Alternatives For The Traditional Bridal Bouquet Toss

A florist for the wedding has been booked. The flowers have been chosen.

On the wedding day, the bride gazes dreamily at her bridal bouquet, smells the lovely blossoms and feels like it’s the most romantic scent in the world. The florist has done a great job.


Bridal bouquet by Adelaide Flower Mill

Then, hours later, comes that portion of the program. That part where the bride is supposed to throw her bouquet to the bunch of single ladies at the reception. Oh, wait…is she going to just throw it the traditional way? Or does she remember to consider the mixed feelings that female guests have regarding the bouquet giveaway? Nowadays, it’s not always that simple anymore.

Bouquet toss may or may not be the most anticipated part of a wedding. For many, it might be exciting to see who’s gonna catch the bride’s bouquet and possibly become the next bride. However, for some, it can a bit awkward because it only highlights those women who are not married or don’t have partners. They might feel uncomfortable to be identified as single.

To make everyone happy, you can always make some twist on your traditional bouquet toss.  Here are some ideas to consider:

Anniversary Dance

          All married couples join the bride and groom on the dance floor. As the DJ plays the music, the emcee announces which couple will be eliminated according to how long they have been married. The last couple remaining on the dance floor, the one married the longest, will be given the bridal bouquet or a special present.

Wedding Cake Charms by LostPemberleyDesigns

Cake Charms

          Little charms on ribbon are tucked under the icing of the wedding cake. You can put as many charms as you want to accommodate more people. Each charm depicts a fortune. Example, a dollar for wealth, shamrock for good luck, a baby carriage for a child, wedding ring for the next bride or groom, etc.

 Multiple Flowers

          Instead of a bouquet toss, prepare many single stems of flowers that look like the one that you have in your bouquet. Place a motivational quote to each flower by tying them up with ribbons or gift tags that match your wedding decors. Place these single-stem flowers on a vase near the entrance with a sign to invite all women to take one. This will let all women in the wedding feel special, not just the singles ladies.

Girls-Only Group Dance

          If you’re allergic to flowers you can have a group dance instead. Invite all ladies to the dance floor surrounding the bride. Then have the DJ play the bride’s favourite party music like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper, “Material Girl” by Madonna, etc.

Pot-Luck

          Have a single pot which contains charms, ribbons, flower petals, candies, and a ring. All women who want to participate should gather together in the middle. At the count of three, the bride will break the pot and whoever catches the ring will be the winner. The winner will then take the bouquet as a prize.

Bouquet Presentation

          Instead of tossing the bouquet, you can make give it to your mother as a token of appreciation, or to someone you dearly loved. You can also pass it to the next couple that will be getting married, if there is. You may include a video presentation with a short speech before you give the flowers.

Breakaway Bouquet

          The bouquet to toss is a large set of flowers loosely tied with a ribbon. When the bride gets the bouquet, she discretely takes off the ribbon and toss. The flowers, then, go everywhere and every girl has a chance to get one.

Toss for a Prize

          Everybody is invited to participate. The bride will toss the bouquet in front of the crowd. Whoever catches it, will win a prize. Prizes could vary from 2 movie tickets, one night hotel stay, and dinner for 2 at a restaurant, or anything you want. This makes the party fun and competitive making everyone crazy to get the prize.

12 Etsy Finds For A Peach And Mint Wedding

My mum’s favourite colour is green. The deep green hue. It’s fine with me, ‘coz I can imagine it as emerald, or the fresh grass in the garden. But it’s not something I’d pick to pair with bright orange for a wedding.

Thank goodness for pastels!

The mint green and peach colour scheme is the lovely, sweet and delicate version of the otherwise not-so-appealing colour combination…and what a darling pair it is! Today, I’m sharing with you 12 of my loveliest Etsy finds that perfectly suits a peach and mint wedding…and here they are:

Rustic Flower LED Light by VENDecor

Peach Boutonniere, Country Wedding by LoveAccented 

Mint Green Peach Wedding Hair Comb by Jewelsalem

Mint Peach Wedding Centerpieces by OhLOLAandco 

Peach Pearl Wedding Jewellery by UrbanDaisyBridal

Mint Wedding Favors with Personalized “Mint to be” tag by MintFavorsAndMore 

Peach and Mint Earrings by Greenperidot 

Blush Bridesmaid Dress by RenzRags 

Mint tie for toddlers by LilGents 

Ivory, Peach & Mint Garter Set

Mint and Peach Bouquet by AMYOBridal

Mint Green Chiffon Bridesmaid Dress by SandyWatersStore

20 Wedding Traditions From Around the World

8145 180613 6100 Great Hindu Wedding Ritual Hand on Hand

It’s interesting how there are lots of various wedding traditions observed around the world. What’s common in one place might be unheard of in other parts of the world. Some places may have similar traditions, especially if they have been influenced by the same country or group of people.

