Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Honeymooning During A Recession?

We spent $5,000 on our trip to Maui - and saved another $5,000 with a little research and careful planning. With the current state of our economy, you might learn some helpful penny-pinching tips for your own wedding trip!

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

HUGE SALE! Get Up to 75% Off Wedding Favors and Bridesmaid and Groomsmen Gifts!

After seeing our post on 5 Great Gifts for Groomsmen, The Knot Wedding Shop e-mailed us with a special link to their limited sale running from December 3rd-10th!

Personalized flasks as low as $6.99! Monogrammed lighters as low as $3.99! Cigar cutters, money clips and beer glasses starting at $4.99! Clicking through a couple of the pages, I even found personalized totes, bracelets, cuff links, cameras and wedding favors on clearance. This really is the perfect time to stock up!!!

Click on the box to be taken directly to the special sale section - and check back soon for the unveiling of their "3 Day Sale" items next week!

On Sale This Week at The Knot Wedding Shop

Thursday, December 4, 2008

3 Hot Deals for Honeymooners or Holiday Travelers!

NCL Cruises: Bahamas from $99, Alaska from $449, Europe from $349 & more! - Expires 12/31/08

Central & South America: Book early and save up to 30%. Air + 4 nights from $422! - Expires 12/15/08

Extended: New York Winter Sale: Save up to 30% on Hotels! - Expires 12/18/08

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

5 Great Groomsmen Gifts!

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and survived Black Friday. The only shopping we did yesterday was online - and at Red Robin for dinner!

Well, in honor of one of the biggest retail weekends of the year, we're going to touch on the subject of gift buying...for the boys, that is. If your groom is like mine, purchasing thoughtful gifts is as confusing as it is painful. How does he thank his friends for giving up a Saturday to dress like a Maitre D' and make small talk with his extended family? Check out these 5 ideas from The Knot and run them past your hubby-to-be. You'll score points by taking the guesswork out of it and making it look like he put a TON of effort into his purchases ;-)Just click on the image of the gifts that catch your eye to be linked to their page with more info. Each of these gifts range from $7.50-$24.95 and can be combined for a really great "Thank You" package!

1. Flasks. OK, I'll be honest. I only know one person who carries around a flask - but the idea is so cool...especially if your ceremony drags on and gets really boring - just kidding! These flasks can be personalized with his buddies' monograms and are all under $25!
Classic Engraving Circle Flask

Round Flask

Black Flask

They've even got a few for the girls, as well!
Pink Flask

Metallic Leather Flask

2. Cigar Paraphernalia - Pair a couple of high quality cigars from Old Town Cigar or Cigar Chateau with a personalized cigar cutter, single holder, or humidor!
Cigar Cutter

Single Cigar Holder

3. Personalized Beer Mugs or Glasses - Attach a 6-pack of each groomsman's favorite microbrew!

Engravable Beer Mug

Giant Beer Glass

4. Personalized Money Clips - Since girls carry purses filled to the brim with our wallet, make-up, datebook, gum, etc. we don't ever really "get" the idea of a money clip. But guys don't carry a purse and sometimes a wallet is just too bulky or heavy for dress pants. They can stick a few bills and a credit card in their clip and be good to go for the night.
Classic Money Clip

Personalizable Leather Money Clip

5. Pocketknives - Boys love guns and knives. That's all that needs to be said.
Locking Pocketknife

Stainless Pocketknife

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Wedding Cake Toppers...from Wal-Mart?

So, on Saturday I was at Wal-Mart for nail polish remover. Recently, my WM has undergone a major overhaul: virtually everything has moved to the most inconvenient and unintuitive location they could possibly imagine. However, as I wandered aimlessly through what used to be the cosmetics section (now home to bath towels and shower curtains) I spotted it. The wedding section. A couple of years ago, Wal-Mart was still one of the leading cheesy wedding crap distributors in town - but now it seems they've realized the potential for matrimonial parafanalia. Their products are still inexpensive, but many of them are REALLY cute! In fact, they've got an entire line of Martha Stewart DIY projects, accessories, and stationery!

Anyhow, what truly surprised me were two cake toppers. Read some of my thoughts on wedding cake toppers here. The first one is from Wilton, the famous cake decorating company.
See how fun non-tacky toppers can be???

Then there was this one from Martha Stewart. I admit, I don't quite get it. A bell hanging from a flowery branch? Whatever. But it's different, and that's what I appreciate. That and the fact that all of Wal-Mart's cake toppers are super inexpensive - not a one was over $30! Here's a link to all of their wedding cake toppers - some are even able to be personalized.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cold Feet?

