Wednesday, March 31, 2010

DIY - Tea Party


I have posted a couple of times about tea parties and while surfing today I came upon a site that offered some free templates. What a cute, fun project this would be! I love things like this - simple yet creative and very memorable! Here are the links:

Teabag Label - Blue
Teabag Label - Red
Tea Canister Label

To add a little more fun to this do it yourself project - get creative and make your own tea! There is a great Etsy shop that provides the means to do this and it's very inexpensive! 25 Heat Sealable Paper Tea Bags sell for $3.50 and the shop also has herbs to make your own tea creations! Check out Flowering Tree Botanicals

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Turn Up The Volume!

Did you notice something new coming out of your speakers? I added a play list to my blog! I actually love hearing the music while I am sitting here posting. The songs I have chosen all have special meaning to me! I played them at my wedding! The song titled "In This Life" was my First Dance song...it still bring tears to my eyes when I hear it!

For those of you who are married, what was your First Dance song?
For those yet to be married, what song will you be dancing to?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Recycled Bride Unveils Biggest Giveaway Ever: A Free Reem Acra Wedding Dress

Well, now, here is an interesting contest! Recycled Bride has teamed up with YourWeddingDay.com to offer this give-a-way. The bad news....it's a size 10 but the good news...as of this posting there are only 63 entries! Go type your story and let me know if you get picked!


So here is the deal:

Dress Details:
  • Retails for over $4,800
  • Silk satin
  • Sweep train
  • Strapless ballgown silhouette
  • Reem Acra label inside
  • Brand New
  • Ivory with gold detailing
  • Bridal size 10 / Daywear size 8 (can be altered to fit a size 8 or smaller)
  • Bust: 36″
  • Waist: 29″
  • Hips: N/A
  • Hollow to Hem: 60″
Enter to Win:
  • You must be a Recycled Bride member to win, so sign up if you haven’t already (It’s free and takes just a minute).
  • Go to the Your Dream Dress Giveaway Page and leave a comment telling us why you want to win this Reem Acra designer wedding dress.
  • One comment/entry per person
  • A panel of wedding experts from RecycledBride.com and Your Dream Dress will choose one lucky winner on April 2nd, 2010.
  • Winner will be chosen based on the comment that most inspires our panel *UPDATE* WE’VE BEEN RECEIVING SO MANY INSPIRING COMMENTS THAT WE’VE DECIDED TO NARROW IT DOWN TO OUR 10 FAVORITES, THEN CHOOSE AT RANDOM FROM THOSE. YOUR STORIES HAVE MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO PICK JUST ONE THAT INSPIRES US MOST!

Spring Means Green!

One of the sites that I mentioned in my blog about Tea for Two....or Twenty was The Queens Treasure. Well, I just got an email from them that any purchase of in stock items qualifies for FREE SHIPPING from now until April 15, 2010. I wanted to make sure I passed along this info to anyone who might be having a Bridal Tea Shower! They have some fabulous items - including very pretty fake floral arrangements!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Some Fall 2010 Dresses - Sneak Peek!

Just released! I was able to get my hands on some sneak peek pictures of the Fall 2010 Bonny Collection! Oh happy day! These dresses haven't even been posted on their website yet...so you get to see them here FIRST! Leave a comment and let me know which one is your favorite!

1
 2
3
4


5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

More to come later! I love a couple of these....I have numbered them so you can list your favorites! My favorites are.... 3 5 6 7 10 13 16 17

I will update tomorrow on why these are my favorites and I will be adding MORE sneak peek pictures just for my readers!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

And the winner is....

Congratulations to Think Thin Thoughts! The winning entry - picked by Random.org was #41
 
To everyone that entered - THANK YOU! Remember we have a contest once a month! Check back and read our little blog...we will come up with some other fab finds in the bridal world for April...until then...think Green! 
 
 

Tonight's The Night! March Give-a-way Ends 10pm PST!

