Posts in the 'Wedding Inspiration' Category
As a blogger and overall blog enthusiast, upon our engagement I made sure to add every single wedding related blog I could find to my reader. Every. Single. One. I had more than 100 posts to gaze at each day, and while it was fun at first it quickly because tiresome and then just flat out annoying. And the thing that annoyed me the most? The overused wedding theme adjectives. You’ve heard them, you have!
Rustic Handmade Traditional.
Vintage DIY OMG PLEASE STOP.
The theeeeeeemes. The adjectives. That is the second question that people ask. When is your wedding and what is the theme? At one point during my extreme frustration with the theme-machine, I created my very own: Whimsical Sharknado.
No, that isn’t really our theme.
I understand that an overall style is important for planning decor. It just gets taken too far and with many of the weddings and couples featured in the posts, it becomes very clear that the theme doesn’t resonate through their entire life. Do you typically wear cowboy boots every day? THEN WHY ARE YOU WEARING ONE WITH YOUR EXPENSIVE AND GORGEOUS WEDDING DRESS? And because of these themes, weddings look less and less personal because brides begin to think that their decor needs to fit a certain expectation. We are getting married in a barn? Then we HAVE to have burlap and mason jars. And OMG don’t even get me started on mason jars. YOU GUYS THERE ARE OTHER JARS TO USE, I PROMISE.
So what is our non-theme theme? I call it “sh*t we like.” While it is mildly brewery influenced, the decorations will just be what makes us happy. We didn’t pick set colors. I just saw some flowers I liked at Trader Joe’s and said, “THAT COLOR!” We don’t have a singular adjective to describe our wedding. Well, besides awesome. It will just be us and things that make us smile (okay, mostly me because I don’t think that garlands make Justin quite as giddy as they make me).
Whoa, hello rant post! But really, I find this to be one of the biggest conundrums with the wedding industry. Don’t let yourself get stuck in one theme…just do what makes you happiest, even if it can’t be described in one word.
Your “I dos” are a moment of gravitas, a quiet but weighty culmination of your decision to spend your lives together. In honor of their serious decision to make this commitment, Destry and Lanny decided on a similarly intimate wedding ceremony and reception: 40 invited guests, immediate family and the closest of friends. By this decision, they were able to spend more time with the community that has watched them sow the seeds of their relationship, helped them nurture it, and witnessed it flourish.
Names: Destry & Lanny
Occupations: Destry is a design drafter, Lanny was an administrator for a private travel company but currently attends business school full-time
Wedding location: Kingston, Idaho
Wedding date: July 27, 2013
Wedding budget: My crazyperson spreadsheet tells me our final total was $4,300-ish. We didn’t give ourselves a hard maximum. Instead, we decided to spend by priority. Neither of us gave two hoots about centerpieces or expensive favors; instead we cared about food and photos and got INCREDIBLY lucky on both counts. While we spent a lot less than the national average, we still feel like we spent an enormous amount of money for one day.
Approximate guest count: We limited our invited guests to 40, but counted on 35 attending for sure. We only invited our immediate family members and very close friends. Destry is the oldest of five, so you can imagine that it adds up quickly.
How would you describe your wedding? At the risk of sounding cliché and ridiculous, I’d describe it as a balance of country, rustic and vintage. We kept it subtle though. We didn’t want guests to feel like we were beating them over the head with kitschy crap. We didn’t have time or energy to invest in kitschy crap either.
What was your favorite part of your wedding? It’s a cliché, but it’s so true: It’s really hard to choose one favorite. I would say that driving from our hotel to the venue together was so special and important to me. We both had a chance to be alone together, in our own car, just being together, quietly. Because we knew it was going to be such an emotional day, that short drive was so important to both of us.
We were lucky to have an equally-meaningful moment alone at the end of the night after everyone had left. The sky was inky black with bright stars and the barn was lit up with twinkling lights woven throughout the Virginia creeper that covered its entire frame; we stood silently at the top of the hill wrapped in a blanket, looking down upon the scenery and reflected on the deluge of pure love we’d experienced that day.
What did you splurge on? Without a doubt, the food and furniture were our most costly expenses. Our wedding was held over 60 miles from our home in Spokane. So, we felt it was important that we provide a really solid meal to our nearest and dearest if we were going to drag them to a mountain farm in the middle of the woods. Have you ever been to a wedding on a Saturday at 6:30 pm, only to find that it’s a cake and punch reception in the church gym/basement/lobby? Those are basically the worst (in my opinion) and we were against that at all costs.
