Wedding Alternatives

It’s been a while since my last post and my goal for a little while was to blog at least once a week.  Well, needless to say it’s been busy around here.  We welcomed our beautiful son on 25 April at 8:09 p.m.  He was a whopping 7 pounds 9 oz and was 20 1/4 inches long.  He’s adorable and his big sister Anabel LOVES him to pieces.  Check out the newborn pictures by Daniele Rose Photographyhttp://danielerose.myshowit.com/alexandershow/index.html.  I know you’ll love the pictures as much as I do.

Anyway…I came across a unique idea for a guest book at your wedding (or any event).  Some people like the traditional books where people write their names and something nice.  But do you EVER go back and re-read everything?  When I sign a guest book, I get a little intimidated by ALL THAT SPACE and think to myself “What can I write that’s witty and sweet so they’ll remember what I said?”  So, when I saw these puzzle guest books, I thought “what a fantastic idea!”  Not only is it unique but it can displayed and looked at all the time.  The puzzle guest books are totally fun.  Check out some on Etsy!

Tree Guestbook by BellaPuzzlesToo.  How does it work?  Your guests take a piece of the puzzle and write on it!  It’s so simple and awesome.  🙂

Want a more customized guest book?  Try CustomDogBandanas!

These are a little pricey but hey, at least you’ll treasure it and look at it more than once!  🙂

May 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Wedding. Leave a comment.

Bridal Party Gifts

Some of my friends call me the coupon queen because I love using coupons when I make purchases.  Why not save 20% or an extra $1?  It all adds up in the end.  For every bride I work with, there is a budget.  Budgets are as low as $10,000 or can be as high as a couple can (or cannot) afford.  No matter what the budget, a couple with a $10,000 budget should still be able to have as beautiful of a wedding as a couple with an unlimited budget.

Earlier this week, I shared caterbid.com with you.  Then there was the time saving tool for preparing your seating chart for your reception.  Although it may not have saved money, it did save time and time is money.  🙂

One of the categories for a wedding budget is a gift for each person in the bridal party.  Although these aren’t required, it is a way to show your appreciation.  This is where couples can get into trouble because they usually want to have personalized gifts that have meaning.  The problem?  It can be expensive!  My advice?  Wait for a great sale.  Sure you could be pushing it to the last minute but who says you can’t give the gift after the wedding?  (*shock*)  Seriously, you have enough things to worry about and your bridal party should understand that you may not have had time to do some shopping.  Besides, should your bridal party be expecting a gift anyway?! 

www.weddingchicks.com is having a 50% off sale in their shop if you use discount code unclesam.  If you spend $100 or more, you get FREE shipping!  Double deals!  Love it when this happens!

www.tinyprints.com offers customized cards that you can print for your bridal party to thank them for being a part of your special day.  Cards can start as little as $1.99.

www.theknot.com always has a sales section so check out what they have.

www.etsy.com is a great way to get unique handmade gifts for your bridesmaids, especially since they all have different personalities.  And you know what?  If you contact the owners of the etsy shops that you like, they may be able to give you a discount if you order more than one thing from their shop.  It doesn’t hurt to ask!  Worse thing that could happen is that they say “no, I can’t do that”.  I’ve gotten many deals working with these owners.

Clutches by Oatmeal Lace Designs

Although this isn’t directly related to bridal party gifts, another way to save money is to see if vendors are available last minute.  Yes, that can be stressful but let me give you an example.  Let’s say you want a photo booth at your wedding but you don’t have $1,500 in your budget to pay for a photo booth.  Why not wait until closer to your wedding date and see if the vendor has a booth available at a discounted rate.  A lot of times vendors who have these type of items want to rent it out rather than have it sit in storage.  They could potentially give you MAJOR savings!  Again, ask and the worse that could happen is they say “no, sorry”. 

One more tip and then I’m done.  Consider not having champagne at your wedding.  Most guests use whatever glass with whatever liquid to lift for the toast.  This could save money and save a lot of waste!

Of course, I’m not advocating for you to wait until the last minute to do your planning…only do this if it’s a “nice to have” item.  🙂

Happy saving!

April 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Wedding. Leave a comment.

Seat Assignments

We all know how difficult it can be to create seating assignments at a wedding.  I’ve used sticky notes, I’ve used Microsoft Visio, and even Microsoft PowerPoint!  Out of these three things that I’ve tried, I’d have to say that sticky notes were the “easiest” to use…until I stumbled across WeddingMapper.com.  They have an interactive seating chart that you can use to easily create your reception place and make tables!  The only hard part may be to figure out the dimensions of the reception venue BUT if you have a good catering manager/food & beverage manager at the venue, they should be able to provide that information for you.

Here is a screen print I took while using their demo.  You select the table shape (circle or square) and then a handy window pops up asking how many people can be seated at the table (the average is 10 people for a round).  Then it creates the table for you!  You can drag people from your guest list over to the table and move their guests with the name (as shown below).  How much easier can this get?!

Take a look at it when you have some time.  I think it’s a great tool and it could make your seating assignment task a lot easier.  🙂  Happy seat assigning!

April 4, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Venue, Wedding. Leave a comment.

Rain Rain DON’T Go Away!

A few years ago I purchased a pair of rain boots and my husband teased me because “it doesn’t rain enough in Southern California!”  Well, I was able to wear my rain boots A LOT this year and it was so much fun!  I heard on NPR.org this morning that we had 19″ of rain which was an increase of 143% from the previous year.  The investment in my rain boots was well worth it.

