Bridesmaids’ Wedding Budget Saver: Get on the List!

bridesmaidonabudget

Bridesmaids, get ready to save a fortune on your wedding dress, shoes, accessories, bridal shower invitations and decor, and more. Since bridesmaids often spend over $1,000 during their time in just one wedding party, you’ll be thrilled to know that this one little tip can save you up to 85% off your bridesmaid gown, shoes, accessories, and up to 60% off the supplies you’ll need to throw a fabulous bridal shower and bachelorette party. You can even get things for free.

So what’s this magic secret? Here it is… Get On the List. Sign up for every mailing list possible at a range of bridal gown and bridesmaid dress shops, department stores, outlet stores, and craft stores, and you’ll get advance, VIP notice of members-only sales and clearances that will save you a fortune.

At a bridal gown shop’s VIP access trunk sale that only people on the mailing list know about, you can save 50%, 60%, up to 85% on pretty, designer bridesmaid dresses – and if you already have your dress, you can get the same savings on your shoes, jewelry, gloves and other accessories. There’s no rule saying you have to shop for a dress at these super-sales! (It may even be safer to be in the accessories section while all those other dress-hungry bridesmaids elbow each other to get to that sophisticated sage stunner!)

At the craft store, members on mailing lists get valuable coupons via e-mail, access to members-only shopping times, advance notice of clearances and sales, and invitations to craft-making classes led by their experts. If you’re not on the list, you miss out!

Be smart when you sign up. Getting on mailing lists will generate a flurry of junk e-mails, so use a separate, dedicated e-mail address just for your bridesmaid activities and provide that one when you sign on. Set your spam filters to accept e-mails from these stores you’ve chosen, and you’ll soon get a goldmine of money-saving offers! And check your spam files to see if your computer re-directed a legitimate, wanted message over there so that you don’t miss it.

The List may be an actual signup sheet in the store, or a form filled out on their site, Liking their Facebook page, filling out a form at a bridal show; when you give them your chosen, safe contact info, you could very well save a LOT of money…which is welcome news if you’re the bridesmaid with less money than the other bridesmaids, or if you’re in more than one or two weddings this season!

I have tons more savings for you in my book Bridesmaid on a Budget: How to Be a Brilliant Bridesmaid Without Breaking the Bank, and you’ll find budget tips and planning ideas in my best-selling Ultimate Bridal Shower Idea Book. Also, find free worksheets at my site www.sharonnaylor.net!

Fabulous Wedding Toasts! Who Can Make Them, and How to Make Them Unforgettable

What could be more wonderful than an amazing wedding toast? Lots of them! It’s those amazing words and wishes proposed to you that add so much heart to your wedding celebration, and there are so many opportunities all through your wedding season and wedding weekend for fabulous words to be spoken.

[My book Your Special Wedding Toasts is available now on Kindle, so get my tips, sample toasts, questionnaires to help you write your toast and other ideas now!]

Yes, it’s tradition that the Best Man makes the first toast at the reception, with the Maid of Honor speaking immediately after him, but great speeches may be added to many wonderfully worded moments that take place at all of your wedding-related celebrations.

Today’s brides and grooms are letting their best man and maid of honor know that they’d like them to speak at the reception, and they are also asking the parental hosts of the rehearsal dinner and even the morning-after breakfast if they’d like to make the ‘official toast’ of the event. When parents are hosting these important celebrations, it’s a big Don’t for anyone but them to give the first toast, so keep that in mind before you clink your fork against your glass to stand up and speak. Many couples have been stunned to find their parents fuming about their big moment being ruined.

Toasts are yours to make at events you’re hosting, such as a luncheon with your bridesmaids, and the wedding morning breakfast, and others in which you have the big spotlight.

So how many toasts are too many? Stick with one to two toasts per non-wedding event, two toasts at the rehearsal dinner (the first by the hosts, the second by you), and three or four toasts spread out over the course of the reception – the first being the best man’s and maid of honor’s, a later one made by or to the parents, and the last one made by the two of you as your celebration closes.

Here’s a list of the top events that invite special toasts made to the two of you – and perhaps also made by the two of you, as you thank your parents, bridal party, guests and perhaps even your kids:

–Your engagement party

–The first planned meeting between your parents

–A luncheon or get-together when you invite your friends to be your bridesmaids

–The luncheon that precedes your first gown-shopping expedition with your bridesmaids, maid of honor and the moms

–WEDDING showers

–Planning lunches or brunches with your bridal party members (thanking them again for doing such a great job for you!)

–Bachelor’s and bachelorette’s parties

–Any wedding weekend MEALS, such as brunches, barbecues or dinners at home

–The rehearsal dinner, again with the hosts speaking first, as a rule

–The after-party

–The morning-after breakfast, again with the hosts speaking first, and you then making the next toast

Don’t forget the hot new trend of the bride and groom taking the microphone right before they cut the cake, to thank everyone, from their parents to their guests, who came so far to share in their day, even to the staff of the reception hall and the wedding coordinator who’s right there taking care of everything.

And don’t forget the romance and sweetness of proposing a toast to your groom at any of these events. He may do the same for you.