Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses: The Best New Trend In The Wedding Industry?

wedding gownYour big day is fast approaching and you have not chosen the perfect wedding dress yet. A lot of couples are having to pay out of pocket for their wedding, so a lavish gown seems out of the question. An alternative to purchasing an expensive gown that you will wear one day and then keep hanging in your closet indefinitely is to buy a pre-owned dress.

This trend is becoming more and more popular. Not only does buying a pre-owned dress save you a huge chunk of change, but the concept also stands to put some extra dollars in your pocket after your wedding.

Paying it Forward

It doesn’t matter if your perfect wedding dress was purchased off the rack, off the runway or out of someone else’s closet. Why not share your great find with another blushing bride?

This new trend of selling your wedding dress after the big day is no longer taboo and will help you clear a space in your closet for your future. The money that you make can pay for the honeymoon or the nursery, and another thrifty bride will be able to afford and love that dress as you did.

Staying Safe

With that being said, selling your dress online should be done correctly so that you have a smooth and safe transaction. Two ways to be assured that your transaction is safe and secure are:

  1. Always make sure that you receive the full payment before shipping your dress anywhere. You don’t want your dress to be in someone else’s possession and you never receiving payment.
  2. Use a secure payment website such as PayPal or Escrow.com to protect both your transaction from a stranger and your personal financial information from getting out into the public.

There are many scams when you use popular selling websites such as Craigslist because they do not monitor the correspondence or have their visitors use trusted payment sites. They expect everyone to use their own discretion and stay informed about the latest scams. A few indications that the person emailing you is trying to scam you are:

  1. They have a sob story and want to purchase this dress as fast as possible without pictures or details. No bride wants to buy a dress sight unseen in such a hurry in case the fit is not true to size, there are stains or rips in the fabric, or the dress is different than the picture.
  2. They person wanting to buy your dress emailing from an address outside of the United States can sometimes indicate a scam.
  3. Their sentence structure and spelling in their emails sounds as if they used a translator.
  4. A person wanting to pay more than the asking price for your dress is a red light that this transaction is a scam. Never should anyone offer more than what you are asking to buy any item, they are looking for a bargain on a gently worn dress site.
  5. The person that wants to buy your dress wants to wire you the money, send a check or cashier’s check, or use a shipper or a third party’s address for any reason. They generally want to send you the money and then have you take out your share and send the rest to pay the third party. You will be responsible for paying back the bank or institution for this money because the transaction is fraudulent.

Be aware that a scam is possible, but the majority of the time you will be dealing with honest brides that want the perfect dress. Don’t let the fear of a scam hinder you from selling that perfect dress and creating a nice nest egg for your new family’s future.

In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter where you find your perfect gown. All that matters is you look and feel fabulous.  And if you buy pre-owned, you can just tell people its vintage, darling!

Author Bio:

Jamie Greene works for a fraud and scam detection company.  It’s her job detect online scams and protect consumers from harm through awareness, education, and advocacy.  Unfortunately, internet fraud is widespread and no industry is safe – even the world of weddings.

5 Great Bachelorette Themes

bachelorette party theme ideasThe Bachelorette Party is viewed as the staple gathering before the big walk down the aisle, and Maids of Honor everywhere strive to put together a party that will be special and memorable for the bride AND all the guests.  Many believe that the typical protocol is that your only options are to flee to faraway places like Miami, Las Vegas or Atlantic City for a wild party night, but that doesn’t always have to be the case! No matter if you are representing New York City or reside in sunny Los Angeles, these 5 Bachelorette Party Themes are a great way to help you decide what type of evening you and your ladies truly want to enjoy.

1.       Pampering – What group of girls don’t want to be pampered from head to toe? Take this time to gather your ladies and spend a day, or even a whole weekend, rewarding yourself with massages, facials, and freshly painted nails. This is great for a smaller group who isn’t looking to get wild at the bar but instead want to treat themselves and relax. Add to this custom designed Bride and Bridesmaid robes, and show everyone around how girls at a bachelorette party truly know how to enjoy themselves.  Fun for any age... and even for a pregnant guest!

