Eco-Friendly Wedding Invitations & Other “Green” Tips

Incorporating eco-friendly, green ideas into your wedding is easy, and affordable. Check out these eco-friendly wedding planning tips. | Weddings From The Heart

This post was published in cooperation with Paperless Post.

Looking for wedding ideas that aren’t only earth-friendly but wallet friendly too?

INVITATIONS AND OTHER PAPER PRODUCTS
• Like the idea of menu cards? Do only 2 or 3 per table instead of one for each person (your guests won’t miss having their own).

• Reduce the amount of paper used in your invitations by omitting the inner envelopes and using RSVP postcards instead of the traditional card and envelope.

• Or you can completely reduce the amount of paper for your invitations by going paperless.

Beautiful wedding invitation from Paperless Post

Our friends at PAPERLESS POST help you create online and paper stationery that reflects your individual style. You can choose, and customize, from hundreds of styles/designs for your wedding invitations, including gorgeous styles by world famous designers such as Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, and Vera Wang.

Beautiful wedding invitation from Paperless Post

Beautiful wedding invitation from Paperless Post

Benefits of Using Online Invitations

• It’s totally eco-friendly. No paper or inks at all.

• Easy for guests to RSVP. With a click of a button they can respond with their accepts or regrets. There’s even a button to remind them to RSVP later.

• It’s a breeze to include additional information for your guests’ convenience (ex. parking info, hotel info).

• Directions from their doorstep to your venue are at your guest’s fingertips with the click of a button.

• You can add a comment wall for guests to leave a personalized message.

• Are you giving your guests menu options (Beef or Chicken)? Add additional RSVP question for your guests to answer. Also great for song requests.

• Need to make a change to the time or place? Updating is easy.

• Easily track who has responded. Need to check in with those who haven’t RSVP’d? There’s a button for that too.

• There’s more than just Wedding invitations. Holiday cards, Birthday, Thinking of You, Graduation announcements, and personalized stationery are just some of what they offer.

• It’s affordable.

Choose a card design. Add your text. Change the font style and color. Add a motif or logo. Want to add your own motif, logo, or photo? It’s easily done, and just takes a few seconds.

Your invitation/card is saved and put into a draft folder until you’re ready to send. Then when you’re ready to send, you can either send it immediately or schedule it for a future date.

It really is that simple.

Disadvantages

Ok, gotta be real. There are a few disadvantages to using online wedding invitations.

• Lost E-Mail
Occasionally an online invitation will get lost in cyberspace, and not reach it’s recipient. (But hey, things can get lost with the regular mail too). If someone says they haven’t received your paperless invitation, make sure you’ve got the right email address, or that your guest hasn’t changed their email address.

• Not All Guests Have Email
These days, most people have email, (and if they’re like me, they check it several times throughout the day). However, some of your guests, usually older folks, like grandparents or great aunts/uncles may not.

• No Keepsake
Some couples, and their parents like to save the invitation for a lovely keepsake. You can print out the online invitation, but doing a ‘print screen’ is not the same as an invitation that’s actually been printed.

The good thing here is that Paperless Post offers all of their designs in paper form as well.

Other Ways to Go Green for Your Wedding

DECOR
We can all agree that candles provide a romantic ambience.

Candles are an economical way to provide a romantic ambience to your wedding reception/celebration. For an eco-friendly, green touch, use soy or honeycomb candles.
Photo credit: ekkarat / 123RF Stock Photo

But did you ever notice soot on the edges of the glass of the candleholder, or going into the air when a candle is blown out? For your wedding why not use soy or honeycomb candles? They’re much cleaner than regular wax candles, and like other candles, come in any size or color you’d want.

After a wedding reception when the room is being cleaned up, it is kind of sad watching those beautiful floral centerpieces being thrown away.
Group potted flowers on tables as centerpieces. Then at the end of your wedding reception, your guests can take them home.

Photo credit: annete / 123RF Stock Photo

Instead of using cut flowers, group potted flowers on tables as centerpieces. Then at the end of the evening, your guests can take them home. The potted flowers enjoy a new life (either appreciated in your guests’ homes, or replanted in their yard). Plus, this serves double-duty so you don’t have to get separate favors.

FAVORS

If you prefer offering favors for your guests, go with an edible treat.

Your wedding guests will love a yummy edible wedding favor to take home at the end (or enjoy during) your wedding reception.

In reality, your guests often can’t use or don’t want the cute favors that are non-edible, and will either end up throwing the favor away, or leaving it at the reception. But if it’s something for them to nibble on – they’ll be snacking on them during your reception, and maybe even looking for more!

