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Posts Tagged ‘winter’

1. Have a budget.  A budget will force you to prioritize.  If having a great photographer is important to you, but your cake doesn’t matter, then spend your money accordingly.  It will help you plan ahead without going overboard.  Everything seems important in the moment and advertisers play on our emotions to make us feel like we deserve it all on this day.  We DO deserve a special day, but no one deserves to be in debt.

2.  When you were a girl, you may have dreamed about your husband, your dress, your flowers, but did you ever dream about your calendar date?  Didn’t think so.  A venue on a Friday night can be $1,000 less than Saturday.  Any month but June can also be less, and not just for your venue.  Other vendors follow the rule of supply and demand.  Since demand is up in June, florists, bakers, and photographers may charge more also.

3.  Location, location, location.  Besides the day of week and month of your wedding, you can also save money by choosing the right location.  If you can find a venue that allows you to choose your own vendors, you will be able to save money.  Try nonprofit venues, such as churches, parks, and museums.  You’ll save money and feel better that at least the money you are spending will be going to a good cause.

4.  Think about the time of day you want your wedding.  It would be poor taste to have a 6 pm wedding and not serve dinner, but a 2 pm wedding could serve light hor dourves and be splendid.  Also, a cocktail hour would not be necessary for an afternoon affair.

5.  Try cupcakes instead of cake.  Not only are they adorable and trendy, cupcakes are $2 a piece compared to a tiered cake that can be up to $10 a slice.  Want that traditional cutting of the cake ceremony?  I found that Food Lion offered simple yet beautiful wedding cakes that you could use as the top layer.  They only come in buttercream not fondant, but really, buttercream tastes better anyway. 

6.  Wedding dresses are only worn once.  You can wear a Vera Wang gown that costs $9,000 or a Vera Wang gown that has been worn once for $900.  http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/dresses/by-designer/Vera-Wang-wedding-dresses.html

7.  Ask the photographer if you are able to buy the CD of all images.  For me, buying the CD and printing my own images was cheaper than ordering an album and prints.

8. Flowers can be ordered from on-line florists who work in bulk to save you money.  The choices are limited, and you must designate a volunteer to be in charge of delivery, but they are a way to save money.  Here is the package I like for a wedding party of 6.  http://www.fiftyflowers.com/product/collections/Alluring-Peruvian-Lily-Wedding-Flowers-Box-~-20-Package-_24214.htm

9.  I do recommend hiring a professional DJ.  A DJ provides atmosphere music and entertainment but furthermore acts as MC of the event and helps everything run smoothly.

Overall, just remember that money does not buy happiness and that your wedding is about a covenant between your spouse, yourself, and God.  It is not about spending money to impress other people.

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A printed or patterned fabric dress does not scream bridesmaid to me, but isn’t that what budget-conscious bridesmaids are screaming?  No more dresses that I can’t wear again! In this case, it’s a do.  With so many awesome cocktail dresses in holiday colors galore, why not mix it up even more and have different colors, different patterns, different sillouettes, but all coordinated with your wedding colors.  Photos will look more natural but still aesthetic.

The Blues Sisters

Carmen Marc Valvo’s peacock frock, ML Abstract floral, J. Crew navy cap sleeve, and Jones NY make a cool quartet.

 

Saks

Saks

J. Crew

 

Macy's

Seeing red this holiday season?

 

Banana Republic

 

Ann Klein

 

White House Black Market

 

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Here is a very easy craft and a fun way to display your wedding cards.  Afterall, your wedding cards will be full of important advice that you’ll want to remember your first year of marriage.  They say the first year is the hardest.  I don’t know, because I’ve only been married a year.  :o)  Hang this on an interior door or wall.

You could also use this to display table number cards, photos, or favors (if the favors are a piece of paper), or Christmas cards.

Step 1. buy mini clothes pins, 14" hoop, and ribbon for bow.

Optional step. Cut ribbon to size of pin and glue on to top of pin.

glueing pins onto hoop on a plastic surface

Step 2. Use wood glue to attach pins 1" apart on hoop. Have 1/3 facing in and 2/3 facing out.

