Posts in the 'cheap weddings' Category

{Ask Liz} Les Enfants Terribles? OR What To Do With Babies At Weddings

Got a question for Liz? Go to the Contact page and let us know what’s up!

Sigh. Your choice, of course.

Dear Liz,

I’m getting ready to send out invitations for our September 14 wedding. We’re expecting about 150 people. Now, we’re at the age where all of our friends have been getting married over the past couple of years, so quite a few of our guests have, or will have very small children. I just went through our guest list and there are nine (!) babies that could potentially attend. I don’t mind kids, but I feel like that many could get disruptive, and their parents definitely won’t have as much fun.

A groomsman who is coming from out of town has already asked to bring their infant, which we’re fine with, as there isn’t really another option for them. Do I have to use the “invite one, invite them all” philosophy, or is it okay to only invite kids whose parents have to travel to come?

Signed,

So Many Babies!

Dear So Many,

That is a lot of babies. But, yeah, if you’ve already told one person that they can bring their infant, you’ve pretty much opened the floodgates for the rest. Resentment for that stuff can be sky-high: What are their babies, chopped liver? You’re going to spend a lot of time justifying it to a lot of people. That’s just a warning: You could put “Adult Only Reception” or some other notice on your invites and let the chips fall where they may. If you’re uncomfortable with having infants at the wedding, it’s your wedding, and that’s okay.

Or, if it’s not worth the backlash, you could figure out ways to manage the children that are going to be there. There are a few ways to do that.

Not sure if it’s feasible, if you are talking about young babies and infants, but get a name for a baby-sitting service (your guest hotel or venue should have a recommendation) and put it on your wedding website. Have an usher escort all the couples with children to the back of the ceremony room, or, if they arrive late, ask them to wait outside until the ceremony is over. Find out where the “quiet” rooms are in your reception venue, give them a heads-up that some guest might need it, if anyone asks, and put that on your wedding website, too.You can also keep the couples with children on one side or in the back of the reception room. I know, it’s starting to sound like parental apartheid! The only thing I can say is that there really is no point in worrying about whether they are going to have fun, since they’ve already agreed to come. Everyone in that group knows what a wedding is about, and it’s up to them to figure out how to enjoy it.

So, how are you dealing with kids at your wedding, or have you decided to just not deal at all? It’s a bit controversial in Wedding World – where do you stand? Let us know below!  And if you want find out a little more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.

See you at the end of the aisle,

{Ask Liz} Elopements & Other Wedding Schemes

Got a question for Liz? Go to the Contact page and let us know what’s up!

Cute!

Dear Liz,

My fiancé and I want to get married soon due to some recent transitions in our lives (moving, new job,etc.). Because of our (very tight) budget, We’re hoping to have a courthouse wedding and maybe a dinner with some family and close friends , about 20 people. What are some things we can do to make it special? I imagine we won’t have a first dance at a restaurant.

Sincerely,

Classing Up the Courthouse

Dear Courthouse,

The majority of my wedding officiant gigs (yes, I marry people, too) are elopements and spur of the moment/last-minute weddings, and every couple has found ways to make it special, beautiful, and personally meaningful to them.

The best way to do that is to focus on what you can do, as opposed to what you can’t. There are benefits to doing this all on a smaller scale. You can actually have your first dance at a restaurant, depending on the restaurant, and if there is a private space that you can reserve. You could even have your first dance at the courthouse, if you wanted to.  You can have toasts, and you won’t need a microphone, because everyone will be able to hear. You can wear a beautiful dress. You can afford one gorgeous bouquet, and probably a centerpiece or two. You can eat a good meal, surrounded by people you love, who love you. You can still have a wonderful day, you just need to decide what’s going to make it wonderful. What do you want to see, and experience, in order for that to happen? Start there. I just created a board for Excellent Elopement Ideas, and maybe that will help, too.

Dear Liz, 

Heeyulp!!

I got engaged on April 9. We have been in limbo ever since,  because we hadn’t been able to find a venue, but we finally found one last week! 

We are having a short engagement – we’re getting married on September 21, 2013.  One of my many problems is  that I can’t figure out what our color scheme should be, and, more importantly, I don’t know how to go about getting inexpensive wedding invites/rsvp cards/I don’t know the name of the other cards that go along with it…

Can you point me in the right direction? I would really, really appreciate it!

Signed,

Questing For Wedding Clarity

You’d be amazed how many different colors and themes can be done at one location

Dear Questing,

Yup, one of the challenges of Wedding World today is that there are sooo many options out there, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I wrote about that a little bit last week. What I do when I’m not sure which direction to go in with an event or vendor,  is to see what has been done before I got there. Best way to do that, of course, is pictures, so google/bing, for instance “(your venue) wedding photographer” and see what comes up. “Photography” instead of “photographer” works, too. And hit Pinterest and search for your venue.

Now, I want to make it very clear that I’m not saying you should just copy what other people have done, but this is a good way to find inspiration. Pay attention to what you like, and especially what you don’t like. Maybe you like the color scheme from one wedding, but you don’t like the flowers they used to bring it out. And you really don’t like the linens, but what if they were…a deeper shade of blue? You see what I mean. It’s like any shopping trip, you go into the store, looking for a dress, and seeing all the dresses helps you decide which one you really want. It’s a process.

Invitations. Again, you can start with the closest and easiest thing to get to, which would be invitation kits at stores like Target, Michaels (or the craft store nearest you), even Staples has kits. Those include the invitation, RSVPS cards, envelopes, everything you need, and they’re very affordable. Even if you don’t find anything, it will narrow down what you like and don’t like. It will also give you a chance to compare prices to anything you find online. Oh, and searching for “affordable wedding invitations” on Google and Pinterest  (I’m only slightly obsessed) brings up a slew of stuff, too. Try not to stress if it takes a while to find what you want. It’s there, you just have to keep looking.

So, BABs, do you have suggestions for affordable invites? How are you making your tiny wedding special? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you would like to find out more about me and my little part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.

See you at the end of the aisle,

{Real Bride: Mellzah} My Dress Shopping Experience Part III, Or I Said Yes To A Dress, & What I Learned

No, not my wedding dress, but I adore it and I’m hoping to find something similar for my roaring 20s bachelorette party!

This weekend, I made a proper appointment at The Princess Bride in Bothell and was accompanied by only two other people: my maid of honor and another of my bridesmaids, both assertive enough to ensure that I wouldn’t allow an opinion other than my own to determine my ultimate purchase. It was by all accounts a smashing success, as I ended up buying a dress that I absolutely love. Here ‘s what I learned from my experience:

1) Consider dresses in the context of your theme.

No one’s saying you can’t wear a ballgown to your beach wedding or a sarong to your church wedding if that’s what you really want, but a dress that fits in with your overall scheme will look more cohesive. If your overall theme is ‘vintage’,  bringing in elements of the time period you want to emulate will help tie everything together. Same with bridesmaid dresses, but that’s an article for another day!

2) Have a good idea of what you like.

Browse Pinterest, look at other weddings, watch a boatload of Say Yes to the Dress, read bridal mags, and really look at the dresses. Not necessarily specific dresses or specific designers, but fabrics, common elements between dresses that speak to you. You might not be able to afford that Jenny Packham that you’re dying over, but that and a few other dresses may help you figure out that you’re all about the beading–and that’s a great start! Bring examples of the things you love to the bridal salon, point out the elements that really speak to you, and you’ll avoid having dresses pulled that just waste your time and exhaust you mentally (it’s hot, emotional work trying on dresses, and the more you try on, the more confused and upset you can get!).

3) That said, be flexible. 

You can read all of the magazine articles in the world about which dress will actually suit your body type best, but no amount of reading can replace actually seeing them on your body yourself.  A chart may tell you that as a short, full-figured person, you shouldn’t even look at a fit & flare and should resign yourself to empire,  but I can tell you that as a 5’2″ (on a good day) full figured person, I tried on a fit & flare and everyone was dying over how great I looked in it. And if you are really in love with a shape, try several if the first one doesn’t work out–I tried on a different fit & flare at another shop, and it looked like I was in my second trimester with a baby conceived in a threesome with Ben and Jerry. All I’m saying is, don’t knock out a shape off the bat because someone else says it won’t look good on you–see for yourself. Try them all. You may end up surprising yourself! The dress I ended up buying, while it is one I pulled myself, is one that I wouldn’t have ever even considered if I had only seen the promotional photos. You really can’t tell what you’ll love until it’s on your body.

4) Research your shop before you book an appointment.