 Here are 20 of wedding traditions from around the world:

  • Chinese

In China, they have a unique tradition that hides the bride in her mother’s home and the groom has to pass through “obstacles” (from the bridesmaids) to get his bride out. If he needs to bang on the door, he does it and thus, making a fake commotion.

  • Danish

During a Danish wedding reception, if the groom goes to the washroom, all the boys in the party rush over to kiss the bride in the cheek. Vice-versa, when the bride goes to the washroom, too, all the girls in the party rush to the groom to kiss him in the cheek as well.

  • Indian

In Indian weddings, it’s part of their tradition to decorate the bride with henna. The depth of the color of henna symbolizes the depth of the couple’s love.

  • Hungarian

In Hungary, during the wedding dance, some of the bride’s relatives and friends will try to steal her from her new husband.  The groom’s party tries to prevent it. If the action is successful, they will negotiate for a ransom, which is normally taken lightly at first. But as time passes, the groom becomes more uneasy and lenient about the ransom.

  • Pakistani

In Pakistan, the bride and groom both wear flower garlands.

  • Brazilian

It’s usual to give the wedding guests a small cake-like sweet called “bem-casado” meaning ‘well-married’, in Brazil. It apparently represents the joining together of the bride and the groom.

  • Jamaican

 The bride is taken to the street for everyone to see.

  • Japanese

In Japan, the newly-wed couple takes a sip of sake to formalize their wedding.

  • German

In Germany, the family is planning ahead for the financial expenses of their child’s wedding. If a baby girl was born, many trees will be planted. These trees will be sold in the future for their daughter’s wedding expenses.

  • Norwegian

In Norway, the bride is wearing a traditional silver or gold crown with small spoon-shaped bangles that cling when moved. They believe that the music produced from these bangles will push away evil spirits.

  • Wales

A Welsh bride carries myrtle, in her bouquet, that is a symbol of love. She, then, gives a cutting of the plant to her bridesmaids. If the bridesmaid plants the cutting in her yard and it blossom, she’s the next one to get married.

  • American

American weddings always include a garter toss. The bride’s garter will be tossed to all single men in the party. Whoever catches it, will be the one marrying soon.

  • Malaysian

At the wedding, each guest will receive an creatively decorated hard-boiled egg to signify fertility.

  • Russian

In Russia, only civil weddings are considered valid. If the couple wants to have a religious ceremony must also have a civil one.

  • Italian

Part of the Italian tradition is not to marry on a Friday or Tuesday as this will bring the couple bad luck.

  • Mexican

Mexican weddings include a part when the groom gives 13 gold coins to his bride. These symbolize Jesus Christ and His twelve disciples.

Attending A Bridal Fair

woman-435852_640

Being a bride-to-be gives you the best reason to go and attend the bridal events in town. Yipee!!! Imagine being with fellow brides-to-be, looking around for various wedding services, getting some special treatment because you’re getting married, gathering a million ideas for your perfect wedding, possibly booking a couple of vendors or so, and all that jazz. That is so exciting indeed!

But wait a minute. Before you rush to your first bridal event, take a moment to prepare so you can get the most from the event and enjoy it too. Here are 18 smart advices on attending a bridal fair:

1. Create an email just for your wedding planning period. This can help you organize things better and avoid unwanted emails on your main email account. After you’re wed and no longer interested in wedding business mails, you can just delete this account.

2. Check if pre-registration is possible. Many times, if you register in advance, you can get a discount on the entrance fee.

3. Prepare sticker labels with your name and contact details on it. Many vendors prepare raffle draws for special prizes, so these prepared labels will save you time in filling out raffle entry forms.

4. Wear your most comfortable foot wear, as you will be on your feet almost the whole day. Wear something that will identify you as the bride (like a shirt with “Bride” printed on it) so vendors will treat you accordingly (a.k.a. special & important).

