Freebie Friday

Friday, April 30, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , | 4 comments

It's another Freebie Friday, and yes, I have another batch of freebie chances for you today. But before I get to that, I just wanted to say....Enter giveaways. For realz. I think I'm probably saving hundreds of dollars from things I've won online. Cases in point-- the Vera Wang floral bouquet I won through Bridal Gown Blog, the Thank You cards, the poster print (perfect for the enlarged engagement photo), and the brochures (great for our ceremony programs) all through Uprinting, and the Amanda Pearl bridal clutch courtesy of Merci New York. Yes, it's all by chance and no, not everyone can get lucky. But with all the great giveaways out there (hello, I'm hosting one right now!) your chances are very good. So give it a shot. Even one freebie can go a long way!

*Mint Green with Envy is giving away a $25 gift certificate to ABC Neckties
* Win a black freshwater pearl bracelet at Money saving Mama

* Win a 12X12 photobook from Vistaprint via Sage and Savvy
* Win a 16X24 canvas wrap from Canvas Press and One Savvy Mama!

*DIYing makeup for your wedding day prep? Add some MAC to your collection via Lady Danger Makeup.
*Win some Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara via Mint Green With Envy!

*Spend a couple of nights in gorgeous Laguna Beach, CA in a luxurious oceanfront resort!

* Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls is giving away products from The Body Shop (Spa Wisdom Japan Collection).
*Going the iPod route for the reception? Win a $100 apple card from Find it WIN it!
* Win a $100 GC from beso (your choice of store!) via Thanks, Mail Carrier

Critical Path Planning: Three months to go!

Have you ever felt like your doing sooo much, but you're not getting anything done at all? That to-do list of yours barely has anything checked off, but you've been working your butt off? What's going on here?

That was me a couple months ago. I was busy, I was getting stuff I needed to do done for the wedding, but my monthly to-do list stayed the same. I felt stagnant, a complete underachiever and slacker. What I didn't realize that what I needed to do to get item A finished was a dozen smaller steps that took much longer than expected. That's when I decided to take this huge overwhelming project of wedding planning into critical path planning.

Now, I do consider myself a planner, but I'm not a planner by trade nor did I study organizational or planning methods in school. What I do know about the critical planning method is this simple gist: in order to get from point A to point B, focus on the little steps in between. The project is dependant on a series of smaller steps and the length of time it takes to complete each step. For example, I couldn't just say I'm going to "Get Rehearsal Dinner Planned Out" this month, without taking into consideration all the details I need to get done to have that item checked off (i.e. develop budget, research caterers and prices, figure out who's making what, etc.)

So again, I made my To Do List in Excel, putting all my final goal items in one column and making 4 columns to the right (each column representing an item or items I need to accomplish each week to get my final goal completed).

So with just three months to go (97 days to be exact!) here is what my critical path plan (or at least some of it :) looks like. You'd probably have to click on the photo to see it more clearly:

As I get items done each week, I feel like I'm moving closer to my goal. I can also organize my time and divide each task by week instead of trying to do everything at the same time. Good news for my sanity!

Vendor Spotlight and GIVEAWAY: PictureIt Creations, LLC (CLOSED)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , , | 117 comments

Shopping for gifts for your wedding  party is hard. Believe me, I know. You want something that they’ll appreciate and use, but something that’ll spark good memories of your wedding. And if you’re like me, you have to stick to a certain budget. Custom engraving can be add something much more special to the perfect gift. Champagne flutes for the parents that love a little bubbly? Engraving your monogram or wedding date to the set is a wonderful, endearing touch they’ll both love. What about glass beer mugs for the groomsmen who love to drink? Why not engrave their favorite sports teams to the glass? It will be at their side for all of their big games!

Enter PictureIt Creations, LLC on Etsy, a shop full of diverse personalized gifts for your wedding party! The products range from drinking glasses to desk accessories, photo frames, pocket knives, and even photography and vinyl d├ęcor. And the personalization is very affordable! I received a custom engraved glass beer mug from Taryn at PictureIt Creations, which she engraved with the San Francisco Giants logo (exactly what I had requested). I was surprised how big the mug was and the careful packaging to keep the glass damage-free during shipping. The engraving is precise and smooth. A normal 25 oz. mug is transformed into a nice, classy sports mug that any loyal fan would love. I thought the mug was nice enough to put in a case!

Without further ado, here is Taryn from PictureIt Creations!

Name: Taryn L. McCracken, PictureIt Creations, LLC
Location: Livonia, Michigan

Personalized 5x7 Glass Frame - Laser Engraved

What got you started in wedding related items?
I started PictureIt Creations, LLC in 2006 after becoming a mom and deciding not to return to work in finance. I wanted to do something that utilized my creative side. After offering personalized gifts on eBay and Etsy, Brides and Grooms have been the bulk of my client base because of the affordability and the versatility of personalization.

