Big Ideas, Tiny Budget Archive
When it comes time to start planning your wedding decor, you will have a few choices to make. One of those choices is should you do a lot of DIY decor or simply purchase it all. Here are some things you’ll want to consider when trying to make the decision.
Do you have time to do a lot of DIY projects in order to make your wedding look fantastic? If not, you may want to consider purchasing the items. Or, you can compromise and take on a few DIY projects so that the decor has your touch but you still have plenty of time to make sure everything comes together nicely.
Money is something you have to consider with every aspect of your wedding. If you don’t have a huge budget, you may be able to save some money by doing some DIY projects. However, you’ll really want to price the finished projects as well as the materials to create the projects, because sometimes you won’t save money by doing it yourself.
There are some things that we simply can’t do, no matter how much we may want to. If you simply can’t do your own calligraphy or you just can’t arrange your own flowers, don’t beat yourself up. The professionals have trained and do these types of things every single day…you don’t! Don’t be afraid to hire a professional if you just can’t manage it yourself.
By considering these points, you will be able to determine whether to do your wedding decor yourself or hire a professional.
The term “commissioning a wedding dress” just sounds expensive, but in truth, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of highly-talented individuals who are willing to create custom wedding dresses for clients for about the same cost of a rack dress or even cheaper. Plus, there are a lot of benefits to commissioning a wedding dress, including the following:
The Perfect Fit
There is no need for alterations when you have a wedding dress commissioned. This is because it’s created specifically for you and your body. It will fit like a glove in a way that an off the rack dress never would.
Your Own Specifications
Have you chosen several dresses that all have some element you’re looking for? For many brides, this is the case and the trouble is that no one dress has all of those elements. By commissioning a custom-created wedding dress, you can be sure it has all of the wonderful elements you’re looking for in a wedding dress.
If you’re looking for something no other bride is going to have, this can be very difficult to find at wedding boutiques and bridal stores. However, you can definitely commission a unique wedding dress and be confident that no other bride will wear that same design.
Support Local Artists
Finally, you can support local artists and entrepreneurs by commissioning a wedding dress rather than buying from a boutique that is part of a large chain of stores. This can make you feel great about what you’re going to wear as well as about your purchase.
These are just a few of the benefits of commissioning a wedding dress. Plus, it doesn’t have to be super expensive. Take the time to interview several artists and look at past projects they’ve completed. Also, create a milestone payment system so you don’t lose any money should your artist decide not to finish or to quit the job.
If children will be a part of your wedding reception, you’re going to want some fun ways to keep them entertained! This is especially true during the speeches or other touching moments, so they’re not able to get into any mischief. Here are 3 outstanding game ideas for kids at your wedding reception:
Buy a disposable camera for each child and create a list of things that they need to “spy.” They could be things like a pink dress, a hat, a treat, etc. Create boxes next to each item so kids can check them off as they play, and have them take a picture of each item they spied. Provide a basket for the kids to put their cameras in. You can later have them developed and gift the children with their work!
Crayons and Coloring Books
Give each kid a special “package” during the reception so they have a coloring book and crayons to color with during the reception. It can be a coloring book you’ve purchased or a printed book you made yourself with wedding-style pictures. A cake they can decorate themselves or similar pictures would be very cute and appropriate.
Another great idea is to provide each child with a cake (cupcake) that they can decorate all on their own. Create a small table where the kids have access to frosting, sprinkles, etc. To make sure they don’t create a huge mess, put the frosting into squeeze bags with holes so they can simply squeeze the frosting onto the cake. Make sure sprinkles, glitter, etc. are all in shaker containers.
These are a few great ideas that will keep the kids at your ceremony entertained and out of trouble!
This is an idea that is sweeping the nation – using Mason jars or recycled jars as décor items, functional items like cups and so much more. If you love the idea of using these jars for your wedding, here are 5 great ideas that may inspire you!
Your Candy Buffet
Simply glue a mason jar to a wooden or glass candle holder (taper) and then glue a drawer pull to the Mason jar lid. The candle holder, drawer pull and Mason jar lid should be painted in your wedding colors. Then, you simply fill the jar with candy!
Your Coffee and Tea Bar
You can cut a hole in the top of the Mason jar lid, and insert a pump that is new or has been thoroughly cleaned. Inside the Mason jar, place flavored syrups that guests can pump into their coffee.
Candle Holders or Vases
You can paint the insides of your Mason jars whatever color you’d like, allow it to dry and then use the Mason jar for a vase or candleholder.
