Blushing Belle: The Do's and DO NOT's of Wedding DIY

Let's face it, your Pinterest wedding board is probably without the doubt the coolest wedding anyone has ever planned ever. Wedding DIY projects are designed to make weddings personal, less expensive and more efficient. Here are some important Wedding Do It Yourself Do's and Don'ts that you should know about before you take on any type of project from decorations to gifts to invitations.

DO: Research your project.

It always looks easier than it really is. Make sure you do the research your project requires. Know the in's and out's of the project from the project itself, to the space in which you are doing the project. Make sure you know everything you need to know before you get started, and that you have the resources you need just in case if you need more information in the middle of the project.


DON'T: Spend more money on a DIY hack than the original thing.

It is absolutely amazing how expensive Do It Yourself projects can be. The whole point of wedding DIYs are that they are supposed to cost less. Once you buy all of the supplies, and put all of the time into it, you could have just saved yourself a nice chunk of change and a headache if you had just bought the thing.


DO: Trial run.

I can see how this is kind of counterintuitive because it may be time consuming, but it's important. Sometimes you need to screw up and do a "don't" in order to learn how to never do it again. When you make mistakes, learn from them. It's really the only way to get better at something. Do a trial run of the item you want to create in order to see if it's worth it. You don't want to drop a huge chunk of change on supplies, get six hours into doing the project and then figure out that the mason jar cups you painted with chalkboard paint chip away as soon as a drink is poured into it--but you already made 65 jars. 


DON'T: Take on a project that you're not qualified for.

There's a difference between making a mistake by using the wrong kind of glue, and electrocuting yourself because you decided to do the electrical instead of getting a professional to do it. There are parts of certain do it yourself projects that unfortunately, you cannot do yourself--so don't attempt to. An odd example some may not consider, is hiring a professional photographer/videographer. We live in a day and age where everyone and their mother (literally in this case) has a smart phone or a DSLR and gets snap happy during anything from a coffee run to a wedding. If you think you're saving time and money by counting on your guests to be your photographers, you might want to reconsider. You'll wish you had at least one professional photo of your first dance, cutting the cake, etc. That's not to say that guests shouldn't be taking photos. There are plenty of apps and websites that actually facilitate in collecting all of the photos from your wedding so you have everything in one place.


DO: Get all of the right measurements...twice.

If you're doing a fabric project, make sure you know EXACTLY what you need. Never cut fabric unless you have laid it over whatever it is you might be doing upholstery for, or if you know exactly what the measurements have to be. When you are cutting--it's always better to leave a little more on, than take too much off.


DON'T: Close the glue bottle until you know you are done with the glue.

Fun fact, when you screw the cap closed on a glue bottle, all of the glue gets sucked into the cap. This is what causes bottles to clog up. Keep the bottle open until you are sure you are done the project to prevent clogs!


DO: Cover an area to designate to paint.

Whether you are hand painting or spray painting, it's a good idea to have a designated spot for it. If you're covering the area in newspaper, be mindful to tape the paper down for it might blow away during a spray paint session, or use blue painter's tape.


DON'T: Keep a stencil on for too long.

When you are painting, don't forget to remove the stencil as soon as you are done--or else the stencil will get stuck to your project!


DO: Work with people on projects.

Find people that are also interested in DIY projects, or perhaps do a DIY project with a friend, family member or a significant other. Sometimes it can be not only fun to work with someone, but helpful.


DON'T: Wait until the last minute.

Be conscious of the time that projects will take. Don't wait until a week before the wedding to start working on the decorations, centerpieces, place cards, etc.


DO: Consider how many items you are doing yourself.

You may have plenty of awesome options and ideas for DIY projects, but make sure you are not overwhelming yourself. Keep track of what you want to do yourself, and then weigh the pros and cons.


DON'T: Obsess.

Sometimes it's good to walk away from a project. Give yourself some time to think and work on other things.


DO: Prioritize projects.

If you are working on this giant flower wall that you want to be a place where folks can take pictures, but you have yet to take a look on the invitations you have to send out in two days--you might want to rethink which projects you are working on and when.


DON'T: Panic.