Groomsmen are often difficult to shop for. What makes the perfect groomsmen gift?
Groomsmen gifts need to be a little sentimental, practical and definitely unique to groomsmen. The gift is a statement from the bride and groom showing them their appreciation for celebrating and supporting them on their special day. It should be something they will use for years, not something put away and look at from time to time. And to make it perfect, it needs to have their unique style in mind.

Tell me something unique about your products:
My products are unique to the client and to the recipient. I have hundreds of fonts and clipart to choose from, and I don't limit the client on characters, lines, or images. I work with the client to design the gift they have in mind by putting together proofs and running test prints if necessary.

*Any other information about yourself or products you'd like to share?
I remember being a bride and spending months planning every detail of my wedding and keeping to a budget. I know the accomplished feeling I had each time I was able to check one more thing "done" off my list of things to do. I also remember the giddy feeling I had when something I planned, and paid for, came out PERFECT. Today, I am able to help brides have that same feeling.

Links where we can find out more of your work:

The Giveaway
Taryn is giving away a pair of custom engraved 6 oz  champagne toasting flutes to one lucky winner!

6 oz champagne toasting flutes

The Rules
1) MANDATORY ENTRY! Go to PictureIt Creations Etsy shop and comment on your favorite item for one entry. This is mandatory! Contestants who do not do this will be disqualified. Remember to leave your email address or some way to contact you with each entry!

Additional entries (remember to leave separate comments for each additional entry)

2) Become a new follower of this blog. You must follow publicly (1 entry)
3) Are currently a follower of my blog (2 entries)
4) Follow PictureIt Creations’ blog (1 entry)
5) Become a facebook fan of “I Do” Budget Weddings (2 entries)
6) Become a facebook fan of PictureIt Creations (2 entries)
7) Blog about the contest and include a link to the giveaway. Each entrant must also include a link to PictureIt Creations in their post (3 entries) Please include a direct link to your blog post in your comment.
8) Buy anything from PictureIt Creations (5 entries)
9) Follow “I Do” Budget Weddings on Twitter (1 entry)
10) Follow PictureIt Creations on Twitter (1 entry)
11) Tweet on this giveaway and include a link to this giveaway in your tweet (1 entry)
12) Grab my button and place it on your blog (1 entry)
13) Subscribe to "I Do" Budget Weddings emails (1 entry)
14) Enter any one of my current giveaways and tell me which giveaway you entered (1 entry per giveaway)

The deadline to enter this contest is 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, May 10, 2010 (PST). A winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck! This giveaway is now closed.

*As the host of this giveaway, I received a custom engraved glass mug, however the opinions expressed here are my own honest observations of the product and shop.

Winner of the Tux and Tulle Giveaway and 1000 paper cranes!

Monday, April 26, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , , , , | 3 comments

Before I get to the winner of our Tux and Tulle giveaway, I am pleased to announce...we folded our 1000th paper crane this past weekend! Woohoo! It took us 10 weeks (100 cranes a week) to get to our goal! We're sooo exited! We will be hanging them at our reception venue and sending them to the Wedding Co., who will donate 50 cents per crane to cancer research after the wedding. The cranes they receive around the world will go into a massive chandelier that will be displayed at an art exhibit in Toronto. The effort and donation will take the place of our favors. We're going to make a card at each seat explaining the cultural meaning of cranes (the Chinese believe they're a symbol of longevity. Legend has it, a couple who folds a 1000 cranes is granted 1000 years good luck!), as well as Wedding Co.'s donation to cancer research. Now we're trying to figure out the best way to hang them -- chandeliers or string them up like streamers across the ceiling rafters?

Now onto our giveaway! We had a lot of great comments for the free neck tie from Tux and Tulle and the winner is...

Shanna! Congratulations! You have three days to respond to my email!

Many more awesome giveaways to come, so stay tuned! You still have time to enter Office of Minor Detail's New Zealand Wallet giveaway -- a great gift for your groomsmen!

Freebie Friday

Friday, April 23, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , | 1 comments

* Get a $100 Gift Card to the Men's Wearhouse at the Mom Reviews!
* Win a gorgeous dress from William Riera via Just For Me and You!

* Get 25 custom invitations from Dollies and Daisies via Inspired! Wedding Tips and Inspiration
* Win a 16X20 rolled canvas print from A Second Time Around
* Tiaras and Tantrums is giving away a 12X12 photobook from Vistaprint.
* Win $25 credit to Next Day Flyers via Living My Moment
* Little BGCG is giving away a free design from Natty Sue Designs
* Get Along Home is giving away an 18X24 poster print!
* My Life as a Married Girl is giving away a Custom Canvas Print!

* Kate & Oli are giving away a crystal necklace on a sterling silver chain from Brilliance Found.
* Win a $50 Gift Card to The Vintage Pearl via Confessions of a Stay At Home Mom.

