Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do I have to invite them?

So you want to plan an intimate wedding with your closest family & friends and don't know who you have to invite.  

Distant Relatives
  If you have not heard from your dad's distant cousin since you were seven years old, it's not likely she will be upset if you do not invite her.  But if your great aunt remembers your birthday every year, it's usually a good idea to invite her.

Work Colleagues
  You may spend about fifty hours a week sitting across the office from them, but do you really want them at your wedding? And if you invite one do you have to invite them all? You can feel relived to know that you don't have to. But the few who have become a part of your outside world, you may want to consider. If someone at the office asks why they were not invited, just let her know that you just couldn't invite everyone you hoped to & you still value her friendship. 

Single Guests & a Date
  Do you have to invite a +1 for your single friends?  The shortest answer is no. But excluding someone that means a lot to a friend may end up with hurt feelings. So if you only have a handful of single friends, it is always a nice gesture to allow them to bring a guest. This is especially true if your friends are traveling from out of town. 

   If you do not include the name of the children on the invitation, you guests should know that kids are not invited. But if you have family or friend that you know may show up with kids in tow, don't be afraid to take a passive-aggressive approach. Simply call to let them know that several other guests have called to ask about children and you wanted to let them know. 

Inspiration Love

Why not use those symbols and colors all around you as inspiration for your wedding day? 

Heart carved into the rock at the ocean cliffs. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bridal Shoes on Etsy

Etsy Find of the Week: Bridal Shoes & Shoes Accessories

Have a plain pair of shoes you love but are not fancy enough for your gown.  Try a clip to add a little pizzazz!

Rhinestone & Ostrich Custom Adornment ($42) at  Feathers & Frills /  Peacock Feather ($17) at StarzSelection

 Custom feather Clips ($55) at LoBoheme / Vintage inspired Ivory with Swarovski pearls ($42) at JurqitaHandmade / Peacock Handpainted Pumps ($80) at NoraKaren / Full of Grace ivory clip ($25) at theBrideGene  / Raspberry Bloom Shoe Clips ($9) at FrancineToukouBloom / Paris Wedding Shoe Clips ($30) at CMitrou / Bridal Ballet Flats ($68) at HydraHeart

Wedding Budget Worksheet

I just found an awesome downloadable worksheet that can help brides-to-be keep there budgets on track. Go to Real Simple to download your copy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

When Do I Book My Vendors? Pt4

Fourth Wedding Planning Timeline

How exciting! You are almost there! And it may feel overwhelming right now. But hopefully you have been following the planning tips and previous wedding planning schedule - and are right on time.

Month Before
* Get your marriage license. This process differs depending on your county and state. 
* Have your 3rd dress fitting.  You may also want to schedule this the week before for peace of mind unless your dress fits perfectly at this 3rd fitting
* Enter your RSVP's into you guest list database. Don;t be afraid to call those who you have not heard from.
* Mail out the rehearsal dinner invites.
* Order the alcohol. Since your headcount is complete, you can have an accurate order.
* Mail out your final payments to vendors. You don't want to be worrying about making payments the week or day of. 
* Confirm your hair and makeup appointments.
* Get your hair cut and colored if necessary.
* Send out the directions to all those who are drivers of the wedding party and family. Rented cars, chauffeurs will have time to organize their route.
* Organize a seating chart. Make this chart first on a board & guest names on sticky notes. This way you can move them around until you have a completed arrangement.
* Write your vows! If you are choosing to write your own vows - now is a great time to do it. Don't wait until the night before! 

Week of
* Send the final guest count to your caterer and the venue coordinator & your personal coordinator. Most venue need to know this 72 hours before your wedding.
* Delegate smaller wedding tasks to your wedding party and friends. IE who will carry the flowers from the church to the reception, who will bustle the dress, who is in charge of gifts, and someone to hand out tips to your vendors. (If you hired a coordinator, they also may be able to handle some of the smaller details depending on what you agreed on.)
* Confirm the arrival time with all your vendors if they haven't called you to check in.
* Make arrangements to pick up or have delivered your dress.
* Wear your wedding day shoes around to help break them in. Try to dance in them! 
* Check in with your photographer on the list of important photographs and family members
* Organize tips for your vendors to be given out day-of
* Book a massage or spa treatment, manicure etc to help you relax
* Assemble your welcome baskets for out-of-town guests
* Confirm your honeymoon arrangements & pack for your trip.