5. Take your fiancé, your mum, your maid of honor, your sister, or whoever can come with you. They can help you gather ideas, make minor decisions and carry promotional materials handed to you by the vendors.

6. Bring a notebook and some pens (one with a cord that you can hang around your neck would be a smart choice) so you can write down notes. Write down all the information you get from vendors, so you’ll remember the pros and cons of each when it’s time for you to choose one.

7. Bring some cash and a check book or credit card. There will be bridal magazines and books at irresistible discounted prices, so you’ll need cash. And you might find the vendors you really want, you’ll have your check or credit card ready to book them.

8. Check the event’s rules if cameras are allowed, then it would really help if you’d bring one as this would help you recall ideas you liked at the event. Some bridal fairs, however, do not allow picture-taking.

9. Research what services you need before going to the event, so you can focus on these when entertaining vendors. Prepare your list of questions you want to ask to save time in interviewing them.

10. Know your budget well. If it would help you, do bring a small copy of your budget breakdown, so you’ll know what amounts to stick to when you face the vendors. A bridal fair is also a good venue to look for money-saving deals.

11. Bring some bags for carrying all the wedding information materials and samples you may get. However, remember that you don’t have to accept all the information packets handed to you, especially those that you really don’t need. It will just be an additional weight to carry.

12. Arrive early at the fair. Most often, organizers prepare special prizes for the early birds, and many of them are really cool rewards.

13. Don’t be afraid to ask the vendors your questions. In fact, go ahead and ask them everything you want to know about their services. They will be eager to answer you but you are not obligated to buy anything from them.

14. Don’t book the first vendor you meet. There would be plenty of vendors for each type of service at the bridal fair, so compare them well until you are totally convinced in selecting the one.

15. Don’t entertain vendors of items you already have. It would just be a waste of time to talk about details to wedding celebrants if you already have one.

16. In case you do intend to book a couple of vendors that day, reserve enough time in your schedule to discuss matters with them. Read contracts thoroughly, especially the refund policies.

17. Make time to attend the fashion show. Yes, almost every bridal fair would have that. It would be a very good opportunity to see the latest trends and to get ideas for your perfect wedding gown.

18. Have fun and enjoy. You do not have to panic and be overwhelmed with all the supplies available at the fair. If you don’t accomplish everything you want to do, there’s always another bridal event coming to town in a few weeks.

Rings Of Love

We often hear about various types of rings that a person can give to another to show romantic love.

The most popular is probably the wedding ring. There’s also the engagement ring, which is usually loaded with a precious stone, such as a diamond. But what about other rings? What do they mean? How did they originate? And on which finger of which hand do you wear it?

Pre-engagement ring

A pre-engagement ring is given to a romantic partner to symbolize a commitment to a monogamous relationship. This kind of ring, which is given any time before an engagement ring is given, is worn on the left ring finger, although some prefer to wear it either on the left middle finger or the right ring finger, to avoid confusing it with a real engagement ring. It is also known as a promise ring or friendship ring.

Friendship Ring

A friendship ring is also known as a pre-engagement ring. Traditionally though, a friendship ring is given when there is not yet a commitment to marry. A friendship ring can be worn on any finger.

Promise Ring

A promise ring is another name for a pre-engagement ring. Unlike the friendship ring, however, a ring can be called a promise ring when there is an existing promise to marry. In the early days, when a man could not yet afford to get married, he would give a promise ring to his beloved until such time when he could already afford to marry her.

Engagement Ring

An engagement ring is a gift presented by a man to his prospective bride when he proposes, and is usually placed on the ring finger of the woman when she accepts the marriage proposal. It is traditionally placed on the left ring finger, as that finger contains the vena amoris or the “vein of love.” In other European countries, however, the tradition is to wear it on the right ring finger.

Claddagh Ring

The Claddagh ring is a traditional ring in the Irish custom, given in friendship or as a wedding ring. The distinctive feature of this ring is the design of two hands (representing friendship) clasping a heart (representing love) and surmounted by a crown (symbolizing loyalty). The meaning of the ring depends on how it is worn. If worn on the right hand with the heart facing outward, it means the wearer is looking for love. Inwards, it means the wearer is in a relationship. On the left hand, heart outward, means the wearer is engaged. Inward on left hand, the wearer is married.