* Plan on doing your own makeup for the wedding day? How about adding Tarte mascara to your collection? Visit Cheap N' Chic Living for details.
* Organize your planning with a wedding journal. Details at Broken Teepee.
* Take the pledge for better health and win a $20 GC to Dick's Sporting Goods via "Deal"ightfully Frugal.
* Win an apron from Flirty Aprons. Details here.
* BlyDesign is giving away a free monogrammed towel set! Details here.
* Win a $25 GC to Marshall's via The Shopping Mama.
* Just for fun, win a Nintendo Wii from One Savvy Mama!
* Win a $25 GC to via Mint Green With Envy
* Two handmade bars of soap via Audrey's Giveaways.
* Win handmade soap from Whimsywares via Heavenly Savings
* "Catch the Drift" with Mama Snow is giving away a $15 gift card.
* Lady V dZine is giving away a $25 gift certificate to Macy's
* Win a $25 GC to TJ Maxx via Baby Loving Mama! Get your honeymoon wardrobe together!
* Couponing to be Debt Free is giving away a $10 Target GC
*Little BGCG is giving away a $50 Target Gift Card
* Win a $25 gift card to TJ Maxx via The Mom Reviews.
* Freebies and Much More is giving away a $35 Jiffy Lube Gift Card

Dressing the Wedding Party: Wear it again

Thursday, April 22, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , , , , , , | 1 comments

I'm afraid David Tutera and all those wedding etiquette gurus will have a fit once they hear my stance on wedding party attire--I don't care. Really, I don't. Ok, maybe a little. We set a color and dress length for the bridesmaids, and basically told the groomsmen to wear whatever we chose at Men's Wearhouse (seriously, with the guys, just telling them what to wear would be much easier than making them choose). Other than that, everyone else can wear whatever they want. I don't care what color socks or cuff links the men wear, I don't care what jewelry the women pick (although I did suggest gold to match our colors). And get this, I even told them they can wear what they already have! Some will say I'll feel differently when I see the photos, but I can't imagine a slight deviation of color coordination or style ruining my day.

I'm not a big fan of matchy-matchy wedding parties. Don't get me wrong, it looks great and I admire them, but it never interested me to spend time worrying about coordinating down to minute details--jewelry, shoes, silhouette, hair. We have a few more members in our wedding party with 6 sponsors (a Filipino wedding custom where individuals assume responsibility to offer spiritual and emotional support for the couple). With 8 bridesmaids and groomsmen, the mothers and fathers, flower girls, ring bearer and sponsors, I would go crazy worrying about what every single person is wearing!

But here's a rundown. Our bridesmaids will wear their dresses of their choice (my only requirements were they had to be the same color and length). Here's what each of them chose.


Same color - Amethyst- but all different styles. Am I worried about that? I actually like how each dress really captures each bridesmaid's personality and I think they all look great. One bridesmaid is wearing a maternity dress she'll have hemmed into tea length. It's also a different fabric (none of the maternity gowns came in satin), but no, it's not the end of the world. Ignore what David Tutera says, no one will care or notice.

The groomsmen are wearing matching suits with plum-colored ties from Men's Wearhouse, similar to this:
But my father, the male sponsors and our ring bearer are wearing barongs, traditional Filipino formal wear made of jusi, or hand-embroidered pineapple fibers.

Most of them already own their barongs (from previous weddings and formal occasions) so I didn't see the need for them to buy new attire. Barongs can be quite expensive in the states as the fabric is imported from the Philippines.Why not give them excuse to wear their barongs again? Besides, our ceremony will involve traditional Filipino components, so it seemed right to allow the Filipino men to wear their barongs if they wanted to. We told the female sponsors to wear whatever they want just as long at it's church appropriate for a warm, summer day. They could color coordinate with the wedding colors if they want to, but I'm not going to check on them.

We haven't picked the flower girl dresses yet, but I'm leaning toward something simple, like this except with a plum-purple sash:

When my mom asked me what she should wear to the wedding, I told her, "Whatever you want, Mom." She gave me that sideways, "No, really," look. I told her, "Seriously, whatever you think looks good. I trust your judgement." After a pause that said, "You're not much of a help," I said, "Why don't you wear your kimona?" Kimonas are traditional Filipino formal tops also made of jusi fabric. Like barongs, they're also pretty expensive in the states. They're hand-embroidered and the details are really quite lovely.
My mom was surprised that I was letting her wear her kimona again. She did wear it to my sister's wedding 7 years ago. I told her she can wear it only if she paired it with a different skirt (the skirt she wore to my sister's wedding was a bright lilac and would clash with our wedding colors--yes, the only part where I'm picky!)

So we found a long, plum-colored satin skirt at the Jessica McClintock outlet for a mere $16. (If there's one near you, check it out. You'll find discounts on evening wear -- including bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses-- for 75% off!). MOB dress: check!