2.       Musical – If you and your group are more on the musical side, then a musical themed Bachelorette party is a great route to go, and the amount of ideas out there may be more than you think. Check to see if your favorite band or concert is in town and splurge on some concert tickets for the group. If you’d rather have the bride be the center of attention for the night, then book a private room at a karaoke bar. Arrive early to decorate the room,  and sing the night away while enjoying a few drinks, where everyone can participate in the fun!

3.       Interactive – Bachelorette parties are a great way to channel your creativity and get your whole group of ladies bonding together. Plan on setting up a cooking party where you all will be able to learn a few dishes from professionally trained chefs. Do you have more of a sweet tooth? The same can be done for a cupcake decorating class. Have a professional come in and help, or just orchestrate it yourself, and share with each other some of your secret recipes!

4.       Social – For those of you who are looking for this experience to just be focused on breaking the ice and getting in some “girl time” with your favorite ladies, focus on themes that allow you to just enjoy each other’s company. Plan a trip to a local winery and spend the day trying out new wines. Pack lunch and just spend the whole day catching up with the latest gossip. If you have the opportunity to, make it a whole weekend escape, and plan a string of different things such as dinners and brunches for the whole group.

5.       Exotic – Now this one is for the ladies who wish to uphold the traditions that are tied along with Bachelorette parties.  If you all are looking for something fun, wild, and sexy, then a good old fashioned male strip show may be the answer for you.  Add to the fun by getting a private limousine to be your transportation for the night, and sit back and enjoy as you watch guys dressed up as your favorite hometown hero’s shake it down to nothing. Too exotic for you? You can always take it down a notch and set up a pole dancing party for your group. This will allow you to feel strong and sexy, without the strippers, and can even teach you a few moves.

Author Bio:

Easy Bachelorette Parties offers one-click booking for bachelorette parties across the country.  Choose from a wide array of packages where every bride attends for free and the option for individual payment by each attendee means that the hostess isn't left holding the tab at the end of the evening.  Visit www.EasyBacheloretteParties.com for more info!

Top Tips For Selecting The Perfect Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring by ilovebutter, on FlickrGetting engaged or married is always a special, memorable event. It is not only about the memories, but also about the ring. Don’t get me wrong, it is not about the ring because it has to be the most expensive and extravagant one around. Most women cherish their rings for eternity; therefore it does not matter how simple or extravagant it may seem. What matters is that it is the one we love and can live with for the rest of our lives (kind of like our men).

Jewelers usually offer jewelry fit for any special occasion, which includes engagement rings and wedding rings. With many years of experience, they are able to assist their clients in choosing a ring from a large variety of options. This includes precious metals, unique gemstones and different settings.

Due to the uniqueness of every gemstone, it is always wise to visit your jeweler at their in-store showroom, in order to consider your available options for the ultimate engagement or wedding ring.

Before Getting Married

The choice of wedding ring will be one of the most significant decisions a couple will make. Any wedding ring portrays a symbol of your love for each other and your married life together. Therefore, the ring has to reflect its beauty throughout.

Most jewelers can offer you excellent advice when you select finished, hand crafted wedding rings. Many also offer additional services, including free resizing, free engraving, lifetime refinishing and a free warranty. This all-inclusive service will ensure that your unique wedding ring will remain as striking on your 50th wedding anniversary as it did on your wedding day.

Repairs

Professional jewelers offer their clients a specialized repair service on their beloved pieces of jewelry, as well as the renewing of gemstone settings. Should your wedding ring be damaged at any moment, all you have to do is take it in to the jeweler, where the ring will be assessed. Your jeweler will then advise you as to what needs to be done to restore your ring to its former beauty, and provide you with an immediate quote for the cost of repair.

