Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wedding Wise Wednesday - August 26

Every week I post the coolest wedding stories and best deals I find in Los Angeles and around the web. And we call it Wedding Wise Wednesday.

Speaking of DIY...

Since we were talking about it last week, here's a guest blog I wrote on the subject for L.A. Style Unveiled.

Squee of the Week:
One of my guiltiest, GUILTIEST pleasures is watching the Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo,with her big sunglasses and her near-ulcers. I've seen (as have you) complaints that she doesn't create anything, she just puts together outfits for celebrities, but she's providing a "editing" service that is invaluable to them, since their living is predicated on public perception. You know it and I know it. And, if you saw Eva Mendes or Anne Hathaway at there, you certainly can't argue with the results. And, I can relate, because I'm in the "editing" business myself. Anyway. I had a point...right. Jewelry. Rachel borrows tons of gorgeous jewelry for her clients, and now you can rent gorgeous jewelry for your wedding from Adorn Bride. Gorgeous pearl and diamond pieces that retail for thousands, that are all yours for only a couple of hundred dollars. And you 2010 brides can get a 25% discount on your orders, too. Thanks again to L.A. Style Unveiled for the tip.

The Deals:

The Gown Swap:

Welcome to the newest pre-owned wedding/bridesmaid/party dress website. Pick your designer, your size, pick your style/cut (this is new),and have it. Thanks to Bargain Babe for the heads-up.

Save 10% on Clearance Items at Wedding Outlet:
Pretty much everything you could ever want or need wedding accessory-wise. I'm pretty much crushing on this Butterscotch Colored Ring Pillow.

We Interrupt This Post for Something Really Cool:
Wanna know what the weather during your wedding is going to be like? Well, Weather.com can help you with that. Just put in the date, location, and time of day. Great for outdoor events. With my couples, it looks like it'll be 75 degrees at Minnie and Donald's wedding in October at Griffith Park, and 90 degrees during Ellen and Patrick's ceremony in Malibu next June.

The Contests:

David's Bridal - Win a Wedding Dress and Five Bridesmaid Dresses
They're picking one winner a month, so hurry to get into September's drawing.

The Plus Size Bride Wedding Stationery Contest - 150 save the dates, 150 invitations, 150 thank you cards, courtesy of Vista Prints. Contest has been extended until this Sunday, 8/30, with the winner announced on Monday, so HURRY!


Fit to Be Brides Bride Challenge:

BWell Fitness looking for Three Brides who are willing to devote the next 12 weeks to their new wedding fitness program. Forget losing weight for your wedding - how about just learning how to have a healthier lifestyle? Contest ends Friday, 8/28.

FREE!
The Budget Savvy Bride - Wedding Invitation Download. She shows you how to do a three-layered version of the invite, but this would be gorgeous on it's own, too.

And finally, The Events:
Soi-Meme - The Independent Eco-Bridal Salon
Saturday, August 29, 11am - 4pm
A great chance for eco-conscious DIY capable couples to discover and meet with the most inspiring eco-friendly wedding products and service providers. There are workshops and panels throughout the day, too, starting with "How to Plan Your Green Wedding Online", with one of my favorite online resources, Dana La Rue from Broke-Ass Bride.

See You at the End of the Aisle,

Liz C.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wedding Wise Wednesday - August 19

Every week I post the coolest wedding stories and best deals I find in Los Angeles and around the web. And we call it Wedding Wise Wednesday.

I’ve gotten some flack from a few people about the Recession Bride’s Workshop, especially about my line about asking Aunt Susan to make dinner for everyone or sew your own dress from scratch. It’s great if you can do that, but…most people don’t have those kind of resources or skills or time. They just don’t. It comes down to having the wedding you want, using what you have available, even if that’s just a certain amount of money in your budget. Couples shouldn’t be made to feel bad if they want to DIY, but they shouldn’t be made to feel bad if they don’t – or cant - either. DIY is a great way to save money. Combining DIY with bargain hunting is also a great way to save money. And it tuns out that combining eco-friendly bargain hunting and DIY? Is a great way to save money. Observe:

Squee of the Week:
So, get this - Green Karat not only uses recycled gold to make their wedding rings, BUT you can send them recycled gold, either anything you have, or even better, gold donated by family and friends (sounds like a great bridal shower project to me),and have them make your rings out of that. When I found out about this at $2,000 wedding , I texted two of my more eco and DIY-minded brides to give them a heads-up.
And since I can't get through a post without linking to etsy these days, there's also a long list of reasonably priced rings made of recycled metal there as well.

