Wedding Dress Styles

Check out this awesome infograph on various wedding dress styles, trains, necklines, and more!

Wedding dress styles

 

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Achieving Your Dream Wedding

Are you feeling very overwhelmed while you are planning your wedding? Does eloping seem like a better solution? You can make your wedding less stressful by following a few simple tips. There is information contained in this article that will ease some of the wedding frustration.

Keep in mind this is your day and not anyone else’s, so do what you want to do and don’t be forced to do any family traditions you aren’t comfortable doing. Thank your relatives for their suggestions and ideas, but make it clear to them that the events of the wedding day will ultimately be planned by you and your partner. This way, your wedding day will have good memories for you, and not one filled with regrets on things you wish you had done.

Perhaps you could borrow something from a friend. This can give you the look you want to achieve and make the wedding even more special.

Your wedding day can be very stressful, so plan it a little later in the day. This gives you plenty of time to get ready in the morning without the chore of waking up early. If your time allows, do something for yourself that is relaxing and calms your nerves.

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There’s nothing more important in a wedding than the person who you are marrying. There is not need to hurry this important choice. You should consider the things you enjoy in your companion, as well as the things that irritate you.

If your mother, bridesmaids, or other special people are going to assist you with your wedding gown, have them be dressed and ready to go well in advance of when you expect to be dressing. In the last bit of time before your wedding, all focus should be on your preparations. If they are worried about getting themselves ready, they’re not focused on assisting you.

It’s important to buy a dress which is appealing to your eye, but it should also fit you in a flattering way. If you are short, stay away from altering normal length dresses and opt for the petite section. You will notice the difference and your guests will too!

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Despite what you might have been told, you can put on a excellent wedding without spending six figures. Remember to follow these tips for a great wedding without any financial stress.

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.
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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.

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

Planning with Pinterest: Pros & Cons

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We all, meaning I, have spent hours browsing the endless eye candy that Pinterest has to offer. When I first joined I really didn’t understand what it was, other than I was finding tons of recipes, fashion, fitness and wedding (even though I’d already gotten married) ideas that I wanted or wished I could have to put into action. Pinterest can be a great tool to use to plan many things, and for many brides when they get engaged, they go Pin-crazy. I’ve put together a list of good and bad things about trying to Pinterest plan.

Pros:

-Ideas for pictures: I’ve found countless of picture ideas I never would have thought of if I never got online. I can easily show my photographer some great snapshots I can’t go without on my big day.

YES - Have your family and friends in the background of the first kiss instead of the officiant

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First kiss from behind the preacher

Awesome shot!

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– Ideas for colors/bridesmaids dresses and flowers: I can easily show a florist and look for bridesmaids dresses that go along with a shot I’ve seen and easily Pinned.

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-Easy organization. When visit a vendor or go to the bridal salon to buy bridesmaids dresses, I can easily whip out my phone and show colors, ideas and my vision. I don’t have to print out endless amounts of pictures and remember to bring them with me when I meet with a vendor. It’s all right there!

Cons:

-Idea and Information Overload: One could possibly spend countless hours looking at ALL of the great ideas for favors, pictures, colors, decorations, extra fun activities, etc. But you can easily get overwhelmed with all of the ideas, trying to do all of these great ideas that sounded good at the time but make you lose track of the purpose of the day- marrying the love of your life. I was talking to a friend of mine whose friend recently got married, and commented that she got so caught up in doing all of the ideas she saw on Pinterest, it became too stressful.  You don’t want to spend your wedding day stressing over whether the photographer is going to still be there at the end to snap that awesome ‘sparkler picture’.

-Will I be able to afford that?: As many start to actually plan their wedding, they quickly realize that:

True!!!

Things you think you are definitely going to have at your wedding- like a rustic barn venue and vintage cowboy boots for all of your bridesmaids- might not be a financial reality.  Looking at all the pictures then realizing what you can actually afford can leave you feeling inadequate and unfulfilled. Just remember that you don’t need all the bells and whistles- remember the true meaning of the day!

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– Usability of images you find: Again, as you start to plan, you’ll probably realize that some of the stuff you Pinned really isn’t even useful to your actual planning.

 Pinterest can be fun- but try not to get overwhelmed! It’s really easy to get caught up in “I need to do this” and “I must have this”. Don’t lose sight of the point of your day. My advice is pick 2-3 really good ideas that you find and focus on those instead of trying to focus on 15 things you find you want to do.

Blog inspired by Pencil & Pancakes

Just Engaged?

