Frugal Bridal Shower Games

Image result for bridal shower

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.

Image result for bridal shower

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.

    Image result for bridal shower

     

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

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!

Image result for vegan wedding

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.

 

Wedding etiquette musts

With tons of brides and grooms opting for non-traditional weddings, etiquette has all but been thrown out the window. However, no matter the wedding, there are a few MUSTS that should never go out of style.

Don’t expect her father, or family, to pay for the wedding. There are strict rules that adher to her father paying for the wedding: no sex before marriage, all courtships and dates supervised by her family, no being alone before the wedding, asking for her hand in marriage before proposing, and only kissing if her parents approve. The vast majority of couples don’t do this anymore, so if you haven’t followed each and every one of these steps, her father is not expected to pay for the wedding and neither is her family, no matter how rich they are. This is a nice way to start working together as a couple, since you will surely tackle hefty financial tasks in the future (like buying a new car or a house). This is a great place to start! Besides, you two aren’t children anymore. It’s time you paid for your own things.

Pay attention to what kind of ring she wants. Keep seeing her marvel at princess-cut diamond rings at every jeweler you pass? Don’t get her an oval-shaped pearl. Listen to her hints and when in doubt, ask her best friends and closest family. This goes the same for the groom; if he mentions he prefers a skinny band compared to a thick one, please keep that in mind when shopping for his wedding ring.

Serve your guests something, even if it’s just cake and/or punch. People come to weddings expecting food, and it’s nice to have your first meal together as husband and wife (or wife/wife and husband/husband) with your family and close friends. If you can’t afford to provide this, have a potluck wedding!

Invite close family members and friends to the ceremony and reception. When I was first looking into weddings I was shocked that people would find it insulting to be invited to the ceremony but not the reception. Isn’t the ceremony the whole point? Anyways, in keeping with the etiquette already in place, it’s important to invite the same people from the ceremony to the reception. You can invite more people to the reception only as well. Just make sure that if you are inviting your grandmother to the ceremony, that you invite her to the reception too. If you can’t afford this, then invite less people to your ceremony.

Invite everyone at least six months before the wedding. People need to plan accordingly, pick out a dress and/or tux, let their place of work know ahead of time, schedule babysitters, and more. It’s common sense to invite guests at least six monthe before the wedding.

Easter Wedding on the Cheap

Image result for easter wedding venue

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.

Image result for easter wedding invitations

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.

Image result for easter wedding decor

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.

Image result for easter wedding decor

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.

Image result for easter wedding decor

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.

Image result for easter wedding dress

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.

Image result for easter wedding rings

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.

Image result for easter wedding venue

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.

Image result for easter wedding cake

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). 

Image result for easter wedding decor

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)

St. Patrick’s Day Wedding

Image result for st patrick's day wedding

With price tags rising, it’s becoming more and more difficult to pin down a reasonable price tag for a decent wedding. One of the biggest saving tips you can follow is to get married during off-season. You are accomplishing this by having a St. Patrick’s Day wedding! Now, how do you cut costs even more?

  1. Go to the dollar store. All of discount stores will be flaunting green and all shamerock-related items in the months closest to the day! Make a list of what you would want at your wedding, and then head to the store. Find what’s on your list and buy it for a fraction of regular price at wedding stores.

Image result for st patrick's day wedding

2. Have beer and spirits instead of champagne. Beer is always cheap, and spirits are cheaper than champagne. If you want to be creative, make some cocktails and line them up on a “shot tower” for guests to take after the wedding toast. Besides, what’s an irish wedding without some alcohol?

Related image

3. Make a list of green foods you would like at your wedding. Celery, grapes, peppers; you name it! After you’ve decided what kind of food you want to offer (appetizers only, just dinner, cake only or a full on 3-course meal), choose savory green foods to go with your theme. You can also pick foods that can easily be dyed green.

Related image

4. Have a one-tier cake for cutting and have it on top of a cupcake tower! Bake a sheet cake in the shape of a shamrock, cover it in green frosting, whatever you’d like. Cut the cake with your spouse and then serve the cupcakes!

Related image

5. Head to discount stores for clothing. Search for green ties, green dresses, and green accesories. Mix and match into unique looks that fit the theme. Head to stores that are known for their bargain-friendly prices. Look for necklaces, brooches, ribbons, bracelets, even rings.

Related image

6. DIY decorations. Gather green construction paper, paper mache, streamers, and everything else you can think of. Call your team of bridesmaids and groomsmen over to help you. Make banners, shapes, flowers, signs, and whatever else you want decorating your special day. You can also snag some green balloons to hang in the middle of tables as a unique centerpiece!

Image result for st patrick's day wedding centerpiece

7. Have simple yet elegant Paddy’s day centerpieces. Pictured above is a vase filled with water with a drop of green food coloring, and a floating white candle. The vase sits on a mirrored tray with small white candles around it, a white flower branch and some white and green ribbon. You can sprinkle plastic crystals around it, available at your local dollar store. How neat is this?

Image result for st patrick's day wedding outdoor

8. The venue will be a fraction of regular price during wedding season. If you live in a warmer climate (or you can brave the cold), have the wedding outside! You can’t go greener than the trees and grass. Ask for a permit to rent a local park, which can cost up to $200. You can also go to the backyard of the church that you got married in.

Plan your wedding accordingly and have a blast!

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.

Image result for beautiful courthouse

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.

if civil ceremony occurs at the city hall... seems like a must to take this classic picture!:

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!

Image result for mini putt wedding

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!

Image result for simple honeymoon