Category Archives: Wedding on a Budget

How to Make Your Own Place Cards for Free with Word and PicMonkey—Or Just Use My Template

I don’t know why I thought finding a free template for place cards for the wedding would be a good idea.  

You’d think I’d have learned after the DIY invitation fiasco.  

But I didn’t.  

I spent way too much time online trying to find a decent template in the right colors that looked fancy enough for our trying-to-be-fancy-even-though-we’re-not wedding.

Eventually I got sick of it.

I decided to make my own.  

From start to finish I was done in ten minutes. It was so easy I don’t know why I didn’t think to do it before.

If you like the template I’ve got going on here, feel free to download it and use at will.  If not, you can check out tons of different color options in the Etsy shop.

free place card template

Subscribe to Download the Blue Place Card Template for FREE!

Open up Microsoft Word.  

Select “Create a New Document,” and search for “Place Cards” in the template search.  

Select “Clouds design, fold-over style, 4 per page.”  

Open it.

Select the background.

Select the background on each of the four place cards and delete.  Under “TABLE TOOLS”  select the DESIGN tab.  Under that tab to the right you will see all the border options.  Click on the arrow in the drop down box that says “No Border.”  Select some type of dashed or dotted line border so you will know where to cut the cards.

Go to PicMonkey.  

PicMonkey is super-easy-to-use, online photo editing software.

I have a subscription for work, but you can use the free trial option to access it for free as you edit your wedding templates.

If you fall in love and need it in your life, you’ll save $12 off a regular subscription and $20 off a Pro subscription by signing up here.

Once you’re in, select “Create New” and then “Blank Canvas.”

Select “Background Color” under the “Edits” menu.

You will find this menu on the right-hand side of your screen.

Click on the pallette option on the left. There should be an option beneath the colors to click “Transparent.” Select it.

Go down to the Square, Circle, Triangle image on the left.  

These are your Graphics.  

Pick an appropriate graphic for the border surrounding the name on your place card.  

For our wedding, the best options were under the “Scrapbooky” category.  

Pick your overlay and put it on the big white box. Resize it to make it kind of big relative to that big white box.

Change your graphic’s color to match your theme.

You can change the color by having it selected, and then clicking on the color you want in the little pop-up box that shows up on the right side of the screen.  

Save your image.  You’re done with PicMonkey.

Return to the Word place card document.  

Go to the INSERT tab, and then click on Picture –you’ll find it towards the left.  

Select your PicMonkey image/design from the previous steps. Open and insert it.

Under “PICTURE TOOLS,” click on FORMAT.  

In the center right-ish, click on Position, and then click on More Options.  Go to the Text Wrapping tab, and select Behind Text.   Click OK.

Resize and move your image/border/design thing so that it’s lined up with the names in the center.  Remember, these cards will be folded in half.  

Now copy the image, and paste it in the other 3 place cards, centering as you go along.  The sizing should be identical across all the cards.

Edit your text.  

Adjust size and font to your liking. I preferred any font that had “Script” after it for this specific event.  

Edit the names to reflect who will be at your event, and print!

Cut. Fold. Done.

All that’s left to do is cut and fold your invites. I definitely used a paper cutter to help with this part of the process.

I hope your big day is absolutely beautiful! Congrats on doing it frugally without sacrificing quality!

7 Accessories Your Bachelorette Party Needs

Throwing a bachelorette party?  Make sure to get your hands on these must-have seven accessories.

Are you planning a bachelorette party? If you are the bride, or one of the crew, any girls’ night out is sure to be remembered for a while. The only thing that is missing are the accessories! No bachelorette’s party is complete without over-the-top decorations to let the world know how much fun you’re having. Here are a few accessories your bachelorette’s party needs.

Sashes

Sashes are a great way to celebrate the bride. Various colours and varieties are available that will showcase both the bride and her friends. The sky is the limit when it comes to decorating yourselves for a big night out. You can even personalise it further with specific details about the nuptials. If nothing else, every bride-to-be needs a sash.

Champagne glasses

Why not commemorate the event with detailed glasses engraved with the bride’s name? Companies like Personalised Favours offer a range of affordable champagne and wine glasses for the classiest of affairs. They can easily engrave a special message that all of the attendees will appreciate for years to come.

Shot glasses

If champagne and wine are not your thing, what about shot glasses? Shot glasses are easy to carry and make a great collector’s item. You can even find shot glasses with a chain attached for a hands-free look. Shot glass favours are sure to start the night off with a bang.

