Posts tagged ‘bridal budget’

Because Every Bride Deserves the BEST…

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Weddings are expensive (boo!), which is why Marilyn’s Keepsakes la-Louvres helping our brides SAVE (whoo!)…

And today is no different!  With all the final details that go into making your day the BEST day, it’s easy to see how so many brides get the overwhelming itch to call it quits!  Buuuuut, if you do yourselves a favor and pop on over to Our Site… you’ll be up to your eyeballs in all things fabulous and rejuvenated to go another 12 Bridal Rounds!

And after you take advantage of our 20% OFF site wide sale, you’ll TKO any remaining pre-wedding stress and have one less thing to worry about!  Come on… what are you waiting for?  Marilyn’s Keepsakes is calling and it’s time for you to answer :) 

November 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Divine Destination: You Name the Price, They Do the Work

photo courtesy of

Brides looking to do destination weddings on a budget have one more reason to cheer… for Paradise Maui Weddings is here!  As the first “name your own price” wedding company, Paradise Maui Weddings is looking to create a once in a lifetime experience for all of their once in a lifetime brides. 

With wedding packages starting as low as $400 and ranging to as high as your budget will allow, there’s really no limit to what you can do with your destination wedding besides the ones set by yourselves.  Their packages include everything from in room hair and makeup professionals, authentic Hawaiian floral bouquet and lei arrangements, professionally edited photos and videos, as well as limousine services, pre-wedding planning, in-cred-i-ble ceremony locations and on-site assistance.

Seems pretty much perfect, right?  It’s no wonder this type of event planning is more appropriate than ever considering the number of destination weddings – even during this economic plummet – have been on the rise for the past few years.  While most couples think of destination weddings as an expensive splurge, it’s not always the case.

In fact, brides and grooms doing the destination scene more often than not report they actually save on overseas excursions!  Because both the guest list, as well as the bottom line details are often cut for destination weddings, the final pricing can be significantly lower than the more traditional, hometown honey “do’s.”  And according to “not-from-around-here” newlyweds it’s easier and more fiscally responsible to travel for nuptials than to stay at home and throw a big friends and family bash.

You know what?  I’ll take their word on it, because Maui seems like a more than ahhhmazing place to set your wedding scene!  So, if any of my beautimous brides-to-be out there are planning on diving head first into one of these destination dreams, don’t forget where you got the idea… and feel free to send said inspiration station an invite!  I love Maui!  Haha :)   

And don’t forget, here at Marilyn’s Keepsakes, we have all the perfect Beach & Destination Wedding Finishing Touches to really make your day a dream come true!

October 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

Wedding Trend Alert: Bride and Groom Sittin’ in a Tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

photos courtesy of

For brides that like to troll the blogosphere, you’ve probably noticed a growing wedding ceremony trend.  From hilly plains and dreamy woods to restful country sides and backyard barbeques, couples are saying “I do” under the grandest, most breathtaking trees ever.  And it’s no wonder why; not only do these majestic timbers represent life, strength and new beginnings, they also set a magnificent stage for outdoor weddings to shine.

Tree ceremonies are also an incredibly cheap solution for wedding day settings, as well as Mother Nature approved selections!  Once a couple has found their perfect, nuptial knockin’ tree, it’s time for them to start planning the ceremony.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Pick a Tree, Any Tree. Well, not any tree. Many couples luck out and discover leaning trees or trees with an amazing shapes and size, but the most important thing is finding the perfect size and shape for you.  Selecting a massive tree could be just the ticket to leave your guests in open-mouthed marvel; while selecting smaller, spring blooming trees leaves potential for bright-eyed and bushy tailed friends and family.   Be sure to consider the time of day you will be getting hitched, and where the sun will be shining in relation to you and your guests.  Keeping the theme of your wedding in mind, the ceremony tree could be loved up with décor.  Consider these:

  • Nail vintage picture frames to the trunk
  • Hang colorful pomanders or lanterns from the branches
  • Weave streamers in and out of the limbs
  • Dangle chandeliers
  • String thread around the trunk and clothespin photos to it
  • (Property rules permitted, of course) Carve your initials inside a heart for an extra special touch
  • I mean really… the potential is limitless!

Aisle Style. Keeping in line with the outdoor theme, most brides tend to deck the aisle out with very rustic and natural details.  For the aisle floor itself, line the sides or completely cover with a thick bed of flower petals. This is sure to establish a stunning walkway for the bridal party, as well as a diva-riffic backdrop for photos!  For accents, many couples have gotten really creative and dotted the aisle with lanterns, flower pots, hanging bouquets and tree stumps to really emphasize the natural beauty and nostalgic nature of the venue.

