Budget Bride Blog
Budget-friendly Save the Dates

SavetheDateStore.comSave the Date Store is a great place to find budget-friendly ways to save your wedding date.  It has great advice and save the date choices including postcards, magnets, photo cards and more.

There are no minimum orders so it’s great for smaller weddings plus with discounts for larger orders it’s a great option for larger weddings, too.

Best of all the choices are budget-friendly including some tips on cheap save the dates and even some tips on getting free save the dates. Check it out!


Where I’ve Been…

I apologize for the recent absence in posts. I hate not living up to goals and commitments! I’m sure I feel worse about my hiatus than anyone else does, but a thousand apologies, nonetheless.

As I mentioned earlier, after being laid off for eight months, I finally accepted a position at a great nonprofit here in New York City. I’m so happy to be working full-time again, but it’s going to take some adjusting before I manage to get my many moonlighting gigs back under control.

In addition to getting Budget Bride back on track, my husband and I are shopping for an apartment, I have a book under deadline (not wedding related), and I’m directing a play I wrote for an upcoming Brooklyn play festival.

So…things have been a little crazy around here. It’s good crazy, though!

Please do keep an eye out for new posts…they are coming!

Jenn Bartell Photography

Wedding photographer Jenn Bartell is based in Sacramento, California, but she travels the country to photograph weddings. With rates starting at just $1,200, her services are already quite the catch, but if you mention this Budget Bride blog post, she’ll give you an extra $200 off!

A 2005 graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Jenn just recently started shooting weddings. Her original focus was children’s photography, but after shooting a friend’s wedding one year, she became hooked. Since relocating to Sacramento 8 months ago, she’s already shot 8 different weddings. Kinda tells you something, doesn’t it?

"I started loving how creative you can be while shooting weddings, and with each one being different, it never gets boring," Jenn says.

My favorite things about her pictures is that while they clearly exhibit an artistic understanding of light, color, and texture, they never appear too “set up.” Instead, they possess an organic appeal that puts the viewer in the moment instead of outside the frame.

You can find more info and pics at JennBartell.com.

New to the Blogroll: Groomasaurus


By way of Bridelines, one of my new fave wedding blogs, I was introduced to Groomasaurus, a wonderfully entertaining wedding blog that threatens, “Move over, Bridezilla…wedding planning is for grooms, too!”

I love that Jeff, the husband-to-be behind Groomasaurus, is deeply involved in planning his and his fiance’s wedding, The way he explains it is this:

Groomasaurus Gal and I have decided to share the experience of planning a wedding together. We figured if we can do this without driving each other nuts, than our relationship can survive pretty much anything. And since I’m the talker in the relationship, I decided to document our wacky, unconventional journey toward the figurative altar.

Pretty thoughtful words for a dinosaur. But Groomasaurus is hardly saccharine sweet. His posts are brutally honest and wickedly funny, while still managing to provide sound advice to men and women alike.

I think Groomasaurus is an especially useful blog for brides. Jeff’s male perspective can help to keep us grounded. It grants us a vacation from obsessing over details like floral displays and chair covers, and reminds us that the men in our life have feelings about marriage, too. It clears the lacy, buttercream fog from our eyes and shows us weddings in an important, objective light. Definitely, definitely take a look.

wedding workbook

And as if Groomasuarus hasn’t offered us enough of a helpful claw, he’s also developed a comprehensive wedding workbook that allows brides and grooms to easily create budgets, keep track of guests, and manage general to-do lists online for free. I can honestly say I haven’t seen a better web-based method for managing wedding details. Be sure to check it out by clicking here.

Non-Floral Friday: Candy Apple Centerpieces

Mighty readers, you have spoken, and Budget Bride follows suit!

Based on the results of our recent poll, today’s Non-Floral Friday will once again center on centerpieces. And because I received an email specifically requesting that apples be addressed, well, that’s just what I’ll do!

I’m not surprised that centerpieces conquered the competition, even though they’ve been the subject of the majority of our Non-Floral Fridays. After all:

  • Centerpieces play a BIG role in the average floral budget. Many brides would prefer that this role be a little smaller.
  • There are so many ways to create beautiful centerpieces without using a single blossom…and yet, most of us still need a little extra encouragement in order to take such a nontraditional step
  • Non-floral centerpieces are terrific conversation starters, and a great way to make a personalized statement at each and every table

Apples can be incorporated into weddings year round. I like green and yellow apples for spring and summer, and red ones for fall and winter. I’ve definitely spoken of apples as centerpieces before. But what about the caramel variety?

