Tag Archives: Budget

Thrifting Bride

{ignore the writing on the blue bag – the pic was cute so whatev}

I’ve definitely developed quite the thrifting skills since I’ve been engaged. For the past year and a half I’ve scoured the shelves of Value Village, Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul’s.  Oh, and yard sales – when applicable. The vintage fluff and knick knacks you can find really are amazing, so whatever preconceived notions (e.g., thrifting = grungy) you may have – get rid of them.  Secondhand stores are quickly becoming the new fad, don’t you know? Plus, it’s green, saves YOU money and allows the DIY bride to do her thing (I really wanted to put thang, but then realized I wasn’t 14).  And there is definitely an art and a skill set to develop when taking on this endeavor, though consistency alone will get you far.

Anyway, my current thrift obsession right now: vases. 

source

I’ve mentioned before how I love the look of multiple vases and minimal flowers.  And from all the budget + wedding blogs I’ve rummaged through (much like my resale stores), there tends to be a consensus that says it’s the cheaper way to go. Oh yeah – and I need vases + jars for my candy bar. Perfect.

My top two reasons for the large amount of vases + jars for my wedding:

1. Flowers die so you don’t need to spend an outrageous amount of money on them to get a cool look for your reception tables. 

2.  The thrifty vase idea is chic + trendy. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to sell them as a package via Craigslist.  Ah the beauty of a virtual yard sale!  You’d be surprised at the stuff I’ve searched for and found on that site – vases, mason jars, left over wedding candles, Chinese paper lanterns . . . you get the drift.

Below are a few links and some tips for the newbie thriftier bride (hint: also take this into consideration for flea markets):

Thrift shops in Yakima – my favorite is The Olde Lighthouse Shoppe, which didn’t make that list

A few more on the outskirts

Flea Markets

Virtual Yakima yard sales

Real life Yakima yard sales 

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10 Tips for Shopping at Thrift Stores via The Bargainist

 1. Don’t be afraid of used. If you’re not a veteran of thrift shops and garage sales, you might be someone who only buys new stuff. Break free from that predjudice, because even if it’s been owned before, an item can be perfectly good (sometimes great) — and more importantly, it costs much less.

2. Be willing to spend a little time looking. Thrift shops can have some real gems — but sometimes they’re buried in piles of stuff you’d never consider buying. You’ve got to search, to sift, to rummage, to be patient. In fact, you may have to go through several thrift shops before you find what you’re looking for, if you’re picky. Think of it as a journey, not a quick stop, and you’ll find many more great things.

3. Sell your old stuff for credit. Before you go to a thrift shop, pull a bunch of old clothes from your closet, old books and magazines, anything you don’t need anymore. Put them in some boxes, and sell them to the thrift store for credit. You’ve purged a bunch of clutter while allowing yourself to get some great used stuff for free.

4. Bring cash. Most thrift stores don’t take anything but cash, so if you’re used to using plastic or checks, be sure to remember to stop at an ATM and get some cash.

5. Shop outside of cities. If you live in a city, you might find that most of the thrift shops closest to you have been picked through thoroughly. Many times the thrift shops in cities don’t have much to offer. But drive a few minutes just outside the city, and you’ll find many more great things. It may be wiser to wait until you’re going outside the city, and take advantage of that trip by stopping at thrift stores in the area.

6. Go with friends. Make it a fun outing. Hunting for great stuff in thrift stores with friends can be a real blast. Even if you don’t find anything, if you’ve spent a good afternoon with friends, making jokes and making fun of the stuff in the stores… well, it’s not a wasted day.

7. No dressing rooms. Most thrift stores have no place to change. So be willing to eyeball it and alter the clothes later to fit better. Or wear a tight-fitting tank top so you can try shirts on over it.

8. Look beyond the surface. Furniture, especially, can be scratched up, but still be a great find. Instead of paying attention to the nicks and scratches, consider how it’ll look if you sand and varnish, or give it a fresh coat of paint. Sometimes an hour of work can make it as fresh as new.

9. TheThriftShopper.com. Enter your zip code on this site and you’ll get all the thrift shops in your area, ratings and reviews of each, and tons of great info.

10. Test things out. If you’re buying electronics, insist on testing them. For toys with batteries, open up the battery case to see if there’s corrosion. Look closely at other items. A few defects are OK, but you want to look closely, because you don’t want to take it home and find that it’s useless.

 Thrift it. Find it. Love it. Own it.

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Filed under Budget, candy bar, centerpieces, decor, green, inspiration, Reception, {budget resources}

What is in a budget?

Sure, budget is one of the first things you should think about when you begin planning your wedding.

But, it doesn’t belong only at the beginning.

The budget should be a constant through out the process — that’s why these posts will never go away.

Two Be Wed, a wedding consultation and planning boutique in Houston, is riding the 21st century, technology wave by doing live podcasts for engaged couples and planning pros around the world!

As TBW points out, the source of the most stress in planning a wedding is the budget.  A wedding is meant to be beautiful and memorable . . . but it can also be very costly and staying within budget isn’t always as easy as it sounds.  TBW’s budget podcast teaches us excellent tips about prioritizing and how to communicate our finances.

