I hope you have been enjoying my list of money saving tips over the past 4 weeks. Here is the final list of ways you can save when it comes to planning weddings and events. 

31. Vase Variety. Trying using a variety of small bud vases as a centerpiece instead of a large centerpiece with lots of flowers in them. You can still use the same flowers you love but you don’t have to buy as many of them and you can put the arrangements together yourself as easy vase will only hold a few stems.


Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin #PreppyPlanner
32. Something Borrowed. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. If you stick to the wedding credo borrowing items from family and friends can make your wedding day special. Borrowing jewelry, cuff links, a veil, or other special item for your wedding day can be an easy way to save some money. 

33. Find New Talent. There are always talented DJ’s, bakers, photographers, and caterers out there waiting for their big break. Find someone in the business currently and ask them if they have anyone they have anyone working as an apprentice or currently in school that they could refer to you. You can get a big break on price if you have someone that is just trying to break into the business or still studying their profession. And most of the time they will be more than flexible to work with you on what you want so that in return you can sing praises and refer them to your friends. 



Be Your Own DJ at your event using your ipod and speaker system #PreppyPlanner
34. Be Your Own DJ. Want to throw a fun party, but don’t have the money to spend on a DJ? A great way to save is by creating your own playlist and then downloading it onto your ipod. You can even include a spot on your RSVP cards for the guests to write down a song they would like to hear.

35. Early Bird Wedding. Having your wedding earlier in the day can help you cut down your costs with every vendor. You can get great deals at venues, entertainment and above all else food. If you have your wedding early enough you can create a to-die-for brunch menu. 

36. Go Homemade. If you plan on sending your guest home with a sweet treat a great way to save money is to make the favor yourself. I worked where the bride and her mom made the chocolate mustaches that all the guests took home.  


Swap out the cake for another sweet treat at the wedding to save money #PreppyPlanner
37. Skip the Cake. For those don’t care about the traditional cake, you can get great deals on desserts in bulk from bakeries such as cookies, brownies, lemon bars and donuts. You can even ask your caterer to get creative in the display so your desserts give the impression of the traditional cake display.

38. Fake the Cake. If you love cake, but hate the cost, an easy way to save is to decorate a fake cake (foam layers) and to have sheet cakes to cut up in the kitchen. Guests will not know the difference when the cake comes back out all cut and sheet cakes are a fraction of the cost of a wedding cake.

39. Ditch the Limo. Don’t care about take a limo from the wedding to the reception or to the hotel? An easy way to save a couple hundred dollars is to get a family member to drive the bride and groom between destinations and find a friend’s SUV that can shuttle the wedding party from the ceremony to the reception.  



keep the bubbly at the bar instead to save money #PreppyPlanner
36. Keep the Bubbly at the Bar. A big way to save when it comes to the bar bill is to not give a champagne toast at your wedding. The majority of your guests will not drink the stuff causing it to go to waste. If the bride and groom want to toast with champagne but don’t want to foot the bill on the wasted champagne just keep some bottles behind the bar for those that ask.  


Do you have other ways that you have saved when planning your wedding or event? 

 You can catch up on the first 30 ways to save by clicking on the links below:
     - Event Money Saving Ideas #1
     - Event Money Saving Ideas #2
     - Event Money Saving Ideas #3

xoxo
Megan

If you have any topics you would like me to cover in future posts let me know! You can leave a comment below or you can email me at thepreppyplanner@gmail.com

 
 
Happy Monday to you all!! This past weekend I helped put together a birthday party for two of my closest friends, watched some of the 2012 London Olympics and relocated down to the beach for the next two weeks. It was a busy weekend but now that I am down at the beach I plan to relax and not plan too much of anything. 
The Birthday Boy and Girl with their keepsake that all the guests signed #PreppyPlanner
When it came to planning my friend's birthday party what we really focused on was simple but fun. Both of the birthday honorees had just finished taking the Bar exam the previous day as well as the majority of their friends that were coming. To keep it simple we sent out online invitations using The Paperless Post, kept the menu to basic dips and desserts and just loaded up on drinks from Sam’s Club. Both the birthday boy and girl loved seeing all their friends as well as taking some time to relax for a little celebration. Here they are with a “flashback” birthday present that all the guests signed. The pictures are of both of them 20 years ago when they celebrated their 5th and 7th birthdays, which they both thought was hilarious!

