Friday, September 29, 2017

Wedding Series Part 2: Save the Dates

Okay girlfriend, grab yourself a cup of coffee or drink of your choice and get ready to have your mind blown because I'm going to help you save a ton of money! 

You all know I'm a girl on a budget and I don't believe you have to sacrifice your style or taste to do that! Save the Dates can be SO expensive along with invitations. Minted (a popular stationary site) has save the date postcards for as low as $1.18. That doesn't seem expensive initially but if you're inviting 250 to your wedding that's about $300 without tax, shipping, postage, labels, etc.. before you know it, you've dropped $400 precious dollars from your budget on just something that says Save the Date. Now, some would say that Save the Dates aren't necessary. I know plenty of people don't use them BUT with our time crunch and wanting to get the word out to people they were important in our case. My mom and I started trying to figure out the best way to cut cost and here is what we found. 

Step 1: Head to Etsy and search "Save the Date editable file" 
Immediately you'll have TONS of options. Our particular file is for photoshop which is also easy to use. If you don't have the software, ask a friend or photographer if they do so they can quickly edit the file. If you want to copy us, which doesn't bother me one single bit, here is the link: 

Step 2: Choose your pic and edit the file. Every single file you purchase will come with instructions and they are extremely easy to use. If you have any questions, just message your Etsy seller. Every person I have worked with has been so accommodating. 

Step 3: Save your file and head to Vista Print. This is the postcard section where we made ours. You'll upload your file based on the size, if you used our file it's a 5x7. Then you'll select the number you want to order. We did 250 and had extras but it cost us $55 making each card $0.22!!! How much of a steal is that?! 

Step 4: Once they arrive go purchase labels from your local Office Depot and create them in Word. We used Times New Roman for the return address labels and a scripty font for the address labels. The most expensive part was postage which was $88. Now, if you get a true postcard size image, your postage will be less. Just consider all those things when picking which save the date you want. 

With Save the Dates $55 from Vista, $10 for the file from Etsy, Express shipping (because of our time crunch) $22, Labels $12,  and Postage $88, we spent a total of $187 on Save the Dates!! So you could essentially only spend $167 if you don't need express shipping! 

I hope this post was fun and exciting for you to read! I've linked up some adorable save the date files for you to browse! Post any questions for future posts below!

 Happy Shopping! 😉  Thanks so much for reading friend! 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

My Bachelorette Weekend in Austin

What a weekend this was! So fun, so refreshing and just what my heart needed among the crazy that had been going on for the two weeks prior. My two lovely maids of honor, Sarah and Sarah, one blonde one brunette, both are pictured hosted an incredible weekend! One worked on the theme the other did the restaurants, picture taking and coordinating of the day! Their effort was not unseen and made me feel like an absolute queen! 

I found us an Airbnb about 30 minutes north of Austin and it was nothing short of fantastic! Honey was our host and did a fantastic job! If you are ever traveling to Austin and need a cozy, spacious place, here are the details for where we stayed: Sweet Escape in Cedar Park/Leander

You'll notice in the first pictures of the post cute little cards that have hair ties on them. I created those for all the girls that came and celebrated me. I made the cards myself and got the hair ties from David's Bridal (these ones are available in store only but just to get an idea of what they look like). I then wrote each girl a sweet hand written note thanking them for driving and being a part of the weekend. 

Friday night we enjoyed some margaritas, taquitos, girl time, and lingerie of course. It was my ideal girls night! I love good food, good drinks and good company! My girlfriends also hooked me up with some fabulous lingerie, Zach will thank them for sure. 😉  #keepinitreal 

Saturday morning we slept in and then went to brunch in Austin at a place called Searsucker. For someone with allergies that can't eat a lot of places, it had food I could eat, and was so good. I got the avocado toast and can't recommend it enough!! It was so tasty. I also highly recommend their mimosas.  After brunch we went to the very famous South Congress street and walked around. I got an adorable little handmade "N" necklace. It was cute, affordable and the perfect bachelorette souvenir for the weekend. Because it was September in Austin, the heat was absolutely killer so we walked for awhile and then headed back to our cozy place for a nice nap and chilling. For those that know me, know that a weekend isn't complete without a quick power nap. LOL. In the late afternoon we started freshening up and then hit the town for dinner and drinks. I had an adorable sash and everyone in Austin treated me so wonderfully. I can't tell you the number of congratulations I received along with free champagne, margaritas, or just any drink of my choice. It was such a wonderful night!

Sunday we slept in, woke up and everyone headed back to their cities. It was such a special time to get to spend with my girlfriends before I'm a married woman in 94 days... WHAT??

