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Are you getting ready to plan your wedding?

Are you looking for ways to reduce cost, while still
covering all the basics? Here are 5 tips to reducing the cost of your wedding, and still getting
amazing photos and recognition for it!
1. Host your wedding at a park

What a lot of people don’t know about Cincinnati parks is that it is free to host
your wedding ceremony at most of them! Calling ahead to confirm that there
aren’t any major 5k runs or zombie marathon movie watchers have their events
there that day could be crucially important, but all in all usually when you call to
host the ceremony in an open space, the park manager will be thrilled and may
even offer to lend some assistance. This can free you up to save money on

2. Have your mom/relative/friend cook

Having someone you love and trust in charge of cooking the food could be an
awesome way to save a great deal of money on catering. This can be tricky, as
most people will keep their wedding small so they can get an awesome meal and
some relatives may still charge you upwards of $10-$15 per person for cooking,
but it can certainly be a way to keep your wedding budget in the 4 digit range,
rather than the 5 digit range.

3. Ask the wedding photographer if they will do a custom package for you

A lot of wedding photographers are busy Busy BUSY! Most of them know 10x
more about how a wedding should flow than you do, and most of them are going
to roll their eyes when you want them to be there for 10 hours. A trick to this
could be something to the extend of telling them you are having a Cincinnati
park wedding, you only need pictures for the hour leading up to the ceremony,
the ceremony, and then planning quick family photos, a quick private bride +
groom intimate session, bridal party photos, then having all the sentimental stuff
done quickly at the reception so you could possibly get them for 5 hours at a
much reduced price! Most photographers would agree to this if it meant
working with a laid back couple who understands the investment and the
quality, but doesn’t have $5,000 to spend on wedding photography. You’d most
likely be looking for a laid back wedding photographer.

4. Hand craft invites, table flowers, place settings, etc.

This is a lot of work, but can save a lot of money (and may be something you
could turn into a little side business!). If you can find a creative way to hand
craft the elements of your wedding that usually require a vendor for, you can not
only save money, but also save hassle. Imagine, you don’t have to wait for the
flowers to show up. You don’t have to have the table assignments printed 3
times. You don’t have to pay someone to wrap up hershey’s kisses. You can

keep your hands around all of that by doing it yourself, and save money on it as

5. Google “Wedding Playlist” and have intimate/party music automatically geared up for
the reception
The purpose of this is to save on a DJ. The issue with this is usually a DJ does a
lot more than just play music, and he can take request, feel out the room,
change on a dime, and typically they are really really cool. This is for the sole
purpose of saving money.

This tips could lead to a possibly lean wedding of your dreams! If you have any questions, reach
out to


International Cooking Class

The international cooking class is a community project in Cincinnati outreach initiative for international students sponsored by Fellowship of Christians.  We meet roughly every other Saturday at 5:30pm at the home of Kevin and Nancy Heikkila for a short presentation of how to make some kind of international dish followed by a potluck dinner.

The goals are as follows:

  1. To allow international students to experience life in an American home.
  2. To give international students a chance to practice their English and become friends with americans.
  3. To allow people to experience foods from many different countries.
  4. To show God’s love.

While we learn to cook foods from other countries, the primary purpose is to have an opportunity to get to know people from other places.  It is not necessary to cook something or bring food.  This is a church sponsored group but it is not necessary to be a Christian to attend.

For more information join out facebook group “Tech Fellowship International Group”

or contact Nancy Heikkila at



Heikkila House

67 Simmons Lane Russellville, AR
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Inexpensive Living Experiment

I spent a long time paying off debt.  Having finally done so I decided to make some fairly radical lifestyle changes in order to live a less expensively.  This is a learning experience, so I am documenting the various projects along with what I have learned and the (many) mistakes I have made along the way.  Hopefully it will be useful to anyone else that is thinking of trying something similar, and will serve as an encouragement that it is possible to live comfortably with a lot less stuff and without debt.

A partial list of projects includes:

  1. Earth Bag Dome
  2. Low cost geodesic dome / greenhouse
  3. Papercrete
  4. Aquaponic greenhouse / garden / fish farm.
  5. Earth bag hot-tub.
  6. Rocket Stove. (to heat greenhouse / dome / hot-tub)
  7. Composting water heater (also to heat greenhouse / dome / hot-tub)
  8. Mushroom farming (the legal kind)
  9. Wood-Gasification / Charcoal Manufacturing.
  10. Energy production (solar / wind / woodgas)
  11. Possible construction based on polyurethane pour-foam or underground shipping containers.
More Information can be found on my blog at:
I would welcome anyone that would like to help or who could provide advice or resources.
Contact me at: