Win a Wedding Dress Or A Honeymoon

One of the craziest things I’ve seen is the cost of weddings. So why is it that Get Married has a literal laundry list of gift certificates and honeymoon vacations on their wedding contest pages there for the taking? And why are there barely any brides signing up to win them? Hundreds of thousands of visitors every month to the site and the brides are thinking to themselves, ‘”I never win anything.” and they don’t sign up! It’s like crazy town.

“Most brides simply walk away from opportunities that seem like there’s no chance they could win. Most websites don’t even get participation in the single percentage digits of what they’re traffic is primarily because it’s either not well represented on the main site or people have just become numb to giveaways because of the mass amounts of spam and scams online. But reputable companies like these are typically itching to give this stuff away, so avoiding opportunities like this is almost like leaving money on the table.”

Right now as we speak, Get Married is offering a $500 gift certificate from David’s Bridal, a dream vacation to Honduras for 7 days on the island of Roatán, a honeymoon package to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, another one to Turtle Island in Fiji, and even two sets of dinnerware. They’re right there for the taking, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense why more brides aren’t taking advantage of it.

Enough said.  Go get it; http://www.getmarried.com/contests/

4 Celebrity Couples Got Married This Weekend

This past weekend was a tad strange because there must have been some deal on wedding favors or something because the celebrities ran to the altar to hitch the wagon in droves.  Among them were;

Martin Lawrence and Shamicka Gibbs

Martin Lawrence, 45 tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Shamicka Gibbs, 35, this weekend. This couple has been together for over a decade which is amazing. Considering that Martin has been in tough relationships before, it was probably a very scary move for him. The couple decided to hold the ceremony in his backyard and in attendance were some very notable guests such as Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington and others. The couples 3 daughters were all flower girls including 9 year old Amara, 7 year old Iyana and 14 year old Jasmine from Lawrence’s previous marriage.  They kept it very intimate and held the reception on the Beverly Hills property as well.

John Krasinski and Emily Blunt

In a much more extravagant wedding, John Krasinski (from The Office), 30, and Emily Blunt (from The Devil Wears Prada), 27, exchanged vows in Villa D’este in Como, Italy. The bride adorned a 3 carat Edwardian and platinum diamond ring that costs somewhere in the vicinity of $100,000. According to UsMagazine, she wore a “cream, chiffon, sweetheart-draped Marchesa gown with embroidered detail.” Unlike the Lawrence’s above, this couple have only known each other since 2008, but they’ve been a couple ever since. They have apparently been holed up in George Clooney’s villa in Italy since the 4th of July weekend getting all of the arrangements together. George and John shared the screen in Leatherheads and he was also in attendance at the wedding with his girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis. John noted that the wedding on The Office was a great way to have a practice run through of the real thing.

Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher

Top 40 Grammy winning country megastar Carrie Underwood, 27, said “I Do” to Ottawa Senators hockey player Mike Fisher, 30, in a ceremony in Greensboro, Georgia.  The event that apparently cost somewhere in the vicinity of a half a million dollars took place under a lakeside tent. Probably doesn’t matter though since People magazine was rumored to have paid $2 million dollars to have exclusive access to the event. Guess we know what the next cover will be for People magazine. The wedding took place in Greensboro, GA at Reynolds Plantation. Carrie was said to have worn a Chantilly lace Monique Lhuillier gown and Monique also designed the bridesmaid dresses as well.  The couple was spotted at LAX for their honeymoon that is to take place in Bora Bora and Tahiti.

