having to invite large amounts of family members, choose to have a destination wedding. It’ll immediately bring down the guest list to only your nearest and dearest.

49. Have the wedding in a local hall for a vintage, old-school feel. Dress the room with family and friend or you cut costs even further and go outdoors…providing blankets for people to sit on and have a wedding picnic.

50. For a truly unique wedding, the best setting is a dry hire venue – one where you literally just rent the four walls. You can then fill it with things you have chosen yourself – right down to the cutlery, meaning your day will be a true reflection of you and totally different to every other wedding. This type of wedding takes a lot more organization and shopping around, especially if you are on a tight budget, but is well worth the effort.

51. Consider making yours a winter wedding. Venues and suppliers often offer lower rates for off-peak weddings. Not only will you save money across a lot of areas, but you’re more likely to get a higher turn-out for your celebrations, when you’re not competing with the rush of summer weddings and holidays.

♥ Wedding Entertainment 

52. If you need a performer or an artist, why not call upon your local drama academy or art school. They will be much cheaper and they will so appreciate the opportunity.

53. If you want to have some unique touches at your wedding, allocate some money in your budget for it. There are a lot of things you could have, but do you really need a chocolate fountain, ice cream tricycle, caricaturist, magician, candy bar, fireworks and a photo booth? Just pick one!

54. To help break the ice at dinner, why not have your Best Man host a quiz about you both? Each table would work together as a team, and you could offer a prize for the winner.

55. Make the arrival of the wedding cake an event, by asking your caterers to turn down the lights and bring it in decorated with indoor fireworks. At our wedding, we even asked the DJ to play ‘Eye of the Tiger’!

56. Set up a guest photo booth with personalised props and/or boards for your guests to write messages to you on.

57. Instead of a DJ, get all your guests to choose 3 or 4 ‘floor fillers’ that they love and collate them into an iPod playlist. That way you can have purely music you love, and know everyone will enjoy.

58. To help introduce guests to one another and add an element of cheeky fun, write a short but funny ‘one liner’ about each guest on the back of their place card. People will then ask what their ‘one liner’ means and it works brilliantly at breaking the ice. Alternatively, if you have a group of friends on one table, they’ll all understand the little jokes and it really gets the atmosphere going.

♥ Wedding Food 

59. Maximise your wedding cake by incorporating this into your wedding breakfast and serve as dessert. If your venue is happy to allow this, you can save considerably per head. In addition to this, you could also ask the venue to ‘dress’ the plates so the cake is served with fresh berries and cream at a fraction of the standard dessert price. Cupcakes also work well for this option too!

60. Consider having your speeches during your reception when the champagne or prosecco is flowing.

61. Rather than having a traditional wedding cake you could decide to serve chocolates and your favorite drink as a night cap later on in the evening. You could also set up a tasting bar for guests to sample different varieties.

62. Dessert tables are a hugely popular trend right now. If your budget won’t stretch to having yours professionally catered, why not ask 4 or 5 friends who are handy in the kitchen to bake some goodies as your wedding present. You can then put your own DIY decoration skills to use to create a stunning – and much more personal – display.

63. Cocktails are actually cheaper than straight champagne. So choose a Bellini as your signature cocktail, and mix it with prosecco. No one will ever know the difference.

64. What’s your favorite late-night snack? Serve it at midnight to all your guests.

Photo Credit: Braedon Photography

65. Instead of having a traditional wedding cake, why not ask your guests to take part in a Cakey Bakey! Each guest can bring any type of cake, the more extravagant the better, and the bride and groom will judge the cakes on the day. They can then hand out awards/rosettes during the speeches and have different categories. The winning cake is then used as their cutting cake!

66. Food and beverage is a large percentage of your wedding budget, so if you’re struggling to cut down on guest numbers then why not have a later ceremony followed by an elegant black tie affair with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres instead of a 3 course sit down meal.