T-shirts

T-shirts are a classic way to remember any event. What better way than to keep track of the party than with matching shirts in bright pink? Unlike a sash, a t-shirt is an item that is likely to be used time and again even after the bachelorette party. T-shirts are for the more casual crew, but can still be mixed with the traditional flair.

Feather boas

A staple for any bachelorette party is the feather boa. Whether the boa belongs to only the bride, or to the girl having the most fun, feathers are a must have accessory for any pre-wedding celebration. Make it a round-robin where everyone has a chance to wear the boa during the night! The last one wearing it, wins.

Shiny tiaras

Every bride-to-be needs a shiny tiara on what might be her last big night out before becoming a wife. Hen’s night tiaras come in a wide array of styles, and who knows – the bride-to-be may want to wear it even after the night is over!

Pink tutus

Much like the feather boas, pink tutus are present at a large majority of bachelorette’s nights. As much as the tutu screams party, it is very much a personality choice for the bride herself. A lot of brides choose the tutu because when else do they get the chance? A bachelorette tutu is a great chance for the bride to be daring!

A bachelorette party is a night to do something different, not only for the bride, but for her friends as well. It is a night to simply have fun and celebrate. What better way than with a myriad of great accessories to top it all off? Shop smart, and you can score all of the above on any budget.

 

 

*This post, contributed by an outside writer, is made possible by Personalised Favours.*

DIY or BUY: Kate Spade Style Centerpieces

ks

Please welcome back Katie with another wedding post from her fab, polka-dot, Pi Day, DIY wedding! You can check out previous posts she’s written for Femme Frugality here

I’m not sure if it’s become obvious over the last several months, but I’ve got a polka dot addiction—the expensive kind, to boot, because I love Kate Spade and anything the company puts polka dots on.  When I had the fairytale moment imagining the grand scene that would play out at our reception, I saw dainty polka dot vases filled with frothy white flowers.  I started shopping, though, and the frosted dot vases I found were way too expensive (read:  $60-$90 per vase!!!!) to put on 16 tables.  So I turned to my dearest friends Google and Pinterest to help spark my inspiration and my patient then fiancé, Brian, to help me complete the task.

Luckily for me, I wasn’t the first person to attempt this endeavor and I found these instructions.  Here are a few modifications that we made:

The Vaaaaahses

  • This is hardly news to anyone, but bears reminding: your local dollar store is your friend! We were able to get vases for a $1 apiece.  If you’d like a mismatched look, a thrift store may get you deeper discounts.
  • Soak any dollar store vases in water to get the stickers off.  Man, were those a pain!
  • The bowls are cheap enough that you can buy an extra in case something happens.  As a previous scout, I know to be prepared.

Gettin’ Dotty

  • Instead of using painters tape, we used vinyl dots and dot outlines (courtesy of our best man’s company). The vinyl was a bit thicker so we could build up several layers of paint.
  • A hair dryer was our best friend to stretch the vinyl dots so they would curve nicely against the shape of the bowl.  In any other variation of directions, we didn’t see a way to get the paper sticker dots to mold.  Perhaps using smaller dots eliminates this problem.
  • We did the dots frosted and the opposite version where the dots weren’t frosted, but the rest of the vase was.  While they look pretty, the inverse version requires a lot of tape to mask off the sections in between dots.  Looking back, I wouldn’t have spent time on this, but I’ve included it in the cost.
  • Clean the glasses with paint thinner and let dry AFTER applying dots.  Skin oils make for weird spray patterns.
  • Not-so-pro tip: Don’t try to cover the frosted paint with clear gloss.  It negates the frosti-ness.

Centerpiece Perfection

  • Wrap the vases in newspaper for storage.  They scratch easily since the frosted paints sits on top of the glass, but doesn’t seep in like it would on a porous wood.
  • Using less expensive but fuller in season flowers (carnations, peonies) will cut down costs.
  • Dying the water with food coloring will help your dots show through.  We originally asked our florist for this, but somehow it didn’t happen. Oh well.

The Breakdown

Here’s what we spent:

  • 16 bowl vases  – $17.12
  • 2 tall vases for head table – $2.14
  • 2 cans frosted spray paint – $8.05
  • Vinyls – free, but could be sourced for < $10 with some searching
  • Painter’s tape – already had, but < $4 at a big box store if you need to buy

So if this matches your wedding style (or baby shower, wedding shower, etc) and meets your crafting comfort level, for less than $2.30 a piece, you can have Kate Spade-esque vases.

