Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Friday, August 26, 2011
What if I told you that it was absolutely possible to rock a stunning look on your big day for a bit more than 500 bucks!? Would you believe me? Well, believe it. I’m a huge fan of David’s Bridal in the past 5 years they have done a major revamp and added tons of stylish and chic gowns and accessories to their lineup. Their specialty lines like Galina go way above “budget” gown shopping. And I know Forever21 evokes thoughts of super cheap trendy clothing, but I’ve found that their jewelry is perfect for a lady shopping on a budget, including a bride. Sparkle is sparkle.
Gown: Galina for David’s Bridal $450
Earrings: Forever21 $2.80
Bracelets: Forever21 $5.80, $8.80, $6.80
Hairclips: Forever21 $3.00
Shoes: Caparros $41.00
Grand Total - $518.20
In this look, no one would suspect that you were on a budget. If you are looking to spend a wee bit more, White by Vera Wang for David’s Bridal starts around 600, up to 1400 dollars. These gowns are insanely chic and evoke the feel of Wang’s couture collections on a budget. I can’t wait to blog about them ;)
Monday, March 21, 2011
So the impossible has happened!!! Vera Wang teamed up with David’s Bridal and has launched her exclusive line of wedding dresses for a lower price point than her designer line that you would find at an upscale boutique salon. I have mixed reviews on this…the biggest downside is the fact that David’s Bridal is a mass market store for brides and therefore the customer service will not reflect what you would find at an upscale boutique that normally carries designer lines such as Vera. On the upside though, if you haven’t seen the line yet, I recommend you take a look. She has done a great job of creating a line that will fit almost every type of bride. The dresses might not be as intricate as her regular line but they are surely stunning enough on their own and at a lower cost to the consumer…you the bride! Gowns begin at $600 and go up to about $1400.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
It is no longer just sit-down vs. buffet! Did you know that there are many different options to explore when picking how to serve your reception meal? There are a number of many important factors you must consider when deciding on which of these options to pick and your wedding planner and caterer will help you pick the best option for your budget and reception site. Below, I explain the definitions of each option and the up and downsides to each.
Buffet: Usually, buffets are set up in the middle of long tables where guests can walk along and serve themselves. Most of the time, this option would be considered for a more casual atmosphere. This is just my own opinion and experience….but, I don't recommend this option for weddings with 175+ guests.
- Less servers are required for this option since guests are serving themselves, which could save money!
- Different and more options are often available
- Food is available for a number of hours.
- TIP: Talk with your wedding planner or caterer and be sure that your food will remain fresh for the number of hours you would like it to remain on the buffet. Some items will not have as long of a “self life” as others.
- Guests can go back and forth as many times as they would like and serve themselves the exact amounts they would like.
- Promotes moving around and interaction with guests.
- Since buffets are normally set up to allow for guests to serve from each side of the chaffing dishes, lines will form.
- TIP: Depending on the number of guests you have, you might need to account for 2 sets of buffets so that guests don't have to wait super long. They will still end up waiting in a line, but it will not be as long.
- You do have to be careful on the options picked because there are some items that don't stay as fresh as they would be served right out of the oven.
- TIP: Keep chicken on the bone! I hate dry chicken! Pot stickers or pieces of chicken often dry out quickly.
- You also might have to rent chaffing dishes and pieces if the caterers do not provide them.
- Guests have to serve themselves and carry their own plates.
- In Savannah, we have seen this option cost more than a plated meal.
Sit Down: A traditional sit-down meal is one where everyone is seated at tables and the servers bring the food out to them. This option is normally picked for a more formal atmosphere.
- You can spread out activities in between meals so guests don’t lose interest in your reception, without taking away from the party time!
- You and your caterer will know exactly how much food to have since each meal is pre-selected.
- TIP: If you allowed guests to pick from a list of items, have place cards indicating what each guests pre-chose so they aren't able to change their minds at the last minute and mess up the counts for each choice.
- Since guests do not have to wait in line, this is can be the fastest option out of all of the options if you do not break it up with activities. This will allow for more dancing and activity time post meal.
- Options are limited to what you picked during your tasting. Most times the dish picked offers one or two options meat, but will mean that guests that don’t eat, say fish, on a surf and turf plate will only eat half of what is on their plate.