Additionally, we really scored with a venue that embodied everything we hoped for and wanted to provide some aesthetic continuity by using furniture that didn’t clash. We found an up-and-coming furniture rental company out of North Idaho who provided some stunning pieces for us.
Also, I know it’s silly, but I totally went all out with my hair as well. I was pretty close with my hairdresser at that time, but after her two previous attempts at formal styles left me crying in the car we decided to go another direction. My hair is fairly long, but I wanted it longer for the wedding, so she offered to pick me up some extensions with her discount and color them to match my hair. After several unanswered texts and voicemails left me feeling like a jealous ex-girlfriend, I bought the hair myself and scheduled an appointment with someone else. I ended up spending a small fortune on the whole ordeal, but it felt worth it: $200 for the hair, $70 to color it, $50 for the trial and $100 for the wedding day style. (I feel compelled to note that I’m still pissed that I spent as much as I did on the day of the wedding because the salon’s active price list shows the trial hair as included in the total price.)
So, what became of my former stylist? Well, I finally heard from her three days before the wedding letting me know that she had blocked out the entire day and we could go get hair, color and style it starting at 9 AM. A note about that – the wedding took place on a Saturday, and the hair extension shop isn’t open on weekends, so despite the sketchy billing practices, I am glad I opted out.
What did you save on? Ev-er-y thing. We saved by doing our own flower arrangements – actually, we didn’t use flowers at all. We bought raw cotton online and put everything together. The allergic reaction was totally worth it. Picture, if you will, my then-fiancé and I in our non-air-conditioned kitchen, trimming and cleaning raw cotton bolls. We spent countless hours picking dried leaves out of the cotton so we could spend ADDITIONAL countless hours stringing each one just-so on jute twine and arranging them into our respective bouquet and boutonniere.
I had intended to splurge a little and treat myself to a morning of girly pampering, however that never materialized. I scheduled a makeup trial a few weeks prior to the wedding, but I didn’t feel that this woman was listening to me. I’m 30, and I don’t think it’s in my best interest to try out a new personal style on my wedding day. I’m old enough to understand what looks good and what works for me. Since I’m a jeans and hoodie kind of girl, you can imagine how hard it was to mask my disappointment when she revealed my potential makeup. Winged eyeliner and I are never going to be best friends, nor do I have aspirations of acquainting myself with berry lip-stain. Adding insult to injury, I paid $75 (after tipping, because I’m a doormat) for a look I couldn’t wait to wash off my face.
Ultimately, I didn’t feel that she was especially honest or talented so I lied and canceled my appointment about a week before the wedding, citing something about the cost being budget-prohibitive. The (supposedly) agreed-upon rate was $100 for both sessions, but I had already effectively paid the bulk of it after listening to her talk shit about everyone else in town while she applied makeup that didn’t match me or my coloring. After the rage-tears subsided, I went to Nordstrom (alone) and met with the only kind of makeup artist I can trust with utmost confidence – a gay man. I showed him a photo and he whipped my look into shape, directing me to all the right products and showed me how to recreate his work at home. I hugged him, and practiced nearly a dozen times before the wedding and I’m thrilled with my choice to do my own.
The piece-de-resistance, though, were our photographers. We happened to have two very close friends who are, not only incredibly talented, but provided their services for free. Without their generosity, as every bride knows, we would have EASILY doubled our expenses.
Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? Looking back, I would have asked more people to help. We would have had a little more fun during the planning stages if we’d allowed more folks help us out from the beginning. Instead, we stubbornly refused offers for help until much closer to the wedding date. That cotton-stringing party I mentioned above? Ultimately, my in-laws came to the rescue with four additional hands for stringing.
I can’t quite remember why we were so secretive about planning, but I suspect part of it had to do with a bizarre idea that someone might steal our ideas? Weddings make people crazy. Like, crazy-crazy.
What was your biggest challenge in planning? 1.) Hurt feelings. If I had known beforehand, how personally other people would take our wedding choices, we might have eloped. We received unsolicited suggestions, advice, and requests for invitations for people we’d never conceive of including in our celebration. It was an ongoing challenge of (and testament to) our patience, kindness, and ability to tolerate other people.
2.) Money. It would be so much easier to throw everything on a credit card, but that’s not our style for anything we do in life. We felt incredibly fortunate to have been in such a position that allowed us to do everything we needed and wanted to do on our own terms. Still, having more money might have abbreviated our timeline considerably but we don’t regret any of it.
