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

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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

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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.

Chalkboard SPARKLERS Sign - DIY, Wedding reception, Vintage Wedding ...

Sparkler Send-Off Wedding Sign Chalkboard Printable Personalized with ...

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 ...

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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!

Have a frugal and tasteful shotgun wedding

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The number of wed couples that are married and have children after the wedding, is still the majority at 59.7%. This number must have helped to stay up there in part thanks to shotgun weddings.

A “shotgun wedding” is a wedding that takes place when two people find out they are expecting. Soon after, they get married. Decades ago, the name “shotgun wedding” was dubbed when the father of the bride may have had to “motivate” the groom to marry his daughter with a shotgun. Whether this is true or not, the name stuck.

Some modern couples still wish to honor the bride and get hitched right away. Some were planning a wedding before they found out they were expecting, and moved the date up. Some get married later into their pregnancy without a problem. Either way, here is how to pull off a frugal shotgun wedding while staying classy.

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Courthouse wedding. Get married quick and easy by getting married the same place where you got your marriage license; city hall. Take stunning photos inside the building as well as pictures outside. Look up on Pinterest for some amazing, romantic, and unique ideas for wedding photography in a courthouse.

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Church wedding. Get married the old-fashioned way, a church wedding. If you’re Jewish, go to your local temple. If you are very religious, you can ask that the priest or rabbi absolve you of your premarital sin.

Finnish London Elopement and a Pregnant Bride

Eloping. Run off with your intended and get married in private. There are tons of elopement packages that cost a few grand apiece. Some include a honeymoon, since the venue often has a hotel or bed and breakfast on their property.

An Elopement in San Diego with a 9 Months Pregnant BrideYou May French ...

Outdoor. Go in the great outdoors and celebrate your pregnancy as well as your newly tied knot with all your closest family and friends. Go to a beach, a park, even a backyard and bask in the best days of your life.

... | Pregnant wedding, Pregnant wedding dress and Maternity wedding

Indoor wedding. Whether it’s a family-owned restaurant, an inn, or a hotel, have a great wedding indoors can save you from the anxiety of avoiding the rain. Tables and chairs often come with the price of renting the room or hall.

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Make some funny photos. Some people like to play on the words “shotgun wedding” and like to bring actual shotguns to the wedding. If you are an avid gun-owner, there is no problem having fun with the fact that you’re pregnant and getting married. Lots of places offer funny wedding toppers and even toy shotguns for those who don’t want the real thing around the kids.

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Here are some examples of funny shotgun wedding photos. It’s quirky and downright hilarious. These dads have a great sense of humor! I wonder if the groom was in on it?

Shotgun wedding, via Wikimedia Commons

Shotgun Weddings: something old, something new, something borrowed and ...

Tips On Shotgun Weddings Seattle | Seattle Wedding DJ

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Shotgun wedding in the Santa Cruz Mountains

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Shotgun wedding Louisville Kentucky

24 Super Funny Wedding Photos | SMOSH

Rarely, the term ‘shotgun wedding’ is used for those who vigorously express their love for their second amendment rights. It can be used to describe a wedding just like it can be used in the term “beach wedding”. Here are some shotgun wedding photos for shotgun-enthusiasts.

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shotgun Wedding | wedding ideas | Pinterest

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Shotgun wedding. Country wedding | Wedding 2013 | Pinterest | Wedding ...

Shotgun wedding? - LOLz Humor

shotgun wedding - wedding gift etiquette how much to give at a wedding

Shotgun Wedding... Love this pic | Wedding Ideas | Pinterest

Do you have any shotgun wedding ideas? Do you have any photos of your shotgun wedding that you’d like to show us? Share them in the comments 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.

 

Wedding Planning Advice from Real Brides

Are you about to plan your wedding and have no clue where to start? Wedding planners can be incredibly expensive. Although it may alleviate the stress of planning your wedding, the stress of having added prices to your budget may not. Lots of brides wonder, where do I begin?

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Do you want stress-free wedding planning? Do you want your wedding to be simple? Do you have a very low budget? Here is some advice from real married people.

Katie Wilson says:

Location: my backyard
Guest count: 20
Invites: just told them over the phone
Officiant: non-denominational. We did our own vows
Food and cake: made reservations at a nice restaurant less than a mile away that had a special menu for us.
Dress: $250 designer dress on the sale rack.
Bridesmaids dresses: just wear any nice navy blue dress you already have.
Bouquet: made a gorgeous broach one myself
Ritzy? No
Was it worth it to not have wedding debt? Fuck yeah

Kelsey Lindblad wrote:

Went to a Lawyers office, had just the parents, their spouses, and siblings. Total headcount including My husband and me? 9 people. Got a tour of the building which ended up being haunted and made for a great story. We went to a Brazilian steakhouse for a parade of meat, everyone was happy and had a great time. Total cost $850 ($700 was just the food). No debt required, no fancy dress, no drama, no real stress. It was absolutely worth it to just do it our way instead of all the stress of trying to put together a whole wedding.

Jeanette Fields-Watkins states:

Friends from church had our wedding in their penthouse apartment, 72nd & Central Park West. Beautiful Sunday in Deecember, temp in the 50s. All we brought was the cake, flowers and our clothes. They even provided the photographer. There were 20-25 people there, small intimate affair. I loved my wedding, but my marriage has been even better. Only suggestion is that you both read Before I Say I Do. Good workbook, especially if you don’t do premarital counseling.

Natasha Tafta advises:

We just went to the courthouse, applied for the marriage license, then booked an appointment at city hall. We got married in our street clothes and got a matching ring set for about $200 at Walmart. You will be just as married as the couple that spent tens of thousands of dollars on their wedding. We have no regrets!