Two thumbs up TBW!

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Filed under Budget, planning, pre-wedding

Behind the Cost of Weddings

In my recent interview with the Yakima Herald-Republic (no, this isn’t another rant), I divulged information about my wedding normally toted as a “family matter”.  This wasn’t easy.  However, the minute (as in two) amount of backlash I received really made me see how differently people think – especially those who are foreign to the process by today’s measures.  So, to enlighten us all, I am re-posting Behind the Cost of Weddings (found via Blue Orchid Design) — it’s perfect for the newly engaged, industry pros, planning brides, MOB’s (and MOF’s – don’t want to leave the dad’s out :)) or the just plain curious at heart.  How timely — enjoy!

tree money

Yuck. Money. The subject no one wants to talk about but we all have to deal with, especially when it comes to weddings. And it’s no secret that weddings are expensive – even an intimate, backyard ceremony with a handful of guests can stretch the wallet fairly quickly. I wanted to get into the reasoning behind some of the common price tags and help put some of the sticker shock at ease.

But it’s just some pretty paper: Invitations
A good rule of thumb when budgeting for invitations is this: a decent (read: nice quality, but not necessarily elaborate) invitation should cost around the same price as a greeting card. While we may buy greeting cards here and there as the occasion calls for it, you normally don’t purchase 150+ greeting cards all at the same time. If you want a custom invitation, you can expect to pay more because you are compensating the artist for her designs, proofs, revisions and edits, assembly and general labor.

All you’re doing is pushing a button: Photography & Videography
If all you want from your wedding are pictures that look like snapshots your slightly inebriated Uncle Frank took, then there are plenty of moonlighting hobbyists-who-call-themselves-professionals to choose from. If you want art and photographs that will capture the emotion of the day, then realistically you need to expect to pay more. Photography can easily be one of the most spendy parts of the wedding and for good reason – when all is said and done, that is what you will have left (well, that and your spouse of course!). I have met many, many married women who regret going cheap with their photography. Also, the final product usually doesn’t come out of the camera ready to go – a lot of behind-the-scenes editing and design goes into producing great photos. If you’re having video, you can count on hours of editing, including finding the right moments to splice things in, cueing the appropriate music to match, etc.

So you’re like JLo in that movie: Wedding Planners
No, I’m not like JLo and wow, did she make my job look easy! Hollywood has a knack for doing that though, don’t they? The biggest thing you are paying the planner for is her time – the average wedding takes more than 250 hours to plan and there are only 52 weekends in a year. Both of these facts limit how much we can take on and commit to. It may seem like you are paying the planner for one day, but in reality 250 hours translates into more than six 40-hour work weeks. And that’s just for your normal, run-of-the-mill wedding. If you want something unique and special, even more time is involved.

They are just going to die tomorrow anyway: Flowers
Even flowers from the grocery store can be pricy – that is just the nature of a live element. When purchasing flowers, you are paying for so many things – the grower’s cut (planting, growing, watering, feeding, harvesting), the packaging and shipping of them in a manner that they will not wilt or die on the way to your location, and then the florist’s fees (design, watering, prepping them with special concoctions that prolong their lifespan, arranging, delivering, etc). Yes, a lot goes into those pretty bouquets.

It’s just some fancy chicken: Food
Hands down, food is usually the most expensive item on the budget, and again quantity plays a big role. A nice dinner for two can sometimes be a splurge and when you’re feeding 150+ mouths – well, I’ll let you do the math. It is also important to look at quality when you are choosing your menu, and quality costs more, just like it does in every other part of life.

There are lots of areas of weddings that I didn’t cover here, but I wanted to give a quick overview of some of them. The time-tested adage “you get what you pay for” has been proven over and over again with weddings. You don’t need to break the bank on your wedding or try to keep up with the Joneses – but it is important to go into the wedding planning process with an understanding of where your money is going so that you can best prioritize its use.

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Filed under Budget, cost, planning, tidbits

Wedding Venue Cost Calculator

Found this helpful article and wonderful little tool, courtesy of Blue Orchid Design – felt the need to share, enjoy!

wedding-venue-cost

I’ve talked about the plus/plus rate and the hidden costs in wedding budgets on this wedding blog before, but in case you missed that post, plus/plus, in a nutshell, stands for plus tax, plus service charge. These figures are in addition to the cost your venue or caterer will quote you for your wedding.Wedding Venue Cost Calculator. The calculator is an excel spreadsheet that you can download for free. Don’t let the word spreadsheet intimidate you: all of the instructions (it’s pretty easy) are included.  The calculator also has space for you to compare the cost of three different venues so you can see at a glance which is the better deal.Download your free wedding venue cost calculator here.

In order to help you figure out what your real costs will be for your wedding location, I’ve created a

If you have any trouble downloading the calculator, try right clicking and selecting “save target as” and then opening after it’s saved.

I realize that talking money and calculators isn’t the most glamorous or inspirational part of wedding planning, but having a grasp on all the logistical details will help your day run smoothly.

 

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Filed under Budget, Catering, finances, planning, tidbits, venue, {advice}, {budget resources}