Thursday, February 26, 2009


A crinoline is a must-have for any rockabilly kitten and here are some etsy shops that I frequent often that carry them at a decent price.

Prices run from $20-50 mostly and this shop carries a good steady stream of adorable stuff, including pettipants! When I want a crinoline, I check here first. This cute turquoise crinoline is a mere $28.

This shop has a couple of crinolines right now of different styles, including this black and pink trim gem from the 50s for $39. Hurry, because I have my eye on this one...

One last point on crinolines- don't be afraid to get a square-dance crinoline and cut a layer out to make it lay better with a rockabilly skirt or dress. If you are careful, you can actually use the bit you've cut away to make another crinoline by attaching it to a new yoke (which is basically a rectangle of similar fabric turned over at the top for a piece of elastic). Take the time to inspect the crinoline before you cut- I ruined one by just hacking into it and realizing that it wasn't constructed the way I thought.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Vintage 50s Wedding Veil

I just posted a vintage 50s double wedding veil to my etsy shop. It is in very good condition and looks like it was only worn once, then put into a bag that I found in a box of old sewing supplies. Visit my shop, Tart Deco, for the skinny! Get 10% off this veil if you mention you saw it on my blog! Just type it into the message to seller during checkout and wait for a revised invoice.

Blog Spotlight- Flowerella

I have finally found a place to help me decide what kind of flowers I want to use for my wedding bouquet! Flowerella has tons and tons of information on wedding flowers, including DIY projects and (this is where I get excited) posts on flowers based on their color. Yeah! My colors are red and white so I will be poring over their posts on these flowers, as well as a tiny bit of blue for my "something blue."

The blog also pointed me to another website called Bliss that has a flower generator that allows you to search their flower database by your favorite color, by the season of your wedding, by your region of the country, or even by the color of your bridesmaid's dress.

Between these two sources, I am starting to narrow down my choices of flowers to use for my wedding bouquet. Here is one idea I have:




Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gorgeous Bridal Necklace

I have discovered a beautiful etsy store called PenelliBelle and have fallen in love with her vintage inspired creations, especially the necklace above called the Bellefleur. The necklace sells for $106, which isn't necessarily a low budget price, but the piece is so beautiful that one could easily get away with having this be the only accessory. Also, the necklace incorporates jewelry from the 1920s making it worth every penny. Seriously, I almost cried when I saw it...

She has a range of items in her shop from earrings to hair pieces and her prices start at $22 and up. This shop is pure class with a touch of vintage sass.

Great invitation idea

Where have I been?!? This is a CD made to look like a 45 filled with rockabilly tunes. Rock 'n Roll Bride blog posted about a super cute couple that sent these for their invitations and I LOVE the idea.

(I would be remiss as a librarian-in-training if I didn't mention that unless you get rights permission to recreate the music on the disc this is NOT copyright safe, regardless of the fact that you are not making money off of them. Here is a short article on this. If you are interested in obtaining mechanical rights to songs to make a compilation, you can start by going to the Harry Fox Agency which owns rights to a large number of songs.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

WHOA- great retro wedding dress!

How would you like to walk down the aisle in this hot number? What if I told you it was only $88 and available in bust sizes 32-40"? Pair this with a red or fuchsia hair flower and matching accessories and you are good to go!

Buy this and other adorable retro goodies at Unique Vintage. As an extra added bonus for my readers, get 10% off by entering the code "bride" during checkout. Special thanks to Katie from Unique Vintage for the offer!

Etsy Deals & Steals

I found some great vintage 50s pieces on Etsy right now:

"Dancing Shoes"

Size 7.5 or 8


1950s White Lace Tulle Princess Wedding

Bust 34" waist 26" Size small


Rockabilly Diva Wedding Dress Pattern

Bust size 31.5


See my post about resizing vintage patterns

Online Search Tactics

I promised a post on how to search more efficiently online and here it is. I few well constructed searches will save you hours of browsing time and possibly help you to find items that others are missing, due to misspelling and such.

There is no reason to re-invent the wheel and there are tons of sites that explain how to search more efficiently. One that I found that I think does a good job of explaining this in easy to understand terms is a teaching guide I found at the Berkeley Library.

Here is an overview of search terms I use on a regular basis:

Quotation marks- putting quotes around a specific phrase will search for these words exactly as you typed them. For example, if you type in wedding dress, you will get results that have those words anywhere in the listing. However, if you put quotes around them, you will only get the listings that have those two words together.