I saw The Princess Bride‘s booth at the Seattle Wedding Show, which put them on my radar. I checked out their website and saw that they carried designers who reflected the aesthetic I was looking for, which increased the odds that I’d find something that I’d like. (It also didn’t hurt that they gave me a coupon for $100 off a dress purchase at said wedding show…so definitely check out wedding shows in your area!) Going to a different shop that focused on different materials and shapes might have meant that I’d have wasted my time, or ended up being talked into buying a dress that was something other than what I really wanted. For example, my maid of honor was talked into buying a very princessy gown at a shop with more dramatic gowns for her wedding this past October, when she really wanted something simpler. This week, while looking for dresses for me, she found exactly the kind of dress she’d been pining over and ended up kicking herself retroactively for not sticking to what she really wanted.

5) Start at an actual shop, not at a sample sale.

Starting at a sample sale like I did made me feel very discouraged about the dress-finding process, because the samples they had in my size were dirty, torn, and poor quality–and they fit me very poorly, to boot, which left me feeling like the odds were against me in terms of finding a dress that I love that fits me. At A Princess Bride, I was shocked, SHOCKED, that I fit into their samples with no issues, because I expected a repeat performance. No, no, no. You may strike gold at a sample sale, or you may end up looking through the poorly made, ill-fitting crap that no one else wanted, and that is no way to start off your dress-buying experience. My problem during an actual dress appointment was choosing only one of the dresses to purchase when so many looked so damn great!

6) Before you go in, make sure you set a hard budget.

Know exactly how much you’re willing to spend, and figure in several hundred dollars of alterations into that amount. If you’ve got $1500 to spend, you may want to cap your dress at 1000 so you have money to add sleeves, or a bustle, or cups, or modify a neckline without going over your budget–alterations and sales tax adds up fast! Whatever number you set, stick to that number. Don’t even think about trying on a dress you can’t afford, because once that dress hits your body and you fall in love, nothing else will compare and you’ll be heartbroken, or you’ll devastate your budget, or put a financial strain on anyone who has kindly offered to help you purchase your dress.  Or maybe you  have some wiggle room in your budget but know you’d feel sick about spending that much money later–don’t say yes in the heat of the moment and regret it later! Stick to your number. You’ll find a dress, I promise. The lower the number and the more exacting your specifications, the more legwork you’ll have to put in, but you will find a dress.

7) Hydrate!

Seriously, who would have thought that trying on a bunch of dresses could make a person so thirsty?

8) Leave the crew at home.

Bring just a couple of people–three, max. The more people you include, the more opinions there will be about what actually flatters you, and again, you may end up getting confused or being pushed away from a dress you love or into a dress you’re ambivalent about.  Put these people in charge of taking pictures of you from the front, and especially from the back so you can see what everyone else sees. You can show it to everyone else later, but while you’re shopping, make sure that the collective voice of others doesn’t overpower your own.

9) Start early.

Start looking earlier than you may think you have to–if you’re not buying off the rack, gowns can take 6 months or more to be made. Occasionally dresses can be rushed for an additional fee…but not always. You don’t want to fall in love with a dress that you can’t have, and you don’t want to be stuck with something you don’t love off the rack because you don’t have time to find anything else.

10) Have fun!

If you aren’t having fun, if you don’t like your sales rep, if you feel pressured or hassled or ugly: you need to leave. Give yourself a break and try somewhere else, maybe with other people. Just because you spent an hour and a half on a dress appointment does not mean you owe the shop a sale. Buying your dress should be an enjoyable experience, and if it isn’t, all you’re going to be able to associate with your dress is how unhappy you felt in the shop.

How did you go about finding your dream dress? Any tips/tricks you’re willing to share?

Editor’s note: Be sure to check out Part I and Part II of Mellzah’s dress shopping extravaganza! 

Real Wedding: Natalie & Rich’s Sweet Seaside Elopement In Laguna Beach

These are the kind of pictures I think every bride should see before she starts planning a 25K wedding in earnest. Because you know, if this is all you need for your wedding – a beach, a white dress, a beautiful bouquet, the person you love most in the world, your pooch, and a few BFFs, well then, why not just elope? Friends-of-BAB Natalie and Rich pulled together a gorgeous elopement in Laguna Beach for almost nothing. Natalie’s dress was $200. The flowers were $80.  The officiant was a dear friend, and performed the ceremony for free. The wedding party all went out for dinner afterwards, and of course, no one let the bride and groom pay for their own meal. We’re so pleased to share this celebration with our readers, because BABs, this is what it’s all about.

