Operation Flower Girl: 20 Trendy and Cute Flower Girl Dresses

Some aspects of planning a wedding bring nothing but stress. Figuring out where to seat your strange cousin or deciding upon a final guest list. But other things are nothing but fun, and perhaps one of the most joyous things involved in planning a wedding is dressing up your cute little flower girl. And summer is the perfect flower girl season, because there are so many light, adorable dress styles to make your little one the quintessential picture of innocence. Here are just a handful of dresses to consider for the petal-scattering girl in your wedding party.

  1. Ivory with Rose Trim: This yellow-hinted ivory dress is the perfect dress for the summer flower girl. The lightweight netting covering the skirt will allow your flower girl to feel like a princess on her big trip down the aisle and provides a very enchanted look. Plus the rose accents are both cute and tasteful.
  2. Lemonade Dress: This sweet dress is an excellent choice for both formal and casual weddings. Its simple design is tasteful enough to blend at even the most elaborate wedding, but would also look great on a barefoot flower girl in a backyard ceremony. The lemony shade could not be more appropriate for summer and the ribbon accent and cute ruffle around the skirt make this dress even more precious.
  3. Blue Princess Dress : Blue is a great color for a summer wedding and one way to integrate your wedding colors more thoroughly is to outfit your flower girl head to toe in your chosen tone. Check out this cute and vibrant dress that’s made from a sky-blue tulle and accented by darker blue stripes and dark blue sash further accented with flowers. This is a fun dress that is very light and summery.
  4. Bubblegum Dress: Wanting some color accents in your flower girl’s dress that are a little more subtle? Then check out the Bubblegum Dress, a sweet, well-designed dress that features blue grosgrain bows placed daintily around the perimeter of the tulle skirt. This sleeveless number is a little more on the fancy side and calls forth a very Cinderella-like look.
  5. Cotton Bella Dress : This easy white dress is a classic style and is a perfect choice for an English garden wedding. The bright white is a great color for a summertime wedding, and also lends an extra air of innocence and purity to your ceremony. This full-length style is conservative and very pretty with crocheted lace striping and satin ribbon sown into the skirt and flowing from the collar and sleeves.
  6. Flowers by Xavi Sea Foam Dress : A gorgeous dress that, if available in adult sizes, would be suitable for the bride herself! This tulle dress is very romantic, beautiful and unique. The full-bodied tulle is light and airy for the season and the rose flower accents trailing down the skirt are simply gorgeous. Dresses by this designer all tend to be ornate and fanciful, but the shade and sleeveless style of this particular dress is more suitable for summer.
  7. Pegeen Couture Dress: Pegeen has been making popular and stylish flower girl dresses since 1982 and they have several customizable styles that are perfect for the summer flower girl. One of the latest styles is the couture dress, and while it comes in many different colors, this color combo is both hip and great for the season. The full baby blue skirt is complimented nicely by a dark maroon rose bow that trails down the back.
  8. Cupcakes Dress: Understated and stylish, this is a wonderful option for a minimalist bride’s flower girl. The sleeveless white sheath is accented by a chocolate brown satin ribbon and a matching brown ruffle around the bottom. And the empire waist will give your girl more of a contemporary look.
  9. Keylime Print : Smithereman and Barnwell are a high-end flower girl dress designer that have quite a few styles worth mentioning. The first is this adorable printed yellow dress that features a French renaissance print. Printed fabrics aren’t common for flower girl or bridesmaids dresses, but why they aren’t is a mystery. Add a little pizzazz to your wedding style with a fun, vibrant fabric!
  10. Plaid Skirt Dress: Another dress by Smitherman and Barnwell, this great option is subtle, but so very unique. Like many common summer styles, the dress features a sleeveless white top. But the real attraction is the skirt. A delicate grayish-green and white plaid satiny fabric is gathered at the hip by a tasteful bunch of flowers. Your flower girl will be summoning the spirit of Carrie Bradshaw in this dress in no time.
  11. Blue Floral Print: Last one from Smitherman and Barnwell before we move on, but we couldn’t help but mention this great dress. Give your flower girl a little arm coverage with this simple, short-sleeve style. The traditional collar and pleated skirt give the dress a classic look that won’t ever fall out of trend. But the dress’s real saving grace is the terrific electric blue floral print material, which really pops. Your flower girl will be noticed from aisles and aisles away.
  12. Elizabeth by Mon Cheri : So, it’s true that five year old girls aren’t normally known for their elegance, but why not let your little one play grown up for a day? This lovely pink satin dress has a very high-end look for a pretty low price. The elegant gathered skirt is the dress’s centerpiece, and, again, mimics a style that is very popular this season among bridal gown designers. The Swarovski beaded waistband adds even more grace, but also tones down the dress’s maturity to a girl-like level. While the pink is a great choice for a summer wedding, so are the other colors in which it is available – gold, ivory, and white.
  13. Smock Dress : This dress couldn’t be any more adorable if it tried. The white cottony fabric is made special by adding the eyelet top and sweet satiny apron in the back. The skirt and apron are gathered around the waist to create a rippled, pleated effect. This dress exemplifies innocence and country charm and is a great option for an outdoor ceremony.
  14. Frances Johnston Pink and White Dress: It doesn’t get any more classic flower girl than this dress, frankly. The style and accents used in this example are about as traditional as they come, which means this flower girl will fit in at any wedding. The white and light pink are perfect colors for summer, and the well-placed bows around the waist add a feminine and innocent quality. The fact that it’s made of 100 percent silk also means that your flower girl will stay cool and comfy.
  15. Lemon Ice Crinkle Dress: This dreamy dress is simply amazing. The yellow and white checkered taffeta covered in a layer of floaty tulle give the dress a light and airy quality accented by a bold, floral sash. The full skirt adds formality while the traditional pattern tones it down a notch. And at a price of $60, this dress really can’t be beat.
  16. Rose Petal Ruffle: A simple dress with the most understated and classic features. The sleeveless, full-skirted white dress provides the basics for the timeless style, but the designers have taken it one excellent step further by adding a sprinkling of multi-colored rose petals around the trim of the skirt that give the dress a playful and pretty look. The light pink flower at the sash also highlights the demureness of the style.
  17. Flowery Dress : Dress your little petal dropper up like a rose garden in these dresses by My Angelic Kids. With a lightweight fabric and rose-patterned fabric these dresses will have your flower girl looking sweet, carefree and comfy cool as she walks down the aisle. The fabric has a nice sheen that will be well highlighted by the sunlight if you are planning an outdoor wedding. And the price will have you rubbing your eyes – at only $20 this dress is the must-have for budget brides.
  18. Ice Cream Flower Girl : Cute, cute, cute. This white dress with black lace-up accents is a great option for the bride who is going for a neutral color scheme and a minimalist look. It comes in a tea length or floor length style and is accented down the back by tiny black bows, black lace-up stitching on the side and black straps. The double layer of tulle gives the dress an especially full look.
  19. Us Angels Lace: Like lace? Then you’ll love these sleeveless styles from Us Angels. The lace-covered satin A-line sheath is beautiful, timeless, and innocent. Pick a floral accent for the sash that matches the color scheme of your wedding!
  20. Long Sash Dress: This classic A-line dress is accented well with a long, bold sash that is folded stylishly over at the waist and features a crystal brooch. If you’re looking for something simple, understated and tasteful, this dress may be the one for you.