Well, it’s definitely NOT raining today in Ventura County (beautiful, sunny, and a scorching 81 degrees!) but I saw this post on Wedding Wire’s blog and thought it was so adorable!  Rain can make beautiful pictures and add some spunk to your wedding day.  How adorable would it be to have bright colored polka dot rain boots that matched your wedding colors?  I know they aren’t the beautiful Jimmy Choo shoes you wanted to dance your first dance in but rain boots will make wonderful memories and wedding pictures that pop with color! 

Adding umbrellas with patterns is definitely a new level of fun at a wedding and it doesn’t even have to be for a rainy day.  Umbrellas, as you all know, are great for blocking out the sun.

Etsy has some super cute umbrella inspired items.  Check it out!

Don’t let rain bring you down on your special day…take advantage it!

picture from Wedding Wire's Blog

April 1, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Wedding. Leave a comment.

Happy Belated New Year!

I know…I’m about 6 days late on wishing everyone a happy new year.  It’s been a busy time with moving to a new home and trying to take care of business and personal things.  Everyone knows how that goes.  Well, this year I’m hoping to really be inspired with new and unique wedding designs so that I can help others make their dream wedding a reality! 

In our new home, I get an office!  I’m super excited and I have been thinking about ways to create an environment that will allow me to be organized, creative, and to keep me on track with my 2011 goals.

My husband introduced me to a great site called Stumble Upon.  What a great way to get inspired!  I think I could definitely spend hours online looking at the fun and creative ideas people have at their weddings.

Here is a great wedding with some adorable details.  http://greenweddingshoes.com/real-wedding-stacy-pauls-anthropolgie-inspired-wedding/ – a sample picture is below.

I wish you all a happy, loving, and wonderful new year filled with all the things that inspire you.  I’d love to hear about what your goals for 2011 are and what inspires you.

January 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Wedding. Leave a comment.

Belle Journee – An Intimate Gathering

We’re coordinating a Bridal Show at the Museum of Ventura County on Sunday, 17 October 2010 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.  The price includes admission to the show and museum as well as a museum donation.  To register as a bride, visit our website and click on Calendar of Events.  If you’re a vendor and are interested in participating, please email us at Cindy@AnEnlightenedEvent.com.

August 17, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Charity, Other Events, Venue, Wedding. Leave a comment.

Vintage Themed Wedding

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted something but it’s been busy and as you can see below, the results of the planning and great work of all my vendors speak for themselves.  Thank you to all of the vendors for a great event!

Location – Acacia Mansion, Ojai
Photographer – Lavender & Twine
Florist – Dream Maker Floral
Desserts – Petite Reve Chocolates
Dress – California & Main
Veil – Camarillo Bridal
Jewelry – Girly Girl Designs
Make Up – V Valenz
Hair – Mitra
Suit – Bob Kildee Clothing
Pocket Mirror Favors – Madison Craft
Bride/Groom Hangers – Making Things Special
Rentals – Party Pleasers

August 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Dessert, Mansion, Venue, Wedding. Leave a comment.

Picnic Shoot Sneak Peek

Here’s a sneak peek at our picnic photoshoot!

Simple, yet romantic

Bouquet & Boutonniere: Dream Maker Floral, Picnic Blanket: An Enlightened Event, Photography: Lavender & Twine, Dress: Forever 21, Location: Charter Oaks Park, Camarillo

June 23, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Wedding. 1 comment.

Wonderful Venue

I attended a Women in Business social last night at the Acacia Mansion in Ojai, CA.  What a beautiful home!  It is a very affordable place to have a wedding – both ceremony and reception.  The best part is that you can have your bridal party stay at the house as well because the home has room for up to 7 couples.  This location accommodates up to 150 guests.  My favorite part is the barn with saloon.  There are also horses and chickens!!!

If you’re already married but want a stay-cation, rent a room at this beautiful place.  You won’t regret it!

June 11, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Mansion, Venue, Wedding. Leave a comment.

Don’t want a wedding cake?

Have you ever imagined a wedding without a wedding cake?  It’s probably not as unusual or rare as you may think.  Some people just don’t like cakes and why stop them from having a delicious ending to their reception?  So, what can you have in lieu of a wedding cake?  Here are some ideas that we’ve gathered.

Cupcakes
Picture courtesy of I’d Rather Be Baking Company
Cupcakes can be unique and used for brides who can’t make up their minds on what they want their “cakes” to look like.

Apple Pie 
Picture courtesy of I’d Rather Be Baking Company
Or if you aren’t a cake eater, how about a homemade apple pie? 


Photo found on Biscuit Rising Blog
Something new and unique is the dessert shot glass.  Fill these 4 oz shot glasses with your favorite dessert whether it be strawberry cheesecake, chocolate brownies, tiramisu, carrot cake, etc.  The list goes on and on.  The best part, you can double these shot glasses as favors for your wedding guests!

Options are endless.  Just think about what dessert you love the most and have it at your wedding.  You shouldn’t have a wedding cake because you feel like it completes the wedding.  Your entire wedding shows your style and shows a glimpse of who you and your spouse are so why cut it short by having an unwanted wedding cake?  If you both love candy, have a buffet of your favorite candies!

April 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Cakes, Cupcakes, Dessert, Pies, Wedding. Leave a comment.