Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guess the Price!

One of my primary beliefs when it comes to planning a wedding is that a bride shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality when sticking to a budget. In fact, that’s part of the reason that I created this blog! Weddings can get expensive in a hurry, but with a little research and determination, it’s easy to find alternative options that fit both the dream wedding, and the realistic budget.

So, do you think you can tell the difference between the inexpensive and ornate? Below are sample wedding dresses, rings, bouquets, and photographers (all wedding essentials) – see if you can guess which picture belongs to which price point! 

*Answers are at the bottom of the page. Click on an image to make it larger.

Princess Dress
The classic strapless ball gown – which one is:
1)    $350?
2)    $800?
3)    $1,248?
                       A                                                B                                               C

Chic Sophistication
Which elegant gown is:
1)    $178?
2)    $350?
3)    $750?

          A                                              B                                                 C

Romantic Detail
Which one of these showstoppers is:
1)    $675?
2)    $1,050?
3)    $3,300?

         A                                                B                                               C

Short Dress
Which one of these short dresses is:
1)    $178?
2)    $350?
3)    $550?

         A                                                B                                               C

An engagement ring is an investment that will last a lifetime. Carat, clarity, shape, and color will help determine price. So which of these solitaire engagement rings is:
1)    $699?
2)    $1,699?
3)    $4,095?

          A                                                B                                               C

Ring Sets
Which set is:
1)    $591?
2)    $1,000?
3)    $2,800?

         A                                                B                                               C

Men’s Wedding Bands
Men’s bands differ on price based on material, design, and carat of gold. Which men’s ring is:
1)    $96.75?
2)    $343.20?
3)    $1,499?

         A                                                B                                               C

Bouquets designed by florists are priced to include the cost of the flowers, design, and delivery, so they will generally cost more than if you pick up and arrange the flowers yourself. Which florist-designed bouquet is…
1)    $50?
2)    $180?
3)    $400?

        A                                                B                                               C

The photographer is one of the most expensive parts of a wedding, and prices can vary based on hours and availability, prints, style, and turnaround. Which photo is owned by a photographer whose pricing starts at:
1)    $975?
2)    $2,300?
3)    $3,495?

      A                                                    B                                                  C

Princess Dress: 1C, 2A, 3B
Chic Sophistication: 1B, 2A, 3C
Romantic Detail:  1C, 2A, 3B
Short Dress:  1A, 2B, 3C
Solitaire:  1B, 2C, 3A
Ring Sets: 1C, 2A, 3B
Men's Wedding Bands: 1B, 2A, 3C
Bouquet: 1C, 2B, 3A
Photographer: 1A, 2C, 3B

So, how’d you do? Share your results on The “I Do” Guru Facebook page!

Bottom Line: A budget shouldn’t have to be sacrificed in order to have outstanding style, quality, and the wedding of your dreams. If you know what you want, do some research to see what other options are out there. Photographers, florists, and even dress designers like Vera Wang understand budgets, and would be willing to work around your price point. And you never know: you might not be able to tell the difference between the inexpensive and the overpriced!

Princess Dresses:

Chic Sophistication:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Wedding Crashers"

Raucous comedy “Wedding Crashers” is about two best friends, John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn), who crash weddings in order to party and hook up with female wedding guests. The pair finds themselves in an extended charade when they agree to spend the weekend with a senator’s dysfunctional family, stumbling over their aliases as things get weirder.


Bride: 8/10
Groom: 8/10


Although this film can be super inappropriate, it is well cast, well written, and truly sincere at times. Since Brandon and I watched this film on our first date (cute?), I can say that it is a great film for both guys and gals. Due to the film’s popularity, the term “wedding crasher” was lightened in western culture, as the movie characters attend the wedding ceremonies, act appropriately, and actually improve the festivities. Real-life wedding crashers are not as enjoyable, and can cause a great amount of trouble at weddings. So should brides be worried about their wedding being crashed? Read on…


Unlike in the film, a real-life wedding crasher is usually out for free food, free drinks, and to possibly steal from wedding guests or the bride and groom[1]. Here are some key features that would attract wedding crashers:
·      A large wedding: At a small wedding, it would be very easy for guests to notice if someone new slipped in, and there would be a greater chance of identifying an uninvited guest.
·      A venue with high foot traffic: Hotels will house hundreds of people that are not attending the wedding, and so people can get very close to the party without an invitation.
·      A venue with minimal security: Security cameras can catch unwanted guests, and can capture license plates and key information to help track down thieves.
·      Weddings set in a large city: In small towns, where everyone knows everyone, it would be very easy to spot a stranger.


