Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fun Twists on the Traditional Guest Book

In the last issue we talked about choosing the right music for your
reception.  In this issue we are going to talk about some fun twists on
the traditional guest book.

Did you know that just because you are having a traditional wedding it
doesn't mean you have to have a traditional guest book. Of course you
can purchase a standard guest book and ask your guests to sign it,
but there are so many more guest book activities that are much more
fun and unique.

One very popular option is to have your guests to sign a picture of the
bride and groom. Simply take a picture of the bride and groom (a
formal engagement photo works great) and have it matted with a mat
that is several inches larger than the photo itself. Place a in a frame, but
leave out the glass for now. You'll put it back in later.

Be sure to have a nice Sharpie marker handy and place the picture on
either a sturdy easel or on a table where guests are sure to see it. After
the wedding the picture can be framed as a wonderful keepsake for the
bride and groom to hang on their wall and cherish.

Another option is instead of providing a picture of the bride and groom
to sign, the guests are provided with a picture of themselves! Simply
provide a Polaroid camera and assign someone the job of taking
pictures of the guests as they arrive at the reception. Once the picture
is dry, provide a Sharpie and they can sign the picture, make a note to
the bride and groom or hand draw a silly picture. It can be whatever the
guest wants it to be. This is a unique, and personal, way for guests to
"sign in" at the wedding.

 Whoever handles the taking of the pictures should also handle putting
them in an album of some sort. A scrap booker might provide a special
memory book with the Polaroid pictures in it, or the pictures can simply
be placed in a nice album and presented later to the bride and groom.

Many guests don't give a great deal of thought to the guest book. They
whiz by the guest book table more concerned with getting their cocktail
and hitting the dance floor. If this is a concern, provide a "traveling"
guest book. Send each guest something either to sign or decorate
before the wedding.

In this "traveling" guest book, there are several options. One
of the easiest is to send each guest a small piece of paper and ask
them to write something meaningful or thoughtful for the bride and
groom on it. The pieces of paper are returned prior to the wedding (to
ensure a better response, provide a self-addressed stamped envelope
with the paper) and can be compiled in some meaningful way for the
bride and groom and presented to them on their wedding day.

If the guest list is a creative or particularly close group, there is one
other option that is even more meaningful. Again, in a scrapbook
fashion, send each guest a piece of paper to sign or decorate. The
paper should be the size of a photo album, so it might be a 6 x 6 piece
of paper, an 8 x 8 piece of paper, or even 12 x 12, if the guests are up
to that larger size.

In a letter that arrives with the paper, the guests are instructed to create
a memory page for the bride and groom. They might include photos,
quotes, little anecdotal stories, or combine all of these with stickers or
embellishments. It's thoughtful, meaningful and personal and it's an
excellent way to include guests who might not be able to attend the
wedding, but would still like to be a part of it.

Cindy Lieber
Accredited Event Designer
OC Brides Event Coordination
(714) 970-6380

P.S.  If you are feeling overwhelmed and could use some help planning
or coordinating your day, visit our planning page.  We have several
packages to choose from or if you prefer we have reasonable hourly rates!
P.P.S.  Did this DIY series help you come up with some new ideas to stay
on budget?  Is there something I should add to help brides in their DIY
planning process?  Please let me know!  I love to help!

Choosing the Right Music for Your Wedding

In the last issue we talked about finding the perfect cake for your
special day! In this issue we are going to talk about choosing the right
music for your reception, no matter what your budget.

Traditionally the wedding reception is a party to celebrate the union of
two special people. These special celebrations include music for you
and your guests to enjoy and dance to.

When it comes to choosing the music for your reception you have a few
options depending on what your budget will allow.

Most people like to have a disc jockey at their reception. This way they
can have a large selection of music available guests of all ages. When
it comes to costs a disc jockey is probably less expensive than a band,
but they can be a bit pricey too. Keep in mind that a good DJ will also
act as an MC and will help keep the guests entertained and move the
reception along.

