Monday, October 11, 2010

Bridal Shower for Couples who live together?

Q:The bride and groom have lived together for a few years. One of the other bridesmaids said they don't need anything and she doesn't want to throw them a bridal shower for that reason. Should we?

A: There's nothing wrong with a couple who is co-habitating or living together having a bridal shower. Of course, a practical reason for couples not to have a shower is that they don't need anything. However, there's other options: make it a themed shower like stock the bar or lingerie or make it a no-gifts party.  But don't let the fact that the bride and groom are living together stop them from having a shower.

Monday, August 30, 2010

How to Save Money on Bridal Shower Invites

1) Don't send any. While not our favorite solution, don't send traditional bridal shower invites out. Instead try making phone calls or sending e-mails. It gets the job done for free.

2) Use our printables. Scan our selection of free printable bridal shower invites and use those. There still is a cost-you do have to print them out. The other downside-you don't have creative control or sometimes a way to personalize them.

3) Get a professional to make the invite. Many graphic designers will send you a personalized custom design that you can then take to a print shop and have printed. (Tip-try the ones on Etsy like Etsy seller kottageon5th.)  The cost advantages can be nice-you get a custom invite for your friend's soirĂ©e that can often be printed for 10 cents a copy.

4) Zazzle-we're biased. We love Zazzle-it's a great publishing platform that allows you to make invites pretty much anyway you want to. Add poems and wording, upload photos, change fonts and colors, you've got plenty of options. You can also search the thousands of pre-made customizable designs they have-try searching for African-American bride or spa-themed shower to give you an idea of the many options. And the price can't be beat.  25 invites will set you back around $44.

Friday, August 13, 2010

FREE Bachelorette Party Invites: Glam Girls Night Out

Betsy White has a great downloadable DIY bachelorette party invitation-a stylish Glam Girls Night Out template available in four colors.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Popsicles with a twist-Alcohol, Tea, & Chili!?

From "Ice Pops" by Shelly Kaldunski
Orange-blackberry sangria ice pops.


Recently we wrote about booze-infused cupcakes for an alternative to traditional cupcakes for a wedding shower-well now you can have your booze and lick it too! (Okay, some have alcohol but some don't.) Apparently adult popsicles are becoming a new trend. While most of us think of popsicles we think of our childhood days with a cherry pop in the hot summer day while drinking juice outside in the backyard but today's popsicles can come in a wide variety of flavors like Coconut Curry Banana Pops With Salted Macadamia Nut with unusual ingredients like corn, chocolate, ancho chili, cinnamon, or chai tea.  Very different from the ones we find in the supermarket.

How refreshing would these be on a hot summer day-we're talking the perfect dessert for a bridal shower in Atlanta or Houston. Not to mention that with the wide variety of recipes, it's easy to find one (or three) that complement the other food you'll be serving. For example, Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles would be nice for a coffee & tea tasting or brunch.  For more recipes, go here or check out the book Pops: Icy Treats for Everyone.

Recipe:  Orange-Blackberry Sangria Ice Pops

Makes 12 to 14 servings

2 oranges
750-ml bottle light, dry,
   fruity red wine such as
   Rioja or Beaujolais
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
   sugar
1 small tart green apple
   such as Granny Smith,
   peeled, cored, and cut
   into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup blackberries
Pinch of salt
1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove 5 wide strips of zest from 1 orange. Juice the fruit and strain into a measuring cup. You should have 1/3 cup. Cut the top and bottom from the other orange. Set the orange upright and, following the contour of the fruit, cut off the peel, pith and membrane. Holding the orange over a bowl, cut along each side of the membranes between the sections. Let the sections fall into the bowl along with any juice. Cut the sections into 1/2-inch pieces. Strain the juice into the measuring cup or reserve for another use.
2. Pour the wine into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, orange juice, orange zest, orange pieces, apple pieces, blackberries, and salt. Pour in 6 tablespoons water. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. If using conventional ice pop molds, divide the mixture evenly among the molds, ensuring that each has about the same amount of fruit. Cover and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days. If using sticks, insert them in the molds when the pops are partially frozen, after about 1 hour, then freeze until firm, at least 3 more hours. If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer's instructions to fill the molds and freeze the pops.

