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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Creative Gift Ideas

Your good friend just got engaged. Your (insert here: sorority sister, camp friend, girl you’ve known since 2nd grade) spent a few Sunday afternoons dragging her fiancĂ© through Bloomingdales and Williams Sonoma, lying to him and herself about all the cooking she will do in the future. She demanded a new Wok set, those trendy square plates that are too small and of course a set of fancy martini glasses. As we pointed out in our earlier blog, registering is an important part of the wedding process and most guests do buy gifts off of the registry. But, leave those gifts for their families, their parents' friends and for the people who truly lack a creative side.

If you are the MOH, bridesmaid or you are close friends with the newly engaged couple


Take 20 minutes out of your precious time and think of a creative engagement gift! Think about how much better it is to get a gift you will really enjoy, instead of 6 out of a set of 12 glasses. But more importantly, when it's your turn, you will get a great gift in return.

Here are some Brideline ideas that vary in cost and cater to different personalities:
*we understand some ideas might be costly so chip in with some friends - don't spend all your money, you still have shower and wedding gifts to buy *

Date NightFor the couple who needs a night out. Get a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant (or one you would recommend) and tickets to an event (comedy club, movie tickets).

Weekend VacationFor the couple who never takes a vacation. Get them a weekend away at a Bed and Breakfast or even one night in a hotel in the city they live in.

Activity for their HoneymoonFor the couple who has already planned their honeymoon. What is better than being on your honeymoon and still getting things for free? Book services at the hotel, such as massages, golf lessons, dinner gift certificate, scuba lessons, etc.

Private ChefFor the couple who loves to cook. Private chef will come to your apartment and show you how to cook meals. In NY, we recommend

Personal Stylist - For the couple who wants to look hot. Get them a gift certificate for salon services or personal shoppers. In Chicago, we recommend

Dance ClassesFor the couple too embarrassed to dance in public. We all know those guys with 2 left feet, and the girls who look like Elaine from Seinfeld in their wedding videos. Get the couple dance classes for the wedding.

Framed Piece of Art/SculptureFor the artsy couple. Choose a piece of art you know the couple will love and have it framed. A gift they will have for the rest of their lives.

Engagement Photo SessionFor the couple who loves to post Facebook photos. Many photographers offer engagement photo sessions, but if theirs doesn’t, buy them a set. No one likes to admit it, but everyone loves pictures of themselves.

Wine Classes/Wine of the Month/Wine Box of FirstsFor the couple that loves to drink. Get them a few wine tasting classes, a membership to a wine of the month club or pick out some wines and label them for every major occasion in their future. You can even include a set of glasses and a high tech corkscrew (people love those).

Spa Services - For the stressed out couple. Get them a couples massage.

Other (more reasonably priced) gift ideas: We recommend
Personalized stationary for all thank you cards

Ring Holders, Jewelry Cleaner, Wedding Magazines

Monogrammed photo album/engraved frames

Wedding Planner book/Wedding countdown calendar
Another Great Site for All Your Gift Needs

Let's Hear it for the Boys!

Look no further for creative ideas that appeal to men. Men are part of this wedding process too! Check out:

The Man Registry
not only has tons of gifts for your man, (electronics, barbecue grills and accessories, bar supplies, tools and outdoors gear and items from favorite sports teams) it also has wedding tips and advice for grooms and the groom's wedding party – tips on best man speeches, groom-friendly wedding shower ideas and bachelor party games. Check it out!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Bloomingdales and Williams Sonoma

We know you love to shop. So what could be better than shopping for things that other people are going to buy for you?

If you’ve never heard these websites, you’ve been living in a hole. Over 91% of all to-be-weds register for gifts. Every couple that you know is registered at multiple stores that are all brought together in a stroke of genius by these wedding websites. Whether you register at Crate and Barrel, Bed Bath and Beyond or Tiffany’s, you can add each registry to or for easy access and a comprehensive guide to all items that will fill your cabinets.

Be strategic and forward-thinking about what you want to purchase.
Doesn’t your mother still use her serving plates that she got off her registry? It is better to go in with a plan, or you will be shooting that ray gun at anything looking somewhat eye-catching and you’ll end up with things that you don’t even remember ordering. Pay attention to things that come in sets because when you think you’re registering for 4 wine goblets, you may in fact be registering for 4 sets of 8.

