Amazon: Inexpensive Flower Girl Dresses for under $30!

The market for flower girl dresses has boomed which makes for some great deals for budget savvy brides and their flower girls! Kohls, Macys and other department stores have started carrying inexpensive yet beautiful flower girl dresses at a much lower price than bridal retailers.

Now Amazon is joining in! I mean you can find Bluetooth winter gloves on Amazon so why not be able to find affordable and beautiful flower girl dresses there as well! I decided to check out some of the flower girl options on Amazon. There were many brands and styles that seemed pageant-like but I was immediately drawn to the Bow Dream fashion line.

The Bow Dream dresses on Amazon had strong reviews, many color options and were beautiful yet classic. Many of the dresses have free shipping and return options. Check the return policy on each dress because flower girls grow…like weeds overnight (excuse the pun, I couldn’t resist).

Here are some of my favorite picks from the Bow Dream line which has many choices for under $30 (prices vary by size.)

So you want to make your own wedding invitations…here’s what you need to know!

BRIDES Magazine Invitation Kit $29.99 retail before coupons for 30 complete invites

 

 

The wedding invitation is kind of a double edge sword. It’s an expense that will mostly wind up in the recycling bin after being opened with the exception of the RSVP and main invite. However many feel the invite sets the tone for the wedding. It gives a preview of what to expect and builds excitement. It’s a chance to send a statement to your guests saying..”Hey, This is US!”

I am a personalization addict. I like to have my own spin on everything. My water bottle is decorated with stickers, my walls are painted with murals, my ice cream must have toppings! It’s my thing! When it came to our wedding invitations, I was in a panic. I couldn’t afford more than $150 dollars for our wedding invitations but I wanted something personal, something that felt like us. I shopped around and came up with prices from $1.50 an invite (with no frills) to a whopping $12 an invitation (after processing my dream invite). I went home. I had a panic attack, ate some ice cream with toppings and recovered. I then decided I was going to be brave and take matters into my own hands. I made a trip to Michaels and was lucky enough to find a set of print your own invitations in my exact color scheme. I then drove all around the tri-state area scooping up as many of these clearance kits as I could muster in case anybody else was on a budget looking for silver lined invitations in February.

I did make our invitations and I loved it so much that it is framed and on a shelf in the living room where I get to glance at it each day. It’s also on display because it took about as much hard work and training as it would take to win a medal or a trophy which would also be on display.

Printing and designing your own invitations is rewarding, fun and sentimental. It’s also a heck of a lot cheaper! However before you go stalking clearance sections in all the local craft stores in a 100 mile radius, read on to my tips and insight to see if this is the best decision for you…maybe not financially but mentally!

Tip #1 How savvy are you in Word or other editing software?

If you can cut and paste, work with text wrapping and download and import images…you have a good leg up on this! I made our invitation in Word using the template that came with the kit (I highly recommend a kit for the template help!). I even took a graphic and adapted it using Word to change colors, texture, alignment and size. You can even use autoshapes to make your own logo or graphic. If you want to buy one and save yourself hours of time, you can check out sites that allow you to purchase individual images or search public domain images for one that fits your theme or look. You want to have some experience with downloading and manipulating text. This will help you find fonts to personalize your look, move things around and recover your invite when you hit TAB one time too many and the whole thing goes Picasso looking on you.

 

Tip #2 Look for unique fonts!

Nothing says “I Made It Myself” like a Times New Roman or Comic Sans font invitation. Luckily there are so many fonts available through Google or blogs and many are free. Just be sure to check the licensing and terms of use. Often brides are able to attain these fonts for free with permission to reproduce because they are being used for personal reasons not commercial. You can choose a font that is as fancy or fun as you are! Just make sure that it isn’t one preset to your Word program. You want your font to look the part!

Tip #3 Use a kit!

If you can line up cardstock and are spatially inclined you can use a paper cutter. However, the cost of a paper cutter and cardstock may surpass the cost of using a invitation kit. Kits are great because the invites often have embossed flourishes or designs which can be tricky (yet not impossible) to create on your own. You are also saving yourself a ton of time not cutting multiple different sized cards, not finding coordinating envelopes and not creating extra embellishments…time is money and in this case…your work time may not only be reduced but you may also save money with a kit!

Tip #4 Plan your theme/colors in advance!

If you know the date of your wedding and have a year or more to plan…this will help save some money! Look for invite kits on clearance right before the end of the season at your local craft store or stationary shop. Many go on sale just before the end of the season. If it is close to your big day, try and see if there are any kits on clearance that can coordinate with your colors. For instance, my colors were sage and rose (my poor bridesmaids) but I used an invitation that had a silver embellishments. I used the font and graphics to bring in my colors and used a silver pewter flower brad to add an embellishment and touch of spring time to the silver invite. In the end my invitation looked and felt like spring, despite the fact that my kit was a winter clearance item.

 

Tip #5 The kit you love is not on clearance…save your coupons or bring some friends!

