Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wedding Planning 101 - Part 6

I am going to take a break in all the major planning you have to do while preparing for The Big Day and in this post talk about your Save The Date Cards. If you are not familiar with all the terms - and lets be honest, who is unless you are a paper diva - then I suggest you learn about all the different options you have for paper and printing. I found a nice little tutorial that will get you started at Beau-Coup. They make it pretty easy to figure out what all your paper options are.

Let's start with our Save The Date cards, because pretty much that will be the first paper/printed item you send out once you have set your date. Save the date cards have taken over the standard wedding announcement cards. I love them because you have so many options. There has been a lot of buzz lately on this Epic Save The Date video created by Erin and Jeff. It is totally amazing and creative! I can only imagine what their wedding will be like if it's starting like this!

I found this picture and had to add it! Wow if you are lucky enough to live in Sydney I would check out this photographer for sure! I love her work...and this Save The Date shoot was adorable! It's so awesome to see such creative work! Kudos to you Caspix!

One site I love for Save The Dates is Shutterfly. They are affordable, fast and the best part: they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee! That is pretty amazing - considering that usually on printed items once you buy it, it's yours forever. I have to give a shout out to them for having this policy. Shutterfly has plenty of STD cards to choose from - with or without pictures! They also offer other items to go along with your choice, which ties everything together!

If you want to get crafty on your Save The Date cards you need to head over to my favorite craft site, Etsy!
I found these cute tags that can be used for a DIY project! I can imagine a cute heart circled around your date...

If you want to DIY well then I suggest you check out I can't say enough about this company! They have everything you need to DIY! I used them for a lot of my DIY invitations. They offer some great tutorials and guides like:
If you decide DIY is not an option but you love the work at Paper-Source (like me!) then they do offer printing services. Keep in mind...the folks over here know and love paper and they are very creative guessed it, they are not cheap! I still have to give mad love to them though because they know their stuff!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wedding Planning 101 - Part 5

Holy cow! I think this wedding planning thing is turning into a mini-novel. I am feeling a little overwhelmed for the brides out there and seriously wondering how I ever pulled off my own wedding! The truth is...a lot of experience made it easy for me and I had a great group of people that helped me. My wish for everyone out there planning is that you have a wonderful support group - weddings are stressful. It's ok to admit it. I mean you are only getting ready to change your entire life AND plan the biggest party you will ever have. So, pretty much we are now about mid-way through the planning process! If you have missed any of the steps check the following blog posts again:

Wedding Planning 101 - Part 1
Wedding Planning 101 - Part 2
Wedding Planning 101 - Part 3
Wedding Planning 101 - Part 4

Now would be a good time to trim that guest list! We are at the stage where we are going to be ordering our invitations and these can get costly - depending on where you order from and the quantity you need! This is also the time to finalize your choice of wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses. Wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses take at least 12 weeks to special order. You have to make sure you add in time for alterations as well so, giving yourself 14 - 16 weeks would be great! Your registry should be all finished - you are going to have a bridal shower soon and you need to be ready! There are a lot of little loose ends to tie up now too...

  • The wedding cake should be ordered
  • Since your dress is on order you need to find your headpiece, jewelry, undergarments, and accessories
  • Decide where you are renting the tuxes for the males in the party - one great idea here is to remember those out of town! Choose a tux shop that is in multiple cities - might make it easier on the guys!
  • Choose favors - there are so many options these days! I have highlighted some ideas for wedding favors in another blog post - check them out here. This area of the blog will just keep growing and growing because there are so many ideas for favors! Favors are a great way to personalize your day!
  • Time to decide on a honeymoon!
  • Purchase a wedding present for your groom - and hope he uses it! I say this because I bought my husband an ipod...which is currently (and has been) sitting in its box on top of the closet! But, I really shouldn't's next to the wedding gifts he bought me too :)
  • Order the following items: cake topper - I blogged about some comical cake toppers here, place cards (or make your own), toasting glasses, and other decorations for the wedding or reception - guest book, pen, picture frame (if you are having your guests sign one)
  • Finally the last thing to do at this time...make wedding day appointments for hair and makeup - which I hope you already had a trial with someone!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If you live in So Cal - Check out this bridal show!

