The Budget Savvy Bride » Jennifer Stevens http://thebudgetsavvybride.com Budget Wedding Blog : Beautiful Weddings Without Breaking the Bank Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:30:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Intimate Outdoor Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/intimate-outdoor-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/intimate-outdoor-wedding/#comments Thu, 26 Dec 2013 16:30:00 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=27132               Jennifer & John  August 31st, 2013 Olivet, Michigan   What was your budget?  Our original budget: $6,000 Wedding total spent: $ 5,600 ($400 under!) Total Guests: 62 (invited 88) THE “BIG” STUFF (where we saved!):  Dress + Alterations: $405 + $80 = $485 Wedding Bands: $69.99 Boutonnieres + […]

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Jennifer & John 
August 31st, 2013
Olivet, Michigan

 

What was your budget? 

Our original budget: $6,000

Wedding total spent: $ 5,600 ($400 under!)

Total Guests: 62 (invited 88)

THE “BIG” STUFF (where we saved!): 

Dress + Alterations: $405 + $80 = $485

Wedding Bands: $69.99

Boutonnieres + Handmade Bouquets //materials, fabric, pins, brooches// $395

Chair, Table , Dance Floor and Tents Rental: $500

DJ Rental: $400 (discounted rate for referrals)

Photography: $600 (discounted rate being friends of the vendors!)

Videography: $600 (discounted rate being friends of the vendors!)

Programs & Brochures: $27 (with Groupon savings through Vista Print)

Beer Brew & Hard Cider brew materials: $40

EXPENSES PAID BY OTHERS / FREE STUFF / GIFTED WEDDING EXPENSES

Venue:  Free (Bride’s Parent’s House)

Officiant: Free (Father-of-the-Groom officiated)

Bales of Straw: Borrowed from Bride’s Grandfather’s Farm

Food: Gift (paid for and made by mother-of-the-groom)

Cake/cupcakes/cookies/brownies: Free (gift)

Ring Bearer Handmade Pillow: Free (gift)

Keezer: made by the groom, paid for by the groom and not with wedding expenses

 

 

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

Pretty much everything was DIY.  But, the hardest, most creative thing we had to come up with, was how to decorate the garage/barn as our reception area. We had cocktail tables, a dance floor and we would have our DJ … but the ceiling was open, the walls metal with wood beams and nothing about the 2 stall garage even remotely looked like a wedding. After several ideas on the table, and a few trial and error runs, we realized that a lot of white plastic table cloth draped from the center to the walls and then covering the walls, topped with a lot of tulle and lights would be exactly what we needed. It took 4 days of hard work and there was blood, sweat and tears put into it, but it turned out exactly as we had envisioned it would. If not, better!

My grandfather, who I was very close to, passed away in March of 2007. In his honor, I, as often I see this done, had a charm with a photo of he and I when I was just a baby on my bouquet. In addition, I made a reserved seat in the front row, last seat on the end, exactly where he would have sat had he been with us today. 

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The largest and most expensive thing on the list was cut. A sit down dinner with catering. This would mean a larger tent rental (being outside at my parent’s there was no telling if it would be raining to pull a brave “tables in the woods” maneuver), tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, and then of course, the actual catered food. We went with two meats, salads, coleslaw and rolls along with the candy bar for our small wedding of 62 to enjoy around the property and mingle while we took our photos. This ended up working perfectly and everything flowed smoothly, nobody stood around hot and hungry and we didn’t feel rushed to get through our photos.

 

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

Know that this is just one day. It’s about you and your husband and the two of you making a commitment that binds the two of you together, with your family. The people who are there, they mattered to us, in terms of privacy and keeping it to only immediate family, bridal party and 10 of our closest friends invited. On that note, know what’s important to you and stick to it. Don’t bend. I had to hold my ground and I was thankful for not only a husband who stood by my wishes to not allow family/friends to invite people who we didn’t know but also to have our parents back us up as well. This is a very, VERY touchy subject with most families and friends, but as long as you stand your ground and explain why you have chosen to keep your wedding day private (if that’s your wish) then your friends and family who love you and respect your wishes will understand.

 

What was your biggest splurge?

My hair extensions in lieu of a veil and my floral headpiece. (Adding 12 inches to my current length.) Worth it! 

 

What was your favorite detail?

I had  a hard time choosing just one. We put so much into every piece of our wedding, that everything was special and meant something. I thought about the “unexpected” details of my dad showing up with fireworks that were set off at dusk, or the chain mail that showed up (a friend makes it for fun) and another friend (who is taking a fencing class) just happened to having his fencing sword in his trunk …

Then there was the moment at the end of the day when we lit off 40 paper lanterns – it was so much fun, everyone was involved and we all stood together, as a family, watching them disappear across the horizon.

When it came down to it, my favorite detail was a handmade banner reading “All I Ever Wanted”, which was the title of the song for our first dance. Our story starts when we were just kids in youth group together. When I was 16 I stopped going to that church and it was 13 years before we saw one another again. In those 13 years, I married the wrong man and lived a life that I always had a feeling that something was wrong. And it was. John always kept coming to mind. It turns out, he was all I ever wanted. He was the one who made my heart skip a beat (and still does) and he was the one I was in love with. After 13 years, we found one another again … and I’ve never been happier! 

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Aside from my husband coming out dressed as MC Hammer for the Garter removal and doing a full dance to “Can’t Touch This”?! (Seriously have never laughed so hard in my life!)

I was standing in my mom’s bedroom suite where we had all gotten ready and everyone had left to go outside to get in line to walk down the aisle … I could hear the music starting up outside as my friend and artist, Wesley, started playing the guitar. I could hear the girls and guys outside laughing and talking about order and where everyone needed to be, the flower girls getting excited and even my Ring Bearer chatting away with the girls … I was standing alone, for the first time all day, in my wedding dress and it was the first moment I saw myself in the dress, with my hair and headpiece … and I did my best not to let any tears out but I pulled back and sobbed inside. It was the happiest moment. To see it all coming together, and to glance out the window, see the gazebo decorated and our guests sitting down on the bales of straw, watching my mother and mother-in-law and grandmother getting seated, and trying to keep from seeing my soon-to-be husband. As I stood there, in that two, maybe three minutes of quiet where it was just me, I felt the most calm I had ever felt. It was the moment I was about to marry the man I scribbled hearts around our names when I was ten, who even over the last 13 years apart kept popping into my mind randomly and wondering if someday I’d be so lucky that my entire life would turn upside down and things could be different … and knowing, in that very moment, that it did. I was marrying that boy.

I walked out and my dad was standing outside the door on the deck at the end of the line, facing forward, calmly waiting. I stepped through the door and he looked at me and smiled and asked “So, are you ready?”. I was a bit choked up but was able to make out a firm “yes” as I put my arm in his and walked up to the edge of the porch to our “decent” down the stairs.

