What Color Wedding Dress?

Let’s talk about the bride and her gown for a moment here. Whether mature, widowed, or divorced, these days, women who head down the aisle for a second (or even a third) often ask, what color wedding dress should I wear?  It’s a valid question that deserves some exploration.

We’ve come a long way baby! Years ago, second marriages were usually quiet and understated and attended primarily by family and very close friends of the family. Society dictated that it was not socially acceptable to wear white wedding gowns on a second or third trip down the aisle.

Women often wore business suits or a really nice “street dress” for the ceremony. Anything that looked remotely like a wedding dress for mature or second-time brides was considered off limits generally because after all, a white dress symbolized “purity.” So, let talk about that.

The Symbolism of the White Dress

Contrary to what many people think, the color white does not symbolize the bride’s virginity. The trend emerged when Queen Victoria married her Prince Albert in 1840 in a white wedding gown.

The color white was a bit of an odd choice in those days when colored dresses were more the fashion. Before that, only one other English royal had married in white and that was back in the 1400s.

Indeed this tradition of women marrying in white stems from Victoria but because wedding gowns could be expensive many women of modest means were married in their “Sunday or Best Dress,” and usually that was not a white dress.

A white wedding dress has little to nothing to do with purity. If you want to wear one, think of your own reason for wearing one. It would mean the fresh start of a new life together, or joy, or whatever you want it to symbolize!

To sum it up, “wear whatever color you want” – it’s your wedding and you really should not have to justify it to anyone! There are no wedding dress police that will come and arrest you for wearing white.Colored Wedding Dresses

Please Yourself

Most second time brides take the opportunity to please themselves. If that means breaking tradition, so be it. They tend to be a little older and wiser and usually more financially secure than they were the first time around.

This wedding is all about them, and the expectations of others are less important. Go for it because it is, ALL ABOUT YOU!

In today’s world, couples, particularly older ones, will have been married before and tend to ignore most of the “old rules.” Purple wedding Dress

There comes a point in life for most of us when we choose to satisfy ourselves and are not caught up in the belief that we must please everyone else before we please ourselves.

If you are lucky enough to fall in love again and you plan to spend the rest of your life with your new love, there is no reason in the world that you should not let the world know that and with apologies to none.

They say second marriages are sometimes the best marriages, so I say show your love and commitment on your wedding day and have a blast.

It IS your day so plan and execute it to suit you and your future spouse. The people who love you will respect you and your choices. For those who don’t, they probably do not matter a great deal in your life anyway.

Other Dress Colors

Does everyone rave about how fabulous you look in green because it matches your eyes, then, by all means, do wear green, or blue or even red if that suits you. Interestingly, many traditional Chinese brides wear red as the color Red Wedding Dressdenotes good luck and happiness in the Chinese culture.

The choices for your wedding dress colors are endless and only limited by your vision of what you want and what looks good on you.

Choose your most flattering color and dazzle your guests.

Let Your Body Shape Help Dictate Your Choice of Dress

If you are in great shape, show off your curves with a body-hugging elegant gown or, channel Michelle Obama, and show off your well-toned arms, for all the world to see.

If you are very small or quite heavy in the chest area, for example, choose a dress that is both flattering and one that you feel comfortable in.Black Wedding Dress  There are many wedding dresses online that will fit every body type.

The last thing you want to be seen doing on your wedding is pulling the top up every five minutes. So, whatever you’ve got, flaunt it, tastefully, of course!

To Veil or Not?

Traditionally, a blusher veil, worn over the face, and a long veil worn behind the bride have been symbols of virginity. But the dream wedding dress you have chosen may just need such a touch and would be incomplete without one. Yes, some guest may do a double take to see you come down the aisle “fully veiled,” but again, whose wedding is this anyway?

Hair Jewelry Instead

Rather than a veil, another option is to wear something in your hair like flowers, jewelry, Swarovski crystals, beaded combs, all done in a fabulous updo, or voluminous loose curls.I really do think wearing something in your hair rather than a veil for the older or second time bride is preferable.

Hear me out here. Family and friends know what a joyous occasion this is for you and your beloved and they would probably love to see your beautiful face as you walk down the aisle to get married. Don’t deprive them or yourself of that pleasure.


It is your big day. Plan it and execute it the way that pleases you and your future spouse. While it is sensible and wise to listen to the counsel of others at times, the final choices you make about your wedding belong to you and your intended! One goal is to look back on your wedding and say, like the great Mr. Sinatra, “I did it my way.”






Bridal Gift Registry Ideas

Once you become engaged, friends and relatives will be anxious to know what your bridal gift registry ideas are. And, so the search for the perfect wedding gift for you will begin.

Know where you want to register and help your guests by registering early on various online sites and national chain stores. Doing this takes the angst and guesswork out of gift giving for your guest, and you get what you want!

You don’t have to complete your list entirely, but you do want to have a few ideas and suggestions on the list for those early shoppers.

Registry Notification

How you notify your guests of where you are registered is a matter of taste. Most brides choose to tell their family, the groom’s family, close friends and the wedding party and let word-of-mouth work for them.

Yes, even in this day of the online world, it is still the best and socially accepted way to let others know about your registry.

This makes it even more importantPeople Talking to get your registry set up early so the information can be shared quickly and informally with those closest to you and the groom.

If you have an online wedding site, you may choose to include the web address on your invitation. It is considered not in the best taste, however, to include your registry information on your site.

However, the site will include lots of names and contact information that will make it easier for the guests to call someone from the family, friends, wedding party group, to get the information they need.

Registry List Decisions

You should not feel obligated to put traditional items such as china or silverware on your list. Make this a list of things you and your spouse want and the things that will fit your lifestyle.

Are you both runners, for instance, then you should put items on the list you may want or need for this activity.

