House of Fashion II (Outlet)
3801 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
Closed Monday & Tuesday
I consider this one of my personal bridal finds. House of Fashion, the longtime midtown bridal boutique, has a tiny outlet in an old East Sac home-turned-shop at 38th & J that every bride on a budget must visit. This is where the one-of-a-kinds, discontinued lines and floor samples go, that are still perfectly lovely but can't be ordered or sold as 'new'. I needed a satin shawl for my off-white dress, and found an 8-foot, gorgeous embellished wrap – for $15! When I changed dresses at the last minute, I crossed my fingers for a white one – and found it for $5 (I gave the other one to my sister for her wedding last summer!). I even got a little bride's purse there. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended on Sundays.
12401 Folsom Blvd., Suite 205
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
I was a bridesmaid eight times – but when you're the bride, you realize your wedding knowledge is not that deep! I thought my choices were ordering a dress and waiting six months, or having one made for thousands of dollars. But when I changed choices at the last minute, I drove out to Bridal Mart and said, "Where are the dresses I could take home today?" – and tried on gowns to my heart's content. I found one that I absolutely loved – for $500 – and took it home that afternoon, and to my tailor at Alterations to Go for the bustle hook. Done and done!
Ceremony site: A California State Park
Our state capitol and the surrounding grounds sit on a beautiful piece of land stretching from 10th to 15th Streets, and L to N. There are many beautiful little spots there, and I got married in one of them! Everyone knows the World Peace Rose Garden on 15th – but there's a lesser-known one nearest to 13th & L called The Old Rose Garden. How fun was that to put on my invitations?? Plus, most of the flowers were provided by Mother Nature – and our pictures feature our beautiful capitol in the background.
But that's just one on a long list of state parks willing to host you tying the knot – including the historic governor's mansion at 13th & H – and many of them are free. You just reserve them with a permit, also free. I also reserved a couple of pay meters along L Street near the ceremony for the site vendors – since the site was free, the convenience was well worth it! Link.
Michael's & Jo-Ann Craft Stores
Just some of the things I bought here: favors, a ring pillow, silk flowers for my girls' hair barrettes, their flower baskets, paper kits for my invitations, tissue... I could go on and on. I hoarded and begged for those 40% off coupons for months, and craftily combed the aisles to use my savings wisely. Sign up to get the coupons on email. I think the invitation kits were my favorite find – white card stock with a silver border, and I used artist's tissue cut into 4"x6" pieces to fancy up the pile of stuff in the mailed invites – two tablets of that for about five bucks – and we printed the response cards/directions at home.
Once we figured out what we wanted on the invitations…
All Star Printing
6960 Sunrise Boulevard
Citrus Heights, CA 95610-3144
…we took them to a printer! For about one-quarter the cost of going through a card store, we had the printer do up about 150 invitations, return envelopes, and thank you envelopes. I got bridal-themed stamps at the post office for no extra charge, and we went to town – assembled it all ourselves and splurged a little on a calligrapher to address them. They looked fantastic! Plus, who besides you, your mom and your mother-in-law, is going to keep the invitation anyway?
- Marianne McClary is an anchor and original cast member of Good Day Sacramento, the city's #1 morning show.
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