When looking for a DJ make sure you shop around extensively and as
we have discussed before, be sure to ask your friends, check with
local colleges and even your local radio station to see who they would
recommend for the job.

When picking out music, make sure you take the guests into
consideration. It you have people for all different age groups coming
you should try to include a little something for everyone. For instance
Great Grandpa George may not enjoy an all rap repertoire, while young
Sandy and little Harry won't be dancing to the big band music either.
So, make sure there’s a mix of both to please both young, old and in

Here is a quick tip that will help encourage your guests to dance.
Assign each table a song, when that song plays that table should get up
to dance. You can even offer a prize to the liveliest table at the end of
the night. This will make them really want to kick up their heels and have
fun on the floor!

If your heart is set on live music, look for bands that have day jobs
and "jam" for fun. Don't rule out high school bands. Consider the time of
your reception. For instance if your reception begins at 1:00pm and
are serving food and having cake chances are you won't need the band
to start playing until 2:00 or 3:00. You can play nice mood music in the
background on the CD player until the start.

Be sure to interview several bands and find out where they are playing
so that you can see them perform live before you make your final

If you are on a very tight budget there is no reason why you can't make
your own mix CD’s and if you know of someone who has an awesome
stereo system, see if they would be willing to loan it to you for the day
and have people volunteer to man it to make sure you don’t have any
silent times.

The good part about  is that if you take some time, you can put
it together so that it plays straight through and no one will have to switch
discs. You can mix it up with an equal balance of fast and slow songs
and add in all your favorites as well.

Another fun option for music is to have a karaoke set up. You can
maximize on the talents of some of your guests and laugh with the not
so talented others.  Some people really come to life with karaoke,
so why not take advantage of that!

If you don’t own a karaoke machine or know someone who does, look
into renting one. You can download karaoke songs (music without the
lyrics) online to make your own karaoke CD’s then go to lyrics.com to
get the words and arrange the songs lyric's in a simple 3 ring binder for
your guests to refer to.

Remember your choice of music can help set the tone for your
reception and can make your day one to remember. No matter which
option you go with make sure that you take enough time to choose
songs that are memorable, touch the hearts of your guests and make
them want to dance the night away.

Make sure you look for your next issue soon. We will be talking about
some fun twists on the traditional guest book.

Cindy Lieber
Accredited Event Designer
OC Brides Event Coordination
(714) 970-6380

P.S.  I'm always looking for new ideas for music.  Are you doing
something unique that I haven't listed here?  I would love
to hear it.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Finding the Perfect Cake Options for Your Wedding

In the last issue we talked about how to feed all your guests in style
without going into debt. In this issue we are going to talk about finding
the perfect cake for your special day!

Your wedding cake. There is no doubt that it is the centerpiece of the
reception. Not only is it a part of a tradition, it is a scrumptious dessert
for you and your guests to enjoy!

The prices of a wedding cake can run from the hundreds well into the
thousands of dollars. When it comes to picking out the perfect wedding
cake for your special day it is important to look at a lot of different ideas
before you decide on the one you want.

To begin your search for the perfect cake you can start by visiting
bakeries, looking at bridal magazines and browsing online. Keep in
mind that the more tiers and the fancier the cake is the more expensive
it will be. Another important thing to keep in mind is that the actual one
you have on display doesn't have to feed your entire guest list.

With that in mind you are open to having a smaller, but more elegant
cake for you and your intended to cut in to at your reception. Then have
an equally as tasty sheet cake in the kitchen to serve to guests.

You should also consider the time of year and location of your wedding
is important when choosing a cake. If you're having and outside
wedding in the summer, things like mousse, cream filling or ice cream
cake will not work well.

Here are some other quick tips that you can use to keep the cost of
your wedding cake as low as possible without sacrificing what you

- Try to stick with basic flavors and fillings for your cake, exotic
flavorings will add to the cost of the cake. If your heart is set on fruit
filling you can always offer guests various toppings like; fresh
strawberries, chocolate syrup, raspberries, sprinkles and whipped
cream for their slice of cake.

