Wednesday, April 30, 2014

We're Having a Destination Wedding - What's the Best Way to Travel with my Dress?

Destination weddings can be extra stressful if you have to fly with your wedding dress. But if you must board a plane with your dress in tow, then what's the best and safest way to travel with your gown? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your questions in our daily post.

We're having a destination wedding—what's the best way to travel with my gown?

Whether you're marrying in far-flung locale or simply the state next door, getting your wedding dress to your destination safely is a huge concern. For weddings that require air travel, never check your dress (or your groom's attire, for that matter!)—you don't want to risk having your luggage lost. Instead, either pack your gown into a carry-on suitcase or take your dress on board in a sturdy garment bag and kindly ask a flight attendant if it would be possible to hang it in a closet (usually located in first class).

Be sure to arrive at the airport early to allow for extra time during the security screening. TSA personnel may need to open and unpack the dress for inspection (you can politely ask them to handle the dress very carefully and use a new pair of latex gloves for the screening). You'll need the extra time to repack the dress correctly. Adding 30 minutes onto the recommended check-in arrival time for your flight is usually sufficient, although you may need an extra hour at busy airports. Once you've reached your destination, unpack the dress promptly to release the wrinkles. Also, bring a travel steamer with you; do a test run on another garment before you begin steaming your gown to make sure the steam is clean and won't stain the fabric.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cream Gold Vintage Pinstripe Floral Wedding

Cream Gold Vintage Pinstripe Floral Wedding

This beautiful and elegant design, called Cream and Gold Vintage Pinstripe Floral, has a light yellow background with a subtle pinstripe design. There is a pretty floral frame to set off your text. This set has invitations, save the date cards, response cards, thank you cards, table number tent cards, envelope seals, wine labels, binders, and return address labels available. Use the envelope seal stickers for any of your DIY gifts - these are available in both large and small sizes! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Vintage Robin Mother's Day

This pretty design is perfect for your Mom. The background is a soft pink rose, green, and a faded blue border with yellow in the center. There are floral design accents along the borders. To the lower left is a watercolor robin and flower branch. In the center there is a sweet saying in blue: The only thing better than having you for a Mom, is my kids having you for a Grandma. Great for the Grandma, Nana, Gammy, or Mimi in your life.

Product Details
Size: 8x10 With Easel

For a professional display without a frame get a custom display plaque! Printed with a dye-sublimation process, your image colors are put directly on the hardboard panel for a stunningly crisp image. Protected with a UV resistant gloss, your plaque will be protected from scratches and fading for years to come.

    Size: 8" x 10"
    Hardboard panel with UV resistant coating
    Comes with attached easel stand
    Easy wipe-clean surface

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pink Record Music Home Decor

Did you know that I design gorgeous things for your home as well as invitations? Well, now ya do! :) One of the new things I'm doing in 2014 is each week I am going to choose a design to highlight with pictures! ooh la la! These are great for your own home or to give as gifts.

This pretty design called, Pink Record Music, has a cute feminine feel. This design has a pretty pink background with darker pink and light blue squares. In the center there is a record album with a pink center sticker and hot pink streaks with blue music notes. This would be a beautiful addition to your home decor. Personalize it with your name (or leave the customization blank to remove).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Love My Engagement Ring! Do I Need a Wedding Ring, too?

So, your fiancé chose the perfect engagement ring—congratulations! But if you love it so much, do you also need to get a coordinating wedding ring? Sometimes finding the perfect wedding band match can be tricky. Can you simply wear your engagement ring after you're married, instead, or would that be bucking tradition a bit too much? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your wedding ring questions in our daily post.

I love the engagement ring my fiancé picked out! Do I have to get a wedding ring, too? Or can I just continue to wear my engagement ring after I'm married?
Instead of a separate engagement ring and wedding ring, many couples these days are deciding to get one ring each. Besides saving money, there are multiple benefits of going this route: Single rings are more comfortable and less fussy than a stacked band and engagement ring combo, it's one less ring to have to worry about losing (especially important if you're a bit scatterbrained!), you don't have to worry about two rings perfectly lining up, plus, more of an investment can be made in a single stand-out stone. So deciding to go with one ring is a very smart idea for some couples. All that really matters is that your engagement ring is one you love and will be happy wearing all the time. And if you're enamored of your engagement ring on its own but still want a wedding ring, consider wearing them on separate ring fingers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blue Vintage Elegance Wedding Invitation

Blue Vintage Elegance Wedding Invitation

This modern twist on a vintage inspired design, called Blue Vintage Elegance Wedding, has a white and blue abstract stripe background. On the front there is a blue floral filigree frame ornament that has a place for you to put your names and date - or anything else you would like. The back has a coordinating light stripe pattern with a blue floral filigree accent in each corner. It's thoroughly modern but with a classic twist. This would be perfect for your classic, modern or blue themed wedding or event. This set has invitations, save the date cards, response cards, thank you cards, table number tent cards, envelope seals, wine labels, binders, and return address labels available. Use the envelope seal stickers for any of your DIY gifts - these are available in both large and small sizes! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pink Rose for Mom Clock

This pretty design is perfect for your Mom. The background is a bright white with a close up of a pink rose. In the center it has several words that describe Mothers: Loving, Patient, Protector, Mother, Faithful, Affectionate, Nurturer, and Friend. The words go from pink to white with Mother being in the center in all white.