Most jewelers pride themselves on their efficient service delivery, and will strive to repair your item to the highest standard without delay. You will be pleased to know that such jewelers also insure your item in full while it is in their skilful care.

Alterations

If you are a sentimental soul and want to use your grandmother’s wedding ring with a few minor alterations, most jewelers can assist you in this regard. Not many people will agree, but re-modelling a long-standing item of exquisite jewelry can ultimately be a very cost-effective way of creating a unique ring that is truly special. Jewelers are very experienced and can, therefore, help you to transform your classic jewelry into timeless pieces.

Jewelers can also provide their clients with reliable valuations on their wedding rings, jewelry, watches and even silverware, for probate or insurance purposes. It is generally appraised by registered and professional valuers and the service ultimately includes a document whereby all assessed items are listed in detail. These details are captured on a secure website and will receive its own exclusive code, as well as a password, with which your insurer can access the required information.

The proof is in the detail, and it shows that the little things count; even when it comes down to wedding rings.

Author Bio:

Jamima has been a jeweler all her life and took over from her father in the business over two decades ago. Her shop is, however, very small and focuses on vintage pieces. When advising others on selecting the perfect ring, she always points them in the direction of http://www.tustains.co.uk/, as they have a large range of rings at excellent prices.

Perfect Make-Up Trends For Winter

Getting Ready/Pre-Ceremony by _rockinfree, on FlickrIf you're looking for the perfect make-up trends for winter, then you've come to the right place. Some of this season's biggest looks will make you feel like a snow queen. All you need are some basic tools at your disposal, and you'll be all set to executive the following winter wonderland looks.

Shimmery White Shadow

One of the biggest looks on the runway this season was iridescent white shadow. Your best bet will be to use a cream shadow that you can apply to the crease of your eyes for a fresh look. If you want something a little more dramatic, you can line your eyes with a white liner. Smear a white shadow on top for some added finesse. You can also place a small amount of white shimmery cream shadow at the inside corner of your eye. Make-up artists use this trick to make clients look more alive and bright.

Burgundy Red Lips

Red lips will always be in style. However, this season you need to pump it up a bit with burgundy lips. This can be a hard shade to pull off if you do not have a corresponding liner and gloss to mattify the shade. Use the liner to fill in your lips completely. You will then need to draw on the lipstick with a lip brush for an accurate result. Be sure to add some gloss for shine, and blot! This is a gorgeous lip color that is also perfect for sultry night out on the town.

Just-Kissed Cheeks

There's no better time than the winter to make use of your cream blush. You want to exude a healthy glow to starve off that pale winter complexion. Summer is months away, and sadly so is your tan. You can fix that with a great blush. Take a cream blush, and dab it onto your check bones. You will then need to thoroughly blend it in for a "just been kissed" look. You will look just like a blushing sugar plum fairy waiting for her prince!

Bold Green Liner

One of the most unexpected looks this winter is a bold dash of green liner on your lids. This was seen at quite a few runway shows, and it has trickled down into the street style blogs. If you want to pull off this look, then it is important that you keep everything else simple. You will need a turquoise or dark green liner depending on your coloring. It is necessary that you keep the line thin and only on the top lash line. Any more might make you seem like a middle school girl from 1999. Apply a heavy coat of black mascara, and voila! You will have the perfect winter look.

As you can see, these are some great make-up trends for girls of all styles from the bold to the classic. There is sure to be a trend for anyone who wants to glamorous this season.

Author Bio:

Jenna Haguelyn writes all about fashion and style. The owner of a small boutique in Iowa City, Iowa, her recent work is on the Top 10 Online Masters in Project Management programs for students with an interest in the industry.

Is a Prenup Right For Us?

IMG_3516 by caimito77, on FlickrWhat is a Prenup?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between a couple before they are married. It sets rules about how each person’s assets will be split up in the case of divorce. It’s safe to say that the stigma around prenuptials isn’t going away anytime soon. Talking about divorce before you even get married can really put a damper on those blissful feelings. However, many lawyers will tell you it’s one of life’s necessary evils.

