Archive for February, 2010

Everything about this charming wedding says “perfect,” from its adorable couple, Sharon and Casey, to its unbelievable budget and ingenious DIY elements. It’s amazing what this couple accomplished with only $2000 (minus the coordinator and photography, who were family friends). But instead of rambling on, I’ll get to the good stuff…the pictures! Enjoy!

The wedding was held in the couple's friend's backyard on the warmest day you can find in San Diego in January. Almost everything was borrowed or reused to give the wedding a charming, "homey" feel. Roses and hydrangeas were bought from a wholesale flower mart and fillers were picked the morning of the wedding from the side of the road in the neighborhood where the wedding was held. Mason jars acted as escort cards, favors, and drink holders for the evening. The couple collected wine bottles from friends to adorn the table with and the tablecloths were made from muslin ($1.99/yard!) and burlap coffee sacks. Rustic and oh-so-chic.

The bride and groom asked select friends and family to make desserts that were signature or special to them and the reception meal consisted of some major comfort foods: soup and homemade cornbread. Since Sharon had 9 bridesmaids, she broke up the monotony with 3 different dresses from Urban Outfitters. A family friends crafted a "photo booth" from scrap plywood, burlap, homemade pennants, and a recycled mirror, where guests could take their pictures with a chalkboard to write special messages to the couple. They had a friend take the photos.

Is anyone else hopelessly in love with this adorable wedding? sighh…….see more pictures at the photographer Sean Walker’s website.


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Maybe it’s because I have wedding gowns on the brain lately, but I have yet another great source for getting your wedding gown for less! House of Brides is the world’s largest wedding store, offering discounts on hundreds of designer wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses, flower girl dresses, mother-of-the-bride dresses, headpieces, shoes, jewelry, and more!! Offering the same great gowns you’d find in your local boutiques, once you’ve tried on and fallen in love with your dream dress, head on over to Houseofbrides.com and snag it up for hundreds less than retail…leaving you more money for that awesome veil and shoes!

Speaking of veils and shoes, House of Brides is offering a free headpiece/veil ($120 value) and bridal shoes ($50 value) when you purchase a dress from one of their select designers. Free veil and shoes?? Yes please!! And with all the money you’ve saved, you can afford those fancy letterpress invitations…or treat yourself to a pre-wedding spa treatment. However you spend it, you can give yourself some major high faves for getting more bang for your buck.  🙂

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Power to the brides

I mentioned in one of my recent Real Weddings posts that bride Tosha found her awesome dress at a site called Bride Power. Well this site is worth mentioning twice…maybe three times. Because they offer 100% authentic designer gowns at ridiculously discounted prices (at least 40% off!!). Vera Wang, Monique Lhullier, Jenny Packham, Oscar de la Renta, they’re all here…plus tons more! Bride Power carries hundreds of designer samples and overstocks, passing huge savings onto you. The only catch is, often they only have one of each style of dress, so if you see the one you have taped above your desk from the bridal magazine, you gotta snatch it up quick! most of the dresses come in size 10, so keep that in mind as far as how you will need it altered and if altering to your size is possible (wedding gowns can usually be taken in up to 2 sizes, and let out 1 or 2 sizes…dresses with corset backs are more flexible with alterations).

Gowns are returnable if necessary, minus the shipping costs (which will run you about $40), so if you have the opportunity to try on the dress in your area at a local boutique (or at VOWS in Massachusetts, the brick and mortar home to Bridepower.com), then that should help guarantee that you get the right dress the first time.

Check out these unbelievable gowns in stock at Bride Power right now!:

Jenny Packham. Est. value: $4800 BP price: $2400!!

Monique Lhullier. Est. value: $3200 BP price: $1100!!

Vera Wang. Est. value: $5000 BP price: $1400!!

So if you have your heart set on a designer gown, you’d be crazy not to check out Bride Power!! Your dream dress may just become completely affordable. Ahhh, the sweet smell of victory. 🙂

Happy planning!

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It’s been a while since my last color inspiration post, so I thought it was about time for another…but this time, it’s not for a friend, it’s not from a reader request, it’s not even just for fun…it’s for me! That’s right people, I’m getting married to that sweet little (I mean, huge and manly) man who is convinced we need meat and cheese platters as centerpieces…well, we’ll see about that. But first things first- colors! Adam and I are planning a spring 2011 destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta! Woo! And true to form, we’re going to do it on a budget…if it kills us. But more on that journey later. Back to colors. The first color combination that popped in my head for a Mexican wedding is aqua and orange…blue for the ocean and orange for the magnificent sunsets…and both for the Mexican culture in all of its bold color awesomeness. Soooo, here’s my first attempt. Does it say, “Bring me a margarita!” or “Take me back to the states!”??

*Don’t forget! Do you need some color inspiration? Email me with your ideas and I’ll feature an inspiration board for you on my blog! 🙂

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Now this is a couple going to extreme measures to pay for their wedding. Pete and Andrea of Spokane, WA are on a mission to collect and recycle 400,000 cans to pay for their modest $4000 wedding in July. Sound crazy? Maybe…but only until it hits you that they are going to accomplish their dream day and save the planet all at the same time. Andrea and Peter claim that after they recycle the planned five tons of aluminum, they will have offset five years of their own carbon footprints—in addition to the emissions from the wedding itself.

As their website says, “the whole ‘mission’ thing sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s the truth. Our relationship has been a bit off kilter from the beginning, and why should our wedding be any different? We don’t want anything huge or extravagant… really, we’re planning a potluck, DIY decorations, and getting the help from friends and family for flowers, pictures, the sword-fighting battle, home brew beer, even the cake.” But even after all the strategic planning and generous help from family and friends, this couple is still in need of cash for the wedding (a common feeling among brides, I’m sure).

Pete and Andrea have collected 328,424 cans so far in addition to cash contributions equivalent to 116,563 cans. The couple still has 71,576 cans to go! Wanna help? Visit their website and find out how!

While paying for your entire wedding this way may be too “out there” for you, Pete and Andrea are definitely onto something. Collect and recycle your own cans to pay for favors, invitations, a DJ, or any other smaller item in your budget. Sell your old “treasures” on Ebay or craigslist for someone else to love, while scoring you extra cash for your big day. There are plenty of unique ways to not only save big, but to save our lovely planet as well.

So what do you think? Are Pete and Andrea nuts or absolutely genius? Would you ever tackle such a cost-saving  project?

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