October 2016
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This is the rule that people break the most.  Don’t go into debt for your wedding.  Your wedding is your day so you really don’t have to compete with all the weddings that came  before yours. They my have had unlimited cash, and you may not, so why start the marriage in the negetive.  What is a wedding but a big party to show off your new mate.  Take inventory of what you can afford to spend and limit your wedding to that.  Save your money and buy your own gifts, who needs three toasters anyway.

If you need a loan to make your wedding the event that you want it to be you really don’t need a wedding.  The industry has you convinced that you have to go out like that.  You see they are the ones taking your money so of course they would, you are nothing but a bag of money to them, and the more more you have the more they are going to take.  When I say they I am talking about the wedding industry. It’s like the American Dream, sounds good in princple, but if you follow it all you will do is bondage yourself in debt, owning a house that you will never really own.

Cut back, you don’t have to get married in a building that rents for $12,000 when a more advantages building would do.  If you have to spend $55.00 for each meal just send your guest  a $55.00 dollar check and call it a day.  Your buying into a lie, that has been made up to take your money.  The funning thing is that a $100,000 wedding don’t guarentee that you will be any happier, or that your marriage will last any longer.

When it comes to marriage, if it comes to spending more then you have available, then opt out.  Now I said all that to get your attention.  Nothing is wrong with having a wedding that you can afford.  The key word is afford, stop trying to out do other peoples wedding,  The wedding last but one day, the marriage can last a life time, don’t add a problem that was not there,  debt will kill a marriage quicker then it takes to plan the wedding.  Don’t do it, the end result is that you want to be married go to the justice of the peace and say I do and called it a day.  At least thats just my opinion.

Wedding day blues


One thing you can count on is wedding day blues, what do I mean by this?  Well someone is going to have the blues about something in your wedding.   But that’s okay, because it doesn’t have to be you.

What do I mean by this? Well in all weddings something goes wrong, the bridesmaid has the wrong color dress, the groom is drunk off his behind, the florist sent the wrong flowers, no one knows where the ring is, the cake arrived late.  These are all problems that will drive you crazy, but only if you let it.

I have a little news for you, “the perfect day is not always perfect” thing fall in and out of place up until the last moment.  But what determines your blues moments is how you choose to react.  Most people act horrible and if that is what you choose to do, then you can too, but know you don’t have too.

A wedding is important, and they can cost a bundle, at the end of the day, life is going to go on wither its perfect or not.   Hopefully when it’s all said and done, you will have this end results, you will have a husband who said I do.

Now I would never be little your moment, or your lifelong dream, but the reason you’re there is to get married.  If at the end of the day you are married the mission is accomplished, now you can sweat the small stuff if you chose, because that it what everything else is on your day.

You can be happy or you can have the blues worrying about the details, and that is what a lot of brides choose to do. You see in order to get married all you need is the officiate, the bride and groom, and a couple of witnesses, that’s it,  anything else is extra, and there is no reason to let something that is extra give you the blues.

If you want to have a peaceful wedding, you as the most important part of the picture have to choose to be peaceful.   Things are going to happen, but so what!  if your married to the love of your life at the end of the day.

The stuff like not liking his mother, and the who gets to come to the wedding, well that is all part of the past.  You are starting a new chapter, start it off happy.  It’s all about love and the two parties’ becoming one.  Choose not to have the wedding day blues, it’s your day, smile and make it your best.

What is a peaceful wedding?

Well if you have ever had a hand in planning a wedding you know that Murphy’s Law is in full effect.  If you want to test your love for your spouse, plan a wedding.  You see when planning a wedding most people have high expectations, but what they really don’t realize is that the fairy tale they want, is not the fairytale that they need.

One thing that is most important to consider is cost, the more money you have the closer you can get to being that princess that you are looking to be.  But you have to have a budget, and stick to it.  If you don’t, that is where the problems are going to start and the stress is going to creep in.    You see the wedding industry and that’s what it is an industry will sell you all the glitz and glory, and that’s fine but you have to remember it has a price.

