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Trubridal Wedding Blog

Sophia Tolli 2015 Bridal Collection

01 Feb 2016 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Dresses
This gorgeous collection of Wedding Dresses is what I call bridal perfection, every single one of these wedding gowns is better than the next one… seriously! Filled with sophisticated pieces and elegant princess moments, the newest collection from Sophia Tolli is a total must-see. If you are looking for the ultimate blend of femininity and glamour for your wedding day look, today is your lucky day because Sophia Tolli 2015 will deliver that and much more. So, don’t miss a minute of divine… Join me for the compilation of dreamy fashion moments!
Please contact Sophia Tolli for authorized retailers near you and pricing information.   

Top 10 Ways to Avoid Surprise All Inclusive Wedding Costs

28 Jan 2016 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Ideas

One would think “all” means–well, all— when buying an all inclusive wedding package. Unfortunately, the definition varies for each venue. If you are not wary, your final cost may vary substantially from what you expected.

Top 10 Ways to Avoid Surprise All Inclusive Wedding Costs

To avoid sticker shock be sure to have a detailed conversation about what is (and is not) included in your package price and any additional fees that may apply. Also, read the contract carefully and ask questions about gray areas. Sadly, whoever you are speaking with will not necessarily disclose everything.

Here are some tips for getting the most for your all-inclusive dollars and circumventing surprise charges.

1. If you are having the reception at a hotel, make it clear you will reserve a block of rooms for out of town guests. This puts you in a better position to negotiate extra fees out of your contract and get additional discounts.

2. Ask if tips are included. Bartender, wait person, and other service tips can add substantially to the cost.

3. Confirm your price includes all support staff needed for set-up, serving, and clean-up.

4. If you are putting together welcome bags, discuss if there are any fees associated with holding or delivering them.

5. Talk cake. Whether you bring in your own or use their baker can affect the cost, as will the size and construction, of the cake.

6. There may be an extra cake cutting and/or plating charge.

7. If applicable, see if they will throw in decorations, linens, or other supplies from the hotel for no extra charge. It’s no extra cost to them and saves you money.

8. Be clear on time limits and additional prices if you run over.

9. Understand the parking arrangement. Is valet included or will they add extra? Are there charges for guest parking?

10. Don’t forget about taxes. They add up. Figure it out when discussing costs and explicitly add them as dollar-amount line items to your quotes.

Elegant Rustic Wedding Cake Tutorial

28 Jan 2016 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Ideas

am excited to announce a new video series on MyOnlineWeddingHelp.com–cake decorating tutorials showing, in detail, step-by-step instructions on how to ice and decorate the rustic wedding cake in the photo at left. (Tip for when using non-food-grade material: back it with wax paper before putting on the cake.) The best part is it’s easier than you may think. You can do this without decorating bags or tips and you do *not* need experience.

Elegant Rustic Wedding Cake Tutorial

What’s in the new section?

At the beginning and end of each video you will find what I call a menu, where there will be links to each of six videos and this page. The cue that you are in a menu section will be my black shirt. In the actual tutorials I’m wearing salmon with polka dots. You can always skip past this part at the beginning of any video by going straight to 1:05.

The main video is below. It shows the process of assembling the cake. Since I have no decorating experience and little natural craftiness, my videos are geared toward helping those with limited talent figure out how to DIY. Consequently, I show you easier methods than you may find in videos from experts. Additionally, I share tips for avoiding some of the pitfalls you may run into.

The six additional videos demonstrate, in detail, how to make some of the decorations and create the icing effects.