Cupcake in a Jar
Bake cupcakes in a jar by filling the jar 1/3 of the way with cake batter and baking it according to package directions. Allow it to cool completely, add some frosting on top of the cupcake and close the lid. Using twine, tie on a plastic spoon and voila – a cupcake in a jar! This can be used as wedding favors or at your candy buffet.
This is a very cool trick that looks fantastic – simply take a photograph (black and white looks fantastic), and place it in a Mason jar, so that it can be seen from the outside of the jar. Next, fill the jar with vegetable oil of any sort, add in a sprig of lavender or any herb behind the picture and you have a gorgeous centerpiece!
These are just a few of the neat things you can do with Mason jars for your wedding. Choose one of them for your own wedding or let them inspire you to create another fun Mason jar craft.
What’s better for fall than carved pumpkins? You can incorporate these into your wedding décor and it doesn’t take a whole lot of talent to do, because you can create stencils! Simply find a pattern you love, print it out and then tape it to the pumpkin. Then, poke holes along the lines of the pattern so you know where to carve. Check out these beautifully carved pumpkins that were used for wedding décor!
The Couples’ Name
This beautiful pumpkin features the name of the couple in an elegant script. It’s perfect for a side table or even the entrance to the venue.
A Couple Silhouette
This gorgeous pumpkin has been elegantly carved to show the silhouette of a couple embracing. As you can see, it goes perfectly with the wedding décor and bridesmaids dresses.
This couple used white princess pumpkins and simply carved beautiful patterns into them. They look exquisite with the glow of the candle shining through them!
These pumpkins feature the couples’ initials in a beautiful script font. They are grouped together to create a fun and very “fall” table top décor.
Topiaries, Patterns and a Married Couple
The following picture includes a variety of fun wedding-worthy pumpkin carvings. Our favorite is the married couple at the bottom!
As you can see, there are tons of great ideas for carving pumpkins and using them for your wedding décor. Use these pictures for inspiration!
Are you on a very small wedding budget but you really want beautiful lanterns at your wedding? Well here’s your solution: the can lantern. This is really easy to make and the end result is beautiful – your guests will have no idea what these really are. You’ll just need a can and a tea light for each lantern, as well as a little string, some hot glue, and some spray paint. Here’s how to make them:
Making the Lanterns
Start with the empty can and a ruler. Place the ruler alongside the can and use a box cutter to cut vertical slices in the can, using the ruler as a guide for how much space should be between the slits. Do this all the way around the can until the entire thing has evenly spaced slits.
Next, apply pressure to the bottom of the can (with the can upside down) until the slits open and the can sections bow out, forming the walls of the lantern. You may need to work with them a little so that they’re all even and bowed out perfectly rather than crumpled.
Once you have the lantern shape made, you’ll want to spray paint the can in whatever colors you’d like. Silver and gold look beautiful and you could even add jewels or glitter. Now, the tea light sits inside the can on the bottom (just slip it through one of the slats). Hot glue string to the top of the lantern and hang. You can then use a long match or lighter to light the tealight.
See how easy this is – and it’s a lot of fun, not to mention, it’s super cheap!
With the average American wedding costing almost $30,000, it’s getting more and more expensive to throw the party of your dreams. Unless your last name is Warbucks, you’ll need some tips and tricks to help you save money on your big day. Here are a few ideas to make the most out of your wedding budget.
1. Cut down your guest list. This is probably the biggest thing you can do to trim costs. Think of it this way: each guest adds an additional fee at the bar, for food, for cake, for invitations, and sometimes even at the venue. To avoid hurt feelings, it’s best to cut guests in groups. Do Mom’s coworkers from her last job really have to be invited?
2. Consider a traditional venue. It may surprise you to learn that it’s often cheaper to get married in a synagogue or church than in places advertised as “wedding venues.” Have the reception at a local restaurant afterward, or invite everyone to your place for a backyard barbecue, cake, and punch.
3. Make and print your own save-the-dates or wedding invitations. Some professional printers can charge up to $15 for each invitation. This can include letterpress text, embossing, envelopes, and by-hand addressing services. Get creative and make your own.
4. Do some DIY decorating. Though you may not think of it when the florist asks you if you’d like a centerpiece for each table, these decorative details add up. A really popular idea because everyone can see your handiwork is to enlist your bridesmaids to help you make pretty centerpieces that go with your theme; order crafting supplies from a wholesaler or pick an inexpensive item like mason jars to fill with fake flowers.
5. Get a little help from your friends. Do you have a friend who’s a DJ? How about a professional photographer? Ask them if they’ll offer you a special rate on their services as a wedding present. Tread cautiously, though – if they decline, you should still invite them to celebrate with you, and only hire someone whose work you’ve seen and trust. Websites can be considered friends too. TungstenWorld is constantly offering promotions for you and your fiancé to find the tungsten wedding band you’ve been dreaming of. Read more about their comfort fit bands here.
