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.

 

Recyclable wedding items

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Want more bang for your buck? Don’t want to be stuck with hundreds of wedding items after the ceremony and reception that you’ll never use again anyways? Here are tips and tricks to look out for wedding items you can re-use post-big day!

Double use during the wedding day:

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Your bouquets. Recycle the bouquets used by the bride, maid of honor, bridesmaids and flower girls and use them as centerpieces at the wedding reception.

Aisle and pew decorations. Have staff re-purpose them by attaching them on the back of the reception chairs.

Recycling after the wedding day:

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Bouttoniere. Press it in your wedding album and save it for a keepsake.

Bouquet. If your bouquet was made of silk flowers and/or brooches, you can keep it in a vase in your home. Place it on an end table, the middle of the dining room table, or on a dresser.

Invitations and programs. Keep one of each to stick on the fridge for a neat souvenire. The guests, especially family members, can do the same with theirs.

Food. Take home the leftovers and have a feast! You can also give some away to the guests so they can go home with plenty of good food to feed themselves during your honeymoon!

Wedding dress. If you aren’t going to save it to give to someone else, you can always go to a seamstress and hike up the hem and wear it as a party dress. You can also re-purpose the fabric for tops, skirts, and more.

Bridesmaids dresses. The bridesmaids can have the hem shortened so they can wear the dresses again to more casual parties. They can also save them to wear to other formal events such as weddings, anniversary parties, prom, etc.

Arch. Bring it home and let it stand proudly in your garden or backyard.

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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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!

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.

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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

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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!

Ideas for pulling off a $500 wedding

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Do you have a very limited budget? Is your budget $500 or less? Are you discouraged on how you can pull off a wedding with so little? I’ve got the post for you! 

While browsing weddingwire I found a forum post where a bride asks other brides what kind of wedding they would throw together if their budget was $500. I saw that the responses were creative and interesting, so of course, I wanted to share them with you! Here are the ideas that the various ladies came up with. Original post and source is here.

Just Reenski: My parents backyard, with our parents, grandparents, FH’s brother and our best friends (5 people total) and mom’s cousin (our officiant and his wife). Nice clothes we already own, moms and grandmoms to cook. About 17 people. Then the young uns would go out on the town. 🙂

Angel J: Make my own wedding dress, pick flowers out of the yard, get married in my backyard and my fiance would wear jeans and a buttonup shirt. Nobody would get fed, and we wouldnt have a honeymoon but i could definitely get married for that.

Sara: I would honestly be happy with a simple courthouse wedding and then dinner at a restuarant with close friends & family.

Angie: buy a nice white dress from a dept store ($100), ask my sister to cook ($100 for food) and make the cake from the cake mixes we already have in the pantry (she’s a chef and also a master pastry chef), and have a barefoot wedding either in our backyard or FI’s backyard, or at the beach on either coast. he has plenty of nice shirts and black dress pants. $100 more for a nice bouquet and i’d have sis also be MOH and buy her a nice dress ($50). $100 on alcohol and sodas. $50 for gas and any other incidentals. done!

Pan: Courthouse, than maybe dinner at a restaurant for a very small group. Because the license alone was $90, the justice of the peace’s fee was $100, so we’d already be down to only $300.

Hayley C: Well ~ to start ~ the Reenski showed us how we could get all our wedding stationary and more for under $50 http://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-forums/ode-to-hayley-fawn-and-cyndi-aka-my-vistaprint-haul/65ea210239feeede.html ~ Centerpieces would be empty wine bottles or spaghetti jars.~ If I planned it right, I would get a package of flower seeds for $.99 and grow my own flowers in the spring. Clip them and use those.~ Dress would be from Kohl’s or JcPenny ~ a cute white dress or ask to borrow from a friend (my MOH is the same height and size as me)~ DIY hair and make-up~ DJ ipod (which we did at my real wedding ~ just wouldn’t be able to afford the live band)~ back yard wedding ~ under 60 guests (family: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews – and 6 friends (3 or mine, 3 of his)~ pot luck ~The rest of the $ would go towards drinks & food.

Nicole: We are eloping on Sunday. Us, two attendants. That’s it. With the help of the WW ladies we came up with some nice ideas. Here is my costs break downMarriage license: $28
Officiant: $100 (found on Craigslist)
Bouquet and boutonnière: free because of my amazing friend
Rings: $159 for both (we will upgrade later)
My dress: $20
My jewelry: $1 (found perls in the $1 basket at Walmart, and had some beautiful earrings that I got from my parents)
Blue garter: $3
Shoes: had them
Hair extensions: had them
Hair clips: $15
His pants: $25
His shirt and tie: $20
Blazer: he had it
Shoes and socks: had them
Just married sign for the car: DIY
Champagne flutes: had them, will get a silver marker at michaels
Wine glasses for attendants: will paint them DIY
I have a scarf from my boss and my own sunglasses for some elopement fun pictures (all DIY for about $10)
Sixpence: $12 (DB)
Champagne: present from my best male friend
Chocolate strawberries: $5
Rose pedals: $5
We treat us and the attendants to dinner at the cheesecake factory because that way we have dinner and delicious wedding cakeUnder $500. Voila! ;)My friend will just take pictures, but you could find someone on Craigslist that works on his/her portfolio and would do it for free.
Cydney J (Cydney M): a lot of DIY projects and a backyard wedding with immediate family and a very small bridal party….

Labake: Defintely my house. We have lots of parties so we already have a tent. Ceremony at the house. Any white dress for about $50.Ipod dj
I have roses, lilies and wildflowers in my garden. Those would be cut.
We would provide the main dish and ask people to bring sides.
We would have one alcoholic drink- Sangria!

