• Natalie
  • posted by Natalie

  • Serving alcohol at your wedding reception can increase your budget significantly! Today's post focuses on ways to serve alcohol without going over your budget. You can read our other Budget Saving Tips for your wedding on the blog.

    When trying to decide what beverages to serve at your wedding, you should pick an option that is right for your budget and wedding. Keep in mind your wedding theme, style, and the guests that will be attending your reception. Here are a few options to choose from:

    Full Top Shelf Open Bar - Providing a fully stocked bar with top shelf liquors is an expensive option. Your guests will have unlimited choices, but this will cause your reception bill to sky rocket!
    Full House Brand Open Bar - If you like the idea of a full bar but don't want to pay the big bucks for the top shelf liquor, just provide house liquors. You will still need a large alcohol budget for this option, but it is definitely more affordable than the Full Top Shelf Open Bar option.
    Beer and Wine with Signature Drinks - This is a great option for couples trying to stay within a reasonable budget, but want to add a pop of personality to their reception. Beer and wine are both affordable options and the addition of a signature drink gives your guests a couple of alcoholic options to enjoy. The signature drink could match with your wedding colors or theme, or perhaps it's your favorite drink! The Knot provides an Ultimate Signature Cocktail Finder that is a great resource for finding the perfect signature cocktail for your reception!
    Beer and Wine Only - This is another common, budget friendly option. Another great way to save with this option is to provide your own beer and wine (if the venue will allow it). There are many good bottles of wine for under $10 a bottle and beer from a keg keeps the cost down as well.
    Beer and Wine with Cash Bar - If your budget only allows for beer and wine at your wedding reception but you want to provide the option of a full bar to your guests, perhaps this option is for you. Beer and wine is provided, but if the guests would like something else, they have to pay for it themselves.
    Cash Bar - While not the most popular with wedding guests, if you have a tight budget and no money to provide alcohol at your wedding, this may be the only option for you. Alcohol is available at your reception, but your guests are required to pay for their own drinks. Want something a little less extreme? What about having an open bar cocktail hour, but a cash bar during the reception?
    Dry Wedding - A dry wedding is a wedding without any alcohol. Couples that do not drink alcohol or are against alcohol for any reason may choose this option. It is also more popular for morning or early afternoon weddings since guests don't usually drink much alcohol earlier in the day anyway. Provide your guests with fun non-alcoholic drink options instead!

  • Sarah and Schuyler chose to have signature drinks during their cocktail hour! The refreshing drinks not only matched the colors of the wedding, but were great for a warm August evening.

  • signature wedding drinks

  • Whatever you decide, keep in mind that non-alcoholic beverages are always an essential at a wedding reception. If you are providing a full bar, water, sodas, and juices should be available to those guests that may not want to drink alcohol. You may also want to provide coffee for your guests with dessert or towards the end of your reception.

    Not sure how much alcohol you will need at your reception? Evite has a Free Drink Calculator where you can specify your party duration, guest count, and what you'll be serving and it will calculate how much beer, wine, and liquor you will need for your event. Check it out!

    Check back next week for more budget saving tips for your wedding! Have a great weekend and happy planning!

    Photo courtesy of The Memory Journalists.




  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • Save the date cards are an important part of your wedding. They allow for you to notify your guests of your wedding in advance before you send your actual wedding invitations. Since wedding invitations usually get sent out closer to your wedding, save the date cards give your guests advanced knowledge of the wedding to ensure they don't have anything conflicting at that time. Etiquette says, if you send guests a Save the Date, they must also be invited to the wedding, so make sure you have your guest list confirmed when you send out the cards.

    Usually save the dates cards announce a date, and the fact you are getting married, but they do not need to match the theme or style of your wedding. The theme and style match would be more relevant on the actual invitations. It is also great to use your engagement photos on photo save the dates. It is perfect way to showcase your gorgeous photographs and share them with your friends and family.

    Order your save the dates and send them out as soon as possible after you set a firm wedding date and book your venue in order to give all of your family and friends plenty of time to arrange work schedules and traveling details before prices jump or they pass the deadline for submitting time off of work.

