These days, brides are taking more things into their own hands when it comes to their weddings. Rather than hiring wedding planners, DJs, and a whole slew of individuals, a lot of brides are doing things themselves or recruiting friends and family for help. Wedding food is no different, and your meal can be even more delicious if you do it yourself instead of hiring a caterer.

Delicious, Cheap Hors D’Ouevres

Cold hors d’ouevres are easier because you don’t have to worry about keeping them warm, but both can be done fairly easily and cheaply. Make delicious fruit kebabs with fresh sliced cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwi and peaches. You can also make tinier cold hors d’ouevres with mozzarella cheese, grape tomatoes, zucchini slices and black olives drizzled in vinaigrette.

Fruit Kabobs
Photo Source: kid-friendly-cooking.com

For hot hors d’ouevres, consider a buffet style warming plate to keep them hot. Broiled slices of roma tomatoes on top of wheat crackers and sprinkled with parmesan and herbs are a great and affordable option. Sliders are a very popular appetizer and very affordable as well.

Main Meal

For your entrée or your main meal, working with a budget can be difficult. However, there are some great ways to save money while creating delicious food. Consider foods that make large portions easily, like chili, certain types of stew, or spaghetti. When the food is cooked well and served elegantly, your guests will love it. You can also consider having a “potluck” meal where friends and family bring different dishes.

Italian Wedding Soup
Photo Source: asweetroad.com

Alternatives

Many brides are doing non-traditional snacks or meals for their reception. Rather than serving food, have a candy buffet with an assortment of candy in pretty glass jars with scoops and bags available. Or, have a dessert menu that features some of your favorite desserts. These are great options for receptions that fall between meals when guests have likely already eaten.

Black and White Candy Buffet
Photo Source: bestdayever.fi

While wedding planning can be stressful when you’re on a budget, there are always DIY wedding food and other alternatives you can consider.

So you’ve looked up tips on writing wedding thank you notes, but you’re still not sure what’s right and what’s not. Well, you’re in luck. We’ve created this helpful wedding thank you note cheat sheet to help.

Personalized Thank You Note
Photo Source: etsy.com

Dear _____ (always insert the proper name!),

Thank you [thanks] so much [a ton/a whole bunch/ever so much] for helping us celebrate [being present on/attending/being a part of] our special day [our wedding and reception/our big day/one of the most important days of our lives].

We couldn’t be happier with [are thrilled with/are so thankful for/are in love with/absolutely adore] your amazing [your wonderful/your very kind/your special/your perfect/your thoughtful] gift. We plan to use it for our first Christmas dinner [our first home/our honeymoon/our kitchen/our first dinner party].

Again, thank you so much for attending and for [driving all that way/looking fantastic/all of your help/all the memories/the laughs and the love].

Sincerely [Love/All Our Love/Best Wishes/With Our Love],

Name

This helpful cheat sheet shows you exactly what should be written on a wedding thank you note! It will make the process of writing thank you notes go by faster while everyone gets a hand-written note that is proper etiquette!

Brides have worn something blue for centuries, and it’s a fun tradition as well as a lucky one, according to some. With roots in ancient Rome, this tradition requires that the bride wears something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Here are 5 creative ways to wear something blue.

Tiara

Choose a beautiful bridal tiara featuring blue rhinestones dotted here and there. The look is pretty, modern and feminine. You can also change this idea up and use hair combs with blue gems or a blue headband.

Blue Bridal Hair Comb
Photo Source: macheriebridal.theweddingmile.com

Wear Blue on Your Garter

You can wear a pretty and feminine garter that features blue, especially if your attire doesn’t allow for blue that will be visible. This is a great way to add the color in and you can save it as a sweet memento.

Vintage Wedding Garter with Blue
Photo Source: etsy.com

Wedding Shoes

Even if you’re wearing a white dress, you can rock blue shoes for your wedding. This look is especially pretty when the shoes are visible and you wear blue jewelry to tie the look in with your overall ensemble.

Blue Wedding Shoes
Photo Source: thorsenphotography.com

Blue Jewelry

Blue jewelry is a great and non-intrusive way to wear blue for your wedding day. From a beautiful sparkling necklace to a vintage sapphire ring.

Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring
Photo Source: everythingbutthedress.blogspot.ca

Blue Bouquet

Carry blue flowers or some blue accessory on your bridal bouquet. There are many great choices and your florist can come up with something truly breathtaking so you can get your blue in!

Blue Wedding Bouquet
Photo Source: global.theknot.com

These are just a few ideas that you can use so you’re carrying or wearing something blue on your wedding day.

If you’re not the traditional type, you should think of your wedding as a blank canvas. Fill it up with the colors that suit you best. You don’t have to wear a white dress and you certainly don’t have to promise to obey your husband. Here are 3 fun wedding alternatives to consider for your big day.