Fawn: Here’s a fun blog that speaks to that…  http://500dollarwedding.blogspot.com/p/resources.html
Tina”Bo”Bina: Buy a cute little white cocktail dress off of Ebay for cheap, pick up flowers for a bouquet from a grocery store, and have FH throw on one of his already owned suits. Have FH’s cousin who is working on building her photography portfolio (she’d do it for free w/ no issues). Find a nice little park/garden, and myself, FH, my ordained buddy who’s marrying us anyways, our immediate family, and our best friends would commence in having a wedding! So far the total is looking to be about $150 for the dress, flowers, and the marriage cert. So there would be plenty of money left over to take my whole group out for a nice dinner and drinks afterwards 🙂
Carole M (aka “old tart”): Hmmm…. I have Guest list of no more than 60 (like we really had) Wedding on step-son’s acreage with a tropical theme – $0 Paper – Decor done the VP way – Maybe $30 tops for shipping. Our attire – trop outfits from our closet – We have an extensive vacation wardrobe. $0 Citronella lights from parent’s shore house. $0 Tables from friends $0 Chairs from a local funeral home or fire hall. $0. Cake baked by DIL $0Paper goods, cutlery and tropical decor bought at Dollar Tree & BJs $50 Pineapple Centerpieces $50 Booze – A 1/2 keg of beer $40 

Signature Drink – Captain and Coke $60 for the Captain $20 for the Coke DJ & Karoke – My stepson is seriously talented. $0Favors – Deep Woods Off wipes & packets of sunscreen wrapped in cellophane bags from Michaels topped w/ magnets from VP. $50Tents – Borrow Push UpsThat leaves about $250 for food. That is enough for a pig roast with sides and my baking cookies/brownies for the dessert table
Jacklyn: We plan on doing our wedding for under $1000 or less (not including rings and honeymoon)…I think it can definitely be done for $500. Here is an idea (although not quite what our plan is since we have a little more to work with).White dress from a store – $50
FI has a suit – Free
FI cousin is an officiant – Free
Pick flowers from gma’s yard – Free
Wedding on the beach – Free
Dinner for close friends and family at a restaurant – $300
Marriage License – $60
Mom’s jewelry – Free
My sister is a baker so she’d do the cake for free
DIY Makeup and hairAm I missing something? If so, the extra $90 should cover it. :)I like this thread. I think weddings today become too much about the “hooplah” of it all..make a list, make sure you have this/that, etc. When in reality I think there are a lot of those “little” things people pay for that no-one ever notices. I am excited for our simple and sweet wedding. 🙂
WasSoon2BMrsSmith: well the lisence here costs $120
the officiant costs $300 (and you cant just have an ordained friend do it in canada)
so that leaves me with $180I’d have it outside, borrow my bff’s dress or a friends white prom dress, he would wear the suit he already owns. We would ask everyone to bring potluck and byob, instead of a gift, and get married at the cottage which is Free cause we lease at a park and have use of the facilities including the dance hall incase it rains with the chairs and tables all free.Then we would only invite his immediate and mine which is 20 ppl and then invite about 10 friends. have 6 tables with a bottle of red on each and white on each. wich would kill the other $180. We wouldn’t need a liquor lisence as the park is private and we wouldn’t be selling it. and that’s that.
Serenity: Ok, I’ll play 🙂 Mostly, this is how our wedding is being planned anyway!
License – $55
Officiant – Free (friend)
Location – $100 (MDRF)
Flowers – $20 (DIY grocery store bouquet/bout)
Photog – Free (friend)
Food – Free (potluck)
Outfits – Free (Garb we already own)That’s only $175. Man, if we didn’t want new garb for our wedding, we could actually do this 😉
MistysoontobeBell: We would get married in my parents back yard. Just close friends and family.
E-mail invites (free)
DYI food (pot luck – Free)
flowers (grocery store $40)
hair (sister) and makeup ( Free)
Officiant $ 100,
License $75
photos by 2 friends (both pro photogs – Free)
outfits – FH has a suit and I would get a dress $100.
Decorations $100
Total = $415
Heather:go to the justice of the peace with a a cute white sundress then just go to cedar point with my new hubby for a few days..we love that place!
Rachel: Vegas Baby!
FutureMrsB (Aussie Bride!): Well we paid $550 for our celebrant alone, and that’s the most important bit.But I could get a celebrant for probably $250, have mum make my dress for $50, wear already owned shoes, FH & bridal party could wear clothes already owned, do our own hair & make-up, pick our own flowers from the park, FMIL and dad on photography duties, ipod music. Reception would be immediate friends and family, say 13 family members and 7 friends and the two of us, equalling 22 people total. Venue would be our backyard and we would have $200 to spend on food, alcohol, and cake. So we would ask our family and friends to bring a plate and BYO alcohol.Writing that made me glad that we decided to have a two year engagement to pay for what we really wanted, with no regrets.
Mrs.L: I did it! Our license was 25$ all clothes for kids were purchased at the children’s place for 50$ that dressed 3 kids matching. His clothes were 25$ from old navy I had my dress and shoes and te courthouse fee was 40$. We had hot dog hamburger cookout with some beer that cost about 75$ an a cake that wa $20!!! Oh it’s very possible and extremely fun!! I’d do it all over again if we didn’t piss of a few family members along the way lol.
Brandi Elizabeth: Cheap white dress, courthouse wedding, then dinner/dessert with our closest friends and family.
LouYork: I would get married at Willow Woods Park! Ceremonies start at $299 in the lovely chapel cabin! Wonderful, romantic and intimate located in Lake Arrowhead..We can work with your budget for a small ceremony and hospitality…