Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hey There!

I cannot believe it has been almost one month since I posted.
I love my wedding blog.
I love weddings...
I have so many ideas and news to share.

I have been MIA writing another book for The Everything Series! Exciting...
almost done...
I will share soon...
and have some FAB giveaways perhaps!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tips for a Gracious Bride

We've all heard of Bridezillas, but really is that how you want to be remembered? It may get you on TV, but it won't score you any points...with anyone! You may be wearing white today...but that is not forever. Grace and courtesy is always becoming. Here are a few tips for being a gracious bride...it looks good on everyone!

1. Just because others do not know proper etiquette, doesn’t mean you should ignore it.
2. Be humble. You may be a bride now, but soon you will re-enter life as a mere mortal.
3. Respect tradition, but give it your own personal spin.
4. Mind your manners. “Please” and “Thank you” will take you a long way.
5. These people are your friends and family – they do not work for you, but are here to help you…because they love you.
6. Don’t assume anything - ask questions and get the details in writing.
7. These people are your GUESTS! Don’t keep them waiting and don’t ask them to pay for anything.
8. Treat your vendors kindly, and they will do the same for you.
9. Thank you notes are a must. It is never wrong to express your thanks to your parents, your guests, and your vendors.
10. If it doesn’t feel right don’t do it. When in doubt trust yourself. 

Need more info...this is from The Everything Wedding Etiquette Book (Adams Media) written by me!
Have anything to add?
Love, love, love to hear your thoughts!
Happy Planning!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

EPIC Letterpress Giveaway! DIY With Your Own Letterpress!

Letterpress is gorgeous, stylish and chic...
and finally there is a handy tool that will let you do it at home.
Can you imagine what you can make
for your wedding or party!!!!!!

on my other blog, 504 Main,
I am giving away one of these awesome machines...
and it also die cuts and embosses!!!!!!
Hop on over to 504 Main to see a little glimpse into how easy this machine is and a few samples of what I have done so far (there is more coming.)

This giveaway is happening until Thursday.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wedding Insight from a Former Real Bride

Over at 504 Main a few weeks ago I had Kristen from Whose Watching the Baby link up a very interesting post about weddings and negotiating. I liked Kristen's frank attitude and insight and asked her If I could share it here.
I definitely have my ideas of do's and don'ts but there are so many different situations and circumstances out there, listening to others is extremely helpful. I also feel in wedding planning brides can learn so much from other and former brides, so with no further adieu, here is Kristen's scoop!
(You can read the post on her blog right HERE)
Unfortunately for my mom and dad, I didn't really get good at this until well after I was already married, and getting married again just to take advantage of the bargain didn't go over very well with my husband. The current recession isn't hurting buyers' negotiating power, either, so this could be a unique opportunity for those currently affianced to marry above their station - or maybe just wed above their station, like at the Four Seasons instead of the VFW. I have lots of friends and family who are planning weddings, and below is my standard advice.  But first:

{Wait! Important Caveat!}

{If you have a place and a date with which you have absolutely fallen in love, I can't really help you. This is also true if you have a very specific vision, down to the last eensy weensy detail. It's like anything else you buy - if you're not willing to walk away from it, you have no negotiating power. Just do me a favor: at the very least, don't tell the salesperson how much you just love it and that you'd pay anything to have your wedding at their hotel/country club/livestock show and rodeo. Pretend to be a hardass. Play hard to get. There are too many deals out there right now to just hand them the sale!}

First things first: If you really want to save a pretty penny on your reception, you have to be flexible. The more flexibility, the better. Below are the options that you can toggle to make the most of the money you have budgeted for your reception. After you've chosen where you're willing to make some sacrifices, you must put together a Request for Proposal, and let the venues that you are willing to consider come to you with their best offers. We'll get to that later this week, but first the hard part: deciding what's important to you.

