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

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Happy Book Lovers Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today (August 9) is National Book Lovers Day.

With books we can journey to faraway lands, meet fantastical creatures. Books make us feel a myriad of emotions.

We’ve all got our favorite styles – romance, horror, biographical… even cookbooks! So whatever form your favorite printed word comes in (or even no words – one of my favorites is Stairs by Rein Jansma – a serene and relaxing pop-up book featuring 10 pop-up stairs), open up that cover and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ways to celebrate Book Lovers Day:

* Visit a library
* Reread an old favorite
* Attend (or host) a book club meeting
* Read aloud to someone
* Read that book you’ve been wanting to read but haven’t gotten around to yet

Are you a book lover who is planning a wedding? There are many ways to show off your love of the page.

Ways to incorporate books in your wedding

* Stacks of books in your centerpieces

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Tables named after book titles or characters

* Accent for a memory table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Alice in Wonderland memorial table designed by Weddings From The Heart)
* Used books as wedding favors

* Pages used in table swags, confetti, or table runners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Alice in Wonderland table swag designed by Weddings From The Heart)
* Holding your ceremony in a library

* Card catalog escort cards

* A library book card wedding invitation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Book themed wedding (popular choices are Alice in Wonderland, The Great Gatsby, Harry Potter, The Princess Bride)

Other ways to embrace your love of books is to incorporate quotes from your favorite works of literature into your vows or ceremony readings. They can be romantic, whimsical, or even quirky.

Love Quotes from Literature

Piglet: “How do you spell love?”
Pooh: “You don’t spell it, you feel it.”
~ by A. A. Milne

“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.” ~ The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

“As You Wish.” ~ The Princess Bride by William Goldman

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

“I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.” ~ The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

“Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts.” ~ King Henry ” by William Shakespeare

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” ~ Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Photo Credits
Heart-Shaped Pages: 353/365 – 9/26/2011 via photopin (license)
Stairs: unknown
Centerpiece: Weddings From The Heart
Memory Table: Prima Vista Photography
Just Married Swag: Weddings From The Heart
Library Card Invitation: kraphix / 123RF Stock Photo

Themes and Centerpieces

Planning a wedding can be fun and exciting. We love to help brides plan all parts of their upcoming wedding, but centerpieces and party themes are among our favorites.

Selecting the flowers and other interesting pieces to decorate your celebration can be a daunting task, but carefully chosen centerpieces can be a dramatic way to pull together the theme of your wedding.

If your wedding is around a holiday, the theme and its expression is obvious. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day all suggest certain colors and elements.

Other themes require more thought but are just as fun to create.

Is your wedding and reception near water? If so, use ship’s lanterns or bowls with tropical fish swimming over shells and sand in the bottom.

Is your reception in the country at a farm house or barn? Use checkered tablecloths and make a ceramic or straw rooster the center of each table. Add miniature bales of hay and/or summer flowers and greens in milk bottles or canning jars.

Incorporate seasonal fruits in centerpieces. Big bunches of strawberries in the summer, gingham tied baskets of apples in the early fall, pumpkins and gourds with fall leaves would also work.

Celebrate your heritage with national colors, flags, patterns and fabrics. Oriental poppies, tartan plaid table linens, silver trays piled high with Mexican wedding cakes all make a statement.

Create a circus atmosphere with balloons, candied apples, popcorn and candy floss.

If both the bride and groom are teachers, the school house theme is perfect with paper chains, chalk boards, posters, report cards and lots of numbers and letters.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 for ideas of how to make your celebration special.

Unexpected Reception Touches

While the ceremony is the heart of the wedding and the reason to gather, the reception is the time to celebrate.

Whether your wedding is small and intimate at a local restaurant or a large multi hour event for 300 guests with white glove service, the decorative touches and activities planned for the evening are what makes your wedding memorable.

Here are some ideas that may spark your creativity.