Programs! Get Your Programs! To avoid the program graveyard that inevitably happens at the end of any ceremony, make your programs useful.  Hand out the day’s agenda on seeded, plantable paper.  This will seamlessly complement the tree theme of your ceremony and provide a fabulous way for guests to go green.  Another sure-fire way to please guests is to double up your programs as fans, too. This is a marvelous DIY project, and your over-heated guests will thank you.  (Check out our DIY program fan ideas at Marilyn’s Keepsakes.)

Beyond tree themes and décor, these poetic timbers also signify a number of wonderful things such as life, strength, comfort, and good fortune that would make a perfect foundation for your wedding vows.  So, go ahead… go green… and get down with your tree huggin’ self!

August 6, 2010 at 11:42 am Leave a comment

Looking for the Perfect Rehearsal Dress to Impress?

Well then, look no further than the latest obsession to invade my couture taste pallet:!  (cont’d below)

photo courtesy of

With retro mod and vintage glam being at the top of everyone’s fashion list these days, ModCloth makes it easier than ever to find your perfectly sleek, impeccably chic rehearsal or wedding guest dress!

They have every neckline from square cut and sleeves to sweetheart and strapless. There are prints for maxis and plaids for tea lengths.  In fact, everything is mixed and matched beautifully throughout their entire line, which also includes all the retro-riffic accessories your heart could possibly desire!

Whether you’re into to frilly ruffles in flowing chiffon or dramatic drapes in shimmery satin, this one stop shop is like Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket for grown up, girly girls!  Even the dress names are a delight!  Hello?!?!  How can you resist “Whether you Lilac It or Not” or “Thelma and Blue-ise?”  Too cute, right?

And, with their price points ranging from Under $50 to Over $500 – with most locating themselves under the $100 radar, there is surely something in the mix for all pocket books to indulge in.

The hardest part will be narrowing down your selection.  Trust me.  I had stuff in (and out) of my shopping cart for weeks before settling on one.   Here are some of my faves has to offer:

(from top left to bottom right: Delicate Flower Dress ($72.99), Beachland Ballroom Dress ($124.99), A Little Bit Indie Rock Dress ($69.99), Mystifying Maven Dress ($79.99), Whether You Lilac It or Not Dress ($99.99), Two Tickets to Paradise Dress ($64.99), Silver and Bold Dress ($107.99), The Best Time Dress ($89.99), Scene of the Crimson Dress ($77.99))

July 26, 2010 at 11:29 am 2 comments

Chic & Cheap Solutions: 5 Must Have Items for Honeymoon Hottness

You've got TWO TICKETS 2 PARADISE... now, what to wear :)

As a stunning and smart bride to be, I can almost guarantee that you are as prepared as you are polished.  You’ve – no doubt – booked your makeup artist months in advance.  You’ve bought, fit and lavished in your wonderful and drop dead DIVA gown. You’ve sat in your hairdresser’s chair about five different times just to get the wedding day ‘do down to a T.  Even your STUNNA shoes are more than likely quietly nestled in the designer box in your closet…  For serious, you’re a genius.

But with all these wedding day details in line; something is surely to fall by the wayside.  One such area for many brides is often time (dun, dun, dun!) the Honey*swoon!

Obvs, the next natural step after being a bridal beauty is morphing into a honeymoon hottie!  But if this is something that has slipped your mind, have no fear, my dears!   I’m here to give 5 go-to items that will easily turn budgeting brides into vacay vixens! 

Straw Fedora:

Ashlee Simpson gettin' her fedora on! (photo courtesy of

As you’ve undoubtedly booked the most luxurious hot spot you could afford, why not accessorize just as lavishly?  Not only will this celebrity favorite keep you shaded, cool and protected, but it will also have you looking impossibly chic.  And if you think this style comes with a celeb price tag, think again, my little chick-a-dees.  One of these beauties fetches for about $13 at Target!

Boyfriend Blazer:

Kim Kardashian rockin' the bf blaze! (photo courtesy of

Hellllllooo!  Not only is this tailored look all the rage right now – following in the fashionable footsteps of its kin, the boyfriend jeans and the boyfriend tee -, but your new hubby probably already has one.  Just raid his closet, throw it on over a cute dress, a one piece romper or even jeans and a men’s daily tee and voila!  You have an instantly adorable boyfriend – I mean hubby! – blazer :)

Sleek Romper:

Blake steppin' Lively in her romper! (photo courtesy of

These beauties have been one of the hottest trends this year. A hipper take on the one-piece revival, these mini jumpsuits act as a dress/shorts combo that lets the body breathe in scorching temps (aka your Caribbean honeymoon HOTspot).  And the best part?  It’s already a complete outfit… giving you a seriously stylish two-for-one dealio… and more moolah to accessorize!  Duh!