- From Ice Pops by Shelly Kaldunski
Per serving (based on 14): 82 calories, trace protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams sugar, trace fat, no cholesterol, 17 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Celebrity Bachelorette Party: Khloe Kardashian's Santa Monica Bash

How do the Kardashians party before one of them gets married? By heading to the Santa Monica Viceroy Hotel! The night started with ten of them having cocktails in two adjoining upstairs suites in the hotel before having dinner at an outdoor candlelit patio. The girls even gave bride-to-be Khloe a  champagne toast as a cale was brought out to celebrate her nuptials.  

At this point, filming for the reality show stopped and the real party began! The group headed upstairs to their suites again and the private party went on till 2am, with the girls drinking into the wee hours. The girls opened X-rated party gifts from Agent Provocateur, where Kim and Kourtney had been spotted shopping earlier in the day. At one point Khloe received another cake.  Supposedly this cake was a little cake in Lakers colors with a large appendage rising out of the middle of it and the words, “The Taste Of Things To Come”! 

Recreate her bachelorette party:
  • Stay at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica. Some of the amenities at this swanky hotel include: in-room beauty bars featuring full-sized spa products; two outdoor plunge pools; and in-room and poolside spa and beauty services by GreenBliss EcoSpa, Santa Monica’s original mobile eco-luxury spa service. Rooms here range from $295 to $600 depending on the day. Look for the special offers to save money.
  • Pick up a naughty cake from a local exotic cake bakery like Exotic Cakes. We loved how Khloe's friends customized it for something near and dear to the bride-the Lakers!  Not in your budget-make your own using naughty cake pans from Bachelorette.com.
(Info from Radar Online)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

FREE Printable Bridal Shower Invitations

We found more FREE printable Bridal Shower Invites for you.  You can download the pdf file of the one above and another similar one at Free Printable Greeting Cards. The pdf file is free, but you can purchase a premium version that allows you to edit it for $4.  For more FREE printables look here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sangria Cupcakes? Lemon Drop Cupcakes?

Okay, the cupcake trend might be slowing down a little but we are still always looking for variations on our favorite dessert.  Try this one-alcohol infused cupcakes. Cosmo has a few booze-infused recipes for cupcakes. With recipes like Lemon Drop Cupcakes (limoncello), Sangria Cupcakes, Malibu Madness Cupcakes (rum), Cosmo Cupcakes (triple sec), or Cupcakes for your guy (whiskey) they're sure to be a hit at a bridal shower or bachelorette party. These recipes would especially complement stock the bar showers or alcohol tastings.

(Photo copyrighted-Garrison Photo)

Want even more alcoholy cupcakes or pastries? Try the book The Boozy Baker which has the above recipes plus tons of more including Southern Comfort Red Velvet Cake, Jagermeister and Honey Bundt Cake, Champagne Layer Cake, Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Orange Liqueur Cream, Schnappy Butterscotch Pudding with Pretzel Brittle, and tons more!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

GIVEAWAY: Shabby Apple 90 Words Per Minute Dress



GIVEAWAY: Win one of Shabby Apple's gorgeous dresses. The one up for grabs-the beautiful 90 Words Per Minute Dress in size SMALL. (The dress shown is the actual dress you will be getting!) We are huge fans of Shabby Apple and for good reason-their vintage-y, romantic dresses are perfect for almost everything-wear this dress to Sunday brunch then to church then out for drinks with the girls. Its versatile and cute!
Up for Grabs: The Shabby Apple 90 Words Per Minute Dress in Small. Shown above.

To enter: Follow us on Google Friend Connect-this MUST be done to enter.

For all entries: Leave a comment. Be sure to leave an e-mail address in your comment if there is none in your profile.  

For more entries:
Be sure to leave a comment for EACH additional entry that you complete.
 

1 extra entry-Join Swagbucks. If you haven't already heard of Swagbucks, it's a great site where you can search online and get "bucks" redeemable for Amazon giftcards, real cash, & much more!

1 extra entry-Sign up for Groupon. If you've never tried Groupon, it's an awesome money-saving site where one deal a day is offered at discounts of 50 to 80% off attractions, restaurants, salons, & more in a ton of cities ranging from NYC to Knoxville to Tulsa.  


1 extra entry-Join Ideeli. Ideeli is a members-only shopping site with designer names at 50 to 80% off. Recently, you could have scored designer duds & merchandise from French Connection, Bill Blass, Cuisinart, L.A.M.B., & so many more! There's items for women, men, kids, and the home as well as travel packages.

1 extra entry-Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post. (You may do this up to 3 times!)

This sweepstakes is seen on Cashnet Sweeps, Online-Sweepstakes, Contest Hound, and Prizey!

