Categories
Bridal Gowns In Discount

Unique Registry Ideas for the Modern Couple

Looking back, I think my wedding-related stresses peaked as my husband-to-be and I stumbled through the aisles of Target, scanning gun in hand. We didn’t know where to start and just the kitchen appliance aisle brought us face-to-face with an abundance of seemingly-the-same-but-apparently-oh-so-different variations of gadgets. How are we supposed to know which one to get? Wait, don’t I already have one of these? What does this contraption even do? We scanned roughly 30 items and went on our way, later to receive them as gifts with little to no insight as to what they actually did.

So in lieu of calling your mother every other day desperate for gadget-related advice, we’re proposing that you take on a different approach to your wedding registry!

Unique Registry Ideas for the Modern Couple

weddingregistrythankyou

Brian Bossany Photography

Nearly half of couples are living with their spouses-to-be before they tie the knot, ensuring you may already have your everyday living necessities. Recognizing this, some stores have taken matters into their own hands to present you with unique and fabulous options.

Maybe you’re hoping to buy a house soon, or you’re planning a killer honeymoon, or maybe you don’t want the gifts at all. To help you out, we’ve compiled a helpful list of registry alternatives for the modern couple.

1. Charitable donations

In lieu of gifts, some couples are opting to ask their attendees for donations to a charity of their choice. Sites like the I Do Foundation and Zank You make it easy for guests to donate to whichever charity you see fit. Just add it to your registry page on The Knot for a simplified way to put your philanthropic undertakings alongside of your other registries. Zank You allows you to choose a variety of options for where you want your gifted money funneled: be it to your honeymoon or to UNICEF, making it a great one-stop shop for couples looking for alternative registry ideas!

Want to crowdsource for a friend or family member’s medical expenses, a mission trip, or support goods made overseas? You can be sure that there is a web platform to accommodate that! Check out Deposit a Gift or Plumfund to support that friend in need, or visit Seven Hopes United, which provides a platform of handcrafted Fair Trade sustainable options that you can register for. Everyone wins!

wedding cards

Eileen K Photography

2. Homebuilding registry

Take the idea of “starting a home together” and do just that: build a house! Ask your guests to contribute cash toward a down payment or have them donate to different aspects of the home building process by using sites like Blueprint, Hatch My House, or Upon Our Star. Blueprint, for example, enables you to customize a model for your dream home by registering for things you will need on a room-by-room basis. These tools are super-fun because they allow for your attendees to see a better picture of what they’re gifting to you in your future together.

3. Suit your style!

Reflect your personal style by registering at a store that is unique to you! Art aficionado? Register at the Museum of Modern Art store. Outdoor enthusiast? Pick up your scanner at REI. Wine connoisseur? Check out Bottlenotes, an online wine community that allows you to ask your guests for your favorite libations. There’s something for any and every niche!

weddingregistry

Brian Bossany Photography

4. Honeymoon Hedge Fund

Ahh, the Honeymoon. For the couple that prefers a romantic getaway over a salad bowl, asking guests to chip in toward a dream vacation is the perfect solution to all of your registry troubles. In lieu of gifts, give your guests the option to purchase you honeymoon-enhancers, such as a couple’s massage, candlelit dinners on the beach, or SCUBA lessons! Honeyfund, Buy Our Honeymoon, and Wanderable are all great sites to guide your attendees to gifts that you would totally enjoy.

Make your dream honeymoon a reality with Honeyfund or Wanderable, sites that give your guests a platform to chip in toward your trip of a lifetime. Or ask them to purchase fun experiences for you to have while on your vacay with Buy Our Honeymoon!

5. Meaningful Momentos

Instead of asking for gifts for your home, ask each guest to bring you their favorite movie, book, or album. Not only will you and your spouse have all of your media needs set, but you’ll have things to talk about with your friends and family the next time you see them.

unique wedding registry

Eileen K Photography 

6. Cash in

While every couple needs a 12-piece dishware set, Egyptian cotton linens, and a KitchenAid mixer (with all of the add-ons, of course), maybe you’re opting for something a little more practical: cash. While this remains a contested and controversial registry option, sometimes practicality wins over family feuds.

registry ideas

Capture Life Moments Photography

7. Go Local

If you favor local, handmade goods over large departments stores, curate a selection of your favorite handcrafted things by registering through Etsy or My Registry.

My Registry allows you to register at stores both large and small, enabling you to ask for both the Pottery Barn bedspread and the dishes from your local potter—all in the same place! Sites like Zola and Simple Registry also provide platforms to store all of your gifts on one site. Score!

8. Invest in experiences

The old adage says money can’t buy happiness—but experiences can! Ask your attendees to purchase you cooking lessons, snowboarding passes, bike rentals, or gift cards for your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture.)

9. Gift card registry

Say “so long!” to homemade potholders! For the couple that has everything, gift cards are always a great option. Register for a variety of gift cards from all of your favorite stores and restaurants at Card Avenue.

Any other tried and true registry options that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

You may also like…

04262016_WeddingApps_AlsoLike (1) 04222016AlsoLike (1) 05022016AlsoLike (1)

Categories
Bridal Gowns In Discount

Why You’ll Love Boho Bridesmaid Dresses

I don’t know about you, but I am a huge fan of rustic weddings. Ceremony and reception in a repurposed barn? I’m there. Mason jars, twinkle lights, and an adorable outdoor reception in a field? Yes please. I especially love being in the bridal party for these types of weddings, because wearing the unique and boho bridesmaid dresses is so fun! Playing with textures, different fabrics, styles, and colors are all fair game when you choose to go boho, which is perfect for those free-spirited personalities. I could write novels about the massively trendy bohemian weddings, but for now I’ll limit things to just the bridesmaid dresses. Read on for general styles to look for, what exactly bohemian means, and so much more.

