Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Budget Saving 101

I found this Wedding Budget article on The Knot and wanted to post it for all those that are looking for creative ways to stay on budget. Below the article, are some additional budget saving tips of my own.

Whatever your budget, you don't have to resort to DIY bouquets to come in on target. Follow these three tips to have a chic wedding without sacrificing one iota of style.

Step 1: Decide What's Most Important
  • Pick your top three priorities and allocate a little extra money for them (i.e., gown, catering, and band). Next, pick the three things that come lowest on your priority list (maybe style, flowers, cake, invitations), and budget accordingly.

Step 2: Cut the Guest List

  • One of the fastest and most effective ways to lower your wedding cost is to pare down the invitees. Get out that red pen! At $100 a head, taking 10 guests off the guest list saves $1,000! Also consider the size of your wedding party: Gifts, hair, and makeup are cheaper for two than for ten.
  • Knot Note: Having trouble figuring out which guests to cut? Make a rule and whittle away. Rule #1: If you have never spoken to, met, or heard the name of a particular guest, they get cut. Rule #2: Anyone whose bedtime occurs before 9 p.m. will miss the cake cutting anyway, and probably won't have the best time. (All under-12 year-olds get a no) Rule #3: Significant others? Consider someone worthy of an invite if he or she is currently living with or has been in a relationship for more than one year with the friend you want to invite.

Step 3: Pass on Pricey Details

  • Glamorous details on items you're indifferent about spike costs without adding any fun to your day. Free yourself of the pressure to upgrade and instead make honest choices based on what you want. Ask yourself, "Will anyone notice if we don't do this?"
    -Having two shades of ink on your invitation might match your color scheme, but it can also add massive printing costs; square invites require extra postage.
    -Town Cars will shuttle your wedding party to the reception just as effectively as a Hummer stretch limo.
    -If you're happy with simple wedding pictures, pass on options like sepia tones, multiple exposures, and split frames.
    -Choose flowers that are in season, and pick locally grown flowers rather than blooms that need to be flown in from afar to reduce costs.
    -Substitute less expensive flowers: If you exchange Black Magic roses for more reasonably priced, deeply colored dahlias in all your bouquets and table arrangements, you'll save about $4 a stem. If you were planning on having five roses per bouquet and ten per centerpiece and have a wedding party of five gals and guest list of 150 people, you could save $700.
    -Reduce the number of overall dinner courses (making each of three courses fabulous, costs less than serving five individual courses) and keep your menu simple. Stick with the specialties of the season and region.
    -Have the caterers bring out the fancy Dom Perignon for the toast, but then switch to a less expensive champagne for the rest of the night -- no one will ever see the bottle or know the difference.
    -Order a small, fabulous cake that's exactly what you want and, in the kitchen, have several sheet cakes of the same flavor cut for your guests. And stay away from tiers and (time-consuming) handmade sugar flowers or special molded shapes. Have your caterer decorate each plate with a flavored sauce instead. Forgo fondant: Buttercream frosting is tastier and less expensive.

-The Knot

**Now for some budget saving tips of my own:

  • Save the Dates ~ Instead of sending out save the date cards by mail, use one of the many websites such as The Knot to send out ‘save the date’ emails. This service is 100% free and saves a lot of time!
  • Shop around for florists to ensure you are getting the most for your money. If your decoration/flower budget is relatively low, consider having your wedding in a garden where the backdrop and the surroundings can serve as your decorations.
  • Think location! If you prefer a church wedding, choose a church with beautiful stained glass windows with rich architecture to add to the overall feel. Not only will this save on ceremony decoration costs; but your ceremony will look and feel expensive. A friend or family member's backyard/home is also an inexpensive way to go if space permits. The ceremony and reception are both generally located here, which can save an enormous amount of money on rental fees.
  • In addition to the above tip on cutting cake costs, consider having cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake. Cupcakes cost considerably less and can still be personalized just as much as a traditional cake.
  • Consider DIY favors, ceremony programs, and even place cards. Invest in a quality printer and ask a creative friend or bridesmaid to assist you with these. Plus, it's always a great excuse to get the girls together for a night in! Or consider skipping favors all together. This is a touchy topic with brides depending on each brides personality and style, but if you are on a tight budget, skipping favors can save you $100-500 depending on the style of favor and guest count.
  • Consider a Friday evening or Sunday wedding instead of the traditional Saturday wedding. Changing the day of the week your wedding is held on can save you an enormous amount of money with your vendors. Often times vendors of all types will offer special discounts or promotions if your wedding is held on an "off" day.

I could go on for hours about ways to cut costs and STILL have a fabulous day and the wedding of your dreams! It's actually one of my favorite aspects of planning...I love being creative and finding ways for couples to get the most for their money. I have TONS more budget saving tips that I would love to share with everyone, so I think that this blog will be a two-part series! Check back later this week for the next part!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Poll Results: What do you consider to be the biggest wedding 'headache'?

