Ways to Save on your Wedding Day

Ways to save on your wedding day by Lewis Lane

Summertime means Wedding Season. Your wedding is an important day, and it can be a very expensive day. Many brides fall into the trap of spending a ton of money for their wedding cause they want it to be beautiful & perfect. Totally understandable, but you do not have to just go spending crazy for it to be beautiful. You can find many tips and tricks to save money. Trust me every little bit will help because things will add up quick. Plus if you are like me, and a bargain shopper you don’t like paying full price. Nothing puts me in a good mood like a good deal.  Here are some ways to save on your wedding day.

Budget

Setting a budget, and sticking to it is hugely important. Probably the easiest would be to first come up with an amount you want to spend on the entire wedding. Then list out everything you will be needing to spend money on. Make sure your list is easily editable, because you will be editing it a lot. Once you have the list look it over and determine the things that are most important to you, and allocate money for those. Then look at how much you have left, and allocate it to remaining items on the list. This will give you idea on how much you can spend on everything, and where you can save money. Probably a good idea to keep this list in your phone so you can easily adjust the budget as you setup things. There are tons of things that will come up, and this will help you make sure you don’t go over your budget. Plus will help you keep track of what is paid, and what you still have left to buy. Of course they even make apps for this to help you out like this Wedding Planner App.

Micheal’s, Hobby Lobby, and eBay are some great places to find things that are cheap, and will help you stay on budget. Best part is you can usually find a 50% coupon to Micheal’s or a 40% off coupon to Hobby Lobby. I know I was constantly going to Micheal’s and Hobby Lobby to pick up something, or picking up little things here and there off eBay. Loved that on eBay I found some firemen wedding items like my guarder that said “Today I Marry the Bravest Firefighter”, and our toasting glasses. Fell in love with the toasting glass cause it said Groom and had a fire helmet.

Ways to save on your wedding day by Lewis Lane

DIY Projects & Pinterest

Fun way to save money on the wedding is have fun doing some DIY projects. Save some money on the reception by getting some friends together and making centerpieces. Just buy some wine, and you will have no problem finding someone to help. Pinterest has a whole section dedicated to weddings with some great ideas on DIY projects, and ways to save money on your wedding. To me this is a Win Win because not only do you save money but can make some great memories with family and friends. You will remember that more than just going out, and buying it. For my wedding I made my own invitations. To do that I bought the invitation card stock at Micheal’s with my 50% off coupon (They run those coupons all the time, so you should have no problem finding one). The invitations included a template to design the invitation. After I got it the way I wanted it I saved it on my thumb drive, and took to Kinko’s to have it printed. All in all it cost me around $50. Lot cheaper than I could have had them done for. Also bought some velum & ribbon that I added to the invitations myself. DIY projects are probably the easiest way you can save some money.  Another project I did was made flip flops for my bridesmaids, and myself to wear.

Ways to save on your wedding day by Lewis Lane

Set Limits

Biggest way to save money is to set limits on the guest list. If you don’t you will spend a ton of money. One of the biggest expenses for the wedding is the cost of the food. If you do a sit down dinner you pay per plate. The more people you have to accommodate the bigger the place you need and the more money you will have to spend. Keeping the guest list small can be a very hard task, because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Jeremy thought we would have a small guest list since we just invited close friends and family. He was shocked when we started making the list and it ended up being 150. That is what happens when you get married close to where you live, and have a big family (If you have a big family might want to consider destination wedding cause could save some money. Just saying lol). You will be amazed how big the list gets when you start writing down people along with there spouses, and children. The guest list can seriously get out of control. The place we got married at you bought a package and your price depended on the amount of people you had. If you went over the amount to the next package size you had to pay extra, so you had to make sure to stick with the number you had told them. We just had to say ok this is our limit, and no more people. Setting a limit to your guest list will help you keep within your budget, and save you from having to pay extra fees.

Ask for help

Most of the time you probably have people you know that can help with someone things. Like maybe someone in the family is a florist, or a photographer. Ask them if they would mind helping you out and do the flowers or take the pictures. This would help you cut cost on those things. My photographer was actually a guy I worked with that does photography.  He did all our wedding, and engagement photos.

Use Technology

You can save money on the invitations/save the dates if you want by just doing electronic invitations/save the dates. Doing it this way the invitations/save the dates would not cost you a thing. Even will help you track RSVPs. Evite is a great site to use. Something free you can do is create a website on The Knot (Site I did for my wedding). You could use this just to share wedding info with any friends and family that would be interested, and it allows people to RSVP. This is how I let people know our venue had to be moved when the place I had booked decided to close 1 month prior to wedding (Yes the invites had already gone out). You can find tons of discounts on wedding things online. Found the bridesmaid dresses online from David’s Bridal. They were ones they had online only, and were on sale.