Why You’ll Love Boho Bridesmaid Dresses

bohemian bridesmaid dresses

Brovado Photography

For some, the word boho means something specific; but for others, the word and all it entails might leave them scratching their heads. What exactly, then, is a bohemian bridesmaid dress? Flowing fabrics, layers, draping, sheer and lace textiles, unique patterns, and unexpected silhouettes and necklines are all common elements and good starting points if you’re deciding whether a dress is bohemian or not.

Boho chic bridesmaid dresses have an effortless, airy, and unique quality to them, regardless of the specific color and fabric type. Does this sound vague? Well, it intentionally is so, because it varies between different people. Embrace the lack of a specific definition, because this means you have even more freedom in choosing the specific bridal party look.

1. Flattering Silhouettes

In general, look for looser silhouettes, like an A-line with a blousy top, or a sheath silhouette with slight draping or even a loose layer of fabric over the bodice. Or anything in between! Lengths can range from floor length to knee length, and necklines can be anything as well – strapless, off the shoulder sleeves, cutout shoulders with blousy sleeves, halter, spaghetti straps… you get the idea, right? The options are endless.

2. Perfect for Mix and Match

One of the reasons boho wedding dresses are so popular right now is the sense of freedom that surrounds them – both on the big day and during the process of choosing them. The options are literally endless! Mix and match bridesmaid dresses are also very trendy at the moment, which goes hand in hand with the rustic style of an indie wedding.

For example, pick out a hue or a color palette and have your girls find their own dresses in those colors. What really makes the look come together is the mixed and matched style – so even if the dresses are all in the same color, have your girls wear different styles in terms of neckline, skirt length, and silhouette so that personalities are highlighted.

boho bridesmaids

Brian Bossany Photography 

3. Gorgeous Colors

Even though the whole bohemian vibe calls up images of gauzy and light-colored fabrics – I’m thinking pastels, grays and beiges, and blush – that doesn’t mean you have to stay away from vibrant or dark colors. Jewel tones can be especially striking in cooler months, and it can be fun to play with different textures of fabrics (like velvet!) to create a unique look. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

Just like you can mix a variety of different fabric types and colors when creating the bridal party look, you shouldn’t hesitate to mix bold and colorful patterns together. If you are afraid of clashing, have one or two colors that appear throughout the dresses. However, sometimes the most dissonant patterns can look great together. Don’t be afraid to try! Plus, if your girls are picking out their own dresses, allowing them patterns and a variety of different colors will save them – and you – lots of stress and headaches during shopping expeditions.

4. Tasteful Designs

In addition, boho doesn’t have to mean casual. Go for dresses with sequins and metallic beading for a glamorous and dramatic look. There are many beaded bridesmaid gowns out there that will create an elegant, chic, and almost “Great Gatsby” inspired look. Beautiful!

So, great, you probably have lots of ideas now about the style and feel of the boho look, but which designers actually sell the dresses you want? Lucky for you, the Wedding Shoppe has tons of options for the bohemian chic bridesmaid dresses you’re looking for.

Shop Bridesmaid Dresses

Let’s Shop!

Let’s start with some concrete examples, shall we? The After Six 6733 bridesmaid dress is a fantastic example of a dress that finds the balance between a classic and bohemian style. The sheath silhouette is made soft and light by the flowing chiffon and pleats, while the trendy and unique halter neckline with spaghetti straps shows off skin and style. This dress has a gorgeous lace overlay on the bodice, which adds texture and movement. Overall, dresses like this are very versatile and flattering!

After Six 6733 allure 1440

Remember when I talked about trying bold and bright patterns? Take a look (above) at the Allure 1440 bridesmaid dress for a great example! Design wise, it’s pretty simple, with chiffon fabric, strapless sweetheart neckline, and a floor length A-line skirt. It would be a great option even in a solid color, but the gorgeous floral pattern makes the dress pop and will really add something to the overall look of the bridal party! For other variations on this gown, check out the Allure 1436 bridesmaid dress or the Allure 1437 bridesmaid dress.

1436 1437

The Bari Jay 1624 bridesmaid dress is a great example of a glamorous and chic boho dress. The all-over sequins are dramatic and luxurious, while the simple sheath silhouette and bloused bodice with spaghetti straps balances the sparkle and creates an effortless and feminine gown. Dresses like this are perfect for when you want a more up-scale and dramatic look that still has those easy bohemian vibes.

1624 allure 1624

Other designers to look out for are Jim Hjelm, Watters, Dessy, and Watters; they all have excellent gowns and plenty of options so you can create that perfectly eclectic look!

How to Accessorize:

You’ve got the color palette and the different styles and silhouettes figured out, but how should you accessorize? Obviously, your girls will probably have lots of input on this, especially if they choose their own gown. However, there are some classic ways to accessorize these types of dresses that will really pull the entire thing together.

Like the dresses, you want the accessories and hair to be easy and effortless as well. Layered necklaces and unique earrings and bracelets are all fair game, though the type of jewelry obviously depends on the style of dress. A long layered necklace would look great with a more casual and flowing gown, but wouldn’t work with a more formal sequined affair. Let your girls choose their own accessories to show off even more personality!

