Posts from — January 2013
How cute is this?? Must do for engagement photoshoot or part of wedding photography.
What are some ways to save money on your wedding?
The great thing about getting married in this generation is that there are not much traditions to follow! You get to create your own traditions, and everything you want goes. The most popular weddings you see today are the ones that goes outside the box. And also are ones that are very cost efficient. So here’s 100 fun ways to save money on your wedding!
Reception + Ceremony.
1. Pick an off wedding season.
2. Have an intimate wedding.
3. Have a wedding in your backyard.
4. Have the ceremony and the reception at the same place.
5. Do a lunch reception.
6. Do an afternoon wedding with hors d’oeuvres and finger food.
7. Have the wedding at your church.
8. Consider having a wedding on a day other than Saturday.
9. Ask your friends to be the servers.
10. Ask your pastor or someone you know to conduct the ceremony.
11. Have a big afternoon ceremony with desserts, and then have a separate intimate reception.
12. Find a venue with open catering services.
13. Find a venue where you can bring your own drinks.
14. Stick to the time schedule to avoid overtime fee.
15. If you’re planning on walking down the aisle at 6pm, send the invitation for 5:30pm.
16. Look for all inclusive venue that includes tables, chairs, linens, flowers, lighting.
Decorations + Stationery
17. Shop for vases and decorations at a thrift store.
18. Use favors a part of the table decorations.
19. Use candles as your decorations.
20. Gather decorations from Craigslist and garage sales
21. Buy flowers in that season
22. Find non-floral decorations like candles and lanterns and tissue paper flower.
23. Print your own invitations
24. Save your postage fee by emailing your save the dates.
25. Utilize Facebook Invites and save the dates.
26. Use Christmas lights to give it a romantic setting.
27. Make a website for RSVP, or do email RSVPs.
28. Make paper flowers for decorations.
29. Send out postcard invitations to save money on postage/envelope.
30. Do you really need flowers? How about some pinwheels?
31. Use the ceremony flowers for cake table at the reception.
32. Print your own menu, program, seating chart.
33. Buy flowers at your local farmers market.
34. Skip the individual menu and print one big menu at the reception entrance.
35. Fill up big spaces with balloons
36. Print out the table numbers and frame them.
37. Spray paint beer bottles and spaghetti bottles for vases.
38. Find chairs, ribbons, table covers at party shops that have nothing to do with weddings.
39. Incorporate fruits as part of decorations. (Ex Pomegranate, figs, lemons, etc)
40. Consider long rectangular tables over round tables, to use less table centerpieces.
41. Get a smaller band.
42. Get a DJ who does reception + ceremony.
43. Skip the band and have a friend to make a playlist on the laptop for reception.
44. Have a friend help you play the exact song for the ceremony.
45. Avoid buying things that has “Bridal” or “Wedding” in the title. You can find it cheaper somewhere else (for ex. Sparklers)
