After much contemplation regarding which route I wanted to take for our “altar” – I finally decided upon reviving an old dresser after being inspired by…guess who…good ol’ Pinterest. I just loved the open drawers stuffed with flowers and the fact that once the wedding has come and gone I would still have a piece of furniture in my home that would forever remind me of that day.

My sister in law spotted this gem on Craigslist. It’s a 70’s remake of a French Provincial dresser and we were able to snag it for much less than expected (always a win). So we hauled it over to Grandma’s and began the redux.

The yellow speckled white had to be repainted so my SIL (sister in law) and I spent an afternoon using Annie Sloan’s “Old White” chalk paint after giving it a good sanding. Thankfully my SIL had an electric sander – that could have been a lonnnnng day.

After the paint dried, we got back in a couple weeks later and taped off the bottom portion to be painted with Metallic Daly’s paint.

We also gave the removed the drawer pulls to give them a good coat of Rustoleum’s metallic gold for good measure.

Lastly – we gave it a good wax to  prevent scratches and reduce wear and tear.

It was beautiful day of and I still find it just as beautiful in our home! Plus the experience of making it yourself and the benefit of seeing the finished product on your wedding day is both exciting and fulfilling.

 photo (1)



{into him, but not into the ring?}

I lucked out.

I had never seen my ring before the night of my engagement, nor had I gone ring shopping. Somehow the ring was perfectly my size (although, he had bought me rings in the past, so he didn’t have to guess the size), and I was blessed with a ring that had the special touch of being handpicked by him for me. But – like I said, I lucked out. I can’t say that this is normal nor can I say that I would trust most men to pick out a ring of such importance on their own. Kudos to those who do, because it can be such a wonderful thing to be surprised – but what if he picks out a ring that unfortunately isn’t…you? Or just isn’t something that you are that interested in wearing for a lifetime?

Him – yes. You say yes to him, and him only- that’s a no brainer. However, the ring doesn’t have to be.

Keep scrolling for some sage words of wisdom on what you should do if you secretly hate your engagement ring. The following is advice written  by Meghan Blalock for Who What Wear.


If you’re having doubts about whether or not you should just tell your fiancé how you feel, then allow etiquette maven Emily Post to quell those fears. You should feel free to express your feelings about the ring, as long as you do so very carefully and tactfully.

“You need to speak to your fiancé about your distaste for the ring style. Tactfully explaining that you can’t see yourself wearing this style of ring might eliminate his feeling bad if he chose the ring himself,” Post advises. “Above all, be sensitive to your fiance’s feelings, as he may have chosen the ring with the utmost care and thoughtfulness, and may react to your wanting to change the ring with mixed emotions.”

work together

Another option is approaching the botched ring purchase as a project the two of you can work on together and bond over.

“If it is a family heirloom from his family, perhaps offering to reset the stone(s) in a style that is better suited to your taste would be an acceptable solution,” Post says. “If he purchased the ring new, maybe you could suggest that you substitute the setting for an alternative one that you choose yourself.”

“Suggest that the two of you shop for something that accommodates your sense of style,” Project Wedding insists. “An engagement ring is a major purchase, so it doesn’t make any sense to waste money on something you


If you’re not in love with your ring, but you just don’t have the heart to tell your partner, you can always simply keep your dislike to yourself and try to learn to love the ring.

If the ring is an heirloom, or if what you have in mind simply isn’t within your fiancé’s budget, be happy with the ring you received,” Brides.com advises. “Remember: You’re getting married to the man, not the ring.”

“Don’t forget about what your ring represents. A ring is a gift meant to show your partner’s love and commitment as you begin your lives together,” one wedding writer at Loverly suggests. “Thinking about how much your intended loved choosing it for you, or what he or she said when presenting it to you, might help you keep things in perspective.”


