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Gifts

Local Etsy Seller: Jennifer Lauren Bijoux

We’re profiling our favorite local crafters who are selling wedding-related wares on Etsy. This week’s pick: a DC jewelry designer whose dainty creations are both timeless and affordable

By Samantha Miller

Finding the perfect bridesmaid gift can be a lofty undertaking, but Jen Badger Stojanovich’s line of customizable necklaces will leave even the pickiest of women craving more.

“Initial and monogram necklaces are so popular to give as bridesmaids gifts because they suit such a wide variety of tastes,” says Stojanovich. “I recently created a set of gold-filled necklaces for a bride to give her bridesmaids, mother, and future mother-in-law.”

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Fashion

Where & When: Bridal Edition

Styling night at Hitched, engagement and wedding-ring trunk show, and save up to 75 percent on designer gowns at a one-day sample sale

By Mollie Reilly
Gowns by Judd Waddell (left) and Oscar de la Renta (right), available at Hitched

Thursday, June 23
Tonight is your last chance to attend a styling night at Hitched. The bridal salon has a variety of accessories from Enchanted Atelier, including belts, headpieces, and more—and all items are discounted by 10 percent. Call 202-333-6162 to RSVP. 5 to 8 PM.

Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26
Maggie Sottero’s 2011 bridal line is in a trunk show at A Formal Affair (251 W. Lee Hwy., Warrenton). As a bonus, you can also meet with a number of wedding professionals who will be in attendance. Call 540-347-5126 to make an appointment.

Still looking for the rock? You might find it at Mervis Diamond Importers (1900 Mervis Way, Vienna) this weekend, where there’s an engagement- and wedding-ring trunk show. Rings are 20 percent off, and a few of the designers will be on hand to answer questions. Engagement and wedding ring trunk show at Mervis Diamond Importers (1900 Mervis Way, Vienna) Twenty percent off. Designers Martin Flyer and Sasha Primak will be there. RSVP through Mervis’s Web site.

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Budget

Bride on a Budget: Let Them Eat Cake

The search for the right wedding sweets leads to Internet success

By Stephanie Caccomo Wedding cake is awesome. It’s my favorite part of weddings—my mouth starts to drool a bit when the couple cuts the cake. So I was looking forward to finding our perfect cake. When we started planning, I had no clue that they were so expensive and oddly priced by the slice—$5 doesn’t seem like a lot of money until you multiple it by 150 people.

Matt and I thought about going with cupcakes, but I’m kind of old-fashioned and actually want a cake to cut. I just don’t want to spend a lot of money.

I first contacted bakeries near our reception venue to check their prices. Watergate Bakery charges $4.75 per slice. I asked if there was a way to save money, and they said no. All righty, then! Furin’s in Georgetown suggested cutting a small tiered cake but serving a sheet cake, which sounded great. However, dealing with Furin’s was kind of a hassle because the price of the cake changed every time I talked to them. Plus, when we tried their cakes, I wasn’t madly in love.

Inspired by a cake I’d had in Portland that was from a grocery store, I tried contacting two gourmet groceries here. Balducci’s quoted me $7 per slice for a basic cake. Too high. Wegman’s quoted me about $1 per slice, which was great until we saw pictures of the wedding cakes. They were literally a full sheet cake, half sheet cake, and quarter sheet cake stacked on top of one another. It said more Dora the Explorer than wedding.
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Budget

Bride on a Budget: Finding a DJ

Finding a wedding DJ isn’t all beautiful music if you’re shopping on a budget

By Stephanie Caccomo Any wedding veteran knows that the first dance tune is key to the bride and groom, but it’s the music that comes after that determines if a party will be a bust or a blast. I’ve been to weddings with big bands and DJs, and I’ve had a great time in both cases. If Matt and I weren’t working with a tight budget, I’d hire a big band without a thought. But our budget doesn’t have room for that.

Because we tend to like pop and rock and aren’t extremely picky about music, we thought a DJ would be an easy and cheap find. But I was a little disheartened when I went to a bridal show and talked to DJs who were charging much more than we expected.

Matt and I talked seriously about handling the music ourselves with an iPod and a friend to keep an eye on things. But when we told my mother about our plan, she pointed out some major flaws. Which unlucky friend would have to “work” our wedding? How would we ensure there was a good flow and rhythm to the party? Any backup plan? What the heck is an iPod?