Listen, I love a good flower crown. And what better place to wear one than at an indie wedding? Create – or buy – the same flower crowns for everyone, or have your girls wear ones made out of lush greenery while yours features more flowers. While they might not be for everyone, flower crowns are a fun, feminine, and soft accessory that is super trendy and chic! Going along with hair accessories, loose waves and braids are also a great complement to boho dresses. The main thing is to have fun with choosing accessories and hairstyles!

boho bridesmaid dresses

Brovado Weddings

Boho Shoes for Your Gals

One last accessory to go over: footwear! Traditionally, bridesmaids are forced into uncomfortable heels and have to suffer through foot pain the whole night. With more indie styles, however, your girls can wear pretty much whatever they want! Flat sandals, wedges, heels or even ankle boots can all be the perfect complement to their dress. Being able to choose unique footwear that will complete the look and will make your girls feel comfortable is yet another reason why boho bridesmaid dresses are so fantastic.

As you can see, there’s a reason why bohemian inspired weddings and bridesmaid dresses are so trendy right now: you have so much freedom and room to express creativity! Whether you go rustic or formal, finding boho bridesmaid dresses is super easy. The sky is the limit, so let your personality and style shine!

You may also like…

How-to-be-Sure-You-Found-the-Dress (1) Worst-Wedding-Planning-Mistakes The-perfect-wedding-morning-playlist

Categories
Bridal Gowns In Discount Bride Dresses Hairstyle Wedding Ideas Wedding Rings

Non-traditional Wedding Dresses For You

Non-traditional Wedding Dresses For You

During I became engaged last year, I knew what wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t want a ‘venue’ with those awful conference centre chairs covered in some white muslin and a lilac organza bow; I had no interest in creating a Pinterest mood board; there would be no baskets of flip-flops, nor overgrown bridesmaids in creepy matching dresses. Moreover, crucially, I wasn’t going near a bridal shop.

My wedding ideas have always been that they’re inescapably naff, and not something I especially aspired to. I’ve watched friends marry, with varying degrees of bridezilla rearing through. However I’d also seen them let down by the supposed ‘magical’ process they’d been willing to sign up to: if you’re over a size 12, trying on dress samples – while the sales assistant wrenches the two sides of the dress together behind you so you can try and imagine what it would look like if your hips weren’t getting in the way – is depressing.

Being directed by a bored jeweller to the small corner of their wedding ring tray featuring the meek-looking diamonds in your budget is unnecessarily patronising. Being quoted over £1,000 for a regional hairdresser to come and blow-dry your hair? That’s just offensive.

Non-traditional Wedding Dresses For You

However you know what I learnt? You don’t have to play their game. The traditional wedding market is an overpriced taste crisis. As that old sage Frank Underwood in House of Cards says, ‘If you don’t like how the table is set, turn over the table.’ I feel this is particularly applicable when discussing any occasion featuring table ornamentation.

Shopping for a non-bridal wedding dress, however, did not come without its challenges. My mother asked me several times if I was sure I didn’t want a wedding dress, before pleading that ‘it would be pale, wouldn’t it?’. Even though I fell in love with a black tulle Simone Rocha dress, I felt a nagging obligation to choose something softer.

But in a heady winter fashion season, it was tricky to find things that weren’t dark or in heavy damask materials. Plus, wearing a ready-to-wear gown runs the risk of a red-carpet gazumping before ‘your’ day. I tried on an Erdem dress that Kate Middleton was later photographed wearing. Thankfully I didn’t buy it, but it was quite chilling.

If you’re willing to spend £2,000 or upwards, there are many gorgeous choices – the current spring/summer collections from Erdem, Giambattista Valli, Alexander McQueen, Roksanda, Balenciaga and Oscar de la Renta all have exquisite gowns with a modern edge in white or cream. Net-A-Porter even has a dedicated ‘wedding’ section for designers who include bridal-appropriate dresses in their collections.

Ready-to-wear designer is much better value and better crafted than similarly priced bridal dresses, and there’s no reason why a good seamstress can’t alter it if you find you fall between sizes. And, obviously, there’s the keener financial point: you’re more likely to wear it again.

I wasn’t going to spend more than £1,500, which is, bizarrely, a wasteland price bracket with not a huge amount of options. In the end, I found an empire-line gem by Giles, covered in a pinky-chestnut mushroom print, which fanned out dramatically.
“Ready-to-wear offers brilliant alternatives and you don’t need to order months in advance or go to multiple fittings”

Non-traditional Wedding Dresses For You

I tried it on at matchesfashion.com’s lovely Marylebone private shopping townhouse (open to all). It was about six foot too long, so I had it shortened by the very good Design and Alter. My shoes were pale-pink Prada Mary Janes (which I wear now with everything); plus, my one bridal moment: a veil.

Initially my mother suggested, sweetly, that I could wear hers. She unearthed it and, somewhat ceremoniously, unfolded the strip of 1970s lace from its tissue paper. Our eyes met over the era-appropriate red-wine stains and cigarette burn-holes that punctuated the thing. It wasn’t quite the heirloom piece I’d imagined. I politely declined, and borrowed my best friend’s (pristine) Jenny Packham veil.

For her wedding last summer, PR director Susan Wylie Roberts, 32, wore a beautiful (white) woven silk-jacquard Alexander McQueen gown, purchased – with champagne – at Selfridges’ private shopping. ‘The bridal shops just didn’t offer anything that remotely appealed to me,’ she says. ‘I wanted something modern, and I couldn’t find that. But ready-to-wear offers many brilliant alternatives and you don’t need to order months in advance or go to multiple fittings.’
Susan Wylie Roberts in Alexander McQueen for her wedding to Luke
Susan Wylie Roberts in Alexander McQueen for her wedding to Luke Credit: Bradley Quinn

For second weddings these days, anything seems to go – if you want more of a cocktail dress (à la Jerry Hall), then there are plenty of great options beyond a plain shift dress. Charlie Brear, who creates a fashion-led bridal line (as well as eveningwear), explains, ‘Our client is anywhere from 25 through to mid to late 40s and, while there are no rules, our 35-plus brides are often more body confident and relaxed. Compared to our 20-something brides, they’re less influenced by convention and tend to choose the more fashion-led, directional pieces in the collection.’

