Hosting Your Own Wedding On A Budget | Guest Article from Tidy Home

Hosting Your Own Wedding On A Budget

Photo credit by Unsplash 


He popped the question, and you said ‘yes.’ Now all you have to do is plan the wedding, but funds are tight and you both want something really special. What can you do?

It’s time to host your own wedding.

Setting The Budget

Once you know your home can handle the affair, it’s time to set your budget, including cost per head for food and alcohol, attire and decorations. Read all the elements you need to consider in this article from The Spruce.

If you’re struggling to set a reasonable budget, these options might help lower costs, and some even help the environment:

  • Use a local university or specialty school to find musical talent, DJs and bakers.
  • recommends searching your network of friends and family for vendors such as florists and photographers. You can even recruit a family member such as a cousin to be your day of coordinator to make sure everything runs smoothly.
  • If there is a nearby church, temple, community center, or other area with parking, ask to borrow the lot for your day in exchange for a donation.
  • Print your own programs, place cards, and decorative items on plantable seed paper (available online).
  • Instead of pricey snacks, opt for simple hor d’oeuvres such as fruit, raspberries, popcorn etc. served in biodegradable wooden cones (also available online).
  • Rather than spending on wedding favors, opt for a donation to charity of your choice on their behalf.

Scoping Out Your Needs

If you or your family owns a nice home with a sizable yard, you can save a lot of money by using it for your wedding. Keep in mind that you are going to need to rent, make and prepare for everything.

First, get an idea of how many people your space can accommodate. You need to prepare for inclement weather, which either means having the space to accommodate everyone indoors or renting a weatherproof tent. This is a great option, especially when you combine it with renting a dance floor. You’ll also need guest accommodations nearby if your home is not big enough to host people traveling from afar.

One important tip from Better Homes & Gardens is to make sure your kitchen is big enough to accommodate all your cooking needs. They also recommend you plan for guest parking, accessible bathroom facilities, and neighbors if anyone lives nearby.

Finally, because you are responsible for every detail, create lists and organize them in a binder so you can go through each step to make sure you’re not missing anything.

How To Plan The Backyard Setting

Planning the layout of your backyard is next. Here is what you need to know:

  • Landscaping: Make sure you not only clean the yard, but also keep the landscaping well-tended and lush in the months approaching your wedding.
  • Staging Area: You’ll need this to set up the bridal party, photographer, and other staffing.
  • Altar/Ceremony Area: Consider building an arbor or pergola. Professionally built trellises cost between $400-$900 for materials and labor. Prefab models are more affordable and range from $10-$100.
  • Staging The Elements: Make sure your guests have room to move around and access everything they need.
  • Fun Details: This is your chance to shine with an exciting theme and interesting decor. Check out these ingenious wedding ideas at BuzzFeed.

Don’t Miss These Items

Here are some items you may not have considered that you can’t do without:

  • Rent a generator because your home electricity could get blown out.
  • Insurance and permits to cover the event. You might have some homework to do if you are buying liquor for your event, like assessing state laws and your liability. Read what you need to know about stocking alcohol at A Practical Wedding.
  • Bug treatment ahead of time.
  • The Knot recommends having the vendors come by to check the space beforehand. You don’t want your DJ backing out on the day of your event.
  • Do any important repairs that you need in your yard or home before you start planning.

For more inspiration, read how the owner of Simply Salvaged Restoration planned a backyard wedding in six months on a budget of $4,000-$5,000.

Having a home wedding is a lot of work, but it can be the most interesting event your guests have ever attended. Make sure you are well-prepared for every eventuality.



About the Author:
Alice Robertson began her career in the home organization industry as a professional house cleaner. After cleaning and organizing her clients’ homes for years, she decided to open her own home organization business. Over the years, she has built an impressive client list, helping to make spaces in homes and businesses more functional. She recently created as a place to share the great cleaning and organizing advice she has developed over the years.


three zero wasted years later

Hello everyone! It’s been months since I’ve written anything and then all of a sudden, three posts in a row! It’s your lucky week. Just kidding. Or maybe it is…

Three years ago today, I embarked on a journey to reduce my waste. The first year, was this entire blog, posting about my extreme experiment to reduce my waste for one year, which led to a second and somewhat third.