What's worse than being dumped via text message? This.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cool Winter Themed Wedding Favors

Yes, that was a pun. And, yes, I’m just as bad as Target rolling out my Christmas wares in October – but the truth is that if your wedding is in the Fall, you’ve already made arrangements for your favors. This is for you winter brides looking for the perfect little token of appreciation for your guests:
Personalized Mint Tin - WInter

First up, the Personalized Winter Mint Tins. Recently featured in InStyle Magazine, this adorable favor comes filled with heart-shaped peppermints and is sure to remind your guests of the fabulous time they had at your nuptials. Tins may be customized with your names and wedding date or even for another wedding event (“Audrey’s Bridal Shower”).

Mini Felt Winter Mittens (Set of 6)

Next, these precious Mini Felt Winter Mittens come in a set of 6 and are hand stitched in blue with a tiny silver jingle bell. Obviously, winter wedding are perfect for a Tiffany Blue color scheme, and these favors fir right in! I wouldn’t say that these favors are necessarily useful for anything though, unless your guests hung them as ornaments on their tree.

Finally, these "Icing on the Cake" Winter Wedding-Cake Candles
are also, too cute. They come in a set of 4 and, once again, are perfect for a blue/white/silver theme. Looking good enough to eat, the ice-blue wedding-cake candle, delicately decorated with white snowflakes, rests on a porcelain platter encased in a winter-themed gift box and matching “For You” tag, all accented with a sheer organza bow.

One more thing worth mentioning: if you don’t yet have your guest book, take a peek at this Snowflake Winter Wonder Guest Book and Pen Set
. When I got married, I skipped the guest book altogether, because I HATE having to stand in line and sign my name like I’m there to vote or get my driver’s license…but post-nuptials I learned why it’s so important. There were 250 people at my wedding. I probably had time speak with 75 and recognize an additional 50 faces – so now I have no record of who was kind enough to give up the evening of June 3, 2006 to share with us. Consider yourselves warned ;-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wedding Music: Do It Yourself!

DIY projects are all the rage right now, but they can be more trouble than they're worth, especially if you don't have time for hot glue, ribbon, and wax seals. If you can't afford a band and are hesitant about hiring that tacky DJ, give this approach a try.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Expedia - Up to 50% Off Hotels

The husband and I are currently editing our Maui slideshow for its premiere for the parents this weekend. As a little nudge to those of you who are behind on planning your honeymoons (or those who just want summer to last a little bit longer), check out: Expedia Hotel Sale: Up To 50% off Hotels - but hurry! It expires on 9/30/08!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

25% Off Your Entire Purchase at Michael's

For those of you with a Michael's nearby, here's a 25% Off coupon good today through September 13th. Sale items are NOT EXCLUDED - so if hurry on over for all your invitation, flower, centerpiece, aisle runner, cake topper, veil, rose petal, bouquet, and wedding favor needs!

For those of you who tied the knot this summer (congrats, by the way!) there is also a 60% off coupon for your custom framing order. What a great time to pick your favorite wedding photos and have them beautifully matted and framed for a fraction of the usual cost!

The Importance of Thank You Cards

OK, here's the deal. Personal Experience #1 from my hiatus: 2 different brides - one sent a thank you card 3 days after her bridal shower and within 2 weeks of returning from her honeymoon. The other has not yet sent ANY thank-you note for her shower or wedding gift. There are a few schools of thought on the acceptable length of time that can pass before your guests begin to wonder if perhaps their $150 blender was lost and you didn't receive it - or worse yet, that you're an ungrateful recipient.

So how long is too long? You've got three months, sweetie. That's straight from Emily Post, Queen of Etiquette. But how, in the afterglow of the wedding & honeymoon are you supposed to find time to write out 200 thank you notes - each one personal and thoughtful?

1. When you buy postage for your wedding invitations, double the amount and purchase enough for your thank you cards as well. You're excited to go to the post office now (don't forget to ask specifically for wedding postage - unless you don't mind assorted fruit or the American flag on your envelopes) - but in a couple of months, when you have to rush to the dry cleaners after work, fly home (across town) and unload the dishwasher before you can start dinner when your hubby gets home in an hour, you're going to find it a little more difficult to swing by the post office for stamps.

2. Send notes for shower gifts within a week of your shower. Your guests will be impressed that you're so "on the ball" even in the midst of your planning - and you'll have fewer cards looming in the future. Plus, since showers can take place months before the wedding, you don't want to forget about thanking your guests altogether. "Well," you think, "what if someone gives me a shower gift and a wedding gift. Can't I just write one note for both presents?" I'm afraid not, dear. This is not a time to cut corners! If someone made the special effort to buy 2 gifts for you and took time out of her schedule to attend a shower and your wedding, the least you can do is take the time to send two separate notes of gratitude.

