Monday, September 1, 2014

How I Planned My Wedding On a Budget (And Got Everything I Wanted)

Photos Courtesy of Ashleigh Mallard Photography
Weddings aren't cheap anymore. Whatever happened to the good ole days of having a ceremony with some cake and punch in the Church's gathering hall afterwards? Gone. Now, it's not a reception without an open bar (no judgement - there was an open bar at my first wedding). So when round 2 started (cue boxing bell rings), I knew I was planning a wedding on my own dime. And open bar was NOT the first thing on my mind. So what's a girl to do with a budget of $5000 and LOTS on her wishlist?!

1. Start a Pinterest board. No, seriously. The first few months after J and I got engaged, I started a Pinterest board. It let me see what I was drawn to, looking for, not even paying attention to etc.. It helped me see where my priorities were before I even realized it!

2. Involve your family and friends! Got an aunt who's a whiz at flower arrangements? See if she's willing to help you (for a small price of course!) for the cost of the flowers/vases/etc. Maybe even a little on top to compensate for her time. Your mom has an amazing jewelry collection? See if she'll let you raid it for your special day. Your sister's the bomb at making burlap wreaths and bows? Include her! You get the picture. I'm sure that you are surrounded by talent, so ask if those people are willing to put their talent to use for you!

3. Find hidden resources. The church that J and I got married in has an option for members to purchase flowers for the altar on Sundays. 1 arrangement is $35 (vs. the florist's arrangements at $200 a pop!), so we bought both of the arrangements (only 2 are available). We requested some extra peacock feathers/orchids to match our bouquets/corsages/boutonnieres (and additional $30/vase) for altar arrangements totaling at $130 (for both arrangements!). While we couldn't take the arrangements home with us, as they had to remain in the church for the Sunday morning services, it was a nice price break!
One of our altar arrangements.
4. Shop around. Who says you have to use the first vendor you find? Shop around! If you don't take the time to look and see what is available for what price, you might miss out on a huge budget saver!

5. Give yourself plenty of time. J and I got engaged 13 months before we got married. Why? Well, 2 reasons. (1) So that we could get married the same week as our parents and my grandparents, but (2) so that we could spread out the cost of our wedding without living above our means. We paid a few vendors in smaller amounts for several months, paid them off, then moved on to other vendors! It took more time, BUT it gave us plenty of time to pay every one without struggling to eat, pay the bills, etc.

Next up on the agenda for planning your wedding on a budget: prioritizing, opportune times to book/shop, and finding vendors that work within YOUR means!

1 comment:

  1. These are great tips. I know for myself even I want everyone to drink out of mason jars because well I am obsessed with them. Luckily for me I already have over 100 since I started collecting them in high school so when it does come time for my wedding I will have them all already and will not have to go out and buy them or rent them. Plus they all get to come home with me too afterwards. Only bad part about them is living at home still mason jars are everywhere.