Best Buy makes planning your wedding registry fun with these top five picks

Some think that picking out the engagement ring is tough – and in some cases it is. The right “size, shape, color”, is it new or something that is a family heirloom. When it comes to picking out your registry, you can breathe a sign of relief because Best Buy wedding registry takes all the stress out of your wedding planning with home goods that you’ll both enjoy. These are my top five picks from Best Buy to help any engaged couples new life together the best.

1 – TV anyone? This is awesome for gathering around for date night, simple movies and let’s not forget all the sports that your spouse (and possibly you too) will love to watch with family and friends.tv1112 – Technology is key in the 21st century. How about new matching mobile devices, music players or laptops? This makes staying in touch and getting those thank you notes off to your guests easier.  They also have an awesome “Geek Squad”, that can help you with any of your computer related questions. phone11

3 – New appliances may be needed in your new home and how about that washer, drier or stainless steel wine fridge you’ve had your eye on. While these may seem big-ticket items, they are great for “Group Gifting”. What’s that you ask? It allows gift-givers to give any amount they want, so couples can ask for the gifts you really want and not worry about price point. Great for your officemates or bridal party who want to pool funds for your gift.wine22

4 – It’s party time and a new stereo and/or speakers will set your party off right! Music systems will help with amazing surround sound for parties both in and out of your home. Placing your speakers near or via blue tooth, will have your guests enjoying every moment.musicsstem1

5 – I don’t know about you but nothing makes for a great party but awesome food and cocktails. That’s why a microwave, toaster, blender or coffee maker must be on your registry. Fun food just completes your new home and cocktails  or coffee make everything meal perfect all year round.coffee1

Best Buy has a great choice of gifts that will fit any registry request. Remember that all items $199 and over can be considered for their “group gifting” option. This allows you to ask for what you really want, without asking your guests to spend more than they are comfortable with—so dream big. Remember Best Buy Wedding Registry has Free Shipping, No Minimum.  So whatever your “Top Five” products, big or small, expensive or affordable, all ship for free saving your guests money.

So check out Best Buy and take the stress out of your registry planning. Now back to finding the perfect dress….

While a huge Best Buy fan, this is a sponsored post and I’ve been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

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SALE: Nanette Lepore Sample Sale

I love a good sale and when you adore a designer, like many of you, I’m on it!  So when I was sent this about Nanette, my heart skipped a beat.  Then the logical person said…”Hmmm, I wonder what sizes” so I asked.  Sadly this is truly a sample sale.  Sizes are 2-4 with a slim possibility of a 6 sprinkled in there. Well, that rules me (and I’m sure a bunch of other folks out). Then I realized, Nanette Lepore will have things that I can wear. Accessories!! Who doesn’t love something beautiful especially at these prices…yes, you should be able to find something. So Good luck and let me know if you score.

nlp

2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Luxury for all

Luxury can be a state of mind or it might be at your finger tips.  Here are a few true luxury gift suggestions that will make someone’s holiday brighter.

If leaving on a jet plane is an option, then the travel site Indagare is for you. Combining a blend of the best of a destination with behind-the scenes touring offering the most relevant travel advice for your dream trip. Destinations include Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, China, India, Jordan and more. Prices for membership varies but they offer three different memberships so there is something for every budget.

With all the beautiful jewelry I’m sure you’re anticipating this holiday, you need somewhere to put it.  The jewelry storage from Rowallan of Scotland is a must.  With over 12 drawers there is enough room for your rings, watches and anything else you hold dear.

YOUR NAME HERE dot dot dash dash by Coatton Line can create a modern and feminine Morse coded necklace in your name or the name of your darling or even your proposal.

This holiday season, St-Germain is debuting a must-have. Reminiscent of the French country bikes of the 50’s and 60’s, the modern-vintage two wheelers are custom-designed in the brand’s signature navy color and feature BROOKS genuine-leather saddles, handlebars and saddle bags as well as quality Michelin tires. The focal point is an orange-leather bottle holder strapped to the cycle’s frame –that ensures there is never a shortage of St-Germain cocktails as you picnic or bar hop on the weekends.