- Picky eaters might not fill up.
- You may need more servers due to the table side serving, than you would for a buffet option.
Stations: A station style reception is one where the food is spread out in different "stations" around the room. There may be one area that is a carving station, a pasta station, an hors d'ouevres station, dessert station, and so forth.
- You can mix carving stations, pasta stations, buffet items and displays to create many .
- Since the food items are spread out and there are many options, guests wont wait in lines unless the shrimp and grits station is a hit, but even then…they can come back after they fill their plate with other goodies and the line goes away!
- Cook to order-guests can ask and make items to their liking and it is fresh each time!
- Promotes interaction among guests.
- Your reception space must have enough room to accommodate tables, chairs, and the various stations you will need. This could require 1/3 more space.
- You will need more chefs if you have interactive stations (ie. pasta, carving stations, etc) adding more money to the bill.
Passed and Stationary Hors d’oeuvres: Before this became a popular option for the reception food as a whole, passed hors d’oeuvres were the pre-curser to the main meal. They are usually one- or two-bite size portions and can be served cold or hot. Hors d’oeuvres can be passed by servers or stationary for guests to get themselves and are a great choice for those wanting a more casual atmosphere.
- There are so many creative ways to showcase this option. Presentation really takes the stage with these little beauties!
- Portions are meant to be bite size so guests can take one piece and as they are moving about, can pop it into their mouth and eat it in one bite……promoting interaction.
- If you are careful with what you pick and stick to only a few different pieces, this could be one of the most cost effective/budget friendly options.
- On the flip side, this option can get pretty expensive since your caterer will have to make a variety of dishes with many different ingredients.
- Guests will probably not fill up.
- TIP: Pick some hearty ingredients to use as the base of your hors d’oeurves. Meats and breads will help.
- TIP: Put on your invite that this is the type of reception you will be offering. That will allow guests to eat prior or not expect to fill up at your wedding.
- TIP: make sure you offer stationary hors do’oeurves as well as passed. Some guests might not get more than 1 piece if they are solely passed by servers.
- This option might reduce the length of your reception.
Family Style: Like a sit down/plated dinner, family style has guests assigned to tables and waiters bring the food to the table. Large portions of your dinner items will be placed at each table with serving pieces for your guests to fill their own plates. It is like sitting down for dinner at home! This is probably one of the most cozy and casual options and in my opinion, very reminiscent of what Savannah is. Of course you can keep it more formal by setting the tables with china, chargers, linen napkins and crystal stemware.
- Portions are to your guests liking since they are the ones supplying their plate with food!
- Guests will eat fairly quickly since servers will place items on each table and allow guests to serve themselves.
- This option will need a lot of space on your table. The idea is that guests will serve themselves from the large portions on the table so there must be room to fit them all!
- You might need to up the budget of rental items since each part of your meal must be served in their own dish with their own serving pieces.
- If you have greedy guests at the table, you might run out of food in the dish.
- TIP: Make sure your caterer has enough behind the scenes to re-fill the dishes.
- This is one of those options that doesn't have large variety so be sure to have 2 meats/options for guests to pick from. My last family style reception offered fried chicken (that was out of this WORLD) and shrimp, grits and andouille sausage.
Questions? Just Email Me and I will do the best I can to answer your questions.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This is one of my favorite finds! My very own wedding photographer showed me this little ditty! I use it for all of my photo needs to this day and I guarantee you will too!
So…if you are on a limited budget when it comes to photo prints of any kind….my advice…go to MPIX , upload your photos, share and order! They are amazing quality! Your guests, family and friends can all see your pictures and order what they would like as well! It is kind of like online hosting.
Now, I know some of you will say,"What about Snapfish, etc?” Well I have ordered prints from Snapfish and a few of the other online photo websites and while they are OK if the option is CVS or Snapfish, the quality isn't the greatest and for your wedding photos, you want as close to the photographers quality as possible. I haven’t found another site that has as competitive pricing as MPIX does along with the quality. If you know of another..I would love to add another to my mix!
They also have some other great options for sale: coffee table book, stretch canvas, greeting cards, and even for the ambitious, statuettes! HAHA. See below for just some of their work!
