Sunday, January 31, 2010

And the winner is...

I named this one Paradise.

Congratulations to Clint and Monica, winner of the garter giveaway.  Please email me with contact information so I can toss your garter your way!  Thank you all for the kind comments and compliments.  The garters (and their new names) are available now at The Green Hanger Shop and I am adding new ones every week.   As my thanks for visiting my blog and entering the giveaway, I am offering  free shipping on any garter order through Valentine's Day. (This is only for comments on the Color Me Giveaway.) I welcome your custom orders and would love to work with you on this small, but fun detail for your weddings.  Best wishes to you all!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Making The List

The Giveaway is still going strong and if  a wedding garter is what you are seeking, I need to toss you here.  Yes, pun intended!  Do come back when you are through entering!

Who are you going to invite to your wedding?  It seems like such a simple question, and yet it will probably be one of the most difficult and time consuming tasks you and your family will face in your planning.  You and the groom need to have a heart to heart talk about what you truly want for your wedding.  I planned my own wedding, and because we wanted to get married quickly, we had fifteen guests, just close family members.  That's it.  I recently read that the average number of invited wedding guests is around 180.  Now, not that many will attend.  Estimates are that 25-30% of invited guests will not.  Still, the choice of how many people you want to invite will need to fit your desires, budget and venue.  So how do you make the list?  We had our daughters and fiances start with all the friends they wanted to invite.  Some of those friends had significant others to include.  We gave that the highest priority.  For our part, the parents compiled family members and other friends who might not be included in the couple's list.  Then, if you are like us, the hard part begins.  You are probably going to have to decide who NOT to invite.  If I could give you a hard, fast rule for that, I would.  But the truth is that relationships are seen differently by each set of eyes, and you probably won't get this one perfect.  All of us regretted some of the people who were special to us who did not, for one reason or another, get an invitation.  One thing is for certain.  By the time you finish your guest list, you will never view a wedding invitation the same way again.  I recently read an answer to the question of inviting someone to your wedding because she had invited you to hers.  What would you do? That is just one small example of the tough questions you will be asking yourself as you make your list. Read what Natasha of The Wedding Lens had to say. 
For you perpetual wedding guests, you must add Survive Wedding Season to your reading list.  Elle Shapiro started Survive Wedding Season™ - a unique online resource providing wedding planning for guests.  Since we are the majority of the people at the wedding, we really need to make the most of our role!
What is the biggest wedding you have ever attended?  Or the smallest? We love to read your comments!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Color me ______

What is more fun than choosing your wedding colors?  I just love seeing what brides choose!  Some brides know immediately what colors they want to use.  They have been picturing the wedding since they were little girls.  Others are just beginning to explore the possibilities.  Factors, such as the season, formality, and venue will need to be considered.  For example, our church has deep red carpeting and dark red cushioned seating.  My oldest daughter chose celadon green and white as her main colors, and the bridesmaids wore black dresses.  (A very popular color for maids now.)   The youngest daughter had planned on marrying in the fall and wanted orange and gold, with just a touch of black.  Even though she changed her date to May, those colors stuck and were beautiful against the stained glass windows of the church where she was married.  Personally, I picked a purple dress for that wedding using one of the colors that stood out to me in the stained glass.  There are lots of free and easy ways to choose colors, so let this be a fun part of the planning process. You might want to make an inspiration board.  You can make one in just a manner of minutes using a site like mosaic maker.  There are also several bloggers who create awesome boards for you.  I love The Perfect Palette. I had some ribbon sashes I wanted to reuse, so I decided to create wedding garters.  Using The Perfect Palette and thinking about spring and summer, I came up with some pretty sweet models that I put in a mosaic for you. They make me smile.  I hope they will do the same for a bride. Now I am trying to give them all proper names, you know, like "Blue Skies", "I Do", "Sweetheart", you get the idea.  But I really hope my creative readers will throw some suggestions my way!