46. Have a college music band perform at your wedding.
47. Negotiate with your photographer’s fee by reducing their hours.
48. Find a student photographer or a friend.
49. Ask everyone with a DSLR camera to bring them, snap them, and then email it all to you.
50. Make an Instagram hashtag and ask people to tag it.
51. Find an outgoing friend to be an MC for your wedding. You might be able to skip on printing the program.
52. Ask a friend to sing for you.
Food + Drinks + Gifts
53 Have a 1 or 2 tiered small wedding cake, and have a larger sheet of cake hidden in the kitchen for serving.
54. Do a cash bar only.
55. Do 1 or 2 hour open bar, the rest of the night cash bar.
56. Give out a favor per couple, not per person.
57. Have the favor double as an escort card.
58. Use fresh flower cake decorations, not fancy sugar flowers.
59. Make your own cake topper or cake decorations.
60. Have a buffet instead of a seated dinner.
61. Buy your own drinks and alcohol.
62. Ask a friend to bake you a simple cake.
63. Do cupcakes instead of a cake.
64. Did you know your local grocery store have great deals on cake?
65. Buy drinks and alcohol in bulk for a discount.
66. Find a liquor store that accepts unopened left over returns.
67. Don’t think you HAVE to have favors! You can skip them.
68. Instead of favors, have a candy station where they can scoop their own needs.
69. Have a potluck for reception!
70. Do a one layer small cake, have a fake cake multiple tiers on the bottom.
71. Do minimum size cake, and have a big cake stand.
72. Skip the liquor; just have beer and wine.
73. Think about not having alcohol at all.
74. Ask your baker to use butter cream frosting instead of fondant.
75. Make something for the bridal party gifts.
76. Ask your catering company to only fill champagne one or two thirds of the glass.
77. Offer champagne only for toasts.
78. Serve non-fancy food like tacos, mini burgers to keep it fun and light.
79. Ask your caterer to make a special menu for kids that’s more affordable.
Attire + Beauty
80. Make your own garter.
81. Buy a used veil.
82. Rent your dress.
83. Do your own hair and makeup.
84. Do facials at home with homemade ingredients.
85. Buy discount shoes or regular white/ivory shoes.
86. Borrow things from already married friends.
87. Reduce the number of your bridal party.
88. Rent tuxedos. Usually the groom can get his for free.
89. Look through your dad’s closet for bowtie, necktie and cufflinks.
90. Think of carrying a single flower like calla lily for you and the bridesmaid.
91. Buy a used wedding dress.
92. Wait for wedding dress sales
93. Find a sample sale for your wedding dress.
94. Buy a dress off the rack (Some boutiques offer discounts)
95. Have fresh flowers in your head instead of a veil.
96. Wear a mini wedding dress with cute colorful heels.
97. Borrow jewelry from friends and family.
98. Get your nails done at home.
99. Buy a dress that comes with a corset.
100. Consider other white, off white dresses that are for bridesmaids or other formal occasions.
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Tags:Tips & Advice
1) Do not tan
I would stop tanning at least 2 months before the wedding. Tanning always differs on your body condition, strength, frequency, tanning oil etc, so you just don’t know how it’s going to turn out. If you feel like you’re too pale, start tanning in small increments and stop 2-3 months before the wedding for it to settle into a nice bronze tone. I would skip on ANY spray tanning from the day you’re engaged, unless orange skin on white dress is your theme.
2) Do not try new products
This is not the time to try new products! Don’t change pills, detergent, shampoo, facial wash, soap, lotion, etc. Stick to what you know, and just concentrate on the regular ritual. Buy a facial mask that you know works for you, and buy enough until the wedding day. Don’t be tempted to use the mask that one of your bridesmaid brought you for a slumber party. I would not introduce any new products at least 2 months before the wedding.
3) Do not drink wine, coffee or eat dark colored food.
You want your teeth pearly white, not like your Uncle’s cigar stained teeth. Invest into teeth whitening, or at least whitening strips at least one month before. It takes awhile for your teeth to be pearly, so earlier you start, the better. Avoid coffee, red wine, blueberries, high acidic food, black tea, dark colored soda, tobacco products, popsicles, etc.
4) Do not change your hairstyle
You may want to get hair treatments to get it looking shiny and healthy, but try to not dye your hair, perm your hair, straighten your hair or give it a drastic hair cut. Your hair will be the best to stylize on its most natural state. Just get it trimmed if you have to, and always tell the hair stylist that you’re growing it out for the wedding. One month before the wedding, consult the hair stylist and get it trimmed so that it will be perfectly settled for the day.
5) Do not get facials near the wedding
2 months before the wedding day, stop getting strong facials like microdermabrasions and chemical peels. We want to get rid of spotchiness, redness and any peeling. What you do everyday at home is enough facials for you if you started early.
6) Do not eat salty + greasy food
One week before your wedding, cut down as much sodium as you can. Since sodium carries 50 times its weight in water, you’ll notice that you are 2-5 pounds lighter and healthier on your wedding day. Watch your skin glow too!
7) Do not try waxing for the first time near the wedding
If you don’t regularly get bikini wax, don’t try it before your wedding. If you’re planning on getting a bikini wax for the wedding, make sure you start at least 3-4 months before so that your skin gets used to it. You don’t want any major pain, swelling, redness, and irritation on your wedding + honeymoon.
8) Don’t forget to drink water!