Disclosure: We have not received any monetary compensation for this review or giveaway. We supplied the dress. Shabby Apple is not affiliated and/or connected with this post at all.

The Legal:
  • Contest begins  July 30, 2010  and ends on August 12, 2010 at midnight EST. All entries must be posted by midnight to qualify.
  • You must include your email address or your entries will not be counted. (Or check to see if your e-mail is included in your blogger profile.)
  • US residents only-lower 48 states too please!
  • 18 and over only.
  • Void where prohibited/where illegal. Winner is responsible for any and all taxes and fees that result from winning this.  
ContestHound.com Contest and Sweepstakes Directory

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Alfred Angelo Girls Night Out Party-Save $$


Wedding designer Alfred Angelo is hosting a Girls Night Out on Thursday July 29th from 6 to 8 pm. The first 50 shoppers at every location will receive free gifts, as well as treats and beauty services.  It looks like it's only at Alfred Angelo locations.  If you bring the printable coupon, every bridesmaid can get $20 off the bridesmaid dress so if your bride is dead-set on Alfred Angelo dresses this might be a chance to save!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DIY Chocolate Bridal Shower Favors

We scoured the web for the best chocolate bridal shower favors that you could do yourself. Chocolate? Saving money? Who wouldn't want these to be front and center at the next bridal shower.  Just be sure to read the instructions thoroughly and plan some time for making them.

1) DIY Chocolate Covered Pretzels from Style Me Pretty-Yum! These pretzels look so good-the guests may not be able to wait until the end of the shower to enjoy them.  Get the step by step instructions here.



2) DIY Custom Chocolate Bars from Wedding Window-Find out how to take regular candy bars and jazzy them up for bridal shower favors. Customize the wrappers to say anything!  Easy step by step instructions can be found here.


3) Dark Chocolate Drizzled Mints-Taking Altoids and covering them in chocolate? Our first thought was how unusual and refreshing.  Get the instructions here.

4) Chocolate Gobbler Cobbler Recipe-Send your guests home with a recipe and the ingredients for a tasty cobbler. (We love the idea of doing this for your favorite recipes too!) Guests get to make a tasty treat at home and you did the prep work for it.  Find the template and instruction here.
5) Chocolate Covered Fortune Cookies-From Martha, learn how to make chocolate covered fortune cookies.  Fill the cookies with sayings or thank-yous from the bride for attending the bridal shower.
(All photos are copyrighted from their respective blog.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bridal Shower Games: Couples Games

Whose Kiss?

What You Need 
  • Blindfold
  • Guests!

How to Play 
  • Blindfold the bride.
  • Have each male guest kiss the bride on the cheek-announce a number for each guy so the bride can keep track.
  • The bride has to guess which male is her groom!
Variation: Reverse the game and have the girls kiss the groom.



Who What?
What You Need
  • Bride & Groom
  • Drinks/Signs
How to Play
  • Ask the bride and groom who is going to handle several household chores or who is more likely to do certain things. Have them sit back to back so they can't see each other.
  • The bride and groom have to each have 2 signs-one that says her, one that says me and one that says him, one that says me. As an alternative, you can give each of them 2 drinks-one standing for themselves and one being for their partner. (Think beer for him, martini for her.)
  • Ask a variety of questions like:
    Who is going to take out the trash?
    Who is doing the dishes?
    Who is most likely to be late to dinner?
    Who would rather stay home on a Saturday night than go out?
    Who will mow the lawn?
  • If the couple both get the answer right (i.e. they both answer the groom will do it,) the couple gets a point. If not, they each have to take a drink or do something embarrassing if you're using signs.


Almost Newlywed Game
What You Need
  • Guests!
How to Play
  • Before the shower, ask the bride and groom questions about each other like Who is doing the dishes?
  • At the shower, split the group into teams.
  • Ask the questions and see if the teams can guess what the couple answered.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FREE Printable Bridal Shower Round-Up

We've added an exciting page to our site-a Printable Bridal Shower Round-up. Everything listed is FREE! What's listed-bridal shower invitations, bridal shower games, and other printables for a shower like menus and favor tags. The list is a work in progress; bookmark it for future reference.

Monday, July 19, 2010

FREE Printable Bridal Shower Game: Purse Scavenger Hunt

Since practically every female carries a purse, this game is an easy one to start off with.

We've made a FREE printable Purse Scavenger Hunt game. Simply download, print it out, and then make copies.  Have a time limit for the game-3 or 5 minutes should be good enough. Download the game here.  Please note that the image is copyrighted-weddingclipart.com

If you choose not to use our game, make your own.  Ahead of time make a list of items that might be carried in a purse. Use some basic items and some unusual ones. As you call out the list, the guests get a point for each item found in their purse. The person with the most points wins!

