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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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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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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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

 

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.

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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!

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

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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!)

Wedding Budget Savings at Online Outlet Stores

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Outlet stores are terrific places to score bigtime discounts off your wedding gifts, wedding weekend wardrobe, wedding shoes, wedding handbag, even cell phones and terrific cameras for your honeymoon. In my book 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding, I recommend Outlet Bound to help you find outlet stores near you, and here are some top brands with outlet shopping online:

J Crew Factory: https://factory.jcrew.com/index.jsp?srcCode=FAAFFI00001&siteId=UO85MF6im_8-E5FD0JVcJ273f5Z.6PnJXw

Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th: http://www.saksoff5th.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-SaksOff5th-Site/default/Default-Start?site_refer=AFF001&mid=38801&siteID=UO85MF6im_8-P0pmUL1FFVgE4nWlv8p0vw

Zappos 6PM: http://www.6pm.com/

Nieman Marcus Last Call: http://www.lastcall.com/index.jsp?ecid=LCALRUO85MF6im/8

REI Outlet: http://www.rei.com/outlet/?&&cm_mmc=aff_AL-_-40873-_-55481-_-REI+OUTLET&avad=55481_b7050277

Under Armour Outlet: http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/en/outlet

Net a Porter The Outnet: http://www.theoutnet.com/

Coach Factory: http://www.coachfactory.com/store/default/storepage

Amazon Outlet: www.amazon.com/outlet

Barneys Warehouse: www.barneyswearhouse.com

Best Buy: www.BestBuy.com (search clearance)

Crate and Barrel Outlet: www.crateandbarrel.com/outlet

Dell Outlet: www.delloutlet.com

Sears Outlet: www.searsoutlet.com

 

 

Will You Pay for Your Bridesmaids’ Pro-Done Hair and Makeup? My Survey Results!

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My wedding trend survey results are in! I asked brides if they would pay for their bridesmaids’ professionally-done hair and makeup for the wedding day, and here is what they said:

44% said, “No, I’m not asking my bridesmaids to get professionally-done hair and makeup.”

33% said, “Yes, I asked them to get pro hair and makeup, so I’m paying for it all.”

11% said “I’ve arranged for FREE hair and makeup for my bridesmaids, courtesy of a friend.”

11% said, “No, I’m not paying for it, but they’re getting their hair and makeup professionally-done.”

Where do you stand on this topic? Comments below enter you for a chance to win a $20 Sephora gift card!

And get your bridesmaids my book Bridesmaid on a Budget:

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Free Wedding Worksheet! From my book “Your Wedding, Your Way”

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You can’t dive into wedding planning without first knowing what you and your groom really want for your big day, and setting up a wedding plans Priority List helps you protect your plans from well-meaning parents who have their own suggestions. With your priorities listed out, you know where the biggest chunks of your wedding budget will go, and you’ll be able to tell your parents that you’ve already decided on the location for your ceremony, the kind of cake you want, etc.

These free wedding planning worksheets will save the day:

Our Wedding Priority Lists

Bride’s Top Priorities:

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Groom’s Top Priorities:

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5.

Lesser Priorities Others Can Help With

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From my bestselling wedding book Your Wedding, Your Way, www.sharonnaylor.net

WeddingMapper.com Question of the Day: Rehearsal Dinner Guest List Solution

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This great wedding planning question came in to my column at www.weddingmapper.com, and it’s a dilemma for a lot of parents. So I thought I’d share it here, in case you’re facing the same rehearsal dinner guest list questions:

Question:
Hi Sharon,
I am the Mother of the Groom planning a rehearsal dinner in July. My husband and I have our own idea of who is invited to this affair, based on 30 years ago, but today’s generation of 20 somethings have a different idea! My problem is considering what the Bride and Groom want-inviting all guests to the rehearsal dinner who will be coming in to town for the wedding, “after all they have to have someplace to eat dinner”, will turn the Rehearsal Dinner into another, although slightly smaller,’reception’. Most of my family will be the out of towners, all of whom my future daughter in law has met and knows very well. The only guests she doesn’t know are some close friends of ours from high school and college, who wouldn’t expect to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. Where do we draw the line in inviting guests to the Rehearsal Dinner? I thought it was supposed to be a time for the B & G to say thanks to their wedding party, and anyone else involved in the ceremony, and give gifts to them. That would be very awkward with alot of other guests around who they will be seeing the next day.
Thank you for your thoughts.

Answer:

Hi Terry!

The trend of inviting all out of towners to the rehearsal dinner has actually faded out a bit now, given the economy and the expense of the wedding. While it’s completely understandable that the bride and groom want to have their out of town guests’ dinner provided, what’s being done now, more often, is just the immediate family and bridal party invited to the rehearsal dinner — for the reasons you mentioned — and out of town guests provided with a list of nearby eateries, or a cocktail party planned for LATER the night before….after the rehearsal dinner. The out of town guests get the picture that they’re not invited to the rehearsal dinner (which may be early at 6pm) when they’re invited to a Welcome Cocktail Party at the hotel, where drinks and light hors d’oeuvres are served. They can take their time arriving, unpacking and mingling, perhaps going to the hotel lounge on their own to eat, and then they know they’ll see you all at the cocktail party later. It keeps costs down, creates a festive atmosphere for that night, gives the bride and groom quality time with their guests, and keeps the toats and gift-giving at the rehearsal dinner to the smaller group.

It’s always the host’s choice of which plan to do…if the bride and groom really want all of the guests at the rehearsal dinner, then think about doing a heavier-appetizers cocktail party for all to keep expenses lower, limit the bar list, and have the bride and groom give their bridal party members their gifts at an earlier arrival time set for them. Toasts can still be made, so this might be a good compromise plan.

Talk to the bride and groom to see what you can arrange…they might be looking for more relaxed time to spend with a greater circle of incoming guests.
Sharon Naylor