People do DIY projects for plenty of reasons: being creative, financial restrictions, aesthetic, for fun, etc. However, no matter what your reason for doing it yourself, you shouldn't panic. Every project has its problems, but you will figure out how to make it a success. You have plenty of tools and resources available to you no matter what. This is supposed to be your special day. You have your bridal party, groomsmen, etc to back you up. Make your Pinterest wedding a reality as close as you can.


Blushing Belle: 10 Fun, Inexpensive, and Memorable Wedding Favor Ideas

Wedding season is upon us! So whether or not you're doing some last minute planning, or just getting started (or perhaps you just like reading wedding articles, because #same) here is a guide to make your wedding favors a wedding favorite.

What's with wedding favors?

Okay, so do remember way back in the day when your parents would throw you birthday parties when you were in like kindergarten; and they would hang out like little party gift bags at the end with some Dollar Tree pencils, balloons and candy in them? It's kind of like that. You're rewarding people for showing up to your wedding and giving you stuff. At the end of the day, that's what's going on. However, you don't have to look at it that way. Wedding favors are fun, and it's one of the many things that people can look back on as a memento from your awesome wedding!

Who gets a wedding favor?

Well, everyone gets a wedding favor that comes to the wedding. You also have to get gifts for your new spouse, the groomsmen, the bridesmaids, the in-laws, your parents, and why not treat yourself to something while you're at it? Yeah. There's a ton of gift giving when it comes to this whole wedding thing. However, the wedding favors you have more control over when it comes to spending, and what everyone gets.

What should I be spending on a wedding favor?

That depends on you and your budget. Some weddings have ditched the wedding favor entirely considering that most people consider it a bit of a waste, while other people would classify wedding favors as a staple for any good wedding. At the end of the day, the wedding favors are up to YOU.

1. Scratch-Off Cards

Whether you want to spend $1.00 or $5.00 or $15.00 on your wedding favors, scratch-off lottery tickets can be an incredibly fun wedding favor. It's simple, easy, cheap, and something that everyone can get a kick out of. 

2. Something "Punny"

There are a ton of wedding favors that exist solely for the pun that they create. Such as these super fun, cute, easy and cheap ones:

3. Gift Cards

This wedding favor might seem a bit silly and outlandish, but it's actually pretty thoughtful. Wrap it up in a cute little "thank you" card, and give it away. You get to control how much you spend on your wedding favors, and people feel like you really want to celebrate their being there. Whether you hook everyone up with a $5 gift card to the local hotspot (like Wawa), or even a Starbucks card--your guests will get a kick out of it!

4. Something Crafty

Heard of this lil' new thing called Pinterest? Okay, in all honesty, seriously, Pinterest is an amazing place and if you're planning a wedding, I understand you probably have already been there and pinned that. Creating your own wedding favors is a fun idea that makes your favors personal. You get to determine your own budget for the wedding favors, and ultimately make something special to you and your occasion.

5. Personalized Items

There are a ton of websites that will customize wedding favors for you--or you can easily DIY these projects. Whether you want to give away mugs, coasters, or handkerchiefs, personalize it with your new initials, your names, or whatever you want to make it personal for this lovely occasion so that everyone can remember it for the years to come.

6. Something Sweet

More often than not, most wedding favors can be broken, lost or forgotten depending on what it may be--so why not give out something that can be consumed? Who doesn't like free snacks? Cute little desserts, or bags of candy are a lovely way to give your guests parting gifts. It's something nice they can enjoy at the hotel, on the plane home, or simply the next day to keep the party going.

7. Favors that Double as Place Cards

Favors that double as place cards are cost effective, cute and simple!
(bottle openers! maureencottonphotography)

8. Something Seasonal

Depending on the theme of your wedding, you could choose to make your wedding favors seasonal. For the fall you can consider giving out little mini pumpkins, winter could be candy canes, spring could be little eggs with candy inside of them, and then summer could be flip-flops. Whenever you're having your wedding, think about what makes that season special to you and your soon to be spouse, and then give it back to your guests.

9. Mixtapes

This might seem a bit dated, because who listens to dang fangled CDs anymore? But at the end of the day, people will find a way to listen to your wedding jams. Put a playlist together of songs that represent you and your special someone, your wedding, or just genuinely great jams that come from both of your hearts. Wrap it in some cute paper, and there you go. Love jams. 

