Wedding Book Giveaway! My Book “Weddings Away” for Your Destination Wedding, Girls’ Getaway and All Wedding Season Celebration Trips!

Time for a Wedding Freebie! I’m Giving Away 3 signed copies of my new book Weddings Away

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This one is JUST for U.S. locations; sorry, no international sends right now, but we’re working on other giveaways coming up!

All you have to do is post a comment here, even a smiley-face, then say hi on Twitter @sharonnaylorwed. No tagging friends needed. We’re making this easy as pie! Deadline is 9/15/18.

Here’s the Amazon write-up for my book

Now that you’ve said, “I do” to having a destination wedding, it’s time to make your fairy tale getaway celebration a reality!

Whether you’re planning an island wedding, overseas nuptials, or an intimate gathering in a beloved beach house or a charming village close to home, this invaluable guide from go-to wedding expert Sharon Naylor gives you all the information you need to make your magical day meaningful, memorable, and carefree—for you, and for your guests! You’ll discover:

*How to choose the right planner—and how to get the most out of your on-site wedding professionals

* Up-to-date wedding etiquette and planning tips from celebrity wedding planners and experts

* New ways to use social media accounts, blogs and apps for info-gathering and inspiration

* Invaluable advice for when it’s a destination wedding for out-of-town guests but not for the couple

*How to plan amazing and unforgettable destination wedding weekend outings and events

*Great ideas for getaway bachelor or bachelorette parties, as well as arranging a romantic pre-wedding escape for you to reconnect with your beloved before the big day!

* Must-have tips and to-dos for your destination wedding scouting trips

From navigating travel trends and social media to benefitting from little-known freebies, this comprehensive guide to planning your wedding from afar is brimming with information you won’t easily find anywhere else. Weddings Away has everything you need to keep your happily-ever-after stress-free and smooth sailing!

Good luck!

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Newly-Engaged? “Minute One” Ways to Have the Happiest Bridesmaids Ever

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  1. Host a party for them right at the start, so that you’re treating them and their entire bridesmaid time is not just them shelling out for you. Lunch, brunch, a dinner at your place or out at a restaurant – just a fun get-together to kick off your wedding planning season and so that they can get to know each other.
  2. Tell them what the wedding will be like. In order to decide if they can be bridesmaids, and afford any travel or lodging that will be involved, they need to know if you’re planning a destination wedding, especially.
  3. Ensure that you’ll make every effort to keep their expenses on the low side. They’ll love hearing that you’re one of Those Brides who cares about their finances and stress levels.
  4. Tell them what you DON’T want, like a bachelorette party if you’ve decided that’s not for you, nor is a girls’ getaway instead of that party. When bridesmaids can eliminate the pricy things they think might happen, they get more comfortable.
  5. Share your freebie sources, like the printables at www.weddingchicks.com and other terrific freebie-filled blogs and sites. And hand each one a copy of Bridesmaid      on a Budget.
  6. Tell them if they’ll be able to pick out their own styles of dresses, and invite them to send you links to dresses they like for themselves.

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And here’s a DON’T for you: don’t make a ton of promises right now, like paying for their dresses and hotel rooms. You might think you want to do these things for them, but if your budget explodes later, you might not be able to. And they’ll feel deceived.

Freebie! Ways to Honor Family and Friends at Your Wedding — Part 3: Heirlooms

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You’re loving your freebie tips on personalized wedding elements to honor family and friends on the big day! Here is some more from my ebook, focusing on using family heirlooms in your wedding plans:

Family Heirlooms

  1. Since wedding gown styles are now accented with a sparkling brooch – either on the bodice or in the back, you can honor your mother, grandmother, great-grandmother or an honored woman on your groom’s side by wearing her brooch as part of your ensemble.
  2. Brooches are also popular accents for bouquet handles, so perhaps that brooch, or a cameo pin, can be your bouquet accent in tribute to its owner.
  3. Wear the necklace your mom or grandmother wore on her wedding day. It might be a demure piece you wear only for the ceremony, and then you can change into a more dramatic sparkler for your reception.
  4. Bracelets may be more fitting to your gown’s style, so wear an heirloom diamond tennis bracelet, or it may be that piece that your mom wore at her wedding, either as an heirloom or a gift from your father…which actually honors him as well.
  5. A saint medallion owned by your grandmother can be pinned underneath the skirts of your dress or pinned onto your bouquet handle.
  6. Rhinestone hair clips are often found in grandmothers’ jewelry boxes, and vintage hair accents are in for today’s weddings. If you slip these into your wedding day hairstyle, you add an element of your beloved grandmother’s style to your look.
  7. Sisters can be honored too, by wearing their jewelry or hair clips for your wedding look.
  8. Have your mother’s wedding-day headpiece re-made to include a slightly altered design, perhaps more or fewer rhinestones or faux gems.
  9. You don’t have to be the one wearing the heirloom piece! Perhaps your mother can wear her mother’s jewelry, or if you have a daughter, a small rhinestone hairclip owned by her grandmother or great-grandmother is a pretty way to include honored relatives.
  10. If an heirloom piece of jewelry doesn’t work for your wedding day look, wear it to your rehearsal dinner or engagement party.
  11. Take some lace from your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress and use that as the wrap for your wedding bouquet.
  12. Birdcage veils are in now, and if your grandmother wore one at her wedding, you might wear hers for your ceremony, or just for some post-ceremony photos if you’d rather wear a different style of headpiece for your ceremony.
  13. Your groom can wear his father’s or grandfather’s pocketwatch, wristwatch or cufflinks during the wedding.
  14. Handkerchiefs were musts in wedding days of old, so bring your grandmother’s along to the wedding to capture in some of your wedding photos.
  15. Don’t forget that your future in-laws would love to be so honored, so ask if there are any costume jewelry heirloom pieces that you might be willing to work into your wedding look. It’s quite an honor!
  16. If your mother’s or sister’s ring pillow fits with your ceremony style, and is in perfect condition, you might use that as your ring pillow. You can always pin on some pretty faux flowers or ribbon to make it your ‘own.’
  17. Save a little bit of money and honor your parents by using their original cake topper for your wedding cake, or use it as the topper for your engagement party or rehearsal dinner cake if you have a different style in mind for your wedding cake’s accenting.
  18. A mom’s or grandmother’s wedding shawl or wrap, or winter stole, can be a wedding day accessory – just be sure to get at least one pro photo of you wearing it!

Find more wedding freebie ideas in my book The Bride’s Guide to Freebies.

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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.

I’m Featured on CreditCards.com With Some Top Tips for Wedding Budget Savings!

Engaged couples, zip on over to see my top wedding budget tips in this article on CreditCards.com. Yes, you CAN have seafood in your wedding menu, and yes, you CAN have gorgeous wedding flowers and décor. You just need to know the right questions to ask, and decisions to make that won’t leave you with regrets on and after your big day.

My book, 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding gets the spotlight here, and if you’re newly-engaged, you AND YOUR BRIDAL PARTY AND PARENTS will find plenty of smart ways to save on your wedding and party plans.

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So Excited to Appear in Bridal Guide with my Budget Tips for Wedding Catering, Cakes and Drinks!

What a great start to this Monday! First, I received my first copies of my newest book, (which almost spent the night out in the rain after UPS left the box outside without ringing the bell! Whew!) And now, my article “Eat, Drink, Save” is featured in the January, February ’18 issue of Bridal Guide! Check it out, and find a whole pile of realistic, smart and budget-saving steps to get more from your wedding menu, cake and desserts and bar list!

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

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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