What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? ALWAYS (and I mean ALWAYS) have a contingency plan. ALWAYS. For good measure, have three or four backups. We picked out a favorite restaurant to host our rehearsal dinner and made reservations to hold the date (I can’t remember if we paid a fee or not). A month before our wedding, my best friend drove up from Portland, Oregon for a bridal shower hosted by my mother-in-law and I had hoped to take her to dinner there … as we were walking up to the building, it dawned on me that they weren’t just not open, they were closed. Like, for good.
Obviously, we ate elsewhere, but I was determined to keep from getting ruffled by the situation. Later in the week, my fiancé and I ate at another restaurant that had recently undergone a major renovation and appeared to be a great place to host our rehearsal – so we booked it on the spot.
By sheer bad luck, we were forced to resume our search on June 17 (about a month before our wedding) because our second choice BURNED DOWN. I crowdsourced suggestions on Facebook and had friends beg me to stop ruining Spokane with our wedding. It was about this point that I stopped giving a shit about it but it turned out to be better than I ever could’ve imagined. A family-owned bar/café where we spend Saturday nights playing trivia stepped up to bat and hit a grand slam (those are the same sport, right?) with how they handled our dinner. We told them how much we could spend, the headcount, and offered a vague suggestion of the kind of food we liked. It was such a success that our families are still raving about it to this day.
What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding? It was a day full of love and laughter and ridiculously delicious food. Because we chose to invite literally nobody outside our immediate families and our closest friends it made the day so ridiculously special, I still struggle to elucidate my feelings.
Top 5 least favorite? We had a lot of people offer to help or provide something (mostly food) and we were far more comfortable hiring people to do that job for a number of reasons, including (but not limited to) sanitation. Remember, if you will, the comment above where I mention that the venue and our hometown are sixty miles apart – now imagine chicken salad, pasta salad, potato salad, and basically mayonnaise-based anything in someone’s back seat for nigh on two hours. Sounds like fun, right? Sorry to let the booster club down, but I’m not trying to battle diarrhea on my wedding night. For the sake of feelings, let’s just say it’s because I want everyone to have a good time and avoid being unfairly labeled bridezilla, okay?
One of my photographers is married to a former marine and bodyguard. Why on earth is that even remotely of consequence? Because my husband’s ex-girlfriend (one he’d broken up with before we even met; IN 2002.) has a super-adorable habit of making her presence known. Neither of us expected anything especially dramatic, but he studied photos as a precaution and kept her out of sight when she did, in fact, show up.
What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? “Just relax! It’ll all come together” – Everyone who ever planned a wedding but experienced a subsequently immediate Telenovela-style bout with amnesia. Nothing ever just “comes together” and anyone who suggests otherwise probably didn’t have a DIY wedding if you know what I mean. Are you fucking kidding me? RELAX? I am relaxed (sort of), but I am still allowed to give like, ONE shit about how this day goes down. Will I remember all of it, not likely; but I don’t expect to.
The best? From my older sister, more than ten years ago: “Wedding planning is so stupid. It is literally the DUMBEST thing I’ve ever done.” Having done it, I can confirm that she’s right. The wedding itself wasn’t stupid, but the kinds of things that consumed my thoughts throughout the planning process were so cosmically insignificant; but they felt so god damned essential in the moment.
Second best was between my husband and me – it became kind of a mantra between the two of us: “This is our party; our wedding is not our marriage.”
Any other bits of wisdom? Just Relaaaaax! Okay, I’m kidding … kind of. It’s easy to get upset and overwhelmed when people overstep boundaries, but standing up for yourself is the best thing you can do when you’re planning your wedding. I desperately wish I had just told a few vendors to piss off directly instead of skirting the issue as if their feelings were supposed to take precedent above mine. I wish I had been more assertive and direct when people acted in a way that made me feel like they were taking advantage of an emotionally charged event. But there’s nothing I can do about it now. (Except write some passive-aggressive Yelp! reviews.)
Oh, and don’t you dare listen to anyone who has the nerve to tell you that you must spend more or else your wedding won’t be “everything you ever dreamed of.” Your wedding will be everything you dreamed of because you’re marrying someone you love. Anyone who suggests otherwise is presumptuous, snide and condescending.