FOOD & BEVERAGES
More and more caterers are thinking green

More and more caterers are creating wedding reception menus that are green - using ingredients that are organic, and locally grown.

– using ingredients that are organic, and locally grown.

Why not include some green, eco-friendly choices for your wedding? They’re just as easy, and often either cost the same or less than non-green options.

Let us know what you think. Are/would you consider including some eco-friendly elements to your wedding?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or 937-581-3647!

45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding | If you want to save money on your wedding then this post is for you! It includes more than 45 different tips to easily save money, but still have the  beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of.#wedding #moneysavingtips #weddingplanning #daytonweddingplanner #ohioweddingplanner

Spending money on your wedding can be easy – way too easy.

The good news is saving money is easy too! Here are over 45 ways to save.

General

1. Trim your guest list.
Fewer people means less food, beverages, centerpieces, linens, favors, etc.

2. Have a longer engagement.
Not only will you have more time to search and find sales, you’ll also have more time to set aside money.

3. Enter giveaways to win free wedding stuff.
Free is always good.

4. Use coupons and watch for sales when buying items from craft stores.
hobby lobby
Michaels and Hobby Lobby always have coupons and sales. There’s no reason to pay full price.

5. Opt for an adult-only reception.
An easy way to decide who to trim from your guest list. Determine no one under the age of 13 or the age of 16 for example.

6. Seat more guests at larger tables.
You’ll end up needing less tables and chairs, and in turn less centerpieces and linens.

Your Wedding Date/Time

7. Get married on any day but Saturday.
Many venues and vendors offer a discount for any day other than a Saturday.

8. Get married off-peak season.
winter wedding
Winter months are typically the slow season in the wedding world, so many venues/vendors offer a discount for those months.

9. Have your wedding ceremony and reception earlier in the day.
A late morning ceremony followed by a brunch reception will save you tons of money.

Favors

10. Skip the expensive favors.
candy wedding favors
Fancy favors are commonly left behind. Why? Because your guests really don’t want/can’t use them. Edible treats are one of the best favor options. They’re inexpensive, and your guests will actually use them.

11. Or omit favors altogether.

12. Choose escort cards that double as favors.
Double duty is a wonderful money saver.

Invitations & Other Printed Items

13. Send postcard style response cards with your invitations.
Not only will the postcard RSVP cards cost less, you’ll also need less postage on each one.

14. Skip the fancy custom or vintage postage stamps.
wedding love postage stamp
Your guests won’t miss the fancy postage stamps, and regular stamps (check with your post office for pretty floral or LOVE stamps) cost less than the custom ones.

15. Skip square or odd sized invitations.
They may look great, but the post office charges more postage on non standard shaped or sized envelopes.

16. Use a sign instead of a ceremony program.
Rather than printing up programs all of your guests, do one large sign and have it at the entry to your ceremony.

17. Proofread everything twice before ordering.
Having something reprinted is definitely a cost that is not budgeted for. Eliminate this possibility by proofreading everything multiple times. Have someone else proofread them as well – a second pair of eyes can spot things that the first may have missed. Double check all spellings, dates, and addresses.

18. Order thank you cards when you order invitations.
Saves on extra shipping and handling charges.

19. Print guests names on a board instead of individual escort cards.
wedding reception seating chart

20. DIY your invitation assembly.
From standard envelope stuffing to attaching rhinestone embellishments or pretty belly bands – paying the invitation company to assemble them costs more money. Save by assembling them yourself (or have your wedding party help out).

Wedding Cake

21. Choose a small one or two tiered cake.
2 tier wedding cake
Have the small cake on display for your cake cutting ceremony, but also have unadorned (just iced) cakes hidden in the kitchen.

22. Skip the dessert table.
You don’t need additional desserts. Your wedding cake is enough.

23. Choose buttercream icing instead of fondant.
Fondant may look gorgeous, but you’ll end up paying at least twice as much (maybe more!) for your cake.

24. Skip on the cake fillings.
Fillings typically cost more, and if you’ve got delicious cake to start with, your guests won’t miss a filling.

25. Serve cupcakes instead of cake.
wedding cupcakes
You’ll save on the serving price (cupcakes can be up to half the cost per serving as cake). Also, since cupcakes don’t have to be cut/plated, you’ll save on the plating fee most venues charge.

Food & Beverages

26. Offer beer and wine, and a signature drink.
signature drink
Serving alcohol can get expensive. Save by offering only beer and wine, and perhaps a fun signature drink.

