Friday, September 16, 2011

A Winter Wonderland Wedding

I recently received a lot of attention from a certain hand knit dress that I found on Etsy(below). So, I thought I'd go a little more in depth with the knitted dresses and talk about general keeping warm ideas since winter is near. One particular reader informed me that she was getting married in Switzerland later this year, and I agree that a knitted dress is perfect for that sort of setting since you are going to want to layer as much as possible to avoid being your own something blue. Below is the infamous winter knit dress I posted last month in my Etsy under $600 wedding dress finds and a couple others that I found for your viewing and buying pleasure. 

White Custom Hand Knit Wedding Dress


$22 Shipping Worldwide 

custom made any color, any size

 Vintage Wedding Dress - Cleo



 US size: 6

 *check out all of Daughters of Simone's wedding dresses they are spectacular!

Vintage 1970s Cream Crochet Lace Bridal Wedding Column Dress

$11 US Shipping

Size: Medium/Large (10-12)

Mohair Custom Hand Knitted Lace Dress



Custom made any color, any size, any length


Hand Knitted Double Breasted Dress Natural White


$21.26 Shipping Worldwide

Size: Medium
edge to edge of sleeves - 33.5 inches, 85 cm
waist - 35.5 inches, 90 cm
length - 34.5 inches, 88 cm
bust - 37.5 inches,  95 cm
hips - 37.5 inches, 95 cm


Nona's orange one-of-a-kind hand knit dress


FREE US SHIPPING, $10 Worldwide

Size 14/16

Vintage 60s cotton CROCHET lace WEDDING MAXI dress


$35 US Shipping

Size: Medium
bust: 92cm or 36" (unstretched)
waist: 76cm or 30" (unstretched)
hips: 98cm or 38.5" (unstretched)
length: 140cm or 55" 

Vintage 70s Crocheted and Lace Romantic Renaissance Maxi Dress


$10 Shipping

Bust: 32"
Waist: 26"
Hips: 38"
Length: 57"
Sleeves, shoulder to cuff: 25"
Shoulders: 15" 

Good things to remember when planning your winter wedding:
  1. Warm Under Garments - You are gonna want a nicely insulated slip (or 3!) under that beautiful open knit dress, some tights/leggings/and/or thermal underwear, warm socks, and possibly gloves or mittens.
  2. Boots - Find something awesome and possibly furry or fuzzy at your local thrift store!
  3. Coats - I'm assuming if you want to have a winter wedding you're probably looking for a snowy setting , so remember what your momma told you and bring a coat. I would suggest a dramatic vintage fur, but if you aren't into that sort of thing a fitted wool trench will work just as well. (This is where I'm realizing that I'm going to need to do a blog focused on wedding coats! I'm finding some really great ones in my wintery research, so that will be coming soon within the next week or so.)
  4. Hand, feet, and body warmers!! - If you are getting married in the ice capped mountains of Switzerland or just braving another blisteringly cold mid-west winter these little babies will save you from the misunderstanding of what type of cold feet you have, and they can be found at your local outdoor equipment store or online at
  5. Hot Drinks - Offer hot coffee, tea, chocolate, anything to keep your guests warm while you say your "I do"s.

I had to throw this one in. Funny Swiss Love!

Monday, August 29, 2011

To Elope or Not to Elope?

    That is the question that weighs on most couples' minds after the proposal. Not every girl has a notebook they have kept since grade school filled with pictures they have collected of fairy tale wedding ideas. And, most grooms are probably leaning toward trading in the traditional wedding for a dream vacation. Maybe the thought of being the center of attention gives you hives? Or, if you are paying for the wedding yourselves, why not go to a romantic setting, pledge your love to each other, and then celebrate at said location!? Remember, at the end of the day this whole shabang  is simply about two people coming together and becoming one unit.


ELOPING IDEAS! If they can afford it, your closest friends and family could join you for the ceremony, and after you return invite the rest of your crew to a party celebrating your marriage. 

   You could even show a movie of the big day and maybe some highlights from the honeymoon! (My husband seems to think I should remind everyone to keep it clean, but I think it goes without saying.)  If those near and dear to you can't tag along set up a camera and broadcast the wedding online or post the video on your wedding website or Facebook.

    We did not elope, and while our wedding was a relaxing mixture of traditional and informal, I'll admit several times during the last 4 months of my wedding planning I thought to myself - Why am I doing this!?! And at my most stressed moment, I confessed to my aunt, "I just can't wait for this all to be over!" She quickly countered with, "NO! Enjoy it because it will be over before you know it. Don't wish it away." Her usual wisdom helped me in the home stretch, because I realized that the secret to having a wedding to remember is to really love what you are doing. So, I thought about what I really wanted, and I figured out a way to have it all and fit it into my budget, and also I realized that this whole process would be as stressful as I made it. I decided that I really wanted to marry Andrew, and I really wanted a simple, intimate, garden wedding with a vintage flare in June for around $3,000.  And, I ended up married to my best friend on June 25th with a budget of $3,500, and it was a day I will never forget! (I also wanted awesome photographs which I got via the brilliance of Cami Wade. Below are two sneak peek photos from my wedding. More to come in the future!)
Romantic moment inside the Hawken House

If this weren't real I would make it up.