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We Want Prenupt! 15 Celebrity Love Stories

Marrying out of their league, arguing over officiates, screaming at the bride in front of the guests – this is just some of the sorry behavior some celebs have exhibited at their very own wedding ceremonies. Not surprisingly, many of the stars on this list barely made it through their vows before their marriages were over. Here are some of the more scandalous celebrity couples to ever get hitched.

  1. Britney Spears and Jason Alexander : People sure do it differently in Louisiana. In 2004, Britney Spears and her old childhood buddy Jason Alexander from Kentwood, Louisiana, were hold up in her posh hotel suite in Las Vegas watching the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” when they gazed over at each other with a crazy thought. “We were just looking at each other [Saturday morning] and said, ‘Let’s do something wild, crazy. Let’s go get married, just for the hell of it,’” Alexander told a entertainment show reporter. The marriage, which the couple attended in blue jeans and black shirts (presumably also “for the hell of it), lasted all of 55 hours – enough time for Britney’s handlers to fly to Sin City, smack some sense into her, and help her file papers for an annulment.
  2. Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds: It was a big ol’ controversial year for Eddie Murphy. After denying that he impregnated Scary Spice Melanie Brown (paternity tests later proved he was the father), Murphy embarked on a very public romance with music producer Tracey Edmonds. The couple dated for almost two years before they flew to Bora Bora for a non-legal wedding ceremony. Though they planned to follow it up with a legal ceremony in the U.S., Edmonds was apparently turned off by the fact that Murphy repeatedly verbally assaulted her, screaming at both herself and her mother multiple times during the “symbolic” ceremony. Upon their return to America, the couple announced they decided to just be friends. Though after a display like that, it’s doubtful Edmonds is holding up her end of that bargain.
  3. Britney Murphy and Simon Monjack : In May 2007, the petite actress with the enormous collagen lip injections married British screenwriter Simon Monjack in a secret ceremony at her home in Los Angeles. Sounds simple enough, right? Well at the time, the clandestine wedding was said to have taken place only because Murphy was trying to keep Monjack from being deported back to England. Just weeks before their wedding, Monjack, who wrote “The Factory Girl” was arrested and charged with having an expired visa. The couple did not comment on the allegations and, judging by the fact that the couple has now been together for a little over one year, it seems like there might be some falseness to the alleged falsity.
  4. Pamela Anderson and Rick Solomon : The sleazy, big-chested actress famous for making a legendary sex tape with her ex-husband Tommy Lee married another Hollywood sleazoid famous for making a legendary sex tape with Paris Hilton. In October 2007, Pamela Anderson married Rick Solomon at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. The couple first got together, as Anderson told Ellen Degeneres, because it appeared Anderson owed Solomon a little money. “I paid off a poker debt with sexual favors, and I fell in love,” she said. How cute! Maybe prostitution does pay? But, alas, the couple, who held their ceremony during a 90-minute break between two magic shows in which Anderson was appearing, split a mere two months later. Both filed papers claiming fraud against the other. Shocking.
  5. Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz : This controversy is definitely sheer hearsay at this point, but rumor on the street is that Ashlee Simpson objected to having her father Joe Simpson officiate her wedding to Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz. At the last minute, Simpson allegedly said she wanted to be married by a Buddhist monk, and expressed her feelings to her father who insisted on marrying the couple. If this is true, it’s certainly not being corroborated by the couple, who was married merely weeks ago. Wentz has told the media that he couldn’t imagine having anyone other that Mr. Simpson unite the two in holy matrimony. File this one under: scandal unconfirmed.
  6. Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra : The outrageous former Chicago Bulls star and the sexy pinup girl were married on Nov. 7, 1998 in, yep – you guessed it, Las Vegas. Rodman, who at the time liked to step out with Electra when the two were both wearing dresses, was known as a person who pushed the boundaries. How many NBA stars have you seen with pink hair? But Rodman showed up so drunk to his nuptials to Electra that his agent alleged that Rodman didn’t know what he was doing. Nine days later the union was annulled, and according to Rodman’s lawyer the groom’s intoxication at the wedding meant the wedding was doomed from the start by Electra’s money-grubbing ways. “Obviously, anyone that would marry somebody that was intoxicated to the point that they couldn’t speak or stand had ulterior motives of some sort,” Dwight Manley, Rodman’s agent, told the press at the time. Whatever the issue between the couple, it’s definitely one of the shorter-lived Hollywood weddings in the pages of history.
  7. Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley : OK, what wasn’t sketchy about the oddly-paired marriage between Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson? The public was skeptical from the get-go and the creepy couple even had to go on Primetime Live and insist that they actually liked each other and had sex. Jackson repeatedly said that they weren’t faking, and the couple even appeared on the MTV Music Video Awards to prove their love to the world with a really awkward kiss that sent shivers down the spines of America. But while they swore up and down the wedding, which conveniently occurred shortly after Jackson was accused of child molestation, was the real deal, Jackson and Presley filed for divorce only 18 months after they wed. Presley claimed she hadn’t seen the pop singer in six months at the time she filed for divorce. She later went on Oprah and said she believed Jackson used her.
