Weekly Wedding Deals + Steals

Hey gals: Good news! This week, I’ve rounded up a mix of marvelous, wedding-related deals that I think many of you might find interesting … after all, planning a wedding can be intense – financially and emotionally – so every little “steal” counts!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that when you click through and make a purchase, I may receive compensation. Please note that this NEVER means you pay more as a customer.

  • COSABELLA: Super luxe lingerie (indulge yo’ self!) for your Big Day underthings or honeymoon packing, now 50% off when you purchase an online credit through Gilt through Thursday, May 11th. ($100 through $1,000 credits available.)
  • BHLDN: I LOVE the scent of Capri Blue candles and these “Be My Bridesmaid” or “Be My Maid of Honor” candles have been slashed from $34 to $14. The classiest and most delicious-smelling way to ask your ladies to join the bridal party,
  • DEBORAH LIPPMAN: Nail polishes don’t get any more chic than when they’re poured in Deborah Lippman bottles. Nab your favorite colors (we love the sheer pink Chantilly Lace for brides) at a 50% discount when your purchase an online credit via Gilt City – $60 – $150 credits available through May 21st.
  • RIFLE PAPER CO: These marigold place cards are perfect for a small, summery wedding outdoors and are currently on sale for $5.63 for an eight-pack (regularly $7.50).
  • EBATES: For its birthday week, Ebates.com is offering 15% cash back at a ton of fabulous retailers, including VIX Swimwear, Ulta, Things Remembered, Sunglass Hut, Philosophy, Neiman Marcus (whoa!), Macy’s, Lancome, eBags and many, many more places to nab great deals for the wedding festivities and honeymoon!
  • OLIVE + PIPER: This coral hued “Bridesmaid” trinket box is the sweetest way to gift your bridesmaids jewelry for the wedding day, and at only $10 (originally $28), it’s won’t break the bank!
  • DAVID’S BRIDAL: Top your cake with this silver “Happily Ever After” topper, only $9.99 (originally $32.95), just over 7″ tall and 5″ wide, it will look great on any size cake.
  • JOANN: These gold metal and glass terrariums scream summer! Hang them to create a lush space indoors or use them for centerpieces at your shower or reception; the options are limitless. Scoop ’em up for $14.99 (originally $29.99).
  • RENT THE RUNWAY: This creamy, lace illusion dress is the ideal solution for a sweet and sexy bachelorette party, and the best part? It’s only $50 to rent for four days at Rent the Runway, but retails for $338. Plus, $25 Off First Order From Rent the Runway of $75 Or More

*Please note that all prices and availability above were accurate as of Monday, May 8 when this was posted.*

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FREE: Sunset Mr and Mrs Printable

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It’s that time again! Oooh, and this one is a good one 😉

For all of you in need of a little shot of color on that gallery wall, or who are getting ready to gift a bride in your life, we’ve got this sweet sunset printable that features “mr and mrs” in a fanciful, white script.

{Perfect for destination wedding decor, might I add!}

Simply download and print this Sunset Mr and Mrs PDF – sized for trimming to 8″ x 10″ after printing on a standard letter-size sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper.

Want to customize your print with your wedding date or “Established” year? Easy! Just hop on over to our Etsy page, where we sell the customizable version for $1.99.

Ideas on how to use this print …

  • Framed on your hallway gallery wall in a simple thin, white frame
  • On your home office desk in this chic, acrylic frame
  • Printed and framed in honor of your bestie’s destination wedding
  • Framed and displayed at a tropical themed bridal shower
  • As a take-home gift for your {married} bachelorette attendees
  • Within your wedding album

Have your own creative idea? Leave us a note in the comments and let us know how you’re using this free printable!

Year One

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It’s crazy to believe that it’s been one full year since we made it official.

And just when I thought things would become boringly slow, we’ve somehow managed to maintain the same chaotic pace throughout our first 365 days as wedded folks. A few weeks back, as I was plotting a way to mark our first anniversary, I began to tick off the travel that we’ve put under in our belt in “Year One.”