The bottom line is this - It is your wedding day

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August Contests!

One thing you should know about me is that I LOVE things for a $1, the only thing better than finding a dollar deal is getting something for FREE! Here are some contests that I am crushing on at the moment!

Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Blog Cabin will then be featured on five special episodes of the hottest DIY Network shows: I Hate My Kitchen, Bath Crashers, House Crashers, Indoors Out, and Desperate Landscapes. Expert hosts from these series will be on hand to renovate the circa-1905 farmhouse that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by licensed contractor Matt Blashaw, will highlight the incredible transformation. 

 From stunning oceanfront backdrops to luxurious accommodations and five-star service, Los Cabos offers a one-of-a-kind experience for your destination wedding or honeymoon.

Enter for the chance to win an all-inclusive 4-night getaway for two at Melia Cabo Real in Los Cabos. For more information visit

Every weekday in August, Allure is giving away amazing beauty and fashion loot: handbags, shoes, lip glosses, skin creams, and more (24,403 items in all!!) There are two ways to enter for your chances to win: by following the link above, or by using your smartphone to scan the special entry tag.

Good luck!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

AMAZING Etsy Wedding Dresses! UNDER $600!!

When shopping for your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dress, or any special dress skip the boutiques (THEY ARE SO OVERPRICED!) and go to What you will find are a mess of extremely talented dress makers and the most drool beautiful, one-of-a kind vintage dresses to drool over!! I love browsing the dresses anyway, so I thought I'd show you 17 of my favorite unique wedding dresses that are ALL UNDER $600!! Enjoy :)


bust : 36 inches
waist : 30 inches

$8 Shipping, United States


Retro 1950's style short sleeve dress
♥ Sizes: 0-18 Custom
♥ Colors: Pure White or Ivory

$20 Shipping

San Diego, California, United States
Lovey Bridal

***Check out all of Lovey Bridal's designs they are clean, classic and so well made! I have had the privilege of walking in two of Isha's creations and her dresses are as precious as she is!

Multipurpose - 2 Dresses in 1!

$40 Shipping
Atlanta, United States

 Gone with the Wind

bust : 32 inches
waist : 24 inches

FREE USA SHIPPING w/ full insurance

Norfolk, Virginia, United States


bust : 36 inches
waist : 28 inches
low waist : 32 inches
hip : 37inches

$10 Shipping

Charlotte, NC, United States


bust : 33-34 inches
waist : up to 28 inches
hips : up to 38 inches

$10 Shipping

Beverly Hills, United States 


Made to Order
$25 Shipping

Winter Knit
Made to Order.
Also available in other colors.

$18 Shipping

Europe, Ukraine


$7.50 Shipping

I Love Your Funny Face

Audrey Hepburn Funny Face Wedding Gown
Made to Order

$10 Shipping

Portland, OR, United States

360 Breathtaking 


Hot sale for all the season, evening dress
Made to Order

$25 Shipping

Hong Kong


bust : 33-34 inches
waist : 25 inches(2-inch seam allowance)

$8 Shipping

Beverly Hills, United States


1950s Vintage Wedding Dress White Strapless Princess with accessories XS SM

bust : 33 inches
waist: 24 inches

$10 Shipping

Tallahassee, Florida, United States, Dothan, AL


Made to Order

$35 Shipping


Flower Child

bust : up to 34 inches
waist : up to 28 inches
hips : up to 36 inches

$15 Shipping

Bellingham, WA, United States

Short & Sweet

Made to Order

$9 Shipping

Washington DC, United States


bust : 36 inches
waist : 28 inches

$16 Shipping

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Okay 18, I found one more!


50s Pale Blue Party Dress Lacey Top Circle Skirt
bust : up to 36 inches
waist : up to 26 inches
$10 Shipping

Bellingham, WA, United States

All shipping prices shown are to the US.