Here is an outline with links to the videos, followed by the main video:

  • Basic Rustic Look. This is the method of thickly applying buttercream icing and is the first step in creating the look on any of the three tiers.
  • Bottom Tier Icing. This technique creates the illusion of deeply-cragged tree bark, something like an elm tree.
  • Center Tier. This icing method looks similar to ruffles without all the work (I admire those who can pipe the icing on and make an awesome-looking ruffle). Here, I create the effect by using a knife tip to dig into the icing.
  • Top Tier. I started out trying to use an impression mat, but there are just too many variables to get it right if you are not experienced (interpretation: I couldn’t do it without making a mess). So, this is a way to get a relatively shallow, albeit less precise, tree trunk design. I did a random free form style, but if you wanted to you could try for some sort of design.
  • Rustic Love Knot Hearts. These are celtic knots crafted into the shape of a heart instead of the traditional round shape. I used sisal rope for a country look.
  • Burlap Leaves. The leaves on the roses in the topper and around the base are made from burlap. I bought silk flowers and switched the green plastic leaves for burlap. I’m actually making an entire flower in this video. To make the leaves for the cake, follow the directions for only the bottom, largest layer. That is the part that goes under the roses.

25 Non-traditional Wedding Ideas You May Not Have Thought About

28 Jan 2016 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Ideas

One of the most overwhelming parts of making your wedding decisions is what others think you should do. A common line of reasoning is “do it this way because that’s the way it’s done.” Well, times change and “non-traditions” flourish in this age of individuality. Plus you are unique and should have a wedding that reflects who you are and what you care about. For those reasons you do not have to follow tradition unless you want to! Scroll down to find 25 unusual ideas.

25 Non-traditional Wedding Ideas You May Not Have Thought About

Here, in no particular order, are some ideas (the money-saving ones are from the Dream Wedding on a Dime; 7 Secrets for the Budget-Savvy Bride ebook, where there are over 300 additional ideas and tips):

1. Have a family wedding–instead of the couple only–by including your children in the vows, with hugs and kisses all around.
2. Buy a wedding gown in your favorite color and put the Bridesmaids in white.
3. Toast with a signature drink instead of champagne.
4. Have both sets of parents give away their son or daughter to the bride(s) or groom(s).
5. Instead of “giving away” the bride, have each set of parents “take in” the future spouse. (Not literally, of course. They don’t want you living with them! LOL.)
6. Let your Bridesmaids wear cocktail dresses with a color or style theme rather than those made specifically as Bridesmaid dresses (some of the pins on the Bridesmaids Ideas pinboard can give you inspiration).
7. Let the guys wear suits instead of renting tuxes.
8. Carry ferns instead of flowers.
9. Make the bouquets from buttons, brooches, or paper instead of flowers.
10. Instead of guests throwing rice or bird seeds as you come out of the church, play music and have everyone dance.
11. Go bareheaded instead of wearing a veil or hat.
12. Hold the ceremony someplace besides a church. (See 76 Unexpected Wedding Reception Venues for ideas. The ceremony can be held at all of these as well.)
13. Skip the guest book and opt for a creative way to remember your guests–a thumbprint wishing tree or wishing rocks, for example (more ideas are on the Guest Book Ideas pinboard).
14. Set up a self-serve drink station instead of full service bar.
15. Instead of best man and maid of honor speeches, have those in the wedding party share their best story.
16. Have groomspeople and bridespeople instead of -maids and -men, mixing genders according to friendships or relation.
17. See each other before the wedding.
18. Toss something fun, like bride and groom bears or candy, instead of the bouquet and garter.
19. Feed each other something besides cake–another dessert or favorite entree, for example.
20. Skip the tiered wedding cake altogether and have an ornate cake table with several single layer versions.
21. Provide an empty, food-friendly favor box and let guests choose their own from a candy or food buffet.
22. If there are no obvious choices for flower girls and ring bearers, omit them from the ceremony.
23. Make your centerpieces mini dessert stations and forego separate desserts and favors.
24. Have son-mother-in-law and daughter-father-in-law dances.
25. Have the wedding party face the guests.

Or come up with your own ideas to create a ceremony and reception that reflect who you truly are as a couple. Any aspect of the wedding, short of the legalities, is optional or open to your own interpretation.

