Fall Cleaning Can Deliver Extra Wedding Money! FYIs on Heirloom and Antique Silverware

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While fall cleaning this past weekend, I found a super-tarnished silver fork. Thinking ‘this could be valuable!’ I researched it, and found out that it’s International Silver, likely something one of my great uncles brought home from Europe after WW2. Having seen Antiques Roadshow and American Pickers, I knew that these kinds of finds can bring sizeable ‘cash in the kitchen drawer’ windfalls, and while my little fork is awaiting its visit to the silversmith for weighing and ka-ching delivery, I thought I’d help you ID any family silver sets that are in your attic, or given to you as an heirloom gift prior to your wedding from an aunt or Grandma who knows that heirloom goodies can be used in wedding details.

So let’s say you have some tarnished silver, one piece or a whole set. Your first steps will likely be to find out what that piece is, to help in your research to find out if it’s something valuable. I found this site with helpful photos to help you get the name of the design, the maker, and when that piece may have been made:

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Patterns in silverplate:

Now onto the mark on the back of the silverware. Martha Stewart offers a great tutorial on what some silverware marks mean, also helping in your research.

antique silver.org

Photo by AntiqueSilver.org

If you wish to get rid of that tarnish before taking your silver pieces to a silver expert or reputable  jewelry store that buys silver and gold (yes, even forks and knives!) here are some tips on using natural ingredients to help remove those dark marks.  Be gentle when you clean, though, since you don’t want to nick that valuable silver piece. I used baking soda and water on mine, and it did the job well.

Who knows? That found silverware in your attic, kitchen drawer or in a case handed over as a gift (not a borrow!) from a relative, could net you a pretty penny, which you could use for more dream wedding details!

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Thank you to Bridal Guide Magazine for the Rave Review of ‘The Bride’s Guide to Freebies!’

bride's guide to freebies
Thank you to Diane Forden, editor in chief of Bridal Guide Magazine, for this sensational review of my book The Bride’s Guide to Freebies.
  “This is the definitive guide for couples looking to slash their wedding budgets without sacrificing style. Sharon Naylor spells out just what “freebies” are accessible and practical and what you shouldn’t expect to get for free (and why). In today’s economy, this is a must-read for brides and grooms who not only want to have a fantastic wedding but also start their married life debt free.”
Diane Forden
Editor in Chief
Bridal Guide magazine

Freebie! Bridal Shower Game Makeover: Wedding Day Predictions

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‘People will always remember how you made them feel.’ – Maya Angelou

The great Dr. Maya Angelou wasn’t talking about bridal shower games, but her wisdom rings true for bridal shower games that make people feel out-of-the-loop, like they have a great big spotlight on them for being the one person who doesn’t know where the bride and groom met, or what kind of ice cream the bride loves best.

Not every guest at the bridal shower knows her like a best friend would – think future sister-in-law from across the country, or great aunts who know the bride’s mother best of all. So a bridal shower game that hinges on knowing the bride best could very well make some guests hate bridal shower games even more than they already do. Especially if their scorecards or answers are read out loud.

(Is there anything worse than a roomful of people egging you on to read your wrong answers out loud, or booing if you don’t want to? Ugh!)

So to avoid any discomfort for your bridal shower guests, it might be best to offer a game that has no wrong answers, and doesn’t require knowing the bride’s dating history.

Like predictions about the wedding. Now, closest friends will know about her venue, and maybe even her wedding gown designer, but overall, guests can let their imaginations soar, and write down their predictions about the wedding plans that can be read aloud on a volunteer basis, with the rest tucked away for the bride to read later.

And this game works well at a co-ed bridal shower, too. Everyone gets to use their humor, coming up with silly or out-there predictions, and of course super-sweet predictions like ‘…and this will be the best wedding ever!’

Here is your bridal shower game makeover:

Wedding Day Predictions:

What time will the bride wake up on the morning of the wedding?

