Thursday, January 28, 2010

Don't Call me cheap, call me frugal!

I found a new website and resource to help you save money on your big day!!!

Big Wedding, Tiny Buddget has LOTS of tips to help you plan your day.

Their Blurb: It's the most important day of your life. But it shouldn't be the most expensive. Cheap Weddings are becoming the new trend set by smart, savvy brides everywhere. Whether your budget is $3,000 or $30,000, you CAN have the wedding of your dreams and Big Wedding Tiny Budget.com will show you how. Getting luxe for less and the most bang for your bridal buck is the name of the game here girls!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brides lets help Haiti!!

Ashley at Ashley's Bride guide posted this and I wanted to share it with you.

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Since the earthquake hit, I’ve been devastated. I’ve turned off the tv because the situation is so dire and I wasn’t sure how I could help. Then it hit me, I should turn to the community that I love - the Nashville bridal community - and see if we can work together to heal Haiti.

ABG’s Bridal Bumpers for Haiti

At the Jan 17th bridal show, I gave away bridal bumper stickers to Nashville brides to celebrate their 2010 wedding. Brides loved them! So I thought, why not turn this freebie into a fundraiser for Haiti. Now, “Bridal Bumpers for Haiti” has become my small contribution to Haiti.

How does it work? Every time someone in Nashville adds an ABG bumper sticker (see below) to their car, takes a pic and emails/tweets it to me, ABG will donate $5 to Haiti via Doctors Without Borders, on behalf of the Nashville bridal community. It’s that simple. Just become a bumping bride or bridal vendor and $5 goes to Haiti. This is a small task but could be just what a doctor needs to deliver supplies, aid to Haiti.

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(one of 3 bumper stickers available for pick up)

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(Nashville brides and wed pros - proudly representing ABG / Nashville weddings!)

To all of the brides pictured above, I hope your bumper is proudly showcasing your 2010 bride. Ladies - be sure to send me a picture of the bumper sticker on your car so I can include you in the count for the Haitian donation.

Even if you are not a bride, you can still pick up a bumper sticker to join the cause. We have a version that simply says “Love Nashville Weddings” that would be perfect for ANYONE who follows ABG:). Vendors - if you are attending the vendor dinner this Thursday, I will have them available there - no excuses:).

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(perfect bumper sticker for Nashville wedding pros and enthusiasts)

Remember - ABG will donate $5 to Doctors Without Borders for each bride/ wedding enthusiast who picks up a bridal bumper sticker and puts it on their car and lets us know! Once you’ve added the bumper sticker, simply send us the picture via twitter (@weddinggirl), via facebook (facebook.com/nashvillewedding) or email info at ashleysbrideguide dot com.

You can also help by spreading the word - the more people that know, the more money for Haiti, with a simple gesture on your part. Simply tweet it and include the #WEDHAITI. Or, email your friends this post so they can pick up a bumper sticker and help us help Haiti.

Where to get your bumper sticker:

Don’t have a bumper sticker? So many Nashville wedding vendors have graciously joined to help and now you can pick up your bumper sticker at the following locations. While you’re there, feel free to shop around or leave a cash donation for Haiti to be added to the overall ABG donation.

These super cute bumper stickers will not last so be sure to pick up yours NOW.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

BevMo!

Here is a great resource for your reception, rehearsal dinner, engagement party, stock the bar, or just for the heck of it!

BevMo! Is the leading alcoholic beverage-lifestyle superstore retailer in the western United States.

How it works? You go to their site, sign up for ClubBev! and see if it will ship to your state. You can get some crazy good deals from their news letters!!

Cheers!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Honeymoon Safari

This is tooo cool. Can you imagine waking up with the elephants?!?!?!

Makanyane Safari and Lodge can provide you just that....take a look

All this will cost you 5600 RAND a night or $735.87 USD and includes ALL your adult and non adult beverages. You can go half price if you want to go solo.



Friday, January 22, 2010

5 Registry Items to Splurge on!


Put down the scanner gun, and walk away....slowly. Good girl. Now lets regroup, you are in Bed Bath and WAY Beyond you are overwhelmed and your hand holding that scanner gun is shaking. Here are a few thing to get scan happy about when planning your registry.