Non-traditional Wedding Dresses For You

Nonetheless, a writer friend, Elizabeth Leighton, 49, gave up on ready-to-wear after not finding anything she liked, but still wanted to avoid the bridal circus. ‘At my first wedding, aged 33, I wore an Elspeth Gibson oyster-coloured sequin skirt and a cashmere top, and the ceremony was in a London register office. This time I was 47, had three children and was having an English country wedding,’ she says.
“I think that people would rather spend their money on the party”
Vanessa Spence

‘I was anxious about looking appropriate – it wasn’t even really that it was a second time, more about my age. A friend recommended Joanne Fleming, who makes gowns based on vintage designs. I tried on one that was an off-the-shoulder ’50s/Dior New Look-style with full skirt for around £800. I was still worried about the fabric.

‘At first I was going to have a pale eau de nil. But then I went to another second wedding and the bride had really gone for it – a white floor-length gown and veil. I thought, “If she can wear white, so can I.” I went for ivory and it was a great decision.’

Having something made can be a canny option. My cousin had her wedding dress made for around £1,000 by a local seamstress, following a design from a notable bridal designer. Meanwhile fashion PR, Lucy Hemelryk, 30, commissioned her dress for £2,000 after failing to find a ready-to-wear or bridal option that worked for her.

‘I don’t ordinarily wear dresses. I’m happiest in jeans. I’m very petite and quite particular so it was easier to commission someone than buy from a designer.’ She does, however, add, ‘Although it’s a little cheaper, it is a lot more stressful.’

If you google ‘seamstress’ you’ll find lots, so check for references and ask to see work or speak to previous clients about their experience before committing. Offer clear direction, and have them come with you to choose fabrics, as they will know how things hang.

Non-traditional Wedding Dresses For You

What to do if you want a wedding dress without breaking the bank or affronting reasonable levels of taste? Thankfully the high street has finally fixed its sights on giving bridal a makeover. Monsoon has stocked very pretty bridal options for a while now, and recently Asos and H&M both launched dedicated bridal collections, offering classic and trend-led pieces. Vanessa Spence, design director at Asos, says, ‘I think people would rather spend the money on the party. Our customer is really into fashion, but she just doesn’t want to spend that much.’

Also, she might want more than one option on the day – Asos’s elegant jumpsuit would make a great evening look if you wanted to de-dress (very Solange Knowles). The dresses are delivered in a posher box than usual, and come in petite and ‘curve’ sizes.

Non-traditional Wedding Dresses For You

At a slightly higher price point, Self-Portrait, the London-based brand making occasionwear current with its signature lace cut-out dresses, has also branched out into bridal. Designer Han Chong explains that, ‘I noticed that there aren’t many brands offering cool dresses that aren’t too over-the-top. We want to take the stress out of bridal shopping to the point where brides can skip bridal boutiques altogether. My friends don’t want a typical wedding and find it too stressful to go gown shopping. They want a dress that is fuss-free and versatile.’

Also worth a look is Needle and Thread, which offers chic separates as well as princess-ish long embroidered dresses from £150 to £850 on Net-A-Porter.

Other system-beating ideas: why not try second-hand? At gillianmillion.com, pre-worn dresses from all the fancy bridal names are on sale for a fraction of the price. One friend got her dress – which had been only worn for two hours at the evening reception of its original owner – for £4,000 less than its original price. She later sold it back to the site. Now that’s a shrewd bridal move.

Non-traditional Wedding Dresses For You

There are also, certainly, sample sales. Interesting fact: most of these dresses are remnants from cancelled weddings. Whether to take on that karma is something every woman must decide for herself.

Categories
Bridal Gowns In Discount

Try The Government-seized Wedding Dress

Government-seized Wedding Dress

Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” was playing at the BWI Airport Embassy Suites in Linthicum, Maryland, as a dozen women gingerly sorted by racks of wedding dresses and two U.S. Marshals looked on.

Love was in the air.

For three days in November, the Marshals partnered with the General Services Administration to host a sale featuring over 2,000 items like formalwear, accessories and designer wedding dresses. The inventory was grabbed earlier this year from a bridal store in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The owner, Ephonia Green, was convicted of stealing $5.1 million from her former employer, the nonprofit Association of American Medical Colleges.

Currently the U.S. Government, with the fire sale on bridal gowns, was attempting to recoup some of what Green stole.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that the U.S. Marshals are actually the custodians of all the property seized by the Department of Justice. Hence everything that DEA, FBI, ATF and our other agencies would seize, gets turned over to the Marshals for management,” said Jason Martinez of the U.S. Marshals Asset Forfeiture Division. “We physically were in the bridal shop, inventorying, tagging, and then bagging to remove them to take them to an off-site storage location.”

It was the second — and largest — wedding dress sale the Marshals have partnered with GSA to host.

Government-seized Wedding Dress

“We’ve sold cattle ranches before, we’ve sold nine muscle cars that went for over $2.3 million last year,” Martinez explained. “We sell pretty much everything that there is.”

GSA employee Kevin Stallings was at the first sale in Georgia, where things weren’t as collected as they were at this D.C.-area sale.