67. Keep it seasonal – from food to flowers, this will reduce your costs and ensure your wedding is in keeping with the weather and time of year. Hold a BBQ in the summer and have an open fire with marshmallows in the winter to make the most of your day.

68. Instead of a dessert or sweet table, you could have a fun DIY station to decorate your own cupcakes. There could be a variety of different and more usual flavours with a selection of icings and toppings.

♥ Wedding Ceremony Ideas 

69. As part of your wedding ceremony, seal love letters and a bottle of wine in a box. You could even hammer it closed! The idea is that if you’re having trouble in your marriage in the future, you can open it up and be reminded of what brought you together.

70. Write your own vows, keeping it relevant to your life together.

71. If you’ve got ring bearers, give them flags saying ‘Here Comes the Bride’, and encourage them to walk down the aisle ahead of you and your father. It’ll get everyone smiling, and take the focus off you a bit.

72. Not everyone gets married in a church, but you might want to create your own ‘alter’ as a focus for the wedding ceremony. There are tonnes of ways of doing this, from hanging multicoloured ribbons, or crepe paper, a gorgeous piece of fabric, or lots of paper pompoms. I’ve even seen it with birdcages and lanterns hanging from a tree. Anything to create a focal point.

73. If you’re not walking down a traditional aisle, why not create a circular, snail-shaped one. That way all your guests get a good look at you as you walk down the aisle, and you’ll say your vows in the centre of all your friends and family.

74. Create a fun and unique ceremony procession. Walk down the aisle to one of your modern favorites then mix up the running order a bit so guests are left surprised and stunned!

75. If you already have children try to involve them in the ceremony. Many ministers or JOP’s can adapt your wedding ceremony to include a blessing for you all becoming a family as well as the marriage. You may find that they will include this in the price too!

♥ Wedding Stationery 
76. I love seeing personal touches at weddings so how about making your own invitations and hand writing them? The hand written word is very rare nowadays and your guests would really appreciate the personal touch – and you might even save some money in the process!
77. Have an engagement shoot and use the photos for your ‘Save the Date’ cards and/or table numbers
78. Toss out traditional save-the-dates and create a home made video with information on your upcoming wedding. Send a DVD to each prospective guest.

79. Your wedding stationery sets the tone of the day, but unique creations are rarely economical. You could look at creating a ‘wedsite’ instead – a totally personalised wedding website which allows you to send your invitations, track your RSVPs and gift list as well as keep guests informed of the travel and accommodation details. Not only will you save money, but you’ll get extra environmental kudos for going green!

80. Think outside the box for how you print your wedding stationery. Why use paper, when you could use plywood, fabric or even balloons {the invitation appears as you blow up the balloon}. Some of my favorite Save the Dates have come printed on magnets.

♥ Wedding Budgeting Tips 

81. Budget! Budget! Budget! Budgeting may be the least fun, and most difficult part of planning to face, but budgeting early and honestly will mean you steer clear of exposing yourself to ideas you can’t afford. Establishing a sound budget that reflects what is most important to you as a couple will ensure you get the most out of every penny you spend!  (See: Let’s Talk Budget)

82. Let your guests send you packing with honeymoney. Honeymoon gift list sites can be a smart way to have guests contribute to your honeymoon fun. This can save you money on what could be a very pricey trip, but you can also personalise your web page and have your guests contribute to different parts of your trip, making this more unique.  (See: Alternative Gift Registries)

83. It’s the personal touches that can make a wedding unique, so why not think about a workshop activity for your friends to do. You could have a fantastic afternoon learning how to arrange flowers or make stationery and then put your new skills to good use for your wedding.

84. Hire a planner! Most brides think that they cost the earth, but we save you time, money and stress as well as working with you to make your wedding day unique and ensure that it’s about what you want rather than what your family think you should have!

85. Beg, borrow or steal (ok maybe not steal!). Bridesmaids and friends may have already been married and may have anything from a veil or tiara, to something more unusual or unique that you could ask to use on your day.