If money is no object then you can have the one hundred turtle dove fly out of a fake cake, or the angels floating from the ceiling, or the Niagara Falls water fountain gushing water in your back yard.  Now for most of us that is unrealistic, so we have to settle for the parting of the red sea.  Just a little humor, but for real when there are issues in a wedding, it’s normally because of money.

Things are not available, prices change, her wants are bigger than her pocket book, and these are all things that can still the peace from your wedding.  One of the biggest peace stealers is the wedding guest list, who to invite and who not to invite, who sits next to whom, and what table people are seated at.

The groom has a big list but he’s not paying, the bride does not want someone there but the bride’s parents do.  Someone was left off the list, someone was on the list that no one cares for, the bride don’t know half the people on her side of the list, and really no one on the groom side of the list, yet each plate is going to cost seventy five dollars what are you going to do.

Secret:  Have the wedding on and odd date at and odd time, that way you can invite everyone but half won’t and can’t show.  I have seen this in action; it is one of the easiest ways to allow people to cut themselves from the list.  This way only the people that need to be there will be there, and since everyone was invited there are no hurt feelings.

There are all kinds of tricks that you can used to keep the cost of the wedding down, by controlling how many people attend.   Now don’t get me wrong this is not about the money it’s about the peace and if you take care of everything on the front end you will have peace on your wedding day.

You see people forget the end results that you are looking for, and that is to walk down that aisle and say I do, or I will.  If that happens on your wedding day who cares about the show,  In all reality the show is just a waste of money, who cares if you have a monkey carry the wedding rings, are you ride in on a horse drawn carriage.

The show is for the people, the wedding is for you.  If you really think about it you can spend years preparing for an event that is just going to draw a wedge between you and your love.  Most of the ceremonies last at most an hour some last less than thirty minutes, even if the reception lasted eight hours, on a thirty thousand dollar wedding budget you’re spending over three thousand dollars an hour.

I guess what I’m really saying is that in order to have a peaceful wedding you have to be smart and think about what you are doing, and what your wants are.  Once you know this you have to hold your ground and don’t allow people to change your perception of what you vision.

Then you have to realize that a perfect wedding is a myth, and shoot for the goal, the prize, and that is getting married in the first place.  If you can’t do that the justice of the peace is always an option.

Hello Brides,
Today I am going to talk about planning your own wedding. Yes, when you look at the wedding websites and magazines you may feel overwhelmed. Brides my best advice to you is stick to the basic traditions you think of when you think of weddings. If you want a church or mass go for it. Remember that these two places along with a few more may require you to follow some rules you were not planning on. When I planned my wedding I left all options open, inside, outside, on a ship, and even in a chapel. The reason for this is you never know what you will find that lines up with your vision and wedding budget.

Also, one thing that will determine a lot of decisions made is your budget! Yes ladies you have to set one. If I could pass down any wedding planning knowledge it would be to set your budget slightly lower than what you can afford. The reason for this is because there will be extras you didn’t plan for that will drive your budget off track and if you have money set aside for it you will not stress over the money later. After all you were planning to secretly spend it on your wedding anyway and if you don’t (Hello extra cash for something else).

Next, ladies do the research! Yes I said it; this small step that sometimes takes a massive amount of time can save you a massive amount of money. I know this because I wanted a fall wedding with real leaves and branches to give a true fall feeling. If I just stuck with the $ 12.95 a pound branches from an online company I would have missed out on the same branches and leaves for $2.99 and $4.99 I found at Safeway and Michael’s. This thinking out the box and willingness to research saved me a lot of money!!

Last thing I will point out to you is the contracts. This topic may seem to be easy for someone with a large family full of talent, but what happens when you pick the perfect location, signed the contract and put down the down payment only to find out you can only use the locations caterer. Ladies let’s say your cousin Johnny agreed to let you use two limos for your wedding and three weeks before your wedding tells you his boss has arranged for a paying loyal customer to have those very same limos.