  8. Liza Minelli and David Gest: The marriage of Liza Minelli and David Gest was a bit of a freak show, alright. With a crazy-looking Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson serving as the wedding party onlookers could have reliably predicted the relationship’s demise before it legally began. The strange partnership lasted only 16 months before the couple filed for divorce. But the controversial details of the union came out in 2003 when Gest filed papers claiming that Minelli beat him regularly during their marriage and struggled with addiction. According to Gest, during one limo ride to a rehab center, Minelli drank a bottle of red wine and began beating him mercilessly, open fisted, in the car. He also claims that she once threw a lamp at him and tried to choke one of his employees. Minelli denies the claim, but it’s definitely one of the more controversial divorces in Hollywood history.
  9. Fergie and Josh Duhamel: It’s another one from the unsubstantiated rumor mill, but some bloggers out there have been writing that Fergie and Josh Duhamel are arguing over the type of wedding they will have. Fergie, who sings almost solely about money, her glamourousness and her penchant for “working on her fitness,” allegedly wants a luxurious ceremony costing around $1.5 million, while Duhamel, who was born and raised in Minot, North Dakota, wants something laid back and casual. Adding further fury to their marriage rumors was one which claimed Fergie was pregnant, hence the proposal. Doesn’t seem to be any truth to that one, seeing as though it originated five months ago and she’s still thin as a rail, but it will be interesting to see whether it will be diamonds or daisies to decorate this couple’s wedding reception.
  10. Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett: Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett met in 1993 and wed just three weeks after their first encounter. It was obvious to many entertainment reporters and observers that Roberts seemed to be slightly out of the unorthodox-looking country singer’s league. Their union made headlines for its duration, as people lobbed impolite comments at the couple, repeatedly pointing out the strangeness of their coupledom and referring to them as “beauty and the beast.” As if the fact that they married a mere 21 days after initially meeting wasn’t a sign that the marriage wouldn’t last, it seemed impossible that the couple would be able to withstand the near-constant public criticism. Whatever caused the split, the couple divorced in 1995 – less than two years after their wedding.
  11. Charlie Sheen, Denise Richards, and Brooke Mueller: As if there hasn’t been enough controversy surrounding the tumultuous marriage and subsequent divorce of Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards, the couple is making headlines again – this time over Sheen’s latest marriage to Brooke Mueller. Despite the fact that Richards has filed a restraining order and some pretty hefty allegations against Sheen – including claims that he physically abused her, is a drug addict, and hired prostitutes during their marriage (all of which he denies) – she also sent Sheen and his new wife a wedding gift, though she said it was officially from her daughters.
  12. Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney : No could have ever guessed that Renee Zellweger and country singer Kenny Chesney would start dating – the unlikely pair didn’t seem to have common friends, interests, or even common invites to Hollywood parties. Rumors that they had become an item started after Zellweger appeared at one of Chesney’s concerts in Florida and walked on the stage to hand him a margarita and give him a kiss on the cheek. But aside from that, it was a quick and barely noticeable courtship. The world simply opened the paper one day to find out that the two had tied the knot in a small, private ceremony in the Virgin Islands. But just five months later, the couple was in the news again when reports surfaced that the duo had filed for an annulment citing “fraud.” To this day, neither Zellweger nor Chesney have come forth to reveal the real reasons behind their split, though Chesney did seem to be caught off guard by Zellweger’s initiation of the annulment. He later said he didn’t see it coming.
  13. Drew Barrymore and Jeremy Thomas: Drew Barrymore had barely recovered from her childhood addictions to drugs and alcohol, when at the age of 19 she impulsively married Los Angeles bartender Jeremy Thomas mere hours after she had met him. Barrymore, who was partying in Thomas’ bar one night, accepted a marriage proposal from him on the spot. The couple called a clairvoyant Justice of the Peace from the bar’s pay phone and someone arrived around 5 a.m. to conduct the ceremony. Not surprisingly, the couple divorced just 19 days later – together for precisely one day for every year that Barrymore had been alive!
  14. Jennifer Lopez and Chris Judd: Another wedding that shocked the world, Jennifer Lopez stunned the public when she walked down the aisle in 2001 with one of her backup dancers, Chris Judd. They divorced only nine months later amid rumors that they hadn’t been physically living together for some time. This is a story akin to the Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts situation, except the gap between the two career-wise was even greater this time. Though Judd is considerably better looking than Lovett, he was virtually unknown by the public leaving many to wonder what J. Lo could see in him.
  15. Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall II : It doesn’t get any grosser than this one. In 1994, Houston oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II married Playboy bunny Anna Nicole Smith. She was 26 and he was 89. Think she was out for his money? Duh! After he died just one year after their wedding, Smith put on a riveting display of tearworks for the judge who would decide where his billions would go – to his gold digging wife or his gold digging children. The couple met when Smith was working in Houston as a stripper. Can you imagine what they had to talk about? This partnership is reminiscent of a scene from “Best in Show” where a similar couple – a wealthy old man with no teeth and a young buxom blond – are married and trying to convince filmmakers they have a lot in common. When asked what their shared interests are, the wife replies that they both “like soup.”

