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 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!

Have a Courthouse/City Hall Wedding to brag about!

Photo by IQ Photo Studio

Courthouse and City Hall weddings are rising in popularity, especially with the rising price tags on venues, officiants, and decorations. Couples want to marry young, before their careers take off. Some just don’t want to spend a lot of money on a ceremony and reception, others don’t want to make a big deal out of being hitched. Perhaps you just can’t wait to be married, and agreed to have a big wedding later. Maybe your fiance(e) wants a tiny, quiet courthouse wedding and you always dreamed of having a wedding at a venue with all of your friends, and you are trying to compromise. Whatever the reason, some judgemental people will roll their eyes when they hear that someone had a courthouse wedding. So here I give you ways to make those people’s jaws drop when they see photos of your wedding!

This Texas Courthouse Wedding Is Simply Adorable #refinery29  (would love a wedding like this) http://www.refinery29.com/courthouse-wedding-ideas#slide17:

Pick the courthouse. If you have this option, visit different courthouses to see what the building has to offer. Some have a nice arch with a few flowers on it that you can get married under. Some have fountains, statues, or other fun spaces to take photos with. The price will be the same, but you can pick the one that will be the prettiest to be married in.

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Wedding Invitations. You can still make great wedding invitations for those few who will be there to witness your ceremony. If you are having a reception afterwards and you are only having your 2 witnesses at the ceremony, you can make a wedding reception invitation and send it out to the people you want to invite. To keep it budget-friendly, you can make online ones here or go to your local dollar store and make DIY invitations!

Happily ever after invitation BOHO wedding shower by LyonsPrints:

Hire a Photographer. The right photographer can get the most amazing shots for your wedding. A courthouse affair gets the most unique, edgy photos. You can get some really intimate, romantic, and cool pictures for your wedding album! Here are some of my personal favorite shots.

Courthouse wedding. <3 She is wearing Loubies <3                                                                                                                                                      More:

Have a fancy ride. Rent a limo, rolls royce, or even a horse-drawn carriage to take you to and/or from the court house. Cheap option: ask a friend or a friend of a friend who owns nice wheels (mustang, audi, etc.) to drive you to and from your wedding. Of course, offer to pay for the gas that it would take to get there.

This Texas Courthouse Wedding Is Simply Adorable #refinery29  http://www.refinery29.com/courthouse-wedding-ideas#slide19:

The Dress. If you choose to wear one, you can wear whatever you want! No one will give you any weird looks for wearing a black-tie affair wedding dress, and even if they do, you will probably never see them again so why sweat it? If you are going to have a big wedding later, take this oppurtunity to wear the dress that you love but thought was too casual or short, your mother’s dress, the non-white dress you were dying to wear but tradition won over, a bridesmaid dress you love but never thought you’d wear again…the possibilities are endless!

Chelsea + Blake's Romantic Courthouse Wedding | Allure Bridals:

The Suit. It doesn’t even have to be a suit. A guy can get away with wearing a nice button-up dress shirt with trousers. Some guys like to add creativity factor and add suspenders and a bow tie.

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Accessories. It’s the little things. Don’t skimp on the details, unless you want to accentuate simple, effortless beauty. Wear the jewelry, get those shoes, buy that veil. Don’t be afraid to dream big for your look. Want to find great accessories for less? Check out Payless Shoe Source for foorwear, or ask friends and family that share your shoe size if you can borrow their kicks. Visit your salvation army or iParty for a veil, and find great accessories at the dollar store.

tips for planning a small courthouse wedding ideas #elegantweddinginvites #smallweddingideas:

Flowers. For your bouquet and his boutonniere, browse your local flower shop and say you need flowers for a centerpiece at an anniversary party. Never mention that it’s for a wedding, because the florists will automatically jack up the prices for a fast profit. Tell them what you want and add a little more than you would want in your bouquet, so you can take some out and make a boutonniere out of it. Don’t have the budget for flowers? Head to your local dollar store and pick out all the fake flowers that you could ever want! After you two are hitched, toss the bouquet outside from the top of the stairs so your guests can catch it, and have your photographer catch the memorable moment.

