Weddings on a Budget

Unique Ideas for a Wedding

 

There are many cute and unique things that you can do to add an overall theme to your wedding.

Organic Ambience

 

The latest trend is leaning towards more rustic and organic ambiance. This trend not only lends to a minimalist approach in planning, but it taps into natural decor that can be found in the outdoors free of charge!

 

The ceremony and reception might be held in intimate outdoor venues such as:

  • On a ranch
  • Botanical garden
  • A beautiful backyard
  • Vineyard

 

Wedding flowers would consist of wildflowers that can be handpicked and arranged with various greenery.

Reception Food might include wild game or turkey with roasted vegetables and rustic loaves of bread.

 

Wedding Dress would be simple and form-fitting.

 

Coffee-House Wedding

 

A unique approach to a laid-back, simple wedding! This is the ultimate choice for those of you who are coffee lovers and prefer a more urbanistic boho theme.

 

Having your coffee-house wedding could easily be held in someone’s home, backyard or a rustic brick area such as a patio cafe or your local coffee house.

Decorating with rustic, organic items such as burlap, browns and dark cream colors, twigs of greenery and candlelight throughout provides a warm, inviting atmosphere.

 

Guests would be limited to family and close friends.

The food and drink would, of course, be coffee, deep red wines, tiramisu, and chocolates.

 

The bride would be dressed in a vintage pink blush or champagne colored tea length dress.

 

Instead of the cake cutting ceremony, replace it with “His and Hers” coffee mugs filled with a favorite coffee and topped off with whipped cream to serve to each other through intertwined arms.

 

Pancake Breakfast Wedding

 

Why not combine your wedding with the ultimate comfort food for breakfast?

 

There’s nothing like a piping hot stack of pancakes while celebrating the joy of marriage. You can fit this easily into any wedding budget.

 

The venue could be on a patio in someone’s backyard or the gardens of a local Bed and Breakfast.

 

Opt for a pancake wedding cake where layers of thick fluffy pancakes are stacked and decorated. Roses made of butter sit along the sides of the tall tiers while raspberries and strawberries give the overall cake a pop of color.

 

Peach bellinis and juice spritzers would tickle the tongue of your guests.

 

Regardless of where your wedding is held, or what theme you choose, you will have a joyous day to celebrate with your loved one.

Planning Your Wedding – Ways to Save Money

As with any event planning, there will always be ways to cut corners and save money. Doing this will help you to have more money to put towards other areas of the wedding budget.

Limit Your Guest List

 

All excited brides-to-be want to invite everyone to share in the joy and celebration of the wedding day. However, opting to limit your guest list to those who you are close to can keep your wedding within budget.

 

Limiting your guest list allows for a more pleasant and intimate affair where you are more relaxed and able to enjoy your big day. Seemingly, the bigger the wedding, the less the bride remembers because of the chaos of interacting with a large crowd of guests.

Have an Intimate Wedding Venue

A wedding venue rental consumes about half of your budget. By having your ceremony and/or your reception in someone’s home or backyard allows you to have that additional fifty percent saved to go towards other expenses or even the honeymoon!

Hire the Help of Family and Friends

 

Everyone’s family and circle of friends have those who are skilled and talented in various areas. Then there are the ones that are incredibly creative and artistically minded. Ask these people to help out with wedding preparations.

 

Some areas that you could use their skills and help with:

  • Decorating
  • Making the Wedding Cake
  • Arranging the Wedding Flowers
  • Design tabletop decor and help set up
  • Design Wedding Stationery
  • Photography

 

Include a special note with invitations that you would like help with the wedding in lieu of gifts. Who doesn’t love a wedding and to help is not only a privilege but fun? You will be surprised at how many will help you out.

 

DIY It!

 

Do-it-yourself if at all possible! If you are not task-oriented person, this may not be the right option for you.  However, if you are into planning things, staying on task, and have time-management skills…go for it!

 

Think before you decide to DIY.  Can you devote time and effort into contacting vendors to plan each little detail?

Some ways to save if you DIY:

 

  • Do your own invitations and make it more personal. All you need is your home printer and the invitation kits that can be found in craft stores or office supply stores.
  • Prepare the reception food yourself or have family members help.
  • Arrange your own wedding flowers by purchasing silk flowers from a craft store.

 

Dummy-Up a Wedding Cake

 

Wedding cakes are outrageously expensive. They can run from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.

A lot of modern day brides are using (and even renting) dummy wedding cakes. Your local bakery can do one for you. Check online for rental cake companies that can help you if want to rent one.

 

A dummy wedding cake doubles not only as a centerpiece but also saves you quite a bit of money! Use sheet cakes to cut and serve to your guests.

 

If you want to do the traditional cake cutting, you can have a small round two-tiered decorated cake to add to the top tier of your dummy wedding cake. No one will ever know that the rest of the cake is styrofoam after you have cut the top layer.

The other option if you want to have a cake cutting is to do what’s called “cake slice compartment.” You can fool your guests with a dummy cake, but also have real cake embedded into a compartment that will hold 2 slices of cake. One for the bride to slice and feed to the groom and the other for the groom to feed to his bride.

 

Plan your wedding for the “cheapest” part of the day and month

 

If you plan your wedding to be held in the early afternoon, you can avoid a full sit-down meal as well as a cocktail reception.

 

Avoid the wedding-crazed months of September, October, December, and

June. Those are the most popular months. Vendors are more likely to offer discounts for weddings that are in months that are less hectic and busy.

 

Vet your Vendors

 

Be patient and shop around for your wedding vendors. Good reviews are always a good indication of how good or bad a vendor may be. Remember,  cheaper may not always better. You get what you pay for especially in hiring shady and inexperienced vendors.

