It’s that time of year for the bride to shine. If that’s not you, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the celebration with friends, opportunity to dress up, excuse to get a little crazy and “do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight,” right?!
There are some unpleasant details around attending weddings – spiking airline fares, shopping for the perfect gift, the inescapable hangover…
The point is, this should be a time for everyone to have fun, not begrudge it. So I offer you a guide to hopefully help alleviate the pressure and allow you to enjoy your wedding prep to-do list.
DREAM A LITTLE DREAM FOR ME
The first thing I always do when I get an invite is wonder about what my wedding dress will look like. This year I didn’t have to go far to see that my favorite designers were actually having the same day dream. Obviously very few people are going to snag a crazy design from the runway. But you can always get ideas on how to escape the cookie cutter pattern and ad your own flare. Here are two favorites I found in Style.com’s bridal slide show.
PLAYING DRESS UP ON A BUDGET
I feel like I rarely dress up anymore, so I use weddings as a day (or two) to put together the complete package – hair, makeup, and a fabulous dress. Budget permitting of course. Here are some ways you can go big and not break your bank:
- GO GLAM! – Rent The Runway – their collection of your favorite designers is growing everyday! Last time I checked Herve Leger was going for $100- $150. Much better than $1200!
- Department Store makeover – here’s my trick. Go find a sales lady on the designer floor of Neimans, Saks, Barneys and ask her which artist in cosmetics she refers her clients to. Then make an appointment for a makeover before the wedding. Plan to spend about $75 on makeup.
- Shoes – Hit up DSW. Worst case scenario you come out with a basic pair of heels that will go with everything. If you’re lucky, you’ll score big with something fabulous. Either way you’re spending $30-80 instead of $300-800.
- Jewelry – Kenneth Jay Lane and Alexis Bittar make statement pieces at reasonable prices. Tighter budgets try Dillards (specifically) or a thrift store (not consignment or vintage, they’ll be $$ too)
- Hair – Blow out bars are popping up all over the place. Somehow when a pro dries my hair it behaves for longer.
TWO FOOLPROOF GIFTS
Assuming that you aren’t going to buy what they registered for. Here are two options to consider. Both involve a little effort so you can bestow your friends with something impressive without spending tons of cash.
- Crystal. You can find beautiful crystal at discount stores but you might have to shop several. I just picked up 4 crystal wine glasses at Marshall’s the other day that have my guests impressed. In fact, my mom was upset because she thought I went out and dropped a hundred bucks on stemware. I spent $30 on 4! Stores to try: Marshall’s, ROSS, Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx, Home Goods. Look for stemware, lowball glasses, and vases.
- Custom Cook Book. Reach out to her family and friends via email asking them to submit their favorite recipes. Format them all the same and create a cook book. This way they’ll have plenty to choose from at home and not have to second guess if it’s good. They’ll love that everyone wanted to contribute too. Plus, you’ll have a collection of new recipes to explore too!
FOCUS ON YOUR HEAD NOT NOT YOUR HEART
Ladies, if you’re single and going to wedding, my advise is to not let yourself get upset with your current relationship status. Dating is tough; no doubt about it. But there is a journey of romance and love out there that will lead you to an aisle with a handsome man at the other end waiting to embrace you with open arms. I know that sounds cheesy, and it’s hard to maintain composure after a few glasses of wine, but it’s the truth.
And if that doesn’t work, find a bottle of tequila, grab the hot groomsman, and get your groove on…..on the dance floor ;)
BRIDEZILLA PREVENTION PLANNING
If you or your girlfriend is just starting to plan now, you can be a big help! You see women going ape-shhh..a little crazy all the time, so there must be something that doesn’t meet the eye. So I offer you these sites for inspiration to begin the process. Even if you hired a planner, you still have to articulate your dream.
- Snippet and Ink – tips
- Jessie Claire’s Blog – photography and tips from her life
- Brooklyn Bride – alternative and simple concepts
- Project Wedding – a blog with a little bit of everything in true blog format
- Ruffled – tips
- Real Simple Magazine guides – because they’re always dead on
- Ivy and Astor – gowns that won’t break the bank
- Dennis Reggie and Jose Villa (blog) – photographers to the stars
- Leah and Mark – lifestyle wedding photographers