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Ribbon Seating Display

 

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For an all-frills setup with little fuss, slip seating cards in between rows of ribbons. Cover foam boards (ours are 20 by 30 inches) with satin and grosgrain ribbons; randomly layer narrow ribbons over wide ones. Pin the ribbon ends to backs of boards, inserting straight pins at an angle to secure. Slip in envelopes by their flaps or bottoms.

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10 Weddings that Helped Save the World

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle. It’s the mantra to live by in today’s world of Global Warming and rapidly depleting natural resources. But while many Americans are employing the theory in their everyday lives, some have even gone so far to design their entire weddings around the belief system that humans should strive to reduce their carbon footprints on this earth. Check out these 10 couples who planned eco-friendly weddings – they managed to have an environmentally conscious affair without sacrificing any style points.

  1. Michael and Stephanie: This happy couple makes living green a way of life. Michael, a spa and hotel owner, and Stephanie, an artist, decided to not only hold their wedding at an organic vineyard in Napa Valley, but they tried to incorporate reusable materials and sustainable foods into the reception as much as possible. The menu featured only organic and locally-grown vegetarian foods and wines – not a tough thing to do when you are getting married in the lush, agriculture-rich region of northern California! But one of the wedding’s most creative and iconic elements was the long dining table. The groom’s friend crafted the table out of used wine barrels. The couple then had their guests carve their names into the table instead of using a paper-wasting guest book. They then recycled the table into a front door for their new home!
  2. Kate and Barry: Kate and Barry, two diehard outdoor enthusiasts, made their wedding so green it seems hard to make an event any greener. First, the location was set at an organic farm in New York, where guests were invited to hike and take nature tours the day before the wedding. The menu was chosen based upon what foods were available in the fall season and grown nearby, and the same idea was employed for the bride’s bouquet – it was designed using only local, seasonal flowers. Because the reception was held at a nearby golf course, the couple looked for vans that ran on bio-diesel fuel to shuttle guests back and forth. For favors, the bride made each guest a piece of pottery. The couple also used rocks found in nature as part of their décor, which they returned to their native spot afterward. To top it off, Kate and Barry even calculated all of the miles their guests traveled to attend the wedding and then donated money to plant enough trees to offset the omissions.
  3. Beth and Andrew: This couple, who lives in San Francisco, didn’t go over the top to make their wedding eco-friendly, but they are a primo example that you don’t have to obsess over every detail to end up with a wedding that is both easy on the eyes and the environment. Beth and Andrew held their wedding near their families in Pennsylvania and decided to let their lifestyles guide their choices. One choice was to reduce gas emissions from guests by holding both the ceremony and reception at the same location, which is also a tremendous convenience for their guests, as well. The food served was all organic with vegetarian options. And after the wedding ended, they donated all of their flowers to a local hospice.
  4. John and Nancy: To make their wedding as eco-friendly as possible, John and Nancy had to bust out their calculators. Well, at least John’s students had to, because as part of one of their assignments he asked them to calculate the carbon footprint their wedding would have on the earth. By adding up the distances each of their guests were traveling and then factoring in all of the energy it would take to actually power their wedding, the couple concluded that their wedding alone would release 58 tons of carbon dioxide. To offset that, each guest received an 11-watt compact fluorescent light bulb, with instructions to swap it out for a 50-watt incandescent bulb. Guests also received information sheets with tips on how they could further reduce their impact on the earth in everyday life.
  5. Heather and Matthew: Heather and Matthew made sure that for their wedding, transportation would be kept to a bare minimum. First, they had a nearby friend hand make their invitations from recycled paper. Then they planned floral arrangements and bouquets using flowers that the bride’s mother grew in her yard. Her mother also made wreaths with sticks and flowers from her garden and then found some used ribbon and tulle for accenting. Matthew handmade all of the vase holders for the ceremony from old logs, and the couple employed family members to do the flower arrangements. Heather’s dress was made by a local seamstress, the food was locally-grown and organic, and the reception and ceremony were within walking distance of each other.
  6. Kathy and Brett: Kathy and Brett, a couple from Nevada City, Calif., decided to have an eco-friendly wedding after becoming disgusted with how disposable and “throw-away” traditional weddings had become. They started by renting out the Sierra Friends Center in their hometown, a lovely nature preserve dedicated to environmentalism. Both Kathy and Brett decided to wear organic, natural fiber clothes and outfitted their wedding party similarly in hemp dresses, shirts, and pants. Kathy’s dress was made by a local seamstress. All of the food, which was served potluck-style, was organic and locally-grown, and the couple treated guests to a local organic beer. Before the wedding, the couple sent out hemp invitations and asked each of their guests to bring a small square organic cake, which they pieced together to create one big quilt-like cake. All of the hardware – like vases and glassware – was recycled and everything else was rented or purchased from a store in town.
  7. Kristy and Nik: For this couple, not having a green wedding would have been an insult to their occupations. Nik, an environmental consultant for restaurants, and Kristy, a graduate student in urban planning, live green in everything they do. Even simple things like getting ice cream – always ordered in a cone – is a test of their eco strengths. Like many of the other couples mentioned, Nik and Kristy tried to minimize their carbon footprint from transportation, and while they live in Boston, they held their wedding in San Francisco where all of their guests live. To get guests from their homes to the wedding site, the couple rented a bus and asked others to drive a hybrid vehicle. They calculated the carbon footprint of all the transportation and donated money to an organization that plants trees to neutralize the effects. They also opted against having flowers and asked their guests to donate to environmental nonprofits in lieu of giving them gifts.
  8. Morgan and Alex: Morgan Spurlock, the acclaimed documentary filmmaker behind the hit movie “Super Size Me,” married his vegan chef girlfriend Alexandra Jamieson opted to elope to Fiji for their nuptials. And while the gas it took to get them to the Pacific island was not exactly carbon-neutral, the rest of the affair was very environmentally conscious. Because they eloped, they invited only two friends, and therefore had none of the paper waste associated with a big list of invitees. The bride wore a silk, hemp gown that her mother made in a nice pink shade, so it can be worn again or else remade into curtains or pillows. There were no flowers, huge food displays or other items that could potentially go to waste. When the couple returned home, they had a small, local celebration with their friends.
  9. Natalie and Matt: Natalie began planning for her eco-friendly wedding with the attire. She bought a used-but-not-yet-worn wedding dress off of a bride that ended up calling her wedding off. She then recycled her sister’s bridesmaids dresses for her own wedding party, getting an extra use out of a dress that so often goes to waste. Then she and her husband approached a local jeweler about creating wedding bands for them out of recycled gold – a very popular option for green couples. She even used her grandmother’s ring as part of the recycled mix. Of course the food was all organic, including the wine, and the centerpieces were all given away as favors. The couple arrived at their local wedding spot in canoes decorated with lily pads and also chose to honeymoon on a nearby island.
  10. Kristen and Todd: As this bride blogs, her husband proposed to her without a ring, saying that the couple should design one together. That set the tone for a do-it-yourself wedding-planning mentality that eventually resulted in a fun, lighthearted and eco-friendly wedding. The wedding was held in their resident town of Oxford, Ohio, and the couple chose an organic vegetarian buffet served with reusable plates and flatware. Kristen got her dress at a second hand shop and let her bridesmaids pick out their own dresses to be sure they would wear them again. They used all recycled paper products and gave their guests carbon credit cards as wedding favors. The cake was homemade; the flowers organic. They enlisted their family and friends as help instead of outsourcing duties and tried to go second hand as much as possible. Their one splurge? A photo booth for fun wedding memories.

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BRIDEZILLA! 20 Proven Ways to Make your Bride Unhappy

Wedding days are really the bride’s day. It’s the event she’s been dreaming of since she was a little girl, the one she’s been building up in her mind her entire life. Grooms must put aside their childish whims and be on their best behavior. Despite it being a day for both to celebrate, grooms must really be on their best behavior – even the most minor offense will not be tolerated. So that being the case here are a few other things a groom should definitely not do on your wedding day, lest he want to be publicly ditched at the altar.