This might be the most important tip. Water alone can give you the best facial. It will clear up your skin, and get your hair shiny. During the rehearsal dinner, try to not drink as much wine & champagne, and get some water in between each toasts.
9) Do not stay up too long
I know you have your last minute preparations you need to do for tomorrow, but get your beauty sleep! Make someone else do it for you. If you’re not regularly on sleeping pills or Nyquil, don’t try it for the first time. People react to them differently, you might feel sluggish on your big day.
10) Do not do put on anything on your wedding day
Sure, you have to pass by hundreds of people in order to get to your make up artists and hair stylist, but try to skip all of your regular day-to-day preparations for just one day. Shampoo your hair with minimum conditioner, wash your face, apply basic toner and lotion. Do not put sun screen, moisturizer, concealer, foundation, BB cream, eyeliner, nothing! Don’t put oil in your hair or your regular treatment cream. Try to air dry your hair. Do not put on a bra, you want to avoid any pink indentations on your shoulders and back. Don’t put on your contacts until you get to the make up artists, you want to keep your eyes moisturized as much as possible.
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Easy, fast, fun way to spice up your party! Hang these garlands all over your wall, hang it from the ceiling, over your tables, over your chandeliers, doors, everywhere! You’ll be amazed how one single garland will change the whole space into an awesome party space.
I’m soooo thrilled to announce that The Little Canopy will be attending Wedding Day Hooray on 2.16.2013!! Organized by the Indie Craft Experience, Wedding Day Hooray is a curated, crafty, artsy wedding marketplace where all these awesome artists and vendors come together to provide the future brides their best decorations and wedding services available. I’ve attended several shows they host at Ambient Plus Studio, and never imagined I’ll be attending as a vendor this year. It was a last minute decision since there are only limited space, and I was surprised where there was a space available for me. It’ll be my first show so I’ll have a lot of awkwardness and unpreparedness, but nevertheless I’ll learn a lot, get inspired and meet great people at this show. Mark your calendars and come find me!
I’m listed as a vendor with the above picture on their website. yay! Checkout other vendors that will be attending the show here
Photosource Wedding Day Hooray
I was raised from childhood through college near a beach, so naturally I imagined getting married on a beach. When it was time though, it didn’t pan out as I hoped. When I weighed my wants to have a intimate beach wedding vs having lots of people to come bless us, unfortunately the later argument won. Plus, there were no beach around where I am now, so the flights, hotels, transportation would not have fit in my budget. Nevertheless I love looking at beach wedding photos. So much warmth and love, who doesn’t feel like celebrating at a beach? I love how little you need to decorate a beach wedding. The turquoise ocean contrasting with the bright diamond sand does pretty much everything. I like it all white, or maybe a pop of coral color for great photos. I would hand out flip flops to all the guests as the favor, have floor cushion seating so they can dig their toes in the sand, have kids build sand castles, have fabric wrapped altar that’s blowing in the wind, and maybe a mini wedding dress with birdcage veil. Beach weddings.. definitely worth thinking about!
Are you planning your own wedding? I set out a basic guideline for your own wedding planning 101. I geared it to a low budget, affordable DIY wedding since that’s what I had to go through. Just remember, it’s going to be a beautiful, fun wedding day whether or not you have the programs printed or not! Just enjoy the company of your loved ones!
1. Guest list.
First thing when starting your wedding planning is your guest list! In order to find out how much money you HAVE to spend vs how much money you can spend depends all on your guest list. And don’t say ‘Oh we’re just going to have a few family and friends for our intimate wedding.’ because it’s never a few, and unless planned in advance, it’ll never be an intimate wedding.
– Make a list. (Family. Bridal party. Bestest friends. Friends. I-bump-into-them-often. Co-workers/Business relations.)
-Start counting how many family members will be attending.
-Start counting the bridal party and the bestest friends.
– Don’t go through Facebook to make your list. Make your list from your head!
-Give your friend list to your partner and see if they know of them or have met them during the last year or two.
– Make sure to count all the plus ones.
-My rule was, if I haven’t heard of or met this person within the 6 years we have been dating, we can move them to the maybe-invite-when-we-have-space list. Vice-versa for my friends.
