The Budget Savvy Bride » Meg helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank Sat, 28 Mar 2015 20:01:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 {Meg} M&M Final Wedding Recap Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000  

You and your hubby’s names, and your wedding date?

I’m Meg, and my husband Matt and I got hitched on August 20th, 2011 in Simi Valley, CA, just northwest of Los Angeles.

What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.

Our budget was $10,000, and it broke down like this:

Venue: $2,750  Food: $1,360  Beverages: $750  Cake & Grooms cake: $403  Bride and Groom attire: $1,749  Flowers: $260  Decorations: $420  Photographer: $900  Video equipment (rental): $150  Invitations: $400  Rings: $225  Gifts & Favors: $750  Day of Coordinator: $300

Linens & rentals: $150  Marriage License: $90

Total: $10,657

How many guests did you have?

100 guests

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

We wanted our wedding to be fun, casual and romantic so we had an outdoor celebration under market lights and lanterns with no formal dinner or DJ. We served made to order crepes with summer salads along with appetizers from our favorite local bakery, Portos. Matt is a mathematician so we used mathematically significant numbers and symbols for our table numbers. We also featured our cat and other fun images that reflect us on miniature flags for our guests to wave during the recessional.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We found a venue that we could use the whole weekend and gave us housing for the entire bridal party. The venue also included all our tables, chairs, and dining ware so we had to rent very little. We also saved a lot of money by using all of our talented friends and family members. Our good friend married us and also gifted us the audio equipment rental. Another friend made our custom photo booth as a gift to us and all my bridesmaids helped with making and setting up decorations. My maid of honor has amazing talent with florals so she purchased all our flowers wholesale and arranged them herself.  We also used succulents to keep floral and decoration costs down. My mother in law made our cake topper and our guestbook bench. My brother filmed parts of the evening using a rented camera and made a video for us at no cost. A groomsmen managed the music we selected from his iPod. We found a great deal on photography on craigslist and we generally just tried not to spend on unnecessary things.

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

Focus on whats really important to you and disregard the other stuff. Be sure to stay organized and if you are doing things yourself or with the help of friends write down detailed instructions on what needs to be done so everyone can be on the same page. Enjoy the process and be open minded, sometimes the best deals or ideas are not in your initial vision.

What was your biggest splurge?

We really got a great deal on everything but I’d say initially we spent a lot on booze, luckily we were able to return all the unopened bottles to Beverages and More, so in the end our beverage cost was pretty low. Also my dress was a splurge but I sold it to recoup some of that cost.

What was your favorite detail?

The photo booth wall was so amazing because it was custom made for us and everyone had a blast hamming it up with the props.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

When we were standing up at the ceremony and looking out at all our friends and family I was blown away by all the love I felt for us from everyone.

Please also include a list of all your vendors including any website links.

Venue: The Tuscan Villa

Catering and Cake: Crepes Bonaparte  and Porto’s Bakery and Cafe

Photography: Keith Nelson

Dress: Eugenia, from Mary Lynn’s Bridal

Suit: Indochino

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{Meg} My Favorite Movie and TV Budget Weddings Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 I’m sure we have all been inspired by or enamored with a large, beautiful or extravagant wedding on the tv screen or on film, but I have a real fondness for the small or offbeat budget weddings, complete with a perfect soundtrack that pops up here and there. This is a short list of my favorites and what inspiration we can take from them.

1. Andy and Aprils “surprise” awesomesauce wedding on Parks and Recreation.

You have got to love the crazy, quirky, romantic duo that is Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate. These two not only decided to get hitched after just a few short weeks dating, but also to do it as a surprise for their friends and make it a potluck. I love Andy’s line, “We are in love, so we didn’t over-think it! I cannot overemphasize how little we thought about this!”After inviting everyone to their “fancy party,” items are also requested of the guests; for example,  Andy asks coworker Ben to bring Avatar, 50 pairs of 3D glasses, and a 3D-capable TV. Chris Traeger, played by the gorgeous Rob Lowe, is asked to bring the cake but instead brings something healthier:

Chris: I was in charge of the cake. To be fair, it’s not a cake so much as it is a vegetable loaf. You got your mushrooms, your alfalfa sprouts, your spinach and I had it sweetened with fruit reduction.
Ron: But did they ask you to bring a vegtable loaf or a cake?
Chris: No, a cake, but this is so much healthier.
Ron: So not only does this thing exist, but now you have deprived everyone of cake!