Wedding vendors and links:
Venue: French Gulch Farm and Garden, Kingston, ID
Furniture Rental: The Attic, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Catering: Couple of Chefs, Spokane, WA
Bride’s Makeup: BRIDE!
Flowers, bouquet and decor: Bride and Groom designed all decor using dried wildflowers and cotton purchased online. Tabletop arrangements were styled by Groom’s brother and sister in law. (Bride made bouquet, Groom made his own boutonniere)
Rings: Bride (same ring, except blue) Groom
DJ: iTunes, operated by Groom’s brother
Invitations: Designed Online, Printed at Home (We purchased the full suite; including save the dates, thank you cards, and custom map)
Photographers: Andrew Callaci (Portland) and Nicole Varnell (Spokane)
Coming up with a meaningful wedding ceremony from scratch proved to be quite the challenge! We ended up using many sources…traditional Christian ceremonies, literature we both loved, inspiration from wedding blogs, and my amazing Grandfather/officiant. In the end, I’m so so so happy with how personal and emotional our ceremony was! Here are a few highlights!
We used “Sigh No More” by Mumford and Sons as our processional music.
Walking down the aisle, I couldn’t believe it was finally happening! All I tried to do was breathe and stay present in the moment as much as possible. After some introductory words from my grandfather, one of our friends read our first reading, a poem by e.e. cummings that we love!
“i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)”
Instead of a unity candle, we decided to include a ritual that was much more “us” in our ceremony. So we planted a tree! Much of the credit for this idea goes to the awesome blog 2000 Dollar Wedding. We played “Old Pine” by Ben Howard while we got our Aspen sapling into the ground.
Grandpa: Zach and Carrie have chosen to symbolize their commitment here today by planting a tree with the help of their parents. Just as the love and support of their parents has helped them grow into the people they are today, so will the water and soil here support and nourish this tree. While it is now a small sapling, over time, with proper care, it will grow and flourish into a strong and mature aspen tree. Given the same care and attention, the marriage of these two will similarly flourish and prosper.
One of our best friends gave our next reading, a quote by Louis de Bernieres:
“Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And
when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether
your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you
should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness,
it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is
just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over
when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate
accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other
underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their
branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”
I loved how this quote also tied in the tree metaphor! Next was the hardest part: our vows! We wrote our own vows and didn’t share them with each other beforehand. I was so afraid I would start bawling! Zach went first, and I just tried to absorb his words without starting to cry!
Zach: When I met you, my life was good, but there was always something missing. After only a few dates, I knew you were the person I needed. I knew you were the one. I found a new satisfaction in life that was exciting and real. I felt whole.
Carrie, I love you because every day you expect me to be a better man than the day before. You’re never satisfied with the normal thing, only greatness.
I love you because there is no one like you in the world. You’re caring, thoughtful, and the funnest person that I have ever met.
I promise to love you no matter what. I promise to wake up every day with the thought of making our lives better. I promise to work as hard and as long as I need to make sure we accomplish all of our goals. I promise to listen to what you need and continue my quest to be your perfect partner. I cannot wait to spend my life with you.
Next was my turn! Ahhh!!! Thankfully, my acting training from back in the day kicked in, and I was able to keep a clear and strong voice, despite the emotional weight of the moment.
Carrie: Zach, when I met you, unexpectedly, the timing was horrible. But it didn’t take me long to fall in love with you. For the first time ever, I felt that my life was not all about me anymore. You were the first and only person who I ever considered changing my best-laid life plans for. When we were continents apart I laid under my African mosquito net and dreamed of our future together as I fell asleep. I think I knew, even then, that we would someday be standing where we are right now.
Zach, I love that you are constantly seeking to learn more about the world. I love how you can’t ever read a book or watch a movie without something making you say “I want to do that!” or “I want to go there!” I love that you are so calm under pressure, so laid back, and so optimistic and joyful about life. In you I find a balance I desperately need, and I am so grateful for that. I love that you have so many talents and are wildly successful at anything you try, from hockey, to science, to music, to cooking. Every day I am more proud that you are mine.
Zach, because I love you, I promise to always be by your side. To take care of you when you’re sick or sad or tired. To seek to understand you more every day. I promise to control my temper and impatience, to be a better partner for you every day. I promise to appreciate the ways in which we are different, as they make us perfectly compatible. I promise to use my skills and abilities to make all of our adventures unforgettable. I promise to support you and to prioritize our relationship no matter what obstacles we encounter.
