Editor in Chief
Bridal Guide magazine
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!)
While spring 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, 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:
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
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!
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:
Zappos 6PM: http://www.6pm.com/
Nieman Marcus Last Call: http://www.lastcall.com/index.jsp?ecid=LCALRUO85MF6im/8
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
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:
Find more wedding freebie ideas in my book The Bride’s Guide to Freebies.
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:
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:
Groom’s Top Priorities:
Lesser Priorities Others Can Help With
From my bestselling wedding book Your Wedding, Your Way, www.sharonnaylor.net