Andy announces to everyone that this is not only a fancy party but also their wedding, and the two are quickly wed in the middle of their living room, April in a short white dress and Andy in a sports jersey.  Andy’s band Mouse Rat rocks out and everyone gets down on the dance floor.

Get down Rob Lowe! Nice shirt Jerry

Now I know how ridiculous and immature this wedding sounds, and in reality sort of is, but if you watch the episode you will see that it has so much heart! I love that they paid practically nothing to get married but were still surrounded by their friends and family and had a meaningful and very “them” celebration. That’s what everyone wants out of a wedding!

So what can we take out of this ridiculous shindig? Well, depending on how you feel about surprises, a surprise wedding could be a lot of fun, especially if all your friends and family are already gathered for a holiday or some other event. Check out this couple that turned their engagement party into a surprise wedding!

The idea of a potluck wedding also isn’t new but is still considered somewhat tacky. But you know what, if that kind of thing doesn’t bother you, or perhaps your friends wouldn’t mind, why not ask for the guests to make a dish? It makes them a part of the wedding and saves you big bucks! In a way it’s the most “traditional” of all since this was how weddings were held hundreds of years ago! There are lots of resources out there for couples planning a potluck wedding.

2. Simon and Elenore’s 60’s ship wedding from Pirate Radio.

Ok, so this marriage may have only lasted 17 hours but that didn’t change the fact that they had a wonderful wedding! The ceremony is held on the pirate radio boat and is broadcast over the radio. The decor and attire is mod, rock and roll, and perfectly 60’s, from the hanging records, Indian flower garlands and flag bunting to the giant turquoise bows on the bridesmaids dresses. You know they had awesome music to dance all night to on a boat full of DJ’s and records!  See a clip of the sweetness here.

What can we take away from this one? after all, most of us don’t have a ship laying around and holding an event on a boat today is probably going to cost quite a bit. But, they clearly had a small wedding that was tucked away, something you could easily recreate by celebrating in a remote location and keeping the guest list small. A friend of ours officiated a beautiful wedding in the middle of the desert in Joshua Tree, if something like that interests you I recommend you look into national parks or other outdoor spaces that are available to the public. If you really would like to tie the knot over the water you may find local boat rentals that could accommodate your party, such as the Creole Queen down in New Orleans.

Mostly what I love about this wedding is the fun decorations that are very DIY and budget conscious. Making bunting and stringing up old records is an easy and cheap decoration that can really set the tone for the event as well as enliven a space. Focus on a particular type of music (in this case 60’s rock and roll) or a particular era can also give the party a theme and breath life into an otherwise cookie cutter affair.

3. Stu and Jade’s Las Vegas wedding

Even though this wedding was held in a drunken stupor at a little white chapel in Vegas, it looks like SO much fun! Check out those powder blue suits and the high roller package, including mugs, hats, and calendars plastered with their awesome photos. Heather Graham looks stripper fabulous in her yellow dress and even though no one can remember it, it was clearly a kick ass wedding. After seeing it I kind of wanted to run off to Vegas and get hitched. That didn’t happen but I have the utmost respect for those who have the balls to do it!

Want to have a quick, easy, and inexpensive wedding? Vegas has always been a hotspot for this, and nowadays there are all kinds of packages, from the slightly silly and tacky high roller one at a corner chapel to elegant affairs at the large hotels. The actual Little White Wedding Chapel offers packages from $200-900! Or if you want something a little fancier you could try the Chapel of the Flowers. Having everything taken care of by the chapel definitely makes a wedding easier and can save big bucks.

