A Step-by-Step Guide to Throwing a Fantastic But Frugal Wedding

You might have been dreaming of your wedding day since you were very young. So you might have an idea in your head of just how you want it. It is meant to be a fairy tale and dream day, isn’t it? Sadly, our dream budget might not be our actual budget. But what if I was to tell you that you can still have your dream wedding but by being frugal? You don’t have to have a cheap looking wedding, by cutting costs. You just need to know the right places to cut costs and the effects that they will have. So sit back, relax, and have a read through some of my tips. I hope you find it useful as you plan your wedding.

Budget

One of the first things to do is to know your budget. You can’t plan anything until you know what that is. There might be savings stocked up for the wedding. There might not be much. Whatever it is, you need to know what you have to work with. Don’t feel disappointed by the budget, though. A small ceremony in a garden or park can be just as magical as a grand wedding in a manor house. It is all about how you use the budget you have.

 

Prioritize

One of the next things to do is think about what matters the most to you. Does an expensive cake mean more to you than having more guests present? Would you rather have a professional photographer or a friend to take the pictures? When you make decisions like this, you will be surprised at how much you can save. You will want to have an amazing wedding day. But at the end of the day, you’ll just want to be married to your love, right? So think about what is most important to you.

 

Do It Yourself

When it comes to weddings, companies know that there is money to be made. So when you enlist a professional, it can be costly. There are several things that you can do for the wedding yourself, though. Think about your invitations, for example. You could copy the style of wedding invites that you have seen before. Even by getting or borrowing some crafting equipment, it might be cheaper to make your own. You could look at the laser cut wedding invitations by Pure Invitation to give you some inspiration.

 

There are plenty of other things that you can do yourself. If you want to get married by a minister, could a friend get ordained online to do it for you? If you don’t have the cost of hiring a priest or minister, you can save money there too. Having a friend participate could mean so much more to you too. You could also make your own wedding favours or decorations. If you are a keen baker, you could even make the wedding cake. Ask around and see what talented friends you have that are willing to help you.

6 Easy Ways to Thank Your Wedding Guests in Style

With so much emphasis on the brides and grooms, it can be easy to forget about saying two simple words. Thank You. Guests will often have traveled a long distance to celebrate your union. Maybe they bought expensive gifts or donated their time to help you prepare for the ceremony. A wedding day wouldn’t be the same without your guests.

There are lots of simple yet effective ways to thank friends and family with keepsakes that are worth keeping. The following six tips have been compiled to provide some extra inspiration to ensure everyone is smiling as much as you two are!

 

Welcome gift bags

A small bag of essentials is perfect for showing gratitude to guest on the wedding day itself. If all of your guests are staying at the same hotel, ask the reception staff to give a handmade bag to each of the wedding parties when they check in. This simple gesture provides a very warm welcome. Fill with mini treats such as luxury bath products and fancy biscuits so they can enjoy some home comforts during their stay.

Sally Pinera

Photo credit: Sally Pinera

 

Special treats for bridesmaids, groomsmen and top table

Chances are these are the people who have provided you with the most encouragement and love during the planning process. A bachelorette or bachelor party is a treat you can plan a few weeks beforehand.

On the morning of your wedding, say a personal thank you to each of your parties. While the focus may be on the couple make sure that everyone else is feeling good too. Treat bridal and groom’s party to a delicious breakfast and some pampering alongside your schedule.

Gifting each of your bridesmaids a spa day pass will help them relax after looking after the bride! Groomsmen may appreciate a good bottle of liquor or pair of suave cufflinks. You know your wedding party best! So pick out gifts that reflect your personal taste and interests. Mothers and Fathers will appreciate simple yet sentimental gifts such as photo canvases or vouchers for a mini-break. They deserve a generous gift after putting so much effort into your big day.

 

A subtle way to say thanks

Write a heartfelt thank you note on a chalkboard at the entrance to your ceremony or reception. Do the same on the back of your table markers for guests to read when they take a seat. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated; just a simple thank you for all the support from guests.

Also, make sure to mention guests in your wedding speech. It’s easy to focus on your partner, so try to name-drop a few special people before thanking the entire reception for attending.

