Hand me a drink….or 2!

Frugal but Fabulous Weddings Blog

Oh the age old question… Should we have an open bar?  This can either be a tricky question or a no brainer!  There’s a lot to consider with an open bar at your wedding.  Make sure you consider everything before you decide!  The top three things to think about:

1) What rules does your venue have on open bars?  Many require that you pay for all of their own supplies (including mixers and sodas).  Some will require that you have a police officer on site (that you will be paying for yourself).  Some may not even allow alcahol (that may make up your mind for you or may make you think you need a new location!).

2) Are you paying or a family member?  If there is family involved in the payment you may want to take how they feel about it into consideration.

3) And of course, the cost…

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Professionally Designed Papier

I am so thrilled to be sharing this post today!  Laura O’neal-Kemp is a personal friend and an AMAZING graphic artist.  She can create anything you can dream up for ANY occasion.  When my sweet baby girl was born in February, she sent this stunning card. ImageShe recently designed all the papier for a wedding and I just HAD to share with you all!       Image

Her unlimited creativity can help take a load off your busy bride to-do list and give you a beautifully unique touch as well!


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Check out Laura’s website at http://www.lauraokemp.com/#portfolio.  You can also go to her Etsy store to check out some of her adorable all-occasion cards and prints at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ONealcreativepaper?ref=shopinfo_shophome_leftnav


Think that beautiful professional papier is out reach financially?  Laura is offering a free consultation to all FBF readers!  Contact her and share your ideas and budget with her.  I have no doubt she can create the perfect design for you!


Spring (Flowers) are in the Air!

The first tip to saving on your flowers is to go with what is in season!  Lucky for all you Spring/Summer brides there is SO many beautiful flowers in season!  The second tip I have is to go BIG.  While I love a simple arrangement of bud roses, they can be costly.  However, an arrangement of 1 or 2 large blooming flowers can be just as elegant and a lot more bang for your buck!


One of my favorites that fits this bill are hydrangeas.   Image



Peonies are also another lovely spring big blooming flower!


If your looking at a VERY tight budget.  You can’t go wrong with a simple arrangement of Baby’s Breath!  This poor flower has been treated like the ugly step-child for far too long and is finally getting some love!  No longer just a “filler” flower, you can make a breath taking arrangement for very little.


Just remember, while less can often be more….BIG can also be better 😉

Backyard Wedding Delight!

I am DELIGHTED to share this lovely backyard wedding!  Had I not been told this was someone’s back yard, I would never have known.  This bride was able to turn this into a beautiful setting to start their married life off right on an affordable budget.  Here are all her fabulous details.


Looking back through my wedding photos, I realized that there was lots of things that I did and planned myself. I’ll start with the ceremony. A friend of mine had open area at their home and allowed us to have the ceremony there. We borrowed chairs from my husband’s church and chair covers from my mother in law’s friend. We chose a simple aisle runner from Hobby Lobby. The backdrop was sheer curtains (6) that came from Walmart, hung on some poles that my husband built using supplies from Lowe’s. The aisle was decorated in arrangements that my friend let us borrow. (They own a landscaping business..how convenient!!) We also used shepard’s hooks with mason jars hung on them. The mason jars came from Walmart, the beads and flowers came from Hobby Lobby. I wanted something elegant, but then again simple for my outdoor wedding! I had used Pinterest for a lot of these ideas and added my own touch to them. The signs were made from scrap fence boards and my mother in law painted them. Our programs doubled as a fan. I made these myself using cardstock and pop-cicle sticks. The program had our picture in a watermark with all of the wedding party and order listed. Instead of a guestbook, we got a signature frame. We found this at Kirkland’s. The bridemaids bouquet were made by me using real to life flowers, burlap, and ribbon, all from Hobby Lobby. The flower girls’ baskets were a set also from Hobby Lobby that I painted white and added ribbon to. The groomsmens’ flowers were all live, we decided these would be easier if made by a professional-lol! The ringbearers’ pillows were made from extra fabric, paint, and ribbon. My mother in law made those as well. My dress, veil, and head piece came from David’s Bridal. The music and all the equipment was supplied by a good friend of ours, this saved us a ton! He also did our music at the reception. Our reception was held at the Holiday Inn. We chose just to have cake and punch, as well as a cash bar. I did not like the typical wedding cake toppers, so we chose a set of birds! We spent the majority of our money on the photographer, who was awesome at capturing all of our favorite moment, and our honeymoon. We chose to Honeymoon in Gatlinburg, TN. Another helpful tip is to book the honeymoon early! We reserved a cabin and had it paid off before we even left! We just needed extra cash for food and activities.




Q: I know a “frugal” or “low-budget” wedding could mean different things to different people. So, what did it mean to you?

A: It meant that we could plan our wedding exactly how we wanted and save money for what we needed for us and a Honeymoon.


Q: How much was your PLANNED total?

A: $3500


Q: How much was your ACTUAL total?

A: $3700


Q: What was your biggest budget saving tip that you can share with us?

A: We made our own invitations, save the date’s, and for the bridemaid’s we used fake flowers.




Q: What resources did you find especially helpful (i.e. websites, blogs, craft stores, etc. )

A: Pinterest, Hobby Lobby, and my own ideas!



Q: What was the most important service you spent part of your budget on?

A: Photographer and prints


Q: What was your favorite moment of the day?