Gimmal Ring

A gimmal ring is composed of two or three hoops that fit together to form one complete ring. The word gimmal closely resembles the Old French word which means twin. Centuries ago, gimmal rings are very fashionable and often used as engagement rings. The bethroted couple would wear one hoop each, with the third hoop (in the case of triple link gimmal rings) being held by a person who would witness the couple’s vows. On the wedding day, the bride would get all the three hoops together to form a beautiful ring. In England, during the Elizabethan period, a gimmal ring was also known as a joint ring.

Bridal Shower Themes

Wedding bells make everyone buzz around. From bridal showers, engagement parties to bachelor’s parties, these make an ultimate bonding event for everyone. Bridal showers are good opportunity to mix and mingle. Great showers don’t only count on small talks but also how it is being presented to the people.

Here are some of the most popular themes that could make your shower a success:

The Spa Shower from www.realsimple.com

Let others do the relaxation for you. To cut some stress, let all your guests unwind in an invigorating spa. This will help them prepare for the big day.

Rustic Bridal Theme from www.elegantweddinginvites.com

Throwing a bridal party at a garden can be awesome. Putting these rustic decorations make it even adorable. It’s going to be a spectacular bridal shower.

Vintage Pool Bridal Shower from www.100layercake.com

A summer poolside party is simply one of the best. With these bright colors, wear your swimsuit and have fun. It’s gonna be cool!

Glitters Bridal Shower from www.pinterest.com

Add some spark to your party by having glitters all around. Sparkling glitters are always loved by everyone. Combined with elegant colours, the party with give a full glow.

Pastel Theme from www.pinterest.com

Most girls love pink and pastel. It gives a smooth and comfortable feeling to the eyes. It’s also a great combo if you’re throwing a bridal shower.

Garden Party from www.topweddingsites.com

A nice venue to host your friend’s bridal shower is just simply at your garden. Beautiful flowers around you can contribute to the relaxing aroma. Furthermore, a garden is the best place to play funny games and be at yourself. All natural.

15 Etsy Finds For A Purple & Green Wedding

The most lovable thing about the color green is that it’s nature’s colour – trees, leaves, vines, etc. – therefore, it goes well with almost any colour you can imagine. Especially when you’re decorating your wedding with flowers, you just cannot help but have a little bit of greens here and there, with the flower stems and leaves.

Today, I’m sharing with you my 15 Etsy finds which are perfect for a purple and celery wedding. And just because I typed in ‘wedding’ does not mean it’s strictly only for weddings. You can use the list as inspiration for planning an engagement party, a birthday party, a bridal shower…any event at all! OK, maybe not so much with sporting events. 🙂

And of course, while you’re planning your wedding, don’t forget to add more fun to your big day by providing speech bubble props at your photo booth, like this:

Choosing The Wedding Reception Venue

There are numberless options as to where you can hold your wedding reception. The venue you choose can affect many other things in your wedding planning.

RESTAURANT RECEPTION

First of all, the venue can affect your budget. It can also affect your theme, your decorations, your color scheme, the number of guests you can have, your wedding transportation, and so on. Of course, it is up to you whether you decide first on the venue and let everything follow it, or you can choose all the other mentioned elements first, and search high and low for the venue that would suit the rest. It is wise therefore, to carefully consider your priorities before making the big decisions.

In deciding for your wedding reception venue, you might wish to consider the advantages and disadvantages of every option you have.

YOUR HOME

Many couples choose to hold their wedding ceremony or reception or both in either of their families’ homes. The advantages of having the event at home is, first of all, you don’t have to hire it or pay corkage. It’s totally free! You also have more freedom to do what you want, use whatever decorations you wish, start and end at whatever time of the day. However, this option also has its disadvantages. You’ll have to be prepared for a lot of hard work, from preparing the place, to cleaning up afterward. Your home will most likely not have all the facilities you will need, from eating and serving utensils, to the size of toilets and parking area.

A HOTEL

The best thing about having the reception at a hotel is that you can just relax like a princess. The staff are well experienced in handling events, so they can provide you with everything you need for your reception. Often, they have packages that you can choose from, wherein most of your needs are included at a good price. You can also have your wedding as big and luxurious as you want it. The downside however, is the high expenses that you will have to expect. This is usually not the cheapest option for receptions, and almost every additional move you make might have its corresponding price.

