Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Lollipop Items From Edible Weddings & More

I've been doing a lot of talk about candy bars lately. They're very, very popular right now. I know so many people who want to do them, but adding another task to the Wedding To Do list just seems impossible.

The concept seems simple: buy some candy, put it in a container, display it at the wedding.

But nothing is every really that simple. It's a lot of planning, purchasing, and plating. And if you don't execute it properly, it looks like a mess. And it's not worth it if you don't do it right.

If you want a candy bar, but want to save yourself the headache of putting it together, you definitely need to check out Edible Weddings and more. We were lucky enough to receive a few items for review from Edible Weddings and more, and it's impossible for me to be happier with them.

We are having a beach theme (which you've probably figured out if you've been around here a while). Jamie at Edible Weddings put together a sand bucket filled with lollipops and hard candy, all in our wedding colors. What's actually really cool is that she also added in smaller pops that go with our theme (flip flops and sea creatures).

I absolutely think it's adorable.

This would absolutely be perfect as part of a candy bar at a wedding, but I think we'll use it as a centerpiece for the kids table at the rehearsal dinner. It's very kid friendly. Not only is it cute and eye catching for the kids, but if they pull at it, I won't worry. Glass centerpieces at a kids table would make me really nervous, and I'd constantly be looking over, hoping nothing fell. With these, the only concern would be the kids picking at it before dinner (and that's not that bad).

The lollipops are actually glued into Styrofoam that's in the bucket, which is awesome. You don't have to worry about this falling apart during shipping after you order. It does make it a little tougher to pull out, which is great because you don't have to worry about a guest bumping into it and ruining the display.

The other item we were sent is something I have never, ever, in my life seen anywhere else: lollipop boutineers.

I love them. Absolutely love them. So much that I couldn't wait until Pete got home from work to show him.
Even he was impressed with them. On the pack of the lollipop, there's a pin secured by ribbon so you don't have to worry about this falling off and cracking.

We're getting small boutineers for our ring bearers for the wedding, but we are going to use these for the rehearsal.

Again, she made these in our colors, but you can have them made in the colors that best suit your wedding.

If you want a full candy bar, Edible Weddings & More is currently servicing the Washington DC area and as far south as Richmond, VA. If you're outside of that local area, it's okay. You can place an order and have it shipped to you. And there's more than what we received. There are lollipop corsages, hats, even a lollicake.

These aren't just for kids either. You can actually have lollipop bouquets for your wedding. That will definitely help save on a high floral bill.

I can't tell you how much I loved these items as soon as I opened the box. I'm sure your guests will too.

Connect with the brand:

Edible Weddings & More on Facebook || Edible Weddings & More on Twitter

BRIDAL BABBLE: What traditional wedding item would you swap with lollipops?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Closing Envelopes (without the calories)

If you're a bride-to-be, there's a good chance you're skipping dessert more often than not. After all, you do have a wedding dress to fit into and every calorie counts.

But when you're counting calories, are you counting your wedding invitations? The all-knowing they once said it is three calories per envelope, although I've actually heard it's up to seventeen. Seal 100 envelopes and you're looking at 300 calories. I'd rather have three 100 calorie packs of Oreos. So what can you do to seal your envelopes and still have cookies?

Use a sponge.

For people who are casual envelope users (sending a bill here and a birthday card there), your go to move is to lick the envelope. And that's fine for one or two. But for over a hundred envelopes, you need to employ a different method.

Sealing envelopes with a sponge is super easy, although I would advice that you test it out on one before you actually go to your wedding envelopes.

You want to use a brand new, straight out of the package sponge. That way, you won't have to worry about any sort of food or counter particles getting inside your envelopes. Dip the corner of the sponge slightly in a bowl of water and, as even-handedly as possible, wipe the tip across the envelope. Close. Repeat on a second envelope.

After two, you're gonna wanna dunk again. If you have excess water and you are able to seal a third one, it means your first envelope probably received too much water and it will get lumpy.

If you look at the envelope on the bottom of that photo, you'll see what I mean about it being lumpy. It will dry pretty smooth but not completely smooth. The steadier you can keep your hand and the drier you can keep the sponge, the less the chance of this happening is.

If you don't care and the lumps don't bother you, that's awesome. If you're a perfectionist like me and you sweat every single detail, then you are going to care. That's why I said practice first. See how much pressure you can (or can't apply) and how it will dry.

(And, in case you are wondering, yes, these are the JamPaper envelopes from my envelope post.)

BRIDAL BABBLE: Have you used this method to close your envelopes?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Wedding Stamps (and what no one tells you about wedding planning)

I finished our wedding invitations and weighed them in my imagination. I put the invitation across my hand, moved my hand up and down like a scale trying to balance and declared: "Eight ounces."

