Save on a Thanksgiving Wedding

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Autumn is one of the most popular times to get married. It’s rare you get a day off of work for you to get married and enjoy your honeymoon. Weekdays are cheaper than weekends. So why not have a thanksgiving wedding?

The fall leaves offer a beautiful contrast for a white dress, and makes for a natural backdrop for any photos.

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Dinner? It’s a no-brainer: turkey! Discounts are offered everywhere for less-than-perfect turkeys like small ones that no one buys. Go for them and save hundreds! Cheaper sides are rice, potatoes, carrots and of course gravy. Serve up traditional beverages, pumpkin pie and you’re all set!

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Thanksgiving is a time when family naturally gets together, so you can even have a surprise wedding. Invite a minister, make sure you have your marriage license already, and start the wedding with everyone present!

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You don’t even need decorations if it’s an outdoor wedding and there are trees nearby. The beautiful autumn colors are natural decorations. For centerpieces, you can use the beautifully colored leaves, some acorns and twigs and make a masterpiece. Even just some leaves and a mason jar makes gorgeous centerpieces.

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Backs of chairs can have autumn wreaths. You can get small ones at the dollar store. Hang them on the backs of the chairs and you have gorgeous pieces! Before the reception you can use them as aisle runners.

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Save on a Nighttime Wedding

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Wedding receptions often stretch out into the night. However, to get married at night and have the reception even later, now that’s not too often. Perfect for night owls, saying your vows under the stars can be incredibly romantic. How can you get your fantasy twilight wedding without breaking the bank? Here are a few ideas.

Get some tents. Have tents outside, thin enough to see the stars. See if you can buy used, or rent used tents. Those will come around cheaper than brand-new. Ideal for summer, thick tents usually make the interior stuffy. You can feel the night breeze to keep you cool.

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Watch the shooting stars. Have blankets laid out in august on a clear night and have guests lay down and watch the meteor shower. If you live up north, enjoy the northern lights at the reception. This is a peaceful, relaxing activity for guests and the couple to enjoy all together.

Look for discounts. Many venues offer discounts for off-peak seasons, months, and days of the weeks, maybe even times of day that are not often used. Who doesn’t want to save more money on their special day?

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Sparklers. They don’t stand out nearly as well in the daylight, and they’ve been increasing in popularity. There are even signs sold for weddings specifying the time for a sparkler sendoff.

Use your resources. Surround yourself with professionals, students, and talented individuals. Knowing you personally, they may offer you their services in lieu of a gift. Especially students, who haven’t gained enough experience yet and can’t charge you full price, but need the work on their portfolio.

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Lights. Light up the room, venue or outdoor area with lights. Yellow lights add a soft glow and a romantic feel to the ceremony and reception. They also make the wedding photos look gorgeous. Recycle your white holiday lights and decorate your backyard with them. Light candles in an indoor venue, or electric candles to avoid fire hazards.

Hire people you already know. Have your hairdresser do your hair. Have your dentist bleach your teeth. Use your local beautician to do your nails and pre-wedding care. Call up the deejay you used at your niece’s baptism and ask if they do weddings.

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Lanterns. Light lanterns and light up the sky at your reception. Paper lanterns can be bought for a low price. Have guests light them up and let them float away. Having a wedding by the ocean or a large body of water? Light floating lanterns and watch them drift away.

Use your own music. Hook an iPod to speakers, pick a playlist and set it on shuffle. There! You’ve saved hundreds on hiring a band or a DJ for your musical needs.

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Wear long sleeves. Nights are cold, and you can finally have an excuse to wear the long-sleeved dress that you’ve been eyeing. You can purchase that adorable shawl to adorn your shoulders as you stand and declare your love.

Keep your guest list short. If you’re a regular reader of my articles, you will see that I write this tip a lot. That’s because, it’s one of the top ways to save money on your wedding reception. Nowadays, receptions are paid by the plate for guests. If you’re paying $25 a plate and you have 100 guests versus 25 guests, you will pay four times more than if you just invited close friends and family. Convinced yet?

Browse discount stores. You ca save hundreds by getting lightly used items instead of brand new. Go to the cheaper stores first before you visit high-end stores. That way, if you find an over-priced arch at a fancy store, you will know that there is one half the price waiting at your local second-hand store.

Cheap Afternoon Wedding Ideas

Not a morning person? Don’t want to spend an extra thousand just to have a sit-down dinner reception? A lunch wedding is right for you!

