DIY Save The Dates

Save the dates are marvelous for many reasons – you have the ability to give your guests a notice well in advance, it sets the date in stone, and it prepares you for the next step, the invitations. Now, for those of you who want to save a few pennies, there are a few ways of going about it, one being DIY save the dates!As I was scrolling through my Microsoft Word menu, I noticed a template for save the dates! How convenient! So, I went ahead and started playing around with it to see what I could come up with. Not only was it easy, but the result was professional, easy, and free! So, here are a few ideas that include Microsoft Word and a few great websites!

Microsoft Word: For those of you with an updated version of Microsoft Word (Microsoft 2013) than these directions will be easier for you to follow. For those of you who have older versions, I’m sure the directions are similar, but you may have to dig a little deeper to do the same thing. Let’s get started!

  • Step 1: When you go into the File page, you’ll scroll down to see the section that says New. Click on the Save the Date tab.

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  • Step 2: After selecting the tab, it’ll bring you to the invitation page. Here is where you can make it your own. Add you and your spouse’s name, wedding date, and location in the appropriate places. You can align them however you want by clicking on Layout. Once you’ve finished the layout, you can change the color, font, and style by selecting the Design button.

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  • Step 3: Once you’ve designed the save the date as you want, make sure to save it! Now that you have it completed, you can take it to your nearest Staples or Office Depot to print it out on decent card stock.

Shutterfly: This is a really popular website that many brides (including my wonderful friend!) has used and the save the dates always come out fabulously. On this website, you can upload your own photos, design the cards however you want, order, and print! This allows you to make and design the invitation however you want, giving you the freedom to make it as personal and detailed as you want.

Vistaprint: This is another great website where you can not only make your save the dates, but you can also create your invitations. Make sure (with both websites) you know exactly how many cards you need, and then order 3 or 4 extra, just in case you forgot someone or wanted to add someone to your guest list.

Tinyprints: This is another website where you can create your own invitations with some of the pre-designed templates that they have. You don’t have quite as much designing freedom, but the templates they do have are wonderful and gorgeous, so no worries about attraction and style here!

These are just four of many different ways you can create your own invitations! If you have any other invitation ideas, be sure to leave an idea in the comments section! Any and all ideas are appreciated, loved, and definitely considered!

An Irish Wedding: Outdoor Décor

Ok, so far we’ve taken a look at indoor Celtic-themed wedding decorations, but what about those of you who are hosting you wedding outdoors? If you’re on a budget and you’re a DIY fanatic, you can go about decorating your reception and ceremony area with a personal touch! There are so many cool and fun DIY projects for you to do, but I’m only going to mention a few. So, if you’re ready to check out some great outdoor wedding decorations, here are some ideas!

Lighting: Again, lighting is super important when it comes to decorations for many reasons. Some of the reasons include bathing your guests in an illuminating glow that allows them to see everything and everyone, and having the proper lighting ensures that your photographer will be able to capture all the right moments in the best light possible. Here are a few lighting ideas:

  • Paper Lanterns- Paper lanterns are absolutely stunning – they create a whimsical appeal, giving your wedding that mystical appeal. You can get a variety of sizes and colors on great websites such as this!
  • Candles: You can hang a whole bunch of little candles in clear jars from the limbs of trees or place them on the tables. The options are endless, and with a whole bunch of little candles all over the place, your reception and ceremony area will be well lit! You can find a bunch of little white candles at dollar stores, or you can order them online. You can purchase a bundle for a great price on Amazon, or you can order them from actual online candle stores.

Fabrics for Decoration: Let’s take a look at some other decoration pieces that you can purchase or do yourself!