This wedding, like the Pirate Radio one, also draws from a certain era to create a theme, the 60’s/70’s! I know my man looks hot in a powder blue suit, how about yours?  If you like the campy vintage look of Vegas then a Vegas chapel wedding could be for you! You would hardly need to decorate, just a good outfit and you will blend right in. Elvis and Priscilla did it in 1967 in their suite in the Aladdin Hotel followed by a breakfast reception for 100 guests. If the king can do it, why not you?

Do any of you love these weddings like I do? What is your favorite TV or Movie wedding? Have you gained any inspiration from on screen weddings?

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{Meg} Things I have learned from my wedding Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 I decided to make a list of little things I learned from my wedding with the hope that they may help you in planning for your wedding!

1. Having your bachelorette party the night before your wedding or rehearsal dinner is a BAD idea! see my previous post for evidence.

You don't want this to be you!

2. If your venue allows it or you’re doing everything yourself, try to get as much set up as possible the day before the wedding or early the day of. Despite planning, we were setting up right until the last minute which was very stressful! You also want to delegate set up tasks as much as you can, with detailed instructions written down (I seriously wish I had done this). Otherwise, certain things can be forgotten and left behind or not set up the way you hoped. Seems obvious, I know, but I thought I had things organized and figured out but I failed to realize how difficult it would be for me to have my hand in everything being set up, there just wasn’t enough time. If I had realized this beforehand I could have written down instructions for all the helpful people who were offering assistance.

Super helpful and awesome groomsmen (and my hubby)

3. Make a list of photos you want either your photographer or a friend with a camera to get. I did make a list of family shots to take for our photographer but I forgot about the other shots I wanted and failed to tell anyone about, so guess what, I didn’t get them! I’m talking about details like the cookie favors we had in everyone’s hotel room and the bar I decorated with golden dinosaurs, no photos. I even bought those giant balloons and blew them up with the intention of using them in photos with my bridesmaids, yeah, that didn’t happen. I didn’t get a single photo with a balloon! I know it seems silly and like I should have remembered but I didn’t and if I had written it down someone else could have said, hey, lets get those shots. This is also important if you are blogging as those detail shots are needed for blog posts (like this!).

At least one of our guests got a cute shot with the balloons!

4. Have at least three people help you get into your dress, sounds excessive I know, but believe me it’s a good idea. Two people should hold the zipper, one on each side and one should zip, SLOWLY! Otherwise, your zipper may break, as mine did. We were in a rush and my MOH quickly pulled the zipper up when S*#$@! that zipper became unusable. Being sewn into that dress sucked up an hour of photography time :( Apparently, according to my dry cleaner, wedding dress zippers generally are kind of sensitive and you have to zip them slowly. Good to know. Luckily my mother was there and my MOH had a sewing kit so mommy dearest and skilled bridesmaids sewed me into that dress.

Tip 4A. Be sure to have a sewing kit around.

My birdies and mice sewing away

5. If you plan on dancing, or are having an outdoor wedding, either find a dress that has NO train or bustle your dress. My lovely dress had a short train, it wasn’t heavy and I could walk quiet easily with it. I really wasn’t a fan of the bustled look so I opted out of having anything done to my train, I didn’t think I would have any problem dancing in it. Wrong, that thing felt heavy and annoying by the end of the night, I bet every guest stepped on it on that dance floor and holding it up while trying to dance was not easy. Additionally, my dress was a MESS by the end of the night, the bottom was SO dirty the cleaners said they had to clean it three times! I should have bustled.

I boogied despite the annoying train

6. The time goes by in a flash, you will not have time to do everything so prioritize what things you want to do or participate in. I only got a handful of photos in our photo booth, I didn’t even get to say hello to our caterers or go over to see them cooking crepes, I didn’t play with our light up bocce ball or play with the kids. All things I wanted or intended to do, but with a 5 to 6 hour wedding there just isn’t enough time to be wed, dance, eat, talk to everyone and do it all. Which leads me to my next tip.

