Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pinching Pennies II

With three kids, a thriving business, and just every day expenses, we know as well as you how hard it is to stretch a dollar. When it comes to managing any of these aspects of life (including your upcoming nuptials), one has to be incredibly resourceful. You CAN look like you're worth a million bucks even if you can't afford a fraction of that expense. Here are a few ways:

1. Ebay There are tons of ladies out there who either want to sell their wedding gowns quick, fast, and in a hurry, or simply found another dress before their wedding day that they fell in love with all over again....or a bridal salon could have several previous season items that they need to rid themselves of. The key in finding the gown of your dreams is to pay attention to:

  • the auction details and ask tons of questions before committing to buy
  • check, check, and double check the sellers' feedback to make sure you're working with a credible person
  • bid at the last minute! Never get overly anxious. Just watch the auction and remind yourself to bid in the 11th hour. You'll always get the best price.
  • scour the internet and other auctions to ensure you're getting the best deal
  • be honest....and know your measurements! (when its all said and done, no one will know or care what size your dress it....just invest in one that can be altered to fit just right)

Here are just a few nice finds:

Jim Hjelm JH8662 :with a buy it now price of $649

Amsale - A445: with a buy it now price of $250
Judd Waddell: with a buy it now price of $500
Kenneth Pool: with a starting bid of $2100 (originally over $5000)
2. Pearl's Place Pearl's Place was the diamond we found a few years ago when we planned our wedding. It is a leading bridal store based in New Orleans, that provides acesss to the best prices in bridal fashions. They're listed in several bridal magazines: Brides, Modern Bride, For the Bride by Demetrios, Martha Stewart, Bridal Guide,In Style Weddings and Wedding Dresses and you will be impressed by their service.
3. PreOwned Wedding
This site is absolutely a great site...particularly for those of us who love expensive couture gowns but would rather use those pennies toward something else! :) One can find designs from J. Crew and David's Bridal to Melissa Sweet and Anne Barge! I think I am a kid in a candy store! Happy Shopping Ladies!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A thousand words

Pictures really are worth 1000+ words. We simply can't get enough of this photographer's blog that we "lucked up" on. DrewB based in Orange County lucky west coast brides! Anyway, we thought we'd add some beautiful eye candy. It's always wonderful to see God's gifts manifested in others. Enjoy!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pinching Pennies

In light of all of the budget constraints and consumer debt out there these days, we thought it would be ideal to offer insight on getting the most bang for your buck for your next event. Since the wedding season is about to jump into full swing, our points may lean more in the direction of wedding planning than other events…but should be applicable all around. Remember, your wedding is ONE day…and although it sounds cliché, it really is the first day of the rest of your lives together. Why get in debt or send someone else into debt if it is avoidable? These days nothing is certain and you really have to think wisely for your future and overall outcome.

1. First and foremost, discover the PROS of event planning.
Seriously consider investing in a well-established event planner. This will benefit you in more ways than one. They have in most cases, been there, done that with most planning scenarios, and are very skilled at managing even the worst wedding blunders. When you consider the amount of time it takes them to sort through the details of contracts, figures, pictures, your likes, dislikes and the bottom line…why not give someone else that responsibility? Remember it would take you double if not triple the time to manage the details that they’re paid to do…and do it well. Do you have the time equivalent to about spend about $30/hour to make your day be as seamless as you’d hoped? We rest our case. J

2. Keep it Simple Simon, or er, Susie.
When selecting participants for your big day, you will save yourself a ton (literally) of heartache and pain by keeping your attendant count low. Sure, there will be your preverbal acquaintance who you’d rather not offend, or your high school classmate who you thought was your BFF until you found another one in college. Let’s do the math, going from 10 bridesmaids down to 5, will cut your costs in: $50 bouquets (at a minimum), coordinating bridal party accessories, and associated gifts..not to mention the mental cost of trying to keep everyone rounded up and being in place on time for your wedding weekend.
Remember, a true friend will still be willing to offer his/her services regardless of their role. Close friends could always step in as a hostess/usher or assist you when it comes to assembling favors (see #5).

3. Kharma Chameleon
Consider selecting vendors or locations that may not be “established” wedding service providers. For instance, scoping out a restaurant, venue, or caterer that is relatively new and not of the norm will certainly help your wallet (but remember to confirm that they will be able to handle larger parties). You can always offer to pay additional fees for additional help…which is still less expensive than the cost of a popular reception facility. Another example: you’ve received the recommendation of a baker who makes great cakes, but not necessarily fondant-adorned cakes. If they are interested in expanding their territory in their local market, they may be willing to work on fine-tuning their skills to give you the cake of your dreams on a lower budget. Remember, all great businesses started somewhere! When you help others, sometimes, with proper planning and communication, you are helped in return.

4. It’s just black and white.
Some brides spend so much time trying to come up with a fantastic color scheme, yet end up with hues that are much more trouble than they bargained for. Sometimes certain colors are not easily accessible and are difficult to coordinate in the long run. Here are a few basic color schemes where color was used more as an accent than the overall palette. Check out this fashionable bride, "springchic":

In addition, once you choose a color scheme, if you have more than 6 months to plan, you might get lucky and locate seasonal items that you can utilize for your big day or towards gifts for your attendants. For example your local department store might run their oversized terry cloth robes 75% off at the moment. That will really be a cost savings for the gifts for your groomsmen (you can even add a touch of class by having their initials monogrammed on them since you’ve saved so much).

Also, when you choosing your color scheme, always consider your ceremony and reception venues. What an ungodly sight to have to "work" burgandy and white walls with a springy pinks, pale yellows, and greens....
Here's another example of how less = more, with more great moments featured on Drew B's Photography Blog
and we just couldn't get enough of these romantic images from Gabriel Ryan Photography

5. Favor your wallet first.
When its all said and done, very few individuals will be concerned about receiving a favor. Let’s be honest. Most of the favors you receive at weddings are not functional and serve very little purpose. Why burden someone else with the same task that you had last summer of decluttering your home of random trinkets picked up at their friends’ weddings?

6. The bar is closed.
So yes, an open bar sounds nice…but really is it all that necessary. Most guests will take what is offered. Why not consider just two or better yet, one signature drink as the alcoholic option…and make it fun! From to there are a ton of options out there…and if they aren’t privy to your selection, they’ll most likely drink less and that will help your piggy bank.