The Budget Savvy Bride » Abby http://thebudgetsavvybride.com Budget Wedding Blog : Beautiful Weddings Without Breaking the Bank Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 The finishing touches http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/finishing-touches/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/finishing-touches/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:00:15 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=32070 I’m a big fan of finishing touches and small details.  Candles lit for dinner.  A single flower in a bud vase.  Just the right music on in the background.  Adding sprinkles to an iced cake.  I’m also a firm believer in the easier and more frugal the better.  If it takes too much trouble or […]

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I’m a big fan of finishing touches and small details.  Candles lit for dinner.  A single flower in a bud vase.  Just the right music on in the background.  Adding sprinkles to an iced cake.  I’m also a firm believer in the easier and more frugal the better.  If it takes too much trouble or costs too much money, it won’t happen.

Cookies by DJ's Test Kitchen

Cookies by DJ’s Test Kitchen (the baker who’s making our favors!)

 

Since my engagement to Mr. M, I’ve been receiving lots of catalogs with suggestions of how to personalize your wedding and add details that the guests will be remember.  And guess what?  99% of those ideas cost money.  

As someone who wanted a personal, thoughtful wedding, I started to consider ways to add details to our wedding while keeping my budget lean and clean.  Here are four finishing touches Mr. M and I are planning on incorporating into our day.

Music. When it came to choosing songs for our ceremony, I wanted to choose songs that would capture the depth and breadth of our lives and our collective life to come.  We’re having two congregational songs that we sang throughout our college years  and our recessional is a nod to some of Mr. M’s favorite books.  Since Mr. M’s an engineer and I’m in agriculture, we’re going to incorporate some parodies that our guests will know.  We’ll play this parody of “Thrift Shop” (which features my cousin!), and this parody of “I’m Sexy and I Know It.”  And our first dance? Well, that’s a surprise I can’t wait to share after our wedding,

Photos.  Mr. M and I both have loved ones who have passed away.  To honor their memory, we’re going to have framed photos of them on our appetizer tables.  It will be a special way to pay them tribute and introduce them to our guests through photos.

Favors.  Although we had initially nixed the idea of favors, I was introduced to a local baker who does decorative cookies (fun fact: she does all her work freehand!).  She charging us $13/dozen, and similar cookies run $4 each online.  It’s worth talking to your friends, searching Facebook and finding a deal.  

Ceremony.  My favorite way we’re personalizing our wedding is by carefully crafting our ceremony.  Mr. M and I have put a lot of time thinking about the details of our actual wedding.  From asking our beloved college friends to read the Scriptures we want to shape our life together to gifting our mothers roses to having our pastor from Purdue marry us, our ceremony will be sweet and personal.

I’d love to have more ideas about how to personalize a wedding the budget-savvy way!  So please, comment below with any other thoughts you have/things you’ve done.

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Tips for throwing a budget-savvy shower http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/tips-throwing-budget-savvy-shower/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/tips-throwing-budget-savvy-shower/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:30:43 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=31871 Not only is this a season of budget-savvy wedding planning, it’s also a season for budget-savvy wedding going! In the six weeks after our wedding, I have three weddings to attend and I’m a bridesmaid in two of those.  Suffice it to say, bridal showers are underway.  Between planning showers and having a few thrown […]

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Not only is this a season of budget-savvy wedding planning, it’s also a season for budget-savvy wedding going! In the six weeks after our wedding, I have three weddings to attend and I’m a bridesmaid in two of those.  Suffice it to say, bridal showers are underway.  Between planning showers and having a few thrown for me, I’ve picked up on some budget-savvy tips I thought I’d share.  

*Have your menu centered around an inexpensive food option.  One of the showers thrown for me was a brunch, and the main entree was two different egg casseroles served on china.  At a evening shower I’m co-hosting, my friend and I are doing pizza and wine. Also, how delicious does this champagne punch sound?  I definitely plan on putting that recipe to good use sometime soon.