Who Needs One?

Prenups are popular in Hollywood and generally wealthy couples in order to protect their riches. But it’s perfectly all right for a couple of lesser means to sign a prenup for their own reasons. Prenups can be used in cases where the couple has children from a previous marriage, and they want to outline specific properties and assets that will go to the kids. Other times it can protect spouses from each other’s debts. It can also be used in general to clarify people’s financial rights or whether or not a spouse would receive alimony in the event of a divorce. If you are wondering if you and your spouse need a prenup, think about the following questions:

  • Do you own any real estate properties?
  • Besides real estate, do you own $50,000 in any other properties?
  • Are you a business owner?
  • Will all or part of your estate go to someone other than your spouse when you die?

Asunder by dno1967b, on FlickrDisadvantages of a Prenup

It’s important to consider all aspects of a prenup before you decide to have one written up. Some disadvantages of a prenup include the following:

  • Some state laws may already protect you in the same way a prenup does. Laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but a prenup may be necessary is state laws already provide you with the protections you’re looking for.
  • It’s just a buzzkill. What better way to kill the mood before your wedding than to go through the prenup process.  Couples simply don’t like having to think about divorce before they even get married.
  • Having to discuss financial issues can be a bummer, but discussing these issues could potentially put a strain on your relationship that you hadn’t considered earlier. Your relationship may still be young and untested at this point.

Advantages of a Prenup

Aside from the obvious legal advantages, like protecting your separate property or clarifying specific agreements between you and your partner, there can be another added bonus. While some people think that a prenup is an easy way to get into an argument with your significant other, it can actually improve and strengthen your relationship. Yes, it could lead to conflict or an argument, but a prenup is going to bring up issues that are important for you and your spouse to talk about and agree upon. It’s better to communicate with each other on each other’s expectations and feelings about important issues that are involved in a prenup instead of waiting until it’s too late to hash it out. Simply put, speaking to one another frankly about money and assets will clear up a lot of misconceptions and false expectations.

Author Bio:

Emily Kaltman is a writer for Carroll Troberman Criminal Defense based out of Austin, Texas. She likes to write about law, and also enjoys having a clean criminal record.

Let's Run Away Together: 10 Tips For Having a Dream Elopement

Image by Key West Wedding Photography, on FlickrWhile some girls may grow up planning an elaborate dream wedding, for other brides just the idea of choosing a caterer is enough to make them blanch. Even those who love poofy gowns and elaborate flower arrangements can relate to the appeal of packing up and running away for an intimate ceremony with only those who you truly love and cherish present. Elopement used to be a dirty word, but now it's a viable option for spontaneous and quirky couples who are far more in love with each other than the idea of a fancy wedding. Elopement might take as much planning as a wedding, but there are certainly still many things to consider before you run off and tie the not.

1. Make your wedding about you. Maybe you both love the fun and excitement of Las Vegas, and the idea of an Elvis officiant is a dream come true. But if not, don't feel like your elopement options are limited by the traditional examples. Choose a place that is special to you.

2. Be open and honest with your family and loved ones about your decision. Give them the opportunity to voice their opinion, rather than just springing your decision to elope on them. Ultimately it is entirely your decision how and where you get married, but having the support of those important to you will make your day even more magical.

3. Talk to your venue ahead of time. It may take a little bit of the spontaneity out of your elopement, but it's important to talk to your venue ahead of time to understand what level of flexibility you have. Knowing ahead of time whether it is okay to write your own vows, how many people you can bring, and other important details will help to make sure you have control of the important factors for your ceremony.

4. Consider having a post-elopement party or reception to include friends and family who didn't attend the ceremony. Sometimes having a small wedding can hurt feelings, so this is a good compromise.