There are so many bridal shows in so cal that I wouldn't normally blog about them but, I got an email today from Premier Bridal Shows and they are hosting a bridal show at the Nixon Library and all proceeds are going to the Make a Wish foundation. Not only is the Nixon Library an awesome place to visit...I think all brides should attend a bridal show just to check out all the vendors! I have a soft spot for charities too...and anything that benefits children is certainly worth passing on!

February 21, 2010
Nixon Library
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA
11 am - 4 pm

Wedding Planning 101 - Part 4

We left off on the Wedding Planning series with shopping for your bridal gown! I hope that any brides out there, who haven't yet found their gown, has had at least one shopping experience at a full service bridal salon! I have found a couple of sites online - and seriously have to throw out a word of caution right now! Two sites: and are companies in China who make replica dresses. They steal photos from manufacturers websites and post them on their sites with cheap prices. What it looks like to an online consumer is that you are getting THAT dress. The truth is, you are not! Please keep in mind that old say "If it's too good to be true, it usually is!" I think there are quite a few online stores that are reputable and you can easily do your homework if those sites are authorized to order the dress you want, from the manufacturer you have chosen. I just have to urge anyone who might come across this blog to PLEASE use caution - especially when you are ordering an item that is shipping from China, direct from a manufacturer.
 ::::jumping off my soapbox::::

Ok, so let's get back to our wedding plans! While you were at the bridal salon I hope your bridesmaids were able to find a dress, you checked out veils, headpieces, shoes, undergarments...boy there are a lot of things you need for just one day!

I think it's time for some FUN though! You need to get out there with your husband-to-be and REGISTER! We all know how much men love to shop! I guess there are some men who actually would like to do this - but when I was engaged I couldn't get my fiance to walk through a department store shopping for towels, sheets, candle holders or kitchen appliances. That was pretty much left up to me...and I had a great time. I think you should register at two places - minimum - and I also think you need to add a variety of items. I remember having a cow when I tagged a $300 pan set but, I did get it as a gift and I use them every night!

I know one of the things people really want to register for is money. I am one of those people who are not offended by that! Weddings cost a lot of money, many people are living on their own and have their needs met on those items and honestly, let's face is king! Everyone has different opinions on this topic and they almost always will. If it is something that might cause you more stress - because everyone will share their opinion on it - add it as an option! I love that they also have honeymoon registries. Just make sure if you go with one of these sites they do not take a fee! You can even set up your own online registry - thanks to sites like PayPal - they have a Gift option you can use now and you are not charged a fee on the transaction.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hey You!

Who me? Yes..YOU! The person reading this blog! I just want you to know that I LOVE comments and I LOVE followers! So, don't forget to click on the link in the upper left corner that says "FOLLOW"!

Seeing Red! Beautiful Red Wedding Dresses!

The sun has been missing for a week in Southern California...and cabin fever is starting to set in! I seriously need a pick-me-up! Something to brighten these dark, cloud filled days. I have also had Valentine's Day on my mind - who couldn't? In every store you went in right after Christmas they had valentine items already on display! It reminded me of a dress that I fell in love with years ago. I am not sure about this but, to my knowledge, it was the very 1st mainstream red wedding dress to hit the was a BEAUTIFUL silk gown made by English designer Ian Stuart. It was nicknamed "Valentine" for obvious reasons! It was a stunning gown in person (I had it in my store and actually sold a few of them to bold brides!). Ian Stuart set the bar though...

 This dress can probably still be found today if you searched hard enough on the net! It even came with the matching choker! Thinking of this dress brought me back to another dress - in RED. This one is a little different though - and not mainstream at all.

This delectable, sweet candy dress was made with 1000 Lindt chocolate balls! This dress was called the Lindor Dress and debuted in December of 2007! When I remembered this dress it brought a HUGE smile to my face! Mmmmm...

