Should you hire a professional for your wedding makeup or do it yourself?

I’ve heard some arguments for and against the use of a professional makeup artist lately that I thought I would come up with a nice pro and con list for each of these:

Professional wedding makeup artist:  Pros

  • Possible to get it free with makeup purchase of a certain amount
  • You only use the makeup once, so need to buy special makeup you may never use again
  • Typically allow some sample trial applications to play with your makeup a little to find that perfect look
  • TEMPTU AIRbrush Makeup System ($225) is a lightweight system that lets you spray on concealer, blush, bronzer, or highlighter. It gives you a flawless, fresh, and dewy look. You can even use it all over your body.  Really fast to do….Sephora lets you do a trial of this stuff..
  • If you buy a wedding package sometimes it includes the professional makeup as part of it
  • If you never wear makeup this will add that extra surprise to the groom and obviously you shouldn’t attempt your first makeup application at your wedding
  • You can use a makeover as a gift to your bridesmaids as part of your package

Professional wedding makeup artist:  Cons

  • Price can range from $60-$100
  • If you’re not famaliar with the makeup artist they could do your makeup wrong and still have to pay
professional wedding makeup
Professional wedding makeup

Do it yourself wedding makeup: Pros

  • Like Chelsea Clinton, you could keep it real simple and opt to not wear any makeup.  Especially if you have a great skincare regimen and your skin looks great anyway like hers.
  • You already own your favorite colors and know how you like to look. Continue reading

Can you use your wedding dress for fundraising?

I was thinking about this the other day when I ran across an article about a lady that climbed mountains for cancer charities in her wedding dress. Most of us have heard of typical fundraising oppurtunities but this one was new to me.  In Anne-Marie hopes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in a dress, but it seems that that is currently prohibited in their guidelines for safe climbs.

Of course that isn’t as strange as what principal do for their kids at school once they reach a fundraising goal. See below.

wedding dress man kissing pig
Who doesn't want their first kiss to be a pig?

This was the deal, if his students made $15,000 in sales, Gerard Lotz would don a wedding dress and Principal Denise Bourgeois would wear a tuxedo, naturally, to be the groom. When administrators asked the students to pick a goal for the deal, the odd wedding scene was tops. Teachers joined in the merriment and dressed in an array of gaudy bridesmaid dresses.  Hopefully when doing Continue reading

Are white gold diamond wedding rings the new thing for men?

When my husband and I got married almost 12 years ago platinum and titanium bands were becoming pretty popular.  These rings have had their heyday but I’m noticing a comeback in the white gold diamond rings for men again.

white gold diamond rings

Their are cheaper offerings online made with a bare minimum amount of gold, which makes resizing rings more difficult and can actually damage the jewelry when attempted. I know this first hand after buying a white gold ring in Alaska on a cruise, once the ring was resized it looked horrible.

Grooms today prefer white gold to platinum because of its durability and affordability. White gold also retains its value longer than silver. Of course local jewelrs are having more of a challenge with the broad selection of the Internet from Continue reading

Why would you need wedding insurance?

I was just thinking about this the other day after reading an article online.  You can buy insurance on your wedding ring or engagement ring, insurance for that honeymoon cruise in case a hurricane blows through, and insurance on the tuxes for the wedding.  Why not buy wedding insurance on the entire event?  Now remember, this doesn’t cover the bride or groom “backing out” of the wedding. This covers other things that are out of your control so you could actually get your money back.

wedding insurance
wedding insurance for the unexpected

I discovered this website called that can cover the following items, I created a list of what a basic wedding policy ($30) from them can cover, they have more expensive ones that can Continue reading

Are paper wedding invitations necessary anymore?

The more I think about technology the more I question the traditional practices surrounding weddings.  Do we really need to buy  “Save the Date” magnets when you can send out an Evite to everyone on your friends list on Facebook and by e-mail? I mean, I guess sending out modern wedding invitations might keep your mom happy BUT do we need it?

