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A coupon Wedding: Photography

31 December 2011

We in Nashville are just in luck because a very talented photographer, Matthew Michaels is located in the area and is offering a killer photography deal on livingsocial. He is offering two separate deals. First is a $75 hour long photoshoot on location with a CD of 30 images and an 8X10 or 8X12 print. We will use this for our engagement photos. 30 images is plenty especially if we use them for a photobook and the 8x10 we can use for our guest book similar to the picture below.  

The second offer is fantastic as well.For a $1000 investment, we can get six hours of photography, an online slideshow and gallery so that friends and family can view the pictures, full image processing and digital negatives of all files. I've email Matthew about whether these deals give us the copyright to print images independently of him and they do although he does recommend some printers. We will use this for our wedding day photography. If we pick a location that we can hold the wedding ceremony and reception then we can cut down on travel time having him for 2 hours before the ceremony, the ceremony itself and then the reception. 

But photography for $1075 and a $100 tip bring us to $1175, an awesome deal!

Engagement session with living social coupon: $75.00
Wedding Photography with living social coupon + tip: $1100

1st stationary cost: $80.00 (including shipping)
1st stationary purchase (after groupon 1): $10 
Cost of groupons: $34.00 (unless you have "groupon bucks" or more people buy)
Budget total: 
$8781.00 remaining

A Coupon Wedding: Stationary Purchase

30 December 2011

My first purchase is going to be two groupon vouchers for $17 worth $70 on Vistaprint. Let's set the guest number at 100. Roughly I'll need 50 invitations, save the dates, menus, programs, and RSVP cards.

I am going to select this design and for 100 postcards it will cost $18.74 

I have also selected 50 wedding invitations for $28.29

And matching RSVP cards 50 for $26.28

All come with plain white envelopes for shipping but we can't make this order official until we get our venues in place but we can save the coupons until April 4, 2012 when they expire. The second groupon will be used for menus and ceremony programs later.


1st stationary cost: $80.00 (including shipping)
1st stationary purchase (after groupon 1): $10 
Cost of groupons: $34.00 (unless you have "groupon bucks" or more people buy)
Budget total: 
$9956.00 remaining

Affordable Bridesmaids Dresses!

Groupon is currently offering a $25 worth $50 or $50 worth $100 coupon for Sweet Innocence dresses that would be perfect for a more casual bridal party. I would really recommend this one! And right now, Sweet Innocence is offering free shipping over $75 with the code "freeshipping2011"

A Coupon Wedding: The Plan

My imaginary "coupon" wedding will be planned for April of 2012 here in Nashville. I am going to budget $10,000 for the purchase of the coupons as well as shipping but also for vendors that I cannot or have not seen on any daily deal website such as venue or catering. Each post will have a running total that is added to the budget with the end goal of spending the least amount of money with the most amount of daily deal coupons. 

New Series: A Coupon Wedding

29 December 2011

Step Right Up

I will be putting together a fictitious wedding utilizing only social media coupons, such as Living Social, Groupon etc. Stay tuned for a budget and some fun!

Gifts for Male Bridal Party or Posse Members

28 December 2011

Saying "thank you" to groomsmen is often challenging because guys are less sentimental. But there are still ways to give them a little gift without breaking the bank and still staying original.

No one shuns away from the traditional gift card! Car washes, Bass Pro and Amazon are solid choices!

Cuff links by PinkFlowerCube

Etsy has revolutionized the way that gifts are purchased! You can find so many awesome gifts for example, the cuff links above which also can be found with original Nintendo controllers or themed ends. Also, ties such as the one below can be found as well which depict the recipe for beer. Or a twist on the personalized classic flask! How cool is that! Totally originally and a conversation starter, I'll have that!

The Hair of the Dog on etsy

Beer Ties on Etsy

Lastly, a blog I often follow for wedding ideas and inspiration, The Broke Ass Bride recently posted a gift list for groomsmen for under $100.

Since these guys are your groom's friends, I'm sure he'll have some sort of an idea for each of the dudes personally. But seriously, the possibilities are endless! 

Welcome Bags for Guests!

26 December 2011

They say that first impressions are everything and that may be true. However, when it comes to wedding guests little treats upon check-in can be a delightful surprise but are totally optional. 

Welcome Sign on Door

What better way to give your guests important information regarding the city you'll be hosting the wedding in! You can include maps, coupons, directions and even hot chocolate or tea packets just to make them feel more comfortable in their hotel room. Although sweet, when I checked with hotels about my guest bags, it had to be generic not personalized for the distribution to be free. 

Snacks, Snackies and Treats!

If your guest are planning on travelling, consider how amazing it feel to kick off your shoes after a long flight or drive and have some chips or a bottle of water. Well, as a step up to just a map and directions, put in some of those snacks. Watch sales at your local grocery stores and with coupons you can purchase chips on sale for less than $1. Blogs such as Faithful Provisions or Krazy Coupon Lady provide coupon match ups so that you can get the best deals. 

