Archive for November, 2009

And the winning combination for my indecisive friend is a combination of chartreuse, teal, brown, and yellow. Personally, I think she made the right choice.ย  I love the sophisticated, summery feel to it. And I’m pretty sure her fiance appreciates the yellow over “girly” coral ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s the inspiration board that drew her in. What do you guys think? Is it the right decision?

p.s. As always, I’m here for your inspiration board needs. Do you have a color scheme (or two? or three or four?) that you’d like to see put into an inspiration board? Just e-mail me at andreaskaargmail.com with your ideas and I’ll get right to it! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m off on a sunny vacation for a week (escaping the rainy NW for a while), but I’ll be back next week with more cheap and chic ideas for you! Stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚


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I can’t believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend, with your homesย  full of family and your tummiesย  full of turkey and pumpkin pie! And if you happen to be celebrating your wedding around this Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I’d share some bountiful, Thanksgiving inspired centerpieces that would be perfect for your harvest wedding. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

I absolutely love these centerpieces.They are nontraditional, elegant, and season-appropriate. All you need are colored grasses, wheat, and some gorgeous ribbon to achieve this look. Make one large one for each table like the picture above, or make smaller ones of varying heights to fill the center of the table. The best part about these is that they can be made weeks ahead! Double points for being inexpensive and being able to check it off the list early!

The fruits and vegetables available in the fall season are not only scrumptious, they’re absolutely beautiful. Add color, texture, and natural elements to your tables with these bountiful foods. Use green beans, asparagus, or citrus slices to surround candles…or artichokes as votive holders. To make the vegetable centerpieces, simply use a rubber band to secure the veggies around the candle…then cover with ribbon of your choice. Gorgeous. ๐Ÿ™‚

For the citrus centerpieces, thinly slice the citrus fruits about 1/8-inch thick. Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet, and then arrange the sliced oranges, lemons, and limes on the rack. Put the cookie sheet and rack in an oven preheated to 250 degrees for approximately two hours, or until all moisture is removed. (Tip: If you find that your slices have not dried in 2 hours, you can also turn off the oven and leave the fruit in overnight.) Using a glue gun, connect the citrus slices to each other, forming a band around the base of each candle. Do not glue them to the candle. Once your candles are decorated, cluster them in the center of your Thanksgiving table and weave berried branches throughout to create a cohesive centerpiece.

Cranberries make a huge color and texture statement. Use them to surround candles in clear vases or glue then to foam balls for nontraditional pomanders that everyone will be talking about.

Incorporating traditional fall elements in nontraditional ways is a great way to bring an unexpected twist to your Fall wedding. And these ideas are simply beautiful…and beautifully simple. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy planning!

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Wedding gowns: Part III

OK, today’s wedding gown post is for those looking to get a little creative. The dresses and ideas I’m about to present may not be traditional…they may need embellishment…they may not even be wedding dresses! (at first)…but in the end, they are all definitely unique, gorgeous, and gloriously within budget.

Here are some non-traditional ways to make a big statement minus the big price tag:

Go custom-made. Now this may not seem like a cheaper route, but you’d be surprised at the gorgeous one-of-a-kind gowns you can find for under $1,000. Below, you’ll find some beauties from Etsy (the world of handmade) for prices I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised to see—

Price: $654.00

Price: $799.00

Price: $499.00

Price: $658.00

Price: $349.99

Check out J.Crew.
They have their fair share of pricey gowns, but they also have gorgeous inexpensive gowns that are stylish and well-made.

While some will love the simplicity of their dresses, others will be longing for more detail. Here are the dresses along with my ideas for “sprucing them up”—

Price for dress alone: $395.00

+ White bloom sash ($40) = $435.00

Price for dress alone: $425.00

+ Couture wrap w/ brooch ($50)= $475.00

Price for dress alone: $250.00
+ย  Romantic sash ($40) = $290.00

Dress up a white dress. Much like the J. Crew gowns above, you can find simple, beautiful white dresses almost anywhere for affordable prices. Embellish them with sashes, brooches, wraps, boleros, even add lace or beading for minimal costs. Check out places like Macys.com, Nordstrom.com, edressme.com, simplydresses.com, just to name a few. There’s no limit to how creative you can get to make a “simple” white dress into a beautiful bridal gown.

These are just a few more ways to find yourself in a beautiful wedding gown that you (and your budget) can be proud of.

