How to Find the Perfect Wedding Venue on a Tight Budget

How to Find the Perfect Wedding Venue on a Tight Budget

Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful processes you can put yourself (and possibly everyone around you) through. Not only is it incredibly difficult to coordinate all the different products and services a wedding requires, costs can also spiral out of control in the blink of an eye. When it comes to your wedding venue, it is possible to save huge amounts of money. But, you have to be willing to be flexible. If you’re more concerned about the who, the what, and the why in regards to your wedding than you are about the where, there are massive savings to be had by considering free or low-cost venues.

Free Wedding Venues

Most weddings take place in the spring, summer, or early fall when the weather is generally pleasant. This makes moving your wedding outside to cut down on costs practically a no-brainer. Besides, if there does happen to be a little rain on the big day, that’s what tents and pavilions are for. If you’re open to the idea of an outdoor wedding, there may be free venue options available that you haven’t even thought of.

Backyard wedding venue

Backyard Wedding Venue

Image CC0, by PublicDomainArchive, via Pixabay

Do you have a decent sized backyard? How about your close friends or relatives? A backyard wedding may sound a bit hokey, but with the right touches, you can make your special day amazing. Getting married in your own backyard, or the one you grew up in may end up having more meaning to you and your guests than any fancy venue ever could. Plus, not paying for your venue means you’ll have a lot more money to put into decor, food, and drinks, hair and makeup, or whatever you prioritize the most about your wedding experience. Maybe you’d rather pocket the money and put it toward a down payment on a house or car for you and your spouse-to-be, or put it toward starting a family, traveling, or getting a degree.

Borrowed wedding venue

Does your uncle own the most charming alpaca farm, complete with a restored antique barn and a gazebo? Have you admired the private apple orchard down the road for years? If you know someone who happens to own a possible venue for your wedding, ask them to borrow it! Think about the services you could provide in exchange for using their property for your wedding venue. Are you great with kids? Offer a few weekends of free babysitting. Have a way with animals? Do free labor on the farm or walk the dogs for a month. The trading of goods and services isn’t as common as it used to be, but it can still be a great deal for everyone involved. Do be sure to show your gratitude by cleaning up after your event and leaving your borrowed venue in the same state it was in before you arrived.

Low-Cost Wedding Venues

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a large backyard or a farmer uncle at their disposal. That doesn’t mean that you’re stuck spending a fortune on a wedding venue. Check your area for local gems. Ask people you know who got married in the same area where they had their wedding. People love to tell the story of when and where they were married. Don’t be afraid or feel guilty about contacting more than one possible venue, either. These places understand that you’re shopping around and making an important decision about the biggest event of your life and that another place may work out better for you in the end. As intimate as their customer service may seem, it’s just business. They won’t take it personally if you won’t.

Park wedding venue

best weeding spot park or trees with bench

Image CC0, by LoboCrzz, via Pixabay

It seems to be a relatively unknown fact that nearly every park is available for rent for events. Most will cost you less than $100 for half the day. Some can even be reserved for free. If you’re down for an outdoor wedding, but don’t have a big enough (or presentable enough) space, a park makes for a great inexpensive wedding venue. Keep in mind, though, that many parks will only let you reserve one area, so there may be other patrons nearby. If that’s not okay with you, look for a small local park and see what kind of arrangements you can make there. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

Reception Venue

Here’s an idea: What if you were to skip the stuffy, expensive, ceremony altogether and get right to the party? That’s what all your guests are coming for anyway, right? It costs as little as $10 to be married by a judge or magistrate at your local courthouse. That leaves a ton of money in your budget for an epic reception. Set up a pizza bar, a taco bar, a weed bar (if that’s your thing), or a candy buffet and let your guests go wild to celebrate your union. Don’t forget the actual bar, of course. Most of them will be thrilled to go straight to the reception, and you likely will be too. A ceremony is stressful to plan, expensive, and nerve-wracking. A reception is all about letting loose, celebrating, and having fun.

