Amazingly Chic Wedding for UNDER $10,000!

My beautiful little sister got married a couple of months ago, 9/26/09, and I wanted to share how AMAZING it turned out. Not only was it amazing, but the entire thing cost just under $10,000, which, in wedding terms, is on the cheap side…especially with a crowd of around 100 people!

sk-budget wedding

1. THE DRESS: Wedding dresses are crazy expensive, especially if they’re a recognized designer. However, Rachael was able to find a surprisingly affordable Nicole Miller dress that I swear was made especially for her. I think the tip is to not go overboard with the fabric of your dress. This particular one was made of a jacquard cotton material. Oh yeah, it took us all of one hour to pick out THE DRESS.

2. This is just a great picture of my sister and our Dad…they were both so happy! (Check out the flower/feather headpiece she wore instead of a veil…classic.)

3. Wedding Party: You’re going to hear all kinds of rules and regulations when it comes to picking a bridal party, which, even though you don’t realize it, totally adds to the wedding cost as well. I mean, you’re talking extra flowers, extra gifts, etc…So, if you want to stay on a budget, keep your wedding party small. Don’t worry, your friends won’t shouldn’t be offended. (That’s me in the picture, aka the Maid Matron of Honor, and my dress was AWESOME!)

4. The Venue: This is a tricky one because every place you fall in love with wants to charge you an arm, a leg, and all your hair just to book it! We did a lot of research on this one and wound up having the wedding and reception at the upscale Shoreline restaurant in Austin that overlooks TowneLady Bird Lake. What saved us the moola is that they don’t have a rental fee! You do have a food and beverage minimum, but you would have spent that anyway…so bam…$2,000 (average rental fee) back in our budget! (Did I mention that our menu consisted of hand-passed hors d’oeuvres, salad, grilled chicken w/ preserved lemon and sun-dried tomato sauce, and prime rib?)

5. Flowers: Keep them simple! Rachael opted for amazing bouquets for herself and I that included a lot of different flowers that had a lot of texture, but when it came to the table decorations, she kept it classic and simple with short hydrangea centerpieces and tall hydrangea and curly willow centerpieces at alternating tables. Oh yeah, and candles…you can never have too many candles…so romantic!

6. The happy couple: If you look closely you can see the lake in the background…and look at the cowboy boot-clad Groom and barefoot Bride…totally Austin…

7. Entertainment: Band vs. DJ is always tough. Rachael ended up finding a great local southern rock band that charged a minimal fee AND played at the ceremony too…double-score! (Seriously, she gave them the music she wanted them to play at the ceremony and they played it amazingly.) They were great and they kept the dance floor packed ALL night!

8. Cake: I don’t have any budget-saving tips on this one except that there wasn’t a typical “Bride” and “Groom” cake…there was only one. However, Rachael did alternating layers on the cake. Her layer was an almond-butter cake with passion fruit preserves and Sam’s (the groom) layer was red velvet. Stardust Pastry was the cake designer and it was perfect!

9. Another one of the Bride and Groom…was this not the most perfect setting?

10. The Getaway: Sparklers are cheap, but oh what an exit they make…

Congrats Rachael and Sam…we wish you a lifetime of happiness together!

Many thanks to the great photographer, Natalie Blake, for capturing these happy moments.

6 Steps to a Successful Keno Par-tay!

About a year ago, the Tipsy girls thought we needed an excuse to get together once a month to eat fattening yummy food, gossip, and, oh yeah, drink! (po)Keno was the answer to our prayers. Over the past year, old friends  have meshed with new friends, and I feel the need to share our recipe for success!

Step 1: Food.


Step 2: Drinks


Step 3: Keno Cards and Markers


Step 4: Concentrated Playing


Step 5: Gifts


Step 6: FABULOUS Friends!


Holiday Gift Ideas from CB2: $20 and Under!

The holidays are right around the corner…


  1. Libertinis
  2. Stainless Steel Snack Bowls
  3. Wilma Appetizer Plate
  4. Lumiere Candleholders
  5. Tree Soapdish/Ring Holder

Hump Day Happy Hour: Tailgating Punch!