5 Ways Your Budget Wedding’s Ambience Determines Choice of Savings

28 Jan 2016 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Ideas

Either wedding guest count or how much you spend per guest must be limited to stay within budget (if you are like most of us). Chances are, however, you’ve envisioned a “personality” for your wedding that must also remain intact. Scroll down for ideas on how to accomplish both.

5 Ways Your Budget Wedding’s Ambience Determines Choice of Savings

You likely expect your wedding’s ambiance to be either gregarious and full of merry making or more demure and conversational. Quashing the traits you’ve pictured could put a nightmarish tint to your dream wedding. If you really want to have all of your large circle of friends at the wedding or have your heart completely set on a sit down gourmet meal, you can still stay within budget by choosing to focus on one or the other (but not both!) and curtailing the opposite. If you are not sure which route to choose, ask yourself these questions:

1) Is it more important (a) to have a large reception or (b) for your guests to feel personally pampered?

2) Do you see your wedding as more like a (a) party, with extended friends and family, or (b) special gathering of your “inner circle?”

If the (a)s are more appealing, you want a big, party-like wedding with a lot of people. If the (b)s are more attractive, you prefer a more quietly social, intimate wedding. Which you want will drive your decisions every step of the way.

Money-saving ideas for five aspects of your wedding.

The venue, menu, dessert, drink, and photography & videography choices are all important considerations when it comes to the event’s atmosphere and how you will perceive that Big Day. Some different ideas, depending on your preferences above, are below.

As before:

The (a)s tend to be more suited for “big party” weddings, in which case you will need to focus on controlling your per-person costs. Thus, these are options that will get you more with less money.

The (b)s tend to be more appropriate for an “intimate gathering,” where you can spend more per person. This means inviting only a small group to your wedding. When planning, focus on the core aspects of a product or service that make it feel upscale and limit the more frivolous options, so you can make more premium choices without breaking the bank.

1. Venue

(a) If a typical reception hall (VFW, banquet facility, etc.) is not right for you, go for an unexpected, but affordable venue. Barns, rural fields, gymnasiums, and warehouses that can hold a lot of people at a low cost per square foot are all options.

(b) Consider a restaurant for your reception, with a sit down dinner served in courses. This allows a more opulent setting, but allows you to save on extras like décor, space rental, and wait staff.

2. The Menu

(a) Choose foods that are filling yet inexpensive, like pasta and rice dishes, as entrees. Guests will feel satisfied while you avoid breaking the bank on per-plate costs.

(b) Choose the chef’s specialty as the entree and opt for lower-cost sides (if needed). Focusing on one or two showcase items helps give a posh ambience to the meal.

3. Dessert

(a) Have a spread of desserts homemade by family and friends. It’s an economical way to have a large-volume dessert table without correspondingly high cost. Spread the tasks among your bake-loving helpers and the burden will fall heavily on no one’s shoulders.

(b) Have a small, but lavishly decorated, wedding cake just large enough to feed your guests—beautiful, upscale, and economical.

4. Libations

(a) Set up a self-serve drink station—stocked with alcohol you bought—with only beer, a red and white wine, and signature drink. This allows you to shop around for the best prices and, possibly, save on volume. One caveat: check with your venue to make sure this is allowed and there are no “corkage” fees for bringing in from the outside. The latter could erase your savings.

(b) Offer served drinks from pre-determined options chosen to fit within your budget. This prevents unexpected costs due to overshooting usage from an open bar.

5. Photography and Videography

(a) Hire an experienced photographer with good equipment to take a few core pictures. For the rest, set up a photo-sharing app or Instagram hashtag for your guests to upload the photos they take. You still get some professional shots for your formal albums, yet have captured memories from the entire day.

(b) Have your photographer and videographer document your whole ceremony and reception, then limit the size of the packages and special effects or other editing options you purchase. This approach gets you a full package without having to pay super-premium prices.

By using these guidelines to choose cost-cuts based on your wedding’s personality you can have the big party or intimate gathering of your dreams!

