Friday, October 29, 2010

Being a wedding planner?

As many of you know, I am a girl of many hats these days... my latest hat is that of a wedding planner.  A good friend of mine recently asked me to come aboard as her matron of ceremony and her wedding planner.  I am going  to be using my blog to document the journey to the aisle with her.

Our first task was to pick colors!! Well that's always the fun part, isn't it?  After talking through some color options we found out she loved black, teal, and and coral.  Her wedding is next fall and at the beach so we had to pick something that blended the two ideas together.  We picked.... persimmon!! Now to put it into normal crayola terms it is cinnamon + coral! Hello summer beach setting, meet fall!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's my favorite time!!

It's extra 30% off time at j.crew in the final sale section!  This means, if you are having a summer wedding like I did, it's time to pick your color out of sale ones and get your girls to order their dresses!!! I even saw on there today that my wedding dress (the short white one) is on sale for $30 PLUS another 30% off!!! How could you beat that?!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

it's time to start planning...

next year's summer weddings! 

To kick off my new dedication to the bargain bride world, here's a new tip!  

SHARE STUFF!! No... I am not saying share your wedding gown with your sister or anything, although I guess you could, but lets be real... why can't you share some stuff?

For my wedding we made a ton of stuff ourselves, including the bridesmaid bouquets, annnnd then we forgot them! (Yes, I know, leave it to me or my big to forget the flowers! But it's okay... grocery store flowers are perfect!)  But what am I supposed to do with those original bouquets?! Find another bargain bride whose getting married on the beach, that's what! 

Maybe you have extra candles you only burned for a little while or some other stuff that can be used at a shower or reception.   And remember, if you were a good bargain bride, you didn't spend too much money on it to begin with, so help another bargain girl out and "donate" it to the wedding or just let her borrow it, if it's something you really want back!

It's okay to pass down stuff to another bride you know, or offer to share your craft supplies so you can recreate something you have already perfected!

Who knows? Maybe you and your friends and family will start some new traditions this way!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Remember those cake pops?!

Hey everyone!  Remember those incredibly cute cake pops I mentioned a couple weeks ago?!  Well my favorite foodie is running a contest to win some of your own!  Try 'em before you buy 'em for your wedding!!  Check it out!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Brides! Have you heard of Rue LaLa yet?!  My best friend, Kate, has gotten me hooked!  Today when I checked it, the boutique for the next two days is an "I Do" shop!! Ladies, get in there and check it out!  Great bargains for the bargain bride!!!!  I forgot to mention, it's by invitation only, so if you're not in yet, ask around.... some of your girlfriends have got to be in there!
What are you waiting for?!?  Go to Rue LaLa!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Give pops a chance!

Mornin' everyone!  Sorry that I am a little earlier than my normal posting time, but I could not resist. And let's face it, I am not so good with the posting schedule anyway!

I was going through my google reader this morning and ny good friend, CookinFanatic, had the cutest thing I had ever seen her blog!!  As most of you know, since I have mentioned this healthy cooking girl a few times, Stephanie tries to live as healthily as possible, and is definitely a foodie.  She posted about these cuties from Candy Valley Cake Company in her blog last night!

I could not resist telling ya'll about them!  Now, I haven't tried them yet, but if the fanatic recommends them, then they are definitely are on my list of things to get!  They would be perfect at a wedding!!  Think cupcakes, but even cuter!  They could easily be displayed in a cute way instead of a big cake... and we all know how much I love replacements for big huge cakes!!  You could even add them in to a self-serve candy bar.

I looked through the company's Web site and some of these cake pops are so wonderfully decorated, they are just to die for!  I kind of wish I had heard about these earlier... they definitely would have made an appearance at my wedding!

The other thing to consider is that they don't have to just be for weddings; you can use them at showers and parties too!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

a schedule could be nice

It seems as though I have been blogging on Mondays and Thursdays lately.  It's a schedule that has formed naturally, so I am not going to make any promises, but I am going to try and keep this going!

Today's tip is, like most of mine, a little out there. but not really. A friend of mine has been creating some of the most incredible screen printed designs.  From napkins to handbags, she is printing everything! To add a little bit fun, why not do some awesome, patterned napkins at your event?  Or use place mats with your centerpieces.  I am really digging simple designs as opposed to over the top floral arrangements full of roses. Not to mention, we all know how I love a good outdoor wedding!  I have been seeing a lot of pictures of weddings being done in old barns and I am in LOVE with them!! (I promise to share them with ya'll soon!) But the more I think of those incredible barn/outdoor weddings, I can't help but think of fun, linen and cotton accessories! Twiddle+Tweet prints in tons of colors and has her own designs.  You can check out her stuff on etsy (another one of my all time faves for wedding planning!!).  Here is a link to her store:  Twiddle+Tweet

You can use the napkins as table decorations too!  Just put a simple potted plant on it, and you are good go.  Or a really simple vase with a single flower in it, maybe.