Here are the results to last week's poll:

The Wedding Budget: 62%
Obtaining a Marriage License: 0%
Honeymoon Arrangements/Getting your passport: 12%
Changing your name: 12%
Guest List/Invitations: 12%

No surprise here! The majority of brides voted that the wedding budget was their biggest wedding planning 'headache'. I'll be featuring a blog dedicated solely to the wedding budget very soon...so stay tuned for that! Thanks again to all who voted and check back soon for our next poll!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wishing everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In the true spirit of St. Patrick's Day, I'd thought I'd post some ways that you can incorporate green into your wedding day. Even if you aren't having a St. Patrick's Day themed wedding, green might happen to be a favorite color of yours and can really add a great splash of color to your day!

Image courtesy of The Wedding Channel.

This beautiful table setting with shades of pale green and ivory adds a soft, yet sophisticated touch.

Image courtesy of The Wedding Channel.

Adding your wedding colors to your seating cards is a great way to continue your theme throughout your reception.

Image courtesy of The Knot.

This bridesmaid bouquet uses the perfect combination of shades of green and flowers that compliment each other very well. This bouquet is ideal for a Spring wedding with a modern touch!

Image courtesy of The Knot.

These green wedding programs can add the perfect touch of color to your ceremony and would be perfect for an outdoor Spring wedding!

Image courtesy of The Knot.

I LOVE this bridal bouquet! Orchids are one of my favorite flowers and are just beautiful in my opinion. This bouquet really says it all...in this instance, less is really more.

Don't forget to wear your green today! :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wedding Day Jewelry - Bag, Borrow, or Steal!

Looking for the perfect pair of diamond drop earrings or gorgeous designer necklace to match your wedding gown; however, you just have one tiny problem...you've already maxed out your wedding budget?! Well, I have the perfect solution for you! :) I came across this site several weeks ago (I can't believe I didn't find this months ago!) and just had to share it with you! Bag, Borrow, or Steal is an online company that actually rents out high end authentic designer jewelry and handbags! You have the option of renting for as long as you'd like...a week, a month, or even a year. Best of all, if you absolutely can't live without an item, you can "steal" the item you're renting - Bag, Borrow, or Steal will evaluate the item's age, condition, etc... and offer you a price.

How it works:
  • You have the option of becoming a member or renting as a guest. Membership fees are available monthly or yearly. A monthly membership is $9.95 and a yearly membership is only $59.95

  • Members receive special discounts, priority to their newest arrivals, member-only sales, and a rewards earning program.
  • There are no late fees - you can rent an item for as long as you would like.

  • Authenticity Guaranteed! All items are certified and arrive in new condition before arriving at your door.
Here's a small sampling of some of the great items available through Bag, Borrow, or Steal:

Charriol Teardrop Earrings

Charriol 'Cignature' Bracelet

Rosiblu Diamond Pendant

Check out their website to see all of the products they offer: Bag, Borrow or Steal

Enjoy ladies! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Inside Sumer's Make-up Bag

In today's addition of my new weekly blog segment, "Inside Sumer's Make-up Bag", I am featuring two amazing makeup products that I swear by!

Fav Product #1: Make Up Forever Professional Concealer

If you are looking for a full coverage concealer that hides all those pesky imperfections, this is the concealer for you! This concealer was actually designed to cover up scars, skin discoloration, and even tattoos! Personally, I use it for the occasional break out and underneath my eyes. This concealer is oil-free and wont irritate sensitive skin. It retails for $30 at Sephora.

Fav Product #2: bareMinerals A Little Sun All-Over Face Color

I love bareMinerals makeup! Not only is it great for your skin, but it works too! Mineral makeup is one of the biggest trends in the beauty industry today and it's easy to see why with all the great products they are coming up with. I've only used Bare Escentuals mineral makeup, but there are several other brands out there as well in the market to choose from. This particular bronzer is a favorite of mine, especially on all these dreary winter days we've been having lately! This kit comes with the bronzer itself, including the fan brush. Available at Ulta for $28.

** If you have a makeup product that you just can't get enough of, we want to hear about it! Send us your fav makeup products and we'll feature them on the site to share with our fellow brides-to-be!

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Poll: What do you consider to be the biggest wedding 'headache'?

We all know that planning a wedding can cause a headache here and there...with so many choices out there, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when planning your big day. This week tell us what you consider to be the biggest wedding 'headache' for you and your fiance. Are you overwhelmed with the daunting task of having to change your name on those all important documents, or does the wedding budget (or lack of one) have you stressed out? In this week's poll I wanted to focus on some other issues of wedding planning, rather than what colors your bridesmaids will wear or what flowers you will choose for your center pieces.

