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The Victoria's Secret Bridal Collection is Here!

In the spirit of Valentine's Day and since I have a lingerie shower next weekend, the latest Bridal collection from Victoria’s Secret is what's currently trending this Thursday! If you're gearing up for that big day (mine is about a month away!), this is where I would look for honeymoon night inspiration. It's sexy and flirty lingerie with ruffles, lace, and everything you need to feel absolutely gorgeous! And with Miranda Kerr modeling the collection, it also gives brides-to-be that extra motivation to hit the gym. 

I love the silk pajama short and camisole set and, even though it's the least sexiest of the group, I totally love the blue stripe pajama set! I'm a total sucker for comfort and practicality. For the honeymoon night, I think I'd choose the sweet mint blue lacie bustle back slip. 

Victoria's Secret certainly knows how to market their lingerie! Do you love the collection? Let me know in the comments below!

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 9:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Rehearsal Dinner Dresses at Every Affordable Price Point

When you get engaged (or even when you're just day dreaming), the first thing a lot of women think about is their wedding dress. (Hello?! Who doesn't love that montage of Carrie Bradshaw showcasing all of those designer wedding gowns in Sex and the City? It's every girl's dream.) However, one of the last items we tend to think about is our rehearsal dress. There are no rules when it comes to buying the perfect rehearsal dress, but for me, I tend to think that (like the rehearsal dinner) it sets the stage for the wedding, and being the bride, white is an excellent choice. 

Rehearsal dresses can be just as expensive as a wedding dress, depending on how formal your dinner is, or you can opt for more inexpensive alternatives, which is the route I'm going. Above are four amazing choices for your rehearsal dinner, all under $90. 

If you're having a vintage wedding, especially one with a retro vibe, the You're the Fun Dress in White ($89.99 at ModCloth) is a winner.  For a 1920s style wedding, the Tiered Chiffon Shift Dress ($19.80 at Forever 21) is a fun and festive option! Now for my favorite of the four, the Addison Eve dress ($75.99 at Shopruche.com) is a delightful frock fit for a charming, vintage wedding. The headpiece featured also adds something extra. Another personal favorite, the Cream Scuba Peplum Dress ($59.00 at DorothyPerkins.com) won't disappoint. This fits the classic bride, and the figure-flattering dress adds sex appeal without being too risky. 

Which choice is your favorite? And will you be wearing a traditional white dress for your rehearsal dinner? Let me know in the comments!

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 9:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

5 Reasons Why You Need a Wedding Planner & How to Fit One Into Your Budget

I'm getting married in March (yippee!), and even though it's still a long way away (about 240 days, not that I'm counting), I'm already beginning to plan our big day--and not just via Pinterest. My fiance was sweet enough to allocate money aside for us to get a wedding planner, and I'm so glad he did! Now of course we are trying to plan this thing on a budget, and some people consider a wedding planner one of the first things you can cut from the budget. But I'm here to tell you five reasons why a planner is one of the most vital aspects of your big day--even for a small wedding with less than 100 guests, like ours. 