Carmelo Anthony and LaLa Vazquez

The names may not be familiar to some, but sports fans definitely know Carmelo Anthony,26, as one of the many stars from the Denver Nuggets. LaLa Vasquez, 31, has been in many film and TV roles including Soul Plane and You Got Served, but was also on many TV shows like Charm School with Ricki Lake, Flava Of Love, I Love New York 2, etc.  Yeah, those shows.  The wedding took place in Manhattan and was heavily attended by many NBA players including LeBron James who was boo’ed when he arrived.   But the stars were out as also in attendance were Justin Timberlake, Spike Lee, Kim Kardashian (with hubbie Lamar Odom), Serena Williams, Ludacris and many others.  According to CBS News, the wedding “featured towering marble columns and chandeliers, and was decorated using red tablecloths, centerpieces of red Ecuadorian roses, hundreds of candles and thousands of red roses hanging from the high ceiling.”  And if that doesn’t seem over the top, the couple, who have been engaged since 2004, sent out red and gold invitations that were decorated with Swarovski crystals and delivered in a black box featuring their initials. Good God.

Which wedding would you like to have been at?

Vera Wang & David’s Bridal Join Forces

Photo from WikipediaIn huge wedding fashion news, the wedding dress mega superstar Vera Wang has agreed to work with wedding dress megastore David’s Bridal to make a line of budget wedding dresses. Vera Wang’s wedding dresses are some of the most sought after fashions in the industry and she’s created dresses worn by Jennifer Lopez and Ivanka Trump to drop a couple names.  But Vera is typically known for being the priestess of the higher end wedding dress pricing, so this seems to be a brilliant move in a time where Google web searches for “budget weddings” and “cheap wedding dresses” are at an all time high.

The arrangement is still behind close doors since there are trademark negotiations in play right now, but the timeline appears to be for Spring 2011 and the dresses will be in the ballpark of $600-$1500 which is certainly in the realm of affordability for most brides.  Even though Vera Wang seems impervious to harm regardless of what the brides are doing, the increased exposure to the everyday bride that she will achieve with this partnership is well beyond her current reach.  According to NBC, David’s Bridal currently accounts for over 30% of bridal business and that size of audience should prove immensely lucrative to the Vera Wang line.

“The Office” Wedding Spoiler – Jim & Pam

the-office-jim-pam-wedding-Photo-from-McCall-dot-comJim Halpert and Pam Beesly from the TV series “The Office” are officially getting married during the fourth episode of the upcoming season of The Office and the hi-jinks of Dunder Mifflin.  The final episode of last season found the couple getting engaged and also announcing Pam’s pregnancy. While NBC has been mum on the details of the wedding ceremony, visitors to Niagara Falls in New York were pleasantly surprised to find the couple shooting the scene and shared some information about what they saw.

The scene was shot on the Maid of The Mist 4 and both were decked out in full wedding attire.  Pam (played by Jenna Fischer) was dressed in an empire waist bridal gown “with beaded trim and white boots” and Jim (played by John Krasinski) “donned a black tuxedo with a boutonniere with two white flowers.” according to Buffalo News.

The scene was filmed in two parts which will also take place over two episodes and that will begin airing October 8th.   Scenes were shot in front of the Red Coach Inn, which was renamed the Statler Falls Hotel, under a sign that said “Prepare to Falls in Love”.  Another on the Maid of the Mist boat where they had to start wearing a blue poncho to keep from getting wet because of the heavy mist from the Falls.  Tuesday and Wednesday, the area was scouted out by staff 3 weeks earlier and they barely got misted at all.  Not the case during a Thursday filming, where they pretty much got soaked to the skin.  Luckily, Fischers make up was waterproof so that she could stay pretty on her Big Day.  Most of the two part episode was shot in Los Angeles in a restaurant and chapel scene.

HD owners will probably notice a downgraded picture for these episodes because they couldn’t use the HD cameras in this environment and had to downgrade to a 16mm camera that uses a spinning device to keep the water off of the lens.

In real life, Krasinski is engaged to “The Devil Wears Prada” actress Emily Blunt who he’s been dating since November 2008.  Fischer also got engaged during a trip to Europe to Lee Kirk who she’s been dating since January 2008.

Renee Zellweger Officially Engaged

renee-zellweger-bradley-cooperRenee Zellweger, 40 and Bradley Cooper 34 have been spotted in several occasions (outside of the United States) spending quality time together in various locales including Barcelona, Spain recently.  The couple who are appearing together in a horror movie called Case 39 have been doing everything to cover up their romance and keep it private, but reports from Glamorati indicate that Bradley took Renee up to his hometown in Pennsylvania to introduce her to his parents and that the engagement is very real.