From the bride: “I’ve always dreamed of a small, intimate and meaningful wedding for as long as I can remember. One that is about the love of two people and where there is no distraction away from that. The stress of extra details and spending thousands didn’t make sense to us because it didn’t feel like us. We just wanted to make the most important day of our lives be about how much we love each other and not about if the napkins match the chair bows. I’m a Yogi and Rich is so laid back so it didn’t make sense to us to have the one day of our lives that is the day we make our love and commitment officially known to the world be a big, fussy event.”

When we talked about our wedding and what it would feel like, it was no discussion- an intimate, oceanside wedding was the right choice for us. With a couple dear friends and the focus on the most important thing; Our Love. A smaller wedding really suited us - I’ve always had a special connection to Laguna so it was the perfect place for our special day. I arranged my flowers myself and my best friend from Canada came down to get ready with me and be there for us.  My dear friend Gigi sang a beautiful song in Sanskrit which I hold dear to my heart. We all joined in as everyone stood in a circle around us. Then our friend Seth said a prayer for us. We wouldn’t change a thing.”

A gajillion thanks to Natalie and Rich for sharing their beautiful day with us! And special thanks to their photographer friend Seth Heringer for sharing these fabulous photos!

{Guest Post} Add Simple Fall Elegance To Your Wedding with Inexpensive & Easy Autumn DIY

Today we’re handing the reigns over to one of our favorite ladies in the wedding blog biz – Maggie Lord – Founder and Editor of Rustic Wedding Chic, and author of a brand new book, aptly named: Rustic Wedding Chic! She’s got 3 fabulous DIY ideas to share with you that are absolutely perfect for fall weddings. (BONUS: Tell us which one is your favorite in the comments, and instantly enter to win a signed copy!)

Image courtesy of EE Photography

The natural beauty that is alive in the fall is just one of the reasons why this season is perfect for rustic chic weddings. In my new book, Rustic Wedding Chic, I have several inexpensive wedding décor ideas that play into the fall season effortlessly. These projects are not only budget-friendly, but they’re also low on DIY effort, which allows every bride the ability to pull them off.

When I first started to gather ideas for the “Get The Look” section of the book I went back to my archives of the Ask Maggie section on the Rustic Wedding Chic website to see what advice brides where looking for when trying to design the right fall look. Most of the brides were hoping to incorporate the fall season into their wedding but wanted to stay away from the traditional path of pumpkins, fall leaves, oranges and browns. It was from these cries for wedding décor help that I came up with three fall wedding looks that are both easy on the budget, DIY-friendly, and rustic chic. 

Burlap Table Runners With Hand Sewn Hearts & Initials

Burlap table runners are very trendy right now in the wedding world but I believe that by adding a few small hand-sewn details this look goes from trendy to classic country. In the Rustic Wedding Chic book this image of a long wedding table with the couples initials in this standout red color is one my favorites. There is something so simple and homemade about this project, like something that we would see in another place and time. If you can sew, then this should be an easy weekend project. If you can’t sew then I suggest you try these three strategies:

1. Head over to Etsy and check out a crafter like Antique Linen Store to help you obtain the look.

2. Ask around. You might be surprised that a friend, your aunt, the local craft store or even your dry cleaner can embroider your ideal pattern.

3. You might be able to get the hand-sewn look without actually having to sew it. Head to your craft store and look for iron decals, which can allow you to execute a rustic wedding idea with the latest technology. Use a computer to you can design an image, print it out and iron it on.

Apple Cider In Hollowed Out Apples

Image courtesy of Kate Holstein Photography

The warm feeling of hot apple cider warming your body as the crisp fall air settles in is a delightful thought! Treat your wedding guests to a warm drink (can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic depending on your preference) of apple cider as they enter your cocktail hour. Your guests will be charmed to not only have a warm seasonal drink but they will love the fact that they are served in hollowed out apples. The apples are an inexpensive vessel and eco-friendly as well; it’s just up to you to transform them from a snack to a cup.

This project may seem like a lot of work, but after you see the Fall Harvest Inspiration in the book, you’ll be taking on all sorts of projects to bring the autumn look to your wedding day. My tip for making this project easier on the bride is to contact a local apple orchard, buy the apples in bulk and ask them to hollow them out for you since many orchards have this sort of machine on hand.

