"The most precious gift that marriage gave me was the constant impact of something very close and intimate, yet all the time unmistakably other, resistant - in a word, real." - C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed


Considering your Budget for a Bridesmaid Gift

bridesmaidgiftThey have been there for you through all of the planning and stressing. They gave you a bridal shower, threw you a bachelorette party, were a shoulder to cry on at times, but also a friend to laugh with; they are your dearest confidants.

These friends have been chosen as your bridesmaids, special women in your life who have been there for you. You honor them by letting them play an integral role on your wedding day. They will be there to support you, adore you, and be beautiful figures to garnish your wedding party.

And for these reasons, these special women are deserving of a fitting bridesmaid gift, specialized to their liking, and personalized from your heart. Among the many purchases the bride must spend for her wedding, she must spend for her wedding, she doesn’t have to go for broke to buy her bridesmaids a personalized gift. Affordable or not, the giving of a bridesmaid gift shows your appreciation and consideration to these women. Here are some ideas for a bridesmaid gift to accommodate your budget.

Photo albums
Photo albums are great gifts to the bridesmaid who frequently takes pictures and these visual memories are worthy of being displayed. How many times have you developed your pictures, only to maintain the majority of exposures hidden away in storage? The five photos you decide to frame are spotlighted in your home while the rest of your pictures are collecting dust. Photo albums are the solution to preserving and acknowledging these visual memories.

Your budget can be flexible with photo albums, available at most stores and at various prices. Considering her favorite colors or designs will get you in the right mode to pick a fitting photo album for your bridesmaid.

Fruit-scented body splash or celebrity-endorsed perfumes are just a few degrees of body scents that you can give your bridesmaid. With the economical choice of body splash, you can throw in some other favors like lotions, soaps or scrubs, turning it into a gift basket. If you’d rather resort to an exclusive choice of perfume, department stores offer a wide selection of perfumes to choose from.


Choosing perfume for your bridesmaid is a luxury that she might not indulge on unless it was a gift. The perfume you give your bridesmaid will be a refreshing scent as she uses it to wear on all occasions.


If your want to go a little further into your spending budget, your bridesmaid will always look splendid in jewelry. A way to honor her is by looking into a charm as a bridesmaid gift. A small charm will commemorate her role in her friend’s wedding. If your bridesmaid has a charm bracelet, this special friend charm will be a great addition to her many charms.

If she doesn’t have a bracelet, giving her a charm bracelet will encourage her to start collecting charms of some of her favorite treasures, starting with the friendship charm from you.

Years after your wedding, your bridesmaid will remember the sentimental gift you’ve given her because it was thoughtful, not because it was expensive or low-priced. The budget you have set for a bridesmaid gift should be carefully considered, but just remember the wise belief that it is the thought that counts.


10 ideas for perfect wedding gifts

10 giftsWedding ceremonies are the stuff fairy tales are made of. Marriages are made in heaven, it is said. Keeping this age-old adage in mind, a heavenly atmosphere is created at the wedding venue. Aromatic smells fill the air. Guests decked in their Sunday best walk the red carpet with wedding gifts in tow. Giving gifts on the wedding day is part of the ceremony. A gift symbolizes the good will guests have for the newly married. Through these gifts, guests wish the couple a long and happy married life. Naturally, when wedding gifts are purchased the most important thing that one keeps in mind is their durability. It is usually felt that a wedding gifts should make a lasting impression.


Everyone wants to make a lasting impression. Here is how:


1. FOR THE BRIDE: Jewelry is on the top of the list for wedding gifts for the bride. Simple yet elegant pieces will ensure surprise and fascination when your gift is opened. You can select from pendants, chains, necklaces, bracelets, brooch pins, hairpins and earrings.


2. Gift accessories include exquisite evening bags, tote bags, handbags and clutch bags. Evening gowns and formal dresses are ideal clothing items.


3. Jewelry boxes, perfumes, make-up kits and bags are among other gift articles.


4. Diamonds are considered to be the ideal gift grooms can give their respective brides. Otherwise any of the above mentioned items would be considered worthy enough.


5. FOR THE GROOM: Formal gifts include ties, tiepins, cufflinks (gold, silver or diamond studded ones), wristwatch and pocket watch among others. Suits and shirts are formal wear that can be given as gifts.


6. Informal gifts include golf club sets, baseball sets or musical instruments like guitar.

7. FOR BOTH BRIDE AND GROOM: Gift articles for both the bride and groom can include funny and naughty items. However, such gifts can be given only by those who know both of bride and groom from close quarters. Otherwise such gifts can be deemed impolite. The list includes ‘just married’ goggles, T-shirts, hats, caps, flip-flops and toilet paper (!). Naughty gifts can include wedding night kits, honeymoon kits, marriage certificates, towels and robes.


