Brenda's Wedding Blog | Fresh Ideas for Creative Weddings

wedding blog + planning guide for creative weddings | inspiration for DIY Brides

Brenda's Wedding Blog is your online resource for planning your dream elegant wedding. Helping you find the "wow" in weddings.

Posts tagged planning
Expert Wedding Tips

Today, wedding expert Sarah Creviston of George Street Photo and Video shares with us hot bridal trends & offers simple ways to cut costs on your big day.

With a shaky economy, increasing mortgage pressures, rising job cuts and skyrocketing gas and grocery costs, many couples are looking for ways to cut costs on their big day. More couples are opting for fall weddings (among other things) to save on venue prices. As Sarah of George Street Photo and Video explains, "The average wedding cost is a whopping $28,704. Everyone deserves to have the wedding of their dreams. And with the economy as it is, there are many different ways to make that happen without creating a ridiculous price tag."

Below are Sarah's Top Ten Tips for Beautiful-Brides on a Budget
1. Season - Plan your wedding for the fall or winter and save thousands. (Venues and vendors generally charge more in the popular Summer months)

2. Location - Consider having your ceremony at city hall, on the beach, in the backyard or at a park to further save on venue costs – these places also create beautiful backdrops for photos. (average cost: $1,258)

3. Day of the Week - Plan your big day for a Friday or Sunday (Saturday weddings are in more demand, therefore more costly)

4. The Dress - Buy a pre-owned wedding dress, (a hot bridal trend) or even sell your dress after the wedding - {note: see our post from earlier this week on Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses} (average cost: $1,505)

5. Photos - It is important that your special day is documented beautifully, but consider a company that offers digital negatives, giving you the freedom to print as you wish. (George Street Photo & Video is one of very few companies that does this)

6. Invites - Similarly, print your own invitations - You can buy stunning invitation sets from Target and print at home to save (average cost: $848)

7. Dry Weddings - Couples are trading in alcohol for sophisticated tea bars, cappuccino bars and juice bars. (average cost: $2,826)

8. DIY centerpieces - Some couples are using attractive appetizer trays -- from antipasto to cheese fondues -- as centerpieces in place of flowers at the reception. Also consider a multi-level, pillar candle collection interspersed with some fresh flowers – ambiance and elegance (average cost $1,272) {note: see post below for a fun save the date involving cheese fondue}

9. Music - Use an ipod instead of a typical wedding band or DJ. You'll have more control over the tunes and save a ton. (average cost: $953)

10. Guest List - Simply keep your invite list smaller to reduce overall costs – stick strictly to family and close friends. (average number of guests: 169)

Thank you Sarah for putting this article together and thank you Gina for sending us this valuable information.

above image courtesy of George Street Photo and Video

PS - our weekly tips from will be returning next Friday.

Who tackles which wedding chore?

Weekly Wedding Tip
brought to you by

"Divide and conquer: Whenever possible, divvy up the wedding chores according to your interests and expertise. If your fiance is a gourmet cook, let him take over picking the caterer. If you're a crack negotiator, you take charge of vendor contracts."

For my own wedding nearly 6 years ago, my husband planned and booked our honeymoon. I knew where we were going and he would show me places where we could stay, but he did all the calling and making of reservations. For the wedding itself - I dealt with the florist and for the other vendors, we were both involved.

How is your wedding chore list being tackled?

Above Image Credit:
Karen's flickr gallery from French Kiss Pastries in the Philippines

How to Make The Best Wedding Memories

By Stacey Wolf, author of Never Throw Rice at a Pisces

Over the weekend, Stacey was so kind to put together the following ideas for our readers on making the best wedding memories for each astrological sign. (her book Never Throw Rice at a Pisces was reviewed in yesterday's blog entry)
Aries: Do something wild and fun—like play on some swings with the flower girls or jump in a lake (in your dress, of course) — and make sure your photographer is around to capture it.
Taurus: Have one of the guests take pictures of all the food courses. Make sure you try all the offerings down to the cake and what ever you do—don’t skip the meal!
Gemini: Make a warm and witty speech of your own. Dance with everyone you know and put it all on the videotape.
Cancer: Wrap a rose with a note telling your sweetheart, mom, dad, and best friends, how special they are. Have them delivered the morning of.
Leo: Take dance lessons so your first dance looks as graceful and romantic as if you were Fred Estaire and Ginger Rodgers.
Virgo: Plan an elaborate DIY craft—like making the favors and gift-wrap yourself—so that your guests delight in your talents and perfectionism (for the rest of your life!)
Libra: Hire a top-of-the-line photographer and leave plenty of time before and after the ceremony to take pictures. If your photos aren’t the most beautiful that you have ever seen, you will be extremely disappointed.
Scorpio: Plan a few romantic minutes alone with your groom after the ceremony so that you can sip champagne and remember what is truly important— your love for each other.
Sagittarius: Take your guests on a big adventure. Plan an usual spiritual ceremony, have foods from around the world, hire some exotic entertainment—such as a steel band or belly dancers, or even take a dinner cruise instead of booking a reception hall.
Capricorn: Hire an ace coordinator and go over your schedule a gazillion times so that the events of the day unfold exactly as you’d like and there are no negative surprises to ruminate over for the rest of your life.
Aquarius: Do something funny and unconventional. Sing a duet, plan some group line dances, or ride away on a Harley. Your wedding will delight your guests, people will be talking about it forever.
Pisces: Add fairy-tale elements and sentimental touches. Get photographed on a white horse, wear your best friend’s garter, carry your grandmother’s handkerchief, even wear your mom’s wedding dress—and don’t forget to have your husband carry you over the threshold.