I will be putting these in The Green Hanger Shop very soon, but first a giveaway. 
If you would like to own one of the garters for yourself or your friend, tell me so in your comment.
You don't have to choose which one you want just yet.  I will pick someone (with on January 31, 2010 (8:00 p.m. EST)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Does Your Wedding Have a B#@*$&?

Every wedding has one.  Whether you want to admit it or not. She's there, questioning every decision you make, putting the guilt trip on you, keeping it real.  Yep, she's the wedding BUDGET.  Budget need not be a bad word though.  Frugal brides are the hottest new trend in wedding planning. Why?  There are probably several reasons.  Some brides and grooms may feel they want to focus on the relationship and don't want an overemphasis on material matters.  Others don't want to start a marriage by creating wedding debt.  I learned very quickly that it's not called a wedding INDUSTRY without reason.  Brides-to-be are targeted with lots of "must haves" and media glitz and glamour.  Without a budget guiding you, you will be in very deep before you know it, and sadly it can happen before you can say, "I do".  There are lots of resources that will help you once you have a budget in mind.  We used The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings in the Real World. (FOB bought three, one for each daughter and one for me!) It had a budget itemization that worked well for us.  We created a spreadsheet to use and as purchases and commitments to vendors were made, we added them in.  Our daughters discovered that if they really felt one area, say the reception, was more important to them than another, such as photography, they could adjust the budget and choose their vendors accordingly.  In other words, THEY controlled the spending instead of the other way around.  How'd they do?  Well, they both thanked us afterwards for giving them the wedding of their dreams, and it costs less than we had anticipated.  Analysts predict spending on weddings in 2010 will average between $20,000 to $22,000.  Does that surprise you?
As was my dream for my daughters, I hope I can show you some ways to save money and still have the wedding you desire.  This timely coupon just arrived for readers of The Green Hanger Shop! Jenny, from The Wedding Lens wants to share a special offer with you!  As she puts it, "For the budget-strapped couple, one idea is to hire a professional photographer for only the ceremony and bridal party pictures. By using The Wedding Lens , you can collect all of the candid shots of the reception, cake cutting, and toasts from your guests without having to pay for the photographer's extra hours. Out of the dozens of friends taking pictures, you're sure to find a few good ones!" Visit their website and use coupon code: TENOFFJAN2010 to get 10% off this amazing service!  I will keep an eye out for more deals for you to consider.  Just remember who's in charge, though, and hopefully, that's you!

Get This - Survey Results -

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Proposal

This Christmas brought more than snow flurries! It brought a flurry of marriage proposals, too! Congratulations to all the new brides-to-be!  I'll never forget when our son-in-law announced his intentions to propose to our daughter. I had just finished spending a week at the beach with the family, including the boyfriend, and was rested, relaxed, and ready for a new school year. When we pulled into the resort office to return the key, the boyfriend was waiting in the parking lot waiting for us. He looked a little worried. He approached the car and asked to talk to us and well, I got so excited it's all pretty much a blur now, but you can figure out the rest...we had a wedding to plan!! But first, the proposal!  He told us he would pop the question before she returned to law school that fall, but there was no set date. If you knew my girls and me, you would know it is impossible for us to keep a secret from each other, but somehow I had just enough self-control to get me through the month. He arranged a romantic dinner and then a rickshaw ride over to the Battery overlooking Charleston's harbor where he popped the question. Stalking them in the park nearby was son-in-law's roommate who captured it on camera for them! Even better, the roommate become son-in-law #2 when he proposed to baby daughter two years later!! My advice to all the couples who just entered into this wonderful commitment: Take a little time to enjoy this engagement spell that you are under. Spread the good news far and wide and don't be hounded into making any decisions about the date, venue, or wedding party until you have a chance to sit down and reflect on some other issues first.   What other issues?  I'll talk more about that in the next post.  This is all about the engagement for now!  CELEBRATE IT!   
Please share with me, too!!  I want to hear all about it!

Oh, yes, and if you are looking for a ring, The Green Hanger Shop even has one of those. We also have lots of options in wedding dresses, bridesmaids' dresses, and even MOB dresses! My favorite items though are the new custom wedding garters with lots under construction, so have fun and take a look!
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