The DIY Trap: Does it really cost less?


Most everyone is looking to save some money while planning their wedding.  DIY projects have been one of the biggest ways that brides use to save.  Can making things yourself instead of buying them save you some money?  The answer really is Yes and No.  It all depends on how much the project is going to cost you to make.  Sometimes after you have invested money in all the supplies, you end  up spending more than if someone else would have made it.   In the quest for savings, it is easy to get caught up in finding great deals and getting lots of supplies to make the projects.  Without really planning ahead it can end up costing you more in the long run.

I have done it myself.  I get all excited about a project and I search stores for sales, I go to yard sales and I get things I know are a great deal.  But, they are only a great deal if I can actually use them for my project.  I have totally ended up getting things I don’t need because I don’t plan ahead.

Before you go shopping make sure you have a vision on paper or a picture of the project with you  Know what your budget limit is and make a list of the things you need.  That way you know exactly what will work or not.  Yes, sometimes the plan changes if you find something you think will work better.  You are much less likely to get things that won’t work if you plan ahead.

Happy Project Making!


Umbrella Chandelier: Wedding Decor

Being a Thrift Store and Yard Sale Bride is all about taking things you find and making them work for your wedding.  This project is a perfect example.  This is made by taking the top off of an umbrella, and adding lights to make a chandelier.  A couple of these would make a beautiful accent for your wedding reception space.


Your wedding budget: Sometimes it is all about how it looks.

As I have said before I am an organizational geek.  The office supply store is one of my favorite places to shop.  I love to see the new pretty ways to organize my stuff.  Pretty is the key word though.  If it is not pretty, I don’t get as excited or motivated to organize or deal with anything.

Unless you love math and numbers, your wedding budget is probably one of the scariest things about planning your wedding.  I am so scared of math, that the thought of making or dealing with a budget almost gives me an anxiety attack.  Sticking to and keeping track of your wedding budget is going to be one of the biggest and probably most important tasks during the planning process.  So, make it as pretty and as fun as you can.  I love to use pretty binders and folders.  My big find this weekend are these pretty binders and folders that I found at BJ’s Wholesale.  Do I still have tasks that I still don’t really want to do?  Yes, but they are going to look really pretty when I am done.

Why is everything I like so expensive!!!


I know how it is.  Every time I look at something I like it tends to be the most expensive thing or option available.  I am not one of those lucky people who can just buy whatever I like no matter what the price.  So then I have to adjust my thinking to consider things that look good, but do not cost as much.  Sometimes that can be fun.  Sometimes I truly need some time to get over being frustrated and mad that I cannot get what I really want.

I am not sure that I really knew when I first started if that was why I wanted my wedding business to be about weddings that combine value with style.  I knew having a bridal consignment shop means that I will get brides who are looking to save some money.  But as time has gone by, I have come to realize that I am here to help brides not only save money, but have a wedding that does not scream I am on a small budget!  I am actually pretty good at that, if I do say so myself.  Believe me, I have a lot of real life practice.  Just ask my husband when we go shopping for anything…….. 🙂

Is planning the wedding going to split you up?

He’s popped the question, a sparkly new ring adorns your finger and you’ve begun turning your dreams into actual wedding plans.

And then you start having some of your worst arguments ever.

He wants the best groomsman to be his old friend from college. The problem? You can’t stand him. And  you know he’d plan a bachelor party that would make “The Hangover” look like a nursery school outing.

It happens, believe me. My best girlfriend glided up the aisle on her wedding day to be greeted by her fiancé sporting two enormous black eyes — the result of an impromptu soccer game organized by the best groomsman the night before. (Let’s say that their wedding photographs didn’t turn out exactly as she was hoping.)

And then there’s the guest list. You’re both contributing to the wedding so you think it should be split 50/50. But his family is much bigger than yours and he wants them all to come. So what do you do?

I recently heard about a girl who had only just gotten engaged when her future mother-in-law announced that she was going to accompany her when she went wedding dress shopping. After all, this girl was ‘taking her own precious son away’ and so she wanted to ‘be involved’ in the Big Day and decisions.

Another story I heard via my friend Sally was about her cousin, who wanted all the groomsmen to wear cravats and vests to tie in with her bridesmaids’ frocks and carefully-considered color theme. Her husband-to-be flatly refused, making it clear he had his own ideas about how he and his friends should dress.

Oh dear. Plenty of room for conflict here. Well, planning your wedding is stressful. Don’t worry if you have some fights in the build-up to your day. It’s very common amongst couples and the good thing is that you’re communicating.

So, what do you do?

