Thursday, September 30, 2010

True Story

I received an unexpected and sweet email that I just had to share.  Here it is in her own words.

Hi Judy!

I bought your daughter's wedding dress over a year ago. I saw that you have started an eco-boutique and thought I would let you know how much I enjoyed the experience of purchasing a pre-owned wedding dress from you. Since you packed up and shipped off the dress, it has done a lot more traveling. We were married in Santorini, Greece a week ago. I carried it on 3 different flights to get there!!! Eighteen of our close family and friends joined us and it was absolutely amazing. I am now reflecting back on all of the planning and how the wedding came together and I thought it would be fun to send you a picture so you can see the dress recycled and loved all over again.

We have not rececived our professional pictures yet but here are a couple that were taken.

Thanks so much for making it a wonderful experience.

Take care,


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

If It Fits It Ships

Ever use that flat rate shipping that the USPS offers?  If you could squeeze your wedding dress into that larger flat box, it would be a deal!  Unfortunately, most wedding dresses are going to require a more involved shipping and handling process. 

When my daughter sold her Paloma Blanca gown, we were excited, of course.  We were also nervous.  The gown needed to be paid for, the shipping address confirmed, and the dress safely delivered.  There were some snafus that we encountered in the payment that turned out to be an overly cautious credit card company, but that is a good thing in today's crazy Internet world where scammers lurk.  So once payment was secured, the shipping rested squarely on our shoulders.  I first confirmed the buyers address.  How?  Ever hear of google?  And I called the phone number given to give us some reassurance that this was the real deal.  Can you see how skeptical I am?  I was able to find out that someone would be there for delivery, and that was important, too.  Next, I went comparison shopping.  I only have two options locally.  USPS and UPS.  I started at UPS thinking I would get faster service.  I was shocked to learn that they could not offer me delivery confirmation.  That was after they had measured and weighed and estimated between $50 and $60 to ship.  USPS offered tracking,delivery confirmation, and insurance for a very reasonable price.  Now before you invest in USPS insurance, please know that unless you have a receipt for what you are shipping, you are wasting your money.  I had the receipt, luckily, so I felt very fortunate to be able to insure it.  It still cost over $50 to ship, but I packed it in a box suitable for the gown's fullness and still allow for some packing material so it was a HUGE box!  To pack the dress, I lined the box with lots of plastic bubble wrap to make it as waterproof as possible.  The dress itself was also in its garment bag to prevent soiling and provide another moisture barrier.  I stuffed any empty space with white tissue.  On the outside I marked top and bottom and noted on the box to avoid sharp objects.  I was so nervous letting it go, but my husband laughed and said it was the buyer who should be worried, not me.  She had paid me almost $1000 and I had her money and the dress.  Still, I wanted the transaction to go smoothly.
Happy Ending?  Yes!  The gown arrived safe and sound.  It fit her like a glove.  She was thrilled to get a dress for half of what it would have cost, and my daughter and her new husband bought a piece of antique furniture for their new nest. 
I just hope she saved the box...

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I asked and you responded overwhelmingly, YES.  Newspaper announcements are still highly desired by the bride and groom along with their families as a way to share their good news.  I promised my advise on how to accomplish this task and I hope you will find this blog post very useful.  Feel free to cut and paste and if you think about it, send me a link to your announcement when it's published.  I would love to read it!

First, I hope you will take care of this in the weeks before your wedding.  Decide which newspapers you want to send your announcement, contact them or visit their website for pricing and publication deadlines, and write your wedding announcement.  Even if the newpaper has a form, I suggest you supply your own copy of the announcement.  They will edit it, if necessary. 

Here is a basic format to follow for your announcement.  It can be tweeked in lots of different ways depending on the size of the announcement you are purchasing.  See notes following the basic form for suggestions.

Announcement How-to

It starts with the who, what, when, where.

(Your names) and were united in Holy Matrimony on (date) at (place). (Officiant) officiated the

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

She said Yes!

Micha Everett Photography
Ah, such joy can be spread with three little words.  "I love you." "Let's get married." and "She said yes!"  And when you are THAT happy, you want to let everyone know it!  My advice to newly engaged couples has always been, "Just enjoy being engaged for a while." Wedding planning is not going to be easy, and it may even be stressful at times. So just for now, happy.

Micha Everett Photography
This is a great time to go ahead and shoot your engagement photos.  I just received some pictures from a recent shoot in Pensacola by Micha Everett Photography that capture the happiness of a New Orleans couple.  Aren't they just the cutest.  And yes, I know you want that dress...and those shoes...and that guy....