As I mentioned above we wanted to keep this a simple event, especially when it came to the menu. To do so all the foods were simple and didn’t require much prep time. One of the desserts I made was pretzel kisses. Depending on how many you make they require about 10 minutes prep time and 3-5 minutes of cooking time. You will need a bag of M&M's, Hershey kisses, and square pretzels. First you layout a single layer of pretzles on a cookie sheet. Next you put one kiss on top of each pretzel. You then put the cookie sheet into the oven for 3-5 minutes to soften the chocolate. Oncce you see the kisses become shiny take the cookie sheet out of the oven and place an M&M down onto each kiss. Once cooled, enjoy!!
**You can customize your kisses by using just the colored M&M's you want and also using different kisses.**
my favorite thing to do at the beach..paddleboard! #PreppyPlanner
After the birthday celebration, I packed everything up and headed off to the beach. When I get back I will be getting ready for my friend’s wedding the next weekend so while I am at the beach I just plan on relaxing the entire time. I have a pile of books to read and our new paddleboard, so I am set for the next two weeks!

Also, can’t forget about the Olympics. Did you catch the opening ceremony? I bet that event alone took over a year to organize, but it will be something to remember. My favorite part was the torch lighting right at the end. What events have you been watching so far this Olympics?

What an amazing sight that is! What did you do this past weekend?

xoxo
Megan
 
 

I hope you have been enjoying the Olympic themed ideas this week. To complete the celebration and kickoff the Olympic games (begins tonight!!) I have found a sweet Olympic treat that will make everyone a winner. Here is a great step-by-step on how to make a delicious Gold Medal Cookie. I found this great idea from Cindy Hopper on the Alpha Mom blog. Enjoy!

You will need:
     - Cookies
     - Red, White and Blue Ribbon
     - Gold Foil Wrap 


Here are all the supplies you need to make your gold medal cookies.
Step 2:
     Glue the ribbon to the back of the cookie.
Step 1:
     Wrap the cookies individually in the gold foil wrap. 
Step 3:
     Glue a cut out circle of the gold foil to the back of the cookie to cover where you attached the ribbon.

And you are done! You now have your finished gold medal cookies to share and to celebrate the Olympics. You can enjoy your gold medal cookie with an Olympic themed cocktail that I featured on the Olympic themed Wedding Wednesday post or any of the great Olympic themed food ideas I shared in yesterday's Olympic themed party post. 

What are you doing to celebrate the 2012 London Olympics?

xoxo
Megan 

 
 
When I was in elementary school my friends and I always had a fun theme for our birthday parties. Out parents probably went crazy trying to create all the decorations, food and favor bags for us. For my friend Meredith's birthday one year she had an Olympic themed birthday. Each person invited over was assigned to wear a certain color and we participated in various relays and team competitions just like at the Olympics. There were prizes for everyone at the end as we were all declared winners!

That birthday party was by far one of my favorites! Today I have put together some great Olympic themed birthday party ideas. You can also use these ideas to create a fun Olympic themed party while you watch the Olympic over the next two weeks. Let the games begin!

