Menu

Blog

The Official Blog of Get Wed for Less

Cricut's Got Serious Swank - You'll Love This DIYers & Designers

Cricut's Got Serious Swank - You'll Love This DIYers & Designers

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

On my quest to discover + share all things fabulous, fun and affordable, I found serious swank in Cricut… and it awakened major craft-inspiration!  Now I know why this is a not-so-secret addiction for both the DIY crafter and the creative professional.

Fall leaf design cut on vinyl by Cricut red and gold

If you’re like me, you like to find a #hack wherever you can!  This inspiration-loving designer’s hack is acclaimed as the fun-to-use machine that allows you to easily make pretty décor, personalized gifts, and gorg cards.  According to fans far and wide, the Cricut Explore Air™– Cricut's uber popular electronic cutting machine, is the best on the market.  It’s versatile, intuitive and oh-so-precise. It's also surprisingly super affordable, especially since Cricut deeply discounted the cost by hundreds of bucks on the machine and bundles — just in time for the holidays and your special occasion!  #Winning

How Does Cricut Work?

Cricut precision red abstract image

The Cricut Explore Air™ lets you to cut a plethora of material, including cardstock, fabric, plastic, vinyl, and leather (and dozens of others). The company shared, “The Explore Air also features Cut Smart™ technology, which allows you to cut a wide range of shapes and sizes with exceptional precision, from ¼" [to] 23½" tall.  I love that the innate Air tech gives you Bluetooth capability allowing you to design/create and print anywhere from within the free Cricut app wherever you have a wireless connection.

Teacup paper design cut by Cricut crafter

Until next time…

Happy plan…err… crafting!

Lauren

P.S. A parting gift from Cricut: Get free shipping on all orders at Cricut with code FREESHIPNOV

Copyright

© Images credit: Cricut.com

Continue reading
1041 Hits
0 Comments

She's Got the Cake: An Interview on Wedding Cake Trends with Maria Velasco

She's Got the Cake: An Interview on Wedding Cake Trends with Maria Velasco

This week, I had opportunity to connect with Maria Velasco, the expert cake baker and designer and owner at Once Upon A Cake in Alpharetta, GA.  Satisfying sweet orders for decades, Maria has trained under the best in the industry and was a winning contestant in the North Georgia Cake Challenge. Maria speaks with us here about popular cake trends, the raging "naked cake," and how she got her start in baking.  

-- All photos are used courtesy of Once Upon A Cake.

GWFL:  How did you get started baking?

Maria:  Growing up, my mother never baked. I had a friend named Lisa, and I when I went over to her house, her grandmother was baking.  I found it so fascinating and just started baking!

GWFL:  Very cool.  Tell us, what are the most common trends in wedding cakes you're seeing these days? 

Maria:  Cupcake towers are very popular as well as rustic cakes like the "naked" wedding cake.  Burlap is big.  Brides are adding more color to their wedding cake.  One bride wanted yellow and grey on her cake.  Another wanted a purple cake.  When you add in color to the wedding cake, it adds that pop - it's phenomenal!  I just love that.

b2ap3_thumbnail_yellow_and_gray-cake_chevron_quilting.JPG         b2ap3_thumbnail_purple_white_wedding_cake.JPG

GWFL:  What are the most common requests you get?

Maria:  A lot of brides are liking more intricate piping work on their cakes, like the Lambeth Method, which is a really intricate one.  Simple scrolls are not enough anymore.  Some brides go crazy and want like a science fiction cake or even an upside-down cake.  Anything goes now.

b2ap3_thumbnail_scrolls_wedding-cake_rose-piping.JPG

GWFL:  That's very true - people are becoming less and less traditional.  Emily Post used to be the turn-to for most brides; now they want to go against the grain.

Maria:  Exactly!

b2ap3_thumbnail_topsy_turvy_cake.jpg

GWFL:  Naked cakes... they seem to be all the rage right now.  Professional bakers have been making them for quite some time, but this year, they seem to be taking off.  Tell our readers, what are "naked cakes" exactly and why do you think brides are loving them?

Maria:  Naked Cake is a rustic kind of country cake that doesn't have any icing on the outside.  There is filling between the layers, usually three or four layers in the cake and usually filled with butter cream.  It is decorated with fruit or flowers.  Not only is it great because it has less sugar, but in rustic settings, like a barn or woodsy venues, which is especially popular here in Georgia, it goes perfectly.  It's great for a country wedding and beautiful when topped with fruit or flowers.

b2ap3_thumbnail_nakedweddingcake.jpg

GWFL:  Do you have any suggestions on how to keep naked cakes fresh?

Maria:  After you bake it, wrap it up and leave it wrapped overnight to keep it moist. The cake is fresh because you fill it and decorate it the day of the wedding. 