27. Serve champagne to the head table only.
You don’t need to provide champagne to all of your guests, and they will be fine toasting with whatever beverage they’ve chosen from the bar.

28. Skip the late night snack.
Sending your guests off with a yummy little nibble may sound like a fun idea, but it’s a cost that you can easily omit, and no one will miss it.

Flowers/Décor

29. Choose less pricey flowers in your bouquet.
Your florist can give you lost of flower cost-effective options that achieve the look you are going for.

30. Re-use decorations from the ceremony at the reception.
You’ve already paid for them, so why not get more use out of them? This includes altar arrangements, unity candle flowers, and bridesmaids bouquets.

31. Pick simple tablecloths.
Many venues provide standard linens at no additional cost. In love with a pricy specialty linen? Use it on just the cake table and sweetheart/head table.

32. Choose flowers that are in-season.
seasonal wedding flowers
Flowers that are in-season are more abundant, and will cost less than flowers that have to be imported.

33. Choose short centerpieces.
Tall centerpieces are elegant, but often need more flowers to look so grand. More flowers = more cost.

34. Skip the chair covers and sashes.
Unless the chairs are ghastly, save money by not getting covers. Another option is renting resin or samsonite folding chairs. These common chair rental styles often cost less than renting chair covers/sashes.

35. Choose a ceremony venue and/or reception venue that requires little decoration.

36. Skip the aisle runner.
In reality, aisle runners don’t enhance the overall look of your ceremony. Save yourself a bit of cash by omitting an aisle runner altogether.

37. Use more greenery and less blooms.
Greenery is elegant, abundant, and less costly that flowers.

38. Use non-florals in your centerpiece design.
birdcage centerpiece
Candles, books, bird cages, lanterns, and bowls of fruit are just some non-floral ideas that cost less than a floral arrangement, yet are still pretty and stylish.

Attire

39. Borrow a veil.
veil

Borrowing is always cost-friendly. Plus you’ll have your “Something Borrowed” covered.

40. Buy shoes you’ll actually wear again.
wedding shoes
Why spend money on shoes you’re only going to wear just once? Save money by choosing a pair that you will be able to wear again and again.

Vendors

41. Hire a DJ instead of a band.
dj disk jockey
Simply put, having a DJ costs less than having a band.

42. Skip the limousine.
A fancy ride is fun, but you’re only going to be in it for a relatively short time.

43. Hire a wedding planner.
A wedding planner has the know-how to stay on budget, yet stay stylish with creative alternatives.

44. Have ceremony & reception at same place.

45. Choose a venue that doesn’t require you to use their vendors.
Not having to use their “short list” of vendors gives you more options.

46. Borrow items.
toasting glasses
Not interested in keeping the cake knife/server or toasting glasses? Borrow them.

47. Buy items instead of renting them.
You can purchase just about everything for your wedding, from table linens to vases. What to do with them after the wedding? Sell them of course. These days, many areas have bridal resale shops. Or check out online sites such as Wedding Recycle.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more ideas, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

3 Money Saving Tips Without Sacrificing Style for Your Wedding

wedding
Looking for ways to save money without sacrificing the overall feel of your wedding? Check out these tips.

Decor

Greenery and candles are still one of the best ways to save money on centerpieces. It’s elegant and cost effective.

Want something with big impact, but not the big price tag? How about a graceful candelabra,
Silver Light Brass Candelabraor a large, elegant vase or candle holder? Gorgeous, but costs a fraction of a large floral arrangement.

You can also add some pizzazz by easily dressing up plain glass candle holders with adhesive rhinestones, ribbon, lace, glitter or paint.

Word of caution: If you do use real candles, get the unscented kind. When you get a room full of candles, a scent will get overpowering, can aggravate someone’s allergies, and (believe it or not) will affect the taste of the food.

Dessert

Serve cupcakes or cake pops rather than a traditional tiered wedding cake.

Chocolate and Pink Cake Pops
You’ll save money per serving (cupcakes & cake pops are often .50 – $1 less per serving than cake). You won’t be paying a cake cutting fee (that most venues charge).

And you’ll be able to order just the amount you need.

For example, if you have 100 guests, you’ll want 100 servings. For a tiered cake, you’ll end up with at least 118 servings as an 8″ tier serves 24, a 10″ serves 38, and a 12″ serves 56. Not that there’s anything wrong with having extra leftover cake, some couples do so on purpose, but if you need to shave something off your budget, this is an easy way to do so.

Fun Stuff

Photo booths are still popular. And with good reason – they’re fun, a great activity for your guests, people can be silly or or serious . . .