  1. Show Up Hungover: While it’s inevitable that the groom and all of his rowdy friends will want to celebrate and/or mourn his loss of bachelor status the night before the wedding, a groom who shows up reeking of Wild Turkey, urine, and cigarettes is not going to win any brownie points with his intended. If your man has a penchant for booze, make sure he’s stocked with the necessary hangover elixirs the next day. Especially if you sense he has cold feet – the more frightened he is, the more likely he is to go on a bender in the days leading up to the event.
  2. Show Up Drunk: The only thing worse than showing up hungover is showing up fully drunk (though one could argue that arriving at your wedding after consuming a large amount of psychedelics might rank a little higher on this scale.) However, few things would put you more on edge than a groom who is spontaneously “wooing” and cheering, slurring his vows, laughing and snorting through the ceremony, basically falling over at the altar, or worst of all, carrying a beer down the aisle. Consider the story about the woman in India whose husband-to-be showed up so drunk to his own wedding that his bride married his brother instead. Do you have a back-up plan in place?
  3. Rhyming Vows: Exchanging vows is one of the most special moments of a wedding ceremony, so it’s certain to say a bride would be less than amused by a groom who decided to “lighten” the moment with his comedic or musical debut. Rhyming or rapping his vows is both embarrassing for the bride and ridiculously cheesy. What bride wants to hear her husband declare his love by saying, “Hickory dickory dock, our hearts will soon be locked. I tried to run, you wouldn’t go away, and that’s what brings us here today!”
  4. Invite an Ex: Remember when your groom asked you if he could invite his skanky ex-girlfriend who likes to call the house and hang up to the wedding? Remember when you said no? That should have been the end of it, right? Well, apparently not, because as you are walking down the aisle concentrating on looking misty-eyed and gorgeous there the harlot is in the fourth row on the groom’s side. It may take all the inner strength you possess to keep yourself from hurling your bouquet in the groom’s face and kneeing him in the groin. Inviting an ex behind the bride’s back is the ultimate no-no.
  5. Get a Facial Tattoo: Can you even fathom the feeling of horror you might experience if you showed up to the church to find your groom had fulfilled his longtime fantasy of tattooing his entire face before the wedding? Marking his face with tribal art the day before your wedding is definite grounds for immediate deportation to Papua New Guinea or northern New Zealand. Getting a tattoo to commemorate the big day is one thing, but it has to be discreet. Writing your name across his forehead in permanent ink is neither endearing nor attractive. This is the kind of faux pas that just might get some grooms left standing solo at the altar.
  6. Book His Favorite Styx Cover Band: You argued over the music for weeks. You wanted traditional DJ fare, maybe a sweet little string quartet during the ceremony and reception. He argued – quite passionately – for his favorite 80’s glam metal cover band, the kind who come complete with leather pants and eyeliner. You said no; he seemingly obliged. But then behind your back he canceled the viola player and booked the band. You show up to your reception to find a troupe of Alice Cooper look-alikes screaming racy lyrics to your horrified grandmother.
  7. Ditch His Pants: The Ralph Lauren tuxedo the two of you picked out for the wedding was so very nice. You knew your groom wanted a more casual feel, but you’d been dreaming about having a traditional, formal wedding all your life. You appreciated the fact that your man seemed so willing to sacrifice his wishes for yours. Until you hooked your arm in your father’s and looked to see your intended waiting for you at the end of the aisle in his tuxedo jacket, bow tie, and pair of plaid shorts. Hopefully, he at least wouldn’t have his groomsmen follow his lead, but, then again, maybe it would help him blend a little better. And let’s hope also that he at least had the good sense to switch from his black knee socks and lace ups to a more appropriate pair of flip flops.
  8. Keg Stands: Frat party staples like Jager bombs and keg stands should not be brought into your wedding reception, especially when it’s your groom demanding the action. A groom encouraging and pressuring your skirt-wearing Aunt Millie to hoist her legs over her head and drink beer straight from the tap while your groom and his friends lead a chorus of “Chug, chug, chugs” is not a man mature enough to handle the institution of marriage.
  9. Criticizing the Bride’s Appearance: This one is something of a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the level of insensitivity some men possess. Despite what a bride chooses to wear or how she has cut or styled her hair, grooms should never be heard or seen making gagging noises, pretending to vomit, or blatantly asking the bride, “Geez, did you go drinking before hitting the bridal salon?” or “How did you get the ax?” Some things are better left unsaid.
  10. Dirty Dancing : If your groom really appreciates his cheesy dance moves you might want to cut him off from the reception early before he tries to wage some freaky-deaky dance warfare on your grandmother. The “running man” you can tolerate – heck, you’d even stand for a few “sprinklers” and a “Roger Rabbit” or two. But let your groom know beforehand that grinding on the guests is strictly prohibited. I mean seriously can you really imagine or would you even want to imagine Granny grinding up on Grandpa to the tune of some new Kayne West track? Classy right?
  11. Guitar Solo: If your groom has recently taken up guitar, or if he’s been at it for awhile but really just sucks, then you would likely not be too psyched if he decided to demonstrate his musical chops for your entire guest list. Avoid unwanted guitar solos or off-key serenades by opting to not hire a band and go with a DJ instead. Keep instruments far away from your husband-to-be and eliminate the risk that your man will follow through on his flamboyant urge to imitate David Lee Roth.
  12. Having his Groomsmen Wear Matching Oakley Blades: Warning: If your husband-to-be was a Phi Delt in the 80s or is just hopelessly stuck in the era, constantly reminiscing about water skiing outings made in neon pink swimming trunks, then you could be in danger of him pulling a stunt like this – asking his groomsmen to all wear matching iridescent Oakley Razor Blade sunglasses throughout the ceremony. Not only is this trend hugely unattractive and about as “with the times” as a wooly mammoth, but it’s just a sign that he can’t be trusted and will never leave the past behind. If any artifact of that decade should be left behind and forgotten, it’s this one.
  13. Moonwalk to the Altar: Your wedding day is the one day of the year – possibly of your life – that you get the hands-down right to make as grand of an entrance as possible. That’s why you have every reason to be mad as hell if your groom tries to upstage you with a grand entrance of his own. If he does anything beyond calmly and deliberately walking to his post at the altar, turn on your heels and hightail it out of there. Any moonwalking down the aisle or entrance that involves a Rush song playing in the background and special effects like smoke and lights is fair grounds to call the whole thing off.
  14. Reveals a BIG secret: Hopefully, by the time you and your intended are actually tying the knot, you will know just about everything about each other. Which is why it would be deeply disturbing if your groom decides to use the occasion as an opportunity to reveal something personal and awkward about himself. Sure, having all of your family and friends gathered together in one place makes it easy for him to get the admission off his chest in one swoop, since everyone who is important to him will be present. But having your groom steal the spotlight by confessing he’s bisexual, revealing a former drug habit, or introducing the crowd to his illegitimate, secret 10-year-old son will certainly ruin your entire day – especially if it’s news to you, too.
  15. Switch Out First Dance Song: The ceremony is over and you are gathered before your friends and family, standing in the spotlight on the dance floor, ready for your first dance with your new husband. You smile demurely, waiting for the DJ to kick on the song to which you both agreed was the perfect mood-setter for your first twirl as man and wife – “A Whole New World” by Peabo Bryson. The lights dim and the DJ hits the switch. Before you know what’s happening, your groom is grinning like a maniac, jumping around the room, and doing the chicken dance. The jerk switched out your wedding song without telling you. Horrified, you have two choices: either walk off the floor or tuck your wrists under your armpits and start clucking.
  16. Wearing Heelys: If your groom decided to forgo his tux-issued shoes for a pair of brand new Heely sneakers – the shoes with wheels in the heel – then you can take it as a sure-fire sign that your groom is one of the most immature people on the planet. Remind him that the law states a person must be over the age of 18 to get married without parental consent and then roll him out of the picture. Lets be honest if this is really something you need to explain to your groom ladies…you two are probably not going to be a match made in heaven for long. Five years from now I can see your future now and I have two words for you DIVORCE SETTLEMENT!
  17. Shave Your Name into His Head: Romantic gestures from the groom on your wedding day are very nice. One standard act of love would be sending the bride a gift – maybe some roses or some jewelry. It would even be kind of nice for him to hire a small prop plane to write your name in the sky. But shaving it into his head the morning of the wedding is not included on this list of sweet and acceptable gestures. If this happens, just hope you can catch him before your debut at the altar so you can find him a hat or shave the rest of his hair off. If your man comes to the wedding with this going on kindly send him back down the aisle with his 4th grade text book and tell him to call you in 10 years!
  18. Crying Uncontrollably: Again, sentimental gestures from the groom are nice, and tearing up a little when he sees you walking down the aisle is completely fine – even a little desirable one would think. But the man must show a little self-control. Body-wracking sobs are not the look and feel you are going for here. If your groom is crying so loud that you can’t hear your cue to say “I Do” then elbow him in the side and try to get the situation under control. If that doesn’t work, you may want to join him.
  19. Objecting, Jokingly: You know that part in the ceremony where the preacher asks that if anyone knows any reason why the bride and groom should not be married that they should speak now or forever hold their peace? It’s a moment where the crowd, and by all means the bride and groom, are really expected to remain silent. Anyone who would actually pick that moment to express their disapproval with your relationship is not a friend you want to keep. But it would be wholly worse if the person to “speak up” during the ceremony was the man you were marrying. No matter how sarcastic or joke-prone your husband is pretending to object to your own wedding is not even remotely funny.
  20. Getting Beat Up : If your groom has a nasty temper, then one thing you might be wary of is the likelihood of him showing up in suit and tie with a black eye and broken nose. That photographer is expensive for Pete’s sake and nothing is going to ruin your lifelong memories more than photos of your groom smiling broadly with missing teeth. Don’t let your groom get beat up before the wedding. Make sure any raucous behavior he engages in prior to the ceremony is far away from the town dive bar.