I was stunned upon stumbling across Amy’s Candy Kitchen, an online shop that sells such a wide variety of caramel apples that it’s nearly impossible not to find a type that fits in perfectly with your wedding colors and/or theme. The colored toppings caramel and satin bows certainly are inspiring:

candy apple centerpiececandy apple centerpiece

They even have bride and groom apples. It’s a whole candied apple universe.candy apple weddingcandy apples wedding

Apples as pretty as these absolutely deserve centerpiece status, and can obviously double as favors. What budget bride doesn’t love turning two expenses into one? Of course, Amy’s apples are as gourmet as it gets, so they’re not exactly cheap. If you’re planning on having one apple per person and have a guest list of 100, you can plan on paying about $1,000 and up. For some, this is still better than the cost of flowers and favors combined. For others, it’s a lot of money.

If you have the time to DIY your apples, you can certainly save some moolah. And there are links all over the web that will lead you to caramel apple recipes and instructional videos. Here are a just a few:

A detailed guide to making caramel apples for weddings, complete with pictures, on Simply Recipes.

Caramel apple recipe video from About.com.

Instructions for making chocolate-covered caramel apples that also covers wrapping the finished treats.

Incorporate your wedding colors into your arrangements by tying ribbons to the sticks or wrapping the apples in colored cellophane. You can arrange groups of apples in rustic wicker baskets or on elegant platters, according to the feel of your event.

Here are some pictures to get you inspired:

caramel apple centerpiece

Apples on a cake stand from Everyday Beauty.

caramel apple centerpiece

A more natural looking set of apples, juxtaposed by a silver platter. From Country Living.

caramel apple centerpiece

A simple assortment on white china.

Have you ever made caramel apples? Let us know!

Budget Wedding Venues: Retreat Centers

When it comes to business retreats, many places of work choose rustic retreat centers over chic hotels, often because retreat centers tend to have lower rates.

Have you considered holding your wedding at a rural retreat site? Many of these locations are well-versed in hosting outdoor weddings, and even those that have yet to do so may be open the idea.

Because retreat centers are all about relaxation and “getting away from it all,” I’m thinking a wedding at such a space would be serene and otherworldly.

Here are some pics of popular retreat centers that double as wedding locations.

Pompanuck Farm Institute, Cambridge, NY

Pompanuck wedding

The Essex Conference Center, Essex, MA

Retreat Center wedding

Covenant Heights Camp and Retreat Center, Estes Park, CO

retreat space wedding

The Sequoia Retreat Center, Ben Lemond, CA

corporate retreat wedding

Reblogging wedding Facebook drama posted by the following tumbloggers:


robot-heart: Facebook wedding drama « All things heinous, trashy, and hilarious in weddings!
wow. this makes me love facebook more.

Reblogging wedding Facebook drama posted by the following tumbloggers:



robot-heart: Facebook wedding drama « All things heinous, trashy, and hilarious in weddings!

wow. this makes me love facebook more.

I’m a lover of colors (couldn’t settle on just one, two, or even three for our wedding) and a sucker for personality tests, so I was excited to come across this post about Paper Source’s Colorscope Color Pallette on Charmed Events (click the title link to read).

The pallette promises to tell you what your favorite colors say about you. I think it’s a great way to find wedding color schemes—read the descriptions and find the one that speaks to you and your fiance’s combined personalities!

Our colors were a combination of jewel tones, but the most prominent shades were wine and plum, similar to the beet and rhubarb pictured above. The corresponding descriptions are pretty accurate for both my husband and myself!

What Happened to Non-Floral Friday?

D’oh! How did I forget about Non-Floral Friday this past week?

My apologies, everyone! I guess my head was somewhere else that day…Actually, I know it was somewhere else, and I know exactly where that somewhere else was.

You see, last Thursday night, I was finally offered a permanent position at a really wonderful nonprofit here in NYC, after having been laid-off for about eight months. I guess you could say the result was my head being high in the clouds for the next twenty-four hours or so.

To make it up to you, the subject of next week’s Non-Floral Friday will be up to you. So tell me…what would you like to hear about?

J. Crew Goldwyn Dress

This dress is not a piece from J. Crew’s wedding line. It’s not long, it’s not pure white, it’s not satin, it’s not silk. But still…this budget bride thinks it would make a darling wedding dress! And right now, it’s on sale on the J. Crew website for just $99.99!

J. Crew Goldwyn

"Goldwyn" it’s called. The name alone is almost enough to sell me. It sounds like the sort of celebrity baby name you actually end up wishing you’d thought of first. I can see this dress in a courthouse with a birdcage veil and a modest bouquet of gardenias. LOVE! Will someone please where this to their wedding?