When it comes to hosting an Olympic Birthday Party you cannot forget the games. Based on the age group you are planning for you can create the games accordingly. Some games that you can include are a relay race, backyard obstacal course, shot put using bean bags or water balloons, ribbon dancing, tug-of-war, and javelin throw. I found some great ideas on A Small Snippet which you can see below. 
After all the games are played you can't forget the medals. You can find directions on how to create these felt medals from Just Another Day in Paradise
Once the medals have been awarded you can award all the guests with some Olympic themed food. You can find these and more Olympic themed foods on the blog Tip Junkie.
You can even use these food ideas to throw your own adult Olympic themed bash. Just add an Olympic cocktail drink and you can ready to toast to the opening ceremonies. Are you ready for the Olympics to start tomorrow? What will you be doing to celebrate? You can find information and a schedule of all the events on the London Olympics website. 

xoxo
Megan
 
 
With the 2012 London Olympics starting in just 2 days (yea!) I thought it would be fun to try and see if I could find some wedding ideas that would create an Olympic theme. By far the easiest way to incorporate the Olympic into the wedding day theme is by taking the colors; red, yellow, black, blue and green, and incorporate those into the decor. 
Host an Olympic themed bachelorette or bachelor party #PreppyPlanner

You can be as subtle or as big as you want when it comes to incorporating these colors and Olympic theme. Four years ago when the Olympics were in Beijing there were quite a number of people in China that took advantage of the Olympic theme and venues for their weddings after the games were over. 

A fun way to incorporate the Olympic theme into your wedding is to host an Olympic bachelorette or bachelor party. A fun and creative way is to give each attendee a medal with a specific task written on it. Once the bachelor or bachelorette has completed that task during the celebration they get to wear the medal. By the end of the evening the bachelor or bachelorette should have earned all the medals from the Olympic themed evening. I found these great invitations from A Savannah Red Top.



When it comes to the wedding day the easiest way to incorporate the Olympic theme is through the use of the colors and the rings. I found some great inspiration for creative centerpieces, drinks and favors that can be incorporated into the wedding day decor. 
These flower centerpieces used rented prop torches and flags from different countries to give it the Olympic theme. And you can't go wrong with an Olympic themed signature drink like the one above. You can use the hard candy life savers as the rings and champagne to create this drink. 

And of course you cannot forget about the favors. Incorporating a theme into your favors can allow for the most creativity as there are no limits to what you send your guests home with. Cupcakes with the Olympic rings as the topper can be a sweet treat to send home with your guests. An easy DIY favor is buying gold coins and bagging them with a cute Olympic themed tag making all your guests gold medalist.
You can be as creative as you want when it comes to incorporating a theme into an event. With the Olympics being hosted in London this year you could even give your Olympic theme a London feel using a variety of British decor like the flag, the double decker bus, or even the London guards. As long as you love the theme the sky is the limit on creativity. 


What theme did/are you incorporating into your wedding day? Share your theme ideas below! Don't forget you can find more great wedding day themes and ideas on my Pinterest page @PreppyPlanner.


xoxo
Megan 
 
 
Happy Tuesday to you all! Here are my next ten wedding and event planning tips on ways you can save!

21. Use Thermography. Instead of engraving your stationary print using thermography and your budget will start out as half of the cost of engraving. This method of printing still looks amazing and classy without the price tag that accompanies it.

22. Online Bargain Hunt. Put 21st century technology to the test. Use sites like eBay, Etsy or Craigslist to search for great deals for such things as fabric, ribbon and decorations. I found great deals on vinyl stickers on Etsy when I created the favors for my friend Emily’s bachelorette party. 

23. Pick Forever Shoes. When it comes to picking your shoes and accessories for your big day pick ones that you will wear again. So many brides choose shoes that they love for their wedding day and then never wear again. For all the shoe lovers out there this just doesn’t make any sense! 

24. Monogram It. An easy, and inexpensive, way to coordinate your wedding day is to put a monogram on everything. You can order a custom stamp online with your custom monogram, or just buy a premade single initial and go crazy stamping. You can add the stamp to your invitations, napkins, programs, and favors making it look like you spent a ton when in reality you only bought the one stamp. This stamp can be found on Etsy shop Joiede Vie Paperie

25. Decorate Where You Will Be. When it comes to decorations there is no need to put arrangements on every table and on every pew of the church. Focusing the main decorations and flower arrangements at the front of the church (where you will be) and where the bride and groom will be seated will direct the guests to that area and to you. 