For other monthly planning tasks to help keep you on schedule:

Inspiration Vintage Wedding

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When Do I Book My Vendors? Pt3

A continuation on this weeks tip: Wedding Planning Timeline

Three Months 
* Finalize the flowers and the menu. (Season choices will help keep down the cost)
* Finalize your schedule. Make sure you know the timeline of your ceremony and reception.
* Now is a good time to send this timeline to your vendors. Giving them a preview of the schedule will allow them to suggest changes for a better flow.
* Make your list of all the people giving readings at the ceremony and speeches at the reception. 
* Print your programs and menus. (You can choose to make something simple on your home computer if this is not within your stationary budget.)
* Order or make your favors. This is where you can be creative. (See our latest DIY favors/placement cards art project)
* Have your second dress fitting. Purchase your undergarments. (Save the cut-off fabric from your dress! This can be used creatively as a wrap for your flowers or another decorative detail. IE a small bag.)
* Buy your rings! Doing this now will allow time for resizing.

Two Months
* Meet with your DJ/band. This is the time to review the playlist. Now remember, you cannot dictate every song that is played. But you can suggest nicely that the band or DJ pick up a few songs not in their normal playlist.
* Meet with your photographer. If you like, schedule a walk-thru and suggest locations for photographs.
* Touch base with all your vendors about the schedule. You can do this via a quick phone call, or schedule a lunch for them to all meet up at. 
* Submit your wedding announcement to the newspaper. (Check with the publication about the photograph used as some have strict rules about this)
* Send your invitations! Mailing your invitations now allows for guest to make travel arrangements if necessary.  Set your RSVP for roughly 3 weeks after the postmarked date.
* Enjoy your bachelorette party! Feel free to suggest this idea to your friends if they haven't mentioned it. They will want to celebrate your upcoming-big day too!

For other monthly planning tasks to help keep you on schedule:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wedding Inspiration of the Day: DIY Seating Place Cards

Spring is bloom! And the celebrate, here is a little bit of inspiration from Mother Nature!

This is a very easy DIY project! If you are not the crafty type - no worries! This is so easy!  You will only need to following supplies:
Hot Glue Gun (with glue sticks)
A pair of Paper Edging Scissors (approx. $2 ea)
12x12"  Scrapbooking paper ($.89 to $2 per sheet)
A few sheets of heavy weight printer paper 8.5x11"(I suggest buying an off-white or textured paper)
Fresh, dried or fake flowers (depending how far in advance you want to make these)
Roll on Tape  (roughly $3)
Box of Toothpicks (at any grocery store $.89)
Spanish Moss ($1.25 - $4 depending on quantity needed)
Small 2" flower pots (found on Ebay for $.99/ bulk also available)
A printer available for printing heavier weight papers

(Note most of these supplies can be purchased at

First Step: I designed a quick spread sheet using Microsoft Excel. Each column I made 2"Wx1.25"H.  I choose a font that I liked (or in your case matches you wedding theme/stationary.)  You can take the guest list information directly from your RSVP list so you know how many you will be making.  (Don't forget to select the option for 'Border-Type'  in your formatting palette so you have a cut-guide). Print on the heavy-weight  printer paper.  Ok so the hardest part is done!

Second Step: Use the edging scissors (available in all sorts of patterns), cut on the inside of your guide line. Then measure and cut the patterned paper (3"Wx 2.25"H). Use the roll-on tape to adhere the two pieces of paper together.

Third Step: Having your hot glue gun ready, use a small dab to glue the toothpick to the back of your paper. Rotate the toothpick in a circle so that the glue blob is all around the toothpick.

Fourth Step: Loosely stuff some of your spanish moss into your pot. If you are concerned about the moss staying in the pot, you can always place a little dab of hot glue into the sides of the pot near the bottom.

Fifth Step: Place your now dry card-on-toothpick into your pot.  And Whaalaah! you are done!

You can also choose to use live plants, succulents or fresh herbs instead of fake potted plants. And then your placement card becomes a favor to your guests as well!