GWFL:  Tell us about Once Upon A Cake's Naked Wedding Cake Giveaway.  How did you come up with it?  Do you need to be based in a certain area to enter the giveaway?

Maria:  Yes, wedding has to be based in Georgia.  We can up with it because we say it was a popular trend.  The cake is rustic, it's charming, and we wanted to give one away.  The details are on the site.  The bride with the most romantic story wins the cake. (Visit http://www.onceuponacake.net/contact-us.html to enter for your chance to win, Georgia brides and grooms).

GWFL:  How fitting that you're giving the cake away to the most romantic or fairy tale style wedding with the name "Once Upon A Cake!"

Maria:  Yeah! We're romantics over here!

GWFL:  I could tell when I met you and your husband years ago.  You could tell he loved his Maria!

Maria:  (Laughing) Yes.

b2ap3_thumbnail_maria_with_cake_small.jpg         b2ap3_thumbnail_the_cake_man_robert_velasco.jpg

-- Connect with Maria >> You can email, call or text Maria at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (770) 654-9757.

Continue reading
1598 Hits
0 Comments

The Unbeaten Path to Wedding Day Savings: Photography

The Unbeaten Path to Wedding Day Savings: Photography

Photo credit: Boogietek Photo + Cinema

Wedding season is upon us! Now that Spring has officially sprung, I’ve got no less than three weddings to attend this month alone. Perfect for a gal who blogs for a website dedicated to weddings, no? Anyway, for weddings in my community, it takes a village. That is, we who are able chip in financially to make the big day happen for our family members. So, it behooves us to score as many bargains as possible so that we all save some money while still creating a beautiful ceremony for the lovebirds. Perhaps the most costly item on the to do list is photography. It’s also one of the most vital components of the special day. How else can we remember that special day without pictures- lots of pictures? And of course, if you want great, high quality pictures (and everyone does), it’s not going to come cheap.

We’ve come up with a few ways to save your dollars for the big day.

1) Smartphone cameras - Put that ultra expensive fancy schmancy high tech phone to use. With amazing photography apps like VSCO, it’s possible to take beautiful pics from the comfort of your phone.

2) Social Media - Speaking of apps and smartphones, most people have them, so it’s a sure bet that most of your guests will be snapping away during the festivities. You can go online and create a hashtag just for your day. So, whenever anyone takes a picture and posts it to social media, they add the hashtag, and boom! You can collect different perspectives of your day of wedded bliss. #nofilter (Actually, you should probably expect quite a few filters).

3) Get a "professional amateur" - Craigslist is a great resource for all things - well all things period! You can always find a photography student or one who is starting out and needs to beef up their portfolio. Just make sure you check out their previous work, so there are no bad surprises on the big day.

4) Barter - As a bargainista, nothing gives me a greater rush than bartering. Offer whatever talent/service you have in exchange for beautiful images of your wedding day.

Whatever option you choose, try not to stress. This is meant to be a joyful event.

Continue reading
1832 Hits
0 Comments

Money-Saving Wedding Venue Tips - The Unbeaten Path to Wedding Savings

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bride_holding_piggy_bank_20140116-042918_1.jpg

You're engaged and checking around at the traditional venues in town.  You're most likely thinking, "Hmmm... can get a little expensive for a room." Sit back and give yourself a minute to think outside the box. There are many options available that might reflect your personal taste and style, cost less, and make a more memorable reception. 

Residential Communities

A lot of residential communities offer recreation/party rooms. In fact, I did a wedding reception in a apartment party room once in the Southwest Waterfront area of Washington, DC. The couple saved so much!  Let's start with their fee; it was just a few hundred dollars. The office included use of the attached kitchen, tables, and really beautiful chairs. To spruce it up a bit, I used white table cloths and went to the fabric store where I bought netting in three colors and used as overlays. I also used colored lights, made fat tulip bouquets for centerpieces, sprinkled contrasting colored petals around the rest of the table, and BAM! A few hundred dollars looked like thousands had been spent. It CAN be just that simple if the budget is really tight. 

Home Sweet Home

Also, consider a house/backyard reception - really! Don't rule out the option because you may be thinking it to be cheap or corny.  Even if not your own house, maybe a relative's or friend's whose backyard is spacious enough can be your wedding site. It does not have to be like in "Father of the Bride" (love the Steve Martin version). Think about it. What could be more personal and intimate? Dress it up by strategically placing floral designs, renting green plants, using simple, elegant dinnerware. These elements will truly transform the space when placed and coordinated just right.

Municipal and Community Treasures

Lastly, local fire house halls, VFW's, and similar type organizations often are available for rent - and are often diamonds in the rough. They can be easily transformed into beautiful settings. A lot of these venues have plenty of free parking for guests and often offer lower alcohol prices and extended hours. 