Sample List

Basics:
Hairbrush
Lipstick
Pen
Keys
Tampon
Photos
Movie ticket
Business Card

Unusual:
Be creative and come up with some unusual ones!
Plane ticket
Battery
Calculator
Baseball cards
Beach Tag
Condom

Carrie Underwood's bridesmaid dresses

Now bridesmaids can wear Carrie Underwood's choice of bridesmaid gowns (or the closest thing to it.) Designer Monique Lhuillier created four different silk chiffon goddess gowns for Carrie’s eight bridesmaids. While those gowns were custom creations, just like Carrie's bridal gown which was also designed by Lhuillier, Monique Lhuillier has a line of bridesmaid dresses that can be purchased in her flagship stores in California and Minnesota, as well as online.

Among the gowns in her collection:

(All photos are copyrighted-Monique Lhuillier)
Take at look at this symmetrically draped column gown made of delicate crinkle chiffon featuring a floor sweeping asymmetrical drape and a sensational side slit. It's definitely a different take on a long formal gown.


Or this racerback bubble dress. Formal enough for the wedding, this dress could easily be worn again for date night. This delicate crinkle chiffon halter neck dress features a hand tufted crinkle chiffon rose detail at front neckline as well as a modern racer back cut.

This dress takes a simple V-neck dress and adds some touches. A deep overlap pleated “v” neck dress with silhouette cinching self tie belt at the waist and overlap pleated tulip skirt lends a sophisticated twist on unique. 

The dresses all start around $315 and come in ten popular bridesmaid dress colors like merlot, navy, robin egg blue, spring (green), camilla (pink), black, white, vanilla creme (off-white), sunflower (yellow), and platinum.  The dresses are available in sizes 2 to 16.  Like mentioned before, they can be ordered online. 
 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bridesmaid Gripe: The bridesmaid dress is too expensive!

It's every bridesmaid's nightmare-the bride sends you a photo of the bridesmaid dress to be  in all its glory.  Yeah, the strapless layered chiffon gown with gathered bust in cantaloupe is gorgeous but then you see the price. $480!? Is the bride crazy?

What to do:
  • If the dress has already been bought, unfortunately it's now best to just keep quiet. With most bridesmaid dresses, they can't be returned or exchanged. It's now best to forever hold your peace. Exception: If the dresses can be returned, then speak up.
  • Don't just flat out reject the dress-that will put the bride on the defensive. Instead respond back that while the dress is beautiful/perfect for a beach wedding/just what you were thinking of, the price is more than you had budgeted for a bridesmaid dress. 
  • Offer to come up with alternatives. Send her photos of similar dresses stating that while you love the first dress, these dresses are just as nice and are half the cost.
  • Be prepared for the bride to be mad about your rejection of the dress. The bride is probably going to bring up your trip to Cabo or new big-screen TV. Be calm.
  • Give the bride a specific price point that you had budgeted for. Tell her that you budgeted $200 for the dress and that a dress of $350 is just too much. This allows the bride to search for a dress in the budgeted amount, as well as offer suggestions on how to bring the dress down to the budgeted price. i.e. The bride offers to pay the difference, to pay for alterations, etc.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Cash Only Bridal Showers?

Q:The bride and groom haven't registered anywhere-they don't want any gifts for the wedding and only want cash. Since the bride hasn't registered, should we still have a bridal shower or is it rude?

A: Cash only wedding showers are considered rude. Many guests feel that if the bride doesn't want gifts then she shouldn't have a bridal shower since the bridal shower is the only wedding occasion when guests are EXPECTED to give gifts. Besides the actual shower would be boring-"Thanks Aunt Theresa for the fifty. Thanks Karen for $35. "
  • If the couple really don't need anything, then think about a specific theme shower, like stock the bar or lingerie. The bride might not have been thinking of items like that when she didn't register.
  • Don't put cash-only on the shower invites. It's incredibly rude-if you decide to throw her a shower anyways, let the guests ask you where the couple is registered and then you can tell them that you think they just want money.
  • Don't have a shower at all.  Showers are for gifts-if the couple really don't need or want anything, then skip the shower. 

SALE on Bridesmaid Dresses

This weekend the recessionista gods have heard your plea because many bridesmaid dresses are on sale online and in stores.  Yeah!