If it's Good Enough for Mrs. Griffin, It Should Be Good Enough For You:

Really, I never thought much about boxed wine, but I'm a big fan of Kathy Griffin, and if you've watched the show, you know her mom is a big fan of boxed wine, which provides one of the bigger consistent laughs of the whole show. Look, I buy $5 wines at Trader Joes, good wine, darn it, so I could never judge. Plus, while I was over at 2k wedding learning about recycled rings, I found out that boxed wine has a lower carbon footprint than bottled wine because it's lighter to ship, plus it has a longer shelf-life once you open it. You can find reviews of the best of them here, here, and here. You only need about 10 boxes for 100 guests, and they retail between $13 - 20 per box. So, that's $130 - 200 for wine for all your guests. If you don't want to deal with other people's opinions, keep it on the DL and put the wine in decanters, either behind the bar or better yet, at each table. No one needs to know...

DIY Your Flowers and Centerpieces
Probably the second easiest DIY wedding project, other than using invitation kits, is putting together your own bouquets and centerpieces. Keep it simple and it's easily done, especially with the abundance of video tutorials on the internet. DIY Bride also has a great list of online bulk flower stores,some of which are local, but you can always go to Trader Joes or a farmer's market for more inexpensive choices as well.


And Then Something Comes Along...


It often happens that you think that something is going to be impossible for you to do, and then you come across something that convinces you that maybe it isn't. While yesterday, I would never have been convinced that I, or anyone else I know, could make their own cake, I saw this:


And I thought, hey, I could do that, and more importantly, I'd like to do it. Three different sizes of flourless chocolate cake, with whipped cream combined with cream cheese stacked between the layers. And you wouldn't even have to make it, you could probably buy the layers and put it together. Either way, go to the kitchn and find out how.

The Events:

The Recession Bride's Workshop
Sunday, August 23rd

Are you afraid that you can’t have your dream wedding on your budget? Would you like to find out how to save money without sacrificing style or your vision of the perfect day? On Sunday, I will teach you innovative, reasonable strategies and solutions that will save you thousands of dollars on your wedding. Start right away by taking advantage of our special promotion with KIIS FM and get $10 discount on registration when you use the code"KIIS" at checkout.

OC Bridal Show
Sunday, August 23, 11 - 4pm
Embassy Suites Brea
900 E. Birch Street
Brea, California
$7 at the door, $5 if you register online.

Brides and Basketball
Tuesday, August 25th, 6-9pm
Staples Center
1111 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles CA 90015
What's the best way to get your guy to go to bridal show with you? Put a basketball game in the middle of it. Oh, I am SO there!

Encore Bridal
Bridal Accessory Trunk Show
August 28 - 30
Veils, Jewelry, and wait for it...SHOES. 20% off any order that's made during the show. While you're there, check out their stock of pre-owned (re-cycled and thus re-used) designer wedding dresses.

See you Sunday,

Liz C.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Recession Bride's Workshop - As Seen on KIIS FM.com

Yes, Ryan Seacrest's KIIS FM. #1 Radio Station in L.A. Yup. As part of their Perfect Wedding Contest that's going on over the next few weeks, if you use the code "KIIS" at checkout when you register for the Recession Bride's Workshop this Sunday, you'll get a $10 discount. At the Workshop, you'll learn how to save thousands of dollars on every vendor and every service, and still have the wedding of your dreams. Really! And there's cake and cocktails beforehand!