26. Sign Up for Emails. Who likes getting tons of emails everyday from a bunch of companies you don’t really care about? When it comes to weddings it pays to sign-up. Create a new, wedding only email account that you can give out when wedding shopping. You can score great deals and updates from companies by doing so allowing you to save on that dream dress or must-have entertainment.

27. Buy In-Season. When it comes to flowers there are always a variety of options available no matter what colors you have in mind for your wedding day. The best way to save when it comes to choosing your bouquet is to select flowers that will be in-season during the time of your wedding. In-season flowers are easily available and are less expensive than ones that have to be special ordered. 

28. Select Big Blooms. Another tip when it comes to selecting your flowers is to choose over-sized blooms. Flowers like African marigolds, hydrangeas, gladiolus and Stargazer lilies have great over-sized blooms meaning you won’t need as many for your arrangements. 

29. Branch Out. Think outside of the box when it comes to your centerpieces. Spray painting branches and hanging votives, strings of pearls or other decorations can make a great centerpiece without spending a dime on flowers which can end up saving you hundreds.

30. Miniaturize Your Makeup. Going to a make-up counter and testing out your potential wedding look is a great way to find eye shadows, lipstick and gloss that you will want to use on your big day. Spending money on one of these items is a great way to then ask for samples on the others staples that you can use to create your wedding day look. 

In case you missed out on the first 20 event saving tips you can find them here:
     - Week 1
     - Week 2

What ways did you use to save on your last event? Share your money saving ideas in the comment section below! Happy Saving!

xoxo
Megan   

 
 
Happy Monday! This past weekend was a crazy one for me by far. You can probably tell from today's blog title that I I did a number of different things. On Friday I helped my friend Vicky make the invitations for her son's rehearsal dinner that she is hosting. 
These invitations were so much fun to design and make. To start the paper and ribbon were bought at Michael's. Since this is going to be a BBQ dinner we thought it would be cure to have a checkered patterned paper. Next I created the information part using Publisher. Once that was designed and printed I cut the information sheets and checked paper down to the size we wanted. I left a little more than a half inch border of the checked paper around the typed paged. To attach the two you layer the papers on top of each other and using a single hole puncher cut the holes out. To attach the two pages I threaded ribbon through the punched out holes to get the finished product! 

The best part of my Friday, even though I thoroughly enjoy crafting, was going up to DC to pick up my sister (on the left) from her trip to Europe. 
I made the sign for her incorporating all the flags of the different places she visited. Can you name all the countries? She loved the sign and the fact that she was finally back and could get some rest from their non-stop adventure. 

Even though I had a late night driving back from DC on Friday I was up bright and early on Saturday to go and work a wedding! The reception was held at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center in Ashland, Virginia. Even with the rain all day on Saturday it was a beautiful reception and the guests had lots of fun! The wedding had about 100 guests with a very laid back and relaxed feel. The bride and groom just wanted to have fun with their guests. To create that fun atmosphere for their guests they hired an amazing DJ, Bill Gilliam from Choice Entertainment, who made sure that everyone was out on the dance floor having fun. 

I love when the bride and groom include fun little aspects into their big day. They had the cutest tumblers that they used as their cups for the evening and also made their own favors. The groom always liked to goof around and wear fake mustaches so they made chocolate mustaches on a stick for all their guests to take with them. Anything chocolate is good in by book! 
I had so much fun this past weekend. Do you go to any events this past weekend? 


This week I have some great posts to share as I count down to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London on Friday. The swimming events are my favorite to watch. I could not imaging all the work that goes into planning an event as world wide as the Olympics. What Olympic events are you most looking forward to watch?  


xoxo
Megan
 
 
The Mint Julep has been associated with horse racing since it became the official drink at the Kentucky Derby in 1938. No one knows where the drink was created, but it is a favorite to those in the south and those that love horse racing. In preparation for tomorrow's Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs here is the Early Times Mint Julep recipe from Churchhill Downs.