Please Note: These albums are not going to be anything near the quality that your photographer can get you, but they are great gift options for loved ones!
Holiday cards as the new Mr. and Mrs?
How fun would these be for new address announcements with your picture?
I just thought I would throw this in there….don’t lie…at one point in time you have done this!
You’ll thank me later!
Friday, August 7, 2009
I have written a blog on how to dress on your day for under 1000 dollars, but I thought that it would be a super fun challenge to up the ante...under 750? under 500? under 250? It can be done and I am here to show you how!!!! Everyone deserves to be stunning on their wedding day no matter the budget and it is completely possible! Let us begin.
Dress, J.Crew, $650; shoes, J.Crew, $49.50; Floral Hair Pin, Etsy, $16; Lariat necklace, Etsy, $18.
GRAND TOTAL: $733.50
Dress, David’s Bridal, $399; Shoes, RSVP, $69; Earrings, Etsy, $29.
GRAND TOTAL: $497.00
Dress, Calvin Klein, $178; Shoes, Chinese Laundry, $58.95; Cuff, Forever21, $10.80.
GRAND TOTAL: $247.75
Being fashionable is not a luxury it is a right and attainable on all budgets. I have always thought that the tighter the budget the more creative you have to be to look like a million bucks, and generally cooler than the folks with a million bucks. You really just have to put in the leg work, shop around, try on everything, and keep an open mind.
Until we meet again, stay bridal and remember that being beautiful and chic can be done no matter how broke you are ;)
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Let me start by saying that, for years at Christmas, my mother insisted on putting baby’s breath in our tree and I HATED IT each and every year! I thought it looked cheap. I think that started my dislike for this filler flower. However, I recently was with some friends and we were going through one girl’s pictures of her puppies on her phone, when all of a sudden, I came across this picture (above). Gerry Rogers, from The Petals Edge, had the challenge of creating a decadent feel with this ever so unorthodox and normally undesired filler flower, for a prestigious wedding magazine. Now, if you are like myself, the first words out of your mouth would be “There is NO WAY”. I admit I am now a reformed baby’s breath hater. I LOVE IT! She used baby’s breath as the charger plates, in the arrangements on the table and then as the main show stopper with the topiaries. I wrote a few months ago about carnations being a great budget flower option and different ways to create an elegant feel with them (to keep them from looking like funeral flower arrangements) and I am back to do it again with baby’s breath. The trick is simple, use it in bulk and to create full looking arrangements. Take a look and tell me you too, are not a reformed hater of this filler flower!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Just saw this on one of my favorite sites: Wedding Chicks and had to re-post!
Martha Stewart Weddings presents such a clean and modern take on table numbers which serves a dual purpose. One to show guests the table numbers and two toast to your good fortune.
By downloading the below file you can print out these table numbers quite easily by using online labels 7 X 3 templates. They have created the files for you to print out tables 1-13, enjoy!
You can either place it over your favorite bottle of wines label or buy a unlabeled bottle of wine over at wine23.co.za.
Download Table Numbers Here
Saturday, May 23, 2009
How to find and rock complete wedding looks under 1000 dollars.
Now, before you start doubting me, let me say that this is completely doable! Gowns don’t have to cost thousands of dollars to make a statement. When shopping for inexpensive gowns you should never sacrifice fabric or craftsmanship and the best way to do this is to shop off the rack. With a little bit of internet surfing and a ton of creativity you can find and personalize your perfect wedding day look for under a thousand dollars.
1. Pretty in Pink for $948!
Gown, David’s Bridal, $599.
Shoes, BCBGirls Albania, $89
Bubble Veil, Etsy.com, Seller AnnLeslie, $69
Necklace, Tiffany and Co, Medium Bow, $150
Ring, Banana Republic, Cherry quartz, $39
This look is classy and traditional with a bit of a twist. I love the fit and gathered details of this taffeta gown. The ruching is great for emphasizing a small bust while concealing a tummy pooch. The silhouette is also very elongating. I am a huge fan of adding punches of color, so I found a pair of great pink shoes and a bold quartz ring. The bubble veil is funky without being too dramatic. And just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have fancy things, the bow necklace from Tiffany’s adds the perfect sweet and delicate finishing touch.
