Posts Tagged ‘money saving tips’

frazzled………….. to say the least

Friday, March 19th, 2010

So I am halfway there…… and I am feeling it.  Run down, ragged, stressed, and ready for this to be done.  I feel like I have planned just about enough details, and it is wearing on my patience.   Not just that, but my sobriety.   Right now I have about 90 days clean time…… which is awesome, but everyday is a battle.

As far as my 90 days go, I could not have accomplished it without God and the help of my awesome friends, and of course- Mr. Culberson.  (Mostly God though……. to stop using after a 14 year streak honestly requires a miracle)

Bands are slowly coming together, however I just found out that the one we were relying on for a good majority of our entertainment for the evening only has about an hour set list.  So it’s back to the drawing board to get yet another band to add to the nights festivities.  I need someone that can play for a good two-three hours.  Hopefully I can find that band soon, in my budget.

We do have three bands booked right now though, which is awesome………….  one of my favorites Mue Sephei (you can check them out @  http://www.myspace.com/muesephei ) they are going to do the ceremony music and some light reception music , Mr. Culbersons band- Dreams Scar Reality (check them out @  http://www.myspace.com/dreamsscarreality ) and our third band is a cover band made up of the guitar player & singer from Dreams Scar Reality, and a girl named Jessica on bass.  They are pretty cool too.  So it looks like one of my top priorities is finding another band.

Moving on…………….. I picked out some bad ass tuxes.  They are a Calvin Klein 2 button shadow striped with teal vests and ties and black shirts.  Shoes are black & white patent leather.  The great debate now is weather the guys want to rent the tuxes I picked out.  Or go out and  buy a pair of black dress pants & a black shirt, ditch the vests, and wear a turquoise tie.  Then wear a pair of zebra stripe slip on Vans.

Here’s the tux:


Granted they look slick, but I know the jackets & vets will be ditched right after the ceremony.  If we do rent tuxes, we will be renting them from the Men’s Wearhouse.  They are located all over the nation, your men can be fitted wherever it is convenient for them and pick up the tux in your wedding location.  They also have great deals like rent 5 get the grooms free.  Rentals include two shirts (in case guys sweat through one), suspenders, cuff links, ties & vests, and shoes.  Rentals also start as low as $49 and go up to $169.

Other stuff of randomness………………….

We started to register.  We’re going with Target & taking Mrs. N’s advice and going for Bed Bath & Beyond.  My dad & sister are also going in on a car for us as a wedding gift…… which is cool.  For the past year we have been a slave to car pools, public transports & taxis.  It will be nice to have our own set of wheels again.

I’ve made some other changes too- our guest list is ever growing.  We’re at about 110.  So the 80 invitations I had bought were just not going to cut it.  I decided to return them and go with printed post card invites from Vistaprint, and do all of my RSVP’s by phone or web to save on paper and postage.  Once I get them ordered I’ll put a sample up here to show the world.  They’re much cheaper- and postage is cheaper.  Then for out of town guests, all of our lodging, directions, maps, areas of interest, general stuff will be on our website.  (I am working on a wedding website right now…… more details on that to follow…… stay tuned)

Anyway………………. I have about ten minutes to get my stuff together before I have to run out the door.   Thanks for reading my rant……. and if you have any ideas of what you think we should write about- let us know in our comment section.  We’d love to know.  Feedback is always appreciated.


Virtual *free* Save the Dates………… I'm in love

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

So I stumbled upon some free virtual save the dates.  There are many designs to choose from, you can edit and design the way you like and you can send them via e-mail to as many of your guests as you want- and the best part is…….. they’re free!  Sent some out, but found out you need to invite ten more people? No problem- your design is saved and you can send out more at any time.

Check out http://www.cocodot.com – your source for online invitations, announcements, and greeting cards.

The code you’re going to want to get your free save the date is as follows “COCOWEDDING”(expires March 1, 2011).

Are most of your guests tech savy? Want to cut down on paper waste and save on postage? They have great plans that allow you to create all of your wedding stationary and work off of your already uploaded e-mail list.  If you use the “COCOWEDDING” code you can get a one year deluxe on-line invitation package+cards+stationary at half price for only $49.

Worried about having to type out all of your pals e-mail addresses? It imports from yahoo, AOL & Outlook.  Pretty nifty.

So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Back to my wedding website.  I’ll write more on that later.  Also, my hall excursion and booking.  Stay tuned.


the search for the perfect centerpieces

Friday, March 5th, 2010

I keep searching on-line for the perfect centerpieces…………. something whimsical, something fun, something that captures us as a couple.  Nothing with flowers, mirrors or candles.

I’ve found some cool ideas.  Old books, you could even use books of quotes about love and place empty journals with pens around for loved ones to write in on your special day.

Then the idea of beta fish came about (gold fish usually go belly up in a plain bowl mid reception, so it is best to use something a bit heartier), with stones to match our wedding colors.  That is fun, but I wanted something a little more personal.  Note- if you do decide to go with fish and not all of your guests take them home after the night is through and you don’t have a use for ten fish with bowls; offer them new homes on CraigsList, FreeCycle, or even call local nursing homes & adult foster care homes and ask if some of the patients would be able to have a fish in their room and donate them.  There are people out there just waiting to give your fish a loving home.  Please find them homes if you are going to use them for centerpieces.  Do not buy fish just for looks then flush them.

Nothing really hit me………… so I kept looking, and thinking………….. and then it dawned on me…….. PEZ dispensers and travel board games! Yes, I’m serious………… there’s a method to my madness.   Read on.