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Being Frugal, Not Cheap

Most people are not aware what the average wedding costs nowadays. Newly engaged brides are full of joy and giddy, but once they see the “sticker price” of planning a wedding…bring out the tissues!

 

Don’t panic because there are many ways to cut corners to save money in planning your wedding.

What Does A Wedding Cost?

 

Couples today spend around $19,000 to $32,000 for an typical wedding. Those that are frugal-minded in planning their weddings spent less than $15,000 on their wedding, minus the honeymoon.

 

Setting a budget and following it precisely is the key to having a successful wedding!

 

A Frugal Bride’s Tips

 

GUEST LIST

  • Keep your Guest List to a minimum.
  • Remember that every unnecessary guest attending is an additional cost for you. Do you really need to have Joe Schmo that knows your father from work to be at your wedding?
  • Your family and close friends are the perfect guests to have in attendance to help you celebrate.
  • Overindulging in inviting people can result in more expenses as well as the guest list growing to the point you can even afford the wedding.

 

WEDDING GIFTS

  • In lieu of wedding gifts, ask for help with the wedding.
  • You will be surprised at how both family and friends love to feel needed and included.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Ask for someone to play music such as piano, harp or guitar.
  • Someone may even volunteer to be a DJ for you!

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

  • With camera technology today, anyone can take professional looking photos.
  • Have a friend or family member help you with this.

WEDDING CAKE

  • You may have a cake decorator in your family or circle of friends that is talented in cake decorating. Ask them to make your wedding cake.

DECORATING

  • There are always people that will step up to help decorate! Don’t be afraid to ask.

 

RECEPTION

  • Just as it was in the old days, have a few ladies help serve cake or food.

 

FOOD

  • If you have an intimate wedding with family and close friends, you can always opt for a potluck meal and have everyone bring a dish!
  • Have your wedding at someone’s home or in their backyard. By doing this, you are saving a big chunk of money. Wedding venues are very costly.
  • Have family members help you cook the reception meal or have a local family owned restaurant do it for you. You save on the cost of hiring expense catering companies.

 

FLOWERS

  • Be a minimalist when it comes to wedding flowers.
  • Do single roses for your bridesmaids. If you have a flower market near you, oftentimes you can purchase a bundle at a discount price.
  • Another alternative is to use silk flowers.

BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS

  • Opt out of giving groomsmen and bridesmaids gifts.

 

INVITATIONS

  • DIY invitations are the way to go.
  • Many sites have templates to do your wedding invitations. Craft and office supply stores stock the invitation stationary to use in your printer.
  • com is a cheap option for wedding invitations also.
  • Do digital invitations. It’s the latest trend in invitations.

 

HELP WITH RECEPTION

  • If you are getting married in a church, most churches have ladies groups that will volunteer to help with the reception.

 

WEDDING DRESS

  • Shop thrift stores or wedding gown outlets for your dress. You will be surprised to find designer wedding gowns in thrift and consignments shops.
  • Rent tuxedos for the guys instead of buying.

ALCOHOL

  • Save on alcohol by having a BYOB.

 

HONEYMOON

  • Plan a very simple local honeymoon and save up after you’re married to go somewhere dreamy!

 

 

Being frugal with a few things can save big bucks!

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Master the Art of Planning Your Wedding…ON A BUDGET!

The Checklist

When the impending “I do’s” make your heart flutter while your gut sinks with panic, take a deep breath. You can do this!

Planning a perfect wedding on a budget can be simple to do. If you are a highly organized person, this will be a piece of cake. If not, no worry, we will guide you through this!

Decisions to Be Made

 

Budget-minded weddings are relatively more enjoyable and memorable. Planning your wedding allows you to have full control over all decisions.

 

Although wedding planning is intensely stressful,  if you have a plan and stick to it,  it’s easier than many think.

 

What kind of wedding do you want?

 

  • Simple – intimate backyard or garden with just family and close friends
  • Traditional – church wedding with family, friends, coworkers
  • The Whole Chabang! – wedding venue with family, friends, coworkers
  • Destination Wedding – exotic or unique destination, choice of big or simple wedding with a small or large guest list
  • Elope – just the two of you and two witnesses

Set a Budget

 

Decide what the total amount will be that you can afford for your wedding.

 

The couple and parents need to discuss the budget and who pays for what. Be open to talking honestly about what can and can’t afford. Although this may be uncomfortable to discuss, it’s much more comfortable than being faced with paying off your wedding long after you are married. My great uncle helped me in this area big time. With him being the owner of a Hollywood plumbing company and having years of experience budgeting and penny-pinching, I mastered this part of the DIY wedding planning process.

When discussing the budget, think about how much you can spend on each of the below areas. Break down the budget according to the expenses and decide on the percentage to devote to each.

 

Approximate Wedding Expenses

Reception:              50%

Ceremony:              3%

Attire:                      10%

Flowers:                  10%

Photography:          10%

Entertainment:        10%

Invitations:             3%

Unexpected:            4%

 

Misc. Expenses

Rings

Marriage Certificate

Fee for Officiate

 

Wake Up from those Fairytale Dreams

 

We all dream about what it will be like to get married and what the wedding will be like. We imagine ourselves dressed up like Cinderella with the beautiful dress, glass slippers and carriage whisking us away with our groom!

 

When he pops the question, and you say yes, the excitement begins. Cloud nine keeps brides imprisoned as they float into the oblivion of what their dream wedding will be.

 

Reality acts like gravity pulling you back down out of the clouds very quickly. Even worse, you have to stay within a budget!

 

Be realistic about your expectations when you start planning and don’t let the fairytale dreams of your youth keep you from having the perfect wedding!

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