Cheap 'n' Quirky Wedding

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Buying Used June 2, 2012

I wish I had found this site when I was planning my wedding! Ruffled features a classified-like section of items from weddings past called Recycle Your Wedding. There are wedding dresses, mason jars, centerpieces, pinwheels for cupcakes, and so much more! While you’re trying to find the lowest prices on vases and veils, might as well check this site out. You may be able to find something similar to what you were about to pay full price for!

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A Camera-less Post about Cupcake August 2, 2010

My camera just stopped working a little over a week ago so I haven’t been able to take photos of my wedding crafts. Let me assure you, there’s been a lot, all involving ribbon. My new camera is supposed to arrive today so look out for new posts including lots of photos in the near future.

In the mean time, I’ll tell you about my cake. We wanted (well, more like I wanted) to serve cupcakes in place of a wedding cake. There’s no worry about slicing it, plating it is simple, and they look adorable. One of the biggest perks that we found when looking into cupcakes was the cost. Traditional cakes seem to run about $3-4.50 per person, whereas cupcakes are usually about $1-2 each. We went with a marble cupcake with chocolate ganache filling for $1.50 each.

Another surprise I found was that there weren’t significant savings at the grocery store bakery. The first place we tried was an upscale grocery store. They didn’t ask us anything about the wedding, they had very few flavor options, a big delivery charge, no cake stands (which would have meant we’d have to buy one,) the portion sizes were either huge or tiny (nothing in between,) and the prices were rather high. I definitely didn’t feel like we were in the right place while we were talking to the woman there.

We tried out an independent bakery and knew right away that it was the right place. As soon as we said we were looking for a wedding cake, the woman asked us pertinent questions and was able to make recommendations. Their cupcakes were a decent size and there were plenty of flavor possibilities. On top of that, the delivery charge is only $10 and they’ll provide a cupcake stand to borrow free of charge. This all adds up to big savings for us, a minimum of $120 actually.

We’re also getting an 8″ cutting cake in the same flavor; it’s a compromise because my future MIL isn’t a fan of the cupcake idea, plus we’ll have space for the homemade topper from a past blog entry and we can get some nice cake-cutting photos. That cake with ganache filling only costs $20. Our quote (for 120 cupcakes, more than we’ll need) came to $210. I was expecting cakes to run closer to $400 so I’m very pleased with this.

Moral of the story is to shop around. Explain what you want, listen to what they can do, get a quote, and choose the bakery you feel confident with. Also, don’t feel that you have to have a traditional cake. Untraditional cakes are cheaper and will be a bigger surprise to the guests. You can make a big visual impact without paying hundreds of dollars for glue-flavored fondant. Also, I’ve got to give a big shout-out to Vesta Bakery. The staff there is amazing, their work is delicious, and I am sooo glad that they are making our wedding cupcakes.

 

Christmas Came Early July 16, 2010

I’ve relocated to New England and I’ve discovered Christmas Tree Shops. I thought they sold Christmas decorations year-round, but I was pleasantly surprised to find tons and tons of items for wedding decor. My FH and I went in for tissue paper and came out with tons of affordable decor ideas. It takes a creative mind to start putting everything together, but definitely worth it. We’re talking cheaper-than-Ikea-centerpieces here.

We were feeling pretty challenged by the centerpieces because our venue doesn’t allow any open flames and we aren’t willing to pay for floral arrangements. FH and I agreed not to pay anything extra for colored linens, so the centerpiece must follow our green color theme. Then we found this:

Our Christmas Tree Shop lantern centerpiece

Yep, that looks like a candle, but it’s actually a battery-powered candle. It even flickers to give the illusion that there is a real flame. Here it is “lit”:

Our centerpiece with the candle on

The best part is the price. The lantern is $3.99, the candle is $1.99, and a bag of sea glass (of which we only used half) is $1. That brings our total cost per centerpiece to $6.98 (if we use the entire bag of sea glass on each one by spreading the remaining glass around the table, or $6.48 per centerpiece if we only use one bag of sea glass for every two centerpieces.) Another option for filler in place of the sea glass was green sand with thick grains, which is also $1 per bag. There were signs around the store that said if you need a bulk amount of everything, you should speak to the service desk at the store. I don’t know if this is just so they can get you a box out of the back room, but I’m hoping it’s so that they can offer an extra discount. I’ll update on this.

