Save money with chalkboards

There has been a rising trend of using chalkboard at weddings. It’s frugal, it’s fun, it’s different. However, like an old article at The Pottery Barn showed, just 2 pre-made chalkboard plates and frames can cost $99. Why spend money on expensive signs and placement cards when you can be frugal with chalkboards? Make unique signs that are open to change, editing and adding of designs.

60 Cool Chalkboard Wedding Ideas | HappyWedd.com

Scour your local dollar store. Some small chalkboard items such as stickers, small frames, and more can be found at the cheapest store in town. You can even buy chalk of several colors at the dollar store as well. Select the colors that match your wedding theme.

36Pcs Small Chalk Pen Chalkboard Sticker Labels Chic Kitchen Jar Decor ...

You can even make your own chalkboard items. This can save you even more money, since some chalkboard items are over-priced due to the fact that they are trending. Here’s how you can DIY chalkboard items:

  1. Decide how many items you need. Do you want chalkboard place cards, signs for the food, dessert and gift tables, regular signs indicating where different activities will be going on, signs with nice things written on them, etc. Count everything so you will know how many chalkboard items you will need.
  2. Go to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or the Dollar Store and get the items that you want to turn into a chalkboard. It can be plates, trays, pieces of wood, etc. Be sure to pick up as many items as you need.
  3. Pick up cans of chalkboard spray paint. You can probably get some at your local craft store. While you’re there, get some painter’s tape so you can have clean margins and borders for your paint.
  4. Tape the items along the border that you want to paint. This ensures that you don’t get paint where you don’t want it.
  5. Spray 2 coats of chalkboard spray paint on each item. Be careful to stay within the tape. Let dry for 24 hours.
  6. Mount, place, and arrange your pieces and write on them with chalk as desired.

Not sure what to write on your chalkboards? Here are some lovely examples.

Place cards: Tiny little place cards can make assigned seating that much easier. Chalkboards for table numbers are a cute, unique way to distinguish tables.

120 Framed Chalkboard Place Cards Wedding Favors | eBay

Chalkboard Place Card Napkin Holders- for Wedding or Dinner Party Set ...

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Set of 48 Chalkboard Place Cards Wedding Signs Table

Chalkboard Place Cards Wedding Signs Table Markers

Directions: It can help out-of-towners know where they can park, where they can use the bathroom, and where the wedding and reception is being held in the venue. These are especially handy at an outdoor wedding.

wedding arrow signs - The Wedding of My DreamsThe Wedding of My Dreams

Chalkboard Wedding Directions - Wedding Ideas Magazine

... to make your own chalk board wonders? Click here for the instructions

with one of these clever chalkboard sign ideas. Chalkboard Wedding ...

Quotes. Sometimes at weddings, there are chalkboard signs with phrases and quotes, even the bridegroom’s wedding story. Here are some examples to inspire you.

wedding chalkboard love poem blackboard | PinPoint

Chalkboard Quotes For Wedding Reception. QuotesGram

Chalkboard Wedding Quotes. QuotesGram

Chalkboard Wedding Quotes. QuotesGram

chalkboard - 7 ways to incorporate quotes in your wedding and sprinkle ...

Sendoffs. A sign can be placed strategically with items such as bubbles, sparklers, balloons or lanterns. It can indicate the type of send-off planned for the newlyweds and at what time. Here are some of the best examples.

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Chalkboard Wedding Sign: Sparkler Send Off Card | Zazzle

Blow Bubbles, Bubble Sendoff Chalkboard Wedding Sign - DIY Download ...

Bubble Send Off Sign Chalkboard Printable Wedding Digital Personalized ...

Bubble Send Off Wedding Sign - Chalkboard Bubble Send Off ...

Bubble Send Off Customized Printable Wedding Sign // Chalkboard ...

Glow Stick Send-Off Printable Chalkboard Wedding Sign Personalized ...

