Tips for a Less Expensive Wedding – Intro and #1
I am a notorious cheapskate. I regularly shop thrift stores and love the thrill of finding great stuff for a better deal. Also, I managed to do my whole wedding and reception for $2,000, with change left over to spend on the honeymoon. (Yes, seriously.) And the best part? People still—almost seven years after the event—compliment me on how fun and amazing our reception was! I’m sure there are a few brides and grooms out there who could use a little budgeting savvy, so I’m sharing some pointers on how to get what you want on your big day, without exceeding the “what you have to work with” limit! Over the next several weeks, we’ll talk about cutting wedding expenses by:
#2 Having the “Money Chat” with Whoever is Footing the Bill
#3 Setting a Realistic Budget
#4 Calling in Favors
#5 Being Creative
#6 Doing it Yourself
and #7 Incorporating New Traditions (and Editing Out Some of the Old!)
I’ve decided to liven up each tip by using examples from my own wedding and from that of my very best friend, Julianna. Her wedding and reception came in a little pricier than mine–at around the $6,500 mark–and we have nearly opposite styles (as you will see); but both of us had fantastic wedding days, full to the brim with our own unique personalities and tastes, without breaking the bank!
Tip #1 Prioritize!
Is your dream wedding incomplete without an abundance of fresh flowers? Or maybe you’ve always wanted that one photographer who just captures each moment in perfection? However you best express your style, your wedding is the ideal opportunity to “put your money where your mouth is”! I put this tip very, very first, because even before you know how much you have to spend, you will already know where you want to put it! Sit down with your spouse-to-be as soon into the planning as possible and figure out what little things you want to make the big things in your special day.
Julianna always wanted THAT DRESS. The one that was as unique and stylish as she was. Made for her. Literally. So, a huge chunk of her personal wedding budget (roughly 25%) went to hunting down a local seamstress that was willing to work closely with her on the whole process. Her dress was made from cream-colored taffeta and is dripping with gorgeous detailing and pleated ruffles at the neck- and hem-lines. It is truly one-of-a-kind and was a dream come true for her: worth every penny! (Images copyright Brittany Anderson.)