I looked up and I saw John, I could see the look on his face, seeing me for the first time. And I lost it. Everything about the day came flooding into my soul and then, I looked over to the “reserved” seat for my grandfather who has passed away, and I was pretty sure at that point that nothing could save me from this point where I was about to just start crying uncontrollably, filled with so much happiness, and the wishing that my grandfather were there in that chair.

Fortunately, my ring bearer was a flirt and had plans of his own to re-dictate the plan of the ceremony and would be escorting the flower girls down the aisle himself – yes, both of them and he called them his girls. I’m not sure how the basket was being held let alone the pillow as all of this happened, since there was one big basket the girls were sharing to throw petals. I looked up, tears welling up and ready to loose all control, when I see the trail of yellow and purple flower petals starting at the base of the steps and veering off to the left … away from the gazebo and the aisle … I look up to see the three of them, running and giggling as petals are going everywhere, at a dead run for the POND! I could see the looks on the guests faces and some of the family calling them to come back to the aisle … which they did … and continued their walk down the aisle (and might I add that at rehearsal, the ring bearer walked the girls down just the same except he stopped at the altar with the girls as if HE were the one getting married … this kid … I tell you, his parents better be ready!).

I walked down the aisle and my eyes were on John the entire time. The tears of joy came back and I was sobbing and then started giggling nervously because, well, I was crying. My dad gave me away …and in that moment, I felt this incredible feeling of fulfillment. My dad (is actually my step-dad) and being married before, my brother had given me away. Having him give me away (my stepdad) meant more than I think he knows. Probably more than I’ll ever be able to describe.

 

VENDORS 

Photography: John Kurtz Photography & Sky12 Studios   //   Videography: Jonathan Caswell & Sky12 Studios  //   Hair & Makeup: Lauren Robinson, Ulta, Kalamazoo, Michigan and Jamie Koyl, Pure Eden Salon, Marshall, Michigan  //   Live Music: Wesley Jay  //  DJ Services: High Voltage, Marshall, Michigan  //  Table, Tents, Chairs, Dance Floor Rental: Grand Rental Station, Battle Creek, Michigan

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The Pros and Cons of using Pinterest to Plan Your Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-using-pinterest-to-plan-your-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-using-pinterest-to-plan-your-wedding/#comments Mon, 21 Oct 2013 13:00:55 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=24716 My sister-in-law was married several years ago and when I started planning our wedding, I remember her telling me how badly she wished that Pinterest existed when she was planning their wedding. (It may have existed, but it wasn’t something people really used much or talked about just yet.) Pinterest. It’s a Budget Savvy Bride’s […]

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My sister-in-law was married several years ago and when I started planning our wedding, I remember her telling me how badly she wished that Pinterest existed when she was planning their wedding. (It may have existed, but it wasn’t something people really used much or talked about just yet.)

Pinterest. It’s a Budget Savvy Bride’s crutch. It’s a fantastic way to get great crafty ideas, find articles, look at photos and get great ideas that stand out to you.

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It’s also addictive.

I think most of us nod our heads in agreement when it comes to thinking about our Pinterest-surfing and the increased frequency once the ring went on our finger. I know mine certainly did. And I think we can all agree there are pros and cons of using Pinterest while planning your wedding.

Inspiration and idea after idea in the palm of your hand on your smartphone. One DIY project after another to replicate a piece from a high-end vendor or pricey wedding planner or rental location to cut costs and add that special touch to your wedding day.

The world of Pinterest, however, doesn’t come without it’s cons. It’s addictiveness, of course, but the concept that my hubby coined as Pinterest-Kill”. A concept I felt warranted a warning for all of my fellow budget savvy brides with a bag of crafting materials and motivation to do-it-all-yourself.

Yes … we are status post wedding (our final wedding post hasn’t been published as we are awaiting our professional photos to come back) and looking back at the setup, the work, the materials …. The complete chaos that took over my entire living room as materials for at least 10 projects engulfed everything. I think I made it my personal goal to make EVERYTHING on my Pinterest board. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I came close to doing exactly that. So many awesome ideas, I got a tiny-bit carried away. While we still came in under budget, spending under $6k, I spent a lot of time on DIY and all because I was determined to get that Pinterest idea I fell in love with incorporated into our wedding day.

Source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/pinterest-drives-more-traffic-to-sites-than-100-million-google-users/

Source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/pinterest-drives-more-traffic-to-sites-than-100-million-google-users/

This can back-fire, ladies. It’s stressful to have your “to do” list rely solely on your own fingers to make the magic happen with a glue gun, paint, saw, wooden frames … whatever crazy awesome concoction you’ve discovered and are determined to incorporate into your big day.

Pick your Pinterest Battles wisely. If you’re anything like me, you see it, you love it, you rationalize that it’s quick and fairly easy and you take it on with no fear. Until you’re sitting in a room with tulle draping from the ceiling and you can’t find the phone that’s ringing let alone your cat who has come up missing for the past two days … (true story.)

Change anything? Not necessarily. Looking back on our wedding day, I love everything about our day. Could I have scaled back on some of the details that weren’t necessary? Yea …. Probably. As a wedding photographer I have been to my fair share of weddings – and I have seen tons of gorgeous weddings where less was certainly more. A few DIYs from a Pinterest board I recognized that stood out, subtle touches here and there, but overall, absolutely beautiful.

I didn’t need the 50+ mason jars to hang from trees – they were a cool ambiance but 12 of them or more never even made it into the trees so I certainly could have scaled back on that. I probably didn’t need the 30 purple-pom-poms in the trees either – the lanterns would have been enough and it was a lot of extra work and to be honest … I don’t remember much about what was in the trees myself. And the LED lights we put into the lanterns? Weren’t even bright enough to be that noticeable by the end of the night. That’s probably about $200 or more that I could have shaved out of our budget right there.

I didn’t need as many candy dishes or as much of a candy spread. I didn’t need to make two more wreaths that ended up taking me an entire day to make 50 burlap flowers by hand for – it’s now torn apart and the flowers I gave to a friend’s daughter for her wedding. I didn’t need as many chalkboards for signs as I ended up making and I didn’t need to make MORE balls of burlap/crepe paper flowers …. Which is a good thing I didn’t do those because they were never used. Instead, those 15 foam balls are going to become a fun Christmas decoration project. Another $200 easily I could have shaved off our budget. That’s $400 in DIY projects that I could have done without … but I got Pinterest-Happy … and ended up with a Pinterest-Kill.

Pinterest can suck you in and take you down the rabbit hole of ideas and leave you spinning in circles with ideas and can even leave you feeling overwhelmed. You type in one idea that you’re looking for (i.e. wedding chalkboards) and you are instantly flooded with ideas.

And so many of these ideas, as awesome as they are, continually are replicated and becoming the new generic at a wedding. So when you find that pinned piece on a board that you just love, think two things: 1) Is this really something I need and want to put all that work into putting into my wedding (and how much work will it actually take), and 2) How can I make this my OWN?