Balloon Send Off Sign, Printable Farewell Sign, Wedding Send Off ...

Chinese Wishing Lantern Send Off Sign 8x10" DIY Wedding Signage Poster ...

Chinese Wishing Lantern Send Off Sign 8x10" DIY Wedding Signage Poster ...

 

Do you have any money-saving tips on including chalkboards at your wedding ceremony and reception? Comment below!

Money-saving Mason Jars

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Mason jars are gaining popularity in weddings. They are appearing in ceremonies, receptions, even wedding parties. They can be useful in many different ways and can save you multiple trips to stores trying to find the perfect vase, container or lights. Just buy in bulk and you have several mason jars for each of your wedding needs.

Do you have a ton of mason jars laying around? Have you found a bunch at a discount or at a yard sale and want to know how you can put them to good use? Here are some ways to save money using mason jars.

Wedding Centerpiece. A simple, easy way to add a little elegance to your reception tables. You can just wrap the mason jar with rope and then fill with water and add blooms. You can also have lace, ribbon or even a chalkboard label on the mason jar to decorate it. You can also dye the jars, or add food coloring to the water. There are endless possibilities!

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Drinking glasses. Put one mason jar per person with a tag attached for their name, and put up a sign stating this is their glass for the night. This saves from waste, too many dishes to clean, and littering. A green and eco-friendly option, you can add a little pizzazz by adding a ribbon, or poking a hole through the lid and adding a straw.

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Souvenirs. Use a hot glue gun and spell out the words “Bride” and “Groom” on mason jars. You can even make some for your wedding party. Adorn accordingly. You can even drill holes in the caps and stick colorful straws through them.

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Aisle runners. Paint your mason jars any color you want, put a few blooms inside and place them along the aisle and voila! You have unique, colorful, and gorgeous aisle runners. You can save extra money by using silk blooms instead of real ones.

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Cake topper. A fun, new idea for a cake topper is a pair of mason jars on top of your wedding cake. Fill with the beverage of your choice, and add straws. You can get cute photos of the bride and groom drinking from their respective jars. A good idea is to fill the jars up with lemonade. This symbolizes making lemonade out of lemons, a testament to a couple who has lived a hard life beforehand but now has their happily ever after.

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Lights. A bit of water, a floating candle and a mason jar is all you need to make some naturally twinkling lights on your wedding day. You can hang them on the top of a bird cage, place them with a centerpiece, or line them along food tables.

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Favors. Hot chocolate, cookie ingredients, brownie ingredients, etc. can be put in a mason jar measured appropriately. Attach a tag with the liquid ingredients necessary and the recipe and voila! You can also include other treats, like tiny mints with the tag saying “Mint to be”, or fill it with popcorn with the phrase “thanks for popping by!”

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Candy bar. Use mason jars to hold candy for your candy bar. Line them up on a table and display them for all to see. Provide spoons or ways to scoop out and sample the candies. A candy buffet is great for a couple with a sweet tooth.

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Crafts. Fill your mason jars with crayons, chalk, markers, etc and have coloring books, crossword puzzles and more at an activity table for the kids.

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Desserts. Some weddings have a “just desserts” reception. These are perfect for mason jar treats. There are mason jar cakes, crisps, pies, brownies, even ice cream.

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Meals. You can offer compact meals and snacks in mason jars. You can attach plastic silverware with a ribbon or rope. For a carnival theme, you can offer popcorn and candy as snacks, and fruit salad for brunch themed weddings. For meals, you can fill up on potato salad, egg salad, tuna salad, soup, spaghetti, macaroni, and more.

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Do you have any ideas on how to use mason jars in your wedding that aren’t listed? Comment below and share your wisdom.

 

Cost-cutting Wedding Themes

Saturday is the most common day to have a wedding, therefore it’s the most expensive day. Normally, most of your guests will have jobs on weekdays, so mornings and afternoons on a weekday isn’t really an option if you want guests there at all. What can you do? Here are some fun and frugal ideas and days to throw your wedding where everyone can attend.