 

Cheap and cheerful keepsakes

You can add your name to pretty much anything you like! Fill mason jars full of snacks for guests to grab when leaving. Candies are usually cheap in bulk and will provide a colourful effect. By adding a ribbon and a mini label with your wedding name and date you can transform a simple item into a gorgeous gift. Music lovers could even provide guests with homemade CD’s featuring their favourite romance tracks.

 

Thank You Notes

Thank you notes are the first official correspondence you will send out as a married couple. How very exciting! Choose a notecard that reflects your style. You could carry on your wedding’s colour scheme right through to your luxury wedding stationery.

A handwritten thank you note is a traditional and sentimental keepsake for guests. Add in a specific note about the gift they bought you, or a memory from the day. Maybe they were throwing some great shapes on the dance floor? Did they catch the bouquet? Personal mementos will make guests feel truly appreciated.

To save time, you could try using Touchnote. It’s a photo printing app which sends a picture postcard straight to your correspondents from your smartphone. You could even send these out during the honeymoon if you want to keep friends updated from your exotic location!

 

Provide the best experience for guests

The simplest way to thank guests is to provide a comfortable and enjoyable day. So if you are planning an outdoor wedding, ensure you have umbrellas on hand in case it rains. Provide warm blankets for the evening reception. Even something as obvious as stocking up the bar and ensuring there is enough food to go around will make all the difference. Just think about the next wedding you will go to. What sort of day would you like to experience? If you can cover the basics, you won’t go far wrong.

Fresh Scent, Fresh Linen, Fresh Home

We are absolutely loving the Aroma360 London Calling Linen Spray! First of all, it smells AMAZING! And secondly, once you spray it on your linens, draperies, or upholstery, it not only freshens the whole house but the scent lasts a long time wherever you spray it!

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The spray doesn’t just smell incredible but the oils infused within the fragrance have many added physical benefits. Check out more details on the added benefits as well as their variety of other oils, candles and diffusers at Aroma360. Order yours and once you try them, let us know what you think!

Delicious New Stolen Fruit Cocktail Mixers

WOW! If you’re looking for the perfect mixer for your Bridal Shower, girls night or a gift for a party host, look no further! The new Stolen Fruit Cocktail Mixers are super unique, delicious and perfect for any of your upcoming events.

Winemakers and chefs have used the delicious flavors and aromas from the vineyard for ages but Stolen Fruit brings it to the glass with their new line of grape-based mixers. They are super easy-to-use mixers, are so versatile and can be mixed with or without alcohol for delicious cocktails and mocktails.

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The flavors include: Lemongrass Ginger Sauvignon BlancJasmine Juniper ViognierHibiscus Grenache Blood Orange Muscat (my favorite) and Fig Grains of Paradise Zin.

We tried them out last weekend and they’re delicious, with or with the booze! Mix them with your favorite sparkling water or juice for a non-alcoholic drink that still feels fun and festive or add in sparkling wine and/or your favorite spirit for a yummy cocktail. We tried Stolen Fruit with Vodka and Prosecco and loved both!

Stolen Fruit Cocktail Mixers ($18) are available for purchase online at stolenfruit.com, which also has recipes for cocktails, mocktails and food pairings! How awesome is that?! Check them out and let us know what you think. CHEERS!

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Sweating for the Wedding- At Home Workout Fitness Mat

We totally get how stressful and time consuming planning a wedding can be. Coupling that with work and your other every day activities can oftentimes leave little room for going to the gym. Don’t worry though, this is where FitnessMat can help.

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Don’t give up your dream body for your BIG day because you’re short on time. Workout at home with FitnessMat! It is AMAZING! We are absolutely LOVING ours that they sent over. It’s perfect for any kind of workout and is super soft yet supportive and durable.

FitnessMat’s unique anti-fatigue technology provides you with the best “ground support” you could ask for. Whatever your go to, at home, fitness program/workout is, the comfort, support, cleanliness and durability allows you to exercise safely. The mats even suspend your body weight, reducing impact on joints during exercise! How awesome is that?

You know what else is great about them? They are made in the USA and come with a 7 year performance warranty!

So, while you’re planning for your wedding, sweat for it with the help of the FitnessMat!

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Comfortable & Smoothing Shapewear

The ladies at Hot Pink Brides definitely know the struggle of finding body shapewear and slips that are not only comfortable but stay in place! Don’t worry though, we have you covered with the incredible Jewel Toned multi-colored shapewear line that’s bold, comfortable, fun and helps create and complete your look.