Tonight's the big night! We will draw our winner for the March Give-a-Way! Have you entered yet? Now is the time! I can't wait to announce the winner....I love give-a-ways! If you have an idea for the April give-a-way submit it now! You never know - you may be a winner of something you love and want for your wedding!

Good luck to everyone!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March Give-A-Way Ends....This Sunday!

We are celebrating GREEN this month!

Our March Give-A-Way is coming to a close! Have you entered to win? Stopped by to add your name? Well, I have been posting away so I thought I would put something a little closer to the top - in case you are looking! But, if you are just stopping by for the 1st time...hang out awhile! Love having you here!

One winner will receive all of these fun items! 

Modern Modest Wedding Gown

I had someone point out style 2005 from the Bliss collection. When I saw the picture, I wondered why this gown didn't jump out at me right away! I actually love this gown - the person who was interested in it wondered if the dress could be made with longer sleeves...and I found out it can be! Awesome! There are some dresses that you can not do custom changes to - but in a modest line I think it is essential! I really wanted to post this dress and get it some attention!

Description: Modest gown with delicate pleated cap sleeves decorated with lace. The lace covers the modified square neckline bodice. Lace trimmed pleating wraps around the waist and into the asymmetrical overlay along the skirt and semi-cathedral train. Style 2005 from the Bliss Modest Collection

 


The Jewels Have It

While at the Las Vegas Bridal Market, I couldn't help but notice one thing....beautiful jewel embellishments on the gowns! Lot's of sparkle and so very beautiful. I am throwing out a sneak peek here of a gown (this gown isn't available in stores...YET!) I absolutely loved and the price is to die for! The fabric is a Charmeuse (silky, creamy). The suggested retail price...are you ready....? Sitting down? $595. I am in love.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Off Topic - But I Couldn't Resist!

I have been watching my wallet lately - hasn't everyone? I came across this deal at Rite Aid for Easter that was just TOO GOOD not to share! Even though this is a little off-topic on the bridal side I know you all will appreciate it...and hey if anyone is using pastel colors for a candy bar station...well then here you go! :)

RITE AID:
 
BUY:
(9) Hershey, Reese's Nestle or Cadbury bagged Easter candy 8-10 oz  they are on sale this week for $1.99 each

GET:
Go To http://coupons2.smartsource.com/smartsource/index.jsp?Link=5S2ZUA6PWPEPO and print THREE of the coupons for the Hershey Candy ($2 off 3)
 
At the Rite Aid store you can grab their sale flyer (you will need 3 of them!) and get the in-ad coupon for $2 off 3 bags

Total for 9 bags: $17.91
Less Coupons: -$12.00
Less $3 off $15: -$3.00
 
TOTAL COST FOR 9 BAGS: $2.91 or.... $0.32 CENTS A BAG!!!!
 

Cute Idea for Bathroom Basket

I came across these adorable totes and my first thought was "Oh! These would work well for Bathroom Baskets!" I like the idea because they come in quite a few colors, you can monogram them at no extra charge AND you can use them after the wedding!! So many items are disposable at weddings but this tote can be a really cute thing to use after the wedding which will give you sweet reminders of your day! They are lightweight and have an aluminum sturdy frame and have a matching fabric handle!



The colors available are: Hot Pink, Solid Lime Green, Aqua, Orange, Brown, Black, Navy, Red, Zebra, Floral Lime Green, Floral Pink, Floral Black and Floral Brown.

Price: Ranges from $27.00 - $30.00

They collapse flat for storage (love this!). Market Totes measure 18" x 11 1/2" x 9". 


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Deluxe Bridal Appointments


So I hear the new "trend" in bridal gown shopping is setting a "Deluxe Appointment" with the salon - IF they do it. For a fee, the bride and her party can attend a private appointment where light refreshments will be served...appetizers, wine, cheese and crackers, champagne...you know the deals and frills. So, how much is a private appointment you might be asking? Looks like the typical price range is $100 - $150. The bride may or may not get a goodie bag filled with all kinds of things she needs - like a gift certificate off her dress OR the maids dresses. I have heard the discount offering would sometimes cover the cost of the appointment fee so that is a PLUS! Let's look at what else is a plus: You are the main focus, you don't have to worry about being left while someone else needs help, you get 1 on 1 attention, you get to know the people helping you and...well it's like your own little party in the bridal store...just for you! Normally these appointments are booked after-hours or when the store is closed.