Product Details
Style: Square

It's time to show off your favorite art, photos, and text with a custom square wall clock from Zazzle. Made for any wall, this clock is vibrantly printed with AcryliPrint®HD process to ensure the highest quality display of any content. Order this custom square wall clock for your home or give to friends and family as a gift for a timeless treasure.

    Size 10.75" x 10.75".
    One AA battery required (not included).
    Add photos, artwork, and text.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Falling Leaves on Damask Wedding Invitation

Brand New This Week! 

This beautiful and elegant design, called Falling Leaves on Damask Wedding, has a beautiful Vintage inspired design. The background is black with a white damask pattern creating a border around an inset. The inset piece has a gradient from a soft gold to a dark harvest orange. On the right side there is a silhouette of a tree whose leaves are falling. There are three gold leaves that are falling from the tree. Perfect for a fall themed style or opulent wedding.

 Product Details
Size: 5.25" x 5.25" Invitation

Make personalized announcements and invitations for every occasion! Customize both sides of this flat card for free.

    5.25" x 5.25" – A square alternative!
    High quality, full-color, full-bleed printing on both sides.
    20 unique paper types and colors.
    Standard white envelope included.
    Postage rate for this size invitation (up to 1 oz.) is $0.70.
    Printed in California.

Paper Type: Felt
A warm, buff-toned paper featuring an embossed finish that feels just like fine art paper. 100lb cover-weight. Perfect for wedding invitations or party invitations.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ballet Shoes

Did you know that I design gorgeous things for your home as well as invitations? Well, now ya do! :) One of the new things I'm doing in 2014 is each week I am going to choose a design to highlight with pictures! ooh la la! These are great for your own home or to give as gifts.

This pretty design called, Ballet Shoes Pattern, has a rich sophisticated feel. This design has a black velvet look background. There is a pair of ballet toe shoes in pink in the center - perfect for an aspiring ballerina dancer. This would be a beautiful addition to your home decor. Personalize it with your name (or leave the customization blank to remove).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

10 Ways You're Wrecking Your Mani

A smooth, shiny manicure is the perfect complement to your wedding dress. To ensure your polished nails look pristine on your big day and last well through the honeymoon, Tracylee, beauty expert and brand ambassador for Brides Live Wedding sponsor Sally Hansen, is revealing how to make the most of your mani. Below, she breaks down the the ten cardinal nail sins brides should avoid.

1. You're too antsy to get out from under the dryer.
There's no way around sitting through the full six-minute (for most machines) cycle before you walk out the door if you want fully-hardened nails. If you find yourself constantly chipping your nails right after you get them done, you're probably cutting your drying time too short. To remedy this, apply quick-dry drops, like Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Dry and Go Drops, over your top coat.

2. You can't resist checking your phone.
"The number one reason clients ruin their nails during and after their manicure is by reaching for and using their cell phone," Tracylee says. And we don't just mean texting: Scrolling through your Twitter feed, Instagramming your nail art before it's dry, and even letting your hair brush against your nails as you take a phone call are major no-no's.

3. You forget to prepare before you polish.
You know how every time you walk out the door, you double-check to see that you have your coat, wallet, and keys? Use the same rule for your next mani. Before your manicurist begins painting, make sure your coat is on, you've got cash or your credit card out and ready, and your keys are at arm's reach.

4. You soak your hands in water during a manicure.
If your aesthetician tries to guide your hands towards a bowl of water, don't be afraid to pull back. Nail polish is absorbed in water, so painting damp nails means your mani can break down more easily.

5. You're too lotion-happy.
Even if you and your aesthetician dry your hands after applying oil or lotion, residue left behind can make it harder for polish to adhere to your nails. Tracylee suggests wiping your nails with rubbing alcohol before you polish to make sure they're perfectly dry.

6. You apply two thick coats instead of three thinner ones.
Get ready to rethink everything you thought you knew about manicures: For a smudge-free, chip-free manicure, two coats just won't cut it. Tracylee's formula for foolproof application: "Use three thin coats of polish, swiping the polish at the very edge to seal the entire nail."

7. You wash dishes sans rubber gloves.
Don't let your dish soap fool you. Even if the bottle promises smooth, soft hands, harsh chemicals are seriously hard on your nails. Wash your hands carefully, and wear gloves every time you come into contact with chemicals.

8. You ignore your cuticles.
Cuticle care won't keep your polish from chipping, Tracylee says, but it's the best way to keep those pesky hangnails at bay. Lather up with a moisturizing hand cream whenever you can, and apply cuticle oil to your nail beds before bed. We love Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil.