Hay Bale Seating Option

Image courtesy of EE Photography

Whether your wedding is on a farm, in a barn, at a vineyard or just in your backyard, you have the option of using hay bales as seating for your ceremony. If you are worried that this look might be “too country,” add a vintage twist by adding faded tablecloths, mismatched lace and even muted colored blankets help to dress up the hay bales. Many times farms have more hay on hand then they have a use for, so reach out to local farms to see if you buy the hay from them or go right to the source and work with a hay farm and have them delivered to your wedding site.

About Maggie Lord:

A self confessed wedding junkie since the age of 13, Maggie Lord loves the romance and beauty of weddings. Passionate about the rustic style and eager to share her discoveries and ideas while planning her lakeside wedding at her family’s summer cabin in Northern Wisconsin she started blogging. Now RusticWeddingChic.com has become the number one online resource for rustic & country weddings. In addition to being the editor of Rustic Wedding Chic, Maggie is also a contributing author for various other online and print publications and is sought after as an expert on rustic & country weddings.

Maggie is the author of Rustic Wedding Chic, the book, and a contributing writer for DIY Wedding Magazine.

The Rustic Wedding Chic book is now available at all major bookstores and online. Signed copies can be found at Whispering Pines Catalog.

Dear Liz: Adults Only? And Other Budget Wedding Quandaries

Got a question of your own? Go to the contact page to send it in!

You know. Or not. (Courtesy of Flory Photo)

 

Dear Liz:

We’ve been engaged for a while, but we’re finally getting married in November. When we gave our guest list to my Mom, she pointed out that we didn’t include any kids on the list! I don’t think we want kids at our wedding, and after figuring out how many we’d have to invite, we definitely don’t want to pay for them. Do we have to invite kids to our wedding?

Signed,

Rugrat Reluctant

Dear Reluctant,

No, you don’t have to invite kids, and if you don’t want to, then you shouldn’t. BUT – you have to be willing to stick to your guns on this. Sticking to your guns means telling your family and friends that they can’t bring their kids. Making it clear on the invite that you’re not inviting kids. Calling the people that write their kids into the RSVP card and telling them that it’s an adult-only event – Oh yeah, that happens. And FINALLY – anticipating that some people will not be able/willing to come because they can’t bring their kids. And I’m not trying to dissuade you, I’m really not. I’m just giving you fair warning. Socially, it can be a sticky-wickey. If I’m starting to freak you out, send up a test balloon with your Mom and let her know that you really don’t want to invite the young’uns, and why. Use exact numbers. After that conversation, and how you feel about that conversation, make your decision.

You can choose both wisely AND well.

Dear Liz:

I am a bride on a strict budget and I am worried that I have to take less-than-stellar vendors in order to fit everything I want in my budget. My fiance is convinced that this is the way to go and we don’t have a choice, but we just had a tasting with our (really cheap) caterer and I’m soo unhappy with what we’re getting! I’m looking at photographers now, and I’m angry that we’re going to be stuck with pictures that look like my 14-year old nephew took them. Do I really have to settle this much to pull this off?

Signed,

Less for Less

Dear Less,

Well, I’d really rather that you didn’t! No, but seriously, just because you’re paying less for something doesn’t mean you’re going to get crap, and just because you’re paying more for something doesn’t mean you’re going to get gold. You know what determines the quality of a product or a service? The quality of the product or service. But finding that quality takes a little patience, so start practicing now. You’ve got your price point, right? Start looking at wedding photographer blogs (I google “los angeles wedding photographer” for that, insert your city or state instead), pick a few that you really like and track them down. Bonus points if they list their fees on their websites. Look, if I can find reasonably-priced, fantastic shooters in one of the most expensive wedding markets in the country, you can find one where you are. Patience, young bride!

And before I forget – your caterer! NO. If you’re set with them, go back and tell them that you weren’t thrilled with the tasting and why, and make as many changes to the menu as you need to. If you and your fiance noticed that the food was bad, your guests will notice. Not good.

So, what about you? Were you able to resist the pressure to have kids at your wedding? Were you able to resist the pressure to settle with your vendor choices? Or not? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Ask Liz: “Broke” is A Four Letter Word

Dear Liz,

This is NOT all there is...