Yes, Pinterest is the virtual land of ideas that gives at an unconditional pace, but remember to  pin with caution. The best advice I can offer is this: Pin all the things that catch your eye into one board. Make a second board for things that you know you really want. Make a third board of things that are cool, but only possibilities and as you go through the planning process, go into that board and delete things when you see them and feel it in your gut that you know it’s not something that you can take on or isn’t feasible. Eliminate the disappointment and the stress. Trust me on this one – when the week of your big day arrives and you have four car loads of projects/decorations and over 100 things to hang up in trees and over 400 yards of tulle, all needing to be “installed” and decorated before you walk down the aisle, it’s going to be really hard to relax.

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Start now, wherever you are in your planning process, on “de-cluttering” your planning list and focus on the important pieces of your day and the aspects that will mean the most to you. If the ambiance of lights in trees is what your heart desires, then do it. But evaluate each idea you pin to determine your wants verses your needs for your wedding day.

Your beautiful wedding will be just that – your beautiful wedding, no matter what DIY project you choose or how much or how little you spend.

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Thanks for reading The Pros and Cons of using Pinterest to Plan Your Wedding from: The Budget Savvy Bride

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The Man’s DIY (And A Good Excuse to Build a Keezer) http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/mans-diy-good-excuse-build-keezer/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/mans-diy-good-excuse-build-keezer/#comments Tue, 15 Oct 2013 16:31:40 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=23369 Men don’t usually care about the frills and details of a wedding. They probably do care about money. And a majority likely have an opinion on the alcohol being served. Enter: A post for men, about how to save money on an open bar AND be left with an awesome addition to your Man Cave […]

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Men don’t usually care about the frills and details of a wedding. They probably do care about money. And a majority likely have an opinion on the alcohol being served. Enter: A post for men, about how to save money on an open bar AND be left with an awesome addition to your Man Cave (if you have one).

**Brides to be: you may want to hide this from your fiances if this isn’t your cup of tea**

Yes, that’s right … a keezer. For anyone who doesn’t know what a keezer is, it’s like a kegerator (see: college years) only it’s a deep freezer that’s converted to stay at refrigeration temperatures and holds several kegs of beer that are tapped and dispensed by these really fancy nozzles, much like those you find at the bar.

Now let me start by disclosing this was NOT in our wedding budget. My fiance took this on as his own project to save us from the alcohol expense dilemma. He paid for the materials and built this on his own with his own money as his own contribution for the wedding. Now as much as I’d like to think it was all for me to spare our outdoor wedding reception looking like a frat-party with kegs in tubs of ice, he has wanted something like this for a long time.

A man finds a reason to build a keezer, ladies, and he’s going to build it.

The cost of building this was around $600-700. That included the brewing supplies for the beer he and his brother brewed themselves (they make amazing home-brew, by the way) and for the keg of cider he made as well. Total there are four beers on tap and for our small wedding of 60 (this is being written status-post our wedding) we didnt’ run out of beer and had a keg and a half leftover. The benefit, should your man be so gifted and inclined to do this, is he has himself a keezer. He’s happy. And you’ve saved paying for an open bar AND dodged the cash bar concept that we all wince at when we hear the words but know that on a budget, it’s sometimes the only way to go.

My fiance got online and researched many different styles – if you google “keezer” and go to images, you’ll see a TON of them. Some of them will even have instructions on how to build it. Now, this does include electrical knowledge as well as craftsmanship to build what’s called the collar. And if he brews his own beer it saves on the need to go out and buy kegs. Luckily for my man, he’s savvy in all of the above.

This is the website that my fiance used to help guide him in his quest: http://billybrew.com/how-to-build-a-keezer

First step … buy a freezer.

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This is what it starts out looking like … a freezer (we shopped around and found a great deal on one at Lowe’s on sale). And then, you paint it. If you want.

Then, you build a collar.

The "collar" which my fiance and best man built themselves - basically a rectangular "top" that fits perfectly on the top of the keezer. You remove the lid of the freezer, place this on top using very strong tape and then install the lid back on by connecting it to the top of this, then insulate the inside.

The “collar” which my fiance and best man built themselves – basically a rectangular “top” that fits perfectly on the top of the keezer. You remove the lid of the freezer, place this on top using very strong tape and then install the lid back on by connecting it to the top of this, then insulate the inside.

Collar attached and the lid has been re-assembled.

**now somewhere in here there’s electrical work and then there’s the buying of the hoses and nozzles and drip tray and all that manly-stuff that I don’t quite get, but I’m just sort of supplying the photos of what this beauty looks like and your man can watch the above link for all the details on that electrical and tube stuff in here **

Next up, attaching and installing the nozzels (and then all of the fancy doo-dads inside - see the tutorial for the details in the link aformentioned!)

Next up, attaching and installing the nozzles (and then all of the fancy doo-dads inside – see the tutorial for the details in the link above!)

And then, ladies, you have it. A keezer that costs less than an open bar, will supply enough beer for a smaller sized wedding (100 or less with just four kegs, so a larger wedding, have more kegs ready to refill), AND it’s actually really beautiful! First, it’s NOT kegs sitting in a bucket of ice next to a tent at our wedding. Second, it’s a beautiful piece of furniture!!

After it's all said and done ... a beautiful piece of furniture he can put in his Man Cave after the wedding.

After it’s all said and done … a beautiful piece of furniture he can put in his Man Cave after the wedding.

**And a little tidbit to add what we did – we took CHALKBOARD PAINT (available at any home improvement store or online through Amazon) and painted the top with black chalkboard paint. Can’t tell the difference, can you? Well … we can write on the top of the keezer each of the beers so that everyone knows which tap is to what beer … a fun way to add some creativity to the piece AND to be able to label your beer selections!)

We could have done a lot of different things when it came to serving alcohol at our wedding. But this was certainly one of the things that, after a lot of thought, we knew was a good choice for US. It may not be for everyone, but for any other beer-loving couples or home-brewing couples out there, this one’s for you!

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DIY Chalkboards: 15 for under $40 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/diy-chalkboards/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/diy-chalkboards/#comments Mon, 07 Oct 2013 14:01:01 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=23427 I have to admit that when I started planning (aka: pinterest-ing) my wedding, burlap and chalkboard EVERYTHING was exploding my mind’s eye of the vision of our wedding day. The result: A lot of burlap flowers and a whole lot of chalkboard signs. Now, DIY chalkboards are not cheap. But they are sooooo cool AND […]

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I have to admit that when I started planning (aka: pinterest-ing) my wedding, burlap and chalkboard EVERYTHING was exploding my mind’s eye of the vision of our wedding day. The result: A lot of burlap flowers and a whole lot of chalkboard signs.

Now, DIY chalkboards are not cheap. But they are sooooo cool AND the way they look just adds a certain feel to that “rustic chic” wedding. I had plans for chalkboards for the sign at the road saying “Smith/Stevens Wedding”, one to announce that seating wasn’t by sides, one to list the menu, one to request no photography at the ceremony … and my favorite … an arrow/stake sign that would point to all the events of the day.