10. "Build Your Own" Wedding Favor

Make your guests work for it a little! Also, this sense of personalization and "control" makes the gift that much more unique. These "Build Your Own" wedding favors can range from candy to little knick knacks to mini build-a-bear stations. You can do whatever you want and it becomes a little activity for people to engage in during the reception. So have your guests fill up a cute little gift bag or box with sweets, toys, bubbles, or whatever you wish to fit your own style.

At the end of the day, the most important part of your wedding is that you and your special someone remember it forever. Pinterest is an amazing place teeming with even more ideas. Good luck. Happy wedding season!


Blushing Belle: Wedding Alternatives

"Wedding Season" is coming to a close and now the holidays are upon us. There are a ton of really awesome wedding traditions, but the times are changing, budgets are smaller, and dynamics are different. Here are some really rad wedding alternatives and twists on traditions:


Faux or No Flowers

Most wedding budgets devote 15%-20% to flowers--centerpieces, bouquets, etc. If you want to ex on the flowers all together, you'll save a giant chunk of change and probably some aggravation as well. There are alternatives to flowers to have as centerpieces and even something to have in your hands as a bride or bridesmaid. You can also make your own bouquets with fake flowers (Dollar Tree and Michael's Craft Store have a beautiful arrangement of flowers you can choose from without breaking the bank.) to create the ideal bouquet without having to worry about season, what's available, budget, or care. Plus, you can keep your bouquet from your special day forever.


Burlap Bouquet

Simple and rustic!



Homemade Paper Flowers

Create simple paper flowers! The possibilities are endless with this one. You can make paper flowers out of construction paper, cardstock, glitter paper, or even out of the sheet music, or the pages of a book that means a lot to the both of you. Paper flowers are fun to make, and there are countless tutorials all over the internet as to how to make them--for cheap!



Felt Flowers

Cute, Quirky, and durable.


Origami Fabric Flowers

Create simple fabric flowers out of your favorite designs. We dare you to try denim!


Fans and Parasols

If you're having a spring or summer wedding, fans and parasols are perfect alternatives for bouquets. Your guests may also appreciate fans at their tables.



21 Stunning Non-Traditional Wedding Bouquets
7 Great Ideas For Wedding Flower Alternatives (Plus One Really Terrible One)
33 Alternative Bouquet Ideas for Non-Traditional Brides
10 Beautiful & Creative Alternatives To Traditional Bridesmaids Bouquets 
27 Breathtaking Alternatives To a Traditional Wedding Bouquet


When it comes to gifts, things can get complicated--when it should be pretty simple. Some couples now are getting married after having lived with each other for a while--most individuals already have a whole bunch of plates, bowls, and even a blender--please do not get a couple two more blenders and three and a half toasters. If the item isn't on the registry, don't get it. However, some couples are afraid to ask for obvious gifts like CASH MONEY, etc. Here are some cool gift alternatives.

CASH MONEY and Gift cards

There are a lot of fun and creative ways to collect money and gift cards at weddings. Cash and gift cards allow the couple to use your gift in a way that will be personally helpful to them. It allows them to choose that third toaster for themselves, or perhaps help them with costs in the future. Gift cards are a bit more personal than just a straight up $100 bill or $2,000 check. Couples, if you are willing to receive these gifts, make sure your guests know! You can mention on your wedding website, or even on the invite itself that you are looking to shop at certain places, or if you would prefer cash. You can even put gift cards on some registries like Amazon.


Honeymoon Help

So, you just dropped $10,000 on a wedding, now it's time to drop another $5,000 on your honeymoon, yay! Not so much. Find out how guests can help lighten the cost of your honeymoon. You can have guests donate to a Honeyfund or even offer to cover certain expenses like the rental car, hotel room, or airfare.



Wedding Expenses

Sometimes you just want a nice wedding and the toaster is just a cherry on top. See if you can find guests to help cover some wedding costs or that will chip in some money to pull the whole thing off in lieu of a gift. 

