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.

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!

How to have a Frugal Mardi Gras Wedding

Mardi Gras; parades, masks, beads, and colors. The festivities are underway, everyone’s partying, people are laughing and having a blast. So with all of that fantastic energy, why not have a wedding?

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Decor can be easy to come by around the season itself. This is why it’s good to be ready to purchase decorations a year before the wedding, or you risk being forced to buy everything last-minute. Around the season, window-shop at stores that you know you can afford. Even better, attend mardi gras parades and you will get showered with free beads! As for masks, if you are crafty you can always DIY. If not, you can buy cheap ones at your local dollar store.

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Many women have dreamed as little girls to attend masked balls. You can make your wedding this theme along with Mardi Gras! You can snazz up any wedding outfit, by adding a splash of color to your white gown with a neon sash or waist belt, eye-popping bouquets and bright masks!

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Flowers can be bought at your local vender. Be sure not to mention that it’s for a wedding; mention it’s for a mardi gras party. The timing of the delivery will match up as well! Pick the brightest, most colorful blooms that you can find. However, be sure not to overwhelm your budget by buying hundreds just for one bouquet; less is more!

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Since the weather isn’t always your friend during these times, try to reserve an indoor venue. To save big bucks, get married at your local church if you attend one, or your place of worship. Churches often have basements reserved for small receptions. This allows you to decorate at your leisure! Churches often have their own tables and chairs, which saves you thousands more!

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For wedding photography, look for photographers that are just starting out, but are good at their job. Have them photograph your wedding and mention they can use your images to help build up their portfolio. Many enthusiasts and just-out-of-college professionals will jump at the chance to expand their portfolio, especially with such a fabulous wedding!

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Wedding cakes can be as colorful as you want when it comes to Mardi Gras weddings. You won’t be pressured to get a traditional all-white vanilla cake. Browse google images and find the cake that is right for you; then print it out and visit bakeries and cake-decorating professionals and see if you can get a quote on the cake you want. Pick the bakery that offers the cheapest price, while making sure that they do quality work by checking out their portfolio. Mention that it’s for a big mardi gras party. Be sure to know the amount of guests that will attend your wedding; bakeries need to know, so they can make a appropriate-sized cake. You don’t need a 5-tier cake for a 50-guest reception! You can also choose to have wedding cupcakes, which is becoming a very popular choice.

Have any more cost-cutting advice? Share it with us below!