I skipped over any concept of buying a single chalkboard and rummaged through my own stash of old picture frames that were old and unused, scoured the garage sales for large and ugly picture frames and/or mirrors and made a pit stop to the craft store to buy arrows that were made of wood (and a piece of wood my hubby cut and made into a stake to attach them to).

Now here’s the trick – you buy chalkboard paint at Lowe’s Home Improvement Store in the paint section and use a spongy brush to apply. (Also can be bought online at Amazon, of course). I bought the big 1/2 gallon of this stuff and it was under $10 and I have a LOT leftover.

8oz found on Amazon.com for just under $9 .... you can get 1/2 gallon for under $10 at Lowes .. FYI

8oz Folk Art Chalkboard Paint from Amazon…. you can get 1/2 gallon for under $10 at Lowes .. FYI

 

Painting wood and glass ... we also painted cardboard, a refrigerator door (for the keezer) and mirrors.

Painting wood and glass … we also painted cardboard, a refrigerator door (for the keezer) and mirrors.

You can paint ANYTHING with this stuff! Okay …. most things …. like mirrors, glass, wood, and yes, even cardboard and a refrigerator door (did all of these!).

An old tall mirror I had turned chalkboard to use as a reception "itinerary" (note the handmade burlap flowers!)

An old tall mirror I had turned chalkboard to use as a reception “itinerary” (note the handmade burlap flowers!)

And, if all you have is a big giant frame and no glass or wood or mirror (or don’t want to ruin that), just paint cardboard with the chalkboard paint and nobody will ever know the difference. Honest truth!

I also decided that, since I didn’t want anything to smudge (as chalk does) and I wanted it to be dark and clear and crisp, I wanted to actually paint the chalk on. My plan being that after the wedding, I can just repaint over the words with chalkboard paint (I have more than enough!).

The chalkboard arrows - in progress - after being painted, ready to have the writing done

The chalkboard arrows – in progress – after being painted, ready to have the writing done

So on Amazon I found liquid chalk that’s meant for dry erase boards BUT you can use it on chalkboards … but the only difference is that it won’t come off your chalkboard like it does a dry erase board. And they come in LOTS of colors!

Amazon.com - liquid chalk, available in lots of colors

Amazon.com - liquid chalk, available in lots of colors

My Arrow piece was by far my favorite … painted, added some decorations, and wrote on each arrow after my hubby nailed the arrows to the stake.

The finished Chalkboard Arrow Sign/Stake

The finished Chalkboard Arrow Sign/Stake

I found about 5-6 frames at the dollar store for $1 each to use/paint (I also painted the frames with spray paint), and spent $5 on larger frames found at garage sales, $8 on wood, $10 on paint, $2 for the sponge brush and then the remaining ones were all things I already owned and wasn’t using. The liquid chalk was under $5 for a white, yellow and purple with free shipping. I paid under $40 for ALL of the chalkboards at our wedding —final count was about 15 chalkboards total (I had tiny ones I used for signs for the food and drinks, too).

So, what would have really been a huge strain on our budget, was just a weekend (or two) of painting and writing. Ta-da!

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If You Build It, They Will Play http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/build-will-play/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/build-will-play/#comments Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:17:41 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=23410   So, we set up yard games (status-post wedding now, they went over GREAT!). We painted colored circles in the grass for twisted, made ring toss out of wine glasses set inside of a crate and, my favorite, Corn Hole (aka: bean bag toss). We were going to buy one – it was $120+. We […]

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So, we set up yard games (status-post wedding now, they went over GREAT!).

We painted colored circles in the grass for twisted, made ring toss out of wine glasses set inside of a crate and, my favorite, Corn Hole (aka: bean bag toss).

We were going to buy one – it was $120+. We were going to rent one – it was $60+. None of our friends had one that we found appropriate (they had a sports team already hand painted on them) and so in order to get what we wanted and stay budget savvy, we decided to just build it.

Total cost of materials: less than $40

You can google the dimensions online for making these — lots of people make them, it seems. And after watching my hubby make these, I can say with confidence that any man who can operate a tape measure and a cutting saw is capable of making these without a problem.

Our Corn Hole/Bean Bag Toss - Plywood 3/4" tops with 2x4s around the bottoms (this is 2 stacked on top of one another) and using a 6inch saw piece, drilled a hole for the bean bags.

Our Corn Hole/Bean Bag Toss – Plywood 3/4″ tops with 2x4s around the bottoms (this is 2 stacked on top of one another) and using a 6inch saw piece, drilled a hole for the bean bags.

We wanted to add something to make them “bridal” and fit into our wedding. After brainstorming, I got online to Amazon and found a “Mr. & Mrs.” large decal set that’s meant to go on your wall ….

We painted the center white first, then after it dried, put the decal down and made sure they were firmly attached. Then, painted the entire thing yellow. After it dried we removed the decals to reveal the “white” Mr and Mrs on each board. Then sealed with clear coat spray (which is the “splotchy” look right now in the below photo).

 

 

Decals

Decals

 

The finished product - our set of Mr & Mrs Bean Bag Toss

The finished product – our set of Mr & Mrs Bean Bag Toss

Bean bags are pretty easy to come by at any store in the toy aisle, but I choose to look online to search for ones that were yellow and purple (per the corn hole rules you have to have 2 different color bags).

I also saw online that you can purchase rings of lights to go inside the holes to play at night. Cool idea, right? They were $25 a PIECE!! OUCH! No thank you. I had these LED purple lights that clicked on and off with a button leftover from our centerpieces – 1o total. I took some really strong tape from my hubby (this stuff could tape a cow to a wall … if you were looking to do that) and taped five of them right underneath inside of the holes so that when it started to get dark, you reach in, and click on the lights. And that cost NOTHING!

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A Quick Dazzle to Your Bridal Shoes http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/quick-dazzle-bridal-shoes/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/quick-dazzle-bridal-shoes/#comments Thu, 26 Sep 2013 14:41:21 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=23412 You will wear them once, they may or may not be comfortable and you’re probably going to change out of them once you get to the reception. BUT, they are the shoes you will walk down the aisle in and the shoes that you wear as you say your “I Do’s”. They’ll later be stored […]

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You will wear them once, they may or may not be comfortable and you’re probably going to change out of them once you get to the reception. BUT, they are the shoes you will walk down the aisle in and the shoes that you wear as you say your “I Do’s”. They’ll later be stored in a box of memories but for the day, you want them to be special.

I wanted bling. Everything with bling = $$$$$$. So, I found $40 shoes at DSW that were actually VERY comfortable and yellow (matching my bridesmaids dresses).