Love, I believe, is an action and a choice and I will choose to love you even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, and even when I don’t want to. And I promise that I will be faithful to you, and God willing, we will keep exploring the world together until we are both old and gray.
Since we didn’t buy new or different wedding bands, we exchanged the same rings we had been wearing as engagement rings all along. The symbolism of rings was still an important part of the ceremony for us.
The rings on our fingers, we were almost done!
Grandpa: Forasmuch as Zachary and Carrie have consented together in holy wedlock and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have pledged their faith each to the other, and have declared the same by joining hands and by giving and receiving rings; by the power vested in me by the state of Arizona, I now pronounce them husband and wife. What God has joined together let no one put asunder. Zach, you may now kiss the bride!
For the closing of our ceremony, we couldn’t help but include the commonly-used but wonderful Apache Wedding Blessing. This blessing spoke perfectly to our love for travel, adventure, and each other!
“Now you will feel no storms,
for each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness,
for each of you is companion to the other,
You are two persons,
but there is one life before you, and one home.
Turn together to look at the road you traveled,
to reach this—the hour of your happiness.
It stretches behind you into the past.
Look to the future that lies ahead.
A long and winding, adventure-filled road,
whose every turn means discovery,
new hopes, new joys, new laughter,
and a few shared tears.
May happiness be your companion,
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead;
And through all the years to come.
Go this day to your dwelling place
and enter into your days together.
May your days be good and long
upon the earth.
Your adventure has just begun!”
As we recessed down the aisle in a haze of exhilaration, “That’s What’s Up” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros played and all of our guests clapped and cheered for us!
Totally unexpectedly, the recessional actually produced some of my favorite pics from our day! Aren’t the looks of pure joy on our faces just unbeatable?
Coming up next: Our homespun reception!
All photos copyright Bright Fizz Photo
A great place to begin personalizing your wedding is with the save the dates; while wedding stationery is often quite formal, save the dates give you the freedom to be a bit more quirky and fun. Now, you don’t need to send save the dates–depending on how soon you’re getting married, and the number of people you’re planning on inviting, they might be an unnecessary expense. However, if you’re six months or more out from your wedding date and you’re planning on inviting a number of people from out of town, save the dates are a great way to ask your friends and family to keep you in mind as they make plans for both the time and expense of travel. It’s also a great place to include your wedding website information if you’d rather not include it on the formal invitations. I know that as soon as I receive a save the date, I tack it up on the fridge so as not to forget–and looking at any of the following save the dates would make me smile every single time.
Seriously, how cute are these? So stinking adorable!
It takes the alloying of two metals to create rose gold: gold and copper. When blended together, they make a gorgeous pink hue that’s not only romantic, but also symbolic of the merging of your lives. On-trend for 2014 but also a classic, the blush tones of a rose gold wedding will be warm, inviting, and nothing short of breathtaking. To prevent rose gold overload, try mixing with cream…or for a fun pop of color, mint!
Clockwise from center:
Luella gown, BHLDN
Rosette flats, BHLDN
Essie Penny Talk, Amazon
Infinity Bracelet, Zulily
Arrow through heart necklace, Amazon
Rose gold hair comb, Treasures 570
Hanabi bridal belt, Something Ivory
Vintage morganite and diamond ring, Blue Nile
Rose gold plated wedding band, Amazon
Clockwise from center:
Watters Mahogany in Buff, Weddington Way
Butter London Champers, Amazon
Go for the Rose Gold Flat, ModCloth
Let Love Blossom necklace , ModCloth
Rose gold hair comb, LuluSplendor
Club Rochelier rose gold zip-around clutch, Amazon
Kate Spade Skinny Mini Bow Bangle, Nordstrom
Rose gold wishing tree guestbook, Krystles Weddings
Rose gold champagne burlap and lace bunting cake topper, A Fete Beckons
Rose gold caviar sequin linens, Joe’s Prophouse
Rose gold cake knife and server, The Vintage Wedding
Mr. Watters wedding invitations, Minted
Martha Stewart Rose Quartz craft paint, Amazon
Rose gold salad set, West Elm
DIY Wine bottles painted with Krylon Copper, Amazon
Listen up, aspiring wedding bloggers! BAB is looking for some real brides to share their grand adventure through Wedding World, a land of wonder, inspiration, financial pitfalls, DIY dragons, and etiquette monsters…a fellowship of real brides, if you will!
