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7 Things To Remember When Planning A Budget Wedding

The average cost of a wedding in the United States today is around $35,000. It is one of the most expensive events in one’s life. Though a wedding happens only once in your life and you deserve the perfect event ever, it may not be practical for everyone to spend $35,000 for a one-day party.

Those of you who want to use that $35,000 or more on other things, don’t worry. You can still have that dream wedding within a practical budget. Simply follow these awesome budget wedding tips and you’ll be sure to have an amazing day without the hassle of having to pay the debts afterwards.

1. Wedding Venue

There are two things that you have to decide on the instance you decide to get wed: the venue and the date. These are two intertwined things when you want to save some bucks.

For the wedding venue, choose something outside the city limits and definitely not in a tourist place. For the date, pick a day that is not a weekend (meaning, Friday and Saturday), so you can have bigger discounts from your wedding suppliers.

2. Food and Drinks

Instead of hiring a caterer to provide the food and drinks, why not make them your own? You can ask your family or friends to help you with making appetizers or even shaking up your own cocktail drinks.

If this is not possible, hire an up and coming chef to provide the food for your wedding. Still not possible? Serve heavy appetizers and light main entrees, so that the people won’t be hungry but they’ll still be satisfied.

3. Photography and Videography

At the end of the day, all you will have from your wedding are your pictures and your videos. These two services can cost a lot, but you can save on them by hiring someone who is only starting in his career or who shoots weddings and other events as a side gig.

Maybe you even have a friend who’s a photography enthusiast? Why not ask him to provide the service as a “gift” to you?

4. Entertainment

What is a wedding reception or ceremony without music at the background? A band or a DJ can be quite expensive, so you better hire someone who’s willing to give you great discounts.

Most indie bands or student bands are cheaper and infinitely more talented and passionate. Hire them. You can even ask a family member or a friend to perform.

5. Party Favors

Instead of customizing or personalizing the party favors, you can simply buy Nakpunar Globe Jars with Gold Lids and put candies or chocolates in it. You don’t have to have them personalized. Candies and other treats will make them pretty on their own.

6. Flowers

Though they make everything beautiful, they can be quite expensive. You can be wise in choosing the kind of flowers you want in your ceremony and reception, and you can reuse them throughout the day. Those flowers on the aisles can be used as table centerpieces.

7. Wedding Dress

Every bride deserves the perfect dress. And while all brides want a Vera Wang for their dress, not everyone can afford it. If you can be wise with your choices, you’ll still feel like every bit a princess come your wedding day. The important thing is you’re marrying your soulmate.

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4 Ways on How To Successfully DIY Your Party

When we say we’re planning a party, it’s easy to see how difficult it could be. The preparations for a party are usually what set us back. Imagine having to choose the venue, the food, the date, the people to invite, etc. Not to mention that we also have to think of imaginative ways on how we can promote the party and make sure that it’s going to be a successful one.

And then, there’s the absolute beast of all: How are we going to fund this party? Money is obviously a big factor when it comes to hosting a party. If you have an unlimited budget, then good for you. But as with any ordinary person who has a budget in place, you have to be wise with your money and make the most out of it.

The absolutely best way to have an elegant but a budget-friendly party is to DIY (do-it-yourself) most of the elements such as the lights, the sounds, the entertainment, the favors, etc. There are shops that cater to party supplies and can provide you with the right resources to make a party from scratch.

Here are the effective ways to DIY your party:

1. Buy Your Own Décor Lights

One of the most expensive elements of any party is the décor lights. Think of any party you have gone to in the past months. Weddings? Birthdays? Anniversaries? Product launch? The lights create the right ambiance for these events. In fact, a lot of event organizers spend hundreds of dollars on décor lights just to get the right ambiance and feel of the place. You can create that “ambiance” on your own by buying Solar String Lights or Battery-Operated Silver Moroccan Orb LED Fairy Lights. Invest on these lights and throw them around the room’s ceiling. They’ll create a romantic and elegant glow to the whole room. You may even use these décor lights for future events.

2. Ask a Friend/s to Perform

Do you know someone with an angelic voice? Maybe your brother is in a band in a local university or college? To save on entertainment cost, you can ask your friend/s to provide the entertainment needed. Whether it’s singing, dancing, performance arts, or the like, we’re sure you have someone in mind who can set the stage on fire for the party guests. Think long and hard. We’re sure there’s someone in your circle who can provide the entertainment you need in your party.