While thinking about this post I stumbled across a few things I also felt I needed to share! I found the most amazing photographer - Rosie Parsons. Oh why, oh why do you have to live across the pond? I seriously fell in love with her work! You have to check out her blog! Lovely!! And look at this photo she shot of this gorgeous red tea length gown:

These days almost every wedding designer out there has a red dress in their line. They are amazing, striking wedding gowns that only the bold would wear! I love them all. Back in the day that lovely Ian Stuart gown would set you back about $1800.

Here are some other options from Bonny that are between $800 - $1150...

This dress is by Maggie Sottero. I have seen various prices on the net for it but I just loved the color and the tulle.

And if you plan on being a Red Hot Bride...well then of course you must check out this fab website that is dedicated to just red wedding gowns! Warning: If you were just THINKING of red and you go to this site - you will leave with your mind 100% made up! It's awesome!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wedding Planning 101 - Part 3

Yesterday, I posted part 2 of my personal wedding planning handbook...I am really making this all up based upon my own experience of planning a wedding - and working with 100's of brides when I owned my shop! You would be amazed at how a bridal store owner (well, an owner that works really closely with their customers) can become a new best friend to a bride! I think, because brides are really looking for someone to HELP them and someone who isn't focusing on them their own personal agenda. This was the part I really loved about having my shop - helping brides! I can't even begin to count the number of invitations I received to be a guest at weddings (talk about "always a bridesmaid"...I was more like the "always a guest..."!) but...we are getting off topic here! What I am trying to stress at this point is we are not at very crucial point in wedding planning where you, the bride, seriously need support and help!! It's time to start dress shopping!!

There are literally thousands of wedding dresses to choose from! I have my own personal opinions on dresses - I don't think you have to spend $1000's of dollars on a dress. It is ONE day...and it is ONE dress. Plus, you have a budget to stick to - remember? It doesn't stop at just the dress! You have to factor in: alterations, special undergarments, shoes, slip, veil, jewelry....! Some people may have a huge budget and the price tag doesn't matter (lucky you!). I think some brides may get sticker shock when they first start looking. I also think that a lot of people want to find a bargain (or a discount) once they find the dress and this is ok. Who doesn't try to find the best price - whatever it is you are shopping for? I know I am a total bargain shopper, no matter what I am buying and a wedding dress shouldn't be any different! I am basing this post on THE DRESS at this point because I think there is a lot to cover on this aspect of your wedding.

My advice at this point: keep an open mind! Try on different styles because you will walk in with an idea of a dress you want and you might just end up with something totally different! I NEVER thought I would wear a strapless gown...but I did!

Ask about package deals. They really can save you money! Some bridal shops partner with other vendors or offer discounts on all kinds of other things you are going to need.

Ask about discounts. The old saying "the answer is no until you ask" is so true! Don't be afraid to ask if they are having any upcoming sales or specials. Ask if they price match - there are a lot of online retailers who offer dresses at a lower cost. Online discount sites are able to do this because you are not using their store, employee time, getting your dress steamed, storing it, etc. You are basically getting a gown in a box. Some stores might offer this same level of service.

Choose wisely when taking people with you. Once again you are going to run into everyone having their own opinion! Your mom is going to have a totally different view on which dress is the best and so will your best friend! YOU will know when the dress is right. You are going to be the one wearing it and you are going to be the one looking back at the pictures for the rest of your life! Go with your instinct! Listen to opinions, if you can, but the ultimate decision is yours!

I could go on and on about this topic - and over time we will get more in depth about dresses, dress shopping and other issues when it comes to bridal gowns. But for now, you have some tools to make appointments and get out there! Oh...and after dress would be a great time to get out to lunch with your mom, future MIL and bridesmaids. Tell them how much you appreciate all of them (even if you are frustrated with them! haha).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wedding Planning 101 - Part 2