If you have any questions about this DIY project or have ideas of your own you would like to share, please email me at .

Time-Saving Tip: Wedding Vendors

Here is a little time-saving tip....

When it comes to booking your vendors, it is always a good idea to get as much general information & availability as you can. (whether it be via word-of-mouth, their website, email or a quick phone call.) This will help you determine who is in your price range and the services that are available through them. Once you have your selection narrowed down, choose 3 vendors from that category to meet face-to-face. (ie catering, music, stationary, cake, photography etc). This way the meetings will be about finding your favorite.  Who do you feel most comfortable with?  You will be dealing with your vendors, not just for one day, but during the weeks leading up to your event, and some vendors (ie video &  photography) after your big day for continued service.  So it is really important you feel comfortable with this person.

Happy hunting... I will continue to post more information on how to select your vendors, questions you should be asking them & general price range and service options throughout this blog.  I will also be interviewing established vendors for advice and tips to consider while planning.

Monday, March 22, 2010

When Do I Book My Vendors? Pt2

Seven to Six Months
* Begin to organize your wedding day timeline. For example, what time will the cake cutting be? (Don't forget to include when you expect your vendors to be on site.)
* This is the time you will want to select your invitation design & get your order out to the calligrapher.
* Mail out your Save-the-Dates.
* Meet with your officiant to map out the ceremony and organize all the official documents you will need. (This varies on the county and religion. A counseling session may also be required.)
* Book your florist.
* Time to get the girls together to shop for your bridesmaids gowns.
* Book your transportation for your day of. (limo or buses, classic cars, shuttles etc.)
* Book any additional necessities for your location. IE lighting components, portable toilets etc.
* Start Planning your honeymoon! You will find better deals available by booking airfare and hotels in advance.

Five to Four Months
* Check in on your wedding invitations. Request your samples & make any revisions necessary.
* Shop for your shoes and have your first dress fitt
ing. Don't forget to bring the shoes so the length of your gown can be determined.
* Time to order the cake! Test 3 different bakers. Be aware that some bakers require more of a lead time then others.
* Compile your song list to coordinate with the events of the day.
* Book your rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner plans.
* Find your hairdresser and makeup artist. Make a few appointments to try out a few on days when you have plans out. This will be a good test to see if the style lasts. And be sure to take a snapshot of the do & makeup for the wedding day.
* Plan out the goodies you will be including in your welcome baskets for out-of-town guests.
* Forward your guest list to your bridal shower planner.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

'Roses Aren't Just Red' Inspiration

How long should an engagement be?

The average couple in America is engaged for 16 months, according to ABC (Association of Bridal Consultants).  But whatever length of time you choose, the planning process is comprised of two major categories - the booking of vendors and the final coordination of the day & its details.  And there are pros and cons with a short engagement or a long one.

Long Engagement

The advantages of having a longer engagement (over a year) really only occur if you get a jump start on your planning. Having a longer engagement means you can basically have first pick of your favorite vendors, since many popular contractors are booked well in advance. And booking over a year in advance will also allow you to book the venues in the month that you and your fiance desire. Once your vendors are booked, you will have a nice stretch of time in the middle for non-wedding planning free time. You will also have more time to save for a few extras and custom details you may want to add.  That being said, you have more time to rethink your options and may end up spending more money to change previous decisions. 

Short Engagement

A short engagement also means a less time to plan.  The two parts, booking and organizing, become condensed into one timeframe. You will generally find yourself concentrated on the four different items that your guests will notice the most. This list includes, the wedding gown, food, entertainment and decorations. Many smaller customized details will be left out . (ie monogrammed hand towels - that honestly your guest won't remember anyway.) And since these extra details are generally left out, this will help save on your budget (or allow you to deligate that money to another area).  If you choose a shorter engagement, it is very important to write a detailed list of all the components that are most important to your wedding day. Start with the absolute must-haves and work your way down to the little extras. Be realistic on your timeframe & always overestimate the time it takes to have that task completed. IE Do you really have enough time to have a custom gown made? 