The Food:

The thing that wedding guests will remember from your wedding will probably be three things: the venue, the music and most importantly THE FOOD. Food is an important component in any gathering and get together. Here are some food alternatives or options to consider to help keep you on budget, or put a personal touch on your wedding.

Big Buffet

Buffets seem a bit informal, but oh my goodness does it save you a ton of money and people actually appreciate having options not only when it comes to what they can eat, but how much they can and when they can. Your options for choosing a menu are pretty endless too. You can serve foods that mean something to you as a couple, or just go big in the best party foods.


Pot Luck

Now, this one is a real big "alternative" but some folks are actually partaking in the pot luck wedding now. Some individuals with massive and local families find it easier, as well as much more satisfying, to host a pot luck where the food is provided for the guests by the guests. That way Grandma can make her famous mashed potatoes, and Uncle Herman can bring his beloved candied yams. And you just have to provide a cheese and cracker tray.


Breakfast, But For Dinner

Choose an alternative food for dinner. Yeah, you could totally shell out $75 a plate for some fancy salmon and chicken, but who would turn down some scrambled eggs and pancakes?


_____________ Bar

This is kind of the same idea as a buffet, in the respect that it is stylistically buffet, but it is a "create your own." You can have a breakfast bar, sandwich bar, Italian bar, taco bar, etc. There are sweet bars as well (almost pun intended), but I'll get to those soon. This bar idea allows people to create their own dining experience and it fills them up quickly with plenty of personalized options.





People are ditching the wedding cake nowadays. Now this is a big traditional item that plenty of people won't ditch, but if it's not for you or your budget, it's good that you have plenty of other options.

Cupcake Tiers

Cupcakes are tiny, cute, and they're still cake. These are also a cheaper, and easier to proportion for guests than cake.


________________ Bar

Ice cream bar, candy bar, sweet treats bar, etc. This allows your guests to satisfy their sweet teeth on their own terms, as well as gives them an opportunity to take something sweet home with them.




Yeah. Rejoice. There is such a thing as a wedding pie.



Yeah, this one may be a disaster, but if you have a small wedding, you can afford to get a few tables a melting pot and melt together. 



Put a frosted ring on it.


21 Beautiful Wedding Desserts That Are Better Than Traditional Cake
Nontraditional Wedding Cake Ideas
Delicious Wedding Desserts That Aren't Cake
10 Alternatives to Wedding Cake


It doesn't occur to a lot of people that there are a lot of traditional "costume" rules to this whole shindig. From the bridesmaids' dresses, to the boutonnieres here are some excellent alternatives to wedding fashion.

Cinderella Had a Glass Slipper, But This Is Your Fairy Tale

When it comes to shoes, wear something that is comfortable. If you want to buy a pair of heels and spend two weeks breaking them in so that you can dance and hang out in them for hours on your special day, you absolutely go and do that. However, if you want to wear flats, sneakers, cowgirl boots, or even flip flops. Wear the shoe that fits you literally and figuratively. Plenty of rustic brides wear boots with their gowns, keeping them in their country roots.



Bridesmaid Dresses: Pick a color, not a dress

Bridesmaids' dresses are expensive. You don't want to have to pay for them, and you don't want your girls to have to pay for them. Instead, consider choose a color scheme and relative design that you like. This allows your bridal party the ability to choose their own dress that they feel comfortable in, and everyone will still match.


Matching Jewelry

Let's say that you do go with the different dresses, same color idea. Sometimes it's nice to have some more uniformity to that. Think of matching jewelry for you and your bridesmaids. You can get necklaces, bracelets, or Boot Bling!

The Dress

Traditional wedding dresses are fairy tale, ball gowns that are gorgeous, but something you'll definitely wear once. When you are looking for your dress, find the dress that fits you the best. Find a dress you can celebrate in, and something you wouldn't mind hanging in your closet for decades, dusty--or alternatively, a dress you can wear again if need be. Check out here, here and here for some ideas!




Buttons over Boutonnieres

Create cute buttons for the groomsmen to wear in lieu of boutonnieres.


There are some wedding details that are become traditions, or are fun little tweaks on the idea.

Activities for guests In lieu of centerpieces

Weddings are full of strangers. Most people that you seat together are split in the middle with knowing one another. So, sometimes having a giant mums centerpieces between them can be a good thing because half of the table is disconnected from itself. However, weddings are social gatherings. May as well have some fun while stuffing faces! 


