5 Tips for a Budget-friendly Bride

5 Tips for a Budget-friendly Bride

Just when you thought Mr. Right was kneeling down to tie his Christmas shoe-blammy! He caught you and your parents by surprise with a ring tied in a red bow. Cue the swooning and jealousy from your friends. You could not be happier… that is, unless you had a blank check Ritchie-Rich style to pay for that wedding you have been dreaming about since you were 7.  Yeah, that’d be nice. Instead you sift through student loan payments, the ghost of Christmas credit card bills and a job that barely offers dental insurance. What is a Ms. Right to do? Write these tips down, my ladies-in-waiting and you will glide down the aisle without having to decide between a down payment on a house or your venue.


Venue at the ocean







Tip 1: Be a Big Picture Bride

The key point to creating a wedding without breaking the bank is to have a plan. Start with a budget and stick to it. Think through your wedding size, and three major factors: dress, venue and catering. With today’s technology so readily available, your photography, videography and invites do not need to be so weighty and may even be performed/created by loved ones. I am a big fan of themes and having a theme can help you save money by honing your focus. Some attention-grabbing themes to consider this year: Antique Nautical, A Magnified World (think butterflies and lady bugs), Plaid Country, 1950’s, Industrial Elegance, Speakeasy or Famers’ Market Fresh. When you zone in on a theme, colors, decorations and giveaways will come to your mind like winning lotto numbers!


Married at a farmers market









Tip 2: Pick the season with a reason

The first question your friends and family will ask is an important one: (fry voice) When iissssssss the big day? Learn from my cousin who got married on 7-7-07 and don’t do that. The best days may also be the most popular, which means the highest price tag (thank you Supply and Demand). You must learn to stop thinking of the venue and your day as exclusive pieces of your plan- they coexist and must be strategized accordingly. Ask yourself: which is most important to me? If you have a season that speaks to your soul or venue that fulfills your fantasies- that is what you focus on. I wanted to get married on the ocean and after a little research, found an aquarium overlooking the water that could host the ceremony and reception- BINGO! I beg you to focus on one and not the other to save you money- I wanted that venue but a Saturday wedding would have been three times as much as my Thursday wedding. Catching on? If you have your heart set on a summer wedding, for instance, consider checking into the less popular days or new venue sites that might offer you a discount for marrying in their establishment. Creativity can carry you tenfold with venues- wouldn’t a nighttime greenhouse wedding be ah-mazing?


Some bridesmaides are difficult









Tip 3: Arm your army

Your next thought may drift to your lineup of ladies- the wedding party. While you likely have your friends picked out because of longevity in your life or sisterhood, consider for at least a nanosecond what your friends and relatives could assist with to create a budget-friendly task force to be reckoned with. Does Aunt Bev have an amazing lake house? Will your cousin Carrie help you with flower arrangements from her garden while your sister bakes cake balls for the bridal shower? Thinking ahead will save you dollars and bond you to your soldiers in fun, meaningful ways.


doves in love







Tip 4: Design on a Dollar

I am a huge fan of DIY and today there are so many websites out there to help you create something crafty that looks killer. Take a browse through Etsy, Pinterest, or bridal websites like diybride.com, offbeatbride.com, stylemepretty.com, craftybridediy.blogspot.com or weddingwindow.com. When you picture your perfect day, think through what is most important to you and what you can save some pennies on. You may want to spend on the dress but cutback on the flowers. You may spray paint various vases to create minimalistic centerpieces while splurging on a cake. The point is, for every hour you spend making crafts with your friends, you are creating a moment you will never forget and a wedding no one else can replicate.


Just married cans car







Tip 5: Creativity where it Counts

Along with thinking through what is most important to you comes a little creativity in unexpected places. We have all been to a VFW banquet hall but we have not all attended a wedding at the zoo. We have all eaten the Jordan almonds dressed in a mesh bag, but have not received personalized drink recipes and rimming sugar to replicate the drinks from the evening. My point is, stand out in small ways that do not cost you much but make the day memorable. Having an acoustic wedding guitarist (ie: carloinaweddingguitar.com) play for cocktail hour is so much snazzier than a cd and drunken cousins sloshing a bit too loudly at 4pm.

My brides, keep calm and plan on. Stay tuned for additional details on how to make your big day bright and all things wedding.


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