  1. A wedding planner guides you from start to finish. If you don't really have a clue what you're doing when you sit down to start planning your big day, that's what the wedding planner is for. Your planner will help with designing your wedding, budget management, and vendor booking and suggestions. Thankfully enough, my planner is also a floral designer, so I also won't be needing to hire a florist. (He can also put together a last minute wedding cake, as he did with a past client where the bride's cake decorator didn't show for the wedding.)
  2. He/She will help you stay within your budget. Weddings are expensive. Period. Food, Photographer, Venue, and Dress--each can cost upwards of $2,000. If you don't have someone to help you manage the price of every single detail, you could end up spending more money than what you were expecting. So if that aisle runner is going to send you even just a little over budget, your wedding planner will let you know. 
  3. You will end up saving money in the long run. If you hire a wedding planner with a lot of experience, they can help you determine the most cost efficient way to do something. They also build relationships with vendors, and can help you save expense there, as opposed to approaching a vendor on your own.
  4. They will help keep you calm when things get crazy. This may sound a bit childish or bridezilla-ish, but when everyone else wants to take over your wedding, having a planner is a must. Like me, you probably have your own ideas about your big day. As my planner forewarned, "All of the family members will want to throw their two cents in on the wedding as soon as you go home for Christmas." Your wedding planner can also act as a mediator in situations like this, especially if other parties are contributing to the wedding aside from yourself. For me, this was the biggest reason I wanted a wedding planner. He actually suggested a lot of ideas to me in order to keep the wedding under control, even before we cut him the first check. That was when I knew he was "the one"--or, the best planner ever!
  5. Someone needs to orchestrate everything on your big day, and no, your family can't do it. You wouldn't get an entire choir together with no maestro, now would you? (Hopefully not.) The same concept can be applied to your wedding day. The caterers, DJs, and other venue coordinators aren't going to get together beforehand to make sure everything on your day goes without a hitch. You need someone there to direct everyone. It isn't wise to allow your family members to orchestrate everything. If something goes wrong, that could cause a lot of conflict between family members. I've planned a fashion show before (not that that really compares to a wedding), but even I will admit that you have to be quick to think if something goes wrong. 

There are plenty of reasons why you should make room for a wedding planner in your budget, but I think I covered a wide range of the basics above. Now, you might be asking me, so then how can I fit one into my budget? I would cut something else out, or in half. For example, find a way to cut the catering bill just enough to squeeze in a wedding planner. Or you could see if you can find an amazing wedding planner like mine who can help with other areas of the wedding. I won't need a florist or a floral designer, because my wedding planner is one. So that's money we've saved already. You can also see what kind of payment plan your wedding planner will be willing to work with you on. Maybe you can break it down into small monthly payments. 

Either way, a wedding planner in my opinion is a good financial decision. You should, of course, exercise caution when selecting a wedding planner. I had previously worked with my wedding planner before when coordinating the fashion show, so I knew he was fantastic. However, if you don't know of any planners, meet with at least three before making your final decision. A wedding planner can be just as good, as they can be bad. So, please, do your research before shelling out the cash. 

Do you have any advice on wedding planners? Let me know in the comments below!

Posted on July 25, 2012 at 9:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments
Filed in: budget, finance | Related: wedding planner, wedding

Wedding Planning on a Budget

Okay, after looking at all of my posts I've preplanned for this week, I realize that it has been an unintentional wedding planning week on Beauty and the Budget. So, before we get this thing rolling I'd like to introduce a new section to B&B called "Wedding". (Yeah, I know, simple, straight, and to the point.) My fiance and I are trying to keep this thing under $10,000 (or WAY under that if we can). I'm not making any promises on the final cost of everything, but I'm pretty sure my financially-savvy sweetheart is going to hold me to it!

I'm hoping I can help guide you all on wedding planning on a budget, and if you have any suggestions, you can help me, too. 

First, here's a little background story. He propsed to me at Disney on New Year's Day, AND was smart enough to have a photographer capture every moment. (Yes, he's perfect. Just in case you were wondering.) I was not even expecting it--otherwise I totally would've pulled an Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and worn a sequin dress, or something to that affect.

And here we are seven months later just now getting into the wedding planning process. And omg, is it stressful. So far, we have a venue worth $2,050 for three and a half days--half day for set up, all day Friday for rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and all day on our wedding day. We will be getting married at the Lauren Rogers Greenhouse in Laurel, MS. It's a charming little house, and it means a lot to us because we had our first real date at the art museum across the street! Additionally, you can't beat that price. Plus, I can have bridal portraits taken there for free. (The pictures I have may not do it justice, but it truly is a gorgeous venue.)

We also have an amazing wedding planner, who cost us $2,275. He will be with us every step of the way, and has been helpful since we initially began planning our wedding. He's going to turn our venue into this: (And yeah, you can totally pin it!)