We left off with you have a date night with no wedding talk...did you do it?? So, let's jump back into what our next steps should be with wedding planning. You have taken care of the 1st 5 important steps...and now we get to start in with some of the (hopefully) fun details of planning the biggest day of your life! You have your date set, a deposit on the venue, your guest list has been started and most likely you have been listening to people giving you all kinds of advice - hey now...that's not what I am doing!! haha. I am just giving you some tools...
  • I would suggest, at this part of the planning, if you are going to do engagement photos now is the time! Decide if you are going to go casual (a photographer friend) or professional. The person you have do your engagement photos doesn't have to be booked to do your wedding - but it is a great time to scope out the person's work! Engagement photos will be used to...
  • Get your Save The Dates cards ready! There are so many choices for Save The Date cards and I will have to make a separate post about them, because I have quite a few useful links! Some people may ask "Do I even need to do this?" Well, the simple answer is NO. But, they are nice to have - especially if you have people coming from out of town or if your are planning your wedding around a time when people might have a lot going on (summer time...holidays, etc). Plus, it's a pretty nice way to let the entire world know about your wedding!
  • Have you narrowed down who your bridal party will be? This is probably a perfect time to do this because you are going to need some reliable help with the rest of the planning parts of a wedding! Once again, get ready to have people telling you who you just HAVE to have as part of your wedding party. This is another fun process that might get you back to eloping. You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but come on...the truth is you can only have so many people standing next to you. My suggestion is to always keep the people who you know love and support you - no matter what - and those people who you know will honor your vows you will soon be taking. 
  • Now, on we go to details, details, details! You need to choose your wedding theme - or at least wedding colors. You have MANY choices out there! 
  • If you have chosen a place to get married where a package is given - and today quite a few venues offer this - from catering, florist options and cakes. Your work is a little less complicated. You still need to pick all these things out to personalize you day don't have to go through the work of interviewing tons of vendors! I am basing this little helpful post assuming you have a venue that has a list of preferred vendors you have to work with.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Planning a Wedding 101 - Part 1 just got engaged! You've told all your family and are super excited and then the reality sets in that you have A LOT of work to do! Where do you start? Here are some ideas...
  • Buy a binder - the 3 ring type that you can add the sheet protectors in. You are going to need it!
  • Set the date! Once you tell people you are engaged they are going to ask "When is the wedding?" Unless you plan to get married right away it's best (for your wallet/sanity) to give yourself at least 6 months to a year to plan your wedding...although after a month or so of planning you might decide you just want to elope!
  • Figure out a budget! Are your folks going to help? Are you and your fiance doing it alone? This is my 3rd step because seriously once you start looking (and dreaming) you are going to have a thousand ideas going through your head! If you know your budget it will help keep you in check!
  • Set a realistic guest list. You are blending families - and each parent will most likely want Cousin Al and Aunt Sally, whom you haven't seen since you were 2 at your wedding! If your parents are helping pay for the wedding - believe me, they are going to want a say to who is invited - or not invited! But keep in mind this is YOUR day. Once you have a general idea of how many people you are inviting...
  • Find a ceremony/reception venue. I know a lot of brides are now looking a package places (where the ceremony and reception are at the same place) and this is a great idea for your budget. If you have your ceremony one place and reception at another it involves more costs (venue, transportation, transporting flowers, decorations, gifts, etc). Finding the place you are going to get married may also change your date...your original date could already be booked!
So, by now you have completed the 1st of 5 tasks to wedding planning! Exhausted yet? Well, maybe taking a breather would be a good idea about now...plan a night out with your fiance. You guys probably deserve it at this point! And NO WEDDING TALK.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

We Have Our 1st Winner....

I would like to congratulate Christina!! She was the lucky winner of our 1st ever give-a-way!

Her comment was:

Christina said...
Just became a follower. I love chocolate anything really. Kit Kats are good.

I agree Christina! Kit Kats are one of my favorites! You win the Love Is Sweet sign from Darline from The Back Porch Shoppe  and 100 Custom Printed or Stamped Glassine Wedding Favor Bags - Medium from Susan's Greetings! 

Please contact me at tndrhart2 (at) aol (dot) com and we can discuss your prizes!

For everyone else who entered to win - THANK YOU! I will be coming up with a wonderful prize package for February - so stay tuned...happy reading and I hope you find some inspiration on my little blog! 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Drawing for our 1st Give-A-Way is tomorrow!

