Guest Post: It’s Time to Negotiate: Encouraging the Bride and Groom to Haggle For the Perfect Wedding

The Wedding Lens is proud to present this guest post from our friend Sarah at Adiamor… We found it to be very helpful and interesting, so we hope you enjoy it too!

As a new decade begins, an old tradition comes to an end. The days of an extravagant, luxurious wedding seem to be well behind us as most young couples face difficult economic times. Accompanied with the reality that parents contribute less and less, twosomes find themselves facing a lot of wedding day sacrifices. But if you and your spouse-to-be are savvy when it comes to negotiating with vendors, you can still have the wedding of your dreams, with money to spare.

 First and foremost, don’t be afraid. In these strenuous economic times, vendors will expect you to negotiate on costs. Just remember, they want your business. They will always offer their services at a high price presuming you will make counter offers.  There are a number of ways to cut corners without coming off cheap or tacky. Let’s give a real world example with one of the most crucial elements of a wedding: the flowers.

 Beautiful flowers compliment the wedding ceremony in so many different ways. They are the centerpieces at the reception, the decoration at the ceremony, and most importantly, the bride’s focal point as she saunters down the aisle. They symbolize elegance, tradition, and express the love and sentiment that is inherent in a wedding. 

 To make certain you get the best prices, the first piece of advice is to buy your flowers from a wholesaler rather than a florist. Many wholesalers provide arranging services as well, so nothing is lost by using their services. Before you approach the wholesaler, research exactly what flowers you want. Compare prices on your own to give yourself the best bargaining tools. 

 After you’ve come up with a list of favorite flowers, put together a collection of arrangements you like as well. The more you can come up with on your own, the easier the job is for the wholesaler. Once you have a good idea of what you want, approach the wholesaler with confidence. Remember, you know what you want, and you will get it, otherwise you are going with someone else. 

 Another key to providing savings with your wedding flowers is to put together packages.  While different florists and wholesalers may offer lower prices on centerpieces, or bouquets, it usually benefits you to use one company for everything. This will get you an all inclusive deal, and help save more money. 

 The most important thing to remember while negotiating any part of your special day is to stand firm. While you are interested in saving money, under the current economic climate, companies are willing to work with you to get your business. Take advantage of this while you can. The bargains are out there waiting for you, you just have to be brave enough and smart enough to take advantage of them.

Sarah Harris is the Marketing Manager at Adiamor Engagement Rings. Adiamor offers a large selection of engagement ring settings, loose diamonds, and other fine diamond jewelry at affordable prices.

 

Guest Post: Bridal Accessories – Ways to Spice Up That Plain White Dress!

Here’s the monthly guest post from Wishpot! Thanks so much for this great advice!

This month Wishpot brings you creative and new ways to accessorize your wedding dress. As if finding a wedding dress isn’t hard enough, these days finding the perfect accessories to match can be even more difficult. Accessories are in this season, and they are bigger and bolder than ever. Our Wishpot Wedding Experts helped us out with ideas to help accessorize your wedding dress. So out with the plain white dress and in with the flashy fun accessories that will make you look like a modern chic bride!

This season is all about big statement necklaces. Our first item is a Sofia Pearl large pearl necklace recommended by wedding expert Ken & Barbie Events. This necklace could make any plain white dress look elegant and sophisticated.

Why not spice up your outfit by dressing up your feet? Adding a bright colored pair of heels to your wedding gown can help add a whole new level of modern style to your big day. Wedding expert Mara (Wedding Cabaret) suggests these gorgeous pink peep toe pumps which would make quite an impression going down the aisle.

In any wedding you can never go wrong with diamonds! Which is why the next item is a diamond brooch recommended by expert JunePlumm Events. A brooch traditionally has been worn by being pinned to the front of the dress, but today brides have found new creative ways to wear brooches. Many brides now tuck brooches into their hair. It is a great way to add a delicate touch to your ensemble.

A wedding ring is not the only ring that can be worn on this day. A cocktail ring is another way to add that extra WOW factor. Many different styles and sizes of cocktail rings can be found at Nordstrom.

Lastly, chandelier earrings can bring out the innate beauty in any bride. Wedding expert Couture Celebrations recommends these amazing Jessica Bridal chandelier earrings that will no doubt leave a lasting impression.

@gift_girl
Wishpot is a shop anywhere online wish list service. Find us on Twitter @wishpot and fan us on Facebook.

Guest Post: Beauty for the Bride-to-be!

Here’s our monthly guest post from Wishpot!

Its no secret that every girl dreams of being the Belle of the Ball on her wedding day, and we couldn’t  be more supportive. In fact, we’ve turned to our Wishpot Experts for their go-to beauty secrets to help you look your absolute best on your big day!

BeautyProducts

(top left; clockwise)

 Laura Mercier Foundation Primer: This product was recommended by wedding expert, Brynn Andre from Smart Bride Blog. It acts as an invisible barrier between the face and make-up. It was created specifically for sensitive, oily and acne-prone skin types, so it will keep the most flawed skin looking good from morning to night for your special day!