I went to the post office's website and saw that an 8oz. envelope was about $2.50 to mail. Times 110. Out of my budget.

So I used my hand as a scale again and determined they were no more than six ounces.

That's about $2.03.

I walked into Ace Hardware (which doubles as a post office), stressing over the fact that I was about to drop $220 or so on stamps. I was regretting my decision of 110lb. cardstock rather than 88lb. because it looks nicer. At this point, I didn't care about nicer. I cared about the fact that $220 in stamps was way out of my budget.

"Charge it and at least get the points," my mom told me.

I walked past the paint and nails and gardening tools to the post office. I handed my beautiful purple envelope over to the associate and took a breath. When he says $2, don't flinch, I told myself.

"They're 70 cents each," he said.

"Really?" I said, trying to make sure I heard right. Maybe he said $1.70 or $2.70, I thought. Don't get excited yet.

"They're a little over an ounce," he said. "If they were a little lighter, they'd only be a normal stamp. But since they're over, they're higher. You can't get them down a little, can you?"

"Oh gosh no," I said, catching my breath. "I thought they were going to be two dollars each, so the fact that they're only 70 cents each, that's awesome."

Finally, something had gone right.

He looked through his stamps, and I wasn't expecting much of a variety at Ace Hardware, especially since the examples on the counter were Jimi Hendrix or flowers. Flowers would work, I thought. And then the associate pulled out butterflies. I told him they were fine and he looked under those to find cakes.

"Those are perfect!" I yelled.

"You like cake," he said, then looked at them and exclaimed, "Oh! These are wedding cakes!"

We were both excited.

When people talk about weddings, they talk about the beauty of it, how every details was perfect and it was the happiest day of their life, the day they had dreamed of since they were a little girl.

What people don't talk about is the sweat and tears that it took to get to that point.

No one tells you about the stress, no one tells you how it gets (almost) impossibly difficult to make a decision because you have made so many already you just don't care anymore. No one tells you that the victories are going to be small and the battles are going to be large. No one tells you that you have no choice but to sweat the small stuff.

Yes, you have to sweat the small stuff.

When you're at the florist, you will ask for pew bows. And when you do, the florist will ask if you want tulle or organza for the bow itself. And you can't say, "I don't care" or "Surprise me." The florist will charge you for things, many things, but a surprise is not one of them. So you have to make a decision. You have to pick. And the visual difference, really, is the size of the holes in the mesh. Is it really that important? Arguably, no. But you don't have a choice to not worry about it. You have to worry about it.You have to make the decision. You are planning a wedding and you have to make a decision on every single little detail, no matter how irrelevant it feels.

And things will go wrong. You will have your heart set on organza and decide and feel good about your decision ... and then you'll come to find out that organza only comes in royal blue and you had previously selected navy. Will royal blue work? Would you prefer a pure blue? Or what about a light blue? And just like that, the decision you made and the item you crossed off your To Do list comes back.

It will happen.Trust me.

So what do you do? You get excited, overly excited, when something does go your way. When your postage is only $.70 rather than $2, you cheer, you celebrate, you get so overjoyed that even the associate at the post office in Ace Hardware gets excited when he finds stamps with wedding cakes on them.

And you savor that.

The end will justify the means. Your wedding will be beautiful, every detail will be perfect and it will be the happiest day of your life, the day you had dreamed of since you were a little girl. But the process to get there will be a rough and shaky road with more trips and falls than victories.

So when you do have a victory, enjoy it. And the next time something crashes and burns (because it will) remember that small victory you had and help it carry you through until the next one.

Update: Did you know you can actually order wedding stamps on Amazon? News to me!

BRIDAL BABBLE: What's the last small victory you had?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Envelope Sizes (and why you should care)

If you remember my invitation saga (and rescue) post, I had my invitations designed. I discussed sizing with Nicole from Glossie before she designed them and I checked online to see if they would fit in envelopes.

I printed them myself (well, I brought them to OfficeMax, but I mean the designer didn't print for me) so when I picked them up, they were sans envelopes. I did what any normal cost conscious person would do: I went to Walmart for envelopes. The insert cards were 3.5 x 5 and the closest Walmart had was a box of 3.625 x 6.5. It was the closest size, so I brought it home.

And then I tried to stuff them. The didn't fit right. There was so much extra room on both sides. I picked the correct size from JamPaper (and was sent the envelopes for this post) and, well, you can see the difference below.

White on white is a little hard to see, but the envelopes on the left are 3.625 x 5.125. That's over an inch difference on the width from the Walmart envelopes on the right. And you can just tell. When people send back those RSVP cards, they won't be swimming in the envelope. They'll actually look like they were the right side.

And that's part of the difference between making your wedding look professional and look DIY. Sure, you might not really think it matters. So what, you say, the envelope is a little big. But it doesn't take that much effort to find envelopes that fit and it looks like a professional did it. It doesn't look like you just had a spare box of envelopes lying around that you used for your cards.

