Penny Pinching Honeymoon

Finally! The last stage of planning! [Well, technically…you’ve been planning the honeymoon for a long while as well] but still you’re nearing the end!

Here are some ways to save for your honeymoon:

1. Book early: Depending on your destination, some places fill up quickly especially if you’re planning on vacationing during prime vacation months. By booking early, you can avoid the spiked prices.

2. Turn an oldie into a goodie:
It is your honeymoon, so of course you will want the vacation of your dreams; but you don’t need to go to Hawaii or Greece to have the best honeymoon possible. You’re newlyweds and you’re in love; no matter where you go, you will be the happiest you’ve ever been. Tim and I decided to spend a week in northern Michigan. Since I’m from southeastern Detroit, we’ll be flying into Detroit and driving my beloved and trusted Ion up to the UP. Does your family have a vacation home? Maybe take a trip down memory lane with your new hubby.

3. In my OMG you’re engaged post, I referenced a source called HoneyFund. On Honey Fund, you’re able to create a registry for your honeymoon! Family and friends can help you reach your dream honeymoon by donating to your fund. On your profile, you’re able to share where you’re going to be spending your vacation and the why you chose your destination of choice! This is a great and simple way to reach the honeymoon of your dreams.

Good ole fashion saving is always a great way to reach your dream honeymoon. I’m quite the budgeter so I take out cash for certain things each month. I’ve been saving my change from all of my purchases for our honeymoon. Lola [the pig covered with hearts] has been helping me to achieve this. She’s become a running joke between Tim [who named her Lola] and me, so we decided we’re going to have her sit loud and proud at our wedding reception.

Things You’ll Never Think Of For Your Wedding

I’m pretty sure Pinterest was sent directly from the angels in Heaven. Pinterest has been more than incredibly useful in my wedding planning ventures. From all the uniquely hipster pins to the ways­to­save pins, I’ve been ‘pinning’ up many storms since Tim and I got engaged. I’ve found ideas on Pinterest that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise, so I’m here to share some best of the best. This is the fruit of my million hours spent in search for my own wedding and some hardcore Pinterest research in hopes of helping you.

For Pictures:
Dad/brother seeing bride for the first time
Flower girl looking at your wedding gown [give it to her as a wedding gift one day]
Capture your last kiss as a single girl when leaving the rehearsal dinner

The Odds ‘n Ends:
Remember some of your favorite dudes by giving your man’s groomsmen gifts!

Include the kids! For the toast: Have cookies and champagne glasses filled with milk or rootbeer floats in champagne glasses.

Wear your wedding dress and have your groom wear his tux for your first anniversary dinner [how cool is this idea!]

Wear one of your hubby’s button up’s to get ready in [love it ­ So glad I found it.]

Write a little note to your groom and have your flower girl deliver it to him when she arrives at the altar.

Instead of having a head table with bridesmaids and groomsmen have 2 tables for your wedding party and their dates/spouses.

Put a line on your RSVPs for guests to request a song. This will make them feel included, and they’ll get pumped when their song is played.

And the process continues…

5 Ways To Give Back At Your Wedding

The day after your wedding you are going to have more food and flowers than you will know what to do with. What is one to do with a million extra tulips and enough lemon bars to feed a small herd? Donate them!

Here are a few ways to give back at your wedding:

1. Donate the flowers:
Why not brighten some old folks’ day if presented with the opportunity? If you and your hubby are already Hawaii­bound have one of your loved ones take all the flowers to a nursing home. Tim’s grandpa lives in a retirement home, so we’re going to give our flowers to him to hand out to the workers and the people who reside there.

2. Donate the food: If you have food from a buffet leftover or many desserts that were left uneaten, find a local soup kitchen to take the food to.

3. Give guests the option to donate to your favorite charity instead of bringing gifts. If you’ve lived on your own for a decent amount of time prior to getting married, you may find that you already have many items a couple would typically register for. This is a generous way to give back on the happiest day of your life.

4. Donate your dress: There is a hidden gem tucked away in Southeastern Michigan; it’s called The Brides Project.  They have a little boutique where they sell donated wedding dresses. The proceeds go to the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor.  They accept dresses from all over the US and sell these dresses to women who are looking for a budget-friendly dress and a good cause to support. For more information on The Brides Project check out their website or Facebook page.

5. Sport Sseko: Let me tell you about Sseko designs.  Sseko Designs is a shoes and accessories company based in Uganda. Local women hand craft their sandals and accessories and all the money these women earn goes to fund their college education. Their designs are quite stunning and better yet, they have a wedding line! If you’re having a late Spring or Summer wedding your bridesmaids can wear them down the aisle. And if you’re having a more casual wedding the bride can wear them as well! These could also make great gifts for your ladies.  Include a little card detailing out the story of Sseko and the ladies who put their craft and talent into making them.  Check them out at their website! 

