Eco-Friendly Idea: Pre-Owned Wedding Items

used_wedding_dress_gown_sbbmarketplaceHey Y’all,

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed that it’s becoming more and more acceptable, especially among millennials, to purchase pre-owned wedding items. This makes sense, since the “sharing economy” continues to become more widespread. Meaning, people are using items they already own to make money. For example, a car with apps like Uber or a spare room with sites like AirBnB. So, why not save money by going pre-owned with expensive items like your wedding dress or your engagement ring?

Budget-savvy engagement ring shoppers have long turned to peer-to-peer marketplaces including eBay and Craigslist to purchase pre-owned rings for less. And now there are more online marketplaces like Have You Seen the Ring and 1stDibs popping up to help sellers receive up to 60 percent more for their unneeded rings and saving buyers up to 80 percent off retail.

used-wedding-dressesAs for pre-owned dresses, PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com helps brides save hundreds or more on luxury brand dresses that were only worn for a few hours. The site also provides a valuable service to sellers, who are able to pass on their dresses for another bride to enjoy instead of storing them away in a box. Another trend among frugal brides is buying pre-owned accessories and shoes or even using rental services like Rent the Runway, to reserve a designer dress for their wedding and then return it after.

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 5.50.11 PMThe peer-to-peer wedding economy even has folks selling their leftover wedding décor on sites like Etsy, Ebay and Recycle Your Wedding, in an effort to make back the money they spent making them for their own wedding. As you can see, the stigma behind pre-owned wedding items is disappearing and people are using these savings for other wedding or honeymoon expenses.

 What do you think of the Eco-friendly, pre-owned wedding trend? Let me know in the comment section below.
-Brian

15 Ideas to Spice Up Your Wedding Reception via Bridal Guide

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 11.36.28 AMHey Y’all,

I read a blog via Bridal Guide Magazine that’s full of useful tips on how to add fun decor and activities to your wedding reception that promote socializing among your guests and add a personal touch to your big day.

bridal-guide-may-june-2014I highly recommend taking a peek at the post if you’re in the throws of wedding planning. Have a great Monday, everyone!
-Brian

5 Lovely Gift Ideas For Him and Her This Valentine’s Day

Hey Y’all,

This weekend marks the beginning of February, which means, it’s almost time for Valentine’s Day! Don’t wait until the last minute to get your sweetheart a gift, get inspired by the cute ideas below and then get to work putting your gift together.

1. Air Plant Terrarium
Watch your love grow with this cute glass heart terrarium! You can purchase this one for $40 HERE or I found another one for $50 HERE. You could also just get your own terrarium at your local flower shop where you can pick out your own assortment of plants as well. Tip: Incorporate some candy inside or a note, whatever your Valentine will appreciate most!

2. Go Bananas! This is a great gift for a Valentine with an excellent sense of humor (or someone who has a habit of eating a banana every morning!). This is also a perfect idea for kids on Valentine’s Day if you’re a mom or dad that packs your kids lunch. Psst! I found this idea on GloryBoonBlog, which is penned by a fellow WordPress blogger by the name of Alexandra. If you’re looking for DIY fashion and beauty tips, check her blog out.

3. Simple n’ Sweet
These cookies are SO simple to make, anyone can do it! Head to FamilyFreshMeals.com for the yummy pictorial and recipe. Be sure to either box them up for your Valentine in a cute pink or red or gold box with some tissue paper inside and a ribbon! Also, if you’re looking for a fun activity to do with your kids on Valentine’s Day, this is it!

4. Put Your Love On Display
This is the most expensive idea I came across that I felt was worth the money. These customized bracelets can be ordered from an Etsy shop by the name of Capucinne for about $136 USD. This is perfect for long-distance couples that may write love letters to each other or just old-school romantics! You’ll need to email the shop owner a good quality photo or scan of your signature or hand writing, and the message can say whatever you’d like. Very thoughtful!

5. Language of Love
If you’re not a gift person or you and your Valentine have agreed not to spend money on each other this year, you should send a love note at the very least! This e-card was designed by Jonathan Adler and can be personalized with a message and sent via PaperlessPost.com.

As you can see, doing something special for your Valentine doesn’t need to cost much–you just need to get a little creative! All of these ideas are easy to execute and you can have fun making them your own. Here’s to spreading the LOVE this Valentine’s Day!
-Brian

Wedding Cake Toppers

Hey Ya’ll,

What goes on top of a wedding cake can say a lot about a couple. Whether you go traditional or non-traditional, a cake topper is a great way to put a personalized touch on your wedding. I’ve gathered a few fun ideas to consider below, let me know which one is your favorite in the comment section!
-Brian

1. Sophisticated Silly

2. Mini-Me

1233369_640825525942056_1040293212_n3. Silhouettes

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4. Steel Letters

Image source: Colin Cowie Weddings

Image source: Colin Cowie Weddings

5. Love Birds

Photo: Katelyn James Photography for StyleMePretty.com

Photo: Katelyn James Photography for StyleMePretty.com

6. Vintage Figurines

Etsy.com

Etsy.com

7. Polaroid Kiss

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8. Old School

Winter Wreaths For Your Door and Mantle

Hey Ya’ll,

If you don’t have time to load up your home’s exterior with twinkling lights or can’t be bothered with a shedding tree adorned with beautiful bulbs, there’s one easy way to instantly add holiday cheer to your abode: a winter wreath!

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 1.09.09 PMWhat do you think of these lovely blue themed wreaths? How about these wreaths with beautiful bursts of red?

