Cyber Monday Quad City Wedding Offers!

by Jenny Bryde 1. December 2013 01:13

Alert, alert, alert!!  Cyber Monday deals are coming your way from local Quad Cities businesses.  From the Get It Today Half-Priced Deals page, here are just a few of the dozens and dozens of deals that might come in useful as you plan your wedding.  Remember that these are limited time deals, available in a limited quantity, so make sure you get to the Half Priced Deals page asap tomorrow and snag these offers!


5ive Star Salon - Ultimate Spa Package - $265 value for $132.50

Neckers Jewelers - $500 gift card for $250

AAAmazing Bodywork - Basic Facial $50 value for $25

Advanced Soft Tissue Health Solutions - 90 Minute Massage $90 Value for $45

AfterImage The Look, Inc - Vitamineral & Depuffing Mask Facial $70 Value for $35

Bennion Chiropractic - Two - 60 Minute Massage Gift Cards $94 Value for $45

Big Bear Therapeutics - One Hour Massage $50 Value for $25

AfterImage The Look, Inc - Spray Tan $20 Value for $10

Johannes Bus Service Inc. - WEDDING SHUTTLE $675 Value for $337

Kevin Walker Weddings - Wedding Photography Gift Certificate $1,000 Value for $500

Necker's Jewelers - $1,000 Towards an Engagement Ring for $500

Reflexology Center - 30 min. Ionic Energy and Foot Detox Foot Spa ($40 Value for $20)

Kevin Walker Entertainment - Wedding DJ Gift Certificate $600 Value for $300

Salon Integrity - $30 Gift Card for $15



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Budgeting | Jenny Bryde | Real Quad Cities weddings

Personalizing the Wedding Budget

by Jenny Bryde 27. February 2013 00:43

Today's post is all about dollars and cents.  We spin ideas of our wedding, and we can indeed have it all...within reason.  One of the most important conversations that you will have with your fiance and possible with family members as well is the budget that you are going to allocate to your wedding.  Whether you are getting funded from mom and dad, paying for it all yourselves, or somewhere in the middle, it is so important that everyone is on the same page.  Once you have a set dollar amount, you will need some organization and guidance to make sure that you stay on course.  Believe me, it is easy to get that budget to creep up.  In my wedding planning adventures, we ended up adding 25% to our original wedding budget!  Ouch!  In hindsight, I wish I had been more careful on deciding what were my priorities.  Everything cannot be a priority item unless you have some grand budget that all us bridey-brides dream of.  Most of us have to be a little more guarded with our money.  

Real Simple Magazine has a wonderful budget worksheet available that I'm using for today's example budget.  You can also find a really cool interactive budget tool at Martha Stewart's Wedding Website.  I'm sure there are many others out there, but these two are my favorites.  

Let's step into the land of make believe today and say that we have $20,000 to spend on a wedding.  Here's how this imaginary wedding would break down if I applied our total budget to the Real Simple worksheet...

Reception - 50% - $10,000

Attire - 10% - $2000

Flowers and Decorations - 10% - $2000

Music - 10% - 2000

Photography - 10% - 2000

Favors and Gifts - 3% - $600

Ceremony - 2% - $400

Stationery - 2% - $400

Wedding Rings - 2% - $400

Transportation - 1% - $200


From this point, I can make adjustments.  

In many cases, I can save money.  For example, we are not using any transportation services for our wedding because our hotel provided a free shuttle, and our ceremony and reception are at the same venue.  So I can take that line off.  My uncle is going to be our officiant, so we made a $100 donation to his church but didn't have any other ceremony fees.  For music we are hiring a band for $1250 who will also provide the sound system for our ceremony music.  Our attire together only cost $1200.  We only spent about $300 on favors and gifts for our wedding party and guests.  

Then we need to look at areas where we want to splurge.  We picked a primo photograher whose total costs for services were $3000.  We spent $1000 on our wedding bands.  We also upgraded our menu choice, so we threw any extra money in that direction.  