Over at Huffington Post, I was reading a great article  that stated, “Is social media killing simple etiquette?” This seems to overflow to traditional media like RSVP’s for wedding invitations sent by snail mail too.  In fact, more than 80% of personal invitations and personal e-mail requests receive no response at all. They are simply ignored.

angelina jolie & brad pitt getting married, wedding soon
Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt getting married, wedding soon

Speaking of weddings, I just heard today that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are getting married.  You want to know why Continue reading

Are wedding cupcakes the new trend instead of cakes?

In general I’ve been noticing a trend in weddings.  People are preferring simple wedding cupcakes over traditional cakes it seems.  I was just reading about Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher (of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators) over at msnbc.

“We’re kind of doing cupcakes,” the country star tells CMT Radio Live’s Cody Alan. “I consider myself a very traditional person. More than anything, we’re going to get married, that’s the important part. And we want everyone to have a good time, so we’re doing some things like that, that are a little bit different.”

Underwood plans on keeping the marriage very private.  “Not to say even anybody would care to show up, but just in case,” Underwood told the AP. “Like anybody, you deserve to get married and have a great day as people. I’m not going to be Carrie Underwood the entertainer walking down the aisle. I’m just Carrie, and I’m going to marry Mike. I feel like that’s kind of a right everybody deserves to have.”

iveycake wedding cupcakes Nashville, TN
Iveycake wedding cupcakes Nashville, TN

Underwood is ordering the cupcakes from IveyCake at 100 4th Ave N, Franklin, TN 37064, which is run by Ivey Childers — the wife of Underwood’s bass player, Mark Childers. Ivey “makes the most amazing cupcakes in the universe,” Underwood says.  Ironically the website went down for the duration of the day after so many people overwhemled the server.  I’m sure Ivey Childres will more than happt to upgrade her website hosting plan after this. Continue reading

Top 10 things you need to buy after the honeymoon

Before I get to this list, want to share a way you could some items off the list.  Just found out on twitter about a contest at  You can enter in their contest for a chance to win some Fieldcrest luxury premium towels.  I’m sure all of us have our favorite towels.  My husband and I splurged about 4 years ago on some high end towels that could only be used by us.  Our children get good quality towels but ours are extrememly soft and big.  Here’s some quick details about these Fieldcrest towels.

  • Made of 100% Premium Supima Cotton for Maximum Absorbency, Loft and Durability
  • Rich Assorted Colors
  • Machine Wash, Tumble Dry
  • Sizes – Bath 58×30; Hand 30×16; Wash 13×13 “

Also seems like the reviews on them have come back pretty positive over at Target – “These towels are so soft and after numerous washings, still look new. Have a wonderful expensive look to them and I need to go back to buy a few more! If you want to know the full contest rules check this out.

happy honeymoon couple on the beach
happy honeymoon couple on the beach

When getting married there are definately a few things you should pay a premium for.  In fact I’ve compiled a list:

Top 10 things you need to buy after the honeymoon:

1.  Soft Luxorious towels for your daily baths or shower

2.  High end, 2000+ thread count egyptcian cotton sheets for your bed and pillowcase.

3.  Memory foam mattress (or topper) for the little sleep you find time for in the first few months.

4.  His and her power toothbrushes

5. DVR from Tivo or your local cable/dish network so you never argue over shows missed or games.

6. A cellphone plan that works best for your needs as a permanent couple with free mobile to mobile minutes and unlimited texting.

7. A calender, to lay out plans for your next vacation and private getaways. (It’s good to let the honeymoon set a tone on what kind of vacations your spouse will expect for the future)

8.  Caller ID, so you can avoid phone calls from the mother-in-law or others when necessary.

9.  Large bottles of cologne and perfume to ensure you always smell desirable to your partner.

10.  Buy some equipment for your hobbies so you can share that passion with each other.  It could be a tennis racket, a mountain bike, running shoes, a guitar, etc.  Couples that play together, stay together.