If you find a kit you love…you stock up and stock up good! Call your friends to come and bring 40% off coupons with them since there is a limit of 1 per guest! It could be a bridal party outing! This can even apply to embellishments, seals or any other special touches you want to add to your invites. Every little bit helps and saving 40% is a big help!

 

Tip #6 Purchase many, many, many extra kits…and keep the receipt.

If you don’t use them, you can return them at least for a credit if it is past the return date. I bought so many kits that I thought I was being dramatic. Then printing happened. I wound up messing up so many that I opened all the kits and I was grateful for my stockpile! You never know if your kit will be found again or discontinued especially if you are buying it off season. It is better to be safe than sorry!

Tip #6 You will hate your printer and truly believe it hates you.

My printer and I used to be friends…and then I tried to print my wedding invitations. It decided that it preferred the old 8 X 11 format that it had come to love over the years and hated my off size slightly thicker cardstock invites. It didn’t matter that it had presets for the sizes. It had all the tools but not the desire! My printer decided to print things diagonally, turn my invites at the last second, spin and repeat. I had to slowly hand feed each invite into the printer, pray and still hope for the best. I would say 1 out of every 7 came out the way I wanted it! I was a little nuts and probably overthinking the precise leveling of all my text but it was important to me. There is a reason I went through so many kits! There is a learning curve to feeding uniquely sized invites into your feeder. If you stay patient …it does get better!

 

Tip #7 Addressing the invites is time consuming especially if you hate your handwriting.

I had to talk myself off a ledge. I was ready to invest in a DIY calligraphy course and set to send out my invites in style. I then stopped myself and realized that my guests will spend exactly 2 seconds looking at the address on the envelope. I think if I surveyed my guests 99 percent would not even remember what the address looked like in the first place. I decided to do clear address labels that I personalized with our graphic and colors. It’s also not easy to write on glossy envelopes so the labels saved a lot of time. Bonus…I used the same labels to mail out thank you’s after the wedding and shower!

Tip #8 Have fun and embellish!

Our theme was dragonflies. I bought (with my coupons) a small dragonfly paper punch and a set of pewter flower brads. I added the brads to the included ribbon in the kit and used the paper punch to help close my invites and later for the favor tags. My invites were simple but I felt like they were special. I knew they were unique and had details that would show guests what to expect on our day. You can embellish with glitter, rhinestones, stamps, ribbon, scrap book stickers or even adding a small fabric flower or bow. This part was the most rewarding and helped me get over my printing trauma!

Tip #9 Use discount printing sites for extra cards.

Keep your graphic and use sites such as Vistaprint to print business card size information to add to your invites. Your invitation will be the largest followed by the RSVP or menu request card. However you can customize business cards to hold information such as directions, hotel information and special requests. Guests will love this because it’s easy to keep in hand in a wallet or purse. You will love it because you can print a box load for about $3!

 

Tip #10 Make invitations for yourself.

Be sure to make one to bring with you on the day of your wedding to use in photographs. Also keep two or three at home for personal display. You may want to put in a frame, scrapbook, wedding album or share with your future children one day and you sure won’t want to have to print another one!

I’m Baacckkk!

Dear Beer Budget Brides,
Thank you for your visits to this site! I know I went awhile without posting because life became a little and I became a little sleep deprived! Now that my youngest is (almost) sleeping through the night, I am back in action. No more falling asleep with my laptop in tow! I want to thank you for your involvement on this site. I checked it frequently and have been so touched by the number of visits this site attains despite the fact that it’s author has been snoozing on a keyboard lately. You have inspired me to drink a late afternoon latte and get back to deal finding and helping you plan the your big day!

Enjoy the new content and posts and thank you as always for your support!

 

2017 Trend..Statement Earrings on a Budget

 

TREND ALERT!

STATEMENT EARRINGS!

photo from Naeem Kahm, Getty images

 

Aha! 2017 is looking very sparkly with statement earrings making their way down several of the top bridal designer runways. Statement earrings can amp up a simple dress, add some sparkle to your photos and provide an inexpensive customization. This is a budget friendly trend! You don’t have to sport thousands of dollars of ice to make a statement with your jewelry.

Before you purchase a pair of statement earrings, be sure to check the return policy. Statement earrings can be very heavy. The last thing you want the day of your wedding is to have a headache from your accessories. Models only have to wear them briefly. You will want to wear them for an extended period of time so be sure that you can try them on and practice wearing them around the house to make sure they will be comfortable on the big day.

Here are some budget friendly statement earring picks to try on this trend! Click on the image to go to the store’s site! BaubleBar is my top pick manufacturer for inexpensive but trendy looking bridal accessories. There are enough stores that carry the line that you can ultimately find a sale on BaubleBar items anytime!

Now I may be a bit biased because I am a huge fan of the show but I am loving the Downton Abbey jewelry collections from Kohls! The jewelry is super afforable (most pieces under $30 before coupons) and super chic. They truly captured the sophisticated styles of the Crawley Family!