Did you score a magnificent dress for an even more magnificent price? Where and how did you do it? Inquiring wedding dress bargainistas of the world wanna know… ๐Ÿ™‚

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Wedding gowns: Part II

Alright, so maybe some of you have even tighter budgets that won’t allow you to purchase the dress of your dreams, designer or not. Or maybe you don’t really care about keeping your wedding dress . If either of these scenarios sound like you, then Option 2 might be your best bet: Rent your wedding dress. After all, rarely do grooms purchase a tux for the wedding…so why should you have to buy an expensive gown only to wear once and then find storage space for in that seemingly shrinking closet?

Almost every city has a store that will rent out wedding gowns for a fraction of the cost to purchase them. Cost ranges from $100-$1,000 depending on the kind of dress you’re looking for. At werentweddingdresses.com, you can locate a wedding dress rental shop near you.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Find a wedding dress rental business with a stellar reputation. Ask for references and talk to brides about their rental experiences. Ask local bridal salons if they rent or if they can make a recommendation.
  • Start shopping early. One disadvantage of wedding dress rental is that you’ll have fewer options. You want to find a dress that fits well and that is in excellent condition, which may take some time. When you do find a dress you like, make sure it’s available for rent on your wedding date.
  • Ask about rental packages. It doesn’t make sense to purchase accessories for a dress you don’t own, so many rental stores offer wedding dress packages. Try to find a head-to-toe package that includes a veil or tiara, jewelry, undergarments and shoes. Undergarments refer to petticoats. You should purchase your own bra and underwear.
  • Read the rental agreement carefully. The contract should include a guarantee that your dress will be clean and available for pick-up several days before your wedding. Pay close attention to charges related to dress damage and make sure you agree with the renter’s written description of the dress’s condition. Ask questions and express concerns before signing anything. You don’t want to end up paying more to rent the dress than it would’ve cost to just buy it.

Did any of you rent your wedding dress? Do you have any regrets or was it worth the cost-savings?

If you’re a bargain hunter, look forward to Part 3 soon!

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Wedding gowns: Part 1

For the next few days, I wanna talk wedding gowns…that illustrious dress that you will wear only once, yet can end up being one of the biggest budget busters. We all want a beautiful dress that we will look amazing in, and those Vera’s and Monique’s are very loudly and clearly calling our names…so what to do when your heart says “couture” and your head says “cost-effective?”

Today, I bring you Option 1-

Buy that awesome designer gown used. I know, I know…you want it to be brand spankin’ new and worn by only you. But hear me out. THE DRESS HAS ONLY BEEN WORN ONCE!!! Once! Outfits at the departments store have been tried on more times. And NO ONE HAS TO KNOW. For sometimes half the original sticker price, you can get an amazingly beautiful designer dress, have it altered, AND professionally dry cleaned so it’s perfect for your day…and even more perfect for your budget.

Check out these amazing deals on designer gowns listed on Once Wed right now:

List Price: $1,500
Retail: $4,075

Monique Lhuillier
List Price: $1,750
Retail: $2,200

List Price: $569
Retail: $769

Melissa Sweet
List Price: $1,900
Retail: $3,950

Monique Lhuillier
List Price: $2,500
Retail: $6,000

Vera Wang
List Price: $1,800
Retail: $3,000

These are just a FEW of the MANY used designer dresses there are for sale. Soooo, it might be time to rethink that “have to have it new” mantra when these beauties are out there and just waiting for you to snag them at great prices.

Didย  you snag a great deal on your wedding gown? Where’d you find it?

Look forward to Option 2 tomorrow!

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While scrolling through the DIY section of Wedding Bee this morning, I found these super cute votive/ LED tea light holders that are not only inexpensive to make, but are super practical if your venue doesn’t allow open flames.ย  I love me some texture and these babies will definitely stand out on the table without taking all of the attention away from your centerpieces.ย  “Mrs. Green Tea” shows you step by step how she created these adorable decorations using only:

LED tea lights
toilet paper tube/paper towel tube/wrapping paper tube
plastic wrapping
thick thread
fabric stiffener

Find the simple instructions here! How easy and cute! And at around 50 cents a piece, they’re that much cuter. Feel free to experiment with other materials as well, like ribbons and yarn! And then don’t forget to tell me all about how they turned out!

Happy planning!

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Per request of a beautiful bride to be, this morning I have for you a gorgeous combination of colors for an August 2010 wedding. At first she thought she wanted just teal, brown, and chartreuse…but then asked me to add in coral for a fun pop of color. I really love how it turned out. What do you think? To coral or not to coral? ๐Ÿ™‚

chartreuse, coral, teal, and brown

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