So, tell us what has been the most challenging aspect of planning your wedding and check back next week for an article regarding the "biggest wedding headache" as voted by you!

Poll Results: How would you describe your wedding gown?

Here are the results to last weeks poll:

Lavish Ball Gown: 57%
Casual Chic: 0%
Simple, yet Elegant: 0%
One-of-a-kind Couture Gown: 14%
Romantic Gown with Cathedral Train 29%

Looks like the majority of brides in the area went for the classic "Cinderella" look and are opting for a lavish ball gown on their wedding day! Thanks to all who voted and check back soon for this week's poll!

Friday, March 7, 2008

New Wedding Movie Premiere: "Made of Honor"

I recently saw the "Made of Honor" movie preview and thought it looked adorable! Now, if you've seen the trailer for the movie it may remind you of "My Best Friend's Wedding", which by the way is one of my fav's; but this movie brings a fresh new idea to the concept...having a man as a maid of honor in his best female friend's wedding. You can watch the trailer for the movie here. "Made of Honor" opens nation wide on May 2nd.

Now the real reason behind this post is due to the amazing contest that is being run. The Knot has teamed up with Sony Pictures for a chance to get married on the red carpet at the movie premiere along with some other really awesome prizes! One lucky couple (along with 2 guests) will fly out to the premiere of "Made of Honor" and actually have their wedding ceremony conducted on the red carpet. The trip includes: round trip airfare, up to 6 nights in a hotel, $100 spending money per person/day, a Damiani diamond wedding band for both the bride and groom, a designer wedding gown, a European honeymoon trip to Paris, France and Venice, Italy, a $10,000 check, and a $3,000 shopping spree to Bed Bath and Beyond!

Entries must be received by March 17th at 11:59pm PT. The Grand Prize winner will be announced on April 14th. For official rules and prize details, check out the contest website: Made of Honor.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wedding Gown Silhouettes

Whew! Wedding season is in full swing now…things have been quite busy here, but great nonetheless! It’s been a few days since I’ve had the chance to sit down and post, but today’s topic is all about finding the perfect gown for YOUR body type! Finding the gown with the “perfect fit” can be challenging in itself; however, there is hope if you do your research ahead of time.

First off, here is a quick run down of the basic wedding gown silhouettes:

A-line or Princess: Cut close to the hip with a slight flare at the hem line thus creating an “A” shape

Ball Gown: Fitted bodice that leads to a very full skirt (the “Cinderella” look)

Empire: High waist line that is cropped just below the bust from where the skirt flares

Mermaid: Body hugging gown that flares just below the knee

Sheath: Slim silhouette that closely follows the lines of your body

Ok, now that we have a basic idea of the various types of gown silhouettes, let’s discuss choosing the correct one for your body type.

Petite: If you have a petite frame, there is one very key item to keep in mind – not letting the dress wear you. It’s easy for a petite woman to get lost in her wedding gown; therefore, it’s important to choose a gown that compliments your body frame. Choice gowns for you: Sheath or A-line.

Thin: A thin frame can handle the majority of gown silhouettes, so the choices are amble for you! Choice gowns for you: Ball gown or Sheath.

Full Figure: The most important thing when choosing your gown is that you feel comfortable and have the support you need, especially for woman with a full chest. If you have a full chest, invest in a great support garment or try a body "minimizer" underneath your gown for a quickie way to a slimmer figure! Choice gowns for you: Ball gown or A-line.

Hourglass: You have curves in all the right places! Congrats! What better way to show off your figure than with your wedding gown. A Mermaid silhouette will surely showcase your curves and definitely make your husband smile! Choice gowns for you: A-line or Mermaid.

Pear Shape: It's all about proportion here! Balancing your upper body to your lower body. If you have wider hips, an empire silhouette is a fantastic way to conceal that. The focus is directed towards your upper body, rather than your lower half. Choice gowns for you: Empire or Ball gown.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Inside Sumer's Make-up Bag

I’m a big fan of Oprah’s “Favorite Things” segment, so I used that as inspiration for my new weekly blog segment: Inside Sumer’s Make-up Bag. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be featuring some of my favorite products that I personally use every day and absolutely love!

Fav Product # 1: DiorShow Mascara

This mascara is AMAZING! It creates long, thick eyelashes for a truly dramatic and glamorous look. This mascara is perfect for special nights out and of course for your big day! If you are considering wearing false eyelashes on your wedding day, I would consider skipping the lashes and just using this mascara...it's that good! Available at Sephora for $24.

Fav Product #2: Hanae Mori Butterfly Perfume

I cannot get enough of this perfume! Hanae Mori Butterfly is a blend of strawberries and almonds, with a hint of vanilla. It smells so yummy! I like this perfume because it isn't too harsh and gives you such a fresh feeling when you wear it. Also available at Sephora and most fine department stores. It retails from $65 to $90.

Check back soon for more of my fav products!