My canary yellow wedding shoes, right out of the box from DSW.com

My canary yellow wedding shoes, right out of the box from DSW.com

I decided it was totally within the realm of possibility for me and a glue gun to have an evening together with a glass of wine dazzling and bedazzling my shoes. All it took were some leftover gems from my bouquets I handmade and some rhinestones I picked up from the craft store. (Tip – use tweezers to pick up the rhinestones, stick them to the glue at the end of the hot glue gun to get “just enough” and then place them on your shoe. DO NOT put the glue on the shoe … you’re going to get glue everywhere and probably burn yourself. Which is why the wine is important, here).

A bit of rhinestone action to give the mundane a bit of sparkle!

A bit of rhinestone action to give the mundane a bit of sparkle!

4wedphoto 2

What about you? Did you do anything special with your shoes?

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Two Flower Girl Dresses: Cutting the Cost of Wardrobe Changes http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/two-flower-girl-dresses-cutting-cost-wardrobe-changes/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/two-flower-girl-dresses-cutting-cost-wardrobe-changes/#comments Mon, 23 Sep 2013 14:09:00 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=22733 Something that wasn’t quite so budget savvy … my flower girl’s dresses. We are going to call them my “splurge”, however, I was able to get them for a really really good deal through my friend Michelle who owns her own business – Tutu Goddess (www.facebook.com/TuTuGoddess) I sent her an email, along with several others […]

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Something that wasn’t quite so budget savvy … my flower girl’s dresses. We are going to call them my “splurge”, however, I was able to get them for a really really good deal through my friend Michelle who owns her own business – Tutu Goddess (www.facebook.com/TuTuGoddess)

Ceremony Flower Girl Dress - Tutu Goddess custom made for me - www.facebook.com/TuTuGoddess

Ceremony Flower Girl Dress – Tutu Goddess custom made for me – www.facebook.com/TuTuGoddess

I sent her an email, along with several others who custom make tutus, and we chatted about my vision … a romantic dress with a train, lace up back/corset style and BIG tulle … she sent me a photo of a prototype and I fell in love.

The photo above is Annabelle, one of my two flower girls, all dressed up in the tutu dress (there is a long train attached which you can’t really see from this angle).

My second flower girl, Emily, modeling her tutu dress

My second flower girl, Emily, modeling her tutu dress

 

Emily in her tutu dress

Emily in her tutu dress

Doesn’t it just make you squeal! Her prices vary based on size and what you’re ordering but for two dresses like this, the price runs in the vicinity of about $175 (again, this was based on the amount for materials and work for my girls and varies depending on the size of the dress and the girl wearing it). When I received them … I was so giddy!! The girls fit them perfectly and, while one of the girls cried because it was a really big dress, once she was in it, we couldn’t get her out!

But here’s the thing – I bought these specifically for my wedding to match my dress but as a photographer, am keeping these dresses for my studio to use for photo shoots. This means that a) I don’t want the girls to wear the dresses for very long and b) I needed them to change into something else for the reception. Enter the wardrobe change … and needing to buy a second dress … Not so budget savvy ….

UNTIL, I stumbled upon these cuties on Amazon and ordered them online (from china) for only $20 a piece with free shipping (thank you, Amazon Prime Membership). Plain but adorable and I knew that I could do my own alterations to make them stand out.

Flower Girl Dress- Amazon.com shipped from China - $20 a piece - the BEFORE shot

Flower Girl Dress- Amazon.com shipped from China – $20 a piece – the BEFORE shot

First, that BOW … oh I wanted to throw up when I saw it … it was pinned on and had a gross gold rhinestone on it .. not even pretty. The rest of the dress? Adorable!

So, I removed the bows (I covered the rhinestone center with white ribbon and actually re-used these on my basket that is holding our programs for the wedding – budget savvy tip: REUSE whatever you can!). I made more of my fabric flowers and then added my own yellow ribbon on by sewing it by hand across the white band and left it long enough to be tied up in the back. To cover up my sew-marks I sewed on white pearl threads that I used for the bouquets. I literally redid these with the leftover materials I already had on hand from my other projects and spend NO additional money to re-design these cuties …

My revision of the flower girls' "reception" dress

My revision of the flower girls’ “reception” dress

 

My revision of the flower girls' "reception" dress

My revision of the flower girls’ “reception” dress

So, while I splurged on my ceremony dresses for the girls (which aren’t in the wedding budget, because they came out of my business account to pay for them since they are going to be used for my photography studio after the wedding), I only spent $40 for a set of two dresses and used leftover materials to jazz them up and make them my own customized versions to fit and match the bridesmaid dresses (which are pale yellow and Jr BM is in dark purple). ANd when one of the girls tried this dress on (pre-reconstruction) she LOVED it! As long as she’s happy, I’m happy! Because there is NOTHING worse than an unhappy flower girl!!

I paid for these (which I felt was only proper etiquette, same with the ring bearer’s rental) but mom’s are providing their shoes … which because the tutu dress covers their feet, I told them whatever shoes they pick are fine by me!

As far as gifts for our Flower Girls … purple pearl bracelets from Etsy at $10 each and a set of matching necklaces with a drop pearl for $12 each.

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DIY Barn Reception Decor http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/diy-barn-reception-decor/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/diy-barn-reception-decor/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2013 14:30:02 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=23092 The week before the big day we did the BIGGEST project of our wedding day: transforming the 24×32 foot barn addition (built just last fall and thankfully totally clean and new!) into a reception area to host 75 guests. I had searched Pinterest and the inter-webs day and night looking for DIY Barn Reception Decor ideas […]

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The week before the big day we did the BIGGEST project of our wedding day: transforming the 24×32 foot barn addition (built just last fall and thankfully totally clean and new!) into a reception area to host 75 guests.

I had searched Pinterest and the inter-webs day and night looking for DIY Barn Reception Decor ideas and had initially planned to have a ceiling of balloons … until the hot sun and heat at my outdoor bridal shower made the balloons pop and shrivel … I had to go back to the drawing board because the LAST thing I wanted on my wedding day was walking into the reception to have a ceiling of deflated/popped balloons. So after a lot of mind-boggling and no thanks to the internet, I had to come up with my own idea…

Needless to say, I was nervous about this project and was VERY scared that it wouldn’t work. Because if this didn’t work, I had nothing else in mind. Somehow I had to make a ceiling and decorate walls.

BSB_materials

  • 150 foot rolls of white plastic table cloth cover, enough to cover our ceiling and walls = 5 rolls at $18/each on Amazon.com with free shipping through Amazon Prime (the thing has totally paid for itself!) – $90
  • Tulle = I had 150 feet of this left over from a prior purchase when I made my wall of tulle that would go up.  (see my post on Tulle-ing around)
  • Tacs – like 1,000 of them, found at Walmart for less than a dollar a box and I bought 10 boxes of 200 – $5
  • Lights – borrowed
  • Twine – I’ve got this in massive amounts already purchased for other projects – amount used worth about $3
  • Hula hoops – Dollar store, $2 for 2
  • Tape – $3 for the extra strong packaging tape to help
  • Magnets – about $30 for these, which were needed for reinforcement to attach the ceiling to the one wall that was all metal and NOT wood.
  • Paper Lantern: $5
  • Purple Glitter Spray Paint: $4

Total: approximately $140

How this whole thing starts ... 2 hula hoops taped together (for strength) and tied to the center beam ... where each piece will eventually be tied to from the center of the barn.