You are beginning to see why a contract is so important right? Without getting it in writing that’s what contract is, anything can happen and there would be no proof or protection for you or your special day. Even though it is wonderful it does no good to have one if you have signed it and haven’t read and understood it. Remember you are the paying customer and if you don’t understand have them explain it to you, if the contract doesn’t have something you want, ask if it can be included.

1. Get it all in writing and signed off by someone in high standing with the company.

2. Get any extra charges or additions added to the contract before you sign.

3. Always get a copy of the contract and receipt of your expenditures.

Well ladies that is all I have for you today, but remember think of everything but do what makes you and your groom’s dreams come true on your special day.
Sincerely, Crystal

Hello Brides,

One of the most exciting things in planning a wedding is picking a theme. This is one of my favorite things because you get to be creative and really imagine what your wedding is going to be like.

When most brides pick their theme they don’t normally take into account how they are going to keep everything from their shoes to the party favors matching without going over board..Yes ladies, it is possible to take a theme and over kill your wedding.

Here are some fun common themes:
Era weddings( 60’s, 70’s, 80′ etc.)
Favorite places
Cowboy and girl

Those are just a few common themes I have notice since I have been planning my wedding.

Remember there are a lot of different ways to bring out your theme and not all have to be traditional. Now a days people have decided to think out of the box. When I say think out of the box I mean getting married at the gym in the boxing ring where you and your fiancé first sparred. It is your wedding so choose your hearts desire.

Don’t forget that just because you pick a theme doesn’t mean you have to make its major symbol pop up everywhere. If your theme is love you can have a heart cake, centerpiece or even table linen, but love can also be express by the colors you choose and the music you play. Think outside the box and you can create a perfect theme wedding.


By Crystal Woods

Planning a wedding can be difficult and be very stressful.  But it does not have to be.   It is highly recommend you take at least six months to a year to plan your wedding.  I will outline an easy-to-follow schedule.

1.       Twelve months before the wedding you should get a binder with sheets of paper and divide.  Discuss with your fiancé and his/her families, plus your own, to determine a budget.  Decide on the marriage theme.  (Winter, spring, summer, fall, Christmas, autumn, snow, white and black, etc.) .   Select a wedding date with your fiancé and families.  Make a list on who you wish to attend the wedding.   Book a ceremony and reception location(s).  Book your wedding professional photographers, florists, caterers, videographers, musicians and DJs.


2.       Nine months before the Wedding.    Make an appointment with your minister or whoever you choose to officiate the wedding.  (For most of the religious ceremonies, pre-marriage counseling may be required.   For civil ceremonies, your officiator may require a meeting to discuss your wedding ceremony, now if you’re not feeling it a justice of the peace will do just fine.   Buying the wedding dress and accessories should be considered at this time.

You should shop for your wedding accessories, wedding veil or head piece, and wedding shoes at this time.   You should start preparing the guest list.   Be sure to include both sides of the family as guest lists are often a contentious issue.    Research the gift registry locations and register.   Start looking for the location at which you wish to spend your honeymoon.  If you are getting married during a peak holiday season such as Christmas, you may need to book your honeymoon up to nine months in advance.  Be sure to pay by credit card and get the trip insurance.

3.       Six months before the wedding, it is necessary to have locked down all the wedding professionals that will help you fulfill your special day.   The menu should be mapped out with your catering company, a review of requested wedding photos with your photographer, a discussion with your videographer on the amount of footage and locations for videos, and your preference for music with your DJ or wedding musicians.

If you require transportation or sedans and / or other transport for the wedding, this needs to be booked.   If you take your wedding over the top and require things like wedding carriages or horse drawn sleigh’s or any other specialty item.   They should be booked and the pricing confirmed.   If your wedding invitations and / or Save the Date cards and wedding announcements have to be order, this is a great time to choose a provider.

If you decide that you are making your own wedding invitations and other wedding stationery, you should choose a wedding invitation kit template package.   These must be sent to the friends and relatives that you do not have included in the ceremony.   The honeymoon trip should be booked and final budget plans for the honeymoon should be confirmed.  It is also time to order the bridesmaids dresses.   Now is a good time to start shopping for wedding rings.