American Legion

Did you know that military veterans can rent American Legion banquet halls at a steeply discounted rate? Some can be reserved for as little as $70 and include a full bar and kitchen. If you or your spouse happen to be veterans, great. If not, it’s likely that one of your invited family members or friends is. Ask around and see if you can find one of your future guests who is willing to rent the legion and be reimbursed. The savings are worth it, and he or she will likely be more than happy to help you make your reception happen.

Community center

Wedding Venue Tennis Court

Image CC by 2.0, by Tracy Hunter, via Flickr

Does your town have a local recreation or community center? Most likely it does, even if you’ve never noticed it. Many of these buildings are converted into community centers after spending decades as schools or libraries. Community center venues can usually be reserved for $50-$200, depending on the room size (caution: the largest available space is usually a gymnasium or tennis court) and kitchen access. If you are interested in going the community center route, be sure that you check with the center about their alcohol policy before you commit. Some may prohibit smoking and/or alcohol on the premises, which could be a deal breaker if you don’t exactly plan to have a dry wedding celebration. They may even have restrictions on what type of decor you can use.

The most important thing to remember about your upcoming wedding is that it’s truly all about the marriage. Your wedding will last one day, but your marriage will hopefully survive a lifetime. Don’t get so caught up in finding the perfect wedding spot that you lose sight of what will really matter the day after the wedding. And the day after that, and the day after that. Besides, as it turns out, couples who spend more money on their weddings are also more likely to divorce. Tell that to the next overpriced wedding venue you come across.

 

Featured image CC0, by jeremywongweddings, via Flickr

What Are the Trending Baby Names of 2018 So Far?

What Are the Trending Baby Names of 2018 So Far?

Picking a name for your new bundle of joy is never easy.

 

You have to consider so many factors…

 

Are there any negative connotations associated with it? Does it sound nice? Will people be able to spell it? Will your kid grow up to hate and resent you for life?

 

When it comes to trending baby names, it might not always be best to go with what’s in style.

 

Have a look at the lists below and see for yourself if these boy names or girl names are a good fit for your upcoming superstar.

 

Top Trending Baby Names of 2018 (So Far)

 

It looks like Emma and Noah are the new Jennifer and Christopher – these names aren’t leaving the top spots anytime soon. Liam is another popular option for boy names.

 

The younger generation seems a little more outgoing in the baby-naming department.

 

Although many of the most common names are fairly standard, unique and unusual names appear here to stay as well.

 

Another factor to consider: lots of parents are opting for unisex names these days. Names like Dakota, Jordan, and even Kyle are very

popular for both genders.

 

Baby Name Trends

 

It seems like parents a few decades ago had a very short list of names to choose from.

 

Sure, those old-school baby books were huge but no one really wanted to take risks. That’s probably why classrooms ended up full of Jennifer’s, Carol’s, James’, and Justin’s.

 

Plus, Biblical names are a part of many families’ history – sometimes for generations.

 

Younger parents aren’t afraid to go out on a limb with something unique.

 

Maybe because they hated having the same name as four other classmates?

 

As far as unique names go, your options are pretty much limitless.

 

Some popular trends from the past few years include:

 

Movie Inspired

 

  • Twilight: Bella, Edward
  • Harry Potter: Minerva, Albus, Severus
  • The Notebook: Noah
  • Marylin (Monroe)
  • The Great Gatsby: Daisy

 

Food Inspired

 

  • Ginger
  • Saffron
  • Miso
  • Kale
  • Clementine
  • Peaches
  • Kobe
  • Rosemary
  • Maple
  • Basil
  • Jasmine
  • Madeleine

 

Nature Inspired

 

  • Aspen
  • Autumn
  • Jade
  • Iris
  • Karma
  • Meadow
  • Misty
  • Coral
  • Kai
  • Lana
  • Rain
  • Willow
  • River
  • Terra
  • Blaze
  • Eco
  • Flint

 

Wow, that’s a lot of interesting and unique names!

