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Brides Feeling the Economic Crunch

Posted on January 21st, 2009 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Attire, Wedding Planning 2 Comments

According to the annual “What’s on Brides’ Minds” survey, conducted by Infosurv, Inc. for David’s Bridal, 75% of brides-to-be admit that they will have to make adjustments to their wedding budget as a result of the economic climate. About one quarter plan to cut their budget in half and one in ten said their budget had dropped more than 75%. Over half (53%) of respondents do not plan to spend more than $25,000 on their big day, while a little over one third (34%) said they plan to spend $10,000 or less. As a sign of the times, aside from their wedding, paying off debts (77%) was noted as couples’ top economic priority.

For brides-to-be getting ready to take the plunge in 2009, David’s Bridal has valuable tips to help them personalize and plan their wedding day without breaking the bank:

Engage in Chiconomics: Be a Smart Shopper
In these challenging economic times, brides should create a spending plan to identify where they want to splurge and where they feel they can spend more cautiously. The survey revealed that the first area that brides-to-be would be willing to adjust is the number of guests (45%), followed by the wedding cuisine (45%). When asked what items they refuse to compromise on, the top responses were wedding bands (45%) and, not surprisingly, their wedding dress (37%).

While the perfect wedding dress may be where future brides are willing to put their money, if there is less of it, spending wisely is key. Fifty-five percent of brides surveyed said they plan to spend no more than $600 on the bridal gown of their dreams. To stay within budget, it’s a good idea to shop at a bridal store that offers wedding attire and accessories for the bride and entire bridal party to save both time and money. Brides-to-be should also look for bridal stores that offer discounts on additional products and services, including financing options, layaway programs or proprietary credit cards that have same as cash terms.

Consider Going Green: Eco-Friendly Weddings Can Be Wallet-Friendly, Too
This year’s survey revealed that many future brides have a “green” side and are concerned with preserving the environment. While 45% of those surveyed said they are making an effort to be environmentally conscious, many do not realize that eco-friendly practices are also great ways to save cash. Brides can plan an earth-friendly wedding and help keep costs down for friends and family by selecting bridesmaid dresses that can actually be worn again (re-use is a cornerstone of going green) –whether for another function or with ballerina flats and a cardigan for a date night– or encourage their bridesmaids to choose a flattering dress in the wedding color scheme. Almost two-thirds of respondents (59%) said they were planning on one of these options, to ensure that bridesmaids are happy with –and reuse– their dresses. For wedding invitations, if a bride-to-be wants a traditional style to mail, she may want to look for green options, including those made of 100% recycled paper or natural cotton fibers filled with wildflower seeds.

Don’t Compromise Personal Style for Budget: It’s All About You
Buying a wedding dress is a big decision, and with limited funds brides-to-be need to make the smartest choice. The key is to find a gown that fits the budget and the bride’s style preference. Brides should look for a bridal retailer that offers gowns that are fashion-forward and affordable because they can have both. Beyond the dress, it’s important for brides to create their own unique style for their big day, which is easy with the right bridal accessories. From colorful sashes to distinctive crystal brooches and delicate veils, brides have an array of options from which to choose when tailoring their look to complement their personal style. A beautiful piece of family jewelry can also be passed down through the generations as a meaningful heirloom.

Buyer Beware: Look for a Partner You Can Trust
With the declining economy, an added concern has recently surfaced among the newly engaged – trusting that a bridal shop and designer they choose will be able to deliver. Nearly half of brides surveyed (46%) are concerned that their bridal boutique may go out of business. In light of this, brides should choose a reputable partner that has a solid record. When smaller bridal shops close their doors due to the economy, they often leave brides stranded without their deposit or gown – a significant blow to a wedding budget. To further ease concerns, brides may want to choose a bridal store that allows you to try on a dress in their size and take it home the same day.

When it comes to selecting “The One,” while friends and family tend to most frequently dish wedding advice, brides should not forget to take advantage of the resources at the store where they purchase their gown. Bridal consultants are a great source of information, providing knowledgeable insight into the quality, fit and design of all gowns. They are also most familiar with the inventory and may suggest a gown that a bride may not have considered.

Explore the Internet: Surf, Shop & Share Online
The Internet can serve as a very useful tool for wedding planning, so couples should compare costs and look for sales in this tough economy. There are several online bridal retailers that offer valuable services to help brides create a seamless wedding day, so couples should do their homework ahead of time. The web also makes it a cinch to get the opinions of loved ones. Surprisingly, only 23% of brides-to-be reported using social networking sites to poll their friends and family about wedding day elements, but as expected, sites like MySpace and Facebook were the most popular.