So whichever you & your fiance choose, remember to stick to your budget, be realistic on the time frame (by over estimating on both) Your engagement should be an exciting time and not a stressful one. So if finishing school exams collides with the wedding day then it may be best to push the date back. Or if you just can't wait to be married to your best friend - then go for it! And remember have fun!  

Inspiration in Blue and Yellow

When Do I Book My Vendors? Pt1

   I had the pleasure of a surprise visit this past weekend from some out-of-town friends.  And was delighted to hear that they have become engaged!  And being only engaged for a few days, they are truly at the beginning stage of their wedding day.  After chatting for some time, we came around to the topic of when should to book the vendors.  And then I thought - What a great topic for the blog!!  So many brides-to-be have no idea where to begin. This will after all be one of the biggest events you will ever plan. But not to worry! It's important to stay organized.  If you are not the 'organized type', do not fret! Thats why the Artful Bride is here!  Below is generally the order you should be prepared to book vendors and complete the tasks of planning. 

1.  Start with your budget! Decide how much is within your means.( For more info read here). Who is helping you with the bills? And by what means are they contributing? (financially, with their time and/or expertise)
2.  How much time do you have?  Do you want a short or long engagement? (Read more about the pros and cons to length of engagement here).
3.  How elaborate an event do you want? (guest number, attire style etc)

Ok so once the 3 big questions have been answered, you are ready to move on the the task of planning out your calendar. I am going to assume for all intents and purposes that you are planning with 16 months ahead of you. (Shorter engagements will obviously require condensing this time frame.)

Sixteen to Nine Months
* Start an inspiration binder! In hear you will place you tear outs of inspirations, whether it be color schemes, flowers, dress ideas, decorations, magazines and food.
* Work out the budget. Determine what you need, then what you want. Determine the amount of time it will take to achieve these details.
* Your guest list. This is a good time to write up a list with columns  that include name, contact info, rsvp, gift and anything else that is important.  And remember cutting down on your guest list will help you save the most money.
* Book your venue! This is when you will need to decide if your ceremony & reception will be in the same location.  Your schedule for the day needs to take into consideration the travel time between the locations. (remember if you are planning a city wedding to account for daily traffic.)
* This is also a great time to hire a planner.
* Choose your wedding party.
* Book your officiant
* Begin your research on photographers, bands, florists, and your caterer. (add these names to a vendor contact list once you begin to narrow them down)
* Throw your engagement party!

Eight Months
* Book your photographer & videographer.
* Book the entertainment
* Start meeting caterers if your location does not provide one. You will need to book this month or early next month. This is very important!
* Dress shopping! This way you have time for alterations & custom gown orders. (3 fittings is normal)
* Book hotel rooms for out-of-town guests. Choose 3 different hotels so guests have a choice of price point.
* Start your wedding website!  You can create your site for free using the Wedding Channel.

Ok so now you can begin your planning.  I will continue posting your monthly schedule information over a series this week so as not to overwhelm you. Links will be available below as they are posted.

And Congrats again to Matt & Emily!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Daily Inspiration

OK so I was poking around Martha Stuart Weddings & looking for a little DIY project to test out this weekend. And I came across this cake & just had to share. They consider this 'rustic modern'. i think it's adorable. (if a cake could be adorable?)

Birds & Bubbles; Rings and Cake

Many times at weddings, we observe traditions that very little of us actually know the meaning of. We release doves or butterflies after saying 'I do',  toss birdseed or rice as the newlyweds exit the ceremony and watch as the couple cuts and shares the first piece of cake. We know this is traditional. We know it's pretty and often makes for great photo opportunities.  But how many of us know the significance behind any of this?

Something Old, New Borrowed & Blue
This is a very common tradition that dates back to the Victorian era.  Even being a wedding photographer, I never knew the meaning to until I did a little bit of research. The 'something old' is a way to honor the bride's family & their bond. The 'something new' represents her new life & bond with her husband. And the 'something borrow' is to be from another happily married woman as a way to pass on the happiness to the new bride. 'Something blue' represents fertility.

Release of White Doves
Doves throughout history have been a symbol of love, peace, purity, unity, faithfulness and prosperity.  They mate for life. They choose one partner and are committed until death. ('til death do you part'). It is said that to see doves on your wedding day, a happy home is certain. To release doves is a representation of the love and commitment that a couple makes to each other on their wedding day.