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We’ve Hit the Jackpot!~Mini Gumball Slot Machines

jackpot

It is time to up the ante on your favor ideas, and this cute little favor is just the thing to do it! Let everyone know that you hit the jackpot with these gumball slot machine favors. The favors are personalized with your name and wedding date to give them an extra special touch. These would be perfect for a Vegas themed wedding, shower, or bachelorette party! The slot machines are fully functional and are sure to be a hit with everyone, even the kids!

Check it out!

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Who Sits Where at the Reception

seatingThe bride and groom hold the two most important seats at the reception. Their table should be easily seen from anywhere in the room so all the guests can be witness to their expressions of happiness. The following diagrams offer suggestions for seating attendants and family members.

The Wedding Party
Traditionally, the table for the wedding party is rectangular, with seating on one side only, facing out, so the guests can see the couple easily; often the table will be on a dais. The table should be centrally located, and flower arrangements should be kept low so as not to obstruct anyone’s view.

If the table is round, the bride and groom should still face the room. The best man is seated to the right of the bride; the maid or matron of honor sits to the groom’s left. The remainder of the wedding party is seated outward from the bride and groom, alternating groomsmen and bridesmaids.

parents

Parents of the Bride and Groom
At the most traditional hosts’ table, the bride’s mother sits in the center facing out, where she can keep close watch on the party; the bride’s father sits directly across from her, and the groom’s father sits on her right. The officiant may be seated to the left of the bride’s mother. The groom’s mother traditionally sits to the right of the bride’s father, with the officiant’s spouse to his left.

brideandgroom table

The seating arrangement above allows the closest relatives and friends of the bride and groom to join them at one table. The wedding party is represented with the best man to the right of the bride and the maid or matron of honor to the groom’s left. Traditionally, the male-female pattern continues around the entire table. Grandparents or siblings can be seated on the other side of each of the honor attendants. The officiant is seated to the right of the grandparent next to the best man; the bride’s mother is to the right of the officiant. On her right, the groom’s father is seated with the officiant’s spouse (if he or she has one) on his right. Finally, the father of the bride is seated to the right of the officiant’s spouse, while the groom’s mother is seated to his right.

 

 

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Penny Pinchers:50 Tips to Help You Pay for Your Own Wedding

Some of us aren’t endowed with trust funds or uber-rich parents. If that’s the case, it means preparing for your wedding can be something of a stressful chore. With the average cost of weddings these days topping $20,000, it certainly can cause some worry. But don’t fret – there are many ways to cut costs and still have a fabulous wedding. Here are some tips on how throw a classy wedding on a dime.

Loans

You will clearly need to save, save, save if you’re going to foot the bill for your wedding, but the good news is that some of the costs can be financed. In the unfortunate addition to racking up some credit card debt, you can rack up some old-fashioned bank-loan debt, as well. It may sound somewhat formal and heavy for such a happy occasion, but it’s pretty common to take out a loan to help cover your expenses. And lots of banks have plans to suit your financial needs. But a warning to the wise – while it’s easy to get a loan, it’s also easy to fall into a money-sucking trap. Try to go for loans that allow for a short payback term to reduce the amount you’re spending on interest and stay on top of your payments!!! Don’t let the most joyous day of your life lead you to financial ruin. Loans can get great if used properly, but its advisable to pay with saving for the wedding… be responsible!

