Monthly Archives: December 2010

Romantically Chic Wedding and Reception Sites – Minnesota

Today’s tough economy has many brides and grooms completely changing the process of how their big wedding day will be planned.  Newly engaged couples are now becoming their own “wedding planners” and “creative wedding architects” by utilizing the resources available on the internet and designing that perfect wedding themselves without utilizing the services of an expensive wedding planner.

Whether you and your beloved envision a grand cathedral wedding followed by a reception at an exclusive country club or perhaps you plan to have an intimate wedding ceremony performed on a boat followed by a reception/boat tour on a river or lake, whatever it is you decide upon, you are in luck because the affordable wedding and reception site options in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area are endless.

Here’s an example of how Simply Chic and easy your wedding day can be:

For our upcoming wedding my fiancé and I are getting married at an adorable little church in Golden Valley, Minnesota, called The Golden Valley Historical Society, Historic Church.  It’s run by volunteers who are all exceptionally great people that want to preserve the history of this quaint little church built back in the 1800’s.

We made an appointment to see the church and when we pulled into the parking lot we knew right away before even stepping inside that it would perfectly fit our needs for the wedding ceremony we envisioned.  This quaint little church seats only 80 people, and or our guest list total came to 75 guests.  It was a match made in Simply Chic heaven 🙂

The next step was deciding on the location for our wedding reception.  My fiance’s sister suggested that since we both love to cook and entertain that perhaps a home reception would be a good fit.  And, the more we thought about it, the more the idea seemed absolutely perfect for it accomplished four very big things:

  • It matched our vision perfectly.
  • It saved us a lot of money on site rental.
  • It saved us a lot of money on minimum food ordering requirements.
  • It allowed us to stay within our wedding budget.

We then hired a friend of my brother, (blessing someone within our friend network with employment for the day in this tough economy), who works in the catering business to take care of the food and serving so we don’t have to.

So as you see, once you define how you want your wedding to look, your wedding budget, the size of your guest list and the general geographic area where you want to perform your nuptials, your wedding location and reception decisions should all fall into place relatively easy.

Simply Chic Wedding Fun Facts:

Did you know:

  • Every year in the United States there are approximately 2.5 million weddings.
  • The average wedding in 2007 cost $29,000.
  • The average wedding cost in 2010 was $20,000.
  • The average cost for the wedding ceremony is $2,500.

As our wedding gift to you, The Simply Chic Bride has compiled a list of beautifully romantic wedding and reception venue options in the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota area to get you kick started in designing your perfect day.  We are adding to this list all the time, if you have any great ideas on websites that you would like to contribute we’d love to hear from you.  Please email us at:  thesimplychicbride@gmail.com

Wedding and Reception locations around Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota:

Bearpath Golf & Country Club – Eden Prairie, MN

Blaisdell Manor – Minneapolis, MN

Café Lucrat – Minneapolis, MN

Calhoun Beach Club – Minneapolis, MN

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory – St. Paul, MN

Conservatory at Carlson Center – Minnetonka, MN

Earle Browne Center – Brooklyn Park, MN

Edinburgh Usa – Brooklyn Park, MN

Fort Snelling Club – St. Paul, MN

Gale Mansion – Minneapolis, MN

Golden Valley Country Club – Golden Valley, MN

Golden Valley Historical Society, Historic Church – Golden Valley, MN

Grand Hotel – Minneapolis, MN

Harrington Mansion/Zurah Shrine – Minneapolis, MN

Hazeltine National Golf Club – Chaska,  MN

Hotel Sofitel – Minneapolis, MN

Interlachen Country Club – Edina, MN

International Market Square – Minneapolis, MN

 James J. Hill Reference Library  – St. Paul, MN

Landmark Center – St. Paul, MN

Legends Golf Club – Prior Lake, MN

Paradise Charter Cruise – Minneapolis, MN

McNamara Alumni Center – St. Paul, MN

Metropolitan State University – St. Paul, MN

Midland Hills Country Club – Roseville, MN

Mill City Museum – Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Club – Minneapolis, MN

Minikahada Club – Minneapolis, MN

Minnesota Boat Club- St. Paul, MN

Minnesota History Center – St. Paul, MN

Minnesota Historical Society – Historical Venue Locations

Nicollet Island Inn – Minneapolis, MN

Nicollet Island Pavillion – Minneapolis, MN

Northwestern College (Nazareth Chapel) – St. Paul, MN

Padelford Riverboats – Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

St. Anthony Main Event Center – Minneapolis, MN

St. Paul Hotel – St. Paul, MN

Science Museum of MN – St. Paul, MN

Summit Manor Reception House

Union Depot – St. Paul, MN

Walker Art Center – Minneapolis, MN

 Weisman Art Museum – Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

 

 

Copy and paste the condensed list below for easy reference and printing:

Bearpath Golf & Country Club – Eden Prairie, MN

Blaisdell Manor – Minneapolis, MN

 Café Lucrat – Minneapolis, MN

Calhoun Beach Club – Minneapolis, MN

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory – St. Paul, MN

Conservatory at Carlson Center – Minnetonka, MN

Earle Browne Center – Brooklyn Park, MN

Edinburgh Usa – Brooklyn Park, MN

Fort Snelling Club – St. Paul, MN

Gale Mansion – Minneapolis, MN

Golden Valley Country Club – Golden Valley, MN

Grand Hotel – Minneapolis, MN

Harrington Mansion/Zurah Shrine – Minneapolis, MN

Hazeltine National Golf Club – Chaska,  MN

Hotel Sofitel – Minneapolis, MN

Interlachen Country Club – Edina, MN

International Market Square – Minneapolis, MN

James J. Hill Reference Library  – St. Paul, MN

Landmark Center – St. Paul, MN

Legends Golf Club – Prior Lake, MN

Paradise Charter Cruise – Minneapolis, MN

McNamara Alumni Center – St. Paul, MN

Metropolitan State University – St. Paul, MN

Midland Hills Country Club – Roseville, MN

Mill City Museum – Minneapolis, MNMinneapolis Club – Minneapolis, MN

Minikahada Club – Minneapolis, MN

Minnesota Boat Club- St. Paul, MN

Minnesota History Center – St. Paul, MN

Minnesota Historical Society – Historical Venue Locations

Nicollet Island Inn – Minneapolis, MN

Nicollet Island Pavillion – Minneapolis, MN

Northwestern College (Nazareth Chapel) – St. Paul, MN

Padelford Riverboats – Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

St. Anthony Main Event Center – Minneapolis, MN

St. Paul Hotel – St. Paul, MN

Science Museum of MN – St. Paul, MN

Summit Manor Reception House

Union Depot – St. Paul, MN

Walker Art Center – Minneapolis, MN

Weisman Art Museum – Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

 

“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference.”
                                                      ~ Barbara DeAngelis

 

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Cheers!

The Simply Chic Bride

We want to hear from you! 

Email us at:  thesimplychicbride@gmail.com

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Filed under Wedding Locations, Wedding Reception Locations

Say Yes To The Under $50 Flower Girl Dress

 

 

 

Do you need to find a flower girl dress for your upcoming wedding, but you don’t want to spend a fortune, then today’s Simply Chic blog post is for you.

 

A flower girl dress purchased through a retail store can cost anywhere from $100-$150, with additional charges for alterations.  By using The Simply Chic Bride concept you can find a similar dress for under $50.

 

Think of it this way…Flower girl dresses are kind of like pianos, when you want a piano, you just gotta have it, but when you are tired of dusting the dang thing, using it as a bookshelf and having it take up half your living room,  you can think of only one thing, you want it “gone.” I found the same desire to want it “gone” applies for flower girl dresses – for once the wedding is over, most people want that cute little dress that came with the big price tag out of their closet. 

 

By utilizing the power of the internet and your friend/family network you can find that perfect flower girl dress for a fraction of the price or even better yet, for FREE!

 

Steps to finding a flower girl dress under $50: 

 

Define how you want your flower girl dress to look, consider these factors – style, size, color, and the choice of material then, start your search using the following steps:

 

1.  Network, Network, Network  – Ask friends, family members or coworkers if they know someone who may have had a child as a flower girl from a recent wedding and if they would be interested in selling their dress.

 

 Example:  I did a favor for a friend and found a flower girl dress for her bride on a budget wedding by just asking those within my friend network if they knew anyone that had recently been married.  Then, a friend of a friend said she had a wedding 1 year ago and after a short conversation she divulged that she would like nothing more than to have the flower girl dress out of her closet.  A light bulb went off in my head and I asked her if she wouldn’t mind donating the dress for a bride on a budget wedding, as she was trying to save money due to this tough economy.  This lovely woman donated the dress for the event for free and said she felt wonderful about blessing the bride with her flower girl dress contribution.

2.  Facebook it – By utilizing the power of your “status update” on Facebook you can immediately connect with people who can also pass the word on to their friends list regarding the search for a flower girl dress.  It’s like that Herbal Essence shampoo commercial from the ‘70’s, “you tell two friends, then they tell two friends, and so on, and so on…”  You’ll be amazed at how many people come forward.  People want to help. It feels great for everyone involved.

3.  Buy a dress through a guy named Craig – If you can’t find a dress through Facebooking, or networking with immediate friends/family or coworkers use Craig’s List.  Craig’s List is a great tool that brings people that want to get rid of something together with people that want what you don’t want.  The Craig’s List equation works something like this,  you can expect to pay about 50-60% below retail pricing.

