How To Make A Frugal Flower Girl Basket

Flower Girl Basket

(Photo credit: Details of the Day)

 

Why are flower girl baskets so expensive?  Truly, they are so small and so many of them seem cheaply made.  Yet, you will see some baskets in stores that cost $50 and up.  Most flower girl baskets seem so plain and generic.

 

Why not save some money and make your own flower girl basket for your frugal wedding? Not only is it cost effective, but you can also personalize it to your theme using your colors, flowers, and other elements from your wedding.  Here’s how you can make your own frugal flower girl wedding basket:

 

 

 

You will need:

 

  • A wicker basket with a handle (you can often find these at dollar stores or even thrift stores for very little money.)
  • White spray paint
  • 2 inch wide ribbon in your choice of color
  • Silk flowers, greenery, or other adornments of your choosing
  • G
    lue gun
  • Floral tape or wire

 

First, spray paint your basket.  White flower girl baskets are most common, but if you want to be bold, use gold, red, silver, or any color you like.

 

 

 

Once the basket is dry, use your ribbon to wrap the handle of the basket.  Use the glue gun to glue one end of the ribbon to the base of the handle.  Wrap the ribbon around the entire handle until you get to the other end.  Secure the ribbon with the glue gun on the other side.

 

 

 

This is where you can get creative. Using your flowers, greenery, tulle, make a small bouquet by gathering the flowers into a bunch.  Secure them with floral tape or wire.

 

 

 

Using either the ribbon you used on the handle of the basket or other ribbon of your choice, make a bow around your bouquet.  Use hot glue to secure the bouquet to the front of your basket.

 

 

 

That’s how you make your own basic flower girl basket.  You can feel free to add any other items like faux pearls, gems or anything else to make the basket match your theme. If you have some of the craft items on hand, this basket could cost less than $10 to make.

 

 

 

 

 

Make Your Own Frugal Wedding Cake Topper

This "Cake in White Satin" with its ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the first things people see at a wedding reception is the wedding cake.  It is no doubt the main focal point in the room (besides the lovely couple, of course!)

Since the wedding cake is one of the major attractions at a wedding reception, it is important that it reflect the personality of the couple.  Instead of the traditional bride and groom topper, why not use something on the top of the cake that stands out?

Wedding cake toppers can be very easy to make yourself, and can be done quite frugally.  There are so many ideas out there.  First, you need to decide what kind of “feel” you want for your reception.  Will it be a really formal affair or is it laid back?  Do you like bright colors or funky shapes?  These elements should be considered when designing your wedding cake topper.

Here are a few examples:

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Fun with glitter and shapes.  Hearts are easy to make with simple card stock and template printed from the computer

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Cute paper pinwheels


 

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A simple monogram made from pre-cut wooden letters from the craft store.  Beautiful and fun.

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Cute lovebirds.  Print on cardstock and use lollipop sticks to position them into the cake.

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Fresh roses and greenery in a vintage teacup.  How gorgeous is this?

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Handmade cake topper made from bending wire.


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Initial with hand-painted accents.

 

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Try using simple miniature pumpkins for a fall-themed wedding cake.


 

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Dressed up starfish. Very cool for a beach wedding.

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Very cute topper for the Scrabble enthusiast

 

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Frugal Wedding Reception Menu- Make Your Own Chocolate Dessert Bar

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are trying to save money on your wedding reception but want to serve something special, consider building your own chocolate dessert bar.  It’s beautiful, decadent, and really–who doesn’t love chocolate???

I’m sure that you are thinking that a chocolate dessert bar seems like it would be really expensive, especially for a large amount of people.  Guess again!  Just follow a few guidelines and you can have a chocolate dessert bar that will impress your guests.

 Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  •  Plan on some baked goods.  Just because it is a chocolate dessert bar doesn’t mean that you must have candy only.  Think about some popular chocolate baked items to add to your menu.
  • Shop in bulk.  Most warehouse stores have large selections of chocolate candies to choose from.  If you are having your wedding reception around candy-specific holidays (Halloween, Christmas, Easter), you should have no problem finding a wide variety of chocolate goodies in large quantities.
  • Make as much as you can yourself.  This is the time to enlist some friends and family to help you.  To save even more money, make as much as you can from scratch.  There are a lot of candy, cake, and brownie recipes out there that are delicious and very inexpensive compared to their boxed counterparts.  Some baked goods can be kept in the freezer until you need them, so make as much as you can ahead of time.
  • Have a variety.  Just because it is a chocolate dessert bar doesn’t mean that you only have to have chocolate.  You can have some fresh fruit, cheese, and crackers to allow for a bit of a change.
  • Be sure to have beverages.  Coffee is a must, but also have water, iced tea, and soft drinks (if you want them).  If it is a cold time of year, hot chocolate with an assortment of toppings would be a fabulous addition to your bar.