What's wrong with this? Should bridal salons charge to give you service - isn't that what most salons offer as a means to get your business? The answer should be Yes. But, looking at both sides, it is the LEVEL of service you are paying for. And I have to say....I am not opposed to paying for better service! Are you?


I would stay at a 5-star resort over a budget motel....How about a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio...compared to Strawberry Hill?  Truth be told I can't afford the 5-star resort but I would find a 4-star for sure! haha.

So, what do you guys think?
  • Would a Deluxe Private Appointment appeal to you?
  • Would you pay to have this level of service?
  • Would you pay only if you got money saving offers
  • Has anyone reading this blog ever done this? What was your experience?
Here's my take on it...and remember I owned my bridal salon for 5 years! I LOVE THE IDEA! Here is the reason why...being able to focus on just one bride and give her everything I possibly could would be the best thing I could do for my customer. During normal operating hours you can not focus on only one customer...other customers may come in, the phones are ringing, people are walking in, etc etc. The other plus side to me on this is that shopping at a salon for this dress for this day - it's pretty personal and you are going to work with those people for about 6 months (order time - to delivery time - to wedding time). This is an excellent way to get to know each other! I always said that I was sad when the days came for my brides to say "I do" because that meant I wouldn't be seeing them, and that made me sad! So, anyway, I really think this is a perfect service...and if the store is savvy enough to offer a discount or credit for the amount of the appointment onto your purchase....well this appointment is a no brainer...BOOK IT! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fair Trade Products

Fair Trade Products: I have been doing a little checking on items you could incorporate into your wedding that are Fair Trade. Here are some of my favorites:





We all know love is sweet...and so is chocolate! Divine is the only Fairtrade chocolate company which is 45% owned by the farmers! You must check them out to learn what all these symbols mean! Love this!

Fair Trade Wedding Stationary made in South Africa Read about the workers (in their own words) and get the silk ribbon painted to match your wedding colors! These are works of art!

And of course, if case you want to know more about Fair Trade you should check out this link!

The Green Glossary

I stopped over at Something Green today and found a very helpful "Green Glossary"! I wanted to share it with my readers too because when I first started posting this month about Green Weddings I didn't really understand all the different meanings! Sure, I always hear or see the word "organic" and I knew what that meant - but I can honestly say the one thing that has inspired me the most this month is finding things that are Fair Trade items.  Something Green is also looking for folks like you who will be adding green touches to their wedding! Get inspired...or better yet...inspire someone else over at Something Green

Organic: The product has been grown without the use of toxic chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.

Natural or All-Natural: The product has been processed and/or finished using exclusively natural ingredients.

Eco-Friendly: The product has been produced in a way that is less harmful to the environment and to the consumer.

Made in USA: The product has been manufactured, produced and finished in the United States.

Fair Trade: The artisans who have created/assisted in the production of the product have received livable wages, fair working conditions and otherwise equitable treatment. Often, the company that has created/assisted in the creation of the item has reinvested back into the community where the item was produced, grown, etc.


All text copyright Angela M. Graziano/Something Green, 2009-2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