8. DECORATIVE PIECES: Such gifts help the couple beautify their homes. Paintings, wall hangings and show pieces come under this category.


9. PERSONILIZED GIFTS: Names or even photographs of the bride and groom can be embossed on a variety of items like pillow cases, pillows, albums, wedding plates, photo frames etc. to give a personal touch to the gifts.


10. FRESH FLOWERS: Sweet smelling flowers are a natural choice for any occasion. Flowers impart joy to both the sender and receiver. To enhance the impact of the wedding gift you have selected, send some fresh flowers along with it. They are bound to catch the eye of the couple.


Finding the Perfect Bridesmaid Gift

bridesmaid giftThe bridesmaid gift is essential to the planning of a wedding. While many may believe that a wedding is all about the bride, it is still important to show appreciation to your bridesmaids. These are your right-hand ladies who have always been there for you. They have taken the time to be there and help you out on your special day and what better way of showing appreciation than getting them a bridesmaid gift. But how do you avoid getting a generic bridesmaid gift or something that they will just throw away when they get home? Here are some bridesmaid gift guidelines that should help you in your pursuit of finding the perfect bridesmaid gift.

1) Make it Personal. The most important thing to remember when getting a bridesmaid gift is to get something personal. It is easy to give gift certificates or cards as gifts, but it is much more meaningful if you pick something out that you know they will enjoy. If you know their favorite actor/actress has a new movie out on DVD, get it for them along with some popcorn and candy. If they like to go to concerts, give them concert tickets to their favorite group. A personal and thoughtful gift demonstrates to your bridesmaid that you pay attention to them and their interests.

2) Keep it Simple. You do not have to worry about getting something incredibly elaborate for your bridesmaid gift. This is not your time to demonstrate that you are a natural Martha Stewart. Remember, this is your family and friends and they already know that this is not the case. Jewelry makes a great bridesmaid gift. Everyone likes to get jewelry and it does not require you to cross-stitch pillows for each bridesmaid. A simple bracelet or a pair of earrings is a simple but elegant gift. There is no need to try to be crafty with your bridesmaid gift.

3) It does not have to be Expensive. Weddings are already incredibly expensive; do not let the bridesmaid gift add to your debt. An expensive bridesmaid gift is not expected from your bridesmaids. You do not need to prove your love to your bridesmaids by getting them something that cost you a lot of money, you just need to get them something that shows that you care. One idea is to get your bridesmaids some stationary. Stationary is not expensive, but is something that is useful and everyone can use. Another idea is getting each bridesmaid their favorite flowers. This shows you care without emptying your wallet. If you are really tight on cash, you can always right them a personal thank you note. Just remember that you do not need to buy the love of your bridesmaids with your gift.

4) Make it Tasteful. This is a request from someone who has been a bridesmaid several times. The cards that say “Maybe next time it will be you, but probably not” or “You don’t look good in white anyway” get old real quick. I would stay clear from a gag bridesmaid gift unless you know for sure that your bridesmaids will really appreciate it. The bridesmaid gift is part of your wedding and you want it to be tasteful and appropriate to the occasion. A possible idea is getting your bridesmaids your favorite book. This is something that is tasteful, personal but doesn’t require a lot of time or money. Also, you can give them a “relaxation kit” with your favorite scented candles and bath salts. Keep things elegant; your wedding is not a time for cheesy gifts.

While wedding plans can be very busy and even a little hectic, this does not mean you need to stress out about the bridesmaid gift. Remember to keep things simple and work on getting something that will be useful to the bridesmaids. Your bridesmaids will appreciate your effort.


Planning Your Wedding Decoration Budget

wedding budgetWhen it comes to your decorating budget it really depends on where the ceremony and reception will be on what decorations need to be present as well as what if any; themes that you are choosing.

For example, if you are planning an indoor dinner, you have to include centerpieces etc. The most common decorating choice for weddings and reception are flowers, and streamers.

While the streamers and various other decorations are generally inexpensive, the flowers can kill you. It is best when choosing your flowers for a wedding service and reception to use false flowers or paper machete flowers as they are cheap and reusable.

For those who would much prefer to use real flowers, it can be much cheaper to go with wild flowers and/or hand picked flowers. It is also a good idea to use them sparingly.

For example, rather than going all out and decorating everything with flowers just use a simple arrangement for the center of the table and place them in small vases or hand made crafts.

Of course you can also opt to keep the flowers strictly in the ceremony. Paper machete flowers re getting more and more popular as well as hand made roses that were created from tissue paper. When they are placed on green pipe cleaners or wires that are covered in green tissue paper they are quite attractive. It is a nice way to save money and spend some time with your friends and family in creating them.

