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Wedding Name Cards

So one of my BFF’s SIL is getting married at the end of this month. In Hawaii. Can you say jealous??

It’s finally the time when all the little details are starting to get checked off the list. She asked me for the template for my own wedding name cards, which you can find here, but thought it would be fun to see what other awesome ideas are out there.

This is a way you can get super creative and really utilize your theme throughout – Here are a few of my favorites!

Courtesy: GreenWeddingShoes.com

Courtesy: IntimateWeddings.com

Love these vintage name cards from rummage sale vintage childrens books!

Courtesy: ArdentPhotography.com

Having a vineyard, rustic, vintage wedding? Or just love wine? How adorable are these??

Courtesy: Martha Stewart Weddings

Classic. Beautiful. Simple. Elegant. Love.

Courtesy: Weddingdish.thinklikeabride.com

Love the crystal drop. Adds sparkle to beautiful, simple vintage.

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Wedding Budget Checklist

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Congratulations!!!!!! You’re ENGAGED and GETTING MARRIED!!! What a crazy ride you’re about to embark on! With all the thoughts flying through your head, you’re realize how much there really is that you have to do!

Your first wedding planning to-do? Setting your (realistic) wedding budget. This will also help you with your overall planning checklist. From the dress to the reception, here’s how to plan your wedding budget and stick to it.

Figuring out your wedding budget can be stressful, but don’t worry — we’re here to help! You have options. Whether you’re dreams are of a lavish hotel affair or an intimate outdoor gathering, this will hopefully help you figure out what you have to spend to make it happen.
 
1. Get organized. Create a budget spreadsheet with a set dollar limit for each part of your budget (attire, reception, flowers, etc.). See the budget checklist I used for my own wedding – feel free to use it for yours too! It’s fully changeable!
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmWJdlXCteWsdGpyRmVCb0p2R094alFLS2tHNW9aaFE 

Scroll down to the bottom to see and save the picture of the spreadsheet.

2. Figure out Who’s Paying & How Much. Depending on your family situation, this conversation can be a little awkward unless you’ve always known who’s footing the bill. Traditionally the bride’s family is the one to pay for the extravaganza, but anymore, the groom’s parents pitch in some too. This is completely up to you on how to go about it, but this is an important piece of the puzzle to truly know how much you’re working with. Some families choose to have each set of parents give a lump sum or finance a particular aspect of the wedding (such as the ceremony, honeymoon, or catering) instead of just committing to a dollar amount. From there, decide how much you two can contribute between now and the wedding. (37 % of the couples we polled say they’re planning to contribute financially to their wedding.)

3. NEED vs. WANT. Figuring out what you actually NEED for your special day is crucial. It’s all the little details that add up really fast. Think of it as buying a new car – you should figure out how much you need to spend to get what you want and set your expectations accordingly.  The average cost for a 150-person wedding is about $25,000 (higher in urban areas). Here is a basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay:

  • Reception: 48%-50%
  • Ceremony: 2%-3%
  • Attire: 8%-10%
  • Flowers: 8%-10%
  • Entertainment/Music: 8%-10%
  • Photography/Videography: 10%-12%
  • Stationery: 2%-3%
  • Wedding Rings: 2%-3%
  • Parking/Transportation: 2%-3%
  • Gifts: 2%-3%
  • Miscellaneous: 8%
  • To avoid stress, allot about 5% of your budget for a “just-in-case” fund.
  • If you’re paying for your honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well.
4. Saving. As soon as you know you’re going to tie the knot with your honey, start putting aside as much of your income as you can for the wedding. Saving 20% of your monthly income is a good (yet painful) goal. The longer your engagement, the more you’ll be able to sock away. How can you Save? Limit your spending on small stuff – Here are some ideas:
  • Rent a movie instead of going out.
  • Buy/make your own cup of joe instead of going to Starbucks.
  • Make dinner with your love instead of going out to eat.
  • Head to the thrift store to get some goods instead of large department stores.

These changes will hardly affect your quality of life, but after a year, the extra cash will add up and can cover some wedding essentials.

All in all, there are several ways to cut, or go all out in your spending on your wedding. The bottom line: This is YOUR day. And hopefully your only wedding. Make it what you want it to be and DON’T do things just because you care what everyone else thinks! Hope this helps! Happy Planning!! 

