I don't know if you know this about me, but I was totally married before. Shock! Since weddings are definitely a costly event, I thought I'd share the knowledge I gathered while planning my own. Below are my tips for keeping your wedding on a budget.
-Right from the getgo, the wedding industry welcomes you to the wonderful world of marital debt by punching you right where it counts: Your wallet. Plan on having guests at your wedding? Plan on spending an arm and a leg. And that's not even if you want to have stylish hipster invites either. I bought do-it-yourself invitations at Michael's and printed them all up on my home computer. They weren't the coolest thing I've ever seen, but they got the job done. And considering all those badboys were going to be mailed away and then thrown away, it didn't seem to like it was worth busting the budget over, in my opinion.
-The more people in the wedding, the more gifts/ accessories/ bouquets/ boutonnieres (and even sometimes dresses/ suits) you have to pay for. Trust me when I say, those things add up quickly. Keep it small and affordable. And I use the word "affordable" loosely.
-My wedding shoes were actually normal, "party" shoes from Macy's. They were cheaper and prettier than all those lacey nightmares I saw in the bridal shops and I was able to wear them with many an outfit afterwards. In fact, I still have them and still think they're cute.
-Don't feel pressured to buy overpriced shit just because the staff at "Engaged and Lovely" looks down their nose at you. Shop around. Check out the cheesey looking quinceanera shop next to the grocery store. They'll probably have the exact veil you're looking for and it will cost a considerable amount less. Also, check out stores on ebay. My bff purchased her dress from a wedding shop in Korea. Not only was it a steal, it fit and looked perfect.
-Instead of paying $85+ to get your make-up done for a one time deal, make an appointment with Clinique or Estee Lauder or M.A.C. It may or may not end up costing a little more, but you'll walk away with a makeover, a tutorial, AND new items to add to your arsenal. Department store makeup counters usually do makeovers for free as long as you purchase $X amount in product. I went to M.A.C. and I think the prerequisite was $50 in purchases. If you have to pay the amount anyway, you might as well get some new goods that lasts a lot longer than one day.
-You know those wedding shows where the bride gets a separate "party dress" for the reception? Forget that shit. It's expensive and since this is the only day you have to legitimately enjoy your wedding dress (unless you happen to wear it in a future vlog), you're going want to wear the hell out of it as long as possible.
-After pricing out some modest looking bouquets, I realized flowers are a fucking rip-off. The ones you want are never in season, which means you have to special order them from New Zealand or Holland or some other
-Driver services can be expensive. They usually have a flat rate for X amount of hours and then have the nerve to add on fees based on extra hours/ locations. My solution? If you see a cool vintage car driving down the road- honk, ask them to pull over, and then ask if they'd be interested in helping a sister out. (Who wouldn't want tax-free cash for driving their own car around town for a few hours??) I did it for my wedding. My sister did it for her wedding fourteen years prior. It worked both times and saved us both a good chunk of money. Below is the car from my wedding. I think we paid him either $200 or $250 for a day that included a 12pm wedding, followed by pictures at the beach, a tour around town, and delivery to a 5pm reception. Our driver was so cool, he took the scenic route to the reception venue, which gave us more time for other drivers to take notice and honk at the "Just Married" couple. I made sure that he received a vendor meal (see below) and a cocktail for his hard work.
-Try to find a DJ who has their own lighting. If it's not already covered by the event location, and your DJ doesn't have his own, you'll have to sign another contract with another vendor, which means another set of payments.
-Don't go overboard on cocktail hour hors d'oeuvres. It's only a small window of time and guests will probably be more interested in getting shitfaced than eating some Ritz crackers and cheese.
-Buy a cheaper off-menu item for your vendors' meals (like a burger or club sandwich). To a vender, a free meal is a good meal, no matter what.
-If you or your fiance have certain eating restrictions (or you want imported truffles on your risotto, but don't want to foot the bill for everyone else's), tell the catering manager you two want special meals. Having a set menu for all your guests based on your particular tastes may end up being costly.
-Get a kids meal option for anyone under 13. It will be cheaper and kids haven't earned the right to be wined n' dined by filet mignon or lobster tail. Besides, they'll be much happier with chicken nuggs and fruit anyway.
BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS:
-Don't bother wasting the time or money on stereotypical "bridal party" gifts. They're dumb, nobody really likes them, and they end up being sold for $0.25 at garage sales. Instead, buy your bridesmaids a mani/ pedi or pay for their "formal updo". This ensures they won't show up looking like an asshole and ruin all of your precious photos. -And you're still actually buying them something nice. Two birds, one stone. (Sorry, Maid of Honor, I don't think I ever actually paid for your updo. Lol?)
-It's great if you can afford to get personalized souvenirs designed by Andy Warhol himself. I couldn't. So instead, I ordered a bunch of fold-it-yourself boxes, along with my favorite type of See's candy to put inside. Another option would be to get those Candy Melts and make your own lollipops.
Like these things, only on a stick and in a plastic bag
There you have it- TILTE's tips for keeping your wedding on budget. If there's one thing you take from this wedding post, it's MAKE SURE TO ENJOY YOUR DAY. I can't say that enough. I remember being rushed through my wedding day because we were on a schedule and it was time to do a certain dance or go table-to-table thanking guests, etc. While those things are important, don't lose sight of the real importance of your special day. Enjoy it! Happy planning and I hope your wedding days are beautiful!!
...Did I mention 75%* of all marriages end in divorce...?
*I totally made that statistic up. I think it's closer to 50%, but I'm not really sure. ;)