I thought I was just another BAB until I came to this site, now I think I am THE BAB.  I see these posts where people have $5,000 budgets, and I have no idea where they come up with that kind of bank!  My fiance and I are both teachers and neither of us have family to attend, let alone help pay for, a wedding – I’m thinking we’re going to have to jump over a broom in the backyard and it’s breaking my heart.  Any advice for a DESTITUTE ass bride?

Signed, 

99% Frustrated

Dear 99:

Yeah. Pretty much any number before the word “thousand” is a lot of money if you don’t have it to spend or spare. So, don’t feel bad about it. But here’s the thing: The “wedding” that everyone has in their brain is expensive – Extravagant bouquets and centerpieces, Chiavari chairs and 5-tied cakes and such. Getting married? Not so much. Getting married will set you back a couple hundred bucks at the most. All you need is you, your fiance, a minister, and a witness or two. Find out exactly what the rules are in your state, and go from there. I’m not necessarily saying that you need to elope, although it wouldn’t hurt to check out any pretty courthouses around you, as back-up. What I am saying is that there is a lot of middle ground between your backyard and The Ritz.

You can’t afford Vera Wang, but you can probably afford a beautiful pre-owned dress, or pick one from the latest and nearest bridal shop sale. You can’t afford a sit-down dinner for 100, but you can still find a beautiful place to get married – a park, a mountain overlook, something beautiful with a view. But it’s also a matter of what you’re okay with. If all your friends and family are there to watch you get married, where would you be comfortable doing that? Are you comfortable going out to dinner afterwards with a small group and then staying at a hotel? What is the smallest affordable thing that’s going to make it a “wedding” for you? Focus on that. What can you do with what you have where you are? You’d be surprised.

 

Yup. You Gotta Go Find It.

Dear Liz,

I’m contacting you because I’m starting to get disheartened and losing faith that I’m going to be able to have my dream wedding.  I’m trying to pull off a “Love is Paradise” theme with limited funds. I’m not even thinking of a lavish wedding, just one that is meaningful, fun, and best of all represent my fiance’s and my love for each other. But, my wedding is in June and the dress I absolutely fell in love with isn’t possible for me to get anymore because I can no longer afford it. What can I do?

Signed,

Trouble in Paradise

Dear Trouble,

Wow, that sucks. I always say that in many cases, The Dress is always going to be The Dress, and it’s very difficult to change bride’s mind about that. But The Dress doesn’t make a wedding. As you’ve said, the two of you have created a beautiful, wonderful day to share with your family and friends, and whatever you’re wearing, it’s still going to be a great day. Just keep repeating that to yourself, and actively look for moments that prove it!

That being said, there are often times in life where we are blocked from what we need by what we want. Feel free to mourn the dress that you lost, but don’t let it get in your way:  You need a dress that’s in your price range, so start looking for a dress that’s in your price range. Keep looking until you find one that you’re happy with. As in, “Oh, wow, I look great!’ You might not find one that you love as much as the original, but then again, you might. There’s only one way to find out.

 

Dear Liz,

I love this site! It’s been a great resource for planning a “budget” wedding (although spending $10,000 on one day’s festivities, no matter how important, still seems like a lot for me!). At this point I feel like I have a lot of the big pieces under control–dress, venue, caterer, DJ–but the one thing I haven’t been able to find is a great photographer who fits into our budget. I love all the gorgeous photos, and if I had 3,000+ to invest in them, I would. But my photography budget is maaaaybe 1,200, tops, and it seems almost impossible to find someone within that price range whose photos don’t look like  they were taken in 1992. Any advice?

- Camera shocked

Dear Shocked,

I’m not promising that it’s still not going to be a slog, but try this – who are the photographers in your area that you really like? Make a list of at least three of them and start calling. What you’re looking for is smaller-priced packages for less hours and less extras. Come to them with your budget, and ask them if it’s possible if you just want 4-6 hours of coverage, as opposed to 8 hours. 4- 6 hours is tight, but if you’re willing to nix getting ready pictures, and seriously consider a First Look to save time (ask if you don’t know what that is), you should be able to make it work with your timeline.

It might take a few tries until you find someone who can help you, but one thing is important – DO NOT SACRIFICE QUALITY. Keep looking for what you like until you find what you want. If you run out of choices, hit up the next bridal show in your area, and/or check out weddingwire.com or the knot.com for more names and pictures. Don’t give up!

So, what’s your latest budget or financial crisis? Or do you have more advice to add to mine. Let’s work it out in the comments below.

See you at the end of the aisle,

 

{Up for Grabs} Giveaway Round-up!

