Blue Collar Bride
Finding the Right Wheels for Your Budget

Transportation is kind of a dry subject, which may be why many wedding guides skip it entirely. Those that mention town car and limo rentals suggest booking yours 8-9 months in advance. If you missed the boat on that, there are alternatives that may suit you just fine (see our post). If a limo is what you want and you’ve got your business together in time, here are a few tips to help you get all the car you need within your budget:

  • Popular wedding choices (anything white) will cost more, as will “luxury” touches like red carpet, champagne, a TV, etc. If you’re a haggler, give it a go. You might score some free extras. If not, see our post on negotiating for the polite. Unless your wedding is the same day as prom.
  • There may be fuel surcharges, per-stop fees, clean-up fees, and other charges you may not anticipate. Read the contract well.
  • If you’re not going with a wedding package that covers the whole day, be sure and ask when the clock starts and stops. If that happens at the garage, find out where that is.
  • Unlike renting a Taurus at the airport, there is a driver to consider who gets a 10-20% gratuity. The more bells and whistles you opt for in your rental, the more that adds up too.
  • Explore all your options. Smaller businesses might offer better deals than well-advertised fleets. Also, deal with the person who owns the vehicle and not a broker or other third-party to avoid surprises, monetary and otherwise.
Limo Alternatives

There are countless variations and means of putting your stamp on every other aspect of the wedding, but not many alternative rides muscling in on the wedding market. Limos offer clear benefits: they are appropriately formal and large enough for your dress. But depending on the particulars of your wedding, there might be a better option out there.

5 Reasons an alternative might be right for you

1. The distance you will be traveling is very small 

Limo companies generally charge in blocks of 3-4 hours. Say you live a few miles away from the ceremony site and the reception is either on the premises or within walking distance. Paying all that money for one 5 mile ride is an extravagance you might chose to skip.

2. Your wedding is the same day as prom 

You didn’t think about prom when you set your wedding date? Most proms take place in April or May (I had to look that up). Wedding and graduation seasons also increase the competition (and price) for limousines and party buses. The deals are few and far between and to get what you want you’ll need to book your reservation way in advance. If your needs are few and your aesthetic requirements flexible, you’re a lucky person and wedding planning will be a breeze! And a limo might work out for you. If not, explore the alternatives.

3. You have a large number of people to shuttle around and small budget  

If you find yourself in the situation of having to provide transportation for many people, limousine rentals might be the costliest and most inefficient way to go. Not only are multiple cars pricey, but they can also result in delays an confusion.

Renting fewer, larger vehicles can ensure that people are in the right place at the right time. Chartered buses, SUV rentals, your parents’ Winnebago can be economical and keep things running smoothly. Also, roomier options can double as a lounge area during the duller moments (while waiting for a turn in front of the camera for instance) and a welcome source of privacy. Sit down, fix your bra, and have a Sprite. You can’t imagine how good that will feel on your wedding day.

4. You have flexible dimension requirements

There won’t be a lot of crinoline or high hairdo’s and/or there are few people who need transporting. Cabs and car rentals are some other options that can work for all involved, including bride and groom. After pricing limousines, $100 for a 24 hour car rental sounds pretty good. While vintage and classic car rentals can cars run around one hundred dollars per hour, the same rate as most limos, they may have fewer restrictions and fees involved.

Craigslist, classified sections of papers, and yellow page online directories are also good resources for finding non wedding-specific (cheaper) options. Of course, the cheapest solution is to use your own car or borrow a private car from a friend or family member. With the money you save you can splurge on the deluxe carwash.

5. The alternative is obvious 

It’s staring you in the face. You have access to a vehicle that makes a statement, is perfect for your wedding, has significance for you, or can fit your bridal party in their finery. Maybe it’s a fire truck, a bicycle, or a classic Chevy convertible.

Alternatives might mean going bigger or going smaller than pricier options. But you might find that bigger or smaller is what you prefer. Maybe you want getting there to be part of the fun and you want to pile  into a bus with your friends. Or maybe a smaller car will give you a welcome moment alone with your parents on the way to the ceremony. Your search for the right wheels might start as a way to save a few bucks, but it might not be a sacrifice after all.
Photo: Vanessa Bertozzi
Enter to Win a Rustic Wedding Package for a Very Special Cause!

