Apr 17, 2017

Barbeque Wedding Menu on a Budget

Not only is a barbeque wedding menu on a budget possible, it contains many - if not all - of your favorite comfort foods. And of course I'm talking about homemade macaroni and cheese, rich and delicious with fresh, creamy butter and extra sharp cheddar cheese. Don't forget slow cooked baby back ribs, rubbed with spices and basted in a Jack Daniels flavored BBQ sauce. Everything your Uncle Rick and Aunt Mary Ann and all five cousins from South Daytona Beach were hoping to see and smell and taste today. Say goodbye to food, beverage and service charges. And the same goes for site fees, down payments and deposits. And better still - no weird and unrecognizable menu items ("pumpkin soup with red pepper mousse"). Just good old-fashioned favorite family food for a fun and friendly barbeque wedding reception you can easily afford.


Barbeque Wedding Menu Ideas:

  • Pulled pork (beef brisket)
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Homemade cornbread
  • Baby back ribs
  • Baked beans (with bacon and brown sugar!)
  • Creamy coleslaw
  • Garlic smashed potatoes
  • Corn on the cob
  • Ham sliders
  • Hushpuppies
  • Green bean casserole
  • Broccoli salad
  • Potato salad
  • Homemade biscuits
  • Watermelon
  • Corn Pudding
  • Peach Cobbler

Apr 11, 2017

Romantic Fall Wedding Lanterns

I want to be here. Watching the sun set on this unforgettable day when my childhood friend and her handsome blue-eyed lover exchange hand written vows near the warm glow of these romantic fall wedding lanterns. We'll soon be feasting on tender beef brisket, creamy coleslaw, peach cobbler and homemade buttery biscuits. "Hello, my name is Kathy. Would you please pass me the corn on the cob?" Brothers, sisters, neighbors and friends sit and celebrate under the sheltering arms of towering oak trees. And breathe in the last lovely fragrance of white jasmine before it goes into resting until the beginning of Spring. An unforgettable fall day in paradise - if only in my dreams.

Apr 8, 2017

Watch Our Love Grow Seed Favors

Watch Our Love Grow.  A sweet and simple message from the new bride and her groom. And a very eco-friendly favor of fresh garden seeds that will produce a rainbow of colorful wildflowers and be a huge bonanza to bees, birds and butterflies. Assembled together with materials that can be recycled (except for the cellophane) and leave a much lighter carbon footprint than favors made of metal, plastic and glass. Some of the easiest flowers to grow when looking for wildflower seeds in bulk? Baby Snapdragons, Zinnia, Black Eyed Susan, Cosmos, Coneflowers, Sweet William, and Sunflowers (both red and yellow).

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Mar 27, 2017

Lavender Wedding Toss

Lavender wedding toss - a fragrant, eco-friendly send off for the happy groom and bride. For years it was rice until the myth got started that birds would pay the ultimate price for making a meal of the leftover rice. Turns out it wasn't true at all, but no kind hearted bride wanted anything bad to happen on this beautiful day. This lovely French blend of dried lavender flowers is grown on a family farm in the Walla Walla Valley in Washington state. A large one pound bag (16 cups) is harvested, dried, sifted and cleaned to create the perfect going away wedding toss. The seller suggests that depending on whether you wrap the lavender in small tulle bags or present in a large decorative bowl for guests to scoop, a one pound bag should supply 50 to one hundred guests with lavender to toss. One unexpected bonus - gently crushing the lavender flowers will release a fragrance all will find is refreshing, calming and rejuvenating.


Mar 26, 2017

Must See Bride and Flower Girl Photo

This beautiful bride and her flower girl share a secret confidence that they are the two luckiest girls in the world at this very moment. One has been on a mission to determine if her man is smart enough, employed enough, funny enough, and good to her mother and sister enough, to earn his place as her husband to be. Lucky for him, he passed the test. The little girl thinks boys are boring and yucky but loves the bride's strapless lace dress with hand sewn pearls and sweetheart neckline. Plenty of time for her to size up every new boyfriend's personality and potential. Right now these two only have eyes for each other. A tender moment both breathtaking and beautiful.