*Host  with friends.  One shower I’m helping with has 5+ girls pitching in.  The bride’s sister is leading the charge, and we’re all helping with the details as directed by her  Not only is it a great way to share the costs, but I’m also getting to know my fellow bridesmaids of this wedding.  An important note: If co-hosting a shower w/ more than 2 people, have single person in charge to make the decisions.  This  facilitates drama-free preparations :)

*Thrift for the details.  My aunt and a dear friend threw me a beautiful shower recently.  For the table centerpieces, my aunt created these darling tiered platters using thrifted dishes, a candlestick and clear glasses.  She put a single rose and some filler in the  glass, and filled the platter with sweet breads (not pictured) and donut holes.  Beautiful and budget-savvy.

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*The meaningful is what matters.  Although all the showers that have been thrown in my honor have been beautiful, do you know what I remember most?  My beloved college academic adviser sharing about marriage by reading a letter she wrote to Mike and I out loud.  My maid-of-honor’s mom sharing a devotional about the joy and difficulties of the husband-wife relationship.  The women who have shaped me as a woman sharing memories of my growing up, middle-school, high school, and college years.  No matter your budget, these are elements that can be incorporated into any shower and make it truly beautiful.

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An important item I forgot to budget for http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/an-important-item-i-forgot-to-budget-for/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/an-important-item-i-forgot-to-budget-for/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:17:22 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=31672 The wedding countdown is on.  As I’m getting into the nitty and the gritty of wedding planning, the big details have been taken care of and I’m getting down into finalizing details and making last minute purchases.  Crafting is coming along (more posts on that later ) For me, many of the last minute purchases […]

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The wedding countdown is on.  As I’m getting into the nitty and the gritty of wedding planning, the big details have been taken care of and I’m getting down into finalizing details and making last minute purchases.  Crafting is coming along (more posts on that later :) )

For me, many of the last minute purchases include items that are easy to overlook when crafting a budget.  I recently wrote 50+ thank you notes for shower gifts, which took a chunk out of my stationery/postage budget.  I met with our caterer, and she reminded me about tipping our servers.  And, I’m going to get my dress altered soon, so I now there will be another line item on the budget spreadsheet.

But, do you want to know the biggest item I’ve forgotten to budget for?  My time.

film_countdown

The wedding season brings SO many wonderful activities like wedding showers, visits from special friends, time with family, etc…  I’ve learned, however, that those special times (which I wouldn’t trade for the world) can add stress if not well planned.  Throw in wedding planning and daily life, along with activities likes filing taxes, and I find myself moving from activity to activity without much time to savor the beauty of the months leading up to my wedding.  

So, just like I did when I sat down to reassess my budget, I’m currently in the midst of reassessing my time.  First, I’ve looked at what is set in stone in my schedule.  For instance, now until the end of March is hectic at work with a handful of evening events.  However, after that, my schedule opens up quite a bit.  I’m also thinking about my priorities: Visiting  Mr. M, time with family and friends, taking care of myself and finalizing wedding details.

What does this look like in real life? I’m talking with close family then friends first to make sure they’re getting first priority on my schedule.  I ordered a two new fitness DVDs so I can easily exercise when I have free time.  And, my mom and I have set aside Wednesdays as wedding craft night.  My weekends are mostly spent with Mr. M, and that includes taking care of a wedding details and premarital counseling.  I’m making careful notes on my calendar in my phone to keep track of where I’m supposed to be and when to keep my mind at ease.

John F. Kennedy said that we must use time as a tool, not as a couch.  I couldn’t agree more!  I’m looking forward to using this precious tool more intentionally in the last few months of wedding planning.

