August 17, 2009

New Giveaway: Lego Bride and Groom

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 9:31 pm by Dory

One of my favorite things when I was planning my wedding was all the different bride and groom pictures out there (I may have to dedicate an entire post to it, actually). I came across a Lego bride and groom, and I was hooked. I had to get them!

It was actually surprisingly easy (and free!) to get this adorable couple. Some brides use it as decoration. Some use it as a cake topper. Some just like to have it on display in their home (that was me). Well, I thought I would pass on the directions as to how to get this couple for yourself.

All you need to do is email Lego’s customer service and say that you are getting married. They will actually send you a couple (and an arch set and flowers) for free! Of course, the bride and groom may not match your hair colors, but it’s still quite cute!

As wonderful as this may be, I am going to give one lucky BrideSaver reader a set of their own. You won’t have to wait for shipping from Lego (which will take a while, I promise).

If you would like to win, just post a comment saying how you would like to use your Lego couple. The contest will be closed on September 7 at midnight. Good luck!


August 8, 2009

Shower/Wedding Alphabet Details

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 8:06 pm by Dory

I am a teacher, and because of that, I love alphabet touches. My initials were always important to me (DMT), and I love my new ones (DTD). When I saw these featured on Martha Stewart, I knew I had to include them here. Maybe I’ll be able to use some of these in the future:


“Homespun white cupcakes are crowned with fondant hearts cut with a cookie cutter and imprinted with the bride and groom’s first initials using a new rubber stamp. Those bearing a B are paired with napkins marked with an H, and vice versa.”



“Letters found in vintage books or print shops can inspire beautiful cakes. If you find a monogram you’d like to use as a cake decoration, you can transfer the design from paper to a rolled fondant-covered tier.”



“To create these special cookies, monograms can be made by cutting dough into letters or twisting ropes of it into shapes. An initial could also be crafted in contrasting dough, or piped onto still-wet icing.”



Prior to arriving, the guests at this shower came up with words to describe the bride. They were used to decorate these cookies.



Mmmmmm… truffles!



I love how the little candies are shown off in coffee cups. Also, notice that the little jelly candies have pictures sticking out of each of them. The “R” cookies are adorable!



“Make an impression on guests by adding eye-catching detail to basic cookies with ordinary rubber stamps, which come in a wide range of designs, or ceramic cookie stamps. Since rubber stamps can be custom ordered, create your own, like our monogram. To yield the best results, use the stamps on cookie dough containing no leaveners, such as shortbread.

Tools for the Task: Rubber and Ceramic Stamps
Use inexpensive ready-made rubber stamps with graphic patterns (polka-dot stamp by Outline, stripe stamp by Hero Arts). Or order a custom rubber stamp; ours from Wax-Works has the monogram recessed, so the letters will be raised on the cookie. Ceramic cookie stamps, such as the bird cookie stamp by Rycraft, come in many pretty motifs.”



“Powdered cocoa forms a monogram on these stenciled chocolate cakes.”



“The monograms on these French patisserie-style charlottes, or molded sponge cakes, consist of piped chocolate batter baked into almond-flavored cake.”



“Silk flowers spell out a couple’s initials on a silk faille banner. Start with a 30-by-40-inch piece of fabric. Hem sides; sew 1-inch casing at top and bottom; insert 1/2-inch dowels. Hot-glue silk blossom to banner; hang with ribbon.”



“A chic pearl monogram tied with a satin bow hangs from a sconce. To make, string pearl beads onto 16-gauge wire; make loops at ends and shape into a letter 20 inches tall. Secure junctions with finer wire.”



“Personalize the entrance to the shower in an instant with store-bought wooden initials.”



One of my favorite gifts (which we didn’t register for) was a monogrammed kitchen towel.



The typical shower ribbon bouquet has an added touch with hanging letters.



“As everyone arrived at the party, they stacked their gifts marked with their assigned letter. As it grows, the present pile spells out the guest of honor’s name. “



“Cards written by guests are bound into an accordion-fold book.”



“The bride stands with a banner made of rosemary, which stands for remembrance.”



“Name tags for the favors — ranunculuses in espresso cups — are tied to Italian nougats, which are traditional wedding candies.”



“A clip-art letter can be scanned into your computer, or you can use a letter from its word-processing program. Make the letter or name a detail in the envelope of your shower invitation. A single repeated letter or the bride-to-be’s name is a treat for the invitees when they open the envelope.”



“To fashion these monogrammed labels, print on adhesive or regular paper and cut out with a 3-inch circle punch.”



“Give a glimpse of the favors inside with monogram-punched boxes. They make an impression and won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Boxes, B.T. Eelements. Alphabet punch set, Quilling Superstore. Cellophane bags, U.S. Box. Jelly beans, Jelly Belly. Ribbon, Tinsel Trading Company, 212-730-1030.”



I think the most thoughtful gift I got from one of my students after my wedding was a set of notecards with my new last name. How wonderful would it be to give this to a bride at her shower?

Thanks, Martha, for your amazing ideas!

