Archive for March, 2012



Navigating Sample Sales and Trunk Shows for your Dream Wedding Dress

A newly engaged woman has many immediate tasks to be done – booking a location, sending save the dates, and changing her Facebook status!  But the most enjoyable task for many brides is simply THE DRESS. We’ve already highlighted some potential wedding dress shopping pitfalls, but read on for some tips on how to take advantage of sample sales and designer trunk shows to get the most dress for your money.


'Gwyneth' gown by Watters

Be informed about upcoming events

Designer trunk shows and sample sales take plan throughout the year so do your research to find out when events come to your area.  Bridal magazines and wedding event websites are good sources of information so check them regularly.  If you love a particular designer, checkout their website and join email lists to be alerted of their upcoming trunk shows.

Sample Sale Prep

Sample sales are usually when stores sell discounted gowns that have been used as floor models or in bridal expo shows.  Therefore they are usually in smaller sizes and may need cleaning and/or minor repairs.  Have an idea of the silhouettes and styles you like ahead of time so you can make a beeline for those dresses when the doors open (and expect crowds!)  Bring a friend or relative to help you scout out dress options (and to barter with other shoppers as you trade styles and sizes).  It’s helpful to wear undergarments similar to those you plan to wear on your wedding day so you get the best possible sense of how the dress fits.  And finally, be prepared for communal dressing rooms which are most common at these events.

Trunk Show Prep

Trunk shows usually offer discounted items by a single designer and are by appointment only.  Trunk shows are also a great opportunity to find designer bridal accessories such as veils, headpieces and shoes.

One final piece of advice if you’re dress shopping but don’t have luck going the sample sale or designer trunk show route.  The February/March and August/September months are best to find discounts at your local bridal stores as this is when designers typically introduce their new lines and discontinued styles are discounted the most.

Happy dress shopping from the team at LookLoveSend.  Shop us for stylish Save the Date cards and full wedding invitation suites printed on high quality paper stock.  Click below to enter our monthly sweepstakes for a chance to win $500 off your wedding stationery order with us.




Shop Smart for Graduate Gifts

graduation-party-invitationsThe Class of 2012 will graduate from high schools and colleges all over the country in just a matter of weeks. If you’re expecting a few graduation party invitations in your mailbox this spring, start planning now for gift giving that won’t break your budget.

It helps to know the personality of the graduate whose party you’ll be attending. What are his or her interests, hobbies, and regular activities? Will he or she be continuing anything in particular as they move onto the next phase in their life? Shop knowing whether they are athletic, artsy, or adventurous. Are they readers, runners or road-trippers? Knowing even just one interest or hobby is a good start.

The other angle to consider when shopping for graduate gifts is the stage of life they will be entering. High school graduates going on to college will have different needs from high school graduates going into the military or moving into a job. College graduates going on to graduate school are different from college grads starting a new job or graduate school grads finally entering their chosen profession.

High School Graduates Going to College

Gifts revolving around dorm life are always a good option. Ideas include things like a starter toolbox, an alarm clock or a personalized picture frame to remember their high school days.

High School Graduates Going on to Employment (or Deployment)

The obvious gift is cold hard cash, but you can make it more thoughtful by giving that cash in the form of a merchant gift card or pre-paid Visa or Mastercard. Personalize it further with a gift certificate for a favorite restaurant, sports store or other online retailer you know he or she likes.

Graduates Headed to Graduate School

Chances are lean times will continue for students continuing studies at the graduate level. Why not help them trade up their personal technology by contributing towards the cost of replacing a PC, Mac, iPad, or whatever their gadget of choice may be. iTunes gift cards also cover so much of the content for the majority of users on all kinds of devices.

If your gift is throwing the graduation party, you can find a fresh selection of graduation party invitations at You can personalize your party invitations with a photo of the grad and write your own text. Enjoy free ground shipping when you order 50 or more!



Mostly Love With a Chance of Rain

spring-wedding-invitationsSpring wouldn’t spring without them, but rain showers are part of wedding season. Many a bride planning a spring or summertime wedding will wish the rain away on her special day. If you’ve got your wedding date set during the rainy season, replace the worrying and wishing with clever ways to embrace the possibility. Lots of  ideas that circulate the wedding blogs can inspire you. We’ll point out a few in this post to help make a rainy wedding day one to cherish.