Have you entered our 1st ever give-a-way? The drawing is tomorrow!! I am so excited! I have been reading all your responses and I can not wait to find out who the lucky winner will be! This week we have been focusing on some interesting aspects to add to your wedding - and also thinking about practical, affordable ideas to incorporate into your special day! This leads me into our give-a-way for February! I need to hear from you brides - what is something you are dreaming about doing for your wedding - but not sure you can budget it in? My blog is about wedding gowns and all things weddings. I spend tons of research time - to make YOUR planning easier! Leave a comment and give me never know...maybe that dream item will end up in one of our give-a-ways, with YOU as the lucky winner!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sparkle! Sparkle! Sparkle!

Thinking of a unique way to have a memorable send off? Well, here it is...sparklers! What an amazing photo opt this would be. I have been researching these today and have found some great sources for you. Of course, you need to remember to ask your reception facility if they can be used. Sparklers come in a variety of sizes. If you are doing the send off the 36" is the best size - they have the longest burn time. But if you were thinking of using them in a display, the smaller size sparklers will work, such as this display in a glass jar:

Or these novelty sparkers:

 You can also use the smaller sparklers to set up just a photo opt for you and the groom. Smaller sparklers can be used to form a heart such as this:

If you are going to use them as favors for your guest you can bundle a few of them up with a cute hang tag! Simply punch a hole through these and tie with a cute ribbon! $8.75 for 12 cards! I found these on Etsy:

I found a great website for information on wedding sparklers and anyone considering them must check this site out and read all about safety and how to use. The website is:

Prices vary depending on what site you go to. I found a great resource for purchasing wedding sparklers (price: $65.00 per box of 48 pcs and free shipping!) and this business started from the brides own wedding! You will find some great photos and suggestions on how to use wedding sparklers here:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Black and White Affair

I have been on a black and white kick lately! I can not stop thinking about a dress I saw that was so pretty to me! The dress I am in love with in this photo montage is the last dress: Style 8910 from the Essence Collection by Bonny. It's a Strapless gown covered with a sparkling floral Venise is just BEAUTIFUL to me!  I am not sure if I could be a bride that didn't wear all white. I want to be and I envy brides who do! There are so many gorgeous dresses and accessories for black and white...timeless wedding colors! Here are some inspirational items I found...

White anemones are perfect for a black and white themed wedding. I wanted to incorporate them into my wedding bouquet but they were not available in October (my wedding month!). Check with your florist about them, because I think they are stunning!

There were so many options for cakes! Remember though that people say that black fondant has an odd taste. You might want to go easy on using black, but you have to admit they sure do say "WOW!" I am in love with the 4th picture - those are actual mini cakes (an alternative to cupcakes!). The very last image is also as a mini cake that could be used as favors, but I prefer to think of them surrounding a plain white cake...and maybe one used as the cake topper...

Photo Credits:

Wedding Gowns:

Bonny Bridal -


What a Great Time!

Well, we survived our Girls Road Trip! It was a great trip (from Southern California to Phoenix). The only sad thing is when you are done helping your friends and seeing have to say goodbye and come home! :(

The weekend started off by attending the bridal show being held at the Convention Center in downtown Phoenix! Talk about PACKED! Wow. Wall to wall people and vendors! I was amazed at the number of photographers at the show. (*note to should limit the number in each category!) Sliding off topic for a little bit there...We got to sample some food, sample some cake, sample some make up and hair ideas and sample cake...oh I said that already, right? Whoops! Must have passed by that vendor twice! :) haha.

We got some information that our friend may find useful, but overall we went for the experience and well, I will would have been awesome if she won one of the dresses being given away every HOUR!!

The next day we stopped in a shop called "Yes I Do" in Chandler, AZ. What a GREAT little shop this was! We have been to me when I call a shop GREAT it is well deserved! The owners and helpers were so nice....went out of their way to help us and make sure we were all ok - including our 2.5 year old flower girl!!If you live in this are and you are getting married I urge you to give them a try (and your business!). They were AWESOME!

The shop is located at: 71 West Boston Street, Chandler
Arizona 85225 Phone: 480-821-6789

 FINALLY, it looks like the dress choice was down to two!