 

Trending Boy Names

 

When it comes to boy names, you have plenty of both classic and unique options to choose from. (Although the unique names probably won’t stay unique for very long.)

 

Of course, the standards like Jonathan and Edward are sticking around.

 

However, a lot of new and interesting names are thrown into the mix giving boys a fresh identity.

 

Most of the names on this list are very strong and dignified making them excellent boy names for your little guy.

 

  • Jonathan
  • Adam
  • Augustus
  • Kane
  • Xander
  • Maverick
  • Rhett
  • Charlie
  • Ian
  • Winston
  • Everette
  • Edward
  • Kian
  • Caspian

 

Trending Girl Names

 

While the trending baby names for boys are bold, the girl names below are generally soft and feminine.

 

Sure, some unisex names made the list, but for the most part, these names exude elegance. (That’s not to say, however, that unisex names can’t be elegant.)

 

Some classics made the list. They’re old school classics, too, that you probably haven’t heard in a while. This gives a fresh take to standard girl names of the past.

 

  • Emma
  • Cora
  • Olivia
  • Sofia
  • Rumi
  • Penelope
  • Maia
  • Mia
  • Isla
  • Amelia
  • Isabella
  • Violet
  • Luna
  • Elizabeth
  • Audrey
  • Genevieve
  • Adeline

 

Trending Unisex Names

 

Unisex names are always a great choice for breaking conventions and giving your little one an immediate sense of nonconformity.

 

Although unisex names often work great for girls (even fairly masculine names) they can sometimes go wrong with boys – especially during grade school.

 

These trending unisex names are excellent choices if you aren’t sure about your baby’s gender or simply want to choose a flexible name.

 

  • Kyle
  • Dakota
  • Bailey
  • Alex
  • Drew
  • Harper
  • Charlie
  • Kennedy
  • Taylor
  • Nico
  • Pheonix
  • Hayden
  • Riley
  • Skyler
  • Parker

 

As you can see, there’s a bit of overlap between the trending boy and unisex names.

 

A Word of Caution About Trending Baby Names

 

You face a lot of pressure while choosing a name for your baby: it’s something your child will have to live with the rest of their life.

 

What’s trending now might not be the best decision ten years down the road. Here are some tips for selecting the best name possible.

 

  1. Keep the spelling short and concise. They’ll need to write it on forms for the rest of their life.
  2. Instead of family names, think of your heritage. Consider checking out traditional Gaelic, Arabic, African, or Latin names.
  3. Say it out loud from start to finish several times. It should roll right off the tongue.
  4. Don’t forget to consider the initials.

 

That’s it. Now you’re prepared to pick the best name.

10 Fun Things to Do with Your Girlfriend

10 Fun Things to Do with Your Girlfriend

When your relationship is relatively new, you may feel pressure to find fun, exciting and unique things to do with your girlfriend. After you have been together for a few months or longer, the pressure may be off. However, while you may no longer feel as though you need to impress her, you may be looking for the best things to do with your girlfriend that both of you will enjoy.

While dinners and movies are common date ideas, there are many other things to do with your girlfriend that you can experience together over the months and years.

 

10 Fun Things to Do With Your Girlfriend

#1. Go Hiking

a couple on a mountain hike

In many areas of the country, hiking trails abound. Think about visiting local, state or national parks together for a fun day trip. There are few things more magical and relaxing than spending a day surrounded by the beauty of nature with someone you care deeply about. Be sure to pack sunscreen, snacks, and water for a more enjoyable day outdoors.

#2. Enjoy a Picnic

a young couple on a bicycle

If hiking is not your top idea for fun things to do with your girlfriend, another option is to enjoy a picnic together under the sun or even under the stars in the evening hours. Find a romantic area with great views. Make sandwiches, or buy restaurant food. Make sure to bring a comfortable blanket to sit on while you enjoy your meal. For an extra touch, bring a portable radio, or turn on soft, romantic music through one of your phone’s apps.