Incorporating animals into your wedding party

Man's best friend can also make for excellent members for the groom's and bridal parties. Some people even have their dogs take the ring down the aisle.

Have a photo booth

Your photographer is going to be incredibly busy, so have an area that's fun and decorated so your guests can take fun photos on their own and have them share the memories forever with you. You can even come up with a hashtag for your wedding to keep track of photos on social media. 

Check out these other links for some more alternative ideas!

12 Creative Wedding Alternatives
23 Unconventional But Awesome Wedding Ideas
31 Impossibly Fun Wedding Ideas
Ideas About Alternative Weddings

Blushing Belle: The Proposal

This is not about the romantic comedy starring the forever extremely handsome Ryan Reynolds. This is about the big question between two very special people: "Will you marry me?" or any variation you find yourself attracted to. Here's a guide for cowboys and cowgirls as to how to pop that perfect question.

Do's and Don'ts:


Make it special. This is an important and romantic moment, but it's also a major life decision for the both of you.


Don't rush into things or drag your feet. As mentioned previously, this is a big decision for the both of you to make. Are you ready for this commitment? Is this something long overdue? What have you been waiting for? What else do you need? What else does he/she need? When the moment is right, you'll know. Now, no one can really tell you when it's a good time to get engaged no matter what the old grumps or fairy tales say. Some people consider the best time to get engaged is after being with a person for a few years, settled into a nice house with a white picket fence and a career that brings in at least $65,000 a year. However, others (myself included shamelessly) sometimes it's just about how two people feel about each other. I know how lame and cliche that may sound, but at the end of the day you click with one person. You come close to that click with some people, but there's really only one person that you really, fully click with. People are like puzzles. All of the little jigsaw pieces come together to form something greater. Those pieces are memories, experiences, and other people ranging from family, friends, lovers and foes, but there's only one person, that missing piece, that brings the whole picture together to complete you.  


Get some ideas. Go on Pinterest. Ask your engaged friends. Ask your prospective fiancé's friends or family. This will help generate your perfect plan. 


Don't ask empty handed. I know this sounds incredibly "douche-y" but according to several surveys, all of the wedding sites, and many pissed off, passive-aggressive brides asking without the ring can seem like you're unprepared or didn't put as much time and effort into the moment as you could have. If you couldn't afford a ring, this may be a factor you should consider when it comes to the engagement idea. Now, let's say you can't present her with a ring. Check your other options. Can you present her with something else like a necklace, promise ring, Boot Bling, etc? 


Go big or go home. This could mean many things. This could mean making the engagement an all out event, or going big on the nostalgia factor. Either way, make sure that this moment is one of the biggest for the both of you next to the actual wedding and perhaps your children. 


People are going to be super stoked for you and shower you with praise, congratulations, advice and perhaps even actual gifts--which is never a bad thing. However, there are going to be THOSE people that are going to be less than thrilled that you've popped the question or said yes to the question. These people can vary from relatives that don't think you're ready for marriage or your jilted best friend that never got around to telling you how he feels about you. No matter who that person is, don't let him/her ruin this for you. Be happy. (Unless someone tells you, like, "Hey, your fiancé is a serial killer. Like, legit, bodies in his basement." Then consider going about this with caution.)


Traditions. There are some traditions to this engagement game that still may be considered important to a lot of people. Think about these traditions and which you are willing to do. The most popular one is the groom asking the bride's father for "permission" before popping the question. Now, personally, I think this is a cute idea because it's shows that you want the girl bad enough that you'll do anything for her, even if that is tackling the obstacle of asking her scary father if it's okay to take her hand. It also kind of sets the guy up for failure though, because sometimes it's hard talking to a girl's dad. No matter what though, it's a respect thing. Ask the dad, at least 7 times out of 10 he won't kill you.