I ordered White A1 Envelopes and Purple #10 Envelopes. I'm super detail oriented, so I made sure to coordinate my envelopes. I made sure that the both had the same backside (you can see they're both the rectangle back, which is called announcement, as opposed to a triangle, which is a baronial)).

Will my guests notice that? Probably not. But did I notice and did it make me feel better about my invitations? Yes.

I used the white envelopes for the RSVP cards and the purple for the main invitation. The purple invitation fit my invitation perfectly as well.

This wasn't luck. There are actually a ton of different envelope sizes. If you are just using envelopes to mail bills, you don't think about this. You know that there are long envelopes and the short ones, and you leave it at that. But once you need to know, you find out that there's so many more.

You can google and find an envelope size/type list. You can see the different types of envelopes (with images) plus sizes of envelopes -- and what size paper will fit in those. Once you have your sizes, you can place your order.

I went with JamPaper because that's the same company that sent us paper for our flip flop basket, so I knew that the colors would match. That's something you really want to be concerned with. If you are DIY'ing the majority of your wedding, you want that to be something you know and something your guests never find out. You want to give the illusion that you paid top dollar for everything. You can save money, but you don't want to look like you saved money. And part of that illusion is created by really making the details count. Make sure your envelopes fit your cards. Make sure your colors coordinate. Make sure you tie your loose ends.

Plus, the quality for the price at JamPaper is great. A 25 pack of the purple envelopes is only $5. A 25 pack of the white envelopes is only $3. The envelopes were thicker than I anticipated, which was great.

The white envelopes I picked up from Walmart were thin and slightly see-through. They looked cheap. These were thick and you weren't able to see the RSVP card through them.

The purple envelopes were such a deep regal purple. Remember: You're sending a wedding invitation, not a phone bill. You want it to stand out among the rest of the day's mail. This purple was so bold that I know it stood out in the mail. I couldn't be happier with these. And since I took so long to finally send our invitations, I knew everything had to be perfect. The envelopes from JamPaper definitely helped to make that happen.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Did you know about multiple envelope styles and sizes?

A Bride On A Budget was provided these envelopes for review. All additional items were purchased by A Bride On A Budget. All thoughts, opinions, and photos belong to ABOAB.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Groupon Launched A Wedding Shop (Save on shoes, rings, the reception, the honeymoon, and more until April 16)

People ask me all the time about how they can cut their wedding costs. It's hard, honestly, because a lot of the tricks the almighty "they" will tell you are things that many brides are just not okay with.

Have a cash bar.

Use an iPod instead of a DJ.

Make it a pot luck.

For a party, sure, I'm okay with those options. But a wedding is not just your typical, run of the mill party. It's a wedding. And yes, the act of getting married and fusing your souls together for all of eternity is the actual important act of the day, but the reception should be treated as more than just a party.

So how can you save? Believe it or not, with Groupon. Today, Groupon launched a wedding shop, which will be open until April 16.

There is everything on sale, including shoes my from new best friend David Tutera (which are tempting to me because I still need to pick up wedding shoes).

There are deals on photography and stationary, including photo book deals. Those are awesome because your parents, his parents, your grandparents ... everyone's gonna want a wedding album. So if you can pick up a discount voucher now, then order the books when the photos are in, you're prepared.

You can even save on jewelry: engagement rings, wedding rings, and more. Plus, there are deals for pampering, honeymoons, and more. That's a nice way to save without asking your guests to bring their own food.

If you click the photos above, you can be brought to each category, but to make it easier, I pulled a few links for you below:

Wedding Collection: Gifts for the Wedding Party

Wedding Collection: Wedding Dresses starting at $199.99

Wedding Collection: Wedding Gifts

Wedding Collection: Ceremony & Reception Deals

Wedding Collection: Essentials for the Groom

Wedding Collection: Honeymoon Deals

Wedding Collection: Jewelry and Engagement Rings Deals

There are other categories too, like the photography and stationery one, so just use one of those as your entry point and explore.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What do you wish you had a discount voucher for?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Canvas Print Guest Book From Canvas Kudos (Ends 4/18)

I'm not crazy about traditional guest books. For one thing, they remind me of the sign in books at funerals. Plus, you can't add too much personality to them. Your guests could draw photos where they sign their names, but that's about it.

Then, when your party is over, you take the book and leave it on a shelf to collect dust. You don't display it and enjoy it. You also can't decorate it and make it your own. If you want something to display, think about Canvas Kudos, a company we got to check out.

Canvas Kudos has a ton of canvas prints to choose from. Of course, there are wedding prints, but you can even find ones for birthdays, new babies, graduations, and more. Any occasion you can think of, you can find a print for.