7 Ways to Save on Wedding Jewelry

28 Jan 2016 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Ideas

Typically, the bride and Bridesmaids’ jewelry ensembles are made up of a necklace and earrings, but they can also include brooches and bracelets or cuffs, depending on the formality of the wedding, how elaborate the dresses are, and the bride’s preferences. In any case, there are several ways to match the cost to your budget.

7 Ways to Save on Wedding Jewelry

Bride’s Jewelry

1. Make the jewelry “something borrowed.” One way to slash bridal jewelry from the budget is to borrow it. If someone you know already owns a piece you love, and if it works with your Wedding Dress and hairstyle, borrow it to wear on your big day.

2. Wear an heirloom necklace, earrings, or other jewelryAnother no-cost solution is to wear a piece handed down from a family member as the “something old” in your wedding.

3. Buy fashion jewelry instead of the finer variety. Jewelry doesn’t have to be “real” to be beautiful. It is entirely possible to find affordable pieces that are both lovely looking and affordable. It is also, however, easy to get caught up in coveting the expensive varieties. Here are a couple of ways you can keep those impulses under control:

– Look at only inexpensive jewelry. Skip the upscale pearls, diamonds, 24K gold, and platinum and home in on jewelry made from more affordable materials such as freshwater or man-made pearls, imperfect diamonds, cubic zirconium or crystals (which generally looks much better than low-grade diamonds), affordable gemstones, silver, 10K–14K gold, titanium, tungsten, and stainless steel.

– Figure out what you like about a specific expensive piece; then, look for more affordable jewelry with similar features.

5. Make your own jewelry. If you have talent and fine-motor skills, or you know someone who has them, making your own jewelry is an attractive option. You can buy crystals, beads and other supplies at specialty merchants. Be sure to leave enough time to practice making quality jewelry and for experimenting.

Veil Lengths and Styles Demystified

28 Jan 2016 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Accessories

To the uninitiated, choosing a veil seems rather straightforward. We soon learn, however, that the veil can be one of the hardest decisions. Short or long? How short? How long? How many tiers? What shape? Blusher or not? Edging or not? If so, what kind? What color? Embellishments? Shimmer? The choices seem endless. Veil length is one of the most important factors in how a veil looks, so it’s best to begin there.

Veil Lengths and Styles Demystified

Veil Length

You can have a veil customized to any length, but many veils are described in reference to where they fall on the body (shoulder, elbow, or fingertip for example). Where the veil actually falls will depend on your height and where you attach it.

To find out how long your veil should be, stand straight and have someone measure you from where you will attach it to where you want the longest tier to fall. This will give you an idea of the length of veil you are looking for.

The shorter veils are typically between 18 and 50 inches long and fall somewhere from shoulder to fingertip. Longer veils can range in length from the waltz veil (falling down the back to below the knee and above the floor) to the royal veil, trailing up to five or six feet behind the bride. But don’t get too caught up in veil names, as lengths can vary depending on the source. What’s important is choosing a veil that falls where you want it to. Veil length terminology you may find while shopping are listed below.

Shoulder lengthThis veil is sometimes called a flyaway when there are multiple layers. It is commonly around 20 inches long, but can range from 18 to 30 inches, depending on where you purchase it. The shoulder veil works well when you want to show off the back of a gown. Although this length is a bit out of favor at this writing, it is traditionally worn at informal and daytime weddings.

Elbow lengthThis veil generally ranges from 25 to 36 inches long and should end below a low backline but above the top of the skirt. The elbow length looks good with gowns with no train or those with a full skirt.

Fingertip or wrist length veilsThese veils range in length from 36 to 50 inches, depending upon where they are designed to fall, and are versatile, as they can be worn with both short and long gowns.

Knee, waltz or ballet length veilThese veils fall somewhere between the knee and ankle, with knee length generally 45 inches. The waltz or ballet length is usually 54 to 60 inches long and falls between the calf and ankle.