Micha Everett Photography
Sorry, they're all taken.

Congratulations, Leigha and Nate! Thank you for sharing, Micha!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Congratulations, Chelsea!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Did You Hear the News?

I planned to write some tips on how to submit your wedding write up to your newspaper, but then I wondered. How many brides do that anymore?

There's no doubt that the newspaper industry is suffering. People have shifted to online news and get inundated by television news outlets. Then there's twitter and facebook and myspace and blogs, oh my! Who needs to put an announcement in the newspaper anymore?

So, before I tell you HOW to do that, please tell me...Did you or do you plan to submit your wedding to your newspaper?  Please take the poll and leave a comment with your view on this.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Be Our Guest

Meet Ashley, a recent bride and author of Bride on a Budget
Photo Credit: Micha Everett Photography

No doubt we are slap dab in the middle of wedding season 2010!  Our extended family is blessed to be celebrating a wedding in three weeks, so everyone has begun to ask, "What are you wearing?"  Yes, it's true, the focus will be on what the bride is wearing.  Yet guests care about how they look, too.  There will be photographers and cameras, you know!  So here are a few things to keep in mind.

White is out, unless you're the bride. That goes for the guys, too.

Great choice by this couple!
Black is for evenings, as well as sequins. Wear those after 6:00.

Don't wear overtly sexy attire. If you wonder if it's appropriate, the answer is no.

You don't need to coordinate with the bride's colors. You couldn't possibly be expected to know all those details.

Guys should wear suits, possibly a sports coat, for informal day weddings. The best choice for later in the day is a dark suit.

Anything more formal, such as a tux, will be stated on the invitation.

A perfect dress for a wedding.
There you have it.  Easy, right?  WRONG!  I am still debating what to wear to the wedding in three weeks.  I have the perfect black dress, but the wedding is at five o'clock, so I am rethinking that.  Thanks to Ashley, from Bride on a Budget, and her guests for showing us all how it's done.  Her guests looked amazing!   (Please visit Ashley's blog to see all her DIY projects and budget tips.) 

Let's see if we can help each other out with what to wear.  The Green Hanger Shop usually charges a small fee for its listings. However, we have created a new category  that offers free 30 day listings for dresses that guests have worn and are ready to sell.

The best thing to wear? A SMILE!
Drop by and register as a user with us to submit your free 30 day ad. (They will be approved before posting.)  We are looking for gently used, clean, and current dresses, shoes, and accessories.  Guys are welcome to submit their wedding attire, too! Free ads are for items priced $50 or less only.

If you have something to share or need something to wear, please~

Be our guest!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Gift of Giving

You got the wedding invitation, so now it's time to get the gift.  (Yes, if you were invited, I want you to give them a gift whether you are going or not.)  What do you get and how much do you spend?  I can make this easy for you.  Well, actually, the couple has already made this easy for you.  USE THEIR REGISTRY!  They took the time to create one in order to help their guests choose items that they could use to start their new life together.  Hopefully, they included all price points, so you can find something in your budget.  And don't feel pressured to spend a certain amount.  You should only spend what you can afford.  Have your own ideas about what you want to give?  Don't go there.  I am telling you the simple truth.  Stick to the registry and you will never go wrong.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Favour of a Reply

I received a very special post today.  The real deal.  The snail variety.  An invitation!  My niece is getting married in August and wow! it's time to be invited.  Seems like only yesterday they were announcing their engagement.  This is the bride we honored with the shower a few months ago.  I am very happy and excited for her, her fiance', and both families. 

The invitation was elegant and traditional, much the same way I anticipate the wedding will be.  It contained a very important element, the RSVP card.  The card is already addressed, and postage was provided.  It simply requires that I write the number of attendees and our name.  It is that simple.  Even though she knows I will be there with bells on, the card will go out to her tomorrow. 

Now, believe it or not, she is not going to receive all of her RSVP's back.  Having planned two wedding events, I am sad to say that some folks do not take the time to give the family the courtesy of a response.  I must put on my 'Miss Manners' hat and ask, "PEOPLE!! WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?!!" 

If you can give me one good reason why you do not respond to wedding invitations that enclose preposted cards, please do.  I await your reply.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Watch Your Back!