  1. Bridal Loans.com: Bridal Loans is a California-based company that offers loans between the amount of $1,500 and $25,000. They also offer payment plans that extend from 12 to 48 months, so you can pay the loan off as fast as you want. With an interest rate at 12.9 percent, it’s better to pay these loans off quickly. But, if you’re in a bind, this company can definitely help you meet your needs.
  2. Bank of America: This mega-bank offers loans of up to $50,000, which can be spent on flowers, cakes, dresses, or food. You won’t have to put up any collateral to qualify and you’ll pay no annual fee. While interest rates fluctuate, they do go as low as 8.99 percent.
  3. American Unsecured: This company makes it easy to get a loan for any amount up to $50,000. You can pay the borrowed amount off over 24 to 84 months. The long loan term relieves the pressure, and the application is easy to fill out. Interest rates here can rival those at Bank of America, going as low as 8.99 percent.
  4. Citibank: Citibank, like many banks, has what it calls a Flex Line of Cash, which works just like a home equity loan. Offered at an interest rate of 9.99 percent, you can take out a loan to spend on whatever your heart desires. The loan term is automatically set at 60 months, but you can change that to make it shorter.
  5. Loan Back: This easy-to-use service offers low interest rates and super-detailed plans. Simply enter the amount you’re borrowing and the reason for the loan and the online tool will calculate your monthly payments immediately and let you know the total amount of interest you’ll pay over the term. Convenient, reasonable, and hassle-free.
  6. Capital One: Capital One provides very flexible personal loans that can be used for whatever you want. Payment terms are flexible and the application can be completed online. The interest rate of 6.99 percent is also pretty low in comparison to other lenders and you’ll be guaranteed to pay the same fixed amount each month.
  7. E Loan: This company provides consumers a variety of personal loans up to $25,000 without homeownership required. The detailed and helpful website allows you to do most of the math online and also fill out the application. No annual fees are required, either.
  8. America First: America First offers flexible personal loans that can be payed off over many different lengths of time. Clearly, the longer you stretch it out, the lower the interest rate. And like most lenders, rates will increase depending on your credit history. But it’s a credible credit union with a plethora of options for the consumer.
  9. Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo is another national bank with a solid reputation for providing flexible personal loans. And if you pay off the loan directly from your Wells Fargo account, you’ll pay even more. Definitely worth some research here to see if it’s the bank for you.
  10. Bank Rate: If you’re still not convinced that any of these options are up your alley, try this website that allows you to see what’s available. Compare interest rates and graph the rate trends all within a few minutes. By using an objective comparison site like this one, you’ll be confident in your choice.

How to Save Money

So now you know that if push comes to shove you will be able to get some financial assistance for your wedding in the form of a loan. But you may want to save that for a last resort. The very first thing you need to do when planning a wedding on your own dime is start saving! You many not think that you’re a spendaholic, but you would be surprised at how many extra costs you can cut out if you just put your mind to it. Here are a few ways to start fattening up your bank account.

  1. Track Your Spending: All debt gurus will tell you that you can’t start being smart about your money until you understand why you are so bad with it in the first place. For one entire week, write down everything that you spend money on. You can use a simple piece of paper or go more formal with software like Excel or Quicken. At the end of the week, study your habits and make notes about where you can cut out the extra dollars.
  2. Cut Out Extras: Now it’s time to tighten the belt a little. Stop going out to eat so much and start cooking at home, rent movies instead of hitting up the theater, make coffee in the morning instead of stopping at Starbucks. While you don’t have to totally deprive yourself, if you are spending money on entertainment or unnecessary items every day you can save a fortune by taking a more frugal route.
  3. Conserve Energy: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that energy costs these days are through the roof. There are so many things you can do to shrink your utility costs. Make sure all of your lights and fans are turned off when not in use, turn the heat and air conditioning down, and unplug appliances when they’re not in use. Making small changes like this will impact both your billfold and your carbon footprint.
  4. Bike: Another way to save bukus of money is by changing your transportation habits. Park that old gas-guzzling clunker in the garage and hop on the bus. Or take your bike instead and get some exercise while helping the environment.
  5. Be Responsible: A lackadaisical outlook toward your existing debt can wreak havoc on your finances in the form of astronomical late fees. Examine your credit cards and other financial accounts and see what the late fees and interest rates are for not being on top of your payments. They will add up fast and can easily sneak by you if you are not vigilant.
  6. Go Vintage: Forgo shopping trips to Neiman Marcus and Saks. If you need some new garments, check out the local second hand thrift stores and vintage shops in your area. You’ll spend less on clothes and amass a fashionable and unique wardrobe at the same time.
  7. Hide Your Credit Cards: You may not want to go totally without credit cards, but you may definitely want to think about at least hiding them or not keeping them on your person. Credit cards encourage indiscriminate spending and will only help you wrack up more debt. Spend money you actually have and you’ll stay above the water, financially speaking.
  8. Get a Roommate: If you have a little extra space in your home, consider taking on a boarder to generate some extra income. Or if you live in an apartment or home that is way too big and expensive, move into a more humble abode until after your wedding. Living with other people will cut all of your current expenses in half.
  9. Have a Garage Sale: Make some money on the stuff that’s cluttering up your house by holding a garage or yard sale. And don’t fall into the trap of under pricing everything – if an item is special, people will be willing to spend. Plus, haggling is a common occurrence at yard sales, so make sure you start on the high end.
  10. Ebay: In the same vein as holding a garage sale, you can also make money by hocking your wares on the internet. Place some high dollar items that you don’t need anymore on Ebay and hold out for the highest bidder. Lots of people make their entire living doing this. Just think what an entire annual salary could do for your wedding budget.

D.I.Y.

Doing it yourself could not be more hip these days. And honestly there are so many things you actually can do yourself. While it may sound daunting at first, armed with a few simple guidebooks and instructions, you can essentially make anything that you would possibly need for your wedding even if you aren’t the craftiest bride. Making things yourself will help you cut costs, while also earning you the admiration of all your guests.

  1. Bouquet: Making a wedding bouquet is one of the easiest things to tackle on your wedding accessory list. You may have to wake up extra early on your wedding day, but assembling and wrapping up some flowers is not difficult and actually might be very therapeutic. Stick to flowers that are in season or cheap by nature, like daisies, sunflowers, freesia and Sweet William, to keep costs down even more.
  2. Veil: Do you have any idea how expensive veils are these days? If you don’t, you may not want to risk a heart attack by looking into the matter. If you do, enough said. The good thing for you is that veils are extremely inexpensive and pretty darn simple to make, and there are dozens of resource guides to be found online and in fabric stores.
  3. Programs and Placecards: If you are planning to have paper items like programs and place cards at your wedding, you don’t have to spend a ton on some fancy graphic designer. These items are just as easy to design and print yourself if you have even the most basic color printer. If you’re artistic abilities are really bad, look for templates online and plug in your personal information!
  4. Hair Accessories : So you want some nice beaded accents or ribbon-laced barrettes for you and your bridesmaids? No sweat. Make them yourself by buying the raw materials and a glue gun. Just look for photos of examples and copy it. If you’re having trouble, enroll in a weekend craft workshop and ask the instructor for help.
  5. Seat Covers: This one may be a bit adventurous for some and you will definitely need a sewing machine, but it is possible to make your own seat covers and avoid rental fees. However, it may be less hassle to find the basic covers for cheap and then tie on your own ribbons or decorations. Some rental companies loan sheaths for as low as $2 a pop! Do some research and find what’s right for you.
  6. Invitations: Just like your programs or other paper products, it’s very easy to make your own wedding invitations. If you are dealing with a large quantity, you may want to outsource the printing, but designing the concept can be done for free. Bring your costs down by using recycled paper.
  7. Jewelry: If there’s anything we’ve learned from the plethora of bead stores around, it’s that anyone can make their own jewelry. The same goes for wedding jewelry. As long as your not looking to be covered in diamonds – and given your budget, we’re assuming you’re not – then you can follow any pattern of your choice to make your own earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. This could also be a fun activity for your bachelorette party – everyone makes the jewelry they plan to wear!
  8. Bridesmaids Gifts: You’ve got to get them something, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Plus, a homemade gift is always more special than something store bought. Now that you know how to make jewelry, you could make them earrings, hand paint or decorate some nice picture frames, or make a personalized scrapbook for each friends with details you’re your friendship.
  9. Dresses : This money-saving option is not for the meek. Making your own dress requires a lot of time, patience and skill. But if you have those it can be done.
  10. Make Your Own Accessories: All you need is a needle and thread to make your own pillow for your ring bearer. Brainstorm about other non-complicated accessories you can cobble together yourself and get a bit crafty.