A few months back we hosted a very popular giveaway for a set of wildflower seed bomb wedding favors from Etsy shop Cedar Wood Rustics. Recently I head from shop owner Kayla about a benefit raffle she’s holding for a cause that’s close to her heart. Baby girl Payzlie born July 2 to her good friend has already had one heart surgery, several blood transfusions and has more heading her way. Cedar Wood Rustics is generously raffling off a beautiful rustic wedding set to help Payzlie and her family with their medical bills. Tickets are $1 a piece and all proceeds go to the cause. For details on the prize package and to enter the raffle, visit the Etsy listing here:

Here’s Payzlie’s story from her mom: “At 5 months gestation Payzlie was diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia (her diaphragm didn’t close & allowed her stomach to move into her chest) This moved her heart to the right side of her chest causing 2 major heart defects (Transposition of the Great Vessels & Ventricular Septal Defect) She was born July 2 weighing 8 lbs 13 oz. She had to have 40 mins of CPR causing her brain to develop a bleed & the dr called me & said she wasn’t going to make it. Payzlie proved them wrong & was put on an ECMO machine (heart/lung bypass) She’s had bp issues, strokes, bleeding issues & she’s on a ventilator. On July 9 she under went her 1st heart surgery (Septostomy) it was unexpected. July 10 she had her hernia repaired to put her stomach into her abdomen from her chest, to their surprise they found her spleen, part of her liver & small bowel were in her chest as well. They stitched her abdominal skin closed but left her muscles open (surgery to follow months down the road to close them) Major open heart surgery possibly next week. Drs said we’ll be here for several months. We have our 2 oldest with us but our 3 y/o is not. My husband hasn’t been able to work for a few weeks & will not be working for several more. Payzlie has defied the odds so far & we put her problems in Gods hands a while back, its up to the 2 of them everyone else is just their pit crew. She’s so little to be such a mighty fighter. We’re staying as strong as we can (just exhausted) I posted the address on my wall for cards or anything else to be sent to. Thanks for wanting to help us, we greatly appreciate it. Love ya & God bless!”

Feel free to share the raffle link and enter as many times as you like. With each purchase of a $1 ticket you have a chance to win a package including:

  • A Grapevine “LOVE” cake topper
  • 100 Seed Bomb Favors
  • Wooden Cake Stand
  • Burlap Ring Pillow
  • Barn or Cedar Wood Sign/ or Mason Jar Unity Set.

The drawing will take place August 2nd to celebrate Payzlie’s 1 month birthday! Here’s a sample of Cedar Wood Rustics beautiful work:




Featured Vendor: Anjolee Jewelry

Planning your own wedding can in instill an appreciation for the timeless and classic even in a stubbornly unconventional lady like myself. Or maybe the older I get, the less interested I am in trends. I’m attracted to things I know I will still love and use ten years from now.

Like many of you, my groom and I are planning a wedding without the luxury of money to burn. Every spending decision we make for our wedding involves a lot of thought and a shopping experience of quest-like proportions. Shopping can be difficult when you’re picky and you like to do things your own way. When I find something that makes the process easier, I think it’s worth sharing and I think you budget-conscious and creative types will really like Anjolee jewelry.

Anjolee creates high-quality, ethically-sourced jewelry you can put your own creative spin on. If you’re shopping for an engagement ring, diamond bridal set, tennis necklace, or other special occasion piece, Anjolee offers 7 types of metals, 6 diamond qualities, and a range of style options so you can make it your own. That’s a pretty unusual concept and one that I can get behind. Here are some more things I really like about this company:

They’re green

Anjolee’s manufacturing process eliminates unnecessary waste, conserving and reusing all possible excess material.

Their diamonds are natural, authentic, and responsibly sourced

Anjolee diamonds are only from manufacturers who have documentation warranting that they were obtained through legitimate channels, in compliance with the Kimberly act of 2003. Anjolee provides a certificate of authenticity with each purchase. They also make third party certificates and appraisals easy to obtain during the design and order process.

They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on custom orders

If you are unsatisfied with your custom order for any reason, you can return it within 30 days of receipt for a full refund. As with bike and mortar stores, Anjolee is happy to make adjustments to sizing, issuing a refund for material removed.

Their site is easy and lots of fun to use

For those of you new to buying grown-up jewelry, Anjolee offers educational resources on their site as well as live chat, phone, and email customer assistance to help you make the right choices. Start with a design you like. Play with the stone type, Carat weight, and metal until you find a design you love that’s right for your budget.