Getting a little excited now to see which dress will win! I like both of them for various reasons! But, I don't want to throw out any bias so I will refrain from discussing my favorites until the bride announces her's! :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Heading Out On A Road - To Help A Bride!


We are getting ready to head out to Arizona...just us girls and 2 toddlers! The purpose for the trip is to help a friend getting married in July! She hasn't found her dress yet and we are getting down to the wire! There is a big bridal show going on in Phoenix (where the bride lives) called  Bridal Fashion Debut & Wedding Services Expo. 

I am hoping to squeeze in a trip to Azteca Bridal Plaza or I Do I Do Bridal Salon. If anyone lives in the area - give me some feedback! Have you been to these stores? What are your thoughts about them? We are short on time and have a mission!

January is a busy month for bridal shows...are you attending one? I blogged about bridal shows here. Share with us your experience if you went to one this month! 

I will be updating from the road...this should be fun! Good luck to all the brides out there shopping for their dress! Keep your fingers crossed we find "the one" for our bridal friend!!

Have You Entered Our 1st Give-A-Way?

One more week to go!!! I am so excited about our 1st give-a-way on Bridal Gown Blog! I have loved reading all the comments...and hearing about everyone's sweet tooth! haha. I have to admit more then once I have wanted to run out and get a candy bar...but thankfully have been able to refrain! :) My favorite candy right now, although not great for a candy bar buffet, is the new Dark Chocolate Reeses Peanut Butter Cups! If you are just visiting my little blog for the 1st time...Welcome! Glad to have you here. If you are looking for the Give-A-Way post just go here: Love Is Sweet

Next Saturday we will be picking a winner for the "Love Is Sweet" homemade sign from Darline at The Back Porch Shoppe and 100 Custom Printed or Stamped Glassine Wedding Favor Bags from Susan's Greetings!

Again, good luck to all! 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Giving Strapless Gowns The Cold Shoulder

This style - sometimes called One Shoulder, Asymmetrical, Cold Shoulder, etc; has been around for quite awhile, but many brides may have not taken notice until our First Lady, Michelle Obama, came out in a one-shoulder inaugural ball gown. The designers went crazy coming out with gowns in this style and I think brides may have started taking notice as well, since some seem to be moving on from Strapless. The asymmetrical neckline is very flattering on different body shapes and don't worry - you don't have to spend a fortune to have style!


These bridesmaid dresses are available in multiple colors. Prices vary according to store. Gown 1 is style 641 and Gown 2 is style 810 - both gowns are from Bari Jay and Gown 3 is style B3055 (also has a floor length option) from Jasmine Bridal's B2 Collection

Let's Play A Game! Games for your Bridal Shower

If you have been looking for games for your bridal shower, you are in luck! Now that I have successfully added my first file that you can download (the Big Day Template...did you download it?) I thought it would be nice to add some games you can use at your bridal shower! Have fun!

Name That Cake
What Will The Bride Say Game
Wedding Taboo Game 1
Wedding Taboo Game 2
Who Am I
Who Knows The Bride Game
Family Ties Game
Everything Wedding A to Z Game
Bride and Groom Honeymoon Story Game

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Big Day Timeline - Template

For my wedding, I did a lot of the invites myself - from the bridal shower to the after party and brunch. I found some templates (that I want to share on my blog) as well as used software purchased from a company called Mountain Cow. The software I purchased was called Printing Press. The cost is $29.99 and I can tell you it saved me a TON of money! So, today I am going to attempt to upload my first template that you should be able to download. :) I say this with a smile because this is my first attempt at adding something a user would be able to download from my blog. If you run into any problems - just email me! I have the document in Word format so you can easily change the wording to fit your timeline.

I used paper purchased from Masterpiece Studios. It was called Tickled Pink from the LUX line. The paper came in sets of 10 with 10 envelopes:

The texture of the paper, which is hard to see online, is a shimmery pink. It's very soft and very pretty! I used the template and created my own time line. I printed the items on my personal printer. Here was the finished look:

And here is the template that you can download to do this yourself!
Big Daytime Line Template

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Brooch Approach

The nice thing about a brooch is that it can be used again and again - even after the wedding! If you want to add a little bling here and there or if you want to add some vintage style to your wedding - a brooch is a way to accomplish both.