They also had bags of sea shells and starfish that we might get to spread around the tables since each lantern is kind of small (they had other sizes of lanterns, but we preferred the small one, at least for our sample.) We didn’t have a theme until we went into the store and saw the sea glass; now we’re trying for a green, minimalist beach. We’ll see how this plays out and if we actually stick with it.

With the extra sea glass from Christmas Tree Shop and a small candle holder and battery-powered tea lights from Dollar Tree, I made this little arrangement:

Sea glass and tea light centerpiece arrangement

I think these could go on the head table between the bridesmaid bouquets, along the bar, or on the guestbook or escort card tables. I created them by putting the tea light at the bottom of the candle holder (turned on, of course,) and then piling sea glass on top. It looks like glowing rocks, so I’m still undecided on whether to use this. I feel like a more blue-ish LED light would be better suited to this project to maintain the green tones in the sea glass.

Our last decor element that I’m working on right now is white versions of the paper spider mum flowers that I started in my last blog post. I’m thinking that we could put them in green paper cones hung over the last chair in each aisle at the ceremony site, or they could be in a vase at the reception… Ah, decisions, decisions.

White paper spider mums

Yes, they’re in a Tostitos salsa jar right now, I’m just storing them in there for now. Don’t worry, they won’t be in that vessel at the wedding.

We’re going to the venue for a meeting to hammer out the menu and everything this afternoon, so we’ll figure out exactly what needs decorating. I think that will really help us to figure out exactly what we’re going to use. It’s getting close, we need to get on this. Wish me luck.

 

Step 1: Hula. Step 2: Feel the burn. May 12, 2010

Filed under: beauty,crazy deals,etc,Uncategorized — clln @ 3:30 am
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Summer is approaching and everyone is trying to get into shape. Not just for the beach anymore, toned muscles are much sought-after to sit nicely under wedding dresses (or any dress, for that matter.) Everyone is in a sudden rush to get into shape. I have a few friends going to a gym, my MOH is doing the P90X workout, I’m walking with anyone who will walk with me, and my sister is HULA HOOPING!

I love this idea! I mooched her adult-sized hula hoop and gave it a spin in the backyard, it was buckets of fun. I hear there are classes where everyone hula hoops to get a good workout; I didn’t really feel the burn, but I was also sharing the hoop with my 2 sisters so maybe I didn’t do it for long enough. It was amazingly fun though. I found some instructions on how to make some here, and there are instructions on how to make it heavier for more of a workout. I don’t know if you’d end up with visibly toned muscles, but I’ll bet it burns a lot of calories if you need to shrink to fit a dress that’s a size too small. It’s supposed to work well to tone abdominal muscles. Plus, it’s both a cheap and quirky workout. The quirkier the workout, the longer it can keep my attention. It works really well if you have someone to talk to while doing the hula to keep you entertained, so I’m very tempted to start a hula hoop troupe.

Hula hoop illustration from Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn

Well, I need to tone my upper back and arms, so I’m back to the drawing board for my workouts. I’m big on the cheap part of Cheap ‘n’ Quirky, so I’m looking for budget-conscious way to get toned. Water bottles or cans of soup can make super-cheap light weights. While on a walk recently, I discovered a nearby park has exercise equipment for working your arms. I’m pretty excited about this, I can go walking by a lake and work everything out. Let’s see if I can get my MOH to ditch P90X for an evening and go walking in the park with me. There are plenty of suggestions online about how to use jungle gyms to work out if you’ve got a playground nearby.

In further workout quirkiness, I find my best motivation to tone muscles comes from Dancing with the Stars. Those professional dancers are sooo toned and muscular. I’m a heterosexual female but they can make me drool. I start exercising in front of the TV every time it’s on.

Are you getting any workout inspiration from strange places? Anyone trying out hula hooping? Share your cheap and quirky workout tips in the comments section.

