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!)
I am SO excited! The 2nd edition of my Mother of the Bride Book is available now! And I’m giving away TWO copies on 12/9 for #WeddingWednesday, so post a comment here or use #weddingmoms on Wednesday to be entered for our random, computer-choice giveaway!
It’s been such a long time since my publisher and I began work to update my book, which has long been one of my bestsellers, but badly needed a refreshing. And now, here it is, all shiny and new, and featuring some of my favorite wedding experts’ top tips for the mother of the bride (and step-mother of the bride!)
I’ve added some new features, such as the top trends in what the mothers are working on for the wedding plans, how they’re bringing so much more valuable stuff to the table than moms of decades ago, my favorite apps, and celebrity fashion designer tips for the moms’ wedding day dresses.
Order your Kindle copy here, and if you’d like a paperback version, Barnes and Noble has it here. (Amazon is fixing the link for the paperback right now!)
And if you’re a wedding pro who wants multiple copies or wants to sell the book in your shop, just contact me via Twitter @sharonnaylorwed, and my sales team at Random House will set you up!
Want a signed copy of the paperback for your mom? I’ll soon be able to sign and send your copy to you!
Thank you so much for taking a look at my book’s ‘makeover,’ and for all your great reviews and support of my books over the past *21* years! I’m entirely grateful to you!
Photo courtesy of Westminster Hotel Weddings
We continue with freebie tips from my ebook on honoring your family and friends at your wedding. Today is all about celebration Moments:
- Serve some of the same menu elements that were served at your parents’ or grandparents’ weddings.
- Serve the same vintage of champagne that was served at your family members’ weddings.
- Serve family favorite recipes within your engagement party or rehearsal dinner menu, or perhaps as choices in your cocktail party or reception dinner.
- Include in your dessert hour the same type of dessert that was served at your parents’ wedding, such as the now-hot retro bananas flambé.
- Create signature cocktails, and name them after your relatives, such as ‘Stephanie’s Strawberry Margarita’ or ‘Maria’s Chocolate Martini.’
- At the start of your reception, perhaps even in place of your first dance, propose a toast to your parents, grandparents, relatives and guests. You can also make this toast right before you cut your cake if you don’t want to miss out on the first dance magic.
- Dedicate a song to your parents during the reception’s dancing hours.
- After your spotlight dances, surprise all sets of parents by having them dance to a song you’ve chosen for all of them (too many individual dances makes this opening to the reception drag a bit, so keep it shorter with the one song, or even a partial song that other guests are then invited to dance to.)
- Musically talented relatives can perform a song during your reception, perhaps during the dinner hour.
- If there’s a song that’s special to you and your siblings, request a song dedication to them as well. Or, request a song that all of your siblings on both sides of the family can dance to.
- The last song of the evening can be dedicated to your families…each and every member of them.
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!