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Wedding: Welcome Bags.

Almost all of our wedding guests are traveling in from out of town, and I wanted to make sure they would have welcome bags waiting for them when they arrived.


It is so important to have welcome bags for out of town guests.  In the past when I have traveled in for someone else’s wedding, it meant a lot to me when the couple took the time to put together something sweet for my (jet-lagged) arrival.  Because of that, this project was important to me.


And man, I am in my element. I recently told Mr. Heatherland I like pretending like I own a factory when I do this type of project.  He looked at me like I was crazy, and I began happily stuffing goodie bags and wondering if I can hire employees for my make-believe factory.


What’s In the Heatherland Welcome Bags?


  1. Reusable graphic print canvas tote bag- super cute find on Etsy.
  2. Box of special homemade Heatherland Cookies.
  3. Little bag of pistachios
  4. A couple bottles of water
  5. A couple apples
  6. Set of instant hand warmers (brrrrrr)
  7. Walking map of Newburyport
  8. A welcome note from yours truly
  9. And few Lake Champlain Chocolates



I will be delivering these treats to a variety of hotels, kinda like Santa… Yup, like a crazy, spray tanned, heel wearing, bride-to-be Santa.

Wedding: Cost vs Worth.

So what exactly was the point of my long, drawn out, mildly dramatic tale of finding my perfect wedding dress? Well, there are two morals to the story:

  1. Trust your gut and pick a dress that makes you feel the most beautiful you’ve ever felt- you’re (hopefully) only a bride once.
  2. Sticking to a budget for a wedding dress is much easier than people and the media may lead you to believe.

My soup-to-nuts wedding wardrobe budget was $1000. In the world of bridal wear, $1000 doesn’t stretch very far, but in every other scenario, it’s a chunk of money that should buy you a very nice outfit. In my case, it actually bought me two nice outfits.

The Cost Breakdown:
Original outfit:
Dress: $300
Shoes: $150
Veil $37
Alterations: refunded

Second outfit:
Dress: $408
Shoes: $125
Veil: $35
Alterations: none

Grand Total: $1055

Sure, it would have been better if I didn’t buy everything twice- but that would have been too easy.

Here’s some advice for future budget-aware-brides out there:

1. Forgo the “wedding gown” hunt, and look for designers that make evening gowns in ivory, white, or bone. I highly recommend Tadashi Shoji and Nicole Miller. The right evening gown can instantly look bridal when you add a veil.

2. Speaking of veils, they are shockingly expensive for something so insubstantial. Unwilling to spend more than $50, I found both of mine on Etsy from a lovely woman named Connie. Her shop is called BellaBridalVeils.

3. Shoes that are “bridal” are so boring and matronly. I bought both mine from my new favorite website, They have plenty of options and interesting styles that aren’t easily found in the US.

The magic of a great outfit is it will make you feel like its worth a million bucks no matter what it really cost.

And yes, I felt like a million bucks.

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