  • Sheer White Cotton Drapes: You can use these for a lot of different things. For example, you can use them to drape over and through the pillars of the arch, you can use them above the table where you and your wedding party eat, and you can use them to drape on the side of the benches. Finding white linen is easy – you can either order it online or you can buy bolts of fabric at your local fabric shop.
  • Burlap: This is usually a rustic decoration piece, but done just right you can really make it Celtic! Websites such as this offer a huge selection of burlap rolls for great prices. You can purchase Tartan burlap here or at your local fabric shops.
Celtic Knot by travelling.steve

Celtic Knot by travelling.steve

Outdoor Tabletop Decorations: Like we’ve mentioned before, a whole lot of greenery is a good thing! It’s reminiscent of the Irish mountains and rolling hills that are draped with a rich green blanket of grass and clovers. Here are some ideas:

  • Candles: Candles are great decoration pieces for your tables. Place tall and squatty candles in clear vases, and then surround the bottom with lush greenery. Throw in a few baby’s breath for a snap of white.
  • Celtic Cross: You can place a Celtic cross in the middle of each table for that perfect Celtic touch. You can find gorgeous Celtic crosses on websites like this!
  • Celtic Knot: Not only is the Celtic Knot an intrinsic piece, but it would also be a great decoration item as well. You can hang the Celtic knot on the front of the bridal party dining table, you can place them on the guest’s tables, or you can use mini Celtic knots for guest seating and as favors.

These are just a few of the many great outdoor decoration ideas that you can pick from. With your wedding being outdoors, you can let nature do a lot of the “wowing.” Using simple yet gorgeous Celtic pieces to decorate your tables will give your reception and ceremony area a touch of perfection!

An Irish Wedding: DIY Wedding Decorations

Ok, now that we have a list of Celtic themed wedding favors, now we can take a deeper look into some great DIY Celtic themed wedding decorations. Remember, lighting is important, so we’ll take a look at some great light fixture ideas!

Table Lanterns by FestivitiesMN

Table Lanterns by FestivitiesMN

DIY Decorations: This may seem a bit daunting, but truth be told, this could be more fun than you think! We’ll organize decorations by indoor and outdoor, focusing today on indoor decorations. If you’re wedding is outside, the next blog post is just for you! Ok, so, here are some great indoor DIY decoration ideas just for you!

  • Flowers: This is an easy one. If you’re on a budget, a great way to keep things under control is to minimize the actual use of flowers. Instead, opt for buds and lots of greenery. Ireland is known for its green, rolling hills and greenery painting the surfaces of walls, trees, and homes, so a lot of greenery isn’t bad. Opt for Bells of Ireland for your greenery and then throw in some of your other favorites. Place them strategically on a few tables, on the outer arm of every other chair or pew in the church, and then maybe one or two vases of flowers on the serving tables (if there’s room).
  • Lighting: This is a biggie. If you want your guests to be able to see well, especially if your wedding is in the evening, than you will need to take care to make sure your reception room is well lit. Some lighting ideas include:
    • Candles: Short, squatty candles of varying heights are great in clusters. For a little extra Celtic twist, you can adhere a 4-leaf clover or horse shoe on one or two of the candles per table.
    • Lanterns: If you’re indoors, you can place the lanterns on each table. The fun part about lanterns is you can find them at second hand stores. Having a variety of styles and sizes makes your decorations more interesting while remaining consistent.
    • Icicle  Lights: You can find inexpensive boxes on Amazon. You can hang these everywhere – the entranceway, above you and your wedding party at the dinner table, even on the front of the serving table(s). Hang them above a few windows and on your favors table even. Remember, the more lighting, the better.
  • Table Cloths and Runners: Your tables need to be covered in order to make it more ornate, attractive, and decorative. If your wedding colors incorporate green at all, you could opt for a deep, emerald green table runner to go over a crisp, white table cloth. Your chairs could be covered in a crisp white cover with an emerald green sash. Another idea is to have emerald green napkins as well. Choose one or two of the table ideas, not all of them. You don’t want to go overboard. Another idea is to do every other table one way or the other, that way you can add a consistent variety. A lot of places that you rent dinnerware from also provide table cloths or runners. If you want both, you can always shop online for bolts of cloth for your table runners, or you can shop on Amazon or EBay for inexpensive runners.

These are just a few of the many ideas for decorations that you can consider for your indoor Celtic themed wedding! For those of you celebrating outside, take a look at tomorrow’s blog post and see what’s up!

An Irish Wedding: DIY Decorations

Ok, we’ve taken a gander at attire and taken a smidgen of a glimpse at some DIY things you could do for favors as well as decorations. I’m going to show you just how to do these favors and decorations to not only save you a few pennies, but to make it a little more personable, enjoyable, and unforgettable!

