Thursday, August 14, 2014

Five Hard Truths for the Bride on a Budget

1.  A hotel, banquet hall or other common wedding venue is probably not going to be the one for you.  These venues typically charge a rental fee, and then make you order your food and drinks from them.  While the rental fee might seem reasonable, it's the food and drinks that will really drive up the cost.  You want a venue that allows you to bring in your own food, and more importantly (in terms of the budget) your own booze.  Look for parks, community centers, and home association clubhouses when searching for your venue.  They tend to come with lower rental fees and the freedom to bring in your own vendors.

2.  You must cut your guest list.  The easiest way to save money is to limit the number of guests you invite.  A good rule of thumb: If you haven't talked to the person in the past six months, cut them from the list.  If parents or outside parties are insisting on certain people making the cut, ask them to pay for those additional guests.  Otherwise, you are in control of your list.  Be firm.

3.  DIY is a good idea, but be smart about it.  Don't try to DIY your invitations if you have never worked with paper products or graphic design before.  Chances are you will spend just as much money (if not more) trying to get it right as you would have if you had just started with a pro.  Use the skills you have and be realistic about the skills you don't.

4.  Reach out to friends and family for help, but don't expect services for free.  Chances are the people who love you want to help you with your big day, but sometimes asking for things can be tricky.  Try to phrase it like this, "Hi Jane, I would so love it if you could make my wedding cake for me.  I have $300 to spend.  I know that is a tight budget, but is there anything you can do for me that would work in that price range?"  If Jane says yes, awesome, be appreciative and write a heartfelt thank you note.  If Jane says no, that's okay too.  Don't get angry with people who aren't financially able to work with you.

5.  Accept the fact that you are going to have to compromise.  Can you have an amazing wedding on a budget?  Absolutely.  Is it going to look like a $50,000 wedding?  No.  Set realistic expectations for your celebration otherwise you are going to be disappointed.  You might have to work a little harder than the bride with unlimited funds, but that just makes it all the more satisfying on your big day.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Real Wedding: Katie and Eric

Hello lovelies and happy Monday!  You know how much I love being able to kick off the week with a real wedding, and I love it even more when said wedding happens to be shot by one of my fave photographers, Nick Charrow.  This stunning couple tied the knot at Elings Park in beautiful Santa Barbara, California.  Their wedding is full of all kinds of details that I love to see: DIY elements, personalization, and lawn games!  Enjoy their gorgeous day!

Katie's bouquet is quite possibly one of my favorite I have seen.  Such a beautiful wedding and a beautiful couple!  Congrats Katie and Eric and thank you to Nick Charrow for sharing your gorgeous work!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Five

Hello lovelies and happy Friday!  This is my last Friday of vacation and I am super not happy to be going back to work.  But let's continue to celebrate summer while we can!  Here are my five favorite findings from around the internet this week!

This hand-crafted Bride to Be veil from MiaBellaBoutiquePA over on Etsy is absolutely perfect for any bachelorette party...

This delicious looking stack of cheese is actually a cake from a real wedding featured over at the Ruffled Blog...

I love everything about this centerpiece featured on Every Last Detail, from the colors to the styling, it is absolutely perfect!

I am in love with this gorgeous and unique bouquet found on Belle the Magazine...

And I particularly love this stunning dress from Wtoo that I saw featured on Wedding Inspirasi...

That's all she wrote for this week folks!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Moissanite Engagement Rings

Moissanite has been on the jewelry market for about fifteen years now, but recently it has started to gain popularity as an alternative to diamond engagement rings.  There are lots of benefits to purchasing moissanite instead of the traditional diamond: it is practically identical to diamonds, it is much more affordable, it doesn't come with some of the ethical issues that diamonds do, and it is almost the same consistency as diamonds (it's about .5 lower on the hardness scale).  I had never heard of moissanite until my friend Sara told me about it.  When I saw her ring and how beautiful it was, I was convinced!  If you (or someone you know...wink, wink) are in the market for an engagement ring, consider moissanite as an option.  Here are just a few stunning samples of the gem!  (Click pic for original source, all pics via Pinterest.)

Betcha can't even tell the difference!  I don't know about you, but I want to go do some jewelry shopping!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Themed Wedding Inspiration

I have been a book lover pretty much since I could hold a book.  I was the kid who hid under my covers with a flashlight and a book way past my bedtime and I still make sure I read something every night before I go to sleep.  So I'm not sure why it has taken me this long to come up with some book themed wedding inspiration, but the time has finally come!  These are some of my favorite ways to incorporate books into your big day!  (Click pic for original source, all pics via Pinterest.)

Use books in your ceremony decor...

And in your reception decor...

And of course in your cake design...

And at the end of your wedding too!

BTW, books as wedding favors (in the picture above) is a genius idea and definitely a favor that people would actually use!  Here is a book themed wedding inspiration board!

If you and your fiance are literary lovers, why not incorporate books into your wedding?  Hopefully these ideas brought you some inspiration!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sponsored Post: Wedding and Anniversary Gifts from Uncommon Goods

When I was contacted by the website Uncommon Goods to review their products, I jumped at the chance.  One look at their site and I knew I was going to find plenty of super cool items I would love to own.  Since the hubs and I celebrated our wedding anniversary last week, I decided to look for something he would enjoy too, and I didn't have to look too far before I found this amazing decanter and glass set (I'd pinned one just like it more than once!): 

Bonus?  Glass is the traditional gift for third anniversaries and we just happened to be celebrating year number three!    That is one of the coolest aspects of the anniversary section of Uncommon Goods, they have multiple suggestions for the different anniversaries.  Year two is cotton, so they have this adorable personalized cross stitch:

First anniversary is traditionally celebrated with paper.  There are tons of gift options for the first year, this personalized street print was one of my favorites:
 Fifth anniversary is wood, and I fell in love with this ampersand cheese board (I will probably go back and purchase this bad boy for myself):

The site also features a great selection of wedding gifts, many of which can be personalized for the happy couple.  I LOVE this art deco style poster print:

This anniversary wine box would also make a great wedding present:

And this custom pillow would be a great addition to any couple's home:

They also feature a bunch of awesome non-personalized gifts that would be just as great to give as a wedding gift or a bridal shower gift.  This is a darling wine box option:

I might have fallen in love with this pillow because it's California, but I think it is so cool nonetheless and would be great with any state (I think I'm going to buy this one too!):

And these love letters napkins are so cool and unique.  They would make a great gift for the couple who is a little bit literary:

Ultimately I had to narrow down my choices and it was really hard to pick!  I will definitely be going back to Uncommon Goods to purchase some more of their adorable products and this will now be my go to site for wedding and bridal shower  presents.  Here is my Yours, Mine, Ours decanter and glass set in action!

 The hubs is super into whiskey so he was psyched to open up this decanter set, and as you can see, put it straight to good use!  The quality of the product is great and the shipping was super fast.  Plus, the customer service was awesome, and you can't beat that.  If you are in the market for a unique wedding or anniversary gift, Uncommon Goods should be your first stop!

 This is a sponsored post.  I received compensation in the form of payment or products to write this post.  All opinions are 100% my own and I do not review products unless I believe they are a good fit for my readers.