“It was reminiscent of the first 30 minutes of the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan,’” Stallings said. The scene depicts the D-Day assault on Omaha Beach during World War II. Obviously he was exaggerating. But any regular viewer of the TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress” could compare it to a sample sale episode.

Most sales occur on GSA’s website, where current and future auctions and sales are posted. At this in-person sale, shoppers weren’t allowed to try dresses on,whereas the discounts were enough to entice shoppers from neighboring states.

Government-seized Wedding Dress

“I never dreamed I would be selling wedding dresses in my government career. But never say never,” Stallings said.

Categories
Bridal Gowns In Discount Wedding Ideas

Hundreds Of Wedding & Evening Gowns Being Sold At Discounted Prices

Hundreds of wedding and evening gowns seized as part of an embezzlement investigation. Now they could be yours.Tracey Leong explains what led U.S. marshals to this white collar crime.

A local scam artist stole millions from a nonprofit she was working for. This sale will help reimburse the victim.A $5 million embezzlement investigation leads the feds to more than 2,400 designer gowns.

Ephonia Green stole from her former employer, the Association of American Medical Colleges, a D.C. based nonprofit.“She used that money to then buy the bridal store that the U.S. marshals ended up seizing,” Jason Martinez, U.S. Marshals Service.

Part of Green’s conviction, turning over her assets, including the bridal store in Prince George’s County.

“Bridal dresses are not actually our forte, but we’ll do anything that can be identified to then help restore the victims of the crime,” said Martinez.

Hundreds Of Wedding & Evening Gowns Being Sold At Discounted Prices

The feds not only helping out the victim in this crime, they’re helping out brides in our area as well.

When Tracey didn’t say yes to the dress, hundreds of brides have.

“They’re all a great price. I think it’s wonderful. They’ve got literally every style, every design, every color you could imagine,” said Joi Gaddy, shopping for wedding dress.

Hundreds Of Wedding & Evening Gowns Being Sold At Discounted Prices

Gaddy came with her mom to check out the gowns–some discounted up to 60 percent.“Definitely can use the money and spend it on something else,” said Gaddy.

“They get a dress that’s half the price they can get in the store, and now they’re saying, ‘Now we can afford the reception,’” said Karren Warrior, General Services Administration.

A perfect marriage of saving money and serving justice.

Hundreds Of Wedding & Evening Gowns Being Sold At Discounted Prices

More importantly, the feds are hoping to get more than $800,000 from this gown and accessory sale–all will go back to the victim.

Categories
Bridal Gowns In Discount

Wedding Dresses At Discount Are Sold By Government

Wedding Dresses At Discount

Rhonda Fitzgerald is getting married next fall, and a lot of the plans are still in the works.One thing she hadn’t counted on: Buying her wedding dress from the federal government.

While an Upper Marlboro woman was convicted in 2013 of embezzling more than $5 million from the nonprofit Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. Marshals Service seized her assets — including a bridal shop she owned.

That left the authorities with 2,000 gowns and other accessories, which the court ordered sold. They are selling them this week at a discount and donating the proceeds back to the nonprofit. A conference room at the hotel burst with bridal gowns, prom dresses, heels, glittery jewelry, veils and other accessories Wednesday, the first day of the sale.

Fitzgerald, 31, of Washington said she hadn’t done any previous wedding dress shopping beyond some “mild Pinteresting.” She climbed into an Uber back to D.C. on Wednesday afternoon carrying two gowns — she couldn’t decide between them — and a veil, all at a discount, for $1,100.

“It was a pretty successful stop-in,” she said, grinning.

Whichever dress she wears, Fitzgerald said, she’ll have a great story.”I can’t believe somebody would be so stupid as to open a bridal shop with stolen funds,” she said.

Wedding Dresses At Discount

Ephonia M. Green, 46, was sentenced last year to 46 months in prison.

Karen Warrior, regional director of personal property management for the federal General Services Administration, said Green’s Upper Marlboro bridal shop — Couture Miss Bridal & Formal — is only the second to be seized. Most forfeitures tend to be houses, cars, yachts and other prized possessions.

The government usually sells items via online auction, she said, but with wedding dresses, a local sale benefiting the nonprofit that had been swindled made more sense.

“We’ve had several happy brides this morning,” she said. She said the dresses were sold at discounts of 40 percent to 60 percent.

Anna Cobb, 17, stopped in Wednesday with her mother, Anita Massengale, to look for a dress to wear to her debutante ball in Bethesda in April.

Unlike Fitzgerald and Joy, Cobb and her mother have been dress-shopping for a long time. They said they’ve gone to 10 different stores, all without success.

“We’re on our way to New York if I don’t find something here,” Massengale said.

Cobb took a deep breath and said she hoped it wouldn’t come to that.

Wedding Dresses At Discount

The Takoma Academy senior’s blue prom dress, which she bought online, didn’t fit and had a 5-yard train — which she hadn’t counted on. She’s not taking any chances with the cotillion.

“I wanted to see it, touch it, try it on,” she said.

Cobb said the government’s sale was unorthodox but came “just in time.” Her debutante dress must be approved by Dec. 20.

Massengale held out a red Sherri Hill silk dress with a giant, shoulder-wide pink ribbon that flowed down the back.

“That’s too much,” her daughter said. Cobb thought they’d be back Thursday to look again.

Categories
Bridal Gowns In Discount

4 Money-saving Tips And Tricks For You

At the end of the wedding, you’ll be married to the man you love with amazing memories along the way. However let’s keep those memories just as pleasant for your friends and family. Here are 4 money-saving tips and tricks to keeping your big day from breaking your bridesmaids’ banks.