Cheers to girls weekends and something fun to celebrate!!! 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wedding Series Part 1

Many of you that know me personally know its been a crazy two weeks filled with tons of emotions and lots of opposition. But I am here to share that we have a DATE, a VENUE, a DRESS, and lots more!!! I've been meaning to write a blog post for about a week but my life has been a little short of hectic. I am feeling fantastic though about the coming months and know that this union that Zach and I will declare in front of all of our friends and family will make it so worth it! This post will probably be very long and filled with lots of different things. So if you're curious, keep reading! 

So lets start with the most recent thing, for those that follow me on Instagram, know that I had my Bachelorette this past weekend and it was nothing short of wonderful! Just what I needed at the perfect time. It was planned LONG before this date change and God knew because it came at literally the perfect time! I'll be sharing a post on that later, so stay tuned. 

First, let me dive into where the madness of the date change came from. Zach and I had decided awhile back that getting married before he left made the most sense. It was definitely not what I had wanted originally but I knew it was financially the most wise thing to do. When going into a deployment you are able to save a lot more when you are married because you are paid significantly more. November 10th was the original Justice of the Peace date, the little ceremony was going to be in our backyard with our Pastor and dear friend from Maryland. The tickets were booked, I had ordered a small cake, some minor flowers, and a very simple dress. Zach and I both felt like this is where the Lord was leading us and so regardless of what I wanted I knew I needed to trust the Lord and take that leap of faith even if it wasn't my perfect picture. Originally, we were not going to tell anyone about this official marriage in November because I didn't want it to take away from our big wedding but as time went on, I felt like it wouldn't register in my head that we were married unless a few friends were there to celebrate with us as well and make the day actually feeling like an unofficial wedding.  Zach the whole time told me whatever I wanted he would do. Being married was important, he didn't care how it was done. 😉  So fast forward to Labor Day weekend and I mentioned to my mom that Zach and I were probably going to share that we were actually married after November because we didn't want people to think we were hiding things and be hush hush about being husband and wife. After all it's such a special thing and to be quiet about it would be rather odd, or at least it felt like it.  In that moment, my mom called and told me she would support us regardless of what we chose but she thought in the long run we would regret the choice not to just have a big wedding rather than doing two not as special weddings. She told me she thought we should either do December or do September of next year after Zach got back. Full of tears, emotion and so confused on what God was doing, Zach and I talked and he shared getting married before he left was most important to him. I knew in that moment I had to honor him and go with the wedding before even though it would be cold and not exactly what I pictured for our big day. To cut the story even shorter, within 24 hours the decision was made, the venue went from Maryland to Texas and within three days of the date decision we booked a venue and then found a dress!! Our official date is December 31, 2017. A day before our actual official anniversary, so special! 

That week was probably one of the craziest of my life but I survived and God was good through it all. Yes, I've melted down many a times, some stress, some thinking about Zach leaving but you know what? It keeps me humble. I cry about it, wipe my tears, take a bath, get some sleep and tackle the next thing. God has held my hand throughout this whole process and I'm so grateful! 

Now that you have some back story, let me break down where I am in the planning process! 

Venue: DONE! The Rosemary Barn is the venue and it's absolutely beautiful! The ceremony will be outside and the reception inside. 

Dress: DONE! I'm not showing anyone so you'll have to wait and see. It's completely opposite of what I thought and I truthfully feel like Kate Middelton in it. 😍

Colors: DONE! Dusty Blue, Burgundy, Navy, and Gray
The bridesmaids will be in a dusty blue dress and the house party will be in gray! The guys will be in gray tuxes!

Flowers: Working on it. I'm doing them myself and purchasing them from a wholesaler. I'm actually going tonight to chat with my blogger photographer who has an eye for floral! 
This is such an amazing route and is saving us so much! 

Photography & Videography: DONE! 

Cake: DONE! We are using a local company in the area that did my friend Delaney's cake. My parents said it was the best wedding cake they had ever tasted! They are making me a gluten free tier so I'm super pumped so eat cake the night of our wedding! 

For all you Brides out there, I am giving you a break down of how we did our budget and the typical way to go. Do not feel discouraged by the price. We are getting deals on things and doing a wedding for inexpensive is very possible, you just have to dig! 

45% Venue and catering
12% Photography and videography
9% Wedding attire and beauty
6% Music
5% Flowers
3% Transportation
3% Stationary
  2% Cake
2% Décor
2% Miscellaneous

My goal is to update the blog once a week with wedding stuff! Now back to my checklist and wedding planning! Have a wonderful day friend!  

Thanks so much for reading!!

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