9. You skip the top coat.
There's no better way to shelter your nails from the elements than with a heavy-duty top coat. Try Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Fast Dry Top Coat. It helps strengthen brittle nails as it seals in polish.

10. You let your hands prune up in the bath or shower.
Think of your manicure like that one perm you got back in junior high — water is its enemy. "Nails are like sponges," Tracylee says. "They expand when wet, then contract as they dry, which leads to chipping and peeling."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blue Gold Cream Vintage Frame Wedding Invitation

Blue Gold Cream Vintage Frame Wedding Invitation

This beautiful and elegant design, called Blue Gold and Cream Vintage Frame Wedding, has a light Robin's Egg Blue background with a gold vintage frame border. There is a cream inset for your text. This set has invitations, save the date cards, response cards, thank you cards, table number tent cards, envelope seals, wine labels, binders, and return address labels available. Use the envelope seal stickers for any of your DIY gifts - these are available in both large and small sizes! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Mother's Love Gift Trinket Box

This pretty design is perfect for your Mom. The background is a light blue and green watercolor with words of love in white. At the bottom is a red long stem rose in a pastel and watercolor. In the center it has several words that describe Mothers: Amazing, Loving, Strong, Happy, Selfless, and Graceful. Each word has a letter in red that if you read it top to bottom reads Mother.

Product Details
Size: Small 5.125" Square w/4.25" Tile

Display your favorite images on a vibrant tile inlaid into the lid of this beautiful jewelry box. Made of lacquered wood, the jewelry box comes in Golden Oak, Ebony Black, Emerald Green, and Red Mahogany. Soft felt protects your jewelry and collectibles.

Box Diameter: 5.5 inches
Box Height: 2.3 inches
Box & Tile Weight: 14.125 ounces
Tile Diameter: 4.25 inches

    Full-color, full-bleed printing
    White Ceramic Tile
    Add Photos, Artwork, and Text
    Gift Box comes in Golden Oak, Red Mahogany, Emerald Green, and Ebony Black
    No minimum order

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wedding 101 - Asked and Answered

Q: When walking up the church aisle, who goes first, the bride's mother or the groom's parents?
A: The groom's parents proceed the bride's mother during the processional. Here's a rundown: After the ushers have seated all of the guests, the grandparents start up the aisle followed by the groom's parents. The the bride's mother takes her turn. She is the last to be seated before the bridal party procession begins.

Q: Is it necessary to have a receiving line? It seems outdated.

A: A traditional receiving line is not necessary, but you and your groom should take time on your wedding day to greet all of your guests. Visit each table at the reception and thank family and friends for helping you celebrate. They'll appreciate having a little one-on-one and the opportunity to offer you their best wishes.

Q: When is the best time to give our attendants their gifts?

A: Most brides and grooms give their gifts to the wedding party at the rehearsal dinner. Following the main course, dessert is served and the toasts begin. After the toasts, you can acknowledge your attendants and give them their gifts. How you do it, is entirely up to you - keep it light and fun or get sentimental.

Q: I'm confused. What's the difference between between tuxedo, black and formal?

A: Let's start with the word "formal," which dictates a more dressed up look for both men and women: in other words, men in tuxedos and women in long dresses. The "tuxedo" is a single or double-breasted jacket with satin lapels and satin trimmed pockets that's paired with formal trousers. "Black tie" means that the tuxedo, pants, vest or cummerbund are black or dark grey and paired with a white formal shirt.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tax Day Deal: 10.40% OFF ALL ORDERS!

Today Only! 10.40% Off All Orders

Enter: 2014TAXDEALZ at checkout 
Is tax time hitting you hard? Here is a great way to save on your wedding invitations! 
Shop Noteable Expressions today and save.

10.40% of the product net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying products are purchased and the coupon code 2014TAXDEALZ is applied at checkout. For most products, the net sale price is the price of the product (excluding shipping and taxes). For Zazzle Custom Stamps, the net sale price is the difference between the price of the Zazzle Custom Stamps (excluding shipping and taxes) and the face value of the postage. Offer is valid until April 15, 2014 at 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on only.

Pastel Bubbles and Circles Pattern Home Decor

Did you know that I design gorgeous things for your home as well as invitations? Well, now ya do! :) One of the new things I'm doing in 2014 is each week I am going to choose a design to highlight with pictures! ooh la la! These are great for your own home or to give as gifts.

This pretty design called, Pastel Bubbles and Circles Pattern, has a cute feminine feel. This design has a bright white background. Scattered across this design there are pink, purple, blue and yellow pastel circles with small white polka dots. This would be a beautiful addition to your home decor. Personalize it with your name (or leave the customization blank to remove).

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 Wedding-Day Beauty Emergencies and How to Solve Them

What do I do if I spill red wine on my wedding dress?

