Category Archives for "Wedding"

September 19, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Be Your Own Wedding Planner and Save Money

Contrary to what others think hiring a professional wedding planner is not a must!  Think about this before the bride and her mother, siblings or some friends and relatives all help together to plan for a wedding. Yes, a wedding planner can be a great help, but if you’re on a budget or you want to save some money that you can spend for honeymoon or for starting your family then why not be your own wedding planner.

Here are some benefits of planning your own wedding:Continue reading

September 5, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Songs to Play at a Wedding

Are you planning for a wedding? Check out our list of song suggestions that you can use.

Your Love Amazes Me by John Berry
I love the way you love me-John Michael Montgomery
At Last by Etta James
Here and Now by Luther Vandross
Feels like home by Chantal Kreviazuk
I’ll Be by Edwin McCain
From This Moment On by Shania Twain
You’re having my baby by Paul Anka
You’re the One by Shania Twain
The Prayer by Andrea Boccelli and Celine Dion
Last Time by Eric Benet
Long Ago and Far Away – cover by Rod Stewart
I could not ask for more – Edwin McCain
One Love – Kaysha
I will take you forever – Christopher CrossContinue reading

July 21, 2012

Tricks to avoid walking down the aisle: Tip One

This all started with some wine and a conversation with someones wine. I do not drink and frankly I do not date. I have not in fact had a “new” date in fifteen years. I was however out while on a business trip with a friend whose wine I am holding who isn’t sitting next to me because she is taking a picture.  She was laughing so hard as she explained the “single” scene to me. I am a blogger so I quickly grabbed my notebook and said this is a great series. Do people really say these things. She said, “Yes.” I decided to give her more wine and jot down what she said. I am going to do a series of tips on how to avoid meeting someone and getting married. If you use these tips I am fairly certain that you will not get married anytime soon.

Tip #1


Add yours below! Pin my dating tips to enjoy a smile… you can also share them with someone who needs them… Yes, white jean guy!

Ask a Make Up Artist: Questions a bride should ask her makeup artist

Questions a bride should ask her makeup artist

April showers bring May flowers, and just around the corner is June. We know what that means… WEDDING TIME! Let’s shed some light on the sometimes blurry subject of Makeup Artistry.

Whether you are a bride looking to hire a professional artist or just someone who wants to look their best for a wedding they are invited to, everyone has thought about getting their makeup done professionally. Let me give you an insider secret most Makeup Artists DO NOT want you to know: There is absolutely ZERO formal training required to be a “professional” Makeup Artist.

Makeup Artistry is a whole other ballgame than doing hair. Hair professionals require a license (at least in the state of Virginia). Because of this “easy entry,” there are plenty of people out there who “claim” to be Makeup Artists. Believe it or not, most states do not require any formal training. There are cosmetology schools, but no licenses needed, no school required. Anyone with $5 bucks in their pocket can run over to their local drugstore, buy a lipstick, and call themselves a Makeup Artist. The reality is that not all Artists are created equal. And if you’re going to hire one, you deserve to know what you’re getting for your money. After all, why hire a pro when you can just DIY? Just because someone calls themselves an “artist” does not mean they are a professional. There is more to it than what their rates are. Just because they are expensive does NOT mean they are good at what they do. I’ve seem some TERRIBLE artists charge astronomical amounts for makeup that a bride could have done herself. So how do you differentiate the professional ones from the ones who are just “winging it”?

Top questions a bride should ask her makeup artist

Things a bride should consider when hiring a professional to do wedding makeup:

  • Does the person have a website and business card? (Oftentimes, an “amateur” will not put the time/energy/effort/money into the venture to legitimize their business. This can be a red flag. On the other hand, there are some great artists who rely on word-of-mouth alone, so it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker)
  • When you make an inquiry, does the person respond immediately or do they take a week or two?
  • Does the person have a portfolio, displaying their work?
  • When you ask to see their work, do they provide it to you quickly and easily? (This is a very reliable red flag! Typically, a professional is proud to “show off” their stuff. If the person seems to need to “get it together” they are probably not a real artist!)
  • What products does the person use?
  • How long have they been doing it?
  • Has the person worked behind a cosmetics counter? (This does not automatically equal great artistry, but if they’ve had to apply makeup to many different people, chances are they have a better idea what they are doing then someone who has not)
  • Does the person specialize in weddings? (Bridal makeup is a specialty, not all artists know what a bride is looking for)
  • Does the person use professional tools? Professional brushes, etc. Are these tools in good condition, and sanitary? (The last thing you want is pink eye on your honey moon! Believe me, I’ve seen it!)
  • Does the person include a “trial-run session”? (This is very important: the last thing you want is to have a “no show.” I’ve heard some terrible stories. I’ve had brides come to me in tears before, the DAY OF their wedding, saying that their makeup artist had “car trouble” and could not make it on their big day. I almost want to cry just thinking about it!)
  • During the trial, does the person “act like a professional,” leading you through the process, or do they seem not have no idea what are doing?
  • Is the person local? (Finding someone local is very valuable. Someone local will have less of a “no show” risk. Also, someone local is more likely familiar with the venue, and the local photographers, and the styles of other wedding professionals and can take that into consideration. Someone local will want to uphold their local reputation)