An Irish Proverb by Abby Lanes

An Irish Proverb by Abby Lanes

DIY Irish Themed Favors: One of the greatest favors since sliced bread is ingredients in a jar for breads, cookies, and even hot chocolate. So, let’s go ahead and take a favorite Irish dessert and let’s turn it into a delicious favor!

  • Irish Soda Bread Cookies: These seem to be a popular choice when it comes to cookies. Click on this link to find the exact directions and ingredients. Now, in order to make it a favor, put all of the dry ingredients in the jar, starting with the flour and making your way to the caraway seeds. Once all your ingredients are in the jar, screw on the lid and then wrap a piece of twine with a Celtic symbol, horseshoe, or clover on the string. If you want, make the shamrock or whatnot big enough so you can print directions on one side and you and your spouses name and wedding date on the other. This is a delicious and relatively easy favor. Seriously, who doesn’t love cookies?
  • Bless them Guests: A lot of Irish proverbs and blessings are out there, and what better way to send your guests off than with a blessing and a showing of love? One unique way that you can send your guests off with a blessing is to type in a gorgeous font a sweet Irish proverb and print it on a scroll, a 4-leaf clover, or any other Irish-themed design, and then place it at each seat. This is inexpensive, sweet, and easy.
  • Saved by the Bell: One Irish tradition is tiny silver bells that are rung once at the wedding ceremony, and then after your wedding. Whenever you and your spouse find yourselves in a disagreement, you can ring the tinkling tiny bell in reminder of your deep and unmovable love for one another. Give one to each of your guests with a little note of what the bell represents.
  • Seeds of Love: Seeds are a great little reminder of what love does – with nourishment, love and care, the buds bloom into gorgeous, breathtaking flowers. So, one great favor is to choose an Irish flower that grows well in your hometown’s climate, and then put a few seeds in a little brown packet. On the front of the packet, put something cute like “Seeds of Love” or “Growing in Love” and then you and your spouse’s wedding date. On the back, put what type of flowers you have in the packet and directions for watering, planting, etc. You can find great websites such as this one that explains what type of flowers they are, what climate they grow best in, and you can even order them straight from this website. Look online for reputable floral websites and then order a bundle.

We’ve taken a look at some great, easy, inexpensive DIY Celtic favors that are not only cute, but they’re personal and memorable. One thing to remember is to make sure your favors are testament to you and your spouse – if y’all like to bake, then do the cookies. If you love gardens and flowers, than choose the seeds. Make it personal and have fun!

An Irish Wedding on a Budget: Part 2

We’ve already taken a look at just some of the pieces that you need to pull off an Irish wedding! We’ve looked at the groom and groomsmen pieces as well as some advice on your wedding dress. Now, we’ll take a look at bridesmaid dresses and we’ll start looking into DIY Irish decorations that are gorgeous, eye catching, and affordable!

The Bridesmaids: Now, like your dress, you can find a lot of great selections on line. But, unlike your wedding dress, it’s not crucial that they try on a similar style before they order. There are a ton of great bridesmaid dress websites, so I’ll list just a few great ones.

Shamrock Garland by Dizzy Girl

Shamrock Garland by Dizzy Girl

Décor on a Budget: Now we all know that candelabras, lace table runners, and fine china are all gorgeous, but they also all come with a hefty price tag. In order to keep your Celtic wedding on a budget, you’ll need to do a little shopping as well as a little DIY! Here are a few (of the many!) ideas for you to consider!

  • Think lots of greenery, as it pays tribute to the rolling green hills and the breathtakingly gorgeous mountains. So when choosing flowers, think lots of greenery. One great way to save is to purchase imitation flowers rather than live ones – don’t shake your head no just yet! Believe it or not, there are a lot of beautiful fake flowers out there. For you as the bride, your bouquet could be made of real flowers, but have your bridesmaid and all your decoration pieces fake.
  • Horseshoes are known as good luck trinkets, and are definitely an Irish charm. If you know anyone who has horses, ask them if you could have their horseshoes! Also, ask their (or yours) Ferrier if he has any he could spare. If not, you could always check on EBay for used ones, or for newer, shinier ones, check Amazon!
  • Shamrocks are great too. For wedding favors, you can create jars with the needed ingredients for things like Soda Bread, Irish Breakfast, Irish soda bread cookies, or Irish shamrock cookies and then wrap the top of the jar with twine and a Celtic shamrock!
  • For table lighting, you can purchase inexpensive, short and squatty candles from the Dollar General or Family dollar, and then you can decorate them with little shamrocks or with the Celtic symbol. Add lots of greenery and white flowers and your tables will take your guests right to the lands of Ireland!

