This Wedding Wednesday, I thought we could focus on how to create the day of your dreams when your funds are a bit on the limited side. After all, who wants to blow all of their savings on the nuptials when you have the potential of a honeymoon in Paris or Italy at stake?
So how do you create a beautiful & memorable big day when you are operating on a shoestring budget? As weddings full of whimsy & DIY details are already all of the rage, that leaves the door wide open for you to let your creative side loose and save a dollar or two in the meantime! Take a cue from Gary & Lisa, the fabulous couple behind The Wedding Artists Collective who certainly didn't break the bank on their gorgeous, upstate New York Nuptials. In fact, the total cost was a mere $12,000! Check it out . . .
Don't you just love that little guest book table with the vintage typewriter & hand-painted mailbox? And what's more, the couple plans to keep the mailbox closed until their one year anniversary when they will pop it open & read through everyone's notes. Perfect amount of time for all of the wedding stress to wear off so you can have a nice walk down memory lane . . .
Wedding via 100 Layer Cake
Photography: Josh Goleman of The Wedding Artists Collective / Catering: Allison Appleby Gubitz from Two Sisters Catering / Flowers: Native Farm Flowers / Rentals: Columbia Tent Rentals / Venue: Undisclosed private residence / Bride’s dress & sash: Saja / Bride’s earrings and bracelet: Viv&Ingrid / Bride’s headpiece: Powder Blue Bijoux / Bride’s necklace: Late grandmother’s / Groom’s suit: John Varvatos / Wedding rings: Round Design Jewelry
All of those thoughtful touches for only $12,000? I'll take it! And in case you are feeling inspired to break out your inner DIY Diva, here are a few tips from Stephanie Welch Alexander from DIYNetwork to keep in mind to preserve your sanity.
'Meaningful ways to add to the celebration, and still cut costs:
~ Have a clear idea of what you want to help you say no to the upsell of items that would put you over budget.
~ Enlist help or use your own DIY talents. My fiancé, a graphic designer, used his talents and printing connections to design invitations that otherwise would have blown our invitation budget. While he was busy designing invitations, I looked for things I could make myself. I designed and created my bridal attendant jewelry; enlisted my mother to help sew my two-layer veil. One co-worker made my purse, while another addressed our envelopes. Finally, my fiancé and I recycled the five dozen roses he sent to me the day of our engagement as "toss petals". Not only will you save money by doing many tasks yourself, you might also honor friends and family by including those who want to help. Nothing brings forth people's generosity with time and energy like an impending wedding!
~ Learn to say no. Learning to be polite but firm is one of the greatest cost-cutters and stress-relievers. Bridal salespeople will try to "steer" you in certain directions -- after all, their job is to upsell. Having a firm, clear vision of what you want will keep you on track. By the same token, a reputable professional will look for ways to help you achieve your vision without breaking a bank.
~ Talk about your wedding. By sharing some of your ideas with friends, family, co-workers -- even those who work in the wedding business -- you might discover a great money-saving tip or the name of a wedding vendor who might do incredible work at a discount.
~ Avoid stores with "bridal" in the name whenever possible. This was a very valuable lesson I learned. Although I purchased my gown from a salon, by the time the wedding arrived, I had learned to shop elsewhere. I purchased my tiara from a vendor on Ebay and my shoes and accessories from a discount department store (and found exactly what I wanted); I had my mother's pearls restrung into a choker; and I purchased my bridesmaids' gowns on their behalf from Discount Bridal Service (although it has "bridal" in the name, it offers salon-quality gowns as a significant discount). To me, the word "bridal" became synonymous with "markup".
~ Be original. Sometimes saving money can be as simple as celebrating your individuality or taking into account unique attributes of your venue. Instead of a guestbook full of names that might be meaningless in 50 years, we decided to take a group shot of our entire wedding party and guests. Seeing how everyone looked on that wonderful day is so meaningful to us -- and we saved on the cost of a guestbook, pen and other accoutrements that add to the bottom line.
~ A word about the honeymoon. Avoid booking the honeymoon package at major resorts. You'll often save hundreds -- even thousands -- of dollars. While many couples opt for "all-inclusive" deals, take a look at what you're really getting. Will you really drink and eat enough to make it worth it? What if you want to travel off the resort? You'll only be adding costs. Is that bottle of champagne on the sunset cruise really worth the extra $150 you might spend? Compare costs and see whether being in the "honeymoon" class will really save you money -- or cost more. For us, being "honeymooners" would mean spending an extra $1,000, so we decided we'd go as regular vacationers and purchase the cushy add-ons as we wanted them. We still had a romantic honeymoon -- and we didn't spend one minute worrying about money. And what's better than choosing what's right for the two of you -- and starting your married life without worry?'
Have a wonderful Wednesday!!