Faith-Based Buildings

If you are considering, perhaps, church halls, they now are not as strict as they once where. Some permit dancing and even a little wine and or bubbly. A word to the wise and something to consider: Be respectful as far as music at faith-based sites. While I love a little Trina and Two Chainz myself, church receptions won't be the right place for them; there are many acceptable alternate songs out there. (Smiling) Alcohol may be minimal - or nonexistent - here, but, WOW, your pockets would be a little heavier! (By the way, some of the best receptions I have done where ALCOHOL-FREE). Think creatively, think less is more, think it's your day, so it's all about creating something real that will last. 

Thinking outside the box can be challenging in finding your venue. However, it can create a meaningful, symbolic day no one will forget.

Displaying JPixWeddings-5158 copy.jpg

Jeffrey Brown, JaiLynnEvents.com

Continue reading
1892 Hits
0 Comments

Fool-Proof Celebration Tips: Seasonal Entertaining for Less

Fool-Proof Celebration Tips: Seasonal Entertaining for Less

Let’s face it, life doesn’t get put on hold so that you can plan your wedding. In fact, impending nuptials seem to attract projects and responsibilities like a moth to a flame. You said “yes!” and the floodgates of celebrations opened. Whether it’s a “meet the parents” luncheon, a brunch for your bridesmaids or dinner with your soon-to-be in laws, suddenly your one special day has spread into ten. I’m Tamiera from TheLifeforLess.com, here to share a few fabulous fool-proof celebration tips, designed with you in mind. Even busy brides can host fabulously and live The Life for Less money, in less haste and with less stress.

Impress the In-Laws Dinner Party

  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. Now is not the time to throw caution to the wind and try out a new adventurous recipe. Stick to an easy to prepare, awe inducing classic that uses simple, high quality ingredients. We love something fabulous and deceptively easy like Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon.

  • Cool fall and winter months are notorious for being a time to pack on the lbs. Keep your eye on the wedding dress prize by skipping the usual high calorie side items and desserts. My yummy Warm Winter Salad and Skip the Pie Poached Pears are a delicious alternative.

For Salad

Squash_photo_credit_FoodNetwork.com

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed

½ lb Brussel sprouts, halved

2 Anjou pears, cored and thin sliced

½ cup Pecans

2 oz. Gorgonzola Cheese

2 cups Arugula

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

For Vinaigrette

2 tbsp whole grain mustard

Zest and juice of ½ lemon

¼ cup cold pressed apple cider

Salt and pepper

Put the cubed butternut squash and halved Brussel sprouts on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat. Roast them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden and tender. Remove and set aside to cool.

Roast the pecans in a dry skillet on low heat until you can smell them. Combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a bowl and whisk into submission. Toss the arugula and pears together with some vinaigrette and put into your serving bowl. Add your roasted veggies to the salad and top with pecans and crumbled gorgonzola. Serve vinaigrette on the side.

CALORIE SAVING TIPS

- Nix the olive oil in the dressing and allow the mustard to give you a thickened, creamy texture. Mustard has no sugar and 0 grams of fat.

- Keep cold pressed, organic apple cider on hand to use as a sweetener. It will replace honey, maple syrup and sugar in teas, vinaigrettes, marinades and smoothies. It can be reduced to replace honey in your glazes and sauces.

Remember to…

  • Style your table! Be purposeful about making your table or entertaining area beautiful and eye- appealing. Use simple flowers, uniform in variety and/or color to make an easy arrangement. Don’t be afraid to repurpose items from in and around the house to help. A bowl of apples or fallen pine cones make a lovely Autumnal centerpiece.

  • K.I.S.S the party (Keep It Simple Sweetie). Make dishes that don’t require you to be in the kitchen much once your guests arrive. Renting dishes, glasses and flatware (rental companies will typically pick up the dirty dishes after your event. Score!) Offering food family style, limiting drink options and incorporating quality pre-made appetizers or desserts is a great way to keep party pressure down.

Have fun! No one likes a burdened bride-to-be. Remember that your family and friends are celebrating you and your fiancée during this pre-wedding time. If you all are not enjoying yourselves, what is the point? Burned the ENTIRE meal? Oh well! Take it in stride and serve that take-out lo mein right on your grandma’s beautiful china.

blog-signature

Continue reading
2281 Hits
0 Comments

Four Reasons Not to DIY

b2ap3_thumbnail_wedding-diy-gone-bad-wedding-disasters__full_WorkingBrides.jpg
Photo credit: WorkingBrides.com
While you'll have plenty of projects to "DIY," your wedding day, one of the most important days of your life, may not be one of them. With 13 years in wedding planning, here are my top 4 reasons to enlist the help of a pro and forsake going it alone.
Continue reading
1816 Hits
0 Comments

Login or Sign In