Ann Taylor-Save 40% on everything, on-line and in the store! Code is JULY40

Shabby Apple-Get your pick of vintage-inspired dresses at 20% off through July 31st.  Code is summer20

J Crew-Final sale is going on now. Head over to get your picks at great discounts.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bridesmaid Dresses: Garden Print Dresses

 Photo copyrighted Lori Barbely Photography via Celebrity Bride Guide

Inspired by Project Runway designer Jesse LeNoir, who created one-of-a-kind bridesmaid dresses for his bridal party with a unique garden print on them, we looked for more garden print dresses that could be worn for a bridesmaids. We love the idea of floral print dresses-they're country club chic while being just a little different and adding some color to the bridal party.  They're simply perfect for garden ceremonies and receptions-the flowers bring a touch of nature into the dress.

For Jesse LeNoir's wedding, he even let the dresses dictate the wedding theme, ending up with a predominantly white palette with light blue, green, pink and purple.  The theme ended up being a white canvas with a floral painting inspired by the colors in the dresses.

Our picks:
Love this day dress by designer Tracy Reese.  Bright and vibrant, it features a ruffled V-neckline, wide shoulder straps and a woven belt with a distressed goldtone O-ring buckle. Best of all, its under $200.

This floral-print dress by Elie Tahari takes a different approach to a traditional floral print dress adding sequins to the bold floral print.  The pencil skirt is also flattering and sophisticated.


Okay most garden dresses are going to be vibrant, but you can still find ones in other color combinations like this black and white floral dress from Modcloth. Flattering and beautiful, the best thing is the price-just $52.99. And there's ton more options where this one comes from with plenty to choose from under 50, 60, and 80 bucks.


Just because its a floral print doesn't mean the dress can't be sexy.  This dress is one shouldered with flower embellishment and is pleated throughout the body. The fun floral print will make it perfect to wear to a cocktail party reception in spring.
A fresh floral watercolor print blossoms on this pretty fitted sheath dress by Jones New York Signature.  Available in petite and plus sizes, sheath dresses are flattering for a variety of body types.

Who says floral dresses have to be short? This fantastically vivid floral maxi dress from French Connection has a black fabric and gold bead-embellished halter neckline and inset waistband for extra pizazz. 


This floral print long gown shows that the garden theme can even be used for more formal weddings. The black and white print makes the dress perfect for formal occassions.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DIY: Hot Pink & Zebra Bachelorette Party Invite

For her friend's bachelorette party, Kate made these incredible hot pink, black, & zebra bachelorette party invitations. 

What's needed:
Gluestick
Bonefolder
Hole puncher
Cardstock (Black, Hot Pink, and Zebra)
Envelopes
Ribbon (Zebra)
Envelope liner templates

Get the rest of the easy step-by-step instructions on her blog
Image copyrighted-http://kkarsten.blogspot.com/2009/06/kristies-bachelorette-party-invites.html

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Response to Dear Abby: Do Guests Expect to Pay?

A recent Dear Abby column had a guest to a pre-wedding event perplexed. The guest had received an invite for "Manicure/Pedicure Party" for a friend who is getting married. The invitation the guests received stated, "Please join us for a manicure and pedicure in honor of the bride-to-be." After the guest left, she received a phone call from one of the hostesses stating that the guest had left without paying for her manicure and pedicure. The guest was floored. The guest had assumed since the invitation stated "Please join us" that the hostesses were paying. 

Our dilemma: how to address situations like this so as not to offend guests.

Our response: The column was vague on several details-was this a bachelorette party, a bridal shower, the pampering the day before the wedding, none of the above? 
  • For bridal showers, guests are NEVER expected to pay their own way. If this was a bridal shower, then the hosts should have treated everyone.
  • For bachelorette parties and pre-wedding pampering, it's fine to expect every guest to pay for themselves.  
  • If you're hosting or throwing a party like this, clear up the confusion ahead of time. When guests call up to RSVP, politely remind them that a mani/pedi will be about $50 or so so they know they are expected to pay. This doesn't have to be included on the invite but guests should know ahead of time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Are Pampered Chef bridal showers tacky?


Q: We've heard of people doing Pampered Chef bridal showers and were thinking of doing them for our bride's wedding shower. Are they considered "okay" from etiquette standards? What do people think?
A: At first glance, parties like Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Lia Sophia, Tastefully Simple, purse parties, or "toy" parties, can be a nice change of pace from other bridal showers. For one, it helps lower the cost of the party and be the entertainment for the shower. However, the general consensus is that these parties are bad etiquette and shouldn't be done.

