Saturday, June 26, 2010

How to plan a wedding under 5K

Well ladies and gents, I must confess that I am a bit sad that all of our wedding festivities are over. I wish I could go back and re-live every moment. As much as I tried to savor every moment and take in everything, I feel like it those days flew by incredibly fast. Can anyone relate? So tonight I thought it would be fun to recap some of the wedding-planning process and how we accomplished everything.

First of all, I have a confession. Jonathan and I talked about getting married about six months before our October engagement. That's really when the planning started. My sister will attest that I spent lots of time on the computer researching ceremony sites, colors, and much more. Once we actually got engaged I had a good idea of the look I wanted in my head.

One of the hardest decisions to make was where to have the wedding. After going over all the pros and cons in my head a thousand times and talking to Jonathan and my family, we finally decided on having it at Jonathan's home church. It is a beautiful church and the location alone saved us tons of money.

Here were some other money savers:

Church: we had both our ceremony and reception at the same place...which meant only one rental fee! Major savings here!

Dress: I started saving for my dress the May before we got engaged. I didn't shop around a whole lot. I actually went with the first dress I tried on. It wasn't thousands of dollars, but not dirt cheap either. I knew I wanted to save up for it myself and therefore not worry about how much of my parents' money I was spending on one item.

Flowers: I had to be a little creative here. My favorite flowers are hydrangeas, which also happen to be quite pricey. I definitely didn't want a fake bouquet, so I had the florist do the wedding party's flowers and that was it.

Ceremony decor: since I opted out of flowers for decoration I found an elegant (and cheaper) alternative - candles! After Christmas sales were great for this! I also created my own pew markers with some tulle, ribbon and vintage broaches. The effect was pretty and cost effective!

Reception decor: I definitely took a risk here. I knew my centerpieces would be very minimal if I went the traditional flower route. It took a while to come up with a creative alternative, but it finally came to me - books! I found lots of great vintage books (each under $3), spray painted $1.50 glass vases, and ordered 18 online for $20! I also kept an eye out for sales at Micheal's and Joann's and found all the flowers for either %50 or %75 off. The candles on every table were a gift from my aunt, and that was all I needed to complete the look! (I must admit that I could have done a lot more if I had more cash. I certainly wasn't short on ideas, but I had to just be OK with what I could do myself. If you don't have a lot to spend, don't try to do more than you can afford. If you have less that 5K don't try to go for a 30K look. It's just not going to work. Be creative instead.)

Photo booth: I really wanted to have one of these at my reception! However, I didn't want to rent a booth or make this huge monstrosity that I'd never use again. Solution: a piano, vintage hats and bow ties and creative friends to put it all together and make it fabulous!

Reception food: this was a major kicker! I highly recommend doing a dessert buffet. We saved so much money by doing this! I'm pretty sure we only spent around $600 on food for over 250 people! How great is that!

Programs: I did them myself. I didn't really want to, but I was last on my list of priorities. I had lots of ideas for creative designs, but it would have cost more than I could afford to have a pro do them for me. I had to prioritize what was most important and they were not top of the list.

Invitations: I found a design I liked online and ordered them, printed the addresses myself. Was it a major pain in the butt? Yes. But was money saved? Yes.

So there you have it. I'm sure there were a few more minute things, but I can't remember anymore.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Call me Suzie Homemaker

I have been spending the past few Saturdays setting up our little town house. It has been so fun finding creative ways to decorate without spending much money. My family has been asking how things were coming along, so I though I might as well put up some pictures!

This is our little kitchen...and I mean that quite literally! There isn't much space at all, but I am working with it nonetheless.
Testing out my cooking skills in my cute apron from Emily Wright!

This is our downstairs bathroom. I love the "B" towels and they were only $1.50!

Our dining room...We got the table for free, but unfortunately it also came with an awful piano that is now on our back porch. (Long story)

Our bedroom! I found the bedspread for half off at Dillard's!

Our bed with a sweet note that my husband left me!

Couches, side table, lamp...all given to us!

We love our couches that my aunt and uncle were so gracious to give us!

The view of the whole living room.

I found that mirror for $5 at an antique store. It needs repainting, but what a steal!

So this is our home, for now at least!

The search is on!

Knowing that me and the mr. are going to be moving (possibly frequently) in the next several years, I didn't register for many nice things. However, so many people were so generous in giving us such lovely serving items like platters, beautiful flat wear, crystal, china, and other ornate serving items. That being the case, I have to have some where to put them! So now the search is on for some type of hutch. This is kind of what I am envisioning:

I have looked at several furniture places to no avail. Do all of them have to cost over $600 bucks? I don't really want to spend more than $300. We aren't settled here, and I HATE the idea of spending all of our wedding money on something we don't really need. I'd much rather put it in our car fund! Does anyone know where I might find such an item for my dining room at a decent price?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Newly-wed goals

I was thinking about my life today. There are several things that I want to strive for in the coming months. Some are serious and some not so serious. Things are changing!

  1. Learn how to cook meat well (my last attempt at steak didn't turn out as well as I would have liked)
  2. Try a new recipe once every 10 days
  3. Find healthy go-to meals for the Mr. and myself
  4. Finish sorting out all of our wedding things that are stacked in our spare room
  5. Thank you notes. Blah, blah, blah! (Not that I don't really want to write's just that there are SO MANY to do. Hundreds. I'm not kidding. HUNDREDS! The mere thought of starting the process is daunting!)


  1. Start my running routine again (I stopped my daily habbit soon after we got engaged)
  2. Go on a bike ride every once in a while (which means getting a bike :)
  3. Drink more water


  1. Spending more time in the Word in the mornings
  2. Pray for my husband and our marriage every day
  3. Pray for the ministries around me
  4. Seek out more ministry opportunities
  5. Become an encourager
  6. Pray for the opportunity to go overseas again soon!


  1. Make some new friends in Dothan! (Lots of my good friends don't live close to me anymore. Sad day)
  2. Throw a fabulous diner party complete with three courses
  3. Have a fun game night
  4. Have a "girl's lunch" once every couple weeks

I also want to read some more good books if anyone know of some! Well, I'm sure there are more things that I will think of later, but that's all for now folks!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mi nobre es...Blair!


My new last name is Blair!

This is all so exciting. We had an abosolutely amazing honeymoon, and now we are getting settled in our town home. I am working on decorating and Jonathan is fixing us up with the electronics that every newly-wed couple needs. I love coming home knowing that my husband will be there soon. I love good night kisses and waking up next to my best friend - for life! But you know what I love even more? I love the man I married, and I am so excited about learning how to be the best wife I possibly can.
Yay for being Mr. and Mrs!


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