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Before The Wedding

5 Tips To Trim Your Wedding Guest List

Jul 22, 2008

Damask guest book

Shown Above, Vintage Bouquet Damask Guest Book

We all know weddings can be costly – and the biggest expense is not your DJ, limos or your wedding favors!  And with the economy in a struggle and rising gas costs, you may wonder just how to save on some of your expenses. The largest expense is your catering at about a whopping 50% of your budget.  If your per-plate catering cost is 100.00 per plate, and you cut 10 people off your list (which isn’t alot!) you would have saved $1,000 dollars!

So just how do you cut down your guest list?  It’s easy!

1) Take the total number of guests you plan on inviting and divide by 4.  The bride, the groom, and each set of parents gets a 1/4th of the total number of invitees.  Stick to that number.

2) Next divide your guest list into groups, – close family – close friends – aunts and uncles – cousins – co-workers – etc.  Who can you eliminate?  Perhaps you can knock-off (not literally!) those cousins and the co-workers.  If you eliminate a group – elimiante all of them, you don’t want any hurt feelings.

3) Unless you have a budget the size of Trump’s bank account, you shouldn’t invite co-workers.  Weddings should be reserved for close friends and family.  Your co-workers will understand!  If you are especially close to one or two of them, invite them – but not the whole office or department.

4) Inform your parents before hand, now is not the time, and your wedding is not the place to play “payback”.  They don’t need to invite people who they gave gifts to for other weddings.  This is a time for close family and friends.  This is your day, and ultimately you have the final say on attendees.

5) Cut out the long distance invitees.  With soaring airline tickets, gas costs and other expenses, they may not be able to afford to come.  Invite only those whom you are close to and send wedding announcements to the rest.  Their pocketbooks will thank you.

Would You Pay To Try On Wedding Gowns?

Jul 2, 2008

wedding gown with sash

Photo Credit Bridal Wave TV

I came accross a recent BBC news video , where some wedding gown boutiques in the UK are charging 25 pounds (about 50 US Dollars) for customers just to try on wedding gowns – the fee is refundable if you purchase a dress, but if you do not purchase a dress, the fee will not be returned. The fee is in effect for Saturday and evening apointments. The wedding gown charge was introduced to deter women who have no intention of buying or who are “time wasters”.   Caroline Castigliano, a wedding dress designer and boutique owner, states that she charges this rate so that “the people who see us are definately serious about the brand”.

I would like to know, how clerks can determine if a bride to be is a “time waster”.  When I was shopping for my wedding dress, I had a general idea of what I wanted to try on (simple, elegant, halter, no beading, no embellishments, no poofy skirts!).  Although I thought my ideal dress would be simple to find, I searched high and low, shop after shop to find the perfect wedding dress.  Yes I wasted many shops’ time but I needed to – I didn’t find one dress which fit me correctly (I’m petite, but busty!) – and everything I tried on was too “foofy-foofy”.  It seemed as if not one consultant listened to what I wanted (I even went to Kleinfeld’s (in Brooklyn at the time)).  So even though I may have been “wasting time” – I was definately serious about purchasing!  But to pay to try on a wedding dress?  I’m not so sure those boutiques would have gotten my money!

I wonder if the wedding gown shops in the USA will follow suit.  Although I can understand that “time is money” and that there are women who try on with no intentention of buying – isn’t that just the nature of the business?  What would you do?  Would you pay to try on wedding gowns in a designer boutique?

And once you do decide on a wedding gown, hop on over to our store for a large selection of discount bridal accessories including veils, tiaras, hair accessories, and wedding apparel.  We promise that we won’t charge you a “try-on” fee either – you can return most products within 14 days* for a full refund (*in the original packaging).

Fit Big Ticket Items Into Your Wedding Budget

May 21, 2008

Viewers who watched the Desperate Housewives‘ fourth-season finale on Sunday nearly saw a marriage fall apart over an ice sculpture. Mere hours away from their ‘commitment ceremony’, Wisteria Lane residents Bob and Lee clashed over the latter’s demand for an enchanted ice castle with a vodka moat surrounding it.

If you’re married, or are planning a wedding right now, you’ve probably felt the sharp sting of a bridezilla’s (or groomzilla’s) totally unreasonable request that they’ve “dreamed of all [their] lives.” But in a struggling economy, there’s less wiggle room in wedding budgets for flights of fancy.

Don’t cross the vodka moat off just yet, though. There are plenty of painless ways to cut corners in order to save the extravagances in the master plan:

  • Fewer Flowers: Really, do you need them all? And they’re not going to last.

  • Bargain Hunt: If the bride is a savvy shopper, she can find a dress she’s in love with at low, low cost.

  • Review the Menu: Check out the other offerings provided by your caterer and see if the Kobe beef and shiitake Wellington in a red wine reduction is really the only entree that will satisfy your guests.

  • Rethink the Honeymoon: Right now, the cost of European honeymoons is astronomical thanks to the value of the Euro vs. the US Dollar. To save a few thousand bucks, consider changing the locale to somewhere just as romantic but a bit less bank-intensive.

  • Do Yourself A Favor: Wedding favors are the most memorable thing about a reception, so you can’t skimp. But you can shop around and find the best deal, or even make them yourself. When I got married, we gave our guests personalized jars of honey as wedding favors. We bought bulk orders of small mason jars and honey drippers, haggled with a local beekeeper for they honey, and had my husband design the labels and favor tags in Photoshop. They were a huge hit – without hitting my checkbook.

Finally, think about your guests are really going to remember about the reception – typically, it’s the cake, the wedding favors, the good times, and anecdotes about open-bar abuse. Budget for those things accordingly, but be sure to shop around when it comes to everything else.

