Here Comes The Guide's Blog

A Celtic Wedding in California

I have always been intrigued by the Irish culture, which is probably why I took up playing Irish fiddle. Naturally my interest carried over into my wedding style. When my husband and I got married, Greenbridge (a wonderful trio of Irish musicians) played for the ceremony, and we had an Irish music session at the reception (although I didn’t have time to play much!). I also decorated my dress with green beadwork. Had I known then about the stunning pieces crafted by Unique Celtic Jewelry, I would probably have ditched the flowers in my hair for a shiny silver circlet!

articles_altI’ve often attended Celtic Festivals, and it was at the KVMR Celtic Festival in Grass Valley where I first saw Unique Celtic Jewelry. I was impressed by the exquisite knot work and the imaginative execution of the silver collection. Though the designs are obviously Celtic, I had never seen anything quite like them! The earrings, necklaces and Celtic rings that are embellished with gemstones are even more striking. I let my husband know that any present from this online merchant will be well received. I’m crossing my fingers for our next anniversary!


Sharon Carl Posted by Sharon Carl on Jan 14, 2008.
Filed under Real WeddingsWedding Jewelry and Rings

Shopping for the Perfect Wedding Dress

Every bride has a vision of what she’ll look like walking down the aisle in her wedding dress. For my sister Sandra, whose wedding was less than 10 months away, it was time to turn that vision into reality. As her maid of honor, I was with her every step of the way.

articles_altOur first stop was Trudy’s Brides in Campbell. Sandra had two consultants helping her, and after trying on several dresses, she thought she’d found the dress of her dreams. The most impressive part was the price: $760! I was in shock, too—I’ve seen dresses of that quality go for so much more. Trudy’s had a great selection, and in addition to wedding dresses there were tons of accessories, shoes, bridesmaid’s dresses and bridesmaid gifts. After our visit, the consultants even gave her a follow-up call to touch base. Talk about full service!

articles_altNext stop, House of Fashion Bridal in Sacramento. My sister really wanted to show our dad the dress she’d fallen in love with at Trudy’s, so she called the House of Fashion, located near our parents’ home, to find out if they carried the same gown. They did, so we all went over there and she was able to model that dress for Dad. One of the best things about House of Fashion has to be its grand staircase: Brides-to-be can show their friends and family the full effect of the gowns they’re trying on by letting the train cascade down the steps. Sandra’s consultant was very knowledgeable and made the experience really fun. The prices were reasonable, too—at least four of the dresses she tried on here were under $1,000, but they all looked like they cost at least $5,000!

Last stop, David’s Bridal in Roseville. While Sandra was pretty sure she had already found her dream dress, she wanted to check out one last place before she made the purchase: David’s Bridal in Roseville. Right off the bat, this was a very different experience than Trudy’s or House of Fashion. A salesgirl pulled the dresses Sandra wanted and guided us back to the big open dressing area where all the women were trying on gowns, dropped off the dresses and disappeared. As Sandra tried on her first dress, she had to come out of the dressing room grasping the dress around her chest so I could help her into it. She struggled with two other dresses before the sales girl showed up again. In the end, Sandra found two dresses she liked, and both had a $1000 price tag. That was our cue to take a closer look at the dresses themselves. We had already learned from one knowledgeable consultant at a previous salon how to tell if a dress is well made. We noticed that on both David’s Bridal dresses, the lace and beading was damaged and the seams were clearly visible through the dress. And they were $240 more than the gorgeous, high-quality dress she found at Trudy’s!

The decision was unanimous. After seeing Sandra try on about two dozen dresses, we all came to the consensus that her first choice was perfect and the price was under budget.

The whole shopping experience really made me think that you don’t have to go to a bargain bridal shop to save money. In fact, you might not save money at all! Plus, I think every bride should have the experience of going to a high-end bridal salon and getting the star treatment. Having a consultant take the time to help you find the perfect dress—one that’s right for your body type and matches the style of your wedding—could actually save you lots of time and headache, and you’ll probably end up with a better dress for your big day.

What have your wedding dress shopping experiences been like? We’d love to hear about them.

Denise Posted by Denise on Jan 09, 2008.
Filed under Budget Wedding IdeasFashionReal WeddingsWedding Dresses

A Wedding Registry With Gifts You Actually Want

When you’re in full wedding planning mode, preparing your wedding gift registry just doesn’t seem as important as the zillion other details that need your undivided attention. I know because happened to me. Five years after my own wedding, I still look at my boring dishes and regret that I didn’t take the time to pick out what I really wanted. I planned my Texas wedding while living in California, so I hastily registered for the basics online at only the stores I knew were in both states. It was important to me that my less web-savvy guests (the ones who didn’t use the word “Google” as a verb) had the option to shop at a real store too. What I discovered was virtually everyone did the ordering online anyway. Some of the guests may have needed some help finding my online registry lists, but the convenience of shopping online was just too attractive.articles_alt

If only existed when I registered for my wedding. Just create an account and add the handy bookmark to your browser, and anything that’s sold online can be added to one centralized wish list. No more managing a list at every website you love! And if you’re suffering from shopper’s block (much more worrisome than writer’s block!), there’s even a gift ideas section to show you what other users have added to their list.

So now there really are no excuses for getting mediocre gifts for your wedding (or birthday, or baby shower). Happy hunting!

Lisa Posted by Lisa on Jan 07, 2008.
Filed under Stuff We LoveWedding Registries and Gifts