budgeting

Now, I am all for making weddings look like a million dollars. Everyone wants the best for their big day, but it doesn’t mean you have to break the budget. Today I am going to share a few of my favorite money saving techniques that will effectively save you money!

1. God Bless Groupon. I know most people imagine groupon as a source for weekend getaways and half price mani pedis, but did you ever think that this could be applied to your wedding? Some helpful printing companys like vistaprint or zazzle could easily cut prices for save the dates and invites. Other services such as photography and photo booth rentals can be found on groupon and the deals are amazing! Head on over to groupon and see where you can save!

2. Do the DIYs. Admit it, your pinterest board is filled to the brim of wedding crafts you want to get to. So  here’s a challenge, actually do it! Do not resort to buying the easy things that you could DIY on etsy. For instance, I found some table numbers on Etsy that were $95. This was only for number one through ten! I bought the supplies at Hobby Lobby and did it myself for less than three dollars a piece. Have confidence and give it a try!

3. Research! Don’t just settle with the first invite you find or florist you like. Shop around and see if there are any better deals out there! In the wedding industry, there are a lot of different options! For instance, you may like one invite design on Minted, but you could get the same style at Wedding Paper Divas for 20% off if you are a Costco member. Be smart and plan out what you want, need, and the best vendor to provide it for you!

Where have I been?

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I’ve been sorta MIA the past week or so and I am terribly sorry! I was too busy roaming among the great cornfields of Iowa! I spent some much need quality time with my family and also made my way up to the Mall of America in Minnesota. Anywho, I am so excited to see all of the people who have taken the time to view this site (even while I am away)! Stay tuned for some new wedding details coming soon…

ooneidacollage

Oneida and Caleb have been such big blessings in my life! They are the directors for the University of Arizona Chi Alpha and they are always ready and willing to serve. Their love story is one I love to hear over and over again. Check out what Oneida has to say today. I love her words of wisdom and quirky perspective!

Wedding Date: March 7, 2010

Favorite Thing about being married: Where do I start? I love being married. But my most favorite thing is learning more what marriage means every day. At the beginning, I would get frustrated about stuff – like if we didn’t see eye to eye or couldn’t figure out things in our relationship. I would see it as something impossible to overcome or a mark that something was wrong with us. Caleb would always point us to God and say ‘one day at a time’. Over time, I’ve learned that instead of seeing these challenges as negative, I see them as something positive and incredible. That I get to learn how to be married for the rest of my life and that the commitment we made means that I get to learn and grow in love and respect for him for the rest of my life. I really love that marriage has made me a more humble, respectful, honest, loving, understanding person. And I only will become more of that as time goes on, because trust me, there is a lot more!

Most Unique Thing about Your Wedding: I don’t think our wedding was very unique, but we certainly felt like everyone was there to have a good time, that they really came to see us get married and didn’t care about what everything looked like or any of those other things that seem so important about a wedding but in the end, are not. We know this because we had an outdoor wedding and it rained. Hard. Like ice cold, pouring down, windy rain. One of my favorite wedding memories is, right before I stepped out of the door to walk down the aisle, the owner of the house where we got married held out my umbrella and whispered to me, “You have the best guests we’ve ever had.” Later I learned that they asked the crowd if they would rather wait for the rain to subdue or start the wedding and they gave up a big cheer and said “Let’s do it!!!” The owner and his family kept thanking us for being so accommodating about the rain and saying that our guests were the most kind and fun people. I couldn’t have been more proud of our family and our community.

Something You Learned about Your Spouse Post Wedding: Caleb is a reserved person, so it has been great seeing sides to him that no one (or very few people) get to see. I learned that there is so much more to him than what he shows to others and that not everyone desires to show off who they are or what they do to the world. He loves to do things for people and doesn’t care if they know that it is him or not. For example, once he secretly fixed our friend’s car window. He bought the part and snuck over to his house with his tools and fixed it while he was at class or work or something. I got super excited too, and I asked Caleb, ‘What did he say???” And Caleb replied that he hadn’t even told him that he did it. He just wanted him to be surprised. I think eventually the guy found out it was Caleb but I just loved that Caleb didn’t even think of telling him. He loves serving people and doesn’t expect any credit for it.

Favorite Place for Date Night: We are working harder on going out on dates. I got pregnant after 2 months of marriage and we had 2 kids right in a row, and we weren’t very diligent about making time for ourselves. Also, we work a lot of nights, so we end up doing more date lunches/days. My favorite date so far has been going to the thrift store and buying random things or challenging each other to buy clothes that are more outside of the box for us. I like doing things that don’t include just sitting and eating because Caleb is more of an introverted person and not a conversationalist, so doing more active things helps.

Biggest Word of Marriage Advice: Your marriage is more important than what you want and it’s more important than being right. It is a commitment and a covenant that you made that is bigger than yourself. It is an opportunity to be a part of something bigger and more complicated and more beautiful and stronger than you could ever be and you have to treat it that way.

lyric

lyr8

I have known Lyric for more than ten years and I was lucky enough that she agreed to be my first interview in my new little Monday segment, “Meet my Married Friend”.  This interview is simply a way to celebrate marriage and all the quirky, unique qualities each couple has! So today it’s time to read what Lyric has to say…. (Be prepared for some precious overload!)

Wedding Date: October 6, 2012

Most unique thing about your wedding: The moment we started planning our wedding we agreed that we wanted our “set up” to be a little different than most weddings. First of all, we wanted our guests to be able to choose any seat they wanted, rather than choosing a side. One of my biggest fears was walking down the aisle and looking to the left only to find “my side” was much less full than my soon-to-be husband’s! Seriously. Legitimate fear. So we simply gave them the option to sit wherever they wanted. Thanks to Pinterest, we found a really cute way to go about that change. Pinterest can be such a life saver! Second, we decided that we wanted to face our guests instead of turning our backs to them. After all, they were there to see us! We stood on an elevated deck and the minister stood at the bottom of the steps. Such a simple change, but it gave a whole new perspective to the friends and family that came to share our special day with us.

