Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Q & A: The "B" List

Q:  We can only afford to have 100 people at our wedding. We have a really big "B" list and we're hoping we can invite some of them, but we really can't do anything until we get some "no" responses. How do we tactfully rush the people on the "A" list to respond and then invite the "B" listers without being obvious that they weren't first choice?

A:  A lot of people are in this same situation, so you don't need to feel tacky. Just make sure you don't let anyone know that they're on the "B" list. Here are a few ideas:

  • Send out your "A" list invitations early (8-10 weeks in advance), hoping that you'll get some early responses. 
  • Put out the feelers.  Moms and girlfriends are really good at this.  Get them on the phone with the family/ friends and start talking about the wedding.  People will most likely share their plans, if they'll be able to make it or not, if they have heard anything from anyone else, etc.
  • Give people an option to rsvp on your wedding website.  This is generally easier, faster, and more motivating than snail mail.
Don't forget to enter our SUMMER GIVEAWAY!

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    Budget Wedding Flower Fix

    This month's budget wedding flower fix is a really fun, summery one- and very unique, too.  Pineapple with alstroemelia lilies wedged in the top in a low bowl filled with water, floating flowers, and sea glass.  $20

    Don't forget to enter our SUMMER GIVEAWAY!

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Tip of the Week

    Try not to let the wedding planning process and to-do list take over your entire head.  Give yourself realistic deadlines and don't think about the wedding when you've finished for the day.  It can be difficult to enjoy your time with your fiancee and friends if your mind is always somewhere else.

    Don't hesitate to give yourself a break and start again on Monday.  You don't want to have bad memories of planning your wedding; it should be a happy time.  Although the timing/planning can be tricky and certainly a bit stressful at times, be sure to make it manageable for you.  If you need extra help, call in the friends and family.

    Don't forget to enter our SUMMER GIVEAWAY!

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Wedding Dress of the Month

    I absolutely love this dress- so chic and unique yet simple.  Only $250 from David's Bridal...

    By the way, did you know that David's Bridal is coming out with an affordable Vera Wang line next spring??  Pretty exciting stuff.

    Don't forget to enter our SUMMER GIVEAWAY!

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Budget Wedding Demo

    I'm going to start a series of example wedding budgets, ranging anywhere from $5-20K.  I'll give a breakdown of what the potential bride could spend on certain aspects of her wedding. Some weddings might have a small guest list, so they can spend more elsewhere... and others might have a lot of people, but focus on several DIY components to stay on budget.  Enjoy!

    Budget: $12K
    Guest List: 125 people
    Wedding Party: 4 bridesmaids, 4 groomsmen
    Ceremony: 1pm
    Colors/Theme:  "Fiesta on the green"- orange, green, yellow

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Q&A: Hurting Feelings

    Q: My fiancee and I are on a tight budget, but we have several close friends plus siblings.  I have 4 best friends from high school (all in a tight knit group) and 2 close friends from college, as well as a sister and future sister-in-law.  I can't imagine not including them all, but I imagine that's going to get very expensive. Any suggestions?

    A: Having 8 bridesmaids and groomsmen will definitely cost you- from the size of the limo, to the time needed from the photographer, to the bouquets, bridesmaid luncheon, and wedding party gifts.  One way to handle this without hurting anyone's feelings is to only include your sister and sister in law as the bridesmaids and find other ways for your friends to have a small part.

    In your situation, I wouldn't be able to choose between any of those friends, but as long as none of them were individually left out, they should understand.  You can ask them to do a reading, share some of their talents (if any of them sing, enjoy photography or videography, etc), help with giving out programs, bringing up the gifts if it's in a church, etc.  You could even ask these girls to wear a certain color/style dress and sit in the front row to make them feel included and know that they're special to you.

    Photo Credit:

    If you only have 2 bridesmaids who are family, you are covering your bases of anyone's feelings being hurt.  It's obviously something you had to do to keep the wedding smaller and not an issue of them being a good enough or close enough friend.  I would only worry if you started splitting hairs over including some of these friends and not others.  Making the wedding party significantly smaller is a much safer- and cheaper- bet.

    Friday, July 9, 2010


    Right now, we're doing a $40 giveaway sponsored by CSN Stores.  The gift card will be good for any of their 200 stores, featuring dining room furniture, kitchen appliances, housewares and a ton of other stuff.  All you have to do to enter is follow my blog publicly and post a comment on one of my blog posts. 


    I will collect these new blog followers up until August 8 and then draw a name out of a hat.  It's that simple- good luck!


    *Shipping charges and international fees (for Canadian readers) may apply.

    Monday, July 5, 2010

    Make It Yours

    It wasn’t until I started planning my wedding over 2 years ago that I realized rules are meant to be broken. I couldn’t believe how many “musts” are involved in the traditional wedding. It never occurred to me that my wedding should reflect my wants and personality (and my husband’s). I was more concerned about people being disappointed to experience something against the wedding norm.

    But then I wised up. We were on a fairly tight budget, so obviously some of these traditions weren’t going to work out. So, which ones could we throw out? All of them, as it turns out. We started thinking about what was most important to us and how we envisioned the most perfect day of our lives. From there, things just started getting easier-- even fun! And looking back on the way it turned out, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    I have always been much more of a day person than night, so I decided to have the ceremony at 1pm, followed by the reception at 3. Instead of the traditional chicken, starch & veg dinner, we opted for a pig roast— my husband’s favorite. The dressed pig made for a great decoration (my apologies to the vegetarians) and it was a pleasant change from the typical wedding menu. There were a variety of sauces for the pork, and our sides included pasta salad and grilled marinated peppers, onions & squash. Everyone commented on what a great meal it was.

    The next thing I nixed was the veil because it’s just not me. I had some real qualms about this one because you’re only a bride once and I really wanted to look like one. But I also wanted to look like me and the veil just seemed too serious. Along those same lines, I took the liberty of choosing the most ridiculous bible reading of all time because I thought all of the options were a little outdated and silly (I’m a devout Catholic, but you have to be able to laugh at yourself sometimes!)… The reading I chose had something to do with “my lover leaping like a gazelle.” I figured I might as well have a little fun with the limited selection. It lightened the mood, too-- everyone had a good laugh.

    I am also Irish, which if you know us, we like to shout it from the rooftops. It’s not a detail you leave out of conversations with people you’ve just met. So, I not only canned “Here Comes the Bride”; I hired a bagpiper to do all of my church music. Then, my cousins and I did an Irish dance to open the reception and get people going.

    My absolute favorite thing about my wedding was the location of the reception. We were thrilled to find out that my in-laws were willing to let us use their bay house in southern Maryland. We grew up near the water, so having our reception on the St. Clement’s Bay was really a reflection of who we are. People walked along the hill overlooking the water or sat down by the pier over the course of the afternoon. It was truly a relaxed wedding and we were relaxed as a result.

    The bottom line is that you don’t have to do anything for your special day. The more you free yourself from the traditional norms, the better your day will turn out—because it will be about you!