 Lollia Hand Cream: This whipped shea butter was recommended by wedding expert Leila Khalil and can be found at Anthropologie. The hydrating lotion is said to have floral infusions of mimosa, violet, and rose- leaving you smelling irresistably feminine.

 Onyx Roll-On Perfume: This seductive scent was recommended by wedding expert Cicely Roche.Miller and is retailed at Multi-Chic. The pint-size perfume makes for convenient travel and fits perfectly into a tiny clutch, so you can easily reapply any time of day.

 Arcona Cranberry Toner: This product was brought to our attention by fashion expert, Jess Estrada from FreshJess. According to Jess, the cranberry toner is absolutely divine and keeps her skin looking fresh all day long.

 Lorac Red Carpet Authorities: Getting a red carpet look is no longer limited to celebrities, and thanks to our fashion expert, GraceLikeKelly, we’ve got just the trick to give you the A-list look. The croc palette includes everything you need to get a gorgeous cheek & eye glow and can be found at Lorac Cosmetics.

 Sephora Straight-Making No Frizz Styling Spray: This styling spray was recommended by wedding expert, TwoBrides and can be found at Sephora. This spray is said to address the two causes of frizz: humidity and friction through creating a light humidity barrier on hair while reducing surface friction.

 Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Dry Oil: This product recommendation also comes from fashion expert, GraceLikeKelly, who swears by this multi-purpose restorative formula.

 Rosebud Salve: This lip balm can be found at Sephora and is used by fashion experts SPUN and GraceLikeKelly. The balm is delicious and keeps your lips soft and kissable at all times. 

 Soft Bubble Bath Dough: This unconventional bath product was recommended by wedding expert, trendsettingwedding and can be found on Etsy. The perfect beauty relaxation method before and after the wedding!

 Thanks to our wedding and fashion experts for the inspiration and great gift ideas! For more tips, ideas, or inspiration, check out the Wishpot Wedding or Fashion Blog, or follow us on Twitter: @wishpot, @gift_girl

Walking Down the Aisle

photo from private The Wedding Lens album (used with permission)

photo from private The Wedding Lens album (used with permission)

Two of my amazing, independent-thinking friends got married last year and decided that they were going to banish the traditions of a wedding ceremony. It was amazing! The bride wore a green dress that she loved, there was no wedding party, and … (ready?) …

… the bride and groom walked down the aisle together. That was maybe my favorite part. They had been together for about 10 years and they felt like they were getting married together, growing together, and sharing a life together. It was so sweet.  But but but…. Yes, I know. The bride asked her father to officiate the ceremony so that he wouldn’t feel left out. And see? Everyone wins… (but who’s counting?)

I went to another wedding recently where the mothers walked the brides down the aisle, while the fathers officiated. It was really amazing to see all the parents involved in their daughters’ big day!

Then, I read another story about a woman who was basically raised by a man who is not her biological father and who she would prefer to walk down the aisle. In that case, Offbeat Bride suggested that she break the news to her father by highlighting the positives of the Other Dad, rather than the negatives of Biological Dad.

Another friend of mine didn’t grow up with her father and wasn’t particularly close with her step father, so she walked herself down the aisle! Stunning to see her walking down the church aisle by herself. She looked incredible!

And then another friend had both her parents walk her down the aisle!

I also just read about a new tradition where the bride and groom meet halfway on the aisle and then come to the altar together.

And then, all this said, some people just like tradition. The bride always dreamed of her father walking her down the aisle. It’s sweet, right?

So, to recap who can walk down the aisle:

  1. bride by herself
  2. bride and groom together
  3. bride with mama
  4. bride with papa
  5. bride with mama & papa
  6. bride with another prominent figure in her life

So – what will you do?

~ Natasha

Dividing the Tasks: Who Does What for the Wedding Planning

During the wedding planning, my friend’s coworker said to her, “your fiance is helping with the planning?!” He was aghast. He figured that the woman took care of everything. Ohhhh my.

Team Work in Action!

Team Work in Action!

What stuns me even more is that most of the articles and blogs I can find seem to say the same thing — or a variation of that, along the lines of “How to FORCE the groom to help!”  or “Demand your groom helps!” How charming….

I’m going to run on the assumption that people were taught to share and help and be kind to one another.  With that in mind, I encourage dividing tasks.  Everyone divides tasks differently, of course, but it is important for both people to get involved. Partly because both should have a say AND partly because putting the whole burden on one person could be overwhelming.  I think it’s healthier for the couple to work together on the wedding.  It lets you work together and support each other during the whole planning process.

My friend gave me a good outline of how they divided tasks and what they really enjoyed doing together. But keep in mind that you really should divide the list based on things either of you might care about.  My friend’s fiance is a graphic designer (or something like that) and cares about artsy/creative things.  He wanted to do more with that side of the planning; others might prefer to work on music or on food. 

Here is my friend’s sample task list divide:

For him

As I mentioned, he’s creative! So he took care of invitations, the wedding website, and the slideshow (that they showed during the wedding).