3. Consider Doing a Potluck

If it’s an informal party, you can ask your guests to bring in their own food. Make sure to ask everyone what they’re bringing, so that there’ll be no duplication of dishes. Don’t worry if this sounds a little cheap. Everyone understands that we should save as much as we can. Besides, a potluck is a good way for everyone to test out what secret culinary skills you all have.

4. Craft Your Own Invitations

In creating an invitation for your party, all you really need is a printer and a laptop or desktop. You can download loads of templates from the internet and customize these based on the details of your party. Invitations can be quite costly, too, so you have to save on these as much as you can.

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The Right Etiquette To Sending Save-The-Date Invitations For Your Party

A save-the-date invitation is one of the most fun part of organizing a party. Whether it’s your wedding or your birthday or any other event in your life, it’s always exciting to finally announce to your guests that “Hey, I’m having a celebration” at a specific date and time. You’re halfway to your event, after all, you’ve already set the date, the time, and the place. All the other elements of the party are just minimal compared to those three things.

So, where do you start with the save-the-date invitations? And how do you deal with sticky situations?

Do we really have to send a save-the-date?

If you have a destination wedding or you have a three-day event, etiquette requires you to send a save-the-date invitation. You will have to give your guests a heads-up, so they can plan ahead and put your event in their schedules. It’s common courtesy to acknowledge that they can be busy people, too, and they might not have enough time to arrange accommodations for your event.

When do we send it?

As a general rule, you have to send a save-the-date invitation around six to eight months before the actual party. If you send it too early, the guests may forget about it. If you send it too late, it might actually be a formal invitation, and not a save-the-date invite.

To whom do we send the save-the-dates?

You don’t have to send save-the-dates to people you don’t plan to invite in the end. From the term itself, you’re basically asking the people to save that particular date, so that they can attend your party. It’s no use to send a save-the-date invitation to people you don’t want to see during your event.

What details should we include?

You should include when and where and what time the event will be. This will give the guests a chance to plan ahead—take a leave if your event is out of town. Of course, don’t forget the name/s of the those throwing the event. You may also include a website of your party—a wedding website, for example—though this is not required or necessary.

Can save-the-dates be electronically mailed?

It’s really up to you, as the host, to send the save-the-dates in whatever form you feel will suit your resources. But remember, older guests may not necessarily have email addresses or they may not regularly check their emails. If you want, you can send a digital save-the-date to your younger guests and send a printed version to your older guests.

Do we need to add “and guest” on the save-the-dates?

Even if it’s still early, you have to be clear about who’s invited to the event. Include the names of the people you’re inviting on the save-the-dates. Is your cousin’s new boyfriend or your three-year-old nephew included in the guest list? It’s better to be clear about all these things, so you can avoid confusion and unnecessary questions once the formal invites are ready to be sent out.

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5 Effective Ways To Deal With People Who Are Glued On Their Smartphones During Parties

We’ve seen this before, whether you’re a host or a guest in a party: guests with their faces glued on their smartphones to check their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. Or worse, guests who constantly take photos of the bride walking down the aisle, effectively obscuring the view of the groom or the actual photographer.

How did we come to this? Can you still remember the time when we can all go to dinner without taking out our phones and taking photos of the food we’re about to eat? How many times do you have to take a shot of a dish before actually diving into it? We have become so accustomed to being connected with each other that it’s hard to think about not checking our smartphones every minute.

Still, when you’re hosting a party, it can be quite annoying to see your guests checking their phones every second and browsing random Facebook and Twitter posts. Here are five ways on how to deal with these people:

1. Put the Rule on Your Invitation

Make sure that your guests know in advance that your party is gadget-free, so they can plan accordingly. Or if you cannot put it on the invitation, you can make a quick announcement at the start of the event or during the toast using your Michley unbreakable wine glass. Ask the guests nicely to “unplug” for the evening and enjoy the night hanging out with their friends and acquaintances in the old-fashioned way.

2. Do Not Invite Them Again

Since it’s rude to tell them off during the party itself, you can just make a mental note never to invite them again for your next event. Although it’s a rude behavior to check their smartphones constantly during an event, it’s more rude to comment on it. Biting your tongue isn’t easy, but it’s the right thing to do.