Chapel or floor length veilThis veil reaches the floor and may fall six inches or more past the train. It is usually tiered and ranges from 60 to 90 inches long. It is considered a formal veil, appropriate for formal and semi-formal weddings, although some like these for beach weddings for the dramatic effect when caught in the ocean breeze.

Cathedral or royal veilThis is a dramatically formal veil, trailing up to two feet or more behind the bride. The length ranges from 96 to 132 inches or longer and looks stunning with a cathedral train gown.

Veil Styles

While the length can be considered a style, there are a few styles based on structure-related features. You may find these when researching your veil:

Birdcage veilThis veil is very short (just long enough to frame the face) and worn alone, without additional tiers or a separate blusher. The birdcage is generally made of coarse Russian-style netting rather than typical fine-mesh veil fabrics. Most brides attach this short, circular veil to a fascinator, ornamental comb, or headband for a more decorative effect.

Blusher. Depending on the context, the blusher is either a short face veil, such as the birdcage described above, or the portion of a longer veil that covers your face during the ceremony. The length of the latter generally ranges from very short to shoulder-length or longer. Standard length is about 18-25 inches but longer blushers are also attractive.

Mantilla. This is a one-layer, circular veil with a scalloped edge, often made of lace.  The mantilla is most often worn so the lace edges softly frame your face and upper body. Or, for a blusher effect, attach the center of the veil to the crown of your head so the front hangs around your face. Folded back, the veil will create two layers.

 Tiered veils. A tiered veil is one with more than a single layer. Because each layer adds thickness, more tiers generally equal more volume, so choose with the overall effect in mind. While four-tier veils exist and are useful to add visual interest or balance out a relatively simple gown, double- and triple- tier veils are most common.

Top 25 Ideas for your Rustic-Elegant Wedding

28 Jan 2016 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Ideas

The rustic-country wedding has been around for awhile and is here to stay (yay!), but there is an up-and-coming twist to this theme–elegance (think rustic chic with a drop or two more spiff). While, certainly, the setting goes a long way in creating the rustic aspect, details can be critical to the overall look as well. With that in mind, scroll down for my top picks for rustic elegance, all of which are neutral so will go with any wedding color!

Top 25 Ideas for your Rustic-Elegant Wedding

(Note: some of the links go directly to my affiliate partners, in which case I’d get a commission if you buy. But no one paid me or gave me anything for their items to appear in this post. These are strictly my picks. ~Bobette)

1. Rustic Lace Wedding Invitation

The juxtaposition of burlap and lace is frequently used to create an elegant but still rustic effect in weddings. Why not set the stage from the start with your invite or save the date? This collection includes both, plus other cards, labels, stamps, and table numbers. Buy as many or few as you need of each.

2. Wedding Chalkboard Sign

Wood and chalkboard can be made to look more posh with with sophisticated lettering and decorative swirls, logo, or monogram, such as those on this custom chalkboard floor sign. You have the option of sketching out your own design or letting the designer create one. Plus, the “chalk” is actually permanent chalk pen!

3. Burlap Aisle Runner

I must admit, to me, the words “burlap aisle runner” conjure up something best used in barn weddings. But add linen ruffles, your initials, and a non-stick backing and you have one nice-looking item. And the advantage to burlap is it a sturdy material that can hold up to a lot of abuse!

4. Satin and Burlap Wedding Bows

Continuing the pairing of burlap with an elegant fabric, these burlap bows are trimmed in off-white satin. Because they are larger than they appear in the photo (10″ wide by 8″ tail, made with 2.5″ ribbon), consider them for aisle markers. Double duty for these could mean use as part of the reception decor, attached to table skirts or decorating a buffet, for example.

5. Ruffled Background

If your idea of country elegance includes frills, you cannot go wrong with this backdrop. The muslin ruffles are sewn onto canvas broadcloth so will withstand “double duty”–first as a ceremony backdrop, then as a background for photos or behind the head or cake table.