For her

Flowers, dresses, and anything that required handwriting.

Keeping track of RSVPs — because they were sent to her. 

Both

Getting names & addresses for the guest list.

Picking out a song list (which, of course, can be done together — but might be easier if each person goes through their song list and picks out the ones they definitely want)

Together

The big things should be done together and it can be fun! So…  Vendors and locations, cake tasting (!), picking items for registry, seating chart, and photo album.

Perhaps take a dance class for your first dance!

What did you do? How did you divide your tasks?

~ Natasha

How To Create Your Own Wedding Favors

DIY Wedding Favors

DIY Wedding Favors

Are you a fan of Martha Stewart?  If the answer to this question is yes, then you may want to consider the DIY method of wedding favors.

Wedding favors can be very expensive; especially, if you have a very full guest list. What about creating your own?  Sure, making your own wedding favors may be time consuming and as a bride and groom to be, who has the time right?  Try having a “wedding favor” party.  Including your bridesmaids, friends, and/or family may help you to get the job done more quickly.

Taking a trip to Joann fabrics or any type of craft/fabric store is one way of getting started on the DIY track. Here is an example you may consider for your big day:

Candy Satchel Minis

  1. Lace, Netting, and Tuelle: You can choose one of three fabrics that consist of your wedding colors to use as the base.  Cut the lace, netting, or tuelle into medium/small squares, big enough to hold the candy but with excess at the top so that you will be able to gather and tie together with ribbon.
  2. Ribbon: Choose a ribbon that will complement the lace, netting, or tuelle.  If you so choose you can buy a package of rhinestones or jewels to add a more elegant look to the ribbon.
  3. Candy: If your wedding is in the spring, the pastel M&M’s work great. Hershey’s kisses also have a variety of colors depending on the time of year.  The possibilities are endless as long as they can still be considered a mini.

Directions

  1. Cut all of your desired material into medium sized squares.  (Using a ruler is recommended to achieve perfectly shaped squares.)
  2. Separate all of the candy onto the pre-cut squares, about a handful or if using Hershey kisses, about four will do.
  3. Gather at the top and tie with ribbon.
  4. If you are adding rhinestones or sequins to the ribbon, it may be best to use a glue gun, this way the rhinestones or sequins will stay securely onto the ribbons without worries of them falling off easily.

DIY wedding favors can be easy and a lot of fun only if time allows it.  This idea is only recommended to those who love arts and crafts and loves attention to detail.

DIY Bride also has some great ideas for handmade wedding favors if you are considering the DIY route.

~ Lindsey

How To Choose The Right Wedding Gown

 

Designer and Knock Off Gowns

Many Styles and Designs of the Perfect Wedding Gown

 

Wedding gowns are the foundation of the perfect fairy tale wedding; at least in the eyes of the bride-to-be.  Looking like a princess is the ultimate goal of any bride ready to take that coveted walk down the aisle. Many brides have dreamed of this day since they were little.   When that dream finally becomes reality the search for that perfect dream wedding gown is so very important, especially for the bride-to-be.

 

One of the most exciting parts of wedding planning has to be the search for that perfect wedding gown. There are so many options and styles where do you turn? Are you the traditional floor length kind of girl or do you prefer short and sweet? Would you prefer a custom made gown or do you have the luxury of paying for a Vera Wang wedding gown?  Maybe you stand to pay the cheaper end of a knock off gown. Mind you knock offs can still be priced in the thousands of dollars but you will be getting it far cheaper than you would directly from the designer. For example, lets say the bride-to-be found a designer knock off for only $500 dollars.  In the designer world, this dress could potentially be $5,000.00.  The knock off version totally resembles the actual designer gown but does not resemble the price which can be very beneficial to the future bride. 

 

Taking your time is important when shopping for the perfect wedding gown. Knowing your budget is definitely key but in the end you do not want to regret your final choice when scanning through all of your wedding photos. A good  rule of thumb when purchasing a wedding gown; designer or not is “If it doesn’t take your breath away at first glance, ditch it!” Having any doubts the minute you try it on is a good indication that the dress is not for you.  It may take a couple fitting room tie ups to discover the right gown but it’s so worth it in the end.

 

Here is a suggested list of Designer Gowns which may aid in your hunt for the perfect wedding gown:

  • Akay Fashion
  • Bonny MT
  • Cocoe Voci
  • Demetrios
  • Eva Forsyth
  • Helen Morley
  • Jordan fashions
  • Lazaro
  • Maggie Sottero
  • Mon Cheri
  • Perucci
  • Serafina New York
  • Yumi Katsura
Considering the salon or custom made route?  Pash Weddings had interesting things to say regarding custom made gowns along with a very precise questions and answers session. 
If you are still uncertain about your choices and need a little extra help in narrowing down your style ideas, Wedding Bells Blog has wedding gowns for the traditional to the not so traditional bride. 
You can also browse many photos of wedding dresses from real weddings for more ideas.
~Lindsey