You have any other suggestions on what a couple should buy?  Let us know.

Wedding albums that capture the best of your wedding

We all want great wedding photography during our big day but how you showcase these gorgeous photos afterward can be challenging.  You can always go the dirt cheap and simple route.  Places like VistaPrint and Walmart let  you create a cheap album for very little.  But, I’m guessing you want something that has a little more  flair.  I was wondering around today and ran into these guys over in the UK that do desginer wedding albums (“Photo Productions” is the name).  They have three different styles to choose from to fit any style of wedding:

wedding albums
Wedding Albums that capture the essence of your wedding

After uploading your photos our expert graphic designers get to work. Customise as much or as little as you want when ordering and they’ll knit your images into a stunning visual photo book. They do the hard work and it’s all included in the price. Continue reading

That quick low budget wedding worked out perfect last weekend

The wedding I mentioned 2 posts ago at “How to plan a wedding in 1 week & under $1,000 dollars” went off without a hitch last weekend. The key to pulling off a wedding for this cheap is to pull from your string of favors owed to you and good friends you have on Facebook.  Here are the quick notes from the wedding from my friends perspective. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

red flowers, black vines, white fondant wedding cake
Red flowers, black vines, white fondant wedding cake

My cousin Susan was a beautiful bride last night (2.13.10) as she married the airman of her dreams surrounded by Continue reading

A wedding planning blog that gives some free tips and trends for 2010

Was browsing around yesterday looking for the coming trends in 2010 and ran across a wedding coordinator website titled “Planning Elegance”.  These guys are one of many San Francisco Wedding Planners but they seem to not just sell their services.  Great tips and advice can be found throughout their website and coordinated Wedding Blog. They had a great article on the top 5 wedding dress trends for 2010.  My favorite one mentioned was wedding dresses that offer a hint of color in red.  What a great way to highlight a favorite color of the brides or bring in that special something to help make your wedding more memorable?

Here’s a wedding dress with a hint of red to it.  What do you think?  Do you think the editorial staff at would feature it in their spread?

wedding dress red color accent
Wedding Dress - red color accent

After finding this dress I was inspired to find a nice matching wedding planning board in red & white.  The first theme that pops up with these colors is naturally Christmas, Valentine’s, even 4th of July BUT you can find many other ways to integrate a red hint of color in your wedding without it feeling like a holiday festival.  It took me about 15 minutes to find a red wedding inspiration board that didn’t involve a holiday so I hope the following board inspires you. Continue reading

How to plan a wedding in 1 week & under $1,000 dollars

I have a friend putting together a wedding for her cousin in one week. Will not go into the intimate details on why their was only a 7 day window but I hope to pass on some valuable insight into what sacrifices must be made when planning a quick & cheap wedding so quickly.

last minute weddings cause stress
last minute weddings cause stress

I give kudos to those married couples that have done something like this before, inspite of surprising last minute injuries. Of course, in their case it was her second wedding, not her first. I was also reading this:

If you have a little flexibility and make decisions fast, you can save big bucks on your wedding day. As Chris Mohr, a longtime wedding minister at Foothills Chapel in Colorado, explains, “People pull off pretty elaborate funerals in just a few days all the time.” Not to be macabre, but weddings aren’t that different — location, ceremony, flowers, music, food. . . .

Here are 5 quick advantages of a wedding on a short notice:

  1. Shorter notice typically means fewer guests attend, and the more time families Continue reading

Would you rent a faux wedding cake to save money?

Your traditional tiered wedding cakes from a local bakery typically prices out to at an average of $5 per serving. We all know the cake alone can take quite a bite out of the overall bridal budget, especially when you consider serving 100 people or more. Cupcakes are becoming a popular alternative, but even those aren’t cheap, and can start at $3 each from local cupcake specialists. With a little ingenuity, there are lesser-priced options to feed your guests that won’t sacrifice in taste or style.

faux showpiece wedding rental cake
Why pay for a wedding cake you eat when you can rent a fake for less?