Most of these showers work this way: they are much like a typical party except the bride has picked put a registry or wishlist for guests to purchase from. The guests though can pick items for themselves too. 

Some tips to consider:
  • Is the bride crazy about the products? If the bride has never even heard of a PartyLite candle, her shower might be the wrong place to introduce her. And, of course, she might have strong feelings about the products-many people have a surprisingly strong love/hate relationship with some of the items being offered for sale.
  • These parties tend to put the guests on the spot. Yes, we all know that at wedding showers, the guests bring gifts but guests have freedom to buy the gifts wherever they want to-usually by having these type of showers, the guests typically buy something from the party going on which limits the choices. What about those guests who wanted to give fine china or make an item personal?
  • Many people in general have strong feelings about these home parties. We all know people who always turn down invites to the parties simply because they don't like the products, don't like sales pitches, or have another personal preference (like preferring MAC cosmetics over Mary Kay.) These guests might be conflicted and feel like they have to attend and buy something.
  • If the bride does like the items, she could always set up a registry. Party companies like Pampered Chef and Longaberger allow brides to set up gift registries so brides can still get the items they want without the party or the sales pitch.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cost of Being a Bridesmaid-$1000 and up!?

Now that you've been asked to be in a wedding, you might be wondering what costs you are expected to incur and how much being in your best friend's wedding will run you.  According to BrideTide in 2009, a single bridesmaid can expect to spend $1009 on wedding related expenses.  A simple breakdown:

Bridesmaid Dress-In the US, most bridesmaids are expected to pay for their own bridesmaid dress.  Obviously dresses range in price-one from David's Bridal might run from $100 to $150 while one from Vera Wang might run closer to $300 and up . After you buy the dress, expect to have alterations done which can vary in price but will most likely be another $50 to $100.  The Wedding Report says the average bridesmaid spent $178 on a dress in 2009 and $56 on alterations.

Dress Accessories-Those matching satin clutchs in mermaid? The dye-able shoes to match the fuschia gowns you're wearing? The new strapless bra?  Accessories don't come cheap and most bridesmaids can expect to spend around $100 (at least) on them.

Bridal Showers-Even if you're throwing lunch or a casual party in someone's house, throwing a shower does cost money. Tea at the Four Seasons will obviously run more than a dessert shower at the Maid of Honor's house but there are invites, food, and favors to consider with a shower.

Bachelorette Parties-Whether you're doing drinks at the local dive bar on karoake night or heading to Vegas for a three-day weekend, bachelorette party guests pay their own way and pay for the bride.  Depending on what you and the rest of the bridal party decide to do, bachelorette parties can vary widely in price.

Gifts-We've left out the gifts until now. Figure on a gift for the engagement party, bridal shower and wedding.

Travel-Much like with regular weddings, there is often a traveling cost to weddings.  Unless the wedding is in your town, expect to pay for transportation and hotel rooms. Of course, since you're a bridesmaid you are expected to be at the rehearsal dinner and morning after brunch (if there is one) which means you're probably looking at a two-night hotel stay.

Day of Wedding-Expect to pay for hair and makeup the day of the wedding. Updo's can be expected to be around $60, although prices vary depending on the area you live in, length of hair, and style you want.

Of course, costs of being a bridesmaid vary depending on the wedding and bride.  For one wedding, the bride searched for $35 clearance bridesmaid dresses at David's Bridal, didn't want a bridal shower, and had a night at a local bar for her bachelorette party making it extremely cheap to be her bridesmaids.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cute Gift Idea: Household Item Poem (aka the Mr. Clean Poem)

Ahh, we think this idea is such a cute way of presenting everyday household items to the bride at the shower.  It's a cute yet practical way to give the bride things like laundry detergent.  Many showers do it as a gift from all of the bridesmaids or you could do it as a cheaper, more creative bridal shower gift.

Bridal Shower Game: Make this gift into a game. Pass the items out to guests and have the guests hold up the items while someone reads the poem.

To-do:
Put the items in a laundry basket or reusable container for the shower.

Poem 1:
Dear Bride, 
You are entering a new ERA. There will come a THYME in your marriage when you find [GROOM] is not always MR. CLEAN, but don't send out the S.O.S. Because he might VANISH. [GROOM] will always bring you CHEER and you will find JOY, so remember your PLEDGE and give him your ALL. To [BRIDE] and [GROOM] the Best of Luck & Good Fortune in the years to come. And may [GROOM] always be your HONEY.