Butterfly Release
American Indian legend states that if someone desires a wish to come true, they must first capture a butterfly and whisper the wish to it.  Since a butterfly makes no sound, he cannot reveal your wish to anyone but the Great Spirit. As gratitude for grating the butterfly his freedom, the Great Spirit grants the wish.  As a part of a wedding release, guests are asked to for all their best wishes for the couple to be granted.

The First Kiss
A seal of the couples union together & sharing of their souls. Romans believed 'the kiss' officially sealed the union for life.

This Ring
Most believe this tradition dates back to ancient Egyptian culture. Egyptians believed the vein of love ran through the third finger on the left hand and straight to the heart. The ring exchange unites the hearts together.

Birdseed Tossed
Throwing things at a newly married couple dates back to ancient Rome and Egypt. (maybe even older) This is a symbol of good luck to the couple & represents abundance and fertility.  Seeds are a symbol of plentiful crops. A seed being a representation of something small that grows into something much large.  To shower with rice is an American custom. Italians toss sweets and sugarcoated nuts for a sweet marriage. Moroccans toss figs & dates for a fruitful union. Korean tradition is for the bride's father to toss red dates for fertility.   So whether you toss rice (which btw is a myth that it harms birds. Birds do eat rice in the wild.)  or birdseed, dates or confections - this is a great way to involve your guests in your wedding ceremony.

Cut the Cake
This tradition dates back to the Romans. They believed that eating a piece of cake together created a bond between the couple. Wheat to bake the cake represents fertility. And fruit & sweet icing brings sweetness to the couple's life together.

Wedding Flowers
Knights of  Medieval times wore the colors of his wife through flowers. And the bouquet & flowers in the hair and around the bride is an expression of good luck and helps the bride express her love to her groom. Different Flowers carry different meanings. (Which I will save for another article.) 

So now you know! And depending on your own couple style, you can choose which traditions you would like to honor in your own ceremony. 

Traditional vs Modern Wedding

I've been thinking a great deal about the word 'traditional' verses the word 'modern' when it comes to weddings.  There seems to be a stigma attached to the word, 'traditional'.  I know when I think of that word, I think of old and dusty photos with stiff over-posed couples, much like weddings appeared in the 1940's and 1950's.  I think stiff lace and suits with bow ties.  I think black & white.
  When I think about the word, 'modern',  I think fresh & new, sleek & clean.  I think metropolis and vogue magazine - Sex In the City fashion. I think color.
  And then I am torn between the two. I love my collection of old family photos of my grandparents wedding, all worn and yellowed with age. I love lace & tulle.  I love simplicity. I love black & white!  I love freshness and color too!

So how do we melt the two together?  
How do we honor the traditions of our family's past with the digitally-enhanced new?

   There are many simple ways to do this. For example, you can choose the wear your grandmother's wedding gown or mother's veil. (whether you choose to wear it as-is or have a trusted seamstress alter the gown for a more modern cut to fit your body type that is up to you.)  You can present a slideshow of old family wedding photos during your cocktail hour for your guests to watch.   You can host a special traditional dance to a new version of the song.  Or you can simply wear family heirloom set of pearls with your ultra modern gown.

There are also several time honored traditions that are associated with weddings. Each couple is different. 
We want to hear from you about your blend of traditional with modern; old with new.So don't be afraid to tell us here at the Artful Bride all about your own traditions whether they be time-honored or a new one you just started! You can post a comment or email with photos to

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink at the Hotel Del Coronado - Brittany & Jarrod's Wedding!
This destination wedding was like a pink fairytale. Everything was pink- the nail polish, pink ribbons, the bridesmaids gowns, the flowers, even the ties - love it!   They also picked just the right setting for their outdoor wedding- the Windsor Lawn at the famous Hotel Del on the island of Coronado- (only a bridge away from downtown San Diego.)   What better place to travel to from Arizona for perfect seaside weather for their guests to enjoy!

An abundant layer of pink rose petals really made this ceremony site rich with color as Brittany was escorted down the aisle.