  • Bora Bora – New Zealand – Australia (Honeymoon!)
  • Toronto (Memorial Day Getaway)
  • Grand Bend, Ontario – a quirky little beach town (Fourth of July)
  • Vancouver – Whistler – Seattle (Summer Vacation)
  • Chicago (A Hamilton musical birthday surprise – MAJOR bonus points)
  • Palm Springs, California (Winter Vacation)
  • Maui (Self-declared Adult Spring Break)
  • New York City (Anniversary Trip)

Like, what the? Who and when did we manage time for all of this craziness? {And, just in case you’re wondering, I can assure you that we maintained a more-than-healthy savings rate through all of it; I promise that I don’t condone spending outrageously on travel!}

Anyhow, it’s been one helluva year. We’ve squeezed a ton of fun into it. Many a tiki bar. Loads of time with family and friends. Interesting career developments. The hunt for a new home… which is still ongoing.

I have grandiose plans to document many of these trips here on the blog, for fellow Detroiters that are hoping to escape every now and then. Until then, however, I figured that I’d share a few photos.

Instant Download Wedding Planner

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When you’re looking a sweet but helpful gift to calm the nerves of the newly engaged in your life … we’ve got something for you.

Head on over to Etsy and check out our Ultimate Wedding Planner … 31 pages of useful tools and tips to guide today’s modern bride through the excitement leading up to and surrounding her Big Day.

For $12.99, your purchase includes an instant download PDF, which you can edit on your computer or print out for use in a binder or folder for extra chic gifting. {The PDF is sized for printing on U.S. letter-sized paper – 8.5″ x 11″.} We suggest using a three-ring binder where you can store photos, magazine clippings, inspiration + more!

Inside, you’ll find all the organizational goodies a bride’s craving:

– Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
– Wedding Date Considerations + Calendar
– Six+ months out to-dos
– Five months out to-dos
– Four months out to-dos
– Three months out to-dos
– Two months out to-dos
– One month out to-dos
– Month of wedding (!) to-dos
– Vendor Research + Notes
– Wedding Registry Checklist
– Wedding Registry Tips
– Bridal Shower Gift List // Thank-You Tracker
– Wedding Reception Seating Chart
– Wedding Day Checklist
– Wedding Gift List // Thank-You Tracker
– Honeymoon Packing Guide
– Master Contact List
– Bonus Faux Gold Foil Place Card Printable (a $5 value!)
– Bonus Faux Gold Foil Menu Template Printable (a $5 value!)

Check out the full Etsy shop for a slew of other printables, too, including our new – and favorite! – pink geometric diamond place cards, perfect for Bachelorette Parties and Bridal Showers.

A Fixer-Upper Inspired Wedding

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I’m not sure if this wedding theme inspiration is surprisingly inventive, or means that I’ve simply been watching WAY too much reality TV, but I’m stuck on the idea of an event that takes its cues from two of my favorite renovators – Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Please tell me that you’re also a longtime fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Because if you’re not, I’m going to suggest that you go and set your DVR stat. And then maybe pick up their book, because I’ve read it and it’s stinking adorable.

Known for her laid-back attitude and ability to cultivate beautiful, family-friendly spaces that blend the border between functional and fabulous, Joanna has become a bit of mainstream trend setter in the home decor arena. Since the successful launch of the show, she’s picked up a branded paint, furniture line, rug line, and even wallpaper line. I mean, she sounds like a busy lady.

But for a moment, let’s focus on some of the key traits that we leaned on in developing this wedding theme gallery …

  • The Magnolia Leaf: The name of the Gaines business and a bit of a symbol in much of the work that they do.
  • Soft, Neutral Colors: That don’t overwhelm, and create livable, nature-infused spaces.
  • Relaxed Style: Comfort, whether it’s soft furnishings or even cozy clothing (like the wedding dress we’ve included below!).
  • Shiplap: Another tried-and-true decor element oft used by Joanna.
  • Deeper Meaning: A common thread in all of their work, we love that the team uses family photos and poems / verses that mean something to their clients.