These beautiful brooches were all found on and the prices are FAB! The first one is $7.95 plus shipping and the three other styles are $10.00 plus shipping! In addition to your own bouquet, a brooch would make a perfect gift for your bridesmaids! You could have them tied onto their bouquets or adorn their dresses and then add in a scarf or wrap as part of their "thank you" gift.  Just picturing these on a hand-tied bouquet brings me a happy feeling! Imagine how much they would glam up your bouquet?!

A brooch also adds a little style to your wedding gown - this is a simple adornment that can add a lot of sparkle - without being overdone.

And finally...let's not forget the cake! Here is an example of cake decorating without fresh flowers!

Here are some resources I found with some VERY affordable brooches:

Photo Credits: Antique Bridal Brooch Bouquet - Krista Handfield Photography, Pink Bouquet -, Purple Bouquet -
Cake Brooch -, Wedding Gown: Bonny Bridal Style 737

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Modest Maids

Well, our first give-a-way is in full swing! I am thrilled about the positive feedback! So, I thought I should post a dress of the day! I have been looking around at bridesmaid dresses, so today I have multiple dresses to share! There has been a lot of talk about "modest" bridal gowns being in style but I have hardly heard any talk about modest bridesmaid dresses. This set me on a search to find some modest bridesmaid dresses that fit my criteria for maids dresses. There are three opinions I have when it comes to bridesmaid dresses:

  • Not every "body" is the same
  • Dresses should be stylish enough to be able to wear again
  • Bridesmaid dresses should be affordable
Let's be is nearly impossible for a group of women to agree on one style! So, allowing girls to choose their own style eliminates the hassle of dress shopping. Also, if your girls are spread out all over this will make them choosing a dress pretty easy as well. Here are some of my favorite modest bridesmaid dresses :

I think this dress is so pretty and romantic. I love the hemline! The waist and fabric also win me over - Chiffon is a great fabric on all body shapes. This dress comes in a lot of colors too: White, Ivory, Blush, Coral, Yellow, Celadon, Palomino, Cloudy, Chocolate, Sky, Cornflower, Royal, Midnight, Pink, Lilac, Orchid, Aubergine, Black and Claret. Price is about $180.00 - Style 7834 from Bonny Special Occasions

This is a dress I currently own in my closet! I purchased it in black and had it hemmed to a tea length style. It's a mock two piece - which flattered my body shape. I had to include in this post because I have used this dress multiple times! I got my money's worth from it. It comes in the following colors: White, Ivory, Sky, Celedon, Cornflower, Lilac, Orchid, Aubergine, Claret, Midnight and Black. Price is about $180.00 Style 7452 from Bonny Special Occasions

This dress reminded me of Sex In The City...I could totally see Carrie wearing this dress. Although it wouldn't look great on all body types I had to include it in this post because it is so stylish! It is available in the following colors: white, ivory, gold, mist, vintage rose, lavender, light blue, new blue, misty blue, peacock, moss, olive, golden brown, tangerine, red, orchid, black/red, magenta, sapphire, black/silver, black. Price is about $135.00 - $140.00 Style 334 from Bari Jay Bridesmaids

Sadly, I searched my favorite bridesmaids designers...Jasmine, Dessy, After Six and Alfred Angelo and not one of these designers have a stylish modest dress! Get with it guys! Not everyone wants a strapless, halter or spaghetti strap dress! Tip on ordering bridesmaid dresses: don't forget to ask the store you are dealing with for your bridal gown if they offer a discount for maids dresses! 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Love is Sweet - So Are Give-A-Ways!

Ok, it's time to unveil my first give-a-way of the year! It's SIMPLE to enter! The only thing you have to do is "Follow" my blog and leave a post to this message telling me what your favorite candy is!

I just posted a very long, informative blog about Candy Buffet Bars...I found the most lovely woman on Etsy, Darline from The Back Porch Shoppe.

The thing I love about Darline, other then her positive attitude, is that all her signs are completely handmade and hand painted! She has over 180 beautiful sign designs for you to choose from...and each one is different...there are no duplicates!!