We used a lot of galvanized buckets at our beach wedding, and those would look super cute with these custom-made table linens!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

an idea for drinks

Lately, I have been on a real kick for glass stuff.  But really... it's just that I love how glass looks.  Let's be real... not everyone's weddings are at places where glass is a suitable thing - especially with so many brides getting married outside at places like the beach, the park, and even their own backyard!  I came across these awesome drink dispensers at a party recently.  They are from Pottery Barn, and are a little pricey, I wouldn't call them the best bargain ever, but I think they are so worth it.  And sometimes... you just have to the bite the bullet and splurge.  I did some investigating and all of the reviews I read for cheaper acrylic dispensers seemed poor; they leaked, they looked cheaper, they just didn't measure up!  The reviews for these, however, seemed flawless.  They look like real glass, are a little fancier with the silver accents, and no reported any leaking from the spigot.   And they are reusable!! You can buy them for the wedding and then keep using them at your parties as you entertain as "married people."  I would suggest buying a couple of them so you can put different types of drinks in them.  I am purchasing my own set and plan to use them at an upcoming party and serving an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version of everyone's summer favorite - lemonade!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Checking in

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to pop in and see how everyone is doing this week.  Brides, I hope you took a night off and enjoyed Cinco de Mayo!! Not too much is happening in Bargain Bride land, but I am busy out looking for great new ideas of ya'll! A cute trend I have been noticing in wedding pictures lately is a candy bar! If I had had a larger wedding, I definitely would have explored this option.  I instead, took big glass cookie jars and filled them with cookies from my local grocery store that matched my wedding.  But I think what I really like about this candy bar and even the cookies I did was the glass dishes and jars!

You can start collecting awesome glass pieces from places all the time.  You can use a great vase you got flowers in, or visit your local discount stores like Home Goods, Stein Mart, and Marshalls.  I always seem to find great pieces at those places.  Fill them with bright colored treats and it will be an instant hit! And it will look so fun too!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Welcome back!

Well hello there everyone! Have you missed me? Because I sure have missed ya'll. I took a little hiatus while things were crazy at work and to be honest, because the site was blocked for a while from my office. But never fear, I am here!!

Just wanted to kick this wedding season off with a quick hello. My friends keep telling me all of the great wedding news and I am ecstatic to help my friends! I had such a fun time planning my own wedding, that's how this blog started.

A quick tip before I go, for brides who are having destination weddings, even if it's not to an exotic place, especially when you have guests coming from out of town, make sure you include hotel information with your invitations. I recently received an invite to a wedding that would be out of state for me, and there was no information on where I should be staying! So remember, while everyone should be helping you, you should always try to help your guests too!

Another thing to consider is making welcome baskets or small gifts for your guests to put in their hotel rooms. For my wedding party, I got tourist books from the Outer Banks and included them in their road-trip packs. Each wedding party member got a beach towel, flip flops, tourist books, and snacks for the trip down to NC. Now I am not saying you should go all out for every guest, but maybe consider giving them a little touristy treat for when they arrive. A guide book, a trinket (like a cheesy magnet or something), get fun with it. Head to your local dollar store and see what fun things you can come with!!

photo credit:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Being creative and meeting a new bride!

Hey everyone! Sorry I have been MIA lately. Work has been crazy and well... life in general is busy busy!

I am at an awesome event called CreateAThon on Campus! It's a great opportunity for non-profs and students at VCU. This is my third year here and it's one of my favorite things every year!!

While I am here I had the chance to meet a bride to be! And ya'll know how I love that!!! She is doing a very small and casual ceremony at the beach this summer. Beach weddings are my specialty! I can't wait to help her have the wedding of her dreams!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

cho cho chobani

I have been obsessed with Chobani yogurt lately. I am trying really hard to get healthy, and this is a little step in the right direction. I know planning a wedding can be super stressful, but make sure you continue to take care of yourself. It's not always about losing weight and getting smaller... it is about being healthy!

If you want a chance to try a sample case of Chobani, check out this give away!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Get organized!

Wow! Wedding season sure is gearing up.... I am working with a bride now who is getting married in June and I just keep telling her, "We have to stay organized."

This post is going out of the event organizers out there... maids of honor, moms, best friends; ya'll know who you are!

Here are some of the best things that helped me stay organized:
  1. My amazing matron of honor! She sent me a "To Do" list every week or so with stuff I needed to accomplish that week. Sometimes it was even simple stuff like, "Go get ribbon." But it really helped!!
  2. I was spreadsheet happy! I kept everything that needed to be checked off, listed, etc in spreadsheets. It helped keep payments, invites, and lots of stuff organized.
  3. A notebook! In the beginning of it all, I kept a notebook with all my ideas. I put magazine tears in it, photos of other weddings, business cards, everything.
  4. My "MyAgenda" was a saving grace too! I got mine at The Cordial Cricket, but you can check online and find a retailer near you too. The agenda is made by a company called MomAgenda, and it is super helpful!! I was able to organize all my appointments, to do's, and other work all from the same place. Now, I know in the world of smartphones, some of you may say, "A real agenda book? How old school." And you are totally correct, but it really helps me to write things down so this is perfect for me. I still use a MyAgenda in my everyday life too. (The picture in this post is from the MomAgenda Web site.)
I love being organized, so it was fun for me to get everything together. Hope these tips help ya'll out!!