3. Turn It Into a Game

Phone stacking is now a thing. This refers to people at the dinner table putting their phones in the middle of the table or somewhere near. The first person to reach for his/her phone (unless in emergency situations), will have to pay the total dinner bill. It’s a good way to test the patience and the discipline of everyone in your group, and have them pay for it if they’re not willing to play fair.

4. Ask a Direct Question

If you are really being bothered by someone checking his/her phone constantly, you can post a direct question to that person and pull him/her back to the party. Maybe that person feels out of place at the party? You can talk with that person instead and make small conversations, so that he/she can feel part of the party.

5. Make a Joke About It

Assuming you want to remain friends with these people, you should never reprimand them about using their phones during the party. Instead, you can make a joke about it. For example, you can send a message to their number with a simple joke. They’ll surely get the message.

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Top 10 Party Favors for Adults

Why would you ever want to become a kid again when being an adult is way better and cooler? Yes, we always remind ourselves that kids don’t have to pay the bills but hey, can they drink wine and Mojitos after a long day at work or school?

Here are our favorite party favors for adults, which you can give as a party favor or just to tap a friend’s back for surviving through a hellish week:

1. Relaxing Spa Set

Everyone needs to reconnect with nature once in a while. A spa is the closest we can get to nature. Just pour in a lavender-scented bath oil in the tub and soak in it for an hour. It refreshes just about anyone, making a spa gift set the perfect party favor.

2. A Box of Tobacco

If it’s allowed and you have the money for it, you can even make it Cuban tobaccos, which they say are some of the finest in the world. Make sure to put these inside their special casing because the wooden box alone is a gift.

3. Personalized Wine/Cocktails Glasses

You can score a set of unbreakable stemless wine glasses for only $21.99. These stylish wine glasses are shatterproof, but are clear and fine as those made from crystal. You can personalize them with your friends’ names.

4. Mini Candy Dispensers

Who said candies are only for the kids? Candies are the quintessential of human life. It’s hard to survive a day without popping a chocolate candy in your mouth. A dispenser will surely be appreciated.

5. Plain Wooden Boxes with Names

Adults have all kinds of knick-knacks to put into these boxes. They can use it for their accessories like jewelry, watches, pins, and even mobile chargers. Any organizational materials would surely be loved and appreciated. If you personalize the wooden boxes, then they’ll probably put more valuable items in it.

6. Personalized Notepads and Gift Cards

Personalized items are always a favorite party favor because they just speak highly about the hosts. It shows that the hosts of the party thought much about how the guests will feel appreciated. Notepads and gift cards are useful because they can be used at work or even in personal correspondences.

7. Asian Sandalwood Fans

Perfectly usable during the summer season, sandalwood fans are great party favors because they are unique and functional.

8. Scented Candles

These are especially favored by the vast majority of women, though there are some guys, too, who love the calming effect of scented candles at home. After a very long and tiring day at work, don’t you just love to arrive in a lavender-scented bedroom?

9. Locally-Grown Coffee Beans

No one can survive the harsh realities of life without a cup of brewed coffee in the morning. Adults love receiving locally-grown coffee beans, especially when the party was held out of town or overseas. The bag of coffee beans is a reminder of that special day.

10. Pastries

Although they are consumable and would be gone in less than 60 seconds (thus, defeating the purpose of “party favors”), many still prefer to hand over beautifully-designed cupcakes and cookies to their guests. After all, sweets and pastries are classics. You can never go wrong.

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Top 10 Children Pajama Party Ideas

What do you love doing with your friends when you were just little kids? No matter how advanced technology is today, one thing remains true for all kids—they love pajama parties and sleepovers. If you’re thinking about hosting a children pajama party, you have to make sure that they are all mature enough to handle it and that they understand the do’s and don’t’s in your household.

Here are the top 10 pajama party ideas you can follow:

1. Put up tents, pillows, and twinkling lights in the room.

Think Tinkerbell. The twinkling lights above the canopy of mesh and other types of textile will make the children feel like they are inside their dreams. Use pastel colors such as light pink, mint green, lavender, and other flowery designs. To make it even dreamier, you can buy an 8-pack, 20-LED starry string lights on extra thin silvery copper. It costs just $15.99 and emits that golden light you’re going after.

2. Setup a photo booth.

You don’t have to hire a professional photographer for this. You just have to setup a tripod with your camera on it, then put up a cloth on one wall and let the girls pose for the camera. Provide them with a couple of funky hots, sunglasses, and wigs, and they are good to go.

