Broke-Ass Category: Shannon

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Affiliate Disclaimer NewChampagne Flutes

It’s kind of a no-brainer when it comes to saving money — full open bars are a huge money sink. Not only are they expensive, but if you’re DIYing the B-A-R, you have the impossible task of reading people’s mind to figure out just how much gin, tequila and bourbon you need to have ready to serve up. In general, the fewer choices you have, the less you end up spending, but when our bar tab was counted, adding a couple of signature cocktails really saved bank! If you’re on the fence, let me give you my two cents … in the end it may be worth two grand (give or take)!

Not everyone loves beer or wine.

My attitude is kind of, hey, free is free and you don’t complain about free, but for people who just lean toward hard liquor, it doesn’t hurt to have an option or two. You can keep options as simple as a vodka-soda or bourbon and Coke, then add something fruity or seasonal, which tends to appease people who aren’t frequent drinkers.

You can control the price and the alcohol percentage.

Let’s face it: when you’re serving up free booze, some people have a tendency to overindulge. Whether you have the freedom to bring pre-mixed cocktails or your bartender has to serve them up on location, you don’t have to pour those drinks too stout. On top of that, if you’re mixing things up (particularly something fruity) it’s totally acceptable to grab a cheap handle. Keep something top shelf for the family and close friends if you want, but high-dollar rum is pretty superfluous in a daiquiri.

Make it about you.

By all means, serve something you like, especially if you can take unserved alcohol home. We offered our guests a basic rocks margarita because we’re in Texas where margs are a way of life and anyone who doesn’t like them is treated as suspect. Then to welcome the first weekend of fall, we whipped up a few gallons of apple pie “moonshine” (but substituted vodka for Everclear because, drunken toasts) a few weeks ahead of time. It keeps for months, tastes better the longer it sits and is a regular crowd pleaser at parties and on Amazon Prime-and-Commitment nights at home. We polished off the final leftovers a couple months later at my birthday party!

It just makes cents.

Literally. All said and done, purchasing beer and wine from Sam’s Club, each bottle of beer ran about a buck a piece and each glass of wine a little less than a dollar. Each 8-ounce cocktail serving ran just under 50 cents and they were a huge hit. We did  over-purchase for the bar by a bit, but all in all we served about as many cocktails as we did beer and wine combined, so it turned out to be a smart decision for the money.

Like most things wedding related, what you serve behind the bar is only limited by your creativity! A boozy lemonade can be fancied up with some berry infusion. Simple liquor-mixer combos get taken to the next level with herbs or ginger root. Give your creation a cute name that holds a special meaning to you and your favorite or keep it classic. Your guests will love the options and you’ll love the savings!

Did you serve signature cocktails at your wedding? What did your guests love? Let us know in the comments below!

  • 8/23

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewIf you’re anything like me, you’ve been mad crushing on all the gorgeous agate and geode details popping up in wedding and home decor lately. With a little investigation, you probably found that lots of these pieces aim to break your budget super-fast, so that’s why I’m hear to share the fruit of my trial-and-error labors. A word of warning: this project calls for Mod Podge super glossy and that comes with a four-week curing time (!!!), so if your wedding date is fast approaching, get started quickly so you have plenty of drying time!

    To get these pretties going, grab a square or rectangular glass candle holder, pick out 4-5 colors of polymer clay from the same color family. You’ll want plenty of contrast with lights and darks. You’ll also need some glossy Mod Podge, a rolling pin (or empty wine bottle!), gold craft paint and a fine paint brush, coarse salt like rock salt or sea salt and a regular metal spoon.

    agate geode DIY step oneStart by rolling each of your clay colors into individual snakes. For reference, a 4x4x4 cube takes about 2 1/2 total blocks of clay to cover. Twist all of the cords together into one and roll them into a ball. Let the colors get marbled, but don’t over-mix them. While you can still see the individual colors, roll them out into one flat sheet.

    agate geode DIY step two

    Wrap your clay sheet around the four sides of the candle holder, pressing the seams down with the back side of the spoon. Seal the top side down, making sure there is no air between the clay and the glass. You can save the extra clay for future projects.

