Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wedding Tips: Cutting Costs Part 1

Logan and I were on a really tight budget for our wedding. Just because your wedding can't be expensive, doesn't mean it can't look it :)   I wear our budget as a badge of honor knowing that we were able to pull it off for less than the average cost of a wedding these days! It took a lot of hard work (and tears) cutting some of the corners, but it saved my parents and us some serious cash and I am happy that we were able to help them out. It is, after all, ONE DAY. 

Below are a few ideas to help your wedding be more budget-friendly. I had SO many, I am dividing these into 2 posts.

  1. My dress was purchased at this ADORABLE Bridal Boutique called Circle Park Bridal in Addison.  They offer "cash & carry" dresses that you buy right off the rack.  The owner, Andrea, is a sweetheart and used to be in the wedding industry in NYC until she got fed up with people taking advantage of brides.  So after she got married, she decided to open her own, more affordable bridal boutique without the unfair markups.  She said she is shopping at the same bridal markets where the pricier boutiques in town are shopping so the quality is just the same.  She offers a variety of beautiful dresses for under $1,000! Be sure to call ahead and make an appointment.  The place is adorable- white, black, and hot pink and all of the women are sweet as can be and make it a priority for you to have a meaningful and special experience.
  2. Alterations were done by a mutual friend of my moms out of her home.  Unfortunately, bridal boutiques can sometimes require you to use their alterations services and they definitely take advantage of that opportunity.  Lucky for us, we could shop around to find the best prices and it turns out Honey Prestage was! (My alterations- and we had a lot of them - were under $150!)
  3. We found a woman who did our wedding cake out of her home as a side business/ hobby.  We dodged the massive mark-ups that most bakeries are guilty of and found a woman who took her time preparing our cake individually with love. 
  4. We chose to bypass the wedding favors.  I had a ton of cute "French themed" ideas, but at the end of the day those go unnoticed or in the trash. 
  5. We went with a DJ over a live band.  I wanted a dance party and although the energy is not the same as you would have with a live band, if you have fun friends (which I do) then this can shave off thousands (literally) of dollars!
  6. Nixed group transportation. Oh my goodness, this was a hard one for me to give up because I really wanted the wedding party to ride from the church to the reception together, but at the end of the day it wasn't in the budget. Instead, we had the Houston's borrow their parents nice Lexus, and chauffeur us from PCBC to Delaney.  It was a peaceful and relaxing break from the chaos to reflect and chat before the whirlwind evening began. 
  7. VENUE VENUE VENUE!!! Find a unique venue that doesn't need a lot of decorating, lighting adjustments, etc.  If you find a pretty backdrop, you don't have to spend lots of money making the room "come together."
  8. Location: By going outside of Dallas (although we were still in the DFW area), the prices dropped pretty substantially.  People are willing to make the drive from the ceremony to the reception because you are worth it and that's where the fun begins!
  9. We had family and friends officiate and do the music in our ceremony. We are blessed with ordained ministers and musicians on the Misegades side, so that was lucky.
  10. We used 1 big flower arrangement at the front of the church that was transported to the buffet table at the reception.  Kill 2 birds with one stone and it looked amazing. 
  11. We bought all our own centerpieces from Hobby Lobby and just paid for flowers instead of renting decorations.  This could be a more expensive option depending on where you got the center pieces, but Hobby Lobby was a great deal! Plus, now my mom and I have cute and meaningful decorations for our home. CANTON is another GREAT place to find cheap and adorable decorations and hostess gifts.
  12. We opted for no wedding planner. (At times when I was going crazy balancing a full time job and the stress of calling vendors and setting up appointments, this was really hard but we made it through and my mom was a huge help!) We did, however, have a wedding planner included at the church.  Most venues include one for the "day of" in your pricing package.

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