So you can see our adjusted budget below.  The items in bold were our splurge items, and the items underlined were our save items. 



Reception - 50% - $10,850

Attire - 10% - $1200

Flowers and Decorations - 10% - $2000

Music - 10% - 1250

Photography - 10% - 3000

Favors and Gifts - 3% - $300

Ceremony - 2% - $100

Stationery - 2% - $400

Wedding Rings - 2% - $1000

Something else that you'll want to consider - there are TONS of unexpected items that you'll need - especially in the decor area of the wedding.  It is easy to get spendy.  While I also spent an additional $2000 on random things for our wedding, I was able to sell over $2000 worth of wedding stuff to engaged couples after our wedding, so that balanced out for our budget.

So my advice?  Have a plan.  Agree on any changes to the plan.  Keep goals realistic.  Look for deals on things that aren't as important to you.  Decide what is a high priority, and figure out how to rearrange your budget to make it happen.  Forgive yourself for the small extra happens.  

I hope this helps you start the conversation on your wedding budget!  




Budgeting | Jenny Bryde

Some Helpful WebTools to Keep Your Planning a Breeze!

by Jenny Bryde 9. January 2010 13:07

First off, ladies and gents, I wanted to remind you all that tomorrow is the WeddingMax Bridal Show at the iWireless Center.

Check out all the info here! I hope to see you there!

Next on my list of to-do's... If you remember from a few posts ago, one of my new year's resolutions is to become more organized. Certain aspects of our wedding I have certainly paid close attention to lately, and others have fallen to the wayside because a) they are things we haven't decided upon yet, b) they look like boring tasks to me, or c) I am a procrastinator. I am trying to eliminate option C from my repertoire of excuses.

Recently Donna sent me an email about a company called Places Everyone which sells sets of magnetized shapes and a lay out that you can customize to look like your reception hall. The magnetized tables come with magnetized seats on which you can write your guests names. This is a brilliant idea especially for those of us who need a visual or who learn by touching and moving things around. On the site you can see the different options for purchasing, and as I was going through the site, I thought to myself, Self, you could probably make something like this with materials you already have. So for those of you who can do a little scaling math and don't mind scrounging up some construction paper and childproof scissors, go nuts. If not, Places Everyone is there for you.

One word to describe me would be procrastinator. Another would be Cheap A$$. The thought of plunking down $50 for this kit made me cringe a little, so I did a little researching and came upon the mecca of wedding planning, Martha Stewart, of course! On, you can register (for free) and find not only a virtual seating chart program, but an entire set of wedding planning tools of which I will be taking full advantage. Here are a few things that I am excited about...

1) The Seating Chart Planning Tool. There are options to change the size and shape of the reception area lay out, different sizes of tables, and the program will upload info right from your guest list that you can also create with the MSW planning tools! Neato!

2) The Budget Planner Tool. I've seen a lot of budget planning tools, and I've even kept our budget on an Excell sheet, but this one has so many bells and whistles! For example, if you end up underspending (ha ha), it will ask you how you'd like to redistribute the funds. It will also keep track of payment dates and send you reminders! Swell!

3) The Checklist Tool. Are there others like me who leave things off until the very end? This one's for you! For example, right now my check list tells me that we are overdue on making a wedding webpage (ironic). Dandy!

I really think I owe good ol' Martha a thank you note because her wedding planning tools are going to be really helpful here in helping us to stay on track with our wedding and to eliminate my procrastination problem. There are other organizations and websites that offer free and subscription based wedding planning tools. What are some of your favorites? What programs have saved your life and your sanity as you plan for your upcoming nuptials?