Labor Day has passed, autumn is almost upon us ….which means it’s the start of “engagement season”! (Yes, we have a term for it.) I don’t know about you, but my Facebook page is starting to blow up with engagement announcements! I absolutely love newly engaged couples because there is SO much love and excitement around getting engaged!

But then soon after that excitement wears off, you’re hit with the reality of the fact that you have to plan a wedding– something that you most likely have no clue about, right?! Sure, you’ve been in a wedding or two, or maybe one of your close friends recently got married, but things are different when it’s YOUR wedding! And if you’re anything like me, you have NO idea where to start. Well, don’t fret, because I am here to help you out! I have compiled the 10 things you need to do first to get started with your wedding planning.


1. Set a budget

You shouldn’t be doing anything before sit down and talk about & decide on a budget. Sit down with your parents, family members, or just the two of you, figure out who is contributing, how much they can contribute, and what your total budget will be Then you can move on to #2!

 2. Choose 2-3 possible dates

To be safe, choose 2-3 possible dates to have your wedding. Think of the time of year, the weather, work schedules/vacation time, holidays, and yes, even football season (or whatever sport your fiance/family is crazy about). Then choose your #1 preferred date, and have a #2 and #3 available in case your preferred date isn’t available. This is extremely important because venues book up fast…some even book up to a year and half in advance!

 3. Start your guest list

Of course you want to invite everyone you know to your wedding. But here’s my warning for you: the more people you have, the more you have to spend. (This is why you do your budget first.)

Example: You want to have 200 guests. Your budget is $20,000. This means that you will have $100 per guest. 

So as you see, starting your guest list and knowing your estimated maximum guest count early is super imporant! And keep in mind that guest counts usually go down by the time your wedding day comes around- and believe me… it’ll get really easy to cut the people you haven’t talked to in forever from the guest list.

Here are some ideas on how to control your guest list… or use this flow chart…

 4. Decide on your wedding’s style & colors

Vintage, modern, classic, eclectic, handmade, rustic… there are SO many styles out there! The beauty of “wedding styles” is that they also coincide with decor and details, and so knowing from the beginning will help you later on.  No need to design your whole wedding right now though- just know the general look and feel of how you want your wedding to be.  It’s also a good time to decide on what colors you may want to have incorporated into your big day… Once you know that, it’ll be easier to move on to #5… 

 5. Decide on your venue

So all of the first 4 steps can essentially be done all in one sitting. That’s easy, right? Well once you have all of those decisions made, you can start researching and visiting venues. When you’re researching and you find a venue that you like, I highly recommend contacting them and asking if they have any of your possible dates available. If they do, then go ahead and schedule a time to tour the venue. Give yourself a few (1 to 3 max) weeks to tour all of your possibilities (depending on how long you have before your wedding date of course), crunch numbers, envision your wedding there (or not), and then book your venue! Once you have your venue booked (meaning deposit made and contract signed), your date is secured… you are just steps away from getting MARRIED!

6. Research

First and foremost, if you didn’t already hire a wedding planner during the first 5 steps…I strongly suggest you consider one….They will be able to give you great recommendations and save you time & frustration!

Vendors:

Researching potential vendors is HUGE. There are so many great wedding professionals out there now, and you want time to be able to choose the right ones for you. You definitely don’t want to be rushed, but at the same time, time is of the essence. (If you don’t have a wedding planner, go to here’s what you need to know when hiring your vendors.)

When you’re researching, be sure to check out the vendor’s portfolio, bio, pricing info (if they have it available) and their blog. Feel free to do research on every single type of vendor you need, but the ones that are crucial and book up quickly are the photographer, florist, and caterer (if applicable).

Moving on, the next steps are going to pertain to these 3 things. [After you’ve completed the following steps for the previously mentioned vendors, then you’ll move on to your entertainment, event decor, rentals, invitations, videographer and cake. And then you’ll go on to hair and makeup, transportation, tux rentals, favors, and any extras.]

Part 2 of Research is…

WEDDING DRESS!

Yes, it’s in caps because it’s *that* exciting! Isn’t it pretty much the very first thing you wanted to do- look at wedding dresses?! I mean, come on, who doesn’t like wedding dresses? 😉 But in all seriousness, you want to be sure that you research the types of dresses you like and the stores that carry them.