If you expect that your wedding might be a target for potential wedding crashers, here are some steps to take to keep crashers out:
·      Request that guests bring their invitations to the reception with them to show that people entering were, in fact, invited.
·      Get extra security detail to monitor the event with security cameras and staff watching the gifts and guests’ personal belongings.
·      To protect wedding gifts, place them far away from any exits so people will notice if a guest is leaving with one.


I cannot speak from personal experience when it comes to wedding crashers, so I'll refer to a real-life example: a Boston newspaper reported that two young females dressed in wedding guest attire crashed a wedding this past May, and left the wedding with $2,800 worth of gift cards and a wedding gift[2].  Thankfully, video surveillance caught both women stealing the gifts, and police were able to locate their homes and retrieve the stolen property.


Bottom Line: “Wedding Crashers” is a hilarious film that the bride and groom can both enjoy. However, actual wedding crashers are not nearly as comical, and can cause a great deal of distress by stealing food, drinks, and presents. If you think that your wedding might be a target for wedding crashers, hide your gifts (and your single lady friends).


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Autumn Weddings

It’s about this time every year that I start to get a little homesick: I miss the autumn leaves in Virginia, the brisk air, and curling up on the couch with apple cider. Fall in Seattle means green leaves and rain (of course). Autumn is full of rustic colors and invites warm food and company. Although fall weddings (or weddings of any other season) are most likely to feature classic wedding elements, autumn weddings are absolutely gorgeous and can inspire such beautiful events. Check out these decoration, dress, and dinner ideas for fall-themed weddings.
The Dress: For an outside wedding, or just to keep warm in the crisp air, cover-ups are great accessories that add to the ensemble. Lace cover-ups, like the one pictured (available at David’s Bridal), add layers without hiding the wedding dress. 


Flowers: Fall welcomes a variety of gorgeous flowers into bloom, which are usually accented in seasonal bouquets with maple leaves and other fall foliage. Choosing flowers popular during this season will save on cost since they will be more accessible and locally available than those that would need to be imported. Flowers popular in autumn include dahlias, sunflowers, gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums, roses, and many more (fall is the primary harvest season for flowers in the northern hemisphere[1]). 


Decoration: Wedding color palettes can reflect the gorgeous autumn colors present in an outside setting. Popular colors include red, orange, yellow, brown, and purple. Due to most fall themes being related to the outdoors, rustic tones suit autumn weddings. Decoration can include wood (bark, pinecones, acorns), flowers, leaves, or fresh fruit, but can also bring in rustic pieces like antiques, candles, and DIY pieces for a homemade feel.


Dinner: The warm, rustic flavors of fall can easily be translated into appetizers and dinner for your guests. Pumpkin soup, roasted turkey, brussels sprouts, or other classic comfort food would be well welcomed by guests.


Drinks: Apple cider, eggnog, or hot chocolate are so wonderful to have at an event or at home on the couch. Drinks can be served as nonalcoholic options, or can be enhanced by brandy, rum, or Baileys (respectively). 


The Cake: Autumn wedding cakes can be decorated with fall-themed embellishments, including maple leaves (as pictured), berries, bark, or acorns. Since brown is such a featured neutral in autumn weddings, it’s a perfect opportunity to feature a chocolate cake.
Favors: Wedding favors are always fun to play around with, and with so many types of sweet treats being associated with the season, there are a great deal of options when it comes to autumn favors. Some edible favor ideas include maple candy, caramel popcorn, flavored honey, or caramel apples. 


Bottom Line: Autumn is the perfect time of year for a wedding, and it bears so many fresh options for decoration, food, and more. Brides can save a bundle by buying seasonal flowers and foods to serve to guests, and can easily create a warm and welcoming atmosphere by providing classic autumn food and drinks. If you’re having an autumn wedding, or you know someone who is, then have fun in the planning stages! Feel free to take advantage of the beautiful and abundant resources that this gorgeous season has to offer.

*Photos courtesy of The Knot