What time will the groom wake up on the morning of the wedding?

Who will the bride text first on the morning of the wedding?

What will that text say?

Who will the groom text first on the morning of the wedding?

What will that text say?

Which bridesmaid will be the first to arrive at the bride’s house?

Which bridesmaid will be the first dressed?

The bride’s gown – sexy or elegant?

What silly photo pose will the photographer ask the bride and her bridesmaids to do during their pre-wedding photo shoot?

What color will the bride’s manicure be?

Will the groom be able to tie his own bowtie, or will he need help from someone else?

Will there be a crying baby at the ceremony?

Which kinds of musicians will play at the ceremony?

The first kiss: proper or passionate? (A more proper way to say ‘tongue or no tongue.’)

What will guests shower the bride and groom with after the ceremony is done?

What will be the couple’s first dance song?

Name a dish that will be on the cocktail party menu.

What will the signature drink be? And what’s the story behind it?

What will the wedding cake flavor(s) be?

Name one song that’s on the couple’s Do Not Play list for their deejay or band?

What’s the song that gets everyone on the dance floor?

Who’s going to be the first to be cut off at the bar for having had too much to drink/getting sloppy?

Which guests can you see hooking up at the wedding? And dating afterward?

Name the couple’s wedding hahtag:

 

Use some, use all, or scrap these and make up some of your own, remembering to keep it proper for mixed company. Parents are likely to play, so you don’t want to predict anything improper.

Have fun! Print up card on pretty paper, use decorative hole punches, and skip the glitter!

Get more bridal shower game ideas from my Kindle book The Ultimate Bridal Shower Idea Book.

The Bride’s Guide to Freebies – Fabulous Big-Money Sweeptakes at Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart

bride's guide to freebies

In my book The Bride’s Guide to Freebies, I’ve shared a ton of my top freebie-finding secrets for weddings, helping you avoid Mistake Freebies and lock into the ones that really add to your wedding day (and boost your wedding budget further!)

When this book first came out, we offered a wedding freebies newsletter, which grew too big too quickly for us to maintain well (and there weren’t always great freebies out there!) So we moved our wedding freebies info to my blog to make it easier for everyone to cash in!

In my book, I recommended the Better Homes and Gardens sweepstakes, which often included bigtime cash prizes, and this has gotten even better for you lately, since they switched their online sweepstakes entries into UNLIMITED entry for most of their big-money prizes. We’re talking $50,000 (which could pay for your whole wedding,) $25,000 (which, again, could pay for your whole wedding,) $20,000 (there’s the wedding gown of your dreams!) and more. (You’ll need to register with BHG, of course, and each entry requires you to click on a super-short video to make sure you’re not a bot. With these and any other online sweepstakes, always read the rules and fine print before you click!)

So, check it out, including the Martha Stewart sweepstakes and other sister magazines’ sweepstakes. We wish you good luck with your entries (and much fun with your winnings!)

The Mother of the Bride Book, 2nd Edition is Available Now! And 2 copies are up for Giveaways!

Mother of the Bride Updated cover

I am SO excited! The 2nd edition of my Mother of the Bride Book is available now! And I’m giving away TWO copies on 12/9 for #WeddingWednesday, so post a comment here or use #weddingmoms on Wednesday to be entered for our random, computer-choice giveaway!

It’s been such a long time since my publisher and I began work to update my book, which has long been one of my bestsellers, but badly needed a refreshing. And now, here it is, all shiny and new, and featuring some of my favorite wedding experts’ top tips for the mother of the bride (and step-mother of the bride!)

I’ve added some new features, such as the top trends in what the mothers are working on for the wedding plans, how they’re bringing so much more valuable stuff to the table than moms of decades ago, my favorite apps, and celebrity fashion designer tips for the moms’ wedding day dresses.

Order your Kindle copy here, and if you’d like a paperback version, Barnes and Noble has it here. (Amazon is fixing the link for the paperback right now!)

