House Party makes it easy to have a party in your own home and get exclusive access to awesome products for you and your friends. We provide the fun, you provide food, your friends and feedback and promise to have an amazing time.

Wedding planning round-up

I can hardly believe it, but my wedding day has come and gone. As you may recall from my previous post about wedding planning, I committed to a lot of DIY projects, money saving research, and pragmatic vendor sourcing. I am happy to say that many of my ideas worked and we (*cough*: me) definitely planned a wonderful event. Last time I mentioned how helpful Pinterest can be, and this is definitely something that I stick by - so many good ideas all on one site! Here are some ideas that I got for my wedding from Pinterest:

I also urged you to use your resources and that is something I was able to do. My DJ, photographer, invitation designer and minister were all friends or recommended by friends and they not only were affordable for us, but did a wonderful job.

One thing I wish I would have done more of is research review sites. I think TheKnot.com and Weddingwire.com have a lot of really helpful reviews for vendors and venues; and, for non-wedding related reviews, I turn to Yelp and Tripadvisor. You don't have to work at a newspaper to be a reviewer these days and I like to see how normal people are treated at venues and how they value certain services. A little bit of research can save a lot of aggravation or disappointment later on.

One tradition that I was happy I nixed was the wedding cake. Instead, we went with mini cupcakes and a small 6-inch cake topper (see below). Not only is there something for everyone (6 flavors!), but it eliminates a lot of waste and we saved money. In 2011, the average wedding cake was $535 (that stat and many more interesting numbers from TheKnot.com & WeddingChannel.com 2011 Real Weddings Survey, however our tower of sweetness came in at just under $200.

And finally, I stress again: don't sweat the small stuff on the day of the event. Something will go wrong, but chances are you're the only one who's going to notice. I'll wrap up my wedding series with a quote I saw on Pinterest and really like: "A wedding is a party, not a performance. If at the end of the day you're married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly."

Do you have any great money-saving or craft tips for wedding planning?

Hot fall beverages: drink up and keep warm

We're playing a prank on Brian today