Ok, so this recipe isn’t REALLY called Tailgating Punch, but it was always my favorite drink while tailgating before football games in college…does that count? If you’ve never heard of or made Hop, Skip, and Go Naked punch before, you need to STAT! It’s soooo easy and tastes soooo good.


Six 12-oz. cans of beer
1 pint of Vodka
One 12-oz. can of frozen lemonade concentrate
2 liters of lemon-lime soda


In a large container mix the beer, vodka, lemonade concentrate, and the lemon-lime soda. Serve over ice and enjoy the festivities!

Budget-Friendly Wall Art

Like most young couples, my husband and I got married and bought a house all within about a year of each other. Needless to say, money was a little tight, BUT I still wanted to decorate my house super-cute…so I figured out a GREAT solution: frame pictures that you take with your own camera!

sk-house pics

Above are pictures from my home where I have done this very thing. I’ve started actually taking pictures from our vacations, blowing them up, putting them in gallery frames, and hanging them on the wall. So then, not only do I have budget-friendly wall art, but I also have an AWESOME souvenir that I can look at daily! (BTW, I took these pictures with a small point and shoot camera, not a big fancy one.)

sk-house pic ny

AK showed this wall art idea to me last week and I felt like I had to share it with everyone else! Here, Lisa Mahar featured her rather amazing home on the New York Social Diary, and her headboard in her master bedroom consists of a gallery of personal photos that all combine into a great piece of art.

I don’t know about you, but I’m putting this idea to work in my own home STAT. All I will need are more of my own great pictures and a trip to Ikea for some awesome, simple, and cheap frames!

Cowboy Boots…NOT Just for Cowgirls Anymore!

Oh how I love cowboy boots….I love that they’re comfortable, I love that they’re cute, I love how I feel when I wear them…I could go on for DAYS! Of course some of you may be thinking, “She’s from Texas so of course she loves cowboy boots.” Not true, I love them for the simple fact that they’re AWESOME, and they seem to never go out of style!

So…If cowboy boots grew on trees, I would want this one planted in my backyard…


  1. Allen’s Boots, Lucchese 1883 Mad Dog Goat
  2. Shepler’s,  Corral Africa Inlay
  3. Cavender’s, Corral Ladies Black Lizard Inlay
  4. Allen’s Boots, Ladies’ Old Gringo Cruzadas
  5. Cavender’s, Corral Ladies Multicolored Butterfly Western
  6. Allen’s Boots, Corral Black – Cognac / Turquoise Lase

So, Last Week We Got Tipsy…

At the grand opening of Spa Chrysalis‘ new location in Houston, TX!

6 Wines Every Home Needs!!!

So for my first post, I decided to make it all about one of my loves: WINE! Now yes, I did say just one of my loves, and I will get to the rest of them eventually, but you can read more about me here for now.

I will say that I was always intimidated by wine, that is, until I went to the FABULOUS Napa Valley region for my honeymoon, circa 2007. One may say that going to Napa would only confuse or even intimidate you more; however, my experience was the exact opposite.

My husband and I had a fabulous driver for a day, Tac Fair the owner and operator of Napa Tac Tours and Chauffeur, and he gave us one piece of advice that I have never forgotten. Tac told us at the very beginning of the day, “You guys are going to hear that you should love this wine because it’s expensive or you should love this wine because it has won so many awards, but the bottom line is that you ARE going to like what you like…so go with it.”

I love Tac for this reason, and I’m passing along the same advice. Below are a few brands and types of wine that you will ALWAYS be able to find in my house. Some are really cheap, some are more on the pricey side, but all, in my opinion, are GREAT!!!!

sk-intro and wine

  1. Newton, Unfiltered Chardonnay
  2. Simi, Chardonnay
  3. Flat Creek Pinot Grigio
  4. Yellowtail, Pinot Grigio
  5. Flat Creek Super Texan Sangiovese
  6. Blackstone, Cabernet Sauvignon