Creating A Music Themed Wedding

Feb 15, 2008

This is just to piggyback on my post from yesterday about our new music wedding favors.  I adore music, and I would personally love to get re-married and have my wedding around this theme.  I was asked “How would you incorporate a music theme into your wedding?”  It got me thinking, and here are some ideas off the top of my head:

  • Location – I’d probably look into a small concert venue, I know of one in my area where semi-major bands play during touring, but it can be rented for events.  It’s already got a bar, a dance floor and a stage for the band, and it’s on the smaller – more intimate side.  If it was to be held in the summer time, I might go with an outdoor location such as a park or garden.
  • Music – well this would depend on your musical style.  But if I could afford it (which I can’t) I’d hire my favorite band.  I suppose a cover band would do though :)  I’d also hire a DJ to play my favorite band’s songs and other music in the same style.  Since the theme is about music – this is probably the most important aspect of the wedding.
  • Decorations – Ice or flower sculptures designed like musical instruments or music notes would definately be an idea to think about.
  • Centerpieces – sheet music on a stand, maybe our first dance song, or maybe a different song for each table.  Surrounded by candles and flowers.
  • Table Names, instead of Numbers – I’d name each table a song title instead of the typical numbers.
  • Place Card Holders – I would definately use guitars (but that’s just me!) there are plently of other instruments to use though – pianos, music notes, violins, etc.
  • Cake – I’d have a white cake with the sheet music of our first dance on it in (music notes), and I would find a music inspired cake top.
  • Favors – Personalized CD’s with our favorite songs.  If there was a band which played, then maybe even a commerative playbill with our names and wedding date and a picture of the band and the happy couple.

Happy planning!  And Have a GREAT weekend! :)

Wedding Invitations with Wedding Paper Divas

Feb 8, 2008

We’ve partnered with Wedding Paper Divas to offer our customers exculsive, upscale wedding invtation designs and accessories.  Wedding Paper Divas is known in the industry for having outstanding quality, hip designs, and gorgeous invitations! 

You can visit them for more information:

Remember Save 5% on Your Order using code: NEW8

DIY Wedding Place Cards / Escort Cards

Jan 10, 2008

Chances are if your having a wedding, proper etiquette dictates assigned seating.  Whether you choose just to assign tables or to be more formal and assign actual seating, is up to you, but whatever the case may be – you will need place cards and/or escort cards. 

What’s the difference you may ask?  Well, its simple.  Escort cards (which the proper name, although they are mistakenly referred to as place cards) are commonly found at a table near the entrance of your reception location.  They tell guests what table to sit at.  Place cards are exactly that – they are found at each place setting and tell guests where at the table to sit. However, you can use a place card holder or frame to hold your escort cards or your place cards. 

Place card frames and place card holders are a wedding necessity – guests want to know where to sit.  Imagine you were running 10 minutes late for a reception, and when you and your guest walked into the reception, all the seats were taken and you couldn’t sit next to each other!  How would you feel?

Now you need not spend a fortune on place cards.  Many place card frames and place card holders come with place cards included. But if they don’t or if you don’t want to handwrite out each place card / escort card – we have a quick and inexpensive solution for you!

First measure your inner frame size to see what size card you will need.  If you are using a place card holder you can have varying sizes, but the most common is 2″ x 3″.  If you have word processing software simply create a template with your size cards.  Within this template you can either type each guest’s name and table number in each box or type out two lines, one for the name and one line below for the table number – so you can handwrite the cards out later.  You can even get fancy and add a graphic or change the color of the text to match your wedding colors.

Once your place cards are finished on the computer, you can print them up.  If you are using place card frames, you can print on plain paper (no one will notice the difference through the glass) or you can even purchase cardstock for an added touch.  If you are using place card holders, I would suggest purchasing heavier cardstock or even pre-perforated business cards (purchased from your local stationary/office supply store) so they will “stand up” in the holders.

And if your not the do-it-yourself type, check out our selection of pre-made escort / place cards

New @ Little Things – Wedding Tees!

Jan 8, 2008

When I was a bride (way back in 2003!) I had a destination cruise ship wedding.  I put together little goodie gift bags with tons of favors and supplies for our guests.  One of the items I gave out was personalized wedding tees.  Each tee had the graphic from our wedding invitation with our names and wedding date.  Everyone loved them!  In fact just last week we were visiting our friends Corey and Michelle, and Corey was wearing our wedding tee!

Everyone loves tee shirts, and even if they don’t wear them as “everyday” wear, they will still wear them around the house, working out, gardening, etc.  Tee shirts make great wedding favors and bridal shower favors – they also are great for the bride who wants to flaunt her soon-to-be or newlywed status.

The new designs we released are super cute (there are 10 in all), I especially like the Candy Hearts, Hummingbird and “Hello My Name Is” designs.  They are available in white, light blue and pink tees, capsleeved tees and tank tops – and best of all there is no minimum order!  Here’s a sneek peek:


Personalized Wedding Tees 
To see the rest of our designs please visit our bridal accessory page!

Inexpensive Wedding Dresses

Dec 19, 2007

Speaking of economical wedding ideas, here is a great idea for a cheap, inexpensive wedding dress: JCrew’s Goddess Gown.  For only $325.00, this gorgeous silk gown is available in ivory, in regular or petite sizes.  It is perfect for casual weddings, beach weddings, or garden weddings.  If this dress was available when I got married in 2003, I surely would have purchased it.

You should also check out all of J Crew’s wedding gowns - although a small section, their dresses are simple, yet fabulous.  Since these dresses are online only, if you plan on ordering, I would suggest ordering 3 sizes, you size, the size above, and the size below.  This way you can be sure to get the best fit.  Simply return the 2 dresses which aren’t the correct fit to any  of their stores or via the catalog.