#3. Get a Couple’s Massage

massage towels, stones, and candle

Some men think that massages are rather feminine, but the reality is that many men get massages regularly for stress-relief and relaxation. With a couple’s massage, the two of you will be in the same room, and you will each have a masseuse focusing on your muscles and joints.

Whether you get a 30-minute or an hour-long massage, you will both leave this experience feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Enjoy a cocktail or dessert after your massage for the ultimate date experience.

#4. Go Skating

a couple on an ice skating rink

How long has it been since you have gone ice skating or roller skating? Chances are that both of you will be pretty awkward on skates if it has been awhile, but this can make the experience even more fun. With many skating facilities indoors, you may be able to go skating any time of year. This is a fun idea for a day or evening night, and you both will love being active and sharing a much-loved tradition from the past together with each other.

#5. Have a Game Night

board games cards and pieces on a table

Another great idea for things to do with your girlfriend is to have a game night at home. Order a pizza, and make brownies or cookies for dessert together. Bring out your favorite board games from your childhood to play together, or play any number of card games.

An alternative to this is to have a video game night. Car racing and adventure video games that allow two players to play with or against each other are the best options to consider. Dancing and karaoke video games can also be fun to enjoy together.

#6. Attend a Theatrical Show

If you are looking for fun things to do with your girlfriend that are more cultural, consider a theatrical performance. Look for Broadway-style shows that will be hosted close to your home in the coming weeks, and buy your tickets well in advance so that you have the best seats available.

If theater is not your favorite thing, remember that there are other forms of culture that you can enjoy together. For example, you can listen to the symphony perform or even watch a traveling comedian do a stand-up performance.

#7. Check Out a Live Music Performance

young people at a music concert

Listening to live music together is another great idea, and you may find numerous smaller and larger acts performing close to home in the near future. Some venues may have ample space available for you to dance, and others may simply host concert-style performances. Remember to think about both indoor and outdoor venues close to your area in order to find the best options that will appeal to both of you.

#8. Take a Class Together

Part of being a couple means growing together in different ways, and there is no better way to do this than by taking a class together. You can always take a class at a community college near your home, such as a foreign language course. However, there are also one-session options for cooking classes, art lessons, comedy lessons and more.

Talk about things that you have always wanted to try or that you would like to learn to do better. In many cases, your interests may overlap, and you can take a class together that is mutually interesting to both of you.

#9. Think About a Seasonal Date

a couple wearing matching Halloween costumes

There are many wonderful ways to enjoy the different seasons together. For example, on Halloween, you can dress up together and head to a local bar that has a costume contest. For the winter holiday season, you can drive around town with a thermos of hot cocoa to check out the holiday lights displays.

There are also usually several festivals for each season in some of the major metropolitan areas that you can attend together. These are only a few of the unique ways to experience the seasons together.

Drawing to a Close

While some couples get stuck in a rut and tend to have the same date over and over each week, this does not have to be the case with you and your girlfriend. As you can see, there are plenty of fun things to do with your girlfriend that go beyond the traditional dinner and a movie dating experience. Make plans to enjoy some of these great ideas in the weeks to come to make wonderful new memories with your girlfriend.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Top 7 Cute Ways to Ask a Girl Out

Top 7 Cute Ways to Ask a Girl Out

You like a girl, and you think she likes you. When you meet a girl that seems perfect, you want to find the perfect way to ask her out. If you’re not in touch with your romantic side, don’t worry. If a girl likes you, you can’t go wrong with a cute date proposal. This article discusses the top 7 cute ways to ask a girl out that will be sure to make her heart melt.

a red love lock on a bridge

Top 7 Cute Ways to Ask a Girl Out (Cute Ways to Ask a Girl to Be Yours)

1. Take a Note from Her Favorite Chic Flick

a couple on a romantic date

Many girls watch chick flicks with a little twinge of jealousy. She wishes she could be in her heroine’s shoes. While thinking of cute ways to ask a girl out, remember what movies she enjoys. Is she a big “Twilight” fan? Try playing “Clair de Lune” for her before asking the big question.

