7 Cute and Clever Frugal Wedding Ideas to Keep the Big Day on Budget

Another great guest post today that's right up my alley with how we did wedding planning! #3 is definitely depending on your personal preferences - if you want to save even more money go the punch bowl route! 😉
Your wedding should be the best day of your life, not a source of insane financial stress. The average American wedding costs around $35,000. Which is not a small amount of money.
Every little thing adds up. And of course, most people don't want to "cheap out" on their big day. It only happens once (hopefully!), and you want to do it right. 

Lucky for you, we're here to help. Read on for 7 cute, creative, and clever frugal wedding ideas to keep the big day on a budget. 

1. The Holy Grail of Frugal Wedding Ideas: Be Flexible

Being flexible is the key to saving where it really counts: venue hire. Consider having your wedding right at the beginning or end of off-season.
This can save thousands of dollars in venue hire fees and you can still get the benefits of good weather. The day of the week matters a lot too. Saturdays are ideal for many reasons, but they are drastically more expensive than other days.
The Sunday before a holiday Monday can be a great option. Having some flexibility around the date can be the single thing that saves you thousands. 

2. Consider a Longer Engagement 

Venue prices spike the closer it gets to the time. Plus, most of the good venues get booked up at least two years in advance.
Take your time and enjoy your engagement. After all, you're planning to be together for your whole lives. What's the rush? 

3. BYOB 

This is one of the most repeated words of wisdom by wedding planners: find a venue that lets you bring in your own alcohol. And consider having a limited bar.
Offering beer and wine instead of a huge selection of spirits can save a lot of money (and reduces the risk of over-drinking). Buy in bulk from local breweries, and offer to display their logo. They might give you an advertiser's rate. 

4. DIY Where It Counts

Taking on too many DIY responsibilities can be stressful, but it can also be fun. And a huge cost-saver. Get your bridesmaids together to make centerpieces, bouquets, and invitations. And have fun with it! Who doesn't love a crafts and wine night? 
Stationary can be a surprisingly big cost. Check out these wedding invitations templates by Adobe and design and print your own. Hand deliver when possible, and consider e-invites for those who are out of town. 

5. Rent or Wear Second Hand

Wedding dresses and tuxedos are a huge cost. Especially for something, you're only going to wear once. Consider renting a dress or buying second hand. There are some beautiful gowns that have only been worn once. Who has to know?

6. Fake the Cake

If you're attached to the tradition of cutting the cake, it can save a lot of money to fake it. A lot of bakers will design a cardboard cake with a real top layer. You'll still get the photos. And you can serve a delicious alternative dessert to your guests.

7. Support Local for Dinner

Hiring a fancy caterer can be one of the biggest pieces of the budget. Instead, consider hiring a local mom & pop shop to provide the main meal. They'll give you a good deal and will appreciate the business much more than a big caterer. 

The Takeaway 

There are countless ways to cleverly save on your big day. In addition to these 7 key frugal wedding ideas, just remember one thing: simple is elegant.
Don't go overboard on things that don't really matter. Keep it minimal. Keep it classy. What matters most is celebrating your marriage with your loved ones, not breaking the bank.  
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Meal Planning Monday

We made it out of that wonky Hurricane Barry with our sanity half in tack.

I'll write more about that in a blog post Wednesday though! Until then, here's to having power and knowing I gotta have a gas stove again.

Monday | I'm celebrating power by hitting up Saigon Noodles in Lafayette and buying all the ice cream

Tuesday | Grilled Chicken with Sensation Salad and Roasted Artichokes

Wednesday | Chicken Pot Pie from the Misissippi Current Cookbook

Thursday | leftovers

Friday | Eating Out

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Carne Asada Tacos

Breakfast | My favorite breastfeeding shake - but really it's a super healthy shake no matter what

Lunch | Polenta Bowls - Our friend who rescued us during the hurricane turned me onto them and it was amazing - Polenta topped with Roasted Kale, Cauliflower, and Red Onions & some Chicken & Apple Sausage

Piecing Your Life Together After A Surgery Gone Wrong

Today's guest post is all about the healing process after a difficult surgery. If you've had experience with this I'd love for you to comment below! 

When you have something wrong with your health and you prepare to go into surgery, there are high expectations. You never expect that the surgery will go wrong but sadly that can and does happen to plenty of patients who go under the knife.

What do you do after it’s all gone wrong? In this article, we look at various perspectives on how to piece your life together following a medical procedure gone wrong.

Get Compensated for Pain and Suffering

When surgery is not as was reasonably expected or the outcome was poor because of medical negligence on the part of the surgeon and their team, then it’s important to seek appropriate compensation for mistakes made. After all, they’ve just changed your life circumstances and not for the better.

The level of compensation will depend on what the mistake was, whether it can be rectified with a secondary operation or if you’re stuck with the problem for life. The seriousness of the outcome and how it will affect how you live is also a factor. You should seek proper legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in cases of this nature. One good source is the Medical Negligence Experts (www.the-medical-negligence-experts.co.uk/) who’ll know what to do.

How Long is the Healing Process?

If you’ve had one operation and are not expected to go under the knife again to fix the mistake, then you’re then dealing with the healing process.

For instance, with incisions in the abdomen e.g. for a hernia operation, the healing time just for the abdominal incision is around two months. This assumes that you don’t overexert yourself before it’s sensible to do so. You should have been advised about appropriate activity levels in your post-op care too. Follow those carefully to avoid making matters any worse.