6. Rustic Flower Girl Basket

One word: Cute. I believe this is a one-of-a-kind because it’s a vintage basket, but as of this writing the same lady had other baskets for sale as well (the link goes to a basket search in her store). All of her items are shabby chic or rustic.

7. Ring Bearer Sign

I love the idea of one or both the kids carrying a sign instead of the traditional ring bearer pillow or flower girl basket. This one has just the right blend of weathered ruggedness and elegance.

8. Bridesmaid Clutch

Lace, burlap, and leatherette combine to give this Bridesmaid clutch just the right touch. It’s semi-custom, too. You can choose from 50 colors for the faux leather.

9. Crystal Chandelier

The contrast of rustic and upscale is what creates appeal for this type of wedding. One way to achieve this is with lighting, such as a crystal chandelier. Real crystal is very pricey, but this one is made from acrylic crystals, making it A LOT less expensive. And it actually comes apart if you want to make two smaller lights from it (they send two light kits).

10. Chiffon Chair Sashes

Chair decorations are another way to add elegance to a country wedding. These chiffon sashes are kind of glamourous and I like the rose (nice touch). You can order them in your wedding colors, too.

11. Lace Table Overlay

You could put these overlays on top a burlap table cloth to give it a look similar to that of the clutch above or keep them as in the photo for a pleasing offset to more rustic table elements. There are sizes for all table shapes.

12. Wooden Birdcage Card Holder

This beats typical boxy card boxes hands down. I love the lace and ribbon around weathered wood. She lets you choose your ribbon color and type of flower. The sign is custom too, of course.

13. Mr. and Mrs. Wood Sign

These Mr. and Mrs. signs can be as rustic as you want. They are made from plywood and you can choose unpainted, glittered, or painted in your choice of color. Sizes range from four to seven inches tall, so you could also hang larger ones behind the couple’s table.

14. Twine-Wrapped and Lace Toasting Glasses

The roses and lace on these glasses nicely offset the jute twine, for an amazing effect. You can order the roses in your choice of six colors, including natural shades.

15. Monogrammed Burlap Table Runner

Another way to make a rustic wedding look more upscale is with monograms, such as on this burlap table runner. Your initials hanging tableside or at the head of the buffet line present a sophisticated appearance. You can get an est. date added as well.

16. Freestanding Table Numbers

If soft and romantic is your idea of elegant, these table numbers are perfect for you. And the rosettes add just the right bit of rustic.

17. Customized Birch Bark Centerpiece Vase

I adore this vase. The initial transforms the uber-woodsy birch into something different. The roses take it up another notch, but you could fill with whatever gives the impression you would like–greenery, hydrangeas, carnations, or wheat, for example, would each create a different look.

18. Rustic Table Rose Decorations

These beautiful crepe paper rose buds are finished off with leaves made from jute twine-wrapped wire leaves. They would be great as decorations on any table. You can pick other colors for the flowers, too.

19. Rustic and Lace Favor Boxes

Kraft paper creates the rustic effect while silk and lace add elegance. There are other styles and shapes, too.

20. Glitter and Lace Place Cards

Beautiful. And she takes on all the work for you. Send her your guest names with table numbers and your placecards will arrive ready to set on tables. There are also matching table number signs available.

21. Chalkboard Table Tent Food Cards

These little chalkboard food signs come pre-filled as well. Or–if you would rather–order blank signs or the pdf file and enjoy your preferred level of DIY. She prints on card stock, so these signs are sturdy but not overly bulky.

22. Monogram Burlap Drink Tub

This burlap-encased bucket is made by the same person and has the same look as the table runner above, so the two would work wonderfully together. It’s 14 inches across, a nice size for wine bottles. But you could also use it for favors, programs, or filled with new-home necessities as a gift.

23. Ruffled Burlap Table Skirt

In addition to adorning chair sashes and backdrops, ruffles can also make an appearance on select tables. Here, the elegant touch is created by layers of tulle cascading down the sides.