So now that you’re interested, let’s have a look at the sparkly stuff:

Vintage Beauty Princess Cut Engagement Ring

Vintage Quad Square Diamond Bracelet

Diamond Drop Earrings

Visit for more info, pricing, and to try out the customization process for yourself!

 Featured image: Perfect Three Diamond Anniversary Ring

*This is a sponsored post*

Candy Buffets: Reasons to Hire a Pro

I have always been a do-it-yourself kind of gal. I enjoy making things and being creative. I have always been an avid crafter, began my college education in drafting and design, and take great pride in saying, “Thanks, I made it!”

I approached my wedding planning almost two years ago with my signature DIY mindset. It seemed so simple! I would save us money by creating things myself. It was about 4am, in the middle of frantically sticking rhinestones to our invitations, when I realized that I could not do everything myself.

It was a frightening moment. I still had SO much to do! The basement was littered with untouched supplies. Luckily, I have wonderful family and friends that rallied around me, and everything got done in time. I couldn’t have been happier with how our programs, invitations, favors, candy table (I realize, this is getting ridiculous), guest book, place cards, table names, and seating board turned out.

Post-wedding, I was unpacking the large glass containers from my sweets table, and I started remembering how much work the table had been. However, I soon smiled when I recalled just how much everyone had loved it.

The thought process behind our sweets table was to be practical, functional, and colorful. Weddings favors cost at least $3/each (for something nice). While favors are fun the day of, they don’t always get used after. I thought it would be a nice change to have our guests build their own candy favors…and I was right! The candy table was a HUGE success!

Suddenly, in the midst of unpacking, it dawned on me! I could use my containers, decorations, and newfound knowledge to start a business…a full-service sweets table business! I launched “Hello, Sugar” in Jully of 2011, and I have been growing my business ever since.

The benefits of working with a full-service vendor like “Hello, Sugar” are best summed up with 3 P’s:


Because of my extensive knowledge of candy, I feel confident that I make every sweets table and favor unique and special. I love personalizing my creations by color, theme, and even flavor. I am constantly coming up with new ideas, and try to share some of them through my blog “Daily Sweetness.”


Candy tables are more expensive if done from scratch. By the time containers, scoops, signs, decorations, and candy holders are taken into account, little is left for candy. I own my decorations, containers, scoops, and even some colored table overlays. I offer them for use at a fraction of what it costs to buy. I also have searched the internet and Metro Detroit for the best deals on candy and supplies. I even make some of my own candy, which drastically cuts back on cost and ensure homemade quality.

Peace of Mind.

When you desire a sweets table that is beautiful and memorable, there is an extensive amount of work involved in searching for unique candy, laying out the table, assembling containers, and finding decorations. At Hello, Sugar, I personally handle everything from the beginning planning stages, to setting up the table on your big day to boxing up your leftovers. All you have to worry about is enjoying your day!

I hope this post has made you consider the benefits of hiring professionals to assist in your big day. Be sure to shop around, ask for references or reviews, and find a vendor you actually enjoy talking with! Remember, they will be a HUGE part of the biggest day of your life.

If you are considering a sweets table, and are in the Michigan/Ohio area, I’d LOVE to chat with you! Please contact me at Regardless of your location, keep an eye on my blog for recipes, tips, tricks, and trends:

Stay Sweet!


Congrats to our latest winner!

In case you missed it, we ran a great giveaway from Etsy shop Cedar Wood Rustics. Check out their shop for handmade, rustic, and budget-friendly special occasion items. Today’s the big day that we announce our winner for our wildflower seed bomb giveaway! 

So, without further ado, congratulations to Clenna Emory!

And thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who entered. We appreciate your tweets, pins, likes, etc. more than words can say. And for those of you who took the time to fill out our wedding-recap survey, an extra-special thank you. You’re consolation prize: another chance to win something! We’ve posted a new giveaway today, and it’s a beauty. Stop by and check it out!

Trophy: Second Home

Giveaway! Ends 5/9

Update: We have a winner! Congrats to Kamilah and thanks to everyone for your tweets, pins, etc! Special thanks to Designs by Monica Marie for a great giveaway!