The mother of the groom is also wearing the dress she wore at her daughter's wedding, a champagne-colored gown with a matching jacket (my dress is white, so no worries about the MOG wearing a neutral color). The father of the groom will wear a tux he owns and wears to formal occasions. Seriously, I'm happier knowing members in my wedding party didn't have to spend an arm and a leg, or buy an entirely different outfit for one day. I'm glad that some can actually wear outfits they've worn once before again. Am I worried about clashes of Filipino traditional and western traditional? Am I worried about a mixture of styles? Or maybe that the MOB and MOG won't look like twins on our wedding day? No. Because in the end, they'll all wear something they like, feel comfortable in and truly reflects each of them. I think that would make a far more interesting photo than one cookie-cutter, matching fest.

20% off Converse!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , , , | 1 comments

I love Converses, but gone are the days when I used to purchase them for a mere $24. They were shoes I would wear for my shift at my undergrad job at the campus cafeteria. They were shoes I would buy because they were the only shoes I could afford. Now? They're twice as much as the price I used to purchase them for!

But they're everywhere now, and they're hot items for wedding parties. At more than $40 a pair, they can be quite expensive if you plan on purchasing them for your groomsmen. But get this, Converse is having a 20% off sale (including regular and sale prices). Just type in CHUCKS17 for the coupon code. The end of the sale is unknown so grab 'em while it lasts!

Our Friendors

Monday, April 19, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , , | 1 comments

I must admit, being anywhere near our budget would not be possible without the help of our friendors--friends/family who are offering their services at a extremely discounted price or even free. We feel really fortunate and blessed that people are willing to do that for us. But while discussing budget weddings with a former bride, she said that she wouldn't consider our wedding as a budget wedding.

You're getting a lot of help from your family and friends, she sniffed. That doesn't count.

But why wouldn't that count?

As a budget bride, you have to be resourceful. It's always a good thing to maximize your resources. You're likely to get a better deal and service from people you know. If they're willing to help you out (and be careful, make sure your friendors will help you more than hinder), then why not? Also, talk to friends and family about people they know. Chances are they may know of a really good baker, or a place where they ordered affordable bridesmaid dresses, or a gorgeous venue.

But we wanted to be careful when we approached our friendors. We didn't want to appear we're asking for handouts, but at the same time we wanted to negotatiate the best possible price. We never asked for anything for free unless they offered. If we knew we were being offered a really awesome deal, we didn't push it further. We believe friendship or good family ties are worth more than the extra money we may haved saved.

Some of the items provided by our friendors include:
-Alterations and custom-made veil (done by my aunt)
- DJ and MC (by two of our friends)
- Choir (my sister sings in her church choir and a few of her choir-members agreed to sing at our ceremony)
- Engagement session and STD's (A friend shot our lovely engagement session and designed our Save the Dates!)
 -Day-of Coordinator (a friend of my MOH)
- Discounted photography and videography (a friend from work does awesome wedding photography and gave us a sweet deal!)
- A great deal on a Samoan dance group to perform at our reception. (Through our MOH)
- Friends and family are also helping with transportation, cooking (for our rehearsal dinner) and floral arrangements.

Are friends and family helping with wedding day festivities? Who are your friendors?

Freebie Friday

Friday, April 16, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , , | 2 comments

Happy Friday! A couple of items to take care of, first...Helllo? Did anyone get anything from this morning's $1 Designer Sale on Well, let's just say folks on the West Coast (including myself) missed out. I would have needed to be up at 3:45 a.m. to get the email! Meh. I'm not losing sleep over it! But if you got your dollar goodies, congratulations!

Before I get to my Freebie Friday, I wanted to announce the winner of the Morning's Mist Country Store Giveaway.....

And the winner is trixx!

And here's your list of Freebies this Friday! A lot of great stuff this week!

* Girl with a Ring is giving away 100 free 4X6 postcards from My Postcard Printing
*Tigerlily's Book is giving away 100 free postcards from Uprinting!
* 250 Custom labels or stickers from Digital Room via Mrs. Cox's Slice of Heaven
* Win an 18X24 photo enlargement poster print from Digital Room via Your Fun Family
* 100 free postcards from via Broken Teepee
*Broken Teepee is giving away a 20 page photobook from

*Flying Giggles and Lolipops is giving away a free pair of pearl earrings from Pearl Paradise
* La Femme Jewels is giving away a pearl earrings and necklace set!
* Win a necklace from Adornments by Wendy.
* Frugal Mommy of 2 is giving away a hand stamped bracelet from Say from Stephanie Wilde.
* Tara's view of the world is giving away a $75 gift certificate to Novica.

* Win a $25 gift certificate to Rosy Handbags from A Kindred Spirit's Thoughts. I'm eyeing the bone and silver clutch!
* Jaebumfangirl is giving away a bag from High Sierra Sport Company.

