Category Archives: Budget & Finance

Bridal Bouquet Preservation.

Your wedding day is one of the most important events in your life, and you’d do anything to make sure you remember it all. While pictures and videos can do a great job with helping you relive those moments, you can also take something else away from that day, your flowers! Your wedding bouquet can be preserved and displayed so that you can enjoy them for years to come.

    The  Preservation process begins with the drying of your flowers. The drying method you choose depends on your budget and how you want your keepsake to look once it’s complete.

Air Drying:

This is the least expensive as you simply allow your flowers to dry up naturally. Air dried flowers will shrink considerably in size; they will lose their original shape and sometimes they will turn very dark or black. Many people trying to air dry have noticed mold or rotted flowers a few days after the wedding. While roses can be air-dried, lilies and orchids cannot be air-dried.

Flower Pressing:

This is an art form dating back many years. Many years ago heavy books were used to press flowers between their pages. There are flower pressing companies that will create beautiful framed art using flower presses. Framed pressed flowers are flat and allow the use of flat picture frames and other types of flat displays for decorating . If you do not like the look of three-dimensional flowers, then you should consider this drying method.


This drying method can produce good results with some flowers but not all flower varieties, sizes and shapes of flowers can be maintained well in silica sand.  First, check to see if your flower types are known to dry well in silica before selecting this drying method. You will need enough silica sand to bury each flower separately from your bouquet. Flower petals may detach with the weight of sand on the blooms. The cost of purchasing enough silica sand to dry a large wedding bouquet may approach the cost of just selecting a professional service to dry your flowers.


This is the latest technology for wedding bouquet preservation. Orchids, lilies, and all varieties of flowers can be freeze-dried with near perfect, life-like results. Your flowers will keep most of their size, shape, and color throughout the drying process and look amazingly alive when dried. Unfortunately you cannot do this at home without having an expensive vacuum freeze drying machine. Professional freeze drying of your wedding bouquet will cost more than the other drying methods, but if you would like to save your wedding day blooms using the best drying method, then have your bouquet freeze-dried. The fee to freeze dry a wedding bouquet may not be much more than if you purchase enough silica sand to attempt the drying yourself.

Preservation begins with the drying method used but preservation is really the methods and materials used to prolong and keep your flowers for years to come once they are dried.The better the drying method, the better preservation encapsulation your flowers should have. Proper encapsulation in “sealed” preservation framing ensures that the flowers will last their longest after they are dried. Not all flower drying companies may provide this level of preservation for your wedding flowers.


Honeymoon at Sea

Vacations are nice, but none can compare to the romance and pure joy derived from a honeymoon. A honeymoon at sea is even greater because it’s so easy to plan and you get to see a variety of places for the cost of one trip. Most cruise lines and airlines may offer you little perks if you tell them it’s your honeymoon. For example , your cruise line may get you into that coveted dinner for two at the late dinner and your airline may put you on the standby list for a business class upgrade.

Though we all love free extras you shouldn’t expect any cruise line to bend over backward for you. After all you’re probably not the only honeymooners on the ship. But even then you can purchase specific packages from your cruise line to assure that you and your spouse enjoy the vacation.

Disney cruise line has a great “romantic escapes at sea” package. No you don’t have to be a newlywed in order to book this package but it’s certainly appropriate. You will receive a one hour couples massage , and fresh flowers in your cabin.

Carnival cruise lines gives all newlyweds a wedding cake at dinner on their first night. You can also arrange for the crew to decorate your room with a “congratulations” banner, balloons , and a cake. You can also pre-order a dozen red roses so that they are waiting in your cabin when you arrive. You can also look into the “high seas honeymoon” package which offers all of the perfect tourist trappings ( visors, cameras, T-shirts etc.) and discounted drinks.

Norwegian cruise lines host many honeymooners , so giving away costly freebies isn’t a common occurence. However, you can book one of four packages including the “deluxe celebration” package. This package consists of champagne and strawberries, a couples massage , a body wrap for her , breakfast in bed and in-cabin tea service ( which you’d get anyway), a bridge tour , a framed portrait , and dinner for two in the bistro with wine.

Royal Caribbean cruise lines offer a “classic romance” package. With this package you get a bottle of sparkling wine and canapes for two , pre-dinner canapes and after dinner sweets on the first night, and an 8×10 portrait in a silver plated frame. You can also upgrade to the “grand romance package” , that gets you Veuve clicquot and canapes, flowers, two woven robes, pre-dinner canapes and after dinner sweets on two nights, as well as the framed 8×10 photo.

There are many sea excursions for you and your honey to choose from. Once you’ve narrowed down where you’d like to go and the packages you would enjoy the most you can then discuss pricing.Remember booking early is always cheaper.