Known as The Cashmere House, Christopher Fischer is a leading knitwear designer, and retailer of cashmere collections for men, women, baby and home décor.  Using only cashmere, silk, cotton, linen, and the finest wools, his luxurious pieces are some of the most desired “must-have” or “must-give” gifts of the Holiday season. The Christopher Fischer Imani Long Texting Gloves, Fox Intarsia Sweater, Isabel Foil Printed Cable and Adele Ruffle Ballet Slipper are the perfect holiday gifts!

An innovative escape, in the heart of Greenwich, Connecticut, The JHouse Greenwich hotel is a dream destination for holiday travelers looking to indulge in the highest level of luxury. Offering guests a home away from home, featuring world-class amenities, fine dining, and modern, plush comforts. The JHouse Greenwich’s impeccable attention to detail is clear not only in the luxury and comfort given to guests, but also in its green initiatives, as well.

The tri-level, contemporary hotel features technologically advanced bedrooms, a personal Apple iPad, complimentary WiFi and Internet access. Added amenities include mirrored 55 inch television in the bedrooms, television imbedded in bathroom mirrors, heated toilet seats, l’Occitane en Provence bathroom amenities, and Frette towels and robes to make sure a luxurious guest experience.

Happy Holidays one and all!

Vineyard Peach Body Care by The Body Shop bursting with juicy-goodness

Fall is officially here and The Body Shop has the perfect pick for the season with the Vineyard Peach Body Care Range.  Beginning today, September 24, this heavenly combination of fragrance, luscious texture and velvety smoothness, delivers 24 Hours of thirst-quenching moisture and bursting with precious peach kernel oil.

Thanks to their Community Fair Trade program, this special edition Vineyard Peach contains nine different Community Fair Trade ingredients from all over the world, which helps over 300,000 people and their communities every year.

Products in the limited edition range include the following:

  • VINEYARD PEACH BODY BUTTER ($19)
  • VINEYARD PEACH BODY SCRUB ($19)
  • VINEYARD PEACH SHOWER GEL ($8)
  • VINEYARD PEACH BODY LOTION ($12)

Peach not your favorite scent, no worries, The Body Shop has other new options for the fall season including:

  • The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser ($18) – contains Community Fair Trade organic tea tree oil and is clinically proven to reduce pore size, redefine the skin’s texture and mattify your skin from the very first use. Click here.
  • The Body Shop All in One BB Cream ($20)— contains Community Fair Trade marula oil and available in a variety of shades, this lightweight formula that provides 24-hour hydration and color adapts for a perfect match and a smooth, undetectable finish. Click here.
  • The Body Shop Foundation Limited Edition Dragon Fruit Lip Butter ($6) – moisturizes your lips while allowing you to support the charity of your choice (ALL PROFITS DONATED). Click here.

Plus, The Body Shop has many NEW holiday offerings in a full range of BATH & BODY (Vanilla Bliss, Ginger Sparkle and Cranberry Joy Scents) skincare, WINTER TREND MAKEUP and GIFT SETS which will be available starting OCTOBER 29TH in stores and online at www.thebodyshop-usa.com.

So my best advice, shop early and shop often. I think these would make great gifts for your bridal party and you know that you’re doing a good deed.

 

Wedcoupon.com curates everything a couple needs in one stop shop

Doesn’t it seem like every time you open your email, you’re seeing another new “e-commerce” site.  The thing is, they all claim to do it all, be it all, have it all for everyone…’including the bride’.  I don’t know about you, but there are so few that completely focus on the happy couple, especially those on a budget.  Well, finally we have Wedcoupon.com that targets engaged couples seeking budget friendly yet fashionable products, local wedding services, and honeymoon inspirations at up to 80% off retail.

Like other member’s only sites, on Wedcoupon.com you can register to receive daily emails about upcoming sales events that may just save a small fortune on one of the most expensive occasions in a couples life. As a registered member, you can also search for time-dated sales events in your city via the ‘calendar function’ to discover which vendors discount coincides with your wedding date.