And while we are on the topic, some unique rings, just for fun:

unique 2 unique 3 unique

{wedding arches – DIY or BUY?}

Stunning Wedding ArchEric Ronald Photography


Darling guest post via WeddingParty.com


There are so many details that go into planning a memorable wedding. We are here to remind you of something that will make your ceremony beautiful and unforgettable: a gorgeous wedding arch of course! As you walk down the aisle you will love having gorgeous flowers or flowing cloth and rustic wood to frame your memorable moment. It will be a little taste of your style that will stand out in photos for years to come.

Once you have decided that you would like a wedding arch to be a part of your ceremony, you need to figure out exactly how to get one. There are several options, one is to purchase a wedding arch and then decorate it yourself with flowers. You can also rent a wedding arch (often times from the place you’re renting tables and chairs) and you or your florist can decorate it.  Some venues will already have an arch on their property that you can decorate yourself, which will really save you money. Remember though, if you do purchase your own arch you can put it in your backyard later as a constant reminder of your incredibly special big day!

To get a look like the one pictured above you can purchase a metal arch for around $85.00. Then either you or your florist can cover it in beautiful white, pink, and red roses (with a few spray painted gold). You can also rent a metal arch from a rental company for around $40, and decorate it yourself, creating a beautiful fall look while staying within your budget!

Stunning Wedding Arch

Stunning Wedding Arch

Tessa Barton Photography

Stunning Wedding Arch

Kristyn Hogan via Southern Weddings

The gorgeous arches featured above use a metal arch base for a classic and elegant look. Again you can rent or buy your arch and decorate it yourself or opt to have your florist do it. Your florist may offer an array of options depending on your budget. We love both the sunflower arch, and the rusted metal one with bright pops of pink flowers for a stunning pop of color.

Stunning Wedding Arch

These beautiful birch poles are available for purchase on Etsy for $79.95. After purchasing the poles you can then attach your own flowers with clear fishing thread, keeping this arch very budget friendly! We love the rustic look that the birch poles create with beautiful flowers for a stunning burst of color.

Stunning Wedding Arch

Nicole Chatham Photography Via Elizabeth Anne Designs

Natural wood as a base for a wedding arch creates a more rustic whimsical look for your ceremony. We love the white and pink flowers with the brown rustic branches that create a truly unforgettable ceremony backdrop.

Stunning Wedding Arch

Mirelle Carmichael Photography via Style Me Pretty

Stunning Wedding Arch

Artsinfotos Photography via Confetti Daydreams

Stunning Wedding Arch

Sonya Khegay via Mrs 2 Be

For a more classic look you can use an elegant wood base for your wedding arch. You can purchase a wood base for around $179.00 or look for a more affordable rental option. You can also drape gorgeous flowing fabric over your wedding arch to create an ethereal ceremony style.

Stunning Wedding Arch

Lindsay Madden Photography Via Elizabeth Anne Designs

These gorgeous willow branches create a simple, elegant arch. With flower pots and beautiful hydrangeas on either side, this more untraditional wedding arch is sure to leave guests in awe of your ceremony.

Stunning Wedding Arch

KT Merry Photography via Style Me Pretty

You can always go for a style like this garland featured above. Leaves are a more affordable option to flower covered arches and without the arch base you are sure to save money as well as look incredibly stylish!

*Post originally published on WeddingParty.com

{…death of the bridal shower}

Trolling thru my email recently, I came across an interesting article entitled, Death of the Bridal Shower: Why the Girly Wedding Ritual’s Over via Racked.com.

I had 3 (yes 3) bridal showers prior to our wedding, so it’s extremely interesting to me to hear from brides who essentially want to opt-out of this tradition altogether. I have to say the 3 showers (one hosted by friends, one my family, one J’s family) were such a precious part of the whole wedding process. The attention is a little nerve racking, I must say – but the whole process what so much fun – and I am so thankful to have been blessed with those memories.

However, (although hard to believe) my opinion is by far not the only one. Below is the article I read with an opposing attitude on the pre-marriage ritual :

As the $52 billion-dollar wedding industry continues to explode, one aspect of holy matrimony seems to be on the decline: the bridal shower.