If you are buying online, remember to sign up and use Ebates first because you will earn a percentage back on all these stores listed. Every little bit helps offset expenses!

Nordstrom’s Tasha Crystal Teardrop Earring     $18.98 … 50% off!

 

 

Nordstrom’s BaubleBar Elizabella Drop Earrings, $21.60…40% off

 

Nordstrom’s Cristabelle Fringe Earrings, $35.40, 40% off

 

AnniDesigns, LLC Etsy, Pearl and Copper Earrings $19.95 +

 

SparkleSMBridal, Etsy $35.00

 

Kohl’s Downton Abbey Drop Earrings, at post time $26.25 before discounts.

 

Kohl’s Downton Abbey Earrings, $26.25 at post time before coupons

Registry Tips

Registering for your wedding gifts is a ton of fun! Who doesn’t love picking our items for yourself?! You can register at so many unique places now thanks to the Internet! I know brides who have registered at Amazon, Pottery Barn Kids (okay that was me!) and Campmor! Choosing the right registry source is an important decision. You want a store that is available to your guests, convenient for purchases, offers a large variety of choices and major perks for you. Checking the return policy is crucial!!! You will have duplicates and things you need to bring back. Below are some of my registry top picks and tips!

 

image courtesy of perfecthoneymoons.com

 

Recap of Registry Tips:

 

  • Choose a store that is available to all of your guests. Amazon.com has an awesome registry but keep in mind some of your older guests will be less likely to buy online. You will want to choose a second store to accommodate those guests.
  • Check the return policy!
  • Check out the perks they offer you (coupons, discounts, rewards, free products) and any special registry events. I registered during a registry event at Fortunoffs (before they closed!) and walked out with a $50 gift card, a king size down comforter and a belly full of appetizers and drinks!
  • Register at 2 stores to give guests options (3 or more becomes overwhelming and looks tacky).
  • Check if your store accepts coupons and has good sales.
  • Register for enough items for each guest (100 guests, 100 items). Some guests will chip in on larger gifts and some will make baskets of less expensive items.
  • Register for gifts that fit in a range of prices (you don’t want to register for too many big tickets items or tons of little inexpensive items).
  • Register for extra sets of everyday dishes, glasses and silverware. One day you may have kids and that means at least one of your sets will go missing or be destroyed. It’s nice to have replacements on hand!
  • Think about your future home. If you are not currently living in your dream home, it can’t hurt to daydream and shop for the future “forever” home. This means choosing extra bath decor for future bathrooms and dining room decor even if you don’t currently have a dining room! My husband and I went from a 1.5 bathroom condo to a 3 bedroom house. I had an extra bathroom set from our wedding registry that came in handy!
  • Think seasonal. Do you have platters for holidays? Do you plan on having outdoor entertaining? Little things like ice buckets and bread baskets really come in handy.
  • Look through your cookbooks. If you enjoy cooking or are planning on learning, skim through some of your cookbooks for equipment ideas. I saw that a “zester” came up often in mine so I added the $5 item to my registry. It comes in handy…so does my flour sifter and my apple peeler!
  • Bring a friend or your mom. It is nice to have company with you and not all future spouses (aka men) can handle the hours you may take inspecting ever possible registry item. Bring someone who has the same shopping tolerance as you and make a day of it!

 

 

 

I am a huge fan of Macys for a wedding registry. On the guest side, Macys usually has everything in stock and makes it easy to order items that aren’t. Macys also accepts coupons and has awesome sales both online and in store so you are sure to give your guests some affordable gift options. Macys can be found nationwide and can locate even some items that were moved to clearance.

 

From the view of the bride and groom to be…you get these perks if you register with Macys Registry Rewards Program (you need a Macys Charge Card for this!):

  • 5% of the total amount purchased from your registry on a gift card (I bought Christmas presents with my $300 gift card and my best friend bought a Dyson vacuum!) You will receive the gift card 30-45 days after your wedding date
  • 10% of your personal Macys purchases made with your Macys charge will go on that same rewards gift card
  • a 10% discount on jewelry (think bridal party gifts and wedding accessories)
  • two $20 off a $50 purchase coupons sent to you monthly
  • 10% off purchases made from the Macys bridal salon (this includes flower girl dresses, bridesmaid dresses, veils and more!)
  • a very simple return policy (I returned some china two years after the wedding and received store credit without an issue)
  • perks for registering for certain products- I received a Villeroy and Boch tray, stainless steel measuring cups from All Clad, kitchen sheers from Wusthof Knives all for free because I registered for their products through Macys (I only registered for a pair of tongs from All Clad!)

 

Kohls also has some great rewards and perks for their brides to be.

  • *You get 10% of registry purchases back in rewards (up to $200).
  • 15% discount on remaining registry items
  • 20% off $100 coupons for guests
  • special coupon offers
  • free gifts when you register for certain products! Learn more about the free gifts here!

Learn more about Kohls Registry Rewards here!