Jewel Toned is a mini-line of true no-pain shapewear. It’s made with a special blend of nylon and Spandex that makes for a prettier, softer, less constricting and far more comfortable (and cheaper) than any shapewear you’ve tried before!

Don’t worry anymore about wearing tight and constricting shapewear. With Jewel Toned shapers, you can actually breathe, eat, think and go through your day as if you’re not even wearing it! Their pieces are meant for smoothing, not sizing yourself down and as it’s meant to be underwear, it’s not made to be hidden! Almost every piece in the line stands on its own and can be worn by itself or layered. We

So, before you pick out your Bridal Shower dress or your Bachelorette party night, check out Jewel Toned. They have everything from bodysuits to mini dresses, shorts and skirts. Everything you’d need to create or complete your perfect outfit!

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Diamond Basics on Buying the Perfect Engagement Ring

Searching for the perfect engagement ring needn’t be a difficult experience, even though getting it right is incredibly important. Buying a diamond ring requires planning, but as a symbol of your loving union, it will forever remain a constant reminder of commitment that is appreciated each and every day.

With so many variables to choose from, it is important to learn about the various qualities of diamonds by understanding the principles of the Four C’s. This key knowledge will teach you how diamonds are valued and will guide you in your search for the best possible diamonds for your budget.

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Photo credit: Pinterest

  • THE FOUR C’S

CUT – Cut refers to the particular shape the stone has been fashioned into. Raw diamonds first need to be meticulously cut and polished to draw out their innate qualities. Cutting is a highly scientific process that places a geometric pattern of facets onto the surface of the diamond that allows it to absorb and refract light in a way that gives it the alluring sparkle and shine long associated with these precious gems.

Diamonds of the exact same weight, colour and clarity can quite easily end up looking completely different, depending on the skill of the Gem cutter and the style of cut they choose when shaping the diamond.

Common diamond cuts include round, princess, cushion, oval, radiant and emerald.

Kari Dawson

Photo credit: Kari Dawson

COLOUR – Colourless diamonds are highly prized and therefore more expensive to purchase. Even rarer colourings such as pink diamonds are found in extremely limited supply and command a higher price.

Generally though, as the colour of a diamond progress from clear to yellow and even slightly brownish tones, they become less valuable. Such colour changes can seem quite subtle but become easier to notice when placed side-by-side for inspection. Gemmologists and jewellers have ‘master colour sets’ that are used as a consistent benchmark to find the exact colour grade of a particular diamond.

CLARITY – Speaks to the minute natural flaws that are found in most diamonds. The more noticeable such inclusions, flecks and flaws are, the less valuable the diamond becomes. In very low grade diamonds these flaws can be observed with the naked eye. The highest quality diamonds look perfectly clear and flawless although often inclusions can still be seen under great magnification with a loupe or microscope.

CARATS – Carats are units of measurement that denote the weight of the diamond. The larger the weight of the stone is, the more expensive the diamond will be to purchase.

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Photo credit: Katelyn James

  • PRECIOUS METALS

Engagement rings are made from all manner of precious metals, but gold and platinum are the most popular materials. Gold comes in various degrees of quality from 9 Karat to 24 Karat and unlike diamonds; the karat does not denote weight but purity. The more pure the gold content of the ring, the higher the karat and the cost will be.

  • SETTING AND STYLE

The manner in which rings are constructed to hold diamonds is referred to as the setting. Diamond for Less jewellery store in Toronto Canada has multiple examples of various settings on display.

A single diamond or ‘solitaire’ is often set in prongs, which allows light to more freely enter and make the diamond sparkle more vibrantly.

Diamonds can also be set in grooves or bezels, be held in place by tension, or aligned in rows side-by-side in a paved fashion known as ‘pave´’ (pronounced par-vay).

Keeping these basic considerations in mind when shopping for the perfect engagement ring will make you better prepared, less stressed and more likely to find the exact ring you desire with greater ease.

4 Ideas For Throwing a Memorable Bachelorette Party

The chances are that all of the wedding plans are all sorted, and things are running smoothly. You will be counting down the weeks and then the days soon. So there are only a few small things to sort out before the big day. The next things are bridal shots and a bachelorette party, of course! Bridals are done only a short time before the wedding, so I’m going to share some fun ideas for throwing a bachelorette party. Hopefully, you won’t have to plan your own, but rather, you could share these ideas with your maid of honor.