If you need certain equipment or other items for your home, put it on the list.

A few more expensive items may be included as well. Often friends will pool their money and buy a more expensive that could not be afforded by one individual. Put it on the list, you may get it!

Your First Home Together

If you are setting up housekeeping for the first time together, this is an easier task, as you probably need just about everything. Both of you should choose the things that go on your registry list.First Home Together

Does your future spouse have more knowledge about the electronics for the house, for instances?

Are you more knowledgeable about small appliances and other items you may need?

Communicate with each other about items and/brands you may need based on each other’s knowledge. Since the gifts are for both of you, both of you should have input.

Living Together Already

If you already live together, do take stock of the items you have and determine what items you might like to add to your registry to complete a room.

In lieu of gifts, some couples who already live together or who are entering a second or late-in-life marriage, ask that donations be made to a favorite charity.Living Together Already

In lieu of any gifts, simply indicate on the invitation that “your attendance is our gift,” or words to that effect if you would prefer not to receive gifts at all.

Monogrammed Items

It’s great to have a few monogrammed items as they are just pure fun to have. Be careful here, however! Most stores will not allow you to return an item once it has been monogrammed especially for you.

Return Item Policy

Make sure, before you register, that you understand the store’s return policy and the time limits on your ability to return certain items.

Being aware of the store’s return and exchange timelines will help you better plan and manage your registry and ensure that you get the maximum benefit of the gifts you do receive.Return policy

If you can get a copy of the store’s written policy, all the better.

It could come in handy when dealing with the various store or online personnel.

Gift Price Ranges

Choose gifts from a variety of price ranges. Some of your guests will want to be very generous in their gift gifting, while other will be happy to find items in a more moderate price range.Gift Value

The idea is simple, in that everyone will be able to select a gift in a price range that feels comfortable for them.

Some people will, in all likelihood, add an inexpensive item or two to a more costly gift, so make such generosity simple for them.

Make Shopping Easy for Your Guests

Your registries should be available online to make shopping easy, no matter the hour or day. Everyone is quite busy with their lives and to have to take time out of the day to visit a shop in person, maybe a problematic task for many.

It is okay to register at some smaller stores that may not have an internet presence for your local guests. Just make sure that all your guests have various shopping options.

Review Your List Often

Most registries automatically keep track of items purchased and update itself each time someone makes a purchase. Checking your registry often allows you to add a variety of other options that other guests can choose from.

Some registry advisers suggest you have at least two times the number of items on your list as the number of guests attending your wedding. Keep it updated for those late shoppers.

Final Thoughts

Your guests will appreciate knowing that their gift was received. Let no more than two or three weeks go by after the wedding without sending a Thank-You Card.

If you plan to go away on your honeymoon directly after the wedding, mail your Thank-you cards within two weeks of returning from your honeymoon.

It is always courtesy to mention the gift by name in your thank-you note, and perhaps, tell the sender some small note of interest about how or when the gift will be used in the near future.  That makes it especially important that you, or someone else, keep good records of who sent what!

Planning Your Wedding at Work without Co-Worker Drama

If you work full time, no doubt some planning for your wedding will have to be done during the day. That means, while you are at work! In this post I offer a few tips on planning your wedding at work without co-worker drama!

Be Discreet

It is probably very smart of you to not make waves or attract unnecessary attention when you are working on personal matters in the office. If you must make a phone call, step away from your desk to do so while using your smart phone to both make and receive telephone call during the day.

Perhaps there is an empty office or conference room you could use for a minute. It is probably best to go outside the building and use your cell phone even on your breaks.

Less Talk about Your Wedding

In other words, don’t make every conversation you have with a co-worker about your wedding. While it is hugely important to you, frankly, it’s not so much to your co-workers. Besides, you don’t want them thinking you areupset woman spending all your time planning your wedding and not doing your work.

It also makes it a lot easier to NOT invite certain co-workers to your wedding when you are making out your guest lists. The chances are if you don’t spend a lot of time talking about your wedding, the less chance you will have of offending those you do not invite. Shsss!

Minimize Use of Your Work Computer

Many browsers allow users to use an “incognito” or similar window that reduces your usage footprint on a computer. Even using “incognito” however, employers may track employee computer usage and web sites visited.

In addition, with the advent of computer viruses, you do not want to bring your office network crashing down because of non-work related activities.

Additionally, be warned that deleting your browsing history does not always prevent your company from seeing what websites you have visited. While it’s co-workers on computerhuman to want to use your computer during the day to check some of your wedding-related issues, do be careful.

You may want to keep another work-related screen open if and when you are handling wedding matters, so that you can toggle back to the work screen quickly should a co-worker (or your boss) enter your work space.

Do not use company e-mail addresses for your wedding communications. All correspondences should be directed to your personal account and, if you can, refrain as much as possible, from opening your personal account at work.

The reason is you will get an email that you will want to respond to. That will lead to a phone call, which leads to another call, which possibly could have waited until you were away from work.

Arrive Early to Your Office

If there are things you must do that relate to your wedding, arrive before the start of the workday. This will give you time to make followup phone calls that you could not return during the evening, or any number of things that you can accomplish before the official work day began.

I would suggest you set the timer on your smart phone however, to alert you when the official work day starts. It is very easy to get involved with taking care of your wedding plans that you will not even realize that the work day has started.

Use Your Lunch Hour

If at all possible, try to do anything related to your wedding outside the office and on your lunch break. Ask the caller if you can return the call on your lunch or break if you think the call will last more than a minute or two.

There may be times when appointments you want to make fall outside the lunch break. This is bound to happen as many offices are open Monday through Friday.

When this does occur, ask your supervisor if you can take an odd-hour lunch if possible – rather than lunch at noon, ask if you may take your lunch during the hour for your appointment.