The Traditional Flower Bouquet

If the traditional cut flower bouquet isn’t your cup of tea, you should know there are a lot of alternatives. Ladies are carrying pearl bouquets, metal brooch bouquets and a variety of other alternatives. Think about your personality and try to come up with something that is all you. Carry balloons, faux butterflies or whatever else you want.

Pearl Bouquet
Photo Source: brides.prestonbailey.com
Butterfly Bouquet
Photo Source: wedinator.co

Brooch BouquetThe Wedding Guest Book

Skip the traditional guest book and go with something a little edgier. Have guests paint portions of a large canvas that you can hang in your home. Each guest can be assigned a color and a letter, and can find the letter on the canvas and paint it their color. Imagine the fun and the memories.

Wedding Guestbook
Photo Source: offbeatbride.com

Wedding Ring Alternatives

You don’t have to go with the traditional valuable metal and diamond. Why not try something a little more “you?” Go with wooden, eco-friendly wedding rings, tattoo wedding rings or something else. After all, it’s your wedding, your ring and your love!

Tattoo Wedding Rings
Photo Source: generalvalentine.com

Use these ideas as inspiration when you want to have a wedding full of alternatives. Traditional weddings aren’t for everyone and more and more brides are embracing the non-traditional.

If you want your wedding vows to be extra special, you might want to write them yourself. However, many people who aren’t accustomed to writing often will have trouble writing their vows. Here are 3 tips that are sure to help.

Vows
Photo Source: jophotoonline.com

Create a List

Think of the things you want to give your future spouse, and create a list of those things, using just one or two words for each. For instance, you might put something like “unconditional love, safety, fun,” etc. When you’re writing your vows, you can continuously refer to this list as a way to help refresh your memory and make sure you include everything you want to say.

List for Vows

Write Simply

Many people who sit down to write their own vows make the mistake of thinking they have to sound witty or smart, when in fact, you should just be writing from the heart. Think of what you’d say to your beloved, and then write those exact words.

Writing Vows

Read it Out Loud

Once you’ve written your vows out and you think you’ve said everything you want to say, read your vows out loud in the mirror. This gives you a chance to see if any of your sentences are difficult or clunky, and to think about how long it’s going to take you to speak them.

Vows

By using these 3 tips for writing your own wedding vows, you can be sure that they’re extra special, touching and something your spouse will never forget.

There’s a little saying that men are supposed to spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring for their future wife, but how do you know what you’re supposed to be paying per carat or for the highest quality versus lower quality? This post will help clear up the pricing questions you might have so you can determine whether you’re getting a good deal or not.

White Flash Yellow Diamond Ring

Price Per Carat

The price of diamonds per carat will be different with every store, every designer and every style. Some designers are more popular and the cost will be higher, and diamonds that are larger are rarer than small diamonds, so the price per carat will rise with larger diamonds. One way to be sure you’re paying a fair price is to choose a supplier that is reputable; you can also compare prices in stores with the same rings.

White Flash Diamond Engagement Ring

Saving Money

You can save a lot of money by not jumping on the first ring you see and love. If you buy designer engagement rings online, you can compare the prices and make sure you’re saving money. You can save money in a few different ways as well. For instance, rather than purchasing platinum, go for white gold. The look is very similar but the cost for white gold is far lower than the cost for platinum. In addition to that, you can choose clusters rather than one large diamond.

White Flash Three Stone Engagement Ring

Searching Based on Budget

Finally, you can save money on your engagement ring by searching based on your budget. Some stores, like the Houston jewelry store – Whiteflash.com will allow you to find diamonds based on budget, size, and cut type. When you narrow down your options in this way, you’re left with the most beautiful and brilliant options that will suit you best. This store also permits you to purchase loose diamonds if you already have the setting and simply need the stone.

White Flash Diamonds

It’s definitely possible to save money while shopping for an engagement ring, so to answer the question, you should spend the least amount possible without sacrificing quality and beauty.

White Flash Diamond Engagement Ring

Do this by going for high quality stores, comparing rings in different stores and searching based on your budget. This will allow you to choose the perfect ring and still have money left over for your beautiful wedding and a super fun honeymoon.

Most brides create a “play list” with songs they want the DJ to play during certain special moments throughout the day. Chances are, you’ll want to do the same thing, but how many songs do you need to choose, exactly. By knowing what events will require a special song, you’ll know how many to choose.

First Dance – this is the first dance you’ll share with your husband as his wife. Make sure it’s a song that is significant to the two of you and something that means a lot. This one will be significant for the rest of your lives together, so choose well.

First Dance
Photo Source: josevillaphoto.com

Parent Dances – these dances are special and include the father/daughter dance. You may choose to dance with both of your parents and both of your in-laws, so you’ll want to choose songs that are appropriate for each dance.

