Sunday, May 5, 2013

How to Plan a Wedding for $3,000! Get Away Car

According to our $3,000 Budget Breakdown
we have NO money for a Get Away Car.

Sorry!  But for our tight budget like ours, there is no room for a limo.  BUT it is soooooooo fun not to have one!  Why?  Because one of the best things about being a groomsman is being able to decorate the newlywed's car.  And it is truly a fun experience to be driving down the road as a couple, with a silly decorated car, having everyone honking and congratulating you.  What is embarrassing at first, ends up being a wonderful memory.  So cancel the limo and bring your own car.  It is a fun tradition you don't want to miss out on. 

Don't have a car?  Even better!  Since you are having your wedding at the cultural hall, we can assume that you are a short distance to your home.  Wouldn't it be so fun and unique to leave on decorated bikes?  (You will want to change out of your dress first)  Look how adorable!

Friday, May 3, 2013

How to Plan a Wedding for $3,000! Centerpieces

According to our $3,000 Budget Breakdown,
we only have $50 to make all of our centerpieces.  Most brides (and florists!) are going to call me crazy and think I have lost my mind.  Maybe ;) but it can be done!

We are going to assume that you need 10 centerpieces.  We are going to use 8 for our guest tables (tables in cultural halls typically seat 10 people), one for your book table and one more because 10 is a nice round number and I know you will find that you need another ;).  So we only have $5 per centerpiece!  Now you are really thinking I have lost my mind.  Hopefully, I can convince you otherwise ;).  Below are 10 GREAT options for $5 (or less) centerpieces.

*Note: some of the pics have candles.  LDS Cultural Halls do not allow flames.  If you want a candle look, you will need to buy battery operated ones.

OPTION 1: Centerpieces included in your linen rental
Remember our post about linen rental?  Remember how they included centerpieces in the cost and it still fit within our budget?  If not, here is a reminder:
Many wedding rental companies have a great selection of centerpieces that they will throw in with your linen rental.  Even if they charge for centerpieces, this is a GREAT thing to try to negotiate down.  Why?  Because they have already purchased the centerpieces, they are already in their stock.  It costs them no more to let you use them.  And they might be willing to throw them in if they know that it will secure the contract to rent you the linens and backdrop!  Here are some typical centerpieces that might be available through your wedding rental company.

Pretty!  And so much cheaper to rent then it would be it purchase them.  Especially if you can get them thrown in for free!  Let your wedding rental company know your budget and ask them to put together their best package.  Let them know if you are not thrilled you will comparison shop.  Be very nice, but negotiate!

OPTION 2: Books!
Find some cool antique looking books at your house, your parents house, your grandparents house, your library or at thrift stores and stack them.  Look how cool!

Do NOT use library books for this one!

OPTION 3: Tissue Paper Flowers
These are soooo inexpensive and easy to make!  There are lots of tutorials on Pinterest. 
One large one by itself can make a big statement.  And only cost $1-$2!

Glass from the Dollar Store plus 3 different colors of tissue paper plus paper flowers.  Total cost $5!
Soup cans covered in scrapbook paper and filled with tissue paper flowers!  Easy to make for under $5!

Attached to branches and placed in a Dollar Store vase and you have a beautiful centerpiece.

If your Dollar Store doesn't have a good selection of vases, make sure you check out  Their selection is amazing!
Carry the tissue paper flower theme throughout your wedding for a fun and inexpensive look!

OPTION 4:  Calla Lily Centerpieces
I was at Walmart the other day and they had big beautiful faux Calla Lily flowers for only $2 a piece!  That got me thinking $5 centerpieces (because I am obsessed).  Look how stunning in their simplicity a couple of calla lily flowers just placed in a vase is.  Buy your vases at the dollar store or used (craigslist, KSL, or thrift store) to save big $$.  Having a variety of vases would really add to the look!

Carry the theme throughout your wedding by having single calla lily bouquets for the bridesmaids and several tied together for your bouquet.  Super easy DIY!

OPTION 5: Apples!
Apples are a super inexpensive fruit.  They also make beautiful centerpieces that are easy to DIY!  Again, check out your dollar store for vases, plates, bowls, and more. Don't be afraid to mix it up.

Just as a note, if you decide to carry your apple theme into your bouquet (yes please!), I recommend using faux apples from your dollar store as the real ones would be really heavy.

OPTION 6:  Board Games
Ok, I am total nerd for loving this idea, but I don't care!  Gather up board games from friends' closets, kids ones work the best, and put them in the center of your guest tables.  Not only is it unique but also entertaining and FREE.  Can't find enough?  My DI sells board games for $3.

And don't even get me started on how adorable it would be to make boutonnieres out of game pieces!

OPTION 6: Ornaments
Go through your Christmas ornaments, go through your mothers', go to the Dollar Store for even more.  This is a beautiful Christmas wedding centerpiece option that is also low cost and easy to do.

And don't forget to make yourself a totally awesome ornament bouquet (tutorial on Pinterest)!

OPTION 7: Raid Grandma's House
Are you going with a vintage theme?  Go to your Grandma's house (or a thrift store) and find unique items to display.  Really anything goes as long as you can arrange them in an eye catching way.

OPTION 8:  Hydrangeas
You can order 30 stems of hydrangeas in your choice of color for only $70 from!  Now, I know that is above our $50 budget but if you use them also to make your bouquets, you could steal some $ from your bouquet budget.  Hydrangeas are great because a single stem goes along way.  By putting a single stem in a vase, you have an easy DIY centerpiece. Two or three stems makes it even fuller.

OPTION 9: Reuse the bridesmaid bouquets as centerpieces
Why not combine your bouquet budget and your centerpiece budget and use the same fabulous arrangement for both?  You can get twice the bang for your buck and have money to get what you want.  Also, bridesmaids are often at a loss as to what to do with their bouquets during the reception anyway.  Their bouquets usually just get put down somewhere.  Why not showcase them instead?

Option 10: Feather Boas and Flameless Candles
This is an elegant and super DIY centerpiece.  To create it, take a candle stick ($1) from the dollar store, to the top glue a vase ($1) from the dollar store.  Insert a flameless candle ($3.50 from Bed Bath and Beyond, minus a 20% off promo code equals $2.80).  And then wrap with a feather boa cut in half from ($1).  Ok, so it is $0.80 above my budget but still so fabulous it is worth mentioning!
Continue the feather theme by making feather boa bouquets!  See our post on bouquets for more information and the tutorial.