Sunday, July 12, 2009

And the winners are . . .

I never thought it would be so hard to pick a winner. Wedding tips came in fast and thick, and they were fabulous. Thanks to everyone who sent in wedding tips!

There were a few that recommended not getting married at all. I also received a host of recommendations to elope, or tie the knot privately. If you're considering going that route, you should know that many of the people who made suggestions along those lines had wonderful marriages that lasted a very long time.

A good number of people sent in hints recommending that the bride focus on her marriage to the one she loves and not stress out over details. Stop, smell the flowers, and enjoy the wedding. And then there were all sorts of practical tips. Honestly, I wish everyone could have won. As it is, we have a major tie.

Winners of a copy of The Diva Takes the Cake are: Mary Rice; Anne Tomlin; Lynn S. Smith-Roberts, Kathlyn Chin, Patti O'Brien, Beth McKay, Joyce Delany, Joy Isley; and a four way tie between Leana McKay,Vickie Hartwell, JT Thompson, and Anna-Marie Barker. I'll be posting one of their tips each day. And at the end, I'll post a really funny wedding story that earned Coco Ihle a copy of the book, too! Congratulations, ladies!

It wasn't easy to pick a grand prize winner. I have to tell you it was very close. This money-saving tip is something we can all use, even for events other than weddings.

The winner of the tiara made with Swarovski crystals, a Vera Bradley bag, and a copy of The Diva Takes the Cake is Llyn Kaimowitz, who sent in this excellent tip.

If you're planning your own wedding celebration and trying to save money, here's a way to find the most inexpensive reception venues. Contact local non-profit organizations that hold fund raising events and ask for the person who does the planning. Ask the planner if he or she has a few minutes to discuss reception halls. Non-profits such as community chests, museums, and colleges are all good sources to call. Some of their parties are held on their own premises which might be for rent, and some of their parties are held at other locations.

Through the event planner at our state historical society, I was hooked up with a local women's college. There, we rented an entire mansion in the "old money" section of town -- complete with beautiful sun-room that held all 60 guests for the ceremony, a paneled library, and a huge living room (with a stone fireplace) where we dined. The cost? All we had to do was pay the caterer for the food. The caterer did the rest.

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