6. Trick the calendar. The busiest seasons for weddings are Spring and Fall. Rates at venues and from caterers typically drop in the off-season; call for a quote with two different prospective dates. The difference might surprise you. Daytime weddings are also generally priced more reasonably than night weddings, as daytime food service is often lighter and less elaborate.
7. Buffets beat sit-down dinners. It’s often less expensive to serve food buffet-style rather than having a sit-down dinner. Work out with the caterer what your cost per plate will be, then compare costs with a general buffet for that number of guests. If you choose the buffet, as a bonus, you won’t have to spend the extra money to accommodate special dining requests (gluten free, vegetarians, and kids).
8. Put a cork in the open bar. Yes, many people consider it gauche to throw a wedding without a full open bar. But those cocktails can add up, while you’re also paying for one or more bartenders. Consider an open bar restricted to wine and beer, with just one bartender manning the drink station. Your alcohol-imbibing guests should have nothing to complain about, and it’ll be safer for everyone to drive home afterward.
9. Forgo the big wedding and spend the money on the reception. Some couples don’t care about standing up in front of all their friends and making a commitment; they just want the festivities afterward. If this is you, consider romantically eloping or just inviting your parents to a civil ceremony. Then put your wedding budget toward throwing a night for your friends, extended relatives, and coworkers that they will never forget.
If you’re doing a lot of the work on your bridal shower (or you’re hosting a bridal shower), you’re really going to appreciate these amazing ideas. These 5 bridal shower cheats and hacks will really impress your guests.
Want to garnish a glass of sweet tea in style? Use this method for creating lemon flowers. Peel off stripes of the lemon with a peeler before slicing so the slices come out looking like flowers!
Outdoor Night Bridal Shower
If you’re having an outdoor bridal shower at night, bury glow sticks in ice in clear bowls for your drinks. It’s super cute and so easy!
Bite-Sized Banana Splits
Create bite sized banana splits by cutting the bananas into 2” sections. Dip the banana into melted chocolate and then sprinkles. Add cool whip to the top and a cherry. Keep in the freezer until you’re ready to serve!
If you’re having an outdoor party, keep bugs out of your drink by placing a cupcake paper upside-down over the cup and inserting the straw through the paper!
If You’re Serving Ice Cream
Pre-scoop the ice cream. Place it in cupcake liners in muffin tins and then put it in the freezer. This way, you don’t have to continuously scoop during the wedding shower.
These are just a few great wedding shower cheats and hacks that will make your day so much more fun and enjoyable.
Today’s the big day! You’ve been waiting all your life to walk down that aisle and have your special day, but when you woke up this morning, gray skies greeted you. Did you create a backup plan for rain? A few simple steps can ensure that your big day is super bright, even if it does rain.
Make a Plan B
Create a plan B so you know what to do if it rains on your big day. For instance, have a tent reserved and ready to go just in case. Often times, placing a deposit with the company will allow you to reserve tents. If you don’t end up using it, you can get your money back, minus a small fee. Or, make sure you can have your ceremony indoors if the weather doesn’t cooperate with you.
In some cases, a little improvisation can save the day. Here’s an example. You wake up to rainy skies. Rather than letting yourself get completely flustered, you run to your local discount store and purchase small white umbrellas for every guest. Not only can you continue the wedding, but imagine how beautiful it will be with all those white umbrellas. Remember that you can’t control everything, but you can roll with the punches!
When you take the time to create a backup plan, you can make sure your wedding is great no matter what happens. Don’t forget to improvise and make the best of whatever life throws your way on your special day.
If you have family and friends coming in from another town or state, you might have to book hotel rooms. You might think it’s as easy as calling up the hotel and giving them your credit card number, but these tips will ensure that you don’t have any problems down the road.
Look for the Attrition Clause
This clause means that if you book hotel room and guests don’t show up, you’re still responsible for paying for those rooms. If this is not really in your budget, you’re going to want to find a hotel that doesn’t have an attrition clause.
Book a Hotel Located Near the Events
If you’re not going to provide transportation, you’ll want to book a hotel that is near the ceremony and reception venues. This way, it reduces the costs your guests will have to pay. You should also make sure the hotel is near other places your guests might need, such as dining establishments and grocery stores.
When you book a block of rooms, you’re going to want to check back frequently before the wedding to make sure that they’re ready to go. Mistakes can happen and the last thing you want is your guest checking in to find that someone else is already in his or her room.
When you do your due diligence, things will go more smoothly on your wedding day and your guests will really appreciate it.