We’ve all heard about ‘planning a wedding on a budget’ or being a ‘budget-friendly bride’, but oftentimes the suggestions are too difficult or timely. True, if you decide to make something yourself instead of paying someone else to do it, then it will probably take you more time. False, though, that it, “can’t be done”. Here are 5 realistic ways that you can save significant dollars for your wedding:
(pics are examples from my own wedding)
- Choose up to TWO (max) elements of your wedding that are most important to you.
This means that you want these details to look a certain way. Maybe the photography is most important to you and so you’re willing to go with the less-shiny paper in your invitations or say, “sayonara” to the shrimp-serving ice sculpture for the reception. Just pick up to TWO details of the wedding that you’re most particular about and stick to those. One of my priorities was the lighting of the reception. If your dress is most important to you, then maybe having a friend emcee is the solution instead of hiring a DJ. Point being: prioritizing the wedding details will help save the extra dollars that sometimes we get reasoned in to spending.
Borrow, borrow, borrow!
No, not money. Maybe your aunt has some decorations left over from your cousin’s wedding. Try wearing your mom’s vintage earrings on your big day. Little elements that you borrow for your wedding not only save you money, they also have incredible sentimental value. (I wore my mama’s earrings on my wedding day, and I think of her every time I see a pic!) Just think of how many people you know that have gotten married even within the last year. Borrowing or renting easels, picture frames, accessories, etc. can really help you stay in budget.
- Adorn things yourself.
I dreamt of having hints of gold throughout the wedding. So, what did I do? I found a good friend of mine who made customized veils. She not only made my veil, but she also added gold beads to the edge of my veil by hand. I headed to Hobby Lobby, picked up some synthetic floral add-ins (little berries, baby’s breath and greenery) and with the help of friends, spray painted it all gold! We saved SOOO much money tucking in the gold accents ourselves. If we had asked the bakery or the florist to make and add gold details themselves, it would have cost a lot more money. Check out Pinterest, find ideas of cute adornments you want in your wedding, and then check on Pinterest again to find out how to make it! Could I have done more things myself? Totally. Some things are worth investing in, I completely agree. I just did what I could or knew how (my own hair and makeup, designing and making the invitations, my friends did my flowers)
- Shop around!
I learned this one from my mama. I’m the last of 4 kids to get married in my family and so, bless my mom’s heart, she’s done the wedding thing a few times. Don’t just buy the first breathtaking light fixture or mercury glass candle holder you find (lesson learned*). Check other places: Etsy, thrift stores (yup, lots of the little candleholders I got were thrift store treasures), yard sales (a lot of neighborhoods have online yard sales or Facebook groups where they post items for sale) retailers, etc. Maybe you do end up going with that pricey initial light fixture- that’s ok. The point is, if you shop around you know that (a) you’re getting exactly what you want and (b) it’s either the best deal around or worth what you’re paying. You can’t figure those two things out until you’ve checked other options.
- Look into the less-traditional.
This means try and do what few people do. For example:
- Get married on a day other than Saturday! Weekend rentals for venues are always more expensive than a weekday.
- Maybe try having a midday reception. Lunch is cheaper to serve than dinner and afternoon rentals are always lower priced than evening rentals.
- Getting married in the off-season can really save you money with reception venues, florists, photographers, etc. In Utah at least, right after college semesters and summer, it’s the peak of wedding season: April/May, August, and December.
- What about venues that don’t need much decor? Sometimes we forget about possible reception venues. Museums make gorgeous venues and the art means you don’t need to decorate too much!
- Maybe rent your wedding dress! You could even find a cool dress at a vintage store. I know people who bought white gowns that weren’t necessarily wedding dresses. No one else could tell, but the bride knew she was saving lots! Just thinking outside of the box usually cuts cost.
- Use a venue that lets you bring in outside catering.
These caterers offered by the venue are oftentimes more expensive then outside vendors.
- Think outside of the cake box! Consider serving cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake (the groom is usually in favor of this option). We went with a one-tiered cake, which is actually becoming more and more popular! (With cakes, the pricing is obvious: more tiers=more cake=more money) Another cake option if you’re committed to the multi-tier cake idea is to only have the bottom or middle tier made out of actual cake, and have the top tier be made of styrofoam or something! Bakeries know how to do this!
- Be creative with what your bridesmaids wear!
Maybe let the bridesmaids pick and provide their own dresses within a certain color scheme. We had our bridal party in black, so my bridesmaids were more than willing to pick out their own little LBD for the wedding. Bridesmaids are usually happier about this because they can choose something they’d actually wear and what flatters them.
At the end of the day, your wedding is what you make it! Find your priorities, ask to borrow, make things yourself, shop around and think outside of the box! Trust me, WHATEVER you choose for your wedding, will be beautiful. Hopefully this post gave you some good, realistic ideas about ways to save!
Chelsie Starley Photography @chelsiestarleyphoto http://chelsiestarleyphotography.com/
Shelby Deason Photography @shelbykar http://shelbydeasonphotography.com/
The Manor at the Riverwoods http://www.manoratriverwoods.com/
These sites have great ideas too: http://www.realsimple.com/weddings/budget/save-money-wedding/timeline, https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/insanely-smart-ways-to-save-money-on-your-wedding?utm_term=.woDmVMzQ7Z#.fae7JkWNje