Since red wine is a part of traditional Christian Eucharist wedding ceremonies and the Jewish Kiddush, not to mention a cocktail hour favorite, it's entirely likely that you'll come into contact with a bit of it on your wedding day. If you spill a drop of two, it's essential you act fast so as not to let the stain set in entirely. "Gently dab—don't rub!—the stain with a moistened napkin," urges Angel Swanson of the Southern California-based boutique wedding and event planning firm Love and Splendor. "You can use water or club soda, but the key thing here is the dabbing. After the area dries, you can use a piece of chalk to gently cover any parts of the stain the club soda didn't remove. Have a friend take your gown to an experienced bridal dry cleaner as soon as possible after the wedding.

What do I do if I break the heel on my shoe?

Your walk down the aisle should be dramatic, but not because the heel of your shoe suddenly snaps. "Make sure your shoes are not poorly made," urges Brides fashion director Rachel Leonard. "Practice walking in them a few days before the wedding to scuff up the soles a bit." This will help to prevent any slips or falls. If you do break a heel, all hope is not lost."Bring a hot glue gun," suggests Heather Minicucci, "and then you can glue the heel back together."

What do I do if I ruin my manicure?

You smudged your polish before it had a chance to dry? Not a problem. "Use a Q-Tip or your finger to apply a small amount of nail polish remover to the damaged area," directs Jennifer Orsini. "This will remove any polish globs and smooth away rough edges. Let the nail dry, and then apply clear nail polish to the area." It's a good idea to have a small bottle of your nail polish color stored in a safe area the day of the wedding. Not your purse, per se, since a polish spill could result in a second beauty emergency.

A broken nail is a bit more complicated, but curable nonetheless. "Make sure your emergency kit (or your wedding planner's) contains an emery board," says Angel Swanson. "In a major pinch, you can use a thick fabric (like denim, burlap, etc.) to roughly 'file' the area down."

What do I do if a zipper breaks?

Safety pins, it seems, couldn't be more valuable when it comes to curing wedding-day beauty emergencies big and small. Here's one more reason why you may want to stick more than one in your clutch: zipper malfunctions. "Just before she walked down the aisle," Jessica Harris recalls, "a dainty little grandmother approached me and motioned to the back of her dress where the full length zipper was broken from neck to tailbone! We delayed the beginning of the ceremony so I could use large safety pins to secure her dress from the inside. No one could see the safety pins, and she walked down the aisle without giving the other guests a show."

What do I do if I get a run in my stockings?

"Clear nail polish often helps with this," explains Dana Wood. "But if you're really freaked-out at the size of the snag, ditch the stockings altogether! Just make sure your legs are moisturized—no flaky flakes!"

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Aqua Mocha Vintage Silhouette Wedding

Aqua Mocha Vintage Silhouette Wedding

This beautiful and elegant design, called Aqua and Mocha Vintage Silhouette Wedding, has a cream background with an aqua damask border. At the bottom is a vintage style silhouette of a bridal couple. This set has invitations, save the date cards, response cards, thank you cards, table number tent cards, envelope seals, wine labels, binders, and return address labels available. Use the envelope seal stickers for any of your DIY gifts - these are available in both large and small sizes!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Mother is...Giving and Loving T-shirt

Mother's Day will soon be here - have you decided what you are getting her this year? Why not try something different instead of the same old tired grocery store flowers?

This fun comic style panel shows a Mother's Love and selflessness. It illustrates how a Mom will give up anything for her family - even PIE!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

30 Unexpected Wedding Costs Brides Forget to Budget For

To help you out, I checked in with wedding vendors and financial experts across the country to uncover the top items that couples forget to think about when allocating their wedding finances.

Pre-Wedding Costs

Asking Bridesmaids in a Special Way
For many brides, asking their nearest and dearest to stand up with them on their wedding day simply isn’t something that can be done via phone or text — or even just on your regular girls’ night out. Brides are popping the question to their ‘maids with creative gifts, personalized cards, or taking them out to a nice lunch or dinner. But remember that those little costs can add up!

Beauty Treatments
You've already set aside money for your professional hair styling and makeup application on the wedding day — but remember that you may need more than one trial for each in order to feel fully comfortable on the big day. Also, keep in mind any pre-wedding beauty treatments you may want to indulge in, from a mani/pedi to a spray tan to a massage. “If there's a more expensive service you are dying to try, look for deals via daily deal sites like Groupon,” said Andrea Woroch, a consumer money-saving expert frequently featured on Today, Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, and more.

Your Bachelorette Party
Bachelorette parties today are bigger than ever; more and more groups are planning weekend getaways, like a Vegas excursion or a girls' beach trip. And even though the maid of honor and bridesmaids are supposed to pick up the tab for the party, many brides end up paying for their own airfare or part of the hotel bill to help alleviate costs for their girls — especially if the bride-to-be is the one pushing for an overnight excursion. Stay close to home to avoid extra travel costs. You will have fun with your girls no matter where you go. Choose a luxe hotel or find a big house to rent near your home, and plan activities to keep the fun going.

