Friday, April 27, 2012


According to, on average US couples spend $26,542 on their wedding. That doesn't even include the cost of engagement rings or wedding bands. There are so many simple ways to save money that most people don't think about.

Inexpensive glasses and silverware can be bought at a dollar store for less than it cost to rent.

It can be less expensive to buy fabric and make your own table clothes rather than renting them.

Candles are an affordable way to provide light and add ambiance.

Ask your family and friends for help. You may know a photographer, disc jockey, musician, chef, pastry chef, bartender, or someone who can officiate the vows.

Fruit is less expensive than flowers for centerpieces.

When you send out your wedding invitations, include postcard RSVPs. The postage costs less and you don't have to buy return envelopes

Many kinds of food can be cooked in advance and frozen instead of hiring a catering service.

Consider making small boxes of candy as wedding favors. Its an inexpensive way to give a gift that the guests can enjoy.

Bouquets are easy to create with store bought flowers, floral tape, and ribbon.

Restrict the bar to wine and beer to save on expensive liquors.

Information from Times Community Newspaper

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Lucky for me, my big sister is a wedding cake decorator. She is truly brilliant when it comes to icing! I know most people don't have a cake decorator in the family, but remember that when you are doing a DIY wedding to pull in every favor and ask every friend their hidden talents!

I am truly the worst cook in the world. But here are some easy "do it yourself" wedding cakes that can be done by anyone, even me. Remember to be creative and think outside of the box. I'm not saying you have to learn how to make perfect roses out of fondant icing. Check these out...

Simple Cake with Real Flowers for Decoration

Chocolate Candy Filled Cups
Stack cake stands on top of each other and display them to look like a cake.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Cookie Tower
Stack cake stands on top of each other and display them to look like a cake.

Cream Puffs


Miniature Fruit Tarts
Stack cake stands on top of each other and display them to look like a cake.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Save the Dates


Wedding Announcements


Place Cards

Table Cards

Menu Cards

Guest Book

Shower Invitations


Thank You Notes

Specialty Cards

Saturday, April 21, 2012


When picking out a diamond it is important to pay attention to the "Four C's." This includes cut, color, clarity, and carats.

The cut is what causes light to reflect in the diamond. A better cut allows more light to reflect. This is what makes the stone sparkle. The reflection is called brilliance and is most important in determining the cost of the stone. Cut can also be referring to the shape of the diamond. Diamonds come in many shapes. The most common shape is round. Square cuts are second, followed by the less popular oval cuts.

Most people think diamonds are colorless. The common diamond contains hints of yellow, brown, or grey. A completely colorless diamond is very rare and expensive. There are also "fancy stones," which are diamonds that have noticeable color differences. These are also more expensive than the ones that have just a hint of color.

Flawless diamonds have no blemishes or interior inclusions, which are mineral crystals trapped inside the diamond. The more irregularities, the cheaper the diamond is. All diamonds, except flawless ones have some irregularities. Value is also determined by whether or not the small blemishes effect the light reflection.

Carat is the least important of the four C's when it comes to the value of a diamond. A flawless and clear 3/4 carat diamond may be much more expensive then a common 1 carat diamond. If cut, color, and clarity are equal then a larger carat diamond will be more expensive.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Thank you notes are necessary after a wedding no matter what type of gift was given. Even if you have thanked the gift giver in person, you still need to send a formal thank you.

Carefully record all gifts you receive for you wedding and whom they are from.

Send thank you notes as soon as possible after the wedding. Within two weeks of receiving the gift is a good time frame to follow.

In the note, it should state...

  • What the gift was
  • It's usefulness
  • Your appreciation
  • Something personal toward the giver
  • If a monetary gift was received, do not mention the amount. Tell what you will put the money towards.

Do not send out generic thank you notes. Remember that your guests spent time and money on your wedding and gift, and deserve a special thank you.

Here is a great example...

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Thank you so much for the beautiful set of stemware. We have it prominently displayed in our china cabinet and have already gotten compliments on it. Whenever we toast to happiness and good health we will be reminded of you and toast to you as well.

Thank you for attending the wedding and sharing our special day with us! It meant so much to us to have you there.

We hope to see you soon!
Joe and Jane

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Rolled Fondant
Fondant is very popular in wedding cakes. It is made out of sugar and very little shortening. It acts like play dough and is easy to mold into decorations. It can also be rolled to create a perfectly flat surface and makes the cake look very neat and professional. It holds its shape well and also keeps moisture inside the cake so that it doesn't dry out.