Gear up your bridesmaids in colorful “wellies,” as they’re known across the pond by the Brits. has a gorgeous Massachusetts wedding featuring this trick, and you give your bridesmaids something they’ll definitely have use for again.


Bring back the vintage parasol! Your can find a waterproof version on the old-fashioned, Parisian-style umbrella to lend romance to a rainy wedding day at Bella Umbrella, where you can buy or rent. Most photographers love to use umbrellas as an accessory in photo shoots, so consult with yours about incorporating umbrellas in your pictures. If you’re on board with gifting rainboots to your bridemaids, maybe monogrammed umbrellas for the groomsmen are in order?

Retro Rain Bonnets

Remember these? They’re the clear, nylon or plastic covers from the 1960′s that ladies threw on over their fresh curls after leaving the salon.  Might just be a good idea to have a package on hand for yourself and your bridesmaids. You’ll find them and other vintage rain caps at

Once you’re at ease with taking on the chance of rain, start shopping for spring wedding invitations that reflect the style of of your day. You’ll find complete wedding invitation suites at with designs in all kinds of styles, including vintage, traditional, modern, monogrammed, and much more. Enter the monthly Wedding Invitation Sweepstakes for the chance to win $500 towards your order!




Copycat Birthday Party Menu Ideas

birthday-party-invitationsWhen a birthday party invitation arrives, it’s never a surprise to see a mention of pizza, hotdogs, chicken nuggets, fries, ice cream, etc. will be served. Why are such choices so synonymous with birthday parties? There are other, delicious, kid-friendly alternatives you can try. You can still feed a crowd and delight them as much if not more than with the usual, expected fast food fare.

Inspired by’s Ten Top-Secret Restaurant Recipes, you can create copycat dishes from kid-friendly restaurants like The Olive Garden, P.F. Chang’s and IHOP. We’ve looked at the list and saw several great recipe choices.

Each of the recipes below you can make easily and can feed a crowd.

Fettucine Alfredo

Taken from The Olive Garden, this is a fast one requiring no special ingredients. Mix it up with other fun pasta shapes kids will enjoy, like bow-ties, wagon wheels, or rotini pasta.

Cheddar Biscuits

The recipe attributes Red Lobster, but it’s actually just a Bisquick recipe that also appears on Betty Crocker’s site too. And that’s what makes it so easy and dependable–baking mix, butter, milk and cheese! Pair these with barbecue chicken drumsticks.


Not sure I’d want to openly advertise that this is a Taco Bell recipe, but quesadillas are a good choice for parties because of the variations you can make to suit different tastes. Cheese, chicken, black bean, veggie…

Buttermilk Pancakes

IHOP’s pancakes made from scratch! The magic in this recipe must be that it’s not made from a pre-made mix like Bisquick. Dress them up with a choice of topping sauces or chocolate chips, toasted pecans and confectioner’s sugar.

Now that you have a great menu going, get your birthday party invitations rolling. You can personalize your invitations online with a photo and choose from many different design styles and color options. All party invitations are printed on premium weight papers and orders ship the next business day.



The Art of the Place Card

Place cards, also called place setting cards or escort cards, serve an important function by helping guests find their place at your reception. Although not required, they smooth the flow at a reception that includes any kind of dinner–buffet or formal sit down. Using place cards to assign guests to tables not only helps guests feel like they have a place at your wedding, but place cards also imply that you have thought of each and every one.

place-setting-cardsPlace Card Design

Place cards typically display the name(s) of your guest(s) and their assigned table number. They are small in size, so there isn’t room for much else, however if you want to be clever or creative, you may decide to name your tables rather than number them and print that on your place cards.

Your place setting cards can coordinate with the rest of your wedding invitation stationery, using the same colors and applying similar graphic elements, whether flowers, scrolls, or a certain typeface. If you are printing guests’ names at the time you order your place cards, it’s a good idea to order extra blank cards for errors, changes, or additions to your guest list. You are more than likely going to find yourself rearranging tables in the final hours!

Place Card Display

Place setting cards need to be arranged so guests can easily find their names. Arranging them on a table in rows is certainly neat and expected, but there are more creative ways to make a statement. Try to tie into the decor or theme of your wedding. Coordinate the way you display the place cards with how your table numbers are displayed.