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 1.11.22 PMA classic green wreath is always a good choice, too…

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 1.16.01 PMIf you’re crafty, try stringing leftover bulbs together using some wire or hot-gluing bulbs to a bare wreath (click HERE for a tutorial for the wreath below from http://sharyncarlson.typepad.com):

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Image and tutorial via http://sharyncarlson.typepad.com

Another fun idea is spray painting some holly to create a metallic, sparkly wreath:

31ab6a3b0eb9ce353230fae0717167d1Wreaths are a great way give a seasonal nod to a holiday and the best part is that they can be hung over a mantle, on a wall or on a door. Do you have a winter wreath you use every year or do you prefer to switch it up? Let me know in the comment section below.
-Brian

My Favorite Fall Wedding Ideas from Pinterest

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.43.14 PMHey Ya’ll,

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost October and fall is already officially here! Are you planning a fall or early winter wedding? Some people think that getting married during these seasons can be limiting in terms of flowers, venue and even food choices, depending on your geographic location. However, I think autumn weddings can be fantastic because there are fewer of them and there’s a lot of room for creative touches. If you’re planning a wedding to take place during the not-so-warm-months, check out my tips below for a little Pinspiration!

Accessories for Warmth1. Accessorize! One of the coolest parts of getting married in the fall or winter is just that, it’s cooler! By wearing a wrap, a cardigan, a sweater, a jacket, a fur stole or even a cape, fall and winter brides can further establish their personal wedding day style and color palette. You can wear these accessories for just your photos, just the ceremony, just the reception or all three.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.46.02 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.45.02 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.46.36 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.47.33 PMYou can find these fabulous pins and more on my ‘Here Comes the Bride’ Pinterest board, HERE.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.31.47 PM2. Use what’s in season! This can help you to settle on a color palette more easily, create a menu and select your flowers. For bouquets and centerpieces, OneWed has some fantastic fall floral inspiration, HERE. Don’t forget, sticking to seasonal selections doesn’t need to conflict with your decor or chosen color palette, you can always alter things to make them work. Take, for example, pumpkins. While they may come in orange and white in nature, you can add tacks, or paint, or ribbon or washi tape to make them work for your decor.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.42.42 PM3. Choose Venues with an Indoor/Outdoor Feel. Fall and winter are some of the most naturally beautiful and picturesque seasons of the year depending on where you’re located. Use this to your advantage when selecting your venue.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.44.42 PMOne thing you will need to keep in mind, however, is the weather and how that relates to the comfort of your guests. If it’s too cold to be outdoors, maybe you do some photos outside, then move inside for the ceremony and reception. Or, if it’s not too cold in the early evening, aim to have your ceremony outdoors (maybe provide blankets or wraps for cold guests to barrow!) and then move inside. If you must stay indoors, look for a venue with great views, since you chose to get married during these beautiful seasons and it has likely inspired all of your design choices.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.44.06 PMBonus Tip: I love the idea of throwing beautiful red, yellow and orange and gold leaves, as opposed to confetti or petals, for an autumn wedding. And since there’s so many on the ground this time of year (most places!) its an easy/free item to use for decor at your wedding. You could attach tiny pouches of leaves on the guests chairs, or put them in baskets at the end of each isle for the ushers to pass around for each guest to grab a hand-full before the bride and groom walk down the isle.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen done at a fall or winter wedding? Would you ever wear a jacket or sweater with your wedding dress? Let me know in the comment section below.
-Brian

Bettie’s Beautiful Baby Shower

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.27.16 PMHey Ya’ll,

I’ve designed baby showers in the past and been involved in the planning of them for clients, but when you are one of the chosen hosts for a baby shower for a dear friend, it is a completely different story!

Bettie and I at my Birthday party a couple weeks ago.

Bettie and I at my Birthday party a couple weeks ago.

My friend Elisabeth Stassen or Bettie, as I affectionately call her, is due any day now, so myself along with five of her good friends combined forces to create the perfect baby shower for her.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.36.13 PMWe met, created a game plan that utilized all of our different skill sets, and then divided and conquered to make sure that each detail came together on the day of the event.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.41.58 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.39.40 PMOur main objectives were to create an afternoon that was a little bit non-traditional in theme and decor, but very personalized to Bettie’s high standards and tastes.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.46.15 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.48.28 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.47.59 PMBettie has event planning experience and knew exactly what she wanted and didn’t want, which in some ways made our job a little more difficult but in other ways it really helped us.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.51.02 PMFor the decor, we stuck mostly to classic neutral colors. Think: ivory, khaki, pink, light green and light blue!
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.49.56 PM

The event’s color palette was inspired by the invitations that we found on Etsy. We used these colors in and outside of Bettie’s home for the flowers, table linens, party favors, cups, napkins, and even the food.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.56.42 PM

I of course, was in charge of the cake, a therapeutic challenge that I always enjoy taking on.
Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.37.05 AMI used my new cake pans to create a layered white, Funfetti cake (my signature flavor!) and topped it off with some playful white and pink frosting and sprinkles!

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.06.38 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.07.42 PMAll the hosts made or brought different food that was a specialty in their wheel house.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.08.45 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.10.36 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.37.41 AMAll in all, I think we created a relaxing day of eating, drinking, gift-giving, friendship and of course, celebrating David and Bettie’s new baby girl.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.09.37 PMHave you ever combined forces with friends to plan an event for a dear friend? Let me know what you were celebrating and how it turned out in comment section below.
-Brian

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