- Order from a grocery store rather than a bakery. Many grocers have
onsite bakeries, just like they have onsite florist departments. They
often produce cakes just as good as a specialty bakery.

- Why not try cupcakes as an alternative to the traditional tiered cake.
These can be made in a variety of flavors and arranged on a tiered
rack or in a creative design on the cake table.

Of course, the best way to save on your wedding is to make it yourself
or have a talented friend or relative bake it.  Consider the cost of some
cake mixes and frosting, and you can see how baking your own cake
can save money.

If you have plenty of time before the big day you can sign up for a cake
decorating class so that you can be sure to create a cake you will be
proud to share.

Remember wedding cakes don’t have to be elaborate, just tasty.  When
decorating, consider using fresh flowers. This will add some real class
to the cake and bring in the colors of your wedding too.

The cake topper is another place where you can show your uniqueness
as a couple and save money by having a less traditional and less
expensive topper.

Instead look for something original and less costly. Consider some of
the things that you and your intended share or like to do together.
Maybe you are Nascar fans, football fanatics, enjoy scuba diving or
music. Then begin to look around for, statues, figurines, bobbles or toys
that will work for your cake.

Did you know that there are places that will take photo's of the bride
and groom and turn them into bobble heads for your cake? It may not
be the inexpensive topper that we have been talking about, but it is a
fun and festive way to top a cake!

Be sure to shop around before you decided on the perfect cake, style
and decorations, Remember your wedding cake should be as
individual as you, but it doesn't have to bust your budget!

Make sure you look for your next issue soon. We will be talking about
choosing the right music for your reception, no matter what your budget.

Cindy Lieber
Accredited Event Designer
OC Brides Event Coordination
(714) 970-6380

P.S.  Need more cake ideas to fit your personality or theme?
Shoot me an email.  I can help! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Unique and Budget Friendly Wedding Buffets

In the last issue we talked about wedding favors that won't put a big
dent in your budget. In this issue we are going to talk about how to feed
all your guests in style without going into debt.

Food can take a huge chunk out of your wedding budget. It's often
difficult to figure out what's acceptable as it is an area in which expert's
(etiquette or otherwise) opinions vary widely. It can also be difficult to
choose what type of food to serve at your reception, especially when
you consider all of the different varieties of food available to you.

If you are having your reception at a hall that offers food service as part
of the package, choose your menu wisely. While you may dream of a
steak and lobster meal at your reception, this will be quite expensive
and is not really viable when throwing a wedding on a budget.

There’s nothing wrong with an elegantly prepared chicken breast for
your wedding meal. Perhaps offer a vegetarian alternative like fish as
well.  Beef tends to be more expensive than poultry or fish, so be
completely committed if you must have steak, you'll pay for it!

Consider having hors-d'oeuvres if your reception hall will be catering.
Almost always, these will be cheaper than a sit down meal, and guests
can enjoy them just as much.

Here are some general tips for your wedding dinner catered by your
reception hall:

It's a myth that a buffet-style meal is less expensive than a served
one. In reality, buffets require more food and more labor so their cost is

If you are working with a smaller group (say 40 to 70), piggyback
onto another group's menu. This allows the hotel to buy in bulk and
lowers your price.

Consider other main entrees besides beef and chicken. Chefs can
do a lot of things with pastas and the price is usually very reasonable

For halls that will allow you to bring in your own caterer, the key here is
to shop around. Check with a local family restaurant and see if they
have bulk meals they will offer for your reception.  Almost all will or at
the very least, will try for the money.

If serving your guests a full meal isn't within your budget, don't worry
there are other options for you to choose from.

All of these options are less expensive than a full meal (whether
buffet style or sit-down) if you don't mind doing a good bit of the work
yourself and you aren't holding the reception during meal-time.

Breakfast is often served around 8:00 a.m., Lunch at 12:00 p.m. and
Dinner at 6:00 p.m., and these are the times in which a full meal is
generally expected by guests. These times also vary depending on your
area. You should hold your reception two hours before or after these
times if you don't plan on serving a full meal.

Let's talk about some of the types of reception in which a full
meal isn't served.