7. Inquire With and Interview Vendors

So by now you’ve done your research and you know what vendors you like. Now it’s time to contact the vendor, find out if they’re available for your date, ask about pricing/cost (if you want to), and schedule a consultation. I recommend meeting with up to three of each type of vendor, one if you already absolutely love them and they sell you right away, two if you’re pretty set but want to know other options, and three if you’re not sure. It just really depends on you, your decision making skills, and your taste. 🙂

8. Hire Your Vendors

Of course the next step is to make your pick & hire one of those vendors that you’ve met and fallen in love with. After your consultations, try to let vendors know your decision a week or two from when they provide you with an estimate/proposal. And then hooray! You’re one step closer to your wedding day! Important note: Once you’ve hired someone, please let the other vendors that you met with know that you won’t be going with them. I know it sucks to do it and yes, you might feel awkward, but it has to be done- they have to know! A nice, simple email will suffice.

9: WEDDING DRESS!

Alright, so you have some of your vendors booked… now it’s time to take a break and go wedding dress shopping! I don’t think this needs much explanation.

10: Design & Detail Inspiration

Remember back in the first 5 steps when I had you decide on your wedding style? Well with the second round of vendors you will meet with next (florals, decor, invitations, rentals, cake) you’ll need to have a good idea of what you want your wedding to be like, so it’s time to focus on design and details! What do you want your wedding to look like? Design is more of a general term, and details is more of the specifics (and where your personality can really shine through too!). This too is something that requires lots of research… which in the wedding world we like to call INSPIRATION! 🙂 I’m sure many of you have probably already started saving photos of things that you like and are Pinning away for your dream wedding. After all, this big, beautiful wedding world here on the internet does almost solely revolve around design and details! But you want to make sure that you have enough inspiration to be able to accurately convey to your potential vendors what it is you want for your wedding. And then in the same breath, you don’t want to have too much inspiration either!

Don’t forget to bring your inspiration with you to your consultations! You can probably even just pull up your Pinterest boards in your meetings- which I think is absolutely amazing.

Once you get to the last step for your first set of vendors, then move on to the next set! Wedding planning is like a roller coaster- you’ll go really fast at full-speed, then you’ll slow down, and then you’ll speed up again. Yes it’s normal, and it’s okay to have a lull in planning. Basically that roller coaster ride just keeps going until you get married. 😉

Myrtle Beach, Mark Your Calendar!

I love charities and non-profit organizations that not only give to the community but give bak in other ways.  You may remember one of my first posts, Brides Against Breast Cancer. Every dress they sell goes to supporting cancer patients and their families! It’s an amazing cause and they have hundreds of beautiful gowns!

Well, ladies mark your calendars, because Brides Against Breast Cancer is coming to Myrtle Beach this October!

Here’s what you need to know:

WHEN: October 20-21st, 2012

PINK POWER HOUR:

Saturday , October 20th 10am – 12pm

CHARITY WEDDING GOWN SALE:

October 20th, 2012 12pm – 7pm

October 21st, 2012 11am – 5pm

WHERE:

Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes
8400 Costa Verde Drive
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

WHAT IS PINK POWER HOUR?

Be among the first brides in the Myrtle Beach area to browse through more than 1000 exquisite name brand and designer wedding gowns! Purchasing a $20 Pink Power Hour ticket gives you access to browse and purchase the dresses ahead of the general admission!

Pink Power Hour Brides Will:

  • Be the first to meet top venders in the wedding industry
  • Be the first to view gowns in the Myrtle Beach area

Most gown prices range between $99 and $799*, including hundreds of beautiful new name brand and designer gowns valued up to $8,000.

 

*A selection of exclusive designer and couture gowns valued up to $20,000 are also available at an incredible 25% to 75% savings.

BABC gladly accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and debit cards.

Don’t wait, buy your tickets today for Pink Power Hour or to buy your dress!

For more details, you can visit their website!

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!

Supporting Our Troops, And Their Brides!

I’ve always felt the summer is a time to be patriotic, especially with the 4th of July.  It’s also a time that makes me think about our military who are deployed overseas. My husband and I have some friends that are currently deployed and some that are actually getting ready to deploy.

The deployment period can be really tough especially for loved ones who are spending months apart. I have several friends who are engaged and having to plan a wedding on their own while their future spouse is defending our country.  I know planning a wedding can be tough, but I can only imagine having to do it on your own.