Local Sampler

If your guests haven't been to your city before what better way to welcome them than with some locale goodies. Whether it be wines, chocolates, food or even soft drink. You could theme your whole welcome basket on your city.

Personalized Gift Bag
The vessel is important too so plan ahead if you are in the budgeting phase and get some really cool personalized tote bags to put snacks and overnight goodies in. Your guests can keep those bags, remember you and still have a functional purpose which many wedding favors are moving towards.

DIY Welcome Gift

Make some of your own treats or stuff in the guest bag such as homemade soaps or  body scrubs. On Pinterest you can find hundreds of awesome DIY recipes that are inexpensive things you probably have around the house. 

Merry Christmas!

25 December 2011

Merry Christmas by aussiegall
This year I'm spending my last Christmas and few weeks as a Ms. May you and yours have a 
most wonderful holiday!

Wedding Dress Trunk Shows!

24 December 2011

Past Memories "Flickr" by rubyblossom.
If you are into savings especially when it comes to purchasing a wedding dress, you must consider attending a trunk show! I heard the buzz phrase previously in my process of wedding dress shopping but didn't really understand what it was all about. I was expecting a representative from the designer with tons of women crowded around fighting to try on new seasonal designs.

Often representatives from the companies will be present as well as new designs but the real perks of a trunk show are the discounts! I was able to purchase my wedding dress for a significant discount. I would recommend trying on dresses once to figure out what designer you might like then watch for upcoming trunk shows. 

Bridesmaids, How do you ask them?

23 December 2011

Most women don't have the distinguished opportunity to pop the question but when it comes to asking your best gal pals to be in your wedding, it is our chance! And there are dozens of ways to ask them! I've searched around and pulled some really creative DIY as well as cards that can be purchased from Etsy

Selecting your girls to stand by your side on your wedding is half the battle. The other of course is asking them! Consider this your opportunity to plan a perfect "proposal." After Mr. Collier proposed, I asked my girls frankly in conversations on the phone or in person. No matter how you ask, I'm sure they will be thrilled! 

The RingPop Proposal

Candy Jar w/ Polaroids

Message in a bottle or a wine bottle

Embroidered handkerchiefs

Fun Notes/Kits


Planning for a Wedding during Inclement Weather
Weddings, similar to the USPS ["Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"] operate in all weather conditions. For instance, on May 2nd, 2010 Nashville was experiencing the horrible flood that rocked the city. Everywhere including downtown was flooded by all the rain and overflowing of the Cumberland River.

Alas, despite all the water collecting, Beth Clarke and Brian Whaley's wedding held firm. As Cedarwood's blog describes "Surrounded by Tennessee hills and Whites Creek, Cedarwood took on torrential water. The grounds were saturated, the barn and Pavilion held standing water, and Whites Creek Pike was impassable in some areas."  What's a bride to do? Option 1: Panic and Option 2: Go with it. 

Mr. Collier and I fear of snow, not necessarily in Nashville but in other cities where guests will be travelling from that may delay their arrival. But what can you do? Pray for safe travels and hope for the best. There is some silver lining to this post of potential snags caused by weather. You may achieve some amazing wedding photos out of it!  

It's One Signature Away from Official!!!

22 December 2011

This morning, 24 days from our wedding Mr. Collier headed down to the County Clerk's office to get our official marriage certificate. It was surprisingly smooth as far as the process is concerned!

In Tennessee, completing a marriage preparation course discounts marriage certificates by $60. That is significant savings in my book! Check your county clerks office for all necessary forms and requirements to expedite your process too!

Wreath: Home Decor All Year Round!

Wreaths are so much bigger than the holiday season, if you haven't realized this already! Not only are they beautiful and can be personalized to your couple personality or theme but they are also great pieces for wedding decoration. Either hanging in true form or laying flat on a table as part of a centerpiece arrangement, making a few wreaths could pump up the volume! Here are some simple examples that can easily be accomplished at home!

Wedding Inspiration the First Look

21 December 2011

The first look. It is that intimate moment between the couple getting married where they see each other after the hours of preparation for the first time. That moment should be documented because the love and excitement shared between the couple is fantastic! 

Traditionally, the bride and groom were not supposed to see one another in fear that it would bring bad luck. But, for some, the first look allows an intimate moment together before the ceremony. Where tears and laughter can all come out freely and not in front of the entire church. 

The Fabulous Photo Booth!

20 December 2011

Having another form of entertainment such as a photobooth is trending right now. Whether you hire a professional boardwalk-style photobooth machine or you hire a photographer with the setup, you are in for some awesome pictures at the reception! You can literally find props everywhere from the thrift store (my favorite) to the dollar tree and even in your own closet! And think about as the night goes on how awesome those photo will get!

Etsy to purchase signs

Martha Stewart
Mr. Collier and I have participated in many photobooths in the our years together and we are excited to bring one to our wedding as well!