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?

Image result for mason jar food truck wedding

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.

Image result for chalkboard mason jar food truck wedding

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

 

Include your cat in your wedding

Image result for cat at wedding

Do you have beloved furry pets that you want to be a part of your big day? Do they happen to be furry, purry felines? Here are some cute ways you can include your cat or cats in your wedding day!

Image result for cat at wedding

Engagement Photos. Include your cat in the room or property where you will be taking your wedding photos. Let them be natural, they will most often hang around their owners.

Image result for cat save the date wedding

Save the dates. Pose your cats or put them all in the same place with cute signs. You can include yourselves in the photos as well.

Image result for cat at wedding

Boudoir shoot. Some brides take classy photos before the wedding in their wedding lingerie, underwear, or trying on their dress. Have your cat in the room for it, they will surely make you laugh and smile!

Image result for cat on wedding train

Getting ready with the bride. Photos of the bride getting her hair done, nails done, makeup done, getting dressed…have the cat or cats in the room! Knowing cats, they will always find a way to let you know that they’re there for you!

Image result for cat at wedding

Getting ready with the groom. The cutest photos are of kittens getting ready with their groom owners. Who melts your heart more than a man who cares for his kitty?

Related image

Wedding Party. You can always have your cat be your “cat of honor”, best cat, cat of honor, and more!

Image result for cat at wedding

Cake topper. You can have cake toppers custom-made to be the portrait of your cats. You can also buy one that has a couple on it as well as their cat.

Image result for cat on wedding train

Walking down the aisle. Does your father have a beloved cat that he left behind after he passed away? Have that cat walk you down the aisle in his place.

Related image

Ceremony. Hold your beloved companion, or have him around while you exchange vows with your soulmate.

Image result for ring bearer cat

Flower Girl. No kids in the family? No problem! Adorn your kitty with pretty flowers and call her name down the aisle so she can prance about with blooms of her own! A trick for the real stubborn ones is to teach the cats the sound of you shaking a box of treats before the wedding. Then, shake the box at the altar and watch them run up to you for a treat!

Image result for ring bearer cat

Ring Bearer. Have your best friend carry the ring(s) on his collar for handy and easy extraction. After the flower feline is up there, you won’t need motivation to get the male cat down the aisle.

Image result for cat at wedding

Wedding Photos. Let your cat hang out while you take off and snap those professional wedding photos. They will surely make you laugh, oooh and aaah in the future with their adorable and comical poses.
Image result for cat at wedding

Reception Photos. Love on your furry babies and let the photographer go to town! If the cats are particularly friendly, you can have guests pet the cats too.

Image result for cat on wedding train

Ring Photos. Why take the same ring photos as everyone else on top of some flowers or alone on a book or tabletop? Put your cat with those rings and snap hilarious photos of them playing with the rings, even carrying them!

Image result for cat throwing wedding

Silly photoshopped photos. Be sure you don’t actually throw your cat, photoshop your cat in the photos later. No kitty cruelty!

Image result for cat on wedding train

Funny poses. If your cat is crouched and ready to pounce to the rescue and be your getaway buddy, you have to snap a shot of that. Cats will often surprise you with how adorable and clever they can be. Just let them be natural, be themselves and you will have many memories of your wedding with your happy fur-babies.

 

 

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.

 

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!

Image result for live stream wedding

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.

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!

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

 

Low-carb budgeted wedding

wedding-cake-in-marsala

A lot of people are picking up on the low-carb high-fat, aka ketogenetic diet to adopt cleaner eating, starve cancer cells, treat diabetes, treat obesity an stay healthy. However, it’s rare to find ideas for a wedding, let alone a wedding cake, when you eat low-carb. Won’t it be expensive? Won’t options be hard to find? Will the guests think the food tastes bad? Here are some tips that can put your wedding jitters to rest. Low-carb? No problem!

Food

Entrees:

A list of links with appetizers for your wedding reception! Great ideas for the whole family, no matter what the age!

Low carb Italian wedding soup: http://www.thatslowcarb.com/low-carb-italian-wedding-soup-recipe/

Deviled eggs: http://www.food.com/recipe/deviled-eggs-delight-atkins-friendly-low-carb-102694

50 appetizers: http://peaceloveandlowcarb.com/50-penalty-free-appetizers-to-kick-off-your-superbowl-party-low-carb-paleo-primal/

Main meal:

Having issues finding a good, cheap meal for you to serve at your wedding? Here are some low-cost options that can be useful for any budget. Tip: focus on having meals centered around red meat, since these meats tend to be the cheapest.

Lchf pizza: http://the-lowcarb-diet.com/low-carb-turkey-pizza/

Bacon cheeseburger casserole: http://lowcarbyum.com/bacon-cheeseburger-casserole/

2 low-carb dinners: https://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/satisfying-low-carb-dinners?utm_term=.esBJZanxW#.hgWDEQlmo

Cake: 

There are many ways to make a wedding cake with it still being keto-friendly. One trik is to use almond flour. Another would be to make a flourless cake. There is always the question; what about frosting? The links below answer all of your questions, and more!

Low carb chocolate wedding cake: http://lowcarbyum.com/best-low-carb-chocolate-cake-recipe/

Coconut frenzy cake: http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/2012/03/coconut-frenzy-cake-lc-sf-gf-2.html

Opera cake: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/332281278735163144/

16 Frosting recipes: http://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/16-sugar-free-low-carb-frosting-recipes/