Showing posts with label wedding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wedding. Show all posts

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ways We Saved Money on Our Wedding

FTC disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Weddings can be expensive, and we went over budget -- ours cost under $3,000 and we had 150 people in attendance and flew our entertainment in from Florida -- a master illusionist who did a magic show instead of having a traditional dance.  Overall, I expect our wedding would have cost about $20,000 if I hadn't done everything I could to save money.  Here are a few of the things I did.

Win everything you can.  There are so many sweepstakes and contests open to just engaged couples.  I won our save the date cards, lollipops with our photos on them as favors, invitations, a Walmart gift card we used for food, and plenty more various things.  Sometimes you get entries by starting a registry somewhere (doesn't mean you have to use it!), or at bridal fairs or other places.  Enter everything you can because people do win!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Review: Praying for Your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer

FTC disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.

When I was a teenager in youth group, I used to be told “Pray for your future husband. He needs your prayers.” The advice was good, but no one ever said HOW to pray for your future husband or WHAT to pray for him.

That's where Robin Jones Gunn's and Tricia Goyer's book Praying for Your Future Husband comes in. The subtitle is “Preparing Your Heart for His” so from just the cover you know it's not all about your Prince Charming, but on what the future bride can do NOW to get herself ready for her husband.

Gunn and Goyer have twelve chapters of things we can pray for our future husband. (Although not mentioned, if wanted you could focus on one chapter a month.) Also in the back is a list of fifty-two Scriptures with comments of how to use each of those in prayer. They did make the suggestion these be used one per week for a year.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Thoughts on One Year of Marriage (Or What NOT to say to the Happy Couple)

This week marked one year of wedded bliss for my husband and me.  We celebrated by baking a cake the same flavor as our wedding cake once the tradition of year old wedding cake was deemed "gross" with the freezer burn forming puddles of water on top of our actual wedding cake.  We also went out to eat at a restaurant where we had won a gift certificate.  There were a couple kids screaming that had they been drunk adults they would have been asked to leave.  (In fact, most drunks I have ever seen have behaved better than these kids did.)  We killed two bugs at our table, and had mediocre food.  We have decided that after our wedding night in the ER and then later a trip to a resort that looked like it could have staged a 1970s horror film or 1970s porn movie, we're not going to try to do anything special for our anniversary again.  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Planning a Wedding that Honors Christ

FTC disclaimer:  I received a Family Christian certificate to help facilitate this post.  All opinions are my own.

Fifteen years ago, I went to what I considered the most Christian wedding I ever experienced.  From the beginning to the end of the ceremony, it honestly felt as if it was a church service.  After that, I always wanted to fashion my wedding after it.  When I was newly engaged, I got advice from lots of people as to what I should do, what books, planners, etc., were most helpful, but believe it or not, the one I used the most was A Christ Centered Wedding.  This book included everything I had hoped to find in a Christian wedding planning book, and also gave my husband to be and I some great discussions as to what we hoped to accomplish at the wedding and reception -- and some things we wanted to leave out -- such as alcohol and dancing -- and how to handle that with people who put those expectations on our wedding.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

An Interesting Observation on Marriage Advice

I've been married under two months.  I don't think that makes me an expert on marriage by any stretch of the imagination.  I do, however, want to talk about marriage advice that was given us and give a few suggestions if you are giving advice to newlyweds or those soon to be married.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Honoring Your Parents at Your Wedding When Both are Deceased

Photo Courtesy of KBittner Photography
FTC disclaimer:  I received the photo frames from Reed & Barton in exchange for this post.  All ideas and opinions are my own.

When I was planning my wedding, I spent hours online trying to find ideas to honor both of my parents at my wedding.  I found ideas to honor a parent who is deceased, but no ideas when you are trying to honor both parents.   I spent almost more time on this part of wedding planning than any other.   I wanted to do something  touching, have them a part of the ceremony, but didn’t want to turn the celebration into a memorial.

We started by having a page each in our wedding bulletins in memory of them.  We included biographical information, a fun story, a photo individually and their wedding photo which my husband and I recreated at the cake cutting.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Our Slice of Eternity

Most of my posts contain affiliate links where I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you when you purchase something through a link.  Thank you for starting your shopping here at Books, Bargains, Blessings.

