How To Throw A Cheap (But Beautiful) Wedding!

These last few months I have been trying desperately to help my sister make a cheap, gorgeous wedding. She doesn’t make enough to pay for such lavish things. I have searched and searched and I think I’ve came up with a decent list of things to do to make a wedding sweet yet affordable.

  1. Remember to stick to your budget when getting your dress! My sister was very, very adamant about not spending more than $100 on a dress. She didn’t care where it came from as long as it looked nice and the price tag didn’t make her cringe. Granted my sister’s best friend helped her get an elegant, simple dress, the fact remains that you should never go out of your budget just to get a dress. Yes, dresses can cost the most, but if you are lucky you can find a rather nice deal for one somewhere, or if you’re lucky enough you can have a talented friend/family member make your dress for you!     abbiewedding2
  2. Have a pitch-in dinner. I have always loved pitch-ins. So many people bringing their specialties together makes me eager to try them all out! For my sister’s wedding my mother and I decided to make all the food. Few guests said they’d like to bring a dish or two, and that really is helpful in the long run. If you request people to bring dishes to your wedding, make sure to put it in a very nice way in the invites so they know that it would be greatly appreciated.abbiewedding3
  3. Buy what you need when you have the money. There seems to be a million things you need for a wedding now-a-days. I know from planning my sister’s wedding, and my own to boot, that there will never, EVER, be a time where you’ll have all the money you need for everything you need. With that being said, you need to buy the most important things with what money you do have. Let’s say you have your dress but still need a veil and floral arrangements. What do you choose? What item is most important to you? Can you wait to buy either of those things? Figure out what you feel should come first and if you have the money at that point in time, then get it. If you don’t, put that thing as the next thing you’ll get and get the next item you deem important.
  4. Overpriced invites don’t matter in the long run. This is something my fiance really opened my eyes to. While stressing over what kind of wedding invites we should get, Kyle looked me straight in the eyes and said, “What does it matter if they are most likely going to throw the invitations away after they read them?”. At first I was mad that he acted like this microscopic detail in the whole of our wedding didn’t mean much to him but after thinking about it, I realized he was right. Why waste nearly a hundred dollars on invitations that no one would really notice? I decided that making homemade ones with cheap, beautiful designs would be a much easier solution. Heck, my sister just invited everyone on Facebook and called it a day!
  5. Simple is beautiful. Seriously. Some people hate simple things because they associate simple with boring or ugly. Why is that? Probably because they tend to think simple can’t be elegant or whatever else they want it to be. Simple is the best way to go when trying to buckle down for a cheap wedding. There are beautiful, easy DIY projects you can search for on Pinterest that are simple AND elegant. My sister’s wedding was extremely simple. She had three tables for food and utensils, and everyone just sat around her house eating for the reception and talking. Things were simple and nice. It was much better than I had originally expected it to be.          abbiewedding`
  6. Flower Girls/Boys are not required. I hate the notion that you MUST have a flower girl for your wedding. Some people are even against having a boy do the flower throwing because it’s “too girly”. Really?! I was very agitated with the thought of people judging me if I were to use my son as a flower thrower so I just ditched the whole thing all together. It is not going to make much of a difference if you step on flower petals or not. In the long run it might just save you a few bucks and, honestly, who will even miss it?
  7. Officiants are also not required. Some people, like me and Kyle, are a bit religious so we plan to have an officiant at our wedding. Some people are not religious and feel as though an officiant is not necessary. Depending on your religious beliefs, or lack thereof, an officiant is not something you really have to have at the wedding. Yes, you’ll need someone to pretty much be an officiant in a way in order to legally marry the both of you, but it does not really have to be someone of a religious background.
  8. Hair and makeup can be done with your own inventory. I have been really on the fence about this one. I have seen the prices for hair/makeup artists and it has left me flabbergasted. I did my sister’s hair for her wedding (she did her own makeup) but I don’t want just mediocre hair at mine. If you are really on a tight budget, then doing your own hair and makeup can be a real money saver. A lot of people charge anywhere between $100-$300 and up just to do your makeup and your hair and that’s usually not including the travelling fee.  If you’re lucky, you’ll have a friend or family member who has a great knack for hair and makeup. If you’re good enough yourself, you can do your own as well!
  9. You really don’t need so many guests. When I first started writing out the guest list for my wedding I thought to myself, “Would this person be upset if I didn’t invite them? Would this person even show up?”. That’s when I realized that if I can’t know for sure if they’d actually want to be there then there is no reason in inviting them. Sometimes people get offended when they’re not invited to a wedding because they feel as though they weren’t even thought of when the list was being created. If you have a very long list of family and friends who want to be included but you know you can’t have them all attend, then let them know in a nice way why there is just no possible way to have everyone come at once. You could, perhaps, throw a party at a later date for all the people that you couldn’t have show up to the wedding due to maximum capacity being reached.
  10. Cakes don’t have to be perfect. The cake. It’s like the staple of most people’s weddings. Some people go traditional and have a cake, some have only cupcakes or cookies, and others have a mix of both. I will tell you right now, unless you plan to get a cheap $20.00 grocery store sheet cake and a bunch of cheap cupcakes to go with it, then this will be costly (though not as costly as, say, a wedding dress). My sister had a sheet cake for her wedding that they put a topper on and it looked really nice. It didn’t matter to anyone what it looked like because all anyone cared about was eating it.    abbiewedding4

