As most of you know I got engaged in January(on my Birthday), and after tons of debating and deciding we’ve finally set a date! I haven’t officially announced it, but my dolls are my diary and I have to tell someone :). SO the date we came up with*drum roll please* is my 30th birthday (January 2017). That date is super special for the obvious reasons of it being a very special birthday which means my family and friends get to celebrate not one but two important occasions at once.
I’ve finally begun the planning process, and the closer I am to realizing my dream wedding on a realistic budget… the more enjoyable the process becomes. Here’s 10 ways to making your dream wedding come true without breaking the bank!
1. Eat, Drink, and Be Married
Ensure funds for your honeymoon when you cut back up to 50% of venue costs by having your reception and ceremony in the same place. I know, it sounds crowded and it is a bit unconventional, but when done right a ceremony & reception can be flawlessly combined to create a romantic space that’s visually pleasing to your guests and your pocketbook. Finding the perfect combo venue means more of the budget can be directed to making that space everything you’ve ever dreamed of. You may even want to think outside of the box when it comes to the type of venues you choose. Unconventional places such as art museums, vacation homes/timeshares, and restaurants will more than likely be more affordable than a ballroom.
2. Tis’ the season
If you’re a subbie of The Doll Mob you’ve more than likely heard me speak of the bustle of wedding season before. As a bridal professional, I am prepared to be pushed, pulled, and pooped between late May until Early September. While I’m welcoming to the of season when it comes, I can’t complain much because the busier the season the more wedding vendors (including myself) can afford to charge for our time and services. This is why an off-season wedding (October- March) is more than like a win-win. Most if not all of your vendors and venues will have off-season rates to attract business which means your budget just got friendlier. Also, Some venues offer weekday (Monday-Friday) discounts, other have special offers when you book a Friday or Sunday.
This has been the great debate of the last month and a half between my fiance and I. How many guest to invite. First of all, I am a very private person who values the idea of intimacy. My fiance wants a large lavish wedding 100+ people, and the people I want around on my day are those closest to my heart. I have a big heart but 100+ people…let’s be real. I feel as if spectators can admire my gown and color choices etc. via social media free of charge. Of course, I won the debate and I encourage you to consider doing the same. Tables/Chairs, Venue Space, Catering and drinks for 50 of your closest friends/family is a whole hell of a lot cheaper than an invite list of admirers and spectators. Another thing you may want ot thing about is making the event 18 or 21 and up. If you have a budget that can accommodate your entire city….. go for it! But, if you’re trying to get the look and feel you’ve always wanted on a budget that won’t put you in debt…. Revisit your guest list.
4. Silky Savings Floral Silk/velvet flower bouquets
Before I began to research prices I thought I was going to have a room full of fresh red or black baccara rose centerpieces with rose petal accents, and fresh rose petals on the runner, a rose melody bouquet blah blah blah. That was until I found out that a rose bouquet was on the upside of $400. Talkin’ about disappointed! I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I know I wasn’t with having fake flowers in my wedding, BUT that was short lived when I found these alternatives. Silk and velvet roses and petals can be used in centerpieces bouquets, and just about anywhere else real roses can. For my bridesmaids, I’m going with the silk brooch bouquets that are only $30-$40 and are a great DIY task if you have the patience and creativity. And I’m opting to use velvet & fresh roses and petals for my centerpieces and accents. Over $500 saved.
5. Affordable Romantic
When it’s time to get romantic what’s one of the classic and most affordable go to’s? Candles. Nothing set’s the mood like a room of softly flickering candles. Whether they’re floating, scented, large, small, used for the centerpieces, and/or to carefully light the brides way down the isle they are a classic affordable wedding decor do. You can not beat the prices at $1and up .
6. New Age Wedding
Now, I am in no way saying you shouldn’t hire a professional photographer for your wedding. These are your memories and the illustrations to the love stories you’ll tell for the rest of your life. Somethings you’d be wise not to cut corners on to ensure your satisfaction and your wedding photography is one of them. That doesn’t mean there’s no way to save in the photography department. Technology and social media keep us connected and informed daily. Because it’s something we use every day most of your guests will have Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter account and or android/app capable phones. To catch more moments from more angles encourage your guests to take photos! Use your wedding’s hashtag(i.e #BirthdayWedding2017) which you can print on the programs etc., distribute disposable digital cameras that the guest hand in at the end of the night for you and your husband/wife to review, or use apps like WedPics to capture and collect your moments. All low/no cost options that give you a creative alternative to wedding photography. Some photographers will allow you to pay them per hour. This is ideal because that allows you to get the moments that matter most to you professionally regardless of it’s you walking down the aisle or just the photos after/before the ceremony.
7.Useful Bridesmaids gifts
Most brides realize the importance of having their bridal party beautiful and happy on their day. They put alot of time and money into making sure your dream is realized and offering what support is needed. A great way to show your appreciation while further planning your wedding is to give them a gift they can use during and after your special day. Silk robes, Wedding appropriate, Nail polishes & lipsticks, necklaces they can wear in the wedding etc.
8. Crafty DIY decor
The cost of having someone build your dreams for you is ridiculous. Just take my word for that. There are certain costs that you can’t avoid depending on your personal skills and talent. But I’d suggest you figure out what you’re good and quick before you find yourself spending a sea of unnecessary honeymoon money. For example….lighting. It’s the most common way to turn a regular room into a whimsical surreal place. It takes your space from “oh” to “oh woooow” Using Submersible LED lights in your centerpieces and finding a good uplighting rental company can save you over $700. Not sure how to install YOUTUBE it. The #1 rule to saving money during your wedding is be resourceful.
9. My Bouquet Lies Over the Ocean, My Dresses Lie Over the Sea
Ok, so some of my all American, down home. boot and straps brides are not going to appreciate this. And I’ve come to terms with us agreeing to disagree. My #9 is simple: Shop overseas. DH Gate and similar places offer some of the most beautiful dresses, veils, shoes etc. that can be customized to meet your needs half the price of those sold in the US. Ordering is easy. Get your party’s measurements, choose your color and customizations, place your order. Give ample time for shipping and any alterations that may need to be made. Your bridal party and purse will thank you!
Dress above is only $119!
10. Family Ties
Not everyone can be in the wedding party. A great and efficient way to include other people you love and trust in your special day is to assign them certain small duties such as watching the gift table, making sure the wedding schedule is being adhered to, the decor and set up, catering is going right, photography, etc. It doesn’t need to be a day of work but if you line the duties up with their personalities and make sure it’s something they won’t mind doing you’ve just saved more money on a day of wedding planner. Be sure to assign day of duties before hand. A special gift, toast, or thank you card will seal the deal.
BONUS Settle Less
Never Settle for the first price, first venue, first bouquet, first dress. Of course, if you see the dress and you get butterflies, teary-eyed, and can imagine yourself walking down the aisle in it take it and run. Otherwise, keep looking. Wedding planning is at least %70 research. Once you’ve decided which direction you want to go find the retailers and vendors that will help you bring your vision to life on your budget. They do exist!
Planning a wedding with a luxury feel on a small budget takes time. Start now so you’re not forced to settle.
I haven’t locked in my exact budget as of yet, but you can rest assured it’s going to be one cheap and beautiful DIY extravaganza. I plan to keep a close eye on my coins and keep you updated throughout the process. I plan to let you in on some of my favorite crafts & craft suppliers, my choice of vendors, venues, dresses, and much more. I’m really excited to be able to share these things with you. Another journey..another addition to the MOB!
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