However, many couples whose budget doesn’t allow for a traditional photo booth are changing it up.

photo booth wedding party bridesmaids girls

Ok, DIY Photo Booths are a bit more effort on your part than having a professional photo booth, (not to mention that there won’t be the fun extras that the pros offer, such as a custom logo, booth attendant, professional equipment, and on-site prints). However the DIY route can be relatively easy. Get a digital camera on a tripod, and guests can snap away. You’ll have to wait until after the event to load up all the photos online for you and your guests to see.

A relatively new service is perfect for use with a DIY photo booth. Veri is a photo and video sharing product which was created specifically for weddings. Before your wedding day, your guests will get a link for the Veri app. Then any photos and videos they take at your wedding will be shared instantly. Unlike a hashtag where the photo has to be uploaded, with this app your guests won’t have to do anything other than snap the picture. Be sure to check out www.veri.com for more details.

For more money saving tips, or unique ideas for your wedding, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

20 Easy Ways to Cut Your Wedding Budget Without Cutting Back On Style (#11 – 20)

11) Use Non-Floral Elements in Your Decor

Non-floral items such as pinecones, twigs, berries and feathers are inexpensive ways to enhance your bouquets and other floral arrangements. Christmas bulbs, paper or fabric flowers, crystals, and seashells add inexpensive, but fun touches.

Bowls and vases filled with brightly colored seasonal fruits are fun and festive, but less costly than floral arrangements. For an Autumn wedding, try bowls of acorns or fall leaves.

12) Order Additional Cakes
Instead of having your wedding cake large enough to serve all of your guests, order one smaller display cake for pictures and your cake-cutting ceremony, and have extra cakes out of sight in the kitchen. You will save money since the ‘kitchen cakes’ aren’t as elaborately decorated. And once they’re all cut and plated, no one will be able to tell the difference.

13) Have a Signature Cocktail
If you want to serve something more than just wine and beer, why not try a signature drink. You can choose a favorite cocktail, or try one that coordinates with your wedding theme – Pina Coladas for a tropical themed wedding or a Gin Gimlet for a Great Gatsby theme.

14) Shop Around for Your Bubbly
Champagne is a sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. It’s a festive way to celebrate, but can get pricy. Check out this list of several sparkling wines that taste just as wonderfully, and cost less than $20 per bottle.

15) Beg, Borrow, (Don’t Steal!)

Special keepsakes such as a cake knife/server or toasting glasses are a nice touch, but in reality, after the wedding day most couples just end up putting these items in the attic. They never see the light of day again. Save some cash by borrowing your keepsakes and accessories from family and friends. You’ll also be getting your “something borrowed.” By the way, this little cutie was the same cake topper the bride’s parents had on their wedding cake!)

16) Keep Your Bridal Party Small
Keep the number of your attendants to a minimum. The fewer the people, the fewer attendants’ gifts, bouquets and boutonnieres you will need to buy.

17) Have Your Centerpieces Do Double-Duty

Think about using an alternative to traditional flower centerpieces. Your wedding favors grouped together in a pretty bowl, or individual tiers of wedding cake on a cake pedestal make pretty centerpiece presentations.

18) Downgrade the Fancy Ride
Limousines definitely look elegant, but you’re only going to be in for a short time. You can save money by getting a town car instead of a 6-passenger limo for the bride and groom’s getaway at the end of the evening.

Or rent a premium or luxury vehicle from a car rental company such as Avis or Hertz – you can have it for the whole weekend for a cost comparable to a renting a limo for just a few hours.

19) DJ vs. Live Musicians
Simply put, DJs typically cost less than a live band.

20) More Music Money Saving Tips
For a ceremony and reception that are at the same location, consider hiring a DJ provide music for both. However, if you prefer live ceremony music, choose a smaller combo such as a guitar/violin duo or string trio instead of a quartet, then have them provide the music for the cocktail hour. On the other hand, if you want a live band for your reception, hire only the keyboardist for the cocktail hour.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more money saving tips and planning ideas, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

Photo Credit: Use Non-Floral Elements: Washington DC centerpiece openField photography

20 Easy Ways to Cut Your Wedding Budget Without Cutting Back On Style (#1 – 10)

1) Choose Flowers That Are In Season

Many popular and beautiful flowers are available year round. However, there are some — peonies and lilies of the valley, for example – that have a limited bloom season, and quite expensive out of season. So choose flowers that are in season.

Also consider using flowers with a similar look. Cabbage roses resemble the pricier peonies and are available year round. Other year-round flowers include: Carnations, Baby’s Breath, Sunflowers, Asiatic Lilies, Dendrobium Orchids and Spray Roses.