1. Make a Sterling Choice

In our parents' time, sterling silver flatware was a fixed item on most wedding registries, and complete sets were passed down from one generation to the next. These days, couples tend to skip over sterling in favor of stainless, liking its lower price tag. But stainless will never hold the value, beauty, and heirloom quality of real silver. And it wears so well -- the more you use silver, the better it looks and the shinier the patina grows. Although it has to be hand-washed, the extra elbow grease is worth it for beautiful silver.

Work your china into your everyday dinners, as this top-quality tableware is meant for regular use.

2. Fine Dining

A lot of people shy away from fine dinnerware, thinking that usage once or twice a year doesn't make this fragile purchase worth it. But the truth is that porcelain and bone china are actually tougher and more durable than common stoneware. So don't save china for special occasions only, instead work it into your everyday dinners, as this top-quality tableware is meant for regular use.

3. Slice and Dice

High-quality knives are probably the single best investment you can make in your kitchen. Allowing you to prep meals faster, more easily, and more safely, you will immediately notice the impact of a quality knife on your cooking. Don't worry about getting the whole 23-knife set (although definitely do if you'll put them to good use). Instead invest in three basic types -- a chef's knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife. When you register, pick each knife up at the store, checking for comfort, weight (should be on the hefty side), and balance (shouldn't feel like it's toppling out of your hand). You can't go wrong with brands such as W├╝sthof, J.A. Henckels, and Shun.

4. Stove-toppers

You need more from a stockpot than the ability to boil water -- after all, there's a reason half the food gets burned when you use your cheap college cookware: Inexpensive pots and pans won't heat evenly or properly. Upgrade to stainless (corrode-resistant) pots and pans with aluminum or copper cores (great for heat conduction), any other copper combination, anodized aluminum, and cast iron.

5. Perk Up

Stop relying on your neighborhood barista to get your caffeine fix. Instead, use your registry to treat yourselves to the sophistication of espresso at home, sipped from the comfort of your own kitchen table. Sleek espresso machines often come with a hefty price tag, so put one on the registry and look forward to brunches and after-dinner noshes full of fun cappuccinos, espressos, and happily caffeinated guests.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bridal Brunch

This sounds elegant and fun, I promise it will be nicer and less hectic than the one at the Nashville Convention Center, that one is a bit overwhelming.


Bridal Brunch

Sun, Jan 31 11- 2 p.m.

The Noah Liff Opera Center
$20 A champagne social featuring heavy hors d'oeuvres,
a fashion show, and exclusive wedding service showcases from
Nashville boutiques.

Take your mom, brides maids, and enjoy a Bridal day catered for you!

Monday, January 18, 2010

When is the right time to buy?

D and I have put an offer on a Short Sale in our area, we are looking forward to being "picked" from the 100's of folks who will bid on this house. Fingers Crossed we will see what happens, but in the mean time we have this to ponder....

Milk a Buyer's Market

Negotiate With home prices sinking, you’ve got extra negotiating clout. One trick: See how many homes in your prospective neighborhood were sold last year and use that as a bargaining chip, recommends Jon Boyd, president of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer’s Agents.

Be Diligent Look to see how many homes are on the market now, says Boyd. There may be an oversupply, and if so, prices are likely to drop -- make sure you make an appropriately low offer.

Lowball If you consider only past sales, you may overpay. For houses that have been on the market for longer than a year, make a “lowball” bid of at least 10 percent below the asking price, suggests Ilyse Glink, author of 100 Questions Every First-time Home Buyer Should Ask.

Home-buying Myths: True or False?

"Location, location, location.” Definitely true. Say you’ve found a big, beautiful bargain with one teensy problem: It’s next to some railroad tracks or in a semiseedy neighborhood. Pass it up. You may be able to live with the flaw, but if you move, other home buyers may not be as understanding, and your home could sit on the market for years.

“A home is a good investment.” Not always. If prices are falling or stagnant and you decide to move a few years later, you may not recoup the closing costs.

“Buy the most house you can afford.” Not! The term “house-poor” was created for a reason -- to describe homebuyers who eat Ramen every night because their mortgage consumes every cent they earn. Make sure you’ve got enough moola left over to cover any repairs, maintenance, and vacations.


"Mortgage Calculators " are a great way to see what you can plan to pay every month.

Friday, January 15, 2010

How Rude!


Some people will say and ask anything, here are 10 questions you DON'T have to answer while you are wedding planning.