Ways to save on your wedding day by Lewis Lane

You can find tons of other ways to save on your wedding day.  Hopefully you found these ways to save on your wedding day helpful. The biggest thing is just be happy, and enjoy your wedding. You spend all this time planning, getting ready, and then it is over in an instant. Just make sure to take the time to sit back, and enjoy. Don’t waste time stressing about all the details, cause most likely something will go wrong (like you venue cancelling that I mentioned earlier). Have yet to hear of a wedding where everything went perfect. Most of the time some little thing goes wrong, but usually it works out. As long as you focus on the fact that you are marrying the LOVE of your life you will have a wonderful wedding day.

What other saving tips would you share with a future bride, or something you wish you had known?

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How to Add Pinterest to your Blog: Tuesday Tutorials

Tuesday Tutorials by Lewis Lane

On this Tuesday Tutorial want to show you how to add Pinterest to your blog.

How to Add Pinterest to your Blog by Lewis Lane

One of the 5 Key Elements for your Sidebar I mentioned was Social Media.  You want to put your social media buttons on your sidebar to help readers connect with you, but besides just the buttons it is a good idea to add your social media profiles to your blog.

Now you can either add your profile or a specific board if you have one you want to highlight.

Adding Pinterest Profile

  1. You start by going to Pinterest widget builder.
    How to Add Pinterest to your Blog by Lewis Lane
  2. Select Profile Widget on the side
  3. Place your user URL in the top box
    (You find this by going to your profile and copying the URL)
  4. Select the custom size you want.
    (You can click on each one to get a preview to help you decide how you want it to look)
  5. Click Build It
  6. Copy the Code it generates in the box
  7. Go to your WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets
  8. Put a text widget where you want your board to display
  9. In the text box paste the code you copied.

Adding Pinterest Board

  1. You start by going to Pinterest widget builder.
    Hwo to Add Pinterest to your Blog
  2. Select board widget
  3. Copy and paste the URL for the board you want to display in the Pinterest Board URL box
  4. Then select the way you want to display.
    (You can click on each one to get a preview to help you decide how you want it to look)
  5. Copy the code in the box under Load the Java Script & Add the Link.
    How to Add Pinterest to your Blog by Lewis Lane
  6. Go to your WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets
  7. Put a text widget where you want your board to display
  8. In the text box paste the code you copied.

Preview your page, and it should show

Hopefully this helps. Feel free to contact me via email or social media if you need any help.

Which do you think is more beneficial to show a specific board or your profile?

Click here if you have something you would like to see on a future Tuesday Tutorial.

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Lazy Cake Cookies

Found a great recipe on Facebook for some easy cookies called Lazy Cake Cookies that I just had to try.
Lazy Cake Cookies by Lewis Lane

Lazy Cake Cookies Recipe

LAZY CAKE COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 1 box cake mix (yellow or white)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Follow cake mix box directions and add the chocolate chips
  3. Pour in 9 X 13 pan
  4. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  5. When cooled, cut into squares
http://lewislanedesigns.com/lazy-cake-cookies/

For the cake mix you can use white or yellow. My mom made them using white cake mix, and I made them using yellow. Both of them turned out really good. Think I personally like the white a little better, but that is just personal preference. Lazy Cake Cookies are perfect for a work spread, or to take with you to a party. These have come in real handy when I have had a last minute party pop up, and needed to take something.  They take no time to make, and usually have the ingredients on hand. When I take them they usually go over pretty well, and people like them. Who doesn’t like cookies though?

Helpful Tip

For the pan I would highly recommend using the Calphalon Brownie Pan cause it is perfect size and has shorter sides.  This is what I have used, and has worked out perfectly.
Lazy Cake Cookies by Lewis Lane

Gluten Free Option

Have been trying to cut back on gluten in my diet, so I did also try a gluten free option. All I had to do was just use a gluten free cake mix since the chocolate chips are already gluten free.  Ended up using a Betty Crocker Gluten Free cake mix.

Lazy Cake Cookies by Lewis Lane

They still turned out pretty good. Did not notice huge difference in the taste. One thing I did notice was it didn’t firm up like the usual cake mix does, but this was my first attempt. Might should have cooked little longer. Just made a difference when it came to cutting them. When I cut them the just started to crumble, and not look as pretty.

What is your quick go to recipe to take to a last minute party?

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How to Add a Signature to Your Blog Posts: Tuesday Tutorials

Tuesday Tutorials with Lewis Lane

How to add a signature to your blog postsThis week wanted to show you how to add a signature to your blog posts.  Adding a signature to your blog posts just gives your post a more personal feel, and you have probably noticed pretty much all the best blogs have one.   This is easy enough to do.

