Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Why You Should Always Go Wedding Shopping At The Dollar Store

Every time I'm in the dollar store, I check out the wedding aisle. Even now that we're coming up on our seven year wedding anniversary. I still always look. And, if you're currently wedding planning, you should always go wedding shopping at the dollar store.

Each time, I'm there, I find a gem. I wouldn't call them dollar store wedding hacks (that would be a completely different post). But, there are just good wedding deals at the dollar store.

You should ALWAYS go wedding shopping at the dollar store! Check out some of the great things www.abrideonabudget.com found!!

Why You Should Always Go Wedding Shopping At The Dollar Store

You can find cheap programs and stationery products

Do you need wedding programs? No. People always know the order of the wedding. On a hot day, people only use your wedding programs to fan themselves. And so many programs get left behind at the end of the ceremony.

But still, programs are nice to have. Especially if you can get them for $1.

I found Brides magazines programs, usually $40, for only $1. At that price, you can add wedding programs into your budget without actually breaking and barely increasing your wedding budget.

Look for other wedding stationery products too. You may be able to find table cards, thank you cards, or even invitations.

If you find paper products, they're going to be print at home products, not something incredibly fancy. But if you're on a budget and you're not picking about wedding invitations like I was, buying your wedding stationery at the dollar store is a great way to save some money.

You can find cheap bridal shower favors

Once, I found bridal-themed cookie cutters at the dollar tree.

I found a ton of the now discontinued Lady Cookie Cutters by Gartner Studios, which came in a pack of three (lips, high heel, and a dress) for only $1. 

If I was planning a bridal shower, I would buy these, print a cookie recipe on a sheet of card stock, punch a hole in it, and attach it with a ribbon. Bridal shower favors are done.

Simple, easy, and cheap. Very cheap. They would end up being $.33 each, assuming you have ribbon and card stock at home already (which I just feel like every bride-to-be has in the closet).

To be perfectly honest, this is inspired by a bridal shower favor I received years ago. My friend was a pastry chef at a local restaurant and loved shoes. So her family bought cookie cutters in the shape of high heels and attached one of her cookie recipes to it.

I lost that cookie cutter in one of the three times I've moved since her shower, but I still have her sugar cookie recipe and use it all the time.

You can get cheap bubbles

If you're having a receiving line and you want to have your guests blow bubbles, there are always wedding bubbles at the dollar store. Pick them up, pick up a cheap wicker basket, and display them at the exit of the church or reception venue.

If people forget them behind (which -- true story -- happened to all the vases my bridesmaid's bouquets were in), you won't be out a ton of money.

And if people don't use them, which happens a lot, you won't really worry.

The dollar store has cheap favor boxes

I'm not a fan of purchasing food at the dollar tree. And I'm not the only one who says don't buy food at the dollar store. So, I wouldn't pick up any of the candy for your wedding favors at the dollar store.

But, the favor boxes to hold the favors, those are a great low price at the dollar store.

If you don't want to wrap your favors in boxes, you can also pick up really cheap gift bags at the dollar store. We actually wrapped our thank you gifts for our bridesmaids, groomsmen, and readers in gift bags from the dollar store.

We picked up three nice bags for only $1 total, so that was perfect for me. You can buy tissue paper at the dollar store too, which is what we did.

You can find cheap novelty items there too

My friend Michelle was at her local dollar store recently and found "bride" and "bridesmaids" wedding party flip flops. Of course, they're only $1 there.

This very similar pair of Mrs. flip flops is almost $20 online. Which is just nuts. You're probably only wearing them for photos and your honeymoon. And, let be honest, your bridesmaids are probably tossing them in the back of the closet after your wedding. So you shouldn't spend a ton of money on novelty items like that. If you can find them at the dollar store, that's perfect.

Something to keep in mind about wedding shopping at the dollar store:

The stock at most dollar stores rotates quite frequently. When items are gone, they may never come back (the pepper grinder we used to buy there exclusively was only ever available sporadically).

So, each time I'm in the dollar store, I check to see what new items are available. I only ever saw the aforementioned cookie cutters once, and I never saw them again.

