Planning a Wedding on a Budget

Every bride needs a theme for her wedding; it is the biggest day of her life so far and deserves a premise that stands for something significant in the bride’s mind. Some of the most popular wedding plans for modern brides during 2009 have included beach, garden, winter wonderland, rustic, country, vintage glamour, and shimmering diamond themes. It probably comes as no surprise, but pulling a wedding together can be expensive. By selecting a theme early on in the wedding-planning-process, you can help alleviate some pre-wedding stress, come up with creative, inexpensive ideas and expedite the decision making process when it comes to choosing invitations, decorations, reception food and party favors. No matter your theme, there are always ways to trim down the wedding expenditures, particularly when it comes to the sending invitations, having a sign-in book, and a memorable wedding cake.

Selecting the wedding announcement can be, without a doubt, one of the most difficult decisions during the engagement period. One of the great things about living in the 21st century, however, is that we have access to the Internet. Use the Web and its resources to cut some of your costs. Before you mail your invitations, send a “Save the Date” e-vite. There are all sorts of sites online that offer free invitation services. You can customize your “Save the Date” e-vite to contain an engagement picture or make it match your wedding invitation. When it comes to the actual creation of your invitations, consider cutting costs by mailing out modern invitations as opposed to the more expensive, traditional, cardstock announcements with raised-ink, gold-foil envelopes, a 5X7 photo and vellum overlay. There are many companies and individuals today that specialize in custom wedding announcements at a fraction of the cost when compared to most paper supply companies. When you send your invitations, instead of including a pre-stamped envelope for the RSVP information, request the guests RSVP through a free Web site that you and your future spouse created together. There are many Web sites that offer free RSVP services.

A creative idea for a sign-in book at your wedding is to use a scrapbook of photos with lots of empty space for guests to sign. By leaving a lot of room on the pages, your guests can also leave words of wisdom. You and your honey can treasure this book for years because it will not only have your wedding attendee’s names, but also their most valuable pieces of advice for your new marriage. Specialized photo-books can either be made by you with some scrapbooking materials, or you can upload photos to an online photo store where you can create a scrapbook designed in whatever colors or theme you like. For less than $20, you can create a customized photo book that can be used as a guest sign-in book at the online Web site for the Walmart Photo Center.

Every bride loves to imagine her wedding cake as a huge display piece that everyone will remember her wedding by. Unfortunately, a beautiful cake made by a cakery or custom cake maker can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Most wedding cake costs are calculated on a per-serving basis, which means if you anticipate 300 people at your wedding, and the price per slice of cake is $2 each very conservative price you are looking at a $600 cake. For the financially conscious, a money-saving idea is to have a cupcake cake. Cupcake cake stands are available in stores for purchase or rent for a fairly decent price or can even be made at home. The cupcakes themselves cost less than $13 per 36 cupcakes at wholesale membership clubs, like Sams. These cupcakes taste great and you can select the type of cake (white or chocolate) as well as the color of butter cream frosting you want. The top of the cupcake cake can still be the traditional small wedding cake top, complete with the bride and groom figurine. This is a great way to appeal to the little children at the wedding and keeps the messes and necessity of plate purchases to a minimum.

Weddings are one of the most special occasions, but they do not have to cause you to go into debt! Make your wedding, or your son’s or daughter’s, into a fabulous event no one will soon forget by embracing creative, custom and contemporary wedding ideas that will save you money and make for a memorable day.

Why Are Wedding Guest Books Important and What Are the Different Types of Weddings Guest Books?

A wedding celebrates and commemorates the union of a husband and wife, in the presence of their family and friends. No other occasion can probably create the same enthusiasm and passion than tying the knot. Capturing all the memories associated with such an event therefore, is essential. This is where a wedding guest book plays a significant role. It is one of those special memoirs that you will cherish for years to come.

This book keeps a written and well-documented record of everyone who shared this special moment with the couple. Captured here are best wishes by the guests, words of advice and maybe even a quote or a few. An essential item for all weddings, it will prove very valuable when looking at it after all the celebrations have died down and you come back from your honeymoon. All you have left now are your memories of what was one, if not, the most important event of your life. There are various types on the market. Here is a quick glimpse of a few:

Specific Themes
If your wedding has a specific theme, then your wedding guest book can complement this. It is a fun and creative way to use guest books and can make a great impression on your guests. There are fairy tale wedding themed books, beach, whimsical, rustic, vintage, garden, and color-themed books amid many others.

Photo Book

Photo books are an excellent idea to create fun memories with a visual impact. The couple can choose their favourite photos of themselves, engagement shoot photos are increasingly popular, and then have them made into a personalized guest book. Their guests can then write their messages in the spaces around the selected photos.

Wedding Platter
A wedding platter is an option for those who want to move away from the conventional guest book. The best thing about this book is that it can be showcased, publicly afterwards.

Quilt guest books, usually blankets or tapestries, are a fabulous way to engage wedding guests to form a quilted masterpiece. Using pieces of fabric and fabric pens, people can write their individual messages which then can be sewn into an entire piece later.

This type of book is very personalized where you can have the book customized with the monogrammed initials of the bride and groom.