Ask for a Personal Day Off

When you can schedule several tasks in a single day, ask for a personal day off – or if you have the time, take a sick day. It will bring your anxiety level down a notch and you can accomplish what you need to do regarding your wedding.

Your supervisor and co-workers may actually appreciate the lunch hour and personal day off option because it allows you to focus on your job at the office when you are thee.

Ask Your Bridal Party/Friends to Help

They are usually almost as excited as you about the wedding and will probably be very willing to help with some items on your “bride’s to-do list.” I know that it is sometimes very hard to ask for help but you will probably find your parents friends and bridal party member just waiting to be asked to help.

It will take a lot of the burden off you and it will make those close to you feel more involved with your plans. Meet with your friends during the weekend sopeople talking that fully understand what it is that you would like them to do.

Don’t forget to get your future spouse to help as well, as it makes him or her feel included and valued in getting the things done for you wedding.

Request Vacation Time Early

Put in a request for the dates of your wedding and/or honeymoon as early as you know the date. This shows your supervisor that you want to give them enough time to have someone cover for you in your absence. If necessary, you will also have sufficient time to train the individual depending on how long you will be out of the office.

Bottom Line

Be fair to your employer and co-workers while you are on the job. That means that you should strive to accomplish as much as you can without your wedding plans interfering with your job. Both your employer and your co-workers will appreciate you for it.





Best Time to Have a Wedding

We think of weddings most often as evening affairs. However, if you are planning your wedding, you may want to give some thought to a morning or afternoon wedding. The best time to have a wedding is the time that works best for you, your budget and your guests.

But, do not overlook this verymorning coffee reasonable option when you are thinking of the time of day you want to start your wedding festivities. Let’s take a look at some varying factors.

Time of Day and Day of Week Weddings

You can control your reception and wedding cost to some extent by the time of day and the actual day of the week you select for the wedding. You are often able to rent some venues for less Monday through Friday.

The per person price is usually fixed for Saturday weddings, and usually has a food service minimum requirement person count. So, if you expect, say 200 people and only 150 show up, you are still responsible for paying for 200 meals.

If your reception is on a Friday and guaranteed for 200 people, often time you can just pay the actual overage if you have less than 200, since the minimum requirement is only 150 for a Monday through Friday wedding.

Morning Wedding?

Some brides opt to have a morning wedding with a breakfast buffet. It’s a brand new day and everyone is full of energy and ready to celebrate your wedding day with you.

You might want to include Mimosas, or Bloody Marys as the alcoholic drinks, along with coffee, juice, tea, etc. The morning wedding is probably the leastmorning wedding expensive time to feed your guests too.

People usually eat smaller breakfasts than lunches, and smaller lunches than dinners, so you can get away with serving less.

Breakfast foods also tend to be less expensive than lunch and a great deal less than dinner. The other plus is that this leaves the rest of the day for the couple to mingle at leisure with friends and still be able to get an early start on their honeymoon travel.

An option for any time of day is to choose heavy hors-d’oeuvres, instead of a buffet or sit-down meal. However, sometimes that can be more expensive than a served meal.

Why you may ask? Because you don’t want anyone to leave hungry, you will pay for more items (just to be safe) than if you were serving a full meal. Since you are now paying for each piece, your cost may be greater than expected.

Morning and afternoon weddings (day) are great for your photographer too. Daytime is certainly the best time to get great photographs outside for both you and your guests. It gets to be a challenge in the evening with the changing light and darkness which requires a pretty sophisticated photographer to capture your wedding activity, particularly if it is an outdoor wedding.

So, two primary factors to consider when you plan your wedding is both the day and the time of day. Those factors alone can add or subtract thousands of dollars to or from your final cost.

If cost is a factor for you, an afternoon or morning wedding may be a good fit for you. Spend a little exploring those options and do a bit of comparison to the lunch and or dinner wedding and reception.

You have choices to make about everything related to your wedding. You and your future spouse should, in the end, choose the type of wedding and reception that you want, and can afford, regardless of the time of day you choose!

Afternoon Weddings

What if you choose an afternoon wedding? If you hold your ceremony say, at 12:00 noon, your guest would expect a buffet luncheon with perhaps a singer or harpist which would be less expensive than the full evening wedding. Wine and beer and a signature drink will work at this hour if you want to serve alcohol. Otherwise, tea, coffee, and soft drinks would be acceptable.small wedding

If there is a good number of older or mature people or couples at your wedding, you may find that the morning or afternoon is an ideal time to choose for your wedding. Many older people find it more difficult to drive at night and would welcome the idea of not having to deal with nighttime driving.

Many younger people also find a day wedding, whether it is morning or afternoon, fits in with their plans as well. That leaves their evenings free to do other things they want or need to do.

Daytime Formal Dress

Getting married in the morning or afternoon can still be as formal (or informal) as you want it to be for the bride, groom, and bridal party. It is still your decision to make about the formality or lack thereof your wedding party. The men would look great in classy morning suits, or regular business suits while the bride and her party could wear traditional wedding attire no matter the time of day. So, you see, a daytime wedding can be just as beautiful and classy as an evening wedding and it is a trend and an option that many couples are choosing to explore.

Evening Weddings

The evening wedding is usually the most expensive because guests will expect hors-d’oeuvres and either a buffet or a sit-down dinner along with cocktails, wine, and beer.

With the evening wedding also comes the expectation of a band or DJ for dancing and perhaps other entertainment as well. An evening wedding is without question the most expensive type ofwedding table wedding but it is also the wedding that couples most often choose if they want to have all the trimmings that traditionally come with an evening wedding.

If that is your dream you will probably not be happy with anything less than an evening wedding.