24. Burlap Love Bird Cake Toppers

This look may not be for everyone, but you have to admit these birds are cute. They are 3 inches across. Also, her flower and his tie can be custom-color.

25. Rustic Elegant Cake Knife Set

The vintage lace and custom-date love birds on the handles of this cake knife and server set are a nice touch. They are made from stainless steel, so will keep their lovely look as a keepsake, too.

7 Fun Beverage-Related Wedding Favor Ideas

28 Jan 2016 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Ideas

Sure, you could just go with plain, rented beverage glasses for your guests’ drinks and be done with it, but why not add an entertaining twist by relating the favor to the drinks? The glass itself, how you decorate it, what you put in it, or what you serve with the drink can all create a bit of joy for your guests.

7 Fun Beverage-Related Wedding Favor Ideas

A big thank you to Michelle of Choice Promotional Products, who suggested some of these ideas as well as sponsored the post.
1. Personalized drink glasses can be all kinds are fun.

The pre-printed, clear glass varieties have been around for ages, but modern technology and today’s more laid-back weddings have allowed for an expansion of the concept. Take these double-walled tumblers, for example. Glitter adds to the atmosphere and lids eliminate dance floor spills.

2. Even plain glasses can be entertaining if the favor is a treat.

How about milk and cookies as a send off? Avery House Photography of Chicagocaptured these sweet “cocktails” served impeccably on a silver platter.

3. Painting a wine glass is another option.

Taking brush to glass is straightforward for those of you who have the talent, but something like applying writable chalkboard paint can be tricky. Fortunately, Deb and her readers at JustShortOfCrazy have done the experimenting for you. The step-by-step tutorial has tips for avoiding paint pooling and drips.

7 Fun Beverage-Related Wedding Favor Ideas

4. Koozies are cool and useful, but many tend to be a bit blasé.

What, after all, can make a foam cylinder exciting? More than you would think. This tuxedo bottle cover ratchets up the style by dressing the bottles for your event.

5. Beach wedding cocktails, anyone?

What cuter way to expand the tropical wedding theme than with beach-adorned drink ware?

6. Mason jars have crossed the line from purely rustic to relatively main stream.

These little four and one half ounce versions–customized with your wedding logo, monogram, or any design you like–will make cute mixed drink glasses for your guests.

OR make the favor a dessert in the glass. Get the tutorial for these s’mores treats on HostTheToast.

7. A take-home beverage can also be something for your guests to enjoy at home.

Mixes are a way to provide a liquid memory of the event without the potential mess of during the drive home. Here, photographer Alea Lovely captured DIY hot cocoa favors at one of her weddings. Use your imagination to come up with your own unique twist (tea or apple cider as alternatives to cocoa, for example).

These, of course, do not cover all the possibilities. So, tell me, what are YOUR ideas for drink-related wedding guest gifts?

Post Sponsored by Choice Promotional Products.

 

5 Saving Tips When Buying Wedding Items

28 Jan 2016 Posted by trubridal in Wedding Ideas

5 Saving Tips When Buying Wedding Items

We sometimes think a small budget means doing everything ourselves and giving up on the dream wedding. Not necessarily. The good news is the dream can survive the pinch! It will, however, require more thoughtful spending.

The key when buying wedding items is to combine DIY projects with discount suppliers, sales or coupon codes, and used items in a way that not only gets the most value for your money, but also keeps your stress levels down. The dream wedding, after all, does not include Bridezilla raising her harried head and ruining your big day.

There are various tactics to help you save money on your venue and service providers as well (see Top 6 Tips for Saving Money on Your Dream Wedding), but here I am focusing more on purchased items.

Without further ado, here are those five saving tips for a wedding…

#1: Do it yourself ONLY where it makes sense.

Depending on your expertise and cost of the supplies, some projects will work out better for you than others. Making your own wedding veil, for example, may cost more than buying it from a discount merchant.

