We all know that a wedding can be pricey! No matter how hard you try, or how detailed your budget is...there always seems to be just one more expense... and then another, and then another. This can be SO overwhelming when you’re just starting the planning process, so here are five tips for having a beautiful and personal wedding, without totally abandoning the concept of a budget.
1. Decide with your fiancé the three things that are most important to you both on your wedding day. Once you’ve narrowed that down, focus on the three vendors that can help bring those visions to life! Did you choose having a good time with your family and friends at the reception? Splurge on your DJ, but save on florals by doing most of them yourself. Did you choose having food that doesn’t taste like typical wedding reception food (ick!!)? Splurge on your catering, but forgo having a photo-booth. Narrowing down what is truly important for you and your partner will help your budget flow to the correct areas of your day - you do not have to follow the bride-budget you downloaded from Google before you were engaged!
2. Facebook Groups for Brides will be (and should be) your best friend. I know not everyone is huge on DIY; I was not, and if I didn’t have my creative mother bringing my wedding vision to life alongside me, I don’t even know what my wedding would have been like! But if no one in your fam is vibing with the idea of all-nighters making centerpieces, join some local wedding pages! You’ll be surprised by how many affordable options for beautiful decor there are.
3. This one isn’t for everyone, but don’t be afraid to get thrifty! Scrolling through rental house pages for days admiring the cute sofas and fancy backdrops? Head to your local thrift store (or antique mall) and find similar pieces for a fraction of the cost. Make it a wedding-planning date that doesn’t feel like wedding-planning. Grab some Chick-Fil-A and have a list of everything you might want as decor all ready to go, and then hit a couple thrift stores with an open mind (and a full tummy so you’re not hangry!) You might get really lucky and snag a set of gorgeous glasses for your head table, or that jaw-dropping vintage sofa that every rental house longs for (and would markup the price for by hundreds) that’ll be totally unique to your day!
(I'm sorry, I just had to include this Gif! But now the song is probably stuck in your head)
4. You do not need an envelope liner or the best card stock out there when ordering invitations. If perfect details were in your top 3 desires, then heck yes, go for those extras; again, it’s your day and you deserve the best. But if you’d never notice an envelope liner on someone else’s wedding invitation, then just opt out of it when ordering your invites. Chances are you won’t remember it in the future, plus your photographer can make the unlined envelope look just as gorgeous in detail shots. This may seem small but it can add up and save hundreds of dollars depending on your guest count.
5. Don’t be married to the idea of a “wedding venue” when you’re in the beginning stages of planning! Oftentimes you can find beautiful, unique, and affordable venues that don’t advertise as a wedding venue. Maybe some local restaurants rent out their gorgeous backroom and patio, or maybe that beautiful barn you drive by on the way to work rents out for events. Think beyond the normal concept of a wedding venue and maybe you’ll just find a diamond-in-the-rough that your guests will remember and talk about for years to come.
Always remember your vision for your wedding and find a way to bring that vision to life, but don’t forget that with a little creativity, you can have almost everything you want for your day at a much lower price (which means more honeymoon restaurants and maybe some new outfits, too!). Your budget will be as unique as your wedding is, so don’t be glued to a spreadsheet-template with predetermined percentages allotted to main wedding categories. Branch out of that and focus on what is most important to you and your spouse-to-be! And have fun!