     Ingredients:
        * 2 cups sugar
        * 2 cups water
        * sprigs of fresh mint
        * crushed ice
        * Early Times Kentucky Whisky (or whisky of choice)
        * silver Julep cups

     Instructions:
        Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for 5 minutes. Cool and place in a 

        covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make 
        one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon of the mint 
        syrup and two ounces of whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. 
        Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Of course there are multiple ways to make this drink depending on where you are from. However, the best way to serve a mint julep is in a silver or pewter cup with mint. I also like to add a green stripped straw to my drink. Enjoy!

xoxo
Megan

For more Derby Party ideas check out these posts:
    - A Race to the Altar
    - Everyone Loves a Derby Party  

 
 
This Saturday, July 21st Colonial Downs will be hosting the Virginia Derby. For those that are going or if you will be watching the race at home I have put together some great ideas that you can put together for your very own Derby Party. You can also look back at yesterday's Derby themed wedding and steal some of those ideas for your race day event. 
To get your derby party started in the right direction you need to find some great free printable downloads online that will help get your party decorated. Some great sites that I found with derby party craft ideas and printables include Hostess with the MostessFresh Home Ideas, Kara's Party Ideas and You can even create your own decorations by drawing inspiration from the jockey's outfits, colors and patterns. Derby races incorporate so much color that anything you choose can be deemed derby worthy.
If you are hosting your own derby party at your house a great way to get your guests to dress up is by hosting your own derby hat contest and to have all the guests vote to see who's takes win. For the guys you can ask them to wear their preppiest attire and also have the guests vote on their favorite. What preppy guy or girl wouldn't want to be a part of this contest?
And when it comes to hosting the perfect derby party you can't forget about the food and drinks. Classic mint julep and bourbon drinks are a staples at any derby get together. You can also take the same flavors and incorporate them into the other food items you have at your party like bourbon balls and mint julep cupcakes. Any southern staples, like southern style biscuits, cheese sandwiches, meatballs, and min crab cakes, make up the perfect menu for a derby party. I also found one great derby party planner that made their own chocolate horses for all the guests to enjoy!
Do you plan to attend or celebrate this Saturday for the Virginia Derby? I might just have to make these mint julep cupcakes even when I am not hosting a derby party they look so good. For those that have already celebrated or been to the races earlier this year I would love to hear all about it. Share your derby party ideas in the comments section below.


xoxo
Megan
 
 
I know that the Kentucky Derby has already passed, but for those in Virginia the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs is coming up this Saturday July, 21st. With that in mind I have put together a classic southern girl's dream derby inspired wedding. So get your biggest hat, preppiest attire and pick your winning horse as this derby wedding will take the cup!
With any derby inspired event location is key for theme and decor. Being able to host your derby inspired wedding or event at a race track provides for a great atmosphere and you can probably work it out with the site venue on getting a few pictures with one of the horses.
Taking inspiration from jockey's outfits can help in designing your table settings and place cards. And of course you can't forget the classic use of sterling silver when it comes to selecting your silverware, chargers and vases. Mint julep cups can sit in as great flower vases as well as the use of vintage racing trophies. 
 

Photos from My Sweet and Saucy
Just as you see with the outfits guest wear to the derby, the bigger the better. This applied to color options, patterns, and of course the dress! You can ask your guests to come in derby attire, which any preppy guy or gal knows how to throw together in a moments notice! 

Would you bet on this derby inspired wedding theme? Even if you wouldn't throw a derby wedding you can use some of this inspiration at any derby party. Check back on Friday as I will be sharing a classic derby treat!

xoxo
Megan

Want more? You can find all of this derby inspiration and more by following me on Pinterest @PreppyPlanner. Don't forget to also sign up to receive a daily preppy reminder and to follow me on Twitter @PreppyPlanner. You never know what extras I might share.