Mar 20, 2017

Unforgettable Fall Wedding Dessert Ideas

Why look at fall wedding dessert ideas on the first day of Spring? Because this year is already going by so fast, it seems like Christmas was just a few minutes instead of a few months ago. Time to think about a fall dessert that looks as good as it tastes and will be well-loved by Mom, Dad, Uncle Pete and all the cousins from Daytona Beach. Of course, I'm talking about donuts. Cream filled donuts with strawberry topping and cream puffs drizzled with milk chocolate icing. Cinnamon sugar donuts with a white sugar glaze. Here you see only five different varieties of raised donuts, but arranged in colorful, cascading tiers - looking like enough to feed a happy, hungry (and grateful) group of wedding guests.

Donut Wedding Display
Cinnamon Apple Cider Bar
Caramel Apple Bar
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Mar 13, 2017

Honeymoon Fund Jar

Is this honeymoon fund jar a good (socially acceptable) wedding reception idea? I personally love it - a whimsical glass jug with a handwritten "honeymoon fund" label for all to see. Guests can chip in a dollar or two or ten, or simply take a pass. Even children will love putting coins in a "piggy bank" for the bride and groom. If I just spent sixty bucks (as a gift) on a Cuisinart 8 cup rice cooker with a sleek, modern design and chrome-plated handles, I still would have a hard time passing by the jar without reaching into my wallet. Maybe it will go toward a two hour surfing lesson on Waikiki Beach or a mountain biking tour in Florence, Italy. Or just a romantic candlelit dinner much closer to home. Give a little or give a lot, and make the honeymoon more affordable for the newly married couple you love best.

Mar 3, 2017

Mexican Themed Wedding Reception

Hard not to be filled with joy and happiness at a colorful Mexican themed wedding reception. Even if you were delayed by a flat tire or speeding ticket on the way. Mexican weddings are so well-loved that in many small towns in Mexico, everyone (and I mean everyone) is invited to attend. And with all the guests come generous bowls of spicy rice, beans and tortillas filled with chicken and beef. Kind hearted neighbors will proudly offer homemade Sangria made with red or white wine, brandy, orange juice and freshly sliced fruit. The local Mariachi band will sing and entertain with violins, trumpets and round-backed guitars. It's not just "your" fiesta themed wedding, it's a local celebration and everyone joyfully pitches in. Can you imagine how wonderful and less stressful it would be to have this much help on the wedding day of your dreams?

fiesta themed cookies
Mexican wedding backdrop
Mexican wedding cake

Mar 1, 2017

Ring Security Invitation and Badge

This ring security invitation and badge is money well spent in so many ways. You want your sweet six year old nephew to feel like a major player at your wedding...this will do the trick. You need to find a cute little keepsake so he'll remember his "secret mission" and the honor of guarding the cherished rings. Twenty five dollars may seem like a lot for this personalized ring bearer invitation and nickel-plated steel badge, but I'm more than confident (having small boys in the family from ages four to six) that this Security Officer badge will be worn morning, noon and night and probably be the favorite with the other boys at "Show and Tell." Let him feel he has the most important duty of the day with this handsome Calling All Security Forces invitation and badge.

Feb 26, 2017

Mini Tissue Wedding Boxes

Today I found these sweet do-it-yourself mini tissue boxes courtesy of a sponsored post on Something Tuquoise, a blog "embracing the DIY bride."  It's a great tutorial featuring free printable files for both the tissue box and "For Your Happy Tears" label. It's also a product endorsement for Cricut, the die cutting machine will let you cut everything from fabric to felt to foam to freezer paper. I don't own or have any affiliation with the company that makes these amazing die cutting machines (and am ashamed to tell you it all seems like rocket science to me), but paying three or four dollars each for wedding favors for 100 guests or more makes it seem like a good investment to make. Not to mention, everyone will love and adore these cute little mini tissue wedding boxes, courtesy of the bride.