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Friday Night Glamorous Cocktail Wedding. Have your guests unwind after a long work week at a cocktail wedding. Drinks, hors d’oeuvres, dancing and music can help guests relax and get them into a good mood for the weekend. Not to mention, this leaves the entire weekend for your honeymoon!

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Sunday Champagne Brunch Wedding. Afternoons and evenings are the most popular reservation times, so why not do it in the morning? Start during the brunch hour so you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to get ready. Have a gorgeous breakfast feast for your guests along with mimosas to celebrate the occasion!

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Monday evening happy hour. Have guests wind down from those strenuous mondays at the office by enjoying a meal, a drink, cake and dancing at your wedding!

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Tuesday night fairy lights. Have your wedding in your backyard on a tuesday night and hang white christmas lights along any trees, fence, poles, etc. to illuminate your soiree. Your guests will believe they are in the presence of magic!

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Wednesday evening feast. Have a great hump-day by serving your dinner buffet-style. This saves on catering as guests self-serve, and you can be sure that guests will get exactly what they want. Donate the leftover food to homeless shelters, or bring it with you on the honeymoon so you never have to pay for room service!

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Thursday night under the stars. Have your reception at a public park on a clear night where you can dance the night away under the stars. Bonus if it’s in August, where shooting stars happen every year!

How to pull off a cheap vegan wedding

It can be hard to find ideas to pull off a vegan wedding. It can be even harder to pull one off when you’re on a budget! Here is advice on how to throw the perfect wedding without breaking the bank!

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Makeup. Get makeup that is known to be cruelty-free, such as Younique. Make sure that the makeup isn’t so much as tested on animals.

Attire. Be sure that no furs or leathers are used in any attire at your wedding. It’s important to maintain that cruelty-free vibe.

Invitations & Thank-You notes. Make a facebook event instead, and email thank you’s to guests. This saves a lot on paper and saves a lot of trees, all while trimming your budget!

Cake. Be sure to tell your baker that you don’t want any eggs, butter or dairy used in your cake. If you want to be absolutely sure, you can always make one yourself or have family/friends do it if they want. You can also be sure that the frosting is animal-product free!

Decor. Use decorations that you can re-use later, or recycle. Opt for silk flowers instead of real ones, and use potted flowers as centerpieces. This way, no flowers will be sacrificed for the wedding!

Toss. Instead of tossing harmful things at the newlyweds such as rice (bad for birds), confetti or more, you can toss bird seeds. Birds will be very happy to have a free snack, and you won’t have to pluck flower petals from living flowers.

Food. This depends on where you will be getting your food from. If you are having a potluck wedding, specify the dietary restrictions of a vegan diet to your guests to avoid confusion and mishaps. If you are ordering from a restaurant or catering service, it’s also a good idea to prepare a list of things you don’t want used in your food. If you are making the food, then you can look up great vegan recipes to make with vegan-friendly foods. There is even a website where you can check off ingredients that you own, and it whips up recipes for you!

Here is an article here to give you amazing, frugal advice on throwing a vegan wedding.

 

The two-material frugal wedding reception centerpiece

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I came across these beautiful ceterpieces completely by accident! Using only two materials; candles and flower petals, you can make a dreamy table centerpiece for your wedding reception while also pinching pennies.

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Here are ways to get around the heft costs of roses:

  • Buy silk roses and/or flowers at your local discout store. They even have some at the dollar stores, even in pre-packaged silk rose petals.
  • Buy small candles at a discount store or dollar store. You can also look online like craigslist or kijiji to find candles that someone never used and is selling cheap.
  • If you want real roses, have your wedding when they’re in season. They’re less expensive this way.
  • When you buy real roses, don’t mention that it’s for a wedding. Say it’s for a valentine’s day party if in february, if not say it’s for an anniversary party.
  • Grab some seeds at your local Home Depo and plant your own roses, if you’re a few years away from your wedding. This way, you can pick them from your rose bushes and use your own, and have a lasting reminder at your home of the beautiful wedding day you had.
  • Make tissue-paper flowers instead. Be sure to keep them a safe distance from an open flame, and have candle holders taller than the flame with the candles inside to avoid a fire hazard.