3. Be organized. I used this easy-as-pie Wedding Gift Listfrom Microsoft Templates to keep track of who gave what gift and when a thank you card was sent. You can use it at showers (have a bridesmaid do the writing) or when you and your hubby open presents! My husband enjoyed the "opening" part, while I took care of jotting down all the particulars. Then, over the next 2 weeks while we would watch television after dinner, I would make it a goal to write 5-10 thank you cards, address the envelopes & slap on a stamp. If this spreadsheet isn't quite your style, there are plenty more to be turned up in a Google search - and they can be printed or downloaded for electronic use, whichever works best for you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We're Back!

Hey all!

I have to begin with an apology that it's been over a month since our last post. The tail end of summer wedding season and my own belated honeymoon have kept me SUPER busy...but that means I have new ideas as we gear up for fall wedding season - and I've got TONS of info for those of you planning to honeymoon in Maui. Un-freaking-believeable.

I leave you with MSN's recent piece on misbehaving wedding guests.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

eBay Weddings - Thrifty or Just Plain Tacky?

As Americans find themselves in the middle of an economic crunch, many brides are utilizing unconventional methods to fund their big day. No doubt you've heard about the "eBay Bride" - a hairdresser from Virginia Beach whose modest wedding budget prompted her to auction off a prime spot in her wedding - that of a bridesmaid. To be honest, never in a million years would I have believed it would work. It can be frustrating enough to shell out cash for the dress, shower, bachelorette party, and a wedding gift (not to mention putting up with a bride's "princess complex") when you're doing it for your best friend or your sister. But a total stranger? Not unless you pay me. My price? $500 for the weekend, and you agree to cover travel expenses and the cost of that Pepto-Bismol colored taffeta Tooth Fairy gown.

Clicking through eBay auctions, I usually find myself asking "Who on earth would buy that?" Well, for the eBay Bride, Kelly Gray, the answer was surprising. The Dr. Pepper/Snapple Corporation offered a victorious bid of $5,700. The winner increased their offer to $10,000 with another shocking announcement: despite winning the auction, the company still doesn't know who will actually walk down the aisle next April. Current ideas include a celebrity bridesmaid or launching their own contest to win the spot. Was it a good idea? I wouldn't have done it. Paying taxes on the money and dealing with the media circus just isn't worth it to me. I started thinking, though, about eBay as a wedding resource. In 2006, I purchased several new items for my own wedding through eBay with great success. Many vendors offer special "lot" or "batch" items (favors, invitations, decorations) at a much cheaper rate than you'd pay in their online store, simply as a means to keep their selling volume up. After all, making 50% of their usual retail profit is better than making 0%, which means great deals for economical brides who are willing to do some research and take a bit of a gamble...and sort through all the junk.

If you're planning a wedding and feeling creative, take some time to look through eBay's current wedding catalog. Be specific about what you're looking for (i.e. "pink ring bearer pillow" or "summer wedding favors"), and keep an open mind. Do they offer anything that even interests you? If so, can you get it more inexpensively through an auction or "Buy It Now" listing than the vendor's online store? Are you willing to take the chance that you won't win the auction? If you can't find it new, are you willing to buy it used? For many frugal brides, the answer is an overwhelming "YES!" Be sure to check the seller's rating & user history, ask clarifying questions, and calculate shipping costs before committing to bid. It's certainly not for everyone, but if you're feeling brave, give it a try! You might just save enough money to rent me as your MOH. Just kidding. Mostly.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Coupon Codes!

Hey, all! Since I've been on the subject of invitations lately, I thought I'd post these coupon codes for those of you the "stationery" stage of your planning. And, bridesmaids, the coupons also work for shower invitations, so be sure to take a peek around!

*At My Wedding Favors Enter coupon code SAVE10 to receive 10% on orders over $150.

Obviously, if you're in the "favor" stage of your planning, this is the perfect time to buy, but they also offer a few DIY designs like this Platinum Border Invitation Kit

*At Wedding Paper Divas, enter the coupon code "AFL2" at checkout and receive 5% off all orders, including their colorful line of wedding & bridal shower invitations. Click on one of the images below to visit their site.

Sophisticated Silhouette Bridal Shower Invitations

Scalloped Border Wedding Invitations

*And though they don't offer invitations, Beau-Coup Wedding Favors will give you Free Shipping for orders over $125 (Code: FREESHIP). So now's not a bad time to do a little window shopping if you're in the market for wedding favors, bridal shower favors, or personalized gifts for your wedding party.

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