When it comes to the decoration budget, this is a time when you will want the church, chapel or hall for the ceremony to cover them for you.

If that is not possible, the ceremonial decorations can be limited to those involved in the ceremony, such as their clothes. If you must, you can pin balloons to the areas where the guests will be seated or create some flowers out of tissue paper.

Streamers are always used, but there are other ways to decorate that are just as appealing. Here are some good tips for decorating at your wedding on a budget.

  • A really unique idea is to use glass containers and putting baby fish in them. It is very unique and attractive, and it is also cheap because the glass containers can be purchased at Wal-Mart and even a dollar store. The fish can be as cheap as you want them to be
  • Good old candle holders and candles are always a romantic addition to any wedding decor
  • If your reception is at night it is nice to add fireflies to a glass container with holes for air or even butterflies during the day
  • False flower arrangements in a bamboo pot are a very nice addition and keepsake for guests
  • Using white Christmas lights streamed through greenery is a beautiful decoration and is one that you likely already have available
  • Chocolate and candy flower bouquets are sweet accents to the décor and they can be souvenirs for the guests later.
  • Balloons, balloons, and more balloons are always fun

These are not the only decorations that are available but you are getting the idea. The best thing that you can do before choosing your decorations is to choose a theme first. Themes for weddings are just like choosing themes for anniversaries and birthdays. Once you can decide on a theme, you can decorate around that theme.

For example, if you are choosing to have your theme be tropical romance, you can use glass containers with sand etc. as centerpieces to your reception. Some extra and easy to afford themes include those that will be listed in the table below as well as some of the things that usually accompany them.

These are common wedding ceremonial themes that are used as opposed to the reception themes mentioned above; of course they can be used as reception themes too.


Wedding Planning Made Simple

wedding planningWith all the stress that can accompany wedding planning, it’s a wonder that so many couples decide to even have a ceremony. A significant amount of trouble that many people experience when planning their wedding is staying within a set budget, if they have one at all. Many people will hire a wedding planner, someone skilled at making sure wedding ceremonies go without a hitch. Hiring such a professional doesn’t come by cheap. Although many people consider wedding planning a daunting experience, by focusing on a few important issues related to your wedding you will be able to enjoy a less stressful time preparing for your special ceremony.


You’re probably wondering how you can focus on only a few aspects of your wedding ceremony. After all, the entire ceremony is special, right? While it is true that all aspects of a wedding are important, by focusing on those tasks that involve the most stress you can save time and ease your mind. By tending to the following wedding planning tasks no later than six months before your wedding date, you can avoid some of the stress associated with planning a wedding.


Keeping All Eyes on You
It’s a daydream of most young girls—what they will wear on their wedding day. Bridal gowns are a huge market and you will undoubtedly spend a considerable amount of time selecting the right dress for your special day. Many women already have some idea of the style of dress they want to wear. This can make things easier for you. If you have no idea what you want to wear, you will need to start shopping as early as possible. Before you hit the bridal stores, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the styles that interest you. You can start by flipping through bridal magazines, browsing the Internet, or attending bridal shows. When you actually visit a bridal store you will be able to tell the sales clerk what interests you. You can select your shoes and accessories the same way.

Performing Paper Detail
Wedding couples often wait to the last minute to consider wedding stationary such as invitations, thank you cards, and name cards. Your wedding day is a special day and your wedding stationary gives people a glimpse into what they can expect when they attend your wedding ceremony. You will need to have your guest list written so that you can have an idea of the amount of stationary you will need to order. As a rule, you should order 25 extra invitations and envelopes just in case you later decide to invite more guests.

Homemade stationary is becoming more popular. You can save money going this route. There are plenty of software programs available to make designing customized invitations a snap. You will probably have to provide the paper. Invest in the best quality paper that you can afford so that the ink from your printer doesn’t run. You can send invitations to your wedding three months before the wedding date. If you are inviting out-of-town guests, you should send your invitations at least six months in advance of the wedding date so that your guests will have adequate time to make travel arrangements.

Planning the Spread
Food is a big deal at weddings. Catering is a booming business and can be costly, depending the number of guests and the type of meal you want. If you are planning a wedding during the spring and winter months you will need to take care of catering arrangements early since these are popular times that people plan to have a wedding ceremony and your choices for catering companies may become limited. You should take time to review the people on your guest list and determine if you will need to order special meals. Are any guests on a special diet for health reasons? Any vegetarians? Low-carb dieters? A good variety of foods is always a good idea. Try to find a caterer who is highly recommended.

Once you have these tasks completed, you can continue with the other tasks on your wedding planning list. You can find tips about other wedding planning tasks at yourweddingplanning.com.