Let your decision about the day and time of day for your wedding be dictated by what is best for you. There are so many options when it comes to planning a wedding. Your head will be spinning until you make a final decision, so consider carefully the things that are important to you. Once the decision is made, everything else begins to fall in place.





Money Saving Ideas Weddings – More Ways to Save

Hi and welcome back.  As promised I will continue the list of money saving ideas weddings from my last post.  I hope you found the previous information useful and that this new post will add additional items for your consideration.

Bridal Shoes

Rather than fancy delicate bridal shoes that you may never wear again, substitute them for white sandals or pumps. Shoes designated as “wedding shoes” are usually more expensive, plus not many of us ever find a reason to wear them again.  bridal shoes

I know…we all say we are going to dye them for future use, but we seldom get around to it!

If your wedding is on the beach, have fun with a pair of pretty soleless wedding sandals.  These are beaded, pearl, or rhinestone anklets and are really quite pretty.  After the wedding, you can wear them again and again, just for fun, while on the beach.

If you already have a pair of shoes that would work for your wedding, perhaps you could add a bit of embellishment to change the look of them, i.e. glue on rhinestones, ruffles, bows or colorful crystals.

Reception Items

Try negotiating with your wedding ceremony and reception venue to include needed items as a part of your contract rather than paying for them separately.  As an example when I planned a wedding for a friend, the hotel rented table candelabras for wedding receptions held at their hotel.

Because of the size of the wedding, I asked the hotel to allow us to use their candelabras without their usual rental fee.  Mission accomplished!  Otherwise, it would have cost the bride $20 each or an additional $300 to rent candelabras for her 15 tables.

Reception Music

Forget the live band for your reception and go with a “Jammin’ DJ.”  Choose your favorite tunes from their vast inventory, mix it up!  Pick the right professional wedding DJ, and he/she can make your reception an event that everyone will enjoy and remember. Wedding DJ

Ask for references and then check them out because this is your once-in-a-lifetime party and you want the best professional you can find for the job!

The Wedding Cake or Cakes

Rather than a huge very expensive wedding cake, why not order a smaller version of the cake you want.  Then, and here is the beautiful part, supplement it with a sheet cake(s) made to match the color, icing, and flavor of your “big cake.”

Have the venue’s wait staff keep the sheet cake(s) in the kitchen.  Ask THEM to cut, plate, and service it.  They can also just cut and plate it and put it on the cake table where people can serve themselves.  All this, of course, takes place AFTER you and your spouse have cut your ceremonial wedding cake.

Cakes can be expensive, and this is a HUGE MONEY SAVER!  You’ll still have most of your wedding cake for the cake ceremony and photos.   Guests tend to drift away once the cake has been cut anyway, allowing your venue staff to cut, plate and serve the sheet cakes.

Another way to save big on your cake is to place an order with a warehouse chain, without mentioning that it is for a wedding. They tend to raise the price for wedding cakes, while a simple cake in the same flavors will be reasonably priced.

At the warehouse bakery counter, order three separate, two-layer round or square cakes.  Specific that the cakes are to be in three different sizes (with your selected frosting on each cake – the same or different).  Wedding Cake

These three different cakes from largest to smallest will fit on a rented cake display with three graduated shelves. Check the cake stand measurements before ordering.

Now, dress-up your beautiful three-tier masterpiece with ribbons, flowers, cake bride and groom topper/or other items once you place the already decorated cakes on the floating cake stand.


Ditch the open bar and serve only wine and beer. Or put one or two bottles each of red and white wine at each table. Your guests will know that the bottles on the table are theirs to consume.wine If you would like to have a champagne toast, wait until it’s time for the toast and circulate trays of already-poured champagne. Not everyone will want to participate in the toast, and filling each glass about half full will suffice.

No Alcohol

Some couples decide not to serve alcohol at all.  Here I would strongly suggest that you know your guests well.  Unless there is a religious equation, many of your wedding guests will probably expect alcohol at an evening reception.

But, if you decide to skip it, serve beverages such as iced tea, hot tea, soft drinks, coffee and water with and after the meal.  You may want to serve a punch when serving the wedding cake if you are not serving alcohol.

Table Centerpieces

Instead of full floral arrangements as your centerpieces, think outside of the box to create centerpieces for each table at your reception. Roses, Carnations, Cala Lilies, Peonies or the flower of your choice, beautifully arranged in one or more small vases always look lovely.

You can find inexpensive vases at most local discount stores.  Dollar stores usually have a good selection. You might include LED lighting inside the vase of flowers for a nice glowing effect. Wedding Table Centerpiece You can buy LED lights that are waterproof for this purpose.

Try floating candles in a beautiful glass bowl as another example. Two or three candles in different heights and sizes are always attractive and can be picked up for reasonable prices at local discount stores.

Let the beauty of the area where you live inspire you with ideas. If you are near the Ocean, utilize sea shells for decorations.  The countryside may also offer you great ideas to enhance your wedding. Twigs, pine cones or branches, arranged in an attractive manner or other natural wonders may be just the thing to make your wedding memorable to your guests.

Wedding Napkins

Go big on your cocktail napkins.  Get them at a big box warehouse store or party supply store. Most of us don’t notice the initials or wording on napkins as we wipe away a bit of hors-d’oeuvre, so choose a solid color that best matches your wedding colors and save a ton of money in the process.


Be crafty and creative!  Think about what is most important as you research and explore the possibilities. And have fun.










Money Saving Ideas for Weddings -Things to Think About

Saving Money

Say yes, to a beautiful wedding, and a great big yes, to money saving ideas for weddings! Creativity is one of the best ways to reduce your expenses, so let’s take a look at some options you may have in trying to save money as your wedding plans begin to come together.