7. Have a LONG wedding, start early if possible. We started at 6:30 due to heat concerns, the weather turned out to be perfect but if we had started at 5 maybe we could have had time for toasts, that’s right, we completely forgot about toasts, we went straight from eating to dancing and then before you know it there was cake, more dancing and the night was over. So have a 7-8 hour event if you can! It will go by super quick no matter what so take all the time you can.

Hey it's the caterers! I knew they were somewhere at our wedding

8. Hire a day of coordinator if you can, they are worth it. Be sure to go over everything with them! I thought I had done this but I really didn’t. For instance, I forgot to go over the details of serving the coffee and tea with our coordinator. Something I had delegated to my father and briefly discussed with him but this clearly wasn’t enough. The coffee mugs we rented didn’t get set out or used and the coffee wasn’t served until basically everyone had left. So that was a waste of money. I also didn’t discuss clean up with anyone, so at the end of the night when us party animals were dancing, the raccoons were attempting to eat the remnants of peoples dinners. Luckily, helpful family and friends pitched in to get all the plates and dishes inside, but I should have hired people to do this or organized it with my coordinator.

9. Friends and family are amazing and will do everything they can to help you have a wonderful wedding. I was blown away by all the genuine desire to help from our friends and family, we couldn’t have had the fabulous day we did without all their hard work. Ask for help, people are usually happy to give it!

Despite these snaffus we had a fabulous wedding, I wish I could do it again, minus the money and all the work :) Did you guys have little things like this that you didn’t think about pre-wedding? I hope my rehashing of my mistakes can help you with your planning!

The best part, we are wed!


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{Meg} Table Numbers Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Before I post my final recap I wanted to write a little about our table numbers. My hubby wrote about them on his blog Math Goes Pop! and so I thought I would share as well.

As I may have mentioned, my husband is a mathematician, and so I wanted to do something that reflected this in our table numbers. I asked him to come up with 10 mathematically significant numbers or symbols and we used these for the table numbers. We used the Ikea double sided Tolsby frames so that one side had the number and the other had a description of that number along with table exercises! That way no one had to do any actual math to find their table (unless they wanted to).

We used stones written with our guests’ names and the table number instead of escort cards. At the end of the night our guests left their stones in a basket for Matt and I to use in our garden.

For example, one of the table numbers was “e” with this description on the back:

e, a.k.a. Euler’s number, a.k.a. Napier’s Constant, is an irrational number of fundamental importance. While it lacks the general public awareness of a number like \pi, I assure you it is no less charming. Typically defined as the limit       e:=\lim_{n\rightarrow\infty}\left(1+\frac{1}{n}\right)^{n}, e enjoys many other identities, including




e also determines the base of the exponential function e^{x}, unique among all exponential functions in the study of calculus because it is equal to its own derivative.

Table exercises!

1. Use one of the identities above to verify that e < 3.

2. Use one of the identities above to verify that e is irrational, i.e. that it cannot be written as a ratio p/q where p and q are integers.

3. Suppose each of you has brought a hat to this wedding. Everyone leaves his or her hat inside, and when a person leaves, he can’t be bothered to search for the hat he brought, and simply takes one from the hat pile at random. Show that the probability nobody ends up with the hat they came in with tends to 1/e as the number of people increases.


You can see all the table numbers over at my hubby’s blog. I hope I haven’t bored you all, just wanted to share a fun way we tried to make a detail feel like “us” :) Did you do anything like this with your table numbers?


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{Meg} Let’s Rehearse! Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 So last we left off I was puking my guts out and feeling like death, but I was able to pull it together and get ready to rehearse Friday night. Luckily, my fabulous new in-laws took care of the rehearsal dinner, which they hosted at our venue, so there wasn’t a whole lot for me to do. Our day-of coordinator came and we ran through the ceremony twice.

heeeey! We're gettin married!