These are just a few decoration ideas! If you want something a little more in depth, take a peek at the next blog making its way to your computer screen!

An Irish Wedding for the Lass on a Budget!

Groom and Groomsmen by Duncan C

Groom and Groomsmen by Duncan C

Ireland – A place where lavishly green rolling hills, crystal blue skies, impressive waves and lulling accents are an everyday thing. In my opinion, Ireland is one of the most beautiful places on God’s green earth, and for good reason! Beauty is all around and in the air there in Ireland, and for those of you wanting to celebrate one of the most important days of your life (your wedding!) than this is a must-read for you! In this blog post (and many more to follow!) we will take a gander at what makes a true Irish wedding, and how to do it on a budget! Times are tough and money is tight, so spending an extravagant amount of money on a one time deal can seem a little… frivolous, shall we say? So in order to pinch pennies and still have the most ornate and beautiful wedding, you’ll need to trim here, splurge there, and organize everywhere! You can still have a beautiful Irish wedding without spending your mom and dad’s 401K, retirement, and their life savings…

What it Takes To Have an Irish Themed Wedding: For you Irish buffs (or true Irish lasses!) having a perfectly Irish wedding is fun, easy, and definitely one-of-a-kind! So, in order to pull off a true Ireland-inspired wedding, here are a few things for you to keep in mind!

  • Attire: This is the biggest give-away when it comes to an Irish wedding. Take a look at some of the pieces you’ll need:
  • For the Gentlemen: In order to find everything you need, visiting Celtic websites will help to make sure everything is legit.
    • Kilts! This is an obvious and a must! In order to look extravagantly Irish, you’ll need to don your men in kilts.
    • Jackets: This makes the gentlemen look stylish, sexy, and posh. With a fitted jacket, they’ll look every bit the Irish groom/groomsmen!
    • Sporan: This completes the Irish look!
    • Kilt Hose
    • Hose Flashes
    • Fly Plaid and Brooch
  • For the Lasses: Celtic dresses are a whole lot different than your average wedding dress, but if you want to keep with the American/English style of dress, than you can visit different websites to find gorgeous, yet inexpensive, dresses. If you want to keep with the Irish style without the kilted skirt, tartan gown or Tartan sash, try opting for an A-Line or Princess wedding gown. An Empire Waist gown is also another style that would go well with a Celtic themed wedding. A few websites that you can find great, inexpensive dresses include:

Word of advice – if you’re going to shop online for your wedding dress, you really, really need to try on the exact, or same design, dress as the one that you want. That way you’ll know how it looks on you. Dress shop in all the stores, find the one you love, and see if you can find one extremely similar, or the same, but cheaper online! Also, if you want to keep expenses low, renting a dress is a lot less expensive than buying one!

These are just a few of the many different attire pieces that you’ll need to pull off an Irish wedding on a budget! We’ll delve a little deeper in later blogs, but here’s a sneak peek just for you!

Destination Wedding: Visit Your Destination

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a huge, major factor when planning a destination wedding. Reason being, you want know the exact layout of your venue; you want to know if this room is big enough for the food, if that room is big enough for you and your bridesmaids to get ready in, and if the aisle is down the center of the church or to the sides. Things like that can make a huge difference in your planning and decoration, so take the time and put aside the necessary funds to visit your venue at least twice before the wedding date. Here are a few things for you to consider when visiting your wedding venue!

Wedding Planner by Eleonora Gianinetto

Wedding Planner by Eleonora Gianinetto

Talk to Your Wedding Planner: This is a biggy. Because you’re not right there all the time to make sure everything is going as you want it, you and your wedding planner need to be on the same page, same paragraph, and same sentence. There should be no questions whatsoever, and if there are, make sure to iron out those wrinkles way ahead of time. Take the time and the hours needed to visit your ceremony and reception rooms and make a blueprint of sorts to show where you want certain decorations and so on. Also, make sure that your wedding planner is well aware of what all you need and want – what type of food you expect, the style of the wedding, what type of music/musicians that are needed and so on. Don’t leave your wedding planner guessing. Of course, some of these things can be done via Skype, the phone, and emails, but seeing the venue in person can really help to decide exactly how you want everything.

