Ditch the Professionals

If you’re truly on a strict budget and are willing to stray from professionals– listen up.

Welcome to the future. Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the 21st century and in case you haven’t noticed technology has significantly advanced. Tablets and smartphones have become a key ingredient for the budget wedding. You can find apps for just about anything, from photo booths that lock your iPad so guests can’t hack your Facebook to an app that lets you virtually try on engagement rings.

Here are 2 DIY apps that I’ve considered for my wedding:

1. MyWeddingDJ for iPhone, iPod, iPad: Just add a boisterous friend to do the announcing. This app allows you to set up your songs under playlists (processional, cocktail hour, dancing, etc.), take requests from guests, and even add crossfades. PRICE: $5 (SAY WHAT?!). Check out some of the features here http://www.steamclock.com/weddingdj/

2. Wedding Booth for iPad: If you’re a bride-to-be who’s must have list includes a photobooth, consider this DIY alternative. The Wedding Booth app allows you to customize the app to match your wedding colors and guests can even leave a guestbook message with their photo. Price: $9.99. Watch the video of more features here http://www.weddingboothapp.com/

Congratulations, you just paid $15 for your DJ and photobooth. You’re welcome 🙂

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…While We’re on the Topic of Social Media

Instagram.

Most of us are familiar with the app, but what some may not know is you can incorporate it into your wedding. With the use of a hashtag (#) you and your guests can create a stockpile of pictures pre, during, and post-wedding. I know I plan on doing it, but there are always pros and cons to each choice you make.

Pros:

  • While your professional photographer is busy taking fabulously posed pictures of you and your new hub, your guests are taking awesome candid photos behind the scenes.
  • You can order prints (even framed ones!), photobooks, posters, stickers, and more from this nifty site: http://printstagr.am/ of the photos that are added to your hashtag.
  • Everyone can easily look at all of the pictures by simply looking up the hashtag on Instagram.

Cons:

  • That hideous picture of you where you were crying with the most unattractive face, yea it’s there until you can bribe your Uncle Joe to take it down.
  • Unless they have an Instagram account, your Grandma Betty can’t see the pictures.
  • Some guests may become so consumed with posting the best Instagram photo of the big kiss, that they interfere with the professional photographer who was actually hired to do that job.

I’m all for the Instagrammed wedding. I find it way classier and subtle than the old disposable camera idea. Plus, you don’t have to drop a single penny on supplies. What about you, are you pro or con an Insta-wed?

In case you wonder how to inform all of your guests of your specific hashtag, here are some cute ideas!

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For the Pinterest Bride-to-Be

Before I was actually engaged, I had five Pinterest boards for my future wedding (doesn’t every girl?). One for wedding dresses, the second for engagement rings, another for photography, the third for bridesmaid dresses, and one for general wedding stuff. Together I had pinned over 1,000 pins.

I would talk with my friends who shared the same bridal obsession about our pins and would gawk over the ones that we would definitely feature at our weddings.

Everyone could see each and every pin I pinned and I hadn’t realized it until I got engaged, but I don’t want everyone to see exactly what I plan to have at my ceremony and reception. There would be no sense of surprise once my guests arrived.

When people (at least people like me) are invited to a wedding they wonder, “What will the bride look like,” “What kind of décor will there be?” That’s one of my favorite things about weddings; the sense of surprise. When the double doors swing open after the flower girl has set the aisle with flowers, I FINALLY get to see the bride in white.

Pinterest can be a great tool while planning your wedding. If you’re like me and prefer not to show the world your wedding before the big day, you’re in luck! Pinterest has this nifty new feature called “secret boards.” Anything you post to your secret board is for your eyes only.

Happy wedding planning, Pinterest Brides!

Top 5 Ways to Save: Invitation Edition

1. Do it yourself. If you have and are familiar with Adobe InDesign or any other design software, I highly recommend that you try making your own invitations. It’s more personal and most likely you will save in the long-run. If you aren’t comfortable designing them yourself, sit down with a friend who has the experience and is willing to help. Pinterest can be a HUGE help for getting ideas here too!

2. Students, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR PRINTING SERVICES DEPARTMENT (if you have one). Here at Radford University, our off campus printing services allows students to print just about anything at an extremely low price per print. 

3. Take advantage of your smartphone. There’s this super cool new app, Touchnote, out that you can actually upload a picture, enter an address, write a message, then input your credit card info and it actually sends a postcard to the address(s) you entered. No waiting in line at the post office for tons of stamps and no taking hours addressing and putting stamps on envelopes!

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4. Don’t waste money on a calligrapher. Instead, enlist your family and bridesmaids to hand-write addresses. If you prefer beautiful cursive, print addresses on their envelopes in the font of your choice and with high transparency, then trace!

5. Stay away from square. Here’s a little known fact: Square envelopes cost extra than the norm because they are classified as an “odd-size.” No bride wants to get charged an extra fee!