Unless you’re a hula girl or professional pin-up, it’s s not every you get to wear flowers in your hair. I love the idea of substituting a longer veil with flowers and/or a little  tulle, fascinator or birdcage-style. It’s feminine and suits a wider range of personal styles than some traditional options. Perhaps you’re feeling inspired to fasten flowers to your person after reading our post on bouquet alternatives. The trouble with fresh flowers is they tend to get a little bedraggled-looking with hours of wear, photos, moshing, the usual. For those of you who love the look of fresh flowers, there are high quality life-like options out there that fit the bill, like the beautiful roses in our latest giveaway.

This giveaway comes from Etsy shop Designs By Monica Marie. Shop owner Monica Shalley creates beautiful floral wedding accessories using true-touch flowers, as well as birdcage veils, fascinators, and more. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find in her shop:

Our giveaway is for a true touch rose fascinator (pictured below). The fascinator includes two blooms, each on a separate alligator clip for maximum versatility. Details:

• Large flower – 3.5”-4”

• Small flower – 3”

• Each flower attached to an alligator clip

• Color- Ivory

 *Giveaway details*

This giveaway is for an ivory rose fascinator, store listing here. Here’s what you need to do to be entered in the giveaway:
  • Pin, tweet, or promote the giveaway on Facebook, your blog, or anywhere else you hang out online and leave a comment below.
  • For an additional entry, add Designs By Monica Marie to your favorites on Etsy.
  • Three entries is the limit, but either of the following will earn you another entry:  join our community Pinterest board or subscribe to Blue Collar Bride.

That’s it! Entries will be accepted through May 9th and the winner selected at random and announced here on the 10th!

Featured on Cash Sweepstakes, Lucky Contests.

Seed Bomb Giveaway Ending Soon!
A homemade wedding

This post comes from our reader Lucie, who took the time to fill out our wedding-recap survey. Thank you Lucie!

How would you characterize your wedding?

Homemade/charity style, with African fabrics and wood flowers. Now I’d characterize it as vintage (20s,30s,40s) because we learned to dance the lindy hop.

What was the best part of your wedding day?

The night lunch in a beautiful garden with guests eating and chatting barefoot on the grass…

How involved were friends and family in the planning process?

No involvement, we wanted to do it our way, so we planned everything on our own.

What were the most difficult decisions you had to make and how did you handle them?

We decided to have our wedding far from our city, several km away, and we couldn’t possibly pay for our guests accommodations; in the end, those who came were really happy to be there, no matter what.

How DIY did you get? Was it a joy or a hot-glue nightmare?

Absolutely a joy, shared with same family members, it was quick and fun.

Did you splurge on anything that in retrospect was worth every penny?

The location, it was far from home but it was awesome and super romantic.

Is there anything you regret not spending more time/money on?

Our first dance! I’d spend a lot of time and money more on it, to make it an adorable memory.

Did you scrap anything during the planning process that you didn’t miss?

The hair/makeup from a professional. It was so warm that it would be a stressful waste of time and money;  I did a regular hairdo at a salon in the morning, omitting the fact that I was a bride, my sister-in-law added a little sparkling pin and I was perfect. I did my makeup, and happiness did the rest ;).

Were you surprised by anything that made your wedding especially memorable?

Some friends took the initiative to make funny things (like the shirts of the World Cup Soccer we had won recently). So our wedding was relaxed and casual, just as we wanted.

What do you wish you had known at the start of the planning process?

That the bride might lose some weight overnight and find herself in front of the church with a too-roomy petticoat to handle!

Any other lessons learned?

That sometimes your mother wants to steal the attention. So, you need to breathe deeply, and let it go. Or start planning, on your way back from the honeymoon,  a slow painful revenge…

Did you plan your wedding? We’d love to hear about it! Take the survey or submit a guest post!

Wooden Flowers: It’sallaboutflower

Blue Collar Board!

You’re invited to the Blue Collar Community Board!

Attention Pinterest users and blue collar brides! We’re announcing a brand-spanking-new pin board. Normally a new board would not call for fanfare, but this one is different: in an effort to spice things up, we want you to make this one your own!

The object is to pin any great small-budget-friendly goods, services, and ideas you come across online. Share wedding photos, promote great vendors, and inspire other BCB readers to love their small wedding!

Ready to roll up your sleeves and get pinning? To join the Blue Collar Community Board, simply follow us on Pinterest and leave a comment below Rosie on our community board! We’ll add you to our list of contributors!

 Your comment here…