Zellweger was also seen wearing an engagement ring, but managed to take it off when she appeared on Late Night with David Letterman on August 20th.  As for picking out any wedding dresses, the couple still isn’t talking even though a source close to the couple indicates that it’s indeed true.

This will be Renee’s second marriage.  She was married to country music star Kenny Chesney from May to December of 2005.  He also had the “under one year” marriage to actress Jennifer Esposito from December of 2006 to April 2007 and was officially divorced as of November of 2007.

9 Major Wedding Scams

mad-brideWeddings should be a big day, but people fall prey to some of these very popular wedding scams.  Here are the ones that are the most popular scams and that are infuriating brides all over the world.

1.) Hear What I Say, Not What I Play

The wedding band switcheroo is unfortunately very common.  A band will hire studio musicians to record a quick demo or get a demo from another band.  You listen, you like them, you hire them.  And then the next thing you know, the band that plays at your wedding reception sounds just awful and not what you bought into.  Be sure where wedding bands are concerned that you get not only references, but if possible, an opportunity to see them play live at a local venue where you can go check them out for yourself and not just rely on studio magic.

2.) Bridal Registry Fiasco

registry-scan-gunIt seems easy. Grab a price gun, zap what you want and walk away.  The store documents what you scanned, tells your wedding guests and they buy it and as they buy it, it gets marked off the list as purchased.  Seems easy enough.  But in some cases, the store will quote the bride one price and then charge their guests and family something else.  This is a very common trick that bridal registries and stores will scam your guests with because there typically isn’t anyone watching them or keeping track of what prices they quoted.  Ask the store for a written policy, go to well known stores like Target or Outlet centers, or just ask for gift certificates and do it yourself.

3.) Something Used

Some bridal shops have decided that selling used dresses is a good idea.  While some brides nowadays are actually looking for used wedding dresses to save money, these shops are selling used dresses at a new dress cost and claiming that they are new.    While some dead giveaways are dirty trains, lipstick, hair, etc, the best way to avoid this scam is the same for most.  Get it in writing as to who the designer is, the model of the dress, size of the dress and especially what alterations are guaranteed and included.  When you pick up your dress, cross check it.

4.) Chauffeured Stretch Limo Lie

ghetto-caddyThe scam is really surprisingly prevalent in the tons of various limo agencies that are out there.  They use limo photos of vehicles that they don’t even own.  You request a stretch limo and you get a Black Cadillac or worse that they don’t show.  The fix?  Make sure that the contract specifically says what you’re getting.  If you want a 20 seat Hummer limo, make sure that it says “20 seat Hummer limo” and not just “large limo”.    Make sure the contract also reflects the date the service is to be provided, the time frame you’ll be using the service, arrival time, address of both the church and the bride, the reception and anything else that you can think of.   As for the vehicle switch, physically go and inspect the vehicle on a weekday around lunch time when the vehicle will actually be there and inspect it.  Is it nasty and smelly? Does it have torn and stained seats?   The most important thing is to verify that it’s even there at all.  If there’s a specific one you want, that would also be a good time to snag that license plate number.  As for the no-show limo, check their references and your local Better Business Bureau for any lodged complaints.

5.) Wedding Planner Flim Flam

This one is specifically for wedding vendors to watch out for.  Here’s an example of how this works with someone like a wedding planner.  A supposed bride will call from abroad (Europe, France, etc.) and call a legitimate wedding planner to set up their wedding in the states.  She sends a cashiers check to pay for the services, but it’s for $3000 more than what was agreed on.  The check clears the bank with no problem.   The wedding planner is told to then transfer the $3000 to a wedding band or caterer that they want to use.   No red flags yet because a wedding planner paying another vendor on behalf of the bride is common for the industry.  The money gets forwarded to the band and then the bank realizes a couple of weeks later that the check is a fraud.  Guess where the money gets taken back from?  The wedding planners bank account.  So if you’re a wedding planner or any wedding vendor that practices this, watch out for this one.  Check out more details on this scam here.

film-canister6.) You’re Not Ansel Adams!

