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 Photography  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 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?! 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! 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. always has a sales section so check out what they have. 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.

Sip & See

It all started with my friend Whitney from Whitney Hartmann Photography who was looking to photograph a baby shower.  I didn’t have a baby shower planned but I wanted to help her out so I offered to create a mock baby shower.  She asked me why I didn’t just plan a real baby shower for myself.  I said I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to invite people to a baby shower – basically saying, I’m having a baby, buy me a gift (…please).  So as we continued to talk about the photoshoot, she had a brilliant idea.  “Why not have a Sip & See?  That’s a REAL event and parents throw the party.”  I was confused and had no idea what this was.  She explained that it was a Meet & Greet.  People want to meet the baby and parents do this to show off their baby.  WHAT A FANTASTIC IDEA!  So, now I’m planning a Sip & See and I have my inspiration board put together.  Of course, we’re so far out (4 months) so I’m sure my ideas will change but at least I have a starting point.  Inspiration boards are allowed to change.  🙂

Inspiration Board for Sip & See

I know where I want to rent/buy all of the items for the Meet & Greet.  Who better to get the items from than my trusted vendors?!  So, be on the lookout for some orders Petite Reve Chocolates/Petite Reve Cafe, Dream Maker Floral, Ventura Rental Party Center, La Tavola Linens, Tiny Prints, and some of my favorite shops on Etsy.  Super excited!!!

February 11, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Celebrations. Leave a comment.

Gowns…I love Wedding Gowns

I love wedding gowns which probably suits me since I am in the wedding industry.  🙂  I love Vera Wang gowns but who doesn’t?  Looking through a bridal magazine, I found a new designer (new to me, at least) called Pronovias.  Stunning gowns.  Check them out at  I think you’ll love their wide selection of gowns from sleek and simple to dramatic.  I would have loved to wear a super dramatic gown such as the Aire in the Pronovias Dream Collection but I definitely don’t have the guts or the body to wear the dress.  I know there are a lot of brides out there who do and can pull it off.

Lately I’ve been thinking about owning my own bridal salon one day.  It’s definitely further down the road but I would love to be able to sell designer gowns to brides who can’t afford designer gown prices.  I know there are businesses out there that are like that but are there businesses that can buy a gown from a bride who doesn’t want to keep it under their bed or in the back of their closet?  There are charities that accept donations of gowns but some brides don’t want to donate the dress because they paid thousands for their dream dress.  At the same time, the brides don’t want to have the dress collect dust.  So, who would be the one to take the dress off of their hands?  I would love to do that one day.  Just going to keep dreaming until I have the opportunity to make that a reality.

 For now, I’m going to just keep looking at magazines at the beautiful dresses to get inspired and also attend trunk shows.  I’d love to share my finds with brides who are interested in finding their dream dress.  I love a good deal and I think I’m a pretty good shopper.  One of the many services I can provide to my brides when they hire me to be a part of their planning team.

January 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.