Marriage License
Don’t forget to make it legal! Your marriage license will typically cost between $20 and $100, depending on where you're getting married. And in most states, you won't automatically receive a copy of your marriage license after it's been filed — you'll need to pay for that, too.

If you’re having a destination wedding, keep in mind that you may need to fly in a few days before the wedding or even make a second trip to the locale in order to get your marriage license, depending on the waiting period, according to Abra Millar of Hopkins Bay Resort in Belize. This means incurring extra travel fees — more nights, more meals, and possibly a second round of airfare.

Paper Goods

Day-of Stationery
Don’t blow your entire stationery budget on your save-the-dates and invitations — you also need to think about programs, escort cards, place cards, menu cards, and any other day-of needs you may encounter. I suggest adding a separate line item in the budget for day of stationery so brides can budget accordingly.

When choosing your invitations, be sure to weigh it carefully — if it’s more than one ounce, you’re going to need additional postage. Some invitations can set you back $1 or more in postage fees. Keep in mind that extra postage is also required for square invitations, regardless of weight.

Also, don’t forget that you also need stamps for your save-the-dates, RSVP cards, and thank-you notes.

Getting Ready

A Hotel Room the Night Before
If you and your bridesmaids are planning on getting ready in a hotel suite, pay attention to check in/check out times — you'll often need to book the room for two nights in order to have the morning to get ready. “Many hotels will not guarantee an early check-in on the wedding date,” said Karen Bussen, A-list wedding planner and designer of Simple Stunning Destination Weddings for Palladium Hotels and Resorts. “To be safe, and especially if you have a larger bridal party, you might want to consider reserving your room for not just the wedding night, but the night before as well. This way, you can check in at your leisure the night before, sleep a little late, order room service, and invite the ladies to join you for a relaxing day of pampering and getting dolled up.”

Meals on the Wedding Day
Whether you’re getting ready at home or in a hotel, your bridesmaids will likely be with you every step of the way. Don’t let them starve! Keep it simple with bagels and fruit for breakfast and a platter of sandwiches for lunch. And don’t forget the champagne!

Forgotten Items
“Wedding brain” can affect even the best of us — and if you’re not getting ready in your own home, it's far too easy to forget something and need a last-minute replacement. At one wedding Diane Warner, author of Complete Guide to a Traditional Wedding, attended, the groom didn’t realize he’d neglected to pack his dress shoes until he arrived at the ceremony venue; “This required a hasty trip to the closest shoe store,” she said. We recommend starting your packing list at least a week before your wedding, and have a trusted loved one look it over as well to make sure you’re not forgetting anything.


Unless you’re extremely lucky, your wedding gown is going to require some alterations, whether that means hemming the gown, taking it in (or letting it out), or structural changes (like adding straps). Some salons offer a flat fee, while others will charge you for every alteration. This can run you several hundred dollars, so don’t blow your entire fashion budget on the gown.

Undergarments and Accessories
Also, save room in your fashion budget for the extras: Your veil, shoes, undergarments and/or shapewear, and jewelry, which can set you back $200 to $500 or more. You can cut costs by making your veil or jewelry your "something borrowed."

Pre-Wedding Party Attire
Another forgotten fashion item: Cute dresses for your pre-wedding events. From the engagement party to the bridal shower to the bachelorette party to the rehearsal dinner to the day-after brunch, you’ll be celebrating all year long with your nearest and dearest. Save money by re-wearing dresses you already own  — you don’t need a little white dress for every party just because you’re the bride.


Transportation for Guests
While you’re generally not responsible for how guests get to and from your wedding, it becomes your concern if a guest gets too intoxicated to drive home. “If you can’t recruit a friend or family member to provide the necessary transportation, you’ll need to pay taxi fare,” said Warner.

Unexpected Guests
Inevitably, a guest who RSVP’d “no” will turn up anyway, a clueless friend will show up with an uninvited plus one, or your cousin will bring her kids even though you specifically said no kids were invited. “As rude and upsetting as this may be, it should be anticipated by planning ahead for a couple extra dinners and place settings,”  said Warner.

Welcome Bags
While these are certainly not required, gift bags are a lovely touch if you’re hosting out-of-towners. “They may include handwritten welcome notes from the bride and groom, fresh fruit or flowers, disposable cameras, bottled water, a schedule of events, brochures for local attractions, and a city map,” said Warner.


Presents for Parents and Other Family Members
You already know that you’ll need gifts for your hardworking bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and ring bearers. But don’t forget about your parents! Consider an engraved frame, an IOU for a parents’ album after the big day, or even a second honeymoon package. It doesn't have to be costly — the emphasis should be on remembering them. But if you calculate these costs, you won't be surprised down the road. Some couples also opt to give small gifts to other family members, like grandparents and any siblings not included in the bridal party. Purchase these gifts early in the planning process so the expense doesn’t hit you at the last minute.