2. Grecian Goddess for $993.75
Gown, Moonlight, T-309, $600
Shoes, Pierre Dumas, Rivoli, $49
Headband, Etsy.com, Seller Bethanylorelle, $175
Bracelet, Etsy.com, Seller PreciuxNY, $29.75
Stacking Rings, Etsy.com, Seller Clodaghmolloy, $140
This look is all about the details and it really shows you that on a budget you don’t have to sacrifice your jewels. By utilizing websites like Etsy you can really can find exceptional handmade jewelry at affordable prices. The gown is simple and breezy which could be perfect for all varieties of weddings. I love all of the the sparkle; this look really gives off a sensual, yet refined vibe. And for 49 dollars you can’t beat those shoes, they are hot!!!
3. Retro Sassy for $998
Gown, J.Crew, 96962, $395
Shoes, Christian Louboutin, Chica Fiora, $530
Birdcage Veil, Tigerlilly Jewelry, Bee, $49
Earrings, Banana Republic, Vintage Studs, $24
This is my favorite look out of the bunch, not just because of the fabulous shoes, but because it really proves that less is more. The simple dress oozes sophistication and sex appeal, a killer combo. I paired it with a plain birdcage veil, cute vintage looking studs, and a super hot pair of Louboutin d’Orsay Peeptoes. I love that the shoes have a 1940’s retro vibe and the pale pastels are a perfect complement to the gown. So you see? If you are good and stay on budget you can buy 500 dollar shoes! Soooooo worth it, plus you will get so much use out of them that it makes sense to spend more on them...you can only wear the dress once. Well, unless you like to play dress up. What? You’ve thought about it.
4. Vintage Traditional for $852
Gown, Bonny, 943, $600
Shoes, Banana Republic, Janelle, $140
Veil, Etsy.com, Seller bellabridalveils, $25
Hairclip, Etsy.com, Seller EMbridal, $45
Earrings, Etsy.com, Seller thejewelrybar, $42
This look is so stunning. The gown is out of this world simple, but the simple fabric gathers and beautiful jeweled belt takes it from plain to interesting. To change it up I added a pair of metallic gladiators for a bit of funk. The veil is a simple and traditional fingertip veil, but at 25 dollars it is more than that, it is a freaking bargain!! I would place the veil low near the neck and place the beautiful hair clip above it. For 25 dollars you won’t even feel bad about removing the veil at the reception and you will still have some bling in your hair. And how about those earrings, they totally rock my socks! Perfect mix of old and new.
5. Trendy Chic for $984.75
Gown, Little Flowers By Odyessey, Anastasia , $850
Shoes, Nina, Choda, $89
Hair Flower, Etsy.com, Seller ellasalley, $34.99
Ring, Forever21, $580
Vintage Earrings, Etsy.com, Seller Dangsworld, $5
How great is this dress? Right? You can choose between silk dupioni or taffeta, I prefer taffeta, dupioni screams grandmother of the bride or curtains. The shoes are a fun bejeweled t-strap that my husband actually picked out. I was impressed. The adorable flower is a great alternative to a veil that I feel doesn’t really work with the gown. For some fun pops of color, I added a few super budget friendly turquoise accessories. I love costume jewelry and think that your wedding is the perfect time to rock some. I think it photographs really well and adds a bit of fun. Plus, you don’t have to guard it with your life. What would happen if you lost Grandma’s diamonds or pearls? Game over.
So there you have it, five awesome wedding day looks for under a thousand dollars. It can be done, you should never doubt me.
Until we meet again, stay bridal and always use the word affordable...cheap sounds skanky.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
The latest issue of Something Blue Savannah asked me to write a piece for their magazine. I figured why not write about what every couple getting married this day in age, has on their mind…..a cost effective way to have the wedding of their dreams in this day’s economy. Click on the picture to open the article page for easier reading or pick up your copy today around Savannah, GA. For more information and budget friendly ideas, be sure to follow us on our blog or email me with questions about your wedding. We understand this is a difficult time for everyone and we want to make sure your wedding doesn't suffer! Happy reading and yeah for us!