1.Dress Smart

Every bride and bridesmaid knows that one of the biggest, most unavoidable expenses is the dress. And while, of course, you don’t want your ladies to look sloppy, there are lots of ways to merge chic and cost-efficient.

Money-saving Tips And Tricks

First of all, try and keep the cost at or under $175. While I know this isn’t exactly cheap for a bridal party dress, it is extremely affordable. This price range also gives you plenty of options. At the Wedding Shoppe, you can search by price to see all of your economical options.

On-trend designers as Bill Levkoff, Bari Jay, and Kennedy Blue have a ton of budget-friendly and awesome bridal party dresses.

Also, try and keep in mind a dress they might wear again. Or better yet, let them choose their own style. Lay down a few parameters and let your ladies pick what works best for them while still fitting in with your overall concept.

Money-saving Tips And Tricks

2.Don’t be too Picky

I’ve been an attendant many times. And each and every time, it was fun. But I took something away from each experience. The most annoying times were when the bride was overly picky. She picked out what shoes she wanted us to wear, how we had to wear our hair, the color of our manicures, and even decided what type of accessories we should have on.

Every time you’re too picky, your ‘maids are pulling more cash out of their purses.

Forcing your ladies to buy certain shoes, get their hair done, and dictating their accessories, only adds to the cost of the wedding for them. Do their shoes really matter? Is how they wear their hair going to ruin your big day?

Do not insist on your ‘maids getting their hair and makeup done. If this is something you feel strongly about, then maybe gift it to them as their attendant present. Or help them by sending hair and makeup tutorials their way. If you’d like them in certain accessories, then maybe that should be their present.
I was an attendant in one wedding where the bride wanted us in shawls. Instead of asking us to pay for the shawls to match our dresses, they were our bridesmaid gift. It was simple yet thoughtful and to a bridesmaid, that matters the most!

Money-saving Tips And Tricks

3.Combo It

For my big day, I really didn’t have my heart set on a bridal shower. Sure, it sounded like fun, but I had a whopper of a bachelorette party and two engagement parties.

My best friend decided that there was no way no how I wasn’t getting my bridal shower. She planned a small gathering the same weekend as one of my engagement parties. It was a pretty no muss no fuss get-together. Just the people I love. Everyone invited to the shower was already going to be in town for the engagement party so there was no extra travel expense.

When my cousin tied the knot, she managed to combine our dress fittings with her bachelorette weekend—which I missed because I had just had my twins. But the sentiment was there. Planning your extra-curricular wedding activities on the same weekend makes life easier for your ladies while also saving them money. Plus, there’s a better chance of more people attending your events when you group them together.

Money-saving Tips And Tricks

4.Let it Go

From the attendant attire to the shoes to everything in between, remember that while it is your big day, it’s more fun when everyone is happy. Remember that showing a little thoughtfulness goes a long way. Simple bridesmaid gifts like a certificate for a blowout or manicure will help your ladies save money on your big day. And if you do want everything—the showers, the bachelorette abroad, the destination wedding, etc.—be respectful when people don’t RSVP yes to everything.

When you might be ready to break the bank for your big day, you cannot expect everyone to feel the same way. With just a little effort, you can help your ladies save some dough while celebrating you in a grand way.

Money-saving Tips And Tricks

 

Categories
Bridal Gowns In Discount

4 Tips To Help Your Bridesmaids Save Hundreds

Help Your Bridesmaids Save Hundreds

Are you prepare for wedding? Do you want to save money in your wedding? There is no denying that you ought to see my article and get tips.

 

1. Be Thoughtful

The most important thing when planning your wedding is to remember that it is YOUR wedding. Therefore yes, it’s the most important day in your life but it may not be the most important day in your bridesmaids’ lives. Let’s keep things in perspective.

Everything you ask them to do, from dress shopping to crisscrossing the country, they do because they love you and want to be there for you. Be mindful that they are giving you their time, love, money, and energy because they want to be there for you. Don’t make them regret that they agreed to be your ‘maid in the first place.

Say “thank you” whenever you can, let them know how much you appreciate their help, and never act like you expect it! These thoughtful gestures will go a long way.

Help Your Bridesmaids Save Hundreds

2. Be Upfront

As any bride knows, the second your future hubby slides that sparkly sucker onto your finger you start planning every second of every day between now and your big day. Once you have your plan in place, or even the skeleton of a plan, keep your ladies informed. The earlier they can book plane tickets, train tickets, and hotel reservations, the more money they can save.

Giving them last-minute notice that you want everyone to fly to Las Vegas for your bachelorette is going to drain their bank account and their goodwill. Once you get engaged and plans are in motion, keep all your ‘maids informed every step of the way.

Help Your Bridesmaids Save Hundreds

3. Forgo Gifts

You expect your ladies to wear a certain dress and be there for you on your big day Their love, support, and guidance throughout your engagement are the best presents they can give you. So why expect them to shell out even more for a gift?

Your ladies break open their wallet for your shower, bachelorette, travel, and more. Do you really need them to buy you a gift, write you a check, or send you something off your registry to prove their devotion as your friend?

Of course, you do not.

My BFF, who organized and threw me my bridal shower, was beyond off the hook on gifts. She had put time, energy, love, and of course, money into my wedding already. You really cannot ask for more!

If they do it anyway, hence be it. However never expect anything beyond their means.