Photo credit in case you need it for images below from top to bottom, left to right: ProjectWedding.com, Paper.TipJunkie.com, StyleMePretty.com (veil), StyleMePretty.com (centerpiece), a tubmlr blog that isn't working now (bridesmaids), and a google image (groomsmen suits).

We will be saving money by: hiring my mom as the cake decorator, since that's what she used to do when we were kids, and I will design all of our invitations, save the date cards, programs, and other printables, since I'm a graphic designer. Plus, we are having a small wedding with under 100 guests. 

I will keep you updated on our savings and how we spent our money over the next few months until the big day! 

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 9:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Five Beautiful and Affordable Bridesmaids Dresses

Photo Courtesy: Pinterest

If you've been following me on Instagram (@beautyandthebudget) or Twitter (@beautyandbudget), you know that there are wedding bells in my future! (We're thinking next April!) Although my sweetheart proposed to me on New Year's Day, I have yet to write a single post about weddings. Turns out, I'm a pretty horrible wedding planner. I really don't know a lot about them, and unlike most women, I didn't start planning my wedding when I was six years old. But, as they say, write about what you know--and I do know wedding fashion!

I plan on having a small yet sophisticated ceremony. For me, the wedding will involve only close friends and family, and I'm determind for this event to be as stress free as possible. That includes giving my bridesmaids freedom to choose their own dresses within their own budget. Of course, I want everything to look uniform and pretty, so we will stick to a color story, but I won't be too rigid about the silhouette, style, or price of the dress.

I have a few helpful tips when you are in search of a bridesmaid's dress. 1) Keep their figure in mind--you want them to look beautiful too! 2) Keep it classy. A fitted straight dress might look great on some body types, but in no way should the dress be tight or revealing. And 3) Since I work for a photographer, I have to say from personal experience strapless dresses aren't the best option. The reason being is that when you take close up pictures, you don't want your bridesmaids to look naked. I also think this rule applies to your wedding dress because you don't want to look naked in your bridal shots!

The search for affordable bridesmaids dresses is rather difficult. Luckily, you've found me, and I'm here to present to you five affordable bridesdmaids dresses under $150 fit for your own unique theme!

Modern Yet Posh

Here is a perfect example of a classy fitted straight dress! This simple black dress looks great on most body types, and it's perfect for a contemporary evening wedding. A thin metallic or black pattent belt and a simple bouquet of calla lillies would accompany this dress quite nicely. Plus, your bridal party can wear it for several other occasions, too! Tube Dress ($59.90 at Zara.com).

The Bold Bridesmaid

This dress would look amazing with an updo and bright red lipstick. It's perfect for an outdoor ceremony, like a garden wedding or a beach wedding, but it can also work indoors for a traditional church ceremony as well. It has a bit of a vintage vibe to it, which I love, and the fit and flare silhouette looks great on every figure! Pleased to See Hue Dress in Green ($114.99 at ModCloth)

Soft and Romantic

This dress is perfect if you have a neutral color scheme, plus it's super affordable at only $22.80! Your bridesmaids can wear it again for many different occasions, too. A taupe or cream belt would work well with this, along with a simple pearl necklace and earrings. Even a nice broach would make an excellent addition. I would like to add that if you do decide to go the route of getting a bridesmaid's dress from Forever 21, double check the length and fit of the dress. A lot of their dresses are extremely too short for a formal affair. Forever 21 Asymmetrical Ruffle Dress ($22.80 at Forever 21)

Timeless Elegance

This dress is utterly elegant and looks fantastic on its own. It can fit for a day wedding or an evening wedding, whichever tickles your fancy. Although gray can be a drab color, the metallic brocade detailing adds a touch of glamour. Pair it with a deep red lip color and swept back hair for an ultimately chic look. Kay Unger One-shoulder brocade dress ($132.00 attheOutnet, originally $440!)