4.        Three months before the wedding, your guest list should be final.   We can’t emphasize enough that you need to have the blessing of all that are concerned when it comes to the guest list. The final decision on the wedding rings should be made.   You then must order and size your rings.  Visit and line up your hairstylist for a consultation and have your first wedding day hair run through.  Then setup the appointment for your wedding day hair style.  Don’t forget to include your bridesmaids, if they are having their hair professionally styled for your wedding.


Do your Research and review of state requirements for blood tests?   Research, review and line up hotel rooms for out of town guests who may require accommodation.  Follow-up on your wedding dress, and confirm the delivery date.   Attend your first wedding gown fitting including all accessories and shoes; this is your first dress rehearsal.


5.        Six to eight weeks before the wedding, prepare your wedding invitation kit templates for printing, including thank you cards.    If you have ordered your invitations from a commercial business, be sure they are complete.  Address and mail the wedding invitations.   Next you should shop for and purchase any wedding gifts for you’re the wedding party.  Next setup and attend to your final fitting clothing including bridal accessories.    Spend some time breaking in your wedding shoes so that you are not crippled before the wedding dance starts.


Make the final decisions on your wedding hair style and any hair color changes should be made. Make sure your wedding rings are properly fitted.    Print out your personalized thank you cards from your wedding invitation kit templates or purchase generic Thank you cards.  Send out personal notes to thank anyone for your wedding gifts if you have a wedding.


6.       10 – 14 Days before the Wedding, Confirm, confirm, confirm I can’t say that enough you need to Confirm with your caterer with one final review of the menu.  You need to confirm with your minister of whoever is preforming the service with the time and place of the ceremony.  You need to confirm with your photographer, videographer, DJ and/or wedding band.   You need to confirm honeymoon reservations and special requests for your wedding night.


Address any wedding notes, stamp and set in preparation of mailing on your wedding day.  Make sure that your last visit to your hairdresser is set, and that there are no problems of last minute changes.


7.       One Week before the Wedding, Attend any last minute parties or bridal showers in your honor. Write a thank-you note for any gifts received.   Give the caterer your final number of guests expected to attend.  Contact the wedding party to confirm the time you arrive.   Purchase travel insurance for the honeymoon if you are leaving the country.  Purchase travelers checks for the Honeymoon.   Double check to be sure those travelers checks are accepted and easily cashed at your honeymoon destination.   For Your Wedding Day, Peace of Mind is Priceless! And preparation brings peace of mind.

Hello Brides

Have you ever looked through the magazines and wedding websites to find cute wedding centerpiece, shoes, bags, linens, favors and etc.  Well I have! The best part is now day’s people can make or find anything they ever imagine for a reasonable price.  Here are some cute and fun ideas that can blend well with any theme or budget wedding. Let’s start with the cake since this is one most anticipated item at every wedding.


Everybody know the more detail a cake has the higher the price per slice. Well what if I told you that not only does your wedding cake not have to be more than 3- tiers, it doesn’t have to be tier at all. You can actually create your own wedding trend by having a one layer cake in the square, heart, circle, or oval shape on each quest table in one if not many of your favorite cake flavors. Not only is this a cheap way to have cake at your wedding but it allows you to simply decorate every cake. Fall theme cakes with edible leaves, spring and summer theme cakes with flowers and winter cakes with winter theme decor. It also opens up the door for your guest to move around to each table to sample cake and meet other guest.


Today many brides use to make forms of flowers: real like and actual real flowers. The pros of real like flowers are that they last longer and keep their color. Also you have the ability to arrange your flowers weeks in advice to perfect the details that make your arrangements one of the most talked about items at your wedding. This type of flower is cheaper than the real thing.

The pros to real flowers are that they actually give you the real scent of nature. They have a short shelf life for someone who wants flowers, but doesn’t want to worry about them after the wedding.  Even though real flowers can be expensive, if you get them out of season or common flowers for the time of your wedding you can save a few dollars and have the flowers that you want.