Matt wore his 1970’s blue leisure suit and I wore a gown from So our rehearsal was a little more formal since our actual wedding was to be casual and we were going to enjoy a plated three course meal.

My in-laws hired a personal chef, Cristina Cornejo, to create a fabulous seasonal menu which we enjoyed at a long communal table inside the crystal room. The food was amazing and it was so wonderful to spend the evening before our wedding surrounded by 30 of our closest friends and family.

Before the evening was over I had a special surprise for Matt. I wanted to get him a groom’s cake, but since he loves rice krispie treats more than cake I found a bakery, Jamaicas Cakes, that could make me a sheet of rice krispies and frost it so it looked like a cake and decorate it with a special scene from one of his favorite movies, The Room (if you haven’t seen it, you should!). Since it wasn’t large enough to feed the 100 people coming to the wedding I decided to serve it at the rehearsal dinner, along with It’s-It ice cream sandwiches. It was a big hit.

Matt was in love with his cake
A close up of the awesomeness

It was a great night and I was able to enjoy the food despite my earlier stomach issues. We enjoyed some fun in the pool after dinner and stayed up way too late. Luckily the stress didn’t hit me until the next morning when I realized that I didn’t get as much prepped as I had planned Friday and I only had a few short hours Saturday morning before I needed to start getting ready!

Bursting with happiness!

How did your rehearsal go? Did it feel as special as your wedding, like it did for us?

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{Meg} Bachelorette blunder Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Before I start my wedding recaps I thought I would start at the very beginning of the wedding festivities, with my bachelorette party.  It happened on the Thursday night before our rehearsal dinner, two days before our wedding; the timing of this was due to my cousin, a bridesmaid, who could not make it to Los Angeles until that evening. Wanting everyone to be there, we decided to do it that Thursday. Bad idea!

Don’t get me wrong, the party was a blast. I knew I didn’t want to drink a lot though, and I told my bridesmaids this! Yet somehow, I ended up hammered! Ok, I admit, it was my own fault, but it shouldn’t have happened!

Before the drinking began

We started with drinks and appetizers at the Sonoma Wine Garden on the top floor of Santa Monica Place. We had a nice view and amaaaazing truffle french fries. By the time we left for our dinner reservation I had a good buzz going and was foolishly ready for more, so at dinner at Manchego my wine glass was constantly being refilled. The tapas were delicious but by that 6th or 7th glass of booze I probably couldn’t really appreciate them.

feelin' good and ready for tapas

We decided to keep drinking (why!?) and walked to the nearby Victorian where there is a speakeasy underneath the restaurant. It was a super cool place where I was handed several shots, and by the end of the night I was telling everyone how much I loved them, yeah, super embarrassing.

having way too much fun

I woke up the next morning with the worst hangover of my life. Not only that but my body was so angry with me that it decided to purge itself of everything left in it and anything I attempted to put in it in order to soothe it. I lay in bed for six straight hours and couldn’t keep anything down! Meanwhile my super amazing fabulous husband-to-be was gathering everything we needed to bring to our venue and loading it into the van to transport and set up in Simi Valley. I had to pull it together for the rehearsal dinner that night, which I managed, but it was a rough day.

what the?

My full senses and focus never really returned to me that weekend, which I think contributed to the blur factor of our wedding, but hey, what can you do! A good time was had by all and I am grateful that I can remember the whole night. But let this be a warning to you brides to be, DO NOT have your bachelorette party within a day or two of your wedding and/or rehearsal! You need at least a full day of recovery time. And bridesmaids, DO NOT let the bride drink too much! Also, avoid mixing alcohols, I think that contributed to the stomach issues.

I'm talking to YOU!

Did anyone else make this mistake or am I just foolish?

