Category Archives: Budget Friendly Blogs

Budget Resource of the Day #5 – Knowledge

Budget Resource of the Day: Knowledge 

 

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Okay, this may seem more obvious than the ‘coupons’ post but knowledge is going to be your greatest asset going into the planning period.  The better ideas you have about what you want vs. what you don’t want, mistakes to avoid, how to protect yourself from scams, the items that are within your budget vs. how to cut the costs can all stretch your dollar a little further while making it the wedding of your dreams.

 As always, I’ve listed a few things every bride should keep in mind before signing any contracts, buying in bulk, or getting too far in the planning process.

#1 – Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

7 mistakes to avoid {pic from Bride.com’s article}

Over at Brides.com, I found this little list of 7 Wedding Mistakes to Avoid, a culmination of advice from brides who’ve been there, done the wedding thing. This list avoids the obvious wedding pitfalls that can ruin the day (i.e. the cake doesn’t arrive, the venue catches on fire, etc.) and goes for the more “subtle wedding miscalculations . . . that even the most well-organized, well-meaning brides and grooms can fall prey to.”

One of my favorites on this list was about the rehearsal dinner. You never hear too much about this occasion, so I find any information on it very enlightening as a bride myself.  The article suggests varying the style of your events (wedding vs. showers vs. rehearsal dinner, etc.) in order to keep it fresh and allow your guests to have fun throughout ALL the festivities.  Allow a casual barbecue party and encourage guests to show up in shorts and sandals and “dance to mariachi music”.  I know this may not seem like a budget tip but varying your style will leave an essence of surprise for your guests on the actual wedding day and allow you to get the most ‘bang-for-your-buck’ {and your guests} on the big day.

Read the full article here  in order to eliminate the “if-onlys” and learn some lessons on your wedding day!

#2 – Save Big Without Skimping

engaged cost cutting tips {pic from Bride.com’s article}

Also a courtesy of Brides.com, comes their list of the 40 Best Cost0Cutting Tips for Your Wedding Budget.

The first item on their list: extend the engagement.  They say that “a longer planning period means a better chance of getting the best vendors in your price range” as well as locking in rates “that might increase by the time your wedding date arrives.”

Short note: With a loooong engagement period myself {two years by the time we get married}, I’ve also come to find that a longer engagement period allows you to gather plenty of ideas and sort out the ones you don’t need {which I seemed to want them ALL in the beginning when everything was new} – – it gives you time to get over the trends and focus on what makes you guys ‘you’!

A few other wise ideas on the list: avoiding a Saturday night soiree (good if you don’t have guests traveling); using a multipurpose venue (no transportation fees); use non-floral fillers (remember my post on this?) and minimize ceremony décor (guests only see them for an hour or two – so stick to the basics).

Read all 40 tips here!

#3– Avoid Wedding Scams

scams{pic from Bride.com’s article}

Scams are everywhere these days {especially in this economy} and the wedding industry is not immune.  In this Wedding Scams article from (yes, again) Brides.com, the writers share a shocking story about a real life couple scammed by a no-show band on the big day.

The article goes on to note that “while no government agency specifically tracks wedding-industry scams, Sheila Adkins [of the Better Business Bureau], says that wedding-dress shops accounted for 1,016 of the 758,928 complaints filed nationwide in 2005.” As far as other wedding-related businesses, Adkins says that photographers accounted for 1,301 complaints which was {closely} followed by florists and limousine companies . . . yikes!  Alan and Denise Fields of Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget estimate that “as much as 10 percent of wedding costs is eaten by industry fraud.”

This article isn’t meant to scare you or to make you second-guess every vendor you come in contact with, it’s simply to make you aware — there are plenty of genuine businessmen & -women out there to work with . . . just make sure you find those ones!

More scamming articles to check out: Bridezilla.com shines a light on the hidden B.S. that accompanies many industry contracts and BridalTips.com shows you how to save and what to look out for at your gift registry – and you thought you were safe!

#4 – Learn From Others

I found a new blog {I’m hooked on} called The Green Bride Guide written by a husband + wife team who planned an eco-friendly wedding in 2006.  My reason for falling in love with this blog: her Lessons Learned section.

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One major thing she pointed out on her line up, that I feel the need to share with everyone, is her “cleanup advice = communicate.”  Kate {the brain behind the blog} shares “that no matter how good your intentions are, it is essential to give the cleanup crew a list of what you want saved (the candles, the charges, the framed table numbers, etc.) or some recyclable/reusable/resalable things WILL go into the trash can.”  She goes on to share that she lost almost $1,000 worth of decorations due to a lack of communication in this area – – who would ever know to do that unless they’d heard it from a past bride?

That’s it for budget week! The bottom line: research as much as you can, talk to family members and friends for referrals and things to avoid + get to know your vendors before you sign contracts. This time in your life is supposed to be fun and enjoyable!

Stay tuned next week for: Deals Around the Valley 🙂

 X.O.X.O

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Budget Resources #4 – DIY

Budget Resource of the Day: DIY Inspiration

If you don’t know, DIY stands for Do-It-Yourself and it has become quite the phenomenon in the wedding world.  It wasn’t until I was introduced to the ‘blogosphere’ that I discovered the true art of DIY and how to make it work for the big day.  Saturated with forums, journals, websites + plenty of how-tos, the internet is a wonderful resource to get inspired + learn from others. 

While DIY may have started out as a budget resource, it has quickly turned into much more.  The whole process can help you develop new skills and render an enormous feeling of satisfaction when you see your results. To me, this is worth far more than the money-saving satisfaction that comes with it.  It’s like cooking in the kitchen vs. eating out – you save money, build skills and enable self-expression.  {i guess this is my form of ‘cooking’ — sorry honey :)}

Whether you’re a reluctant bride reverting to DIY out of necessity or an avid do-it-yourselfer, these sites below will help you generate unique ideas and {hopefully} make the DIY process a little easier.