 

Step 3. Allow glue to dry. Then use 3 feet of ribbon to tie a bow at top of hoop.

 

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Tea can be more than just a beverage; it can be your bridal shower theme.  Serve hot water and a variety of tea bags (make sure you have at least one decaffeinated variety).  Offer tea enhancers like candied ginger, lemon, honey, decorated sugar cubes,  cream and warm milk.  The menu can include small ham sandwiches, raisin scones, cinnamon cream cheese on sweet nut bread, and macaroons.  For an afternoon tea, only a spoon is required so plan your menu so that a knife and fork is not required.

Decorate with china tea cups.  Include the guests in the theme by asking them to wear hats. Finally, start a new tradition, and give the bride a special tea-cup and saucer to commemorate the event.  My friend gives a tea-cup for every life event.  I have a curio shelf full of memories now.

Want to add some punch to the party?  This Charleston Tea Punch serves 12.

1 cup brandy
lemons  (thinly sliced)
12 cup pineapple (sliced fresh)
1 cup green tea (brewed)
3/4  cup  sugar
12 cup dark rum
14 cup peach schnapps
2 cups sparkling water (chilled)
750 mls champagne (chilled)
1 Combine brandy and lemons in a large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature 24 hours.
2 Add pineapple to brandy mixture. Let stand 3 hours.
3 Combine brandy mixture, tea, and next 3 ingredients (through liqueur), stirring until sugar dissolves. Add sparkling water and Champagne, stirring gently until blended. Serve immediately.

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emilie wrap dress in ivory with lace sleeves

Emilie wrap dress Millie NY

white knee length shift with white beads around neckline
Crystina beaded dress Milly NY

If you’re like me, you milk your time in the spotlight. Why not show who’s the bride and wear white to all of your wedding occassions: engagment party, bridal showers, rehearsal dinner, leaving the reception dress, and honeymoon dinners.  Check out these designers for stylish cocktail dresses in shades of pearl: Milly NY, Alice and Olivia, and Sue Wong.  For an actual bridal collection called The Little White Dress, view Amsale.

ivory dress with puff shoulders accessorized with black belt, heels, and gloves

Lady Puff dress Milly NY

sidney bow dress

Sidney bow dress Milly NY

vivi dress Milly NY with rhinestone belt at empire waist, sleeveless

Vivi dress Milly NY

 

emalina strapless white cotton eyelet milly ny

Emalina strapless Milly NY. Perfect for late spring, early summer bridal showers and even for a casual, outdoor wedding dress.

 

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When it comes to DIY centerpieces as the bride, you have to weigh two factors.  What do you value more: time with family and friends or time arranging centerpieces?  Here are some further questions to ask yourself.  1) How far ahead of time can it be created assembled?  2) How much time do I have to create between now and the wedding?  3) How much time the day before the wedding will I have to assemble and arrange?  4) How much help do I have?  5) Would I use any pieces again?  6) Are fresh flowers important to me? 7) How much money am I willing to spend?  8) How far ahead of time can I be in my reception site?  9) Does my vendor (florist, caterer, host site) offer set-up help, linens, glassware, votives, or candles?

The farther ahead of time a centerpiece can be created and/or assembled, the less stressful your wedding week will be.  I am totally a DIYourselfer, but I was unpleasantly surprised how much time fresh flowers take to assemble and arrange.  Plus, the day before is the earliest I suggest doing them.  Afterall, it’s a lot of money to spend for them not to look their best.  After weighing all options, here’s my advice for each of the following winter centerpieces.

Let’s Get it Started . . . Now!

If you want to do it now, and forget about it later, think about all glass and mirrors.  No one looks prettier than in candle-light.  The warm glow softens the face like a Glamour Shot.  See what your venue offers first, then hit The Dollar Tree.  They have  glass holders and mirrors in the candle aisle for a $1 a piece.  And, if you’re a true DIYourselfer, you will use the glass and mirrors again.  I use them under every candle in my house to reflect the glow.  I also use them as tiny serving trays under salt and pepper shakers, toothpick holders, and candy dishes.  For more of a nostalgic feel, check out antique stores, flea markets, and yard sales.  I buy every framed mirror that seems salvageable.  Then I use painters tape and newspaper to cover the glass and spray paint all the frames the wedding color, or gold, or ivory. 