If anyone in the Pittsburgh area is in the market for some polka dot centerpieces or 40-some votives, let me know!

Wedding Photography // Elizabeth Anne Studios | Florist // Flowers by Terry

Party At Our House (We Did It Too!)

baropen

Although the wedding day has come and gone, the wedding posts don’t stop!  Brian and I just celebrated our 4-month anniversary—officially surpassing some extremely short celebrity marriages—and we still haven’t finished all the left over liquor, wine, and beer from the wedding.

What we planned: We used a combination of websites including TheKnot, A Practical Wedding, and Party Source as well as tips from previous brides and grooms to calculate how much we needed.  We unfortunately did not have assistance from our caterer with this although many couples we spoke to did. When we started sending out invitations for the wedding, our guest list was pushing 160 so we felt safer planning our liquor for 150 people since some estimates seemed extremely low (Party Source’s liquor would have been waaaaay off for us).  We did remember to factor in children, elderly, and those who did not drink.  We kept our timeline to the 5 hour time span at the venue for planning (if you’re hosting an after party at the hotel, you may want to include that extra time).

Elizabeth Anne Studios

In reality: We probably should’ve taken the hint when the liquor store asked us how often we made trips to buy liquor and wine!  When the final tally on guests came in, we landed at our magical number of 125 which worked wonderfully with our catering budget.  On the day of, we lost a few more people to illness and were down to about 120.  Our wedding started a bit early (apologies to the venue as most of the guests headed straight there!) and since it was also the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Pittsburgh, we continued to party after in the hotel.  We also highly encouraged people to drink our three specialty candy drinks (homemade and super easy!) and Apple Pi shots at 9:26:53pm (get it? 3.141592653)

Here are the stats:

KEB Liquor Chart
Wedding Photography // Elizabeth Anne Studios

BYOB Wedding (for the hosts, not the guests!)

Reception rules, state liquor laws, and other variables can effect your wedding alcohol budget. Figure out how to make the best of it, and cut costs as low as they'll go.

The date is getting closer!  Today our contributing writer, Katie Jakub, counts down to her Pi Day wedding with a look into liquor cost solutions.

Liquor: the sweet elixir that makes all of your relatives and friends shake their groove things on the dance floor.  Liquor has been giving Grandmas the courage to learn new-fangled dances since 2000 B.C.  However, the cost of liquor can add up quickly.

Many venues and their caterers require that if you’re providing liquor that you purchase it through them—the prices per package can range from nominal charges per person to $30, $40 and higher.  When you select a venue where you can bring your own alcoholic beverages, savings are in your future if you do it right.

Before we get to ways to save, make sure you know the alcohol laws of your state.  Certain states, such as Pennsylvania, do not allow you to bring liquor across the border if you’ve purchased them in other states.

LIQUOR BOARD CONTROLLED STATES

If it’s illegal to transport across the border and you can’t price shop between different stores, your options are unfortunately pretty limited.   If you prefer premium brands, the big ways to save are to plan in advance, shop near the holidays when the prices drop, and to search for manufacturer and store coupons.  We found that the prices were lowest near Christmas when the big brands were marked down.  Pennsylvania’s state stores list their monthly sales online and regularly have coupons online and in the newspaper.   We also try to find the hanging coupons on our favorite brands when we buy our booze.

Good news: you can return liquor that is unopened if you have a receipt.  They do stare at you like you’re crazy when you do a return, though.

NOT SO GREEDY STATES

Competition in the alcohol market is your friend.  Party stores and warehouse clubs had the best prices from the locations we scouted in Ohio and Kentucky (we were visiting friends in Covington, we did not just go to look at liquor prices).  We did our final comparison between a Kentucky party warehouse store and the PA State stores.  Generally, the regular price of items in Kentucky was the sale price in PA and most of the items were on sale on average $4-$5 cheaper in Kentucky when we did our comparison.

The store where we window shopped gave 10% discounts on single item cases and 5% discounts on mixed cases.  They also had coupons on several of the items which meant multiple savings on one item.  If you’re traveling from one state to another for savings, just make sure you account for the price of gas.  Had we been able to buy in Kentucky, the savings would’ve paid for our trip and then some.

After the wedding, we’ll do a recap of how much we bought and how much we needed (and if someone had to do a liquor run!).  All of the numbers online have been very inconsistent and alcohol is something that we didn’t want to under-buy!