Monday, August 1, 2011


When I was researching invitations for my wedding I found it ridiculous how much money these sheets of paper were going to cost us. Even the simplest invites with a white background and black lettering were more than $1.00 a piece, plus the cost of RSVP cards, reception cards, envelopes, address labels then any other details one feels they need to church it all up like seals, confetti, ribbon, and tulle added up to more than I wanted to spend on something that my guests were going to tear apart and eventually trash. It all seemed like a terrible waste, and then I realized that I hadn't even thought about the stamps! So, I did the math and I'd need a stamp on the outside of the envelopes of course (and I was lucky to only need 60 invitations), then a stamp on the return envelopes (that's 60 more), stamps for the rehearsal dinner invites (25 more), and finally the stamps for all the thank you notes from the showers, parties, and wedding gifts (about 80 total). That's 225 stamps and $100 for my 100 person event. That is before any stationary and there is no way to make your own stamps to save money. So, I found a paper bag to breathe in and thought about eloping for a while and then I remembered that we already paid the deposit for the hall and started trying to figure out little tricks to save money.
First, think about the people closest to you. Would they really think you're rude if you handed them their invitations or thank you notes in person? Probably not. They probably would love it because they would have a chance to visit and chat. Also, they could give the RSVP back and that saves you two stamps right there! Or, make use of your wedding website and have guests RSVP online!! Say you spent countless hours and days hand making these invites by hand, wouldn't it be great to show them off and see their reaction in person?
Second, think outside the envelope! Who says that you have to send out invitations at all? If you are having a more relaxed, informal wedding or just throwing a party for close friends and family to celebrate after your destination wedding start thinking about creative ways to tell your guests the important information they need to know. My first thought is online invites using your wedding website or there are a ton of websites that specialize in these virtual invites. It's also a great tree saver as well as a tongue saver! You pay for the amount of time that the invites are available online and they have options where you can create invites for all your wedding events! Also, if you are tech savvy you could create your own invite from scratch and save even more! 
So, then there are the guests that still refuse to use a computer. It's going to be tough getting them to see that online invite unless you go to them with your computer and show them in person. You could do it, but either way you are most likely going to need to print something off for them to consult at a later date, because they are never going to be able to find it again without you. Think about a paper option for them, most likely these people will be your grandparents or great aunts and uncles and they are going to want something to hold and save! Remember they are old fashioned and love all those niceties that the younger generation take for granted, so maybe even hand write theirs on cute cards. Throw in some sweet words and memories, and they will gush like Old Faithful! Trust me!
My last idea is something I found recently, and I feel like it's the best bet for a large, informal shindig! Create your own wedding poster!!! Depending on your style you could model it after your favorite movie or band poster or make something completely original. Maybe use your engagement photos or just some of your favorite candid shots of the two of you. This could also be a great wedding announcement idea for afterwards and use your favorite wedding day shot!! 

There are so many, many ways to make this day your own all you have to do is look at it another way, get creative, and have fun! Don't be afraid to do something off the wall especially if it represents you! If you had an original invitation idea please share it by commenting below, and send me a picture! I'm a visual person.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wedding Show Words of Wisdom

Wedding shows are fun, a great place to steal ideas and score some free stuff! If you get there 20 minutes before the doors open you'll find a sizable line of eager brides, bridesmaids, mothers, and sisters waiting to enter the wedding extravaganza and get their paws on the door prizes. They are always in limited supply and vary from tote bags filled with samples and coupons to gift cards for things like two free wedding rings! When you get in you will see an alarming amount of vendors from custom to designer formal wear, cake tastings, photo booths (This was my favorite because they give you a sample, so I always brought a bridemaid and we went crazy! And, some of the photo booths were custom made and were beautifully done up.**) , venues, catering, resorts, DJs and bands, and pretty much anything you could think of and a handful you wouldn't have. Also, you can check out the insides of some tricked out party buses and limos and get a 3-D look at some of the wedding dresses featured at the show! So, after you've made a loop and collected all the information from your favorite vendors, played in the photo booths, and entered about 100 drawings try to find a place to settle then go grab all the catering food and cake samples your arms can carry, sit, recharge, and consider and discuss what you're eating and what you saw that day. It's a lot of information all at once and it can be VERY overwhelming, so be prepared for that.

  1. Bring at least one friend or bridesmaid or mother or someone to help out and keep you company and wear comfortable clothes and shoes!
  2. Bring a bottle of water, a tote bag, & address/phone number/email/wedding date stickers to save yourself from hand cramps!!! 
  3. Pass on large samples of food until later (or if you are hungry hit them all up first) because it's hard to juggle plates of food and gather information.
  4. Pass on information you don't want or need. You'll be talking to a lot of people, but that doesn't even compare to the amount of people the vendors will talk to that day, so save everyone's time and breath by kindly saying that you're uninterested before they go on a 10 minute tangent.
  5. Stay for the fashion show and drawings. The fashion show is usually at 1pm and seats are first come first serve, so get one about an hour before the show starts. The drawings are later around 2 or 3pm and winners will be announced over an intercom. 
  6. If you cannot attend send someone to enter you in all the contests and get all the goodies!!
  7. Have Fun!
 Upcoming Shows in the Saint Louis Area:  

The Wedding Show  Presented by St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine

WHEN    Jul 24, 2011, 11 am - 4 pm

WHERE   America's Center
                  701 Convention Plaza
                  St. Louis, MO
COST       $ 8
(Print a $2 off coupon online - Bride Registration)


Gateway Bridal Show: Hosted by Sizzor Shak Salon and Wedding Spa  
WHEN Jul 30, 2011,  1pm - 5pm

WHERE Gateway Center
1 Gateway Dr.
Collinsville, IL 62234


Villa Marie Bridal Fair   Hosted by Villa Marie Winery and Banquet Center
WHEN Jan 14, 2012,  11am - 5:00pm
WHERE Villa Marie Winery and Banquet Center
6633 East Main Street
Maryville, IL 62062
COST FREE for BRIDES : All others $5

**This photo booth wins my BEST SAINT LOUIS WEDDING PHOTO BOOTH for 2011 award. It's made of pages from romance novels and the colored pages are hand-dyed!! The people behind this beauty are PHOTOMATON, and I met them at the Off-White Indie Wedding Show last March. They are the coolest cats and can make some really magical scenes for your special day!