*Think you got mad DIY skills? Enter The Perfect Bridesmaid's DIY contest and win $100 cash! Details here.
* Win a $150 Gift Card from via Tara's View of the World.
* Shasher's Life is also giving away a $150 Gift Card from
* One Winner gets a set of Three Sachets filled with French Lavender - Life Mantra's from La Pomme., 20 Small Edible Lavender Butterflies from Etsy seller Sugar Robot and Vera Wang Purple Palette Fashion Bouquet from Bridal Gown Blog!
* Win a $10 Starbucks card from Shelly's Swag (4 winners will be picked!)
* Win a $20 gift certificate to from My Loonyverse.
* Shasher's Life is giving away a $50 gift card!
* Win a $25 Visa Gift Card from Smart and Trendy Moms
* Salad for Breakfast is giving away a $100 gift certificate to
* Audrey's Giveaways is giving away soap from pink Parchments

Don't forget to enter my giveaways: Ring Bearer Dish from Dawn Dalto (ends tonight!), Necktie from Tux and Tulle (4/23) and a leather wallet from Office of Minor Details (4/29)

Vendor Spotlight and GIVEAWAY: Office of Minor Details

Thursday, April 15, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , , , | 207 comments

Next in our series of groomsmen inspiration is a shop specializing in wallets made with quality and durability (the kinds of features men always appreciate!) When I asked one of our groomsmen (who had served as a groomsman at many other previous weddings) what groomsman gift he liked the most, he said without missing a beat, a leather wallet. His reason? It wasn't your typical "groomsman gift." It wasn't a flask that fell apart, or nicknack that served no purpose but to collect dust. He appreciated the quality and usefulness of it.

Enter our next Vendor Spotlight, Office of Minor Details on Etsy. Based out of Aukland, New Zealand, Iain from Office of Minor Details individually hand makes wallets out of New Zealand kid leather, which is some of the best leather in the world. They're kind of leather goods that showcase the practicality and rugged style that attract many guys. I received a wallet from Iain, and I was very impressed with the texture and appearance of the leather. Soft, simple and sturdy, they make great gifts for the men in your party. They're small enough to fit cards and dollar bills -- perfect for the guy who doesn't like carrying a bulky wallet around (much like my guy;).

At around $30 a wallet, these are gifts that are affordable for the quality--I've seen a generic flask, or random paper weight sold at that price at many of these "groomsmen gift" stores!
So without further ado, all the way from Aukland, New Zealand, here's Iain from Office of Minor Details.

Hi, my name is Iain and I am ‘The Office of Minor Details’.

I live in work in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. The thing I enjoy most about Auckland is it’s close proximity to amazing beaches and forests…and it’s just close enough to the mountains to allow a bit of winter snowboarding.

What got you started in making leather products?
The first project that got me involved in leather was a cover for my architectural portfolio. I had to buy a whole skin to the small piece of leather that I needed. The folio turned out so well I thought I would have a go at making the satchel I had always been looking for but never found. A friend saw my new satchel and asked my to make him one, the rest is history.

How long have you been making these products?
I made my first bag about 5 years ago. For a long time making leather was a part time hobby due to work commitments. I would just make things for friends as commissions or gifts. In the last year I have reduced my salaried working hours and have made time to produce leather goods for sale. The response has been amazing and I am really enjoying the life / work balance this has created.

What makes New Zealand leather so good?
New Zealand leather is great because all of our livestock are free range so they generally have a healthy and happy life which in turn produces happy, healthy leather. Most New Zealand leather is exported so my suppliers are always happy to find a small local craftsman making quality products to work with.

Your products are all handmade. Can you tell me a little bit about the process?
Originally this was because I made my first pieces with the tools I was already using at home: a knife, a punch, needle and thread. This has developed into an ethos now though; I enjoy the back to basics approach, the tactile nature of working with your hands and the freedom it creates.

All the leather I use is hand selected at my local suppliers. I then cut each piece to my own patterns, punch holes for the stitching and then stitch each piece in the living room of my house using needles and thread (usually listening to my favorite music).

Tell me something unique about your products.
In my former full time working life I was an architect. As a result my designs are very functional, simple and intuitive and I see my works as miniature structural problems. All of my patterns are based on the idea of using one piece of leather and folding it to create an enclosure. This produces sturdy designs with a minimum of weak points and uses the natural strength of the leather to maximum advantage. The fact that my work is hand stitched allows me to connect pieces of leather in a way that could never be done with a machine.

Please take the time to check out my Etsy shop, I hope you like the work!

Links where we can find out more about The Office of Minor Details
Iain is giving away a wallet from The Office of Minor Details!

The Rules
1) Go to The Office of Minor Details Etsy shop and comment on your favorite item for one entry. This is mandatory! Contestants who do not do this will be disqualified. Remember to leave your email address or some way to contact you with each entry!