86. Hire Don’t Buy. It’s possible to hire beautiful pieces to create unique and quirky decorations, for much less money that it would cost if you bought them yourself. Vintage china looks great for a relaxed tea party theme.

87. Search online for the cheapest suppliers. We found tissue paper for our DIY pompoms for a fraction of the price on eBay, and large round white balloons for much less too.

88. Use your friends’ talents. Think about any skills your friends might have, from being creative and crafty, having beautiful handwriting, floristry skills, or handy with make-up; you could put these skills to  good use you save on otherwise expensive suppliers. This also adds a unique and personal touch to your day.

89. If your church ceremony is followed by another wedding, discuss with the bride whether it is possible to share flower costs and rental for other props etc.

90. Instead of buying expensive thank you gifts for parents, attendants and so on you could buy some lovely food and wine and host a dinner party to thank them instead.

91. Ask your caterers to use only local ingredients from local suppliers when creating your menu. You will find that sourcing food locally cuts down on the cost.
♥ Ideas for the Groom & Ushers 

92. Don’t just match the ushers ties, buy them matching socks. It makes for fantastic pictures.

93. Sew a message into the inside of your husband’s jacket. He won’t see it till he’s getting ready, and it’ll be a lovely way to get a message to him before you walk down the aisle.

94. Write on the soles of your husband’s shoes. If you’re having a church service, when he kneels down for the blessing, the congregation will be able to see your message.

95. Don’t forget to remind your ushers to decorate your going-away car. Tin cans and an old boot are traditional, but ribbons and pom poms are the new fashion. You’ll need a Just Married sign too.

♥ Wedding Dress & Accessories 

96. Don’t buy ‘wedding’ shoes. There are lots of companies that supply shoes specifically for weddings. Why not choose a pair from the high street? They’ll be less expensive and you could choose a unique colour to match your theme. Who says your shoes have to match your dress?!

97. Don’t buy a wedding dress. If you’re looking for a really simple gown, then you might just find a white dress for a fraction of the price. Remember the word ‘wedding’ often adds 15% to the price. Also, consider buying your wedding dress second-hand, or from a sample sale. There’s plenty of websites out there, just google ‘second hand wedding dresses’. Get in touch with your favourite designer and ask them when they host their sample sale, or wait until just after Christmas when everyone reduces their prices.

98. Line your wedding shoes with a pattern that fits in with your wedding day. Or stick lucky pennies to the soles. 

99. If you’re a creative bride (or have creative friends!) consider buying your dress ‘off the rack’ and customising it yourself. Adding a few special touches can make your dress unique without breaking the budget.
100. Challenge the norm by wearing a non-white wedding dress. Soft blush and pastel shades are in fashion this season, and there’s a suggestion soft patterns might be in trend for 2013!  Go on, I dare you!

Bridesmaid? What It Really Means…

Most of us are at the age when lots of our friends are getting married. But let’s face it- it’s also the age where we’re getting our roots planted, and not all of us are rolling in dough. Today I want to share some of my experiences as a bridesmaid and how it might affect your wallet after you say yes to this duty.

Real life scenario: Your very best friend in the world recently got engaged and asks you to be her maid of honor! Without hesitation, you say ‘yes’ and happily tell her you’ll be the best maid of honor that ever lived….

Fast forward a few weeks: You are afraid to open emails from the bride-to-be, fearing/knowing each message will contain a link to a designer dress with a cost equivalent to the down payment for a new car!

Through some informal research combined with my personal experience as a bridesmaid, I’ve come up with a list of costs you should consider BEFORE you say yes to being in a wedding:

Dress/Shoes: $150 and up

While some brides are becoming more flexible on bridesmaid gown choices, there are still those traditional brides who want every girl in the same dress, sometimes wearing matching or even custom dyed shoes. Be prepared to spend around $200 on your dress and shoes, depending on the choice the bride makes!