*- this is called a wildcard term and can be used in place of other characters. I use this a lot when I am looking for something in a decade and want to make sure I get as many results as I can. For example, I want a dress from the 1950s, so i may search for vintage dress 195*. By using the wildcard after the 5, my search will include listings that have specific dates in them that I wouldn't have gotten if I just put 1950s. You can read more about wildcards here.

Boolean Terms
- this is similar to the AND search, but you are saying either of the words can be present and it doesn't have to be both. This search will result in a ton of results and should only be used if what you are looking for is obscure or rare.

AND- searches for listings that have both terms in them. Many search engines assume that if you type two words together without quotes around them that there is an AND between them and search for both terms anywhere in the listing. Both of the words need to present in the listing to show up in results.

NOT- this is a very helpful term for you if you are finding that your searches are bringing up results that are related to your desired search, but not what you want. For example, you are looking for vintage apron patterns and your search is bringing up a bunch of kid's patterns too. You could rephrase the search like this- vintage apron patterns NOT children.

A few more tips, some search engines require that boolean terms be in caps, so to be safe just always capitalize when using them. Also, you can use more than one of the terms when constructing a search to try and narrow down your results if there are a lot of them. However, some search engines may read the terms in certain order (NOT before AND) so you may have to try re-ordering your search sometimes.

Effective searching takes time and perseverance. What you are looking for is out there, believe me. Remember, you are at the mercy of the person who posted the item and they may have misspelled something or have different terms to describe something. What you consider a dressing gown, they would call a robe or house dress. Sometimes if I am having issues with remembering different terms, I do a Google image search and click on pictures of things that are similar to what I want for more term ideas. When in ebay or etsy, I make sure and make a mental note of tags or categories of items I like for future searches.

Good luck and good searching!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blog spotlight- giveaway

I never Grew up is having a big birthday bash giveaway, including a fun custom made superhero cape.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Guestbook Alternative

I am completely ganking a great idea from a comment left by someone on the Brides Guide (Martha Stewart).

Instead of a guestbook, use an old typewriter so guests can leave you personalized messages! Better yet, use tea-stained or (faux) antique paper to make the pages even more authentic. Afterwards, you can paste the pages opposite pictures of the people who wrote them in a memory book or have the pages bound into keepsake books to send.

You can find vintage typewriters for a decent price at local thrift stores. Make sure to try all of the keys to see if they work. Chances are you'll have to have them cleaned and oiled, however if you are adventurous you can try this yourself. For comprehensive instructions on how to do this, visit this site-

To buy online, try ebay for the most affordable choices. Here are some searches I have set up for you to make it easier:

Antique typewriters (usually pre-WWII)
Vintage typewriters (usually 1920s and newer)
Another Vintage typewriter search

Wedding Maps

I was just informed last week through my wedding page to-do list at that I needed to get together a map of locations and directions for our guests. UGH! However, a quick online search provided me with a great resource- This free service allows you to create interactive online maps where you can mark the ceremony, reception, hotel, restaurants and more with icons and notes. Guests can get directions simply by entering their starting address into a prompt that automatically shows up at each location.

An extra bonus- there are DIY instructions on how to create various kinds of printed maps to include in your invitations. Once you have gone through the trouble of doing this, you can upload the finished map onto the site for guests to reprint, in case they lose their original or want an extra copy. They also have set up the option of contacting a professional map maker who will do it for you with your completed weddingmapper map.

Easy Peasy Morning Breezy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bridal Bouquet

I have decided to use a nosegay bouquet to walk down the aisle. This petite bouquet was all the rage in the 1950s and helped to offset the large skirt of the wedding dress. I was lucky enough to find a copy of Daniela Turudich's "Vintage Wedding" which has instructions from 1948 on how to create one of these delightful bouquets. I have included them below. They aren't of the highest quality scan, but you get the idea. Also, click on the pics to enlarge them.

I haven't decided on the flowers to use yet, although I know they will be red and white (our colors), with a couple of small blue ones, for something blue. I like the idea of lilies or posies and there is always the old standby of roses. If anyone has any suggestions on summer flowers, I'm all ears.

First Giveaway Winner!

The winner of my first giveaway is:

Congrats Erin! Erin just confirmed and the crocheted kitchen set is on its way!

Thanks everyone for participating in the first of many giveaways on my blog. In fact, if you are a crafter who blogs, I have a handmade tag giveaway going on until Feb 22nd that is a lot of fun!

Also, thanks for the great ideas on how to redesign my shop! I am especially interested in the animated banner that shows off different products. If anyone knows how to pull this off, please let me know.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Time+vision=Saving $

I have had a few people ask me how I have been able to keep my wedding under $3,000. Well here's the tip- spend the time up front to decide your "themes" and spend a little time every week looking for bargains online and at the store.