Write A Letter To Yourself Challenge

*This is an exercise for self confidence I’ve made up. I’m sure others have done this before, but this is to make people realize how far they have come when they feel like things are never going to get better.*

Imagine a younger you, maybe 12-15. Now think of all the things you have learned since you were that age. Yeah, you made some mistakes along the way, but everyone does. Some mistakes might have been much bigger than others, but people can change. Now imagine if you hadn’t had learned what you did from these mistakes. Imagine the type of life you could have been leading right now. Different, isn’t it? What I want you to do is write a letter to your younger self and what you would have wished someone would have told you at that age. I’ll start off with my own letter to myself.

Dear 13 year old Sarah,

Though you may think that you’ll never be pretty like the other girls at school, or that boys don’t like you because you’re not good enough, I’m here to say that you’re wrong. Boys will be boys. Just because you don’t appeal to them now doesn’t mean there won’t be anyone in the future that will value you more than you thought possible. Don’t worry about what boys think, but instead find yourself some friends that won’t turn around and back stab you (seriously, your “best friend” is not really your best friend).

Being the prettiest or the most popular has no meaning after school. Once you’re an adult you’ll find your own style and your own way of doing things that will make you stand out from the crowd. You will never question whether anyone but your significant other likes your outfit or not.

Don’t fall for the first guy who says you’re cute. There is plenty of time before you actually end up meeting the one you plan on marrying.

Most importantly, don’t ever feel like you’ve never accomplished anything in your life. Even the smallest achievements are victories won.

Love, 23 year old Sarah.

Now, I challenge everyone who feels down to help themselves by writing something to their younger selves and really finding out just how much better things are for you today than they were back then.

The Advice I Never Received

When I was in my Senior year of high school, I went through quite a lot of b.s. that I shouldn’t have. I got pregnant the second semester of my last year and I felt like my life was ruined. There were aspects in every part of the situation that I feel other girls should know and be prepared for in case they are to have this happen to them.

1. Make sure to check out the guy before you get together!

My son’s father, when I first met him, seemed to be an ordinary, nice guy. During our whole relationship I learned that not only was he good at lying, he was not nice at all. If you ever get with someone make sure to find out what they are all about!

2. Don’t believe the lies. 

My ex tried to tell me that he couldn’t use condoms because they didn’t fit. It was my first time EVER and I made the mistake in trusting him. Don’t be stupid like me. If he says it won’t fit then snap back with, “If it doesn’t fit in that, it won’t fit in me.” And then walk away as fast as you can. Or run. Either way, get out of there!