Help Your Bridesmaids Save Hundreds

4. Be Smart

Dreaming of a faraway ceremony in a tropical locale? Then maybe you should ditch dreaming about that faraway bachelorette or super chichi bridal shower. If you expect your guests to travel near and far for your wedding and then shell out even money for a hotel, try picking local events for your other big day activities.
If your ladies do need a hotel room for your wedding, try and book a block of rooms to save them money. Set up alerts and browse travel sites to help your ‘maids find the best rates. People are more likely to make an extra effort or spend a little more, if they feel you are looking out for them.

Help Your Bridesmaids Save Hundreds

Categories
Bridal Gowns In Discount

For Brides in the Military, Free Gowns

Last-minute deployments, financial constraints and injuries suffered on duty can make it difficult for military couples to marry, much less organize and enjoy their weddings.

And then there is the extraordinary expense of marrying in many parts of the country; an unexpected deployment can keep a couple from saving money for their big day.

Candice Thumser, 31, and her fiancé, James Campbell III, 34, an Army recruiter in Houston, were struggling to pay for their wedding. Ms. Thumser, who was raised in New York, was unemployed, so the couple were living on Mr. Campbell’s salary only.

When she went online and Googled “military gown giveaways,” she found Bridal Reflections, a salon on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan that hosts giveaway events for military brides. So she flew to New York.

“I was able to get a brand-new Ines Di Santo gown that barely needed alteration,” Ms. Thumser said. “I had top-notch service even though I walked away with a lovely couture gown for free.”

Photo

With a military I.D., brides across the country can get a dress wedding dress like Ms. Thumer’s. Credit Alicia King Photography

On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, the 62 stores of the Alfred Angelo dress chain will host Operation Gown Giveaway for couples on active duty.

Leo Benoit, a Vietnam War veteran who is the chain’s vice president for retail operations, said, “As I listened to brides in our stores complaining about deployments, coordinating their kids while keeping their lives in order, and dealing with the finances necessary to have a wedding, I decided to do something about it.”

During a two-hour period on Wednesday (appointments are necessary), military brides can go to an Alfred Angelo store and select from a collection of 2014 and 2015 gowns ranging from $1,000 to $1,200.

“All a bride has to do is show us a military I.D. for herself or her fiancé, and she can walk out with a free wedding gown,” said Mr. Benoit from the company’s headquarters in Delray Beach, Fla.

Thirty unrelated retailers nationwide (Bridal Reflections is one of them) are affiliated with Brides Across America, a nonprofit organization that is hosting weeklong Veterans Day gown giveaways as long as the bride or groom serves in the military.

Heidi Janson started Brides Across America seven years ago by giving away 60 wedding gowns in her salon in Andover, Mass.; the organization thus far has given 15,000 gowns to military brides.

She said she had worried about the economic realities for military couples, especially those who were injured on active duty. The problem was brought home in 1991 when her sister found herself planning a last-minute wedding to a Marine who was deployed. Ms. Janson said, “I wanted to bring awareness to this issue and encourage military brides to enter a salon and enjoy the same experience as any other bride.”

Carla Perez and Zachary Bevins, who met in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan, had to bump up their wedding from May 2014 to December 2013 because of Mr. Bevins’s last-minute deployment as an Army network engineer. In October 2013, Ms. Perez attended a Brides Across America gown giveaway at the participating Poffie Girls salon in Gastonia, N.C.

Ms. Perez, now 23 and a former Army network administrator, said: “We had no budget for me to buy a dress at all. My mom and grandma couldn’t help us. It was so stressful.”

For Brides in the Military, Free GownsShe said she was overwhelmed by the welcoming staff and the hundreds of beautiful gowns, some with heart-shaped necks, pearls, beautiful beading and lace. “I cried with happiness when I found the right dress,” she said. “I asked myself, ‘What did we do to deserve this?’ ”

Ms. Rogers, who is also a wedding planner, went a step further for this couple. She contacted local vendors hoping they would organize the wedding.

“We wanted to give them a complimentary wedding and let them keep whatever money they had saved,” she said.

In a little over a month, Ms. Rogers, her staff at Poffie Girls, Brides Across America and various food, flower, entertainment, accessories and jewelry vendors donated their services.

New this year is Blanc Bride Salute, an event organized by the owners of La Vie En Blanc, a two-year-old bridal consignment showroom in Miami. To honor Veterans Day, one lucky military bride will get a gown and accessories valued at up to $3,000. Brides must be active military personnel or be marrying the equivalent, and can enter between Nov. 11 to 25.

“Military couples make huge sacrifices to help our country stay safe,” said Viviana Planas, who owns the shop with Jenise Castro. “We want to help make their dream day special.” The winner will be announced in December.

With such demanding jobs, it’s possible that neither the bride nor the groom has time to plan a wedding even if they have the means. Karen Bussen, a New York wedding planner, is sympathetic, so this year she is offering any veteran of a United States service branch the chance to win a free wedding planning lunch and consultation.

Ms. Bussen asked that they tweet hertheir love story using the hashtag #VeteransLove. She will pick one winner on Veterans Day, announcing the name on Twitter at 6 p.m.

“Showing our vets love and appreciation is a wonderful way to support them,” she said.

source:nytimes.com

Categories
Bridal Gowns In Discount Wedding Ideas

23 Presents for the Bride & Groom Gift Exchange

You thought you were done, didn’t you?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you have one more present to buy. Not only do you need to promise to love them for better or worse, but you’re getting them a wedding day gift.

I know what you’re thinking…Do I have to spend a lot of money?

Of course not! You just need to put a little thought and love into the bride and groom gift exchange.

To help you pick out the perfect present, I’ve come up with 23 ideas.