We’re looking for a newbie bride-to-be (or two, OR MORE) who is at least 6 months out from her wedding date to journal about her wedding planning journey. If you’re in the habit of keeping a personal blog or journal, if you love to engage with people via the magic of blogging, if you’ve got a fresh voice, an irreverent sense of humor, and you’re pulling your wedding together on a budget, you should definitely give this a shot.
Here’s what we’d like from all applicants: a brief letter of introduction, telling us who you are, where you are, when your big day is, and why it’s gonna be amazing. We of course want to know if you have any background experience writing and/or blogging, and a more-than-basic knowledge of WordPress is a HUGE bonus. We’d also love to see the two writing (or blogging) samples you’re most proud of. Please send all applications to Mellzah at email@example.com. Flowers and candy are always appreciated but will have no bearing on the final decision.
These are unpaid positions, but there is the possibility of paid work in the future. We do pay in love, appreciation, glowing recommendations, the occasional freebie, and of course, the opportunity to get your foot in the door of the wedding blogging biz! Please give this a lot of thought before you apply – we need contributors that will be timely, reliable, fabulous, and professional.
You guys, I gained like a lot of weight over the holidays. I wasn’t able to work out for about a month, and let my hormones take over my hunger, and the holidays hit, and my parents were here for two weeks, which consisted of taking them to all our favorite restaurants and always ordering dessert… and, well… you can imagine the implications. The puffy, flabby, droopy implications. The lethargic, lazy, sloppy fallout. It ain’t pretty. And it don’t feel good.
Honestly, I feel like poop. I had been doing so well earlier this year – working out regularly, eating well… and it was paying off! I felt slimmer, straighter, and stronger than ever. It was great. But now it feels like I’m back to square one, and I hate it. ESPECIALLY with my wedding coming up! So I’m taking back the reigns with a vengeance, and I’d love for you to join me!
Remember last fall when we ran our first DietBet? It was a huge success! Over 4 weeks, our team of 512 players lost a total of 3,000lbs! THREE THOUSAND! That’s like, a whole elephant, you guys. And it was incredibly fun! We had an awesome community vibe of encouragement and accountability. And I gave away awesome prizes. AND I’M GIVING AWAY EVEN MORE AWESOME PRIZES THIS TIME!
If you’re not familiar with the concept: It’s the hip new online social dieting game that has far more exciting stakes than just losing weight, or being healthier… if you reach your (very sensible, healthy) goal, you win money! And seriously, what’s better incentive than a healthier you AND free money? I sure do love me some free moneys…
Both times I’ve done a Dietbet, I’m just blown away by what a fantastic system it is. It seems like such a no-brainer for brides and grooms-to-be, because while I’m sure you’re beautiful just the way you are, what better prep for your wedding day than the glow that only a regular exercise regime and healthy diet can impart? I mean, I’m going for the glow, fo sho!
My next DietBet game for anyone who wants to join, starts Monday, January 6th.
I love that they set a goal of 4% weight loss. It’s such a healthy, achievable goal. No more than 2lbs per week for most people, it’s definitely attainable. In my last bet, I had to lose 7lbs over the course of the 28 days. It wasn’t too intimidating, and that gave me confidence going in. The buy-in was $25, and we had a lot of successful participants in that bet, so everyone won $40 at the end – making a $15 profit! But I have friends who’ve done Bets where they won over $100 each. It all depends on how many people achieve their goal. But the best part is, as long as you meet your goal, you get at minimum, your initial bet back. So, it’s more like a deposit toward your health, rather than an expense.
I also love the community aspect. There’s a cheerboard, where we can log workouts, food choice successes and slip-ups, and cheer each other on. It has such a positive, supportive vibe around it, and it kept me engaged – checking in frequently – which kept me on task with my progress and consistently motivated toward my goal. There is no set diet or exercise plan. How you do it is up to you!
Want more information on how it works? Check out this cute video explaining the system:
To sweeten the deal, I’m giving away one fun, health-or-fitness related prize per week to random participants, as added motivation to keep powering through to the finish line. And at the end of the bet, I’ll be giving $100 gift card from Amazon to one of the “winners” who successfully lost 4% of their weight! During the last Bet, some of our prizes included a FitBit One, the Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred DVD, or an OXO good grips food scale, for example.
Speaking of Fitbit, if any of you use one to track your activity, please add me so we can be FitBit friends and encourage eachother there as well! Paul and I are always competing for steps and achievements. It’s so easy, we just clip them on in the morning, and go about our day!