When it comes to celebrating the engagement, don't feel pressured by family or even your own eagerness to show off and celebrate to have the engagement party the weekend after you get engaged. Can you? ABSOLUTELY, YOU DO YOU, IT'S YOUR ENGAGEMENT! However, "studies" (and I say that to legitimize my internet blog post, but I really mean from the many stories I have read on The Knot, Pinterest, Facebook and several real life lady sources) show that waiting to have the engagement party any time between 1-3 months after getting engaged is best. This allows you time to do a lot: just simply enjoy being engaged, plan out some details (because people are going to ask you A LOT of questions you don't have the answers to at the party), who's going to make the guest list for the actual wedding (kind of bad form to invite someone to an engagement party, but not the actual wedding), what kind of engagement party you want to have, set up a registry, etc. 


Here are some things you may want to consider when it comes to how you want to go about getting engaged.

1. What kind of engagement do you want? (several ideas are listed below)

2. How much money do you want to spend on the engagement?

3. Who do you want to involve in the engagement? (Will it be a big family affair? Do you need an audience? Do you need the employees of your location to help you out? Do you need a confidant like the sister of the bride or best friend?)

4. What do you need in order to execute your plan? (location, supplies, reservations, flowers, etc.)

5. When do you want to get engaged? (What time of day? What time of year? What season? Day of the week? During a specific holiday?)

6. Where do you want to get engaged? (Is there a special destination or place that means something to the both of you? Are you willing to travel?)


1. Destination Engagements

Wanna go somewhere super special to pop the question? Consider these destinations.

1. Disneyland or Disney World

Disney actually has entire website dedicated to engagements and engagement planning. Buzzfeed has done articles about it. Disney is considered to be the happiest place on earth, so if you and your fiancé to be are into that kind of thing, make it a magical day at one of Disney's many parks. You can get the park involved or just do it yourself!

2. The beach

Go seaside and propose in the sand or right by the ocean. The setting is romantic and it's super simple.

3. Near a tourist trap

Places like the Hollywood sign, the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Piza, the Empire State Building, or anywhere else you kind find a fanny packer taking a photo might be a fun spectacle for an engagement.

4. The great outdoors

Find yourself on a hike, camping, or perhaps just a romantic stroll through the woods. Let the trees, wind, and woodland creatures create the setting.

5. Theme Park 

Can't afford Disney or just not into giant mice? No worries. Check out Six Flags, Dorney Park, Sea World, zoos, etc. Go out for a day of fun and splendor!

2. Activities: 

Doing activities and going on a fun date sets a perfect mood to ask the question. Consider these date ideas and activities.

1. Horseback riding
2. Dinner and a movie (perhaps make it a home cooked meal of favorites and her favorite movie, a fancy restaurant and the newest blockbuster at the theater, etc.)
3. Stargazing
4. Build a blanket fort together
5. Go to the zoo
6. A picnic
7. A scavenger hunt
8. Make paper plane love notes and throw them at each other while you wait for a pizza to be delivered
9. Create a playlist of songs that are special to both of you and slow dance and jam out
10. Go out and get or stay at home and give each other the spa treatment (massages, candles, steamy shower, etc.)
11. Actually Netflix and chill (yeah, we know what the kids are really up to when it comes to the "Netflix and chill" date, but it's actually a great date idea. Set up a que with a theme: binge a few episodes of a new TV show you both wanted to watch, horror movies, enjoy a couple of episodes of each other's favorite TV shows, RomComs, "bad" movies, etc. Cuddle up with a blanket and an array of snacks and enjoy! You get to spend time close to each other, learn a lot about one anode there AND watch some entertaining stuff.)
12. Bowling
13. Go to an arcade and earn enough tickets to get each other prizes
14. Play games! (this is fun to incorporate alcohol and stripping too if you feel so inclined. Best games: poker, Boggle, Trouble, video games, etc.)
15. Shooting range to fire off some shots
16. Go camping (hike, build a campfire, stay in a cozy trailer)
17. Find some "Free Day" stuff to do (make a list of local events or locations that have freebies)
18. Tastings (whiskey, wine, cheese, cake, etc.)
19. Make a trip to a quirky destination (Pick a funky or interesting destination whether it's the next town over or a classic tourist trap, jump in the car and make a day trip out of it. Don't forget to bring a camera!)
20. Seasonal adventure (pumpkin picking/carving, berry picking, picking out/chopping down a Christmas tree, beach day, etc.)
21. Concert
22. Karaoke
23. Explore a city (check out tourist destinations, the best shops and place to eat, etc.)
24. Shop at a flea market
25. Do DIY projects together
Check out some more ideas here, here, here, and here

3. Nostalgia:

Make it an unforgettable night with the memories that brought you both to this point in the first place.
Go to the places of or recreate your first...
-Specific activity (For example, the first movie I ever saw with my boyfriend was Mad Max: Fury Road and that was before we started dating)
-Homecooked meal

4. Food:

Classic. Proposing with a girl's second biggest love: FOOD.

