Category Archives: budget
We ask the WedEclectic team a question, and post their answers each week…providing some advice, inspiration and insight into the person behind our shops. We hope you enjoy them!
Please reply with your own answer! : )
How did you (or would you) personally prioritize the following aspects of the wedding on where to put most of your budget: reception venue, your dress, the flowers, the photographer, honeymoon locale, and food?
Looking back over twenty years, I still have my photographs, so the photographer is #1!
#2 Food is a close second – a good meal with family & friends makes the memories and photographs worth remembering and treasuring!
#3 Honeymoon – We didn’t get to go on a honeymoon. 😦 Be sure to do this. Your family will understand!
#4 The Wedding Dress is often a large percentage of the budget, however, I was lucky and found a vintage Victorian dress with a cathedral length veil for about $400. It barely needed any alterations! Since then, I’ve helped many friends find great deals. The latest great find is a brand new dress, but it is the floor sample so it’s $350!
#5 Reception Venues are a great place to minimize the budget. We were married in a gorgeous botanical garden, which was free! However, we did rent white tents, tables, and chairs for our reception. This location gave our guests the time to stole around together after the ceremony and catch up. Lots of great casual pictures and memories were made there!
#6 Flowers are great, but many brides are DYI geniuses and creating great alternatives from vintage papers, like music or book pages. The venue can really determine the need for flowers, again our wedding was in a garden, so all I needed were wedding party corsages.
For us we wanted a venue that would provide the food as well. So I would lump those two together as our number one. Luckily we found the Cliff House in San Francisco that was not only a venue with an amazing view and history but also an amazing restaurant.
I would say number two on the budget was the photographer, they are not cheap! These are photos you are going to keep forever so be sure to choose someone you really want.
Third on the budget list was my dress. I did end up spending a little more budgeted but I saved in other places.
Honeymoon budget was number four. My husband and I had racked up a bunch of frequent flyer miles so our flights were free! All we had to pay for was the actual cruise, and sure we splurged and got a balcony suite. You only get married once!
Last on the budget list were the flowers. My aunt was a florist for many years so did all our flower arrangements for free. We just had to pay for the actual flowers which saved us LOTS of money.
Coming from a Chinese family the most important thing was the reception and food! I think half of the money spent went to reception and food which looking back is a lot but the food was amazing!
Then it was the dress and suits because my husband and I had to look our best.
After that the photographer, table decoration and other miscellaneous stuff gets lumped together as third.
How did you (or would you) prioritize your wedding budget?
From Keri’s kitchen, of DelaneyPhotoJewelry.
It takes an hour to cook, but this Turkey Meatloaf only takes 10 minutes to prepare. It’s fast and easy to make when you’re short on time; not to mention, inexpensive, and incredibly delicious.
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 large Onion, chopped
4 cloves Garlic
¾ tsp Salt, divided
½ tsp pepper, divided
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 C Chicken Broth
4 tbsp Ketchup, divided
1 ¾ lbs Ground Turkey
1 C Bread Crumbs
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 Egg White, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper; cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in Worcestershire Sauce, broth, and 1 tbsp ketchup; transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool. (I place the bowl in the freezer for a couple minutes).
2. Add turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, egg white, and remaining ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper in to mixture in bowl; mix well (mixture will be very moist). Once I didn’t have any breadcrumbs left, so I placed some stuffing bread cubes on my cutting board and crushed them with a rolling pin (it worked just a well).
3. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat lightly with pan spray. Form the turkey mixture into a loaf on the pan.
Brush Meatloaf evenly with the remaining 3 tbsp of ketchup.
Bake 1 hour or until thermometer registers 170 degrees when inserted into the center. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. This makes a great dish for an evening when you have company staying for dinner, but you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Serve it with steamed vegetables (frozen to save prep time), and Naan grilled on a Foreman, or broiled for a few of minutes, with a little olive oil, garlic salt, and dried basil (shown above). My husband and kids love it.
Share and enjoy!