Father Daughter Dance
Photo Source: lauraivanova.com
Mother Son Dance
Photo Source: bridalmusings.com

Cake Cutting – most couples choose a song to play during the cake cutting, but you don’t have to choose a special one. It’s up to you.

Cake Cutting
Photo Source: lovebirdphoto.net

Garter Toss – during the garter or bouquet toss, you can choose songs that are special for the friends and family waiting to catch those goodies! Make sure it’s something each one of them can appreciate.

Garter Toss
Photo Source: bridalguide.com
Bouquet Toss
Photo Source: destinweddingphotography.tumblr.com

Introduction Music – if you’d like a special song to play as the DJ introduces the wedding party at the reception, make sure to make a note of it. It can be something funny or touching, depending upon your own personality and the theme or tone of your reception.

Wedding Introduction
Photo Source: justinmarantz.com

You may not want to choose a special song for each of the events, but it’s important to discuss your choices with your DJ so he or she knows what to play and what not to play.

Many brides have their guests blow bubbles or toss bird seed instead of throwing rice. Another great idea is to have your guests throw rose petals. With these beautiful handmade holders, you can create a wedding décor element as well as a fun little way to present rose petals to your guests for tossing.

Paper Cone
Photo Source: driedflowercraft.co.uk

What You’ll Need

Squares of Paper (Try origami paper, as you can get specific colors and designs)

Stapler

Hole Punch

Ribbon

Rose Petals

How to Create It

Start by grabbing a corner of the paper with one hand, and then the opposite corner with the other hand. Bring the corners together, placing one on top of the other. Slide the paper together tighter and tighter until you create a small cone (pointy at one end and open at the other end). Staple the paper together so that it holds.

Decorating the Paper Cone

Use a hole punch to create a hole in the top of the paper cone (at the pointy part on the back of the cone). You can add ribbon here to hang the cones or just for a bit of decoration. Use ribbon in your wedding colors. You can also embellish the cone with whatever you’d like – rhinestones, vintage buttons or scraps of fabric. Brides may want to print strips of paper with little sayings to hang from the cones, such as “for wishing the bride and groom well,” or something similar.

DIY Rose Petal Holder
Photo Source: the36thavenue.com

Finally, when it’s time for the ceremony, simply fill each paper cone with rose petals and hang or place them in an area where guests can find them easily. This is a fun and beautiful alternative to tossing rice, and it’s very easy to create.

Rose Petal Holder

Most weddings are full of superstitions that have been turned into tradition; the groom not seeing his bride in her dress until the wedding, tucking a sixpence in the bride’s shoe, etc. However, these certainly aren’t the strangest wedding traditions or facts. Check out these 10 hilarious facts about weddings around the world.

1. Rain, Rain, Go Away! While most American brides dread the thought that it might rain on their wedding days, according to Hindu tradition, rain during the wedding ceremony is good luck. It’s considered a blessing.

Rainy Wedding Day
Photo Source: farfromtheweddingcrowd.com

2. Itsy Bitsy Spider – What would you do if you found a spider in your wedding dress? Many brides would consider it a bad omen, but the English believe it’s a good sign.

3. I Spy – If you’ve seen beautiful pictures of Middle Eastern brides with henna paintings, you were probably taken away with the majesty of the look. The reason this is done is to protect the bride from the evil eye.

Henna
Photo Source: fashionserved.com

4. Divination – Ancient Romans, like the rest of us, tried hard to determine the best time to get married. Their methods may have been a little different, though. In order to find out the best time for a couple to get married, they studied pig entrails.

5. Golden Ring – Seventeen tons of gold are used in the US each year to make wedding rings.

Gold Wedding Ring
Photo Source: vitalicphoto.com

6. Cranes – Asian brides often wear robes embroidered with cranes. In Asian culture, cranes are known to be great luck anyway, but this tradition is said to ensure fidelity for the length of the marriage.

Embroidered Crane
Photo Source: hausergallery.com

7. Forget the Dress – Denmark couples often cross-dressed for their wedding ceremonies in an effort to confuse the evil spirits. There went all that time spent picking out the perfect dress!

8. All My Single Ladies – According to legend, if a single woman sleeps with a piece of the groom’s cake under her pillow (use a Ziploc bag!), she will dream of her future husband.

Groom's Cake

9. Stand By Your Man – Why does the bride traditionally stand to the left of her groom? In ancient days, the man would need his right hand free to fight off other suitors.

Wedding Ceremony
Photo Source: nicolechatham.com

10. Colorful – Korean brides wear beautiful shades of red and yellow to celebrate their wedding days.

Korean Bride
Photo Source: christianothstudio.com

With some of these funny and strange traditions, wearing a veil or hiding from the groom while in your dress just doesn’t seem that crazy!