Favors can cost anywhere from $3-8 (or more) per person, according to Ann Taylor of A Chair Affair Inc., which can make a sizable dent in your wedding budget depending on the size of your guest list. A few ways to cut costs: Opt for one favor per couple rather than per person; go for a DIY option if you’re feeling crafty, or skip favors altogether — they’re definitely not required, and most guests won’t even notice if you don’t have them.


Day-of Coordinator
So many DIY brides decide at the last minute that they'll need a little help on the big day. You really don't want to be stuck taking calls from your florist and band on your way to your first look, do you? Enter the day-of coordinator, which can run you about $500 to $2,000. It's best to plan this into your budget ahead of time. Then, if you feel you got it all under control, that's just extra cash in your pocket.

Vendor Meals
Your photographer and videographer will be with you for 8+ hours on the wedding day; they’re going to need some fuel to keep making sure you look your best all night long. Vendor meals are usually much cheaper than guest entrees, but depending on the size of your band, number of photographers, videographers and coordinators, you may be looking at a few hundred dollars extra.

Couple often think they don't need a videographer because photos will be enough, then they come to the realization the month of the wedding that they have made a big mistake. Trying to squeeze in a major vendor like videographer without properly budgeting for it can be a cause for concern. Fees for videography can vary wildly, from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re wishy-washy on video, set aside the money anyway — then, if you decide you really don’t need it, you can reallocate the money later on.


"A simple addition of up-lights around a reception area can cost around $1,000, so it is best to plan ahead,” said Stacey Lynn of Stacey Lynn Design. Other popular lighting options: Pin-spotting (to highlight centerpieces or accent areas, like the cake display), a wash (general room color or dance floor), and a custom-designed gobo projection, such as a monogram. But lighting isn't just an “extra” — if you're planning an outdoor wedding, it's a requirement. Consider hanging bistro lights, chandeliers or lanterns to create the perfect rustic-chic space, said Stacey Lynn.

Having an outdoor wedding? Invest in a sound system if you want your guests to actually be able to hear your vows. It doesn't matter if you're only having 50 guests — without a sound system, your guests will struggle to hear your ceremony, and that means they'll miss out on the heart of your wedding. And if you've hired musicians to play as you walk down the aisle, they also need to be amplified, or those songs you've so carefully chosen will be wimpy instead of powerful. Spend the money on a sound system, even if it means you need to trim elsewhere.

Décor Beyond the Flowers
The majority of your décor budget will likely be allocated to flowers, but set aside $25-30 per table for the non-floral elements: "Candles, glass hurricanes, mercury votives, specialty linens, flatware and even how you will identify your tables are all important details that can drastically change your budget if you have not accounted for these details,” said Lindsey of L. Brook Events. And if you're looking to add additional elements like lanterns or vintage décor rentals, you may want to save as much as 40% of your total décor budget for these pieces.

Also, always overestimate how many items you'll need. At one wedding Warner attended, the couple planned an elegant candlelit wedding ceremony. However, as friends and family members began decorating the ceremony venue, they realized they needed at least a hundred more candles to provide enough light at the front of the chapel.

Including Yourselves in the Final Count
Sorry, the bride and groom don’t eat for free at the wedding. “I always have to remind my brides and grooms to include themselves in the table count!” said Douglas Hoagland, director of catering at SLS Hotel Beverly Hills. “I have had seen it too many times where the couple forgets to include themselves when making their table arrangements.”

A Backup Plan
You know that if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, you should have a tent on stand-by in case of rain. But even if you luck out with sunshine on the big day, the previous day’s weather can become an important factor. At one wedding, it rained hard the previous day, which left the grass soft and soggy. The last-minute solution was to add a wooden floor to the cost of the tent rental.

If there is the slightest issue with bugs or any dew or moisture on the ground (let alone an actual rainstorm!), your whole event could be ruined. I suggest planning a floor with your tent from the beginning. For a more budget-friendly option, opt for an interlocking plastic floor, which is typically covered with carpet or Astroturf. The more spendy option is a sub-plywood flooring, where the tent company builds a floor and covers it with your choice of coverings. It's more expensive, but the advantage is this type of floor is level and polished.

Money Matters

When you’re already paying astronomical costs, it can feel downright painful to add a tip on top of that — if you didn’t budget accordingly. I recommend allotting 5 to 10% of your overall budget to gratuities. The general rule of thumb is that if your vendor is also the business owner, a tip is not required (though it’s always a welcome bonus). Also, some vendors (like your venue or caterer) may already include gratuities in your quote, so check your contracts carefully. According to Bobette Kyle, author of Dream Wedding on a Dime, some of the often-forgotten vendors include bartenders, servers, valets, coat check attendants, officiants, makeup artists, hair stylists, the cake delivery team, and limo drivers.

Sales Tax and Service Charges
Check over your contracts carefully to ensure that sales tax is included in the quoted price; otherwise, you may be in for a surprise when you receive your final bills. It may sound insignificant, but when you're talking amounts the size of a reception bill, the taxes can add up.