The past few days I have been in one of my favorite places...Las Vegas! I was lucky enough to be invited up to attend the Fall Bridal Market at the Rio hotel! Market time always starts in Vegas - and then moves onto Chicago, Dallas, New York, etc. This is the market where all the wedding pro's show off their new dress lines (these are for the Fall 2010 dresses). It was really awesome to see some friends I haven't seen in awhile!! When I owned my shop, I would attend the Fall and Spring markets in Vegas to do my buying - it was a little different this time being on the other side! The Fall market is typically smaller and this one was no exception...but some of my favorites were there (Bonny, Allure, Maggie Sottero, Casablanca). I have a new favorite wedding dress though...ok, ok more then one!! I couldn't stop ooh'ing and aah'ing at the adorable flowergirl dresses - I just love them! Joan Calabrese has the most amazing flowergirl dresses, but I have to say ouch on the price! Tip Top Kids has some cute dresses with little bolero jackets! All the glitzy prom lines were there - color, color everywhere!! I immediately went looking for an old friend, Sue. She owns a company called Hera's Gem. She has the most beautiful bridal jewelry!! I wish she had a website or pictures online so I could show you her beautiful pieces - but she only sells to salons and her items aren't available direct. Insert sad face here. If you are looking for some well made, quality jewelry make sure to ask your bridal salon if they carry this line - you will be happy you found them! The big draw to bridal market though is...BRIDAL. There were some real standouts for me as I browsed around! One of my all time favorite companies - Bonny - had some gorgeous dresses!! I love Bonny for several reasons...I know their product well....I sold them in my store for years. They make a quality product and their prices (on the retail side) are excellent! There is one dress in particular that I am in love with though and once I sift through all my pictures I will post it (The dress has an awesome orange sash and I am all over this color!!).

I am glad to be back home though and I have a lot of catching up to do! I have the most amazing hubby who braved my normal job, being the 24/7 caretaker to our 3 year old daughter! He is always very helpful with her, but I don't think he has had 3 days with her alone - ever. So, a big shout out to him for doing that while I got to get away and play...literally! haha.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's Give-A-Way Time!

Well, it's time for another awesome give-a-way! This month I have some really lovely things to offer a lucky reader! I found so many green wedding items it was hard to choose! My theme this month has focused on incorporating "Green" or organic items into your wedding! One lucky winner will receive:

From Paloma's Nest - a beautiful custom ring bearer bowl. Paloma's Nest is dedicated to creating pieces for the home and for the heart. These pieces are intended to become modern heirlooms, to be cherished by you and for many future generations to come. The studio, where your beautiful bowl is made, is powered 100% by Renewable Wind Energy. That means when the wind is a blowin' out in West Texas, the little kiln is a firin' here in Austin! I love that! Paloma's Nest uses recycled, upcycled, and biodegradeable products in our pieces and packaging whenever possible. Please recycle or reuse the packaging your order arrives in. Value of bowl is $46.00 (plus shipping).


In addition to the beautiful ring bearer's bowl, the winner will receive a flower girl basket with your initials in a heart from New Hampshire Wood Creations. This flowergirl basket is made from real white birch bark and dried green moss. It is 4"X4" and about 8" to top of handle.Your initials or the date of your wedding can be burned inside a heart on the front. The bow is also made from birch bark. Each basket is a one of a kind as the bark from each tree varies! Value of basket is $24.50 (plus shipping).


And finally...I found these most adorable favors! Monogram letter birdseed favors from Etsy seller 2birdsinlove. I couldn't pick just one letter so the winner will receive the "I Do" letters and 2 Hearts! A cute little sample that will feed some birds in nature! The initial monogram favors are made from locally grown organic wild bird seed and all natural ingredients are added to 'bind' the seeds into shape. Hemp or satin ribbon in your choice of color is embedded into the favor. Each favor is $1.25 for a total of $6.25 (plus shipping).


VERY IMPORTANT: THE NOT SO FINE PRINT

Please read this because I don't want to disqualify anyone! Comments will close on March 21st, 2010 at 10 PM PST. Due to some shipping restrictions of the sellers contest is limited to US residents only (sorry!).
The winner will be posted on my blog and contacted via email. YOU MUST RESPOND WITHIN 48hrs or another winner will be chosen!