Creativity comes in when you are working on a limited budget, but if your desire is to make a particular part of your wedding really shine, choose that area with the idea of spending more of your budget there. That does not mean the whole wedding won’t be beautiful, but in your case, decide what is most important, and let that idea help guide your spending in that particular area.

For my wedding, my reception was where I wanted to shine. I had separate rooms at the same venue for the ceremony and the reception. We decorated the ceremony room beautifully, but the reception hall was where we chose to spend the most dollars.

Because I knew my guests would only spend an hour or less in the ceremony room, one of the things I did was to use silk flowers there. Yes, they were beautiful and tough to tell from the real thing. But the fact is they were less expensive than the real flowers that I chose to display on the guest tables and around the reception hall. It was at the reception where my guests touched, and “smelled the roses.”

Let family and friends suggest ideas from their weddings that were less expensive. Modify those ideas to fit your needs.

Potential Ways to Save Big!


Ask family and friends to perform a service in exchange for something you need. Example, you have a friend or associate who does Calligraphy or graphic art. Come up with something you can do as a fair trade for that service or at least pay them less than you would a professional with whom you have no relationship.

The Internet

Search it for items you need, both retail and resale – often brides are selling bridal goods from their recent wedding. Sometimes you will find these things work perfectly for you but at a greatly reduced cost.Save money with internet

Buying versus Renting

You might think it cheaper to rent rather than buy some things for your wedding. Believe it or not, sometimes depending on what it is, it is cheaper to buy rather than rent. For my wedding, I purchased, rather than rented my table and chair coverings.

After the wedding, the tablecloths and chair covers could have been resold, but instead, my husband and I donated them to a very grateful ladies group at my mother’s church. They planned to re-use them for church anniversary parties and other church functions including small wedding receptions at the church.

Yes, it is almost always possible to donate purchased items to charity, or a church or try to resell them online after the wedding. If you do decide to donate to a charity, it may also be possible to take a tax write off. With renting the only thing you will ever have, is a receipt.


Buy your fresh flowers wholesale. I will discuss silk and fresh flowers in a later post.


Camera store personnel may be able to recommend someone who is an excellent photographer, although not “a Professional.”

You may be able to find very talented people to capture your wedding at reasonable prices going this route. People working in photography stores are often able to do the job themselves, but if they don’t offer their services, they can probably lead you to someone who can do what you need.

Photo-Journalists may be another option to consider, and their style of wedding photography is a great alternative to the more traditional approach.

Note – Photo-journalists will shoot your weddings like that of a story that is, capturing events as they happen with minimal formal posing and interference. The photographer typically will also take some more traditional formal portraits according to your wishes.

Be sure you understand the contract – most professional photographers will own the original image (typically in digital form these days) and sell you a portfolio of photos which are subject to copyright. You may be able to negotiate the ownership of the images or processed images.

Guests as Photographers

Another great idea to add to your wedding photo collection at no expense is to ask several friends/family members to bring their digital cameras to the wedding. Ask them to be your eyes as they will probably know many of people there.

They will be able to capture photos at the moment that your official photographer simply will not be on the scene, as he/she will be busy elsewhere.

At my wedding, my husband took his camera and a tripod and caught some great group photos after the wedding (he did have a remote control to trigger the camera so he was in the photos as well). However, family and friends took and shared many lovely photos that we treasure.

photographer friend

Ask friends to put the photos on a thumb drive, which you may want to supply, and have them send it to you later. Or, you could also ask a computer-savvy friend to set up a laptop at the reception where you could invite friends to download their photos for you before they leave the reception.

Sometimes for those mature DIY or second weddings, the family/friends photos may suffice. You will get lots of great candid shots of your family and friends from your wedding and reception this way! If you choose to use a professional photographer, save the family and friends photos in a different album.

Wedding Invitations

Instead of ordering engraved invitations from a ritzy stationery store, print your own using your computer and printer. Most office supply, stationery or craft stores in your town (and online) have a great selection of paper that will work beautifully with your printer. For an added selection of colors, textures, and sizes, browse through a scrapbooking store.

Cardstock and stationary are also found on the shelves of crafts stores, and retail stores like Wal-Mart and Target, etc. Beautiful fonts are available for download online. Search the internet for inspiration and then play around on your computer until you achieve the desired results.Wedding Invitations

Another idea for your wedding invitations is simply to go online to websites such as vistaprint.com, minted.com, basicinvite.com, and Shutterfly, etc. and design your invitation right online. They will be printed and shipped to you when they are printed.

This may be an area in which you may be able to ask a family member or friend to do the preliminary computer work and get back to you with suggestions.


These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about the ways you can save. There are more, but I do not want to make this post too long, so I will continue this discussion in my next post.


Please be sure to leave your thoughts and comments below. Thanks for visiting and please come back for my followup post where I will continue with more money saving ideas for weddings.






Wedding Guest List Ideas

I have put together some wedding guest list ideas that I, and other brides, have found to be very useful when creating a guest list. You will find that your list will become the bedrock of all your future plans, so think carefully.

Deciding the number of people you will have as guests will make it a lot easier to plan your wedding. The fact is you can not make very many real decisions about most things related to your wedding until you know how many people you will be inviting.

Parents & Siblings

Your guest list should ordinarily include your immediate family mother, father, and siblings provided there is no family “drama.” Spouses of your divorced and remarried parents should be included. If there are any strained feelings among family guests, they should be discussed and ironed out before the wedding.

If hurt feelings can’t be “fixed,” then everyone should agree to be on their best behavior and call a truce until after your wedding. If individuals are not willing to put their feelings aside until later, you may have to make a hard decision about inviting them.wedding guest list

Children At Your Wedding Reception

Couples usually find themselves discussing how to cut the wedding guest list as it begins to balloon beyond their budget. One way to cut your list is to make a decision whether your reception will be a family affair or adults-only affair.