This is a cake.(gccouture)


5. During an Event

-Sporting Event

Check out more ideas here, here, here, here and here


Blushing Belle: Top 10 Wedding on a Budget Tips

Weddings are incredibly special, beautiful, fun, tedious and EXPENSIVE. It's your special day, and a fairy tale moment. So, how can you have your perfect wedding without breaking the bank? Here are a few tips that will hopefully help soften the budget!

1. DIY

You can spend 12 minutes on Pinterest and find hundreds of amazing DIY ideas from wedding decor, invitations, recipes, recycling, etc. Doing projects yourself instead of shelling out the cash for wedding favors, decorations or what have you, it can be much cheaper to buy supplies in bulk in order to craft the items yourself. This not only is fiscally responsible, but it really adds a personal touch to your special day.
Invest in a Cricut. Seriously. These things are magical and can do ANYTHING. You can do all of your decorations, thank you cards, invitations, name cards and more with this device. 

2. Write up a budget. Start planning early. 

After you're done replying to all of the Facebook comments, texts and carrier pigeons sending congratulations on the engagement, start planning. When it comes to your budget (I recommend Microsoft Excel, but I'm a nerd. There are a ton of apps you can use specifically for wedding costs if you're more into that!), outline your dream wedding first. If you could have everything you wanted from guests to cake to decorations to location, what is that you want and what is it that you're looking for? After you get that out of your system, start downsizing to realistic expectations. After that, decide on the number that you would wish to spend (we'll go with $5,000-$10,000.) Once that number has been selected, assign an amount to an item (for example: $2,500 to venue, $1,000 to dress, $1,500 to bridesmaid dresses, $2,000 food and drink, etc.) Keep track of your spending and prioritize. Also, the earlier you start the easier it is to book cheaper venues and other things.
Wedding Cost Estimator

3. Something borrowed.

Whether you can rifle around in your grandma's attic or a Goodwill, sometimes borrowed is better. You can recycle anything from dresses, jewelry, or decorations. Save on costs by seeing what you already have available to you.

4. Shop online.

Shop online for deals, sales, and items you may not be able to find in stores. Shameless plug here, but Redneck Couture has beautiful, handmade jewelry for brides and bridesmaids that won't take a massive chunk out of your budget and shipping is FREE. They make for excellent accessories for the bridal party or for a gift!

Recycle Your Wedding 
29 Places to Shop for Your Wedding Online

5. Printables!

Some people make it their duty in life to create fantastic printables for any and every occasion from place mats, name tags, invitations, to activities, game boards and more! Printables can range from being free to $3.00, but are worth it instead of blowing hundreds of dollars on invitations, thank you cards and other stationary and decoration needs.
31 Free Wedding Printables

6. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen get to dress themselves.

Spending money on bridesmaids' dresses and suits for the groomsmen can be stressful for anyone that's spending money on it. Select a color that you're into and instruct your bridal party to get a dress of any kind in that color. That way they can spend whatever they want on a bridesmaid dress and it won't cost you a dime. You can perhaps invest in an accessory that unifies all of the bridesmaids (perhaps Boot Bling, necklaces, little clutches, a DIY piece of jewelry, etc.), but ultimately you can let them select and worry about their own outfits. 
4 Things to Remember If You Let Your Bridesmaids Pick Their Own Dresses
Why Letting Your Bridesmaids Pick Their Own Dresses Can Work
3 Things You Can Let Your Bridesmaids Choose

7. Non traditional gifts.

"Thanks for the solar powered shower head, Aunt Deborah!" said no one ever. Going the traditional wedding registry route is a good idea (get everyone else to buy you dishes, kitchen appliances and that fancy quilt from Bed, Bath and Beyond); however, sometimes people will try to get you something similar to the things you ask for and you end up with stuff you don't need or already have. Asking for help with wedding costs, or sometimes just cold hard cash money may be a nice alternative to consider.