On my wedding day many, many thoughts went through my head.   One of my favorite moments of the day was when we asked all our guests to join us for a group photo by the crosses at the church we got married in. This isthe church I grew up in, and looking at the charter membership, I think there are more charter members who have passed on than are still on this earth.   My memories from this church are dear.  I remember a lady named Dean stringing Christmas lights around her feet, plugging them in, and asking, "What hymn am I?"  (Answer:  Let the Lower Lights be Burning.)  I remember her husband, Bob, one time saying we needed to sing a new to us hymn and somehow picking something more suited to a toddler Sunday School class.  I never laughed so hard in church in my life.  Dean and I could't even sit up straight we were laughing so hard.  Then there was our precious Gayle.  She invited me to church in 1986, and passed away a few years later.  Who knew that when she invited me to that church, I would someday get married in it?  When I learned she passed away, I was helping with VBS that week (Anyone remember JoyTrek space themed VBS?)  It was the closing program, and my friend Shelly got up and sand "Friends" by Michael W. Smith and said Gayle had passed away.  I can remember feeling responsible for my 5th and 6th graders but just wanting to run out and scream "Why God?"  I remember the care in picking out a sympathy card for her family.  It was the first time I ever had to send a sympathy card to a friend's family.

In addition to friends and family from that church, from where we had the group photo I could see my parents' grave.  

Something about that moment gave me chills.   We are here.   Yet we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.  

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside
 every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with 
patience the race that is set before us  Hebrews 12:1 KJV

My mother had a story in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven: 101 Miraculous Stories of Signs from Beyond, Amazing Connections, and Love that Doesn't Die.  In her story she talked about how she made a bit of the journey to the afterlife with her uncle.  I'm not one for what I call "Heaven Tourism" stories, but I remembered what she said about seeing people she knew who had gone before and seeing those she knew would come after her.  I thought of this.

Somehow the cloud of witnesses almost felt tangible on that day.  We are just one small slice of enternity.   The Bible says the average person lives 70 years.  That's a drop in the bucket of time.  No matter how long we live on this earth, it's never long enough.  My husband's grandfather passed away at age 99, yet it still didn't feel long enough as his goal was to live to 100.

We have a small slice of eternity to make a difference.   Let's use it wisely, and remember those who came before us.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sneak Peak of wedding Photos

I have a lot of wedding posts I want to make soon, (including how I spent my wedding night in the emergency room.   I am fine now, but I thought I had appendicitis.)  But here's a few photos until I get back into the swing of blogging again next week.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Weirdest things Happen to May May 2015 edition.

I can't believe that one week from today I'll be married.   Actually with the stress I can.  Stress is at an all time high for me.  The contractors finally finished the kitchen this week.  I told them to be done by May 1st.  So the house is pretty much still unlivable.  I can't find my veil.  My guest book pen is still among the missing, the bulletins aren't done, I still have the slide show to put together, favors to assemble, and that's just the beginning.

The other day I was in Walmart getting some last minute items.  Well, not too last minute, but some stuff I needed.  My fiance saw an older man had been carrying a broken bottle of Palmolive through the store, and my fiance stopped, but I walked right into it.  I pulled a muscle in my back trying to keep my balance.  Then as I stepped out of the puddle my Palmolive covered shoes wanted to send me down to the floor again.  I had to finish the rest of my shopping trip in pain and barefoot until my fiance took my shoes into the bathroom and washed off all the dish washing liquid.

I'm at that stressed out level now that I am having nightmares about not getting everything done for the wedding.   I am looking forward to having as much done as will get done and enjoying everything.  Being out of commission for over 48 hours due to a man carrying a broken bottle of Palmolive through a store is NOT something that was good timing.  Not that it would ever be good timing, but there are times it would be a lot less stressful than it is now.

Seven days!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Why We Are NOT having Dancing at Our Wedding Reception

This post contains affiliate links.

I have never dreamed of having dancing at my wedding reception.  I grew up in the Church of the Nazarene and in that era, they frowned on dancing.  Square dance was not even allowed as a phys ed class.  I never learned to dance, and although I don't see it as a sin (at least depending on the type of dancing), I just had no desire for it at my wedding reception.  Growing up, I always thought I'd probably have the type of reception where everyone went downstairs in the church basement and drank punch, ate mints (and if was really fancy, wedding cake), and as entertainment watch the bride and groom open their gifts.  I have no desire to dance at my wedding reception.
Then I met and fell in love with someone from the city.  Country and city people are radically different.  The first time I mentioned no dancing to my fiance, he was surprised, but we both decided that given the situation, we wanted to come up with a fun alternative.

Friday, March 27, 2015

7QT: Wedding planning, Pepperoni Rolls, and Guinea pig Cake Toppers

Most of my posts contain affiliate links where I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you when you purchase something through a link.  Thank you for starting your shopping here at Books, Bargains, Blessings.

