Thursday, October 23, 2014

Half Off Thank You Cards At Wedding Paper Divas (And how you can order photo cards if you don't have your photos yet)

Since our wedding was just over four months ago, in theory, I'm no longer a bride on a budget. As many have pointed out, I'm now a wife on a budget.


I'll always be Pete's bride, though, so it's okay. A bride on a budget still feels right. If you're a wife on a budget now, though, there's a good chance you need thank you cards.

My wedding twin Kristiana just found a great deal on thank you cards, which only lasts until October 24 at 11am EST.

That's right. You can get half off thank you cards from Wedding Paper Divas. That's amazing and, if you got married recently, that's something you should take advantage of.

Just head over to the Wedding Paper Divas' website, create your cards, and enter the code 1023DEAL at checkout.

You actually don't even have to have your photos to order. Or what if you want to take advantage of the deal but your wedding is still a few weeks away? No worries. Kristiana actually bought her cards last time this deal was around, even though she didn't have her photos yet.

You have two options. One] you can order a card sans photos. Or Two] you can order and hold the printing until you get your photos (basically pre-paying for your cards). Then, just swap your photos in when you get them and have the cards printed. Kristiana talked with Wedding Paper Divas' live chat to confirm that, placed her order, got her half off, and she was ready to go when the photos got to her.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Have you ordered thank you cards yet?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Virtual Engagement Party: Photo Books From

This post is part of our Virtual Engagement Party. Codes for these books were sent to ABOAB for review.

When we got out wedding photos from our photographer, we received all the proofs in a book. It was so nice to look at them that way. And it was so helpful when my mom was choosing the photos that she wanted for her photo book.

But as easy as that was, making her photo book at was even easier.

How to make a photo book at

I decided to put together a step by step tutorial for you, just to show you how incredibly easy it is.

Step 1:

Log onto and pick the third tab at the top ("Projects").

Step 2:

Choose where your photos are from and upload. You can also text to upload. You'll have a specific code for that but I deleted mine for the sake of this tutorial.

Step 3:

Let your photos upload.

Step 4:

The second icon from the left is a drop down. Choose photo books (or whatever project you'd prefer).

Step 5:

You can keep things super easy and let auto-arrange your photos. After that, you can change around the size or order of any photos.

Step 6:

Add the book to your cart, pay, and wait for it to come in the mail.

When it does, it's gorgeous.

We got a chance to check out an 8.5x11 photo book, which had a hardcover, and a 6x8 softcover book. The pictures came out gorgeous. They were really crisp and clear.

Okay ... let's back up for a minute. Originally, I ordered the book and the photos were bad. You couldn't see anyone's face because they were blurry. And the stones on the church looked like they were currently experiencing an earthquake. Every line was wobbly and the faces look mangled. That was not the book I could give to my mom.

So I sent an email over to See, the thing about the is that there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I was so unhappy with the book, so I told them. Well, turns out it was poor timing for me. I just happened to have uploaded my photos during a time when something went awry on the website. They sent me a code for a free book and one-day shipping, and I created a new book. The new one came out absolutely perfect. I loved it. It was definitely one that my mom would love and could be proud to display.

I loved it so much that I made a smaller book for my grandma.

My grandma picked 99 photos for her book, which was a little much for a 20-page book. I made them fit, though. She was happy with how many of the photos were large, although a few photos were a little small so it was hard to see faces. But this book is the perfect size for her to carry with her when she goes to Florida and sees her friends.

You can make a ton of other items at, like photo blankets, canvas prints, mugs, shower curtains, and more. I used a long time ago to make a canvas print for our apartment, and I love it. So do all our guests. Everyone looks at it and comments on it. So I definitely have faith that you will be happy with anything you order.

But one person will be even happier. We are giving away a code for a free 8.5x11 book, plus free shipping on it. Enter for a chance to win that in our Virtual Engagement Party.

Connect with Website | Twitter | Facebook
Be sure to enter for a chance to win these frames on our Virtual Engagement Party giveaways page.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Check out and let me know what your favorite item sold by the site is.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Free $5 From Sears & Kmart (and how I was able to get snacks for our welcome bags for free)

When you have out of town guests coming to your wedding, it's customary to block a set of rooms at a local hotel for them. And then, it's nice to create wedding welcome bags for them.

We made our guests amazing bags that only cost us just over $2 each. And part of that was because I'm really good about spending free money.

Yes. Free money.

A lot of snacks we put in our bags were free from Kmart, thanks to free money. If you look, you'll see the chips and crackers all say zero. How? It's easy, but it takes dedication.

Kmart and Sears are sister stores (if you didn't know, they have the same parent company). They have a loyalty program called Shop Your Way. You can register, for free, and you'll earn points for every dollar your spend there. Points turn into credit you can use (1,000 points = $1).