General Tips to Keep Your Costs Down

Cutting back on the amount of hired help at your wedding is one solid way you can keep costs down. Here are some general rules to employ so you can pull off a great wedding without working too much overtime.

  1. Money Tree: Let your guests help pay for the celebration. Instead of registering for gifts, register a money tree. Have your guests give you money instead of unnecessary pearl-encrusted picture frames. The money tree makes gift giving easy for your guests and beneficial for you.
  2. Keep the Guest List Small: This may be easier said than done for some of you, but one way to do this is to limit the affair to close friends and immediate family. Don’t worry about offending your great Aunt Pearl – it’s your day! One way to get around hurt feelings is to hold a very simple reception at your home after the wedding for those who couldn’t come to the ceremony. And if you do have a big list, don’t let friends bring random dates. Cut corners any way you can by eliminating the people who don’t really matter.
  3. Be Your Own DJ: With all of the music technology out there today, you really, really don’t need to hire a DJ for your reception. Make a few playlists appropriate for the different settings you will have at your ceremony, have someone press play, and don’t give it another thought. Why pay someone for something you can get for free?
  4. Bake Your Own Cake: While catering your own wedding may be asking a bit much, one thing you could easily do is bake your own cake. How hard is it to mix up some batter? You may need some assistance or lessons on how to do the icing skillfully, but there’s lots of resources available online and in bookstores for you to be your own teacher.
  5. Get a Cheap Dress: There are plenty of dress merchants who specialize in cheap, affordable gowns that look like they just fell off a designer’s frame. When it comes down to it, you can even find a great, stylish, white dress in your local mall. Keep it simple and no one will even think twice about who you’re wearing on your wedding day. Have a seamstress in the family? Ask them to copy the dress of your dreams for a fraction of the price or in lieu of a wedding gift.
  6. Stay Home: Cut out those monstrous event location rental fees by holding your wedding in your living room or your backyard. If you live in a nasty apartment building, consider your parents’ house or the home of a friend or relative. If you can’t think of anyone, hold your wedding at a local state park or other outdoor location that won’t charge you a fee.
  7. Make Your Own Favors: Don’t spend a dime on fancy favors – take the chance to make your own! Maybe you’re a knitter and can cobble together some cool coasters or beer koozies? Or maybe you’re just an Average Joe with no real creative abilities. In that case, make a mix CD of the songs that mean the most to you and your hubby.
  8. Save on Photography: Ask a friend or remote acquaintance who’s handy with a camera to shoot your wedding and save bundles on expensive photographers. Don’t know anyone off hand? Try inquiring at local photojournalism programs about seniors or grad students who have impressive portfolios. Chances are they’re still looking to add more work to their resume, so you can often get a student to do it for completely free.
  9. Compare Prices: If you’re trying to have a cheap wedding, you cannot be lazy. Be super vigilant about comparing the prices of every vendor in town and in surrounding towns. Hit up internet chat boards and ask other budgeted brides what they ended up paying for various services so you’ll know exactly when you’re being scammed or overcharged.
  10. Cancel the Wedding Planner: While having a wedding planner may reduce your stress and stand to reassure you that you’re not missing anything important, they’re really not necessary unless you have little-to-no time to do any planning. If you do, however, check out any number of wedding websites. Most offer free online workbook tools and checklists that you can use and follow as a reference for free. Having everything documented will calm you and ensure everything is on track.
  11. Online Invites: Save money on design, printing, and postage by sending online invitations to your guests. There are so many web services that make this process easy and that offer fun designs. Also, using online invites saves you a lot of work, because the site will keep a running tally of who is coming to your wedding, who is not, and why. You can also link your invite to your registries, send reminders, directions, all of which make it easy on your guests as well.
  12. Do Your Own Hair: Forget the expensive stylists – you’re not Angelina Jolie. But you can still look fabulous for free if you do your own hair. Many hairstyle websites have step-by-step instructions for different styles or you can go chic and simple by wearing your hair down and natural. Even ponytails are now popular options for wedding dos, so don’t sweat the small stuff.
  13. Do your Own Makeup: You do your own makeup every day, and chances are you don’t look hideous. What special magic is a makeup artist really going to pull beyond making you look like someone you’re not. Study up on some techniques and do your makeup yourself. If you’re really struggling, enlist the help of your mom or another friend.
  14. Have a Brunch: Eggs are so inexpensive they’re almost free. In general, breakfast foods cost a fraction of the cost of hearty, gourmet dinner foods. By hosting a morning wedding, you’ll not only get to take advantage of cheaper rental rates, but you’ll save a bundle on your food bill, as well. And you’ll also fare well on your alcohol bill since people are less likely to drink in the morning.
  15. Cheap Flowers: When ordering flowers, remember a couple of things: stay in season and stay common. Exotic flowers will cost you a pretty penny. But you can also cut costs by ordering from wholesale distributors rather than local florists. Try to avoid extra fees if you can.
  16. Embrace the Odd Hour: One way to avoid the issue of food all together is to hold your ceremony and reception at an odd hour. Try 2 p.m. or late at night. That way most people will have already eaten and likely not be concerned about food. All you have to worry about are the beverages.
  17. Cash Bar: Cash bars at weddings are often thought to be no-nos, but frankly, liquor, wine and beer will end up comprising about 25 percent of your total bill if you pay for an open bar. It’s totally acceptable to make people pay for their own alcohol. To make this less of an issue, have an afternoon ceremony so people won’t be focused on drinking as much. Another option is to offer a cheap wine and beer for free but charge for the hard stuff.

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