8. Food and Drink.

Explore and keep your options open. Almost all budgets take the biggest hits when it comes to venues and the food and drink options. Buffets are a nice way to save on food costs. Making your own appetizers are a good idea as well, for most places gouge for that. Come up with a signature drink for the bar instead of having an expensive open bar. You can also do a BYOB or pot luck wedding.

9. Plan for the honeymoon in advanced.

Start a honeymoon fund (a jar in the kitchen or perhaps even a honeyfund) or invest in a credit card to use for all of your wedding costs that can reward you with miles or rewards for travel such as car rentals, resorts, hotels, etc.

10. Ask for help.

Whether you want to hire an expert (most of which will try his/her best to save you as much money as possible so that you can pay him/her more), ask Mom/Dad, your best friend, or even just the internet. Seek out help for costs, funds, money, ideas, and ways to make your wedding planning easier or less stressful. Take all of the time you need. 
26 Ways to Save on Your Dream Wedding
Cheap Wedding Ideas
21 Clever Tricks to Make Any Wedding So Much Easier
47 Ways to Have an Almost Free Wedding
17 Useful Wedding Cheat Sheets



DIY: Kissing Clothespin Caketopper


Step One:
Gather materials-
-Black paint
-White paint

Step Two:
Pencil on your tuxedo, bow tie, and dress line.

Step Three:
Color it in! 

DIY: Tiki Torch Bottles


Step One:
Gather supplies-
-Tiki torch tips
-Liquor bottles
-Tiki torch liquid

Step Two:
"Wash the bottles with water."

Step Three:
"Fill the bottom of the bottle with water, just below the wick, don’t let the wick touch the water." 

Step Four:
"Then fill the bottle with tiki fluid."

Step Five:
"Drench the wick in tiki torch fluid and then place it back in the bottle."

Step Six:
Light it up and enjoy!

DIY: Triangle Necklace


Step One:
Gather materials-
-Polymer clay in 2 colors
-Chain or cord
-Jump rings
-Closure clasps

Step Two:
"First, condition your clay (roll between your hands until it's soft and pliable). Roll out the two colors a little bit. Place a piece of color A over B. Cut out the section that's underneath (otherwise it will be too thick). Pinch/kneed the seem together so you have one piece. Roll and smooth out to your preferred thickness and cut into a triangle. Use a toothpick to make 2 holes on each end."

Step Three:
"Once you're happy with the shape, place on a baking sheet and bake at 275 for about 20 minutes. While baking cut two pieces of chain to the length you like. When cool, fit the jump rings through the holes, attach the chain and crimp shut. Add jump rings to the end of the chain and finish with a closure clasp."


DIY: Wine Rack

Wine Rack DIY from The Merry Thought


Step One:
Gather your materials-
-1/2″ x 12″ x 24″ Birch Plywood
-Scroll Saw
-Three 5/8″ Dowels
-5/8″ Forstner Drill Bit
-Wood Glue
-Four 1″ x 20″ pieces of Leather
-Sewing Machine

Step Two:
"Draw line across the board at 11 5/8in from one end (this gives an extra 3/8in to the back side of the stand) Use the saw to cut along this line."

Step Three:
"On the top half, (the one with the extra 3/8in) measure 1.5in down from the top and make a mark at the center of the board and then a mark at 1in in from each side. Also mark 6 1/4in down from the top at the center and 1in in from each side. (These are for the dowels.)"

Step Four:
"Drill a hole most of the way through the board at each mark. Cut six 12in pieces of dowel."

Step Five:
"Screw the base piece of wood to the back of the stand. Glue dowels in place."


Step Six:
"Fold each piece of leather in half. Stitch across, giving enough room for dowel to fit through. About 1in." 

Step Seven:
"Now fold about an inch on each end and sew along the edge. 
Slide the leather on the dowels once they are completely dry and fill it up with your favorite wine!"