David’s Bridal: The Ultimate Wedding Resource
David’s Bridal, the brand that nearly a third of the nation’s brides trust to dress their weddings, is a smart choice is today’s challenging economic times. With a wide selection of elegant bridal gowns ranging in price from $299 to $1,200 –including designer gowns from Oleg Cassini and Galina Signature– David’s offers the utmost in style, fit and craftsmanship at an amazing value. For bridal parties, with 95 color schemes and countless figure-flattering styles to choose from, David’s offers an array of affordable options that brides will love and bridesmaids will love wearing. They also offer budget-friendly, coordinating accessories, including dyeable shoes, handbags, headpieces, jewelry and wedding invitations, allowing brides to design their entire wedding day theme in one stop. As the icing on the cake, DavidsBridal.com offers more than 4,000 exclusive wedding-related products and services, as well as the beautiful, yet affordable db Online bridal gown collection (starting at $99, sizes 2-26W).

Not only does David’s offer an unparalleled selection of bridal attire, accessories, gifts, favors and resources –both in store and online– but they are renowned for providing tremendous value and dependable service to brides-to-be across the country. With more than fifty years of experience and 300 locations nationwide, David’s Bridal is a resource brides can trust, which during these times, is certainly an important consideration.

Savor the Moment: A Wedding is a Once in a Lifetime Occasion
While planning a wedding in today’s economy can be challenging, a little research and smart shopping goes a long way. Brides should try not to get too caught up in the planning process and remember that a wedding is a joyous occasion to celebrate. When it comes down to it, no matter what the budget, once a bride has met her match, she’s already rich in love!

Here at Truly Wedding, we give you one more tip – pick economical yet beautiful choices on your wedding favors. Truly Wedding Favors offers an amazing collection of high quality wedding favors with many below $2.00 each and some under a dollar. Be smart with your choices but don’t sacrifice quality.

Photo credit: David’s Bridal

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Dessert Only Reception

Posted on November 9th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Food, Wedding Planning 1 Comment

With the rising costs of planning a wedding, couples are looking for ways to save money. Dessert Only ReceptionSince the catering bill is oftentimes a big chunk of your wedding budget, you should consider have a dessert and drinks only reception.

This idea is perfect if you are having an evening wedding. Instead of a buffet or sit-down plated dinner, serve an assortment of delicious desserts, coffee, dessert wine and/or a signature cocktail.

Set up the reception with comfy couches with dim lighting rather than your traditional reception tables. This relaxed, lounge-like atmosphere will allow your guests to mingle and be more comfortable.

Just make sure that it’s clear on the invitation that your guests aren’t getting dinner. You don’t want hundreds of disgruntled, hungry people on your hands.

Photo credit: istockphoto

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Should You Hire a Wedding Planner?

Posted on November 9th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Planning No Comments

Hiring a wedding coordinator can take a lot of stress out of planning your wedding day. However, many brides are unwilling to relinquish some control of their wedding plans.

Marcy Blum, wedding planner and auther of Wedding Planning for Dummies, talks about what to expect from a wedding planner and how to decide if one is right for you.

For more information, read our articles Do You Need A Wedding Planner and Tips for Hiring a Wedding Coordinator.

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Win a Copy of “Destination Weddings for Dummies”

Posted on November 2nd, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Planning 8 Comments

Destination Weddings for DummiesAre you planning a destination wedding? You can win a copy of Destination Wedddings For Dummies by Susan Breslow Sardone right here.

This book is “your all-in-one guide to getting married out of town, giving you savvy tips on everything from making travel arrangements to hiring vendors to dressing the wedding party.”

How do you win? Just leave a comment here on this post about where you are planning to have your wedding. Enter only once and this Friday, November 7th at 9:00pm central time, we will draw a winner from all the entries to receive the book.

Good luck!

Photo credit: Amazon

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Wedding Trends: What’s In & What’s Out

Posted on March 31st, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Cakes, Wedding Planning, Wedding Trends 4 Comments

New York based wedding planner and caterer Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs was kind enough to talk to us about wedding trends for 2008.

Elegant Affairs Caterers is a 5-Star, full-service catering company that has been catering to social and corporate clientele of Manhattan, Long Island and the Hamptons for the last decade. Andrea has extensive experience planning all types of weddings from the simple affairs to the most lavish galas.