If you have a lot of guests to serve, you can save several hundred dollars by renting a faux showpiece cake from a number of locations for $75 to $100 and then just serve an inexpensive sheet cake instead (a half sheet cake from Sam’s Club will serve 40 people at a cost of a mere $1.15 per slice). Choose between multiple designs for your faux cake Continue reading

Would you donate part of your wedding budget to help victims of Haiti?

It’s hard to imagine giving part of your budget to those ravaged by disater in another part of the world but Leah Bogen felt compelled to do something. When bride-to-be Leah Bogen saw the newspaper pictures of the devastation in Haiti resting next to bridal magazines on her coffee table, she knew the decision was a no-brainer.

Leah Bogen wedding donation Haiti
Leah Bogen gives $2500 wedding donation to Haiti

She asked her fiance, Will Nicholson, if they could donate a quarter of their wedding budget, $2500 dollars, to Partners In Health for the relief efforts in Haiti.   I must say, this story about Leah and Will’s donation of $2500 of their wedding fund touched me much deeper than the Obama’s $15,000 contribution. This is a true love story, full of heart and inspiration.  What this couple did was a true sacrifice.

The contrast of reading about the devastation from the earthquake while planning a big party struck her. She made a decision right then to donate the money they planned to spend on the wedding dinner — 25 percent of their entire budget — to people in Haiti. Her fiance didn’t need any convincing.

“She totally blew me away Continue reading

What does your wedding ring mean to you?

I just read thiss story today about an Air Force pilot that lost his life during a training session and his wife’s strong desire for them to find his wedding band..  Here are some of the details below.  Luckily, it has a somewhat of a happy ending….

crying military widow - mourning
A military widow mourning

A tragedy that claimed the life of a 28-year-old Hill Air Force Base F-16 pilot ultimately ended with a miracle.

On June 22, 2009, Capt. George “Ice” Houghton, originally from Candler, N.C., died when his jet crashed at the Utah Test and Training Range, about 35 miles southwest of Wendover, Nev., during a night training mission.

Assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing’s 421st Fighter Squadron at Hill, Houghton’s jet went down in a remote area of the UTTR commonly referred to as Baker’s Strong Point.

Debris spread for miles from the crash site. Air Force officials combed through the site, investigating the accident and gathering Houghton’s personal items.

Devastated by the loss of her husband, Houghton’s widow Josie wanted only one thing from the crash site: the pilot’s titanium wedding band. Continue reading

Should you attend a bridal show before selecting your wedding vendors?

We all have Facebook friends that can typically refer a few of their top rated vendors on a photographer or wedding cake for your wedding. But hoe do you find vendors for all of those other aspects of your wedding that you don’t have a personal reference for? Here’s just a few vendors to keep in mind other than your rings and wedding dress:

Wedding & Bridal shows - bring your color board
Wedding & Bridal shows - bring your color board
  • bridesmaid dresses
  • candles
  • caterers for the reception
  • décor
  • flower arrangements
  • invitations
  • sample wedding cakes
  • table centerpeices
  • wedding DJ’s & musicians
  • wedding photographer portfolios
  • & more

Many local conventions centers will hold an annual wedding expo that allows Continue reading

What would you do if your wedding dress was stolen?

It was your typical day in Rapid City, Michigan for bride to be, Teoni Taylor.  She went in to a local grocery store to grab some last minute produce for dinner that night and thought it would be OK to leave her car running since it was so cold.  She thought she locked the keys with her remote but found out when she returned she must not have.  Small mistake, USUALLY,but  not only was her car stolen, but the wedding dress too.  In her words. “”Two bridesmaids’ dresses, a wedding dress, purse, car seat, wallet, toys.”   I guess they don’t teach you everything in hair stylist school.