 

Making the Garter My Own April 17, 2010

Filed under: accessories,crafts,crazy deals,diy — clln @ 2:21 am
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I really wasn’t excited about the garter, it wasn’t a priority for me and I really didn’t care what it looked like. That is, until I bought the cheapest one I could find and spent some time looking at it.

I don’t regret buying it, it was $6.99 at Michaels and I used a 40% coupon on it so it worked out to just over $4. Couldn’t go wrong. Couldn’t. Go. Wrong. Plus it was blue and at the time I was still having trouble finding blue shoes to fulfill my blue requirement. And really, how closely are people looking at it anyway? It’ll be hidden for most of the day. It still needed some help though.

Being a crafty kinda gal, I decided that the garter would be my next project. I like simplicity, so the glued-on bow was the first to go, followed by the lace. I just pulled off the bow and then carefully cut the lace off and let me tell you, it was liberating. I was so pleased with the way it looked with no embellishments:

The garter sans embellishments. It's naked!

There’s no way to get the glue remnants off though, so I decided to make two very, very tiny fabric flowers using the same idea as the Martha flowers in the last post. I used scraps from the material for the flowers which were too small to use for anything else, so they were saved from the garbage. Not only did it cover the glue, but it keeps up the fabric flower theme from the rest of my outfit (my dress and hair will feature them.) Plus, I feel like it’s personalized now and that’s important to me. It also puts the “cheap” in Cheap ‘n’ Quirky, my changes didn’t cost a cent because it was made with scraps. The supplies to make my own from scratch would have cost much more.

It’s much more “me.” I’m pleased. What kind of garter are you going with? Has anyone found a cute pattern to DIY?

 

My Martha Stewart Flowers April 16, 2010

Garden roses from the Martha Stewart pattern

I’ve been working on my Martha Stewart fabric flowers for a while now, the ones I mentioned in an earlier blog post. I went a little nuts and made a ton. See, the voile fabric was on sale so I bought a lot. $4 for a meter of green and a meter of ivory. So basically I have enough to use a couple of the large ones (attached to pins/brooches) on my dress and plenty of small ones (attached to bobby pins) in my hair in place of a veil. Since taking that photo, I’ve made many more ivory ones.

I’m kind of concerned about how the petals don’t stay up too well; I’m considering using hairspray to help the petals stiffen, but I’m not sure if it will stain the fabric. Maybe starch?

The large flower on the left is floppin'.

I mentioned that I plan to wear these in my hair and not wear a veil. Well, I tried making the flowers out of tulle to really be a replacement for a veil but let’s just say that I don’t recommend this type of material for this project. As you can see below, the tulle “flower” looks more like a pompom:

The pompom, err, I mean tulle flower.

Now I just have to wait for my dress to come in to make sure it looks decent. Gaaaaaah, I ordered the dress back in November, it should be here any day now. I can’t wait for it to get here!

 

Something Blue April 15, 2010

I’ve been looking for blue flats for a while now. Flats so that I don’t tower over my groom, blue so that I fulfill the “something blue” requirement. I didn’t think it’d be so hard! Well, after seeing blue and silver sequins (not cute, looked like fish scales,) studded straps, and other horrors, plus goooooorgeous heels I’d look like an Amazon warrior in, I found these:

My navy Joe Fresh flats

Look at my score from Joe Fresh! Damn, I’m going to miss Joe when I’m no where near the Canadian border. They’re not too loud, they’re blue, they’re flats, I can wear them again, and they were only $19! Really, no one is going to see them until the garter comes off since it’s a floor-length dress, but I still wanted them to be classy and simple.

I don’t mean to turn this into an ad for Joe Fresh, but I also got a $19 sundress to wear to the giant bridal shower, a couple of lip stains (my fave out of the lip stains I’ve tried,) and some jewelry. Gotta stock up when I go. My sister, who is one of my bridesmaids, even picked out her necklace to wear at the wedding there. It’s become an unexpected source for my wedding accessories.

The moral of this story is this: don’t be afraid to shop at a discount store for wedding stuff. If you were going to wear costume jewelry anyway, why not get $7 earrings that look like the $35 ones from a boutique? No one will know. Plus you can probably wear it again. I’d say it’s cheap and classy.