Eighth Annual Cheap Chic Weddings Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest Rolls Out

Can you use toilet paper to make a beautiful wedding dress? If you can, you might win $2012.  

Everyone likes to save money here and there. And for some, saving money on weddings is more than a hobby, and a little less than an obsession. Laura Gawne, Roxie Radford and Susan Bain operate the popular website Cheap-Chic-Weddings.  

The Eighth Annual Cheap Chic Weddings “Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest” is sponsored by Charmin. The contest began April 18,  and winners will be announced at an event hosted by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square Odditorium on June 27, 2012. Cheap Chic Weddings also welcomes new sponsor Life In Mobile, Inc. to this year’s contest.

The Grand Prize winner will receive $2012, the second place winner will receive $1000 and the third place winner will receive $500.

Here’s How to Enter:

First: Plan your design.

Second: Enlist a friend’s help (optional).

Third: Grab some Charmin Toilet Paper, Tape and/or Glue and/or Needle and Thread (that’s all you can use)!

Fourth: Make the dress on your model or mannequin and take some digital photos (front, back and side). Video clips are welcome but not necessary.

All photos and video are to be submitted to Cheap Chic Weddings at TPdresscontest@gmail.com by June 1, 2012 at 11:00 PM EST. There is no entry fee. The Judging Panel at Cheap Chic Weddings will judge the digital photo entries.

“Each year, the contest gets better and better. We are all excited to see the fantastic entries!” said Laura Gawne of Cheap Chic Weddings.

View top and winning entries:

Official contest rules along with lots of other wedding cost saving tips and information can be found at www.Cheap-Chic-Weddings.com.

Last year’s Grand Prize winner Susan Brennan created a playfully sophisticated dress, which was inspired by her love of flowers

2011 Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest Winner Susan Brennan’s Entry  :SusanB5.JPG

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Government Contracting Excellence Recognized by AMEX OPEN's 2012 VIP Awards

Even amidst pressures to reduce deficits, the U.S. government remains the world’s largest single purchaser of goods and services with federal contract spending amounting to just over $535 billion in fiscal year 2011. With all of this federal government money on the table, small businesses are working harder to land the government as a customer – in fact, according to American Express OPEN’s government contracting survey, small business contractors invested $103,827 seeking federal contracts in 2010, an increase of 21% over 2010.

American Express OPEN will spotlight small business achievements in government contracting with the third annual Victory in Procurement (VIP) Awards.  The VIP Awards are part of American Express OPEN’s Victory in Procurement (VIP) for Small Business– a national program that helps small business owners capitalize on the enormous growth opportunity provided through government contracts. Now through May 1, nominations are being accepted for the following three categories:

  • Government Contractor of the Year
  • Woman Contractor of the Year
  • Teaming Contractor of the Year
Three business owners will be selected and honored at an upcoming VIP event on June 15th in Washington, D.C. They will also be considered for panel discussions at future events as well as marketing and PR opportunities courtesy of OPEN. More information on the awards, including a link to the application, can be found at http://www.openforum.com/governmentcontracting/resources/awards.  Interested business owners will need to fill out the application and email it to VIPAwards@mbooth.com by May 1, 2012.

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Guest Post: 10 Cheap Ways to Throw a Unique Wedding


Cara Davis

 No one wants a cookie-cutter wedding. The day you tie the knot should be as unique as your individual personalities. There's a quote that says, "The universe is not made of atoms. It's made of tiny stories." Just as you're coming together as man-and-wife, allow your creativity to spill into the details you're sharing on your wedding day.

1. Craft a story.
Telling your story as a couple as you approach the altar is a powerful way to connect with your guests and chronicle your journey to this point. Think of every element of your wedding -- from the invites to the wedding favors -- as a chance to craft a story from beginning to happily ever after. Don't be afraid to incorporate religious or ethnic touches that are special to you.

2. Pick a theme.
A well-executed theme can add loads of personality to your wedding day without looking cheesy -- like these Legohockey and 50s-themed weddings. By picking a theme that's already a hobby or interest, you're likely to already own a lot of materials you can incorporate into the decor.

3. Pick a repeating element.
If a theme is a bit much for your taste, focus on one element you can repeat throughout the printed materials, decor and attire for big impact, like these feathers or parasols.

4. Go handmade.
Making decor by hand ensures that the look of your wedding is one-in-a-million. Consider paper or fabric flowers (like these cuties) or buy a custom wedding stamp to personalize all your paper goods.

5. Shop vintage.
Shopping for vintage or thrift items for your wedding and reception may save you some time and headache over everything handmade. A vintage wedding dress customized with modern accessories could be the thing that makes your wedding standout and memorable.

6. Register for gift cards.
Create a wedding registry online at CardAvenue and register for the the stores you most like to shop at nationwide, instead of just one or two generic ones that offer wedding registries.

7. Mix-and-match.
Stick closely to your theme but allow variations to create a unique look and feel. Think non-matching bridesmaids dresses and a menagerie of vintage vases of differing sizes in the same hue as centerpieces.

8. Re-imagine the guest book.
Set up an iPad to record or photograph guests as they enter, or set up something unique for your guests to sign that you'll incorporate into your home decor later (a signed vintage map from your location, smooth rocks you can use in a clear vase). In our fall wedding we scattered colored paper leaves on the welcome table and pens and used the leaves in our wedding scrapbook.

9. Festive food.
Marry at a non-traditional time or place and you can pull off a unique reception for cheap. Think coffee bar & pastries for a mid-morning wedding, or a Memorial Day wedding on the lake for a laid-back barbecue dinner.

10. Send off in style.
Forget bubbles, sparklers and bird seed (some venues won't even allow them due to the cleanup involved). Offer wrapped candy for tossing (which the kids are sure to clean up without complaining), release balloons or have your guests create a human arch or a large paper banner for you run through. For a nighttime wedding, fireworks or glow sticks create a fun and colorful goodbye. 

Weddings expert Cara Davis is the author of Cheap Ways to Tie the Knot and blogs from her home in Orlando, FL, about cheap ways to spend and save at CheapWaysTo.com.

Newly launched, the Patterns section of Craftsy is the fastest growing online marketplace for crafting patterns. Because Craftsy does not charge designers any fees or commissions for listing or selling their patterns, creative indie designers are hurrying to the site to set up their pattern shops. There, well over half a million active Craftsy members browse the thousands upon thousands of patterns of all types, for all crafts. And since the designers aren’t getting charged or having to give Craftsy any commissions, the deals on patterns are amazing! Some are even free. It’s the perfect place to get inspiration and instructions at super low prices.


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