    Agate geode DIY step three

    Choose a side to add your “crystal” and dig out an organic shape with the tip of your spoon, following the lines created in your clay for the most natural shape. You can see where I had a big spot that over-mixed and created an ugly, muddy color; this is the perfect way to get rid of something you don’t like! As you dig out the clay, make sure to press the edges down to seal it to the glass. Pop your candle holder in the oven according to the clay’s directions (usually about 15 minutes at 275). Your piece will be hot for about an hour, so this is a great time to practice if you’re hoping to make a large batch for your wedding!

    agate geode DIY step four

    Once your candle holder is cool enough to handle, take the gold paint, and trace around the edges of the hole you made. You can also add gold “veins” along some of the naturally occurring lines in the clay for some added sparkle!

    agate geode DIY step 5

    Once your gold paint is dry (which should only be a couple minutes), take your spoon and carefully drizzle a little of the Mod Podge into your cavern, but only fill it about half-way up.

    agate geode DIY step six

    Now we get to make the faux-crystal using salt! I had the most success by using a super-coarse rock salt around the edges, then sprinkling a coarse sea salt throughout and finishing with a more finely ground sea salt to fill in any gaps. Use your fingertip to press the salt into your Mod Podge and if anything still feels loose, you can drizzle more to set it. Once you have the crystal portion created, leave it flat and allow it to dry overnight.

    agate geode DIY step seven

    Once the crystal portion is sufficiently set, you can finish the entire piece with Mod Podge to give it a polished, shiny look. Just be aware that it takes about four weeks to cure and will need to be stored in a sealed container to keep it from accumulating dust. The best part is, these not only make gorgeous additions to your wedding tablescapes, but beautiful gifts, or even home decor to give you that sweet reminder of one of your best days ever!

    agate geode DIY display

    Have you tried this DIY? What colors did you use? We’d love to see the results in the comments below!


    This DIY was originally posted on Little Wedding Extras and happily shared with BAB readers!

  • 7/26

    Ah, the craft store ... for the DIY couple, it can start to feel like a second home. There are paints and paper, ribbons and trim and if you really start looking, you may start to realize that a lot of this stuff is really expensive. When it comes down to it, craft stores and the supplies therein are usually marketed towards women. If you're…

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    Continuing to work with couples long after my I Dos have been said, it's easy to get this feeling of, "Ah, damn! I wish I had done something like that!" From impossibly cute to just downright creative, I'm constantly amazed by how inventive and fun the couples I get to work with through Little Wedding Extras can be. Now that we've put away three weddings…

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    “Is that too weird?” Every time I hear the question I just want to reach over, squeeze the person’s hand and smile. In a word, nope. Listen closely here, friends: Weddings are all about celebrating who you are as a couple and we all have little things about our relationship that are weird. Some couples hurl insults at each other that just turn out to…

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    The thing with planning a wedding that gets to a lot of couples is that it feels like there are so. many. decisions. that, in the grand scheme of things, seem pretty inconsequential, but when it comes to the event that is your wedding actually make a big difference. It really is OK to waver back and forth between linen colors and wonder if you should…

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    I cooked this fun little geometric garland project up for Little Wedding Extras, but this has all the makings of a great DIY or DIE project: A.) It's super easy. You trace, cut, fold and glue or tape. Painting is totally optional. B.) It doesn't have to be wedding-specific. I love a project that can be recycled for home use later. (Christen is using this for #babything's…

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    So, uh, this is weird, even if it is really wonderful. It may not be weird for you if, say, your parents divorced in your childhood as many people's did, but after 36 years and a whole lot of hell, my parents called it quits. That's not the weird part. In fact, I'm about as happy about the situation as an adult kid can be. I…

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    Newlywed bliss. Sunshine and rainbows. Honeymoon phase. Society likes to imply that getting married magically transforms life into this beautiful, perfect thing, but then you hear that sage nugget: “The first year of marriage is the hardest.” Wait. I’m confused. I rarely feel bliss when I’m dealing with something that isn’t just hard, but hardest. I love a good challenge, but I’m not typically twirling…

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