Long before Etsy, Kleinfeld, and tiered cupcake towers played a part in the so-called wedding industrial complex, showers existed primarily to help a bride-to-be put together a “trousseau,” which was historically made up of traditional dowry items like lingerie, linens, and items for the home. (You probably remember dowries from Pride and Prejudice. Mrs. Bennett was a classic marriage-obsessed mother.)

But when families stopped marrying off their daughters based on their perceived economic value, trousseaus evolved, and so did bridal showers. Commonly thrown by the mother-of-the-bride’s friends, the future mother-in-law, or a group of bridesmaids (or, occasionally, all of the above), today’s showers are less about gifts and more about getting together to celebrate the occasion. Presents are still a significant part of it, but so are Pinterest-approved decorations and hors d’oeuvres.

Because the tradition dates back so far, and because weddings are nothing if not based on tradition, deciding you don’t want a shower—something that’s becoming more and more common—can be a bold move. Wedding planning requires making lots of controversial (okay, “controversial”) decisions, whether it’s choosing a destination location over your hometown, having a DJ instead of a band, or forgoing a church in favor of the court house. But since skipping out on having a shower requires telling someone, in so many words, “I will not allow you to throw this party for me,” and that someone is often a future mother-in-law or great aunt or your best friend’s mom, it can be a particularly contentious choice to make.

Photo by Driely S. for Racked

When Meredith Thalheimer tied the knot last summer, her mother, who has thrown plenty of showers for her friends’ daughters, assumed her own daughter would want one too. Thalheimer, co-founder of the now-closed boutique Dagny & Barstow, did not.

“My mom was absolutely devastated I wouldn’t have one. She waited her whole life for me to get married,” she says. At first, Thalheimer relented, but then she realized just how badly she didn’t want one. Part of it was that the self-described introvert couldn’t imagine dealing with the kind of attention that comes along with such an event. Mostly, though, she didn’t want to put yet another financial burden on her friends. (And, as someone who’s going to 14 weddings in the next 12 months, she knows something about that kind of stress.)

There was also the fact that she didn’t need any of the traditional gifts that are associated with a shower. It’s common to cohabitate before marriage these days (there’s been a near-900 percent rise over the last 50 years), meaning oftentimes a couple already has all the dishes, silverware, and panini presses they could ever need by the time the ceremony rolls around.

Writer Lauren Sherman chose not to have a shower for her wedding three years ago. As she explains, “I got married when I was 28, and we didn’t want a bunch of presents. We did register, but we registered for really silly shit, like matching Barbour jackets.” The idea of having a shower never really crossed her mind, and she couldn’t imagine expecting her friends to buy her gifts. “Once you’re self-sufficient, it feels weird to ask for stuff, and that’s the only reason to have those events,” she says.

Photo by Driely S. for Racked

Thalheimer, who lives in New York City, also mentioned lack of space as a concern—when you’re living in an apartment in Manhattan, you don’t have room to store an extra KitchenAid stand mixer and a couple of crockpots. Despite all the practical reasons to resist a shower, Thalheimer’s mother was still heartbroken she couldn’t change her daughter’s mind: “I hope she’ll get over it one day.”

Not all parents are quite so invested. Though Of a Kind‘s Claire Mazur didn’t have a shower, “I don’t think it would even have occurred to my mother,” she contends. Rather, Mazur opted out because she wanted to spare those close to her an additional nuptial-related obligation. “The biggest thing was that you end up asking your friends and family to do so much on behalf of your wedding,” she says. “I already felt really celebrated at the bachelorette party, and I didn’t feel like I needed another event.”

Sherman also didn’t feel pressured by her family to have a shower, largely because she and her husband foot the bill for their wedding. “We didn’t owe them anything,” she says. “I think a lot of times showers happen because the mother wants it and the daughter feels beholden.” When the family of the bride pays for the reception, it can be tough to go against their wishes—though that’s happening less and less. According to a recent Brides study, 43 percent of couples cover the full cost of their weddings, while 23 percent split it with parents. “I think that’s the secret. Take as little money from your parents as you can, because then you don’t have to do what they want,” Sherman says.