Most venues will charge the set adult price, even for younger children if you do not negotiate the price. This is an area where not including children could make your guest list more manageable.

If you opt for the adults only wedding and reception, you should make it very clear on the invitation that the wedding is adults only. You could use wording on the acceptance card such as:

___  #Adults Attending,

or say something inside the invitation like…

“we adore children, but because our venue has limited seating, our reception will be adults only.”
There are other options of course, but this type of wording will get the idea across.

If you have a child ring-bearer or flower-girl, you may need to make that exception. People, including relatives, would understand that because they are a part of your wedding party they would attend the reception.

If you do decide to have children at your wedding, be sure to negotiate a children’s menu and rate whether it is for two or twenty-two little ones.

Extended Family

Extended family includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, etc. If you are close to anyone on this tier in your family, you may want to invite them. If you are not particularly close to extended relatives, you may want to ask your parents for help in suggesting who you should invite.

If they live out-of-state, they may not be able to make it but would appreciate an invitation anyway. Consider it a family “gesture of goodwill.”

If your budget is strained, however, do not send invitations with the expectation that it will not be accepted. Assume it will be and include those people on your acceptance list until you hear otherwise.wedding guests


Sometimes our friends are closer to us than family. Include those friends on your guest list.

There may be other friends who are more casual acquaintances, than close friends. Explain to those folks at an opportune time that your wedding is a small one, primarily for family and a few close friends, and that you are working within a budget.

Most people will understand and still be happy for you. If they are not close friends any way they may actually be relieved somewhat as there would be no obligation to buy a present, spend money on clothes or travel, or dedicate a day to your wedding.


No matter how much you like them as “just a friend” now, they are still your Ex! That fact alone could present some awkward moments throughout the day, and not just for the bride and groom, but for parents, extended family, and others.  Just don’t invite them. It’s easier for EVERYONE involved!

If you do decide to include the Ex anyway, make sure you check with your future spouse before doing so and have your sensitivity radar on maximum setting. If you are having trouble deciding whether to invite your ex or not, read these paragraphs again.


Where do you begin and where do you end with invitations to fellow workers? Trying to invite everyone from the office can seriously blow your wedding budget if you are not careful here. If you have friends that you are close to at work…by all means, do invite them.

wedding feast

A rule of thumb in most cases about asking co-workers is as follows: If you see them socially outside of work, they may be “guest material.” If you do not see them outside of work, it is not necessary to invite them.

However, depending on your employment, “office politics” may “trump” simple rules. Just don’t let it “trump” your budget.

Your Boss

Conditional on your personal relationship with your boss, you may or may not invite him/her to your wedding. If you have a good working relationship with your boss, however, and your budget can handle it, it is probably a good idea to invite him or her. It just makes good practical sense in today’s world where your boss can make your life a little easier or a little harder around the office.


Determining whom to invite is sometimes the most difficult process to get through when you start planning your wedding, but it is crucial. If you do not, you will soon discover, it is impossible to determine a budget or even select a venue in most cases.

You must know how many people you plan to seat, feed, and entertain, to move forward with planning your entire wedding. Your list will prove to be invaluable, as well as your guiding document, as you look at all things where consideration of your guests is a must.








First Steps Planning Weddings – Remember these Budget Items

No matter the type of wedding you decide on, you will need the basics. That is a dress for you, a tux or suit for him, the cake, flowers, music, food, and drink, generally. You are not going to forget those items. Of course, if it’s a smaller affair, you may not need some of these basic items. The first steps Marry me?planning weddings, after the decision is made about the type of wedding, is usually an attempt to list wedding items needed. Yes, actually write them down and start from there.

I have prepared a list of wedding budget ideas that are often forgotten in the initial budgeting process. You know, those “little things” that can unexpectedly add a significant amount to your final budget.

They are clustered somewhat in order from invitations to honeymoon so that you can think through these and other ideas that come to your mind as you begin planning a wedding budget.

Wedding Mailings

Save-the-Date Cards – Get them printed and sent out as soon as you know the date. Busy calendars of family and friends are often filled a year or more Save the datein advance. Make sure your intended guests have your date so they can save-the-date when scheduling their other activities.

Wedding Invitations.

Thank You Cards.

Printing and Postage

Do not underestimate the professional cost of printing the above cards. Even if you decide to print your cards at home, check the cost of the supplies you will need and include it in your budget.

Postage is another big item. Include it in your initial budgeting. If you wish you can create personalized postage stamps online via the U.S. Postal Service, Zazzle.com, Evermine.com, and others.

Once you know the number of guests you plan to invite, it should be pretty easy to figure your postage for your various mailings.

License, Fees, Immunizations, Gratuities

Marriage License – Fees will vary depending on where you live. Call your local City Clerk for information.

Passports and Visas – Will you need one or both for your honeymoon?Passport

Travel Immunizations – Honeymoon planning early. Immunizations are sometimes suggested for places you may travel to on your honeymoon and they can often be expensive as they are usually not covered by health insurance.

Gratuities – Check to see what the going rate is in your area for:



Limo Driver.

New Clothing and Shoes

Gown Alterations – You may put on, or take off, a few pounds since your first/last fitting! Be prepared to have your dress fit the way you want it to, by budgeting for it, just in case.

Wedding Shoes – right height for your gown.

Pre-Wedding attire – For all your parties, from bachelorette to rehearsal to showers.

Undergarments and Accessories

You will probably want new undergarments for your wedding day. These may include everything from body shapers to just really pretty frilly things.

Hair Jewelry or flowers.


Pre-Wedding Parties/Dinners

Bachelorette Party – Will it be a local affair or will you travel to another town? Although this party is sometimes put on by the Maid-of-Honor, if traveling out of your city, you will want to pay for your hotel and airline ticket.