1. How much is the wedding reception costing you?

2. Can you make sure not to set your date for [insert date here] -- I have a vacation already planned!

3. What table am I sitting at?

4. Why didn't you invite [insert name here]?

5. Is this really a "white wedding"?

6. How many carats is that ring anyway?

7. Who's your favorite bridesmaid?

8. Did you get that idea from my wedding?

9. Are you paying for any of this?

10. Don't you think the six-tiered wedding cake is a bit much?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

FREE wedding planner!

The ladies at Wedding 101 in Franklin are giving you their wedding Planner for FREE!!!


Download it here and don't forget to check out this unique one stop wedding planning venue.

Wedding 101
230 Franklin Road, Building 11, Suite MM
Franklin, TN 37064

hours:

Tuesday thru Friday 11am-7pm

Saturdays 11am-5pm

Sunday & Monday closed

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to pick that date?

There are 365 days a year to choose from and believe me NOT even half of them are available to you. Here are a list of the dates you should think about avoiding before you start your planning.

Holiday Weekends

Memorial Day (always a Monday)

May 31, 2010
May 30, 2011

Independence Day
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Monday, July 4, 2011

Labor Day (always a Monday)
September 6, 2010
September 5, 2011

Thanksgiving (always a Thursday)
November 25, 2010
November 24, 2011

New Year's Eve
Friday, December 31, 2010
Saturday, December 31, 2011

Religious and Cultural Holidays

Be mindful of religious and cultural holidays (your own and those of your guests) when planning your wedding. There may even be restrictions at your house of worship as to whether you're allowed to marry at these times.

Palm Sunday
March 28, 2010
April 17, 2011

Easter Sunday
April 4, 2010
April 24, 2011

Hanukkah (begins at sunset the night before)

Thursday, December 2, until nightfall on Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 21, until nightfall on Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Sunday, December 25, 2011

Costly Holidays

If you're looking to marry around Valentine's Day, be wary of your floral bill, especially if you've got your heart set on red roses -- they're likely to be more costly than at any other time of the year. Likewise, reception sites often charge a higher fee for a New Year's Eve wedding.

Notable Holidays

April Fool's Day
If you and your fiance are jokesters at heart, this could be the perfect wedding day for you. If not, choose another day.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Friday, April 1, 2011

Mother's Day (always a Sunday)
May 9, 2010
May 8, 2011

Father's Day (always a Sunday)
June 20, 2010
June 19, 2011

Halloween
Avoid it if you're terrified that someone might actually show up in costume. (If you love the idea of it, get our top Halloween wedding ideas!)
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Monday, October 31, 2011

Days of Remembrance

Historically significant days may cause a conflict of interest for some guests.
September 11, Patriot Day: It falls on a Saturday in 2010 and a Sunday in 2011.
December 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: It falls on a Tuesday in 2010 and a Wednesday in 2011.

Super Bowl Sunday

If you don't live in the host city and are marrying on the Saturday rather than the Sunday of Super Bowl weekend, then the big game shouldn't affect your wedding too much -- unless you and your husband are diehard pigskin fans and can't bear to miss the big game instead of leaving on your honeymoon. If in doubt, steer clear of these dates and cities:
February 7, 2010, in Miami, FL
February 6, 2011, in Arlington, TX

Final Four/March Madness

Everyone loves the excitement of college b-ball (and betting on it!). Keep your sports fans at bay by avoiding these dates and cities:
Saturday, April 3, and Monday, April 5, 2010, in Indianapolis, IN
Saturday, April 2, and Monday, April 4, 2011, in Houston, TX

Quirky Dates

10/10/10 falls on a Sunday
9/10/11 falls on a Saturday
11/11/11 falls on a Friday

Other Dates to Avoid

College reunions and/or homecomings, big conventions in your city (call your local chamber of commerce), and any annual charity events that involve your family or close friends.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Silhouette Chic!

Silhouette's have slowly been making their way into the wedding world. For those who HATE to have their picture taken, or maybe for those who want to mix up Shabby Chic with your wedding here are a few inspiration boards and a really cool reception idea.

Wedding Tree on Display at your reception....
Here is a quick Inspiration Board on a few different ways you can use your Silhouette to add a little elegance to your big day

Friday, January 8, 2010

....you know before a baby


How many times have you or your husband said that? We need to do this, that, and the other before a baby comes. Last night D says to me, "we should take some trips" (I love when he gets these ideas) I said maybe a trip or a few weekend getaways?

Here are some post-wedding travel trips if you have any Spring Break Destinations in mind...