Rolled Chocolate
Creates a similar effect to fondant but is great for chocolate lovers.

Another popular choice in wedding cakes: it is made out of butter and sugar. It is argued that it tastes better than fondant, however it can also melt easier and is not good for hot climates. Buttercream can come in flavors including French, chocolate, and white chocolate.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Picking a date is the first thing you should do once a budget is chosen. There are many ways to go about picking your date.

Venue/Vendor Availability
If you are like the girls in Bride Wars and have had your heart set on a certain venue since you were a little girl, then it is best to check their availability first. If they only have a few days open, then you will probably choose one of those dates for the wedding. This is the same if you have a certain vendor in mind that you really want to use.

If you are on a tight budget, you may want to ask venues if there is a discount for the months that are not as popular. Most weddings happen between June and October. Having a wedding in April, for example, could save a lot of money. In addition, most weddings happen on Saturdays. You can ask if there are discounts for Friday or Sunday Weddings.

You can choose a wedding for a number of reasons. If you want an outdoor wedding, then you want to choose a month that is warm outside. If you want to arrive in a horse drawn carriage with a blanket of snow on the ground then you can't choose August. Maybe you have a certain color scheme that matches the Fall. You could have bought a dress that has long sleeves, so you don't want it to be too hot out.

Choosing a day that works for your guest could be very important. Choose a time around a holiday when a lot of people have off from work. If you are having a destination wedding then you might want to choose a time when people would go on vacation anyway.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Marriage licenses often expire. This means you have to plan when you get your license so that the wedding falls within the time period. Here is a list of how long you have to get married once your license is issued according to state.

 Alabama- 30 days
 Alaska- 3 months
 Arizona- 1 year
 Arkansas- 60 days
 California- 90 days
 Colorado- 30 days
 Connecticut- 65 days
 Delaware- 30 days
 Florida- 60 days
 Georgia- no expiration
 Hawaii- 30 days
 Idaho- no expiration
 Illinois- 60 days
 Indiana- 60 days
 Iowa- 6 months
 Kansas- 6 months
 Kentucky- 30 days
 Louisiana- 30 days
 Maine- 90 days
 Maryland- 6 months
 Massachusetts- 60 days
 Michigan- 30 days
 Minnesota- 6 months
 Mississippi- no expiration
 Missouri- 30 days
 Montana- 180 days
 Nebraska- 1 year
 Nevada- 1 year
 New Hampshire- 90 days
 New Jersey- 30 days
 New Mexico- no expiration
 New York- 60 days
 North Carolina- 60 days
 North Dakota- 60 days
 Ohio- 60 days
 Oklahoma- 30 days
 Oregon- 60 days
 Pennsylvania- 60 days
 Rhode Island- 90 days
 South Carolina- no expiration
 South Dakota- 20 days
 Tennessee- 30 days
 Texas- 30 days
 Utah- 30 days
 Vermont- 60 days
 Virginia- 60 days
 Washington- 60 days
 West Virginia- 60 days
 Wisconsin- 30 days
 Wyoming- no expiration

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Here is a list of things you must bring with you in order to get a marriage license. Please check within your state since each state is different. Some require blood tests, etc. Here is a pretty common list...

Your soon to be spouse- You must apply in person at the same time.
Proof of residence- Driver's license, lease, utility bill, etc.
2 Forms of Photo ID- Passport, License, etc.
Social Security Card
Certified copy of birth certificate
Location and date of marriage
Officiant's name, address, and phone number
Names for both parents- Including middle names and maiden names

If you don't speak English- A third party to interpret
If under 18- Signed consent from parent or guardian
If previously married- Copy of judgement of divorce, annulment, or death certificate

Note: Call ahead to ask how long a marriage license lasts. It is different in different states. Make sure to plan it so that your wedding is before the expiration date.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


One thing that always confuses me, is who traditionally pays? There are many ways to handle the costs of a wedding. The family might offer a flat amount, which the bride and groom can use how they like. The bride and groom may be paying for the whole thing themselves. The family may offer to pay for a specific part of the wedding. However, the traditional breakdown goes something like this...