Wedding Budget Checklist

DIY Seating Chart Ideas

Along with the DIY Escort Card ideas post, I thought it would only be appropriate to throw out some seating chart ideas as well. Check them out, mold them to your theme, and send us pics on what you decide to do!

1. Rustic Seating Chart
Loving this adorable and totally rustic seating chart. This would be perfect for an outdoor wedding or a rustic, earthy themed wedding.

Photo Credit: LadieJ37

2. Window Pane Seating Chart
Again, completely easy to make and super cheap, especially if you can find an old window pane!

Photo Credit: WeddingBee

3. Chalkboard Seating Chart
Love this and it would be so so easy! You could buy a piece of plywood, they now sell chalkboard paint and make your own from scratch!

Photo Credit: Wedding Bee

4. French Inspired Board with frames
This would be totally easy and totally fun to make!

Photo Credit: The LANE

 

DIY Table Numbers

Going along with the centerpiece posts the last couple days, I thought I would also share how I made my own table numbers. On a budget. They were fun. Festive. Easy to make. Easy on the budget. And I was able to include a lot of people in them.

I found these fantastic frames at Ikea. Again, we had 20 tables, so I got 20 of them. I think they were $1. Each. Fantastic. And, the reason I liked them a little more? They have 2 sides on them. So, rather than the regular frame that only faces half the table, I was able to include 2 pictures per table.

What you need to make each table number:

  • (1) 4″x6″ frame
  • (1) 4″x6″ colored paper (pink in picture)
  • (2) 2″x3″ other colored paper (brown in picture)
  • (2) 2″x3″ picture
  • (2) 1.5″x2.5″ Table # printed on paper
  • Paper cutter or scissors
  • Double stick tape

I also chose to use a paper cutter since it turns out a lot neater looking with straighter edges than using a scissor. And you only need 1 sheet of 4″x6″ colored paper (pink in photo) since you see it on both sides.

Cut out the picture of your choice a little smaller than the width of the paper. I chose 2″x3″. Cut the other colored piece of paper (brown in photo) the same exact size.

I used Microsoft Word to type out the table numbers. You can see the size of your lettering on the ruler toolbar on the left to see how big it will be when you cut it out. Once you get the sizing right, you can print all of them at once. Remember, you need 2 of each Table Number since the frame is double sided.

Cut the Table Number a little smaller than the second color sheet of paper (brown in photo). I chose 1.5″ by 2.5″.

Use double stick tape on the back of the table number piece. Center it on the small colored piece of paper (brown).

Visualize an imaginary line that goes down the center of your colored (pink) 4″x6″ piece of paper. Use double stick tape on the back of the small colored paper (brown) with the table number on it and center it on the bottom half of the larger piece (pink) paper.

Use double stick tape on the back of the photo and attach it to the center of the top half of the colored (pink) 4″x6″ piece of paper.

Do the same thing on the back side of the large (pink) piece of paper and insert the entire thing into the frame. And there you have it! An easy, cheap budget-friendly, yet classy looking table number!! You could also choose to spray paint the frame if you’d like. It comes as white and that’s the way I left it.

More DIY Centerpiece Ideas on a Budget

After yesterday’s post, my beautiful friend from college, Rochelle, is helping her cousin with some centerpiece ideas. She requested help in finding more ideas. I thought I would collaborate and find a few others that I think are fantastic out there and share them with you! Again, this is all to inspire you when deciding on what you want for your big day.

PS – I love getting feedback and questions, so if there’s something you’d like to learn more about or ideas that you’re looking for, let me know – I’ll add a post about it!!

Centerpieces are a huge focal point. It’s what everyone sees when they first walk into the reception. It’s what they stare at (or through) before/during/after dinner, and throughout the night. The table that they sit at is their “home base” for the night. It’s where they put their jacket, their purse, their programs, their stuff. The centerpieces are definitely something people remember. They take pictures of them. And sometimes, they even take home.

That being said, here are a few of my favorites that I’ve seen out there!

Photo Credit: Glamour and Grace

DIY Etched Terrarium Centerpiece

This HAS to be one of my absolute FAVORITES!!!!! Glamour and Grace blog gives you the step-by-step layout of what to do. And there are so many ways you can customize it too!