Remember my jar? This entire jar was my garbage that my three year old and I produced in one year back in 2015. My son won’t even remember that year and while I’m really proud of that accomplishment, our lives don’t fit into a jar anymore.


I’m going to try to keep this short because many of us have short attention spans and better things to do than read blogs about garbage. I’ll just summarize some points.

On Work:

Purchasing equipment is a must for me. I’ve mentioned this again and again. I work in the digital media sphere. I recently had to buy a new laptop as mine of seven years finally died. That’s part of the line of work I choose to be in and buying new is sometimes not just the only option, but the best option you have. In some instances depending on the equipment I need, I can rent it, which is the better option but I have all the tools required to do my job and the most important thing is that I take care of everything as best as I can.

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On Minimalism:

You can bet this is still a constant for me. Over the past few months, I’ve been slowly spring cleaning. Donating and even, *gulp* throwing away items that are no longer necessary and relevant. My son’s toys fit into two drawers. He didn’t have to give away anything, but he chose to and did so without any complaining or second guesses. My clothes still fit on two shelves and take up 1/18 of a closet, except somehow my shoe and jacket collection grew… The office junk has downsized drastically and the art supplies are close to low, except for the ones I keep for my son and a few personal projects.

On Purchases:

I still try really hard to replace when something is completely done. I still try not to spend on unnecessary items, but this year at Christmas – I spent more than I ever have in the last… I don’t know… since I was on my own at 14, so… 18 years. It’s almost like I was possessed. Giddy with happiness. I haven’t been this excited about Christmas since I was a kid. I have no idea what overcame me, but I won’t do that again this year. As I write this now, I realize that I sound like I bought tons of presents, but I actually only bought.. maybe 10?

Needless to say, I’ve actually been trying the NO BUY for a year. It’s where you only buy things you need like food – or in my case, if it’s related to work. You don’t spend money on anything else. For being two months in, I think I’m doing relatively ok.

On Love:

I’m as happy as a bird eating a worm, a bee collecting pollen, a plant soaking up rain … and on and on. From someone who has been in all the wrong kinds of relationships, been in all the horrible states of mind, in all the wrong places doing all the wrong things, this is by far a real, healthy, equal relationship based on friendship and unconditional love. I won’t go on and on, but he supports my “zero waste” life, my need to be chemical-free, my gluten-freeness, my love of veggies, my obsession with organizing, my strict composting rules.. and everything I choose in life, to the best of his ability. I don’t ask him to change or nag him, as he is his own person. We understand each other and respect each others choices, but he is so supportive of me.


On Travel:

Pretty sure this is the area I won’t give up. Not yet. Trust me, when I’m older I won’t be able to move anywhere, and I likely won’t if my son and his future partner (if he decides to choose one) decide to choose to bring a garbage making machine – I mean a cute baby into their lives, whether adopted or blood. On a good note, I do drive a hybrid. Woohoo! But I try not to drive often, bringing me to my second point.

On Location:

Where you live matters when trying to reduce your waste. We like to think what we can do in the Western world, everywhere in the world can do the same. This is not true. It even matters where you live in our beautiful city. I moved pretty close to the edge of the city, it’s almost farmland. It’s not walking distance to any grocery stores and most definitely not ones that offer bulk. When I do have to drive somewhere, I still try to make it as efficient as possible. I do errands, groceries, work and friends/family visits on the same day. The closest stores to me that I go to all the time are:

  • Kardish
  • Farmboy
  • Bulk Barn

Sad to say, I have never been to NU Grocery yet, but I send people that live in that area there as much as I can. It’s just not in my area I frequent.

