Archive for December, 2009


Remember how I said the venue and reception are the most expensive part.. well to illustrate that better, here is a quick break down of wedding costs percentages.

Remember to prioritize and spend $ on items you love the most, and be frugal on aspects you don’t care as much about.

Reception venue & food: 45%

This includes site fee, church fees, catering, tips, wedding cake & bar costs.

Photography & Videography 12%

Photography, Videography and Engagement portraits.. (one of my personal favorite categories.)

Flowers 10%

Ceremony site flowers, bridal bouquet ,wedding-party flowers and reception centerpieces. (Another one of my favs.)

Wedding Attire 10%

Dress, Veil, Jewelry, Shoes, Hair and makeup
Groom’s suit

Music 9%


This is for the ceremony (organist, harpist, bagpipes, strings, piano), cocktail hour and reception.
Stationery 5%
Save the dates, invitations, placecards, programs etc. (Another aspect near and dear to my heart:-)

Transportation 5%
Limo or car for bridal party, & newlyweds.

Extras 4%

Here can be a about a billion extras.. here are just a few..

Attendants’ gifts
Signs
Wedding gifts for each other
Favors
Welcome baskets for out-of-towners
Hotel rooms for yourselves, your attendants, others
Wedding rings
Marriage license

To see a sample budget on the knot

Use a wedding budget calculator here

Save money by using providing your own itunes, use seasonal flowers, have a signature drink instead of an open bar, skip the limo, ask for a discount if your ceremony and reception are at the same venue. Use reply postcards instead of envelopes. OK, all this budget stuff getting you down, I’ll post something happy tomorrow!!

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Image above by Jose Villa


The holidays are such a popular time to become engaged, we decided to do a series on engagement and the first stages of wedding planning.

It can be intimidating to look out and see a sea of decisions to be made. Don’t lose heart, this is actually supposed to be a fun time in your life. Engagements are just a little chapter, full of hope, joy and excitement. Remember to take time to enjoy and it and celebrate it.

As soon as friends and family know you’re engaged, be ready for a firestorm of questions and unsolicited advice. Everyone wants to know when, where, why etc. etc. I was amazed at all the pressure there was to make quick decisions. Enjoy telling your engagement story to others and just leave them with..” we are still deciding on details.”

Right from the start it’s good to plan to make decisions together. Set boundaries as early as possible as to the roles of friends and family, especially of each of your moms. If you know you want to control where this ship is headed, make sure you let parents (ie moms) know from the start.. “Prince Charming and I are still deciding what we want. I’ll let you know about ____ (location, time, date, etc) later.” (Thankfully we both have great moms and this wasn’t a problem.. but of-so-many weddings turn into what your mom wants and not what you & your love want.)

Here is a fine line between having enough time to plan, and having too much time in planning mode that you burn out and lose sight of the end goal, which is marriage. Engagement is one of those sweet moments in life, in which the most amazing guy asks to spend, share, give, help, & relish the rest of his life with YOU. Still kinda boggles my mind.


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We spent Christmas Day at Emma’s favorite place.. the beach! I hope you had a restful, joyful holiday! Christmas is one of the most popular times of the year to become engaged!! Any new engagements? Tomorrow I’m going to run a review of wedding planning 101, a very popular post from earlier this year. Happy Monday!

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Sorry for my lack of posts this week. Emma is getting a cold, has 4 new molars erupting and thus is very grumpy these days. Last night she woke up in the middle of night so sick she vomited 3x in 2 hours (sorry so graphic). Needless to say she and I took several showers last night and did several loads of laundry (bedding/clothes etc) Oh, the joys of celebrating the holidays will us!

Other than that we’re just fine! Hopefully the poor girl has a better Christmas Eve. Wishing you and your family a far better Christmas! Love and joy to you! b

gingerbread house by Torie Jayne

image above by Martin Cederblad
front porch via Country Living

image above by Martin Cederblad

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image above by axioo photography


I’ve been pondering more about this retro 1950′s and 1960′s craze. On my last post Jeannett commented..

“i actually read an article about that…that our generation is the generation that grew up with the 1980′s super-mom…the mom with the career and the bulky shoulder pads…so we were the latchkey kids…and whether consciously or sub consciously we didn’t like it. We realize that it’s not possible to do it all, so the pendulum is swinging back to the stay at home mom with homemade gear…rather than the boxed dinners, catalog orders, etc.”

I totally agree that social norms have changed a lot since the business/ power-mom of the 1980′s. Woman’s roles have changed. The 80′s were all about equality, pant suits, tough career woman and big hair. Today powerful woman can be leaders,and also look femine. You’re not “selling out” by wearing heels and cute vintage skirt. Some of the best female bosses I’ve worked for could be strong and courageous, but also warm, frilly and a bit motherly. Woman can be “tough”, but not have look “tough”, or be forced to enjoy all the things guys enjoy. Hopefully we’ve learned from our parents that money can’t buy happiness and you don’t earn your kids respect by your career but by having a relationship with them. We’ve swung back towards stay at home moms, where it’s now socially cool to knit, quilt and be crafty. (The Martha Stewart phenomenon.)

Today’s generation is looking for authenticity, and something “real”. In a world of facades and fake everything, handmade gifts become special and reality TV is king. On one hand we want to be oh-so sophisticated and yet to be super chic is to really go back to enjoy the simplest of pleasures, a loving home, wholesome home grown food, friends and neighbors who actually know your name, and being part of a community bigger than yourself. In a society that is more and more isolating, real relationships become very precious. When it seems everyone wants their 3 seconds of fame, we realize we’re rather be an Audry Hepburn than a Paris Hilton! So here’s to lacey dresses, vintage veils and giving handmade jam away for guests!

image above by Jose Villa


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image above by Nostalgia

Mid-century art and decor has become so chic! Our Grandmothers would laugh! How did the “modern sophisticated woman” suddenly want to become the 1950′s and ’60′s party hostess, seamstress, housewife and baker?! Along those retro lines, this shabby chic strawberry theme would be perfect for a bridal shower, birthday or summer picnic!

image above by Ken Kienow

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The oh-so pretty French Riviera with glamorous beaches, temperate Mediterranean weather and endless white villas is a dream honeymoon location. As snow falls in many parts of the US, think about escaping to this world famous sunny, French coastline.

For more French love check out:
Vintage Paris
Getaway {France}
Laudree

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The oh-so pretty French Riviera with glamorous beaches, temperate Mediterranean weather and endless white villas is a dream honeymoon location. As snow falls in many parts of the US, think about escaping to this world famous sunny, French coastline.

For more French love check out:
Vintage Paris
Getaway {France}
Laudree

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Happy Monday. I thought I’d start the week with some delicate, romantic details. Fluffy dresses, gold and a hint of blush seem to be a nod to ballerina’s and dress up. So pretty and frilly.

We are back to playing outside, I’m so thankful the rain here is gone. b

image above by Martha Stewart

image above from This is Glamorous

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Sorry for my lack of post this week. A co-worker and friend whom I’ve worked with for many years, succumbed to cancer early this morning. We morn with her husband and their three teen daughters. Her life was much too short. She was a passionate supporter of our adoption. She challenged me to excellence professionally and personally. Our last visit together just a few months ago was so hopeful, it’s hard to believe she’s gone.

Thanks for understanding… b

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