Day of Week, Time of Day

Saturday evening weddings are the most expensive, and Saturday brides will find their venue of choice least likely to work a deal on price. They're the most desirable, there are only about 48 good ones in a year,* and these receptions almost always include lots of expensive alcohol. Willing to get married on a Sunday morning? A Friday night? Even Saturday during the day can be a bargain if you negotiate it right. This leads us to our asterisk... There are only 48 good Saturdays in a year because some of them will fall on days that are not popular with the wedding crowd. Willing to get married on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Bank! How about the Saturday before Easter? Perfect, if it works for you and your guests. These days have very little demand, and your wedding venue will likely leap at the chance to fill these empty days on their calendar.


As a general rule, buffet meals are more expensive for the caterer than plated meals served at the table. This is because the venue has to prepare extra food, and replenish the food eaten for whatever amount of time is agreed upon in the event contract. If you are willing to go completely 'chef's choice' on your menu, you can save big bucks. You're letting your caterer take advantage of economies of scale in his purchasing and in preparation of your food. He may choose to match your menu to one being served concurrently in a different ballroom, or order the same protein for your event as the one he's serving the night before. You can still specify the type of protein and number of choices available to guests, and agree to settle on a menu about two weeks before the date of the reception.


There is no reason to ever pay for an open, or 'hourly', bar. It will never work out in your favor. Caterers know this, and that's why many offer only this option in their wedding packages. The type of bar you want is called 'consumption'. You set a limit that you're willing to spend, and the caterer discretely lets you (or your designee) know during your reception when the tab is getting close to the predetermined limit. At this point you can decide whether you want to up the limit and keep serving, or make it last call.

There are lots of ways to limit alcohol costs, such as sticking to wine on the table or one signature cocktail. Many brides and grooms toy with the idea of bringing in their own alcohol, but beware: although laws vary from state to state, many venues with their own liquor licenses, such as hotels and country clubs, will not let you bring in your own alcohol unless you have some unusual preference that they can't get through their distributor. Even this is usually subject to a corkage fee - watch for hidden costs!

Lead Time

If you reserve your date a year in advance, you're generally not going to get a 'deal'. They may tell you that you are - free champagne toast, anyone? - but you aren't. They still have plenty of time to fill the date, and if it's not you, there's a good chance someone else will come along. Wait until 4 months out? It's getting dicey. Three months out? Name your price.

Room Setup

This is not the richest source of potential savings, but it's up there: Are you willing to be flexible with how your guests sit in the venue, or do you insist on rearranging the furniture to suit your own personal chi? The caterer has to pay someone to come in and schlep all of those tables and chairs around. If you're willing to go with the room arrangement of the wedding before you, it might give your caterer or reception location a little more flexibility in their pricing. This may mean that your guests sit at long tables when you expected them to be at round ones, but we're about saving dollars here, right?

Hotel Rooms

If your ideal list of reception locations includes any hotels, make sure you let the salesperson know at first contact how many out of town guests you expect will be staying the night, and when they will likely arrive and depart. If your guests stay on site, this increases the profitability of the event for your vendor, and they may be more flexible in your out of pocket costs.
Thanks Kristen for letting me share you insight. Go say hi to her!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Winner is...

Thanks everyone for entering the giveaway...
The winner of the wedding books is...
Krystal from Krystal's Kitsch

I'll be back soon with some cool wedidng ideas.
Taking a little break while my puppy (OK, he's 12)
hopefully recovers from "something."


Monday, March 14, 2011

Giveaway...The Everything Wedding Checklist Book and The Everything Bridesmaid Book - CLOSED

I LOVE weddings!

See those books?
I wrote them.
Want to win a set?

So...You want to win a set? Here's how!
Of course, if you just cannot wait...
you can click on that Amazon Affiliate link and buy one!