Make sure your bridal registry is varied, in cost and content.
These items are going to be purchased by people of all different ages and socio-economic status. Do not create a registry with every item costing more than $250. None of your friends are going to purchase those, and it simply just makes everyone uncomfortable. Not to mention, if you only spent $30 on your friend who got married last year, you can be sure, she will look back on her Excel wedding spreadsheet and spend the exact same amount on you.

Constantly update your registry.
People tend to get aggravated if they see that your registry is entirely purchased before you even get to your bridal shower. If you register right after you get engaged, expect that people will buy you engagement gifts. By the time the wedding day is here, often times there is nothing left for people to buy as wedding gifts, as they have already purchased you two gifts. Not only is this frustrating for your guests, but you will end up with random gifts that people purchase on their own.

Trust us, even though these people are invited to your wedding, it doesn’t mean you have anywhere near similar taste. How many ugly vases can a person have?

In fact, in you live in New York, you most likely don’t even have enough room to store any of the ugly stuff you get. Most of these gifts are probably ending up at your mother’s basement in Long Island anyway, so save her the trouble of being the storage facility of things unwanted.

Many of your close friends will be creative and buy you something you’d never get for yourself or pay for a fun activity for you to do with your fiancĂ©. If there are certain gifts you want from your friends, give them hints. However, some of your less original friends will need the registry to fall back on. Don’t hold it against your friend if she is the last 7 plates in your set of 12.

Later this week, we will post a list of creative, cute and budget-friendly ideas for engagement gifts, exclusive of using the registry. Inclusive of using your brain and your friends personality.

Please post any good ideas you have or have used in the past!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Wedding Bailout Plan

Despite the failing economy, one thing remains constant - the wedding announcements in The New York Times Style Section. Weddings occur on every weekend of every year, no matter what the stock market says.

Here are some ideas to get you through wedding season without having to search for a bailout plan:

1. Borrow a dress from a friend. No cost, except it would be nice to dry clean it afterwards.

2. Chip in together with your friends for bridal shower gifts - get lingerie (maybe on sale) instead of candlesticks from the registry.

3. For wedding gifts - if you have any artistic talents, use them - such as painting a picture. If you can't draw a stick figure, find a great photo of the couple (learn how to use all of those photo applications on the MacBook you had to have) and have it mounted and framed.

4. Carpool to weddings, showers, engagement parties. If you don't have a car, use public transportation. Buses, trains and subways are available in all cities and who knows maybe you'll get hit on by someone other than a homeless person, you never know!

5. Just because you were invited with a date to a destination wedding, doesn't mean you have to bring one. Leave your husband home with the kids -leave your boyfriend home with the dog. The weekend is much cheaper when there is no plus 1.

6. For bachelorette parties - do one night in the city you live in and have every girl cook a dish. This way you will have a lot of food, can all get together in someone's apartment, eat and go out from there.

7. Have a bridal shower in a bridesmaid or family member's home. The cost of the venue is a large chunk and without this you can still afford to hire a caterer.

8. On the wedding day - don't get your hair and makeup done professionally. Honestly, since it is not your wedding, only you care how pretty you look (especially since you aren't bringing your plus 1) and for the money, we think you can get over it for a day.

Tell us how you have cut costs!

Picture from

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pin the Macho on the Man - in Mexico?

Even though the economy is tumbling and layoffs are trendier than Twitter, destination Bachelorette Parties are still the big thing - groups of 20-something and 30-something girls - dancing on a bar like they were in college...what could be better?!

Picture from

Is it a fun-filled "spring break-esque" weekend or an awkward 3-day event you wish you could forget? A weekend with your 4 best friends or a weekend with 12 married women you've never met before (and you're the only single one)? A weekend that cost you more than that pair of Jimmy Choo shoes you've been saving for since your last bonus?

For all of your MOHs who have to plan this weekend - we know it is hard to create the brides picture perfect party while maintaining a budget are some pointers:

(1) Location and Hotels
The bride-to-be should choose a location, but with the understanding that not everyone will be able to attend. Being a good bride (and a good friend) requires being considerate of your friends finances and respecting their decisions. Once a location is set, call around for hotel deals for large groups.