A: Our wedding went as planned! The set up and decorations were beautiful.


Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the wedding planning for you?

A: Getting all our ideas actually together and getting things under our budget and done on time.


Q: Is there anything you would have done differently?

A: We would have chose a different time of the wedding ceremony and maybe included a dinner.


Q: What advice would you give to a bride planning her own frugal wedding?

A: You can find deals at craft stores, bargain places, and even things other people have (things you can borrow). Give yourself plenty of time to plan! Look for sales on different items that you may need in the “off season.” Hobby Lobby was a great store to get many items for my wedding and they always had a sale on something that we needed.


Free For All: Anything that I haven’t asked that you think is important to add.

A: I personally think it is better to spend the majority of your money on a Photographer and the Honeymoon. The ceremony won’t last but maybe 20 minutes and pictures can last even longer!

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All The Little Details!


Wedding Location: A friend’s back yard in our town.

Reception Location: Holiday Inn Banquet Rooms

Photographer: Sara Long of Sara Long Photography, Jonesboro, AR

Dress: David’s Bridal (I wanted a simple gown and it just so happen to be exactly what I wanted and on sale.)

Hair & Makeup: Brittany Brown of Split Endz

DJ: Cody Gentry (a great friend of ours) He took care of music for the ceremony and reception.

Florist: For the guys- Sassy Sunflower in my hometown, Manila, AR.

For me and my bridesmaids- I made our bouquets from getting supplies at Hobby Lobby.


Why I’ve Been Away

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If you have followed my blog for a while, then you know I was on bed rest for many months with my pregnancy.  I am thrilled to say that my little miracle was born during a snow storm by emergency c-section on Feb. 11.  She is doing amazing and life is wonderful!  However, I happy to say that I am getting back to the frugal but fabulous grind!  I’ve got some great tips and real weddings coming your way very soon.




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Out For a While

Well, my Frugal but Fabulous readers, it looks as though I will be unable to post for sometime to come.  I am currently 22.5 weeks pregnant.  Sadly, it’s been a very trying pregnancy.  It is planned that I will be admitted to the hospital next week for the rest of my pregnancy.  I am working on gathering some real weddings for you to enjoy.  However, my DIY posts will be put on hold for some time.  Thanks so much for all the support thus far and I will be back with you all as soon as I can!

Take care!


Back and Ready to GO!

Sorry to have been away for so long.  Today I am officially 20 weeks pregnant with our first child! Unfortunatly, due to some complication, I was on moderate bed rest for 2 months.  But, baby and I are both doing great now and are ready to return to some Frugal but Fabulous Weddings!

I have some time to think about a few DIY projects on my downtime.  Plan to have a few done and ready to share within the next week or so.

See you soon!

Someone’s Loss Can Be Your Gain!

I was watching the news today when a feature of a new business came up…..a company selling CANCELED weddings!  I think this is a fantastic idea!  Being a former wedding photographer I can tell you that sadly some weddings to not end up happening.  In 8 years I only had 1 cancel (and it was the day before!), so the numbers are not that high.  But, for that couple they will be out thousands of dollars.

That’s where http://www.bridalbrokerage.com comes in to save the day!  Not only does the unfortunate couple save a little bit of $$$, but you can save some big $$$ too!  All you are responsible paying for are the remaining balances of the original couple.  Image

Yes, you will have to be a little more flexible in your plans.  But, if you’re able to get a fabulous $25,000 wedding for cheap it’s worth a try!

The Bridal Brokerage only just opened, so there are no reviews yet.  However, if the right deal comes up I would say it’s worth it!  You can check the reputability of the vendors before purchasing.  They even have an in-house graphic designer that can whip up invitations on the fly for any short notice weddings!

Let Them Eat BRUNCH!

I defy you to find someone who says they do not like brunch!  Everyone loves brunch.  Often when there’s a special occasion or holiday, the phrase “Let’s do brunch” will often come up. In fact, when my husband and I got engaged we had a small brunch in our apartment.  Same thing for many of my friends, bridal showers, baby showers, etc.

But, have you considered having a brunch reception?  As I have said in many posts past, think location and TIME.  By having an earlier wedding and reception time you can save thousands of the normal prices.  Often venues offer up to 30-50% off for early weddings (depending on the day).  usually these ceremonies would take place between 11:00 AM-1:00PM.  You can follow this up with a lovely light brunch reception (normally ending by 3:00 PM to allow a turn over for the next couple).

Now, as with any food options, you can go as light or as heavy as you want.  Want to WOW your guests?  See if your catering company can accommodate an omelet chef or a build your own waffle or pancake station.  Just want to have a relaxed atmosphere with your guests?  You can go with a buffet of fruit, cheese, and baked good platters.  And, of course, you can top of any option with a fantastic Mimosa toast towards the end!

If you are concerned about not having the whole day to celebrate, I wouldn’t.  Because it’s fairly early still, you can still go back to someone’s home and continue with a nice evening BBQ.



What’s Next….You Tell Me!

Hi there!

I have a few projects I’m working on this week for some new posts.  But, in order to really be useful on your FBF wedding quest I would love to hear for you all.  What would you like help figuring out to do for your wedding?  Do you have a specific theme you’re looking for some ideas on?  Please leave your comments and I would be so happy to start working on them!  

And, of course, thank you again for finding my little blog and coming back!