Finally: “Do you LIKE this person?”
Believe it or not, this is a very important question! Most brides do not even consider this! Your Makeup Artist is not like your tent person, or your linens person, or your caterer, etc. Your Makeup Artist will be spending some intimate time with you. Do you really want someone obnoxious who will annoy you? This person is going to be “all up in your face” for lack of a better term! As a Bride, your Makeup Artist on your wedding day will be in the “get ready” room with you during the crucial hours before you walk down the aisle. The same room where your closest friends and family will be (Maid of Honor, Mother of the bride, mother of the groom, bridesmaids, etc). A pleasant personality is an essential part of the package!

About the Artist:
Anne’s makeup obsession began at an early age. As a former model, she knows what it takes to look fabulous in photos! After working at MAC cosmetics as a professional makeup artist for over 2 years, she decided to start her own business, focusing on day-of bridal and wedding party makeup, as well as high end fashion, glamour and beauty makeup applications. Very experienced; she has been a professional makeup artist for several years, and has applied her excellent techniques and unique artistry to over 1000 faces.

Anne is no ordinary makeup artist; her finished product is a work of art. People come to Anne when they want the best of the BEST! She can easily create a variety of customized, beautifully blended, professional looks, ranging from an all-natural day time look, to a sultry/sexy evening, night out in the town look; and will make you feel like you just stepped out of a magazine! Whether it’s an effortless “girl-next-door-beauty,” to a high fashion, smoky eye with a “Kim-Kardashian- all-out-sexy-glam look,” to everything in-between, Anne can do it all! She travels with a well-stocked, up to date kit containing only professional tools and supplies, most of which are luxury makeup products and she uses professional MAC Makeup brushes for all applications. Anne is energetic, punctual, fun, and familiar with on-set / day-of protocol. She is available for travel within the United States, Asia, Europe, and adapts well to all locations and situations. She is Fluent in Dutch/Flemish as well as conversational Tagalog and French.

Originally from the DC Metro Area, she moved to her husband’s home town after her marriage in May 2010. She is happily married and lives in the outskirts of Charlottesville, VA with her husband, Nate and is also a dedicated member of the Charlottesville Derby Dames roller derby team. You can visit her site

Questions? Feel free to contact Anne at!

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Planning a Wedding on a Budget

It’s wedding season! Some of you may be planning weddings yourself or have friends that are planning weddings. Did you know that you don’t have to break the bank to plan a wedding? With some planning and doing some work yourself, you can have a nice wedding on a budget.

My husband and I had an evening wedding with approximately 150 guests on a very tight budget. For the next few weeks I would like to share a few tips on how to plan a frugal wedding. Now if you are not planning a wedding, I hope that you can implement some of the tips in the next large party you host!

If you have family and friends that are willing to help, don’t be afraid to put them to work! I am lucky to have a very supportive and talented family. My mom and I made a list of people who offered to help. We noted their talents and strengths. My aunt and cousin have wonderful voices so I asked them to sing. The bridesmaid dresses and table decorations were made by my wonderfully talented mom. The party favors were put together by me and my husband. Our engagement pictures were taken by my grandpa. And the food was made by all of us!

From the beginning I knew that we could not afford a catered event. But, I did want a dinner. We ended up having a cookout (or barbecue as we call it in California!) style meal that was made by family and friends. My great uncle grilled beef and chicken. The other menu items were homemade chili beans, green salad, garlic bread and potato salad. My dad arranged a deal on the meat with the butcher at the grocery store. The bread was purchased from a local bread company at a discount. The rest of the items were purchased in bulk at Costco. It took some organization to feed 150 people, but it worked and the food was great!

We did have wine and beer at the reception. At the time, Trader Joes had a good inexpensive Two Buck Chuck Wine. Whenever it was in stock, I would go buy a case. Around New Year’s Eve, I stocked up on the champagne by watching the sales. It was much easier on the budget to buy a little at a time. Plus, it was much more affordable for us to purchase the alcohol versus a catering service.

Ask your friends and family members if they are willing to help out at your wedding or event. Figure out what you can do yourself that will be more cost effective. Although it was a lot of work, I enjoyed doing a lot of the wedding planning. It was sure rewarding when almost everything worked as planned!

Next week, I will tell you how to make inexpensive favors and decorations! Have you planned a frugal wedding? I would love to read your ideas!

Now it’s your turn!

If you are a blogger, write a post about your idea for making dollars out of change. It can be on any topic as long as it has to do with saving money. Please link directly to your post and not your homepage. A link to Madame Deals in you post is appreciated!

If you do not have a blog, we still welcome and encourage your participation! Please leave your thoughts in the in a comment below!

This post is linked at My Coupon Teacher.

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