Talk amongst yourselves to see how much you want to spend. Don’t look at how much things costs at the moment, but just write down how much you’d be comfortable spending (without going into debt).
-I know average wedding is about $27K, but there are $3000 weddings as well. >>20 Real Weddings Under $8K <<
-Don’t let magazines brainwash you into spending out of your comfort zone.
-Use a wedding budget calculator. >>Download<<
-Ask parents for help on top of your budget.
3. Venue & Food
Now this is the biggest chunk of your budget. Finding a venue and caterer with flexible policies at a low rental rate is very challenging. Some venues only allow a certain caterer, and some venues have nothing to provide you but the space.
-Look into backyards, churches, public parks, gardens etc.
-Have finger foods, food trucks, or even just cocktail hours and desserts.
-Have a wedding after lunch, to keep it light.
-Have a full ceremony, and then have a separate intimate reception with family members and friends.
-Make your own cake and cupcakes, or ask a friend!
Finding a wedding dress might be the most fun part of the wedding planning. For a low budget wedding, this might become a little stressful, finding a dress within budget. It’s so easy to go over budget in wedding attire. You feel like you need a dress, shoes, veil, garter, jewelry etc etc. But look through wedding blogs and magazines. A lot of brides are finding alternatives to accessorize themselves, and so can you.
-Get a vintage dress, a cute mini dress, wedding dress off the rack or even used wedding dresses.
– Make your own veil, or wear a birdcage veil instead.
-Skip it all and have some beautiful fresh flowers in your hair.
– Wear hand me down jewelry, or very minimal jewelry.
– Ask a friend if you can borrow their bracelet and earrings.
-Be bold and wear a bright red heels that you already own.
-Make your own garter. Do you think the guy who catches it frames it and keeps it displayed? They don’t know the difference.
Find a list of bridal boutiques in Atlanta >> here <<
Save-the-dates, invitations, RSVP, thank you cards, menu, program, guestbook, name cards, seating arrangement chart. WOW I thought there was only invitations!
– You don’t have to do all of them.
– Do a Facebook private invite Save The Date.
– Print your own invitations or at a local printing place.
-If you’re not very artsy, buy one of those ready made templates on Etsy and take it to a printing store. If you don’t know where to look contact me! I’ll get you a quote at my printing place.
– Think of doing postcard invitations to save on stamp fee. Also, think of just handing them out to your close friends. This way you don’t have to spend much on stamps.
– Do an email RSVP. Most likely, half of them you’re going to have to contact directly anyways. I did mine one by one.
– Print your thank you cards as well, or buy a bulk online that already says thank you. Again, think of postcards. Postcard stamps are cheaper when done in bulk.
– Menu. Optional. You can keep them excited guessing what the food will be. Or you can just print them, cut it and leave them on each plates.
– Program. You can skip this as well, or print them yourself. I had a program, but I think our MC took care of all the events.
– Name Cards. This one is optional as well. Your guests are going to be sitting wherever anyways within that table.
– Seating arrangement. This one is optional as well, as long as you have someone finding their name on the list for the table number. I printed out two sets of seating arrangement with names and their table number, had two friends help people seat themselves.
One thing to remember is that just because it’s handmade by you, it doesn’t mean it’s the cheapest. Sometimes it’s just easier and cheaper to buy them in bulk.
-Lighting does everything. This is probably the only thing that you need. Get lots of candles! Christmas lights does wonders too.
– There’s nothing wrong with silk flowers, paper flowers and no flowers.
-Think of minimum decorations. Keep it romantic, artsy, rustic and vintage! Sometimes weddings with minimum decorations say more than too many things going on.
-Tissue pompoms, paper flowers, ribbon tassels, buntings, balloons, etc
If you’re going to splurge on one thing, it should be photography. It’s what you keep for the rest of your life, and it’s what remains.
– If you have a friend or family member that’s really good at photos, ask them. Try to have at least 2 photographers.
– Ask all your friends with DSLR camera to take photos and send them all to you.
– If you’re hiring a photographer, compromise by cutting down the hours.
– Save all the facebook, iPhone, Instagram photos and make a collage.