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Main Menu.  Lunch menu will always cost less than a dinner menu. You can have so many different options for your wedding reception when it comes to food. Here are a few ideas:

  • Cocktail hour wedding
  • Barbecue wedding
  • Picnic wedding
  • Cookout wedding
  • Hors d’oeuvres wedding
  • Cake and punch wedding
  • Potluck wedding

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Guest list. Limit your guest list to your very closest friends and family. This will significantly lower the amount of money you will have to spend for seating, food and drinks, even the size of your wedding cake! Who wants to invite a 4th cousin twice removed that you’ve never met, anyways?

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Cake. You can have the cutest little 1 to 2 tier cake for your wedding. You can have it decorated with fondant, flowers, fresh fruit, or whatever else you want! This allows you to have the wedding cake of your dreams without skimping on the details.

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Decor. When in doubt, go to the dollar store. They even have a party section that includes weddings! You’d be amazed at what you can find for such a cheap price for your wedding. Did someone you know have a wedding recently, and have no idea what to do with her leftover decor? Offer to rid her of it and recycle at your own wedding.

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Flowers. This is also a great idea for the dollar store for silk flowers. Need to have real blooms? If you are a year or more before your wedding, plant your favorite blooms in your own garden. You can pluck your beautiful home-grown blossoms on the day of your wedding and arrange your very own beautiful bouquet! Got just a few months left? Go to a floral shop and never mention the word wedding to avoid inflation.

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Recycle. Use the maid of honor’s bouquets as centerpieces for the reception. Use the aisle runners as chair back decorations at the reception. Use the chairs at the reception for chairs around the tables at the reception. Save time, resources and money with a little recycling. Have a bird cage lying around from a bird you used to have? Use it as a decoration. Have some empty wine bottles you keep forgetting to recycle? Spray-paint them and put a flower in there, and voila; beautiful centerpiece!

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Got any more wedding ideas to share for a gorgeous afternoon wedding? Comment below!

 

 

Have quality music at your wedding for cheap

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Want to save big bucks on your wedding? One way to do so is to find cheaper options on having music for your wedding. Whether it’s for the ceremony, for the reception or both, here are some great tips on how to have quality music at your wedding for cheap.

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iPod and speakers. Load your iPod up with a playlist of your favorite songs. Put it on shuffle or play them one after another in a specific order. Hook the iPod up to speakers so the music can be as loud as you want it to be.

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Hiring a local band. Do you know a local band that hasn’t been signed yet? Maybe they get a few gigs here and there at clubs? Talk to them about being hired to play at your wedding. They will charge way cheaper than any professional bands.

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Hiring music students. Students in the music and arts major can play really well, but can’t demand high prices due to their lack of professional experience. They will gladly take up gigs to add to their resume and charge a fraction of the cost.

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Hiring a beginner deejay. Seen a DJ at a few clubs and bars that’s just starting out, but knows what they’re doing? Talk to them about deejaying at your wedding.

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Hire friends/family. Do you know anyone that is in a band, sings well, plays an instrument well, deejays, or your friends or family knows someone? Hire them on. Even if they’re professional, they may offer you a family/friends discount.

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Hire a school band. Are you into classical music and orchestra? This would be great for hiring a school band. Whether it’s a high school or a college or university band, the price will be way cheaper than what you originally thought!

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Got more tips on how to save money on good music at a wedding? Comment below!

 

How to honor lost loved ones on a budget

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People pass away all the time. Perhaps your father couldn’t walk you down the aisle because he died. Perhaps your brother or sister couldn’t be in your wedding party due to an untimely passing. Perhaps your best friend won’t be able to make the wedding due to an accident. Either way, here are some frugal ways to honor a lost loved one during your ceremony or reception.

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Light a candle. During the ceremony, if you are lighting a unity candle, you can also have  a small candle next to the unity candle and light it after in honor of your departed loved one.

You can also have a candle lit, or light one, at the reception somewhere set aside just for that purpose. You can also put the candle on the buffet table or cake table.

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Reserve a chair. Put a photo of the departed guest in a chair where they would have sat, or a sign with their name, or something that belongs to them. Guests will respect the spot and leave it untouched. Are you a believer of spirits, souls or ghosts? Your loved ones will surely be present “in spirit”.

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Have a moment of silence. During the ceremony, you can always ask your officiant to include a moment of silence for your loved ones. The guests can bow their heads and think on the dearly departed.

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Dedicate a song to them. You can have a song play during the dancing part of the reception in memory of the dearly departed. The family members of these people can then dance in memory of them.

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Say a prayer. For those who are religious or spiritual, you can read a prayer in their memory. You can also have the officiant recite, “let us pray”, along with reciting a prayer picked out by the bridegroom in their memory.

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Got more ideas to share with us? Be sure to comment below this post and tell us all about it!

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.

 

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!