Here are some tips and trends from Andrea and Elegant Affairs Caterers:

What’s In & What’s Out

  • Round tables for reception seating is out and a combination of square, rectangle, and round tables are in.
  • Symmetrical floral centerpieces are out and varying size and shape floral centerpieces are in (different vases and vessels used at each reception table).
  • All white weddings are out. Chocolate brown accented with either pale blue, celadon, or pale orange is the hot color combination for 2008.
  • Fried food and heavy entrees are out. Lighter fare, organic cuisine, and vegetarian cuisine are definitely in.

Gift Trends

  • Many brides are requesting that a donation be given to their charity of choice in lieu of wedding gift.
  • For bridesmaids gifts, it’s a great gesture to take the girls for a spa treatment, or manicures and pedicures followed by a ladies lunch catered at the spa or at a local restaurant.
  • Using an online photo shop, create personalized photo books of memories throughout the years. Try shutterfly.com to get some great ideas.

Wedding Cake Trends

  • Round cakes are out and square cakes are in.
  • The days of the white cake are over. Brides are opting for cakes with bold colors and abstract shapes.

To learn more about Andrea Correale and Elegant Affairs, please visit elegantaffairscaterers.com.

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Planning a Honeymoon on a Budget

Posted on March 21st, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Honeymoons, Wedding Planning 1 Comment

With the cost of an average wedding in the United States growing to nearly $30K, setting aside a large amount of money for a honeymoon may seem impossible. However with some planning and know-how, you plan a wonderful honeymoon without going into serious debt. Here are some basic tips for planning a honeymoon on a budget.

Couple at Beach

Use a Honeymoon Registry
Just like you register for wedding gifts, you can also register for your honeymoon. With a honeymoon registry, your family and friends can contribute to the costs of your honeymoon instead of buying wedding gifts. This is especially good for couples who don’t need a lot of items for their household. After all, an extra day in Hawaii is probably a better gift than another toaster. You register for hotel accommodations, airfare, food and beverages, activities, merchandise and more. Some people think honeymoon registries are tacky, but you should be no more ashamed of having a honeymoon registry than you are a wedding gift registry.

Travel in the Off-Season
Depending on your honeymoon destination, some times of year are cheaper to travel than others. For example, in Europe you will find cheap flights and hotel rates from December through March. In the South America, Central America and some parts of Mexico, there are “green” or rainy seasons when you can find hotels rates as much as 60% off the peak prices. You should also avoid traveling on weekends. Arrive Sunday through Thursday for the lowest rates. Additionally, don’t travel near holidays.

Honeymoon Domestically
Honeymoon destinations within the continental United States can be just as romantic as those abroad – but much cheaper. If you are honeymooning on a budget, look for destinations within the country. Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, California and Nevada are all popular honeymoon locations. Consider off the beaten path destinations, like a ranch in Montana or a cabin in the Colorado mountains. Call a travel agency in your destination city. They will be able to give you information, insight and maybe even discounts that you cannot find elsewhere.

Book a Package Deal
To find cheap tickets look for travel package that combines both airfare and room accommodations at one discounted price. At LowFares.com, you can search, compare and buy from leading travel sites all from one website. It’s really one of the best ways to find the lowest rates available.

Find Promotional Codes
Search online for promo codes. Car rental companies, hotels and airlines all offer special promotional codes and discounts. If you are a member of AAA, carry a Diners Club card, or belong to any civic or military organizations, you may be able to get discounts between 10-30% off. Some discounts are rarely advertised, so it doesn’t hurt to ask for them. You can also oftentimes frin special honeymoon packages that may include a free meal, gift basket, champagne or spa treatments.

Eat Cheap
If you decide to splurge for a luxury hotel, cut cost in other areas. One way to do that is by eating cheap. Instead of dining at hotel restaurants and pricey eateries, choose to eat where the locals eat. Have lunch at a diner or dinner at a local pizzeria or cafe. If you are staying at a hotel with a kitchenette, buy groceries and stay in and cook. Trying to save money on favors? Check out Truly’s cheap wedding favors

Photo credit: Flickr

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Top Wedding Trends for 2008

Posted on February 21st, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Planning, Wedding Trends 1 Comment

Vanessa Wakeman, CEO of Indulgence Weddings and Events in NYC was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to provide us with her Top Wedding Trends for 2008.

Green Wedding Arrangement1. Eco-friendly weddings. Hollywood put everyone on notice by making large scale events like the Emmys and Oscars green. Now couples are looking to go green with their weddings.

2. Ice. Ice continues to stay on the trend list because it can be used in so many ways. Don’t think intertwined hearts or kissing swans, envision lush centerpieces housed in vases made of ice, dramatic martini luges or a chandelier with crystal embellishments all made of ice.

