Incorporating Team Colors In Your Wedding (Without Having a Theme) // A Guest Post

Nine years ago when we were preparing for our wedding, I didn’t have any idea what a magically beautiful day it would be. For me, my wedding day was never about the show or the stuff, it was about sharing the love my now husband and I had been growing over the five years prior with all of our closest friends and family. That’s exactly what it ended up being, a day of beautiful celebration. But the beauty extended from the joy and merriment with the way everything came together to make the day visually stunning as well.

We were married in the foothills outside of Denver, Colorado in September. Just as the leaves were changing and fall was setting in, we joined hands in front of the Rocky Mountains and took each other as man and wife. And our color scheme of deep browns, sage greens, yellows and bright orange was a perfect fit. But our color choices had nothing to do with the corresponding landscap

I’d left my life-long Colorado home for college five years earlier, where I met my husband, but my heart has remained tied to the place that raised me. I was set on having columbines, the Colorado state flower, in my bouquets. But when we talked to the florist, I was devastated to learn columbines were not possible.

I had already picked out our bridesmaids dresses in a sage green with brown sash to provide a neutral backdrop of the columbines. I’d planned everything around the rich purpley-blue of the flowers I so adored and reminded me of home and didn’t know which way to go from there.

So, as any good fiance would do, I tortured my soon-to-be husband with a trip to the craft store to get ideas before meeting with the florist. I wasn’t the type of bride that had my wedding day all planned out before I even had the prospect of a husband. Quite the opposite in fact, I hadn’t thought much about it at all. But I did know that I wanted my soon-to-be husband’s input and participation. It was his day, too, after all!

At the time, we were living in Oklahoma but preparing for a move to Florida where my husband had accepted his dream job. He had just completed his master’s degree at Oklahoma State University and I was working at the school’s child development center and after attending a very small university for our undergraduate studies, we had become avid OSU fans and were feeling a bit nostalgic about leaving the place we loved and where we felt so at home.

As we perused the floral section of the craft store, I started to feel overwhelmed and lost. So many choices but none of them felt right. My husband jokingly picked up some OSU orange flowers and said “let’s just have an OSU wedding.” He fully expected me to make some snappy remark about how ridiculous the idea was but instead I took the bunch of flowers from him, looked them over and said “we totally could. These would actually look really nice with the bridesmaid dresses.”team colors wedding

And so, we bought those fake flowers, took them to our florist and our color scheme developed from there, a nod to our Oklahoma State fandom without becoming a theme wedding. We tied in the vibrant orange every place we could with the accents of sage, brown and a bright yellow the florist suggested.

Our flowers consisted on orange-tipped roses and bright yellow flowers

Our cake was adorned with orange tiger lilies and roses with perfectly matched sage leaves over a deep brown cake

We also brought in the orange with copper accents and accessories on the tables.

wedding place settings wedding add ons

Though completely accidental, we were able to tie a very unusual color into our wedding and create a beautiful color scheme with a nod to our favorite team without it becoming a “theme” wedding. We simply used the one vibrant color of our Oklahoma State Cowboys as a jumping off point and built everything around that while still keeping it elegant and fitting of our personalities.

I’m Melissa and I share my parenting adventures on Beyond Mommying. I’m a homeschooling, ballerina mommy of four and live by the motto “Life is never boring when you’re never alone, but I know somewhere out there, there is life Beyond Mommying.” You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.headshot 2015

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How To Plan A Fabulous Wedding On A Tight Budget // A Guest Post

How to plan a fabulous wedding on a tight budget

Weddings are tons of fun to plan. Like most little girls, I dreamt of planning the perfect wedding without much thought to the costs. When the time came for me to actually plan my wedding I realized just how out of reach my dream wedding would be. Luckily, I love a budget challenge. With some creative thinking and a lot of planning I was able to pull off our wedding with 140 guests and honeymoon for around $12,000. To be fair, this was 7 years age. While prices have changed, these tips are timeless. Check out my favorite tips for planning a wedding on a budget.

TIP ONE: Choose your wedding location and reception wisely

You can have a wedding at any public place as long as you apply for a permit. Do not, I repeat, do not, pay a wedding planner to do this for you. Many wedding planners will charge a fee starting around $50, when a typical permit costs $25. Contact the city council for details.

As for reception venues, consider your local recreation center. Many cities have beautiful rec centers these days. Ours even had a water view. This picture was taken at our venue.

Wedding venue

Not bad for $1,000 rental fee, right?

TIP TWO: Trust your florist to build flowers for your budget

I had originally wanted white calla lilies for my wedding. That was until I found a wonderful independent stylist at a wedding show who told me that she could work with my budget as long as I was willing to trust her. Thanks goodness I did because she was able to come up with these beauties.