  • Centerpieces at guest tables can be gorgeous bowls of seasonal fruits and vegetables instead of flowers. For a Summer wedding have bowls of seasonal greens including small melons, pears, apples, grapes, and avocados. Fall weddings can call on red apples, tomatoes, pomegranates, grapes, peppers and pears. If yellow and orange are your color scheme, fill bowls with grapefruits, lemons, pears, yellow tomatoes, squash, and gourds. Your guests can be encouraged to eat the centerpieces or take the fruits home with them.
  • You can also use fresh fruit as place cards.

  • If you have planned a cocktail hour to precede your dinner, consider renting a popcorn cart. It makes perfect nibbling while sipping cocktails and waiting for the wedding party to appear. Order striped containers with or without your wedding date imprinted and add matching napkins. For even more variety, consider offering a variety of popcorn toppings like cheeses, sugars, spices, or sea salt flavored butter.
  • If space is limited and you don’t have a separate area for the cocktail hour, provide trays of hors d’oeuvres at each guest table.
  • If you are a candy fan, consider centerpieces that contain “flowers” of lollipops, suckers, small candies on a stick, and cake pops (frosted cakes on a stick). Individually wrapped chocolate truffles or chocolate molds made especially for you add a note of elegance to the festivities.
  • If you want a wedding by the sea but are no where near any body of water, consider creating a south sea atmosphere with a backdrop of ocean waves, or palm trees around a lagoon. Backdrops can be paper or fabric or a video presentation that flashes against a blank wall.
  • Hearts, Joy, Love!
    Jean

    For other ideas to make your reception special, contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net.

    Photo credit of popcorn machine: Steve Snodgrass via photopin
    All other photos by Weddings From The Heart

Wedding Flower Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank

Carnations

photo credit: AJanega via photopin cc
Don’t dismiss the power of the carnation. These beautiful flowers have gotten a bad rap through years, but can be very sophisticated (change this word). These inexpensive flowers come in an abundant array of colors, and three main types – Large Carnations, Spray (or Mini) Carnations, and Dwarf Carnations.

Baby’s Breath

photo credit: FestivitiesMN via photopin cc
Baby’s Breath is usually used as filler flowers. But imagine how elegant a large grouping would be in a vase. Very grand, but without the price tag of other blooms.

Autumn Centerpiece

photo credit: FestivitiesMN via photopin cc
Want an easy, yet inexpensive seasonal centerpiece for your fall wedding? Try a bundle of wheat and dried grasses either placed in a pretty vase, or just tied together.

Floating Flowers

photo credit: Championship Catering via photopin cc
A few beautiful blooms can make a big impact. Float a few in pretty bowls of water, or submerge them in a taller vase.

Fruits

photo credit: smflood via photopin cc
Bright lemons or limes add a big pop of color at a minimal cost. Place a few in a low bowl, or fill a tall vase. This works for all fruits – apples, grapes, pears . . .

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

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Book Review – Bridal Flowers: Arrangements for a Perfect Wedding

As a wedding planner and designer, I keep an extensive library of wedding related books on hand to help my brides design their own weddings.

Ms. McBride’s Bridal Flowers is one of my favorites. It is full of wonderful ideas – not just the traditional “must have” wedding flowers such as bouquets & boutonnieres, but the out-of-the-ordinary (but inspiring) boas, decorated lampposts & gilded calla lilies.

Ms. McBride shows that flowers are for more than just being carried or worn. The large color photos are fantastic. So many other books have little or no photos, or hand drawn diagrams that leaves the reader wondering. Ms. McBride’s book lets you see exactly what she is talking about.

Bridal Flowers: Arrangements for a Perfect Wedding doesn’t claim to be a how-to book, but perfect to take along when visiting your floral designer.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

If you need help with your wedding plans contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

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.

Going Green On Your Wedding Day

Rings
Use heirloom jewelry. Perhaps a ring that honors your family or heritage. Or find a vintage piece on ebay or a local antique shop.

You can choose rings made from recycled metals or wood. Many companies specialize in eco-conscious jewelry and follow ecologically responsible practices.