A puzzle guest book is another innovative guest book idea. Turn the favorite picture of the couple together or any relevant shape, made into a puzzle, where each guest can write on each piece.

These are the main types of wedding guest books on the market. You can also find them for birthdays, christenings, engagements and other life milestones. You can find them either on online stores, stationery stores and selected specialty stores.

Wedding Themes Simplify Planning and Get You Bang for Your Buck: 100 Favorite Wedding Themes

Adopting a theme for your wedding does more than express your personal style. Working with a theme simplifies decision-making by focusing your choices, and it gives you maximum bang for your buck because all the elements of the wedding will play off each other. To stir your theme-choosing imagination, here are my 100 favorite wedding themes and some of the details that bring them to life.


  • Classic Style: Flowers in urn-shaped vases, tightly manicured hedges, monograms.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate liqueur, beef with chocolate and chili mole, chocolate mousse.
  • Brunch: Mimosas, savory quiches, a jazz trio.
  • Cocktail Party: Cityscapes, signature drinks, stilettos.
  • Childhood Home: Garlands on the stairs, rolled up rugs, dressing for your wedding in the room where you grew up.
  • Community: Long tables, young and old sharing the dance floor, making a charitable donation in honor of your guests instead of giving favors.
  • Spheres: Spherical vases, bourbon balls pre-set on the tables, paper lanterns.
  • Champagne and Cake Reception: Clinking glasses, heart-felt toasts, butter cream frosting.
  • Surprise Wedding: Invitations that throw everyone off the scent, informalwear, a champagne toast to announce the wedding ceremony.
  • Afternoon Tea: Lace huppah, herbed sandwiches, tiered serving platters.
  • Vintage: Birdcage veil, bias-cut satin, champagne punch.
  • Simple Elegance: White huppah canopy, a gown with simple lines, understated floral arrangements.
  • Pot-Luck: Gathering around the huppah, buffet table overflowing with everyone’s best festive dishes, the heart-felt support of family and friends.
  • Nights in Morocco: Hamsa, gold thread embroidery, a bridal crown.
  • Family: Family members holding your huppah poles, a family slideshow, family-style meal service.
  • Dancing: A dance floor, a DJ, friends you can count on to get the party started when the first song hits.
  • Dessert Reception: Tiered serving plates, passed champagne, chocolate.
  • Hors d’Oeuvres Reception: Savory hors d’oeuvres, carefully chosen wine, cocktail attire.
  • Candy: Pastel colors, candy buffet, candy favors.
  • Country Romance: Lace huppah, wooden tables, sweet tea.
  • Lakeside Wedding: Raising the huppah by the lake, the wedding dress catching the breeze, The sun -or moon- reflected in the water.
  • Roses: Rose petals strewn in the aisle, rose water, heaping bouquets of roses.
  • The Big Tree in the Backyard: Huppah under the tree, tree leaf decorating motif, taking turns on the swing.
  • Paper: Wrapping paper table runners, paper lanterns, paper flower centerpieces.
  • Mini: Mini quiches, mini cupcakes, petite roses.
  • Just Close Family and Friends: Handwritten invitations, shared memories, homemade wedding cake.
  • Candles: A hundred borrowed candlesticks, candle favors, an internal glow.
  • Jewish Artisanal Style: Hand calligraphed ketubah (wedding contract), Yaer Emanuel design kiddush cup, klezmer band.
  • Sparkle: Beaded lace, champagne bubbles, a bride’s beaming face.
  • Fiesta: Vibrant colors, Mexican peasant dresses for the bridesmaids, large paper flowers.
  • How We Met: Food and centerpieces based on the place where you met, the natural conversation starter: “So, how did you two meet?”
  • Fairy Tale Wedding: Pink roses, a tiara, silk satin.
  • Passion Romance: Red roses, chocolate covered strawberries, passion fruit sorbet.
  • Farm: Bushel baskets, tall grass, reception in the barn.
  • Italian Feast: Italian wines, antipasto, cannoli, tiramisu, gelato, cassata, amaretti, pizzelles, panna cotta, limoncello semifreddo, zabaglione, mascarpone frosting…


  • Spring Greens: Spring green satin pumps, spring green orchids, salad of mixed spring greens.
  • Pinks: Mixed flower bouquets, strawberry punch, a blushing bride.
  • Gingham: Bouquets wrapped in gingham ribbon, gingham tablecloths, favor boxes topped with gingham bows.
  • Flowering Trees: Huppah by the trees, flowering branch centerpieces, flower petals dusting the ground.
  • Berries: A mix of purples, raspberry kir, berries on the wedding cake.
  • Tulle: Tulle details on the wedding dress, bouquets tied with tulle ribbon, candy favors tied up in tulle.
  • Victoriana: Posy bridal bouquet, sugared violets, flower arrangements filled to overflowing.
  • Sweet Romance: Shoulder length veil, petite bridal bouquet, stolen kisses.
  • Tulips: Tulip bridal bouquet, tulip centerpieces, tulip-skirted flower girl dresses.
  • Lag B’Omer (A Jewish holiday between Passover and Shavuot): Flowering branches, laughter, young love.
  • Lilacs: Purples, lilac table bouquets, the sweet heady lilac scent.
  • Daisies: Yellow and white, daisy bouquets, “…she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me!