Also, service charges are not the same as gratuities; “Sometimes, for example, a private club will just charge an 18-22 % service charge for administering the wedding," explained Bussen. "This money is not distributed to tipped employees and gratuities may be left to your discretion, which could double the money you need for 'service.'"

Additionally, the “plus plus” can make a huge difference. If a caterer quotes you $110 per person ++, that means that you will also need to add service and tax on top of that quote. Those two tiny plus signs can add as much as 30% on top of the base cost. In this scenario, that miscalculation would equal $5,000 of unexpected catering costs for a 150-person wedding.

Overtime Costs
Whether your wedding runs over the allotted time because you got a late start or because you choose in the heat of the moment to extend it, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay for any time outside of the contracted time. When you're in party mode, it's easy to say, 'party on!' But be sure to know ahead of time what the overtime charges will be. The venue usually has an option to extend — for a price — but don't forget your other vendors, such as DJ or band, photographers and videographers. They will also have overtime fees and will most likely need to be paid on the spot to continue.

Post-Wedding To-Dos

Sorry, but your wedding costs don't end after “I do.” Unless you want to be spending your wedding gift money on thank-you cards, cleaning and preserving your gown, and making prints of your favorite wedding photos, set aside that money ahead of time. Consider adding a few hundred dollars to your stationery budget for printing pictures and thank you cards.

When it comes to preserving your gown, Bussen advised: “Try to book in advance — it may save you money if you reserve to preserve early. And your bridal retailer may have discount deals or coupons to share.”

The "Other"

Already included all of the above items in your budget? Congratulations, you budget-savvy bride! But regardless, every bride should set aside 10 to 20% for “the other.” Lara Goldman of explains: “’Other’ is when the flower delivery got stuck in a storm, and you have to hire a local florist to use local flowers. ‘Other’ is for when the power suddenly goes out and you have to go buy 200 candles. ‘Other’ is for the 'dear friend' who cried that she and her new boyfriend weren't invited, and you have to lie and say her invitation got lost in the mail. ‘Other’ is for the broken nail that broke so low you have to get a full set of acrylics at the last minute so your hands don’t look like a ditch diggers'.” If you prepare for the unexpected ahead of time, you won't be left scrambling to come up with extra cash at the last minute.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Caution: Not My Day to Care Decor

Did you know that I design gorgeous things for your home as well as invitations? Well, now ya do! :) One of the new things I'm doing in 2014 is each week I am going to choose a design to highlight with pictures! ooh la la! These are great for your own home or to give as gifts.

Celebrate your sarcasm! This design called, Caution, Not My Day to Care, is a wonderful design for anyone who loves an urban statement! The background is black with a caution tape look that says "Caution! Not my day to care!" Funny and sarcastic - perfect for a teen. A fun conversation piece for your home decor. This design is available on everything from posters to lamps to photo frames.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

11 Things to Avoid the Week Before Your Wedding

1. New Hair Color
"Even if your colorist is the absolute best, avoid making changes to your hair within a week of your wedding," says Paul Labrecque, hairstylist and owner of Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa in New York City. "You never know how the color could oxidize or how it will look with your skin tone." If you want to refresh your hue without endangering your look, ask your colorist to put a clear gloss on your strands. "This will add a lot of shine and sheen," says Labrecque. But if you do get mixed up with some bad color before the big day, you wont do too much damage to your hair by getting it re-colored right away—as long as there weren't high levels of bleach involved in the process, says Labrecque.

2. Drastic Haircuts
Wedding trials and consultations start about three months prior to the actual day, and you should keep the same hairstyle throughout the process," says Labrecque. "Not only will the texture and style of your hair change if you get it chopped, but keep in mind something drastic may not look right with your dress's neckline, veil, or wedding day jewelry. Go in for a quarter-inch "micro trim" a month before your big day to snip off any fried ends. But other than that, steer clear of the shears! No matter how well you plan ahead there seems to always be something left to the last minute—hair should not be one of them. The closer you get to the big day, the more stressed and emotional you'll be. You want to make all of these preparations and decisions while you're still clear headed and calm.

3. Alcohol
For something you sip, alcohol carries a ton of extra calories, so you may want to cut back even earlier than the week before your wedding. As for immediate effects, alcohol can make you look and feel puffy due its sulfur-bearing gases and other qualities that weaken your digestive system. (And who wants to say "I do" feeling like a marshmallow? I didn't think so.) What's more, alcohol dilates your blood vessels, which can lead to wedding picture-compromising redness.

4. A New Workout
"Stick to the routine you've been doing," says Melissa Paris, a certified group exercise instructor and Lululemon ambassador. "Now is not the time for new moves." Pulled muscles can take weeks to heal and you definitely don't want to be too sore to get down on the dance floor. If your goal is to lose weight, make sure to start a new fitness program well before your dress fittings. And if you're just looking for an amazing way to relieve pre-wedding stress grab a friend for a quick walk or run in the park. "There is something about being outside with a friend that is so helpful," says Paris.

