There is nothing more exciting than planning your wedding. While the engagement period is one of the most amazing experiences of your life, it is also one of the most stressful. You’re talking to vendors every hour, working on floral arrangements, finding the perfect gifts for your bridesmaids (the list goes on) and this is all while trying to stay on budget! While perfection is what every bride aims for, it doesn’t always have to cost a fortune. Today I’m sharing my own wedding and the tricks I used to cut cost. Read below to find out how you can have a glamorous occasion while saving money for the honeymoon.
1. Work With Different Vendors For Your Invitations
Invitations are the first impression of your wedding. The task of finding the perfect invitation can be even more daunting than finding the wedding dress! Invitations can cost hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars. If you want to get a beautiful look, while staying on budget, you have to get creative. After weeks of searching, I learned that the least expensive way for me to get exactly what I wanted was to use a designer AND a card company. I chose an amazing design company, called Empress Stationary, to create a file with the font, layout and monogram I wanted on the invitation. I then worked with a card company, Alan’s Invitations, to find a card that is affordable while looking great. After having the perfect design on a beautiful card, I glammed up the invitation by adding lace and ribbon (both on sale from a local craft store) to fit the style of my wedding.
2. Do Your Own Hair & Makeup or Ask a Friend
Let me first start off by saying, this option is not for everyone. I totally understand that every bride wants to look like they just stepped out off a Hollywood red carpet on their wedding day, but the cost of some professional hair and makeup artists can really put a damper on your budget. If you want to keep costs down, try to do it yourself. Study different bridal looks that you love on Pinterest. Narrow down exactly what you want and then browse YouTube tutorials on ways to recreate the look. Most importantly, practice, practice, practice. While I chose a family friend (who is a professional) to tackle my hair, I decided to take on the role as makeup artist. I know my face better than anyone else and I know what looks good and does not look good with my complexion. I love the way beauty blogger Teni Panosian does makeup. So for my big day, I broke out my laptop and followed her “Bridal Makeup Tutorial” video to a T. I absolutely loved the way my makeup turned out and I am so happy I decided to go that route. But remember, after finding the look you want, practice, practice, practice!
3. Look For Local Musicians
Music is huge. What people remember most from weddings is the experience. You want to make sure your guests are having a great time on the dance floor. A trick to finding great musicians, that don’t cost a fortune, is to search locally. Contact the nearest university closest to your venue and ask for their music department. Let them know what you’re looking for and they can direct you to some fantastic musicians that are either still students or have just graduated. Another way to score a great band is by checking out local hotspots. Search for bars with live music and really take the time to hear their entire set. If you dig it, ask a band member if they would be interested. They’ll usually give you a great rate and there’s no audition required since you already know that you like them!
4. Sometimes It’s Cheaper To Go Custom
Usually the word “custom” is associated with a ton of $$$$. While this stereotype is somewhat true, sometimes you can actually get a really great deal on exactly what you want! For my wedding, I really wanted one of those cathedral long veils (YOLO – go big or go home, right?). Unfortunately, all of the veils I loved were $1000+ and that was just not an option in my budget. I remembered a seamstress I used to use for small alterations on pants and dresses. While she wasn’t in the wedding industry, I knew that she was extremely talented. After one consultation, 3 yards of JoAnn tulle and some lace trimming, I had a stunning veil for only $50!! While every seamstress has a different price, make sure to ask around. Just because they’re not an expert in veils does not mean they can’t give you exactly what you’re looking for.
5. Utilize Your Friends
Your friends want to help, so let them help! No one wants their bestie to be stressed out for their big day and there’s a pretty good chance you’re surrounded by a group of talented individuals! The trick is to ask for help with small projects. Want cute “Beverage Bar” images but don’t know the first thing about photoshop? Ask your longtime friend who studied graphic design! Maybe your best friend just got married. I’m sure she has a ton of ribbon, tags, and ideas she can give you. Even with a wedding planner, it’s beyond important to have your closest friends helping you along the way.
I hope these ideas can help you plan your dream day while staying stress-free. Not a bride to be? Share these tips with your newly engaged friend and she will definitely thank you! If you want to see more from my wedding, watch our video below by clicking the link and using the password: Biltmore. Make sure you use a capital “B” ;).
Ivette + John :: 4 October 2014 from Kinora Films on Vimeo.
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