Doing it yourself seems the obvious choice when trying to cut back on expenses. BE WARNED, though, that sometimes going “DIY” doesn’t save you enough money to be worth the extra headache! Jennifer, from ClayBouquetShop, wrote a fantastic article about this very topic. She offers some great tips if you are planning to take some elements of your wedding day into your own hands! That being said, if you are artistic or good with your hands or just already know your own talents and limitations well enough, it can be a great way to save some money! So go ahead and ponder the possibilities, just know that you personally won’t have the time to do everything. Pick and choose wisely.
My real-life example, Julianna, wanted her bouquet to last beyond the wedding day. She also wanted something that was uniquely her. With a little craft-store savvy, she rounded up the elements that fit her vision, and came up with this gorgeously unique bouquet for around $20.
Looking for some more DIY inspiration? Check out these fabulous posts right here on the Wed Eclectic blog!
DIY Photo Booth (with Props)
This tip is exactly what the Wed Eclectic Team is all about, so if you are reading our blog, you probably already have creativity in the bag! This step is all about the question: who wants a wedding just like the next? This is a chance to share your joy and excitement with those who care about you most, so it should reflect who you are, even in the details. Often, with a little creativity, you can not only express yourself better, but save some money, as well!
My wedding colors were based on citrus tones, so my center-pieces consisted very simply of artfully piled limes, lemons, and tangerines among greenery and “filler” flowers (which can be purchased inexpensively at a floral supply place). It was a cheap, but pretty, alternative to candles, glassware, or floral arrangements.
Another way I was able to save some money with a little creativity was by having our engagement announced with photos taken in one of those old black and white photo booths. We found one, took two tries and used them on the back of the announcements. It was definitely quirky (like me!) but you can’t beat spending $2 for your engagement photos!
Julianna wanted her bridesmaids to look cohesive, but not hate their dresses. She purchased fabric in the colors she liked and then allowed each bridesmaid to have a dress of their choosing made for them in that fabric. They were guaranteed to like the style (as their dress was made for them), and she liked the unified look.
Looking for more ways to give your wedding a splash of creativity? I loved the creative use of color in this post (especially on simple things like fingernails and chair ribbons), the many alternatives to the “traditional” toasting flutes in this post, and some alternative lighting ideas offered in this post! If you are having a hard time defining how to imbue your wedding with your own personality, I highly recommend starting with MyHaleyGirl‘s post about skipping the “cookie cutter” wedding, too.
Tip #4 Call in those favors!
Now is not the time to be shy! You are getting married and hopefully your friends are ecstatic for you! If any of them happen to be photographers, florists, or designers of any kind, it’s not out of line to ask if they’d be willing to donate some of their time or talents in place of a more traditional gift. Especially if you’ve helped them out before; an exchange of talents is only fair! PLEASE keep in mind, though, that expecting them to do everything for free may be asking too much! Knowing how much you could be spending for another professional will help you gauge how your friend’s time is worth, so do your homework before approaching them! This is vital, as it will avoid awkward situations in a serious way.
I have a pretty big family. And, lucky for my wedding budget, they also happen to be pretty talented! My older sister—a graphic designer—designed our wedding announcement. My cousin—a seamstress—created the frilly over-dress that I wanted at a discount for me. My husband’s mother—a pastry chef—did a lot of the food herself, including our delicious cake. I also have two amazing friends who took care of our photography on the big day and a couple of co-workers (who owned a floral business) got me a discount on the floral elements I used.
And, remember my friend, Julianna? Well, her gorgeous pictures were taken by a phenomenally talented friend of the family, who was willing to give Julianna a huge discount in exchange for getting to use the photos in her budding portfolio. Never hurts to ask!
I know, I know. Tip number THREE, is setting a budget? Most people want to jump right in and start here. But, trust me, this vital step will be so much easier if you’ve already taken the time to prioritize your wedding preferences and talk over money with the involved parties!
Let’s start by taking a look over your list of who is paying for what and figure out what you and your fiancé have to cover. Now draw up a quick list of those things and be realistic about what you think you can spend on each item, keeping in mind the priorities you’ve set! If you really can’t face setting it all down on paper from scratch, here are two budget planners I found through a quick online search:
Here is one which is a little “detail” lacking, but a good start. I do like that they’ve given you a column for “anticipated” cash flow, as well as “actual” cash flow. If you use those columns as you go along, you can make slight adjustments here and there, and will hopefully know if you have enough extra to cover any unexpected expenses.