When I say themes I mean:
What kind of wedding (traditional, elegant, rockabilly, WWII)
Colors (mine are red & white)
Attire (tux, gown, whether or not the bridesmaids have matching dresses or other items)

This could also mean anything else that is specific to your relationship or history- like you met at a birdwatching convention so birds will be a big part of it, you both love movies and want posters of yourselves in various movie poster poses (something some friends of mine actually did). Keep in mind that you need to be somewhat fluid on your initial choices as some amazing deals might come up that aren't quite what you wanted, but are close enough or cool enough to warrant a slight change of plans.

Once you have a basic idea of what you want, work on the necessities/large items first as those are the ones that will be costing the most and setting precedence of how much the wedding might cost you. Number one on the list has to be where you are going to have the wedding ceremony/reception. Having them at one place can save you money and time and I highly recommend it if you are open to it. I'm doing both at a bowling alley and was able to rent the whole place for less than $400. If you are having them at separate locations, work on the reception location first as this will also affect how much you spend on food, regardless of whether or not you are having a dinner or just dessert, like we are.

Most facilities make their money on the food and drinks they serve which is why they only allow you to bring in your cake. Give yourself enough time to shop around and compare menus and prices 1. so you don't feel stressed into taking the first thing that seems decent to you, even if its not what you wanted and 2. so you can use this info to haggle the place that is close enough to what you want down to the price of the place that is what you don't want but cheaper. We searched until we found a place that would let us bring in our own food and we decided to offer free beer and soda to our guests, so the expected price of those beverages are around $500.

One word of advice on the bargaining front- do your homework and don't haggle just because you can. It will backfire on you if don't really have another place in mind and lie to see if you can get a cheaper price. Some businesses would rather stay closed that night than not make any profit at all. Have a beginning price in your head, but be willing to compromise on some things to get others that are more important to you. Also, BE REALISTIC. Unless you have background or training in something, or know someone who does that you trust, don't try to put a price on someone's livelihood or talent based on what you think is fair or want to pay. You are not going to get a 10 piece big band for $500. Being a professional musician, I can help you out on this one- If you want to get an idea of what you might pay for live music, figure $100 per person per hour. This is not a surefire thing, but at least it will put you in the right ballpark when you are figuring out your budget. Once again, your best line of defense is to DO YOUR RESEARCH and give yourself enough time to compare.

Allright, on to the smaller things that quickly add up to big money if you aren't careful. Remember your vision and themes? Allow yourself to get obsessed and ALWAYS, and I mean always, be on the lookout for sales or bargains. Even if your wedding is a year and a half away, if you see a good deal snatch it up! I found 6 beautiful cream colored cashmere sweaters in a vintage style for my bridesmaids on for $25 each 10 months before the wedding. I bought those things so fast they were smoking when I got them! I bought a bunch of red & white (our colors) wrapping paper right after the holidays when it was on sale to use for favors or anything else that comes up. I am planning on making out like a bandit on red & white valentine's candy in a week when it goes on sale and freezing it to keep it fresh. Note: I am going to assume that you and your beloved are made for each other and the wedding is actually going to take place- meaning you won't have to worry about returning items later. Most of the steals and deals I got were found at vintage shops and on ebay or etsy and are non-returnable. If this is a concern for you- allow yourself a bigger budget to get things at full price or rethink getting married. 'Nuff said.

I think you get the idea. I will be posting soon on some internet search tactics that will help you to find web sites, blogs or ebay/etsy listings to help you find deals or ideas to save you money.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My First Giveaway! (closed)

I will be giving my etsy shop Tart Deco a complete overhaul throughout February and I've decided to combine the design process with my first giveaway. The shop will still carry my one-of-a-kind hair flowers and fascinators (as well as a few vintage finds), but I will also be adding some new designs, like bustles, and more mini top hats and veils.

The winner will be able to choose any one item in my shop up to a $15 value (or receive $15 off of a higher priced item). To enter for the giveaway, go to my shop Tart Deco and tell me which item you would choose. Don't forget to leave your e-mail so I can contact you!

You can also get extra entries by:
- Leaving a comment(s) with ideas on how to spruce up my shop site
- Becoming a public follower of my blog and leaving a comment letting me know

The deadline is Feb. 15th at midnight, central time.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blog Spotlight- Skip It Lists

The Budget Bride blog has started a series of things you can skip at your wedding. Think you need fancy soaps and favors? Nope- SKIP IT! Visit her site for more...

Link Within

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