Groom's Gifts for Stumped Brides

According to the etiquette books and websites I visited, appropriate choices for a groom's gift include engraved picture frames, leather desk sets, and monogrammed handkerchiefs. I can picture the confusion on my fiance's face opening any of these items. They're just not a good fit. So how might you adapt the tradition so that it has meaning for the man in your life? As with all things wedding-related, one way to keep tradition alive is by making it your own. ...more
I love gifts for the groom that are personal to them.  My husband loves his pocketwatch he ...more

Manners & Misfits: Reasons to care about wedding etiquette

For a while now, a dominant trend in weddings has been personalization and originality. Wedding vendors have responded with goods and services custom-tailored to suit your retro, rustic, gamer, steampunk, or rockabilly wedding. Even so, the wedding section at your local bookstore is likely filled with books on traditional etiquette. That might seem constraining to conformity-averse couples (I'm half of one myself) who are comfortable bending rules....more

April Flowers: A Wedding/Party Favor Giveaway!

I'm not a big fan of trinkets that collect dust, and have no idea where any favor I have ever received at a wedding might be today, which is why I decided to skip that expense at my own wedding. Discussion boards reveal that I'm not alone. Lot's of couples on a tight budget are cutting back on the things they think nobody will miss so they can afford the food/music/venue they really want and the things that really make a party memorable....more

On a Stick and in My Budget: Fun Wedding Food Ideas

I love wedding stuff that's not only fun to plan, but a blast for guests and relatively cheap. Inspired by a vendor we featured recently, Bella's Concessions, I spent an hour or two admiring country-fair and carnival style weddings all over the web (check out my resulting pin board). I love the idea of fairground-style food, barbecues, and casual buffets to keep things fun for all ages and easy on the wallet....more
I love the retro popcorn bags. So cute. I like the chocolate cigars ...more

Show & Tell: Resources for Crafty Brides

Not to knock Martha Stewart Weddings, but there are many other resources out there worth exploring, and something for every type of crafter. I have an uneven track record when it comes to creative projects. As a person with some artistic ability and imagination I feel like I should be craftier, but I've left a lot of projects unfinished over the years, most of them ruler-heavy. I need to be impressed with myself early on in the life of a project to stick with it. The sites I gravitate toward include lessons learned by trial and error and proudly displayed crafting flops....more

Shopping For Old Stuff: How to spot vintage gold

Last year I found myself attending an event that required a "gown." At the mall I found a lot of cocktail dresses that are short on the short. Being long of femur, they barely covered my lady bits. The alternative long-dress options within my budget were mostly shapeless chiffon numbers which did nothing for me. Attracted to the tailored styles of days of yesteryear, I liked the idea of buying a vintage dress, but wasn't sure what to look for. My mother is an experienced sewer of clothes (by my standards), and could tell me what is and isn't an easy alteration....more

Mancrafts For the Groom: DIY wedding beer

Many aspects of wedding planning are a chore if you're not easily absorbed in details like color palette subtleties (apricot with ivory versus bisque). This is more likely to be the case if you're a man. Everyone should have an opportunity to actively contribute to their own wedding as it takes shape. If you or someone you love is feeling alienated from their own wedding, it might be time to come up with some non-girly avenues for personal expression. Brewing some wedding beer is one such fun, hands-on project that might be a little more up their alley....more

A Love Letter for Small Budget Brides

I enjoy weddings big and small, but I'm definitely not a typical wedding junkie. I'd never picked up bridal magazines until I agreed to have one of these things myself, and they pretty much confirmed the idea that "traditional" bride-dom was not for me. As a bride-to-be I've become more curious about how my the people who share my genes (and aversions) have celebrated marriage....more

Etiquette & Elopement

I know those two words don't really go together--eloping isn't so much a rules game. But they might if you are a fully-grown adult who no longer makes decisions for parental effect (OK, those qualities can coexist). I guess what I'm saying is that the reasons people "elope" are diverse and guidance regarding how not to offend might be a help....more

Barn Weddings

"Elegant" is the most overused adjective in the world of wedding planning, and it is commonly interpreted to mean "expensive-looking". For a couple on a budget, the quest for elegance can be hell on the wallet. It can also make for a celebration that looks a lot like it's "supposed to", but not much like the bride and groom themselves. I'd like to suggest sidestepping cookie-cutter wedding elegance in place of alternatives that create a unique sense of specialness, like a barn....more