Wedding Planning Tips & Resources


My life revolves around recycling clothes, so why would I want my wedding to be any different?  For Mikey and I’s wedding I tried my very best to buy as few decorations as possible and we either borrowed or bought materials from 2nd hand stores that we could make our own.  My Mother-in-Law helped a lot with this process and I will be posting pictures and descriptions of the work we did in preparation for the wedding.


If you have a smaller budget then the average wedding, I would suggest three things;

1) Have a longer engagement (10 months)

2) Do not stop looking until you are satisfied with a price

3) Negotiate.

The reason why I suggest a longer engagement is because when you are running out of time, your stress level sky-rockets and you are more liable to accept the first cost you see.  Another reason a longer engagement is beneficial is because venues, photographers, etc. book quickly and if they have a good price then I will guarantee they won’t be available for a last minute booking.   Also, when things come down to the wire businesses might charge more for last minute decisions and none of these things make small budget wedding plans fun, that is the most important part too!

When looking for prices/cost of everything pertaining to a wedding use any resource you can possibly think of.  Two of the most expensive departments in your wedding budget are the photographer and catering.  When I first starting looking for a photographer I search facebook, I searched all my friends profiles and their websites.  I also asked my friends, I have close family friends that independently contract with several bridal shops and wedding venues and I am telling you when you call a business with a positive connection you will be amazed at what falls in your lap.

I found several small business photographers that typically shoot family photos or newborns/baby photos, but if I thought they were unique and would photograph a wedding well I would contact them and began negotiating.  I told them they could use our pictures as promo’s for their business, I negotiated the number of hours we would need them there, and I negotiated package deals.  Remember these are small business owners and are their own boss, they can and will say yes and no to your offer, but until you ask you won’t ever know.  In the end, our photographer and I made a deal; we will get a free photo album with around 250-300 printed photos and I will give their daughter Sign Language lessons for 15 weeks.  Be brave, put on your game face, and get going.

I want to feature a website I found towards the end of my wedding preparations, so I didn’t get to utilize the main purpose of the site.  The website is called Once  It features used wedding dresses, they are all in great condition and reasonably priced.  They also have wedding ideas and Do-It-Yourself Weddings, which is my favorite part.






My boots are made for shopping


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This post won’t be terribly long, I just needed to get my blog fix.  My wedding is in 16 days!! I will be able to post some of the wedding decorations after the wedding as well, maybe give you some cheap ideas.  The images above are of a dress and cowboy boots that I found at thrift stores.  The boots I found at a Goodwill in New York City.  I went to visit a close friend of mine named, Brooke.  She was there for a college internship and once my spring break rolled around I was ecstatic to go visit her.  Brooke had never gone to a thrift store before, what a better place then to experience the finest of fine New York thrift stores.  Those boots were designed by Jessica Simpson and were maybe $14, it would have been silly for me not to pick them up.  The dress I bought for a thrift store in the Midwest.  In the fall and spring I pair that dress with a jean jacket and the boots.

Tip #4: Jackets/Suit Jackets are one of the essentials.

Jackets and Suit Jackets can be very expensive, however, they really do help dress an outfit up.  Typically thrift stores have gobs of jackets and at Goodwill they are $4.00 and at Salvation Army, they vary but are most likely cheaper than Goodwill.  If you go to Goodwill on a weekend when they are offering %50 off, jackets are a MUST stop item, when are you ever going to find a jacket for $2.00?

This weekend Northeast Indiana’s Goodwill Stores are offering %50 off! Get to scooting.



Tip #3 Want to feel an extreme boost of confidence?  Go to an auction, bid (only on things you like) and win.