2) Put a Limit on the Alcohol Choices
You can save money by serving just wine and beer, instead of having a full open bar. Your guests will be happy and so will your wallet.

If your reception site allows you to bring in your own alcohol, purchase wine by the case as many places offer a case discount. You’ll pay your caterer a corkage fee to pour it, but wine purchased through him can cost twice as much. Most merchants offer a 10 percent discount for buying wine by the case.

3) Let Mother Nature Do Your Decorating

Choose a naturally gorgeous site and save on decor – such as the well-manicured lawns of a country club, or beautiful gardens for outdoors, and an art gallery or historic home for indoors.

4) Have Your Flowers Do Double-Duty
Your ceremony floral arrangements can be re-used at your reception. Pew décor can dress up a seating card or favor table. Bridesmaids’ bouquets look pretty on the cake table. An altar arrangement is perfect sitting in front of the head table.

5) Offer Champagne for Just the Toasts
Only serve a glass to each guest for the toasts. Or just provide Champagne for the head table and parents only. The rest of your guests can toast with whatever they are drinking. Make sure you also offer some sparkling grape juice for the under-21 crowd.

6) Have Your Wedding Earlier in the Day
Breakfasts, brunches, and afternoon teas are delicious and fun, and they usually cost less than evening receptions. The menu usually consists of lighter fare which doesn’t cost as much as a typical reception dinner. Also, they don’t usually last as long as an evening event, so you may save some money on your venue; and people typically don’t drink as much alcohol earlier in the day, so the bar tab will be less.

7) Cake and Punch
A cake and punch reception can be quite inexpensive. This style of reception usually takes place in the late morning or afternoon, and is simple and elegant. You can change it up by serving several cake flavors and designs, and serve a festive punch. Here’s one of my favorites (which I found at Razzle Dazzle Recipes).

8) Avoid Costly Entree Choices
Instead of serving pricier entrees or cuts of meat for dinner, incorporate them into your hors d’oeuvres. You may love lobster, but it will be pricy to serve lobster tail to all of your guests. Instead, serve lobster puffs during your cocktail hour.

9) Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
Serve your wedding cake as dessert instead of ordering a wedding cake AND serving a separate dessert.

10) Simplify Your Wedding Cake
The biggest cost of a wedding cake is in the labor – so choose a less elaborate design. Use less costly embellishments such as ribbon or fresh flowers.

Tomorrow we’ll conclude with Tips 11-20.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more money saving tips and planning ideas, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

Photo Credit: Choose Flowers That Are In Season: Bridesmaids’ Bouquets Brian James Photography

MONEY SAVING TIPS FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY (That Are Also “Green”)

Here are some easy ideas to save money on your wedding plans, and they’re good for the environment too!

Corner copy
Corner copy is your reception information that is literally printed in the corner (sometimes centered) at the bottom of your wedding invitation. By using corner copy you will save a significant amount of money. It costs about $10, regardless of quantity. Compare this to what you’d be paying for 100 or more Reception cards.

An added bonus is that since you’ll have less items going into your invitation suite, you may end up paying less for postage!

Re-use your ceremony décor and bouquets
You’ve spend good money on something that otherwise will only be used for an hour or so. Get your moneys worth – reuse altar arrangements, pew décor and your bridesmaids’ bouquets as decorations for your reception.

Use non-florals
Candles in lanterns, individual tiers of wedding cake, bird cages for a garden wedding, seashells for a beach/seaside theme, branches, leaves or acorns for a fall wedding are all fun, budget-conscious décor ideas.

Use individual potted plants
Group smaller ones together for centerpieces. Then at the end of the evening these can be sent home with guests as favors. Larger potted plants can be used as aisle décor for your ceremony or a pretty arrangement on the bar or escort card table. Send these home as a special “thank you” to someone who helped out on your wedding day. Since the plants can be taken home and replanted there is less waste – excellent for the environment.

Donate centerpieces and left over food
Check with a local nursing home or hospital. Some may welcome the donation of pretty flowers. Also, if your caterer allows leftover food to be taken off the premises, check with local groups to see who has a program for donating food to local shelters.

Accessories
A special cake knife set or toasting glasses engraved with your names and wedding date are nice, personalized touches for your wedding. However, afterwards these types of items usually end up in the attic. Instead of purchasing something that will only be used once, borrow your keepsake items.

Wedding Gown
Borrow your wedding gown from a loved one or go to consignment shop or ebay to find your gown. If you purchase your wedding gown you can donate it or sell it on ebay afterwards.