Here are some inspirational photos to get those hamster wheels turning.

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How to pull off a FREE wedding

How to pull of a wedding FREE of cost! Do you have literally NO money to spend on a wedding? Are you completely broke, but still want to have a wedding anyways? Don’t want to let lack of money keep you from getting married? We have the surprise of a lifetime for you. Even in this economy, it CAN be done!

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Guests will love that they can help out on your special day. Each one of these ideas makes your wedding even more unique, special and personal. Include everyone in your ceremony and reception, and no one will feel left out!

Use your backyard as a venue. Don’t have a backyard? Use a friend’s or family member’s. It can be considered their wedding present to you.

Host a potluck reception. Have everyone bring their favorite dish, drink and dessert to the reception. You will have a variety of different foods to offer everyone.

In lieu of gifts, ask for services. Is your mother-in-law a great baker? Ask her to bake your wedding cake. Is your cousin a photographer? Ask him to be your official photographer. This method not only saves you money, but saves the guests money from spending on lavish gifts you probably won’t ever use anyways.

Wedding rings. Ask your parents if there is any heirloom rings you can use as your wedding rings. If they don’t, ask if maybe your great uncle and aunt who never had kids, want to pass down some tradition with their rings. If not, you don’t have to have wedding rings at all. More and more couples are going without.

Attire. Ask your mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, cousin or even your best friend if you can wear her wedding dress. For the groom, he can borrow one from a family member or a friend. Have bridesmaids and groomsmen use suits and dresses that they already own, or forgo a wedding party altogether.

Chairs and tables. Who needs these? Go on a picnic! Pull out some blankets you have laying around the house and set them in the backyard for people to sit on. Not your cup of tea? Ask guests to bring chairs and coffee tables if they have any.

License. Don’t want to pay for this, or you can’t? There will probably be people that will ask you what you would want as a wedding gift. You could always mention that you just need the license paid for. It’s usually under $50 and isn’t a problem to buy. If you’re really in a pinch and no one can pay for it, pawn something you never use.

Officiant. Have someone you already know get ordained at Universal Life Church online. Be sure to look up the credentials in your state and requirements to make sure that they can do it. Have your friend/family member order the credentials online so that they can prove their authority to marry others when they present the signed marriage certificate. Not in the USA? A friend or family member can still get legally temporarily ordained without having to go through extensive schooling. Call your local city hall to find out how.

Flowers. Go to a large field that is full of wildflowers, and go flower-picking. You can always ask family members and friends if they have silk flowers laying around that you could borrow for the ceremony and reception.

Music. Ask someone you know who can play well, to play for your ceremony and reception. If you don’t know anyone, hook up your iPod to speakers you already own, and put it on shuffle on a wedding playlist you can make. Easy!

Photography. Everyone has a phone on their mobile device nowadays. Have your guests take photos throughout the ceremony and reception and upload it into emails and send them to you. This way you get to choose which photos you like, save them, and share them.

Invitations. Why bother with these? Just do an email invite, or create a facebook event and invite your guests accordingly.

Decor. Use items that you already have around the house. Mason jars, bowls, vases, and fill with wildflowers you picked, water, stones, branches; whatever you want!

Honeymoon. House-swap with friends and family, or they can offer you their summer home or RV for you to sleep in for your wedding night. You can also check out local ads where people are wanting you to house-sit while they go off on vacation. This is free of charge, and sometimes they even pay YOU!

What tips do you have to share to pull off a FREE wedding? Share in the comments below!