Visiting Your Venue: When you visit your venue, there are a few things that you should keep in mind and a few questions that you should ask. Here are a couple tid-bits and tips:

  • What rooms do they have available? Will they fit all of your guests comfortably?
  • Is the wedding package flexible, meaning can you change your food menu, your DJ, and the photographer?
  • How much of a deposit is required to save your date?
  • What packages do they provide and what are the differences?
  • How many weddings have been hosted at that particular venue? Do they have pictures of previous weddings? Also, is there someone you could talk to who has been married there or was a guest at a wedding?

How Often and When Should You Visit Your Venue? Like I mentioned before, try to visit your venue at least one to two, if not three, times before your wedding commences. Visit your venue once you’ve settled on a place, and then visit at least one month in advance (if not two months) to make sure everything is in place, flowers are being ordered, a salon is found and booked, and so on. Your last visit should be your roundup – everything is done except for the “I do’s”!

Now that we’ve taken a gander at everything destination wedding, hopefully you’ll be feeling a little more confident! Destination weddings are fun, exciting, unique, and unforgettable, so enjoy every moment of the planning process, and of course, every moment of your vacation!

Destination Wedding: Where & How to Get Group Discount Rates

As we’ve seen, there’s a lot of preplanning, scheduling, and traveling involved when it comes to planning a destination wedding. We’ve taken a look at a lot, from wedding attire and invitations to marriage requirements and expenses. Today, we’re going to take a look at how and where to get group discount rates for traveling. So, get your pen and paper (or tablet!) and get ready to jot down a few places where you can get group discounts!

Airlines by Gunnar Kullenberg

Airlines by Gunnar Kullenberg

Group Rates for Airfare: If you’re traveling out of the state or country, than finding affordable and inexpensive plane tickets is important. By looking at the right time and the right place, you can really save a few pennies. Here are a few tips and places for you to consider:

  • Where to Look: There are a lot of different websites you can look when shopping around for tickets. For example, you can check out websites such as:
    • Expedia: You can visit their website and preplan all of your traveling and even your hotel stays. You can choose how many people will be traveling with you, and even what airline you prefer.
    • Orbitz: Orbitz is pretty much the same as Expedia – you can choose what airline you want, how many people, and all of your traveling/hotel preferences.
    • Kayak: Kayak is another website where you can find inexpensive airline tickets. They don’t have as many options as Orbitz and Expedia, but you can definitely still find great prices.
  • When to Look and When to Fly: As with anything, there’s a time for everything, especially when it comes to purchasing airline tickets. Here are a few tips:
    • Tuesday’s are the best days to find cheaper airline tickets, because Monday evening is when the airlines post new prices.
    • Unfortunately, the cheapest days to fly are also the most unpopular. The most unpopular and cheapest days to fly are Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays.
    • The early bird gets the worm when it comes to airlines. The early flights, such as 4 am, is when the cheaper flights head out. It’s inconvenient, but worth it in the end if you can save a lot of money.
    • Book 18-28 days before you plan on leaving, since that’s usually when your tickets will be cheaper

Group Rates for Hotels: Group rates for hotels can be easier to find with websites such as helping you out. Find hotels that are relatively close to where your venue is for easy access, and then see what deals they have. Also, most hotels have what’s called a room block. This is great for those of you who will need more than 9 rooms.

Now that we’ve taken a look at when to book both your airline tickets and how to book your hotel rooms, you should be feeling pretty confident and prepared! Just remember to consistently and constantly shop online for good deals, book flights at least 28 days prior to your wedding day, and “room block” at hotels for cheaper rates.

