Just like so many of us these days, brides are on a serious BUDGET! And sticking to the budget is definitely a chore. As I meet with more and more brides there is one theme that is always the same. Brides are on a budget and they just don't wanna sacrifice ANY part of the wedding that they have dreamed of. So, here is a little advice on how to cut costs without cutting out the style.
#1 - Almost half of your budget is going to be in reception expenses. This largely includes food. To cut your costs, the first thing to do is cut the guest list. Sit down with your fiance,your Mom, or planner and go through the list one by one. Aunt Mary stays, but Moms co-worker is out. Also, cut out the "and guest" language on the invites. Sorry singles, your flame of the week is not invited!
#2 - The designer gown. We ALL want the latest Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, or Reem Acra gown. This CAN be possible. Try checking out sites like Once Wed, where you can find a used DESIGNER gown (worn once of course!) for a fraction of what it would retail for.I found a once worn Vera Wang for $1,650.00 that had an original retail price of $5,000.00. Seriously people, check it out! The photo below is a Vera Wang dress going for $950.00!
#3 - Centerpieces - The BEST way to cut back on your floral budget for your centerpieces is to use as many candles as possible. Not only is it an elegant way to dress up your table, but it provides the most flattering light for your guests and looks amazing in photos! Pair candles of different sizes with small floral arrangements, and you have a match made in centerpiece heaven. Check out Save on Crafts for great prices on glassware, candles and other decor.
#4 - Your save the dates, invites, programs, place cards, and menus. Can we say DIY? That is the most practical way to do it - yourself! If you have a fancy computer program like photoshop - USE IT! These paper goodies could turn out better than you had hoped. Use your favorite engagement photo and keep it simple, chic and stylish. Make sure to solicit the help of your Maid of Honor and wedding party to help you assemble the goods. Here's a sample of a DIY Save the Date that is oh so cute created by the Budget Savvy Bride.
#5 - Don't slash your photography budget! Instead, interview with A LOT of photographers and find the one that is right for you and has the best packages for the price. A budget bride should always look for an engagement photo session that is included in the package price as well as coverage from the ceremony through the reception. Be careful though, because pre-wedding photos (getting ready shots) can be extra and you'll have to decide whether that is worth it. Finally - purchase the photo CD or better yet, the package that includes it. This may be a little pricey if not included, but worth every penny! You can then order whatever photos you want from any online printer! If your a local Vero Beachian, I suggest Angela Tappen Photography. Not because she is budget at all, but because she offers packages that are nearly "all inclusive" for realistic prices and her work is AMAZING!