This is not to say showers are becoming as obsolete as the dollar dance. Brides web editor Jen Cress explains, “While some brides forgo the traditional shower, more often we are seeing it replaced with a celebration that more closely reflects the bride’s style and personality.”

Photo by Driely S. for Racked

Molly Guy, founder of cool-girl go-to Stone Fox Bride, has seen the same tactic among her clients. “They no longer want to put themselves through the Julia Roberts rom-com ideal of a shower,” she says. Sometimes that even means having separate celebrations for friends and family. “A lot brides throw something fun for their bridal party, like a spa day, but still have the traditional party to appease their mom and older family members,” Cress adds.

It’s worth noting that bachelorette parties didn’t become popular until the mid-’80s, and in some ways, they’ve rendered showers useless. Bachelorette parties are less stuffy and more fun (depending on the amount of phallic-shaped novelty decorations, of course), and the bride still gets fancy lingerie. Guy has noticed that the bachelorette party and bridal shower are often even folded into one event, which makes sense given that the two have become somewhat indistinguishable in many circles.

Coed showers are also becoming increasingly common. (“Have you heard of a Jack and Jill shower?” Guy asked me. I had not.) Rather than having an additional girls-only get-together on top of a bachelorette party, brides and grooms are throwing couples’ wedding showers: “We’re still not seeing it all the time, but it’s becoming more popular—especially since some brides and grooms are having coed bridal parties with a ‘man of honor’ or a ‘best girl.'”

Though Guy says she’d rather “eat broken glass” than attend a buttoned-up bridal shower hosted by a mother’s friend, she also understands the appeal. “If you can stomach it, it’s a really lovely event,” she concedes. “To shower the bride with things she might need for her long life ahead, god willing, with her partner is very nice. If you throw a shower right, you’re getting together with your friends to eat food and drink cocktails. What’s not to like?”

Article by Casey Lewis of Racked.com

{cutting costs – is it worth it? part 2}

Part 2

Consider comfort food.

Brilliant Earth: Roast chicken and mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, delicious sandwiches—many (probably most) people prefer these simple pleasures to pricier delicacies like filet mignon and lobster, so keep that in mind when planning your menu.

Evergreen Bridal: Absolutely – and get creative! I always thought it would be so delicious and fun to have a breakfast-for-dinner buffet; bacon, eggs, benedicts, potatoes…

 Serve it family style.

Brilliant Earth: Buffets are the most affordable option, but if you want a seated dinner you can shave some money off the budget by having food served on large platters. You may also waste less food since people will be able to serve themselves only what they’ll eat.

Evergreen Bridal: I have actually never been to a wedding that has done this, so I don’t have much perspective, but seems like a great way to allow your guests to get to know the people at their table and to eliminate the risk of being wasteful with too much food. Since you are buying per table, if someone doesn’t show up, I’m sure the table will handle eating their portion and not let it go to waste.

Invest in a monogram stamp.

Brilliant Earth: To stylishly and affordably personalize wedding details, from invitations to place cards to thank you notes, have a stamp made of your first initials and any other details like the wedding date or a favorite symbol. You can find lots of options for monogram stamps on Etsy.

Evergreen Bridal: I’m not too sure how this saves money (as it isn’t necessary to monogram your whole wedding) but I do agree it’s a great idea. I used mine on not only on the invites, but the bridal shower thank you cards as well as wedding thank you cards. Plus – if it’s just your initials, you can continue use long after the wedding has come and gone (tear).

Serve up a dessert buffet.

Brilliant Earth: A wallet-friendly trend your guests are sure to love: Offering a dessert bar instead of the expected elaborate cake. Ask close friends and relatives to make favorite desserts for the event—think pies, cookies, or an old family recipe of any kind—to add an extra-sweet touch to your sweets course.