5. Spray Tan Booths
Spray tanning in a booth may be a budget-friendly option for a safe, sunless glow, but there's a good chance the color you get won't match your skin tone as well as other fake tanning alternatives. Rather than stepping into a box—which can result in uneven color if you don't hold your body just so—it's best to have a specialist expertly apply the tanning solution so it's evenly distributed and complements your skin color. And don't forget to lightly exfoliate beforehand. The color will last longer and you'll literally glow as you walk down the aisle.

6. Changing Up Your Makeup
"Sometimes brides panic at the last minute that they've got too much or too little makeup on," says Jodie Hazlewood, a London-based makeup artist who does more than 70 weddings a year and teaches professional bridal makeup artist courses at the Jemma Kidd Makeup School in Notting Hill. "That's why during the trial—when they're in a much more rational state of mind—I give brides a chance to try out different looks." At the end of the day, trust in your makeup artist, who takes your skin type, age, hairstyle, wedding color palette, and the time, location, and style of your day into consideration when designing your look. "Modern bridal makeup is a little like red carpet makeup," says Hazlewood. "It needs to look good on HD video cameras, professional cameras, personal camera phones, in bright light and candle light, as well as last for hours."

How do you make sure your skin is the perfect canvas for your wedding day makeup? "Water, water, water! Sleep, sleep, sleep!" says Hazlewood. "Stay away from sun beds and major tanning. And don't worry too much about breakouts! They can be easily be covered by a good makeup artist—as long as you don't touch or pick at the blemishes."

7. Juice Cleanses
"I like to think of food as fuel," says Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. "You need calories to keep you alert and help you get through your crazy, busy weekend. It's not the time to stop nourishing yourself." Juice cleanses are very low in calories, sapping your energy and making you irritable. And cleanses that include mostly fruit juices are high in sugar. "The week before you should be eating well-balanced meals with a focus on fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water—and don't skip any meals!" says Gans.

8. Peels & Microdermabrasion
A peel or microdermabrasion session promises silky-smooth skin in the future, but it's a total no-go the week before you wedding. After receiving a chemical peel or microdermabrasion some people see their skin peel off repeatedly, which leaves dead skin on the surface that can ball up under makeup. Others see their skin get extremely red and irritated. And wearing makeup, which is the reason you went in for a skin smoothing and cleansing treatment in the first place, can only exasperate that irritation. Schedule any appointments for a peel, microdermabrasion, or other treatments like Botox, at least 2 weeks before your wedding in case there is any redness or bruising.

9. New-to-you Skincare Products
Don't change your skincare regimen if you have fewer than two weeks to go before your wedding. You should change it months in advance. Swapping in a new product could lead to allergic reaction, dryness, oiliness, or a bevy of other side effects that take time to correct. Be sure to see your dermatologist a few months ahead of time. Your doctor can give you a personalized pre-wedding skin care routine, which will address your specific concerns to make sure your skin is radiant for the big day. Your dermatologist should be up there on your to-do list with the dress fittings and flowers.

10. All-Nighters

Up all night hand-embossing your ceremony programs? Find a dutiful friend to fill in and get some sleep! When we're sleep-deprived our bodies produce more ghrelin, the hormone that tells us when to eat, and less leptin, the hormone that tells us when to put down the fork. It's a diet-destroying combo, especially if you're reaching for junk food. Salty snacks make you bloat, not to mention the fact that eating foods with no nutritional value can leave you feeling sluggish.

Sleep deprivation also affects your immune system. You're more likely to get a viral infection if you haven't been getting enough sleep. Logging enough shuteye also improves your complexion, rids your eyes of dark circles, and—let's face it—makes you a happier, calmer bride.

11. Excess Caffeine
Relying on caffeinated beverages to get you through those long nights (as well as the long, last minute detail-filled days) just adds fuel to the bad-for-you fire. "Caffeine is a stimulant and an irritant, especially to the nervous system," says Lipman. "You're going to have a lot of anxiety and nerves to begin with. You don't need to add to your stress." And caffeine may even wreak havoc on your bridal beauty. "Caffeine is very dehydrating and can contribute to dark circles under your eyes," says Jaliman. What's more, caffeinated beverages—whether they're energy drinks or frothy Starbucks mainstays—pack a ton of extra sugar. Experts agree you're OK to stick with your normal caffeine consumption, but don't overdo it!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Antique Old World Map Wedding

Antique Old World Map Wedding 

This beautiful and elegant design, called Antique Old World Map Wedding, has a beautiful antique style world map in shades of taupe, cream, and teal for the background. Centered is an inset in cream with an old style compass rose in the lower right corner. Perfect for a destination wedding or a vintage style wedding. This set has invitations, save the date cards, response cards, thank you cards, table number tent cards, envelope seals, wine labels, binders, return address labels and more available. Use the envelope seal stickers for any of your DIY gifts - these are available in both large and small sizes!