Very cute. Sometimes, I think about eloping ;):

Have a reception afterwards. Whether big or small, lots of people have a reception where more people are invited there than at the actual ceremony. If you got married at the courthouse so you could have the huge reception of your dreams, you can skip this part of this article. Looking to have a small party/reception after your wedding, while not spending lots? Ask a friend, family member, or friend of a friend if you can use their backyard to have a little get-together. You can also tell your guests to meet you at a public park, which usually will only charge a minimal fee for a license to have an event there. Worried that it won’t be weather-permitted? Try reserving a room at a bed and breakfast and having a few of your friends and family come up to your room for drinks and cake. You can do the same with a hotel room, or reserve two adjoining rooms. You can also have a picnic or a barbeque with your guests. Not wanting a reception, but still want memorable photos of after your wedding? Go paint the town red in your wedding outfits. Go to a nice restaurant, go play golf, a museum, an art show, to the park where you first met…wherever you want!

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The Cake. Get a one-tier cutting cake so you both can enjoy cutting it together. You can also have a cupcake tower, or a combination of both. Tasty treats are always wonderful to have to celebrate the newlyweds. In the old days, there were no sit-down dinners, a wedding was just a cake-and-punch reception. So don’t worry about providing expensive meals.

White Ivory Cream Ivy Vine Lace Cupcake Wrappers Luxe Wedding Party Cake Case | eBay:

The Honeymoon. Have extra money to spend on a honeymoon? Book a cruise to wherever you would like! Want something less expensive? Stay at a bed and breakfast, have a road trip and explore, go camping, go on a hunting trip, visit long lost family or friends, etc. The world is yours!

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Cheap Honeymoon Destinations

Debt is no way to start out a marriage. Every women dreams of having a wonderful, relaxing, scenic honeymoon after her wedding. But, how can you accomplish this without breaking the bank? Here are a few cheap honeymoon destinations that will have the wonderful allure, adventure and scenery of an expensive honeymoon, but for a lot less!

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Thailand: The airfare will be the most that you spend on this great honeymoon or vacation spot! Everything is very cheap, even luxury! See more details here: https://www.facebook.com/nasdaily/videos/750348321783989/

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Phillipines: Only slightly more expensive than Thailand, the Phillipines is a wonderful travel destination with clear waters, great weather and a rich culture to discover. At a loss on where to go once you disembark? Check out this page for useful information: http://outoftownblog.com/10-best-budget-friendly-honeymoon-destinations-in-the-philippines/

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Cuba: Known for it’s hot weather, beautiful beaches and great music, Cuba is any couple’s dream destination. Learn to salsa your nights away! Don’t know where to stay while you are visiting? Check out the best lodgings here: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/HotelsList-Cuba-Couples-Resorts-zfp21773.html

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Mexico: Amazingly beautiful, especially in the tourist cities like Tijuana and Cancun. Visit various ruins, eat diverse foods and partake in the amazing scenery! Book your vacation here: https://www.westjet.com/book/cheap-honeymoon-vacation-packages-to-mexico

 

For a similar list of more cheap honeymoon destinations, check out this post! http://www.islands.com/13-affordable-honeymoon-destinations

Make a cheap wedding look expensive

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You are here to learn the best ways of how to have the look of an expensive, elegant wedding but cheap on the wallet. Once you’ve crunched the numbers and established a wedding budget, it’s time to get cracking!

Preparation

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Invitations. Scour the internet to find a blank wedding invitation template until you find the one that you want. Keep in mind your wedding colors and wedding theme if you have one, if not, go with the colors that you and your future husband will wear. Then, copy-paste the image of the blank template onto Microsoft Powerpoint. If you want to do the writing on your computer, just pick a font, word effects, and start typing. If not, look on youtube for tutorials on how to write in a particular style, like calligraphy, cursive or lettering. Print out the blank wedding template and just write on one invitation what you would like it to say in the fancy writing. Then, scan it into your scanner and print out a bunch! Be sure to include you and your intended spouse’s names, the place, date of the wedding, time, attire, and an RSVP by date.