Evergreen Bridal: Not only is this wallet friendly, but it is usually preferred by guests. I am sure there are some people who love cake, I mean, who doesn’t love frosting, but for what you pay for those massive cakes, I can’t say I think it’s worth it. We went the mini donut route, but it would be so cute to have a candy bar, mini pies, family desserts handmade by different members of your family, a waffle bar, s’more station, even mini cakes, cupcakes or cake pops. Plus – if you want a cutting of the cake photo, just pick up a little one for you and your new groom!

Pare down the cake.

Brilliant Earth: If you do go with a traditional cake, decorate it with a few flowers from your florist rather than with elaborate designs made of fondant. Labor intensive decoration is what can make wedding cakes so pricey.

Evergreen Bridal: Yes, plus simple is just so much more elegant anyway. Save the crazy cakes for your future children’s bday parties. Lately I have seen such beautiful “unfrosted” wedding cakes – very rustic and probably tastes better than all that plastic-y fondant anyway.

Use DIY paper decorations.

Brilliant Earth: Stylish paper flowers, garlands, table décor and more can be crafted by you (or a crafty pal) and tossed in the recycling bin after the wedding. For ideas, check out this slide show of paper wedding decorations.

Evergreen Bridal : Yes, and no – you don’t want it to look arts and craftsy, but I definitely encourage anyone to make as much as you can yourself – IF, you can do it well. Paper projects can risk looking a little grade-schoolish if you don’t take the time to do it well. So – just make sure you know what you are doing. If you pull it off, I have no doubt your guests will be impressed.

Be your own DJ.

Brilliant Earth: Listen to exactly the songs you like by subscribing to Spotify Premium (just $10 or so per month), creating a free wedding playlist and connecting a laptop to your venue’s sound system—just make sure there is reliable Wifi and ask a music-savvy friend to keep an ear on it.

Evergreen Bridal : No, don’t be your own DJ, bad idea. It’s one thing to pick good music, it’s another to be a DJ. DJ’s are the Emcees of the wedding, keep the event moving, and keep an eye and ear on the vibe of the night, picking the perfect moments to move from cocktail hour music, to dinner tunes and into some bump and grind. One accidental push of shuffle on your Spotify and you are suddenly walking down the aisle to “Turn Down for What?”. Besides that, good DJs usually don’t play thru a whole song, they seamlessly move into the next song, keeping the party going without a lull. They remind you to toss your bouquet, fling the garter, and enjoy your first dance as husband and wife. A great DJ really has control of the night, and you want them to. I wouldn’t cut any corners on this one. However, if money is too tight for a DJ, still don’t do it yourself – ask a friend and family member to be in charge – you should be in charge of nothing that day.

Set up a “selfie” photo booth.

Brilliant Earth: Rather than hiring a professional photo booth company, set up a DIY station filled with cheap fun props and a digital camera or a Polaroid, and instruct guests to snap themselves (you can share the photos online later).

Evergreen Bridal: We did something like this at our wedding. With our homemade fabric fringe backdrop we had a camera set up 50% of the time and had a family member running it, and the rest of the time left it up to the guests to snap iphone photo. However, I do think the photobooths that are available to rent now are so much fun, and what a fun favor for your guests to take home. People love photos of themselves, and it’s something to do throughout the night. But – again, when looking to save money I would say if this is something you can DIY and do it well, then go for it!

Give edible favors.

Brilliant Earth: Instead of shelling out for favors that your guests might never use, give eco-friendly edible favors like small jars of local honey, bags of muffins or scones for the next morning or homemade cookies or truffles they can nibble on the drive home. (You could also skip favors entirely).

Evergreen Bridal: To save money here, I would say just don’t give out a favor. Unless you have something special that you are dying to hand out, leave the Jordan Almonds at home.

Buy your wedding rings online.

Brilliant Earth: Online jewelers can offer lower prices than brick and mortar stores without sacrificing quality, and usually offer a wider variety of rings. At Brilliant Earth we have a huge selection of wedding ring styles for both women and men, including custom wedding bandsmatching wedding bandsantique wedding bands and more.