It's been a while since I did a Quick Take Friday.  But I decided today it was time to take a break from my currently busy life and write a blog post about wedding prep.

1.  I have the cake toppers but have no idea what we are doing about cake.

I wanted something different, something that screamed with my personality, and I found it thanks to My Custom Cake Topper on Etsy.  These have arrived, and I love them.  They are my guinea pigs Lucky and Archie. She created these from photos I provided. Aren't they adorable?  (No, I didn't receive anything by mentioning this Etsy store, I am just pleased with them and wanted to share.)  I do want a simple three tier cake to have a photo taken of us to look like my parents' wedding photo, but beyond that we aren't sure what we are doing about cake.  We are thinking of doing cakes that recently won in a contest for my fiance and that way we can do them ourselves.  We just aren't sure yet what we are going to do -- budget wedding but we also want things to be unique.  But I have the cake toppers.  

2. Candy Buffet

I thought a candy buffet would be a good idea.  Someone please tell me it will be.  Right now, I'm a bit frustrated at all the blue candy being blueberry or raspberry flavored.  We are currently planning on making some "hard tack" also known as "glass candy" and coloring it blue but flavoring it tangerine or some other yummy flavor.  I'm nearly ready to give up and make the candy buffet a rainbow.

3. Entertainment

I'm finally able to announce that master illusionist Scott Humston will be doing the entertainment for our reception.  He has even taken his show to the White House.  As both an entertainer and illusionist, it's going to be one wedding reception that no one in attendance will ever forget.

4. Pepperoni Rolls.

One of our food offerings at the reception will be pepperoni rolls.  If you aren't from West Virginia, you may never have heard of this delicacy.   They vary depending on what area of the state you are in, but we will be buying ones that are rolls with pepperoni and cheese baked inside them.  The grease soaks into the bread and they are one of the best treats you'll ever have.  Kind of like pizza rolls, but better.  They are a bit of heaven from the state of Almost Heaven.  Not even traditional, but nothing about this wedding is. 

5.  Flowerless Wedding.

I'm allergic to flowers.  I've had suggestions that I should go with silk flowers.  But the church we are getting married in is gorgeous.  It's an old time log cabin church with exposed beams.  I think flowers would take away from the beauty of the church.  And. . . . 

6.  A Bible instead of a Bouquet

I found my mother's bridal Bible -- the one she carried down the aisle when she married my dad.  The one my grandmother gave her.  Since my mother passed away last year and my father passed away 9 years ago, it seems appropriate I would carry her Bible.  Instead of a pillow, the ring bearer with be carrying Dad's Bible with ribbon around it.  What a wonderful way to make my parents part of the ceremony.

7.  I'm too busy.

I was telling my fiance last night I bit off more than I can chew at the moment.  I'm upgrading and renovating my blog.  I'm planning a budget wedding.  I am doing major renovations to the house.  And I'm tired.  I feel like I have too much on my plate right now, but there's no way I can back out of any of it.  Hopefully the major work with my blog will be done by next week and then I can just concentrate on content.  But the house renovations have revealed surprises in nearly every room so far and not good surprises.

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday posts, you can visit This Aint the Lyceum.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Christ Centered Wedding -- Book Review

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.  Opinions are my own.  Please note, this post contains affiliate links where I receive a small percent of purchase price when you click through my link.  Thank you for starting your shopping here.

A Christ-Centered Wedding: Rejoicing in the Gospel on Your Big Day  by Catherine Strode Parks

Since June, I have been in wedding planning mode.  There's so much to get ready.  I've looked at several wedding planners, and even purchased one, but I had been lamenting the one thing I wish I had:  a guidebook to help make sure that the wedding is a Christian one.  So many times we go to weddings, and no matter how much money spent or time planning, after a few years they seem blur into another wedding in our memory.  Fourteen years ago, I went to a wedding that was the most Christian wedding I'd ever been to.  I'd been hoping I could find a copy of my friends' wedding tape because I still couldn't remember what all was done except that it was a beautiful faith based wedding.

I didn't need to find a copy of their wedding tape because I decided to read A Christ Centered Wedding.  This book had everything that I've been wishing for -- from advice on the ceremony, the dresses, to the reception.  After reading the section on the bouquet and garter toss, my fiance and I decided that's one tradition we want to forgo, especially because I'm an older bride and I don't want to give the indication that women need to be married to be complete.  We are using the suggestion for the bouquet toss with a twist mentioned in the book, and I already have friends looking forward to this.  (You need to read the book to find out this fantastic suggestion.)