Favorite thing about being married: The best thing about being married, also the thing I looked most forward to, is not parting ways after saying goodnight. Before our wedding, my husband and I would stay awake as long as we could in order to spend time with one another, not knowing when our busy schedules would allow us to see each other again. Now, we say goodnight, I give him a kiss, and I’m comforted knowing he’s by my side all night long and that he will be there when I wake up. Not only do I get a full night sleep, but wondering when we will see each other next is a thing of the past!

Something you learned about your spouse post- wedding: I learned that my husband has a particular way he wants the toothpaste tube to be squeezed. Sounds silly, right? Not to him. It’s crucial. I’m one to squeeze the tube at any random point, I often lose the lid, and sometimes the toothpaste gets all gooey where the lid used to be. My husband squeezes from the bottom and works his way to the top, insuring that not one drop goes to waste! Needless to say, I’ve learned to change my sloppy ways!

Favorite purchase as a married couple: My favorite purchase as a married couple is our house. Hands down. Neither of us had ever been home owners before, so that was the icing on that big, beautiful wedding cake! After searching apartment after apartment, and rental house after rental house, the perfect home for us fell into our laps. It has so much character, a yard for our dogs, and best of all, it’s all ours.

Favorite place for date night: Right in our very own living room. We gather all of the blankets and pillows we can find, set them on top of a few giant beanbags, plop it all right in front of our TV, and slip in one of our favorite movies. Just goes to show, you don’t need to spend money to have a fun date night!

Biggest word of marriage advice: Serve before you demand. I honestly believe it is the key to a happy marriage. When you begin to serve your spouse, they will want to serve you in return. Keep in mind, this isn’t a way to trick your significant other into doing what you want, but rather a way to show your appreciation. Trust me, it will make a huge difference.

friday

In the wedding world, Fridays mean one thing…more weddings! If you are a wedding planner, your work schedule is surrounded by wedded bliss all weekend long. Now more than ever people are choosing to save the date for a Friday! Surely, it is not the traditional Saturday night wedding, but who said your wedding has to live up to all these rules? While I am not getting married on a Friday, I have known plenty of people who have gone this route and it’s a smart choice! It’s certainly cost effective and it gives your guests the whole weekend to recover from your once in a lifetime event. If you have chosen a Friday wedding date, there is one big situation you must consider…Your Wedding Party! I understand it is your wedding, but that does not give you the permission to be inconsiderate. Therefore, if you choose to have your wedding on a Friday, make sure your wedding party knows as soon as possible. This way they know that they have to be there by Thursday night for your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner because to be honest, a Thursday rehearsal isn’t always as convenient as a Friday for those who have work, families, etc.  Simply give them enough time to get it all figured out. Overall, Fridays are an outstanding option and gives your out of town guests a little time to explore your city before they have to head home. Just don’t forget your dear Wedding Party in the process! 😉

sweat

It’s the age old story…The woman gets the ring so she obviously needs to hurry and get in perfect shape for the best day of her life. Trust me, I have already had moments where I try to strategize a way to look ideal on my wedding day. I first want to say, do not worry about the pressure of “looking perfect” because no matter what you look like on that day, you will look perfect. I’ve always heard your wedding day is the best day of your life so please do not ruin it for yourself! Love yourself! Today I am sharing a few tips and tricks that have helped me being my sweating for the wedding journey. I hope you enjoy and if you have any words of advice let me know! I’ll be sure to keep you all updated!

list1   This method to my madness is probably the most effective. One has to realize if you are going to lose the weight, it is not going to drop off automatically (I wish!). Therefore, set mini goals along the way. 5, 10, or 15 pounds can all be markers depending on how much you want to lose. If time is permitting, set wedding related goals! Things like  ” I want to lose _____ pounds before I try on wedding dresses” or ” I want to lose _______ pounds before we take our engagement photos”. If you’re engagement length allows for these types of goals, then set them! It kind of tricks my mind because I am thinking about how excited I am to get there rather than how long it is taking.

list2   They say journaling helps the soul and while I am not one for journaling everything, I do believe this really helps! Write down why you want to do this and go beyond the “I just want to be skinny”. It goes a lot deeper than that and you may not even realize it until you really stop and consider it! One of my biggest reasons why is because my whole entire life I have dreamed of my wedding day. The way I look, the dress I wear, the flowers I hold, etc. So the last thing I want is something holding me back from what I’ve always dreamed of! There are a lot of things you cant control when planning your wedding, but you can control this! Overall, really think about why and when you realize all the reasons why, it will motivate to keep going.

list3  Okay, the last thing my fiance needs to do is lose weight, but having that partner and encouragement really helps! He knows my reasons for wanting this so he helps push me to my goals. Since he wants to help, we created little schedules together. For example, we go to the gym together at least three times a week. This doesn’t mean he is my personal trainer three times a week (no way!), but rather he makes sure I actually go three  times a week! Having your best friend/soon to be Mr. on board really helps the whole process. The accountability will keep you going when you feel like giving in and celebrate with you when you’re getting closer!

list4  Self-explanatory. Do not too hard on yourself. When you beat yourself up about things, you always want to just forget about it! Know that the process takes time and effort. If you slip up, bounce back! It will all be worth it in the end!

list5  As I’ve said earlier, think about the end result. The best is yet to come so keep on going!