Bride's Family
Invitations and announcements (including postage)
Wedding dress and accessories
Bouquets for the bridesmaids and flower girl
Groom's boutonniere
Bridesmaids party or luncheon
Flowers for the ceremony and reception
Rental costs for the ceremony and reception
Photography and videography
Musicians for the wedding and reception
Food, beverages, catering for the reception
Wedding cake
Gifts for the bridesmaids
Accommodations for the bridesmaids
Groom's wedding gift
Groom's wedding ring
Transportation for the wedding party on the wedding day

Groom's Family
Marriage license
Officiant's fee
Rehearsal dinner
Bride's bouquet
Decorations on the "just married" car
Corsages for mothers and boutonnieres for groomsmen
Gifts for groomsmen
Accommodations for groomsmen
Bride's wedding gift
Bride's engagement and wedding rings
Groom's wedding attire

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Don't get me wrong, church weddings are beautiful. However, I've always been one to stand out. There are so many amazing places where you can have a wedding besides churches and special occasion venues. Here is a list of amazing wedding locations that your guests will NEVER forget...





Theme Park

Under Water



Friday, April 6, 2012


If you have been to a few weddings you probably have a draw full of wedding favors. Items like small picture frames, candles, name card holders, etc. Although these are great ideas for a wedding, and I'm sure the bride and groom put a lot of effort into it, they often become knickknacks to the guests. I personally love the idea of wedding favors that you can use or better... eat.

Chocolate is probably the most used edible favor and for good reason. Who doesn't like chocolate? Be careful not to choose something with common allergies like nuts. Great ideas for favors include packaged truffles, brownie bites, candy covered chocolates, chocolate covered strawberries, etc. Make sure you have some place to refrigerate them. This is not a great favor if you are having a summer wedding or outdoor wedding since they might melt.

You can fill a jar with anything. Great ideas include honey, jam, jelly, olives, herbs, sea salt, berries, tea, etc. These look so cute and are sure to be used in the kitchen!

Ideas for cookies include professionally iced cookies, fortune cookies (with customized fortunes inside), home made cookies, etc. Butter cookies are the easiest to cut into different shapes because they are pretty sturdy.

This is great for someone doing a DIY wedding or someone on a budget. You can buy things in bulk and split it up into smaller "make-your-own" favors. Great ideas for this include hot chocolate mix, cupcake mix, drink mix, cookie mix, tea, etc.

Candies have become very popular at weddings lately. You can give out small packets of candy wrapped in fabric or in a box, or you can offer a candy bar. Have an array of candies on display, which match your theme or color. Provide small containers for each guest to fill up, and allow your guests to pick and choose what they want.

You can offer fruit as a favor. If you are extremely healthy and into organic items, you can provide a apple, pear, etc. If you have a sweet tooth you can make candy apples, chocolate covered apples, chocolate covered strawberries, etc.

Cupcakes placed in small boxes are a great snack "to go." However, these don't last as long. You might use cupcakes instead of a wedding cake. Packaging them makes it easy to pass out and easy to travel with. 

Bottle up your favorite things. Great ideas include hot sauce, barbecue sauce, chocolate sauce, maple syrup, champagne, olive oil, etc. You can choose this to match your theme, the time of year, or your color story.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Wedding Rings
This tradition started in ancient Egypt. The round shape of a ring symbolized eternal love. It is worn on the forth finger of the left hand because they believed that there is a blood vessel that goes directly to the heart.

The bouquet has held many different meanings, most of which depend on what was in the bouquet. Orange blossoms were carried by Saracen brides for fertility. Some carried a mix of herbs and flowers to ward off evil spirits. Bouquets of dill were carried for fertility and eaten after the ceremony to encourage lust.

In ancient times, bridesmaids were used to keep the bride safe against evil spirits. They acted as decoys for the spirits by dressing like the bride and were there to confuse the spirits or help deter them to leave the bride be.

Father Giving the Bride Away
The tradition of the father walking the bride down the aisle is meant to show that the father endorses the choice of husbands and is giving his daughter away as a pure bride.

Kissing the Bride
A kiss used to symbolize a legal bond. The kiss at the end of the ceremony was meant to seal the deal on the marriage.

Wedding Cake
In Roman times a cake was made out of wheat for the wedding. It was broken over the brides head for fertility. The guests would eat a piece for good luck, and women would often put a piece under their pillow when sleeping in hopes of finding their own husband.

Throwing Rice
Rice throwing began in the middle ages. Wheat and rice were thrown to symbolize fertility for the couple.

Information from the Times Community Newspapers