Evergreen Bridal: Now why in the world would you do that? He needs to give that diamond (or whatever stone) a good inspection and be able to examine the ring in real life to ensure the quality. I would steer clear of ordering online – unless they have an incredible return policy and you have it inspected by a jeweler once you receive. Not sure ordering online is necessarily cheaper. If you are looking at spending less on the ring, I would just choose a ring without a large stone, or even a stone at all. A simple band is beautiful! No need for anything flashy unless that is what you want and can afford. Wear the ring for you, and for your hubby, not for other people.

Do less.

Brilliant Earth: Simply skip wedding features that don’t feel important to you—just because other people have printed menu cards or towering cakes doesn’t mean you should do the same. You’ll save money, slash stress, and your wedding will be even lovelier when you focus your budget and attention on the aspects of the event that you truly value.

Evergreen Bridal: This is the most important of all. You need love, commitment, witnesses and a signed piece of paper to get married. Everything else is extra. Unless you want to, there is no need to follow ANY traditions, you can do whatever you want and still walk away from the night (or afternoon, or morning) married – nothing else is necessary.

{cutting costs – worth it? part 1}

Earlier this year I read an article on BrilliantEarth.com entitled “20 Unique Money-Saving Wedding Tips” – found here.

Now, having the chance to look back – below are a few thoughts on their suggestions and my thoughts on the feasibility of each idea:


  1. Streamline the invitations.

Brilliant Earth: Just a few years ago an email invitation might have seemed way too casual for a wedding, but as life increasingly plays out online (and invitation sites like Paperless Post offer ever more gorgeous designs) wedding evites just make sense—and save money and trees, of course.  If you have your heart set on paper invitations, save by eliminating the reply cards and asking people to RSVP via email.

Evergreen Bridal: While I agree that the formality of paper invitations has relaxed immensely, it is still such a fun and memorable wedding experience (and sweet keepsake!) to send out your own paper invitations. Wedding sites like minted.com, weddingpaperdivas.com (my favorite for prices and ease of use) and theamericanwedding.com make it easy and affordable to customize and send out your own invites.

*Also, I will say that we opted to have people RSVP via our wedding website. While this saved money and was easier for me to collect, it seemed to confuse many guests and if I could do it again, I would send out RSVP cards – just for ease of guest use. Just be sure to remember to slap a stamp on those too, for return postage. This makes me wonder if evites could be equally as confusing for some guests as well…something to think about.


2.Let the drinks flow, affordably.

Brilliant Earth: Limiting your liquor options to a single signature cocktail, plus beer and wine, will slash your bar costs. Another sneaky way to save: Serve fancier wines at cocktail hour, then switch to less pricey ones at dinner—by that time your guests aren’t likely to notice the difference.

Evergreen Bridal: Totally agree on this one – read more on my thoughts here (previous post).
3.Use local, seasonal flowers.

Brilliant Earth: Not only will it cost a lot less, it’s better for the planet than flying off-season flowers in from a hothouse in Holland. For ideas, use Real Simple’s Wedding Flower Finder tool.

Evergreen Bridal: Yes, of course. Not only to save money, but using seasonal floral makes more sense, and also looks more fresh. No reason to special order an out of season option – you can more than likely find a seasonal comparable alternative and no one would notice the difference. I’m sure you can achieve the same look you hope for with local, seasonal floral. Lucky for me, white hydrangeas (love) are available year round in my city.

4.Focus on one favorite type of blossom. 

Brilliant Earth: Instead of combining many varieties of blossoms, go big with one affordable one (labor is a big part of a florist’s price). One idea with meaning: Orange blossoms, which were traditionally part of Victorian bridal ensembles because they were thought to symbolize fertility, and are still the traditional wedding flower in Spain. Another cheap and chic idea: Baby’s breath—these lovely little white flowers were once a filler but now big bouquets of them are taking center stage.