Would this bring out your bridezilla?

It is a story that would cause just about any bride to have a nervous breakdown. Taylor said she cried a lot, but had to get over it. With just nine days until the wedding, she had little time to waste. “I was pretty nervous,” said Taylor. “I know it’s just a dress. I was just Continue reading

Carrie Underwood’s engagement ring is massive!

Carrie Underwood’s new engagement ring from her finance, Mike Fisher, could blind most anybody.  It is estimated at around $150,000 and said to to be a 5-plus carat round flawless yellow diamond with diamond sidestones. It was designed for her by jeweler Johnathon Arndt. Take a look at a ring that looks like the Carrie Underwood 5 carat engagement ring.

carrie underwood engagement ring 5 carats
Carrie Underwood engagement ring - 5 carats

Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher are engaged as most people know? The story allegedly surfaced after a friend of Fisher’s had something about it on his Twitter page. So anyone who was following that guy got to read, “Congratulations to Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood! We just got the call at our family Christmas get-together.” The Ottawa newspapers got a hold of that news and ran with it. Then the next day Underwood’s publicist confirmed the couple’s engagement.

Carrie Underwood says she and fiance Mike Fisher knew they had to work fast to tell friends and family about their engagement Continue reading

Kevin Jonas & Danielle Deleasa Jonas new wedding rings

Wanted to write about this one since the wedding rings chosen were so beautiful to me.  You see, Kevin Jonas & Danielle Deleasa Jonas have exchanged vows at their extravagent ceremony this past Saturday at the Oheka Castle in Long Island. Despite a blizzard blanketing the roads around the castle, the wedding went forward without a hitch, and the bride, escorted by her father Thomas “Bucky” Deleasa, walked down the aisle to “Bella Notte,” from Lady and the Tramp, played on the guitar by a friend of the Jonas family.  Now comes all the fine details about the custom built Jacob & Co. wedding rings.

According to a release from the jeweler, Danielle’s wedding band was constructed out of 18 carat white gold. The stones you see flanking the entire ring are round-cut brilliant diamonds totaling 3.83 carats.

Danielle Deleasa Jonas wedding ring
Danielle Deleasa Jonas wedding ring

Now lets talk about the Kevin Jonas ring.  The oldest Jonas Brothers’ wedding band is made out of stainless steel and boasts two single rows of brilliant-cut diamonds along the edges of the band. His carat total: Continue reading

When is it OK to take off your wedding ring?

lotion hands remove wedding rings etiquette
It's proper etiquette to remove wedding rings when adding lotion to your hands

After being married and hearing the different reasons wives take off their wedding rings I wanted to write a post about it, regarding etiquette.  Most of the time I take my rings off when doing dishes, putting lotion on, or when I put my gloves on to do some yardwork or gardening (just feel weird in the glove).  I have met people that swear they will never take their ring off, haven’t in 30 years, and it seems the ring has become permanenetly part of their finger (actually they’ve gained weight and the ring would not come off without surgical removal).  This is what I’ve found on the subject.

The best advice is to first choose a wedding ring you love and won’t mind wearing all the time. It doesn’t have to be a perfect match with your engagement ring. You can choose to wear your wedding ring and engagement ring together on your left hand; wear your wedding band on the left and engagement ring on your right; or just wear your wedding ring. (Many women choose not to wear their engagement rings all the time simply because their setting could snag on clothing, among other reasons). If you really love your engagement ring, you should wear both rings. That way, you can still show off your engagement ring, and your happily wedded status.

Others just wear their wedding ring because they hope to keep the engagemet ring to pass on to their daughter or as an heirloom in the family. Of course, once your husband has spent that much on an engagement ring you may want the world to always see it. Some opt to only wear their engagement ring because it has a fat rock on it and they want people to know how rich their husband is doing…….anyway….. Continue reading