She couldn’t tell me what type of flowers we would get, since she had no clue what would be on sale that week. I told her my colors and she came up with my orchid bridal bouquet, 7 bridesmaid bouquets, and 2 junior bridesmaids bouquets. All for $150 including tip. Crazy, right?
TIP THREE: Be smart with your alcohol choices

Our wedding was a big party. I knew beforehand that alcohol would be one of the biggest parts of our wedding budget. My favorite tip to save money on drinks is to find a reception venue that will let you bring your own alcohol. Buy alcohol at a bulk price (wine by the case) at a liquor store and you’ll save a ton of money compared to working with a bar, restaurant or caterer. Another plus is that you can usually return unopened bottles of liquor and cases of wine and beer. Check with the store on their return policy first.

Some other tips to save money on alcohol include serving a signature cocktail, limiting the bar to a few types of drinks, or only serving champagne.

TIP FOUR: Make the most of your bridesmaids talents

You may have a friend who is good with flowers, or someone else who has a connection to a hair salon. Don’t be afraid to ask. Just be sure to ask in a nice way, this is not time to be a bridezilla and make demands!

For example, I am not a huge make-up/ hair/ nails person but two of my bridesmaids were into that stuff. I was very fortunate to have my maid of honor (a make up junkie) do my make-up and another bridesmaid do my hair. Another close friend was our “wedding coordinator” because she loved being in charge.

TIP FIVE: Shop smart for your dress

You can save a ton of money on a wedding dress if you shop smart and buy off the rack. Let’s be honest, you will only wear this dress for a maximum of 8 hours. After that you will never wear it again (at least out), and it will most likely spend the rest of its days in a box stowed away in storage. Thousands of dollars for a one time dress is too much if you are on a budget.

Don’t be afraid to buy off the rack if that’s all you can afford. You might even be so lucky to have an heirloom dress in the family. If so, jump at the chance to wear a dress for free!

TIP SIX: Make your own centerpieces without flowers


Flowers can cost a lot of money for each table. Consider doing something else such as candles in fun containers. It’s much more cost effective to buy fun centerpieces than to buy flowers. A bonus is that you can use the centerpieces as decor in your home.

TIP SEVEN: Shop around for everything

Don’t go with the first cake, caterer, or photographer you meet. Get business cards and quotes from everyone and be honest about your budget. You’ll be surprised how willing people are to lower prices when you tell them how much you can spend.

We were able to get great prices on our cake, caterer, photographer and DJ all by shopping around and finding the right ones who were willing to work within our budget.

TIP EIGHT: Splurge one one thing

Are you dying for the perfect dress? Have you been dreaming of a fancy honeymoon your whole life? Or are you a foodie who can’t live without having top of the line food at your wedding? Pick the one thing that means the most to you and work it into your budget.

You can find ways to save on the things that don’t matter as much to you if you are able to get one thing that you really want.

Planning a wedding on a budget doesn’t have to be hard if you follow some or all of these tips. There are tons of ways to save money on a wedding. I promise you don’t have to skimp on your celebration if you budget it correctly!

Hannah Rinaldi Headshot BlogherHannah Rinaldi is a frugal living and lifestyle blogger who firmly believes that you can have everything you want in life while living on a budget. She blogs at Eat, Drink, and Save Money where she chronicles her family’s progress paying off $150,000 worth of educational debt in 7 years. She also blogs about her adventures in cooking, traveling, drinking, and playing with her two young boys.

Instagram @hmrinaldi
Twitter @eatdrinkandsave
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Tuesday Ten :: Wedding Etiquette For The Wedding Guest

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+Dress Appropriately. Wear something pretty/romantic and of course your dancing shoes. If you are unsure what to wear, look to see where the venue is. If it is more of a casual atmosphere, wear something dressy/casual. If the venue is more formal, the wardrobe should be very dressy.

+RSVP by the deadline. It is just rude to wait till the day of or past the deadline. Many people go off of the amount of people that RSVP to plan how to plan their food budget.

+Drink Responsibly. While most people provide a free bar, you shouldn’t take advantage of the free alcohol. It’s also best not to make a spectacle of yourself because the night is not about you.

+Show Up On Time. 

+Buy a thoughtful gift. It doesn’t have to be overly expensive. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.


+Dress Code. Wear anything white or overly revealing.

+Hog the newlyweds. Everyone is going to want to congratulate the new couple.

+Be a smartphone snob. Snap some pictures, post on social media, but keep it to a minimum. Don’t be on your phone the whole time.

+Bring large gifts. Mail them to the couple so you don’t have to worry about hauling it into the reception and then expect the newlyweds to have room to bring it home.

+Assume you have a plus one. The invitation should specify if you have one or not.


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Engagement Photo Tips to Make You Look Your Best // A Guest Post

Many thanks to Lexi for having me on the blog today! I got married back in November 2014, but it feels like just yesterday that my now husband and I were getting ready for our engagement photos. In the process of getting ready for those pictures (and seeing the finished product later on), I definitely learned a thing or two about what does and what doesn’t work. And I am so excited to share some tips and tricks with y’all!

engagement photo tips

Choose a location that means something to you.