The DIY-ness of it allows you to customize it to your theme and your personal flair. You can:
– use whatever font you want on the glass
– use any type of vase or bowl or jar
– use any size, shape, height centerpiece (just remember you want the word to fit)
-fill it with whatever your heart desires depending, again, on your theme – some ideas can include rocks, sand, flowers, flower petals, a floating candles, branches, leaves, candy, beads, faux crystals, wood chips.. the list goes on…

Photo Credit: Wedding Bee

DIY Manzanita Branch & Crystal Drops Centerpiece

Weddingbee.com is another fantastic resource for all things wedding! You can see other people’s ideas, struggles, and buy/sell your own wedding items through their classified section.

One of the users made these to-die-for DIY Manzanita Branch & Crystal Drop centerpieces that are absolutely GORGEOUS! Talk about making a serious statement! They are beautiful, draw attention, aren’t too big where you can’t see anyone but the person next to you, and will be remembered!

Please note that making the crystal drop pieces can be very time-consuming depending on the size, shape and “readiness” of the crystals. If they already come on a string, great. If you need to create them, it can take a while, so plan ahead! You don’t want to be trying to make these the month of your wedding day.

Photo Credit: A Law Student's Journey

Light bulb DIY Vase Centerpiece

A Law Student’s journey documented this adorable little DIY vase made out of a light bulb. It’s easy, simple, budget-friendly makes a statement, and could perfectly fit your decor and theme.

To make it your own you could:
– use the flower of your choice
– use the light bulb size & color of your choice
– spray paint the metal hanger and/or the light bulb
– fill the light bulb with sand, crystals, beads, or any of the above suggestions

 

Photo Credit: Pure and Noble

DIY Custom Spray Painted Mason Jars

Pure and Noble’s blog outlines how to make these customized mason (and other) jars that you can use as centerpieces. I think these are so crafty, easy, sometimes FREE, and soooo stinking fun!!

You can use whatever wording, design, and color that you WANT!! They are totally customizable – the more creative, the better.

These would work great for a shabby chic, vintage or country theme.

 

Photo Credit: Cleverly Inspired

DIY Wine Bottle Centerpieces

These awesome, spray-painted wine bottles are featured on Cleverly Inspired’s blog as a winter Christmas display. Why not customize it for your special day instead??

All you need are:
– some empty wine bottles… that should be a piece of cake to get…
– spray paint of your color – you can even find glitter sprays now too
– a box of epsom salt which you can find at your local Target store

You can put flowers that fit your theme, manzanita branches or a branch you find outside, and whalla… you got yourself a rocking centerpiece!

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart

DIY Candle Centerpiece

Martha Stewart ALWAYS comes through when you need a good idea, some inspiration, or a DIY project! And, she does have my dream job…

I really like the classy, enchanted, romantic feel these DIY candle centerpieces are. They would be so simple to make, and easy on the budget!!

*Disclaimer(S)* – if wanting to use candles at your wedding, double check with the venue first. Some venues have rules  that need to be followed. I would also caution if considering scented candles and the size of your space. You don’t want it to be too much. I would also highly recommend putting them in or on something, especially if you’re renting your linens. You don’t want to ruin them, have wax everywhere, and not get your deposit back. You can buy the glass votives and hurricane vases to put large candles in.

I hope this helps! At least it’s a start. As I mentioned above, I love getting feedback and questions, so if there’s something you’d like to learn more about or ideas that you’re looking for, let me know – I’ll add a post about it!!

xoxo
Karen

Budget DIY Centerpieces

Budget DIY Centerpieces – around $65. Total.

Weddings are expensive. Period.

You think you are on a $10,000 budget. You are WAY off. The church, the wedding venue, DJ, photographer and catering cost $10,000. Alone. It didn’t include everything else that goes into a wedding. You didn’t even think about linens, dishes, the pastor, bridal party gifts, favors, cocktails, and your dress, the rings… The. List. Goes. On….

I get it. I was there. That’s my story above.

So, I thought I’d share what I did for my centerpieces. Maybe it will inspire you to be thrifty on these. Maybe not. Maybe it will bring other ideas to mind. Maybe not. But I hope it does.

We were on a 200-person guest budget. For everything. We ended up with about 160. Better to over-prepare than under, right? I thought so. I still do. It would be embarrassing to not have enough of something.

So, that being said, we had 20 tables of 10, so 20 centerpieces to make, plus we did 3 for the head table, so a total of 23.