 To help save on the budget, the bridesmaid created their own bouquets of pink roses and black lilies wrapped with 2" pink ribbons. To help and keep their guest cool - pink fold-out fans. (available at online stores such as or for those crafty brides, you can DIY with instructions from Better Homes & Gardens).  And to signify their union, Brittany &  Jarrod chose a long standing traditional of the dove release. (Click here to read more about the meaning behind the tradition - Dove Release).

Brittany & Jarrod (affectionately known as Barbie & Ken by some of their friends) were so happy! Everything turned out beautifully. As special treats to their guest, they included a candy bar of pink.  And flip-flips were available for those with fancy shoes who wanted to bust some moves on the dance floor, or just wander to the beach for some sea air.

A yummy chocolate groom's cake and a sweet white cake with pink roses for the couple to share. With candle-light and a classic Hotel Del chandelier, soft pinks lights and plenty of guests on the dance floor- what a reception!
Ceremony & Reception were held at the Hotel Del Coronado / Wedding Coordination by Nahid of Wedding Elegance /  Photography by Laura B Scott Photography

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vintage Inspired Dresses for under $700

 You too can have your own custom wedding gown for under $700. Check out these finds on

Elizabetta Gown with lace straps ($508) at For Your Wedding  / Vintage Inspired Tulle ($587) at Bridal Bliss Design  / Delightful Blush ($505) at Sarah Seven / Barely Pink ($455) at Sarah Seven / Oysters & Pearls ($900) at English Dept  / Chiffon One-Shoulder ($598) at Bridal Bliss Design / Lace & Tulle ($589) at Bridal Bliss Design / Duchess Satin ($589) at Bridal Bliss Design / Eco Organic Cotton with black belt ($699) at Thread Head / Retro Ivory ($350) at Ellana Courture /  50 Style Tea Length with blue lace ($599) at Your Fairytale Wedding

Cake Inspirations

Graphic Cakes

Cost of A Wedding

   Ok so most couples planning a wedding don't always know where to begin.  And my advise on that is to start with a budget - a realistic budget.  In other words, you don't want to put yourself in debt to have a wedding.  The marriage itself is always more important then the wedding day in the long run.

   So how much does a wedding cost?  The national average for a wedding in the US is around $20,000.  And I recently found a great website that will help you out with a realistic number for your wedding.  If you know where you think you want to have your wedding, this site will give you an estimate of the average cost in that area.  This site provides a detailed wedding checklist, a wedding cost estimator and a break down of the average cost for the different parts of the wedding.  Check it out!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Whooo Said It Weddings Weren't Fun

  Have you ever found your self on a page of the internet looking at something and wonder - how did I ever find this? I started looking for a gift for my dad- golf clubs, then I was on this page with tiger cubs and now 20 minutes later I am reading an article about circus animals?  Well I seem to have found myself on that same path today.  I, however, managed to stay on one site... etsy! Yes I have become addicted to looking at handmade crafts and such on And lucky you - I post my favorite little finds for the week.  Today's search around landed me on a cute little invitation with a set of owls.  And 20 minutes later, I managed to collect 13 different owl inspired items for your wedding day. And you don't have to be an owl enthusiast to appreciate these little finds ...

Two Little Owls Invitation ($4) at Ello There / Owl Love U Forever Printable Circles ($10) at Paper & Pigtails / Love Owls Painting ($85) at Emily H Martinez / Green & White Owl Paper ($7) at Perty.ful.tings / Studded Silver Earrings ($45) at MarKhed / Personalized WhoWhoo Ring Dish ($12) at Wise Impressions

There are even a few finds here for the groom in there too ... 

Owl Wedding Cake Toppers ($105) at Red Light Studio / Ginger Owl Flask ($65) at Moxie & Oliver / Custom Owl Box ($20) at Gifts & Talents / Cozy Owl Save-the-Date Magnets x15 ($33) at Angel Ellie / Cuff Links $25 at Bella Moda Artist / Plum Garden Owlet Necklace ($29.95) at Rachelle D / Owls in Love personalized print ($25) at Stubborn Dog

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ceremony Floral Inspirations