Re-Assessing Your Physical Capabilities

Depending on what has actually happened, you may have some physical restrictions on what you’re capable of doing once you’ve healed up completely.

It depends on the post-op advice as to what activity is sensible and those to be avoided. Using the Sleek Technique at this time is not advisable!

It’s important to get the feeling of putting your life back together. Part of this is the sense that you’ve slowly become more capable again, even if you need a little help here and there to achieve that. That’s all good too. Therefore, if you find that going shopping at Tesco and carrying the bags to the car (or bus stop) is too difficult now, make other plans. Shopping online to get food delivered to your door is a great solution. If you still have trouble carrying items to the fridge/freezer, then have a friend or neighbour come over to help you.

Go through a testing phase to see what you can and cannot do now. Then find alternative solutions for things that are challenging or you’re simply unable to do. There is usually always another way to get tasks accomplished if you search for them. Stay positive and focus on solutions, not frustrations. You’ll then feel more empowered and that your life is coming back together again.

Raising Moody Judy

For ages, my husband said that our oldest was a highly sensitive child. It all blew right past me until recently when a friend said she read the book The Highly Sensitive Child
As she talked, everything I had previously ignored my husband alluding to suddenly made sense. 

I recently shared my experience with having a highly sensitive child, over on the Lafayette Mom’s Blog. I’d so love for you to head over there and read all about my thoughts on the biggest struggles we have (and I'd love it if you left a comment).

Things I Bought & Liked | June

June was a good month for new products. Several hits and only one real bust.

Pond's Cleansing Balm | I have avoided the original Cold Cream for ages because it made me break out, but I can get behind this one. I've used coconut oil for a very long time to remove eye makeup and thought I'd give this a try. It touted to be a good dupe for a few products that are a touch pricier. All in all, it removes makeup well and is a good first step if you are double cleansing.

Tarte Set: Blush :: I'm sold on this, it's long wearing, as a good color pay off, and comes in very nice natural shades.

Clay Stick Foundation :: I don't wear a lot of foundation, I'm mainly a CC cream gal. This had been a great addition to my routine for the area around my mouth and lower face that shows a few more veins, it's just better coverage. I still use my It! Cosmetics CC everywhere else.

Maneater Mascara :: I love the mascara but I prefer a more traditional brush.

Eyeliner :: There's a solid chance I'll forgo my long standing relationship with the Bare Minerals eyeliner that is like this one and stick to Tarte. This stuff hold and does not smudge.

Lip Paint in Salty :: I loved the formula of this but I ordered the wrong color. I'll be trying out OG next.

Yeti Rambler 24oz :: Mama won Father's Day and then got jealous. I got this for Jeremy because I adore my 14oz and he has really enjoyed it.

Freshly Picked Olive Classic Crossbody | The Mother's Day present I forgot to post last month. I was in need of a new crossbody that looked nicer than my Kavu bags. This allows me to carry both my own stuff as well as a baby diaper if needed. I got it during their big sale in May and scored a really good price.

ANRABESS Women's Summer Tank Jumpsuit (jogger bottom) | If you are taller I suggest getting this jumpsuit. I'm a touch short so it isn't the best length for me, but it's super cute none the less.

ANRABESS Women's Jumpsuit (shorts) | This is the way to go if you are looking for easy breezy and are shorter. I wasn't disappointed with either of these finds.

Dove Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo | When it came time to go camping I couldn't warp my mind around using my beloved Dry Bar Dry Shampoo that week. Let's be honest my hair ends up in a bun the entire time. (actually it's more like that Target checkout meme because I always looks like death made over). I got this in place of using expensive products while tent living and sweating. Dove wasn't my favorite and it's the best. But! But, when I was washing my hair at night and just needed something for volume that would make me look more human this got the job done. I don't think it works well for second day hair but is perfectly fine for adding volume and texture on clean hair.

10 Things Every Ministers Wife Needs to Know | A pastor's wife I know posted about this book after the SBC Convention this summer. I have to say, as far as I've read it's full of advice you know but need to hear often. Reading 10 Things is very much like sitting down for coffee with a more experienced pastor's wife and gleaming all of her knowledge. This is definitely something I'll hold onto to reread over the years.

American Gospel: Christ Alone Movie | Let me preface this with this... we rented this on Amazon and then ordered the DVD. This 2 hours movie turned into more like 3 after we had paused it to discuss every step of the way. It's a great look at popularity Christianity in America and just how far we've gotten away from the truth in many instances. They're coming out with a second movie soon.

Meal Planning Monday

We survived our camping trip, and if you saw my IG post you'll know I have beef with the Hydroelectric plant situation there. I'm not bitter... I was just sleep deprived.

So here's your warning, Beaver's Bend in Ok is absolutely beautiful, has amazing tree coverage for for tent sites, lovely hiking, the best canoeing... but the tornado/flood siren will send you running for the hills.

Now for this week...

Monday | Hamburger Steak with Green Beans and Rolls

Tuesday | Grilled Chicken with Sensation Salad

Wednesday | leftovers

Thursday | Hanging out with friends on the 4th!

Friday | Breakfast (eggs, breakfast potatoes, biscuits, & sausage) -- I'll get my recipe together for these amazing potatoes!

Saturday | leftovers of some sort

Sunday | Mississippi Roast, Rice, & Broccoli

Breakfast | My favorite breastfeeding shake - but really it's a super healthy shake no matter what

Lunch | Scrambled Eggs with Greek Yogurt and Chives, Dave's Killer Bread with Kerry Gold Butter, and Sauteed Kale