Q: With the dollar so weak, are there any European destinations that I can still get some bang for my US bucks?
A: Lisbon, Portugal. It has great architecture, delicious food, 100-year-old cafes, and incredible nightlife. Or try a hot non-European destination like Argentina.

Q: Are there any benefits to booking through an online agency?
A: To research flights, use meta search engines like Kayak.com. But if your schedule is fixed, stay loyal to one airline so you can take advantage of free tickets and upgrades.

Q: Is it more cost-effective to buy a cheap, pay-as-you-go cell phone abroad or use your US cell phone?
A: With a pay-as-you-go phone, you save money when calling locally within the country you’re in. Just remember that the worst way to call home is from your hotel room, where charges can be as high as $8 a minute.

Q: Are all-inclusives worth it?
A: Think about what you want and then compare that to what’s being offered. If the resort offers tennis courts and a pro, three pools, and a nightclub, but you have no plans to use that stuff, forget it. Otherwise, it's a deal. Just don’t rip off the hotel’s wrist band the morning of check-out -- you usually have to turn it in at the front desk or could risk paying hundreds of dollars for a new one.

Q: Which hotel chains offer the best rewards system?
A: The brand you use the most will always be the one that rewards you the best. Companies look out for returning customers, and an overbooked hotel is going to bump a nonmember before a member. Some hotels have perks: Omni delivers a free in-room beverage every morning, and Wyndham stocks your room with stuff you like based on history -- like peanut M&Ms and red wine. Who says you can’t buy loyalty?

Q: Where can I learn about travel-volunteer programs?
A: Try GlobalVolunteers.org because you can volunteer as close to home as Montana and as far away as Africa. But before you leave home with the best of intentions, you should ask yourself the hard question of whether or not you’re really up for it. Talk to previous participants to get a sense of what the experience will be like.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to prevent an 'I DO' Shrine!

Are there pictures ALL OVER your house of you and your honey on your wedding day? I mean with good reason you paid A LOT of money for those pictures and you want to show them off.

Please save all your guest from getting nauseated every time they come over by using these few little tricks....

Create a Series
Buy frames in the same color but in four or five different sizes; then enlarge or reduce your favorite photographs to suit the frames. Choose a room where you can hang them together (anywhere from your entryway to your den) as a series. Or create a cool wall ledge to display multiple frames.

Mix It Up
Along with a posed wedding shot, include some candids or pics of your favorite details, such as the church facade or your bouquet. Go with black-and-white or sepia photos (save the color ones for your screensaver). Add a handwritten note or paper invitation in a shadow box frame that will make the wall more visually interesting.

Prep the Area
Make paper cutouts that are the size of your frames and lightly tack them up with tape to make sure you’re happy before you even think about picking up a hammer! There should be at least two inches of space between the frames.

No Wall Space
Buy a high-grade, large-size journal and place prints of photos in there for a classic, old-school look. Put it on your coffee table and leave it open to create an eye-catching display for the guests at your next cocktail party.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Preserving your Gown!


Your dress was the one item you had to get right, so why let it yellow and stay stained? One day your daughter or granddaughter may want to wear it!

What It Is
Preservation provides a means of maintaining the quality and appearance of a gown through customized cleaning and appropriate storage. Methods range from savvy self-storage (in a temperate, dry, dark location) to museum-quality preservation.

How It Works
Professional preservationists analyze the fabrics, dyes, weaves, and ornaments of your gown, as well as stains in order to formulate a customized cleaning plan. After cleaning, the gown is carefully wrapped in stable archival materials, packaged in an archival Coroplast box, and should be protected from extreme temperatures, moisture, and direct sunlight.

Why Do It
Preservation is a fab idea for any bride who spent big for her couture-quality gown, and it's recommended if the gown won't be used for more than three years. If a dress isn't going to be worn again, it may seem silly to save it, but you may have regrets if you don't. Plus, keeping your gown in top condition also ensures that a future bride -- a sister, daughter, or niece -- can wear it at her wedding.

Cost
The price of cleaning and preservation will vary with the complexity of a gown's beadwork, train length, and stain damage. A local high-end dry cleaner will charge as much as $100 for standard dry cleaning. Specialized gown preservationists will normally charge between $250 and $500.

Shelf Life
Beware of vendors that tell you their warranty is void if you open the box in which your gown is stored. You can freely remove the gown from the archival box without fear of damaging it in any way -- just wear gloves so the oil from your hands doesn't get on the fabric and repack it carefully when you're done. Many preservationists claim the gowns will keep for 50-70 years.