My mother’s arguments made us think for a bit. How could we strike a balance in our wedding planning? We wanted to save money but not at the expense of giving our guests a good time.
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Bride on a Budget

Bride on a Budget: Save-the-Dates

Our budget-minded bride tackles her save-the-dates and finds a simple, cost-saving solution

By Stephanie Caccomo Vistaprint save-the-dates are cheaper—and less time consuming— than DIY. After Matt and I picked our date, confirmed our ceremony and reception locations, and created a Web site, we decided it was time to tell our guests what was going on. Save-the-date cards have become an important part of wedding stationery because they tell guests—especially ones who have to travel—the important details.

As I mentioned in my last post, Matt and I dedicated minimal funds to stationery because we planned to go the DIY route. But last time, I forgot to tell you my DIY rule: It’s only worthwhile if I’ll actually save money. Why go through all the effort of DIY if it might not save us anything?
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Budget

Brides on a Budget

By Arla Shephard When Deb Lee and Bill Banford got engaged in January, all they knew was that they were in love. They wanted a traditional, beautiful May wedding with all of their friends and family there to celebrate.

They also didn’t want to spend more than $10,000.

“It was a number we thought we could pay back without sacrificing eating out or seeing a movie every now and then,” says Lee, a professional organizer who lives in Upper Marlboro with Banford, a landscaper. “We like to take road trips, and we wanted to be able to still do things and not have our life disrupted by, well, one day. A very important day, but it’s just one day.”

Banford and Lee ended up pushing their wedding date back from May 2009 to May 2010 because of their difficulties finding a venue that would fit their budget.

The couple are among a growing number nationwide who are scaling back their weddings in light of the economic downturn. As many as 75 percent of couples this year are expected to cut costs on their big day, according to a recent survey by David’s Bridal.
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News

Free Wedding? Heck Yes!

Head to this bridal show and you could win a free wedding. Need we say more?

By Lynne Shallcross

Free. Wedding. Do we have your attention now?

We thought so! Ok, so here are the details: Head to the DC Couture Bridal Show on Saturday for the chance to win a $50,000 ecofriendly wedding. The fine folks at the Washington DC Couture Wedding Consortium are offering up a dream green wedding with the Decatur House as the venue, the planning services of Elegance & Simplicity, catering from Avalon Caterers, music from Mydeejay.com, and more.

In addition to the ecofriendly vendors who’ll plan one lucky couple’s free wedding, even the wedding date is green—April 22, Earth Day!

Registration for the bridal show is free—just sign up here. The event runs from noon to 5 on Saturday (1610 H St., NW), where brides-to-be can meet with an array of vendors and catch glimpses of an exclusive collection of dresses from Promise for the Savvy Bride.

 

More>> Bridal Party Blog | Wedding Guide | Wedding Vendor Search

Miscellaneous

Free Honeymoon? Yes, Please

Going on your honeymoon is nice. Going for free is even better.

By Lynne Shallcross
It’s no secret that the holidays are a popular time to pop the question. If Santa left you a box under the tree with something sparkly inside, you’re probably hot on the trail of wedding planning already. But before you decide on the venue, you might want to take a daytrip to Charlottesville.

If you book your wedding at Clifton (1296 Clifton Inn Dr., Charlottesville; 888-971-1800) by January 31, in addition to helping you plan your big day, the hotel will throw in a five-night honeymoon in a Paris penthouse—for free. Keep Reading ...

Miscellaneous

Will We Ever Use a Fondue Pot?

Couples have lots of choices when registering for wedding gifts. How do they decide what they’ll really need?

By Mary Clare Glover

I had been looking forward to Saturday all week. My fiancé, Andrew, and I planned to spend the morning browsing home stores and setting up our wedding registry.

My studio apartment in Dupont Circle was filled with hand-me-downs and bargains, and Andrew had always shared mismatched furniture and kitchenware with roommates. We were excited finally to start living like adults.

Although we had dated for five years before getting engaged, we’d never shopped for something we’d use together. Our plan was to check out Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel in Clarendon, then start zapping with the scanner. We were overwhelmed as soon as we saw the first wall of cookware. There were dozens of pots and pans—stainless steel, copper, Calphalon, cast iron—in countless combinations of colors and sizes.

Every time we turned a corner, we had more questions: Did it make sense to register for a coffee table when we didn’t know what our apartment would look like? We liked plain white ceramic plates, but would we get sick of them? Did we really need 12 place settings of silverware?

In theory, registering sounded like a blast, almost like a shopping spree. I thought we’d spend a few hours picking out things we liked, and that would be it. I didn’t realize we were embarking on a six-month process.

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