Being a newly wed I constantly find myself thinking about all the things I learned from wedding planning that I’ll never use again. With that being said, I wanted to incorporate some wedding posts to share our special day with you all and how we made decisions in the planning process. Nick and I wanted to make our special day about us, with traditions and details that were actually important to us as a couple, not the wedding industry.
It’s really easy to get sucked into the dream weddings that are the cost of a house because well, they are EVERYWHERE! These weddings truly are stunning, but the majority of the time they are only good for one thing and that’s inspiration for the majority of us. A lot of vendors do an excellent job of upselling you, which I totally get it. It’s their job and they want to help make it the most amazing day for you… but it’s gonna cost ya! You need to know when to say no and keep your expectations realistic in what you can afford. Pick what parts of your wedding you want to splurge on. For me, that was food and photography! Because who doesn’t like a good meal and your wedding photos will last a lifetime, right? It was easy for me to decided, but it isn’t always easy for others. So here are some ideas to think about and 6 ways to save on your wedding day.
- Interchangeable flowers. This was an idea from the first florist that my mom and I met with that ended up being the only florist we met with because she was so great. Shout out to The Farmer’s Daughter Flowers! Anyway, when trying to stay on budget the idea was brought to us to make the ceremony flowers transportable so they can move inside for the reception! Brillant! We choose urns of flowers that were to be on each side of us during the ceremony, that then would be transferred to another location for the reception (side note; this didn’t end up happening thanks to mother nature, but that story is for another day). This obviously is only easy to do if your ceremony and reception are in the same location. If you need another idea for separate venues, have vases set up on your tables (guestbook, head table, etc), so that your bridesmaids can just plop them in there for decor rather than just sit on the table for the rest of the night!
- Ask a friend to play your ceremony music. Luckily my family is a huge fan of live music and some are musicians themselves. Of course, you should still pay whoever is playing for you. But, I guarantee you this will save a ton of money! Thanks, Ed! If you don’t have a musician friend, think about contacting a local college’s music program. Many of their students do freelance work, and which was going to be a backup option for us.
- Wedding resale groups. I followed a few of these groups on Facebook, and only ended up using it once for prettiest table number holders ever (see above), that nobody remembers besides me and my mom. But, join these as soon as you are engaged and stay on top of it because the good stuff goes fast! With that being said, always price check what someone is selling their pieces at. I’ve seen sellers get tricky on here and try to make money off these used pieces and that’s not cool. Also, don’t go into this as a free for all, or you’ll end up with a closet full of things that you’re not actually going to use. Have a game plan on what you need and stick to it! And if you’re feeling frisky, see if you can negotiate the price of those chalkboards that you HAVE to have!
- Keep the guest list down. This can be really hard for some people who have extremely large families, a big group of friends, and about a million other excuses out there. But honestly, keep it down! How? Pull on your big girl and guy pants and take a hard look at who is relevant in your life today as a couple.
- Reconsider the ceremony program. We just totally eliminated this detail expense, even with having free graphic designer thanks to my brother. I went back and forth on it a lot, but after much discussion, we decided with a short and basic ceremony, nobody will miss them. I will add that sometimes it can be an amazing detail to your day. My brother and his wife had a Greek orthodox ceremony their programs were a huge help in guiding guests through their different religious traditions.
- Look at your favors in a different light. Favors have gotten out of hand! They can cost a lot of money and a lot of times forgotten at the table! Personally, my favorite favor is a photo booth. Wait, the photo booth is a favor? I think so! They bring so much fun to your guests, and guess what… they have a fun souvenir to take home with them aka a favor! If you already have a photo booth booked, you’re all set! We used Pittsburgh Prestige Photo Booth and had a great experience. Plus if you’re from Pittsburgh, I can almost guarantee your guests are walking out of that wedding with a bag full of cookies. As long as your guests aren’t going home empty-handed, I think it’s a win!
If I added a number 7 it would be to have a crafty family, but I know that I hit that jackpot with that one. My mom and brother made so many of my wedding ideas a reality with their talents. We’ll chat about wedding details another time, though.
I hope these ideas help with your planning process! And to any reading bride’s, take a deep breath, I promise any stress is worth it. What are some things you did to save a buck or two during on your wedding day?