Just remember to breathe and take things one step at a time-- you don't have to get everything done at once. That's the point of it all... to get you to the aisle with the least amount of stress possible.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

cheap. colorful. and bright!


What more could a fun bride ask for?!

If you are looking for a cheap way to add some texture and color (even if the color is simple white) you should consider using paper lanterns at your wedding and/or reception! They are super cute and super inexpensive! Especially if you are having an outdoor wedding and don't need to use them actually lighting... you can hang them in the roof of a tent or up in the trees to give a more fun and whimsical look to your event.

I did some googling and found these sites with paper lanterns listed on them for great prices!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A little giveaway never hurt anyone!

My healthnut friend Stephanie is having a give away on her blogm CookinFanatic! Check it out! And while you are there, get some tips and tricks to a healthier lifestyle.

Weddings can be stressful and time consuming! I have mentioned her before, but in case you missed it... Stephanie gives exercise tips and some really easy (and delish!!) recipes! Hey, we bargain brides need all the help we can get, right??

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A little lighting

As I was flipping through a magazine the other day, I saw some of the cutest ideas for lighting and centerpieces! The one that stuck out the most was super easy and wouldn't be too expensive.

First, fill large vases in various sizes with sand and then take random sized candles that match your wedding color(s) and place them in the vase. You can also choose to use white candles for a really clean and simple look.

If your wedding is an outdoor event, consider using citronella candles in the mix too. Places like Crate and Barrel and Pier1 usually have them out for the Summer. This way, everything will look pretty and your guests won't have to worry about bugs while they're enjoying the time outside with you!

Here is a tip for those of you want to be a little greener these days - consider using soy candles! While they may be a little more expensive, keep your eye out and try to catch them on sale. Yankee Candle does a semi-annual sale and you can find some great deals there!

For my wedding we did something similar. The difference was that I didn't use glass vases, we used galvanized buckets with sand in them. As an added bonus... since we were at the beach, sand was free and easy to find!

You could use this idea for simple things like cookouts or dinner parties too!

And remember, while most of the places I mention in my blog are bigger chain stores, because that makes it easier for everyone to get what I am suggesting, always remember to shop those local stores in your hometowns!! It's a great way to get to know your community and put money back into it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

RSVP please

Hey everyone! Hope you had a good weekend! Sorry I have been MIA lately... classes started back up and work is... work. haha

Recently, I started following my favorite stationary store on twitter and it reminded me that I haven't given ya'll any tips on your invites!

Picking out my invitations was a really fun part of my wedding planning. I went my local stationary store, The Cordial Cricket, and those ladies really know their stuff! If you live in the Richmond, VA area I highly recommend them. Check them out on their Web site, facebook, or twitter! They know everything and can definitely help you pick the right invites for you event. They even have all the etiquette tips you could ever need to make sure you do things right. But I think one of the biggest/best things about them is that they will help you stay in your budget.

They have more than just invites to order too... they do a ton of printing at the store too! So make sure your MOHs and family know they can shower invites there too!

Stationary can get really pricey, for sure. So put your bargain bride hat on and make sure you stick to your budget! My invites were perfect for my event - light, fun, and bright! And best of all... they fit me and my checkbook!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Getting fit for the big day!

All of us struggle with weight and health on a daily basis, but I am willing to bet, that as your wedding day gets closer, you are stressing out even more than usual about your weight! I have even heard of girls buying their dresses a size too small, just to make themselves get skinny for the wedding! Crazy, I say!! If you lose weight before the wedding - awesome!! Get that dress taken in!

But as gym memberships can get pricey, I have an alternative solution for you. A friend mine has a healthy cooking blog called "Cookin Fanatic" where she posts healthy recipes and some exercise ideas. It's a great one to follow and I definitely think you should check it out.

Good luck, ladies!! I know all of you are going to be make gorgeous bargain brides!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Who needs a DJ...

When you've got an iPod?
Sure, it may sound a
little crazy at first, but DJs are expensive! Why not pick your own music and play it from your iPod at the reception? Most of us have some sort of docking station that can definitely get loud enough to fill a room. We did this at one of my sorority formals and it worked great!

Since my reception was outdoors by the pool, the iPod worked just as well there as it did at my formal in college.

It may not be as glamorous as lights and a fancy DJ, but we are bargain hunters here. We splurge where we need it and cut back on others.
photo from

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Every bride needs a little bling

Girls love jewelry! It's true and you know it. What bride doesn't need a little sparkle in her life?! I would love to recommend to you one of my favorite jewelry artists... Bridget Camden. She can be found on etsty under the shop name "One Sweet Peach." Or on facebook too!

Her work is extraordinary and to die for!! She handcrafted my perfect wedding necklace and I know she can do the same for you. From earrings to necklaces to bracelets... you won't be disappointed with any o
f it. For my wedding, she created a piece that was filled with kashi pearls. It fit my beach wedding perfectly. She has several pieces that she makes specifically for brides.

Here is the piece I wore for my big day....gorgeous, right?
This photo was taken by Bridget for her facebook page.