If she’s a big fan of “The Princess Bride,” try saying, “As you wish.” You’ll put a big smile on her face. If she’s not much of a chick flick fan, you can improvise with her favorite movie.

2. Fill in the Blank Note

someone drawing a pink heart on a paper

Whether you’re in high school or college, giving a girl a fill in the blank note is one of the easiest of cute ways to ask a girl out. A note builds up the suspense and her excitement. If you’re feeling confident, you can create your own note, or you can simply visit hobby sites like Pinterest.

The most common note trending on Pinterest starts as casual, pop-culture questions. When she’s answered each question, you can ask her to read the answers aloud. Together, the answers form the question you really want to ask: “Will you go out with me?”

 3. Use a Fortune Cookie

an open fortune cookie

If you see your future romance written in the stars, why not help her see it too? There are several fortune cookie websites to help you create her fortune. If you’re looking for a standard fortune cookie, try visiting personalized-fortune-cookies.com. Unfortunately, there is a minimum requirement of 12 cookies. However, at .60 a cookie, it’s still one of the cheapest and cute ways to ask a girl out.

For a luxuriously-wrapped fortune, you can go to fancyfortunecookies.com. This site offers just about any fortune cookie you can imagine: flavored, chocolate-dipped, seasonal, and even bling fortune cookies.

If you’re asking your girl out to a special event, investing in a special fortune cookie will make a great impression. Ranging between .50-$1.75 a cookie, with a minimum quantity of 50, Fancy Fortune Cookies is a little more expensive. If you think the girl is worth it, so is the cookie.

4. Use a Pet

a cute beagle puppy

Girls can’t say no to puppy love, especially if it’s from an actual puppy. If you or your crush has a pet, use that to your advantage. There are several ways to use pets as a wing-man.

If the pet is yours, try dressing it in a cute outfit and attach either a sign or a note to its neck. For her pet, the next time it greets you, quickly string your note around its collar. Draw her attention to the note, and let the pet do the convincing.

5: Write a Poem

a calligraphic handwriting

You don’t have to be a modern Robert Browning to create beautiful poems. Composing a poem shows a girl that you cared enough to write something for her and that you’re willing to show off your vulnerable side. You don’t have to make it overly emotional, either.

The best poems are simple and to the point. There are a few websites that can give you inspiration for a poetic proposal, such as cutelovequotesforher.org or short-love-poems.com. A word of caution, though: Poems are not for every girl. Take the time to get to know you girl and whether she would appreciate a poem.

6: Build-A-Bear

a small teddy bear holding a rose

Giving a girl a teddy bear will give her something to hold and remind her of you. You can keep it simple and attach a sign to any bear, or you can create your own at Build-A-Bear. This platform allows you to create your own stuffed animal from scratch. Afterward, you can record a personalized voice message and insert it into the toy.

Build-A-Bears aren’t cheap, but they certainly make an impression. Basic animals start at $12 and range all the way up to $65. The personalized sound recording usually starts at $8.00.

7: Use Her Favorite Hobby

a girl sitting on the grass with a camera next to her

If you’re still struggling to discover some cute ways to ask a girl out, remember that every girl has a passion. When you take the time to listen to her and use that passion to ask her out, it will tell her this isn’t just a casual date for you.

For example, if she’s a drama major, try showing up at her house dressed as her favorite Broadway hero. If you’d rather not go to that extent, just think of unique ways to incorporate her interests into your proposal.

You can also use her hobby to find inspiration for date activities. If you’ve found a girl that actually loves baseball, take her to her favorite local team. Once you’ve spent the day getting to know her, you have the perfect opportunity to tell her how you feel.