3. Don’t let someone push you around!

When I had gotten pregnant, I went with my ex and told his mother to her face. I felt it would be best to be an adult about these things. Now here is where this advice can go for anyone, whether you are a same sex couple or an opposite sex couple. His mother looked me in the eyes one day while we were at her house eating dinner and told me that I had to move in with her and change everything. She told me which doctor I was going to go to and where I was going to live. I was furious and when I finally went home I told my mother that she expected me to leave everything behind and I cried. I don’t care who you are or what your situation is, if someone tells you to give up everything and do what they say, don’t! His mother tried to get me to move away from everyone and everything I knew because they wanted to control not only my life, but my child’s life as well.

4. Never ignore your gut. 

This should be an easy thing to remember for anyone who’s went through a lot of teenage heartbreak in their short lives. Thankfully, this is one of the few things I kind of listened to, though it was much too late when I found everything out. I had a strong feeling something was wrong for a long time during my relationship, but I ignored it at first. It wasn’t until after I was near my 4th month of pregnancy that I found out that my boyfriend was cheating on me with more than one girl and hitting on some of my friends. I confronted him about it when my friend warned me what he was sending her, and he lied right to my face. He also lied to me about his best friend hating me, and I think that was because he was afraid that his friend would give away his secret. Thankfully his friend decided once he found out for sure to tell me what was going on. I was devastated, but I got over it.

 

I was never told any good advice, and I went in that relationship happy and came out not trusting many people. I lost a lot of friendships over one guy and I feel like others should understand what I went through and try to stay away from people like my ex. He is a very violent guy and I was lucky to never have him hurt me or my child, but others are not that lucky and I think that if they were to feel as though someone cared, maybe they wouldn’t make the mistake of getting into a bad relationship.

Below you can find some links to good websites that offer advice, numbers to call for help, etc. DON’T BE AFRAID TO REACH OUT TO SOMEONE! 

Note: If you have any other websites I should add, please feel free to comment and I’ll add them when I get on again. Thank you! This could help so many!

1. T.E.A.R.- Teens Experiencing Abusive Relationships

2. The National Domestic Hotline

3. Love Is Respect

4. Areas 4 You- Keeping Girls Safe

 

The Longest 3 Months

The last three months have been both a bit scary and sad. My fiance’s best friend died and we have been struggling with all the things surrounding his death to figure out what is truth and what is rumor. I won’t go into detail, but I would like to say a final farewell to him. He was a good guy that never disrespected me or my tight leash I sometimes have on Kyle. He always knew how to make us laugh and though some of the aspects of what happened are really terrible, we will still love him for the man he had been before this tragic problem.

In the last three months, I have also been finding more health problems with myself and I can’t figure out what is wrong with me. Despite it all I’ve been trying to stay positive. I hate that no matter what I do I seem to keep gaining weight and then losing some. It’s confusing for my body and I hate it. I have been exploring ways to improve myself even though I hate that I can’t change some of the things that are causing me to be upset.

I am glad to say that I gave my son a small, but extremely nice, birthday and Christmas. His birthday is in October, so I usually give him maybe one present so he can have better things for Christmas. I read about some parents giving their kids (they are the same age as my child) over 14 presents. Most of these presents are the really expensive things that they don’t need. Why? Maybe to make up for lack of love? I don’t know. Maybe they just like spoiling their kid. No shame in that, but I think my small Christmas with small gifts are what keep my son a nice person.

Where do I start?

I have thought a lot lately about what I want my life to be. I want a nice house, a reason to get dressed up everyday, and a secure future for my son.

I have never had a job. When I was in high school, I would put in loads of applications and no one would call me back. I think it was because I had no experience. How was I to get experience if I couldn’t get a stupid job? That was partly the reason I never had money to go out with friends when they asked me to.