But it gets better.

If you join Shop Your Way by October 22 via that link, you'll get 5,000 points for free, deposited into your account on or about October 24. That's a free $5 for doing nothing. Lately, Shop Your Way has been giving members a free 5,000 points every month. You can use it on anything up to and including $5 and get the items for free. So something like the Austin Cheese Crackers that are $1.39 for a pack of eight, you can buy three for $4.17, use your $5 credit (although only $4.17 will apply) and that's 24 packs of crackers for free. Or, if you need more, buy four packs for $5.56, use your $5 credit, and you're left paying $.56 for 32 packages of crackers. Your guests will love the snack and you'll love the price. And, if you pick "in store pickup," there won't be a shipping cost.

We did this constantly. Every time I got free points from Shop Your Way, I took a look at our wedding "to buy" list and figured out what I could cross off the list. It was so much better than actually paying for stuff. I mean, when it comes to weddings, the cost can really add up ... but so does the savings. Sure, $5 here and there doesn't seem like much, but I did it anyway. And when it came time to tally up my savings after our wedding was over, my gosh, it really did add up.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What are you gonna buy with your $5 credit?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Virtual Engagement Party: Picture Frames From Reed & Barton

This post is part of our Virtual Engagement Party. These frames were sent to ABOAB for review.

I have boxes and boxes of photos I took when I was a kid. I had an old school Fisher-Price/Kodak camera when it was modern and not old school. I won bingo on a family camping trip and used that to buy an up-to-date (at the time) camera when I was in middle school (although my friend Allison, who was actually one of our bridesmaids, tried to convince me to use the money to buy a gecko).

And then, for one of my birthdays many years later, my mom bought me a digital camera. And since then, the majority of my photos have lived in social media only.

It's a sad turn we've taken, kind of like how we all just text instead of call each other. I made it a point to make three phone calls in the morning before I sat down to write this post. I also made it a point to print and display our wedding photos because they deserve a home outside of Facebook and Instagram.

We were sent two gorgeous frames from Reed & Barton for our wedding photos.

The one above is the Carson 4x6 frame. I anticipated that it would hold my 4x6 photos nicely and had one specifically picked out for the frame, which boasts that it can be displayed horizontally and vertically.  When it arrived, though, I realized that the border of the frame was actually almost 2.5 inches wide -- making it too large to fit vertically. Of course, the photo I wanted was vertical, so I had to pick a new photo. No worries. Our photographers edited and sent us almost 1,500 wedding photos. I had another to choose from.

The frame fits perfectly on the shelf I picked. And the photo I picked is a bit more animated than any of the other groomsmen photos. I actually have this huge canvas print of me and my bridesmaids making funny faces at our engagement party. It's on our "funny face wall" (a wall filled with animated photos of our family and friends that just makes my heart so happy when I'm home. This photo of Pete and his groomsmen and our ring bearer being animated is the perfect compliment to my bridesmaids photo.

If you look through our wedding photos, you'll crack up. There are so many photos that are just filled with -- oh, what's the word. I want to say happiness, but all weddings are happy. Our photos, they're very candid and just capture everyone having fun. I mean, our wedding photos are probably the only ones that feature the groom posing in a port-a-potty.

We do have a bunch of very romantic photos to choose from too. And that's what I picked for the Kasbah 4x6 frame from Reed & Barton.

The Kasbah frame comes in a trio of colors: chai, mocha, and espresso. I originally wanted the chai (which makes me laugh because I can't stand chai tea) because it was the lightest of the colors. I wanted one where the colors on the photo would pop and the frame would disappear.

Unfortunately, though, the chai frame is out of stock until next month. So I decided, instead, to pick the espresso. It arrived and was absolutely stunning. I was so happy that the chai was out of stock when the espresso arrived.

This photo of the frame and photo doesn't even do it justice. It has a nice weight to it, which Pete noticed right away. And it is just beautiful. The light catches the silver and it shimmers. The silver catches your eye and the dark espresso color seems to fade, enhancing the photo. I'm kinda bummed because in the photo above, the colors of the photo look dulled and muted, but in the actual photo itself, they're super vibrant -- and extra so because of the frame.
The way these are set up, one is to my left and one is to my right. I can see them both from my desk, which is a nice way to smile through the workday. That's something that photos existing online-only just can't do.

Reed & Barton has a ton of picture frames to choose from. These just happen to be my favorite.

Connect with Reed & Barton: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Be sure to enter for a chance to win these frames on our Virtual Engagement Party giveaways page.
BRIDAL BABBLE: Check out Reed & Barton's picture frames and let me know which your favorite is.
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