Amanda Marie Studio

 

Whether you want to be funny or romantic, spend a lot or a little, buy or DIY, there is something for everyone.

Groom to Bride:

Whim Photography

1. A bit of sparkle.

A bracelet, pair of earrings, ring (not her wedding band), a necklace…something special. Jewelry is never a copout, especially when you’ve put some thought into it.

If you’d like her to wear it on the big day, get some input from her mom or MOH—she may have already purchased her bridal accessories.

2. A message on the bottom of her shoes.

Steal her bridal shoes and use a Sharpie to write something sentimental. It could be a quote, lyrics, a short poem like,

“As we walk this journey from beginning to end, I’m glad to have my true love and best friend,” or anything that’ll make her smile.

Warning: If your fiancé bought Manolo Blahnik’s, Louboutin’s, or another pair of fabulous designer shoes, permanent marker may not be welcome.

Amanda Marie Studio

3. Little gifts throughout the day.

The littlest things can often make the biggest impact.

Have Starbucks delivered to her in the morning, send her flowers, have her bridesmaids randomly supply her with candy, send her sweet texts, provide her with a tequila shot before the ceremony, etc.

She’s going to be feeling nervous, stressed, tired, excited, and so many other emotions! You know her better than anyone else, right? Make sure she has what she needs to love every second of the big day.

4. Anything that says “Wifey” or “Mrs.” on it.

You’ll find jewelry, T-shirts, coffee mugs, and so much more out there. Shop from trusted artists on Etsy and make sure you order anything custom-made well in advance.

We Laugh We Love Photography

5. Hidden stitches.

Sew something thoughtful on the inside of her dress (anywhere it won’t show). Could be a heart, your wedding date, her new initials, or even a love note.

Use blue thread and you’ve also given your bride her ‘something blue!’

Bride to Groom:

Maison Meredith Photography

6. A watch.

Get him that fancy timepiece he’s always wanted! Maybe even a personalized pocket watch—dapper, no?

Attach a little note to it that says, “See you at 3:00,” or whatever time you’re saying “I do.”

7. A new “little black book.”

Want to make him blush? Have a boudoir photo shoot and compile the prints in a black book. I bet he won’t regret throwing the old one away!

8. Cozy socks.

Help him out with his “cold feet”—see what I did there?

Buy a few funky pairs and give them to the groomsmen! You’ll love the photos.

Spencer Combs Photography

9. Shiny, new cufflinks.

Every man needs one nice pair of cufflinks, and you know he’ll cherish them forever.

10. Cigars

Give him an excuse to sit back and relax before the ceremony—he’ll thank you for it.

Cassie Rosch Photography

11. Hidden stitches.

Stitch something sweet on the back of his necktie or the inside of his shirt collar.

A heart, “XO,” or a few words to remind him why you love him.

For Both:

Cassie-Rosch3 Cassie-Rosch2

12. Video messages from loved ones.

I absolutely love this DIY gift.

Come up with the list of people who mean the world to your fiancé.

Think of a few questions you can ask each of them:

-Why do you love (insert fiancé)?

-What’s the key to a happy marriage?

-What’s the greatest memory you have with (insert fiancé)?

Send these questions to everyone on your list and ask them to record their answers. They can just use their phones.

Once you’ve received all the videos, use a simple movie editor to create a compilation.

Set up a special wedding day viewing—before your fiancé starts getting ready (they’ll probably cry, after all).

13. A DIY scrapbook.

Create a scrapbook filled with memories. Notes, photos, movie stubs, plane tickets, and anything else that tells your loves story.

Fears Photo

14. A new signature scent.

Buy them a fresh bottle of perfume or cologne. The smell will always remind them of the day they married you!

15. Hand-written letters.

One of the easiest gifts that often turns out to be the best.

Save some money and simply let your fiancé know why you love them so much, can’t wait to spend the rest of your life with them, and more.

16. 52 reasons why you want to marry them.

Write a reason why you love them on every card in a full deck. Use a hole-punch and key ring to bind them all together.

Jody Savage Photography

17. Creative art.

It could be their favorite print, something that’ll fit perfectly in your new home, or even a custom-made piece. Etsy, people…you won’t regret it.

My Favorite: Are they obsessed with their pet (soon to be yours, too)? Have a portrait done! Check out local artists, like Minneapolis’ Splendid Beast.

18. Sports gear.

What about their favorite team jersey with their new last name?

19. Tickets

I love gifting experiences. Take them to a concert, sporting event, Broadway show, or maybe a surprise honeymoon?

20. Liquor + engraved glasses.

A little liquid courage never hurt anyone! Buy them their favorite booze and a few personalized glasses to go with it.

We sell personalized wine and beer glasses, growlers, flasks, and even a whiskey barrel! Shop now >>

Ali Kvidt Photography

21. Choreographed dance.

Want to go viral? Gather your groomsmen or bridesmaids and choreograph a dance.

Use music the two of you love or those 90’s hits that’ll get the whole room on their feet.

22. “Open when…” letters.

Write a collection of letters that your spouse will open at special moments throughout your marriage…

-Open when we have our first big fight.

-Open when our marriage turns 1.

-Open when we buy our first home.

-Open when we have our first child.

-Open when you miss me.

-Open when we move.

-Open when we have our second child.

-Open when our kids leave the nest.

-Open when we retire.

And any other momentous days you see in your future…

Amara Lea Photography

It’s small, but sweet. Whether you include this in your letter, art, or whatever wedding day gift you decide to give them, letting them know how many days you’ve loved them will bring a tear to their eye.

Are you ready for the bride and groom gift exchange?

source:weddingshoppeinc.com