3.03.2011

Wedding Planning Tips According to TILTE.

A fellow blogger, Stephanie C from Seriously??... Reeeally?... Seriously?, just did a great entry about being engaged and planning a wedding and how ridiculously expensive everything in the wedding industry is. I know it's a total detour from what I'm supposed to be writing about, but I was inspired.

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.


WEDDING INVITATIONS:
-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.

BRIDAL PARTY:
-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.

WEDDING ATTIRE:
-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.


FLOWERS:
-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 expensive far off location. And don't forget, they'll be a wilted mess by the end of the night. Instead of taking on a part time job to pay for my bouquets, I found a local wholesaler. Sure, his office was a tiny shack on the side of a dirt road. Sure, it was strange walking into a giant mac-truck-sized freezer stocked full of flowers. Did he have a huge selection of beautiful flowers at a fraction of the cost? Fuck yeah, he did.


CHAUFFUER:
-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.


DJ:
-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.

FOOD:
-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?)

SOUVENIRS:
-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.  ;)



22 comments:

Alicia xoxxo said...

Great post! I agree with a lot of what you said! Weddings are expensive! If I had it to do all over again...not that I want to! But I learned a lot! One other things you can save a lot on is the dress! Who cares if it designer? No one is going to come up to the bride and look to see "who" you are wearing! And if you are talking about your designer gown, that is not cool in my humble opinion. Buy a dress that you feel good in! You are going to look beautiful no matter what! You are the bride!

Jes said...

50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. Those numbers just make me want to run right out and get married! RIGHT. THIS. SECOND.

Bonnie said...

I'm planning a wedding right now.
The costs are fucking ridic.
Since I hate everyone (that's not true), we are not having a wedding party, which cuts the cost significantly.
Since our reception is on a Sunday (April Fool's Day of next year -- because we're cool), everything is even cheaper.
Since churches don't perform marriages on Sundays, we are probably going to get married on the Friday before at the courthouse, which is super cheap.
Mr. A knows our photographer and got us a kick-ass discount.
A bridal fair gave us a $100 voucher for an awesome DJ.
I hate flowers, so we aren't having any. If we do, they will be fake.
My wedding dress is actually going to be a white party dress, probably from Nordstrom or Saks, which will be infinitely cheaper than an actual wedding dress which I will only wear once (unless, of course, vlog). This way, I can wear the dress for other occasions.
The shoes I wear will be Louboutins which I will wear everywhere.

-- Those are Bonnie's wedding planning experiences thus far. I refuse to waste all of my money on one day when I could use that money for the future -- future shopping excursions, that is.

http://glamkittenslitterbox.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

StephanieC said...

You're spot on sistah.

I didn't realize you were married. So that makes me a shitty blog friend, right?

I'm with you on all of it, but it's MY GUY who wants a "bridal party" so there you have it. He picked six dudes, so obvs I can't be standing up there alone.

We are going with fans instead of flowers. Tacky? Lame? Perhaps, but fuck it, it's way cheaper on ebay.

My dad has a '60s Pontiac, and our reception is across the street from where we are getting married. No limos... just some carpooling along the waterfront here.

Good post.

How do I find a flower wholesaler? And did he arrange your bouquet, or did you have to put it together yourself?

We are also doing dollar store centrepieces and no favours. AM I an asshole? Maybe. Will it save me a shit ton of money on useless crap? Yes.

Also? We are doing online invitations through Google docs for our tech-savvy friends, and only paper invitations to our families/people who expect paper invites (read: One box from Michael's!)

Ya baby!!

Simone Says... said...

married twice. divorced twice. i just increased your percentage.

Roxanne and Lorraine said...

No, seriously, I didn't know you were married. But, I suppose, you learned all these nifty lessons! And the biggest saving money on your wedding top ladies and gents? Don't get divorced. The odds are not in your favor.

I just watched your vlog too, and I'm super late but: HOMG, so cute. Very well done and you are adorable and funny and adorable. And... you own a hair dryer. Hmm..

Lorraine

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

ALICIA - i totally agree on the wedding dress thing. you can find SO many beautiful dresses, it doesn't matter if they're from Macy's or Kleinfeld's.

JES - maybe by my sixth marriage i'll go straight from signing my marriage license to signing my divorce papers all in the same trip at the courthouse. i've always been very good at time management.

BONNIE - did i mention my birthday is april fools? i'm not kidding. btw- it sounds like you are ON IT when it comes to keeping your wedding on budget. you make me proud.