Additional entries (remember to leave separate comments for each additonal entry)
2) Become a new follower of this blog (1 entry)
3) Are currently a follower of my blog (2 entries)
4) Become a facebook fan of “I Do” Budget Weddings (2 entries)
5) Become a facebook fan of The Office of Minor Details  (2 entries)
6) Blog about the contest and include a link to the giveaway. Each entrant must also include a link to The Office of Minor Details in their post (3 entries) Please include a direct link to your blog post in your comment.
7) Buy anything from The Office of Minor Details  (5 entries)
8) Follow “I Do” Budget Weddings on Twitter (1 entry)
9) Follow The Office of Minor Details on Twitter (1 entry)
10) Tweet on this giveaway and include a link to this giveaway in your tweet (1 entry)
11) Grab my button and place it on your blog (1 entry)
12) Subscribe to "I Do" Budget Weddings emails (1 entry)
13) Enter any one of my current giveaways and tell me which giveaway you entered (1 entry per giveaway)

The deadline to enter this contest is 11:59 p.m., Friday, April 29, 2010 (PST). A winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck!

A package

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , | 0 comments

It's hanging in my closet. Yes, my dress arrived today! Much sooner than expected -- the dress came in two months and I didn't even do a rush order!. The dress is a little wrinkled (What do you expect? It came in box!) so I'll need to get it pressed, but other than that, I'm really pleased! Not bad for half-priced! RKBridal even threw in an extra blue garter. I wasn't actually planning on buying one since the FH doesn't want to do a garter toss, but hey, I got my something blue!

Predicting the bump: Ordering for a pregnant bridesmaid

*Sigh* Warning, this is a long post, but if you can hang in there, I'd appreciate any advice you can give. The topic? The bridesmaid dresses. On a good note, three of my four bridesmaids have purchased their gowns. I told them they can pick any dress from the Eden Bridesmaids line, just as long as it's tea length, satin and the color amethyst (the closest shade to our purple). I thought that left them enough freedom to find a dress that worked for them...but I suppose I could have given them a little more...
Here's the color:
My MOH will be rockin' this dress:

My Matron of Honor chose this lovely dress::
And my third bridesmaid chose this hot number:

Love the back!

They each purchased their gown from, where they got a sweet deal for $96 for each gown (Not including shipping).

But as you may know from a previous post, one of my bridesmaids is pregnant. I found out after my bridesmaids ordered their gowns. We had been putting off finding the fourth dress for awhile because she was ill during a very difficult first trimester (morning sickness, nausea, migraines, the works). Now she's feeling a little better, we're hitting another snag: finding her dress.

 Eden does have a maternity bridesmaid line but the pickings are slim. My bridesmaid wants to stay with Eden just so she won't look too different from the other girls. The only dress in satin is this dress:
My bridesmaid was leaning toward this dress because it's satin, and she could easily cut the hem to make it tea length. But alas, the dress doesn't come in amethyst.

We looked at the other maternity dresses, but they only come in chiffon:

At this point, I think chiffon is the best choice for her, and the dress will be really nice when it's hemmed to tea length, but we're not sure about how different the colors from satin to chiffon would look. One other option is that she can order satin fabric in amethyst from Eden and have the dress custom made. But we're running out of time (wedding is in four months!) and my bridesmaid is a busy girl (she's a resident doctor). I don't want her to feel pressured into settling for a dress and I don't want her to feel like a burden either (she's not, I'm more annoyed that there aren't many great and affordable maternity options out there). So I told her to pick a dress she really wants. I don't care what fabric it is, and it doesn't have to be the exact shade of purple.

But I think she really wants to stick with Eden. If she does pick a maternity dress from Eden, the next issue is "What size?" The frustrating part is that no one seems to know or can give a good answer (blank stares and crickets every time we ask someone at a bridal shop). Every woman's body is different, and how she grows during pregnancy always varies. This is her first child so she has no idea how big she will get. Since we're looking at dresses with high waists and flowing skirts to accommodate the hip and tummy area, we're trying to figure out the best bust size for her.

Eden maternity size charts go from small to 1X. Right now she's three months along, and will be 7 months pregnant by the time of the wedding. Right now, she's just three inches smaller than an XL (would that be enough room?), but 7 inches smaller than a 1X (is that too big?). My aunt, a seamstress, said she should order big because it's easier to take in than let out, but ordering too big could be a tough alteration job (more time, more money)

So what now? From what I can gather, and what people tell me, here's what I found:

* Order 2 sizes up from pre-pregnancy size. It's always easier to take in than let out the seams.
* If you will be 5 months along or less, you can probably get away with ordering a larger regular bridesmaid dress .
* Since my bridesmaid will be in her third trimester by the time of the wedding, it will be best to order a maternity gown.
* Empire waist styles are always the most flattering for pregnant women. Flowy fabrics like chiffom or silk shantung are best.

If you have any other tips or advice for ordering for a pregnant bridesmaid, let me know! We can definitely use it!

Winner of the Lovli Day giveaway!

Sunday, April 11, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , | 0 comments

A bit late, but I've finally come around to picking our winner for the $20 gift certificate to Lovli Day, but please note that I do check to see if your posts are valid. If you say you follow me, I should be able to see my blog on your profile under "Blogs I Follow." If I don't see it, and I can't find you in my followers list, your comment will be deleted and won't count. And the winner is...

Congratulations, Mallory! The winner has been notified and has three days to get back to me. Take a look at my current giveaways and keep checking back for even more contests to enter!