I grew up in a church that frowned upon dancing.  I've never danced.  Many of my friends would be uncomfortable at a reception with dancing.  Yet, I've already received some grief about this decision.  This book is absolutely fitting with the way I am approaching my wedding planning -- I want people to remember what is there, not what is missing.  I want my guests to come away from the wedding talking about the unique and fun things we planned and not saying, "But there was no dancing.  Where was the alcohol?"  A friend had been saying we should have an alternative to a first dance, and using the suggestions from this book, we're going to do a video presentation of photos of us growing up set to Christian music.  (Just as the book suggests, they won't all be good photos.  My fiance has been grabbing some where I really have the 1980s perm going on and laughing at how ridiculous I looked!  Yes, some of them will be included because after all, the younger crowd will think how ugly those geometric sweaters were -- and they will have a great laugh as will I.)

We are having a budget wedding.  (Under $5,000, hopefully less.) There have been a few things I haven't wanted to skimp on that aren't traditional in this area.  (But then again, I remember the days where wedding receptions were punch and mints in the dank church basement after the ceremony and entertainment was watching the bride and groom open wedding gifts.)  This book helped me realize that if there is something that I would like to do, it's not really a waste of money if we are showing love and appreciation to our guests.  This makes me feel so much better because I do want to stretch every wedding dollar we have.

The book trailer for A Christ Centered Wedding:

The pastor of our church said the only time he would say no to a wedding is if we wanted to do it on Sunday morning and then he grinned and said, "Well, under certain circumstances I'd allow it".  My goal for my wedding is for people to realize they have been in a worship service, just one packaged a little differently on a Saturday afternoon.  This book will help us have the wedding we want.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who is wanting to have a true Christ honoring wedding, and I've been telling friends about it -- both married and single.  I'm so glad a book like this has been written to fill what I was beginning to think was a gap in all the bridal books!

You can purchase this book from Family Christian.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wedding Planning Two weeks In: 7 Quick Takes Friday

1.  No we don't have a date set.

This is the question I am getting most.  We need to talk to our priest, and schedule the ceremony around some other people's schedules if at all possible  (My father is deceased and I want a close friend to walk me down the aisle.)  In addition, I want to join the Church prior to the wedding.

2.  No, I won't answer your question about when I'll have a baby.  

Really?  In what universe is it okay to ask a woman in her 40s when she is going to have a child?  You don't know what issues there might be that might be able to prevent that.  A few people I graduated with are now grandparents.  I don't even have a wedding date set yet, and I'm getting this question.  This is an area that if I want you to know about it, I will discuss it with you, and if not, please don't bring it up.

3.  I miss the weddings from the 1970s and 1980s.

Maybe it was just where I grew up, but I loved how back in the 1970s and 1980s if someone was getting married and you knew them, you would show up.  There would be a ceremony, and everyone would go to the church basement, give them a small gift, usually very small, and everyone would eat mints and children would spill red punch on their best clothes.  We are hoping for something more along the lines of this, so we're wanting to do a very low budget wedding so we can invite everyone.

4.  I wish I had more talented friends who are willing to help. 

Having a low budget wedding means I would gladly take some services as a wedding gift.  I've done this in the past with friends having low budget weddings.  I had taken every photography class my college offered and I had a nice camera and filters, etc.  I did photography for friends who couldn't afford a photographer otherwise.  Made a great gift, and saved them money.

5.   I am considering taking a cake decorating class.

Cake decorating classes are offered around here for about $50.  I am thinking if I can make a cake look better than average I might bake my own.  I particularly would like one that looks kind of like the one Mom and Dad had (and as you can see in the photo it was nothing special.)   I'd like it for a photo op because both my parents are deceased and it would be neat to be able to hang both photos side by side.  Of course on my cake I want to make guinea pig bride and groom cake toppers.

6.  I'm more than willing do do reviews on my blog for wedding stuff.

Yes, this is a bit of an announcement.  I would love to review anything wedding related.  We're trying to keep costs at a minimum.  If I can't review it, win it, borrow it, we have to buy it.  And we don't want to buy much.   Did I mention we are on a tight budget?

7.   I've been focusing on the planning in this post, but the most important this is. . .

The most important thing when planning a wedding is the sacrament.  The vows before God.  Then family and friends.  That's why I am not obsessing about finding the "perfect" wedding gown.  What is going to be perfect is when family and friends are able to share in this sacrament with us.   And the fact that there will be no punch.  I hate punch.  (Meaning that we are able to make this as unique as we are, and the only people we have to please is ourselves at the reception!)

You can read more Seven Quick Takes over at