Image Credits:
Aries: Carpe Icthus' flickr gallery, Cancer:, Virgo:, Pisces: Adam Schott flickr gallery, Aquarius: Bashed's flickr gallery

Review: Never Throw Rice at a Pisces

by Stacey Wolf
The Bride's Astrology Guide to Planning Your Wedding, Choosing Your Honeymoon, and Loving Every Second of It, No Matter What Your Sign
Stacey Wolf has written an amazing wedding planning book based on your astrological sign. In this book, Stacey gives "smart, easy-to-use, sign-specific advice" to help you plan your perfect wedding and honeymoon.

One of the best parts about this book? It doesn't tell you if you're compatible with your partners sign, but instead, you will find out how to plan for your wedding, honeymoon and life together as newlyweds using the signs that you are. This is the first wedding planner book that is guided by the stars and speaks personally to each bride.

According to Stacey Wolf, "Knowing who you are, what you want in life, and what you don't, helps tremendously. Never Throw Rice at a Pisces helps brides focus on who they are and reminds them of their unique personality and encourages them to make the choices that are right for them. Depending upon how deeply you want to dive into the stars, you can also use astrology to help you choose a wedding day that is in harmony with your emotional nature and that of your fiancé."

This book is a fun read and filled with a tremendous amount of wonderful tips, ideas and advice that are written in an easy to follow format. Also included are stories from other astrobrides. You can see more fun stories and tips from Stacey Wolf at her website -

Purchase your copy of Never Throw Rice at a Pisces here and be the bride you were born to be.

Fairytale-Worthy Weddings on any Budget

Today's post features insider tips to make your bridal dreams come true. From finding discounted dream dresses to cutting the cake costs . . . Tatiana Byron, Founder of The Wedding Salon and a longtime wedding planner herself, shares insider cost-cutting knowledge and tips for getting the biggest bang for your buck. According to Byron, "Every wedding planner and industry expert knows that you don’t have to have a million bucks to make your wedding look like it costs that much."

(please see the post after this one for details on how you can receive complimentary tickets to the NY Wedding Salon, taking place on April 21st. I have 5 tickets to give away, each ticket admits 2 into the event.)

• Sample sales, trunk sales and high-end consignment shops can save you up to 50%.
• Consider alternative fabrics: Silk organza, crinkled silk and silk faille give the look and feel of a designer gown for half the price.
• Nix the fancy bouquet: Opt for a few exotic flowers that are local and in season.

• Use less expensive filler flowers: Choose bargain flowers in season or in your color scheme. Pricier blooms can be final touches.
• Blend fruits with floral to create vibrant, unique and money saving centerpieces.
• Pick a beautiful site that doesn’t need a lot of embellishment to save tons on décor.

• Use costly ingredients sparingly, like lobster or caviar, in hors d’oeuvres which still give an expensive impression. Heavy appetizers can replace a dinner course!
• Cut out the fancy beef or fish dish; opt for a delicious chicken or vegetarian entrée.
• Lunch or brunch menus are less pricey but can still be exquisite. You can also save on bar and venue fees.

• Switch out champagne for the trendy Prosecco or a sparkling white wine.
• Limit the free liquor: Keep the open bar to beer, wine and a signature cocktail or nix the top-shelf liquors.
• Bring your own alcohol; stock up at Costco, but find out about corking fees from your venue first

• Smaller wedding parties save money on boutonnieres, bouquets and gifts.
• Off-season and Friday night weddings usually include lower rates.
• Timing is everything: A longer engagement gives you time to find the best deals and delaying your honeymoon till the off-season can save you thousands.

"Just by making a few adjustments, you can save a lot of money," Byron confirms.