Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jewelry - Bargaining like it's your Business!

Some people feel extremely uncomfortable bargaining for things. My fiance, for example, would actually offer to pay more just to avoid offending someone. We go traveling constantly and while he'll pay however many pesos for a friendship bracelet, you can find me grinding the 10 year old who made it and asking for a 2 for 1. I don't care if something starts off cheap, I'm still going to bargain like it's a sport. And that doesn't even end the minute I get my passport stamped back at JFK. At 16 I bargained down a DJ from $1000 to $350 just by telling him that my Sweet 16 was going to have the hottest, dreamiest, most popular kids in school and that he could video tape it and use it to sell to other conspicuously consuming teenagers. It didn't even matter that I was a total NERD and was talking out of my ass. I was 15 and 1/2 and hooked on the thrill. I was like Glengarry Glenross Always Be Closing. I got 15% off candle favors from buying in bulk and then another 20% off by getting my friend's mom to use her employee discount. I used to get toiletries from the janitors at my school by trading them the candy I was supposed to be selling as part of my work study job. Shameless you say!? Please, if you're going to pay me $5.35 an hour, I'm not going to pay to wipe my own ass.

The bottom line is, while you are going to be looking for deals all over for your wedding, one place you should definitely be applying some muscle is with your wedding jewelry. ESPECIALLY if you are buying antique or vintage. I was able to talk two upper west side jewelers (Gallery II and Roslyn) down hundreds of dollars on diamond and platinum bands by just sticking to my price point which I arrived at from researching many a platinum and diamond band. Right now precious metals are at their highest, but that doesn't mean people aren't trying to sell either. Buy stones separate from settings for engagement rings or find someone who is trying to get rid of a family ring. Chances are they will get more from you than a jeweler and you will still get a big discount. My fiance got my engagement ring for 1/6 it's appraised cost by going through a dealer my boss knew. Ultimately, second hand jewelry never resells for it's appraised cost so don't be fooled by high prices and "vintage" or "antique" adjectives.

So go on you saavy, sexy shoppers. Show 'em what you're made of and make mommy proud!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bridesmaid dresses $75 or less, Oh MY!

Whenever I'm in a wedding I always feel that there are two options for bridesmaid dresses. Either you spend $200 on a bridal shop dress that reeks of the occasion, or you cross your fingers and hope you can find one on sale at J Crew. You can find some markdowns at  Ann Taylor, but by the time they get marked down there are none of the sizes that you need unless you want lime green. Nordstrom weddings has great wedding dresses for as low as $200, but the bridesmaid dresses still hover between $150-$200. What I want are great dresses that you can wear again that also cost less than $100. The best site so far that I have found is Modcloth. The following dresses are all under $75 and range from classic LBDs to cheeky treats. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

P is for Pumpkins!

Tell me you don't love these monogrammed pumpkins I love the playfullness of the light with the autumnal ambiance. The stars below are perfect for a night reception in the crisp fall. You can even carve out the centers of mini pumpkins to create votive holders. Man...I really want some pie now, or a pumpkin spice latte....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Centerpieces for $10 or less?

A few weeks ago, I helped my sister put together some centerpieces for her wedding.  Queen Anne's Lace worked great as a filler flower and we were able to add roses, a couple of mini callas, carnations, etc. from the flower market for an elegant design that bottom lined at around $20 per centerpiece. My wedding set up is a little different, however. Most of my tables are either 4 or 6 tops so a tall or too wide centerpiece will seem too extravagant. Also, many of the tables will be moved for dancing halfway through the reception so the pieces need to be easy to put up and take down. I don't want to skimp on drama or originality while also maintaining a bottom line of $10 or less. Here's what I got:

Tiki glasses as votive holders or vases.
You can get mini's for as low as $2.50 each and the larger ones run for around $5 each. DEAL!

I also thought of using tea and coffee cannisters and saw some nicely repurposed tins...

Cacti are another great option and you don't have to worry about wilting.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Favors...

New York City skyline coasters from Fishs Eddy, $3.95 for 10

I heart NY shot glasses from $1.99 each.

Heart Shaped bird feeders from Etsy.com 50 for $50

These candles with French written all over them have nothing to do with NY, but they are beautiful and $2.50 each ($5 for 2)

Very fashionable and of the moment are these silly bands with NYC themed shapes

passport covers with the skyline and tour bus marked down from $8.99 to $1.35 each and chocolate squares for less than $0.50

Black and white cookies and sports teams are a given, but what about Giants christmas ornaments from Kohls? At $5 each they are the priciest of the favors listed, but still a lot cheaper than any other team merchandise.