AN EVENT/FUNCTION CENTER

Like hotels, event centers are also well experienced in handling weddings. Because this is their business, they have a good directory of suppliers for everything they need to provide for the client’s event. Many also have wedding packages to choose from. The concerns for this venue, however, include the lack of overnight accommodations for you and your guests, the limited freedom when it comes to the number of guests you can have, and also the prices.

A RESTAURANT

The best advantage they probably have is their food, which is, of course, their forte. Also, you may not have to pay a huge rental amount for the venue. Restaurants are also more flexible in catering to what you need for your event. The disadvantages include the limitations on space, such as the size, shape and plan of the floor area, which may usually not really have been planned with weddings in priority.

A PARK OR GARDEN

In this venue, you have all the beautiful natural decor, so this can be a savings on extra artificial decors. You can also have flexibility in how to have your wedding and the rental price, if any, may be minimal, if it is a public place. The problems may include lack of control over nature, such as the weather, wild animals and pests. Also, you will need to hire all the other things yourself, such as caterers and other equipment.

A CLUB

The pros of this location include the large parking, the relaxed and informal atmosphere (if that is what you wish), the size and facilities, and the price, which is usually cheaper than hotels or event centers. The biggest disadvantage would have to be the limited menu.

Though many planning checklists often advice that you decide on your theme and color scheme first, before booking your venues, yet some brides have learned through experiences that, on some cases, it is better to select a venue first and let the rest follow. Why? Because if you have limited venue options and later get trapped in a specific location with design and colors which do not exactly blend with your wedding style and color, you may have to spend many sleepless nights thinking how to connect these two big elements of your wedding day.

Sage and Chocolate Brown For A Wedding

I have been tasked to organize a bridal shower for a bride-to-be who’s going to have a sage-and-chocolate-brown color scheme for her wedding.

And I am excited!

Let the parade of inspiration begin!

The first item I found on Etsy was this:

Shoe Clips! Made by the talented domesticallyURBAN.

I think this would be lovely as a little present for the bride-to-be, or favors for the bridal shower attendees to enjoy.

Guest book by InvitingMoments! This one’s for the wedding, but then one can make something more suitable for a bridal shower.

Perhaps, as a decor in the party? Or additional props for the photo booth? HarperJanssen’s pillow will surely be useful somewhere there.

A shabby chic bubble burlap wreath would be perfect at the door, welcoming the guests and delighting the bride.

Wedding Cost-Cutting Ideas

Every bride who’s not as fortunate as Catherine Middleton or Vanisha Mittal would want to check out cheaper options for every wedding element she and her groom-to-be have to spend on. After all, no couple would want to start a married life with thousands of dollars in debt. Such as state would be truly miserable and can possibly lead to divorce, as financial problems is one of the major reasons why couples divorce nowadays. Of course, nobody would want that. Every couple dreams of a happily-ever-after marriage.

Most couples usually have a budget to start with. Others may have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on their wedding, but many also have a budget that may be $5,000 or below. Practical couples, for instance, may opt to save some of the budget so they can buy some household necessities that wedding guests have failed to give them, such as a washing machine or an oven.

How can a couple possibly save so much and still have the wedding of their dreams? Below are ideas on how to cut down on wedding expenses, have the wedding of your dreams, and not ruin your other dreams.

General

  • If you have plenty of time and hands to help, DIY almost everything you can possibly do.
  • Sign up for a wedding registry to get gifts that you really need/want, and not a dozen toasters.
  • Cut down on the number of attendants you will have to save on the number of gifts that you need to buy for them.
  • Cut down on your guest list too. Invite only the people who really mean something to you and your groom.
  • A civil wedding at the court house is free and can help you save on expenses such as officiant’s fee. The fees for the paper works will be all you’ll need to spend on.
  • If you insist on a church wedding, there are actually some churches that do weddings for free. Find one and have your wedding there.
  • Check out bridal magazines. They usually have lots of ideas on how to cut down on wedding expenses. They may also have some discount coupons and raffles that may be worth trying.
  • Don’t settle for the first vendor you meet. Instead, keep on looking around well ahead of time so you can compare prices and get the best offer. Don’t forget to get other brides’ opinions too.
  • Sometimes, the location of your wedding and where you buy stuff for you wedding affect your expenses. You may consider a destination wedding. In the third-world countries, for example, you can have a grand, lavish wedding for less than $5,000.
  • Check out certain newspapers that have discount coupons you can use when purchasing at craft stores.
  • Visit your local dollar store and see what items you need that they have and that you can buy in bulk, therefore, at a much cheaper price.
  • Another good place to look around are those garage sales. You may find almost new items at very cheap prices, such as table linens, vases, eating/serving utensils, jewelry, and, if you’re in luck, even left-over craft materials, such as beads, ribbons, etc., that you can use for your favors, decorations and other accessories.
  • Remember your friends who had their own weddings recently. They may have purchased stuff for their weddings that you might need for yours. Use the “something borrowed” excuse.