- Cake and Punch Reception.

The most common time of day that this type of reception is held is early
afternoon (approximately 2:00 p.m.), but it can also occur in mid-
morning (approximately 10:00 a.m.). A cake and punch reception
generally consists of the wedding cake and refreshments.
Refreshments can include: punch, coffee, tea, champagne, etc. You can
also supplement the wedding cake with other types of cake in different
flavors and textures.

- Dessert Reception.

This type of reception is one in which desserts are served. Desserts
can include pies, cakes, doughnuts, cookies, pastries, brownies, etc.
Another option, which can be combined with a normal dessert
reception if you'd like, is a sundae bar.

In this type of reception, you serve bowls of ice cream (usually vanilla)
and let your guests choose their topping. Toppings can include
chocolate or fudge sauce, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, crushed
walnuts, whipped cream, fruit toppings, etc. Basically, the same things
you'd find in any sundae bar.

Summer is the most common time of year for a sundae bar. A normal
dessert bar can be used year round though as there are desserts
specific to season. For example, pumpkin pie and apple pie would be
a great choice for fall weddings. This type of reception is also an
example of an inexpensive choice if you purchase the items on your

- Hors-d'oeuvres Reception.

There are actually two distinct types of hors-d'oeuvres receptions. The
first is light hors-d'oeuvres and consists of a lighter fare than the second
which is a heavy hors-d'oeuvres menu.

A light menu often includes items such as: crackers, vegetable platters
with dip, fruit, cheese, etc. A heavy hors-d'oeuvres often includes these
as well as items such as: meat and cheese trays, chicken fingers, egg
rolls, etc.

These types of receptions are also (casually) called "finger-food
receptions" in some areas. In order to save money on this type of
reception, check your local grocery store deli for prices on "meat and
cheese" trays as well as "vegetable" and "cracker and cheese"
platters. Their prices are often very reasonable. Another option is to buy
the ingredients yourself.

- Tea Reception.

This type of reception is a relic from a bygone era. Originally, tea
receptions were meant to reflect the mood of an "afternoon tea." An
authentic tea reception will include items such as petit fours, watercress
sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, scones (biscuits), etc.

Be sure to cut the crusts off the sandwiches and cut in a diagonal cross
(X shape) for an authentic look. If you're looking for a more modern
approach you can also serve coffee with the tea.

You can also serve: bite-size pieces of cake (such as carrot), any
manner of sandwich which is easy to cut, cinnamon rolls, etc. This type
of reception is relatively inexpensive depending on the items you
decide to serve and can be relaxing for both the couple and the

- Salad Reception.

This choice is becoming more popular and is a viable choice for
vegetarians who don't want to serve a full meal. Items served can
include: green (lettuce, spinach) salads, fruit salads, pasta salads,
potato salads, coleslaw, etc.

A veggie bar (to supplement green salads) can be added as well and
may have such choices as: chopped onions, carrots (baby or sliced),
celery, broccoli, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, etc.

A salad dressing bar can be chosen as well and may include such
choices as: vinegar and oil, Italian dressing, garlic and olive oil,
balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, etc.

Other dressing choices could include: bleu cheese, ranch, French, etc.
This type of reception is also inexpensive if you prepare most of the
items yourself.

Here are some other quick ideas for the food at the reception:

- Try a pasta reception in which your guests are served plain pasta
with their choice of toppings.

- Have a Mexican buffet.

- Provide simple lunch meats and cheeses with bread for sandwiches.

- If you’re a member of a church and will be having your reception there,
check with the ladies auxiliary and see if they'll do the food in exchange
for a donation to their organization.

- Try a local service organization:  the Kiwanis, the Jaycees

- Call a community college and see if their culinary students would
cook for you if you provide the food.

Now there is some debate on whether it's a good idea to add a line on
your invitation stating what type of reception is occurring.

Some examples of this are:

- Cake and Punch Reception to Follow Ceremony
- Light ors-d'oeuvres reception to follow at two o'clock
- Dessert Reception Following Ceremony.