HOW TO ADD A SIGNATURE TO YOUR BLOG POSTS

Now these steps for how to a signature to your blog posts are for if you are using the Genesis framework.  You would need to adjust the code a little if you are not using Genesis framework

  • Create the signature image you want to use
    You have several options on how you can create your signature image
    Tip: It is best to save the image as a .png file
  1. Use graphic software like Pic Monkey or Photoshop
  2. Sign a piece of paper & scan it
  3. Use an app like Docusign Inc.  I used the Docusign Inc app on my phone, and emailed my signature to myself (I know I am a techy dork).
  • Upload your signature image to your media library
  • Paste the following code into your functions.php file
    (Found this code at Pretty Darn Cute Design a while back)

// Add Signature Image after single post
add_action('genesis_after_entry_content', 'custom_include_signature', 1); 
function custom_include_signature() {
    if(is_single()) { ?>
  <img src="Your URL" alt="Signature" />
<?php }}

Tip: The highlighted part is all you will need to change. You just change it to the URL of your signature.

Save your functions.php file, and now you will see your signature at the bottom of all your post.

MAKING SIGNATURE SHOW UP ON YOUR PAGES

If you would like to also have the signature show on your pages as well you can use this code instead.


// Add Signature Image after single post
add_filter('the_content','add_signature', 1);
function add_signature($text) {
 global $post;
 if(($post->post_type == 'post') || ($post->post_type == 'page'))
    $text .= '<div class="signature"><img src="Your URL"></div>'; 
    return $text; 
}

This will put the signature on all pages. If you do not want to see the signature on certain pages you can use CSS to remove your signature from those pages.

Hope you found this trick helpful.

Have a tutorial you would like to see on a future Tuesday Tutorial? Click here to send a request.

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Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Banana Pudding Poke Cake by Lewis Lane

First time I ever heard of Banana Pudding Poke Cake was at my cousin’s graduation party.  The cake was so good & moist I asked my cousin for the recipe.  She said she got the recipe off Pinterest via The Country Cook.

When I found the recipe it sounded real simple, and I really wanted to try to make one.  Since we had a spread coming up at work figured that was a good excuse to make one.  Plus I could make the people at work eat it, and not leave a whole cake sitting around the house for me to eat.  This was my first attempt at making a Banana Pudding Poke Cake. The part that takes the longest is waiting for the cake to bake.

Banana Pudding Poke Cake Recipe

Banana Pudding Poke Cake by Lewis Lane

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 Eggs
  • Water
  • Oil
  • 2 (3.4 oz.) packages instant banana pudding
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 (8 oz.) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 20 vanilla wafers, crushed
  • Bananas (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions for a 9x13 cake.
  2. Once cake comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for just a couple of minutes.
  3. Then, with a wooden spoon handle or some other similarly-sized object, begin poking holes in the cake. ( You want the holes to be fairly big so that the pudding has plenty of room to get down in there. Be sure to poke right down to the bottom of the cake.)
  4. In a bowl,whisk together instant pudding with 4 cups milk.
  5. Stir until all the lumps are gone.
  6. Let pudding sit for just about 2 minutes so it has just slightly begun to thicken but not fully set, it should still be easily pourable.
  7. Pour pudding over cake. Taking care to get it into the holes as much as possible.
  8. Spread it all out and using the back of the spoon gently push pudding down into the holes.
  9. Once your cake has completely cooled, spread on whipped topping.
  10. Crush your vanilla wafers. (Place in ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.)
  11. Leave some of the pieces big. It's nice to have a bit of a crunch when you eat the cake.
  12. Spread crushed wafers onto the top of the cake.
  13. Optional - Serve with freshly sliced bananas.
  14. Keep refrigerated
http://lewislanedesigns.com/banana-pudding-poke-cake/

Banana Pudding Poke Cake by Lewis Lane

Think this was a cool twist on the traditional banana pudding recipe that most have tried, or that you find at a restaurant.

Lessons Learned

Have made Banana Pudding Poke Cake again, and the next time I did have a little mishap.  The next time I let the pudding sit too long.  Since I let the pudding sit too long when I went to pour it over the cake it did not sink down into the holes like it was suppose to.  Just made the pudding sit more on top, and did not come out as well.  So if you make a poke cake make sure to watch how long you let the pudding sit.

Other Versions

Have found many different poke cake versions on Pinterest like Oreo Poke Cake, and Red Velvet Poke Cake.  The Oreo one sounds really good to me that might be the next one I have to try to make.

Have you tried making a poke cake?  What version would you like to try?

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