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.

 

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Frugal Bridal Shower Games

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A bridal shower is a gift-giving party held for a bride-to-be in anticipation of her wedding. The custom originated in the 1890s and is today most common in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Even though tradition dictates that a bridal shower should be held two months to two weeks before the wedding, I don’t see any reason why it can’t be planned before the two-month mark. While having a shower six months before the wedding may not be improper, it does seem a bit early for practical reasons.

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Preparation

  1. Pick a date.

    Showers should be held about two weeks to two months before the wedding. Earlier is better.

  2. Compile a guest list.

    As the host, you should set the number of guests you’re comfortable inviting. If the shower isn’t a surprise, consult with the bride about whom to include.

  3. Choose a theme.

    But only if you wish.

  4. Determine the location.

    It could be your home or a nearby venue.

  5. Buy or make an invitation.

    Is the shower a surprise? Be sure to clearly state that. You may also want to include registry information.

Four to Six Weeks Before the Shower

  1. Send invitations.
  2. Decide on decorations and centerpieces.

    One idea: Fill Champagne glasses with jelly beans in complementary flavors (coconut and pineapple, lemon and lime)—edible proof that two together can be better than each alone.

  3. Plan a menu, if necessary.

    For a light lunch, try sweet pea soup, tea sandwiches, and lemon squares.

  4. Prepare an activity.

    You could assemble a “bow hat,” yes, but think about other options. Consider hiring a fortune-teller or a tarot card reader, or even giving everyone temporary tattoos.

The Week Before the Shower

  1. Buy a gift.

    A good rule of thumb: Spend no less than $30 and no more than $50.

The Week of the Shower

  1. Shop for and prepare food, if necessary.

The Day of the Shower

  1. Make a gift-opening area.

    Under the guest of honor’s seat, place scissors, large trash bags, a notebook and a pen to record gifts and their givers, and sticky labels to help keep similar gifts (like platters or glassware) straight.

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Here is a list of frugal bridal shower game ideas for the bridal shower you’re throwing!

Wedding dress two-pieces

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Wedding two-piece wedding dresses have been an arising new trend. With tops coming in various forms of colors, patterns and material, they add a romantic and more casual feel to the traditional wedding dress.

A two-piece can also be less expensive than a one-piece wedding dress, since it’s less traditional. You also have more options when buying them, since often prom dresses are made into two-pieces.

If a two-piece is for you, be sure not to look for designer brands and freshly-made gowns from pricey bridal stores unless it’s an area where you can splurge. You need to be able to have money left for the actual wedding.

Don’t have the money for one, but you really want one? Ask if you can use your mother’s wedding dress, or aunt’s, grandmother, sister, etc. If they don’t want it back, you can take it to a seamstress and have them cut the dress into two pieces and hem them. If you just want to wear one part of the dress, you can choose to keep the skirt and pick your own top, or keep the top and choose your own skirt.

Here are some models to pique your interest and inspire you for ideas!

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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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Have a low-budget vegetarian wedding

Meat is expensive! Having a vegetarian wedding not only makes sense, but it can save you hundreds of dollars on feeding your guests.

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There is a reason restauraunts most often offer sides of rice, potatoes, or carrots. These are the cheapest foods to buy, and easy to prepare. If you are looking to save even more money, buy plenty of these.

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Carrots can be served with dip and dressing on pretty serving plates. You can add other vegetables such as celery and cucumbers to accompany other edible delicacies.

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Potatoes can be cooked many different ways; into fries, baked, whipped, and more. Lay the various options out on a buffet-style table so guests can self-serve. You can even chop them up and serve them as a potato salad.

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Rice can be brown or white, served plain or with salt, sauce or dressing. You can buy variety and cook them in different ways with different spices to appeal to all varieties of palates.

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Appetizers are good to throw in there if you want to have a three-course meal. Soups and salads are popular options, as is cheese and crackers or bread with butter and cheese. Potato salad can be a yummy side dish as well as an appetizer. Deviled eggs are great additions if the couple is lacto-ovo vegetarian or just ovo vegetarian. Having a mexican-style wedding? Add some chips and dip to the menu, and make your own salsa and guacamole.