And if you’re a wedding pro who wants multiple copies or wants to sell the book in your shop, just contact me via Twitter @sharonnaylorwed, and my sales team at Random House will set you up!

Want a signed copy of the paperback for your mom? I’ll soon be able to sign and send your copy to you!

Thank you so much for taking a look at my book’s ‘makeover,’ and for all your great reviews and support of my books over the past *21* years! I’m entirely grateful to you!

Fab Find! Pottery Barn’s Easter Bunny Tableware

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Yes, you can add holiday items to your bridal registry! Wedding guests always want to get you fun, fabulous bridal shower and wedding gifts you’re definitely going to use, and it’s so fun for guests to know you’ll think of them every time you DO use their gifts — especially for a holiday celebration!

During an excursion to the Short Hills Mall, my husband and I stopped in at Pottery Barn, and we impulse-bought a set of Pasture Bunny dishes that are so adorable, we changed our Easter brunch plans from a lavish hotel brunch to a party at our house…just so we could use our bunny plates!

When you add holiday items to your wedding registry, you add a dose of fun to your gift selection, and you get all of those magnificent holiday décor and serveware items to enjoy forever.

Here are some more of my faves from Pottery Barn’s bunny collection, on sale right now for 20% off — which makes them even better [sale is active now; check to make sure sale prices are still available when you shop!]

Pasture Bunny Dishes: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/pasture-bunny-plate/?pkey=cgifts-easter&

pottery bunny

Twig Charger: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/twig-charger-sp15/?cm_src=AutoRel

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Pasture Bunny Napkins: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/pasture-bunny-napkin/?cm_src=AutoRel

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Pasture Bunny Serve Bowl: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/sculpted-bunny-serve-bowl/?pkey=cgifts-easter&

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Bunny Cupcake Stand: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/bunny-stoneware-cake-cupcake-stand/?pkey=cgifts-easter&

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The Bride’s Guide to Freebies Newsletter has a new home here!

bride's guide to freebies

Welcome, Bride’s Guide to Freebies newsletter subscribers. I’ve moved the newsletter here permanently (the old emails won’t be coming anymore,) since we had some tech issues.

I’ll be posting new freebies here on my blog to help your wedding budget, so join me here and get ready to save a lot. Some of my newsletter subscribers wrote in to rave about their free wedding cakes, free cocktail party stations, and tons of free printables and craft supplies. One even won a free honeymoon. I’m quite proud of my book, and hope you’ll post a review if you haven’t already (many thanks to those of you who did!) And I’m proud to play a little part in your dream wedding day coming true on a budget.

 

I haven’t seen any excellent freebies in a while, with all of the stores and blogs offering Black Friday discounts lately. Everyone’s kinda shopping-fatigued. But here are a few from my own stash, plus some others I found for you:

Free excerpt of my book ‘Your Wedding Your Way:” https://sharonnaylorweddingbooks.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/wedding-planning-first-step-your-free-excerpt-of-your-wedding-your-way/

Free checklist for bridesmaids: https://sharonnaylorweddingbooks.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/free-checklist-for-bridesmaids-for-perfect-wedding-timing/

Shutterfly free shipping on $49 orders, and you can get a LOT for that with their current 50% off offers: http://www.shutterfly.com/special-offers

Follow the Frugal Girls and check out their Freebies often. Right now they have a free online cake pop class with Wilton, after signing up for a Craftsy account (always watch out for those ‘but first you have to sign up for… situations, which can be annoying, but still…) http://thefrugalgirls.com/category/freebies

Free Victoria’s Secret Reward Code (limited supply, and I’m not sure about rules, but take a look) http://www.swaggrabber.com/freebies-all/free-victoria-secret-reward-code-worth-up-to-500

 

Follow me here to get some excellent freebies to save money on your wedding, as well as on your other wedding celebrations like bridal showers, plus gifts and more!