 Here is a quick list of ideas:

  •  Brownies- make these yourself for a big cost savings.  Get creative and make different types–some with nuts, plain, cheesecake brownies, etc.
  • M&M’s-  These would be really pretty in jars on your table.  If you have room in your budget, you can go to their site and special order them in your wedding colors.
  • Truffles- These are rich and decadent.  They are also surprisingly easy to make yourself.
  • Cookies- Any cookie with chocolate as an ingredient would work.
  • Cupcakes- Cupcakes could act as a centerpiece to your dessert bar.  You can purchase a cupcake tier or stack some cake plates to act as your tier.
  • Chocolate kisses- The silver kisses match almost any wedding color scheme.
  • Chocolate fondue- You can  rent a chocolate fountain fairly inexpensively.  Smaller fountains can be found in many department stores.  Be sure to have yummy dippers like fruit, pound cake, and pretzels for a salty switch.
  • Chocolate dipped strawberries

Setting Up Your Chocolate Dessert Bar

  1.  You will need one to two long, rectangular tables.  This type of table allows for easier access to your dessert bar.
  2. Use a long white tablecloth to cover the tables.  Be sure the tablecloth reaches to the floor for a formal look.
  3. Consider having tables in two different areas in the reception room so your guests do not have to wait in a long line.
  4. Be sure to have some kind of centerpiece.  It can be a vase of flowers, a cupcake tower, or several different cakes on various pedestals.  Be sure your centerpiece has some height so your table will have a nice focal point.
  5. Invest in some inexpensive clear glass containers for candy.  These can be simple flower vases, goldfish bowls, or even clean jars.  Just be sure to have varying shapes and sizes in order to create dimension on the tables.
  6. Use large platters for cookies, brownies, and other individual baked goods.
  7. Place some candles around your table to add a touch of whimsy.
  8. Don’t forget lots of plates, napkins, and cutlery.  Place these items at either end of the tables.

 Here are some great links to get you started:

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Frugal Wedding Gift Bags For Your Out-Of-Town Guests

Wedding Dress For Happy Couple in Love

(Photo credit: epSos.de)

If you have guests coming from out of town to enjoy your wedding, you should make them feel as welcome as possible.  While renting hotel rooms for all of your guests may not be financially feasible, you can provide them with a special token of your appreciation by putting together welcome bags to thank your non-local guests for making the trip to see you get married.

This is an optional part of your wedding, but these smalls gifts can be an inexpensive way to welcome your friends and family.  Providing a little something for your guests can really make a positive impact, thus creating an inviting and fun wedding event.

By looking around the internet, you can easily see that these gift bags can be pretty extravagant.  There are some who put things like jewelry, designer perfume, and other expensive items in their welcome gifts.

The good news is that these gifts don’t have to cost that much.  You can make lovely gifts for under $100, depending on how many family members are receiving a gift bag.

First Decide What Type Of Bag To Use

There are many different types of containers to use for your welcome bags.  You don’t even have to use a bag.  You can use any type of container you like. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Fabric tote bag
  • Small paper bag
  • Metal bucket
  • Plastic box
  • Basket
  • Gift bag
  • Metal tins

These are just a few containers you can use.  Anything you can find that will hold a few items will work.  Most of these bags and containers can be found in dollar stores, warehouse stores, and some may possibly be free.  If you have good rapport with a grocery store manager, you may be able to score a big stack of paper bags for no money at all.  All it takes is a bit of imagination and creativity to jazz them up to make them into a beautiful welcome gift.

Now that you have decided on a container, pick out some things to put inside.  These items can be almost anything.  Again, see if you can find free items to include, such as local maps if your wedding is in a tourist destination, coupons to local activities, homemade coloring books for those who are bringing children, or even soap and shampoo.

Some other items you can include:

  • Snack crackers
  • Small bottles of water
  • Trail mix- you can make and bag it yourself
  • Soap or body wash
  • Shampoo
  • Cookies
  • Gum
  • Mints
  • Kleenex
  • Candy
  • A thank-you note

All of these items can be found inexpensively.  Use coupons for what you can, make things from scratch, and buy the rest at the dollar store.

These small tokens of your appreciation can really get your wedding off to a great start.

What did you put in your out of town gift bags?

 

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Fun Fall Colors For Your Frugal Wedding

Brown flowers and colored leaves in autumn.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Getting married in the fall is a great time to tie the know for many reasons, but one of the best reasons is the beautiful fall colors you can use in your wedding color scheme.