Image may contain: 2 peopleMr. Lloyd Spencer and Mrs. Samantha Spencer at their wedding!

Samantha Spencer says:

I got a thrifty wedding dress and he wore the suit he had worn to his prom. We got married with a Justice of the Peace on St Patrick’s Day at City Hall. My best friend does aesthetics and did my make up and my mom did my hair. We got rings and a hotel room afterwards where we had a party with close family and friends. Didn’t take long to plan and was very stress-free.

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Do you have any advice you’d like to share? Comment below!

 

Most popular wedding themes

The popularity of certain wedding themes has been rising. Different colors, themes, and decorations have been increasing in popularity.

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Rustic and Vintage wedding themes have been trending, especially in 2016. The old-style theme inspires use of the dusty old antiques you’ve been hiding in the attic for years.

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Garden and greenery weddings have been the top picks for the past few years. Eco-friendly, they favor recyclable items, biological favors and lots of greenery.

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Pastel wedding themes have also been increasingly common, especially around the easter holiday. Summer also brings out beautiful blooms, so this theme is also popular during the warmer days.

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Which wedding themes have you seen rise in popularity lately? What was your wedding theme? Comment below!

How to do a cheap last-minute wedding

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Not everyone can plan a large wedding and take years to pull it all off. Some couples have a change in circumstances that makes for a rapid wedding. Whether a family member got sick, the bride or groom is terminal, or the venue cancelled last minute; you need to know how to pull everything together last-minute. This is true even if you have a week or less to get married. But can you pull it off without having to spend an arm and a leg? It’s possible, and here’s how.

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Go to church. Are you a church-goer? Are you baptized? Simply ask your local preacher, pastor or priest if they are available for a quick ceremony. They often charge a fee of about $100 for officiating, and you get beautiful wedding photos inside a church.

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Ask a friend. Can’t find an officiant last minute? Ask your friend to become one. They can easily get ordained online free of charge. Ideally this will be done at least a few days before the wedding so the friend can register with the clergy and ask overnight shipping of credentials.

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Grocery store. Want a reception afterwards? Even if it’s very small, you can get cupcakes, a cake, and ready-to-serve dishes. You can buy a cooked chicken and fresh veggies, fresh fruit, even pre-packaged veggies and dip.

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Potluck. Invite your friends and ask them to bring their favorite food or beverage. This way everyone is sure to have food to eat.

Backyard. No venue? No problem! Have the wedding in your backyard, front yard, or even a friend’s land. It’s no muss, no fuss, simple and easy.

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Garments. Everyone has been to at least one formal affair in their life, even if it’s just the prom at high school. Bust out formal wear and wear that to your wedding. You can also ask your mother for her wedding gown if you wish to wear it.

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Rings. Go to a jeweler or a pawn shop and buy rings that fit. Or you can buy rings later, some weddings don’t even have the couple exchange rings or wear rings at all.

Photographer. See if local professional photographers are available for your wedding day. Contact every single one and you’re more likely to have at least once positive response. If not, you can have family or friends take photos if there is no other option.

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Flowers. You can make a bouquet out of silk flowers at the dollar store, wild flowers in a field close by, or grab your favorite blooms at a florist. The choice is yours!

Music. The quickest, easiest and cheapest way to have the music you want is just to bring your iPod and possibly speakers, make a playlist and put it on repeat.

 

Cheap Destination Wedding Locations

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You’ve always wanted to get married somewhere exotic, tropical, or unusual. You don’t picture yourself getting wed in the same old country you grew up in, but in a new and exciting location. You look at your budget, and you wonder if you’ll have to wait years before that dream can come true. Well, look no further! Here are the cheapest destination wedding locations when you’re on a budget!

Image result for cuba destination weddingThese are photos of a couple that actually married in Varadero!

Cuba. By far the cheapest destination wedding country, Cuba is rich in culture, beaches and warm weather. Varadero is the city where Be Live Experience Varadero is located, and is listed as the cheapest location to host a destination wedding.

Image result for mexico destination weddingThis couple actually got married in Mexico as a destination wedding!

Mexico. The second-cheapest destination wedding country, Mexico is known for it’s amazing food, dance, music, culture and fun atmosphere. River Maya is the city where BlueBay Grand Esmeralda holds the next-best cheapest location for your destination wedding, and the cheapest in Mexico. Sandos Caracol Eco Resort is also located in River Maya and is breath-taking. In the popular tourist city of Cancun, Occidental Tucancun is a gorgeous venue to have your dream wedding. Also in Cancun, Riu Caribe is a beautiful, family-friendly space to hold your ceremony and reception.

Image result for destination wedding dominican republicThis couple really got married in the Dominican Republic in Punta Cana!

Dominican Republic. A fantastic vacation spot, the Dominican Republic is also very budget-friendly when it comes to vacations, destination weddings as well as honeymoons. Puerto Plata has the majestic Iberostar Costa Dorada where you can count on a dream-worthy wedding that won’t break the bank. Punta Cana has two beautiful locations for your destination wedding: Majestic Colonial Punta Cana which is the most frugal option of the two, as well as Riu Bambu. Both are laced with palm trees and will make you feel like you’re in heaven.

Image result for Jamaica destination wedding sunscape splashReal Sunscape Splash wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica!

Jamaica. Rich with music culture, Jamaica is the place to be, especially during the popular summer months. Ranking #4 in the cheapest countries to have a destination wedding, Jamaica has two cost-cutting venues that don’t skimp on the luxuries. In Runaway Bay, there is the Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton that is all-inclusive and up to par with anyone’s standards. In Montego Bay, Sunscape Splash Montego Bay will have you marveling at the beauty of the country.