Wedding photography is unfortunately a huge industry plagued with scammers.  You hire that big name photographer that you’ve always wanted to shoot your wedding and they send out someone else.  Sometimes it’s even a nightmare to get the photos from them after multiple calls and emails, which is outrageous when you pay them up front.  Again, it’s all about what you get in writing.  Make sure the contract indicates items such as who is going to be shooting the wedding, how many photos you get, how many albums you get, if you retain the negatives, etc..  Don’t mess around with this because you can’t re-enact this moment of your life.   Well, you can, but it probably won’t be the same.

7.) It Must Not Have Bloomed Yet

You hire a wedding florist to do the bouquet, centerpieces, etc.  and the expensive imported flowers are replaced with not-so-expensive flowers and 12 flowers per centerpiece mysteriously becomes 10.  The solution?  Are you seeing a trend here lovely Bride?  Get it in writing.  What exactly you get from type of flowers, how many centerpieces, how many flowers are in that centerpiece, what exactly is included in the centerpiece down to the little plastic plastic fork placecard holder.

8.) Diamonds Are Us

diamond-closeup-80-karatThe bride takes the diamond ring in to be cleaned and when she gets it back, it just doesn’t look the same. It has flaws or cracks in it and is obviously not the same diamond.  When she goes back, what do you think she hears?  Everything short of “you’re crazy” and “you’re mistaken, but that IS your diamond. ”  How do you protect yourself?  Believe it or not, the original jeweler can etch a serial number into the diamond girdle.  You can then have the jeweler doing the cleaning write down the serial number onto the invoice.  That way they have documented what they received and can’t switch it out.  Alternately, you can also bring your diamond grading certificate so that you can match the flaws originally documented with what you’re getting back.

9.) Hide and Seek

Anyone paying for a wedding should understand that there could be some unforeseen expenses that happen.  They always do.  But don’t get bamboozled with ridiculous fees that you get blindsided by such as one report from a bride on Blogger Brides that documented being charged a whopping $35 per gallon for fruit punch!  I’m sorry, excuse me?!  You can avoid things like this by keeping what the venue supplies to a minimum and taking away those opportunities to be gorged.  And be sure to watch out for cake cutting fees, cork fees, plate splitting fees and other nonsense fees that they figure out a way to rob you for.  Make sure that it’s clear between you, the wedding planner, your family, and anyone that may ask the venue staff for anything to try and do it themselves first that is  outside of what you’ve already discussed beforehand with the venue.


bride-and-groomAs you can see, there is a common thread in avoiding these scams and most all of them are “get it in writing”.  Everything down the dirtiest detail needs to be documented and signed off on.  This is your big wedding day.  It’s not enough to just choose a wedding professional from a wedding vendor directory.

You must do your homework and make sure they’re licensed, don’t have any complaints against them in the BBB, and that you get everything that you’re asking for.  It’s well known that the wedding industry is littered with overpriced expenses, scammers, and wedding vendors waiting to pray on your wallet like a vampire bat at a blood drive.  But it’s your day, not theirs, so watch your purse strings and protect yourself at every corner.

Wedding Vendors Get Free Exposure

wedding-photographerWedding vendors from every walk of profession including wedding photographers, caterers, florists, DJ’s, bands and others got a free handout from the television show Get Married.  The Lifetime TV show opened its doors wide for wedding professionals to post free listings on their website at http://www.getmarried.com/advertise-with-us.

Since the launch of the free listings, vendors have filled the areas quickly and by the thousands.  If your business is related to the wedding industry, take adavantage of the limited free offer to get listed and seen by literally thousands of brides.  Get Married has not indicated when the promotion will end, but this is a coup for any wedding business interested in getting on one of the most popular wedding websites on the web.

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