For example, for a vineyard theme wedding, display table numbers using wine bottles as stands, and set the place cards into wine corks cut in half lengthwise. You could do something similar with a beach theme wedding using seashells. Help your place setting cards stand out by decorating the place card table with a tablecloth in a bold color or pattern.

To find your place cards, browse the original, unique wedding stationery designs at Place cards come in many different design styles and colors and are printed on premium weight papers. You can order yours separately or as part of a complete wedding invitation suite. Enter the monthly Wedding Invitation Sweepstakes today for the chance to win $500 towards a complete wedding invitation suite. Winners are selected every month.




Bachelor Party Planning Tips

As the summer wedding season approaches, it’s time for the Best Man to start thinking about bachelor party planning. Just as all aspects of wedding planning are becoming increasingly personalized, this is also the case for the bachelor party.  Read on for some tips on planning an event that groom and guests will gladly remember.

Consider the kind of event the groom would most enjoy.  There’s always going to be the guest who thinks it’s not a true bachelor party unless a strip club and/or casino is involved, but this certainly doesn’t have to be the case.   Those who are closest to the groom already know if he would prefer a camping trip, baseball game or simply a high-end steak dinner with his closest friends and relatives.  Be sure to plan all aspects of the party while keeping the groom in mind.

Include some element of surprise for the groom.  The event and logistics don’t need to be kept secret, but it’s always fun to reserve some detail as a surprise.  He knows you’re all attending a football game but doesn’t realize that you scored prime seats on the 50-yard line; his college roommate will be flying in from out-of-state, etc.  You get the idea.

Boys Night Out by designer Charla Weaver

Be practical and responsible.  Don’t plan the bachelor party any closer than one week before the wedding, one month before the wedding is ideal.  Invite the groom’s closest male friends and relatives but be aware of what some guests may not enjoy; if you suspect the groom’s father won’t want to hit the bars and clubs after dinner, suggest that he joins you for the dinner beforehand and brunch the next day.  If you don’t have a designated driver, rent a limo or set aside cab fare for each person to safely make it home.

While the Best Man traditionally plans the bachelor party, all guests typically chip in to share the costs except of course the groom.  A bachelor party can range from a simple dinner to a wild ‘Hangover’ style Vegas weekend, so after planning the time and place of your event, be sure to notify your guests so they know what to expect.  Shop for bachelor party invitations that can be easily customized and will ship the next business day.



Choosing Safe Baby Shower Gifts

baby-shower-invitationsIf you’ve shopped for a baby shower recently, you may notice the growing array of items with BPA-free in their descriptions. BPA (Bisphenal A) is a polycarbonate used to manufacture plastics, and appears in everyday products, ranging from the inside of soup cans, to plastic water bottles, to cash receipts. And for the past decade at least, plastic has been practically synonymous with baby product!

But baby product manufacturers are changing. A growing body of research points to harmful effects in humans, especially pregnant moms and babies. Big name baby brands and new niche companies are keying into the mounting evidence that cumulative exposure to these chemicals pose harm to human endocrine (hormone), reproductive, and central nervous systems. Public pressure on the FDA to fully eliminate them is nearing a decision, and many states have already banned use since 2009.

Whatever babies is likely to put in their mouths is worth checking for BPA-free labeling. Here’s a good starting list of items and safe manufacturers, but there are many good choices other than the brands listed here:

  • Bottles (Born Free, Dr. Brown, Avent)
  • Pacifiers (MAM)
  • Food and drink containers (check out the cool containers at Toronto-based,
  • Diaper bags (Skip Hop)

Don’t forget items like teethers, bath toys, rattles, and toys. Also be aware that storing and reheating baby food (or any food) is most safely done in glass containers or jars, and avoid covering with plastic wrap. Heat further breaks down plastic, leaching chemicals into the food.

But if you’re simply shopping for baby shower invitations, you won’t need to worry about BPA! Dive right in to the adorable collection of personalized baby stationery designs, including birth announcement cards and baby thank you note cards available online at All invitations and announcements are printed on premium quality papers, and an order for 50 or more ships free!



Special Occasion Dress Up for Girls

Dress shopping for a daughter’s special occasion, be it Easter, First Communion, a baptism or as flower girl in a wedding, may be a preview of what shopping for her wedding gown could entail. The challenges of finding a dress she’ll be willing to wear (never mind be excited about) resembles wedding dress shopping in three ways:

  1. She’ll likely balk at anything you pick out for her to try on
  2. She’ll not give cost much consideration, if any
  3. She’ll veer towards styles you won’t think are appropriate

Take comfort in the fact that as a pre-tween, she’s probably not yet resisting being seen with you in the store!