Summing It Up

Asking a girl out can be intimidating, especially if you’re having trouble reading her feelings. Luckily, there are hundreds of cute ways to ask a girl out that are sure to impress her. The key is confidence. Even when you feel like there’s no chance of her saying yes, be confident in yourself and your feelings for her. Your confidence, combined with a cute proposal, can win her heart over.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

10 simple steps to impress a girl on facebook chat

10 simple steps to impress a girl on facebook chat

impress a girl on facebook chat

Facebook is one among the popular and widely used social networking sites that will help you to know more about your friends. Some use it to stay in contact with their friends and family members but some use it to search new friends. Mostly guys find it difficult to impress a girl on facebook chat because it’s not about the conversation he make with her but also includes every detail of his profile.

Are you looking for some best tips to impress her on facebook? In this article you can learn some tips about impressing a girl on facebook chat.

How to impress a girl on facebook chat

1 # Impress with your profile

If you want to impress a girl first you should make your profile interesting by deleting unwanted posts and share exciting facts. Often update your profile and also profile picture which was taken at work place or school or with family members. Do not keep the picture that is edited in Photoshop and more over try to include your pet in profile picture to let her know you are a caring person.

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2 # Try to know about her

Try to visit her profile often and know what kind of person she is. You will not get much detail but you can know about her studies, family and little facts. Track her status, likes and dislikes and you can join the community in which she is in. you can find her close friend and make them as your friend also because they could help you in knowing more about her.

3 # Be active when she is active on facebook

Try to be in online when she is active in Facebook and make some comments or like her post which will let you know your presence. If your comment is worth surely she will make an attempt to know about you and notice your profile which can be the best way to impress a girl on facebook chat. If she is impressed by your profile there are possibilities that she will add you as friend.

4 # Chat with her regularly

impress a girl on facebook chat3

If she added you in her friends list then you make your first move and start chatting. Make usual conversation and reply to her comments which will make her happy. With the details you gained through her profile you can talk freely without any hesitation. Do not irritate her with your conversation and do not begin your discussion that she is not interested in.

5 # Express your care and interest

Once if you started your regular conversation then make her know you are interested to talk with her. Women always want men to be caring and interested on her. If you express your care and interest during conversation then it will be a positive technique to approach her. You can ask her how she is feeling and make her realize she is important to you.

6 # Compliments 

Women always like to be complemented thus this could be an effective technique to impress a girl. While chatting with her in facebook try to give complement like praising about her profile picture or status or comment the photos, videos that she added to make her happy. By doing all these things she will know that you are paying attention on her and to realize her that you took time to know about her. Make sure that the things you are saying should not make her feel like you are lying to her.

6 # Often surprise her

You cannot present flowers or chocolates for her but you can send e-cards and messages to show her how much you like her and how much you are interested in her. You can also give her surprise by organizing all her friends to wish for her important days and don’t forget to be the first person to wish.

7 # Offer a video chat

If you’re not able to express your thoughts in message then you can start a video call with her. It is the time to take your chat to next level. You have to be careful at this stage and make sure she should not think you are showing interest on her physical beauty which can be one of the attractive ways to impress a girl.

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8 # Find what she is thinking about you

Now it’s time for you to know whether she likes you or not. Try to know and hear from her that she is interested on you and want to spend time with you. During this conversation you can also find if she unlike any of your activities and change it for her, this will surely impress her.

9 # Ask for a day out

impress a girl on facebook chat4

If you know she is fascinated in spending time with you then as her to come out with you for a date. Plan for dinner or lunch at romantic place or even take her to the place which she desired to go. Know what she likes and gift it to make her surprise, even you can express your love by giving her ring and flowers.

It will be easier for you to impress a girl on facebook chat if you get her attention. Importantly don’t lie to her once she started believing you. I hope these tips will be useful for you to impress your girlfriend. Please leave your feedback about this article in the following comments section.