So I know I am early, like way early but spring is coming soon and a lot of weddings happen in spring. Spring/Summer is the most popular time for Weddings. I am an odd ball and I did mine in the fall, but it can save you a whole lot of money and time preparing you for your nuptials. I had a beautiful wedding, but I did it all on a very tight budget, and you can too! Here is how I did a fall wedding for under $5,000.00
I was not about to spend a fortune on something people are just going to throw away. So I made my own invitations. I put a picture collage together on Walgreens.com and bam 250 invites for $70.00
Location, Location, Location:
Where you get married is going to be a chunk of your budget. Most places require a 20% down payment just to reserve the place. They charge you for the ceremony and for food...omg food at these places are outrageously priced. I looked at 24 or so venues. Only three of those would let me have an outside vendor do the food. The cheapest venue was $3,200 for just the building rental, then another $12.00 a head for food. Our guest list was pushing close to 250 people. That was just family and friends. So you can imagine the frustration. I wanted this to be affordable and not a lot of wasted money. I was a 21 year old bride paying for a big wedding out of my own pocket so I was cutting costs where I deemed necessary, and renting a place for four hours for $3,200 bucks was not even in the ball park for me. Then I thought about my parents backyard. My future husband and I share so many memories of that yard. We had bonfires back there, chat after chat back there and it wouldn't cost me anything to rent it for the entire night! But I did want to find a way to make it nice. I searched for rentals, and decorators and came across a company called Under A Tuscan Moon. I was really hesitant because it looked a little pricey. So the consultant came out and gave us a list of what she would think we needed and gave us an estimate. It was again around $3,000. I think she saw the frustration in my face. She told me that was just what she was suggesting I could go over the estimate and tweak some changes to make it affordable. And we did and I cannot thank that company enough for their willingness to work with us. I would highly recommend them. I think I got the rental cost down to about $1,500. We got tables, chairs, decor in our colors, lanterns, a bench for guests to put presents on, a guest table, and it was this big beautiful Italian gazebo thing for a pictures. It was simply amazing. We also borrowed some regular Christmas lights that were just white and hung them above the yard. It was so pretty.
Food another staple in a wedding. I am a very non traditional girl. I like mixtures of traditional and odd things. That is just who I am. So in looking for food I didn't want the typical food items you find at a wedding. I wanted to be different. I knew for sure I wanted to do a candy buffet. The cost is low, people love their candy and sweets, so why not? Then I wanted something easy but something I love. I love chicken salad sandwiches and chips and salsa. Odd combo but again good, popular, inexpensive, and easy to make a ton of. And my mom has this amazing friend that does this sort of thing for a living. She does food for weddings. Lucky me right? So she made everything for us and I am so appreciative of her for that. I really am. The total cost of food, bags for candy, the candy and sweets, came to $700.00
For me it was always important to have an awesome amazing cake. Like I said I am very unconventional and I love weird things. So I was in search of someone who could give me the odd cake I had in my head. My florist actually recommended her and I am so very glad she did. Because I would have never found her otherwise. It had two different flavors, one was an almond cake and the other was a lemon cake. And it tasted utterly fantastic. She has tons of amazing flavors. My mouth is watering talking about it. The cost was around $400.
I happened upon this flower shop for my sisters prom. I loved it was brand new, super affordable. So I came to her with a request for cala lilies. So my bouquet was to be really red cala lilies, and instead of my poor bridesmaids carrying around a bouquet we made hair clips with a lilly as well. We had the boutonnieres for the guys cala lilies as well, and for the center pieces...I hate center pieces can I just tell you. You cannot see who your talking to across the table...to me I hate them. They always look nice at weddings, but they are just something I could see myself tearing down faster than they went up. We ordered red rose pedals to scatter across the tables and the grass and everywhere we wanted. So come wedding day my brother went to pick up my bouquet and I guess the florist was in full panic mode because the lilies were so fresh they were black. Super black. I was expecting like blood red. So when my bouquet got to me I melted they were so...ME. I loved them better black then I did red. I was more than overjoyed to see the color. So when she came by to deliver the hair pieces she was relieved to see my excitement.Again I would highly recommend her. She is amazing at what she does. Everything cost me $500.00
I found my dress when I was in Jr. high. Girls were looking for prom dresses in a catalog that also contained wedding dresses. I saw the picture of this dress, and I knew we were made for each other. I have always been a fan of mermaid cut dresses. This was it. I fell in love. So when looking for a dress I knew exactly which dress shop to hit first. They had that dress left in one size, and it was on clearance. So we drove down to try it on. I grabbed that dress and two others. The girl suggested I try the others on first just to make sure that was the one I wanted. So I tried on two dresses and I didn't mind them they were pretty but when I put my dress on I was in heaven. It fit almost perfectly. It was a little big in some areas but the seamstress there was super nice, and reassured me it was easy alterations. I was so happy. It took me all of not even an hour to find my dress. I did not want a veil. I could see myself fighting that all day. So I opted for a cute sparkly head band :). My dress was on sale for $600.00 and another $45.00 for alterations. I had the headband from my prom. And the guarder was $12.00.
Probably one of the most important of all wedding expenses. I knew exactly who I wanted to take pictures of my wedding. She has been a family friend since forever. She is one of the cutest people on the planet. Super nice and super fun. She gave me a great deal on a package to do my engagements, bridals, and my reception. And she did an amazing job. I was so so happy with the outcome. She put all the pics on a CD for us. Again highly recommended!! I am not positive on this one but I know it wasn't more than $500.00. And for any of you that have shopped around for wedding photographers that is beyond an amazing deal, and I was very very lucky!
I am not sure which one is used more often but I will give you both links that I have.
I was going to do the whole DJ thing but we had an Ipod and a nice sound system. And it went all night long and it was amazing! FREE
So the total of my entire wedding was $4,527.00
It can be done, you just have to pick and choose what is the most important things for your wedding. What are the things you want the most and are willing to spend a pretty penny for? Where can you cut costs? What can you maybe do yourself? What can be donated by family and friends? It was an amazing night! I will never forget it.
The Bride, Groom, Best Man, and Maid of Horror all did a Lady Gaga Spoof dance. It was awesome!
My sister and I have this song we call ours. We have a sister dance we do for it. Its the proclaimers song
500 miles...I think.