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{Meg} Did this really happen? Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Hi there! So Matt and I got married this past weekend and it has been a CRAZY week. It went SO fast! I can hardly believe it’s over. I apologize for being so MIA and I promise as soon as we get back from our two week honeymoon in Costa Rica I will recap it up with some awesome photos!

In the meantime enjoy these little snippets of fun!

Ready to get hitched!
Best photo booth ever!
Cutest ringbearer ever!
Rehearsal dinner fun + terrible laugh face

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Budget Friendly Photo Booth Props Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Like lots of brides, I jumped on the photo booth bandwagon. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a photo booth!? What an awesome way to entertain guests along with provide them with a fun favor they will treasure.

Matt and I enjoying ourselves in the booth at a friend (Michelle's) wedding

Unfortunately, after looking into renting such a booth I realized it would not work within our budget. Luckily, the DIY options out there are plentiful and after seeing images like these:

From the Ruffled blog
Courtesy of "Do It Yourself Weddings" blog

I decided we should make a photo booth wall and use our own camera on a tripod to snap the photos. If I have my sh*t together then I will post the photos on our website so our guests can access them as well as send them each their photos in their thank you’s.

Luckily, we have some very talented friends, one in particular who is a contractor and has access to everything needed to put this thing together along with the skills. He has generously offered to build this thing for us, and so besides picking out wallpaper (a blue and white San Francisco toile) and frames, we don’t have to do much of anything for it. He is even getting it to the venue for us! Thank goodness, because it is HUGE, eight feet high with three different frames of different sizes plus wainscoting! The total cost I am unsure of as our friend has bought everything needed and refused to let us pay him back, aren’t friends great! But I am confident it was less then the cost of a professional rental, and this wall will be personalized to us!

Of course you can’t have a photo booth without props! that’s where Jordan from Oh Happy Day comes in. She created two sets of awesome prop print outs along with instructions on how to make them. So armed with some foam core board, Elmers spray adhesive, a box cutter and scalpel, I made a great set of props:

This is just the first set! I added the Tom Selleck stash and mountain man beard myself

If you attempt these I would suggest using the black foam core over the white. I bought both and used both but found the black had a cleaner look once cut. Also, be aware, all this cutting and spraying can be a bit messy so I recommend doing it in an area that can handle the mess. Cutting through foam core with such a sharp instrument is harder than you would expect, and also dangerous (luckily I only stuck myself once), so do be careful. I found a slow sawing and dragging motion worked best using a long scalpel tool.

Here is the second set, although I didn’t make all of them in the print out:

The Beatrice hat was from the first set and I had it printed at Kinkos

I also made conversation and thought bubbles using the foam core and chalkboard contact paper

Ready for chalk and some creativity!

Please ignore the general mess on my table, thank you :)

Are you planning on doing a photo booth? Are you renting or DIY-ing? Have you used these print outs for props or created your own?

Boshi says "come on guys, I am NOT Harry Potter!"

We are two weeks away from the big day so if I start to disappear I apologize and I promise lots of pictures and recaps once we return from our honeymoon!


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DIY wedding details Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Now that you have seen our awesome invitations, I can show you this fun and easy project which can be used for all kinds of events! I originally saw this idea over on Evie S. for a yarn wrapped monogram.

Even though it was intended for a baby shower I loved the sweet vintage look of it and figured I could do something similar for our wedding. Now, I could have done letters (M and M in different colors, for example, or my new last name), but after using the images of a mustache and lips on our invites I thought those would be fun to do and could be used to decorate the bride and groom chairs.

Our yarn lips and mustache!