Poem 2:
Dear [BRIDE],

We gather together with you to celebrate the (dawn) of a new (era). Marriage is a journey. Some days it will be pure (joy) but let's take a moment and talk about the others.

There may come a time when you realize your big (brawny) guy isn't necessarily  (Mr. Clean). When this and other little glitches occur, don't  (shout) or send up an  (SOS). Go (easy-on) him. Hopefully the (Tide) will change quickly, tensions will (vanish), and things will (bounce) back to normal.

We think you and [GROOM] are a  (fantastic) couple with a (zest) for life and a sincere appreciation for each other. We fully support you as you and [GROOM]  (pledge) to spend your lives as one.

We wish you all the best... Including love, happiness and lots of time to (snuggle).

Love,
The Bridal Party (or whomever is giving the gift.)

Poem #3
It is only fair that we let [BRIDE] in on a little SECRET. [GROOM] may be FANTASTIC but wait until she finds out that he is not MR. CLEAN. He'll expect her to be a DYNAMO in the kitchen and he thinks all women should MOP & GLOW. At night he'll wake you up at DAWN to SNUGGLE up close. We all AGREE that [BRIDE] and [GROOM] will have a very happy LIFE together. Our wish for you is that your home be filled with JOY and you remain as happy as ever in the FUTURE.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Melissa Rycroft & Ty Strickland Joint Bachelorette/Bachelor Parties

Celebrity Bachelorette Parties: Melissa Rycroft

The Bachelorette and her fiancee held a joint party where they flew out 12 of their closest friends for dinner, dancing and theater shows at The Palazzo and Venetian hotels in Las Vegas.  The couple and their friends each took in a separate theater show -- Rycroft  and her girlfriends saw Jersey Boys while Strickland  watched with friends the Phantom - Las Vegas Spectacular -- before coming together for dinner at Dos Caminos. Later in the weekend, the group played in a girls vs. boys poker tournament at The Venetian Poker Room.

Although they spent much of the weekend separated with their pals, Rycroft and Strickland were able to sneak away for some private time before their wedding. On Saturday, the couple enjoyed a gondola ride down the Grand Canal at the Venetian and enjoyed cupcakes from Sweet Surrender. 

Recreate their bachelorette party:
  • See the Jersey Boys a musical about four blue-collar kids, Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Erik Bates, Tommy DeVito, and Nick Massi, working their way from the streets of Newark to the heights of stardom. Of course, the show features electrifying performances of the golden greats that took these guys all the way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," "Dawn," "My Eyes Adored You," and more.  Want tickets?  If you're not going to be in Vegas, you can also catch the Jersey Boys on Broadway, London, Melbourne, Toronto, and through the national tour.
  • Take in  "Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular" an all-new production of the most influential musical of all time. Phantom at The Venetian reunites Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Hal Prince, choreographer Gillian Lynne and others from the show's original creative team, who together reconceived their show into a 95-minute spectacular, including each and every song from the original production. 
  • Head to Dos Caminos for an authentic Mexican dinner and try one of their 35 unique tequilas with custom flavored salts, sangria, or margaritas.
  • Play some poker with friends at the Venetian Poker Room. At nearly 11,000 square feet, the Venetian Poker Room is among Vegas's largest venues for this classic table game with 39 poker tables featuring a variety of poker games including Texas Hold ‘Em, Stud, or Omaha.  There's free lessons where you can learn to play the poker games that are taking the nation by storm in the poker room and you can start your own game with your party.
  • Even if the party is just girls, take a gondola ride at The Venetian where you can float beneath bridges, beside cafes, under balconies and through the vibrant Venetian streetscape as your singing gondolier sweeps you down the Grand Canal for a ride like no other.  
  • Head over to the Palazzo's Las Vegas cupcake and candy store, Sweet Surrender which has a variety of sweet treats including the $750 Decadence D’Or.  Of course they also have other popular flavors including: Red Velvet, Lemon Strawberry, Chocolate Ganache, Carrot, Black Forest, Strawberry, Coconut and Chocolate Fudge cupcakes.  Pick some up for after a night of drinking.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cute Gift Idea: Panty Parfait

Image copyrighted-Weddingbee

Wow...what a cute gift idea for a bridal shower or bachelorette party.  We thought it was the cutest thing ever! Ladies, introducing the ....panty parfait!

Mrs. Cheeseburger from Weddingbee received this original, creative gift from her bridesmaids! What they did was fill up a Waterford crystal vase with tons of different pieces of underwear which were than accompanied by a poem for special occasions.