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For snacks, make pretty fruit brochettes or fruit salad. Pick up the in-season fruits at the grocery store or at farmer’s markets to get a great deal. Feeling adventurous? Go apple-picking or fruit-picking at your local orchard and strawberry fields.

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If the couple eats seafood, this can be the main course of the meal. Large packs of frozen seafood can be bought for $10 a pack at local grocery stores that prides themselves on savings. The seafood packs can include: mussles, shrimp, tuna, salmon, tilapia and more.

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Do you have recipies you would like to share? Comment 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!

How to get all your wedding stationary for under $50

Wedding prices are sky-rocketing, and the average wedding is already at around $26,000. That’s the minimum deposit on a $260k house, or a full payment of a brand new car! Are you looking to save money? Are you stuck on how to cut costs on your wedding stationary? Is it a must for you to have invitations, place cards, and more? I’ve got good news for you!

How to get all your wedding stationary and more for under $50, by Just Reenski. Source here.

Here’s my haul (pictures to follow) using a Groupon and Hayley’s Slickdeals discount link. I put the Groupon code in first, clicked on the Slickdeals link in another window, and like magic, my total dropped dramatically! What did I get?

Brunch cocktails lawn sign, no holder (for our bar)
-2 Unplugged wedding lawn signs, w/ holders
-250 business cards, black & white on front & back, matte stock (favor cards)
-100 postcards, uploaded color design on each side, recycled matte stock, w/ envelopes (invitations)
-20 note cards (standard size), color front & back, matte stock (table cards)
-1 notepad (envelope liners – I have WAY more envelopes than I need)
-100 oversized postcards, color, recycled matte stock (programs)
-1 pen
-50 thank you notes, matte finish (English)
-10 thank you notes, matte finish (Spanish)
-10 rehearsal dinner invitations, matte finish
-140 return address labels with my new last name for thank you cards

These were the items that were COMPLETELY free (no upload charges, backside printing charges, paper charges, etc)

-Brunch cocktails lawn sign
-Notepad
-Pen
-Spanish thank you notes
-Rehearsal dinner invites
-Address labels

Final total cost: $38.66

$7 for the Groupon (had $10 from a referral), $31.66 over the Groupon amount, so free shipping.

Won’t lie, had 10 folded note cards to use as thank you cards in my cart (also free) that I didn’t like as much as the original design I picked. If I’d just kept those (or tweaked the design), it would’ve been $5 cheaper. 😦 Also, the oversized postcards that I’m using for my programs I did on recycled matte stock, and then realized that I could have just kept it on regular matte stock and saved $3.74. Couldn’t do both because it wouldn’t meet the $25 minimum though. They upgraded their paper recently, and the regular matte (used on my table cards and others) was definitely a good thickness. It would have been fine for pretty much everything so I could have saved and/or bought other things. Le sigh.Also, one lawn sign was missing, but I called up VP’s customer service and they placed a re-order at no charge. They offered 3 day shipping, but I don’t need it until December, so instead it’ll be 7 days.

My advice — get the Groupon (refer other Groupons to people to get Groupon bucks, too!), put everything you want in your cart, then click on as many discount links as you can to see what gets you as close to $95 as possible – after the Groupon and the discount link, you should only be paying that $25 (or slightly over). Also, think outside the box — Hayley has TONS and TONS of links/ideas, so take advantage, or think up new ones! I know I could have done better, but I honestly got pretty much everything that I’ll need, so I can’t complain. Happy Vistaprinting!

Now, on to the pictures! I’ll spread out the loot when I get home, so those will be up later. Here are the designs from VP:

1. Invitations (front)
2. Invitations (back)
3. Bar sign

1. Favor cards (English)
2. Favor cards (Spanish)
3. Unplugged Wedding sign
1. Address labels
2. Table cards (Spanish)
3. Table cards (English)
1. Notepad
2. Pen
3. Programs
1. Rehearsal invites
2. Thank You Cards (English)
3. Thank You Cards (Spanish)