Next we will talk about the stationary (menu cards, place cards, programs, thank-you cards)
it’s often cheaper to have your stationary items printed locally, but in cases where it is not budget friendly.  Do-it-yourself is a great way to save money and have fun if you are into a little hand on activities.  Now you can find stamps, stickers, hold push shapes and craft pens and makers to give your items a personal touch. Remember stock cards are perfect for this, they are hard but flexible. Ribbons also add a nice touch.  * Warning* make sure your hand writing is neat if not you can always order plain stationary items and decorate them as they arrive.

Hope some of these ideas help you get creative and think of other ways to save money on your special


By Crystal Woods

Hello Brides

Today we are talking about wedding dresses on a budget. Most brides think that getting a dress on a budget means you have to buy a dress on sale, us a second hand dress or even rent one.

Well ladies, all those ideas will save you money, but it doesn’t guarantee the best quality of dress or even that you will love the dress. The best way to get the perfect dress of your choice that is budget is to use your resources.

There are a lot of resources when searching for the perfect wedding dress. Some sources are online websites, stores, magazines and word of mouth seamstresses that are insured.

Online websites are great for soon to be Mrs. that has little time off of work and a lot of time by a computer. The benefit of online shopping is you can see a lot of dresses in a short amount of time. The cons are you have to get professionally measured to get a custom fit. This option requires accurate measurements the first time around to save you from lost hair and headaches. Remember most sites offer sales near holidays and even free shipping randomly.

Brides that have no idea the type of dress, fabric, or even size the wear, actual stores are your best bet. You schedule quality time with an associate that helps you find the perfect dress. They not only will help you with your dress, but help you coordinate your bridal party as well. Some stores offer discounts for your bridal party when you purchase from them. Stores also have similar styles with different fabrics to help you save money. They have end of season sales that offer discounts and, don’t forget to ask if you get a discount for purchasing display dress that have been tried on by other soon to be brides.

Also magazines are good money saving shopping tool. When looking through a magazine they will have a dress I am sure you will like. When you do take the number of the dress down, you can search online or in stores for the best price offered.

When dealing with seamstress make sure you check references, see previous work and records that they are insured. They best part about seamstress is the ability to add or cut out certain design in your dress. You can also change a pricey fabric to a cheaper fabric to save you money. Some seamstress can even be paid for on the spot correction if your dress gets damage before you walk down the aisle, so ask.

By Crystal Woods

Hello Brides,

I just wanted to share my peaceful solution to the huge wedding guest list and a bride on a budget.

Most family members and even wedding planners will have you write your guest list leaving not so close family members and friends toward the bottom of the list. This is a great way to eliminate people and trim you’re some of your expenses.

I have to say that as a soon-to- be bride I found myself inviting people to my wedding that I honestly did not really care for. This is something that every bride will do especially if someone else is paying for the wedding. I want every bride and groom to know that having a wedding is to share this special moment in your life with people who are special to you.

When a budget is involved, and especially when you’re paying, remember if your guest is not supportive of you before the wedding or has not been in your life in the last year or less before the wedding you don’t have to invite them. Well unless you’re not the one paying, and then you have to keep in mind that the person paying for the wedding has a say in it whether you like it or not.

When you downsize your wedding guest list, you cut down the amount of other items required at your wedding, such as wedding favors, programs and place cards, and even your reception meals. You can create the wedding of your dreams with less people and less people means more money in your pocket.

Here are five ways to downsize your wedding guest list.

1. I know you’re excited, but the best was to downsize your wedding list is to have your wedding on a weekday in between the months of September and May. (Many people have kids in school and probably won’t take their kids out of school for your wedding)

2. Have a day wedding on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. (A lot of people that live far away will not miss work for more than a day of travel and just a day of fun.

3. Pick a wedding location that only allows as many people as your budget can afford. (You will always think before inviting someone to your wedding because there may not be enough room for them.

4. When inviting single people, make sure they are aware of your no plus one policy. (Why downsize your wedding list of people you know and allow people you have never met to come)

5. Only invite people that you actual have kept in contact with. (The only exception is if you are not paying for the wedding, because whoever pays has a say in it wedding.

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