One poem:
“When the time is right for you and Dan
And don’t be saying maybe
You’ll wear a little pink or blue
In honor of your baby!”
The poem was attached to two pairs of undies-one pink and one blue.  Other special occasions included the wedding night and the first fight. 

This is such a cute way of giving lingerie to a bride instead of just handing the bride underwear in a gift bag from Victoria's Secret.  This is also a cute way to give underthings at a "normal" shower too! And this would be a great group gift from everyone before the bachelorette party-practical and cute at the same time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Can men come to a bachelorette party?

Bachlorette Party Etiquette
Q: The bride has several close male friends and some of the bridesmaids want to invite them to the bachelorette party. Do bachelorette parties have to be all females or can guys come?

A:  Bachelorette parties are typically all females and are used as a last girls night out before the bride becomes a Mrs. but of course parties can be different.  There's no right or wrong for the bachelorette party!

The bride decides who can come to her bachelorette party (or who gets invited at least.)  If the bride wants her closest male friends, her brothers, etc to be there, then she can definitely invite them. It's her party for her day after all!  Ask the bride if she wants her male friends there. 

There's different options for the bachelorette party:
-a girls only night out
-co-ed with the groom and groomsmen
-co-ed with the bride's male friends but not the groom

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Custom Couture Bridesmaid Dresses: Olivia Luca

Ohh, designing the dress of your dreams can be so much fun and cause you to waste more time at owrk than solitaire.  Thanks to Olivia Luca, you (and your dear bride) can create custom couture quality bridesmaid dresses.

The whole design process is simple and fun and, of course, you get to choose from a gazillion options.  The first step is to actually choose your skin tone to see if the fabric and color will be flattering. Then you start designing! Choose the bodice style-there's plenty to choose from including a keyhole halter, empire scoop halter, strappy with angled band (deep, wide "V" neckline in front and straight across back) and  empire bust tie (gathered at front and tied which makes for slight sweetheart neckline).  Next is the skirt length and shape-once again plenty of options to choose from ranging from mermaid princess floor length to empire gathered three-tier knee length to A-line flat front knee length. 

The best part, the part I literally went crazy for, is the fabric selection. We're talking a selection of fabrics that would make any seamstress weep. The eco-friendly options include a hemp & silk charmeuse blend, organic cotton sateen, organic cotton linen, Fair-Trade handwoven silk shantung, and many more Fair-Trade options.  This is easiest the best selection for custom gowns that I've ever seen-if the bride has dreamed of it, then Olivia Luca can make a dress in it whether that dream dress was silk 4-ply crepe Korean woven or silk dupioni.  

The only downside though is the price-while the prices are inline for custom couture gowns, it's still more than most of us can spend on custom bridesmaid dresses.  Prices depend on many factors-the fabric, the size, the options chosen, etc etc but most dresses appear to be $340 and up with most being in the $400 to $500 range. One of my creations-a hemp/silk Charmeuse mermaid princess floor-length with train was priced at $1,011.50!

But it is hard to put a price on beauty...

Monday, May 17, 2010

How to Save Money on Wedding Gifts

When wedding season comes along, you might feel as though you are spending your entire paycheck on wedding gifts. After all, it adds up-engagement party gifts, bridal shower gifts, wedding gifts.

Shop using the manufacturer's website.  Skip the department store registry and head straight for the manufacturer's website. For example, the Mikasa Dinnerware Cameo Platinum 40 Piece Set is $640 at Macy's while at the Mikasa website it's only $199.99, a staggering difference of $440.  That's the bachelorette party & bridal shower you saved right there! 

Use rebate programs like Ebates.  With cash back sites like Ebates or Upromise, you get additional discounts at tons of stores. With Ebates, get 11% back at Macy's, 6% back at Pfaltzgraff, 11% back at Ulta, with a ton more stores to choose from!  Best of all, these sites tell you about coupon codes and special offers.

Get in the habit of searching for coupon codes before buying. Websites like Retailmenot, Current Codes, and Coupon Cabin offer promo codes i.e. discounts like Free Shipping over $50 or $10 off any $100 purchase for many retailers, including Target, Kohl's, and many more!

Personalize the registry gifts for extra impact. Okay, so this might not work if everything on the bride's registry is $200 or up, but most couples have lower-priced items on theirs too. Take some lower priced items from the registry and personalize it with extras like gift cards. For example, buy just one set of the wine glasses and have them monogrammed to make them special or give a few bottles of wine along with the set.