Hair/Make-Up: $100 and up

Some brides make getting your hair and make-up done optional, but some may require it! Depending on the situation, this can be a pricey additional cost that you weren’t counting on. Make sure you ask the bride about her plans a few weeks in advance so you know not to spend that extra $100 on something else!

Shower: $75 and up

The average amount a bridesmaid will contributed to throwing a shower was $250. Sometimes bridesmaids luck out when a family friend or relative offers to foot the cost of the shower. Other times, bridesmaids are expected to pay for everything. No matter the situation, you should plan on helping pay for prizes, games and a shower gift from you to the bride.

Bachelorette Party: $125 and up

Did you know in the UK, bachelorette parties are called ‘Hen weekends?’ Fun fact for you! Bridesmaids there typically don’t pay for their dress, shoes, hair or make-up–since the bride has asked them to be in her wedding, it is considered a favor to her and she foots the bill! The bridesmaids and friends, however, DO throw a ‘hen weekend’ full of fun things and foot the bill for the bride! In the US, bachelorette parties can range from a fun girls night in, to dramatic trips to Vegas or the Caribbean–so plan on forking over a decent amount of cash for this occasion. 🙂

Wedding and Shower Gifts: $100 and up

Gifts are very personal and will reflect your personality, so this one is hard to really give an average price. Generally speaking though, bridesmaids purchase a gift from the bride’s registry for the shower and give a personal, thoughtful gift for the wedding. The nice thing is about a registry is there are a variety of gifts at different price points so you can pick something that really fits your budget!

Travel:$50 and up

Travel is another factor some bridesmaids forget about, but be sure to consider the location of the wedding when you say ‘yes’–there is quite a difference between filling your gas tank to travel a few hours, and buying a plane ticket to the other side of the country! Also, don’t forget other trips you may make to go dress shopping, attend the shower or attend the bachelorette party!

Clothes, shoes, make-up and other bridesmaid duties: Grand total: $600 and up

Gym membership to be in your best shape ever for said wedding: $30 a month

Watching your very best friend in the world marry her soul mate: Priceless

We’re always hearing about the dresses, the shoes, etc etc. So brides, try and be conscious of all your bridesmaids’ situations when choosing things for your wedding. And bridesmaids (potential or current), know what you’re saying yes to when your best friend asks you to be her bridesmaid.

Getting A Good Deal

Everyone knows weddings can expensive. We all know that. So it’s always nice to find a great deal or multiple great deals.

There are so many social deal websites out there that offer so many deals to brides and many girls planning their wedding just don’t know about them. It’s especially hard to find out about all the deals that are available because sites like “Groupon” or “Living Social” make you sign up based on your city.  There’s a website out there that combines deals within your city from ALL the social deal sites as well as lets you know about the national deals. Even better, they have a whole section dedicated to weddings.

The website is Dealery.com.

On the site, you don’t have to worry about signing up by city if you’re not interested in that. Instead, you can click on the “Weddings” tab and sign up for all wedding deals! It includes deals for engagement, honeymoon, bachelorette parties, invitations, accessories, DIY, etc etc.
Dealery Weddings brings together wedding deals from all over the web, theknot, bachelorette.com, Groupon’s wedding section and much more.
If your just engaged, you’re probably obsessed with buying wedding magazines. On Dealery, you can get special deals on magazine subscriptions to “Brides” & “Martha Stewart Weddings” among other popular magazines.
When it comes to wedding planning, some of the deals highlighted today include 25% off custom wedding invitations, save on your centerpieces and photography packages… you can even buy your dress on Dealery.  (I’m not sure about my thoughts on that or the details in to ordering, but it’s available!)
The deal site also gives you some great ideas on bridal party gifts as well as wedding favors.
I highly recommend the sight and think you can get some great deals, which in the long run will you save you some cash. And we all like to save cash so we can shop more!