I went to the dollar store and bought this cylinder vase:

You can probably find one you like at Ikea or a thrift store, or even a swap meet type thing. Total cost with tax was around $30.

I went to Ikea and bought a package of 24 floating white candles for $5.99 here:

Again, I’m sure you can buy packages of floating candles in several places, and they have plenty of colors, but this was exactly what I was looking for.

We went for a rustic theme. My family is from Minnesota and most of them still live there. Including my amazing parents. I asked my dad to make some wood rounds with our initials in a heart. He did them perfectly and they came out incredible. Cost: FREE

I also bought 3 of the packages of white, unscented votive candles & we put 3 on each table and around the venue for some extra light. These cost about $10 per package of 25. Total: $30

Our wedding colors were fuscia & dark brown. I filled the vases with fuschia bougainvillea. You can put whatever flowers work or fit best with your theme. We filled the vases with water, put the floating candle on top and this is what we ended up with! I couldn’t have been happier! I hope this helps inspire you or someone you love!


Bridal Shower Planning

Hosting a bridal shower for a friend, sister, best friend or loved one can be a lot of work, but so much fun!! Sometimes games can be cheesy and sometimes they can be a blast!! Here’s a couple ideas to make your day extra special!!

1. Schedule ahead – it’s best to plan the shower about 6-8 weeks before the wedding. Shoot for a 2-hour block of time and weekends usually work best. Plan ahead – people have busy lives and busy schedules –  the sooner you let your guests know, the better!

2. Stick to your Budget– usually the maid/matron-of-honor leads the charge with all the extra bridesmaids pitching in. The party-giver is usually the one to foot all the bills so making & sticking to your budget is key!

3. Venue – places book up quick, so, if you’re planning on going to a restaurant or venue, make sure to get it booked ahead of time!

4. Theme – it makes it more fun to pick out a theme, espcially if you can incorporate the theme of the wedding. Example: kitchen, new home, pamper-the-bride, or something more in-depth, like a Mexico destination wedding, have beachy attire, decorations, favor & games. Make sure to let your gusts know what the theme is!!

5. Guest List – it usually helps you out to have the bride & groom make the guest list – and it makes sure that all the ones they want there are at least invited! Make sure to plan ahead and send out invitations at least 6 weeks before the shower, especially if there will be any out-of-towners. Make sure to get all their information, including addresses, phone numbers & emails.

6. Invitations – DIY or have them created through a ton of great websites (see Save The Dates post for ideas for your invite). Make sure to line them up with your theme!! Include the date, start and end times–two hours should do it–event address, contact information, and gift registry.

7. Decorations – if you picked out a theme, make sure to continue it without overdoing it. Remember, focus on your bride and what she likes. It also helps to revolve your decorations around what she plans the wedding to be like. Incorporate her colors & her theme – it will really show her how much you care!

8. Photos – you can include pictures of the attendees and the bride together to make it fun and include everyone! Or, if you want to go above & beyond, reach out to all the girls invited and ask them to write something special – a memory or special quote – and make a little book that includes it all to give your bride to show how much she is loved!

9. Menu – this can be as laid back or as elegant as you want it. Everything works from a backyard BBQ to a high-end restaurant. It all depends on your bride-to-be and your budget. But, if you’re doing it yourself, look for tomorrow’s post for some wonderful recipe ideas!!

10. Favors – this is not necessary and completely depends on your budget. However, you can make it really fun and give your guests something to remember the fun event by! And there are always DIY options – see here for the flower pot favor I made – easy and so fun!!

11. Games – games can be silly and sometimes cheesy, but, as with everything else, depends on your bride. Check back for some fun ideas to make your day go a little smoother and be a blast for everyone there!

12. Setup/Cleanup – putting together a list of all the to-do’s you need for both before and after your event will seriously help you out. Take an extra 10-15 minutes to plan your day ahead. It will help streamline the day so that you’re not cleaning up too late.

13. Last minute details – don’t forget to make sure you have all the little things! Think about everything you need when you’re making your setup/cleanup to-do’s including making sure you have enough ice, serving utensils, music if you want/have it, etc.

14. HAVE FUN!!! Planning an event, especially if it’s not something you’re used to, can get a little stressful – the most important thing is to remember to HAVE FUN!! This is a special time in your lives & something to remember forever!!