Monday, July 22, 2013

getting happily married on a humble budget — the specifics.

I hope that our last post about getting married on a humble budget was helpful or, in the very least, comforting. It can be done! I think that's the most important thing to remember throughout the whole wedding planning process. Beyond that, you'll have a new spouse at the end of your wedding day. What more could you ask for?

For those who are getting hitched on a serious budget, here are five more specific things we can share that might help you. Each wedding is different and that means that these ideas might not be at all useful to you. I hope, though, that by reading through these, you'll get an idea of what you might be able to do to help your budget breathe a sigh of relief.
details23 1. Consider booking a venue that has seating readily available (and is included with the venue). Renting chairs and tables is expensive, which is a cost that might not occur to you immediately. You might walk into your dream venue, discover that it has a reasonable price, move forward with the booking, and suddenly discover that you need to seat your guests somewhere. It is an inevitable cost and is notoriously pricey. Jeffrey and I rented a venue where tables and chairs were copious and available for our use at no extra charge.
reception24 2. Forego a traditional DJ. This is a suggestion that might not work for everyone. If your reception is centered around dancing, then it may be important to you that you have a DJ who's in charge of the the music and the announcing. However, because our reception didn't have a dance (we played shuffleboard), we didn't feel that it was necessary to hire a traditional DJ. Instead, we asked a family friend to be in charge of music. We sent him a list of bands/musicians we liked and between him and my dad, they created a giant playlist that basically just streamed through our entire reception. He was in charge of playing the processional and recessional as well.
details9 3. When it comes to flowers, think creatively. The flowers were one of my favorite pieces of our wedding. I couldn't have imagined our space without them, and we wanted a lot of flowers. I think florists are supremely talented at their jobs, but we simply couldn't afford for one to be in charge of all our flowers. Our bouquets and boutonnieres were done by a florist, but we bought the rest of our flowers through Trader Joe's. We originally explored the idea of using a farmers' market vendor (that's what my sister did), but there was not a consistent vendor at our market, so we chose a different path. However, if you can find one, that's the route we would have absolutely chosen had it been available to us.
reception28 4. Go a non-traditional route when it comes to food. We wanted to serve pizza at our wedding from the very beginning. (We also entertained the idea of BBQ.) It's our favorite food and we wanted it to be part of our day. We chose to order our food from Cappy's Pizza and the staff was accommodating and willing to serve us, even though they don't typically do weddings. Jeffrey's aunt was gracious enough to make the salads, which I believe saved us some more money. Because we didn't choose a traditional wedding caterer, the price was significantly reduced. We provided the dishware and cutlery, but that was no problem compared to what a traditional catering service would have costed. We made the desserts ourselves, which was another way to lower the cost of food. In addition, we also did not serve alcohol. Neither of us are big alcohol drinkers, so we didn't feel it was necessary. This was a personal choice and wouldn't work for everyone! However, it saved us a great deal of money, so it's something to consider. :) (Another good option may be purchasing the alcohol yourself, instead of offering an open bar.)
portraits4 5. Get married on a not-Saturday. Because weddings typically happen on Saturdays, venues know that they can mark their prices up on those dates. However, if you choose another day of the week to get married, you'll likely get a discount. We got married on a Sunday. We looked at a few different venues before we chose ours and consistently found that prices were less expensive on not-Saturdays.

There are plenty of ways to live within your budget, if you're willing to think creatively and approach things from a different angle. While it may be initially more time consuming, it ends up adding a special touch to your wedding and makes things unique and personal. I think our wedding ended up being a great representation of who Jeffrey and I are as people and that was largely due to the fact that we were very involved in all aspects of our wedding. We had to think creatively and it ended up serving us well!

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