Country/Farmhouse Weddings

When most couples think of a romantic, beautiful setting, they don’t typically imagine a barn. Tastefully decorated, however, a barn can be a great venue for a memorable wedding.There are many types of barn buildings to choose from in different sizes and shapes. Some barns are specially built to host wedding receptions, dances, parties, and other events, while others can be easily decorated for the perfect day.

Aside from a great place to host the reception party, barns make for great photographic backdrops. To ensure that the barn appears an asset in your photographs rather than an eyesore, make sure that it is well cleaned, repaired and painted, if need be, and decorated to suit the occasion. Make sure the grass around the barn is freshly cut and all debris removed.

Nothing says country farmhouse more than a bale of hay.While hay bale seating for guests might be a little to much , forming an alter out of hay is perfect to set off your decor, rustic and, if draped with silk or ribbons, can be simply elegant. Either attach hay to an altar that’s already standing, or order a custom-made frame, as long as you have the time and funds to do so.

Instead of dressing the wedding party up like bad country table linens, consider using western embellishments to match the theme. Leather cowboy boots, bridesmaids in shirt dresses with large belts, cowboy hats on all the groomsmen and officiant, and horseshoe brooches or lapel pins all help match the scene while allowing the party to look sharp.


The food should be modern versions of country classics, such as miniature apple pies with gourmet ice cream, vegetable soup served in carved-out pumpkins, egg and ham canapés, fresh vegetable salad, corn, whole grains, apples and carrot cakes. The wedding cake, however, should be traditional: white tiers with autumn-colored floral accents and either a rich chocolate or light almond interior. However, this aspect is totally up to you because not every one enjoys the same types of foods.


In all planning a country themed wedding is not as intricate as it seems, you just have to make sure you are willing to invest time into planning it perfectly. Enjoy!!!





Wedding Insurance.

On your wedding day the last thing you want to think about is a sudden disaster , but it happens. In the event that you have any type of disaster on your big day you can assure that you’re covered by securing wedding insurance.

Wedding insurance protects a couples investment from things beyond their control and reimburses them for their expenses.

For example, What if the limo driver doesn’t show up the morning of your wedding and you have to book another company at an inflated price right away? Or what happens if the reception hall you booked went bankrupt weeks before your big day and your not able to get back your deposit back? These are things that your insurance will help you take care of. 

Wedding Insurance also takes care of more tragic events like your dress catching on fire, the loss of your wedding bands, and even the costs of having to postpone your wedding all together for events you couldn’t control. Wedding insurance However, does not cover a change of heart , watches , jewelry (outside of your bands) or semi-precious gemstones, and your engagement ring.

A basic policy that covers loss of photos , videos, attire, presents, rings, and deposits usually costs anywhere between $155-$550, depending on the amount of coverage you want. General liability insurance , which covers up to 1million dollars for accidents, costs around $185.However, before you buy wedding insurance , check with each of your vendors because they may have an insurance policy of their own in the event that they can’t deliver their services.

Do not wait up until the last minute to insure your wedding because their may be certain time restrictions on any given policy or claim.

In all , wedding insurance is great to have, even if you never have to use it.

Personalize civil ceremonies

Civil ceremonies are gaining popularity over church weddings recently and this is happening for many reasons. A civil ceremony is highly customizable and is not bound by any rules and regulations. This allows the couple to blend many religions, traditions, and cultural rituals into one ceremony. Civil ceremonies are highly recommended for couples with children in order to symbolize the blending of your families.

There are no rules that say how elaborate your marriage ceremony must be, or where it must take place, therefore your imagination is your only limit. The most basic of civil ceremonies include a legal authorization by your marriage celebrant and a simple exchange of vows. You can include a special greeting to welcome your guests if you wish, you can even add the reading of a poem, or an introduction of the couple by a close friend . In order to make your ceremony even more personal you may choose to write your own vows.Civil marriage ceremonies can range from small and intimate gatherings to more lavish affairs; they allow for the utmost flexibility and can be adapted to your liking. Many couples make their ceremonies unique by incorporating both traditional and nontraditional elements.

Represent Your Union with Unity Candles , its exclusivity of religious significance makes it suitable for any couple. Two candles, representing the couple as individuals, are lit. They are then used to light a third, central candle that represents the unification of the couple and their commitment to both the marriage and each other. The many potential variations insure a perfect fit into your specific ceremony. For instance, the individual candles may be lit prior to the ceremony, or during the ceremony by the bride and groom, or by the couple’s parents. There may be more candles added to represent your children.  The tradition of a unity candle offers a meaningful way to involve family members in your ceremony, and can be personalised further according to your liking.