It’s time to salute the sun, my friends, because this Saturday is National Yoga Day! As you may know, yoga is very near and dear to our hearts, so to celebrate National Yoga Day, we’re doing not one, but TWO very special giveaways with our ultra fab friends from BOA Style! I’m so excited, I’m gonna hit a head stand RIGHT NOW!!! You can’t see it, but it’s totally happening…


We love the eco-friendly ethos behind everything BOA Style does, from their sumptuous cotton garms to their travel-friendly totes, so we’re super excited to give you the chance to win one of their gorgeous, 100% ethically sourced organic cotton yoga bags!

Whether you’re an advanced yogini, or just an active girl on the go, you’ll be sure to find a great use for such a beautiful,  eco-friendly bag! It’s roomy enough to hold your yoga mat, gym clothes, or all the necessities you’d need for a quick weekend getaway! AND the winner will receive their bag in his/her choice of pattern!

To enter to win, all you have to do is sign up for our newsletter. That’s right, if you get our newsletter in your inbox every week, you’re already entered to win! If you haven’t subscribed yet, simply sign up here!


Are you sitting lotus-style? Excellent – we have yet another beautiful BOA Style giveaway for you! This time you have the opportunity to win one of these sumptous, hand-dyed, 100% organic cotton scarves!

BOA Style Scarf

We know that most of you can’t dash out the door in only your yoga duds in the middle of January – BRRRR – and we at BAB want you to forever be cozy, safe, and stylish! Plus, any half-ass fashionista knows that whatever you feel like wearing + great scarf = AMAZING OUTFIT.

To enter, just leave a comment on this or any post on the blog this week, and BAM. Get ready to look GOOD.

And if you haven’t hopped on the yoga bandwagon yet, now is the time! (Did we mention it’s frikkin’ National Yoga Day this weekend?!) C’mon, we totally know you own a pair of yoga pants. Don’t let ‘em go to waste! There’s always a Beginner Level Yoga Class just around the corner that’s ready to welcome you with open arms! Ommmmm….wait a sec! We can’t forget to congratulate our most recent batch of giveaway winners!

Arianna won a pair of tix to Hitched! Have fun, girl! Send us some photos!

Sara C. snagged a copy of Bridesmaid on a Budget – hope it comes in handy, Sara!

And one very mysterious reader – username: Tasarlaskaara – will take the coveted copy of The Paper Bride.  Kudos, YOU!

I’m A Practical Bride….

… and can prove it. No really, it says so right here!

The wise and witty Meg, over at A Practical Bride, ran a contest in response to the “I’m a Modern Bride” ad campaign sponsored by, you guessed it, Modern Bride. For Meg’s contest, 114 readers shared their smartest, sweetest, funniest and most meaningful reasons that they count themselves as “A Practical Bride”… all far more touching and personal than “My wedding lasted 4 days.”

Well, lo and behold, Meg selected me as one of the 3 winners! I am deeply honored to be recognized by the Queen of Practicality herself, and to be counted among the 2 other winners, both of whom I greatly admire.

Here are the winning responses:

Desaray of DingMoonMoment:

“I’m a practical bride because I bought a power of attorney before I bought my shoes.”
Sadly, her marriage won’t be legally recognized by the District of Columbia. Kudos to them for doing it anyway! I love this answer because it reminds me about the true commitments we make in our marriage vows, and is a brutally honest reflection of what our gay friends in unsupportive states must face in their partnerships.

Cara, of Peonies and Polaroids:

“I’m a practical bride because I really and truly hope that our wedding won’t be the happiest day of our lives.”
What a beautiful and touching answer. Honestly, we should all hope the wedding is just the beginning of many happy days to come. I personally love knowing that while I can plan my wedding ad nauseum, its the unexpected happenings in life that can lead to great happinesses too. Surrendering ourselves to the unpredictable and everyday joys in life will not only let us enjoy our wedding day more, but all our days together thereafter.

And my own answer:

“I’m a practical bride because I believe the day is only ‘perfect’ if we end up married. To each other.”
It’s a simple truth. Not always easy to remember or put into practice, but essential. It boils down to two truths. I love him more than I could ever imagine. I can’t imagine living without him. The celebration is just the icing on the cake, if you’ll pardon my pun. Or, should I say, the cream on the puff? The beard on the papa? Oh brother….

Thanks Meg!