So, when you find items that you like in the wedding section, grab them.

The same goes for anything that seems like it will be available forever, like non-seasonal items like platters. You might want to buy charger plates for your rehearsal dinner's buffet. Cool. Buy them when you see them. Those are actually an item dollar store crafters pick up to use as home d├ęcor, and you might not be able to grab them when you actually need them.

Also, different stores have different stock. So if you see something at a dollar store when you're out of town, grab it.

If you do miss it, you can actually shop certain dollar stores (like Dollar Tree and Daiso) online. Those stores may have a minimum on things you can buy when you shop online, though. So even if you want one picture frame, you may need to order a case of 24.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What wedding items have you seen at the dollar store?

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Everything You Need To Know About Getting Married During Lent

If you're Christian, you know that Wednesday started the Lenten season. You're supposed to use this as a time of reflection, and end Lent as a better person, a better Christian. To help you aid in your betterment, you're asked to sacrifice. For couples, that means you sacrifice decorations. Yup, there's no decorating during Lent. Didn't know that? That's why we wrote this Everything You Need To Know About Getting Married During Lent post.

On Ash Wednesday, and all Fridays during Lent, Christians abstain meat and serve meatless meals for dinner; on the holiest days of the Lenten season, you are asked to fast; and during the 40 days, most Christians will give up something extremely enjoyable to them.

For me, it's chocolate; for that guy in 40 Days and 40 Nights, it was sex; for couples, it's decorating the church.

If you're picking your wedding date, and planning on getting married in a church, be sure to check to see if it's during Lent. Many churches will NOT allow you to decorate at all during the Lenten season, so keep that in mind -- and read this post from www.abrideonabudget.com about it.

Everything You Need To Know About Getting Married During Lent

A few years ago, I was out with my friend Nicole, blabbering about weddings, and she brought it up. She had a friend who planned her wedding and church ceremony, all blind to the fact that her wedding was happening during Lent. And that meant no decorations at the church.

No white tulle pew bows. No flowers adorning the alter. Nope, nada, zippo, zilch.

On one hand, it sure saves a lot of money. Having a bow on every pew and a runner down the aisle can get expensive. So getting married during Lent eliminates those costs (and since it's a church mandated order, it stops you from looking cheap).

But, on the other hand, it might make your photos inside the church a little lackluster.

Pete and I planned a summer wedding, so this wasn't something we had to keep in mind, but it is just one small aspect of the wedding to think about that you didn't think you had to think about when the planning process started. That there are a ton of those sort of things.

And, think about this before you pick a date.

Ash Wednesday, Easter, and the Lenten season change each year. This year, it started on February 18. Next year it starts on March 2. So if you're planning a 2022 or 2023 wedding, check a calendar first.

There are a few other things to keep in mind when getting married during Lent, so let's chat about those.

What days during Lent can you get married?

The church will allow you to get married during Lent. The exceptions, though, are Good Friday and Holy Saturday (the Friday and Saturday before Easter). 

It's not a rule, per say, that you can't get married on Easter Sunday, but it is regarded as one of the holiest days in the church. So there's a very high chance that a priest won't allow an Easter Sunday wedding.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many churches will do Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings. So, if you're hoping for a Friday wedding, you may have to host it earlier than usual.

Can your wedding have a full Catholic mass during Lent?

You're going to want to check with your particular church on this, but some Catholic churches will not allow a full mass for your wedding if it's during Lent. This is to minimize the amount of celebrating you can do during the season.

Some churches will do a full Catholic mass but will skip the wine so you can have a "sober" mass. Personally, I don't agree with this because the wine is meant to be the blood of Christ, but the law was passed in Rome in the 1990's. And since I'm not getting remarried, and not in Rome for sure, my disagreement is naught. 

Can you have singing at your wedding during Lent?

This is another one that is up to the discretion of your church.

Some churches say that you can't have a full celebration during Lent. And celebrating includes singing. So the church may say that you can get married, but there cannot be any singing.

That's actually not just reserved to weddings. If you're planning a funeral during Lent, the church will say the funeral must take place with minimal fanfare, which means no singing.