My personal opinion is that it makes it easier, not only for the
you, but for the guests as well. It's a clear way to inform guests that a full
meal should not be expected and give them the option of eating a meal
(if needed) prior to or after the wedding.

Make sure you look for your next issue soon. We will be talking about
finding the perfect cake for your special day!

Cindy Lieber
Accredited Event Designer
OC Brides Event Coordination
(714) 970-6380
P.S.  Did this help you find a way to have a unique wedding and stay 
within your budget?  Click here and Tell me about it!

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Custom menu's to fit your budget!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Making the Perfect Wedding Favors

In the last issue we talked about photos and videos to remember your special day.
In this issue we are going to talk about wedding favors that won't put a big dent in your budget.

The question of whether or not you have to give wedding favors to your guests is a
very common one. However, there is no easy answer to this question. While it's true
that you technically are not required to give your guests any type of wedding favor,
it is also true that your guests will likely be expecting to receive a favor.

Of course the decision is completely up to you and depends a lot on whether or not
there is room in the budget for you to provide favors.

Favors are a nice gesture as a thank you for attending your special day. They can be elegant,
fun, or practical. Today we are going to go over some great suggestions for fun and unique
wedding favors that will fit nicely into your budget.

Divinity fudge makes delicious cheap wedding favors. Wrapped up in white tulle and tied
with a white ribbon it would be beautiful. Add a tag; you make yourself, with a little message
like "Love is divine". Cut out the tag with scallop scissors and punch a hole for the ribbon.
One warning, divinity doesn't come out well in high humidity.

Regular candles are nice too for cheap wedding favors. Wrap in tulle and tie with ribbon.
Stick a small flower in the ribbon.

Tree seedlings, such as citrus or any kind of tree, are something everybody would love.
They will always remember your wedding with this unique wedding favor idea.
Wrap the plastic pot to disguise it.

Everybody loves herbs. Buy small ones and place plastic container right into
a small terra cotta pot. Put some moss around the top to disguise the plastic
planter. Include a pretty tag with instructions for care and attach to a ribbon
tied around the pot.

Flower seedlings or seed packets are a nice wedding favors. Wrap in
anyway that is appropriate for your wedding. Tie with ribbon, raffia or
paper ribbon.

Make wine glass markers from wire and beads. You can find
instructions at the craft store. One is enough for a wedding party favor.
Place in a small box and tie with ribbon.

Sachets made from lavender. Make a small bag from lace. Sew up
three sides, put the lavender in and sew up fourth side. Attach a small
silk flower. Potpourris in drawstring bags made of lace or tulle are
pretty. They smell nice too. You can use any kind of bag that's easy for
you to make.

Everybody loves herbs. Buy small ones and place plastic container
right into a small terra cotta pot. Put some moss around the top to
disguise the plastic planter. Include a pretty tag with instructions for
care and attach to a ribbon tied around the pot.

A strawberry plant is another live wedding favor idea. It can be
presented in the same way as an herb. Anything of this nature that is in
season is appreciated.

Candies, such as M&Ms in your wedding colors, Kisses or Hugs,
mints, a wonderful piece of chocolate or any kind that you would like,
look great in a cupcake liner. They come in different sizes and colors.
You can get M and M’s in your wedding colors at:
http://www.mymms.com place them in plastic bags and tie a pretty
ribbon on them.

For an outdoor wedding, consider buying umbrellas at the dollar store.
Wrap them in ribbons with your colors. This, of course, is for a smaller
wedding only, but can be a great gift to help shield guests from
inclement weather or the sun.

Buy plain chocolate bars in bulk or get the miniature version. Print
out new labels on your computer that you personalize for yourself and
wrap them around the bars.

Make your own CD using your favorite songs. Include the first
dance song, the cake-cutting song and all the traditional songs. Make
CD covers with your picture on it and gave all your guests a copy of the

For a Christmas wedding, give each guest a Christmas ornament.
Take a plain ball type ornament and use a paint pen to personalize with
your name and the date of your wedding

Pictures frames are a very easy wedding favor especially if they are
used as place card holders. Pictures frames are often used as
wedding favors but must people spend a great deal of time wrapping
each favor individually to create a beautiful presentation for the guests.

