Archive for the ‘Helpful Sites’ Category

Remember when you were dating your now your soon-to-be husband and you always doodled “Mrs.______” ? You always wanted to practice signing your new name.  There are now so many options with how to play with your last name once you become a Mrs. Of course, it is a sign of your commitment and honor to your spouse.  But not taking his name doesn’t mean you don’t honor him  less.  The question of taking your spouse’s name comes up on the day you fill out your marriage license.  On it, there’s a box that asks you what you want to change your name to after you get married.

From my experience, I initially did the hyphenated name on my marriage license and chose to keep my maiden name after I got married.  Not that I didn’t like my husband’s last name, but I think that my name is unique because it starts with the letter “Z”.  I decided to keep my name for many reasons; I got my college diploma with that name, less of a hassle to change all legal documents with that name, and you are already known by that name with your collegues and past aquaintences, just in case someone was trying to locate you.

With more and more career-oriented women getting married, many have opted to keep their maiden name.  It’s their identity and they associate that with their accomplishments.  It’s a way of maintaining their professional structure seperate from their personal life.  And like I mentioned, it’s less of a hassle to change legal documents.

But if you wanted to change your name, it’s advised to use your maiden name as your middle name and have your married name as your last name.  This would make the transition on your documents easier, especially if your passport or license hasn’t expired & doesn’t need to be renewed yet.  It states your maiden name and it would be a given that you got married (stated on both your passport and identification card).  The benefits of this tip are you can have both your names and this will save you some cash.

The option of hyphenating your name is almost like changing your last name all together.  You do have to get your legal documents changed right away.  It’s different, not an addition to, like the previous mentioned.  I’m not sure why hyphenated names became so popular, but I think it was a way to keep their name  & to honor their husbands by taking their name.  The downfalls of this besides changing all the legal documents…..people will almost never get your last name right.  They will say one name, leave the other and it’s also a handful to say your last name.  A trend related to this hyphenated name change is for both husband and wife to have both the hyphenated name, so it’s equal.  You do have that option and you must also state that in your marriage license.

If you are dreading changing your name, there are services offered such as Ms. Now Mrs.. It’s easy to use an saves you from a lot of headache.  There are other similar websites out there that can also assist you.  They use a data base that transfers the name at once. But if you want to do all the changing yourself you have to see the following: DMV, Social Security, the US Postal Service, change your passport, the bank, your HR department, life insurance and financial policies, and the list goes on.


Read Full Post »

For the past few years the popularity of having a candy bar has been on the rise.  There are benefits to having a candy bar at your reception.

  • We love sugar.  Whether it’s hard candy, sour candy, chocolate, and jelly beans, it’s all good.  You will have no complaints about that.  On the contrary, your guests will remember the candy bar as one of the highlights of the reception.
  • A candy bar can be elegant and beautiful as a compliment to your wedding and reception. You can get candy to match your color scheme or candy to match your nostalga theme.  You can also get your favorite candies to to share your personality.  Most importantly, you can get personalized candy to commemorate you big day!
  • Little to no work at all.  Yes, we love that.  No hours of packaging and tying up little ribbons.
  • Well, this is a fact.  Your guests will be at your ceremony and will also be a little drained from waiting, so the sugar rush will be exactly what they need.

DIY instructions:

  1. No matter the size of your table, make sure you use a table cloth. It’s the most basic instruction to the “wow factor” for your table.
  2. Get containers (glass, ceramic, terra cotta, silver, wood, baskets).  I think getting the same type material is more attractive, ie. all glass.
  3. Arrange your containers from tall is the back to shorter ones in the front.
  4. Buy candies and over flow your containers.  Don’t forget to have your little scoopers.
  5. Make your baggies, take out containers, or paper bags readily available on the side.

Here are some of my favorite candies for the candy bar.

  • Rock Candy
  • M & M’s
  • Dum Dum’s
  • Button Candy
  • Jordan Almonds
  • Jelly Beans
  • Hershey Kisses

Here are some sites to buy candy in bulk:

Here are some ideas for different kind of “bars”.  Mix & match.  For the backed goods, don’t forget the milk.

  • Cookie
  • Doughnut
  • Candy Apples
  • Popcorn Balls
  • Brownies
  • Cupcakes
  • Potato Chips
  • Pretzels

Read Full Post »

I have a true story to tell.  One that involves my aunt, uncle, and grandfather.  They were invited to a wedding in San Diego and had to travel from Los Angeles.  They didn’t have a GPS system, so they pretty much have to rely on written directions.  No map was included in the invitation.  They were lost for 3 hours, never made it to the reception, reluctantly made it back home.  They didn’t get to share in the memories of a cousin’s wedding.

When you’re about ready to send those invitations out, you should always keep in mind to attach a map.  Those from out of town will surely appreciate it.  If your wedding is out of town, everyone will appreciate it even more.  I can’t stress the importance of having a map included in your invitation or even emailed out.

Now that I made you think about that, consider having your your map made.  I have found 2 in mind:

  • www.weddingmapper.com – this is a free service and a great tool. It’s very easy to use, it does all the research and you can also make a free wedding website.  The concept it DIY. You can also map sites of hotels, local amusements, restaurants, you name it….great for out-of-town guests.  I even used it for my wedding.  In my experience, I did get a little stuck trying to figure out how to print it though, but through their customer service and emails, they helped me out in no time.
  • www.idoweddingmaps.com – this service is a little different.  They create map for you and you can purchase a pdf file of a map or printed ones already, so you don’t have to worry about the technicalities.  Some people just want to have it all done for them without  the hassle.  On the downside, you can’t target all the local spots on the map like weddingmapper.com.  But if it’s basic info that you want on a map, then this website is for you.