Bridal Attire

  • Do you have a family member/relative or good friend who has good sewing skills? Maybe you can ask that person to do your dress. Or if you have good sewing skills, the better! Wedding gowns are VERY expensive, but beautiful white fabrics aren’t.
  • Observe the “something old” tradition. It can be your mom’s wedding dress or shoes or jewelry, so you don’t have to spend on either of that.
  • If you want a ballgown type, use nice and tasteful fabrics only on the outer layer of the gown. You can have your petticoats in a lot cheaper fabrics and nobody would care.
  • Make your gown as simple as can be to cut on fabric costs too.
  • If good sewing skills are nowhere to be found among the people you know, then you simply have no choice but to go shopping. If you shop early, you may be able to find a nice white dress during mall sales. Bear in mind that a white dress is less expensive than a wedding gown. They usually place a more expensive price on a wedding gown just because it is classified as a wedding gown and not just a white dress.
  • If you have to buy a gown, check Ebay, thrift stores and second-hand stores. Nobody will know the actual cost of your gown, as long as it’s clean and well-pressed and you carry it as though it is from Vera Wang.
  • Another option is to rent a bridal gown from a bridal shop. You’ll wear it only once anyway.

Hair and Makeup

  • Have your hair and makeup done by a family or friend who’s good at it.
  • If you are good at doing your own hair and makeup, then do it yourself.
  • Months before, look for a hairstyle that you want. Practice doing it so when the big day comes, you can do it yourself.
  • If you want to do it yourself but don’t want to be too stressed on your wedding day, choose a hairstyle that is very simple and not require you any special skill to do it.
  • Instead of buying a new one for yourself, borrow a nice, bridal-looking barrette, tiara or hair comb from a family or friend. There can be someone you know who have recently bought and used a nice hair accessory to another wedding, prom or formal special event. You can always use the “something borrowed” reason.

Invitations

  • Sign up for a free wedding website. Then put all other necessary information about your wedding in there, like directions, list of wedding party members, menu, registry, etc. Then all you need to send out is a simple invitation card for politeness’ sake and none of those other things. You can just add a note where they can find your wedding website. This will help you save a lot on paper and printing.
  • If you have a computer, make your own invites. There are some websites that have wedding invitation templates that you can use, just in case you are not a very artistic and talented person in making invitations.
  • There are also DIY invitation kits sold in malls that are quite good and inexpensive.

Reception Venue

  • Have your reception in your backyard, or the backyard or house of a family or close friend, so you don’t have to pay extra for reception venue.
  • Some public places can be possible reception venues, such as a local park, clubhouse, or pavilion, and if not free, they would charge only a very minimal fee.
  • If you’re getting married in a church that has a fellowship hall in the same compound, that’s a very good place to have your reception also. If not, the church may have a wide backyard or garden. Take advantage of those things.

Food

  • If you have family or friends who have amazing culinary specialties, you may request them to donate a dish of their expertise for the reception. It can help decrease your food expenses.
  • Wedding cakes are also expensive. If you can bake it yourself or get your mom, relative or friends to do it, the better.
  • Your wedding cake can be your dessert at the reception.
  • If you have to buy the cake, get it at the grocery’s bakery section. They sell it cheaper than regular bakeries do.
  • Check your backyard for something you can harvest and possibly turn into a dish. You might have lettuce and tomatoes that you can turn into Caesar’s salad. Or apples you can turn into apple pies.
  • Have a potluck buffet.
  • Make enough gluten that you can use as meat extenders in your meat dishes. Flour, the main ingredient of gluten, is a so much cheaper than additional amounts of meat.
  • Have a mid-morning or mid-afternoon reception. In this way, you’ll only have to serve lighter refreshments, such as cakes and punch, and not main meals.
  • Alcohol is not a necessity at a wedding reception. You don’t have to serve wine to everybody.