Do you and your intended share a love of something unique?  Are you
big Nascar fans,  love to golf or wild about a sports team?  Gear
your favors around these unique characteristics that are you.

Unless you have your heart set on taking home your table decorations,
consider giving them away to guests. A fun way to do this is to take a
hint from most class reunions. Give one to the guests that traveled the
farthest, the ones who have married the longest, married the shortest,
etc. This helps bring people into your reception and make them feel like
a bigger part of your special day!

While wedding favors may be one of the simplest part of planning a
wedding, they can also be the part of the wedding which is often left
until the last minute. This can make shopping for wedding favors quite
stressful. However, there are a number of different options as we have
discussed today for wedding favors which are very easy to do at the
last minute and won't put a big dent in your budget!

Make sure you look for your next issue soon. We will be talking about
how to feed all your guests in style without going into debt.

Cindy Lieber
Accredited Event Designer
OC Brides Event Coordination
(714) 970-6380

P.S.  Did this email give you some new or creative ideas for favors?
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!  Shoot me an email!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Remembering Your Day through Photo and Video

In the last issue we talked about decorating the sanctuary or venue with
beautiful bows while sticking to your budget. In this issue we are going
to talk about photos and videos to remember your special day!

You want to be sure to have plenty of photos to remember your special
day. Unfortunately, a professional photographer can be a real budget
buster!  Today we are going to go over a few tips on how to save big on
your wedding photography.

There is no doubt that pictures are priceless, and you want to be sure
you have plenty of great pictures of your special day. Unfortunately, if
you’re on budget, professional photographers can eat up most of your

So how can you get beautiful photos of your wedding day without
breaking the bank?

- First talk to friends and relatives.

The best way to find someone is to talk to people who have recently
gotten married and have had pictures done. Find out who they used
and whether they were satisfied.

- Talk to several photographers.

Once you have found a few photographers, go and talk to them to find
out what their rates are. Find out what kinds of things that they offer and,
of course, if they are available on your wedding date. If you haven't
been referred to them by someone, you might want to ask to see
samples of their work and references.

Wedding pictures are a big part of your day, and there’s no second
chance to get them done if they don’t turn out right the first time so when
it comes to hiring a professional it’s important to know that you are
choosing the right person for the job.

Just like we talked about with your wedding flowers, try checking with
your local community college. They often offer photography classes,
and the students are eager to practice their craft for a nominal fee or
even just the experience. Talk to the instructor, however, to be sure
you’re getting the top in the class. You don’t want to take a chance and
get the beginner for your big day.

Don’t be afraid to call the local newspaper and ask to speak with the
staff photographer.  You don’t have to know anyone at the paper to offer
up the chance for them to make some extra money.  Many will perform
the service for a small fee as long as you buy the film.

At the reception, place disposable cameras on each table for guests to
take pictures at your reception.  A word of caution here:  place a note
on the table that asks the adults to please monitor the use of these
cameras. I have been too many a reception where children have gotten
hold of these cameras and the bride was left with many, many pictures
of people’s feet and hind ends!

Disposable cameras can be found at bulk warehouse stores or even
online.  Shop around for the best price and use them sparingly.
If you don’t want to put the cameras on the table, another idea is to
place the cameras in a basket at the door as guests enter the
reception. The ones who really care about taking pictures will take the
cameras. Have your guest book attendant monitor who takes them or
even have the attendant hand them out to adults only.

When it comes to chic, elegant wedding pictures, nothing beats the
look of black and white photos. Black and white film can be much less
expensive than color film. This tip can be combined with all of the
money saving ideas above. After the wedding, the photos can be blown
up and dry mounted for a long-lasting keepsake.

Now let's talk a little bit about your wedding video.

If you don’t have a lot of money but you would like a video of your
wedding, as with the photographer the best way to find someone is to
talk to people who have recently had an event captured for them. Find
out who they used and whether they were happy with the finished

Consider who do you know that likes to videotape everything?