Beth & Joe's Do-It-Yourself Wedding

   September 9th 2009. Being the creative types, (Joe a graphic artist and Beth a photog) they wanted to do most of the work themselves. (and with the help of a few trusted friends.) With only 4 months of planning they were able to pull it off!  For their venue site, they lucked out and had a fantastic spot at an aunt's house in Sierra Madre, CA. They were married on the front lawn by a close friend as their officiant and surrounded by loved ones. During the ceremony, Joe & Beth did a little rock/paper/scissors to see who would say their vows first.  Joe's vows were short and sweet. Beth's were lyrics from Tina Turner and Johnny Cash.
   Their wedding was filled with so many personal touches... Beth's bouquet was handmade from a felt kit she found at Princess Lasertron  And even Joe added his own special touch, by having a custom pair of Nike shoes made to say "I love Beth 09/19/09".

  For the reception they took advantage of the outdoor basketball court for their tables and dance floor. And to solve the issue of lighting, they hung paper lanterns and Christmas lights - for an all out romantic mood.  Cocktail snacks and and dinner were served by another friend-to-the-couple, Suzie Gardner - Taiwanese Vegetarian apps at cocktail hour and BBQ delivered for dinner provided by Santa Maria BBQ. (Yum! Making me hungry just thinking about it) Their cute dessert cupcakes were made by Angie Dingman, owner of Love Cakes. Photography and photo booth were provided by Beth's business partner of Dacia Lamb Photography.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Did you have the most fantastic wedding that all yours friends are still talking about? Or  were you the photographer, florist, invitation designer  etc for one?  Do you have a fantastic DIY (do-it-yourself) you would like to share with others?  If so, we would love to hear about it!  Please submit your wedding or event ideas, inspirations and photos with a descriptions, (ie. vendor list & links) for the chance to be featured on the blog.  We would love to hear from you!  All your submissions can be emailed to 

images provided by Laura B Scott Photography

St Patty's Inspired Ideas

In honor of St Patty's Day, we have decided to post a little bit of green-inspired wedding ideas. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bridal Books

Looking for Bridal Bargains? 
Check out the 9th edition to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget

To purchase this book or find more books under $25 on planning the big day go to

Hair Accessories on Etsy

Today's find on - Hair Pieces!!

Dusty Pink Rose ($23) at MischaM / Feather & Magnolia ($20)  & Peacock set of 3 ($15) at Emilywootton / Off white Ranunculus ($38) & White Flower with Birdcage Veil ($72) at YJDesign / Gardenia ($20) at Smittenxoxo / Handmade Silk Peony ($54) & Tear-Drop Head Piece ($65) at WeddingAisle / Burnt Umber & Yellow ($35) at Alicia's Wedding / Glass Blue Vines ($35) at ChicAllure / Lovely White Feather ($20) at SweetGrassMill / Dark Red Countess ($45) & Violet ($55) at Smittenxoxo / Northern Lights ($40) at WhichGoose

Wedding Budget

     Planning a wedding seems like an enormous task. One important thing to remember is to make a budget & stick with it. Never go in to debt to pay for your wedding day. And always be careful about using credit cards to pay for your wedding bills. Paying off the balance as soon as you receive the statement prevents you from having to pay finance charges. Be aware of upgrades & how much extra they will cost. If you spend more in one area then you anticipate, you should cut back in another. And remember having a smaller, more intimate wedding day is a better solution then having to pay for your wedding for the next three years. And to help with this, here is a breakdown suggest for dividing up your budget:

Event Planner/Coordinator 10-15%
Photography/Videography 10%
Flowers 10%
Reception (Food, Rentals & Location) 40-50%
Music 5-10%
Miscellaneous Expenses (Invitations, Officiant, Transportation, Party Favors etc.) 10%

And it's always a good idea to leave 5-15% available for little extras & incidentals.

*Remember, this is just a guide to help you along. It really is up to you on what is most important on your wedding day & should always be a reflection of your personal style as a couple.* 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Money-Saving Tip of the Week

Instead of providing a full bar for your guest, why not create a signature drink, cocktail or punch. You can also limit the alcohol choices for your guests by serving a only few different wine and beer choices you think your guests will enjoy. A third option is to buy the alcohol yourself, rather then having the location provide it. You may have to pay a cork fee, but purchasing wine & champagne in bulk (10 bottles or more) often saves you a great deal when you purchase from a whole sale company.