I was looking at Canvas Kudos and fell in love with two of the prints: floating flutes and wedding bike.

Each of the canvas prints arrives with a permanent ink marker and hardware to hang the canvas when you're done.

The concept is simple. Display this at your party with a marker, have your guests sign. Easy. And don't worry, that "Write on me!" text isn't actually on your board. It's on the plastic wrapping that covers the board. The plastic is a great way to ensure that your board won't get dirty before your event.

I didn't want to just leave the canvas plain, though, so I rounded up a few arts and crafts supplies.

I grabbed stuff that I already had around the house: bachelorette party ribbon that was gifted to me, a paint brush, glitter, Mod Podge, and photos.

You probably have all this stuff in your craft drawer at home.

I made sure to arrange everything the way I wanted it.

And then I used Mod Podge to hold it all down. That stuff is amazing, by the way. Use it as glue on the back of your photos and ribbon, and then coat them on top as well.

Like, completely on top. But don't worry. It dries clear. It's just a way to seal down your photos and make sure they don't pop up at the corners.

Now, I would say be as careful as possible with it and try not to cover the entire board in Mod Podge, but it's okay. You can write on top of it with a permanent ink marker with ease.

I was planning on adding glitter to it but it started to get a little busy for me so I left it off. I have the second canvas that I'm going to try just glitter with. I'll let you know how it turns out.

After it's decorated, have your guests sign on the board with permanent ink markers.

What's great about technology is you can actually take photos at something like a bachelorette party, upload them from your phone to a drugstore (via an app, which is super easy), and then pick them up less than an hour later. Then, you can create your canvas and have it ready for your guests to sign (maybe on day two of the bachelorette party). If you do that, you can save room for photos of the rest of the weekend.

If you're using this for a wedding, you could either use photos of you and your groom from the past, or you can ask your guests to sign in the center and you can decorate it with wedding photos later on.

Love this idea? That's good because we are giving one lucky winner a canvas from Canvas Kudos. The print is the winner's choice. The giveaway starts now and ends at 11:59pm EST on April 18. The winner will be contacted via the email address in the Rafflecopter and will have 24 hours to respond before another winner is selected.

Good luck.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Bride On A Budget received these canvas prints for review. All additional materials were purchased by Drugstore Divas. All thoughts and opinions belong to Drugstore Divas. This is a fictional bachelorette party. None of the people photographed were in Savannah on March 7 to 9 for this party. Any similarities are pure coincidence.

BRIDAL BABBLE: If you won, which print would you choose?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Chat With David Tutera

I'm not wedding professional ... yet. My ideal dream job is to be a wedding planner, but I have to get through my own wedding first. And in order to do that, I have to make the right decisions along the way.

But this is my first trip to the rodeo, as they say. So anytime there's a chance to chat with a professional -- for free -- I seize that opportunity. Like when BRIDES magazine had Peter Callahan on their Facebook chat and I asked him about wedding catering (since he is a caterer).

David Tutera is a wedding planner, so of course, I wanted to ask him wedding planner related questions. He was a guest on the #WeddingMarket chat on Twitter, so I asked ...

I was hoping he would say something like "limo" since that's still on my "to pay for" list. I actually have gotten a ton of feedback that says the same about favors. They're cute but not really needed. You don't need to give your guests a "thank you for coming to my wedding" gift, especially since you are paying upwards of $100 for their dinner, plus the extras (like a welcome bag).

Personally, I love our wedding favors and since my mom DIY'd them, they ended up costing only $1.50 each. That's definitely budget friendly.

After I asked my question, someone replied to it and I was attached, so I got to see that question and answer too (and since it pertains to budget, it fits A Bride On A Budget's vision too).

That is so very true. Our reception is about $150 a head, so if we can even cross two couples off the list, that's a savings of $600. And we aren't haphazardly giving out "plus ones" either. At the price we're paying, we really had to trim the list ... and I think we did a great job with that.

If you don't feel like you can trim it, have an A list and a B list. Just make sure the B listers, if you find room for them, have enough time to reply. I hate when B listers receive a wedding invitation with an RSVP by date that has passed. There's nothing more tacky or that says, "You're a last minute invitee" than that.

And finally, I wanted to ask him about Pinterest. It's a topic that we had at #BridalBabble a few weeks ago that was definitely one of the chattiest chats. It was great to get ideas from the wedding professionals who attend the chat and from engaged brides. But I wanted to see what David Tutera thought because, I mean, he's David Tutera.

I couldn't agree more. Actually, I did agree on my post about Pinterest.

So a little free advice from the professional that I definitely agree with. Makes me feel like I'm on the right track.

And, just a reminder to you: If you happen to see where a professional is answering questions for free (Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, etc.), definitely jump on it. It's worth it for the advice and the peace of mind.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What do you wish you could ask a professional?
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