All White:

Jen lookin' allllright in all white! (photo courtesy of Google Images)

I know some brides might be a little sentimental at the thought of wearing all white again especially right after their big day, but trust me this trend is SO in. (Um, hello!?! Can anyone say P. Diddy’s all white party??  Haha!)  Slip on some hot pants (what else was that bridal bootcamp for?), a wife beater, and a ridiculous amount of gold jewelry and you’ll be the hotter than the white sand beach you’re struttin’ on, sister.

Flip Flops:

Jessica flip floppin! (photo courtesy of

After dancing your wedding night away in some absolutely fabulous, blister-instigating heels, your feet are going to need a serious break. Which is why some good old classic flip flops are an absolute MUST for the honey*swoon. Slip these bad boys on and it’s like you’re walking on a cloud of heavenly relief.  And if you’re a girl who needs a little more sparkle, Marilyn’s Keepsakes has some fabulous rhinestone-studded flops that you can personalize for a truly fabulous touch.  You gotta love us :)

July 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm 2 comments

Get the Perfect *Bling for your Wedding *Fing… (er, that is! Hehe!)

While our main focus in school was to bring home a report card full of A’s, it’s all about the C’s when it comes to choosing a girl’s best friend.  Enter Stage Right: zee diamond! 

Often imitated but never duplicated, every girl is capable of channeling her inner Marilyn and belting out that “a kiss on the hand may be quite continental,” but many don’t have the slightest idea why “diamond’s are a girl’s best friend” nor can they even begin to recognize what goes into distinguishing their worth…  

But stick with me, ladies, while I slice through the Four C’s of the Diamond Kingdom – Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat – and educate you on how to find your perfect match… to go with your already perfect mate :) 


photo courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

A diamond’s cut is perhaps the most recognizable “C” for the untrained eye to identify.  Heck, even my Mister knew the difference between cuts, and he tends to stray away from all things girly in nature.  For seriuos, the man still considers manks (man tanks) and gym shorts a fashion statement. Oy vey!

Because a diamond’s cut is distinguished by the facet proportions on its surface, most people have the ability to tell the difference from one cut to the next.  It’s important to note, however, that while the cut directly correlates to the shape, it most honestly refers to the symmetry, portion and polish of the design guide it’s following.

According to Tiffany & Co., there is a sacrifice that comes when a stone is cut to maximize brilliance.  In order to achieve the most brilliant cut possible, size is often lost in the transition.  Therefore, it’s key to only purchase diamonds that are cut for brilliance and not size.  This will ensure you’re getting the highest quality diamond possible.  

*Please Note: Below is a chart showing the different shapes varying cuts can create, not the guidelines used to determine brilliance, but I consider it helpful nonetheless :)

photo courtesy of


You may find yourself asking: Color?  What color does a ‘clear’ diamond have?  And my response to you would be an emphatic: Exactly!  In the case of most engagement and wedding bands, the diamond color should be treated under the theory of less is more.  In order for diamonds to be considered perfect, they must be free and clear from any color whatsoever.  Ideally, we’re looking for a face of total transparency, which as its name ensues, is incredibly hard to find.

RARELY does nature produce diamonds that are both chemically pure, as well as structurally perfect; so, many contain hints and tints of yellow.  The color grade scale on which diamonds are rated (shown below) measures the saturation levels of yellow found in imperfect diamonds.  The higher the saturation, the lower the grade.  While this is generally undetectable to the naked eye, the color of a diamond can dramatically affect its price by hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

Therefore, this is the one most people “cheat” on when they’re willing to sacrifice quality for quantity. 

*Please Note: In the case of some diamonds (ie. the Hope Diamond and those displayed in the Aurora Pyramid Collection), the intensity of color can add to a diamond’s value. Depending on the coloration, saturation and rarity of a diamond, the price can be significantly increased.  Red diamonds are the rarest, and therefore, the most expensive.
photo courtesy of


In the case of diamonds, clarity measures a stone’s level of flawlessness, which like skin, is best flaunted to the public imperfection and blemish free.  Essentially all diamonds have some type of imperfection or inclusion – as their called in the diamond world; it’s just some are less noticeable than others. 

In order for a diamond to be considered “flawless,” it can’t show any type of external imperfections under the power of 10x magnification, which is really, REALLY difficult to achieve!  Thus, reflecting in a much higher price tag. 

I mean honestly, think of your skin.  Now, think of your skin in HD.  Can we say “Yikes!”  Heck, even Victoria’s Secret models show cellulite if the TV’s large enough and  vision’s clear enough; so, before you write off Aphrodite as your diamond option… remember, somewhere slightly lower on the pay grade is a Giselle Bünchen.  And that, my friends, ain’t so bad :)

photo courtesy of


The final “C” is carat and lays weight to the famous question, “Does size matter?”  The answer: Yes, yes it does :)  The weight of each diamond is measured in carats and when compared to other diamonds of equal quality, the larger diamond will win every time.  Despite popular belief, however, carat weight alone cannot determine the price of a diamond.