On Monday afternoon/evenings there are auctions held in New Haven, IN.  My Fiance, Mikey, called me and told me he saw a great table and chair set at this flee market in New Haven.  Mikey has never been to a good old fashion red neck auction, which is perfect, lucky for me I grew up going to auctions every weekend.  The table and chairs are shown in the pictures above and I bet you can’t guess how much I got them for?? $30.  I will post a picture of what it looks like after we paint it, but I was thrilled to have won it that cheap.  I also spotted a cabinet that I thought had amazing structure and since I was waiting for my future-father-in-law to pick up the table and chairs for me I decided I would move right along with the auctioneer and bid on it too.  Again, I think you will be shocked at how cheap I got this vintage solid wood cabinet?  $2.50! I’m serious! I warn you now when you win something that is that beautiful and that cheap you will need someone to pop your big-head because I felt awesome.  I have cleaned it up since this photo was taken and I will post a before and after blog once we paint it again giving you the total price.  I hope you feel inspired to go to an auction.  The first time might be intimidating, but I assure you I can answer any questions you may have.

Once you arrive to an auction you first need to register and get a number, this process is free, they take down your address and make sure you are who you say you are, LET THE BIDDING BEGIN!  Once you have your number then scope out the place for any gold items you might want to bid on.  After you have identified the items you are interested in you wait (patiently, sometimes this process is forever long) and once the auctioneer approaches your item (make sure you know she/he is auctioning off the right thing) and then bid.

Just a couple things about auctions:

You don’t have to start bidding at the first number the Auctioneer throws out, for example the Auctioneer started the cabinet at $15.  He will gradually go down until someone starts bidding, that is how I got it for $2.50.

This process happens really quickly so if you get overwhelmed easily, I would suggest watching the process go down.  Stay calm.

A hillbilly auction (which is where you will find awesome things extremely cheap) is not like the movie auctions, the auctioneer will make eye contact with you to know you are bidding on something, I promise when you scratch your nose you won’t be bidding for an item accidentally.


GOOD LUCK and Go get ’em.

Away we go…


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I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I’m excited to tell you about my weekend and to give some tips about thrift store shopping.  This weekend the Goodwill’s in Fort Wayne had a Beat the Heat 50% sale.  In the future I hope to know beforehand so I can announce that to everyone.  I found some great stuff, however, most of it was fall clothing so I will have to wait to show you the outfits I come up with.

Tip #1: Patience will take you far in the thrifting world.

One of the most important things about thrift store shopping is if you want to truly find your treasures you have to go when you have time and patience.  I don’t go very often with friends/family because I have an extreme amount of patience, which I get from my Father, and I could seriously be in a Goodwill or Salvation Army for hours.  Another thing to have patience with is, it may take several times of going out and looking through clothes before you find that golden item.  There are weeks that I will go to a thrift store on my way home from work maybe 2 times a week and not find a single item.


Tip #2: Creativity will only strengthen your success

I like to research outfits before I go.  I look through people’s facebook pictures, I’ll find a magazine and just flip through it.  I research before I go, because then I have a starting point.  An example: I have been searching for a navy blue (Nautical) jacket to pair with a white pair of shorts and a red and white striped shirt, well guess what? It took me probably  2 months before I found a navy blue jacket.  My point is that jump out of the box and when you look at a shirt that you “might” like, think about what you could pair it with to help boost that creative side that lives in the back of your eyes and the front of your brain.

Thanks for reading!

Psalms 40


I need to shout this today, from the depths of my heart.



1.I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
and put their trust in him.

4 Blessed is the one
who trusts in the LORD,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
5 Many, LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.

6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened[c]
burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
8 I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”

9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, LORD,
as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, LORD;
come quickly, LORD, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The LORD is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.

And so it begins….


I am very excited to begin working on this blog.  I want to share with you a few of my goals and the point to this blog.  I believe strongly that recycling is important and the consumption of materialistic items can be detrimental to the earth and also to your wallet.  I have been thrift store shopping for 5 years now and I must say that I have become pretty good at it.  I will be taking pictures of outfits that I buy from thrift stores and give tips and tricks on how what to do and where to go.  I think you will be surprised about what I have pulled together because, well, quite frankly the looks I have are not what you would expect.  I am not a gypsy and hardly a hipster, so you can dress both business professional and casual and I will teach you everything I know about it.  I hope you enjoy reading and enjoy the day-to-day looks.