Here’s another drafted budget. This one looks good, but I would highly recommend changing those percentages to better reflect what you decided your priorities would be! You may also want to break down those large categories into smaller, more manageable shopping lists.
I am almost certain there isn’t a bride-to-be out there who hasn’t heard the advice of setting and sticking to a realistic budget. And yet, isn’t it strange how many attempt to ignore that advice? Ignoring your budget not only encourages you to stop hunting for better deals, but it often causes greater financial stress among families, including the one you’re about to start! Having the budget written down and keeping it with the things you are using to plan the wedding will help you visualize the process and help you stick to it!
As I mentioned in my second post, my parents gave me cash to cover our reception costs. This worked out as a great budgeting tool for me, because I could quickly see just how much we spent, and how much we had left, as we went along. I also pulled certain amounts aside for specific, more expensive, things on our shopping list (like my dress and the rings) ahead of time, so that I knew I’d have that money when I needed it.
Table decoration is another great way for an eclectic couple to show their personalities however where do you start? Well here is how I managed to narrow down my choices.
Size – We have all been to a restaurant where there is just not enough space on the table for all the things you have ordered. Therefore when you decorate your table, make sure you leave enough room for all the cutlery, glasses and plates that maybe used.
Colour Scheme – Unless you are planning on having all the colours of the rainbow then choosing a set of colours will help you get started. If you are unsure of what colours go with what then try using an interactive colour wheel like this one!
Here you can play with the colours to your hearts content until you feel you have the scheme you like.
Real or Fake? – Here I am talking about flowers by the way. Real flowers add a touch of luxury to the table and if you ask the florist, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune! However we must not think fake flowers as being the inferior cousin of the real ones because unless you are the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, painting real flowers isn’t the best use of your time. Fake flowers come in every single colour under the sun and best of all, you can buy them in advance!
Alternatives to flowers? – What if you are not a flower person? Maybe you are allergic to mother nature then there are other decorations you can use such as sculptures or candlestick holders. How about some board games for your guest to play while they are waiting at the table? Whatever you choose just keep in mind of one thing, height! A piece of decoration that blocks the view of other guests on the table is a little rude (unless that is your aim). So keep everything low.
Less is More – By now you must have plenty of ideas but that doesn’t mean you have to use them all or your table will be overflowing. Now is the time to pick and choose the things that co-ordinate.
Practice makes perfect – If you have brought all the elements, why not practice arranging your table? All this time you have been using your imagination, picturing how it might look but now you can bring it to life. Find a table or just use the floor and layout your pieces as you picture them. Is it how you imagine it or do you need to fill in some gaps? Once you are done, you can then take a picture of it and send it to your venue/reception so they know what to do with all your things.
I sincerely hope this has helped you with your wedding plans and GOOD LUCK!
This post brought to you by Isla of Kitty Kanzashi
|Black Gold Plated Band – $59|
A friend whose wedding is fast approaching recently talked to me about her beau’s concerns about choosing a wedding band. Interestingly, one of them was something along the lines of this:
“I’ve never even worn a ring before, and I love you, Baby, but what if I lose the darn thing?!”
I’m a woman, and I’ve worn plenty of rings, but I don’t think you necessarily have to be a jewelery novice or man to relate to this guy’s concern. I’m pretty sure underscoring it somewhere is the fear, “IF I lose it, PLEASE don’t kill me!!”
Pick out something cool and masculine and meaningfully ‘him’ at a pricepoint that won’t make either of you freak out if someday (no matter how much he loves you) he accidentally loses it down the garage sink, on a wilderness trek, or in a poker game (just kidding!!!).
Then if you want to, you can even buy two 😉
|Turkish Lira Coin Ring – $25|
|Brushed Titanium Wedding Band – $65|
|Custom Sterling Silver Ring – $53|