**Leave comment letting me know you are a public follower of Hip Weddings via Google Friend connect - This is the first and required entry.  IF YOUR EMAIL IS NOT PART OF YOUR PROFILE...YOU MUST LEAVE A VALID EMAIL IN THE COMMENT...OR GO ADD YOUR EMAIL TO YOUR PROFILE. (1 ENTRY)

EXTRA ENTRIES (leave a separate comment for each):
504 Main
  1. Leave  a wedding question in the comments.
  2. Leave comment letting me know you are a  public follower of my other blog, 504 Main via Google Friend connect
  3. Like 504 Main on Facebook 
  4. Follow 504 Main
  5. Follow Hip Weddings on Twitter (1 entry) Leave twitter ID in comment.
  6. Tweet this giveaway (1 entry daily): "Win The Everything Wedding Checklist and The Everything Bridesmaid Book from @hipweddings."
Deadline to enter is 11:59 pm EST on March 21, 2011. Include a valid email address in your comments or in profile to be contacted.  The winner will be chosen using randomly, posted on this site and notified via email; Winner will have 48 hours to acknowledge win or another random winner will be chosen. Open to residents of U.S. and Canada.  

FTC Disclosure: This book is being provided by me and will be shipped by me at my expense. The Amazon links in the above post are affiliate links.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Special Pillow, A Special Message

Oh yeah, I am back....life has just been a little cuckoo, but I hope to jump back in the swing of all things wedding...including a giveaway for my latest book, The Everything Wedding Checklist Book: All you need to remember for a day you'll never forget (Everything Series)

For now I had to share this fabulous idea with you. My dear, sweet friend Sarah from Modern Country Style fashioned this sweet cushion to celebrate Valentine's Day, complete with wedding year and location. Isn't it just perfect!
Can't you imagine the possibilities....

Wedding or anniversary gift.
Ring bearer pillow.
A couple of cushions on a sweet bench at the wedding.
A Valentine's present.
An engagement present.

Go visit Sarah for a tutorial on how to make this sweet cushion and just say hi because her blog is lovely. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

DIY! Guest Book Goes to the Birds

I think guest books - or at least the idea of recording who was at your wedding and any special wishes - are important. One of my favorite projects, or even challenges you might say, is to find new ways to do just that. So, to kick off the year, I created a guest book vignette for a wedding, shower, birthday, or any other special occasion...like New Years!
I may not plan weddings as much as I used to but the thrill, the romance, the creativity of brides and grooms and the events they create is still close to my heart. Many, so many couples ask how to create a guestbook without it being a guestbook. Did that make sense? The guest book is one of my favorite projects to revamp.

Now, I love little birdies and would be truly giddy to do a stylish birdie inspired wedding. Until then, I have created this display that can be used for a non traditional guestbook at a wedding.
The back of the cards read "draw a picture - write a poem  - share your words of wisdom." The guests would select a card write or draw a special something to the couple and drop it in a large glass bowl when done.I would do 3 of these displays and then have the remainder of the cards in a pretty crate or basket - depending on the size of the wedding.

The whole point of this is to get guests to eave creative well wishes in their own unique way. Have pens and markers, and even crayons out for the guests to go to town!

I do think this would be FAB if you hung the branch with pretty ribbon and had the birdie postcards hanging from the wires.

See I am all excited talking weddings!!

For those non-weeding folks, you can also do something similar at a bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party, or other special event like New Years.

The key component to this display are the absolutely fabulous Chelsea Groves Postcards from Moo. As soon as I saw them, I loved them. Each and every different bird is sweet and colorful and chic and I think I may be framing some...I think I know the perfect place!
  • Moo postcards in design of choice - be careful you may be over there for days! So many GORGEOUS choices. 
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Branches (I used only one branch for this display...and found it in the yard)
  • Drill with small bit (how technical is that)
  • 16 gauge copper wire (or color of choice)
  • Moss, optional
  • Wire cutters

Go check out THE DIY CLUB for the FULL TUTORIAL!
PDF coming tomorrow (a girl has got to sleep!)

DIY Club

It is January Project Party Time at The DIY Club!
Two weeks to come up with a Fab project and have a chance to win SUPER prizes!

Check out the vendors  - you must use a vendor sponsor product to enter...but get this sponsor products cost as little at a couple of dollars for craft paint...and did I already mention you can win cool prizes.
To decorate the table, I used natural elements - burlap, twigs, branches, etc. - mixed with some vintage pearls and buttons and finally a crystal or 2.
There are so many possibilities! 
Did you have a guest book at your wedding?
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