I like to think that I could never be tricked or scammed by a stranger, but the Internet has created a whole new breed of scammers.  All websites are subjected to them at some point, and The Green Hanger Shop is no exception.

It starts innocently enough with an email.

"Hello, I am interested in your displayed wedding dress on I needed to know if the sale is still on.Kindly e-mail me at and let me know.Thanks. Abigail"

The seller, anxious to respond to a potential buyer, fails to notice the lack of specific questions and the odd language.  This scammer gets off to a good start.  Most use very poor English. So the seller responds and then receives this.

 "Hi Jackie,

 I am sorry i didn't respond to your e-mail soon.Thanks for replying my e-mail.I am interested in the purchase of the gown for my wedding.Really, i like the dress as it is on the Listing.The dress is absolutely beautiful.,I have few questions though regarding the gown What is it condition? Does it come in factory bag or box for shipment ? Do you have photos to see for close viewing? Please e-mail me asap and let me know your asking price without shipping cost.I'm not local, i live in fort worth, Texas and i am afraid i won't be chanced to come see it and try it on and that's why i will be responsible for the shipment. All this i need to let my fiance know about because he's funding . I look forward to hearing from you.Thanks."

Sound legit to you?  Not me. The language, again, is just off enough to raise some red flags.  They won't be "chanced"?  "close viewing" ? "funding"?  I know there are those who will say, "But maybe they are real, how do you know?"  Okay, keep going if you dare, but for me, the gut check has already told me to stop communicating with this one. Maybe I am just too much of a skeptic, but I strongly believe in the "Better safe than sorry." approach.

Sure enough, a trusting seller didn't catch the signs. This is what happened next. She wrote:

" Hi! I just wanted to let you know that for the past 2 weeks I have been communicating with someone by the name of Abigail Weir who is supposedly interested in purchasing my wedding dress that I have posted on your website. I wanted to make you aware of the situation, I received a check via FedEx on Wednesday made out to me personally with no signature. She asked me to sign the check with her fiance's name and I have refused to do so. I also didnt mention that they have over paid me (supposedly in error) and she has asked me to pay a vendor with the remaining monies that the check is for. I have refused to do so. I have no contact phone numbers nor an address for this person, but in case someone else complains about her then you know there is a scam going on.

For all I know she may be for real but I havent received any more contact from her except for last evening when she told me to sign her fiance's name, Michael Rivera. I contacted my Bank to see if this was valid, and as we all know its fraudulent."

So there you have it.  The scam in all its glory.  I still can't believe they get people to fall for it, but they do, and it must prove profitable for them. 

You might say that you won't use the Internet for buying or selling.  You will miss out on some wonderful opportunities though.  I choose to approach people I encounter for what they are...COMPLETE STRANGERS.  Do not be afraid to ask probing questions. Only use secure payment transaction services, such as Paypal.  Do not be too quick to ship an item.  Give the banks or Paypal time to secure the payment. 

If you fall victim, and I hope you never do, you may report the incident to your local law enforcement, and even the Internet Crime Complaint Center, but keep in mind that they are dealing with matters of life and death.  Unless you are in danger or have lost a large amount of money, a good defense is your best protection.  I appreciate the sellers who kept me informed about what was happening, and I encourage anyone who suspects a scam to let the website know.  The Shop may have defeated this one, but another will appear sooner or later.  It is an unfortunate fact of life in this new age of ecommerce.

And that is the ugly truth.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One Girl's Watermelon, Another Girl's Find

"Did you see that? Did you see the way he looked at that bridesmaid? "
"Oh, no. He was just looking around and accidentally there was a bridesmaid."

I love that line from the movie, Romance On the High Seas, a great 1948 flick starring Doris Day.
And it's true. Next to the bride, of course, bridesmaids can definitely turn some heads.  Unfortunately, bridesmaid often pay a high price for that head turn. 

According to 20 Something Finance, by G E Miller,
'The bridesmaids definitely have the roughest go financially, with a huge burden being put on Maid of Honors, in particular.

The Cost of Being a Bridesmaid:
■Gift for the Shower: ~$50
■Gift for the Bachelorette party: $25-$50
■Gift for the Wedding: ~$50 (yes you have to buy gifts for each party)
■Dress: $150-200
■Shoes: $30
■Alterations: $50
■Undergarments: $30
■Hair: $50
■Makeup: $50 (some brides ask to have done day of, others brides – the good ones – don’t)
■Total cost of being a bridesmaid : ~$500'

Ouch!  Looking over Miller's assessment, I agree with his figures.  No wonder brides have begun some new trends.