One of the most important things for me was to have Ave Maria sang at our wedding. It was my grandma's favorite church song, and my parents had it sang during their wedding ceremony. So it was important for me to have it sang during our wedding.

A lack of singing would definitely have had me change our wedding date.

If singing during the ceremony isn't that important to you, then you don't have to worry about this.

What meals can you serve if you're getting married during Lent?

Getting married during Lent means that you may have to change your wedding menu.

For Christians, there's no meat on Friday. So if you're having a Saturday wedding, with a Friday rehearsal dinner, you want to make sure you're offering meatless options. And if you're having a Friday wedding, you want to keep this in mind for your wedding menu.

Maybe you don't observe Lent, so you're not worried about vegetarian dinners, but some of your guests will be. And you don't want them to feel uncomfortable -- or hungry.

You want to make sure that these meatless meals are also actually vegetarian. Soup sounds vegetarian, but many soups are made with beef or chicken broth, so Christians can't eat them.

Double and triple check with your caterer before choosing your menu.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What small detail did you not realize until after you were engaged?

Having a church wedding?

Check out these posts to help with your planning: 

What Exactly Is Pre-Cana?
Unknown Costs Of Church Weddings

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

How To Use Christmas Clearance To Save On Your Wedding

Christmas is over. For you, that means cleaning up the stockings, putting away the lights, and getting the red and green back into the attic. For stores, that means getting Christmas items off the shelves and hopefully into your attic. So to help that happen, there's Christmas clearance. That's good for you. Really, really good for you because you can use Christmas clearance to save on your wedding.

Anything seasonal -- ornaments, wrapping paper, gift sets with stockings and snowflakes on them -- is discounted to make room for the next holiday.

If you're creative, you can use this to save on your wedding, which is great if you just got engaged and missed out on other holiday savings, like Black Friday wedding deals.

There are so many ways to have a budget wedding. Find out how to use Christmas clearance to save on your wedding in this post from www.abrideonabudget.com.

How To Use Christmas Clearance To Save On Your Wedding

Christmas Chocolate:

Take, for example, bags of Hershey's Kisses. From the outside, they're totally Christmas. I mean, there are usually snowflakes on the bag.

Snowflakes might be bad for your wedding (well, unless it's a winter wedding ... and if that's the case, check out our snowflake wedding favors ideas), but good for your budget. See, it means that bag, which sold for $3.99 on December 24, is now marked down. No one wants to buy a bag with snowflakes come Valentine's Day, so the stores don't want to waste shelf space on it. So they mark it down to 50%, 75%, or even 90% off.

Open the bag and you'll see there are no snowflakes on the wrappers. Just foil-wrapped chocolates in red, green, and silver.

If your colors are red or emerald, these are perfect. Pair the red and silver and look very similar to our engagement party favors. Pair green and silver if you're going in that direction.

If your colors are anything other than the two, no worries; the silver will work by itself. Then, you can just eat the green and red.

If you're not using any of those colors, just pick up some favor boxes. As long as the box itself matches your wedding colors, no one will care what color treats inside are.

Buy chocolates now, save them (anywhere but the fridge -- chocolate that gets hot then cold then hot will turn a musty shade of brown. It tastes fine, but looks awful), then turn them into favors when it's time for your wedding.

You can do a lot with chocolate. Set up a candy buffet or add them to favors.

But, you don't even have to settle with just clearance Christmas candy.

Gift boxes:

White boxes are on clearance all over too because those are seasonal. If you're planning on giving thank you gifts to your parents and bridal party, and you need a box to wrap those in, pick up the boxes now.

Gift sets:

What's great is there are a ton of gift sets on sale too.

Look for ones with mini lotions and perfumes and you can add those to your wedding bathroom baskets. Even those big gift baskets that are filled with delicious treats are on sale. You can eat the treats now and use that basket itself as your bathroom basket.

You really have a lot of options.

If you wait another six weeks, Valentine's Day will be on clearance, which means there will be a lot of heart-shaped candy to choose from. Hearts, wedding, clearance; it's a budget bride's dream.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Where in your wedding would you incorporate clearance Christmas items?