Choose a ring with a “green” diamond – which are mined in conflict-free areas instead of “blood diamonds” – those mined in war zones. Or choose a lab-created or “cultured” diamond. This man-made alterative is created from the same chemical crystal as natural diamonds, but require no mining.

Favors
Give your guests something that gives back to the earth. Plantable favors such as saplings wrapped in burlap, seeded paper, or packets of flower seeds. Or omit favors altogether and make a donation to your favorite charity. Edible favors are always a crowd pleaser. Everyone loves them so they’re not left over. Place candy or other sweet treats in a eco-friendly favor box or bag.

Centerpieces & Decor
Use potted plants so guests can take them home, replant and enjoy. Think potted orchids, African violets or succulents. Or crate a simple water garden – use cylinder vases or round “fish bowl” styles, add some colorful glass stones or river rocks, and submerge a single bloom such as a rose or calla lily. Create a pretty centerpiece with some branches and a few flower blooms, or paper flowers. You can also use non-floral items like seashells, recycled-paper flowers, or colorful bowls of fruit. If you love the look of candlelight, soy candles are a great option.

Cake Toppers
Vintage cake toppers are a fun, eco-friendly alternative to purchasing a new topper. The charming couple below belonged to the the bride’s mom and dad. You can also find vintage toppers at flea markets or on eBay. Another unique eco-friendly alternative is a recycled paper origami topper – they can be made to fit any theme or color scheme.

Transportation
Even your mode of transportation can be eco-friendly. A cute bicycle built for two or horse and carriage are romantic alternatives to a car. Rent a hybrid vehicle. If your wedding is by a lake, make your getaway in a row boat or canoe.

Here are some eco-friendly wedding sites to help you in your planning:
earthfriendlywedding.blogspot.com
eco-beautifulweddings.com
ruffledblog.com
greenbrideguide.com
greatgreenwedding.com

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

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Bride’s Q&A – Alternatives to Flowers

Q. I am not a flower lover! Everything else in the wedding seems more important to me personally, than the flowers. My decorator is really encouraging me to go with fresh cut all around, but this will be expensive. Should I pay, is it just me that doesn’t really care about flowers? A. If you are not a flower lover, or maybe flowers are just low on your list of priorities, then don’t go extravagant on flowers. I have seen weddings that were very elegant, yet pretty minimal on flowers for the decor.
Are there other decorative elements that you prefer instead of flowers, such as candles (an inexpensive look yet such a beautiful ambiance), white Christmas lights, simpler floral arrangements (perhaps a tall slender vase with a couple colorful Gerber daisies?)
Colorful table overlays also add a nice splash of color and texture. Even greenery can add color and texture without costing a lot.

Some alternatives to floral centerpieces are:

Small Decorative Table Fountain









Votive candle in glass bowl with decorative glass

Before your next meeting with your decorator, try to get some type of decorative “style” in mind. Show her pictures from magazines (doesn’t have to be just wedding magazines, fashion and interior decorating magazines are great places for inspiration). Show her what appeals to you and what you don’t like. After this discussion, she should be able to offer suggestions more in tune to what you have in mind. If she still insists on tons of flowers, are there any other decorators in your area you can turn to instead? Don’t pay for something you really don’t want, and don’t let anyone talk you into something you don’t want.

Let The Seasons Guide You – Summer Flowers

Trying to decide what flowers to use in your bouquets and centerpieces for your wedding? Why not let the seasons guide you?

In the Summer, colors and flowers are quite similar to those in the spring. The subtle differences stem from the types of flowers available in this season. Summer colors tend to be a little bolder and more saturated but are still soft. Various shades of pinks, peaches, and lavenders are abundant.

Wildflowers evoke romantic feelings of warm summer days. If you prefer bright and bold, try gerbera daisies, lilies, and roses, which come in a rainbow of colors.

Flowers available in the summer include tulips, orchids, poppies and hydrangea.

Flowers available year round include baby’s breath, carnations, orchids, roses, stephanotis, and gardenias.