Love at first {web}site! iDiY {yes, another blog :)} is written by three women who, throughout their own wedding planning, “stumbled across dozens upon dozens of amazing sites that inspired [them] creatively” and now, they want to share their goodies with other DIY brides.  Full of tutorials, how-tos & free downloads you’re sure to fall in love too!

When I visited iDiY this morning, I was greeted with a delightful array of greens and yellows – reminiscent of a childhood lemonade stand. Complete with templates, this post is perfect if you plan to have a pre-ceremony lemonade-cocktail hour or are using the yellow/green hues for your wedding theme {so cute!}.

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Another cute gift idea, handmade love for your BM’s!

 

bbuble bath - idiy

{a little bubble bath appreciation}

Like the idea of jumping on the DIY bandwagon now? Well, here, let me introduce you to this crafty little lady: Martha Stewart and her exclusive MS Weddings website.  With a brand new DIY Center, MS Weddings offers every DIY project you can imagine. My current fave: this Paper Garland Canopy  . . . so easy to add a pop of color to the ceremony!  No one does it quite like Martha 🙂

 

MS - paper canopy

Other resources: Check out my Real Wedding: Tori + Chad. Tori’s wedding was full of projects she created herself and you get to see how she used them throughout the ceremony and reception. Other great blogs are Budget Savvy Bride {forced to get creative on a small budget}, My DIY Wedding Day and Wedding Planning With Joy {check out her clay flowers}!   

I hope you enjoy these projects and resources as much as I do!

Take care . . . see you tomorrow!

X.O.X.O

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Budget Resources #1

Good morning readers! Okay so I missed Monday again {busy weekend with the fiance’s surprise birthday party and no time to prep—sorry!} but I’ll have a double dose for you today 🙂

This week I’m highlighting a couple Budget Saving Resources I’ve come across, to help brides stay within their financial parameters while planning their big day {not always easy to do–eek!}. 

Budget Resource of the Day: Blogs

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 I caught the blogging bug just recently {hence the inspiration behind this project} and ever since, I can’t get enough of them! There are blogs out there for everything you can imagine and when planning a unique, DiY or budget-friendly wedding, these little periodicals come in quite handy.  Not only do they impart creativity from blogger to blogger, but they breed + encourage others to take an idea and turn it into their own.  It’s also a GREAT way to network with other brides and take advice from their own experiences.  By utilizing their knowledge and taking it into account on your big day you’ll be able to save more, stress less and anticipate dilemmas with a little more ease. 

While searching for budget-friendly resources, I came across a blog written by a 25-year-old southern bride planning an extravagant affair on a less-than-extravagant budget.  Budget Savvy Bride takes you on her planning journey as she shares her experiences and use of imagination to make her dream wedding come true.

BSB envelopes a wide range of topics and even highlights a new “budget friendly” wedding each week.  In these spotlights, she breaks down the entire budget and explains how much was spent in each area for that particular bride + groom.  These entries can be very useful in breaking down your own budget if you come across one similar to yours {a must-see}.

Browsing through, I also came across Tips for the Stocking the Bar which I immediately saved on my thumb drive {which is getting quite full of wedding, I might add}.  Just this weekend I was talking with family and friends about how much to order of what, what kind is the best, who wants what, etc. It’s mind boggling! After that no-real-answer conversation, you can imagine my delight at finding this entry.  

bar tips

Not only did BSB break down how many guests she was expecting and what type of alcohol she planned to serve, she also gave her reasoning for it — I found this very helpful and would be useful if you’re not a big drinker or aren’t aware of what’s popular.  She also introduced me to this nifty little calculator that gave me a concrete answer to the haunting {how much?} question.  Since her wedding was in March, she was also able to give an update on how her numbers worked out – which was pretty right on.  She also goes on to give a few tips on how to save $$ when purchasing the alcohol — you should really check it out if you plan on serving adult beverages at your reception.  I’ll be reposting all this information from her entry {and then some} when I get to that point in the planning process.

The next mention-worthy blog I came across is appropriately titled {and easy to remember} Budget Wedding Blog. This resource comes courtesy of a bride married in 2007 who continues to help other to-be’s stay on track with their finances when planning the big day.   BWB states that “planning a budget wedding forced us to think outside the box, and the end result was a more creative, personal, unique celebration that focused on love rather than material goods.”  What great inspiration to find ways to be resourceful! I’m not even that far into my planning but I’m already finding that {to me} it’s worth taking the time –andenergy — to save a buck and make the memory more personable to me and FI (FI=fiance 🙂 ).

budget bride

BWB’s site is full of neat tricks to keep costs down.  Every week, the author themes certain days based on budget tips for the wedding. Her most recent Non-Floral Friday focuses on centerpiece alternatives – this time, she highlights candy apples as year-round substitutes to floral décor and ones that can also double as favors {double the yum}. 

 candy apple centerpiece

This creative bride also features Ten Ways Tuesday in which she chronicles 10 of the top saving tips for different areas of the celebration.  Here she recounts 10 money-saving ways to fit the music festivities into your plans. 

Another aspect of this blog that I thought was particularly useful, was the very original Skip It List.  It’s pretty self-explanatory.  Every couple weeks, BWB lists those oh-so-tempting wedding extras that are hard to resist yet easy to do without {think spray tans and professional photo albums}.  This list gives a different perspective on the little details and helps to bring brides {like me} back down to earth and focus on the things that are really important.

These are only two blogs among many that I looked into for budget-saving tips.  Try Googling budget + wedding + blogs to come up with your own list of money-saving resources –simple as that and worth the time. 🙂

X.O.X.O

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