 

I found this flower girl dress on Craigs List (with an off white bow) for my upcoming wedding for $30.  My winter themed wedding colors are black and white.  I then changed the look of the dress by purchasing a black bow for $15 from David’s Bridal in order to match our wedding colors.  The grand total was $45!   See how a different bow totally changes the look of the dress?

 

Simply Chic Craig’s List Shopping Tips:

 

1.  Go to http://craigslist.com  and search in the specific area where you are willing to travel to look at the dress. 

 

2.  Narrow your flower girl dress search by using words such as wedding, flower girl dress or new with tags flower girl (NWT), or never worn. You can also get great deals on dresses that might have been worn once, but dry cleaned, or they will be sold cheap enough that you dry clean them and still get them for half the price as purchased in a store. The options are endless, but “be warned” finding Craig’s List bargains can be habit forming J

3.  Bring your flower girl with you to your Craig’s List dress appointment to ensure the dress fits correctly. 

 

Simply Chic Great Idea:  When my daughter was five, she was the flower girl in my sister’s wedding.  She loved her flower girl dress so much she insisted on wearing it for her school picture that year.  It turned out to be the cutest school picture she ever took and we saved $30 on buying a new outfit for photos that year too!

 

 

Flower girl fun fact:

 

The flower girl and the tradition of walking before the bride and tossing petals dates back to old English tradition. It was customary back then to have the entire bridal party walk behind a small girl as she tossed flowers . . . all the way to the church.

 

Do you have any inexpensive wedding decorating ideas to pass along?  Email us with your photos and tips! 

  

  Simply Chic Quote:

 “The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply.”
                                                             ~Kahlil Gibran
  Cheers!

The Simply Chic Bride

We want to hear from you! 

Email us at:  thesimplychicbride@gmail.com

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Filed under Flower girl dresses, Shopping Online

Branch Out With Inexpensive Holiday Wedding Decorating Ideas

If you are having an upcoming winter wedding this blog post is for you!  Today’s Simply Chic tip focuses on decorating the outside of your home or small wedding venue for under $50.

Here’s how The Simply Chic concept works for this particular tip.  Last summer during a spell of sweltering 90 degree heat I helped my sister weed her large flower garden which was being taken over by daisies and white yarrow.  (If you are a gardener, you know how daisies and white yarrow can make a gardener crazier than Lizzie Borden).   My sister loves decorating for Christmas and she just so happens to have more pine trees on her property than Mr. and Mrs. Claus have at the North Pole.  So we did what any loving sisters would do – we traded our skills and services and blessed each other.  I helped my sister weed her garden and she in turn helped me decorate my window boxes.

Here’s what you’ll need for this simple project:

  • A friend or family member with some pine trees.
  • Approximately 2 hours of time out of your busy schedule.
  • A good pair of gloves, an old coat (that you don’t mind if you get pine sap on), your Ipod with holiday music to get you in the mood, a visiting neighbor dog to keep you company.
  • A home or small venue reception site.
  • Window boxes and outdoor pots.
  • Strings of white or colored Christmas lights.
  • Spray painted ice skates, old fashioned sled, old fashioned letter box.
  • Dried hydrangea, dogwood branches, any of your favorite dried tall stemmed flowers and large pine cones.
  • Outdoor ice lantern mold.

Easy Steps For Beautiful Holiday Window Boxes

 

  1. Unload and lay out all your pine branches
  2. Place the pine branches in your window boxes to ensure you have enough for the areas you want to cover.  To add texture, place the pine hanging over the edge of the window boxes.
  3. Lay down your Christmas lights evenly dispersed throughout the pine boughs.
  4. Fill in large empty spaces with cute Christmas or holiday winter decorations such as an old fashioned sled or cute children’s skates.
  5. Reduce large boring spots by drawing your eye toward an old toboggan or old fashioned skis.
  6. Add tall dogwood branches, grasses, dried flowers or stiff pine branches for added texture at the back of your boxes.

And there you have it, beautiful Simply Chic outdoor decorations for your winter wedding, all for under $50.

Where items mentioned in this blog can be found:

Bundles of pine cones can be found at Michael’s Stores or arts and crafts stores for under $5.

The skates, skiis, old fashioned sled and toboggan, even the Christmas lights can all be found at local thrift stores or garage sales $30.

The free pine boughs were cut from my sister’s trees.  The free hydrangea and pussy willows were collected at the end of summer from her garden and then dried and stored in her garage until winter.

The ice lantern mold can be found online by googling “Outdoor Ice Lanterns,” or visit European Garden.com.  If you are in Minnesota, I found this one at Otten Brothers Garden  Landscape Center $20.

Do you have any inexpensive outdoor decorating ideas to pass along?  Email us with your photos and tips!

“You are wealthy when you have something money can’t buy.”

~ Garth Brooks

Cheers!