Also, my sister-in law Tristan's book just came out - Menu-Dating: Taste-Test Your Way to the Main Course came out today, a single-girl's dating guide to finding the guy of her dreams. No such thing as a bad date, chicas, it's just one more step closer to finding "the one", so YOU can have the wedding of your dreams, too! Pass it on.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Top Ten Ways to Have a Green Wedding

Hey, how was everyone's weekend? I did nothing, and then I went to a Mad Men Premiere Party last night which was awesome. That show makes me so happy, even though it's about the most miserable set of people on the face of the planet. Ironic, huh?

Well, you know how I love Top Ten Tips, and I found a great new set last week - Top Ten Tips for a Green Wedding, at Bridal Scoop. Thanks to Saavy Planners for the link. The great thing is that a lot of these will save you money, too, which I'll be discussing at the Recession Bride's Workshop this Sunday.

1. Instead of disposable cameras, use a site like The Wedding Lens and have guests upload their digital photos into one private album. This way the bride and groom can enjoy all the pictures taken from their wedding at a lower cost. It also avoids the waste and extra expense of disposable cameras.

2. Go the route of linen and china instead of paper and plastic products. It looks amazing and there is no waste.

3. Use local growers/vendors: locally grown foods and vendors are a great way to support the local economy, and using flowers that are in season saves on cost, too. If you are not careful, this route can actually cost more. But if you shop around and pick "in season" items you can find it very cost-effective.

4. Many couples are donating to charities in honor of their guests instead of giving favors. Couples can register at sites like JustGive instead handing out the traditional wedding favors. JustGive provides the couple their own personalized webpage to share with their guests that showcases the charities they support.

5. Forgo the traditional wedding programs and use a chalkboard or creative display at the entrance to post the ceremony program. {Bridal Scoop loves this very cute (and green) idea} [So does Charmed Weddings. Plus, you can use the chalkboard to tell your guests where they can post their pictures for tip #1 - Liz]

6. Reduce paper waste: use recycled paper, send e-vite invitations for showers/bachelor parties/weddings, or make the invite all on one sheet, and have guests RSVP by email. [You're probably worrying about your less internet saavy family members. Pinng can send both e-vites and paper invites, which are recyclable - Liz]

7. Save on transportation by having the same site for your wedding and your reception or by booking at venues that are within walking distance to each other. You might also be able to save money with your vendors by booking them for less time on your day since travel between sites would not be necessary. Set up carpools for your guests if travel is needed between the wedding and reception.

8. Consider buying a used wedding dress. Websites like Infacity and Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses connect buyers and sellers at a very high success rate! As a side note- Jen at {Bridal Scoop} ,bought her wedding dress used and was very pleased with it- she was able to get a much more expensive gown than she could have afforded if it would have been new. [If you're looking for storefronts, there's Encore Bridal and Glamour Closet, in Los Angeles. - Liz]

9. Think of reusable centerpieces such as potted plants or live bamboo. You can then give them as gifts at the end of your reception.

10. Try to find and use vendors who make a green effort by saving water, reducing waste, and serving menus of locally grown/organic foods. Green Hotels and Green Seal can help you locate those vendors in your area that qualify. [I added the hyperliknks, which go to green hotels and properties in California - Liz]

Just remember - no matter the size of your budget, every effort taken to preserve our environment and resources by going green at your wedding can make a difference!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Wedding Dump

You know how every Friday, some big news story comes up that is the only thing anyone is talking about over the weekend, 'til Monday rolls around again? Personally,I love how, apparently, all news just STOPS over the weekend. Nothin'newsworthy EVER goes on on a Saturday or Sunday, nope.
Anyway. Here's the wedding stories that you should be talking about all weekend:


100 Days to Plan a Wedding

Miss Houlihan, a lovely young lady in Tennessee, is planning her wedding in 100 days. Great blog, great posts, and she's right about one thing - when you buy the DIY invite kits, make sure you realize how much is going into putting them together. It's one thing to have to print them up,print up the envelopes and put them together and ship them off. It's another to have to attach little ribbons to everything, and fold and gut them five or more times. One requires a lot more alcohol consumption than the other, which isn't going to make any of it go faster. I'm just saying. She's only got about 50 days to go!