Maybe you know one person who owns a video camera and has the
artistic ability to edit video already. Tada, you will have your own cost
effective videographer. With the wide variety of editing software
available there is no reason that you can't do the editing yourself and
end up with a beautiful video of your big day.

If you do have a friend or family member do your wedding video, but
don't feel comfortable editing it yourself or leaving the it in the hands of
a novice there are many studios around who can cut and splice parts of
the video together and add background music to create a precious
keepsake. Just make sure that you know your budget and do your
research before you make your final decision.

Make sure you look for your next issue soon. We will be talking about
wedding favors that won't put a big dent in your budget.

Cindy Lieber
Accredited Event Designer
OC Brides Event Coordination
(714) 970-6380

P.S.  If you need help finding a reasonable photographer or some ideas on how
to save on photography, shoot me an email.  I'm happy to help!

Monday, March 20, 2017

DIY Decorating your Venue

In the last issue we talked about how to have beautiful flowers on your
wedding day without busting your budget. In this issue we are going to
talk about decorating the sanctuary or venue while sticking to your budget.

You have the flowers for your wedding covered. Now it is time to think
about decorating the sanctuary or venue. Because you’re on a
budget, remember that less is more. Keep in mind that the wedding
ceremonies is often short and sweet but you can often repurpose your
decor and bring it to the reception.

While you want it to look beautiful you don't want to spend the majority
of your decorating budget on it. Instead save the bulk of your budget for
the reception decorations, because your guests will be their longer to
enjoy it.

Bows are always an elegant touch. They look beautiful at the end of the
pew and can be made fairly inexpensively. A good tip is not to decorate
each pew. Decorate every other one for the first 10 rows or so. Ribbon
for bows can get quite expensive, so doing every other pew is the frugal
thing to do.

When it comes to making your own bows it can be a little frustrating.
But once you get the hang of it you will have no problem creating as
many as you need. Just give yourself plenty of time to practice.

As with creating your invitations and flower arrangement there is a
wealth of information available to help you master this craft. Be sure to
check with your local hobby or craft store. Most of them will be glad to
offer advice and often hold classes that you can take for little or no cost
except for supplies.

You may want to consider using simple floral swags at the end of each
pew as well.  These can be found inexpensively and made even more

Many churches have single candle holders that you can use or rent for a
nominal fee. If you are a member of the church, ask!  The clergy has no
doubt been involved in many weddings. They might have some terrific,
low-cost ideas that you haven't thought of!

Here is another nice trick you can use. Visit a local discount store or
search online for battery operated candles. The kind that people put in
their windows around Christmas time. Attach them to the center of your
bows and put them at end of the pews. This way you will have an
elegantly lit sanctuary!

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, the scenery will be your most
dramatic decoration. Many couples opt for the traditional gazebo or
arch when getting married outdoors. You can often find these on sale at
a local wholesaler or you can rent them from a party rental place.
Decorate it with flowers, Christmas lights, or greenery to make it

Seating at an outdoor wedding usually consists of folding chairs.
These can usually be found at a benevolent association like The
American Legion. As I have mentioned before these are an excellent
place to find seating especially if you’re having your reception there –
churches, or community centers. You may have to pay a few dollars to
rent them, but it will be worth it!

Decorate the ends of the chairs with greenery and flowers to match
your wedding bouquets along with strategically placed ribbon. To set
off the “important guest” area (parents, grandparents, etc.) cover the
backs of the chairs with simple white pillowcases. They are a low cost
alternative to expensive chair covers and they look just as lovely when
tied on with a pretty bow!

Make sure you look for your next issue soon. We will be talking about
photos and videos to remember your special day!

Until then happy wedding planning!

Cindy Lieber
Accredited Event Designer
OC Brides Event Coordination
(714) 970-6380

P.S.  If you would like more ideas on what our DIY brides have done to
make their wedding unique on a budget, hit reply to this email.  I'm happy to help. 


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