The endless freedom of civil ceremonies allows you to create the wedding of your dreams. You can incorporate your family and friends in any part. Honor the beloved memory of someone special. Blend ancient rites with modern customs. Start a new family wedding tradition as a gift to the brides and grooms of future generations. Your civil ceremony will blend carefully chosen elements that convey the essence of your personalities, the strength of your commitment to one another, and the unbounded love you share.

That’s the overall purpose of a wedding anyway isn’t it?


Etiquette ~ requesting monetary gifts instead of toasters.

Asking for money from your guests is definitely an uneasy task for many couples. However, many of these couples prefer to receive cash over the everyday household item that they may already possess. So how do you do this without being completely rude to your guests or making them feel that they absolutely have to get you a gift? That is exactly the question we’re here to answer.

The easiest way to ask your guests for money is to have your close family and friends put the word out for you. No this does not mean that you will have your parents and your bridal party walking around the reception with a collection hat. This just simply means that you should express these feelings of wanting cash instead of gifts to them, this way when someone asks them what to get you they can express your feelings to that particular guest. This gives you guests the option to decide whether they will follow through with your wishes and give you cash or buy  you a traditional gift.

Though word of mouth this an effective tool in spreading the word it may also be effective to express your feelings to your guests. How? Use your wedding website to its fullest extent, instead of adding a link to a  gift registry in the “registry” portion of your site you can ask your guests to help contribute money towards a home, car, or even your honeymoon. And of course no one wants to come off as completely vulgar when asking for money from their guests so you can get creative and say it through a poem:

“If you were thinking of giving a gift, to help us on our way.

A gift of cash towards our house, would really make our day.

However, if you prefer to purchase a gift, feel free to surprise us in your own way.”

If you still feel a little wary about asking for hard cash it’s ok, I know of some other ways to ask. You could incorporate a wedding wishing well into your reception space, this allows your guests to give you money without handing you a wad of cash in your hand. However, for your wishing well to be successful the word should have been spread that this wishing well would be present at the reception. Of course your wishing well would also require some form of creativity. This will mean that it should be decorated to match your entire wedding decor, but it should NOT have a sign next to it that says ” cash here please” , a poem would also be great for you wishing well.

More than just kisses so far we’ve shared,

Our home has been made with Love and Care,

Most things we need we’ve already got,

And in our home we can’t fit a lot!

A wishing well we thought would be great,

(But only if you wish to participate),

A gift of money is placed in the well,

Then make a wish …. but shhh don’t tell!

Once we’ve replaced the old with the new,

We can look back and say it was thanks to you!

And in return for your kindness, we’re sure

That one day soon you will get what you wished for.

Though some guests may love your approach and may be more than willing to fund your new beginnings some guests may remain wary of handing over cold hard cash. For the comfort of these guests there are sites that will allow you to register for cash, yes that’s right you can register for cash, How Perfect! On these sites you can register for cash and your guests can choose to give you whatever amount they would like, the check is usually sent out on or after the wedding day. You can also find banks like suntrust that have bridal registry and your guests can go on the site and contribute to a down payment on a new house for the two of you. There are also many sites that will allow your guests to do similar things while also leaving the option for a traditional gift open to them.

Uncomfortable doesn’t have to mean stressful, so remember the best way to ask your guests is to just be honest, it is up to them to get you two a gift or to hand you cash. Either way I’m sure you’d greatly appreciate both, or at least you should.



Wedding Gifts ~ Charitable Donations

Deciding where you should register takes a lot of time and effort and can be stressful at times, However it doesn’t always have to be so labor intensive. If you’re a couple that has already began sharing a home together, then you already have a toaster, blender , and plenty of other household items that you two already own. So what do you register for if you already have everything? How about a charitable donation ?

Yes it may sound strange to some people, but think about it, instead of just asking for a new comforter set that you don’t need or set of pricey china that you’ll never use you can ask your guests to donate to a charity of your choice. A strange concept to some is now becoming the “norm” in the modern wedding society. But some aren’t quit sure how to ask such a thing of their guests without being too presumptuous.

It’s fairly simple actually, instead of going to register at your favorite department store there are sites that you can register for that have a list of charities that they cater to( . Once you’ve registered and chosen a charity or a list of charities you can then provide the link to the page on your wedding website in place of an actual gift registry. If you have guests that are not too keen to the idea of donating in your name then you should also leave it open for them to buy a gift if they must. Charitable donations over gifts is a great way for you two as a couple to symbolize your love for one another while sharing it with any given charity or special cause.

If you would like more information on the specific charities you can choose from or in what ways your donations will help any given charity you should get in direct contact with this charity, especially if you feel you’d like to donate more than money.

As always keep giving in the memory and thoughts of others.