3. Wardrobe changes. The bride will show everyone it’s her party and she can change if she wants to. Expect this year’s bride to have two to three different looks throughout the wedding day.

4. Weddings become theatrical. While cookie cutter weddings are a rarity these days, couples will stop at nothing to create a wedding that is completely different from anything else. From dramatic entrances to jaw dropping decor and food, weddings will truly be productions with producers, prop masters and stage hands in the background to make it happen.

5. Budgets will sky rocket. It doesn’t matter what the feds say weddings are recession proof — whether ultra-conservative or over the top — couples will stop at nothing to show the world the true meaning behind what’s love got to do with it!

Vanessa is the Host of The Wedding Coach cable television program; Editor-In-Chief of The Wedding Coach Playbook; Creative Director for Wedding Fantasies, the annual bridal event for affluent brides and a featured Columnist in the society magazine The WAG. Under The Wedding Coach brand, Vanessa has authored “82 Fashion & Beauty Tips for the Full-Figured Bride”, “101 Money Saving Tips for the Bride & Groom” and “The Groom’s Pocket Guide to Wedding Planning” and has served as a special guest speaker and commentator at bridal events for Fortunoff, Bloomingdales and Westchester Weddings magazine.

Vanessa is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Foundation for Living and Loving Life, a non-profit organization with the mission of assisting female cancer Survivors with their wedding planning dreams.

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Skin Care Tips for Preparing for Your Wedding

Posted on January 18th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Makeup, Wedding Planning 1 Comment

Beautiful BrideHere at Truly, we are lucky enough to be able to consult with wedding and beauty experts to provide you with fabulous advice, tips and trends for planning for your wedding.

Victoria Nash, President of the newly launched skincare line Esentè was kind enough to offer tips on how to prepare your skin for the “Big Day.”

The trends emerging seems to be that pretty, soft, slightly glamorous and fresh look. A little more makeup than normal so you don’t get washed out in the photos, but always “pretty and soft”. The hair is one place that women want to change it up a bit. They seem to be more willing to experiment and do something that flatters their dress and veil.

Start thinking about your skin months in advance of your wedding. Victoria provides these prep steps to beautiful skin for brides.

This is a good time to curb your sugar,alcohol, and salt intake. Sugar can make your skin dull, wrinkled and saggy. The sugar molecules attach themselves to the collagen fibers causing them to become stiff and inflexible leading to wrinkles and facial sag. Alcohol in excess effects the blood flow to the skin and can cause a red and blotchy complexion.
Salt as we all know can make us retain water and cause puffy eyes as well as a bloated look.

Purge your sin of acne flare-ups rather than suppress them. No one wants acne to show up on your big day. It is good to use products that purge rather than suppress your acne. Try to start using the products two or three months ahead of time. Esente’ has a great acne kit that helps to do just that.

Exfoliate you skin. It’s a good idea to either do some at home exfoliation or perhaps do a few microdermabrasion treatments in the months leading up to your big day. Exfoliation will help to purge your skin of comedones (blackheads) minimize your pores ,and help to retexture your skin.

Don’t try to get that tan! Healthy skin is in. All brides look better with the beauty of their own natural skin tones. The effects of the sun and tanning beds will age you quickly. Tanning beds even more so as the rays penetrate deeper into the dermis aging our skin up to 40 times faster than if we don’t use them. Remember we want to look beautiful for our anniversaries as well as our wedding day.

For Victoria Nash, the creation of esenté Physioceuticals culminates a lifelong passion for advanced aesthetics and health. Her formal education includes Phoenix Medical and Kar-Ché Professional Career Center, where she received her license for facials and skin analysis. In addition, Victoria has received comprehensive training in Silhouet-Tone equipment for dermabrasion, cellulite treatment, and microcurrent and light therapies. To learn more about her Esentè skin care line, visit esente.com.

Photo credit: Andrew Shoshev

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Top 5 “Green” Wedding Tips

Posted on January 17th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Green Weddings, Wedding Planning 5 Comments

Sunflower With Wedding Rings

As we are all concerned for the environment, one of the biggest trends in wedding planning today is having a “green” wedding. Bridal Guide magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Diane Forden offers us these fabulous green wedding tips.

1. Save a tree, cordially
Start with your invitations. Find a stationer who offers uncoated, recycled or recyclable paper. Many stores sell beautiful papers made from cotton fibers (recovered from garment factories) or 100% recycled handmade cards embedded with flower seeds.