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Why I’m DIYing my veil http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/im-diying-veil/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/im-diying-veil/#comments Tue, 11 Mar 2014 15:30:34 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=31569 The title of this post would more accurately be “Why I decided to have my mom DIY my veil” as I’m not actually making the veil. WHO makes the veil isn’t so much the point of this post, but rather the WHY.  Here are some practical reasons to consider DIYing your veil. Making your veil […]

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The title of this post would more accurately be “Why I decided to have my mom DIY my veil” as I’m not actually making the veil. WHO makes the veil isn’t so much the point of this post, but rather the WHY.  Here are some practical reasons to consider DIYing your veil.

bridal veil

Making your veil can be inexpensive. Depending on what you’re looking for in a veil, sewing your own can be done for less that $10.  Some tulle, thread and a comb or two.  Voila! That gets you a simple, beautiful veil.  Perhaps you want to embellish it a bit.  Add a bit of lace or some sequins and pearl beads and your set.  Be careful though!  I’ve been told that embellishments can add up, so if you want something ornate, it might be in your best interest to purchase a pre-made veil.

You can create exactly what you want.  The back of my dress is my favorite part, and the veils I was seeing online weren’t giving me the look I wanted around my face while keeping my back visible.  Sewing your own veil offers you the freedom to create exactly what you’re envisioning.

It’s not that hard (or so I’m told).  I’ve been assured by many that sewing your own veil isn’t difficult.  Even if my mom wasn’t making the veil, this tutorial  would give me enough confidence to do it myself.

You can incorporate a treasure into your piece.  My friend was able to highlight a beautiful comb from her study abroad trip in Spain.  I’m using the fabric from my mom’s wedding veil.  If you have a treasure that you want to incorporate into your veil, DIYing let’s you do it.

Would you consider making your own veil?  Why or why not?

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Five Helpful and Fun Pinterest Boards http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/five-helpful-fun-pinterest-boards/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/five-helpful-fun-pinterest-boards/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 16:30:41 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=30761 Pinterest can be any bride’s best friend!  It’s especially important for the budget-savvy bride to ensure that Pinterest is serving her, and not the other way around.  This tool can be completely overwhelming and I’ve realized that it can be easy to rack up the bill as my mind fills with ideas for my wedding.  Nonetheless, I’ve […]

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Source: Three Custom Color Specialists

Pinterest can be any bride’s best friend!  It’s especially important for the budget-savvy bride to ensure that Pinterest is serving her, and not the other way around.  This tool can be completely overwhelming and I’ve realized that it can be easy to rack up the bill as my mind fills with ideas for my wedding.  Nonetheless, I’ve that Pinterest can be chock-full helpful tips, inspiration and cost-effective ideas for making my wedding beautiful and inexpensive. Here some fun Pinterest boards that I’d recommend!

  • Design Seeds has all sorts of color inspiration!  Maybe it’s because Indiana is literally freezing as I’m writing this, I’m especially taken with this Winter Chirp color scheme.
  • If you still need some help choosing your colors, Wedding Color Stories have pins of real-life weddings in various colors.  This board gives you a great idea of what certain wedding colors may look like photographed.
  • As the title implies, the board Budget Wedding Tips has pins with various links to good deals and advice for saving money on your big day.  I found this pin about DIY wedding makeup especially helpful.
  • Although I’m pretty traditional and like to keep things classic, I enjoyed looking through the board Modern Wedding Touches. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a funfetti cake for your wedding cake???
  • For brides on a budget who want fresh flowers at their wedding, Budget Wedding Ideas from Something Floral has wonderful ideas and suggestions for budget-savvy flowers and flowers in general.  Since my aunts and I are doing our flowers, this pin about various bouquets will ensure that we’re on the same page.

Are there any Pinterest boards you’ve found helpful?  Please share in the comments below :)

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Budget Update http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/budget-update/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/budget-update/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 16:30:40 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=30753 If you remember from my first post, my initial target budget was $10,000 for 200 people.  It seemed like an impossible task, but I thought “Hey, I’m up for the challenge!”  Deep down, I think I knew that I would need to re-assess the budget and increase it.  And, I was right.  As I was […]

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If you remember from my first post, my initial target budget was $10,000 for 200 people.  It seemed like an impossible task, but I thought “Hey, I’m up for the challenge!”  Deep down, I think I knew that I would need to re-assess the budget and increase it.  And, I was right.  As I was assessing wedding costs and budgeting, I too often felt like Leslie Knope from this scene of “Parks and Rec.”

rob-lowe-on-parks-and-recreation

So, a chat with Mr. M and a generous offer from my parents, and we decided to up our budget to $1,000.  Mr. M and I are fortunate enough to have our parents helping us with the wedding, a gift we’re quite thankful for.  