(2) Meals and Restaurants
It is unnecessary (and expensive) to have multiple nice dinners. There are plenty of restaurants in every location that are reasonable and still serve good food. Make sure to make reservations ahead of time. Pre-fix menus are also a good option.

(3) Cost and Money Collection
Once restaurant reservations are made, and you can guesstimate the cost of meals, it is a good idea to collect a chunk of money beforehand so you are not handing the waiter 10 credit cards or asking the one girl who doesn't drink to keep chipping in for shots the drunk MOH keeps ordering. This may seem like a slight annoyance beforehand, but it makes the weekend much easier and people are less stressed because they do not have to think about money.

(4) Rooms
Do not put girls in a room together who have hated each other since the first day of sorority rush, and do not put your most bitchy friend with your shy cousin. Both are mean. DUH.

(5) Games
Please post suggestions for games to play with the bride-to-be.
One suggestion: everyone buys the bride-to-be a pair of underwear that somehow describes their friendship and bride-to-be has to guess whom it is from.

(6) Gifts
We know, we know...another expense, but this one is thoughtful - not forced. It is not necessary, but always appreciated from the bride-to-be. Scrapbooks, dvds or cd's with pictures/music for the bride-to-be are cute gifts that she can have forever.

Destination Bachelorete Parties can be wonderful girls weekends, but if poorly planned - you may end up with 12 whiners. Gross.

Please send us ( any funny, cute, embarrassing or horrible stories about destination bachelorette weekends you've attended...or post to the blog!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Welcome to Bridelines!

Bridelines is where brides and their friends come together to share stories, ask questions, share information and most importantly, vent about each other.

Is she really having 2 bridal showers?
Why is she making me spend $300 on a dress I'll wear once?
Do I have to go to her destination bachelorette party?

We've all had these thoughts. You are fooling yourself if you say you haven't, and it doesn’t matter if you are married, single or engaged. It's almost wedding season and whether you like it or not...its time for the rehearsal dinner speeches, pink taffeta dresses and games of bridal bingo at showers. It’s a fact – the wedding process (from the engagement up until the “I do’s”) are exhausting and expensive for your friends. But…that’s what you do for your friends, and they do it in return.

Whether you are a bride this summer, or a bridesmaid (for the 12th time), Bridelines will guide you through this season and beyond.

We know weddings are ultimately about the bride. Bridelines is a place for brides to ask questions and receive helpful and practical advice about all your bridal needs and desires. Bridelines is also a place for friends of brides to vent (anonymously, of course) or share funny stories, memorable moments or pieces of advice to other stressed-out friends of a bride.

Please share with us your stories from both sides of the bouquet! Post below with topic ideas or email us at

To Being Friends After Your I Do's

Always a Bridesmaid...

What would you do if your friend chose one of these bridesmaid dresses? We suggest you stop being friends with her, if you haven't already.


We know the examples above are extreme -bordering on completely ridiculous - but they are real and someone thought they would make their pictures look good.

There are some very generous brides who pay for the bridesmaid dresses and those brides are allowed to choose whatever dress they want. However, since most of the time, you are paying, you should have some input.

Which dresses will you wear again? How much is a reasonable cost? Have you had to match shoes or jewelry? Who decided on the bridesmaid dresses - you or the bride?

We'd love any stories and photos of the good, the bad or the really bad (as long as your bride-friend will still talk to you afterwards).

Bride Guide


Your friends truly do want to share in your happiness, but as with most things, there are certain topics whose details don’t need to be broadcast to the entire “Oprah-viewing” public. Your friends, or even your maid-oh-honor doesn't need the play-by-play of you and your mother-in-law in the boxing ring over flowers. Pink or yellow flowers; tall centerpieces or short? To be honest, your friends do not care about the flowers, in any size or color. However, there are plenty of wedding aspects your friends do care about and want to share with you, within reason. This wedding is still, and will always be about you, but you must remember only your life revolves around it.

Here is an opportunity for all you brides to share your stories with each other. What are you most excited about? How do you calm your nerves? How do you stay organized?

Who is better to talk about this with than other brides?

To Being Friends After Your I Do's