Tips
Shop around regarding their pricing, procedure, and warranties. Your gown should be preserved as soon as possible after the wedding; however, it's generally safe to wait as long as six months after the ceremony. Until then, store it in a dark and dry place, rolled or folded in a clean white sheet.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Preserving your Cake Tier!


No one wants to eat freeze dried stale cake. Follow these simple steps to Preserve your cake tier!

How It Works
Instruct your catering staff to take off the top tier of the wedding cake and box it for transport. Appoint a "cake captain" to take it home and 1) remove the sugar flowers and set them aside; 2) wrap the (unadorned) cake in several layers of plastic wrap (never use aluminum foil); 3) seal the wrapped cake in an air-tight bag; and 4) store it in the freezer. Chill the cake well before wrapping so that the icing hardens (this way it won't stick to the plastic wrap and make a mess).

Why Do It
With all of the dancing and mingling to be done, chances are you won't be able to fully enjoy your cake on your wedding day. Freezing and eating the cake on the first anniversary is a very sentimental and romantic tradition. Plus, everyone will ask if you did it!

Cost
$0. But if you forgo freezing, as many couples do, and would prefer to order a fresh single tier in the same flavor as the original wedding cake, expect to pay $20-150.

Shelf Life
For best results, store cake for no longer than two months, forgoing the first-anniversary tradition. Like anything else kept in the freezer for long, cakes will definitely be a bit stale after one year. If you do decide to save your cake for the full year, focus on the nostalgia, not the flavor.

Tips
Choose cakes that freeze well -- delicate cakes dry too fast. Best bets: chocolate, hazelnut, almond, and carrot cake. Freezer faux pas: White cake, fresh fruit, and whipped cream fillings. Snag a ribbon (from your bouquet, the centerpieces, your hair, a gift) and tie it around the cake package to mark it while it lives in the freezer.


Newlywed? Check out what comes after The Knot....The Nest!

Monday, January 4, 2010

How to have the perfect Reception....

I have been married 100 days today! HOW FUN IS THAT? Just thought it was FUN with the title of the Blog and all.....

For you Brides to be here are a few helpful hints on creating, and planning a PERFECT reception.

  1. WALK THOROUGH- Do a walk-through of your venue as soon as you're able, noting features to highlight -- a grand staircase or a grove of trees, perhaps -- and areas that need to be spruced up or downplayed.
  2. SIGN HERE PLEASE-Make sure you have signed contracts from all your vendors and that you've read the fine print and resolved any questions.
  3. LIGHT IT UP-Lighting can make or break an event, but to create the right ambiance, you don't necessarily need to hire professionals to cast patterns on the dance floor. You can set the mood simply by flanking an outdoor walkway with dozens of luminaria or setting dining tables with elegant candelabra or clusters of small candles; you might also replace harsh white bulbs in fixtures with more flattering amber ones.
  4. WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE-An all-white theme won't do in a hotel ballroom papered in red and gold, nor does it make sense to try to transform a rustic lodge into the crystal palace.
  5. THEME- Whether it's a monogram, a color pairing, or a food or flower that evokes a favorite place, a repeated element helps to both personalize and unify your event.
  6. INVITE CAREFULLY- Be prepared: Up to 80 to 90 percent of those invited may attend. (The smaller the list, the more yeses you should expect percentage-wise, because you will likely be asking only those closest to you.)
  7. HELP-Even if you've decided against an overall wedding planner, you'll want a cool-headed pro on hand to ask guests to be seated for dinner, help organize toasts, and handle any problems. Ask if your venue can provide this service; if not, some independent planners will work for a single day.
  8. DAYS OF OUR LIVES-Many venues charge more for after-dark affairs. With an outdoor reception, if you opt for a luncheon event, you'll also cut back on or eliminate costs associated with lighting, such as setup and generators.
  9. KEEP THE HELPERS HAPPY-Your hospitality should extend to photographers, videographers, waiters, and musicians, as well as any other vendors working at your reception. Make sure they have water, scheduled breaks, and, most important, a meal. It need not be the same one that you're serving to guests, but it should be nourishing and delicious.
  10. SHOW APPRECIATION-Make sure you've designated someone, such as the best man, to distribute gratuity envelopes you've prepared at party's end. You'll need to tip all service providers, including the catering and reception staff (unless gratuity is added to the total bill), cleanup crew, and limousine drivers.

See more tips at Martha Stewart Weddings.com