One is letting brides choose 'off the rack' dresses in a particular color.  This allows them the freedom to choose a dress they like at a price they can afford, hopefully.  And the likelihood of reuse is fact, not fiction.

Another is choosing black dresses for the bridesmaids.  Again, a money saving move since they may already own a black dress.  I've seen many weddings where black was the choice and they were elegant, elegant, elegant!

I love preowned bridesmaids' dresses!  They are some of the best deals out there and make such good $en$e.  If your bride friend subjected opportuned you the chance to wear watermelon, a color you would otherwise avoid, I have lots of other bridesmaids-to-be looking to take it off your hands! 

Here are some options available for your summer wedding attendants (or attendance) in  2010!

David's Bridal ~ Clover

Jenny Yoo ~ Persian Pink

Thread Design ~ Sea Grass
Siri ~ Candlelight
And, of course, Watermelon!

Just remember, don't toss the dress out with the birdseed!  List it on The Green Hanger Shop!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CSN Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Ashley@BrideonaBudget for winning the CSN Giveaway.  After listing all eligible entries, I used to select the winner. Thank you to everyone who entered.  Because it was so successful, I will continue to offer similar opportunities as they come along, so please stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Here comes the

Makeup Makeovers: Weddings: Stunning Looks for the Entire Bridal PartyWedding Season!  Clear your bathroom vanities for all the preparations you will be making for the upcoming weddings!  Take what you do to get ready to attend a wedding and multiply it by a thousand! Brides go to great lengths to look their best on their wedding day.  Some hire professionals the day of to help them achieve that 'natural' glow, while others scout out help beforehand so they can properly do it themselves that day.  My daughters are no amateurs when it comes to makeup application, so they simply visited a consultant before the big day and purchased a few new products that complimented their dress choice.  Their choice came from the MAC line of cosmetics.  

Decorative Hair Pins - Set of 4 (Four) Pins - GoldHair syle for her wedding day is another major detail a bride spends hours planning ahead. She must consider her dress, veil, personal tastes, groom's preferences, and even venue location. One of my daughters hired her salon specialist to travel to her that day.  The other went in to the salon.  Location was the key to that decision. Brides, just be sure to give yourself extra time to get ready on the day of your wedding.  Keep in mind that the photographer will want to get some pictures of both preparations and the final touches before the ceremony.  It will be a hurry up and wait part of the day, but well worth it once you walk down that aisle. 

CSN is helping fans of The Green Hanger Shop celebrate the kickoff of Wedding Season with a giveaway for a $40 gift certificate!  We can all use that this time of year!  From one of their 200+ stores, brides or their guests are bound to find something they can use or give as gift.  Personally, I would choose something like these Lenox toasting flutes or perhaps a wedding cake knife

To enter the giveaway, first be sure you a follower of the blog and leave me a comment.  That is a required entry.  Make sure I am able to contact you via email, please!  There are lots of ways to increase your chances, too.  Follow me on twitter and tweet about the giveaway.  Become a fan on facebook.  Mention this in your blog.  Leave a comment for each thing you do, and if you are already a follower and fan, be sure to remind me.  Drawing will be done using on June 15, 5pm, EST. 

Happy Weddings, Everyone!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kicking It Up a Notch

Last post, I featured gowns that are listed at The Green Hanger Shop for under $500.  Here are some samples of gowns at the $1000 price point.  These are still wonderful 'bargains' if this is your price range.


The epitome of couture designer gown, this Amsale silk gown is listed for much less than half its original price.  The bride purchased it as a sample gown from an upscale bridal boutique, thus saving her money, and now allowing another bride to have an otherwise unaffordable dress for under $1000.  It is listed at $900.

This Eve of Milady gown is a new listing from the New York area.  The owner has its original receipt of $1353.13, (Yes, to the penny!) and she is only asking $650 for the dress with a veil and headpiece! 

Oleg Cassini
A popular dress with our shoppers is this Oleg Cassini gown that was worn once to a ball.  The owner invested $795 in dress and alterations, and has it priced to sell at $600.  From the number of views and inquiries it has had, I see a wedding in its future.

Gabriella Arango Couture
Another example of mindblowing savings is this couture gown with French chantilly lace bodice, silk organza tiered skirt, and mantilla floor length chantilly lace trimmed veil for $1000 OBO!  It was $5500 retail! Oh! My! Goodness!