Decorations

  • Use natural decorations, such as potted plants from your garden, if the wedding would be indoors.
  • Check those Christmas decors you have stored in the attic. There might be some stuff there that you can use as decors, instead of buying new ones. Christmas lights, for example, can make the venue look a little more dramatic.
  • If you can have your wedding around the Christmas season, you might even not need to decorate anymore, as lots of Christmas decorations are already present.
  • Keep the decorations simple but tasteful.
  • Get your wedding party to DIY the decorations a week before the wedding so you will not have to spend extra on service fee.
  • Choose a wedding theme that can help cut costs on your wedding expenses. For example, you can have a picnic style reception where you’ll have blankets or table clothes on the grass, without tables and chairs. Then you won’t have to rent tables and chairs. A country/barbecue style wedding is also an inexpensive wedding theme.
  • Instead of buying or renting vases for flower arrangements/centerpieces, you can collect clear empty bottles from sandwich spreads and tie a lovely ribbon around each clean bottle.

Flowers

  • If you are planning to buy your flowers, bear in mind that artificial flowers are cheaper than real ones.
  • If you have a garden with beautiful flowers in it, you can hand pick some so you don’t have to buy. If you don’t have a garden, check if you have a relative or friend who has and would be wiling to give you some flowers for your wedding bouquet, etc.
  • Grow your own flowers. You will have to check your calendar in doing this, to make sure the flowers will be ready a day or so before your wedding day.
  • If you plan to have your reception in your backyard, plant flowering shrubs months ahead, if you don’t have flowering plants in your backyard. By the time your wedding day comes, they will be in bloom and you will have live, growing flowers as natural decorations. You won’t have to worry about buying flowers for decorating the place.
  • If planting a flowering plant is impossible, instead of having complicated and expensive flower arrangements as bouquets, you can have a single flower tied with a pretty ribbon to hold as your bouquet. Many weddings have had single flower bouquets and have looked elegant and stylish as well.

Favors

  • Potted plants or tiny flower arrangements as wedding favors can double as table centerpieces. If you prefer a different wedding favor, choose something that can double as table centerpiece so you don’t have to spend extra.
  • Sugar almonds are among the cheapest wedding favors. You can pack five sugar almonds in each organza bag as your bonbonnieres.
  • You can compose a nice poem, a small recipe collection, or a list of nice inspirational thoughts that you like. Print them in nice, inexpensive paper and you can give them away as favors.
  • Check out the dollar stores. They have many cheap items that can turn out to be really nice favors.
  • Plant seeds, packed in small nice paper bags, are also popular cheap wedding favors.
  • In your computer, layout a nice cute bookmark with the couple’s picture, date and venue of the wedding, a simple nice inspirational quote and words of thanks. You can even personalize them by adding the name of each guest to whom you are going to give it. Print them on your printer on nice board papers. You can give them away as favors and they’re guaranteed to cost a very small amount.
  • If your budget simply cannot accommodate even the cheapest favors, you can even do without them. Wedding favors are optional and not compulsory at all.

Music/Entertainment

  • Record your choice songs on an Ipod, MP3 player or a CD so you don’t have to hire a band.
  • You may have a good friend who has wonderful hosting skills. Then you won’t need to hire a wedding host.
  • Check who among your family/friends/guests has nice musical talents. That can serve as your entertainment at the reception. Then you won’t have to pay for talent fees.
  • If you should have some games at your reception, try to have some which don’t require so much props. Give away very simple, inexpensive gifts, like a framed picture of the newly wed couple complete with autographs of the bride and groom.

Transportation

  • Choose venues (for wedding ceremony and reception) that are close to each other, or if possible, have both at one venue to save on transportation expenses.
  • You don’t have to rent a limousine to bring you to your wedding venue on your wedding day. Someone you know may have a nice white car you can decorate with flowers and ribbons that will serve as your bridal car. Someone who cares would be glad to be your driver for the day, then you won’t have to hire a chauffeur.

Photography/Videography

  • Almost everyone has a digital camera nowadays, so ask your family and friends to be your photographers/ videographers at your wedding. Have them download the pictures in their computers and email them to you, to save on printing. Later on, you can print only the ones you really like. You can also have your online album for all your guests to enjoy.
  • If you really want artistic photography but can’t afford it, maybe you can ask a friend or family to self-study artistic photography a few months ahead. They can practice that skill in other events or everyday life, so that when your big day comes, they’ll be almost as good as a professional photographer.