Freebie Friday

Friday, April 9, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , | 2 comments

* Enter for 100 free Save the Dates or Thank You cards from Vistaprint!
* Win a free customized stamp or notepad from Mommy Pads and More!

* Win a Coach wristlet from Penelope's Oasis!
* Enter for a freshwater pearl necklace from Be Adorned Jewelry
* Win a $50 gift certificate to The Vintage Pearl

* YouFloral and Leslie Loves Veggies is giving away a customized floral arrangement!

*Like Mineral Makeup? I do! Etsy It Up is giving away a Mixology kit!
* Wild Eden Workshop is giving one winner a choice of 3 bars of handmade soap. Yup, love the handmade soap!
*Win a $25 Visa Gift Card from Aisha's Memorabilia
* Thanks, Mail Carrier and Flirty Aprons is giving away a very adorable apron!
* Island Life is giving away a $50 gift card to!
* Enter On the Search for Hidden Treasures giveaway for a metal plaque from 4 All Seasons!

Vendor Spotlight and GIVEAWAY: Tux and Tulle (CLOSED)

While worrying about the bride's gown or bridesmaid dresses, or shopping with your mom to buy her MOB dress, we often forget about the groom and his groomsmen. What are they going to wear? What if you're looking for a little more style, color or diversity? What if the selection at Men's Wearhouse just ain't cutting it for the look you're going for? After browsing through groom and groomsmen attire options, I found our newest Vendor Spotlight, Jane from Tux and Tulle on Etsy. Jane shows us how a tie can give a normal suit its edge and personality. Playful, stylish and fun, with a little bit of vitntage and a little funky sensibility, her ties can add a unique look that you and the men in your wedding party can really enjoy.

True, a lot of our men will insist they don't care and will wear anything, and well, I don't really buy it. When it comes down to it, men do want to look sharp on their day...yep, I said it...because it is his day, too! And can you believe it, a lot of guys do have an opinion on what looks good. I showed my FH the tie Jane sent me for a product review (I had to see if it passed the guy test) and what do you know, the future hubs really liked it! The tie is a cotton teal blue and gold tie and will make a striking addition to your wedding party attire. While the fabric is cotton (perfect for a less formal or outdoor wedding), the patterns, color and workmanship give them a very classy appearance. Not only are these unique tie alternatives for your groomsmen, but these bold prints and colors make them great gifts for the guys who regularly don a shirt and tie, or maybe for the guy who just likes to dress up every now and then (trust me, they're out there!). Jane also makes dupioni silk ties for a more formal look, and can also custom make an order.

At less than $20 a tie, these are affordable alternative options for your men...and maybe fun, stylish gifts for them to keep after the wedding! So, without further ado, here's Jane from Tux and Tulle!

What got you started in making neckties for men?
I created neckties and bow ties for my daughter's wedding in August 2009 and have been creating ever since!

How would you describe the style of ties you make?
I like vintage style floral fabrics but have recently loved making lots of stripes, poka dots and bold prints. Also, dupioni silk is one of my favorite fabrics to work with because of the vivid color selection. I make skinny ties, regular size neckties, children's neckties and pre-tied bow ties.

It's been often assumed that the groom and groomsmen don't really care what they wear. After making ties and accessories for men for as long as you have, how true is this assumption?
I have been pleasantly suprised by the number of emails I have received from men who are very serious about their neckties! They are truly interested in colors and styles and often want to give their neckites as gifts to their groomsmen.

When picking the groom and groomsman's attire, what should brides and grooms remember?
Remember to add color to your wedding! The difference in the pictures is amazing and the color adds a real vibrancy whether your wedding is indoor or out! I think often grooms want to stick with basic black and white but taking a risk on color and prints is worth it! Also, mix it up! Some of my favorite orders have been ties of the same hue in different prints.

Groomsmen are often difficult to shop for. What makes a perfect groomsman's gift?
I think it should be something personal, something that will remind the groomsmen of the fun and memories of the event. Of course, it would also be great if the gift could be used again in real life!

Tell me something unique about your products.
I think my fabric selections are unique. One of my recent neckties has chandeliers with glitter. That will take a brave groom! The sky is the limit on color, prints and fabric choices so each necktie I make can be one of a kind.

Links where we can find out more of your work:
My neckties can be found on ETSY at

Thanks to Jane, we're giving away one tie of the winner's choice! Perfect to start off your groomsmen attire, or as a gift for that special guy!

1) Go to Tux and Tulle Etsy shop and comment on your favorite item for one entry. This is mandatory! Contestants who do not do this will be disqualified. Remember to leave your email address or some way to contact you with each entry!