STEPH - fans: not tacky. i've actually seen a lot more of them lately in wedding photos. i say smart and stylish. FREE VINTAGE car??? great deal. i found my flower wholesaler through a friend who had previously used him. but right now, i just googled "flower wholesale", my zip code, and i found him that way too. i don't remember if i had the option for them to make the bouquets, but i chose to do them myself (and by "myself" i mean my mom made them). we just bunched together with wire, wrapped thick ribbon down the stem, and stuck pearl pins down one side to keep them all in place.

SIMONE - lol. i like your style.

LORRAINE - i've already gone through the marriage AND divorce thing. looks like your advice is too late. ;)

leeanne said...

Great post. Do you want to be my wedding planner when I get married? So I'd have to fly you to either New Zealand or Florida for the planning. Doesn't seem like that follows the wedding on a budget idea.

MayLove said...

I highly recommend NO bridal party. 1- it saves you a lot of money 2- it saves you a lot of stress. No matter WHO you choose (I had my sister and two future sister in laws) they will make your life a living hell. All I heard for over a year was bitching and moaning from them even though we bent over backwards to make everything cheap and easy for them. Choosing family is even worse than friends b/c if a friend pisses you off you can cut them out and be done with them. Can't really do that with family, not easily anyway.

Trude said...

So many good points! Glad that guy didn't chop you up into TILTE-meat. ;) I'd also say don't make your bridal/groom party buy expensive dresses/suits. Set a color scheme or something and let them find their own thing to wear (with your approval, of course). Works especially well when you have girlfriends of different shapes and sizes!

Erin said...

Dude, no joke, I was drafting a "what I would do differently for my wedding" post today. This must mean we ARE friends. You make so very many good points!

theTsaritsa said...

Great tips! It always surprises me when I find out how much some people spend on their weddings. Being thrifty is smart.

MRanthrope said...

Essssssh, the dreaded wedding. As a typical male, these things scare me shitless. Your post only reaffirms this fear....so thank you! hahah

Marie a la Mode said...

I think I'll elope!

Jamie said...

We went to the courthouse. License and use of a judge to officiate was like, $20 bucks. You would have thought we were stomping kittens by the way my mom reacted to the idea, but if I had to do it over again, the only thing I'd change is actually telling people we were doing it.

hed said...

I loved this post!

You should seriously send it to like, Ladies Home Journal or Good Housekeeping to show that having a nice wedding doesn't have to involve stupid shit like table linens matching the inside of your flower's color.

hed hed above water

Sandra said...

I need to get married for a third time just so I can implement some of these ideas. I especially liked the comment about kids not having earned the right to be wined and dined with filet mignon and lobster! Classic!

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

LEANNE - thanks! somehow i think flying me out to NZ might defeat the purpose. but i'm willing to go where i'm needed.

MAYLOVE - good points all around. i think most brides will opt for at least a small bridal party, but they should all be ready for everything else that comes along with it. it's not all pillow fights and slumber parties.

TRUDE - YES! i LOVE this idea and it seems to be more popular these days. plus, as much as the bride SAYS "you can reuse the dress later!", you know it's never going to happen. -might as well save your friends same cash and NOT pick the most expensive designer gown in the store.

ERIN -:::if we only knew then what we know now:::

TSARISTSA - have you ever watched those programs where people go wedding dress shopping or plan their whole wedding ($9k for a DRESSSSSS???) some people go INSANE with the spending. seriously, "Platinum Weddings"... ugh, it makes my blood boil.

MRANTHROPE - yeah, i would be scared too. hopefully, this post has softened the blow for what's to come. -and also given you some tips to keep your budget on track. thanks for commenting!

MARIE - good idea if you don't think you'll miss having a full on wedding!

JAMIE - in my opinion, there's something very metropolitan and hip about getting married at a courthouse.

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

HED - thanks so much, i'm really flattered that you think this article could be in a magazine!

SANDRA - thanks! some of my best tips were in the food category. really, there are some great tricks that the first time bride probably wouldn't think of.

Kara said...

I LOVE this post. I'm so all over it. I agree with every single thing you wrote, in fact, I think I'm even a stingier bitch than you and might even drive my own car after the ceremony. What! I love my car! I paid a lot of money for it, so I might as well use it for important shit!

Are YOU still married TILTE? You were a beautiful bride for sure.

Brooke said...

I didn't really enjoy wedding planning. Baby planning is much cuter.

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

KARA - nope. once married, once divorced. :) (and thank you!! i felt pretty good, too!)

BROOKE - yeah, wedding planning wasn't really a blast for me either. it felt like i was drowning in "weddingness", and while i wished everyone would stop asking my opinion on every little detail, i was too worried (see: controlling) to let things happen on their own. it's a catch22. also, i think baby planning is a MUCH sweeter deal.

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