VALUE OF CONTEST: $96.00

THREE WAYS TO ENTER:
  • You must choose to follow my little blog PUBLICALLY and leave a comment to be considered for the give-a-way. If you are new here - there is a link in the upper left corner that says "FOLLOW" please click on that, then leave a comment telling me you are a follower. This will allow you ONE entry!
  • For a SECOND entry blog about this contest and leave an ADDITIONAL comment to let me know you did that with a link to the post!
  • For a THIRD entry twitter about this contest and leave an ADDITIONAL comment to let me know you did that with a link to the post! You can find my twitter page here
I will say this again, because it's so important: Please make sure you follow all the rules of the give-a-way....I never want to have to disqualify someone! If you are not sure if your entry meets qualifications...ASK ME! :)

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. Please leave your email address in your post! If you don’t want to leave your email address, please be sure to check back on March 21, 2010 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 Random.org

If you have any questions please email me at tndrhart2@aol.com

THANK YOU EVERYONE! Good luck!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Peek-A-Boo, I See You! Get A Free Book!



I am loving this deal I found....

Get a Free 20-Page Large Hardcover Book at Picaboo!
Code:  AFFLGB - exp 12/31/10

Coupon Details:
• The cost of one 20-page Large Classic, Classic Leather, or Classic Custom photo book (up to $39.99) will be deducted from your order total. If your book contains more than 20 pages, you will be charged for the additional pages. 

• Additional books, taxes/international surcharges, and shipping costs are excluded.

• Coupon expires at 11:59 PM (PT) on December 31, 2010.

• Cannot be used with any other coupon 

• This coupon is for first-time customers only 

• We reserve the right to change the terms and conditions of this offer without notice. 

Additional pages USD $1.99 each

Max. pages: 160 

*Note: Shipping appears to be $8.99 (+ $3 for each additional) for a Large Hardcover book.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Heavenly Halters!

I love halter necklines - I think if you are small to medium in bust size that this style can be majorly flattering! If you find yourself gown shopping I think it is a great idea to try on every style of dress - just so you know what works for you! This gown has a halter neckline and an Alencon Lace beaded bodice. The pleated asymmetrical waist falls into the pleated and tucked full skirt. The skirt and semi-cathedral train are accented by appliqu├ęs. Style 904 - Bonny Signature Collection. This gown retails for $825.00

I also love the pick-up skirts! They are so fun! My personal opinion is that a halter looks best with a full skirt! This is one of my favorite dresses! It is a halter gown with a fitted bodice covered with embroidered lace and beading. The best part to me (besides that fabric, French Taffeta) - the full skirt and semi-cathedral train is tucked and gathered with lace accents! Love this! Style 1717 from the Unforgettable Collection. This dress has an amazing price tag of about $605! WOW....what a deal!

 
If you are not a fan of full skirts and want something a little less poofy...don't worry! Halters look great with A-line skirts too! Halter neckline is edged with beadwork. The gown is covered with lace appliques. A beaded satin belt wraps around the waist and crosses down the semi-cathedral train. This is style 842 from the Bonny Signature Collection. This gown sells for $875.00

 


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eco-Friendly Flowers

I found a pretty cool site for flowers I wanted to share with every one! Organic Bouquet is owned by Robert McLaughlin - he has been in the industry for over 25 years! Organic Bouquet is involved in several community projects around the globe and holds over 48 partnerships with charitable organizations.


They discuss these things in their About Us page but one of the things that really hit home for me was the issue they addressed in Kochi, India. It says: "In 2008, Organic Bouquet chose to address the issue of families working near the mills not able to afford to send both sons and daughters to school. Organic Bouquet agreed to purchase scrap remnants from the cotton mill where our sheets are manufactured and pay to have them sewn into bags that we use to package our sheets and other gift items. The agreement to purchase the scrap material produced enough funds to send 300 girls to school for the first time. We are proud to say that this project continues today. If you have purchased a product from Organic Bouquet and it arrived in a cotton  bag, you know you have helped educate a child." 

I really love that - I believe in education! And I am glad to pass on companies I find that actually do good! Way to go Organic Bouquet! If we support them, they can support others...and that is a good thing!

And now let me show you another pretty amazing thing about this company...check out these ROSES!

Talk about WOW! These roses come in 3 - 5 feet! I have never seen anything like this! Very impressed! There is a video clip of them from Valentine's Day on The View! They are amazing...and beautiful blooms!