If your budget allows for this price range, I urge you to consider preowned dresses.  You will find some amazing bargains, and only you and your budget will know it's not brand new!

Friday, May 14, 2010

5 under $500

Frugal is chic now and brides are reaping the benefits.  Many of them have decided to stretch their wedding budgets by keeping the cost of the wedding gown in check.   One way to do that and still get a beautiful gown is to buy a preowned one.  Some of the gowns I see listed at The Green Hanger Shop are half their retail price, so brides are actually getting twice the dress for the money.  Oh, and it helps make a wedding green, too!
Check this out!
 A very popular David's Bridal gown with a five heart rating, this dress retails in the $500 range.  Seller is asking $275!

I have seen this listed as retailing for over $1500.
A CasaBlanca C1859 is listed at $500.  I have a feeling it could be negotiated to sell for a bit less, even though that is a great dress for the price!

A hard to find gown with sleeves
So many brides are looking for a modest gown at a modest price.  This dress is perfect on both counts.  Only $320, but is was just recently posted so I don't expect it to stick around long!

A very popular dress
at David's Bridal
This gown is another popular style from David's Bridal.  It retails for $599, but the seller is asking $300 and has some other essentials she is offering with it.

Here is an Oleg Cassini gown, brand new, for only $450.  I love the sweetheart neckline on this dress.

For brides who didn't know how assessible the preowned market had become, there is always the opportunity to sell their dress when the wedding is over.  In fact, it really helps to make that decision beforehand.  I can give you lots of good reasons why you should sell it, but that's another post!

What about you? What are your feelings about a preowned wedding dress?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gifts and Goodies!

The spring bridal shower given for a niece is becoming a fond memory as the weeks march on toward her wedding.  I hope you have gotten some ideas from the previous posts.  As a last installment, I want to share the last details of our planning.

The invitation to the shower asked guests to bring a recipe and a spice or kitchen tool.  It included a recipe card at the bottom for guests to use.  Cat found a recipe book that coordinated with the cards, and we presented that to the bride and helped her file the wonderful recipes that were given that day.  Sure wish I had a copy of each one!

Since the guests were kind enough to bring a spice, we returned the favor.  Literally.  We made vanilla sugar as favors for them!  This is something easy to make, just make sure you allow yourself a couple of weeks for the vanilla to become infused with the sugar.  We put it in small bottles and attached tags with labels.  I was able to create a template for this pretty easily. 

And you know I strongly believe in the reduce, reuse, recycle principle.  So the flowers that Cat made were given by Jules to her son's teachers as a  token of teacher appreciation and to a grandmother who is allergic to real ones. 

The plates will be reused in another shower for the bride's sister because, YES!, she is getting married next May!  So we get to do this all over again!  I can't wait!

The Shower-istas!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dishing the Details

As you know, the girls and I hosted a spring bridal shower last weekend and I am sharing the details (and reliving it for as long as I can).  If you notice something you want to know more about, please feel free to ask me in the comment section or send me a note.  No secrets here, we would love to hear from you!

'Dish'-ing the Details

Part of the fun of hosting a party is setting up the room.  The girls both have dishes they received as wedding gifts.  Being the smart girls I raised, they don't keep them tucked away.  They use them on a regular basis, and naturally, they were put to great use at the shower.  One dish you can't have too many of is the tray.  Jules received a wide variety of Wilton Armetale trays as wedding gifts.  They are fantastic pieces! They are super durable, oven safe, and require no polishing!  If you are bride, add them to your registry.  If you are a bride's friend, this is a fantastic and affordable present.  Check out how that looks with the chicken salad puffs.

Daughter Cat has a silver tray that she loves AND uses!  Cat has a real eye for design, so we counted on her to set things out and about.  The silver tray was perfect for displaying our favors.

Cat also collects cakestands. The best place to find them, I think, is T J Maxx. She used small and large cakestands to build a two tier stand for the cupcakes.  For the other tables, she wrapped boxes in white paper, added some ribbon, and created additional stands. 

The other service item is an investment Cat made that has seen lots of use.  Her beverage dispenser makes any drink look inviting, especially with some added fruit slices.

The nice thing about all of these dishes is that they can be left out on display in the kitchen when not in use. Jules and Cat both have cabinets that have display space above them. The dispenser is pretty just sitting on the counter.

One more post will follow to wrap up this soiree.  If you have any questions, please let me know, and I will include the answers next time! 

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