First off, don’t expect your groom to get as obsessed as you are over the flowers, cakes and table decorations that you are choosing. If he’s not really interested, then that’s fine and you do things just the way you like them.

When my sister got married, I don’t even think her husband noticed her bouquet! However, he wanted to take over the whole responsibility of choosing the food and wines for the reception. He did, and did a fabulous job of it, too.

Another male friend who got married said that all he was interested in was sorting out the music at the service and the wedding party afterwards. As he teaches music in school, he knew exactly what he was doing and had the dance floor busy until the wee hours.

The key is recognizing the stuff each partner is best at and delegating!

So you don’t like his best groomsman? Well, he might not be so keen on your maid of honor either. So accept your differences, trust the best groomsman to bring your fiancé back intact or tacitly agree to ask different people. Maybe his brother, maybe your sister?

Now about your future mother-in-law and wedding dresses. If you really don’t want to take her wedding dress shopping then that’s okay. But she’s going to be a potential ally to you in future years, especially if you have children, so try to get her involved in some aspect of the wedding planning if she wants to be. Does she have any particular talents? If she has beautiful handwriting maybe she could help with the table settings or wedding invitations.

Alison Tinlin, wedding planner at Plans & Presents, suggests going accessory shopping together, which is likely to be less stressful. Your ma-in-law would probably love the fact that she helped you choose your tiara or bridal shoes.

And what about the guest list?

If your other half has the bigger family then it’s really fair to let him invite a greater proportion of guests. But Tinlin advises: “It used to be that the bride’s parents put money towards the wedding — now the bride and groom increasingly pay for their own day. How much each person puts into the marriage pot has to be firmly based on what they earn and can afford.”

Remember the caterers’ rule that 10 percent of those invited usually won’t be able to come anyway. And be strict about inviting casual girlfriends and boyfriends. If somebody doesn’t have a serious partner, do they really need to bring anybody?

I asked bridal guru Michele Paradis of The Bridal Coach for her hints to couples on avoiding arguments in the build-up to the wedding.

“The best way to decompress the anxiety around wedding planning is to designate one day a week as a wedding-free zone and don’t talk about it. Your fiancé, friends and family love you but even they need a break from the wedding planning!”

So, my advice to you? Expect some disagreements to explode when you’re planning your wedding. You want to have the perfect day but don’t let the stress get to a boiling point. Discuss your differences, accept that you’ll have to make some compromises but most of all, make sure you keep talking!

Remember ultimately what the day is all about — the lifetime of love you two share for each other.

DIY Burlap Flower Bouquet

I truly do love my job.  Surrounding myself with beautiful gowns, searching for wedding ideas, helping brides plan the day of their dreams, how could it get better?  Finding a really cool idea to share is how.


Wedding Planning Countdown

All the details of planning a wedding can be overwhelming if you are looking at doing everything at once.  Getting organized and breaking down the tasks into manageable chunks can help.

9-12 months before

  • Announce your engagement
  • Have the families meet/get together
  • Figure out your budget and who will be paying
  • Interview wedding coordinator
  • Pick your ceremony site and reserve the date
  • Visit reception sites and reserve
  • Start putting together your guest list
  • Shop for your wedding gown

6-9 months before

  • Choose your bridal party
  • Choose gifts for your gift registry
  • Shop for your bridal party dresses
  • Choose and hire your florist
  • Choose and hire your photographer
  • Choose and hire the DJ/band
  • Start planning your honeymoon
  • Mail your save the dates

4-6 months before

  • Choose your wedding cake
  • Pick your invitations and order
  • Choose and hire your transportation
  • Have a hair and make-up trial and book the date
  • Arrange for room blocks for your out of town guests
  • Plan the rehearsal dinner

2-4 months before

  • Call your county to find out the marriage license requirements
  • Choose and order the tuxedos
  • Have a tasting with venue or caterer to finalize menu
  • Select your play and do not play lists for the DJ
  • Order your wedding cake
  • Purchase any thank you gifts for bridal parties or shower hosts
  • Choose favors and welcome baskets
  • Shop for your wedding bands

4-8 weeks before

  • Mail invitations 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding date
  • Maintain a record of RSVP’s, gifts and send out thank you notes
  • Confirm ceremony details

2-4 weeks before

  • Make your seating chart for the reception
  • Confirm the details with your vendors
  • Have a final dress fitting

1 week before

  • Put in labeled envelopes any fees due on the wedding day
  • Give your venue/caterer the final guest count
  • Appoint someone to transport gifts and cake cutter ect. after the reception

Pack for your honeymoon