I haven’t been to college yet since I have no way out of my house.

I feel like my life is in a rut and I am slowly suffocating to death in it. What will help me become successful. I know that going to college won’t guarantee me a financially stable job. My fiance has a college degree and a crappy job. I am one of those people that knows they want to be at the top and wants to  rise above all the hardships, but how am I to obtain this? I thought about owning my own business, but the only thing I would like to sell I can’t create because I don’t know how to sew. It’s sad, really.

I guess I feel like I will never get where I know I need to be. I came from a home that had barely any money for anything, and sometimes we would not have money for food. Though things were hard growing up sometimes, I still loved my childhood and my teen years. I had no cares. Now that I have my own son, I want to give him the life I never had. So far I have given him a much better life than I could have ever hoped to have given him. I want my son to see me succeed and grow up to go on and do great things for himself as well.

I guess my questions for this blog are,

1. What kind of obstacles have you had to overcome in getting to where you want to be in life?

2. Do you have any advice about what I could do to help myself get to where I want to be? I can try as hard as I can, but that can only do  me so much good.

A Very Long Week

After having over a week of vacation, I feel much better.

Kyle, my brother and I mainly stayed home and did chores, but it got everything out of the way that we couldn’t do while Kyle was still working.

Now my topic for today is children.

Mainly, I want to know how other children are in comparison to my son.

I know my son is a late bloomer in potty training, and getting his sentences together correctly, but is he really that far behind? My step-son never talked at my son’s age, only pointed. He always wore diapers until one day he just started using the potty and started talking real sentences.

Why is my son behind?

I read to my son, I teach him everything that a single mother can, and yet I feel like he’s behind. My friend had a kid exactly one week after I had Zak, and he is already in preschool and doing great at everything! THE FRUSTRATION!

I am one of those people that was never taught to drive, so I am currently learning late, and that poses problems when we only have one vehicle and I have no way to take my son back and forth from the local preschool. Some people don’t have these problems, and so they don’t understand why I feel like everything is falling on my shoulders.

So I want to know,

  1. When/how did your kid go through these first steps
  2. And if they haven’t yet, how do you hope they do it?

It’s Been a While

It’s been a few days! What happened was a tree fell down onto my outer porch and took down our powerlines so I had no power until today. Lights still don’t work in some rooms, but the living room (the room in which I blog) is perfectly fine. (:

 

Anywhoo! My topic today is about Family Love.

I went to my mother’s yesterday so I wouldn’t have to wait a whole night in a dark house with just my son. The first thing my mother told me as I came into the house was, “You need to keep quiet or you won’t be welcome to stay here.”

Why would she say that? Well, she has had this “friend” living with her for months and months now. He works a night shift at some job and he doesn’t do anything for her besides “help” pay a few bills every once in a while. Now when my mom has a “friend” stay, they usually don’t go away for a long time. This guy, mind you, is around my age and he is not a model citizen. I’m not trying to say everyone is perfect, but I really don’t like him around my son.

My mother never used to be this rude towards me when I would come over. I have noticed over the last almost 8 months my mother has been changing. Any time I want to come visit she acts like it’s the worst thing I’ve ever asked for. When I do come over at all she makes me feel like I am not part of the family. She was angry when I told her I feel like my father is the only one who cares about seeing me. Why? Why would it matter when she never wants me around anyway?

I know families change, but when your family changes because someone is interjecting into your lives, that’s not healthy, in my opinion.

I can’t deny that I hate her “friend”. I call Kyle and cry on his shoulder when they say something that hurts me. I am usually such a resilient person, but I have found this last year that I am always hurt the most when my family acts like they want me to stay away.

Now I just want to ask these questions:

  1. Have you ever felt like someone in your family doesn’t love you?
  2. Are there any things about your family that makes you feel alone?
  3. What kind of family do you have? (fun, serious, etc)