For those of you with limited craft skills, you and I are in the same boat; I’m maybe a three on the 10-point craftiness scale. And I did every project here. On the couple I had trouble with, I talk about it and show pictures so you can decide if you want to tackle it yourself.

#2: Buy pre-owned or slightly irregular where you can.

There are several opportunities for you to save on pre-owned or not quite perfect items:

1. Many used wedding items are in like new or nearly new condition.
2. “New with a quirk” are perfectly good items but cannot be sold as new because they have been opened, don’t have the retail tags on them, and/or have been repackaged. Candles and candleholders are often sold this way.
3. Slightly irregular items are another way to save. Usually, the defect is barely noticeable or is on a hidden part of the product. The seller should note it in the description.

#3: Sell or reuse your wedding products.

There are others out there like you so, after the wedding, flip tip #2 on it’s head and sell. When you do this, the wedding-related cost is lower than the price you originally paid. By selling, you get part of your original price returned. By using it in your day-to-day life, you are saving money later.

The two most popular arenas for selling are eBay and Craigslist. In my opinion eBay, with its free Buyer Protection and Buyer/Seller Feedback programs, is the most trustworthy route. If you do choose to sell via Craigslist, put your own safety first by never meeting a potential buyer alone and choosing a neutral, but quite public, place to complete transactions.

#4: Shop a range of stores, including general merchandisers and discount websites.

Many times, we are inclined to head to the local bridal store to buy everything for the wedding. This is good because it helps support local business. Usually, however, the prices are higher than you could get online, so the local route may not be doable on your DIY budget.

One way to find items from several online stores at once is to use our unique product search engine, which simultaneously searches products from all of our retail and wholesale partners. You can try it by use the “search all products” box at top of this page.

#5: Shop sales and use coupon codes whenever possible when buying wedding items.

The ultimate score is stacking savings by using a coupon or other price break on already-reduced items (either on sale or at a discounter/wholesaler). Plan ahead by creating a list of potential supply sources early on, then keep an eye out for opportunities. Some ideas:

1. For brand-name items, be aware of current manufacturer coupons. Even as the number of printed newspapers dwindle, weekend FSIs (free standing coupon inserts) still exist and can contain savings not found elsewhere. Online, there are numerous sources of printable coupons. Be aware that you are usually limited to printing two online coupons at a time, and they are only available until a set number are printed, then will disappear.

2. Individual websites often run coupon codes that are separate from item sales. Get a percent or dollars off when you make a minimum purchase, for example. You can find these advertised online, but often you will find an offer by simply looking for a banner at the top or along the side of the merchant’s site.

3. Sign up for emails and/or download the app from your favorite merchants and monitor deals.

4. Look for discounts earned by using certain payment methods. Credit cards, Google Wallet, Paypal, store credit cards, and Apple Pay are some possibilities that come to mind.

An Example of Stacked Savings

Target is a good example of a discount retailer who also lets you save in other ways (disclosure: I am both an affiliate and fan, which means if you make a purchase or sign up for a Redcard after clicking a Target link below, I’ll make a small commission).

Their policies allow you to use a manufacturer coupon and their own coupons on sale items (regular-priced items too), then get an added 5% off if you use your Redcard. They also have periodic in-store opportunities to earn gift cards. Stacking all types of savings is rare, but it could happen (I netted down to $4 a bag on $12 cat food one time).

Your most lucrative combination, however, will likely be when they run dollars off a party category purchase (fyi, wedding & anniversary is in the party supplies category). Check in the month before any decorative holiday and plan your purchase accordingly, using your Redcard.

Looking in the wedding supply items, I found 100 thank you cards and an ivory aisle runner, both nice for a do-it-yourself wedding. The regular price is $76.97, but if I’d purchased during a Halloween sale, which allowed $15 off $75 party supplies, the bottom-line price would have been $58.87 with no shipping charge. That’s about a 24% savings on items that were already a good deal compared to many wedding sources. Plus, no precious time lost driving to the store.