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! 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

How Sweet It Is!

The cupcakes doubled
as centerpieces.
The shower was a big hit!  All of the details came together to make it a special event for all who attended and especially for the bride.  There is lots to share, so I will break it up into parts to help you take it all in and to let me savor it a while longer because I already miss the planning and anticipation!

The Food

We decided to make four different kinds of cupcakes and make them one of the main attractions using one hostess's collection of cakestands.  I mentioned earlier some of the ones we were testing.  The final results could not have turned out better.  They were: Reese's Cup-cake, Lemon Drop, Strawberry Custard, and Vanilla Bead.  Not only did they provide a good variety of taste, they looked professionally done.  I personally thought the Reese's was the best, but that may be because I had already made and tested the others.  Look at how pretty!
Decisions, decisions!
This helped guests identify the flavors.
We also had trays of  puffs stuffed with chicken salad or pimento cheese, each prepared by us. The puffs looks like something complicated, but my daughter tells me that are truly easy to do.  She cooked them the morning of the shower, brought them over, and with a little help from Dad, stuffed them just before the shower began.

Hard to believe how easy
these are!
Strawberries were picked the day before
fresh from the field.
We had cheese straws that I purchased from a bakery that I discovered at the last minute, thank goodness, because they were delicious!

We did not serve alcohol, but we could have probably added it to the wonderful pink lemonade recipe, courtesy of Martha Stewart.  It was so pretty and very refreshing.

I am still giddy from all the fun we had.  Or maybe I am still on a sugar rush.  Either way, I hope it lasts a long time! 

Check back for more details as I get the chance to post them.  There's plenty more to share!
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