 

Road Trip

This is going to be the trickiest option, which will require a lot more planning than most. But if you have got friends and bridesmaids that are up for a little bit of a road trip, then what could be more fun? It could just be a weekend trip to somewhere like Las Vegas, or a more chilled out trip to somewhere like Cocoa Beach in Florida. It depends on where you are in the country as to where you will go of course. But it is such fun to get all the girls together and have one last party trip as an unmarried woman. If you wanted to do a trip away for your bachelorette, it is time to get planning it now!

 

House Party

You or a bridesmaid that has a home perfect for a party. You could tie it in with a bridal shower perhaps. You could fill the night with lots of silliness and games. You could even think about getting something like Melbourne Memories Party Booths to have for the night. Then you will have great photo memories of the night with all of your friends and family at the party. It can be a cheap way to have a bachelorette too. People can bring their own drinks, and you can decorate as much or as little as you would like.

 

Spa Day

If you aren’t a massive party animal, then you might prefer to have something like a spa day. It could just be a small number of you that go. It makes it nice and intimate that way too. It will be so nice to pamper yourselves, have facials or massages and just relax. I think bachelorette or not, this needs to happen before the wedding anyway. You deserve to relax after planning a wedding!

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Photo credit: Bethany Small

 

Dine Out for the Evening

You could pick your favorite restaurant to go to and have a meal with your bridesmaids and friends. Sometimes it makes it more fun if you all dress up smartly or even do fancy dress. It might be a special experience to go to a fine dining restaurant too, somewhere with a Michelin star, for example. Though I don’t think fancy dress would go down well at one of those restaurants, as sometimes that have dress codes. It will make you feel all fancy, though; a real treat. You could then go wherever the night takes you and finish up in a bar or nightclub. It is your party, so you can choose!

5 Ways to Making Diamond Engagement Ring Shopping a Lot Easier

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Photo credit: Noam Carver

Choosing a diamond engagement ring, let alone any ring, you are going to propose to your future fiancé with can be a daunting task. You may have never dreamt you would be in this scenario, but the time has arisen! You just know your partner will love a diamond ring for engagement, so you want to make sure she gets everything she hoped for.

 

The good news is, it’s all a lot easier than you think. Once you know a few things, build up some knowledge on the commonalities in diamond rings, you will know exactly what you are doing. It can be tricky when you’re searching online however and if you need a point in the right direction, you can find some brilliant diamond engagement rings at Serendipity Diamonds. Their stunning collection showcases a range of settings, diamond cuts and sizes that will suit the tastes of your chosen one.

 

So now let’s look at some key elements you will need to know to make the diamond engagement ring shopping much easier.

 

  1. Get a price fixed in your head. Knowing how much you want to spend on the diamond ring will really help you narrow down your choices. Maybe you and your partner are going shopping and are purchasing together which may make things easier. If not however, you want to know your budget and go for something within the parameter.

 

  1. Get clued up on the 4 C’s: ‘The four who’s?’ I can hear you asking in the back of your mind. The four C’s are pretty simple. They just include the colour, cut, carat weight and clarity of a diamond. These will vastly affect the price and look of your ring. These specifications were established by the GIA. Buying your ring from a GIA certified store or jeweller is another thing you want to watch out for to ensure they’re reputable. For example, choose a trusted store like Serendipity Diamonds in the UK and is GIA certified.

 

  1. Get to know your partners taste in jewellery. This may mean doing some sneaking around on your part, but it will help! If she has any rings with gemstones in or smaller diamonds, you can get an idea of the band style and settings she likes. Does she prefer something more toned down or something that stands out? These are the elements you want to look out for. You will also want to look at the shapes of stones she prefers. This comes down to the cut of the diamond and should influence your choice in this department. Are there mainly square stones, round stones, diamond shaped stones in her collection?

 

  1. Get the size pinned down. The sure fire way of getting this correct is sneaking away one of her rings and taking it to the jeweller. They will then inspect it and figure out the correct measurement and use it to craft the engagement ring.

 

Getting familiar with these elements will really help you pin down the perfect diamond engagement ring to buy your fiancé.

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