What I do like is they have set up a series of ‘standards’ that vendors have to meet before they will be featured. More, they are dedicated to help couples (and you as the one buying things as gifts for them) create the future home of their dreams.

The Wedcoupon platform hopes to be a game changer in a tradition-bound industry.  So stop by and sign up.  They are in a lot of cities across the US now and are rolling out to others soon. To learn more visit – www.wedcoupon.com

In full disclosure that I do know one of the owners of this site.  But you know me well enough that I wouldn’t post anything here that I didn’t think would be a benefit.  I was not paid for this post but I do believe in this company.

David’s Bridal is kissing the wedding industry goodby

I’ve been saying there will be major changes in the wedding industry for like….7 months already and I do believe that some people didn’t believe me.  Well, it seems that the first of two major changes has officially happened.  I couldn’t  have written it any better than the story I saw in the NY Post, so here it is.  My advice…if you thought that Vera Wang dress would be your dream dress (read less than her Madison Avenue price) you better get it now….or you’ll be heading back to Madison Ave really soon.  Also and I really hate to be the bearer of doom…there WILL BE another major announcement before 2012 is over.  Yes the wedding world is in for a shake-up.

The owners of David’s Bridal are trying to find a suitor to tie the knot with its 62-year-old retail chain.

Private-equity shops Leonard Green & Partners and TPG Capital have put the retailer on the block and this week have taken first-round bids on the chain of 300-plus stores based in Conshohocken, Pa.

Several interested suitors, including private-equity firm KKR, have been told they have made it to the next round of the auction, according to a source close to the process.

Both Leonard Green and TPG had been hoping for a premium price for the only national wedding dress chain, but, according to sources, those dreams may be left at the altar.

Suitors are offering a price equal to about eight times EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization), or just under $1 billion, sources said. Unless the action picks up in subsequent bidding rounds, David’s Bridal, founded in 1950 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., will be a discount purchase.

By comparison, THL Partners this week agreed to pay a richer 10 times multiple for the Party City party supply chain. Like David’s Bridal, Party City is the only national retailer in its space.

Leonard Green and TPG yesterday also announced a deal to buy national for-profit thrift store Savers. The price: $1.6 billion.

That, too, is about a 10 times EBITDA multiple — 20 percent higher than the multiples being offered for David’s Bridal, sources said.

Both Party City and Savers are more down-market chains, which seems to indicate that David’s Bridal is carrying a middle-market discount.

“If you are down market, that is the place to be,” a banker who works with private-equity firms said.

Leonard Green has been moving David’s Bridal upmarket over the last couple of years in hopes of improving profits at the chain, whose stores are dotted across 45 states.

In April 2010, David’s Bridal announced an exclusive partnership with Vera Wang for gowns priced under $1,500.

Wang has been the go-to wedding dress designer for the power set for years and in recent years Avril Lavigne, Kim Kardashian and Ivanka Trump have all opted for a Wang gown for their big day.

While the Wang gowns at David’s didn’t carry the sky-high price tags of those used by the boldface name set, they did raise the average price of a gown at the chain and accomplish the goals of Leonard Green.

The average price paid for wedding dresses across the industry has risen from $1,056 in 2006 to $1,289 in 2011, according to Brides magazine.

The private-equity firms bought the bridal chain in early 2007 from Federated for $750 million.

If the firms put down cash equal to 33 percent of the purchase price, they stand to about double their money in the sale, a little over a 15 percent annual return. That’s a bit under par for a premier private-equity firm, but still not bad in a recession.

David’s Bridal has hired Bank of America to handle the auction.

Leonard Green did not return calls, and TPG declined comment.

Originally seen in the New York Post:

Top 20 Most Expensive Places to Get Married

Let’s get something straight right off the bat….You are NOT Kim Kardashian, Kate Cruise, or any other celebrity that is your favorite (or favorite for the moment) that has gotten married. Weddings – and darn-it…I’m going to say it; something that you may not want to hear or rather, what no wedding planner will dare say….