If it is not affordable for the Maid-of-Honor, you should budget for all your personal expenses.

Bachelor Party – Same consideration for best man as for bachelorette party.

Attendants’ Party – Some brides and grooms like to have a party just for their attendants.

Rehearsal Dinner – Formal or informal, food is the biggest budget item here.

Gifts Given by Bride and Groom

Presents for your Parents.

Presents for your Bridal Party – You will want to show your appreciation to all those who helped to make your day a special one.

Present for Day Coordinator (see below) or Family Friend who performs this duty.

Welcome Wedding Bags

Welcome Bags for your arriving guests. This is always a great idea and very much appreciated by your out-of-town guests, in particular.

Hotel Cost – Night before Wedding

Want to stay in the hotel the night before? It will certainly be easier to get dressed and get downstairs if your ceremony is in the same location or nearby.

Day of Wedding Costs

Day of wedding Coordinator – Even the perfect DIY Bride may want to leave the final coordination of her wedding day to someone else. A day planner comes in handy here, but an eagle-eyed family member or friend could also fill the bill. Just don’t get caught up trying to do it yourself.

Food – You will have people around you all day at home or in your hotel ladies eating foodroom – dressing, combing, fixing, etc. They will get hungry so plan to feed them before the wedding. (Tip for the food delivery person would be appropriate)

Hair and Makeup. Will you hire a professional hair and makeup artist for your wedding day?

Transportation – Limo/Carriage – what is your plan for getting to the church?

Destination Wedding?

In addition to your air travel, hotel,  new clothes, immunizations (if necessary), car rental, etc., destination weddings usually entail hiring an onsite or local wedding planner. Get the details from the venue and include them at the heart of your budgeting.

Church Requirements

Will you need to pay the church or another venue for a ceremony room? This is in addition to gratuities for your officiant.

Decorations and or flowers for the church or other venues.

Flower Girl Basket with Petals.

Ring Bearer Pillow.

Reception Needs

Transportation from Church to Reception, what will it be?

Dinner for DJ or Band? – Is it a part of your final count for hotel or venue? No, you don’t HAVE to feed them, but do you really want a hungry DJ or band working your reception? Could be distracting! Often times they set-up just around the dinner-hour and may not have eaten beforehand.

The cost will usually be the same per person as your guests.

Unexpected Guests – Okay, it’s a little rude, but it’s Aunt Mary’s boy Tony, who is home from the Navy unexpectantly.  She brought him along because she knew you wouldn’t mind, right?  Be prepared by making sure your venue/caterer can accommodate two or three unexpected guests.

Knife, Cake Server, and Toasting Flutes – These are the decorative ones that you will want as your keepsakes.

Decorations – Will you need to add decorations to the reception room if you are doing it yourself or decorate the back-yard for your reception if it is an at-home affair? This could include everything from string lights to ceiling drapes to table decorations.

Photographer or Videographer- Ownership of your photo negatives will depend upon your contract with the professional. Make sure you understand the details before you sign the contract.

Service Charges and Sales Tax – Have you figured this usually substantial sum into your budget if your reception is being held at a hotel or other venue?

How will you get from the reception to your hotel or “get-away?”

Honeymoon Costs

Your destination, length of stay, the season and the things you plan to do, will help you determine your costs. It is never too soon start thinking about it.

Post Wedding

Gown Cleaning, preparation for storage.

Bouquet Preservation.



Wedding Photos.


This list is just to get you thinking about wedding budget items. You will think of others as your wedding and your needs are as special and different as you are.

Just remember, no one needs everything mentioned here but it is a menu that you can begin to use as the first steps planning your wedding. We will move on and begin to explore in more detail some items we have mentioned here.

Before you go I would like to hear what you think of this post, so please take a moment and let me know.  Also, please feel free to leave any suggestion you may have about a wedding topic that you would like to see a post on.


Planning A Wedding Budget – An Overview

An Overview

You know that weddings come in many shapes, sizes and most importantly, price tags. You have probably already given a lot of thought to the dream wedding you would like to have, but it’s time now to sit down and get serious about planning a wedding budget.

So, grab a cup of coffee, find someplace quiet and think about some things that you might want to include.

Be realistic in your initial thoughts and planning so as not to set yourself and your future spouse up for disappointment as you begin to explore the actual cost associated with all the wedding preparation.

For instance, don’t entertain the idea of having your family and friends fly to Hawaii, for a beach wedding, if you know it is not something that neither you nor they will likely be able to afford.

Your Choices Will Dictate Your Final Costs

You and your future spouse should decide what type of wedding you want, formal, informal, Do-It-Yourself, Destination, somewhere in between or a combination of one or more of these ideas.

If you are planning a formal affair with say 200 guests, heavy hors-d’oeuvres with a sit-down dinner; you may be looking at a pretty significant price tag.

If you are planning something more modest, say 50-100 people or so, your decisions will still dictate the final cost. If this is a second wedding or perhaps a mature wedding, you may want to skip some things you did for a previous wedding. Family, including children and grandchildren, may bePlanning a Wedding Budget more important than before.

Make sure you think about all the things that are really important to you and your future spouse as you begin your initial planning.

The Number of Guests is Crucial

There is a difference of course in having 100 people at your wedding vs 200. Most venues charge by the person and an extra 100 people will double the cost of your wedding reception pronto! So, think very carefully about the cost as you make your wedding guest list.

I will go into some detail in future posts about building your guest list. You may have to make some hard decisions about what family and friends to invite depending on your family makeup and circumstances.

I will say at this point that it is not necessary to invite all your co-workers as that can add up quickly and be a budget buster almost immediately.

A rule of thumb – if you have an “outside-the-office” relationship with a co-worker, include them. If you do not, then it is not necessary to invite them.