How this whole thing starts … 2 hula hoops taped together (for strength) and tied to the center beam … where each piece will eventually be tied to from the center of the barn.

This whole project had to be somehow connected to a center point in the middle of the barn. But needed a spot where the paper lantern would hang down (which I spray painted an already purple paper lantern with PURPLE GLITTER spray paint which is awesome!). Hula hoops. So simple!

So we started by taking an end of the roll of white plastic table cover and tied it to the hoop with one single tie, my fiance (as below) on the ladder and me walking it over to my shorter 6 foot ladder, climbing up to the top and then tacking the plastic to the wall with just a bit of a droop, then letting it down to the floor and cutting. Viola – Ceiling and floor cover started.

After doing so many, we attached the six strands of lights that would come out and attach to the walls as well with tulle drooping with them (as seen below). These were plugged into a power strip with a cord that ran across a beam and down the wall, hidden behind the covering and plugs into the outlet below – everything is run from this cord being plugged in.

The very beginning as we start hanging the pieces of plastic table covers by the roll ....

The very beginning as we start hanging the pieces of plastic table covers by the roll ….

It took us all day on Friday to get the entire ceiling done, including the lights with the tulle and installing the paper lantern light. I have no idea how many hours but I have bruises on my shins from standing on the ladder, some random bruise above my knee and I have yet to regain all feeling in my thumb from pushing in tacs into the wood …

The ceiling and walls are up - and so is the glitter-sprayed paper lantern!

The ceiling and walls are up – and so is the glitter-sprayed paper lantern!

Challenges of course were the one wall that was metal which my mom stepped in and drilled screws into the wall (it is connected to the rest of the barn so no worries … and we’re not telling my dad .. yet) and then of course how to get this ceiling to drape over to the front/entry where the large doors open up so not to obstruct the opening/closing of the doors and so that it would stay up … solved this by a piece of twine attached on each end tied to screws and reinfoced in the center by screwing it to the center beam between the two doors. We tied each end of the pieces of plastic roll to the twine (each corner of the piece was tied to attach it) and so far, it’s worked.

Sunday, after spending all day Saturday shooting a wedding, we came back and finished up putting up the icicle lights across the ceiling (using screws in each beam) and then, hung my giant Tulle Monster up to cover the walls. And as of now, this is what she looks like:

The "almost" finished project ... Still PLENTY to do, but the groundwork has been laid!

The “almost” finished project … Still PLENTY to do, but the groundwork has been laid!

That big black cord on the right will be covered with white ribbon, the tulle has to “fall” more after being stored in the house for the past month or more and then “tucked” so that it isn’t flowing so much into the barn at the bottom. We have a dance floor rented (15×15) and our DJ will go in the far right corner, and opposite him will be a 6-foot table with one of my table skirts and filled with candy and treats and our cake. All around the walls will be 8 cocktail tables with purple table cloths and our centerpieces that I made. (Also a DIY project).

One thing that still bugs me is being able to see the wood beams … BUT, this is broad daylight and nothing is in here yet. When it’s dark you don’t see them with just the decorative lights on AND once we get all the tables in and the signs I’m hanging up (cannot WAIT to share what this will look like in our post-wedding post) you won’t notice them. And to be honest, I only notice them in the photos right now because they bug me and my eye goes right to them. I know that come W-Day, they won’t even be a second thought to anyone else; not even me.

We return the Thursday before our wedding to keep working on setting things up. This will include going back over and fixing any pieces of the ceiling we aren’t happy with, maybe adding more tulle to the ceiling and fixing anything that may droop further during this week it’s up before the wedding.

I think, at this point, I can count on all my fingers and toes things that were NOT a DIY project for our wedding! We did almost everything ourselves …. and that’s right … down to decorating the ceiling and walls of the barn to turn it into a reception area. It may not look like much yet, but the “bones” are there now.

So there it is, internet. Since I couldnt’ find how to do this ANYWHERE, hopefully this helps to give some insight and ideas for other brides who choose to go this route and save a ton of money hosting a reception in a barn/garage and maybe help give some ideas to those who want to save money but can’t envision how to turn a location into a venue without breaking the bank.

Outside of the box. The groundwork for our reception. Pin this, baby!

 

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My Small Wedding Confession: It Wasn’t All Because of the Budget http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/small-wedding-confession-wasnt-budget/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/small-wedding-confession-wasnt-budget/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=23022   “If you don’t like it, then you/they pay for our wedding….” I love him to death but my fiancé has said this a few times whenever the issue comes up about our guest count (under 80) and/or the reason for keeping our wedding small. And it drives me nuts. He knows this. But I […]

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If you don’t like it, then you/they pay for our wedding….”

I love him to death but my fiancé has said this a few times whenever the issue comes up about our guest count (under 80) and/or the reason for keeping our wedding small. And it drives me nuts. He knows this. But I think he says it more to get a point across because going into the explanation that I’m about to vocalize, well, it’s not really a guy thing to do.

Our wedding is small. 78 guests small. That includes my hairdresser and my DJ and our photographer and videographer (who are all our friends, coincidentally).  80 if you count my fiancé and I. There’s a chance that a few nieces and nephews we think are coming, won’t be there (he has 17 of them, 10 we “know” are coming). Our wedding could very well be 75 or even less.

When we talked about getting married, before we even got engaged, I had voiced (on several occasions) that in a perfect world, we would be married in a secluded place, just us, nobody around, parents as witnesses. It would be private and intimate.

When I envisioned the day I married John, I immediately thought of the ending of "The Runaway Bride". Call me crazy. But that feel - that intimate moment where it's just the two of you ... I wanted that.  Source:

When I envisioned the day I married John, I immediately thought of the ending of “The Runaway Bride”. Call me crazy. But that feel – that intimate moment where it’s just the two of you … I wanted that.
Source: http://postnoon.com/2013/07/30/big-fat-on-screen-weddings/137773

I have a very emotional view on marriage at this point in my life. I never felt this way before about it – and especially not when I was 22 and married the wrong guy. My view on marriage in 2005 was different back then. It was a party, it was becoming an adult, it was independence. And it was a presentation. The dress, the decorations, the food, the whole thing. It wasn’t about a commitment or about a step towards my future with a man I loved. I made a big mistake 8 years ago. Yes the decorations and the dress and details down to the programs are still things that I’ve incorporated into our wedding day, but they are not the focus. They’re just something extra to the day for us. And if any one of those things weren’t there, it would not matter one iota when it all boils down to it.