One organization is working to make that easier!
Brides Across America is teaming up with the industry’s leading bridal salon The Bridal House of Charleston to provide military brides the opportunity to make their wedding dreams come true by receiving a free wedding gown. The Bridal House of Charleston will host the event on Wednesday July 11th at their Mount Pleasant, South Carolina salon.
Through Brides Across America’s partnership with The Bridal House of Charleston, military brides will be shopping for free designer bridal gowns. The Bridal House of Charleston will be giving away numerous wedding gowns to qualifying brides.  Brides must call ahead to pre-register for the event.
In order to qualify, brides or their fiancé must be on active duty in the military, either currently deployed or deployed within the last five years to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya or Japan.  Identification and deployment papers must be presented at the event to qualify.
As part of Brides Across America’s commitment to support our troops and veterans, the non-profit organization has hosted its 6th annual bridal gown giveaway at salons nationwide.  From Los Angeles to New York, bridal salons nationwide joined forces by giving away free designer wedding gowns to military brides.  To date, Brides Across America has donated over 7,000 wedding gowns from prominent designers. The donated gowns are valued between $500 and $4,000 and range in size.
Without organizations like Brides Across America, many military brides would not have the chance to choose a designer gown for their special day due to economic circumstances. Brides Across America’s founder, Heidi Janson, wants to continue making dreams come true for military couples that have not had the opportunity to plan their dream wedding due to deployment.  “Our continued efforts as an organization are to bring awareness to our communities.  My goal is to make sure we don’t forget all the servicemen and women overseas fighting for our freedom”.
And if you’ve already planned your wedding and have your dress hanging in your closet and don’t know what to do with it, why not donate it to Brides Across America. Your beautiful dress will be passed on and donated to a military bride in need. If you’re interested in donating, visit http://www.bridesacrossamerica.com/Donations.html .

Remember next time you see a Soldier, Marine, Sailor or Airmen, be sure to thank them for their sacrifice.

For military brides who are interested in more information, please contact The Bridal House of Charleston at 843-971-1477 or visit their website www.bridalhousesc.com or visit www.bridesacrossamerica.com on how to qualify.

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!

Reality Show Couple Weds In The Lowcountry

Many of you know, my full time job is a news producer for a local news station in Charleston. Last week at work we got a press release from WIld Dunes, an oceanfront resort on the Isle of Palms! I knew after reading it, I had to share it with you guys.

Out of all the places in the world, two former contestants from the hit reality shows “The Bachelor” & “The Bachelorette” fell in love and decided to exchange their vows and get married in the Charleston-area!

On Saturday, May 5th, Peyton Wright and Chris Lambton were married in front of 200 of their closest family and friends.

The couple’s beach ceremony took place on the Resort’s Grand Pavilion overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  To help create that “beach chic” feel, Wright wore an exquisite strapless dress with a full ruffled skirt designed by Melissa Sweet.  Light and flowing and perfect for an ocean front ceremony. Lambton was dressed in a classic tan suit paired  with sneakers.

The wedding’s color palette was ivory, yellow and moss green with burlap accents. The bridesmaids wore short, yellow dresses designed by Lula Kate of Charleston. The flowers were a combination of whites, yellows and greens put together by Justin Wham. Similar to the groom, groomsmen wore tan suits complete with matching sneakers.

“Wild Dunes seemed like a natural choice for us,” said Wright. “I have such fond memories of vacationing here as a child with my family. Plus, it matched up well with our wish for a beach wedding, and provides the Southern charm and atmosphere we were looking for.”

On Friday, May 4, the bride and groom hosted a welcome party on Wild Dunes Resort’s picturesque, palm tree-lined croquet lawn for approximately 150 guests.

“They feasted on a traditional Southern spread complete with barbeque, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and caramel cake,” said Wild Dunes Resort’s Wedding Specialist and Catering Manager Samantha Martin. “Tiki torches, rocking chairs, burlap, lanterns, and croquet and bocce ball games added to the down-home ambiance.”

At Saturday’s wedding reception in the elegant Sweetgrass Pavilion Palms Ballroom, guests enjoyed Cinco de Mayo inspired sangria, shrimp and grits served in martini glasses, banana pudding shooters and a traditional wedding cake by local Ashley Bakery. The centerpieces consisted of low, square-cut vases filled with greenery, ivory peonies, and hydrangeas. Coastal hued white and tan lounge furniture flanked the dance floor for guests enjoying music from local band, Two Three Ways. Later into the night, the groom’s special request was honored with a celebratory specialty cocktail of butler-passed espresso martinis and the bride and groom departed through a shower of bubbles by golf cart.

Wright and Lambtom have decided to postpone their honeymoon until winter because they have a new show airing on HGTV this spring called “Going Yard.” The show debuts on Saturday, May 12, and will feature Wright, Lambton and their family as they transform rundown yards into landscaping masterpieces ideal for entertaining friends.

*Photos courtesy of Channing Johnson*