I’ll also be sharing daily health, diet, and fitness tips on the DietBet cheerboard, and will do a weekly round-up post here celebrating our achievements. I hope to make it as informative and educational as well as inspirational and fun!
Remember the DietBet starts a week from today – on Monday January 6th. The buy-in is $25, and remember, if you lose a mere 4% of your weight, you’ll win it back and probably more! The more who play, the bigger the pot, so come play and invest in your health before holiday season hits! Click here to join in the fun, and spread the word to all your friends!
Got a question for Liz? Go to the Contact page and let us know what’s up!
How do I put on a wedding with only $6,000 to spend?
6k or Bust
How? Carefully. Think, small, pretty and on sale. The important thing is to stick to a budget. My rule is that 50% – $3,000 in your case – should be reserved for your ceremony and reception site fee, AND your catering. Don’t let it go over that amount. The best way to stay under a low budget is to keep our guest list short, or in Wedding World parlance, “intimate.” Each guest is a meal, a favor, and a piece of cake. 10 guests is a table that needs a centerpiece. Venues – Google state parks and city-owned venues and historic sites and museums in your area. Bonus points if they have chairs and tables you can use. Restaurants with large private dining rooms. Restaurants are also a great source if you have to/want to bring in your own catering – start with your favorite ones. And, if you’re bringing in your own catering, bring in your own alcohol and limit the choices.
The other 50%. Flowers – small, elegant, and seasonal. Photographer – again, the “rule” is 5 -10% of your budget so that’s $600, at the highest. I’m in L.A, and that’s umm, tough out here, and it sounds like it would be really, really, really tight elsewhere, too. Google, it in your area, though – Never scoff at Google, there’s no point. Try not to settle on quality, pics are one of the few things you’re walking away with. But, don’t expect an album, don’t expect unlimited shooting hours, think 4-6 hours, max. Work with them, so they can work with you. Cake – coordinated roughly 100 weddings, cake always gets left behind. I’m serious. Go small, cut the cake into even smaller pieces. Attire! Wedding dresses are always, always, always on sale, everywhere. Right now is a good time to shop, because they are clearing out 2013 styles to make way for 2014. 2013 was very pretty, so no pouting. You can not afford Vera Wang. You may not be able to afford pre-owned Vera Wang. You will be able to find something that looks fantastic on you.
I know I left some points out, but feel free to ask questions in the comments. I also have a Budget Wedding Tips Pinterest board if you want to take a look. All I can add is if you start to freak out (as one inevitably does) that you’re not finding stuff you can afford, take a deep breath and repeat after me: “Keep looking. I have time.”
When I should I send out wedding invitations?
ASAP on the RSVP
It depends on how many guests are coming from out of town. Three months if that’s less than 25%, four months if it’s more than 25%. Plane travel isn’t getting any cheaper! Save the Dates are great, but people generally wait until they get the invitation to book their flight and hotel. Set your RSVP date for at least three weeks before you have to give your final count to your venue/caterer, because you will have to track down AWOLS, people who have “forgotten” to get back to you. That’s “will have to,” not “might have to.” That being said, make sure your guest list spreadsheet includes email addresses and phone numbers.
So, how are you swinging your wedding for $6k or less? Worried about your wedding guests from out of town? Let us know in the comments below! And, if you would like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.
See you at the end of the aisle,
BABs, let’s talk paper. There’s a lot of paper involved in weddings, from checklists, to contracts to the copious amount of dollar bills you shell out, to your invitation suite: the pièce de résistance of wedding paper. And man, they can be expensive, with add-ons like RSVP cards, self-addressed envelopes and rehersal dinner invites, adding hundreds to your final tally.
But Broke-Ass partner MagnetStreet takes the pain out of paper products and helps you keep some of your hard-earned cash in your wallet. With a plethora of free samples (paper samples, color swatches, custom artwork downloads, photo booth props … just to name a few), and a ridiculous amount of customization options and customer service options that will put your mind at ease, MagnetStreet is a no-brainer for wedding stationery shopping.
Add in some rockin’ tools, like being able to save your color palette and shop accordingly, as well as budget guides and checklists, MagnetStreet has got your back for a multitude of wedding planning conundrums.
- Spend $100, get $15 off
- Spend $200, get $40 off
- Spend $300, get $75 off
- Spend $500, get $150 off
So head on over and start your planning the wedding invitation suite o’ your dreams.