I have been collecting PEZ dispensers for almost 15 years and I have hundreds, I could display some of my favorites as table centerpieces.  Then around candy filled dispensers we will place travel size board games.  I’m thinking the classics…….. battleship, finger twister, uno, cribbage, scrabble, yatzee, chess, checkers, hungry hippos.  Just a warning to Mr. Culberson……… I am totally going to rule the tables in a game of bride vs. groom wedding night battleship, you’re going down.

My objective ——–>To bring tables of people together.  To break the ice a bit…… and most of all to provide an alternative form of entertainment for people who don’t want to dance.  They can sit and just chill, enjoying the music, playing a game or a hot game of cards.   I think if it is done right, it will be pretty cool…… and it is something our guests will definitely remember.

So that is my new mission, the search for cheap travel games for the tables.  I have already bought the finger twister game.  Found that bad boy on E-Bay for $3.99 with $1.99 shipping.  Not too bad for a game brand new in box.  I have posted wanted ads on both CraigsList & FreeCycle.

If you haven’t heard of FreeCycle & CraigsList or checked them out, they are a must for anyone looking for deals.  CraigsList is a local on-line market place for buying/selling/trading  (great place to resell your wedding stuff when you’re done) http://www.craigslist.com you find your state and closest city and get started that way.  Both buying & selling are free.  FreeCycle is a group where everything is free, that is the one rule- everything must be free.  You can post things you are giving away, or things that you want/are looking for.  Check out http://www.freecycle.org for more information and to find a group near you.  I find this to be a great way to recycle unwanted items.

Also, if you haven’t heard of it (but really, who hasn’t?) check out E-Bay http://www.ebay.com .  I have bought so much for our wedding there.  It is the ultimate on-line marketplace with sellers from all over the world.  I love E-Bay.  It doesn’t cost anything to become a member and buy things, all you pay for is your purchases.

Thoughts?  Tacky?  Creative?  Clever?  Boring?  I’d love some feedback.  My bridesmaids think it’s a great idea…………. but something tells me their job is to think all of my ideas are great ideas.  After all, I am the bride.

Anyway- I am off…………. my lady is on her way and we’re having a fun filled weekend.  Going to be doing some baking, and we’re going to go see the new Alice & Wonderland.


Alternatives to place cards are "Off the Charts"

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Letting your guests know what table they will be sitting at is not the most stressful or budget consuming task when you consider the rest of the things you need to do to plan a wedding (note: I said “letting them know where they are sitting”, not figuring out where they will be sitting – that on the other hand is perhaps the worst task).

The most cost effective way is perhaps to buy pre-made place cards and either hand write or print the information of each guest on them yourself.  At the most expensive end, you can have these custom ordered and pay for a calligrapher to write them out.  You can even find dozens of ways to display the place cards, from having them adorn a decorated table at the entrance to your ballroom, or buying little place card holders (some can even double as a party favor) to showcase them on.  Place cards themselves, do not even have to be limited to actual cards, they can come in all different forms, shapes and sizes!

Place card ideas

Doubles as a picture holder

Unique display ideas

As with all wedding ideas, new trends are ever emerging even for the simplest of items, such as the place card.  Some places have their attendants hold books containing each guest’s name and table number and they will escort guests to their seats.  More common, however, are venues that are offering “Seating Charts” which can be a really elegant way to display your guests seating information.  If done right, a seating chart can be even more budget friendly than place cards (and less sloppy than hand written ones).  It’s a nice way to “present” your guests at the wedding.

Seating Chart

Large framed seating chart

These seating charts can range anywhere from $50 – into the hundreds, however they are really easy to do yourself.  You can create a seating chart on your home computer using Microsoft word (choose a decorative font) and bring it to a Staples, printing place, or even a teacher store where they can blow your chart up to poster size for $10-20 dollars.  Instead of paying to frame it, you can mount your poster onto cardboard or foam core and decorate it yourself.

Sometimes the smallest details are the things your guest will remember the most!


Offbeat Bridal Dress Shots- session one 2.2010

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

I promised pictures of my impromptu wedding dress shoot were on the way and here I am to deliver…………..  like I said before this was an impromptu session with my friend & professional photographer Rochelle Nevedal (you can find her on facebook).  The only “wedding items” that were purchased were the dress, earrings ($4 @ Charlotte Russe)  and the purse (TJ Maxx- $30………. it is a Rampage clutch  http://www.rampage.com/ a similar black one retail for $127 on their website), everything else prop wise were items we had already owned and had around the house.

If you do an on location photo-shoot (this was done in her dining room) you can always use existing items around the house for props.  No need to buy additional items just for a photo-shoot .  Worried you may not having anything fun or funky? Stop looking at your stuff as a whole and break it down, look at individual pieces.  The fun purse your grandma left you before she died, that old globe or set of encyclopedias setting in the corner of your office, you already own great props…… you just have to find them.  Trust me, they’re there.  If you have the right photographer with the right vision, they’ll make it work and they will encourage you on your search.  Many photographers that share your vision will often have their own arsenal of props they own as well, as them and take advantage of what they have to use.

When choosing a photographer- find someone whose vision you share.  If you look at their portfolio and all you see is couples standing at the alter hand in hand, or embracing……….. when you want photos of you & your husband pushing each other in the carts at the laundry mat; chances are they will not be able to give you what you want.  It works the same reversed.

It is getting late and I have to get to bed………….. but I’ll elaborate more later on how to get better deals with photographers.  Stay tuned………….

Rochelle- if you’re reading this, you are amazing and I can’t wait for our engagement session! You made me look beautiful <3