May 7, 2009

Things-I-Love Thursdays: Grooms Cakes

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 5:05 pm by Dory

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Things-I-Love Thursday, but I think it’s about time. I’m hoping this can bring us over the 3,000 hit mark!

As one of my surprises for my husband, I had a custom groom’s cake made for him of the Virginia Tech football stadium (Lane Stadium). I had first called Charm City Cakes, which is known for their TV show Ace of Cakes. As awesome as it was to get a response back from them, I was not going to pay the $2,000+delivery. I talked to the country club that was hosting our ceremony and reception, and their pastry chef would be able to do this for what seemed like a steal for what we got (let’s just say it was less than my dress).

Here is how Lane Stadium looks:


Inside Lane

And this is how it turned out:




I would say they did a pretty awesome job!

In honor of my love of groom’s cakes, I welcome you to send me your favorite pictures of a groom’s cake. I would like to devote a few posts to this, simply because there are so many amazing cakes out there. Send them to me at

Ok, since this blog is all about saving money, the cake only cost $400. Besides the photography, this is my favorite thing about the wedding. Well worth every single penny!

March 22, 2009

Possible DIY Projects

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 8:16 am by Dory

Although I haven’t done all of these,  I thought I would make a list of all the possibly DIY projects that you could do for your wedding.

If you have any you would like me to add, please write a comment!


  • Program
  • Unity candle
  • “Reserved” chair signs
  • Aisle runner
  • Pew bows
  • Pomanders
  • Alter flowers
  • Bouquets and boutonnieres


  • “Love” letters (wood blocks)
  • Bride and groom’s initials (wood blocks)
  • Message marbles
  • Cake serving set decoration
  • “Reserved” chair signs
  • Monogram banner
  • Memory candles
  • Card box
  • Menu cards
  • Bar menu
  • Custom cocktail napkins
  • Custom coasters
  • Bathroom baskets
  • Seating charts
  • Seating/escort cards
  • Ribbon board
  • Centerpieces
  • Table numbers
  • Table number holders
  • Guestbook
  • Photo guest book
  • Signature photo mat (as guest book)

Cake Topper

  • Monogram cake topper
  • Figurine cake topper


  • Bridesmaid necklaces/bracelets
  • Monogrammed purses/totes


  • “Thank You” parasol
  • “Just Married” parasol
  • Photo share cards
  • Thank you cards


  • Invitation
  • Save the Date postcards,  cards or magnets
  • Monogram
  • Bridal party t-shirts
  • “Will You Be My _____?” cards
  • Thank you cards
  • Bouquets
  • Centerpieces
  • Hair comb
  • Veil
  • Hairstyle
  • Out of Town gift bags and pamphlet

March 15, 2009

Buying Wedding Sparklers

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 8:55 pm by Dory

(Image from Julie Weaver Photography)

They are called the new trend for weddings: exiting under a tunnel of sparklers. I love this craze, but it’s a little daunting to realize how much it might cost. As always, I did quite a bit of research, and here is what I found:

Bamboo vs Wire

There are two different types of sparklers: bamboo and wire. Bamboo, while cheaper (and it is MUCH cheaper), can be extremely dangerous, especially when you’re talking about yards and yards of a beautiful white fabric known as a wedding dress. The bamboo sparklers are known to splinter and break when waved around (and who are we kidding, we all wave those sparklers around when they’re lit). So unless you want to have this happen at your wedding, don’t get bamboo sparklers. Spend a bit more and know you will not be a walking candle.

Sparkler Size

This is not as black-and-white an issue as the type of sparkler. The size you get really depends on your budget and preference. Obviously, the longer sparkler you get, the longer time you will have them lit and then can walk down through them. But the longer the sparkler, the more it costs.

In addition, you have to think that if you get the longest sparkler, then there may be more time for problems. The longest sparklers are 36″. That’s 3 feet! That means that you have to make sure the guests back up three feet more while they’re waving the sparklers around, or you may be a candle bride. Just something to keep in mind.

As for the burn times, each website claims different things. I haven’t tested each out, but this is the most common idea for burn time:

  • 8 inches: 30-40 seconds
  • 10 inches: 45 seconds
  • 12 inches: 60 seconds
  • 14 inches: 70 seconds
  • 18 inches: 100 seconds
  • 20 inches: 120 seconds
  • 24 inches: 150 seconds (over 2 minutes)
  • 36 inches: 180-240 seconds (3-4 minutes)

Where to Buy Sparklers

The number one rule for buying sparklers for your wedding: Never say it is for your wedding. They will cost more money. Don’t believe me? Look at Their 20 inch regular sparklers are $24 for 48 sparklers. Their 20 inch wedding sparklers are $28 for 48 sparklers. Same sparklers, different packaging. I’d much rather get the 4th of July packaging and save a few bucks!

So here’s a breakdown of some online dealers and their prices. I have this as a nice chart, but unfortunately, I can’t post it here.