Feb 20, 2017

Pastel Centerpieces for a Spring Wedding

I would love to recreate these pastel wedding centerpieces elegantly captured by Fiorello Photography. These simple and smooth painted jars may have been the former home of your favorite jams, jelly, mustard or mayonnaise. Something that you purchased to make a sandwich is now transformed into a breathtakingly beautiful spring wedding centerpiece. Freshly picked flowers may be your only expense unless you have a gift for growing those at home. There are just a few pastel shades shown here. Why not add pale yellow, blush, apricot, pastel mint, powder blue or lilac? It's no secret that I would rather repurpose and paint a clean glass jar than throw it in the recycle bin. But I had no idea that pastel painted jars could look as exquisite as this.

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His & Her Wedding Favor Stickers

His & Her wedding favor stickers might be one of the best budget wedding ideas yet. These stylish black and white stickers - shown here attached to crisp, clear cellophane bags - will cost you $6.50 for a set of 20.  About 33 cents each. Prices for bags vary but one shop that specializes in wedding favor supplies sells fifty (6 x 10 inch) clear bags for just three dollars and change. Compare that to what I saw online today - checking on bulk prices for what would be in this bride's favorite favor bag - mouthwatering peanut M&Ms. In additional to this well-loved and impossible-to-resist chocolate candy (over 400 million made in America each and every day), those ambitious M&M people sell individual tins to hold your candy in silver and gold, starting at $156.99 for a set of 48.  Although, to be fair, this price also includes five pounds of personalized M&Ms. Why not just a beautiful clear bag with a charming His & Her favorite sticker so guests can choose the treat (candy, cookies, pretzels or nuts) they love best.

Feb 19, 2017

Mason Jar Floating Candle Centerpieces

Today I found these floating candle centerpieces - on Nest of Posies, a lifestyle blog with great DIY ideas for home and family. These Mason jar centerpieces, made with sliced lemons and limes, mint and freshly picked rosemary would be effortless for a backyard wedding reception in late spring or early summer. A little of citronella oil will (hopefully) keep mosquitoes in check. What would I serve at a summer wedding reception under the glow of these fragrant floating candles? Here in the South, that would be delicious pulled pork sandwiches and of course, homemade macaroni and cheese. For those of you looking for this well-loved recipe, simply put a lean pork roast in your slow cooker (with a small of water) on low overnight. The next day after your pork has cooled completely, pull it apart, shred it with your fingers and add your favorite homemade or bottled barbeque sauce (I love honey flavored). Serve with rolls or hamburger buns. Always a summertime favorite with my family and friends, and will be with yours!

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Feb 15, 2017

Groom's Custom Engraved Wooden Watch

This custom engraved wooden watch at less than $70 is the gift your groom will treasure most. The watch itself is made from dark ebony recycled wood that can be engraved on the back with up to nine words. You can choose his name and wedding date if you prefer, but my guess is that any man would cherish the sweet sentiment of "Every second, I love you more." The genuine black leather strap is comfortable and lightweight, the Japanese quartz movement has always been known for its accuracy and reliability. In other words, this eco-friendly wooden watch is built to last. The only downside to this handsome minimalist watch is that it is 3 ATM water resistant which means it's fine in a little bit of rain, but not suitable for showering, swimming, snorkeling and other water sports.


Feb 14, 2017

15 Easy Eucalyptus Wedding Decorations

These are deceptively simple eucalyptus wedding decorations - each and every one a rustic and romantic look that could easily be designed and created by you or I. No highly paid professionals need apply. Some are designed with seeded eucalyptus - as shown in the photo below - with long willow-like leaves and glossy green color. Silver dollar eucalyptus is round and pale blue-green in appearance. I'm hopelessly in love with the fragrant silver dollar variety that you can actually grow yourself in full sun outdoors, as long as you bring them in the house before the first frost. Cut eucalyptus stems (purchased from a florist or online) will stay fresh for up to thirty days - allowing you, me or any of our friends to get many of these eucalyptus wreaths and garlands assembled in plenty of time.

