Archive for the ‘Big Deals’ Category

Get the look!

Did you love the emerald earrings Angelina wore to the Oscars as much as I did? They were such a statement piece!


If you are looking for a great bridesmaid gift to complement their wedding day look check out these Angelina-inspired earrings from Roberta Chiarella.

The web site shop also has many other celebrity-inspired looks for your wedding day as well as looks featured in wedding magazines! Enjoy!



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Part of my job on a daily basis in keeping up and helping my brides stick to their budgets. I preach constantly that you can find nice things on a small budget so why should it be any different for my own space? Here are some tips.

Step 1. Decide how much you have/are willing to spend. Be realistic with this. For me, I had NOTHING that could be used in the new space and knew I’d be making some big purchases. Saying you want to do something “for as little as possible” never works. You need a number to guide you. I arrived at $1,200. I wanted to make the space warm and welcoming for brides but also didn’t feel the need to have crystals dripping from the ceiling to express that.

Step 2. Get inspired. I searched several of my favorite online stores for inspiration even if it wasn’t in my price range i.e. Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel. Then came up with my colors. This was tough! I found these boxes from The Container Store and new I wanted to incorporate them.


My color palette went from pinks, golds and oranges, to blues and greens. officeStep 3. Shop around! I gave myself plenty of time to shop for the big ticket items so I didn’t have to make any rash decisions. I saw the desk I wanted at World Market but it was more than I had budgeted for. I went into the store several times to look at it, get the measurements to see if it would work, and check for a sale. It finally did for about $30 less than my budget!!

Photo by Jason Cohen

Photo by Jason Cohen

Step 4. Stick to it! You make a budget for a reason so don’t veer from the GRAND TOTAL. For my brides we always start off with a pretty standard budget but some want to spend more for photography or flowers. So what do we do? Take if from another portion of the budget. Here is my breakdown.


Step 5. Leave room for the unexpected. I luckily got the ladder bookshelves for a steal and was able to spend more on window treatments. When I had originally come up with my budget, I had decided to just do curtains for the two windows but changed my mind thinking they wouldn’t look right. I went with bamboo roman shades which were pricier but end up still within my budget because of the shelves.

Step 6. Enjoy!

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Etsy finds

Etsy is like the Wal-Mart of the wedding world. You can find everything you need in one place and all for great prices. I am always so impressed when I hear about women starting their own business. This site has given so many talented women a chance to support themselves by crafting things they love. Well I spent some time at etsy.com today and found some great shops for all things weddings. Here’s just a handful of the goodies they have!!!

Tulet’s store: Ditch the veil after the ceremony is over and keep polished with feathers or flowers. 


Eclu: I am a big fan of clutches as bridesmaid gifts. And an even bigger fan when you can get them to fit your wedding colors. These are simply adorable. 


Pen and Ink: If your handwriting is anything like mine, you are probably searching for a calligrapher. Check out these beauties.


Me and Matilda: If you are opting for suits instead of tuxes, here’s a shop with bold ties and matching ring bearer pillows. Just imagine your perfectly coordinated ring bearer coming down the aisle.


Mary Elizabeth Hining’s store: I am in love with the uniqueness of these details. Registry anyone?


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Economic crisis or not, weddings aren’t slowing down any time soon. Brides are just having to get more creative to get the most out of their shrinking budget. I’m probably a bad wedding planner for saying this but I didn’t start Southern Fete because I’m obsessed with weddings or think it’s the one day you should really get everything you wanted. Nope, I started because I wanted brides to have the wedding of their dreams AND the marriage. No one wants to start their marriage in the red so it’s important to me to make that happen for them. 

Here are just a few tips to get the biggest bang for your buck:

1. My number one rule for cutting the budget is trimming the guest list. Many couples are now opting for smaller weddings not only for the intimate setting it provides but because each guest can cost on average $30 a piece. The same principle applies to trimming the wedding party. One bridesmaid and groomsmen can cost over $100 between flowers and gifts. You don’t have to sacrifice a best friend to the fire for this. Just keep obligatory bridemaids to a minimum. Ask yourself, “Who will I be friends with ten years from now?”

The Knot

The Knot

2. DIY, DIY, DIY. Whether it’s favors, programs, flowers, decor, doing-it-yourself will save you money, but not time. Make sure that is one resource you have plenty of before undergoing a big project. 

Elizabeth Anne Designs blog

Elizabeth Anne Designs blog

3. Skip the letterpress and save the trees. Letterpress invitations are nice but not necessary. A new generation of invitations have begun without letterpress or inner envelopes. Designs are more playful and modern. And luckily for brides, creating a wedding Web site with all direction, hotel and registry info can save money by keeping the number of inserts in your invitation like reception cards and RSVP’s to a minimum. You can even have guest RSVP through the site. If you are determined to have many inserts have us handle it. After going with several brides to check out invitations, many were so overwhelmed by the prices that they didn’t return to look for months. My partner and I created Butterscotch Press to provide those brides with affordable invitations. 

4. Forgo the top shelf. Cutting out a full bar and serving only beer and wine will save tons of money. If you still want to serve something different without providing a full bar consider a signature drink that represents the couple. Mod 4

Mod 4

5. Less is more. Your bouquet doesn’t have to be the size of a small garden. Having 8 peonies instead of 12 can add to big savings considering the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets. Consider adding filler flowers to create the look without breaking the bank.

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

6. Be yourself. If you don’t want to where a veil don’t wear a veil just because you think you have to. If you hate cake, opt for cupcakes, cannolis, pies or other sweets. Knowing the rules is important so you know which one’s you are willing to break. 


7. Research, ask or hire someone who will. For most brides, this is their first experience hiring a rental company or florist. Researching the most affordable flower for fall or the catering company in town will help you avoid costly mistakes, or hire a wedding planner who can guide you through the process. I love showing brides unexpected ways to save money. 

How are you tightening the purse strings?

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Happy Savings!!

It’s Cyber Monday!! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Black Friday may be the day to hit the mall for sales but Monday is the day to hit the couch…and save. Knock out some of that wedding to-do list with plenty of savings online. Here were a few of my favorite finds:

If you have been eyeing any of the bridesmaid dresses at J. Crew today is the day to take a closer look! Regularly priced dresses of $250 are as low as $129. Just one more thing you, and your bridesmaids, will be thankful for!



For decorations:

Paper lantern store is offering 15% off all purchases

Plum Party is offering 25% off all purchases

For Your Party has free shipping for purchases over $100

And in case you still have more shopping in you, head over to Victoria Secret to pick something for the wedding night or a new swim suit for the honeymoon! VS is offering 20% off your entire purchase.

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