Wedding Time of Day

Will you have your wedding in the morning, afternoon or evening? This decision alone can make a huge difference in your final cost. Morning weddings tend to be less expensive for a variety of reasons and evening weddings the most expensive.

One reason, of course, is that people generally eat less and expect less of everything in the morning than they do at evening weddings.

The evening is dinner time and your guest will have expectations in-line with the hour. There is also entertainment, liquor, dancing, cake, etc. expected at evening weddings, all making it the more expensive option.

Because morning or afternoon weddings do not require the same level of food, drink, or entertainment, they have become a viable option for many brides looking to have a lovely, but less expensive wedding.

Wedding Decorations Expense

The cost of your flowers will vary based on the type you choose. Whether it is fresh or silk, in season or out, the size, the style, and any extra touches you may select for your florals — all will dictate how labor intensive and expensive your bouquets and other floral arrangements may be.

If you decide on fresh flowers will you buy them from your local florist, big box warehouse store, or order them wholesale.

Remember that you will need floral for both your wedding venue and reception venue if they are to be held at different locations or even in different rooms.

You can apply this scenario to almost anything from the other decorations you will need, to your dress, the reception venue, the cake, and the honeymoon.  The price, in the end, will be what you make and your future spouse decide to make it.

Reception Expense – What You Decide to Serve

Depending upon the number of guests you invite, and whether you have a breakfast buffet, a formal sit-down dinner, serve wine and beer, or have an open bar, all this and then some will figure prominently in your final cost.

Will your reception be at home in the back-yard, hotel or wedding venue? Will you be able to negotiate a child’s price if at a wedding venue?

If it is to be a back-yard reception, how much will it cost to rent the extra tents, tables, chairs, etc. that will be required to turn the backyard into a beautiful reception area?


Yes, there is a huge difference in price in almost everything associated with your wedding. The idea at this point is just to build a bare-bones outline of what you may consider as a part of your wedding budget.

We will be getting into more detail in future posts about some specific items you can explore before you make your decisions final.

As you are in the beginning stages of planning your wedding budget, do “let the juices flow.” that is, be open to new ideas and new trends for your wedding.

You can always explore these new ideas and discard them if they don’t fit into your final thought process and/or budget.

Above all, planning your wedding should be a joyous and fun experience for both you and your future spouse. Make your wedding your own, as you make it about you and your loved one by having it reflect who you are, during your wedding ceremony and your reception.

Your wedding, your choices, and it is you who is ultimately in charge of how much or how little your wedding, reception, and honeymoon will cost. The price, in the end, will be what you make it. Happy Planning!

Before you go I would like to hear what you think of this post, so please take a moment and let me know.  Also, please feel free to leave any suggestion you may have about a wedding topic that you would like to see a post on.

Next Article – First Steps Planning Wedding


About Lillian

Hello, I want to welcome you to my site and thank you for coming. I hope you will find information and ideas, while you are here that will help make your wedding an event to remember. About Lillian


My name is Lillian Luscher! Welcome to DIY, SECOND, WEDDING. I am a wife, mother, and Gigi, (aka grandmother), my three most important roles.

Before retiring in 2016, I worked as a real estate agent in Phoenix Arizona.  Prior to that, I worked for various financial institutions in San Diego, California.

After having planned and executed weddings for both my daughters, several close friends, and my own second wedding, (yea) I began to develop this website.

Why I Think This Website Will Be Useful

When I was planning my wedding, I often found it difficult to find information relative to a mature or second wedding, and, I was often times very frustrated because of this.

There are many terrific wedding sites on the internet, but I found them to be geared toward younger women and larger higher dollar cost weddings. I was always looking for something for a smaller more intimate affair that could be done on a slimmer budget.

So, I decided to create this site and I try to include the things I learned from doing weddings for my family and friends.

Many times during my planning I wished that I had been able to call or email someone and ask a simple question.

For that reason, In addition to keeping my site current, I occasionally do freelance work (usually via Skype, Messenger, Whatsapp, email, etc., helping brides who have decided to plan their own wedding, make decisions about some of the best options available to them for their upcoming nuptials.


I know that there are many websites that you can go to for wedding information. They are all wonderful and offer really good advice. My website is a bit different in the following way:

What you will find are:

…IDEAS, OPTIONS, and ALTERNATIVES, all intended to encourage you to consider various scenarios when you are thinking of the actual who, what, where, when, and how, of your very specific wedding plans. For example, the backyard or another venue? Which is less expensive? The answer may surprise you. We explore that question and many others like it.

Following is just a small handful of the IDEAS that we will explore on the website:

Budgeting beyond the wedding basics,
10+ potential money-saving ideas,
Best time of day to plan your wedding,
Second (or third) time brides, what color you may want to wear,
Whether a backyard wedding or some other wedding venue is best for you,
Fresh flowers or silk…or both,
Including your children in your wedding,
Honeymoon planning,
DJ vs live band,
Foodservice trends,
and tons more!

***I will offer you a list of resources at some point that I used myself and that you may find of value.

You will not find lists of:

Wedding venues,




Cake designers,

Wedding Planning Booklets or Planners,

other very specific information that you may find on other sites.


To become the premier website for any bride, but especially DIY and second wedding brides, to visit as they begin thinking about the plans for their wedding.

Many of the ideas and options you will find here should help you with your budgeting, and show you alternatives that will assist you in deciding the who, what, why, when, where, and how of your big day.

With the options and tools in hand that you will find here, you should then begin to develop a “big picture” idea for your wedding. From that point, you could begin the actual detailed planning for your wedding!


…thank you so much for visiting my website. I will be adding content on a regular basis and hope you will stop by often. I would love to hear from you so please leave any comments or questions you may have.

Lillian Luscher