Fall is the time for harvest, and harvest brings us such a gorgeous color palette to choose from when designing a wedding.  Start to think about the fall vegetation that we see this time of year.  Acorn squash, orange leaves, mums, and berries can serve as an inspiration for you when planning which colors you want to use.

First, decide which month you would like to be married.  If you are aiming for a late September/early October wedding, consider using lighter autumn shades for the early fall season.

Here are a few colors that would be lovely during the early fall:

  • Marigold
  • Forest Green
  • Light Brown
  • Pumpkin Orange
  • Maroon
  • Plum
  • Cream

Mid-Fall Colors

If you are set on getting married in late October or early November, this is the perfect time to utilized deeper metallic colors, such as bronze, gold, and silver.  You can accent these colors with creamy white, burgundy, browns, mocha, caramel, deep purple, and other muted shades.

Late Fall Color Scheme Ideas

Late fall is bordering winter time, when many of us begin to think about deep reds and greens.  To keep from having colors that are too “winter-y”, try to incorporate deeper versions of early fall colors.  Chocolate brown is gorgeous during late November.  This is a time to use metallic colors also.  Here are a few more color choices:

A Word About Orange

Orange is one of the first colors that often come to mind when you think about having a fall wedding.  Many people may automatically think they would not want an orange-themed wedding because it screams Halloween.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  There are so many different shades of orange including:

  • Rust
  • Peach
  • Bronze (some shades of bronze look more brown than orange)
  • Deep orange

Adding contrasting colors with your chosen shade of orange can set the tone for any fall wedding.

What are some other color ideas you’ve used during the fall?

 

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5 Tips For Your Fall Frugal Wedding!

fall wedding

Fall will soon be in the air, and it’s time to start thinking about your autumn wedding.  If you plan to save money, fall is one of the most beautiful times of year to get married.  Here are a few tips to make your fall frugal wedding a gorgeous success.

  1. Use mother nature as a backdrop.  Instead of spending money on expensive flowers and decorations, let mother nature provide it instead.  Consider having an outdoor ceremony under the majestic trees covered in fall leaves.  You can add a few candles here and there, and you have a very simple, elegant wedding venue.
  2. Use the colors of fall as inspiration.  The jewel tones of fall can be a beautiful inspiration for bridesmaid gowns, centerpieces, bouquets, and even invitations.  Reds, golds, and deep oranges make a beautiful color combination.
  3. Use free or cheap resources as decoration.  A fall wedding gives you the chance to utilize some rustic elements in your decorating.  A bunch of large twigs wrapped in white lights flanking the head table or entry way can make a bold and beautiful statement and can help set the mood for your reception.
  4. This is the perfect time for the flower-less wedding.  Fall provides the most colorful foliage of the year, so consider some alternative flower ideas for your wedding using leaves, pine cones, and other elements to make beautiful floral arrangements.
  5. Consider having a hearty meal of soup, stew, and bread as your main course at your fall wedding.  Not only will this type of meal warm everyone up after a cool outdoor ceremony, but it is also very inexpensive.  Plus, you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the freezer, leaving you with plenty of time to work on other elements of your wedding.

Using some of these ideas, you can have a beautiful, colorful wedding and save tons of money at the same time.

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Edible Frugal Wedding Favors

Over 160 party favors were handed out at Mike ...

O(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the things wedding guests look forward to is unique wedding favors.  Wedding favors are a fun thing you can give to your guests that will remind them of your beautiful wedding.  Wedding favors can be a fun way to incorporate your wedding theme.

The best way to be frugal when it comes to favors is to skip them altogether.  However, if you want to leave a little memento for your guests, think about something edible you can make yourself.  This is a fun way to leave a little something for your guests yet still maintain your frugal budget.

Here are a few ideas you can try:

1.  Jam or Jelly.  If you like to can, consider making delicious jam or jelly in small jars.  If you are a frequent canner, you more than likely already have all of the canning equipment at home to make your jam.  The most expensive part of making jam is the fruit and the sugar.  One way to save on the fruit is to make jelly out of whatever fruit happens to be in season at the time of your wedding.  For example, make strawberry jelly in the spring time.  This is a lovely little gift that all guests are likely to love.

2.  Cookies-  Cookies are super easy.  You can make a big batch of sugar cut out cookies and decorate them according to you theme.  Be sure to wrap them individually to make them extra special.

3.  Barbecue Sauce-  For relaxed and down-to-earth weddings, consider giving out small jars of barbecue sauce.  If you are serving a barbecue meal, give out the same sauce you used at the meal.