Centerpiece that features both types of eucalyptus - seeded and silver dollar.
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Feb 7, 2017

Succulent Favors and Escort Cards

I've written about succulent wedding favors many times before, but this idea for using them as escort cards takes my breath away. These stylish hand written cards tucked into a variety of succulents in tiny metal tins is the perfect and practical wedding favor for your wedding this spring. Planted in a very sunny spot, these hens and chicks (as they are most often called) will thrive and multiply in pots and on patios leaving a lasting reminder to family and well-loved friends of the unforgettable day they shared with you. Small potted plants, unlike little thank you gifts made of glass, paper or plastic - leave a smaller carbon footprint on this beautiful blue planet we all call home.

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Feb 2, 2017

Bachelorette Party Favors - Hair Ties

I wish I knew more about these bachelorette party hair ties - like the length and width, and what type of fabric they are made of. Are they machine washable? These details are not described, but at just $1.25 each, and tons of great reviews, it seems more than worth it to make a purchase. Although to be honest, the shipping to me here in Virginia is an additional $3.65 which brings the total cost of one of these floral hair ties to almost five bucks. Forty two patterns are available including floral, chevron, polka dot, arrow, anchor, team bride and bride tribe. Provide the name personalization in your notes ("Jennifer's Bachelorette Party) or receive them with the saying only. Bachelorette party favors that will be well loved and very well used.

Jan 31, 2017

Easy Bridal Shower Scones

Perfect for a bridal shower, but to be honest, I make these simple raisin scones all the time. And I follow this recipe as shown (courtesy of All Recipes) except for one or two changes that make it easy and more fun for me. Always use cold butter, the colder the better. Yes, it's a little more effort (than softened butter) to work into the dough to make coarse little crumbs, but the results will be moist and delicious. A box grater for butter? Just use a knife and slice up the butter in as many small pieces as you like to add to the flour mixture. (I'd rather change a flat tire than clean butter out of a box grater.) Always sprinkle a little white sugar on top of your scones before baking, whether you ice them or not. And if you're not a big fan of raisins, try using 1/2 cup of dried apricots, cherries, cranberries, or blueberries instead.

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in raisins.

Stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)

Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7 or 8 inch circle about 3/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with a little bit of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.  Serve warm if you can, they're delicious!

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Jan 25, 2017

Eucalyptus Flower Girl Headpiece

If there's anything more exquisite than this eucalyptus flower girl headpiece on the internet today, it totally escaped my notice. A sweet little bohemian flower girl that steals your heart away. The only regret from this Southern California bride - I didn't dress up my four year niece in lace like this with a lovely crown of fragrant eucalyptus leaves. She was available with her charming smile and beautiful blonde curls, a happy little princess who would have made that sunny December day even more unforgettable.

Jan 17, 2017

Open Bar Card - Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

I'll be honest, this hilarious will you be my bridesmaid card at $3.80 each, printed on kraft cardstock with matching envelope, is not this shop's biggest seller. Either are my other favorites "free wine" and "free alcohol." (Sounds like I may have a serious drinking problem, or I just don't like to pay for stuff - you decide.) The most requested card by far is "I Need Your Help To Hold My Dress While I Pee." Wow, no way I can turn down that offer. Why be serious when you need your best friends on this day more than any other. Let them know it might be a lot of work, but will seem like a joy instead of a job with a funny will you be my bridesmaid open bar invitation.

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Jan 16, 2017

Breathtaking Spring Wedding Bouquets

Looking at these breathtakingly beautiful spring wedding bouquets, makes me wonder why I chose to be a December bride. In a big hurry to marry my lover and very best friend, spring seemed as far from reach as a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The top photo displayed here - a pink, peach and red rose bouquet with gum ball pink hypericum berries and silver dollar eucalyptus leaves steals my heart away. It's more captivating than all the rest - can you guess why? The random mixture of color and height makes it appear like a sweet spring bouquet of freshly picked garden roses, not made by a highly paid florist, but lovingly created by you or I.

Fresh and lovely spring tulip bouquet
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