Evergreen Bridal: Have to agree here as well. Why not? I have to say I would rather have a higher quantity (and good quality too) of one blossom than a lesser amount of mixed floral – if I had to choose. And I looooove the baby’s breath idea. I have seen so many beautiful and creative uses of bb on pinterest and think galvanized buckets filled with baby’s breath lining the aisle is so beautiful and striking!

5.Ask a friend to do the honors. 

Brilliant Earth: If you aren’t having a traditional religious ceremony, why not ask a close friend to officiate?  It’s easy and affordable to get ordained by the Universal Life Church (though laws on officiants vary by state, so check the legalities), and you’ll save the officiant’s fee or church donation.

Evergreen Bridal: Nope, nope – can’t agree here. The ceremony is such a sacred part of the whole experience. If I had one of my close friends officiating, I would definitely not be able to take them or the ceremony seriously. That’s just me however, I am sure plenty of people would find this very special. I would find it too casual and just – funny. However, an acquaintance, or perhaps someone in your friend group that has experience running a wedding ceremony – I would be ok with that. I think the experience matters as well – someone who can hold the attention of a group – as well as you and your fiancé! You don’t need the ceremony to be a show – but you want to keep people awake.

6.Rock a dress you can wear again.

Brilliant Earth: The idea that a wedding dress should be a once-only thing is a modern one—in Edwardian days a bride wore her wedding gown to parties for six months after her marriage! As we noted in our 2014 trend report, many of today’s brides are skipping bridal boutiques in favor of glam ready-to-wear gowns they can wear at fancy events in the future.

Evergreen Bridal: Eh, I mean I wish I could wear mine again, but I bought it to wear on my wedding day, and it would look pretty awkward in any other setting. Like I mentioned here, I feel like you want your wedding dress to look like a …wedding dress. Not a dress you would wear to any other event other than your wedding. So – I’m out on this one, can’t agree.

7.Use something(s) borrowed. 

Brilliant Earth: If some of your good friends are married already, they’d probably be flattered to lend you accessories from their big days. You’ll save money and give your wedding extra meaning by using pre-loved items from those close to you.

Evergreen Bridal: Yes, absolutely – why not! Buying everything you need and want not only costs more money, but it takes up a lot of room at your residence – trust me, I needed a U Haul. It’s special to see things that were used or belong to people you love as well, so borrow away!

8.Don’t demand cookie-cutter attendants.

Brilliant Earth: Instead of asking bridesmaids and groomsmen to spend their hard-earned moolah on identical outfits, simply ask them to wear the same color, or colors in a certain palette. This strategy lets their unique personalities shine through.

Evergreen Bridal: First, I still think it’s sort of weird to call your wedding party your “attendants” – but that’s beside the point. For the ladies, I think this gets tricky. I actually love the idea of having your bridesmaids pick their own dress and have different dresses and colors within the same palate – however, it really is dependent on several variables.

First – do your girls want to pick it out or does that add stress to their already busy role as your bridesmaid? I know plenty of my girls were immediately stressed out at the idea of picking their dress themselves wondering if they were picking a dress similar enough to the other girls, formal enough, casual enough, the correct color, etc… However, if your girls are all similar in height and build, this might be a good way to keep them from looking like a group of quadruplets.

Another reason you may want to choose to keep the ladies in matching dress is to ensure they stand out and are noticed by other guests as someone you had chosen to stand up with you both as you get married – your nearest and dearest thru the whole process. When they are in non matching attire, it’s harder to stand out amongst the crowd. Well – and they might end up wearing the same dress as one of the wedding guests!

A good way to address what Brilliant Earth mentions above regarding showcasing their individual personalities is to have your girls wear the same dress, same color, in a different style. Donna Morgan, Alfred Angelo and David’s Bridal do this well.
9.Enlist talented friends. 

Brilliant Earth: Save money and do your friends’ wallets a favor by asking them to contribute to your wedding instead of buying you a gift. You probably have some talented people in your circle—could one be the DJ, the photographer, the calligrapher, the driver who chauffeurs you from ceremony to reception?

Evergreen Bridal: Agree, agree, agree.

To be continued…