Country Chic

Country themed weddings can be done well, sans the cowboy boots and hats, and over the last few years I think a lot of people have proven that this theme can be chic and modern. This dress is perfect for a country themed afternoon wedding, and the belt is a great way to add in something blue. For this dress, I see a rustic outdoor wedding in a field with beautiful oak trees, white chairs, daisies, and pitchers of freshly squeezed lemonade. Effortless Allure Dress in Gold ($129.99 at ModCloth)

Posted on June 08, 2012 at 9:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

What to Wear to a Wedding

Tuck Neck T-Dress ($68.00 at Topshop)

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 11:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

What I Wore to the Wedding

Beauties, thank you so much for helping me pick out a dress for the wedding! I was elated with your choice and, luckily, the dress came in just in time. It was a little big and I didn't have time to get it hemmed, but a little safety pin was able to take care of that problem!

The dress was a little darker than what I expected (apparently, when you order online, everything is actually lighter on the screen), but I still love it. My favorite part of the dress is the ruffled sleeve.

My boyfriend and I had a great time at the wedding, too! It was absolutely gorgeous! Be sure to vote on my look on Chictopia!

Dress Asos, Shoes Charlotte Russe

Posted on June 15, 2010 at 10:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

For the Wedding, I will be Wearing...

Beauties, thanks again for helping me pick out what I should wear to a wedding. Honestly, I'm beginning to love the fact that you're all getting to have a say-so about what's in my wardrobe, and for my next special occasion, I'll surely be asking for your opinions once more. I still love the top from Forever 21 that you all selected for me, and I actually wore it for an important online video, which will be posting to the site soon.

The votes are in, and 45% of you voted for the dress below, and I couldn't be happier with your decision!

Now I have to sit back and wait for Asos to ship all the way from the UK to the little old town that I live in. Since I've never bought clothes from the UK, I certainly hope it fits! Whatever the case, you can bet I'll be squeezing into it on June 11, even if I have to wear the tightest Spanx I can find. Overall, do you love it? I sure do!

ASOS Gathered Shoulder Soft Drape Dress

$76.09$45.65 at Asos


This is also the first time I've ever ordered from Asos, and honestly, I didn't quite like my ordering experience. When I created an account, it did not keep me logged in. Instead, I had to log back in when I wanted to check out.

When I went to check out, it showed 1 item in my shopping bag, but the item showed up twice in my shopping cart (doubling my total). Even though I tried to remove one of the items from the shopping cart, the same item still showed up twice. And remember that each time I wanted to check out, I had to log in again. So you can see my frustration at this point.

I am not sure what the problem was, but I went to my other computer, created a new account, added the dress to the shopping bag, logged in again, and then I was finally able to check out.

I still love the site and think they offer great prices on their merchandise, but I'm not sure what happened while I was placing my first order with them. Nonetheless, I'll probably order from them again, provided my order doesn't get messed up.

Posted on May 26, 2010 at 10:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

What should I wear to a wedding?

It is officially wedding season and the wedding invitations are rolling in, which only leaves me to ask one question, what should I wear?

For a June wedding that will be held at Fairview Inn (photo above), I would love for you to help me decide what to wear. You guys did a great job helping me pick out a fabulous top from Forever 21 a few weeks ago, and now it's your turn to help me shop for a cute dress! Of course, I will add photos to the site in the dress you pick.

The wedding is at 5:30 in the evening and it is a traditional summer wedding. On May 26, I'll check this post to see which dress you've chosen for me!

Which dress should I wear to a wedding?

Peplum Brushstrokes Dress

$24.80 at Forever 21

Waterfall Ruffle Tube Dress

$34.00 at Charlotte Russe

ASOS PETITE Frill Sleeve Dress

$47.35 at Asos

ASOS Frill Sleeve Fitted Waist Dress

$47.35 at Asos

ASOS Frill Sleeve Fitted Waist Dress

$47.35 at Asos

ASOS Gathered Shoulder Soft Drape Dress

$76.09$45.65 at Asos

Posted on May 19, 2010 at 5:39PM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Closet Space: Perfect Dresses for Summer Weddings (all under $50!)

Nothing to wear for a summer wedding? Try these dresses - all under $50 - for that perfect summer wedding look!

Posted on June 26, 2009 at 5:30PM | Permalink | 0 Comments