Grouping all of these candles under an antique framed mirror would take it from engagement party to wedding centerpiece.

Roses are a Girl’s BF

If you insist on DIY fresh roses,  I don’t blame you. Nothing says classy like fresh flower centerpieces, but please enlist some help.  For a wedding of 100 people, we ordered 2 boxes of white roses from Cost-Co.  The afternoon before the wedding, we poured champagne and had a de-thorning party.  It took 4 girls 3 hours to prep  and arrange the roses. 

For prep, we 1) removed the thorns with knife or just pick off with your fingers,  and 2) remove the bottom 3/4 of leaves (or whatever will be in water) and any browning, wilting, or bruised petals.  3) Cut the bottom of the stem to desired length at an angle and 4) IMMEDIATELY immerse stem in water.  (You can even cut the stem at an angle while the stem is under water by having a doggie-type water bowl at your station). 

For a modern, elegant look, just use the roses.  Start with the biggest, prettiest rose from the dozen, and then circle around that rose chosing from next biggest, prettiest, until all twelve are encircled.  Place in tall, cylinder vase.  When buying your vase, realize that the size of the opening is going to determine how many flowers it takes to fill it.  The smaller the opening, the cheaper the arrangement.  You could use floral wire or waterproof tape to achieve a modern look in the “wrong” vase.

For more drama, lace or weave the greenery and arrange roses an inch apart.  Greenery not only fills your vase for less money, but adds to visual interest but adding texture.  Mistletoe or seeded eucalyptus are perfect winter fillers for roses, and for even more budget=friendly, only use roses on every other table because these are breathtaking stand alone. 

eucalyptus leaves and buds

Seeded eucalyptus is a beautiful texture to add to white roses for a winter wedding

Breathtaking Purity

You’re like Subway, you want it fresh, but it doesn’t have to be high-maintenance.  Nothing says “wedding”, like the simple elegance of a pure Baby’s Breath arrangement.  It appears on the table as a soft snowfall.  Use it in different height vases with white candles as your centerpiece.  You can have fresh and do it ahead of time.  It’s perfect for your winter wedding.  Ask your reception venue what they offer in terms of mirrors, vases, and candles.  You may only have to buy the baby’s breath (next to nothing, so get a lot!).  If you do have to purchase vases, you can monogram the one at the sweetheart table for a personalized look, but I would keep the rest unadorned b/c you can use them again for a friend’s wedding or your  baby shower (upcoming or before the wedding, whatever).  Check the cost difference of renting vs. buying.  You can find clear glass and mirrors at the dollar store for only a $1 a piece, so if they ask more than that, forget it.  Use your excess baby’s breath to frame your cake table, gift table, DJ table, etc.

very tall white vase with baby's breath shaped in a topiary ball

Baby's breath speaks for itself. Use clear or white vases. Branches add DIY drama. http://ruffledblog.com/white-lace-clouds/

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two purple orchids on green leaf with vase behind

centerpieces for guest tables at my beach wedding in Florida

Centerpieces are the make it or break it when it comes to a budget and to tell you the truth it means little to a guest.  If there is a centerpiece means more than what the centerpiece is.

Cheap, do it ahead, modern beach wedding centerpiece

1. round mirror

2.  add a silk tropical flat 6″ or larger leaf to the middle of mirror

3.  round vase with sand, seashells, and candle

4. add silk tropical flowers and seashells around vase

5.  small votives with white candles

Winter DIY ahead of time centerpiece

1.  Round mirror

2.  tall glass vase with tree limbs spray painted white

3.  Hang silver icecycle and dove ornaments from tree limbs

4.  5 votives with white candles surrounding vase

Here’s a design from one of my good friend’s traditional beach wedding that I did the day before her wedding.

1.  Tiffany blue satin circle serged around the outside

2.  Medium glass vase with 6 white roses

3.  3 small voties with ivory candles

4.  spread sand and sea shells around the vases heavy at first and thinning as you get to the edge of the fabric

take the floral arrangement away for a flat centerpiece

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