3. Give them the spa treatment.

Even little girls love having their nails done. You don’t have to hire actual spa therapists and manicurists. You and the other girls’ moms can do these for the group. Let them read their fairytale books and magazines while you cover their nails with glittery colors.

4. Personalize pillow cases.

All you need for this crafty activity is some plain pillow cases, which you can get for cheap. Throw in a couple of fabric crayons or paints, add some glitters, buttons, and other accessories, and your daughter and her friends will surely love them.

5. Put up dreamcatchers.

It might be a bit complicated to let the children make dreamcatchers but if they can, then why not? It is so easy because all you need are colorful threads to make one. Let the children’s imagination rule over.

6. Have a glow-in-the-dark party.

There are plenty of available products that would turn your daughter’s room into a glow-in-the-dark party. You can also buy non-toxic pens, so that the kids can draw on each other’s faces or better yet, draw on plain white shirts and have fun with the camera.

7. Food, food, food.

Can there ever be a pajama party without midnight snacking? Be sure to prepare food for the kids. You can either go healthy and prepare something nutritious for them, or you can treat them to their favorite fastfood chains.

8. Prepare a list of movies.

What better way to spend the night with friends than prepare their favorite movies? Do they want to watch the usual fairy tales or simply scare each other’s wits with movies like “It”? Prepare a list of movies they can choose from.

9. Teach them how to bake.

Even if you don’t know anything about baking, there are a couple of recipes that are so easy to follow even the kids can do it. Learn together and enjoy those cupcakes you’ll bake.

10. Have a “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?” night.

You are probably familiar with “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?” where a group of people take turns telling scary stories. You can do these with the kids and let them share stories that scare them.

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7 Healthy Foods to Serve During a House Party

What do you usually serve during a simple house party with friends and family? It doesn’t matter whether you’re celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or the annual Christmas dinner, a house party with your close friends and family is something you’ll always look forward to.

If you’re a gourmet chef, that’s well and good for you. That means you have all the ideas in the world to make healthy and yummy concoctions that your guests will enjoy. But for those who are a little challenged in the kitchen but would like to prepare something healthy for their guests, here’s a simple guide that can help you whip up the perfect healthy party food spread.

1. Stuffed Mushrooms

Those cute button mushrooms don’t have exciting flavors of their own, so you’ll have to do the work to actually make them stand out. A simple recipe would involve chopping some of the mushrooms together with onions and cheese and stuffing them inside the mushroom caps or heads before popping them in the oven. You may drizzle them with olive oil or with bread crumbs before baking.

2. Smoked Salmon on Toast

This is probably the easiest finger food you can make. It’s tasty and healthy at the same time. If you don’t have time to toast your bread, you may even put the smoked salmon on top of crackers. All you have to do is go to the local market and buy a pack of smoked salmon. Slice them up and put them on top of the crackers together with some arugula, black olives, and honey mustard sauce.

3. Artichoke Cheese Dip

This may not be the healthiest option on this list, but if you choose the low-fat kind of cheese, you’ll most likely enjoy this guilt-free. Just throw in artichokes and low-fat cream cheese in the blender together with some salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Blitz them all together and serve them with different kinds of crackers.

4. Bowl of Nuts

What could be the easiest healthy finger food but nuts? Just throw some almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc. together in a bowl and put the bowls in strategic places around the house. That way, no matter where your guests are, there is always something they can munch on.

5. Crab Cakes

The fact that most crab cakes are fried would make the health buffs frown, but there’s a way to make these healthier. Instead of deep frying them, you can pop them in the oven or better yet, air fry them. That will take away all the unhealthiness from a deep-fried crab cake. You can make a spicy dip for the side, so people can enjoy the contrast of that tangy and spicy flavor.

6. Lettuce Cups

What’s great about lettuce cups is that they’re filling and healthy at the same time. Just break off some lettuce leaves and make sure they have enough depth to hold the fillings. Put these on a plate and fill them up with your choice of either sautéed beef, chicken, or tofu.

7. Salad

Of course, we cannot talk healthy without putting salad in the mix. Just toss together lettuce (any kind), tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, onions, and dressing together.

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How to Party Like a VIP Even on a Budget

Do you often ogle at your friends’ Facebook photos showing how they partied like celebrities in an ultra elite club lately? Do you stalk strangers on Instagram just to have a feel of how it’s like to rub elbows with the rich and famous? Do you often feel left out because you don’t have the money to go to these exclusive bars and clubs?