I hope you got some idea or direction (LOL) as to how you want to map your wedding location out.  Please don’t forget the map!

Read Full Post »

Designing your wedding style will drive you a little crazy, but may be worth a little extra work when you see the finished result.  When I look at magazines, I notice the beautiful receptions with the lanterns, so I decided to investigate where I can find them. The idea of a DIY wedding is to have a great looking wedding/reception without the grand cost, especially on decorations.

Here are some websites I found that are very helping to get the hard to find decorative items:


  • This website is great.  There are paper lanterns you can attached to strands of party lights.  They also sell hard to find paper parasols which you can use to give to your guest to shade the sun.  I love this website because they also have many pictures to show examples of how you can use their products for decorations.


  • This website is soooo helpful. There’s many products for decoration, including those ostrich feathers that you place in vases for centerpieces, which have been very popular in retro chic receptions.  This site also has lots of pictures to show decorating examples.  Other products include balloons, lighting, tulle, tree branches, silk and dried flowers, etc. The list is endless.


  • This website is all about the ostrich feathers (well mostly).  You want to create that mood of classic 1930’s-40’s feel, then this is the place for you to get your decorations.  On a side note, I found sparklers sold here for that extra drama.  I think those would look fun in your pictures.


  • For the little odds and ends of decorations, this is the place to get your stuff.  It’s even more convenient if you can walk into the store that’s near you and search within their decorating selections.  I think Joann’s has more DIY project potential.


  • Michaels is the crafts store.  I like them because you can find a little bit of everything there.  The best thing about Michaels is their sales.  Right now, if you go on their website, you can get a coupon for 50% any one item with a coupon printed online (April 5-10, 2010).


  • Although some of the decorations available on this site is a little bit on the generic side, you can’t beat their prices.  You can mix and match and also create some DIY projects without spending much at all.  I love looking through their site because they always come up with new designs and they can match most color palettes you have.  They have everything from balloon to banners and everything in between.  I do actually love to recommend this site because you always find something unexpected.

Read Full Post »

Wedding dressYou just decided on your wedding date, and now you have to choose your wedding dress, but where do you begin?  I think some questions, you have to think about is:

  1. How much time  do I have before my wedding date?
  2. What style am I looking for (classic, contemporary, long, short)?
  3. What kinds of stores to I want to shop at?
  4. How much do you want to spend?

I think that you should first come up with a preliminary list. Come up with some ideas of what you’re looking for. then search the internet.  You can come up with a more clear decision of what kind of dress you want.  The reason why I think you should window shop on the web is, sometimes the task is overwhelming to decide what you want when you step into the dress shop.  Good thing my girlfriend who is about to get married told me to go dress shopping with her.  I told her to do her homework first because we all don’t want to spend hours and hours trying on dresses and going back and forth to different stores. It can be just as challenging as shopping for a car.

So here are the type of styles:

  • A-line (the most popular and figure flattering)
  • Empire waist (also flattering for fuller figures)
  • Princess (ball-gown style)
  • Trumpet or mermaid (best for thinner frames)

What styles are good for your body shape:

Don’t have misconceptions about your body shape and what you think your body looks good in. You may look at a picture and like what you see, but it may not look good on you.  Also you may think a dress looks ugly on a rack, but when you try it on, you look fabulous.  Open your thoughts to new shapes and material you might not even choose for yourself.

Here are the more popular types of materials:

  • Chiffon
  • Taffeta
  • Organza
  • Silk
  • Satin

Here are my tips to staying within your budget:

  1. Go to big bridal shows.  They usually have great sales (up to 70% off) on couture gowns.  These are usually sample dresses or dresses they had on display the vendors had in the store.  With the money you saved, just get it altered and dry cleaned and you’ve saved your insanity with your budget.
  2. Do a little more leg work when you’re in the store.  Search out dresses on the rack as they may be on sale.  Usually the sales attendants make money on commission so they show you the more expensive dresses.  They try to sell you outrageously priced accessories to go along with your gown.  If you’re not scared & you have the patience to do a little research you and find the ensemble of your dreams for less.

Read Full Post »

The popular trend with current photography packages is to get all your photographs on a CD.  It could range from hundreds to thousands of images. Your photographer may or may not color correct your images, with photoshop, but again it depends with your contract.  Of course, it would be best to ask your photographer if they could sign a release on all the photographs so you can reproduce the pictures on your own.  With this being said, and I know that a lot of couples are trying to cut corners with expenses, like myself, their packages may not include a photo album.

This is the situation that I’m facing, although I would very much like to have an album.  My photographer says that it’s going to cost me about $800-$900, of which I don’t have at the moment.  I opted just to get the CD of images and get an album done on my own.  During my research I came across two types of albums that peaked my interest: the photobook and the flush mount album.  To understand the differences, the photobook is more like a coffeebook, which has thinner pages, a hard cover, and costs very inexpensive. I’m planning to get a few for my family as gifts.  The flush mount albums are more elegant and more for keepsakes.  They are beautuful, more handicrafted, and costly as well.  This I will keep for my own.

Here are a few website that do photobooks and some to flush mount as well:

Here are a few websites that do flush mount albums.  Since most other companies only deal with photograhers directly, I found these companies that also deal with brides:

I don’t work with any of these companies.  I was just doing research for my own album and came across these companies.  I have yet to try them out and when I do try one or a few, I will update with future comments.

Read Full Post »