Choosing your wedding website

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A way to save money on paper invitations, wedding programs and placing cards is to just go viral! Trust in technology and go with a wedding website. If you aren’t shy from the public eye, have one place to keep all of your wedding details, events, contacts and more.

So many wedding sites offer to make your own customized wedding website. How can you choose which one would make the best? Here’s how!

List what you want. Do you want a website that offers an RSVP option? Features photos of you? Lists the wedding party? Make a list so you can check off which different wedding websites offer which.

Content you want. What do you want to put on your website? Do you want to list the story of how you met? Your engagement photos? Your wedding budget and list of expenses? Make a list so you can break down which websites allow you to do which.

List your priorities. Make a list of the things you want on your website that take priority top to bottom. Example: 1. Photos, 2. Events, 3. RSVP, 4. Custom background, 5. Hotel & attractions details, 6. Backstory. That way, if you find a website that offers your first 3 choices, you will know to pick that one if other websites only offer numbers two and three.

Browse wedding websites. Look at the different options they offer you without cost. Some good options are TheKnot, Minted, MyWedding, WeddingWire, ewedding, and OffbeatBride.

Ask your married friends. They may have a specific wedding website that they use, and recommend. Having already been through it, they will have helpful advice on how to choose the right one for you.

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Original photo source here.

Second photo source here.

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How to live-stream your wedding

Do you have out-of-town would-be guests that MUST be a part of your wedding? Are they out of the country and can’t make it? Here is a list of ways to include them in the wedding, long-distance!

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Skype. This is a popular tool used to chat with family members, friends and coworkers long distance. It’s a practical tool that many people use. It has the ability to facilitate conversations via voice chat, webcam chat, instant messenger, and all three combined. If your wedding has an internet connection or someone has an unlimited data plan on their phone, you can open up a video chat with the people you want to see your wedding. This is perfect for guests who live far away or are incapacitated to join or travel.

Facebook Live. This is a recently implemented option for facebook users. You can “go live” on your mobile device on facebook. Use this option to live-stream your wedding to all of your facebook friends. This option is idea if you have many guests who can’t attend. You can even stream publically!

Tinychat. This is an online website where you can create a chatroom and many people can chat, go on voice chat or go on video chat. You will need a computer and a webcam or a very good mobile device.

Yahoo Messenger. This is an old option, but can work either way. Video, mic and instant messaging chats are available. Go on webcam and share the video with your contacts so that they can see your wedding!

Oovoo. This gives you the free option of going on webcam with mulitple people in one chat! A webcam with a computer or a phone or mobile device with a camera will be needed in order to stream your wedding for your virtual guests.

Have an almost free wedding

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Do you want to get married, but don’t have a lot of money to spend? Do you have less than $500 to spend on a wedding? Is a courthouse wedding in general, or one without a reception, out of the question? We have a solution for you! Here are tips and tricks to having a wedding for under $500, and if you follow even the extreme cost-cutting strategies, pull off an almost a FREE wedding!

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Venue: Have the wedding in your backyard, a family member or friend’s backyard, or in a public park. All 3 of these choices are FREE! Be sure to contact the city where the public park is however, sometimes they charge up to $200 for a licence for an event, or have specific rules about noise, alcohol and tents. You can also look into having your wedding in a school auditorium, which rarely charges you. Another option is your church! If you are regular church-goers or close with a priest/reverend, they may not charge you, or just charge you a small fee to use their basement or yard as a reception area.

Dress: Use your mother’s, a friend’s or a family member’s wedding dress. Same goes for the groom’s suit! You can also buy used, even a white prom dress from a young adult. If you are really low-budget, browse the dress section of Goodwill and/or the Salvation Army.

Flowers: Pick wildflowers in local fields for free! You can also make your own DIY paper or tissue paper flowers. This can be made from computer paper, newspaper, coffee filters, almost anything! Pinterest is a great source for making DIY flowers.

Food: Potluck! Have each person invited bring their favorite drink or dish to the wedding so everyone else can try, instead of a wedding gift. You can make a list of what everyone is bringing so not everyone brings the same thing, and you can also make a list of what you would need and assign or have people sign up for what to bring so you get what you need! Example, someone can bring punch, another the wine, another champagne, another appetizers, another hors d’oeuvres, another main dish meat, another a side dish, another brings another side dish, another brings salad, another brings veggies and dip, etc. If this seems tacky to you, mention that it’s to share different cultures, traditions, tastes and recipes, as well as to bring everyone together and making them part of your special day.

Cake: Make it yourself! Not much of a baker? Have a friend or family member do it for you. There are cupcake and cake decorating tools you can buy at the dollar store, amazon, Michael’s or walmart that can have you make a beautiful cake and/or cupcakes. Get a cake mix to guarentee great taste. What someone suggested is that you make a single small tiered cake for cutting, and for the guests you have cupcakes. Easy and cost-effective!

Chairs and Tables: Why bother with these? Have a picnic-style reception where you have blankets on the grassy earth. Add a few pillows for comfort. This also saves you on centerpieces!

Favors: Skip these altogether, unless you have a few extra dollars. Add 1 cup of sugar to 1/4th cup of olive oil and about 3 drops of floral essential oil and mix for a feminine exfoliating sugar scrub, and a musky essential oil for a manly hand scrub for when they get those hands in mud, grease, motor oil or anything else. Get small pots at the dollar store and add your creations in there and voila!

Officiant: If you are religious, you may already know an officiant. They usually charge a fee of $50 to $100. You can also ask a friend to become a temporary officiant or a permanent one to marry you. This is a great way to make the ceremony meaningful, as well as save money!

Photographer: Have a friend or family member photograph the wedding, someone with photography experience. This way you don’t have to spend a fortune on a wedding photographer for just one day!

Rings: There are plenty of places that sell rings that are inexpensive yet don’t turn your finger green. Wal-Mart and Ebay are popular low-budget choices. Stick to stainless steel, tucson, sterling silver and/or white gold. Many couples also don’t have rings at all, so you can forgo this altogether as well.

Invitations: Dollar stores sell DIY invitation kits. You can also make a facebook event for your wedding, or a wedding website people can RSVP to.

Music: Have a portable battery-operated radio and play CDs you have burned for the occasion. Assign someone to the radio to make sure it’s always playing. If you have speakers, you can hook up your iPod and put your playlist on shuffle. If you know any musicians, you can have them play at your wedding too!

Decorations: Take anything white (curtains, cloth, paper) and DIY! You can make paper snowflakes for a winter wedding, paper hearts garlands, streamers, and more, all for a few dollars! Also, do NOT be afraid to look into dollar stores for decorations!

Honeymoon: Rent a motel or hotel room for a night and enjoy each other’s company and being married. Explore a new town, take a road trip, see a movie, whatever you want that won’t break the bank. A charming bed and breakfast can be a sweet option as well!

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