I am honored to give-a-way this beautiful, handmade sign:

This sign measures 13 x 9 and may be done in colors of your choice to match your wedding or simply as shown. The lead time right now is approx. 3 weeks for a finished sign. (value not to exceed $34.95 plus shipping)

In addition to this beautiful sign the winner of this give-a-way will also receive: 100 Custom Printed or Stamped Glassine Wedding Favor Bags - Medium - Perfect for Candy Buffets (value not to exceed $45.00 plus shipping) from Etsy shop Susan's Greetings. I thought these bags were so cute and would be perfect for a candy bar buffet. If you are the lucky winner of this give-a-way you can work with Susan on your order!

Comments will close on January 16, 2010 at 10 PM PST.  One comment per person, please! US residents only. Duplicates and comments not including the above information will be disqualified. Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment in a reasonable amount of time, send me an email. Brides and non-brides may enter. You must choose to follow my little blog and leave a comment to be considered for the give-a-way! If you don’t want to leave your email address, please be sure to check back for my announcement on the winner. Please note that winners must respond within 48 hours of being announced/contacted or another winner will be drawn. Winner will be selected using


Candy Buffet Bar

Candy buffet bars are very popular at weddings - and why shouldn't they be? They are fun and decorative and get people talking! I had a candy bar at my wedding and my guests loved it! Candy bars serve their purpose too - love is sweet, so is candy. My mom always had a saying, "Eat dessert first" so you know we have sweet tooth's in my family! The most important thing about designing a candy bar is to have enough candy! Here are some guidelines to a candy bar...
  • For Large parties or weddings: 8-10 types of candy / 15-20 pounds each
  • For smaller parties or occasion showers: 7-10 types of candy / 6-10 pounds each
  • Adopt a mentality that more is better! 
Things you will need to make a gorgeous candy bar:
  • Several glass containers in a variety of shapes and sizes (bowls, jars, vases, canisters, pedestal servers
  • Candy
  • Candy Scoops
  • Small cellophane bags or mini boxes for guests to fill with candy
  • Ribbon, labels, and other embellishments to decorate the jars

So now you need to know where to get all these things right? No worries! I have some great resources! Let's start with the Glass Containers. We can keep costs down by getting cheap containers. You want to use Glass Apothecary Jars, a Large Martini Glass is fun, even large round bowls. You need to make sure the jars have an opening large enough for people to "scoop". A great source for cheap glass jars, in a variety of sizes is, Ikea! Also, I found a website that offers a lot of Glass Apothecary Jars - and their prices were pretty good. Check out:  (plan to spend some time on this site! They have a lot of fun things for weddings!!).

Candy: Oh boy! There are a lot of great sites to find candy in bulk online. I am going to list a few of my favorites. Please keep in mind that your local Costco or Sam's Club might have certain candy you can use too. If you can find it local it might be better - because shipping costs can be high with candy! Also, if you are shipping candy in the summer months you will most likely need special packaging to keep it from melting! Also, as a final thought about the candy...don't forget sites like Amazon - if the item is fulfilled by them you can usually get free shipping!

Candy scoops can be found various places however I found a terrific site that has all kinds - and best of all? Their prices of course! Check out: They also have some great articles and FAQ's.

The containers you use can be as simple as cellophane bags, boxes or Chinese Take Out boxes. I opted for the Chinese take out boxes at my wedding. You just need to remember size is important! You are going to have lot's of goodies for guests to take! If you are a DIY bride you can buy labels to print out yourself to put on the bags or boxes or check my favorite site, Etsy! There are a lot of people who make adorable hang tags - and after you factor label cost, printing and might find ordering these items easier.

My final thoughts on candy buffet bars is to save on costs add fillers to your table: Flowers, Cookies, Framed Pictures, or labels identifying the candy are all space fillers. These items could save you a lot of money! I used handmade cookies in the shapes of wedding cakes. I found an awesome lady on Ebay who homemade them. She matched my wedding colors in the 4 different shapes and each cookie was wrapped individually. It was a great item to take up space on the table! Also, check with your wedding venue! They may have jars or containers you could work into your table...