Have you attended a wedding where they gave back in a creative way? I’m still lookin’ for ideas and would appreciate your help, ladies!

Save, Save and Save For Your Wedding

The planning continues. You’ve informed the world, you’ve set the budget; and by this point you are facing the reality that this best day of your life is not going to be cheap. Don’t fear! There are plenty of ways to cut corners and save a penny [or more] here and there. I wanted to share with you some ways we’ve managed to save in various aspects of our wedding and some ideas I found through diligent Pinterest research.

The Dress  – You don’t have to drop $1000.00 to find that dream dress of yours. Ruche Bridal Boutique has some beautiful dresses starting at $200.00. Are you an expert sewer? Try making your dress; this could also work as some serious therapy if wedding planning becomes overwhelming. Going for the vintage look? Try out Mom’s or Grandma’s dress.

Bejeweled: Wear some of Grandma’s vintage pieces or jewelry from one of your family members’ or future in­laws’ wedding day. Did your future hubby give you a to­die­for necklace on your first Valentine’s? Maybe break it out for the ceremony. All of these options add a nice touch of sentiment to your ensemble.

Hair, nails, makeup, oh my! Instead of ordering a professional, have a family friend or relative do it. My fiance’s sisters were in pageants, so we are going to be borrowing some of their friends’ talent for my bridesmaids’ makeup. You can also make this an opportunity for you and your girls; do each others hair and makeup; and as a part of the bachelorette party, get a mani/pedi.

What your favorite little man will be carrying – ­ring bearer pillow: Ask someone to make it for you. One of our good family friends is making ours for us; it’s another subtle way to add a personal touch to your ceremony.

Extra olives, kind sir ­- Drinks: Bar or no bar! That is always the question when planning a wedding. Some attendants can’t bear the thought of going to a wedding with a cash bar and some brides and grooms are perpetually wondering if crazy Uncle Joe is going to grab the mic and “say a few words.” Regardless, this is your day. Pick what best suits you and your sweetie. Tim and I settled on providing beer and wine and having a cash bar for those who want mixed drinks. Coffee dates were pretty much what led to the “will you marry me?” So we wanted to include a coffee bar for dessert.

Flowers: Flowers is where a good chunk of the budget goes. Find a lower­price flower that you like and be creative with the arrangements. There are some gorgeous arrangements primarily consisting of baby’s breath on Pinterest. The arrangement is beautiful, simple, rustic, and elegant. If you’re having a wedding in a church, one idea is to get married around Christmas or Easter when the church is already beautifully decorated.

Entertainment: Instead of hiring a DJ, put together a playlist and have a good friend or relative be the Master of Ceremonies. Tim and I are putting down a wompin’ 10 bucks for Spotify premium and having his older brother MC.

Dessert: Instead of getting a multi-­tier cake the size of the Eiffel Tower, opt for a one or two­tier cake and provide other modest desserts. If you love baking, this can be something you, your bridesmaids, and future sister­-in-­laws all do together. Tim and I opted for a two tier cake. If you’ve met us, you know one thing about us: we love the sweets…and cake? Well, it just wasn’t enough. So we’re going to be having cookies, lemon bars, angel wings (traditional Polish dessert), Rice Krispie treats, and more.

Printing: Design your own save the dates and wedding invitations, and frequent Groupon or AmazonLocal Deals for some excellent printing deals. For the thank you’s: make a stamp with your return address on it and save yourself the printing costs for the return address labels.

Centerpieces: Make some Instagram photo strips filled with pictures of your journey together as a couple. You can make them themed or have varying themes from table to table. My fiance, Tim, is from Alaska, and I’m from Michigan; we met in California; and in college we traveled to Ireland, France, and Rome. Since we learned so much about each other [how Kaitlin is a horrible traveler], each table will have a strip of pictures from a certain city. Another crafty idea is to have mason jars with votives in them; they’re cheap and last for hours. Use old family photos or pictures from your grandparents’ or parents’ wedding day. This adds one of the most personal of personal touches.

Photography: Hire a family friend of a friend who’s trying to build a resume and get experience.

Videography: WedIt is at your service! The company sends you 5 cameras three days before the wedding. Hand them out to loved ones once the weekend commences. Send them back to WedIt after the festivities are over and they will edit a personal, intimate video compiled of all the footage your loved ones captured.

Guest favors: Write a personal thank you note to your guests for helping you become the person you’ve become. Send them your love and let them know their presence is appreciated and cherished. Then, use one of those amazing Groupon printing deals you found and print ‘em out!