I’m 8 years older, and after living a fake life with a man who wasn’t who he said he was (he actually confessed he was gay after being together for 12 years), I’ve realized that the little 8-year old girl in me who wished upon a star to fall in love and live happily ever after, she had it right. That it existed. Honest, passionate love. When I was married before … wow … I had no idea. I just thought it wasn’t “us” to be “that” couple who showed any affection at all. Well, I guess in a way I was right … The thing is, I am a very passionate person and a love-sick romantic at heart. I tucked that piece of me deep, deep down and did my best to be a wife and fit the “profile” of the life I lived for a long time with the wrong man.

That’s my past.

I’m about to marry the man who, when I was 10, scribbled his name on my notepad with hearts around the words “Mrs Jennifer Stevens” and prayed at night that someday I’d find the man of my dreams and fall madly in love … and that if I was really good, God would make sure that man was John. My John.

20 years later, I’m about to marry that man.

And when I look back on the life I lived for the past 13 years, and know what a love-less, and dishonest life I was stuck in, and as I now battle the PTSD overcoming what happened to me during that time of my life, I can’t help but feel like I lost something. That something was taken away from me. Nothing can be done to change what was done to me or the choice I made to blindly enter into what I felt was a love-less marriage (but we made such good friends, wasn’t that enough?!). It makes me look at marriage differently. The storm I weathered in a terrible marriage for almost 7 years left me battered and bruised … and lost. But it made me believe that my true love was out there. Waiting.

A private, intimate wedding ceremony Source: http://www.officiantguy.com/privateweddingceremony.html

A private, intimate wedding ceremony
Source: http://www.officiantguy.com/privateweddingceremony.html

And now, it’s here. It’s finally that time of my life that I get to live the rest of my life with this amazing man who wraps me in his arms and holds me so tight and tells me every chance he can how much he loves me. That passion. That love. That pure honesty. It’s us.

So the 78 people who are going to be showing up, are 78 people that we had to narrow down from hundreds of people in our lives who we would have loved to have with us … except it wasn’t what we wanted. I knew it wasn’t what I wanted, and after attending a few weddings and even working several weddings with me as my second photographer for my wedding business, my fiancé saw what I saw.

The public de-sensitization of the wedding.

Exaggeration of my case in point, however, the last thing I wanted was this moment to be publicly posted all over facebook, let alone shared with people either of us knew.  Source:  http://www.voanews.com/content/britains-royal-wedding-day-arrives-120945419/138665.html

Exaggeration of my case in point, however, the last thing I wanted was this moment to be publicly posted all over facebook, let alone shared with people either of us knew.
Source: http://www.voanews.com/content/britains-royal-wedding-day-arrives-120945419/138665.html

The bride and groom at the weddings we worked, yes, they were jittery and excited for this moment. There were emotions and tears and the parents were looking on with tears in their eyes during the ceremony. The ceremony was truly a moment between the bride and groom who were committed and the looks on their faces, the look of urgency for that kiss and the nervousness on their faces all showed me each and every time that for them, this was the most important moment in their lives.

But the guests. As I looked around, many preoccupied with their cameras or on their phones (which is why our ceremony is strictly an “unplugged” ceremony – no phones, no cameras). Some even sitting in boredom. Moments where at some point in the night I would hear the bride, stressed out, saying “Why did we even have to invite them?!” or “Ugh this is a nightmare!”. It happens. It’s not every wedding, but it’s more common than I think we’d like to admit.

Even your closest family can get on your nerves but the thing is, as a culture, and as guests, the wedding itself has been desensitized by both media and social media alike. It’s all about “Say Yes To the Dress” or David Tuttera transforming your wedding day into a magical place that is straight out of Hollywood, or centerpieces that stand out and bridal wear for the wedding party that sets the tone. I know – I am just as equally sucked into it. But the thing is, it’s not real. It’s material. Take it all away and what do you have?

A marriage.

What OUR private and intimate ceremony will look like (sort of). Source: http://www.mywedding.com/blog/tag/day-of-the-dead/

What OUR private and intimate ceremony will look like (sort of).
Source: http://www.mywedding.com/blog/tag/day-of-the-dead/

A moment where two people are standing together, before God (if it’s their belief) and witnesses to confess an undying and honest truth to one another. That until hearts stop beating, they will stand side by side as man and wife.

Call me crazy, but that little bit right there, brings me to tears. That’s what this is all about. It’s not about the bouquets I made, the great deal on my dress or my hair or the 1,000 yards of tulle that is being used to transform a barn into a reception site. It’s about us.

Source: http://www.sayremansion.com/weddings_packages.htm

Source: http://www.sayremansion.com/weddings_packages.htm

A tiny guest list may help for a smaller budget, but as I’ve gone through this process, and the excitement over saving a few bucks here and a few hundred dollars there (which no doubt, made me jump for joy!), I can’t help but feel the need to point out what the priority of this day is. Yes, I want this day to look beautiful. But the feeling … that feeling is something we aren’t needing to create or decorate-up. And it’s an intimate and private feeling.

You know it in your heart how important this part of your day is. Your fiancé knows it, too. Not all of your guests are going to see it this way. It’s a party, there’s booze (maybe) and food and dancing. In the world we live in, to most of the guests and the idea from the public in general, a wedding isn’t about the ceremony – it’s about the reception.  A fantastic party to celebrate this event, and I totally LOVE that part. Don’t get me wrong!

I had this realization many times over the last 4 months, when friends and family didn’t understand why we were so strict on our guest count. Why we could and would not allow for a cousin or niece/nephew to bring a friend. Why we had to say “no” so many times. Why probably both of our families may look at me and think I may be a bit of a Bridezilla. I had to firmly say no and firmly explain that it wasn’t a question, it wasn’t an option. It wasn’t all about the budget or the numbers … it was about keeping our day just that … our day. This is a private and intimate moment – so who is there to share it with us, that matters.

John & I - Engagement Photos 2013 Photography by John Kurtz

John & I – Engagement Photos 2013
Photography by John Kurtz

We are sharing this day with only our immediate family: our parents, grandparents, our siblings and their spouses and children only. A couple of my aunts and uncles who I am close to will be there with my cousins. Our bridal party and their spouses, all very close to us, and 10 couples of our closest friends beyond the bridal party. No more. Unfortunately, a few less. If we started inviting more, it would have turned into 100 …even 120 … the intimate and private moment we both wanted, would be gone. 