Seating placements. A cheap option is to DIY with paper. You can use paper for seating cards, menus, ceremony programs, table numbers, and more. Make them each of the same, or similar, colors, fonts, and font sizes to make everything match up. You don’t need to be a graphic artist to find the perfect style, just search the web to find the blank templates that you love. You can always forgo this completely, and have a sign up that says “there are no seating arrangements, we’re all family here.” Husbands will always sit with wives, children will always sit with their parents or the other children, and friends will always sit together. This limits the stress that you need to set everyone assigned seats, which is so high-school anyways.

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Lend.  If you have a list of items that you want and need for your wedding ahead of time, send out a mass-email to your guests and ask if anyone has any of these items. Married friends may have leftover items from their weddings stored in the attic, that they never plan on using again. If they do, ask that they bring them to you as soon as possible if it’s just laying around and they’re not using it. You can even use this as “instead of gifts…” This is also a great way to involve your guests in your ceremony, fulfils the “something borrowed” ‘obligation’ of a wedding, and adds unique, personal touches everywhere in your ceremony and reception. That sentimentality is something that no amount of money could ever buy.

Cut down on the guest list. This is said on nearly every budget wedding website, blog and more; that’s because it’s true. You may be tired of hearing it, and I have mentioned it myself quite a few times in this blog, but it needs to be done. With every guest that you add to your guest list, the price tag on your wedding rises. The more guests are at your wedding, the less and less you will be able to stick to your budget. Instead of extending the invitations to acquaintances, new co-workers, or fourth cousins that you’ve met once ten years ago, don’t invite them. Invite your closest friends and relatives only, this way you will save lots of money and will be able to spend more on the things you really want.

Look in your own home. Rustic-chic, vintage and retro weddings are great themes to include some personal items from your very own home. Pick out those dusty old frames, armoirs, empty dressers, end tables, pretty sofas, stylish love seats, gorgeous arm-chairs, bookcases, chalkboards, antique lamps, and more! Bring them to light and bring them to your wedding reception area and post in pictures with them. This adds a homey touch to your intimate party.

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Make it simple. Think like the japanese, who have a few key pieces of furniture in their home and forgo other items to favor spacious rooms. Too many things packed into one room screams disorganized. Simple touches that bring out other details are all it takes to make the room charming. Pastel tones don’t call too much attention to themselves, and go with any other colors.

Recycle. Whether you’re using real flowers from the best florist in the state, or silk flowers from Goodwill; recycle, reuse, and repurpose! After the ceremony, leave your bouquets behind so the employees can place them as centerpieces, chair decorations, and more while you’re out taking wedding photos. Ask the employees to also make use of pew bows, flowers lining the aisle, and anything else they can re-use. Pick your bouquets accordingly, and choose styles and colors of flowers that will suit as floral centerpieces. Already have a centerpiece in mind? The employees can pluck the petals from the flowers and scatter them along the dining tables, the dance floor, even your honeymoon suite to add a soft, romantic touch.

Ceremony

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Rings. Don’t break out the thousants on a platinum beauty with a 3 carat rock; go simple with gold or white-gold. You can always go with sterling silver, but it isn’t as resiliant to scratching and wear and tear over the years. Get a solitare ring, or a diamond as your center stone and cubic zirconias as the corner stones. Not into diamonds? Ask to look at your out-of-the-ordinary rings with colored stones like emerald, sapphire, amethyst, jade, opal, pearl and topaz. To save even more money, go for simple bands made of white gold or gold and call it a day.

Accessorize. Don’t rely on mere flowers as decor for the entire ceremony and reception. Don’t forget to check out vases, scented candles, candle holders, bowls, beads, marbles, stones, crystals, and more at your local stores. Most of these can even be found at your local dollar store, goodwill and salvation army. You can even just scour your own garden to find pretty stones to include at the bottom of a transparent vase at your wedding.

Dress for Success. Custom-made and designer gowns skyrocket bridal dresses like you wouldn’t believe. Go to bridal shops and try on pre-made dresses that are on the rack. If this is still too expensive, visit goodwill and the salvation army. Even white prom dresses or Quinceniera, or Sweet Sixteen dresses can be re-purposed into beautiful wedding dresses. Drooling over your mother’s wedding dress, a friend’s, or another family member’s dress? Ask if you can borrow it, or buy it. If it is sold to you, you can make any changes you would like. Go to a dress fitting and a seamstress and ask to make the alterations that you want, whether it’s to change the neckline, hike up the hemline, or change the cut of the sleeves. Remember; if you aren’t the traditional type, your dress doesn’t even have to be white!