Favors can be optional but it can also be as simple as a printout of a photo of you two. Just something small, something thoughtful. You can skip the individual favor by making a candy station and asking your guests to take some candy on the way home. Make them a love song CD. Print out a poem. Make them a paper crane with their names on it, so on.
If you know someone who can play an instrument, or DJ, please ask them for help. Otherwise make a playlist on your laptop and play it all night. Have a friend help you with the volume and the songs when you walk in.
-Keep the alcohol minimum, or none at all.
– If you do a day wedding, chances are you don’t need heavy liquor.
– Buy your own alcohol. Go find a liquor store that you can buy bulk at a discount pricing, and ask if you can return the rest if it’s not open.
– Do a cash bar.
– Do a minimum open bar and the rest cash bar.
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Alina from My Yellow Umbrella has shared with us her beautiful barn wedding, with all of her DIY skills. She made the wedding invitations, programs, sparkler tags, cupcake log stand, banners, photo props, ring bearer pillow, flower girl dress, craspedia bouquets/boutonnieres, comment cards, the I Do sign, twine globes, and a lot of thrifting for table decorations and the vintage suitcase. She sure kept her goal of keeping it unique, affordable and mostly handmade! Make sure to check out her blog for lots of DIY tutorials and her Etsy Shop where she sells a lot of her sewing products. I especially love this sailor’s knot rope door stopper. I’d love a nautical theme wedding bride to use this as one of the decorations.
Anyways back to Alina’s DIY wedding photos!
^ I love bridesmaids in flats!
^ I love paper straws
^ I can’t believe she made all these!^ Great vintage suitcase find!
Location| Fulton Valley Farms
Video | Craig and Mary Beebe of The Brickhouse Studios
Photography | Jackie and Casey Cooper of Jackie Cooper Photo
Hair | Kayla Bodley at House of Hair Salon
Wedding dress | The Savvy Bride
Bridesmaids dress | David’s Bridal (link to the dresses here)
Groom’s/groomsmen custom suits | MakeYourOwnJeans.com (custom suits for $100 each!)
Grant’s (ringbearer) suspenders and bowtie | The Baxter Boy (Etsy Shop)
Striped candy bags | Two Crazy Ladies (Etsy Shop)
Gray striped straws | Shop Sweet LuluCandy (75 pounds of it, folks) | Candy.com and CandyFavorites.com
Flowers | Dillon’s Floral Department
Ruffle fabric for flower girl dresses | RuffleFabric.com
Groomsmen, groom and usher’s ties | Cheap-Neckties.com
Sparklers | SuperiorFireworks.com
Bride’s Shoes | Off Broadway Shoes
Bridesmaid Shoes | Ebay.com
Cupcakes, drinks and cups/utensils | Sam’s Club
Yellow plates and napkins | The Dollar Tree
Mason jar drink dispensers, yellow parasol and yellow paper lanterns (hanging above the candy table) | World Market
Glassware on candy table | mostly thrifted, HomeGoods and Target!
Pepsi crate on candy table | Bondie’s Old Town Antique Mall, a local antique shop
Alina’s Top Ten DIY Tips
1. Think about getting married in the off-season; by having a December wedding, we got our location for half-price, simply because it was their off-season.
2. To second my note above, stay away from anything labeled “wedding” just for the sake of being labeled. I saw so many prices doubled just because they had “wedding” in the name!
3. Think ordinary; our cupcakes were bought in bulk from Sam’s. We heard (I didn’t have time to stop and eat one!) that they were awesome. They also looked pretty because my mom insisted that we cut out cupcake wrappers and top them with a monogram.
4. Do it yourself; you can see for yourself the list of items we made ourselves above. By simply spending the time creating the things we wanted, we cut out all of the expenses we would have incurred in paying someone. For the items we didn’t have time to make, we tried to use local businesses and Etsy shops. What you’ll end up with is something totally unique and completely personalized.