When I stand at the end of the aisle in that ball gown with my dad and see my fiancé … the man who will be my husband, I know without a doubt that I am going to start have waterworks going like no other. I’m marrying the man I dreamt of marrying as a child. I am marrying a man who, today, completes every part of me that was missing and who compliments my own strengths and makes up for my weaknesses. Nothing makes me happier. I am going to be vulnerable and emotional and as we say our vows, these are words that hold so much meaning to us both. 78 faces around us are ones who we know and love and who we cherish and want to be there during this moment. And there are a few who I wish with all my heart could be there, who can’t …

Our wedding is not about the reception. It’s about our ceremony. Our reception following has some food to grab a plate and eat but there is no formal meal.  We have some home brew in a keezer my fiancé made (which is awesome, by the way) while we get our pictures taken, privately, with our photographer. There will be dancing and a live performance from our DJ who is a good friend and there will be a small cake and cupcakes and candy. Yard games and a bonfire, and the lighting and releasing of 40 paper lanterns after dark before we leave for the evening. The reception is just a bit of fun after the important moment – the part where we commit our lives to one another, where our hearts beat as one and where I take his name and cry uncontrollably at knowing that dreams do come true. I hope this serves as a reminder to focus on what really matters when it comes to your big day. 

John & I - Engagement Photos 2013 Photography by John Kurtz

John & I – Engagement Photos 2013
Photography by John Kurtz

Even if you’ve gone so far down the wrong road you never think you could possibly find your way back … happily ever after does still exist. I never stopped believing that one day, I would be with the right man. And now, I’ve found my way back to him, and am only days away from devoting my life to him. And I can’t wait …. !

So I know this didn’t exactly give you any tips on saving money. But I hope that I shared a bit of insight into keeping the focus on what is most important about your wedding day. Knowing yourself what’s the most important thing about your wedding day, and focusing on that. On not bending for others to make them happy and doing what you want to do to make your wedding day exactly what it is – all about you and your fiancé.

One good thing about being a second-time bride … I’ve been down the aisle before and I’ve been down a road that looked a little bit like this one. Except this one … this is the right road. And I hope for all of my fellow brides and brides-to-be and hopeful brides out there reading this take to heart what this is all about. Don’t make the same mistake I did 8 years ago.

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Thanks for reading My Small Wedding Confession: It Wasn’t All Because of the Budget from: The Budget Savvy Bride

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DIY Wedding Decor – Table Skirts http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/diy-wedding-decor-table-skirts/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/diy-wedding-decor-table-skirts/#comments Tue, 03 Sep 2013 12:52:57 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=22952 I had mentioned before that I had planned on decorating our tables for our at-home rustic wedding with home-made skirts made from fabric and tulle.  Well, I finally finished all of them, and I must say, as far as DIY Wedding Decor goes, I think they look awesome! I had three 6-foot tables that needed […]

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I had mentioned before that I had planned on decorating our tables for our at-home rustic wedding with home-made skirts made from fabric and tulle. 

Well, I finally finished all of them, and I must say, as far as DIY Wedding Decor goes, I think they look awesome!

I had three 6-foot tables that needed skirts and 2 card tables. Each of these tables already had a tablecloth for the top, but I needed something that was going to really make the tables pop out with some fun decoration. I made a couple of these (smaller versions) to use as backdrops in my studio which I found on Pinterest somewhere earlier this year. It was simple enough, really.

Materials:

-String

-fabric of any kind

-tulle

-yard stick (not needed but helpful)

-scissors

Step One Figure out how much/long you need your string to cover the front and sides of your table. For me, I had one table that is going to be in the center of a tent so I made 2 skirts to go on this one versus one LONG one – it was easier that way. Cut your string and tie it from point A to point B. Anything works. I used two chairs at one time, the last one I used my door handle and chair from the dinner table.

Step Two – Start cutting your fabric. Depending on how much coverage you need and how long that string is depends on how much you’ll need. I cut strips that were about 28-29 inches long which , when attached to the table  will either just hit or be just above the ground (We bought those clear table cloth holders that will go on the tables that will hold these in place, by the way). I used regular fabric I found on sale – not super soft like flannel, more of a cheap sheet-like fabric. You can even use a sheet if you wish. I did buy some fabric for these as well as several spools of glittery tulle and colored tulle to add in, and for fun, some organza as well. Get creative with your wedding colors and yes, it’s okay to incorporate prints and had I thought of it sooner … BURLAP

Fabric from old sheets, sale racks at your craft store, spools of tulle, organza ... whatever your heart's desire!

Fabric from old sheets, sale racks at your craft store, spools of tulle, organza … whatever your heart’s desire!

Step Three – Tie. Easiest way to do this is have each type/color of your  strips separated. Start with one and at one end, tie it on. Go down a few inches and tie the next one. Keep going until you reach the end. Step back and take a look – if anything looks too spaced out or too close, you just slide it over. The benefit is that seriously, you cannot screw this up. You tie it in the wrong spot? No biggie – slide it down the string. Then, take your next color and put it between each one already tied on – make sure you have enough. After that, take your next color/fabric/tulle and lay it across where you’ll tie it. I say this so that you don’t get half way down and realize you ran out of that kind. It’s not perfect and it doesn’t have to be a perfect pattern at all. Put it where it will look good, then tie. Keep going until it looks full and you like the way it looks.

One simple tie is all you need - no need to knot these

One simple tie is all you need – no need to knot these

 

Sample of the first steps of tying and alternating between colors.

Sample of the first steps of tying and alternating between colors.

 

The helpful supervision of your feline friend is always helpful. Because they'll want to play in said fabric strings once you get them up ... this is their TOY, isn't it??

The helpful supervision of your feline friend is always helpful. Because they’ll want to play in said fabric strings once you get them up … this is their TOY, isn’t it??

Step Four – Untie it from its posts and tie the ends together and store hanging up. NEVER pack these into a box because they will wrinkle and you’ll be unhappy when you go to put them up. I used a thumb tack and tacked them to a wall. You can also use a hanger and hang it up somewhere. Finally, LABEL THEM! You WILL forget which one you made for which table. Take a piece of paper, write what table it was for (maybe even the length of it if you don’t know which table yet) and then attach it to a few pieces of the fabric with a safety pin. This will save you the headache of figuring out which one was meant for which table down the road.

My finished skirt - one of six - some were more purple, others were more yellow. Change and mix it up and get creative!

My finished skirt – one of six – some were more purple, others were more yellow. Change and mix it up and get creative!

As mentioned above, clear tablecloth hooks found online (I bought mine on Amazon) are the way we are going to attach these onto the tables.

And voila! An easy and awesome DIY project to jazz up those boring tables! Get as crazy as you want and make it your own! Use lace, use whatever you want. If you can cut it and tie it, then I say TRY IT!

The best part is, it doesn’t cost much to make these at all. Find fabric on sale or some old sheets at goodwill. Spools of tulle are always on sale at Hobby Lobby or find a coupon for your local hobby/craft store and start stocking up. In all, I had 6 of these that I made and I estimate the cost to be about only $30 for all six. I already had some of the fabric left over from my bouquets I had made and string, well I had that. I just had to buy some of the yellow  and purple fabric which was on sale. Nothing makes me happier than an easy DIY project for super cheap with leftover materials that turns out looking like a million bucks and a unique piece to your wedding!

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Thanks for reading DIY Wedding Decor – Table Skirts from: The Budget Savvy Bride

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