Archive for March, 2011

Is It Okay to Haggle With Wedding Vendors?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Weddings are expensive, amirite?

Most wedding vendors post package prices on their web sites – and if not, a photographer or caterer or florist will usually have a brochure listing a sort of menu of various packages and options. And it’s easy to balk at those rates when you’re newly-engaged. I’ve been asked a few times by brides-to-be whether it’s okay to haggle with wedding vendors, i.e., say something like “Are you willing to give me Package B for $1500 instead of $2000? How about $1800?” My answer? I don’t think so. As much as I like to talk about the “wedding tax” and how overpriced so many wedding accessories are, I also like to think that most wedding vendors are good, honest people and thus price their services accordingly.

A wedding vendor is not a weekend flea market hobbyist or a homeowner hosting a garage sale, and the payment they receive for the services they provide to brides and grooms are often their sole source of income. Maybe it’s just that I’m a freelancer, but the idea of treating a specialty service like a secondhand stairmaster seems a little weird to me. So no, I would not recommend haggling with wedding vendors.

What you can do is negotiate based on your needs. Let’s say the aforementioned Package B is for wedding flowers and you think $2000 seems a little steep BUT you love the florist’s work. AND you don’t actually need or even really want every last little thing in Package B. There’s nothing at all wrong with approaching the wedding florist you’ve fallen in love with and telling her that Package B makes the most sense for you, but you only need five centerpieces, not eight, and you’re having bridesmen not bridesmaids so you won’t need any bridesmaids’ bouquets. I don’t think I’ve ever personally encountered a wedding vendor who was unwilling to make adjustments to prices when making adjustments to packages.

In other words, negotiating with wedding vendors is usually as easy as asking to order “off the menu” and there’s nothing wrong with simply inquiring as to whether a vendor is willing to lower their package prices when you’re not asking for everything in that particular package. (And you should never feel obligated to take everything in a package when you don’t want it!) That way, you and your wedding vendors can work together to create something that’s exactly what you need at a price that you can both live with.

What do you think of negotiating with wedding vendors? How about haggling – would you do it?

Jam Wedding Favors – DIY It or Don’t

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Brides-to-be with a knack for canning can default to an easy DIY wedding favor in the form of homemade jam in cute wee jars. But just because you’re not particularly handy in the kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t have jam wedding favors – there are plenty of personalized jam wedding favors on Etsy and elsewhere, in addition to the less expensive non-personalized mini jams. Check out how pretty they can be:


A Seriously Plaid Wedding

Monday, March 21st, 2011

This wedding photographed by Sarah Maren Photography and featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs is just fantastic. I mean, come on, plaid? Plaid! PLAAIIIID!

Would you do a plaid wedding? I would never in a million zillion years have seriously thought about anything other than a solid color or maybe a polka dot wedding theme because I guess I’m just a wee bit timid in the pattern department. Too bad, though, since just look at how gorgeous a plaid wedding can be!

Especially when we’re talking about plaid bridesmaids dresses, oooh. Seriously, ooh!

What do you think of this seriously fun and original look?

A Different Reason to Trash the Dress

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Kevin Cotter is trashing the dress… his ex-wife’s wedding dress, that is. Over and over and over again.

You see, Cotter and his wife got divorced last year and she left her wedding dress behind. She apparently didn’t feel the need to get it back and Cotter was at a loss at first what to do with it. According to the interview he did last month with The Man Registry, he brought the question up at a family dinner and asked for suggestions.

Luckily, he rejected the first entirely crass suggestion from his brother… but he did get inspired to play with the idea of all the ways he could use the dress in non-traditional ways. Thus the blog My Ex-Wife’s Wedding Dress was born.

So far the uses have included things like: place mat (hmmm… looks more like a tablecloth), draft stopper, kite, Darth Vader scarecrow, and my personal favorite, Christmas tree skirt. Cotter even wore it as his Halloween costume last year. That’s the picture at the top, incidentally.

What do I think of all this? Well, it would seem Mr. Cotter has found a creative way of exorcising his personal demons. It’s juvenile and a bit ridiculous, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get over a sad end to a hopeful beginning. I think if his ex-wife had wanted to keep the dress safe, she would have done well to take it with her when she left. I think some people are getting a cheap thrill out of the fact that someone else is doing something they wish they could do or had done.

And I think if Mr. Cotter ever remarries, his new lady ought to think carefully before leaving a wedding gown to his tender mercies if things don’t work out.

Oh, and I’m thankful that Mr. Twistie and I remain ridiculously contented with one another.

Bridal Ponytails Are an Easy Option For the Unfussy Bride

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Let’s talk about bridal ponytails. I don’t mean some really uppity up-do masquerading as a bridal ponytail, but rather sleek and simple bridal ponytails that are totally accessible to the DIY bride with a little pre-wedding practice. And before you reject this easy-peasy wedding day hairstyle, remember that there’s nothing that says a bride has to have hair teased into the stratosphere.

Isn’t that a sweet look? Admittedly, it’s unfussy and less-than-formal, but some brides are like that. And a simpler hairstyle can really showcase an elaborate wedding gown and/or bridal jewelry. Then again, there’s nothing wrong with pairing a sweet and simple wedding dress with a pony! Want to see more? There are six awesome examples of bridal ponytails under the cut!


LOVE/HATE: The Misplaced Sash Edition

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Oh, the bows and the sashes and all those little extras that can either make or break an otherwise perfectly good wedding dress! How I love to love them and love to hate them, all at the same time. Butt bows? flower barf and boob bows? Whatever this is supposed to be

But how about something simple, like a scarf? Or a sash tied loosely around the neck? Brides in scarves! Brides in neck sashes! It’s not for everyone, but personally, I like it. Maybe I don’t love the execution in this one case, but I can picture a bride with a scarf in my head and she looks spectacular! What do you think? Could scarves and the like become an accepted accessory for brides if done right?

Image by photographers Bela Adler & Salvador Fresneda

What Makes a Wildflower Wedding Bouquet?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Google wildflower bouquets, with a focus on bridal bouquets, and you end up with plenty of gorgeous bouquets full of wildflowers assembled by talented professional wedding florists. So talented and professional, in fact, that the wildflowers cease to look like something gathered and instead look like something grown on a farm somewhere in South America.

No, no, no. When I think wildflower bouquet, I think of something like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Of course, I understand that it’s the type of flower and the arrangement that makes a wildflower bouquet. But why go through all the trouble of gathering wildflowers (or paying someone to do it for you) and then put them into an arrangement so polished that the significance of the blooms themselves is lost?

Images: 1, 2, 3