5. Cut down on fresh flowers; the only fresh flowers we bought were babies breath, ranunculus and a couple of bouquets of simple white flowers they already had in the store. If I could do it over again, I wouldn’t even special-order the ranunculus. They were beautiful, but accounted for over half of our total flower cost ($120 total, if you’re wondering), and they had so many beautiful white flowers I could have also used (which I did end up doing since the ranunculus were so small). I’ll do a post on flowers later, but these are my initial thoughts!
6. Do your research; we were able to buy $100 custom suits and all of the ties were under $15 (some were even $5!). That’s less than renting a tux for each guy AND they all came out of the deal with a custom suits, folks! By doing your research to find the best price, you can feel confident in what you are buying.
7. Shop on clearance and thrift your heart out; my shoes were bought on clearance, my dress came from a consignment shop, our mason jars came from thrift shops/Craiglist/friends, everthing (except the mason jar drinks dispensers) from World Market was on clearance, most of the glassware was thrifted…rarely did we buy something for full price, but if we did, we did our research first (see #6).
8. Decide what’s important and spend your money there; I’ve always said that pictures would be the most important for me. My feelings are that your big day are gone in such a flash that all you’re left with is photos, memories and maybe even a video. So, photography took the biggest chunk of our budget, which was 1000% OK since we planned for it. From there, we were able to allocate the remaining money to everything else. It helped us to pare down and sort through the list of possible items to include. For example, we didn’t have a DJ, so we set up a Spotify playlist on my Mac and had a friend in charge of making sure everything ran smoothly. F-R-E-E! (Thanks, Ben!)
9. Let people help you; this one was hardest for me. Not because I wanted to control it, but because there were so many little things I was picturing, I had a hard time communicating and delegating it all. Probably the biggest help to me was when my mom came down for the weekend and sat me down to research and order things we needed (like the candy). I needed someone to make me focus on getting it done, rather than spending my time stressing about it. (Thanks, Mom!) We also made our twine lanterns (interrupted in the middle by an earthquake!) and I finished the flower girl dresses that weekend. Oh, and my Nana came up a day earlier and we took care of buying all of the paper goods. Not only was it a huge help to me having them there, but we also created some fun memories. So, have a girl’s night with your friends or get together with your family and knock those projects out!
10. Finally, know that your big day is going to go fast. By preparing myself for that, I remembered to stop at different times during the day and try to freeze that moment in my memory. I missed things, yes…I didn’t get anything to eat or drink and I didn’t see the kids eating candy or people enjoying the fires outside, but I do remember what my thoughts were when I woke up, I remember seeing my friend Krissy on the couch as I was leaving for my hair appointment, I remember the quiet time spent with my mom, Jackie and Kayla as I was getting my hair done, I remember the looks on the groomsmen faces during the ceremony, I remember the things my daddy whispered to me when we were dancing (he made me cry big time), I remember the hugs we got right after the ceremony, I remember seeing precious friends that live far away, I remember the moment we decided it was time to leave and I remember being on cloud 9 as we drove away. That day was truly the best day of my life and I’m still so elated as I sit here remembering.
The moment you all have been waiting for! The Little Canopy’s handmade flower petal curtain backdrop!! I have uploaded the 10 feet long curtain here and the 7 feet long curtain here. Due to it’s long strands, it is packaged per strands, and it does not come with a bar to attach it to. I’ll be glad to add that bar for you, but it’ll just be extra shipping fee on your part for no good reason. These are all hand sewn with invisible thread, with silk flower petals in pink gradient. I’ll be glad to have it all in one color as well! I made 7 feet and 10 feet, one for budget bride, and the other for a venue with high ceilings. Long enough for it to gather on the floor. It’s actually best for outdoor weddings, letting each strand move around with the wind.
Ask me any questions, and check them out in the Etsy Shop!
Scott & Cristen from W. Scott Chester Photography has shared with us a valley ranch vineyard wedding from Napa Valley, CA for Chandler + John’s rustic wedding. W. Scott Chester Photography is a husband & wife wedding photographer team, and you can get the gist of their personality through their About page of their main site. In this wedding I love all the minimalist decorations they used, just focusing on the pure beauty of their venue. The ruffled curtain backdrop, black and white striped bride entrance curtain, the simple hanging light bulb decoration, the building wall as the projection screen, pool lounge cocktail hour, love it all!