  • photo save the date

  • You can find wonderful photo Save the Date cards, or even photo Wedding Invitations at Wedding Paper Divas. They have tons of designs to choose from.

  • photo wedding invitation

  • You can even do photo Thank You cards. If you plan ahead you can even plan a "thank you" sign into your wedding day photography as we did with Kayla and Scott.

  • photo thank you cards




  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • This week on my Healthy Lifestyle column, I wanted to share with you the importance of taking a day of rest each week. As part of my 40 Day Transformation (that I wrote about last week), we are reminded that taking a day of rest is important to re-energize not only our body but our mind and soul.

    Similar to my struggle with meditation, I have a hard time doing "nothing". I find that there is always something that can be done: organizing the bills/files, going through the refrigerator or pantry, even cooking (though this is becoming more of a pleasure) can often seem like a task.

    I'm going to try and take my day of rest to be with my husband and do something together. We both tend to set our own schedules and often have to check with the other as far as "what are you doing this weekend". I want to make a conscious effort to do more together and to have fun on my day of rest.

    This weekend, Cory and I went for a drive on Sunday morning. We passed by these hot air balloons near Rancho Murrieta.

  • Day of Rest activities

  • Cory even pulled off the road so I could get this close up. (taken with the iPhone of course - as on my day of rest the big cameras stay at home). What are some activities that you do on your day of rest?

  • Day of Rest activities




  • Natalie
  • posted by Natalie

  • This is a very exciting post for me to write! For those of you that do not know me, I'm Natalie! Jen & Teresa photographed my wedding in October 2010 and earlier this year, I started working for The Memory Journalists (I also happen to be Jen's favorite cousin!). And I just started a new weekly column on the blog Budget Saving Tips for your wedding.

    A month or so ago, Ryan and I shared some exciting news while at dinner with Jen and Cory...we are expecting a baby! This will be our first baby and we could not be more thrilled! At the time we were only telling a few family members, but we were brainstorming ideas for how to tell the rest of our family. Ryan and I both have large extended families, so we thought a fun announcement that we could mail to everyone was a great option!

    So a few weeks ago, we had a quick bite to eat at Jen and Cory's house, and headed off to take some pictures! We recreated some great ideas that I found on Pinterest and, of course, Jen and Cory had some awesome ideas as well!

    I found a few photos on Pinterest using a Bump Ahead construction sign and loved the idea! We could not find a Bump Ahead sign in a scenic area, so Ryan ended up ordering one online for us to use! Can you see the little baby bump?

  • baby announcement photos

  • This ultrasound was taken at our 12-week appointment. We had a few ultrasounds during the first trimester and it was amazing to see how much our baby would grow from week to week! But at this appointment, we were able to see our baby moving around for the first time! It was incredible to see our baby move his/her arms and legs. I, of course, cried (just like I have at every appointment when I hear our baby's heartbeat or see him/her on the ultrasound).

  • baby announcement photos

  • The day we took these photos, I was 14 weeks along and the pregnancy books said the baby was the size of a lemon (about 3.5 inches).

  • baby announcement photos

  • And here is another one of my favorites! It's funny that now that I'm pregnant, I look in the mirror everyday to see how much my belly has grown and cannot wait until it's bigger and a more obvious baby bump!

  • baby announcement photos



  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • Mini session announcement for holiday family photos! This is the time of year that people start to think about updating their family photo to use in their Holiday cards. Be early this year and get your family photo done before the busy Thanksgiving and holiday season is upon us.

    We are doing mini sessions during the month of October. We are doing all Fridays during the month of October from approximately 4:30-6:30pm (4-6 later in the month). Mini sessions are half hour sessions vs our normal full portrait sessions. Fee is $150 - more than half off! Prints and digital files are separate. We are splitting dates between the Folsom area and the Downtown Sacramento area. Tentatively alternating starting with downtown Sac on October 5th and October 19th, and in Folsom October 12th and October 26th. Email info@memoryjournalists.com if you are interested and if you prefer the Folsom area or the downtown Sac area.

  • Holiday family photos


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