Flowers on Mars is holding their Breath of Elegance show on Sunday,"Affordable wedding deals for that platinum wedding style." And you know how I love that.
Location:
Del Rey Party Rental
4855 W. Rosecrans Ave
Hawthorne, CA
Sunday, August 16, 2009, 11:00am - 5:00pm. Go here for more info and to RSVP, or to their blog.

And last but not least, I went back to etsy.com and put in "wedddings" in the search box to see the newest and coolest stuff they've got on sale right now. Yup, that should definitely keep you occupied for the next couple of days. Me, too, Man.

See you at the end of the aisle (and HEY, at the workshop next week!),

Liz C.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wedding Wise Wednesday - August 12

Every week I post the coolest wedding stories and best deals I find in Los Angeles and around the web. And we call it Wedding Wise Wednesday.

The Squee! Of the Week:
If you are like me,and actually, most of the owners that I know, you wouldn't be able to pry my iphone out of my cold, dead hands. It is seriously one of my top 20 favorite things,ever. Yeah, now I sound a little nutty. Anyway. Bride Guide is a new iphone App, designed by a wedding planner, and it's awesome. Would you like a to-do checklist of 185 items, that also lets you add your own? A place to keep track of all of your vendor contacts? A budget tracker and calculator geared towards your specific budget? One click for an explanation and fyi for each wedding topic, from cakes and flowers to invites and dresses. Yup, there is an app for that. I'll be showing it off at the Workshop next Sunday, definitely. Which is filling up, by the way, so register ASAP.


The Contests

And there are a few of them:
WC Photo Studio is still taking submissions for their Out of This World Wedding Contest. What's going to make your wedding fun and original, one that your friends and family will be talking about for years to come? They're looking for two couples, and since Nancy and Edwin are also sponsors of the workshop, I'm in there as well. Not only will you get your wedding shot for free, but you'll get two tickets to the next workshop and an hour-long consultation with me, where I'll answer all your wedding questions. Can't win if you don't play, so go and play already.

How would you like to get married in San Francisco on May 14, 2010? Oh, and then follow that up with a honeymoon in Napa? Over forty top Bay Area wedding vendors are collaborating to offer one lucky couple an all-inclusive wedding of their dreams. Visit 2010 San Franciso Wedding Giveway for more details. Contest ends in November. Thanks to DIY Bride for the tip!

The Thirty Something Bride has a heads-up about invitation designer Rachel Jasper's giveaway contest. 100 customized save the date cards, your choice of the design. You have to act fast on this one, the deadline is tomorrow, Thursday the 13th. And, again, to the surprise of no one, Rachel has an etsy store.

Mon Cheri is giving away the beautiful dress featured on the cover of the September/October issue of Bridal Guide. Constest ends September 30th, AND you can try on the gown at a local store in Pasadena, Mary Linn's Bridal,(626) 585-8200, marylinn.com. Got this one from Wedzilla.

The Deals:
Speaking of invitations, Bella Figura is having their annual sample sale, benefiting the environmental organization American Forests. Regularly priced at $5, samples are $1 each until August 31st, and 100% of that goes to American Forests.

Inspired Bride has a new weekly feature called Dress to Impress for Less - wedding appropriate outfits, dress, shoes and accessories for $150 and less.

Mackenzie Murphy, examinar.com's San Francisco Recession Wedding Reporter, lists inexpensive bachelorette party options within driving distance of the bay area. Like Los Angeles. One night in Hollywood at the Renaissance Hotel, no less (that would be the one connected to the Kodak theater, home of the Oscars), dinner, drinks, dancing and cab fare, for $150 per person, for a party of 10.

The Cool Stuff:

Project Wedding not only has a list of local bridal shops, but reviews of them, too. Plus, reviews of vendors for pretty much every wedding planning service available. Enjoy!

Paper Orchid's beautiful, intricate laser-cut cupcake wrappers. For cupcakes! Thanks to Wedding Chicks for the link.