What do you think? Feeling inspired yet? Scroll below to take a look at the ways that Fixer Upper has inspired this wedding palette, then let us know what you’d keep or toss in your own execution of a Fixer-Upper-Inspired Wedding …

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These I-want-to-save-mine-forever Magnolia leaf place cards, labeled in stunning calligraphy. And can we mention the gold flatware? Mmmhmm.

via Southern Weddings

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The chairs. The linen draping. The sweet floral tucked into each. Need we say more?

via Styletic 

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A naked cake that sits atop a bed of wild flowers and greens. What could be more elegant {and delicious}? Side note, I love the way that they’ve used a raw wooden stand here, so that it’s just barely visible.

via Rustic Wedding Chic

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This intricate, blouson wedding dress is the perfect blend of luxe and leisure, in a shape that’s flattering on most.

via BHLDN

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Let’s start with the milk glass goblets, because why wouldn’t we? Fill ’em with sparkling water, kept cold in galvanized tubs {brilliantly affordable}, and then let guests sip away as they admire your heirloom family photos, displayed on a living wall.

via Pinterest // Southern Weddings // PopSugar (Top-left, clockwise)

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This “Life Well Loved” sign comes from {no surprise here…} Magnolia Market, Chip and Jo’s online shop! For $84, we think it makes a great prop at your reception entry, and then for your own home after the Big Day.

via Magnolia Market

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I couldn’t not include this gorgeous vintage-door ceremony backdrop in this roundup, but for the love, I just can’t find a source for the photo online! If you know who deserves credit, please leave me a comment!

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And last, but most certainly not least: Shiplap. I love the idea of a white-washed, freestanding bar made using shiplap. Alas, no one has made one and appropriately optimized it for search engines yet 😉 Instead, consider a display wall like the one behind this adorable doughnut stand … or this raw, vertically laid bar, topped with copper lanterns.

via Etsy // Style Me Pretty

The Invite Site You Need to Know About

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In my experience, one of the most “real” moments of wedding planning came as I slipped the stamped wedding invitations into the post office mailbox. It was like all at once, our dream day – which had lived inside our brains and in wedding documents on my desktop – had morphed into an event of its own. An event that would go on friend’s kitchen calendars, and that a babysitter would be hired for … an event that was suddenly just a little bit out of my hands. It was a feeling of excitement, and maybe a bit of trepidation, too.

But mostly, it was the formal introduction to our “Big Day.”

Our invitations were much more than notification of the wedding date and time. They were the first glimpse into the whole look and feel of the day we were planning. And, not surprisingly, many of our other materials (like our guestbook, thank-you cards, ceremony programs and menus, for instance) carried through in the same theme. That’s why one of the most important things that I can stress is finding a vendor that can offer you consistent-looking products of all types. Trust me; it makes life easy!

Recently, I learned about BasicInvite.com, a site that lets you build your own color theme (this is genius!) and then use it to customize products exactly as you’d like. As in, choose-the-color-of-the-flowers-on-the-card specificity. Not only colors, either. You can also select your own script fonts, paper type, the list goes on.

We’re talking COMPLETE customization. Had I known this when I was spending hours DIY-ing my own invitation suite, I would have probably danced with joy. No, really.

I’m not sure that you need an excuse to head over to the site and check it out, but just in case you do, I’ll give you one: Free Printables. (Yeah, I knew that would work.)

A couple of designs that we love …

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New + Noteworthy in “The D”

Otus Supply in Ferndale | Image courtesy of Eater Detroit

Happy 2017, ladies! I hope that the first few weeks of this year have brought you some post-holiday relaxation and recuperation. If you’ve been holed up with family and friends the past month, now is the perfect time to venture out and check out some of the city’s newest goings on.

Here, I’m rounding up a few highlights that remain top-of-mind to me:

  • For a bachelor / bachelorette party stop, we’re digging the vibe at Ferndale’s new Otus Supply at 345 E. Nine Mile Road {Open 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.}
  • I’ve dined at Campus Martius’ new Parc restaurant a few times since the holidays began. With the exception of a large-party snafu, the experiences have been good ones. The food is well done, the wine menu is plentiful and the atmosphere is tres chic. Brighten your next dreary Monday with happy hour here.
  • The much-hyped Bad Luck Bar is open and accessible via the alley behind Capitol Park’s “The Albert” building. Fancy {read: rare} cocktails start at $18 and seating is limited, but it’s worth checking out. Just call ahead for seating on a busy night.
  • Just next to Cobo, the under-construction Foundation Hotel – housed in the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters – seems to be coming along nicely. It’s due to open in 2017 and feature 100 guestrooms… perfectly sized for weddings, me thinks.
  • A stroll through Shinola this week has me thinking I need to add to my current watch case; and if money were no object, I’d drop a cool $2,000 on the palest pink Canfield with Diamonds option, which would make the most beautiful wedding day gift, IMHO.
  • Anthropologie’s wedding site, BHLDN, is one of my go-to shops for formal wear, even long after our wedding. I just ordered this insane steal of a lace skirt for an upcoming event at the DIA … only $50 {originally $230}.
  • I drool over the luxe arrangements dreamt up by Maison Farola Detroit florists – found at @Maisonfarola on Instagram – and you should, too. Someday soon I’m going to treat myself to a bouquet.
  • After a week of working the North American International Auto Show floor for press days, it took every last energy to get dressed up, slip back into heels {the horror!} and make it to Charity Preview, but we did it. It was an awesome evening. If you live in the Motor City, consider visiting Public Days to check out the gorgeous vehicles while they’re here.

Detroit’s Maison Farola La vie en Rose “signature box”

Best Wedding Reception Templates

Here in the Midwest, we’re getting our first real snowfall of the season, which means that I’ve been holed up in what is essentially a human snowglobe, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows in our condo … staring out into the blizzards of downtown Detroit. It’s beautiful, really.

I thought that now – as I’m curled under a blanket and slowly sipping on a second glass of wine – would be the perfect time to highlight some of my favorite wedding reception templates over on Etsy.

If you’re prepping for a wedding and haven’t considered the digital template approach yet, let me take a moment to share a few pros and cons in the process. (Spoiler Alert: Templates are awesome.)

  • SAVE MONEY: Having custom place cards and menus created for your wedding, whether by a calligrapher or a local print shop, can cost quite a bit of money. I found that with some savvy template purchases, I was able to sink far less money into my paper products so that I could focus on the purchases that were far more important to me (gorgeous florals and wedding party gifts).
  • THE LUXE LOOK: Just because you’re saving money, doesn’t mean that it should be obvious. These templates are designed to look high-end and chic (with designs that mimic gold foil and marble, for example), and once they’re customized by you at home, no one will be able to tell that they weren’t designed and printed at a fancy shop.
  • REUSABLE: Yep. You can reuse digital templates well after your wedding for dinner parties, baby showers (you read that right 😉 and more. Additionally, I’ve found that some of the inexpensive tools I purchased to make using templates easier have come in handy several times since my wedding. I use my “paper slicer” from Michael’s more than I’d care to admit…
  • NO CRAFTING SKILLS NEEDED: Skilled crafters need not apply! No, really. This doesn’t take creativity, folks. It simply takes a printer, some card stock from your local Michael’s or Staples, and a pair of scissors or a paper slicer. Is your bridesmaid or mother-in-law-to-be asking how they can help? Here’s your chance.

Now that we’ve covered what makes templates easy, let’s look at some of our favorites:

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LINKS (Top to Bottom): Gold Foil Style Place Cards | Marble Menu Template | Simple Black Border Place Card Template | Gold Foil Style Menu Template | Merlot Watercolor Place Card Template | Set of Gold Wedding Reception Printables

Have you used templates and printables as you prepare for your Big Day or surrounding events? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

Planning A Detroit Bachelorette Party

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I might be bias, but Detroit is where it’s at right now. This blog targets brides that are living in or getting married in the Metro Detroit area, but I’d be amiss if I didn’t point out that one of the very best bachelorette ideas right now is a staycation.

Don’t you agree? For the bride or bridesmaids that live outside of the city and Uber in from time to time, this is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the best way possible.

I’ve been to what feels like a billion bachelorette parties, from the freaking Chateau Marmont in Hollywood to The Library Pub in Novi (you know exactly the spot that I’m talking about, don’t you?). So when it came time to rally my own troop for a night, er, day out, I just wanted to stick around town and soak up the energy.