How is our budget shaping-up?  Here’s the official update with rough estimates.

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Here’s a bird’s eye view of where the money is going:

  • Venue: We’re getting married at a local college near my home.  Because it’s my dad’s alma mater, we received a 20% discount.  
  • Appetizers, Dinner  + Tips:  Mr. M and I wanted to feed our guests a plated meal, and we cut the cost by having a single option (with requests for vegetarian meals if desired).  The catering deal was a package, which included a salad, entree and dessert.  Since a cake wasn’t important to Mr. M and I, the caterer let us have cupcake for our dessert, another cost-saving measure!  Note: Don’t forget about tips for the catering staff, and make sure you find out the best way to distribute the tips.
  • Favors: Although Mr. M and I had originally decided not to do favors, but since we were able to save some money with cake, we decided to have custom cookies made to give our guests.
  • Stationery: We’re having invitations made from a template printed at a local printer.  Also, we’re having people reply via email versus traditional RSVP cards.
  • Photography: This is a big splurge for us, but we are so happy that we chose the photographer we did and have no regrets!
  • Bride’s Attire: I got a steal on my dress ($700ish marked down to $250; just need alterations!), a friend of the family who is in beauty school is doing my hair, and I’m having a make-over done by a friend who’s a Mary Kay consultant.  All of this should come to $500.
  • Groom’s Attire: We’re still in the process of selecting Mr. M’s suit, but I expect that it will come in under $500.
  • Church Decor: We’re keeping it simple and sweet– tulle bows at the end of the aisles, some candles and few flowers.  This is a big advantage of getting married in a pretty location.
  • Flowers: Sam’s Club and Blooms by the Box are going to be my best friends!  This includes flowers for the reception tables, attendants, greeters, ushers, the church, etc…
  • Reception Decor: What do Goodwill, a special collection of mine and gray fabric have in common?  You’ll have to tune in later for a tutorial to see how I’m keeping my reception decor down.
  • People: This includes the fee for our pastor and his airfare, a friend who’s is helping with sound, and a gentleman from church who is doing our videography.

We’re still a bit over budget, but I’m not concerned.  I think it will be easy to shave off some of the expenses as we incur them.  Mr. M and I are less than 4 months out from our wedding, and it’s a great feeling to know that we’re not that far off of our new budget!

 

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5 Truths About My Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/5-truths-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/5-truths-wedding/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 16:30:23 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=30749 Did you have a chance to read Anne Almasy’s article on the lies we’re being told by the wedding industry?  She does a great job of articulating those quiet voices that are so hard to ignore when making decisions about our wedding.  If you haven’t read her article, stop reading this post, click here, read […]

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Did you have a chance to read Anne Almasy’s article on the lies we’re being told by the wedding industry?  She does a great job of articulating those quiet voices that are so hard to ignore when making decisions about our wedding.  If you haven’t read her article, stop reading this post, click here, read what she has to stay, and then pop back over here!

Reflecting on the lies Almasy’s highlighted, I started to consider what I’m being told about weddings that is true.  

Vintage

Here are five things that I hope will be true about my wedding:

  • My wedding will go against the grain of wedding culture.  If you’re on this blog reading what my fellow BSB bloggers have written, you know that we believe we can have a meaningful wedding without the wedding industry defining what a successful, beautiful wedding is.  That’s pretty counter-cultural in a society that embraces materialism and appearances.
  • My wedding will be a solemn event.  The word solemn is too often thought of as stoic.  But look it up in a dictionary, and you’ll discover that it’s also synonymous for sincere, earnest and heartfelt.  I want every element of my wedding to express that Mr. M and I are approaching our marriage thoughtfully and wholeheartedly. 
  • My wedding will be a time for family and friends.  I am so excited to have all the people we love in one place.  We kept the guest list as small as possible (200 people, which was pretty amazing since we’re getting married in my hometown) so that we would be enjoying the day with the people with whom we have shared life.
  • My wedding will be a joy-filled celebration.  Although the wedding will be solemn, I hope it will also be a day filled with laughter and savoring the goodness of life– Enjoying good food,dancing to good music, and being with the people we love!  
  • My wedding will change my life.  That truth is pretty self-explanatory.  We’re having a wedding to get married, and marriage will mean significant and immediate life changes for Mr. M and me.  Moreover, we know this decision to marry will impact everyday for the rest of our lives too.  What will happen at this wedding will be the second most life-altering event of my life… and that’s kind of a big (and exciting) deal.

It’s important that we not only listen to the lies we’re told about weddings and marriage, but be aware of the beauty and truths that can be easily overlooked.  Are there any lies that you’ve caught yourself believing about weddings/marriage?  Any truths you’d care to share?

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A Rehearsal Dinner Checklist http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/rehearsal-dinner-checklist/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/rehearsal-dinner-checklist/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 16:00:48 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=30522 As the wedding draws closer, lists are becoming my best ally.  I have a list for what I need to accomplish by the end of each month.  A list for who’s doing what in the wedding.  A list for who gets what flower.  A packing list for the wedding.  A packing list for the honeymoon. […]

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Rehearsal Dinner Sign from Etsy

As the wedding draws closer, lists are becoming my best ally.  I have a list for what I need to accomplish by the end of each month.  A list for who’s doing what in the wedding.  A list for who gets what flower.  A packing list for the wedding.  A packing list for the honeymoon.  

There’s one important list that could be easy to overlook, and that’s the list for the rehearsal dinner!  What are the important items you need to remember for the night before your wedding?  Here are the six big items that are left on my rehearsal dinner checklist:

 

  • A location: This is an obvious one, but I’d recommend find a location for your dinner as soon as possible.  Depending on the size of your guest list, it can be challenging to find a location that is close to your venue, affordable and the right atmosphere.  Don’t be afraid to think outside to box too!  Last June, I attended a rehearsal dinner in a re-furbinshed garage of an Amish family.  Incredible food and awesome atmosphere!
  • A dress: I wanted something special to wear the evening before my wedding.  The rehearsal dinner will be a special time with family and friends filled with many memories, and it will be fun to have a special outfit. By starting to look for a dress now, I’m giving myself plenty of time to score a budget-savvy deal.
  • A guest list: Who are you going to invite to your rehearsal dinner?  For us, it wasn’t a question with the simplest answer.  It was important for us to have a guest list for the rehearsal dinner so we knew exactly who to plan for and how much the dinner would cost.
  • A plan: I’d recommend going into the rehearsal dinner with a a loose agenda for the evening.  Obviously, you want the evening to be relaxed and enjoyable.  But, there are important things we want to make sure we accomplish at our dinner. 
  • Toasts/speech: Mr. M and I want to take some time at the rehearsal dinner to thank and honor those who have invested in our lives and are helping with our big day.  Obviously, we want to plan out what we’re going to say (to avoid rambling) and remember to bring our speech with us.
  • Gifts: We have quite the list of gifts to give to our friends and family, and we don’t want to forget anyone!

 

What’s on your rehearsal dinner checklist?

As always, chime in if I’m forgetting anything.  It’s easy for the rehearsal dinner to take the back-burner because of the wedding day, and I’m hoping that some careful planning early on will make the rehearsal dinner easy and meaningful!