5. Even if your elopement is a spontaneous adventure, be sure to plan a terrific honeymoon afterward. Start your marriage off right with some time in a beautiful location for just the two of you.

6. Don't rush things. Your wedding ceremony will only take a few hours, but try to extend the experience beyond that. If you and your guests are traveling to a special place for your elopement, get there a day or two in advance to enjoy bonding activities before you actually tie the knot. That time together will make the ceremony even more intimate and special.

7. Wear something that makes you feel like a bride. It doesn't have to be a white dress if that's not what you feel comfortable in, but take some time to think about what is right for you.

8. Be sure to hire a photographer or ask a friend to take photos. Even if your venue is low-key, this is still a special moment that you will want to treasure forever. If nothing else, you'll want to have something to show family back home and your kids someday!

9. Try not to stress about the little things. Eloping is supposed to relieve the stress of planning a huge affair, so try to relax and go with the flow.

10. Never do anything that makes you uncomfortable just because you feel it's what a wedding "should" be like. Your wedding is about you, your spouse, and the love you share, nothing else. Make the day about you and you'll never regret how you got married.

Author Bio:

Kayla Dunmar is a bride-to-be who loves traveling to romantic destinations around the United States. She is a contributing blogger for many travel and wedding services, including elopement packages from Murski Homestead in Brenham, Texas.

5 Top Tips for Being a Great Best Man

Being a best man is both exciting and daunting all at the same time.  While most men immediately accept invitations when asked by their friends, when being the prospect of being the best man sinks in, second thoughts can often start filtering into their minds.

Best man's speech by katielips, on FlickrSales of books such as “Being a Best Man…For Dummies” and related titles are popular, but they can often be as intimidating as the prospect of actually performing the role. What are the five top tips that all best men need to know and put into action?

1. Offer Help at All Times

Although being the best man is a duty performed for the groom, in the build-up to the wedding much of your time should be taken by helping out the bride as much as you do the groom. There should be no worries about whether you and the bride get along; if you didn’t, you can rest assured you wouldn’t be the best man!

What you do at this stage might be something as seemingly small as giving the bride a lift to a dress fitting, or as large as liaising with the venue and organizing particular parts of the ceremony yourself.

2. Keep the Bachelor Party Clean

One of the worst things about weddings is that people tend to bang on about ‘tradition,’ which often means the best man forgets about any bachelor party instructions they may have received, and instead proceeds to doing his own thing.

The only rule here is to make sure you follow your instructions to the letter. If the groom has said nothing over the top and no strippers, for example, then that’s what you do.

3. Be a Good Listener

Being a good listener, at least when it comes to your male friends, might not be seen as the most masculine thing in the world, but the run up to a wedding can be a stressful time for a groom, despite conventional wisdom telling us that it is only the bride that experiences a lot of pre-wedding angst.

What the groom doesn’t need is to have his head filled with rubbish or your opinion, unless he asks for it. Simply listen to what he is saying and then give input if it is needed.

4. Have a Post Wedding Plan

Your role does not start and end with the things a best man is famous for doing. We are not saying you need to plan the honeymoon, but you should have given some thought to what happens at the end of the wedding party. This might mean helping the bride and groom make a quiet escape from a side door, and then thanking guests on their behalf, or it might mean organizing a fireworks display, hotels, or transport home, and maybe even staying sober during the party!

5. Behave With the Speech

The speech is undoubtedly the thing that worries best men the most. The easiest way to negotiate it is to not try to be funny, to complement the bride a lot, and to try and make it relevant in a personal way; a signed sports shirt from the groom’s favorite team, for example, is always a nice touch.

Being the best man doesn’t have to be an ordeal or a trial; put these top tips into action, and you’ll find you are great at doing it.

Author Bio:

David doesn't enjoy being a best man, but has performed the role so well on a number of occasions to the point where his friends always ask him if they want to do it for them. David uses companies like Fireworks Crazy to help him organize various aspects of the wedding, although he tells his friends he does everything himself!

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