Where to go when you’re bacheloretting in Detroit? Let me share a few of my own ideas…

WHERE TO STAY

  • CASINOS: I’m not a huge casino fan, but the rooms are far more fun than any existing Detroit hotel and there’s also plenty of drinks to be had at any time of day on the gaming floor. Hungry? Just head to a restaurant downstairs. Bonus: You don’t even need to request an Uber to hit the nearest bar. Consider MGM, MotorCity or Greektown casinos.
  • HOTELS: Go with the Westin Book-Cadillac if you can. Their restaurant Roast has an amazing happy hour, and the digs are pretty luxe. Otherwise, check out Aloft Detroit, which is within walking of distance of some nice spots (including Wright & Co. for small plates and craft cocktails in a very cool setting).
  • AIRBNB: For larger groups, go big and rent a lofty space downtown where everyone can stay and the party can begin. Make sure that you can get in ahead of time to decorate the space – ahem – appropriately.

WHERE TO START

  • IMMERSE SPA: Ommmm. My girls and I began at MGM’s Immerse Spa and it was nothing short of heavenly. We had all booked appointments around the same time and arrived early to nab spots by the indoor pool for loads of lounging before ordering lunch. The setting is gorgeous; and who doesn’t love a good rub-down?
  • BRUNCH: If you’re not hitting the spa, start the day with a solid brunch. If your crew is rowdy, head to Eastern Market’s Vivio’s (request a long table upstairs) for the city’s best Bloody Marys. If you’ve got a chill group, consider Dime Store or Bobcat Bonnie’s in Corktown.

WHERE TO DRINK

  • TASTINGS: Go big or go home, right? Get your party started by ordering up a round of flights for all the ladies. We like Detroit City Distillery in Eastern Market for a relaxed vibe, as well as Two James Distillery. The Royce just opened up in Grand Circus Park and is a lovely wine bar with an inexpensive corking fee that’s perfect for sharing a few bottles among a group.
  • CRAFT COCKTAILS: Sugar House in Corktown is a staple and it’s perfect for a small group of gals. Townhouse Detroit has a lovely bar and is also good for dinner (food isn’t phenomenal, but the atmosphere is stellar).

WHERE TO DINE

  • Nab the long (sometimes communal) table at standby Selden Standard for delicious and forward-thinking small plates; consider new fine-dining space Parc in Campus Martius; or for a more informal affair, try El Barzon near Mexican Village, a great hole-in-the-wall that offers both Mexican and Italian fare (this was where I opted to celebrate!)

WHAT TO DO

  • SHOP: No, really. Check out Shinola (Midtown) for leather goods, watches and bikes, City Bird (Midtown) for paper and home goods,  Kit and Ace (downtown) for clothing, and many other hidden gems in Eastern Market, along Woodward Corridor and in Midtown.
  • FOWLING: Have you tried it? A big ol’ group of girls might be a bit of a mess, in the funnest way possible, here. You’ll throw footballs at large wooden bowling pins in this indoor game, created by a local. The Fowling Warehouse gaming venue / bar is located in Hamtramck.
  • LOCAL SHOWS: Check out what’s happening at The Fox, The Fillmore, or any of the other smaller venues (Saint Andrews Hall or even Hopcat…)
  • OUTDOORS: In the summer, head over to Belle Isle for picnics, wading in the river and plenty of local events; consider renting kayaks for a tour of the river, too.

What have I left out? Let me know in the comments …

A Detroit Opera House Rooftop Wedding

When I saw the the photos of Greg and Kristin’s wedding by Amber Marie Photography, I had to share them with y’all. Not only did they marry on the Sky Deck rooftop of the fabled Detroit Opera House, they leveraged the venue for some stunning, traditional photo opportunities, before hosting a reception in one of the cooler, brick-wall spaces on an upper floor.

What I appreciate most about this special wedding is that the couple chose one of the city’s most iconic venues … but made it completely their own.

Take a look at a sampling of photos below, or see the full photo gallery here.

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Such a gorgeous backdrop! Love the ornate details of the Opera House.

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A fresh perspective on first photos, above.

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That skyline! Those views!

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The brick walls and hanging twinkle lights … so good. Dress it up, or keep the lovely casual vibe.

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Thanks to Amber Marie Photography (visit Amber’s Facebook page and Instagram account here!) for allowing us to share snaps from this lovely day.

Interested in vendors? Here’s Greg and Kristin’s rundown:

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