Unfortunately, since it’s what most people see first, many go to it as the main measurement in a diamond’s status.  But I would urge you all not to do this!  When choosing your diamond, always, always, always try follow the number one rule of thumb and choose QUALITY over QUANTITY. 

photo courtesy of


But no matter what, just remember, “Square cut or pear shaped, these rocks don’t lose their shape! [Because] Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!”  Boop, boop, be doop!  Ooh!

March 31, 2010 at 12:27 pm Leave a comment

Unique Wedding Ideas from Actual Brides – Brilliant!

At the risk of coming off totally unoriginal, today’s blog post is completely dedicated to others!  I came across this Website a few weeks back where brides – over the course of the past few years – have been asked to submit their unique wedding ideas… so imagine my delight when such a simple theory developed into such intricate results!

I was losin’ it as I read through some of the more “colorful” options, but I couldn’t help but applaud the sheer genius of others!  Every wedding day has potential to get Army and be all that it can be; so, why not see what others did for greatness and make it your own?  Below are some of my favorite responses to emerge from, but please feel free to add to this list by leaving your unique idea here!  I always love hearing from you :)

Whenever we would go to a wedding we always are wondering who the people in the bridal party are and what is their relation to the bride and groom.  So at our wedding, in the program we listed each person in our wedding party with a little paragraph on how we know this person and a little fun tidbit and or why they are special to us.  It was nice for them to read and gave our guests a special insight of our friends and family and didn’t leave them guessing who was who!

I wanted to do something different for the centerpieces at my reception tables, so I decided to make my own candles. I used the dried flower petals that I had been saving from all of the flowers my fiancée had given me from the time we started dating. I thought that they were a true testament of how our relationship had grown, there were the first flowers he had ever given me, I love you, I’m Sorry, Get Well, thinking of You, Valentine’s Day, and anniversary flowers, all the way up to the purple roses he gave me when he asked me to marry him. They turned out beautifully and everyone loved them!

I wanted a good picture of my dad walking me down the aisle. Instead a picture of our “backs”, we took a few steps, stopped, turned around and the photographer got a great picture of our faces.  It’s the most cherished picture of me and my dad.

I’ve noticed at wedding receptions that the younger guests are usually bored.  So, for my wedding reception, I had a special “children’s table” set up.  There were balloons tied to every chair and “busy packets” at every place setting.  The busy packets contained coloring books and crayons, small puzzles, activity books and blank paper.  The kids were all together so they didn’t have to listen to boring grown up conversation and they had things to keep them busy.  We made a point of visiting the table several times during the reception.  It was a party for them and a great celebration for us! 

[Our guests] are requested to bring along a small Christmas ornament (1/per family) from their personal collections. The purpose of this is to remember all of our friends who came to our wedding. We will hang up all the little ornaments they gave to us on our tree at Christmas.

My fiancée and I absolutely hate the idea of the garter and bouquet toss.  So we have decided to do a variation on the theme. Instead of tossing the bouquet, we are going to give a single flower to every single women at the reception.  The flower will be a duplicate of one of the flowers in my bouquet.  The flower will have a poem pinned to it as well as wishes for love, success and health.  There is no reason that only one girl should have all of the fun, this way every single women is given well wishes.

This isn’t my idea – I was at a wedding the other weekend where this was done and I thought it was very nice! During the ceremony a photographer and a videographer photographed and videoe’d the wedding, as usual. At the reception, which took place right after the wedding (cocktails in between right outside the large room for the reception in between wedding and reception), a presentation was shown on a screen via projector. The presentation started out with photos and such of the bride starting with baby photos and ending with a recent photo. Then the same was done with the groom. They then showed the engagement photo. But then this is where the very nice thing took place: they then showed photos and video footage from their wedding which must have been at the most only an hour and a half earlier – most likely less!! It was a great surprise to all the guests, and it was super because the selected clips from during the ceremony after the procession were taken from a view that showed the bride and groom’s faces so we all got to see the important parts of the wedding from a view nobody gets to see otherwise! It was a fantastic presentation, set to music and all, too, of course. I recommend this idea!!

Instead of rice, bubbles, or anything else that people throw at the bride and groom. The wedding party should burn sparklers when the bride and groom are having their first dance. The lights are dim and the moment is so special, and sparklers are such a different touch. Or, you can get all the guests to burn one when they are leaving at the end. Whatever works.

We are asking our guest to send us their favorite recipes with their RSVP’s. We are then going to make cookbooks to give to our guest as favors. It’s really inexpensive and it’s nice to have a cookbook with both our families’ recipes. You can have the cookbook go with your theme or colors. We are binding ours together with cover coordinating with our invitations.

March 10, 2010 at 1:05 pm 1 comment

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