This piece of advice is actually one I’m stealing from my wedding photographer. She stressed how important it was to have our engagement photos done in a place that had meaning in our relationship, rather than just somewhere pretty. We took her advice and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love looking back on our photos and seeing some of our favorite spots in the park, spots we still go today. Plus, the photos felt more like us as a couple because they were in a place we knew so well.

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Communicate with your photographer.

Any good photographer will start the dialogue about what kind of photos you’re interested in, but they can’t read your mind. If there’s a certain shot that you just have to have, then make sure you tell them! For that hour or so, they are totally working for you and while you don’t want to be a bridezilla, you do want to make sure you get what you want.

For example, I specifically asked my photographer about a photo of my husband kissing my forehead because it’s one of my favorite ways that he shows he loves me. It was almost an afterthought as we headed towards our cars, but I spoke up about it and to this day, it’s possibly my favorite engagement photo.

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Use this time to get comfortable with your photographer and their process.

I’d wager a guess that engagement photos are the first time many couples meet their photographers in person. Ours were. It was also the first time either of us had any extensive time in front of the camera. By spending the two hours with their undivided attention, we formed a really good relationship with our photographers that we carried over to our wedding day (when things were far crazier) and to this day!

This is the time that you make sure your personalities mesh and that you feel comfortable with what they’re asking you to do and how they work. Remember, your wedding photographer will be there from start to finish on your wedding day and you don’t want the added stress of feeling awkward around them.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not.

Ok. This where it gets real.

Don’t go overboard on your hair, makeup and clothing choices for your engagement photos.

Go back and re-read that sentence because this was my only regret from my engagement photos. I loved my hair and clothing choices (comfy shoes are a must for me), but I left the salon really unhappy with my makeup and it definitely kept me from using certain photos. Now, to be fair, what I got was not at all what I asked for, but I know a lot of brides who’ve asked for something so far away from the way they normally look and hate it when they see it later.

You can avoid this by having a hair/makeup trial done before your photo session, but that can get pricey. You can do your own makeup if you’re talented in that area. Or (and this is probably what I would do if I could go back) you can say “no” to certain products or bring your own products in colors you know work for you.

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Bring a personal spark to the photos.

This is probably my biggest piece of advice to future brides. Engagement photos can sometimes feel a little…well a little forced. Not all of us are models and so it feels awkward to have someone telling you where to put your hands and how to stare moodily at that random tree. If those photos are also missing anything and everything that makes your relationship unique? Then you aren’t going to be in love with them. And you deserve to be in love with your engagement photos.

Are you obsessed with your dog? Bring him and take a couple shots with him. Do you like to dance with your fiancé? Then add a twirl and a dip into your poses. My husband and I chose to incorporate his military career into our engagement photos and I am so happy we did! I love that we captured that aspect of our relationship for future kids and it gave our pictures a little twist.

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View More: is a military wife, avid reader, baker and care package maker. She and her husband are proud puppy parents to their dachshund, Baxter and their German shorthaired pointer, Ruger. She blogs all about life as a military wife at Countdowns and Cupcakes, a place where military spouses, new and experienced alike, can come for support, encouragement, a little humor and maybe a care package idea or two. She can also be found on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin.

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How to Get Organized Before Wedding Planning // A Guest Post

You’re Engaged…so now what? The first few days after getting engaged are an absolute whirlwind of excitement and happiness and lots of friends and family asking you all about it…but it can also be a little overwhelming since you’ve entered a whole new world filled with lots of tough wedding planning decisions so I am here to help you figure out where to even begin once you’re officially engaged and ready to begin the whole wedding planning process. Now without further ado, how to get organized before wedding planning.

how to get organized before wedding planning

How to Get Organized Before Wedding Planning

  1. Figure out your budget // This is one of the very first things I did once the excitement of being engaged had finally set in and is one of the most important steps before delving into the entire process. I spoke with my parents and we figured out what the entire wedding budget was going to be so that I could then begin searching for venues and making sure that I wasn’t going to break the bank while doing so.
  2. Decide how many people you want to attend // The venue will depend heavily on how many people you are planning to invite to the wedding so you need to figure this out and get a rough number of attendees from the get go so you don’t fall in love with a venue that doesn’t suit your needs. It will make the wedding planning process a lot easier.
  3. Decide on the colors you’re wanting for the wedding // I was one of those girls who already knew what I wanted my wedding colors to be prior to even meeting my soon to be groom. It’s good to know these colors in the beginning so you can figure out bridesmaid’s dresses, floral arrangements, and more. Plus this was one of my favorite parts because it is so fun getting to color coordinate everything…the inner nerd in me is coming out.
  4. Figure out a location // Before diving into it all, you should probably figure out where you’re wanting to have your wedding at. Do you want it to be a destination wedding or something local? This all depends on your personal preference and your initial wedding budget.

Any tips that I may have missed? Feel free to share them down in the comments!


I am Jenny and I am the life + style blogger behind Breakfast at Lilly’s. I frequently blog about fashion, beauty, blogging and wedding planning. I work full time in social media management by day and blog by night. If you’re interested in seeing more, you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or FB.

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