10 Inch Sparklers

  • $45/288 or $0.16 a piece
  • bamboo sparklers only
  • $7.98/96 or $0.09 a piece
  • $19.75/144 or $0.14 a piece

14-Inch Sparklers

  • $16.99/72 or $0.24 a piece
  • $21.48/36 or $0.60 a piece

20-Inch Sparklers

  • $35/48 or $0.73 a piece
  • $24/48 or $0.50 a piece
  • $2.25/6 or $0.38 a piece (minimum order 48 sleeves of 6 pieces)
  • $12.20/24 or $0.51 a piece
  • $7.25/12 or $0.61 a piece
  • $63.78/96 or $0.66 a piece

36-Inch Sparklers

  • $60/48 or $1.25 a piece
  • $27/24 or $1.13 a piece
  • $5.99/6 or $1.00 a piece
  • $31.20/24 or $1.30 a piece
  • $13.45/12 or $1.12 a piece

Just to let you know what I did, we ended up buying our sparklers from They were quick, great service, and we figured we’d enjoy the extra sparklers this summer, or we’d pass them on to another lucky bride.

(Image from Wild Bills Fireworks)

March 2, 2009

Giveaway: Custom Peggie People

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:01 am by Dory

In honor of our first 700 hits, I am so excited to introduce our first giveaway with Etsy seller Suzy of NakedPeggies. Suzy makes such a unique assortment of Peggies.


“What is a Peggie?” you might ask. A Peggie is a little wooden person that comes in several different shapes and sizes. They can be customized to make a bride and groom,


a family,


or even your favorite movie characters.



I personally love the Star Wars Peggies.


Suzy is such a sweet woman who is so excited to be able to be a part of BrideSaver. When I originally approached her about being our first giveaway, she responded with “I LOVE helping people save money!” Now how often do you hear of a vendor with that type of attitude? It is because of that response that I know she fits into the BrideSaver family.

How did you get started making Peggies?
“I have ALWAYS loved to paint things for friends and recently I had my own kids (boy 4, girl 3) And they LOVE homemade things, and they LOVE to craft and paint with Mommy! SO, as a stay-at-home mom I am always trying to save money.
“Before Christmas, I was looking online for dollhouse people to fill the dollhouse for my daughter that I had painted all types of furniture for, and I couldn’t find anything I liked. THEN I saw some wooden dolls, unfinished, and decided to paint them for her to look like our family. I bought WAY too many and decided to sell them off on ETSY but before I knew it I couldn’t stop coming up with new ideas for painting them and I couldn’t stop! My husband thinks I am nuts because with each new creation I giggle in anticipation! They make me laugh out loud when I am painting them.”

What is your most favorite thing to paint?
“Custom bride and groom cake toppers. I LOVE to get all types of pictures from the bride and paint the little ones to match as close as possible to the actual attire they will be wearing. The more unique the better!!”


So, Suzy is offering one set of her “Custom Happy Couple” Cake topper with pedestal for mounting to one of our lucky readers (a $45 value), because these are too fun NOT to share!!


So here’s how the giveaway will work: write a comment in this post. It will ask for your email address, but your email will only be able to be viewed by me.  I will choose one winner randomly from those that commented. For additional entries, just subscribe to this blog and post in the comments that you are now a subscriber!

Comment away! You have until March 14!

February 16, 2009

Alphabet Photography

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 5:12 pm by Dory

Some call it “alphabet photography,” some call it art-letters, and some just say, “What is that?” It is becoming an ever-growing popular gift, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to try it.


Everyone has seen the poster of the alphabet made with butterfly wings, like the one from Maybe that’s why I always wanted to be a teacher: I loved that poster! I just never thought of taking that idea one step further.

Now, you can go to a number of online sites where you can purchase prints of “found” letters in nature and the industrial world. Here are some examples:

As an amateur photographer myself, I knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate this into our wedding. I decided to then take some pictures and put together the last names of our ushers. Here’s an example of how it turned out:


As part of this, I started a collection of other lettes, which I would be happy to put together for anyone else as well.

February 9, 2009

Message Marbles

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:12 pm by Dory

I saw these adorable decorations on Style Me Pretty, and I just knew I had to try them. They’re called Message Marbles, and they look just as cute in real life as they do online. Here are my versions:


These were incredibly simple to do. Here are my directions:

  • Open a word document and make rows of circles. For the small marble size, circles should have a circumference of 5/8″ (or 0.625 inches).  For the large marble size, circles should be 1 and 1/4″ . You can make them a little bigger, and then when you cut them out, the outline is completely gone.
  • Print the template on your home computer. You can actually use just regular copy paper.
  • Use a scrapbooking circle cutter to cut out the circles.
  • Using glue, dab a bit on the flat side of the marble.
  • Press the decorative side of the marble to the glue on the flat side on the marble.
  • Let dry.
  • You can brush glue over top the dried paper, but it may make the marble appear cloudy.
  • Voila!

I also got a bunch of neat decorative scrapbooking paper, and here are some others I made.


I have a bunch of other neat papers as well. If you would like for me to make these for you for your wedding, shower, or other event, leave a note in the comment section. I’d be happy to do it for you at cost.