Wedding season is coming! I got married just over a year ago. I was so excited to start planning, thinking it would be just cake tastings and wedding dress shopping. Boy…was I wrong.
Don’t get me wrong. I had fun with my family and friends throughout the whole process. But it was much harder and more stressful than I ever thought. But I learned a lot, and those things I want to pass down to other brides-to-be to help take the weight off their shoulders when they have to plan their own wedding.
I didn’t have a ton of money when planning my wedding. Which is why we opted out of having a wedding planner, which costs roughly $2,000-$4,000. Plus, Pinterest was my best friend and will become yours too throughout this process.
So, below are some tips that hopefully will help you totally conquer your wedding day all on your own!
Although we don’t want to talk about how expensive weddings are and can be, truth is, that they are expensive. But that depends highly on what you want and what you are willing to sacrifice. First things first, I made a rough plan of what things would cost. It doesn’t have to be exact, but research prices of things like your dress, flowers, venues, photographers, etc. This way you can begin realizing the cost of these items, and begin prioritizing. Focus on big things, like an amazing photographer and venue, and settle for little things.
This might be a no-go for some people, but all of your flowers don’t have to be real. You will be AMAZED when you see the price of fake flowers compared to the price of real ones. It will save you a huge chunk of money. Same goes for bouquets. Although we used real flowers, my friends and family and I put together the bridesmaids bouquets and groomsmen boutonnieres on our own. The only flower arrangements I paid for was my wedding bouquet. Use fake flowers on pieces like your wedding arch, ceilings, wall decorations, and places where people won’t usually reach or see up close. Buy them in bulk from a craft website. Then, use real flowers for your bouquets, table decorations, and other important pieces. Below is a picture of my cake with fake flowers. Then, the following are real flowers on my cocktail tables.
Is alcohol a necessity at your wedding? It was for us! Thankfully our venue included beer and wine! But if it didn’t, we had a plan. Liquor is extremely expensive, especially an open bar. So our plan was to stick to beer and wine, which we did anyways. Not only is it cheaper, but it will keep people from getting a little too crazy at your reception. Trader Joe’s has $2 wine, and it’s pretty damn good. They also have good, cheap beer. Grab a big galvanized tub, plastic wine/beer glasses and you’re set. Not to mention, it doesn’t take much skill to pour a glass of wine, so you don’t need a professional bartender to do the job.
4. It’s all fun and games!
I love the idea of big fancy photo booths and extra’s for your special day, but commercial booths can be so expensive. It’s super easy to create on on your own. Order a backdrop off Etsy, like this one, and grab some props. You don’t even need a camera, just make up a wedding hashtag and people can take photos with your phone and then post with the hashtag you created. This way you can even go back and see snaps from your special night at any time. Want something different? Try a fun game like Prosecco Pong! You could paint a table white, get some glitter ping pong balls, and you’ve got a fun game for people to play that still looks great.
5. You don’t have to splurge on your dress…
I grew up 100% confident that I would be walking down the aisle in a $10k wedding gown. I knew that was what I wanted to spend my money on. Turns out, I chose a $500 dress and it looked just like the one’s that were more expensive. Don’t worry about going to exclusive bridal shops, unless you really need to. Mine was from David’s Bridal, and it was perfect. It’s your dress, no one will even know where you got it from or how much it costs. Unless, that is, you write it on a blog like I just did!
Just remember, it might not turn out to be your dream wedding with a horse and carriage ride or a $10,00 dress, but I promise none of that will matter. At all. Listen to your friends and family and trust the process. I’m not sure what I would have done without all of the help from my parents, sisters, and best friends. Listen to other people’s ideas and be honest and open about them. It’s YOUR day. No matter what you spend (or save!), it will be a dream come true and the best day of your life.