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:
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.
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!
“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.”
Editor in Chief
Bridal Guide magazine
Marilyn W. responded to my post ‘The NEW ‘How Well Do You Know the Bride?’ Game’ asking if I knew of any ‘How Well Do You Know the GROOM?’ quiz printables, so I decided to write one up for her! (And for you, if you’d like to use this free printable at your party!)
I’m all about giving bridal shower games a new twist, and since so many co-ed bridal showers are happening now (why should the guys miss out on the food and fun?) a ‘how well do you know the groom?’ game is definitely a unique twist. Just copy and print out this game sheet:
We love bridal shower games! When they’re fresh, fun and unlike the games that all of the guests have played a dozen times before, that is! That’s why we’re making over traditional bridal shower games, and we’re making it ultra-easy on you to copy and print out our updated bridal shower game cards!
And we invite you to post your suggested questions in the Comments section. Your question could be asked at millions of bridal showers across the country!
How Well Do You Know the Groom?
- What was the groom’s very first favorite Halloween costume from when he was a little boy? ________________________________________________________________________
- What was the groom’s first-ever pet? You get extra points if you know the pet’s name (but guess anyway, just for kicks!) _________________________________________________
- What was the groom’s first nickname? ____________________________________
- Who was the groom’s childhood hero? ____________________________________
- Who was the groom’s first-ever celebrity crush? ________________________
- Who was the groom’s first-ever celebrity meeting? (Pro athletes after a game, etc.) ______________________________________________________________________
- What was the first concert the groom ever attended? _____________________
- Which concert would the groom be embarrassed to admit he attended? _________________________________________________________________
- What was the groom’s first job? _______________________________________
- What was the color of the groom’s first car? _____________________________
- What was the first date the groom ever planned for the bride? _____________________
- What was the first thing the groom ever cooked for the bride? _____________________
- What was the first movie the groom and bride ever saw together? ________________________________________________________________________
- If the groom could choose one actor to portray him in a movie about his life, who would he pick? ____________________________________________________________________
- If the BRIDE could choose one actor to portray the groom in a movie about HER life, who would she pick? _________________________________________________________________
- If the groom could win a walk-on role on any television show, which show would it be? _____________________________________________________________________
- What was the first thing the bride and groom booked for their wedding? _____________________________________________________________________
- Which song would the groom dedicate to the bride at their wedding? _____________________________________________________________________
- Name one of the locations the groom considered as the honeymoon spot? _____________________________________________________________________
- Name the groom’s favorite cake flavor: _____________________________________
- Name the groom’s drink: _________________________________________________
- Which song would the groom sign at karaoke, if sober? _________________________
- Which song would the groom sing at karaoke, if drunk? _________________________________________________________________
- If the groom could invite any celebrity guest to the wedding, who would he invite? __________________________________________________________________
- Who was the first one to say, ‘I Love You?’ The bride or the groom? __________
Get more ideas from my Ultimate Bridal Shower Idea Book:
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!)
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!
Want to honor the little ones at your wedding? Here’s a freebie excerpt from my ebook to inspire you:
- Allow the kids to have some say in what they’ll wear. Your little nieces can perhaps pick out the style of floral headband they’d like to wear, or choose the shade of pink for their dress sash. Kids love it when adults listen to them, and ask their opinion, and they’ll be happier at dress-up time when they know they helped design their own style.
- As they walk down the aisle, have kids carry a cute sign, perhaps saying, “Here Comes the Bride” or as a surprise to the groom: “She’s on her way!”
- Write fabulous wedding vows to your kids, if you or your groom have them. Promise to love and guide them, protect them and support their dreams. You might even give them their own special piece of jewelry to commemorate your becoming a family.
- In your wedding décor, display photos of you with the kids, so that they’re on the table filled with wedding portraits from your relatives. They love to be included, especially if they’re your own kids.
- Before the wedding, tell kids that they’ll get to ‘style’ a wedding photo of you with them. They can then practice with you in different, funny poses like jumping in the air or making silly faces. Post-ceremony, it’ll take no time at all for your photographer to snap this special kid-planned photo, and they’ll feel very proud of getting to decide on an ‘official’ wedding photo.
- Be sure to hit the photo booth with all the kids, in a group to make it go faster. Kids notice if you step into the booth with your own nieces and neglect to do so with your groom’s nieces. So be sure to give all kids equal photo time.
- Let the kids choose the song that will play as they’re introduced into the room at the start of the reception. It helps to give little ones two or three songs to choose from, or else you’ll have a tough time, and they may keep changing their minds. Tweens and teens can name their own fun song for their entrance, if you’d like to set them apart from the bridal party or have a lot of junior bridesmaids and junior groomsmen.
Get more freebie ideas from my book The Bride’s Guide to Freebies.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A saint medallion owned by your grandmother can be pinned underneath the skirts of your dress or pinned onto your bouquet handle.
- 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.
- Sisters can be honored too, by wearing their jewelry or hair clips for your wedding look.
- Have your mother’s wedding-day headpiece re-made to include a slightly altered design, perhaps more or fewer rhinestones or faux gems.
- 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.
- If an heirloom piece of jewelry doesn’t work for your wedding day look, wear it to your rehearsal dinner or engagement party.
- Take some lace from your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress and use that as the wrap for your wedding bouquet.
- 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.
- Your groom can wear his father’s or grandfather’s pocketwatch, wristwatch or cufflinks during the wedding.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.’
- 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.
- 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.