So I followed Evie’s tutorial but not super closely. She suggest printing out your letter or image or whatever you are using in the appropriate size to then trace on a piece of cardboard. I just freehanded it though because I was lazy. Also, she uses a cereal box, as this is a good size to work with so I did the same, resulting in a sturdy but flexible shape. If you want something stiffer I would recommend using a box made with thicker cardboard.

yarn and cut out

I grabbed the bag of yarn that sits in the corner of our bedroom and found a lovely pink shade for the lips and a nice brown for the stache. After cutting the shapes out of the cardboard I started in the center and wrapped the yarn all the way around like so:

wrap wrap wrap

Rounded edges can be tricky, as the yarn will tend to slide.  This is where glue comes in handy. I used hot glue, just a little bit on the back will help keep the yarn in place. You can also use spray adhesive but I found that to be a little messier. I started at the center and worked my way out on the mustache, repeating the process for the opposite side. The lips are a little trickier and take a bit longer to wrap but it’s not difficult. I only did one layer as I found this was enough but Evie did several and if you like that look and have the patience you could do as many as you like!

All thats left is to tie on a ribbon and hang them on our chairs! In the meantime they make great props!

It's a me mario!
muah muah muah!












You could really make any shape, letter, or number you like! Be forewarned though, if you have a cat, I suggest not leaving these out where said cat can reach them. Otherwise this happens:

Damn Boshi!


Luckily, it can be easily fixed!

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You’re Invited! Our Wedding Invitations Tue, 26 Jul 2011 12:00:11 +0000 At the bottom of my priorities list was invitations. I love pretty letterpress invitations as much as the next person but I just felt spending lots on nice paper that would just be thrown out was not budget friendly or eco friendly for us. Although I almost caved when I saw Rifle paper companies‘ gorgeous invites!

Too bad they were out of our budget. Especially since our budget was so low, around $250. At first I thought we could create our invitations ourselves. After all, we were able to make our save-the-dates ourselves, though those were only emailed and not posted. I found a few cute designs available for download for a reasonable price or for free, like these from The Wedding Chicks. S0 I started to research what I would need to make our own invitations and I became a little concerned about our lack of skills and knowledge on paper resources. This led us to consider another option, Wedding Paper Divas. A friend of ours happens to work for this company and generously offered us her friends and family discount. This would have easily allowed us to stay within budget and required a lot less work on our part. So I browsed their designs, and while none of them really screamed “US,” there were a few I would have been fine with, like this one:

This was a bit formal for us but we liked the woodsy feel

Matt’s mom has a friend in the paper business (not Michael Scott, unfortunately) who she contacted about creating our own invitations and using their services for printing. She came back with a price slightly over what Wedding Paper Divas would cost, around $300. I was fine with saving the money and going with the cheaper, not as cool option but both Matt and his mom felt it was worth it and wanted to utilize the friend’s connections and so we started designing our invitation ourselves. Since neither of us have particularly fabulous artistic skills it was too difficult to recreate the Rifle style designs and I started looking for other inspiration. That’s when I found this fun design from Minted:

We liked the idea of using a mustache and lips since Matt and all his groomsmen will be donning staches on the big day. We also liked the bold, fun look of using different fonts in different colors that we saw on other invitations. With all this in mind my fabulous LOML whipped together a gorgeous design which I promptly “ehh”-d while offering very little constructive feedback, what can I say, I’m bad at this stuff!

It ended up being more difficult than expected, mostly because of a time crunch. The design had to be sent to the printers within two weeks after making this decision as that was the only time we could take advantage of this paper sale they were having. My honey worked his butt off, along with the help of his mom, who is also very talented with these things. Using Adobe Indesign and Photoshop they came up with this!

response card, postcard style


the back!

















Cute, right? So William Arthur up in San Francisco printed them for us and we assembled them in a basic cream envelope with some white liners and got to work addressing!  We also marked each response card using an invisible ink pen, very useful should any come back missing a name! (So far only one has, and it was from my mother!)

Hard at work!

We ended up spending close to $350 for 100 invites, plus postage, but I am at peace with that, after all it was still good deal and they are custom and unique!

Did you brave through a DIY invitation project? Or get a good deal from a friend or online? Please share!

Boshi is too square to make it to our wedding, he has a busy schedule of napping that day
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