The Events:

August 12th, 2009
6-9 PM

Wedding Happy Hour
Presents the Poolside Bridal Party
Four Points Sheraton Westside
5900 Green Valley Circle Culver City, CA 90230
Complimentary Parking

August 16, 2009
Bridal Showplace
11am - 4pm
The Queen Mary at Long Beach

The Recession Bride's Workshop
Sunday, August 23rd
The Gallery at Market Lofts
645 W. 9th Street (Between Flower and Hope, Entrance on Hope St.)
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Don't know how you're going to have the wedding of your dreams with the money in your budget? I do. Register online for the "Early Bride" discount - Save $10 at checkout by using the code "WedCharmEarly." I'm really looking forward to meeting you!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wedding Wise Wednesday - Round the Web and Back Again

Every week I post the coolest wedding stories and best deals I find in Los Angeles and around the web. And we call it Wedding Wise Wednesday.

It cannot be repeated enough: DAVID'S BRIDAL IS HAVING THEIR $99 DRESS SALE. The Last Day is Monday, August 10th. Seriously, what are you waiting for? GO!

Let the Cuteness Begin:
Custom Wedding Cake Toppers. I found these on Martha Stewart's Wedding Blog. They're only $35.00. On Etsy.com, to the surprise of no one.


Can't Afford the Photo Booth? You can definitely afford this:

Yes, photo booths are expensive. How about a polaroid guestbook, instead? Here's the deal: Adesso Albums is selling a kit - tiny on-the-go printer, 30 page guest book (roughly 75 guests), and 30 sheets of printer paper - for $125.95. Yes, I know!
Here's the tip: Set it up at your check-in table with a sign, and make sure that everything is already hooked up. If you can have someone monitor it and take the pictures while everything's coming in,that would be great. Encourage couple and group shots. Pictures are taken, put in the book, with funny and thoughtful commentary. You get to keep them and the camera forever. If you do want an extra book, it's only $39.95, and Extra sheets are just y $10 on Amazon for another pack of 10.

UPDATE:
Adesso is also selling a kit that comes with a camera that prints out all by itself, for $134.95. It comes with 20 sheets, and you can get another 20 for $20 on Amazon. Either choice, all together, for under $200. Pretty cool.

There's Nothing Better Than Pretty Invitations When They're Free:
Especially if they're really, really pretty. Click to download the zip file, which contains the invite and RSVP templates,a selection of fonts, and instructions on how to put it all together. Thanks, Wedding Chicks!

'Cause, Seriously? Good Point.
Pretty much all of the wedding-oriented pictures and advertising feature tiny, tiny brides, whereas we all know that most of the women in this country are, you know, somewhere between a size 12 and 14. A new blog is not only offering dress tips and pics, but also posting pictures of Plus-sized brides and their weddings. I was one of them myself, when I got married. Visit The Plus-Size Bride to take a look.

You’ve heard of the book Bridal Bargains, Right?
Well, they have a blog, finally. And you can buy the latest edition on Amazon starting at $2.00.You're welcome.


Let the Cuteness Continue:

Wedding for Two is one of the blogs I visit regularly. Love the post she has announcing that one her favorite photographers coming to town, and I quote, “Fearlessness is rarely so reasonably priced.” Hee! But this week, she also led me to Stinkerpants, a great new graphic design company in California. Not only can you order the cutest Save The Dates and invites ever - http://stinkerpants.com/portfolio/, but you can also let the world know that you support same-sex marriage with cutest and free-est bumper sticker ever. I mentioned it was free, right?

This Week's Events:
Wedding Happy Hour
Cocktails, Appetzers, Beautiful Reception Designs. And free parking.
Wedneday, August 12
7:00 - 9:00pm
Four Points Sheraton West Side
5990 Green Valley Circle, Culver City CA 90230
Tickets - $7 - 9, register on eventbrite.com

The Recession Bride's Workshop
Sunday, August 23rd
Don't know how to have the wedding of your dreams with the money in your budget? I do. Early Bride Registration is now open - Save $10 at checkout by using the code "WedCharmEarly." Space is limited, so hop to it. Plus, I'm really looking forward to meeting you!

I'm off to New York tomorrow with my mom, on our annual trip to New York to celebrate her birthday. Ah, vacation. Sort of. Because, you know, I'll have the laptop with me.

Monday, August 03, 2009