  • Carnival: Pennant banners, caramel popcorn, ring toss.
  • Garden Party: Layers of stripes and chintz, small full flower arrangements, ladies in hats.
  • Barbecue: Sweet-smelling smoke, micro-brewed beer, wet naps.
  • Picnic: Gingham tablecloths, fried chicken, potato salad.
  • Tropical: Citrus colors, cool drinks, mango ice cream.
  • Southern Charm: Mint juleps, magnolias, photos on the veranda.
  • Cottage garden: Garden tours, a leisurely meal, herb garden menu.
  • Stripes: Striped ties, widely striped tablecloths, huppah poles wrapped in ribbon.
  • Hydrangeas: Blues, greens, and purples; linen table cloths; silver flower bowls.
  • Americana: Family photos on the porch, touch football on the lawn, a bonfire.
  • Fourth of July: Stars and stripes, bunting, sparklers.
  • Fairy Garden: Fairy lights reflected in the birdbath, pinks and blues, butterfly wings in the flower arrangements.
  • Lavender: Lavender bouquets, lavender ice cream, lavender sachet favors.
  • Chintz: Rose-themed invitations, chintz overlays on striped tablecloths, overflowing rose bouquets.
  • Lawn Games: Croquet, horse shoes, lemonade.
  • Evening Romance: Raising the huppah at twilight, a cello, dinner and dancing under the stars.
  • Calla Lilies: Dramatic large calla lilies, elegant small calla lilies, echoes of Katherine Hepburn’s “The calla lilies ahre in bloohm…”
  • Forest: Moss, tree-branch huppah poles, pinecone place cards.
  • Luau: Leis, hibiscus, piƱa coladas.
  • Evening in the Garden: Lots of white, huppah lightly sparkling with beaded lace, heaps of candles.
  • French Countryside: Toile, topiaries, garden benches.
  • Beach: Sand, surf, ocean breezes.
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream: Twinkly lights, flower garlands, moonlight.
  • Sunset Ceremony: Tiki torches, tiki torches, tiki torches.


  • Pomegranates: Pomegranate themed invitations, deep red table setting, pomegranate tablescapes.
  • Apples: Huppah under the apple boughs, sparkling cider, apple centerpieces.
  • Rustic: Wooden tables, hemp table runner, home-made wedding cake.
  • Velvet: Velvet huppah, velvet table runners, red velvet cake.
  • Country Store: Mason jar vases, natural fabric tablecloths, home-made pies.
  • Autumn Harvest: Pumpkins, natural tablescape, a pretty cardigan.
  • Wine Tasting: A knowledgeable sommelier, dark wood, savory hors d’oeuvres.
  • Fruits of Israel: Marzipan-stuffed date hors d’oeuvres; broiled figs; centerpieces of pomegranates, figs, grapes, dates, and sheaves of wheat and barley.


  • Hearth and Home: Glowing fire in the fireplace, family and friends gathered from far and near, warm hugs.
  • New Year’s Eve: Champagne, cocktail attire, glittery golds.
  • Snowflakes: White and blue, crystals in the centerpieces, sugar snowflakes decorating the wedding cake.
  • Glimpses of the Garden: Snow covered trees, red cardinals, cardinal red.
  • Desert Landscape: Long horizons, succulent centerpieces, desert sunset.
  • Greenery: Ruscus green garlands, white flower accents, garland decorations draped on the wedding cake tiers.
  • Hanukkah: Evening ceremony, lighting the Hanukkah, gold-wrapped chocolate coins scattered on the tables.



  • Orange and Fuchsia: Fuchsia bridesmaids’ dresses, orange and fuchsia bouquets, white table linens.
  • Brown and Green: Moss, pinecones, tree branch huppah poles.
  • French Blue and White: French blue tablecloths, white porcelain urn flower containers, touches of brown.
  • Turquoise and Orange: Turquoise tablecloths, orange flower centerpieces, lots of energy.
  • Lavender: Lavender bridesmaids’ dresses, lilac bouquet centerpieces, touches of light grey.
  • White and Navy: Navy suit jackets, khaki pants, touches of yellow.
  • White, Ivory, and Creamy Pink: White gown, pink tablecloths, ivory ribbons.
  • Silver Grey, Gold and White: Silver table service, gold brocade table runners, crisp white linens.


  • Black and White: Formal wear, baroque patterns, a touch of bling.
  • Ivory and Gold: Duchess satin fabrics, double-sided satin ribbons, Chiavari chairs.
  • White: Layers of white in a mix of textures, tapers, vanilla bean wedding cake.
  • Fig, Dove Grey, White: Fig centerpieces, dove grey tablecloths, white votive candles.
  • Silver Pewter: Silver pewter bridesmaids’ dresses, deep grey organza chair sashes, pewter goblets.
  • Charcoal Grey: Charcoal grey suit, white rose boutonniere, silver kiddush cup.