Believe it or not, the majority of people you see on these parties do not even have to spend a single dime to enjoy themselves. They were there because they were asked to be there. They don’t have to pay for anything because their presence is enough payment for their glass of drinks and food.

Here are ways to party like a VIP even if you have a limited budget:

1. Be a Part of the Industry

The people you see in these ultra exclusive parties have a common denominator. They all work in the industry—food, music, entertainment, media, etc. These are the jobs whose people are those that bars and pubs are after. If they want their parties to have the right people, they have to invite the people from these industries. If you work in one of these industries, you will most likely have access to parties because you would have friends and acquaintances in bars and clubs.

2. Attend the Events

If you just attend even one party (with or without having to pay), you’ll most likely receive an invitation for the next one and the next one after that. Attending the first party is a lot like making an investment. You invest your time and energy making friends and talking with the right people, so you can have access to the next parties on their calendars. Make the most out of that first party. Don’t be shy and mingle with the right crowd.

3. Make Yourself Relevant

In order to be a part of the VIP list, you have to make yourself indispensable to the party. It’s either you work in the same industry or you create a name for yourself out of it. For example, you can become a fashion blogger and create a following that’s the same as the target market of these parties you want to attend. If you are relevant enough in social media (a travel blogger will most likely receive an invitation), these bars and clubs will come knocking on your door for a chance to be featured in your blog.

4. Be Friendly to the Wait Staff

Who do you have to go through before being allowed to enter a club or a bar? It’s the receptionist out front, right? This person has the power to say yes or no to those who want to enter the event. If you are friendly enough or maybe even a generous tipper, the receptionist will remember you and will be lenient enough to allow you to enter the bar even if you are not part of the VIP list. At the end of the day, the people at the front desk have the power to control who gets in and who doesn’t.

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Practical and Useful Gifts to Give During a Kid’s Birthday Party

The birthday party of your friend’s kid is fast approaching, and your friend is giving out hints on receiving amazing gifts. It’s a lot of pressure and stressful, which we totally understand.

There are a lot of ways to make a child happy depending on his or her age. Giving gifts is a must, especially if they are still so young because material things—mostly toys—make them jump with joy.

But is it really practical to give a toy as a birthday gift? Some would say it’s a waste since he or she is going to outgrow it anyway. If you are torn between one gift and another, then perhaps we could offer our assistance with these practical and useful gift ideas for a kid’s birthday party.

1. Educational Toys

Now this, is a clever exemption. Even if you know that your friend’s kid is going to outgrow this, you know your money is on the right investment. Educational toys differ from every age and you can find lots of it in the market. Take for example, a baking set, a doctor’s equipment set, and more.

These kind of gifts stimulate a child’s brain therefor improving how they think. At a young age, they will be able to distinguish which equipment is good for this kind of activity.

2. Wardrobe Two or Three Sizes Bigger

Yes, wardrobes can be outgrown, but not if you go two or three sizes bigger. Children grow so fast. Practical moms out there buy minimal baby clothes because they know that babies will surely outgrow them in a month.

Going two sizes bigger means the child can wear it when he or she is a little older. This will help Mom and Dad to save when it comes to shopping new clothes.

3. Art Tools

Art tools such as crayons, drawing or coloring books are great gifts. Children at the age of two can appreciate bright colors and if you expose them to colors and shapes at an early age, they will be one step ahead than any other kid.

There are a lot of drawing and coloring books out there that fit every age. From here, each parent may be able to discover if their kid has a potential to be an artist in the future.

4. A Pet

At the young age of five, children respond to animals like birds, fishes, and most especially dogs. If you are a parent or someone who likes to give gifts that are really extra nice, buy the kid an animal.

Puppies will grow and become dogs and they will grow with the child. Animals have a special way of interacting with children making them look at life in a positive manner. They will grow up knowing that animals are meant to be taken cared of and not abused plus it will help them become more responsible.

5. Diapers, Baby Food, and Other Consumables

Diapers, baby food, and other kinds of consumables are a great gift too. Aside from helping the parents save up, they also benefit the baby. Buy several packs of diapers, a box of baby food, milk, and other kinds of consumables that are usually used by the baby.

For sure, the parents will be so thankful because it is a big help for them. When it comes to baby food, make sure that what you bought from the store is nutritious.