   

The Simply Chic Bride

We want to hear from you!

Email us at:  thesimplychicbride@gmail.com

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Filed under Do It Yourself, Wedding Decorations-Outdoor

Avoiding Dress Duress -Pick The Location And The Dress Will Follow

Remember that great 1989 movie Field of Dreams, with Kevin Costner, the one that had the baseball player called Shoeless Joe Jackson in it? In the movie, Shoeless Joe kept telling Kevin Costner’s character, over and over, “build it and they will come.”  I remember while watching that movie I felt like saying to Shoeless Joe, “Jeepers, give the guy a little time to take a few rows of corn down will ya, and then he’ll get to making your ball field.”

Right about now you are probably wondering why am I talking about a baseball movie in a wedding blog?  Well, ironically, corn, baseball and choosing your wedding dress do have some things in common.  What I’ve discovered is that Shoeless Joe’s advice can be of use during the wedding planning process too.

Let me explain what I mean. Once you and your fiancé have had a chance to sit down and mutually define how you want your wedding to look, your wedding dress shopping, which should be the next step, will very naturally fall into place.  And that, my friends, is exactly what Shoeless Joe Jackson was trying to tell Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams.  He was basically saying, take down the corn first, then create the ball field, then we’ll all come play ball in your backyard.  I just wish he would have just come out and said that, but then the movie would probably have been 20 minutes shorter.

Here’s a couple of examples to back up what I am saying:

1.  If you and your beloved decide on a destination beach wedding then, as you know, you can then eliminate lots of different dress styles that wouldn’t be appropriate for a hot, sunny beach ceremony.  Just like oil and water don’t go well together, neither does 90 degrees, a silk dress, and a perspiring bride.  Perhaps a flowing cotton dress would be be better.

2.  If you and your beloved decide to have a grand affair with lots of guests, let’s say, at St. Paul’s Cathedral where Princess Diana was married, then a sleek understated gown might look a bit out of place.  Perhaps, just as Diana wore, a more voluminous gown with lots of tulle and taffeta to take up space with a 25 ft long train for the walk up the aisle might be a better fit.

Many brides search and search for the dress first and then choose their venue.  What can happen here is the dress doesn’t fit the venue, then unfortunately there is the unforseen cost of purchasing yet another dress that feels more appropriate for the occasion and “voila!” dress duress takes over.

Avoiding dress duress can be as easy as 1-2-3.  Here’s how to do it:

Have a conversation with your fiancé early in the process to define the following items:

  1. The size of your guest list.  Do you want a grand affair or an intimate occasion?
  2. The location of the wedding and reception.
  3. Your dress buying budget.

So let’s go dress shopping you say.  STOP – not yet.  You as the bride have a bit more refining to do once those three decisions are made between the two of you.

Here’s what you as the bride can do to save yourself time:

  1. Now that you’ve decided on the size and location of your wedding you can comfortably choose your dress style to complement and match the essence of this blessed occasion.
  2. Clearly define the appearance and message you want your dress to convey. For your dress is part of your wedding story.  Some items to take into account should include:  Your personality, style, color of dress, long train or short, long veil, short veil or no veil, and whether you are a first or second time around bride.
  3. Stay focused on keeping within your dress budget.

A great example of a dress that was chosen to perfectly complement the bride and the venue was the dress designed by Narcisco Rodriguez and worn by Carolyn Bessette for her 1996, wedding to John F. Kennedy Jr.  Their evening ceremony took place in the wood-frame Brack Chapel with just 40 guests in attendance.

Simply Chic Dress Tips:

Save the ozone layer, gas and time by starting your dress search online to narrow down the styles you love.  Make sure to only look at styles that work for your particular body type. I know it’s not fair, but if you don’t have a figure like Jessica Alba, then perhaps rule out the Mermaid style dress altogether :).  Let the Simply Chic bride tell you this in love so your friends don’t have to.

When you do venture out to the dress shops state your specific price range at your first appointment so you’re not looking at dresses you can’t afford.

Compile, print out and bring photos of the dress styles, colors and  fabrics you like with you on your dress shopping search. This way the shop attendant doesn’t have to be a member of the Dionne Warwick Psychic Friends Network, for she’ll be able to see on paper exactly what you want and she won’t even have to read your mind!

History note: 

Princess Diana’s dress is currently on exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan through Febraury, 2011.

Click here to see the video of Diana’s dress and train being uncrated for the event.

 

Do any of you brides out there have any dress shopping stories to share?  We’d love to hear how you have refined your process to find your perfect dress with no stress.  Please email us your stories and photos!

Simply Chic quote:

“Simplicity carried to an extreme becomes elegance.”

~ Jon Franklin

Cheers!

 

The Simply Chic Bride

 

Email us:  thesimplychicbride@gmail.com

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Filed under Picking A Wedding Dress