“This is a BIG PARTY for your family and friends.  Yes, they are celebrating your marriage BUT YOU are (or your parents…but I hope if you’re old enough to get married, you are at least paying a part if not all) paying for their fun. You are NOT going to get enough ‘envelopes’ to make up for what you paid out…you’re not!” 

That is reality and just as that is reality, I take issue with some of these numbers as “average” costs of weddings.

Fact:  A wedding in a major city will cost money. Yes a major city will cost more than a small town, but it’s a major city with more options available.  It’s expensive to have a venue, bridal shop etc so you are most times paying for this and not necessarily their talent.

Fact: You can have a wedding that is beautiful in NYC for $30,ooo.00.  Yes that means your dress, venue, photographer, flowers, wedding planner & suit for your groom.

Fact: Not all ‘weddings’ you see on blogs or magazines are real…they are staged by a ‘stylist’ whose job is to convince you that you ‘MUST HAVE XYZ’ or your wedding won’t be beautiful.  Don’t’ believe it.  Again, you are not a reality ‘star’ and my friends that are celebrities, don’t have million dollar weddings…and they can.  Don’t forget why you are getting married in the first place.

Fact: Weddings are a $74 billion wedding industry and that means that a lot of publications (not this one because I don’t have advertisers….yet…and when I’m ‘gifted an item, it in no way changes my honest opinion and I post a disclaimer) will only share with you their advertisers and say that they are the best thing since the invention of lace.  Not always true.  There are more and in some instances better vendors beyond what you see in a magazine…you just have to look.

Fact: September, October and November are the new May, June, August.  If you want a beautiful wedding without spending the farm, pick another time (especially if a major city) or have a destination wedding.

Fact: NYC brides have the highest wedding budget ($65,824) and Virginia brides have the lowest ($14,203).

Fact:  Brides in Manhattan spend the most on their dresses ($2,403), while North and South Dakotan brides spend the least ($745).

Fact: Wedding Size: Iowa brides host the most guests, averaging 215 per wedding, while Hawaii and Nevada have the smallest weddings, with 77 and 63 guest, respectively.

Based on average wedding spend in 2011, these are the areas around the US where couples spend the most on their wedding. These stats are provided from the Knot|Wedding Channel.

  1. NYC (Manhattan): $65,824
  2. Chicago, IL: $53,069
  3. NY Metro (Long Island, Hudson Valley and NYC Outer Boroughs): $50,087, $46,560, $40,356
  4. Northern/Central NJ and Southern NJ: $46,600, $38,103
  5. Rhode Island: $41,307
  6. Santa Barbara/Ventura, CA, and Los Angeles, CA: $37,823, $37,690
  7. Philadelphia, PA: $37,014
  8. Boston, MA: $35,560
  9. Southern Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas): $34,465
  10. Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland: $34,203
  11. Connecticut: $33,789
  12. Baltimore, MD: $32,702
  13. Northern, CA, San Diego, CA, and Orange County/Inland Empire, CA: $32,261, $30,482, $29,826
  14. Hawaii: $31,461
  15. Pittsburgh, PA: $29,703
  16. Louisiana: $28,790 *New to Top 20 List in 2011
  17. Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, and Austin/San Antonio, TX: $28,717, $27,459, $27,735
  18. California/Nevada (Sacramento, Tahoe and Reno): $28,028
  19. Lehigh Valley/Poconos, PA: $27,339 *New to Top 20 List in 2011
  20. Detroit, MI: $27,017 *New to Top 20 List in 2011


OK, I’m not saying that a lot of these stats are far from off, I’m just one writer who is really tired of couples – no, let’s keep it real, brides thinking that if they don’t keep up with the Kardashians that they are a failure as a bride.  You Are NOT!  You will be beautiful, your wedding will be amazing and you know what….if  you sadly have to divorce…while you’ll miss your ex, the thought of how much money you ‘wasted’ will haunt you more.  So keep in mind why you are getting married and believe me….you’re guests will remember how much fun they had and how much in love you are…not how much money you spent.