Destination Wedding: Preplan Everything

So far, we’ve stressed a lot on pre-planning and prepping way ahead of time. For starts, we’ve discussed how sending out your save-the-dates a year in advance and your invitations at least 3 months in advance is vital. We’ve also scratched the surface on sending out informational packets to all of your guests. Since we’ve taken a glimpse at some of the preplanning ordeals, let’s delve a little deeper. So, let’s take a look at what to include in your invitations, what group plans you could get and where, and when you need to have all of the wedding party’s attire decided upon, purchased, and received. For this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into what exactly you need to include in your wedding invitations.

Destination Wedding Invitations by Krista Guenin

Destination Wedding Invitations by Krista Guenin

Included in the Invites: For destination weddings, your invitation includes more than just a final destination; it should include a few extras to help your guests feel and be well prepared. Here are the extras that you need to include:

  • An Address: This is the most obvious inclusion. Your guests need to know exactly where they’re going so they have an idea of what to expect.
  • Directions and a Map: This could be really helpful. Get “tourist” maps of the city your wedding will be in, and circle the exact location. You should also include written directions for those who don’t have a GPS. In order to keep it classy looking and not thrown together, you need to have these printed out on the same cardstock and the same style as your wedding invitation.
  • Hotel Information: This is important if you want/can keep everyone in the same location for easy traveling purposes. Make sure to include the hotel’s address, phone numbers, fax information, and their website. The more information, the better. Also, let them know if there are any group discounts that they need to be aware of for financial purposes.
  • Flight Information: If you are able to group rates of any kind, than make sure to include all flight information needed; include information like time of departure and arrival, what flight they’re to take, what gate they’re departing and arriving in, and if there are any delays. Also, make sure to let your guests know if there are any stops on the way, and if there are, include where the stops are, how long they are, and where they need to go to next. All the information you’re provided with give to your guests. Like I said before, the more info, the better.
  • Ceremony/Reception Location Website: Definitely (and obviously) include your venue’s website. If your ceremony and reception are in different locations, than make sure to include both websites. That way your guests can get more information on location and so on.

An Idea for You: If you want to save on postage, than another thing you can do is create your own website; state on your invitation your website information, mentioning how your wedding website has all the destination wedding information mentioned above. This is one way to include all the above info for your guests. So, now that we have an idea of what information needs to be included in your invitations or on your website, you can get started! Remember, the more the better, the sooner the better!

Destination Wedding: Attire

Of course, like everything else, you want to pack and wear the appropriate clothes depending on your wedding location, time of year, weather, etc… Another important thing you want to keep in mind is, you want to let your guests know what type of clothing they’ll need to pack. So, here are a couple lists of clothing ideas (both for the wedding and after the wedding) that you’ll want to put in your suitcase and on your wedding invites!

Island Wedding by Mandy Mayberry

Island Wedding by Mandy Mayberry

Destination Beach! Seriously, who doesn’t love the idea of a beautiful beach wedding on an Island off the coast? It’s as romantic, sunny, and warm as it gets! So in order to have the perfect outfits and wedding attire, here are some ideas for you to consider:

  • Wedding Attire:
    • Wedding Dress: Think light, airy, minimalistic. Also, if you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, opt for non-name brand dresses. Here are some ideas:
    • Bridesmaid Dresses: Like your Wedding Dress, think minimalistic and light. Chiffon or nu-georgette materials are great.
    • Groom/Groomsmen Attire: For the grooms, get creative! Let their attire be like yours – a relaxed-elegant, light, and comfortable outfit. For example, opt for something like:
      • White, long-sleeve button up, Natural Linen Riviera pant, and grey vest
      • Sand colored slacks and vest, white long sleeve shirt
      • Shorts, short long sleeve button up, and vest
  • What to Pack: When it comes to the beach and a destination wedding, what should you pack? You want to make sure you pack a smorgasbord of clothes, but not too many, because you want to pack for the occasion. Click here to get a good idea of what all you should pack for a destination wedding!
  • How to Tell Your Guests: When it comes to a destination wedding, you want to make sure that your guests are well aware of what they should pack. Continuing with the beach/island theme, you want to make sure that they know what type of wedding you’re having and what they should expect on this vacation. Include a packing list in the invitation so they’re well aware, just in case they have to do some shopping!

Making sure you and your guests are well packed will guarantee that everyone will be comfortable! Again, just as a recap, dress for the occasion (aka light materials, short sleeves, and shoeless!) and make sure you and your guests have everything you need in order to be comfortable.

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