Broke-Ass Tag: wedding favors


Credit: Little Wedding Extras

It has come to my attention that I may be a cheap-ass rather than a minimalist. Earlier this week, a friend called me in a crisis asking me for ideas on favors she might be able to do for another friend’s bridal shower. She was out of time, trying not to spend a lot and trying not to put forth that much effort. Other than being proud of myself for being the person she called to help her brainstorm on how to meet all those objectives, I was befuddled and admitted:

“I’m not even sure we’re doing favors for the wedding.”

Nonetheless, like a good friend, I hopped on Pinterest and we had a quick brainstorming session. Of course, I got some ideas for things we could do for favors, but all I kept coming back to was, “How much are those going to cost?”

Now, we, as a collective group of Broke-Asses can appreciate the self-reflection of “how much does that cost?” But I’m wondering if I’ve taken it too far. I’m wondering if my refusal to pay for “trivial” things (favors, an aisle runner, chair covers, most everything in any article with a title that includes “must have”) is making me look more like a cheap-ass and less like an economically-minded minimalist.

I think this also falls back to my last post about being an anti-bride.

I never dreamed of my wedding day as a girl. I did indulge in college with my suitemates on a $10 Knot magazine and we all took turns flipping through it and earmarking pages with all the pretty things we liked on them. But that was pretty much the sum of my “wedding fever.” I can’t say I didn’t have “groom fever” that may have been mislabeled as “wedding fever” — a common misconception, IMO. But since Timo proposed, my approach to all things wedding has been to be as practical as possible.

Part of me wonders if I will regret not splurging more (more, as if we aren’t already spending $10,000) and “investing” in the little things. But when I seriously think about it, my final thoughts at the end of the day are that I’d rather save money because we’re probably just going to forget about trivial details and be able to actually invest our money into memories we will have on our honeymoon … like diving the Great Barrier Reef.

Do people actually care about favors?

Side question: How many coozies is it socially acceptable to own? What happens to discarded coozies? Is there a coozie heaven? Why are coozies so popular?

Also, I am making it a point not to get caught up in the hype of all the MUST DO things. I don’t care about a sit down meal and as Timo said, I’d rather serve delicious food than overpriced “good” food. I don’t care about putting our wedding hashtag on everything. I don’t care about chair covers. I don’t care about table numbers or place cards. I don’t even care about a send off, despite knowing how cool some of the photos could be if we used glow sticks or sparklers.

At the end of the day, I want to be married, maybe have a few good pictures by my very well-paid photographer (OK, wayyy more than a few based on how much I’m paying him), maybe video evidence that we wrote our own vows and promised “for forever” and have gotten to eat the BBQ and cupcakes we are paying for. Oh yeah, and maybe to have a few adult beverages and not completely fail at the first dance we are paying to learn.

This is where my groom comes in.

If he cares about these things, I tell him to act on these tasks, otherwise, it becomes a money saving opportunity.  For now, I’m going to cling tight to my title as a Broke-Ass Bride and use it as a cost-savings opportunity.

PS. I swear that if he tells me in the next three months that he wants to do coozies as a favor for our guests, I’m going to throw the coozie drawer (yep, there are so many they have their own drawer) at him … with LOVE.


  • 12/13

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    Cupcake paper mason jar embellishment

    Ah the holidays, a wonderful time of year where families hemorrhage money trying to get each other awesome and thoughtful gifts. I don’t know about your broke ass, but mine has a long list of people that I’m obligated to gift to. When I was still in college (and even more broke), I struggled to check everyone off my list with the least abuse to my wallet possible. I’m one of those rare people that LOVE everything gift related, like crafting, wrapping, giving and receiving gifts. My fiancé Michael’s family is really big into homemade gifts. Gift cards are simply not as thoughtful as say, a hand-knitted scarf or homemade cookies. With that in mind, Michael and I have always tried to make at least one gift each year. In the really poor years, sometimes those were the only gifts people might receive from us. Some projects are really simple to set up an assembly line to make several. I also like to make a few spares for the just-in-case gifts. These I wrap (or bag) in non-Christmas specific paper and attach blank tags to. They get stuck in the closet along with a pen. This keeps me covered when Great Aunt Ethel decides to drop in for a random visit with a gift after not being around for the past 10 years. You look like a total rock star when you come out of the hall closet bearing a pre-wrapped gift that is “already” sporting her name.

    Here are three of my favorite handmade gifts that even the most DIY-challenged person should be able to handle:
    Real Bride Danielle's Santa Cookie Mix

    Santa Cookie Mix in a Jar

    Cookies in a Jar
    Skill Level: Easy

    Items Needed: See jar recipe below
    My family always has mason jars lying around from canning food. The quart mason jars make perfect cookies in a jar. No, not pre-cooked cookies, but cookie mix that you layer in a jar all pretty like to impress your friends and family. I’ve also heard them called sand art cookies.

    I used Avery 22802 Printable Tags and Avery 22808 Round Labels to jazz up these jars, but only because I already had them lying around from a different project (vanilla extract). I used the Avery Design & Print tool on their website to print up these cute labels. You can also use a cupcake wrapper on the top lid to give it some flare.