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Advice | budget | Budgeting | Parties | Projects and Freebies

Why the First Year is the Toughest

by Jenny Bryde 16. August 2009 02:24

Have you ever heard someone say that the first year of marriage is the hardest?  Why do you think this is?  Does it have to do with the fact that it could be the first time you're living with someone that you love outside of your blood relatives?  Is it the pressure of sharing finances which is probably new to most newlyweds?  Is it saying goodbye to your singledom?  It's probably a combination of all of these elements and more, but it is very important that as these issues surface, the couple takes a serious look at the ins and outs and discusses options. 

I fell in love with my fiance very early on in our relationship.  We had been dating, and I had to go away for the summer to a job in New Jersey.  Having traveled a lot before and having never felt the pangs of homesickness ever, it came as a great shock to me that I was miserable and wanted nothing more for the summer to end and to get home.  That fall, my then boyfriend and I made the decision to move in together. 

I can tell you that the next year was a battlefield.  I am extremely independent and a terrible cook.  He had never touched the kitchen, and sharing was not his forte.  We went through an entire 12 months of our relationship on a see-saw!  We had to end up discussing things that we both had taken for granted and were both surprised to find that our opinions differed on many topics.  It was the first time in either of our lives that we had to seriously change the way we lived.  And we did it.  All of a sudden one day, I realized that living together had become so easy and so enjoyable and the petty arguments had disappeared.  I couldn't tell you when exactly this happened, but that's probably because it was a growing process that took an entire year.  

Recently, we have taken another big step towards being completely joined.  We opened our first bank account together.  I've gotten better at not only living for myself, and my fiance is better at sharing, but we were both a little timid to do this.  It made sense, though, for us to join financial forces as we are saving for the wedding, honeymoon, and a new roof.  We researched our options, and shopped around for a bank that fit our needs.  And then...we jumped in with both feet.  Or all four feet...whichever.  :)  

We are in month one of a joint checking account, and it's an adjustment period again.  Neither of us is used to being accountable down to the dollar for what we spend.  Purchases that took no thought process before are now making us think twice.  (Maybe that's a good thing for two people who are saving!)  Even though we are in uncharted waters, we feel really good about this move for our relationship.  

What events in your relationship with your fiance made you grow as a couple?  Please tell us about them!  

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Budgeting | Jenny Bryde

Chicken fingers and smiley fries = Cash

by Jenny Bryde 29. July 2009 06:19

This post is going to save you all money.  It's going to save me money for sure.  And it's something that not everyone realizes when they are planning with their caterer for their wedding.  As you start discussions about menu options and your eyes start to glaze over at the thought of an elegant dinner with fine china and shimmering crystal, stop for a moment and look at your guest list.  Along with your family and friends comes.....CHILDREN. know...the little shorties that turn up their noses at lobster tail and steak in lieu of chicken fingers and smiley fries.  A good caterer is going to alert you to this fact and have a children's meal available for the little guys.  This could save you BIIIIIIIIIIG money.

For example, at TPC Deere Run Golf Course in Silvis, IL, Michelle McMullen, the site event coordinator, will be the first to tell you that their children's menu is not only more appealing to kids but will cost you a mere fraction of an adult plated dinner. 

Do you like to see things in black and white numbers?  Here's some math to shake things up a bit:  A guest list of 150 people includes 30 children.  Your plated dinner cost is $30 a plate.  Tax is 7%, and gratuity is a mandatory 18%.  Your full price for all adult meals would be $5681.70.  If you remember to tell the caterer that you need only 120 adult meals and 30 children's meals, your bill would come to $4924.14.  That is a savings of $757.56!  Yikes!

So...what have we learned today, boys and girls?  Speak up and ask questions when you are talking with your wedding vendors.  Many, many caterers have options for children, and most are going to alert you to these options, but if they don't, it's your job to ask!

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Budgeting | Food and Drink | Jenny Bryde

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About the Blog

Hi!  Welcome to the blog!  My name is Jenny, and I am a Quad Cities bride to be.  Our goal for this blog is to share information on all things wedding including local vendors, new trends, and amazing inspiration.  Let us know if there is something you'd like to see on here!  

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