Additional entries (remember to leave separate comments for each additonal entry)

2) Become a new follower of this blog (1 entry)
3) Are currently a follower of my blog (2 entries)
4) Become a facebook fan of “I Do” Budget Weddings (2 entries)
5) Blog about the contest and include a link to the giveaway. Each entrant must also include a link to Tux and Tulle in their post (3 entries)
6) Buy anything from Tux and Tulle (5 entries)
7) Follow “I Do” Budget Weddings on Twitter (1 entry)
8) Tweet on this giveaway and include a link to this giveaway in your tweet (1 entry)
9) Grab my button and place it on your blog (1 entry)
10) Subscribe to "I Do" Budget Weddings emails (1 entry)
11) Enter any one of my current giveaways and tell me which giveaway you entered (1 entry per giveaway)

The deadline to enter this contest is 11:59 p.m., Friday, April 23, 2010 (PST).  A winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck! (This Giveaway is CLOSED)

Affordable Centerpiece Alternatives

Thursday, April 8, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , , , , | 6 comments

Nowadays, it seems like "affordable" and "centerpieces" just don't fit in the same sentence anymore. That's what it felt like early in our planning, when it seemed like the only worthy centerpieces were $100 or more. Try $300 each for the manzanita arrangement one florist quoted me at. When I asked for something cheaper, the florist showed me what $25 a centerpiece would get me...four daisies in a tiny glass vase wrapped with a ribbon. Really? I can make that for just under $10! But after doing some research and scouring the Net, I saw that with a few items, and relatively less dent to your wallet, you can make "Wow" centerpieces for your wedding!

It's amazing what candles can do. 
I was really inspired by this Wedding Bee post. With glass votives from IKEA and Molokai plumerias from Hawaii, one bride created this gorgeous look for just $25 a piece!

Go au naturale
Sometimes less is more! A minimilist, simple look can create that modern chic vibe.


I heart cymbidium orchids!

Sea Shells
Some sand, sea shells, a candle and a glass vase creates this beach themed centerpiece.

Potted plants
For the bride who lacks time for arranging (morning brides out there?) or the budget for a florist, potted plants can be the answer. And really, some plants don't need a whole lot of dressing up. We're ordering a bulk of potted orchids from the LA Flower Mart, and with a bamboo vase and some extra moss and flowers to cover the base, we're done! Easy Peasy!

Why not dress up those few daisies with fruit. They add a vibrant, colorful and surprising touch to your centerpieces!

 Get Bookish
I've always loved the idea of books being the centerpiece, especially old, weathered vintage books. You can purchase these from any used bookstore or even scope them out at thrift stores where you can buy them for a steal! And if you're a true bookworm like me, you've just added a few classic treasures to your library!

Lanterns create the mood
I love lanterns, and they work best for evening outdoor weddings or venues where the lights are set down low. What a romantic ambiance!

Moroccan lanterns
You can actually order these for a few dollars each, and with a few clustered together, they look very classy and wordly.

Paper Luminaries

Maybe not for dining table centerpieces, but great accessories for say a walkway or guestbook table. And they're pretty cheap and easy to make!

Photo Frame Lanterns
Give your lanterns a personalized feel. Very easy to DIY, too!

Any other affordable centerpiece ideas? Please, share!

The missing years

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , | 1 comments

My sister is helping us put together our slideshow, aka. show 'em your baby pics montage for the reception. While scanning our photos to send to my sister, I realized how my photos seem to end after age 9. My FH has cute, happy and fun photos of himself throughout every stage of his life. There always seems to be a plethora of "awww" photos of him. Me? Those photos stop after the point I started to get skinnier, more gangly and heading straight into my awkward pre-teen and teenage years. Yep, those are the Missing Years in my life. I kind of ducked or hid behind someone whenever someone flashed a camera, hence the lack of photographic evidence of ages 9-17, when the glasses and braces eventually came off.

I kind of laugh at those years now, especially at my awful 90s bangs, the NKOTB Tees, or even my purple-haired teenaged punk phase. But I seriously don't have any photos of those years, or at least ones without a hand in my face.

Maybe I'll ask friends and family if they have any photos of me lying around somewhere. Or maybe I'll just let them stay where I had orginally intended them to be -- lost in oblivion.

Designer goodies for $1!

Monday, April 5, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: | 2 comments

Get this Burberry dress (original price $2,850) for just $1!

I think I would be a total scrooge if I didn't share this piece of insider info with you. But if you're looking for stuff that's both chic and cheap (something us budget brides are all searching for) then you MUST check out the upcoming sale on (sister site of the very chic, but verrry expensive! Get this: Designer items like Burberry, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Miu Miu are selling for $1! Nope, I'm not missing any zeroes there! That's really $1! Yup!

The sale is on April 16, 2010, but the time is a closely guarded secret. You must pre-register before April 11, 2010 and you'll be notified by email when the sale will begin. It's first come first serve and they have about 1000 items on sale, so keep on the lookout!

Designer looks up for a steal:

Zac Posen

Derek Lam


Nina Ricci

Not only are these hot items to add to your wardrobe, they make enviable outfits for engagement shoots, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, etc!

Another deal to look out for:
* Gap Outlet is offering 70% off  and new swim styles for $15 through April 15. you have your honeymoon swimsuit?