    Real Bride Danielle's Santa cookie Mix gift idea

    Here’s the recipe for the cookie jars:

    1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup rolled oats
    3/4 cup M&Ms
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup sugar
    Approximately 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

    1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add to quart mason jar
    2. Layer remaining ingredients in order listed above, packing tightly with each layer
    3. Force about 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips into the very top and secure with lid. I was able to get up to as much as 3/4 cups of chocolate chips into some of my jars, but only by brute force
    4. Embellish jars and add the following instructions

    1 Jar Cookie Mix
    1 stick softened butter
    1 beaten egg
    1 tsp vanilla extract

    Baking Instructions:
    Empty jar in large bowl and sift together
    Fold in butter, egg and vanilla
    Roll into walnut sized balls
    Place 2” apart on greased cookie sheet
    Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes

    Cost to make 12
    Dry Ingredients: about $30, but I had most of this stuff in my pantry already
    32 oz (quart) Mason Jars: I had these laying around.  Case of 12 on Amazon $25

    Total price:  ~$55
    Price per jar: ~$5

    Real Bride Danielle's Homemade Vanilla Extract

    Homemade Vanilla Extract

    Vanilla Extract
    Skill level: Easy

    Items Required:
    Sealing bottle
    Vanilla beans
    Plain Vodka (at least 80 proof)

    This one is a bit pricier and won’t be completely ready in time for Christmas, but makes a great any time gift. I got the 8 oz jars from Everything Kitchen (but you can also get them from Amazon here). I made 15 bottles of this, so I bought 1/2 lb of vanilla beans from Beanilla, but the general rule is you need at least 3 beans per 8 oz of vodka. I used Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Grade B beans. I found the cheapest, least flavored vodka my local liquor store had.  The Avery 22808 labels were used on my bottles, but you can use whatever you wish to embellish your bottles.

    1. Wash and sanitize glass bottles
    2. Cut 3 vanilla beans in half. Take the halves and split them lengthwise to expose the vanilla inside. I left mine split but not completely separated since they seemed to go into the jar easier.
    3. Put the three beans into 8oz jar. Pour vodka on top until nearly full, leaving a bit of space at the top. Cover tightly and store in a cool dark place for at least 8 weeks. Shake the jars weekly to help the process along. The beans can be removed after 8 weeks.

    Cost to make 15
    8oz glass bottles: $45 (with shipping)
    1/2 lb vanilla beans: $65
    1.75L Vodka: $10

    Total: $120
    Price per jar: $8

    Real Bride Danielle's Handmade Corn Heating Pad

    Handmade Corn Heating Pad

    Heating pads
    Skill level: Easy
    Special Skills Needed: Ability to sew a vaguely straight line

    Items Required:
    100% cotton fabric- prewashed
    Sewing materials
    Whole kernel corn

    Supplies to make homemade heating pad

    Heating pad supplies

    This year’s gift is corn heating pads. They can be heated in the microwave or frozen for hot/cold therapy. You can find whole kernel corn at your local farm supply. I got a 50lb bag for $9 at Tractor Supply Co, but you can get it in smaller bags if you ask. I happen to be making 20-30. You can make these any size and shape. I decided to make mine long and skinny. I’m using 2 fat quarters on mine, one for the heating pad, one for a sleeve.

    1. I took a fat quarter and folded it in half the long way inside out. I cut three inches off the end of mine, but cutting isn’t necessary.
    2. Next, stitch it on the bottom and long side, leaving the top open, and flip outside right.
    3. I filled mine in sections, pinned off that part to keep the corn mostly in, and stitched the section closed. This way all the corn doesn’t fall to the bottom but creates an even heating experience.
    4. Repeat until full. Stitch top shut.
    5. I made a slightly larger sleeve to go over mine to keep it clean, but, the sleeve isn’t necessary.

    Cost to make 12
    Using only 1 fat quarter: $36
    50lb bag of corn: $9

    Total Cost: $45
    Price per pad: $4

    Hopefully I gave you enough time to get your craft on and make some sweet hand made gifts for the holidays this year.

    Do you make gifts for your loved ones? What are some of your tried ‘n’ trues?

  • 7/29

    As if it even needs mentioning, we're suckers for some yummy food and delish beverages. I mean, #duh, right? Natch, we like to spread the wealth and share our fave goodies with our friends, family and even wedding guests (we've been known to espouse the concept that favors should be skipped unless they can be eaten or drank). So, for this Five for Friday, we're…

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    When it comes to weddings, it's easy to feel like you have to wow people with grand gestures. But some of the most effective and memorable things I've seen at weddings (and on Pinterest!) have been simple and small -- but well thought out. Here's a few I'd like to share with you: 1) Insta-face seating plan I recently attended a beautiful wedding with loads…

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    I'm kind of a huge fan of a bride and groom rocking sunglasses on their wedding day. Now, not necessarily during the ceremony or during some of the more sweet, serious moments, but certainly while hanging around at cocktail hour and of course on the dance floor and photo booth because, ... #duh. Even better? When said sunglasses are pimped just for you by our homies…

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    BABs, I have a confession: I have taken a serious break from wedding planning over the last two months. I know, I know; how could I with only 4.5 months(!) to go? To be completely honest with you, real life has been getting in the way. We spent a lot of time and funds over the holidays, and we even settled on a house last…

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    Seed bomb favors from Beau-Coup Dear Heather, Is it absolutely necessary to have favors aside from goodie bags you give to your traveling guests? Brittney Dear Brittney, No. I'm so incredibly tempted to just leave it at that ... you have no idea. However, I'm guessing some of you would appreciate a little elaboration. When it comes to a legally-binding wedding, the only things truly necessary…

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    We know that invitations are one of the first elements of your wedding that convey the look and feel guests can expect on the big day. We also know that wedding invitations can be super pricey. And holy bananas, are there options! Foil, letterpress, embossed, pocket, flat, square, shapes, laser cut ... where do you even begin to begin? Made with PicMonkey Well, you can…

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