2. Eat, drink and be merry
Serve guests an organic feast of foods produced without chemical fertilizers, antibiotics or pesticides, and top it off with organic drinks. During cocktail hour, for example, try Square One vodka and Juniper Green gin, both fermented without additives.

3. Let your wedding bloom
Brides and their florists should choose eco-certified flowers. Organic blooms are often requested by season, such as tulips for spring weddings and sunflowers for nuptials in autumn.

4. Give a little back
Provide your guests with party favors they will enjoy and can reuse. Consider fair-trade tea, coffee or chocolates, tree seeds or saplings or re-usable totes. Natural soaps and body lotions are also a favorite.

Charitable registries are also a great way to give back. Companies like Target and JCPenney will donate a percentage of each gift purchased off the couple’s registry to a charity of their choice. Or forego gifts all together and suggest that guests contribute money directly to a good cause. Sites like the IDoFoundation.org provide great charitable wedding ideas and resources.

5. Getaway in green
Going green doesn’t need to end with the wedding day. You can be eco-conscious on your honeymoon by choosing a hotel dedicated to preserving and enhancing its environment. Green hotels, for example, use low wattage bulbs, soap dispensers instead of bars and only change towels and sheets daily if the guest so requests it.

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Say Yes to the Dress – Fitting the More Mature Bride

Posted on January 9th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Say Yes to the Dress, Wedding Attire, Wedding Planning 5 Comments

Amalia Carrara GownI was watching another one of the taped episodes of Say Yes to the Dress last night. It was the one where Claudia returns from vacation. Have you seen it?

If not, it was a great one! You should try to catch the re-runs on TLC. I’m sure they will repeat it.

Again, Maura, Joan and Elise are frustrated with Claudia’s lack of sales … and of course, Claudia doesn’t seem to care much. However, they moved her room (each bridal consultant has an assigned room where they see clients and do fittings) to be right across from the management office. Now they can keep a close eye on her and watch her fail up close and personal. :)

The bride that was the most interesting to me on this episode was Amy, who was an older bride. I don’t know how old she was because she was a very lovely looking woman – but I’d guess she was upwards of 45. It was great to see a more mature bride getting so into her wedding planning.

Amy was Claudia’s client, and she tried on three or four gowns, two of which she liked a lot but couldn’t make a decision. Her budget was $5,000 or less. One of the dresses that she really liked was $8,100! I know that they really want to sell. But when you say your price range is $5K, they really shouldn’t pressure you into trying on a $8K dress. Anyway … that wasn’t my main point.

As the show went along, Claudia and the management encouraged Amy to go have lunch and then come back to try on the dresses again. They, of course, were hoping that she’d decide and buy that same day. When Amy returned, it was pretty chaotic as another bride was trying on one of her dresses (yes, this same thing happened in another episode … shouldn’t they get more than one dress in each style?).

Well Amy didn’t “Say Yes to the Dress.” She thought Claudia and the staff were being far too pushy. She didn’t give in to the pressure and put off her decision for another day. For this, I commend her. If you are ever out shopping for your bridal gown, don’t let the staff push you around. Amy had a point … $8,000 is a lot of money and it’s her money. If she needed more time, then that’s her prerogative.

The gowns in this show were beautiful again. Kleinfeld Bridal is obviously one of the best bridal shops in the business. The gowns they sell are absolutely fabulous. As in the last show, some of my favorites were from Pnina Tornai and Amalia Carrara.

One interesting part of this episode was that they showed downstairs at the bridal salon where all the alterations are done to make the gowns absolutely perfect for each bride. Each bead, rhinestone and pleat has to be just exactly right. Though it was brief, it was a nice new aspect of the show.

This show centered around brides that were getting married this past summer on 07-07-07. It was funny that some of them had chosen the date because of superstition or luck, while others were completely oblivious to it beeing 7-7-7 when they set their date.

Another bride that interested me on this episode of Say Yes to the Dress was Tina. She and her fiance had both been married twice before. So they were planning lucky number 3. The first gown that the consultant showed her featured a lot of color in the skirt.

I was happy when Tina nixed it and went for a more traditional white gown. Just because it’s your third time doesn’t mean you can’t wear white!

All in all, it was a good show. Claudia didn’t make any sales again and the rest of the storylines are interesting!

I’ll watch a couple more taped episodes later this week and let you know what I think!

What do you think about this show? Leave your comments and let us know.

Photo: Amalia Carrara Drop Waist A-Line Gown – Kleinfeld Bridal

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