While my garbage isn’t fitting in a jar, my intentions are still the same. I’m just not beating myself up over a packaged item anymore. I was recently interviewed by a woman regarding my “zero waste” life and she asked me what my advice was for a parent or a person trying to reduce their waste. My answer was this:

“If you’re mad that you had to buy something in plastic, or that you “messed up” and forgot to bring your own container, bag or use a plastic fork, and that’s what you’re worried about, then you have an amazing life.”

The most important thing to worry about is how we treat each other. Everything else is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

And that’s all for now folks. Thank you again for reading and for supporting our store.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask away.

Lots of Love,





The Edgy Moose bowl cover – GIVE-AWAY!


Hey everyone, if you haven’t been following on Instagram you may not have known about our give away for this beautiful fabric bowl cover, made by The Edgy Moose Designs.

  • Medium fabric bowl cover, will fit up to an 8” diameter bowl,
  • secures around your bowl with an already sewn in elastic.
  • perfect for covering fermentation, rising dough, potluck casseroles, fruit bowls, chips and dip and breadrolls
  • Reusable, washes in washer and dryer

All you need to do is go like both The Edgy Moose and us on Instagram and tag a friend to be entered to win.

If you’re not an Instagram person, then simply comment below or share this post on Facebook – make sure you tag us so we know you’ve done it!

Contest closes tonight (Friday, February 16 @ midnight) and is open to anyone in North America.

Good luck!



3 ways to gift-give waste free

In the spirit of today being another day that the world tries to make you feel like you need to give presents and buy stuff just so that people feel loved and important, and make you feel guilty for not doing so (Happy Valentine’s Day!) – I thought I’d share three ways to give waste free.

  1. Donate to a charity on behalf of your friend, loved one or partner. Thyme & Again had heart shaped cookies that they give you in paper bags, that go towards the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Yummy and kind.Screenshot_20180214-171433
  2. Why not give a dried bouquet? If you’re like me and like to make dried arrangements for fun, you may have some lying around to give. To make it extra special, you can put in a bottle that means something special (like that empty liquor bottle that you drank together and made wild memories with).


3. Just spend time together. Cook dinner for each other, even if you don’t know how – it will be hilarious. Play video games or just lay around and talk. Some of my best memories were with my gal pals laying around in bed and having pillow talk.

And that’s it. This can apply to any special occasion like birthdays and holiday time. How do you gift give?

New news and Paperless Post Giveaway


Wow! The summer just flew by! Did you know that in a few days it will officially be fall?

We have a few updates to tell you about and honestly, so much honesty to be honest about but just haven’t had the chance. Or the courage. On a sidenote, I have had a few online harassment issues that have really made me question if I want to be sharing things online or whether or not I feel comfortable anymore. I go back and forth between privatizing my accounts and then making them public, so for the most part, I’ve really kept everything I do online strictly business…

But on to the news! We’ve updated our online store at and decided to partner with DLG Media, aka Dream Love Grow Media. We want to support local and by partnering with them, we’re able to collaborate and help other locals, and we’re saving on hosting fees and helping a really awesome organization: A.R.T. In Action. They are a non-profit that provides free art workshops to youth living with multiple barriers in Ottawa and Nunavut.

a dream lived greener banner facebook website zero waste online ottawa store canada

Now the other news!

We have teamed up with Paperless Post. @paperlesspost a company that allows you to design beautiful stationary, whether it’s thank you cards, wedding invitations or birthday invites, they allow for seamless creation for any occasion.

With hundreds of templates to choose from, as well as the possibility to upload your own, you can design the front and back, the envelope and still write your perfect message. The cards get e-sent and are animated for you, as if you’re actually opening the envelope, without the added trash.

This is the perfect way to send mail #zerowaste style. But if you’re nostalgic about snail mail, you have the option to have them print and send the card for you.

To enter to win a $60 credit from Paperless Post be sure you:

1) Like and follow us on Instagram and Facebook
2) Share or Like this post

Open worldwide!

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