In the meantime, we found some more modern, casual white dress choices that may appeal more to her. For a First Communion, these choices may stray too far from the classic A-line satin cap-sleeved dress. But the prices are extremely reasonable in comparison and the dresses can be worn for other occasions as well.





Also don’t forget to check with your local consignment shops if you think splurging on a more expensive dress for First Communion is needed. This is the time of year they begin appearing, and since they are typically worn only one time, it’s easy to find one in mint condition.

You’ll find a wide selection of First Communion invitations on as well as other special occasion invitations, announcements and thank you note cards. You can personalize your invitations and announcements easily online, and orders ship the next business day. You’ll receive free domestic ground shipping when you order more than 50!




Spring Ahead Save the Dates

Spring has sprung!

If you’ve survived the loss of an hour’s sleep last week and are ready to face your wedding planning details, you can get an easy start by browsing fresh, springtime wedding invitations and save the date cards. With springtime being such a popular choice for many couples, you’ll want your save the date cards to stand out.


Spring Tulips by Yana Beylinson
Fresh Bouquet by Sandra Roth


Finding an original design in a style you love will be a priority. Consider the style of the wedding you envision–romantic, casual, traditional, modern? You can also personalize your cards with a beautiful engagement photo of the two of you. Or, if the location of your special day is especially beautiful, use a picture showcasing your wedding location to entice your guests. This is a unique way to share your excitement with guests about your special day and works well for locations such as vineyards, a historic inn or other beautiful facility.

save-the-date-cards save-the-date-cards
 Cherry Blossom Time by Linda Facci
Love Birds by Amanda Zoss


Whatever style of save the date card you choose, there are many reasons to order them and send them out as much as a year in advance. Out of courtesy to your guests who live busy lives, sending a save the date card acknowledges that you understand they will need to plan ahead to attend your wedding. It also infers the importance of their presence to you.

It’s a great time to start shopping for personalized save the date cards with seasonal flair. You’ll find a beautiful selection of save the date cards on with coordinating designs for all the rest of your wedding invitation suite components, including reception cards, response and menu cards, directions, programs and thank you notes. Enter the monthly Wedding Invitation Sweepstakes for a chance to win $500 towards your order.




Classic Spring Birthday Party Games

birthday-invitationsSpring birthday party invitations will go out in coming weeks and could offer kids their first opportunities of the season to celebrate outdoors. Classic outdoor party games like Hide-and-Seek, Red Light Green Light, and Simon Says come to mind. Milder weather pushes many party activities out into the  yard, helping to make planning a large birthday party more palatable.

Here are a few other outdoor game classics to introduce to today’s young birthday party goers:


The reverse of hide-and-seek, I never understood the name as a kid, but I appreciate the meaning more now recalling trying to control the giggles as more people found where I was hiding and tried to fit into my hiding place. And that’s the game in a nutshell–one person hides and everyone else tries to find her, joining in the hiding spot when they do. The last to find the hider loses.

Dress-up relay

This one is so adaptable to every party theme because of fun possibilities with costumes and accessories. You can also use plain adult clothing, which gets comical with smaller kids (for you as much as for them!) Two teams each send out their first dresser to  run to the first stop and put on all the clothing. Then they can either return to the start or go to another spot where another player will then don the clothing. Whichever team runs, dresses, undresses and dresses again wins.

Egg walk

A test in balance and keeping your cool, all you need are spoons and eggs (the younger the players, the more eggs you’ll need!) Divide your party into two teams. Each team sends one egg walker at a time with an egg on a spoon to walk the egg to the next person on the course and hand it off without dropping the egg. They can’t use the other hand or they’ll be disqualified.

Freeze tag

The person who gets to be “it” tags as many in the group as possible, instantly freezing that person in place. Kids who get tagged can only be “unfrozen” and continue running when someone else who is still running free tags them.

For fun springtime birthday party invitations, check the collection at Designs range for all ages, from the milestone first birthday through teens and adults. All party invitations are printed on premium quality papers and can be personalized with your text and sometimes a photo.