4.  Mini-Pies-  Mini pies are very cute and pretty easy to make.  They can also be made ahead of time and frozen.  Bake them a day or two before the wedding and wrap them up in clear paper.

5.  Seeds-  Not technically edible, but seed packets make a lovely wedding favor.  You can re-package herb seeds in pretty seed packets that can be printed online.

6.  Chocolate Kisses-  These cute little candies resemble wedding bells.  Wrap a bundle of them in white tulle and tie them with a ribbon.  Very easy and inexpensive.

7.  Spice Mix-  Make up a special spice blend and give it out at your reception.  If you are having an Italian themed meal, make your own marinara spice mix and bag it into individual servings.

These are just a few of ideas you can use for your edible wedding favors.  As you can see, most of these are simple and easy and can be made from things found at your grocery store.  Maximize your savings by using coupons and sales to buy these items and you can be even more frugal!

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Have A Frugal Wedding Reception- Cater Your Own Wedding

cater your own reception

As you are planning your wedding, you are going to find that one of the most expensive parts of the wedding is the food at the reception.  You want to make sure to have enough food for everyone, and that can add up fast.

There is a way to save money on your food bill- cater your reception yourself.

What?

Yeah, I  know that sounds completely crazy.  As brides, you are going to be so busy getting ready and touching up last minute details of the ceremony.  The idea of adding food preparation to the list of to-do’s seems unthinkable.

Fear not– it can be done.  The key is to be realistic and keep it simple.  Don’t think you are going to pull off mini cheese souffles for everyone.  Another thing to keep in mind is that you will not be able to do it alone.  You will need to enlist others to help you put it all together, particularly on the wedding day.

The first thing to do is to get final numbers on your guest list.  The easiest way to do this is to include RSVP cards with your wedding invitations.  Be sure you pre-stamp the cards– you will likely get a better idea this way.

At the same time, be sure your wedding venue can accommodate your catering plans.  Some venues do not allow outside catering.  Others may not have tables for food.  Be sure to ask these questions when you are booking your venue.

Once you have a idea of how many guests you will have, add about 10 to 15 more to that.  You should always plan for more than you expect.  You never know who might change their mind and show up, even after they said they RSVP’d otherwise.  Also, you want to account for big eaters.  People don’t generally expect to pig out at a wedding reception, but be sure to have enough just in case.

This will give you an idea of how many plates, cups, flatware, and napkins you will need. The easiest thing to do is to buy disposable. You can buy these items in bulk on Amazon.

Next thing to decide is what type of meal you want to serve.  Do you want a sit-down meal?  A buffet?  A dessert-only or tea?  This decision will greatly affect your workload on your wedding day.

A sit-down meal is not a great option if you are catering the meal yourself, unless you want to hire a wait staff to plate and serve it for you.  That would likely negate the savings of making the food yourself.  Not to mention you will need to figure out a way to transport that food there, keep it warm, etc.  It is not the easiest way to cater yourself.

A buffet is a much simpler option.  The food can be set out and your guests can help themselves.

Now decide what type of buffet you want.  Do you want just dessert and coffee?  Or cheese and fruit with a variety of wines?  You can tie your reception theme to your wedding theme.  If you are having a mid-day wedding, you can have a brunch wedding.  Tuscan-theme weddings would be a perfect setting for Italian meats, cheeses, and breads.  Using your imagination, you can come up with just about any menu that your guests will love.

Now that you’ve finalized your guest list, decided what type of meal service you want, and decided on a theme, it’s time to put a plan of action together.  Decide on what exactly you want to serve and how much of it you will need.  Here is a basic buffet menu guideline:

  • Three to four types of dips with crackers or chips (some hot, some cold)
  • Crudites
  • Fruit platter
  • Meatballs or mini-sausages
  • Sandwich rolls with a variety of meats and cheeses
  • A hot pasta dish
  • Salad (try to have two– some examples garden salad, pasta salad, Caesar salad, etc.)
  • Beverages and coffee

This is a very basic idea of they types of food you can have at your reception.  You may want to add to this by having a carving station with a ham or roast beef.  Just be sure to line someone up to man that station– you don’t want to carve meat in your wedding gown! ;)

Here are a few tips and other things to remember:

  1. Be sure to either rent dishes and linens or purchase them yourself.  The easiest option is to purchase disposable dishes in bulk.  Just be sure to purchase sturdy plates.
  2. Check with your venue regarding table linens.  While many will have tables for you to use, some may not provide the tablecloths.  You can either rent basic white linens or purchase them.
  3. Make as much of the food ahead of time and freeze it.  Enlist friends to help you both cook the food and store it.  Many people have deep freezers these days– see if they would be willing to stash some of the food for you.
  4. Don’t be afraid to purchase ready-made food.  Many wholesale stores sell pre-made trays of vegetables, fruit, and sandwiches.  Just be sure to order them ahead of time– don’t take a chance of not having enough the few days before your wedding.
  5. Before the reception, be sure to have people lined up to set up the food as well as make sure any empty dishes get removed/refilled.
  6. Be sure to have some type of warmer for hot foods. You can buy these disposable chafing dishes at Amazon.
  7. Don’t forget about napkins, cups, serving pieces, flatware, ice, coolers for ice, and something to put any leftover food in.  Be sure someone knows to take the extra food.  It would be a nice gesture to let those who helped divide up what is left to take home.
  8. By all means, make sure you have people who will clean everything up.  You don’t want to lose a deposit or pay a cleaning fee to your venue.

Though it seems daunting, it is possible to cater your own wedding.  You need a solid plan, organization, and good friends to help you.  Keep it simple and you will have a successful and delicious wedding reception.

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How To Have A Beach Honeymoon On A Frugal Wedding Budget

beach honeymoon

There is no better place to celebrate your wedding than the beach.  The beach conjures up images of sunsets, sand, and tropical themed cocktails.

It also conjures up a hefty price tag.  In many cases, beach destinations can be quite expensive.  With the expense of  transportation, lodging, , meals, and entertainment, the honeymoon budget can be gone in a flash.

The good news is that a beach honeymoon is possible, even on a frugal budget.  The key is to be flexible in your planning.

The first thing to consider is the season in which you are getting married.  Obviously, if you are getting married in June, you should expect most all beach destinations to be expensive.  This is because that is prime tourist season for those areas.  Hotels rates  near the beach skyrocket during the summer.  Spring time is also a fairly expensive time due to the influx of college kids on spring break.

If you want to honeymoon at the beach, try to plan your wedding at a time when the weather is still warm, yet the summer beach tourist season is winding down.  A great time to plan your honeymoon is in September.  In September, beaches are still warm enough to enjoy and most of the tourists are gone.  Hotel rates drop starting in September and stay low until about March.

A beautiful time to visit the beach is in the winter.  It may not be warm enough for swimming, but you can still enjoy the crashing waves and sunshine while saving money in the process.

If it is possible, drive to your destination.  Flying can eat up a honeymoon budget very quickly.  Unfortunately, not all of us can afford to drive across the country to beaches on the ocean or gulf.  In that case, consider a beach at an area with beautiful lakes.  You can have a lovely time on a beach at a lake.

When you are planning your trip, consider renting a house or condominium rather than a hotel.  There are several benefits to doing this.  One is that houses and condos are similar in price to the nice beach hotels.

Renting a house or condo also comes with the bonus of a kitchen, allowing you to make some of your own meals.  Going out to dinner is nice, but you can save a significant amount of money by preparing your own breakfasts and lunches as well as some of your dinners.

Making your own meals also keeps you out of the waiting lines at the restaurants and in the company of each other.  Why spend all that time waiting for a table?  If you make your own meals, you then have the time to stroll on the beach in the moonlight.

Another bonus to renting a house or condo is the space.  These rentals often have several bedrooms, living areas, a kitchen, and spacious bathrooms.  You will have all the room you need to spread out and relax.  You may even find a rental that has a private pool.  Or a hot tub! ;)

For entertainment, look no further than the beach.  You decided to spend your honeymoon there, so soak it in as much as possible.  It doesn’t cost anything to go to the beach.  Pack a cooler full of snacks, water, throw down a beach blanket and relax.

For non-beach entertainment, check to see if you can find coupons for things to do.  One of the best resources for entertainment coupons is the state’s welcoming center.  Most all welcoming centers and rest areas have a section full of coupons for things like museums, mini-golf, and waterparks.  You can also do that research ahead of your honeymoon and find even more savings.

Finally, one thing to remember is to pack your essentials.  Don’t forget your sunscreen, beach towels, and sunglasses.  Those type of things are marked up by a huge margin in beach towns.  They know people need those things, and they will jack up the price.  Be sure to make an extensive list of thing you think you will need while at the beach.

As you can see, a beach honeymoon does not have to cost a fortune.  Plan ahead and your dream honeymoon can become a reality.

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Red Wedding Theme For A Frugal Wedding

English: Red roses

English: Red roses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Nothing is more dramatic at a wedding then the color red. Using red in a wedding theme and provided very dramatic and beautiful wedding backdrop. Red weddings are particularly lovely in both February and December. However, red can be utilized any time of the year and be gorgeous.

 Here are a few ideas to use when coming up with ideas using a red wedding theme: Continue reading