Here comes the bride. Have doves released when you enter, butterflies released, confetti or rose petals thrown into the air before you, a commanding song played loud and clear, and whatever else you can think of. Are you a great singer? Sing your way down the aisle with a love song dedicated to your beau, or a lovely tune expressing your eagerness to join in matrimony.

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Picture perfect. Stunted in your budget with photography? There are apps in the app store and play store that you can easily download and have your guests download. With quality cameras now integrated into everyone’s phones, have your guests take photographs during the ceremony and reception and upload them to your website. Some apps even give you a special wedding hashtag so you can find them later easier. This way, you can hire a professional photographer for a shorter session than you would’ve had to before hand. Be sure to check out your friends’ cameras before the wedding to make sure that the app is a credible option.

Reception

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Edible Centerpieces. Place the food in the center of each table in lieu of centerpieces. This is a genuinely eco-friendly option, as there is minimal waste when the reception comes to a close. For ideas, search the terms “Edible wedding centerpieces”, and save the images that are your favorite. Making edible wedding centerpieces are simple and budget-friendly, and a unique way to be creative. You can make the tables full of appetizers before the main course in lieu of your main meal as the centerpiece. Fill a vase with fresh fruit brochettes, cheese brochettes, baguettes, and more! You can add some flower pedals or candles around the food and call it a drool-worthy centerpiece.

Small touches can make a casual dinner look like a formal sit-down affair. Fold the napkins on top of each plate, and even into oragami if at all possible. Lay the silverware on one side of the plate, next to each other so the guests have to pick up the fork or knife and put it on the opposite side of their plate. Staff will often provide this special detail without additionally stacking up the price tag.

Spray it. Go to your local Walmart and buy metallic, grey or silver spray paint to spice up any tray, platter, or container. Douse it in two layers to make sure it doesn’t chip during the reception. Repurpose to use as parts of a centerpiece, or just props you want to match the rest of the decor.

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Make custom CDs. Burn CDs and get an old-school CD player and hook it up to some decent speakers. Have a friend know ahead of time the songs, so (s)he can know when it’s time to go change the CDs to keep the music going. Some CDs can hold up to 20 songs.

Lighting. Use candles for a romantic glow, or wick-free flame-free candles from dollar stores or walmart. If you want to add scented candles that warm up the room, Scentsy is the way to go. Otherwise, dollar stores easily provide masses of candles in all shapes, colors and scents.

Go for a walk. Patches of grass that no one owns often has wildflowers grow freely. Pick flowers at the park, search gravel for special stones, check out ponds for shiny rocks. Anything goes, this is your wedding. Find what you can use, and take it home with you!

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Venue. A friend’s backyard, a family member’s barn, an acquaintance who owns a restaurant; the possibilities are endless. If you have neither, there are always public parks that charge a license of about $200 maximum to use as a venue. Want a romantic, but classic place to wed? Look up local beaches and see if you can’t rent a private one for your ceremony. If you live in hot places like Florida, Texas or southern California, you can even have your wedding in April or May and still be fine. Off-season bookings are often cheaper.

Dinner time. Hire a food truck, ask friends to make their best dishes, cook up nifty appetizers; anything that will cut the cost. Variety and unique experiences are always things to remember. Want to go traditional? A buffet-style dinner saves on caterers and servers.

Honeymoon

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Forgo traditional wedding gifts and register for something different. An example is honeymoonwishes, which is a wedding honeymoon registry. This is way more practical than the three blenders and five sets of knives you were going to get anyways. This site gives you a code so guests can logon and make a donation. The money goes straight to a bank account that you choose, all in just a few days! Imaginel the honeymoon of your dreams without spending a dime! You can choose a cheaper vacation spot to make it more likely that you will get all the contributions that you need and that your goal will be easier to meet; Cuba and Thailand are two wonderful examples.