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Choosing Our Wedding Style : Simple + English-Midwestern + Chic http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/choosing-our-wedding-style/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/choosing-our-wedding-style/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 16:00:53 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=30517 While some brides begin planning their wedding with a clear sense of what they want it to look like, I began my wedding focusing on a collection elements that I liked and Mr. M approved of.  As the various pieces have come together, our wedding style has solidified.   So what is our wedding style? […]

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http://www.brides.com/wedding-flowers/2000000002075516 http://weddingphotography-sydney.com/rustic-vintage-chic-wedding-decor.html http://bridalmusings.com/2013/12/english-garden-diy-wedding-katherine-ashdown-photography/ http://www.twodelighted.com/2012/03/27/babys-breath-wreath-diy/#.UtyVUGQo7-Z http://www.thetiebar.com/order_page.asp?pn=22142&orderPageReturn=/categoryPages/White_Ties.asp&pg=2&categoryIds=31,79&optionValueIds=http://www.onewed.com/photos/tagged/suit http://www.bridalguide.com/blogs/from-dianes-desk/add-romance-to-your-reception http://www.itheebling.com/blog/make-statement-wedding-shoes-2/ http://www.cococozy.com/2010/01/flawless-floral-design.html

Image 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9.

While some brides begin planning their wedding with a clear sense of what they want it to look like, I began my wedding focusing on a collection elements that I liked and Mr. M approved of.  As the various pieces have come together, our wedding style has solidified.

 

So what is our wedding style?  

I’m defining it as simple English-Midwestern chic.

 

So many words there that don’t immediately seem to go together.  What do they mean?

  • Simple: Natural & understated.
  • English: “Downton Abbey” + “Doc Martin” + a dash of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
  • Midwestern: Think food, dancing and a good time. 
  • Chic: Dressy & elegant.

 

So how are we pulling together this wedding style?  

Lace.  A traditional chapel.  Dark wood.  Cowboy boots in a picture or two.  Pink, red and white roses.  Gold and silver.  A musical nod to “Lord of the Rings.”  Glass vases.  Old books.  Candlelight. Set tables with name cards. Our favorite songs, including “Wagon Wheel” and “Beer for my horses.”

 

Will it be a bit eclectic?  Yes.  Are we defying the “wedding rules”? Probably.  Do I love how it’s shaping up?  Yes.

 

If you have an idea of your dream wedding style it will be oh-so helpful as you’re making decisions.  However, if you’re a bit more like me and are trying to figure out what you want your wedding to look like, take heart!  Start making note of your favorite wedding-things, and you’ll find your wedding style coming together.

 

How did you come to a decision on your wedding style?

Is your chosen wedding style as eclectic as ours?

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Thoughts on honeymoon registries? http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/thoughts-honeymoon-registries/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/thoughts-honeymoon-registries/#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 16:30:43 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=30142 Mr. M and I are in the thick of planning our honeymoon.  And while we’re over the moon (ha, see what I did there  ) about how wonderful it will be, expenses are starting to quickly add up as we’re making our budget. A friend of ours who was married in June created a honeymoon […]

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honeymoon-registry1

Mr. M and I are in the thick of planning our honeymoon.  And while we’re over the moon (ha, see what I did there  ;-) ) about how wonderful it will be, expenses are starting to quickly add up as we’re making our budget.

A friend of ours who was married in June created a honeymoon registry for herself and her husband, and they had wonderful results! Mr. M and I are currently planning on following their example, but are still weighing out the pros and cons of honeymoon registries.  Below are some of the pros I’ve come up with, but I have some questions too. 

Pros of honeymoon registries:

  • Provides the couple with additional resources to use on their honeymoon to enjoy activities they’d otherwise skip. 
  • Gives guests an opportunity to pool resources together to give the couple a special experience. 
  • Offers the couple an alternative to registering for traditional household registry, or a way to supplement their household registry if they’re not creating a full registry. 

Questions about honeymoon registries:

  • Will guests perceive us as cheapskates? 
  • How can we ensure that we have our resources in time for the honeymoon?
  • Am I overlooking any items that I should have on my household registry that I haven’t thought of? I don’t want to register for our honeymoon if there are items I’ve missed for my household registry.  
  • Is there anything you wished you had registered for but forgot about/overlooked?

Would love to hear any feedback/thoughts you have about honeymoon registries or registries in general!

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