Easter Wedding on the Cheap

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Spring is upon us, and it has many engaged couples dreaming about spring weddings. The weather is not too hot, not too cold, and bursting with fresh, new life. It just so happens that a holiday most people have off of work, is Easter weekend. Whether you decide to get married on Easter Sunday or on one of the days off on Easter weekend, it’s the perfect time! Here are some ideas on how to save money on your upcoming Easter wedding.

Invitations.

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Easter wedding invitations can be as colorful as you want! Whether you choose bright, neon colors that pop or subtle pastel shades, there are infinite possibilities. Many websites will provide low-cost templates for wedding invitations that you can personalize. If you know someone who is a graphic designer, you can ask that they make your wedding invitations. They could always make them in lieu of a wedding gift. Email invitations and a facebook event is a free way to invite all of your guests!

Decor.

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Around Easter time, right after Valentine’s day, stores become flooded with easter decorations. A year before your wedding, start buying easter-related decor at your local discount stores, such as the dollar store, dollar tree and iParty. You can find an assortment of bunny decorations, brightly colored eggs, streamers, confetti and more!

Flowers.

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Flowers don’t even have to be real; you can buy silk flowers at discount stores. The brighter the better! Arrange them into bouquets and put them in mason jars or discount vases filled with plastic (or real) easter eggs! Don’t be afraid to mix-and–match vases and jars. Each unique touch is special, and weddings that are edgy and different are celebrated and praised!

Food.

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Easter is marketed to sell lots of candy. For this very reason, Easter weddings are popular options to go for a dessert reception, or a candy bar. Indulge that sweet-tooth and get as much discounted candy as you want! Chocolates, jelly beans, peeps, whatever you want! Arrange them stylishly on a table and voila!

Attire.

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Find a dress you really like that comes in different shades. Then, buy one of each! Your bridesmaids will be a colorful addition to your white dress when you stand at the altar with your beau. Of course, if you don’t have the budget to buy their wedding dresses, have them buy their own in lieu of a wedding gift. You can find beautiful and discounted dresses at the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Want brand new? Go to stores that are known to sell all types of clothing for less! Is your groom out of ideas for attire for his big day? Have him pick a color; blue is very popular. Have him wear a dark blue suit with a teal or sky-blue tie or bow-tie, and voila! Easter-ready.

Rings.

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If you want your wedding rings to match the style of your wedding, go for colorful. Teardrop-shaped stones mimic the shape of an easter egg, and in a pastel color, matches the ceremony perfectly. Going for traditional wedding bands? Place them in a colorful easter basket and take photos that way.

Venue.

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Here is the tricky part; most, if not all, venues will be closed for easter weekend. You will have to call around ahead of time to make sure that they are open. Want to simplify things? See if you can have your wedding at a local park, or at a friend’s backyard. If you know anyone with a farmhouse, they may let you use their barn! Almost everyone knows someone who has a backyard. It doesn’t have to be a big one, and it can be as plain as day; a little decor can spice that right up!

Cake.

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Here is where you can get creative. You can have an easter egg style cake, a carrot cake, a regular pastel colored cake, or even cakes made of bunnies! Cupcakes and even doughut cakes are popular options. Find a local bakery and ask if they do big easter cakes. The plus side of having your wedding on easter, is that you can legitimately claim that it’s for an easter party. The prices skyrocket at the mention of the word “wedding”, so it’s safe to stick to easter. Do you know anyone going to school for baking, or cake-decorating? Does your local bakery offer apprenticeships? Ask a student to make your cake. They will be just as good as a seasoned professional, but for half the price! Be sure to tell them that you have no problem that they use photos of your cake in their portfolio.

Favors (optional). 

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Baby food jars stuffed with candy-coated chocolate easter eggs! You can also fill shot glasses with the candy and add a cute little cloth square and tie it up with ribbon, rope or string. Fast and easy!

Have you had an easter wedding? Do you have any tips to share? Comment below!