1. Make your guest list (not until you know your # of guests and family, can you rent the correct venue). Do keep the # on the smaller size. The larger the wedding, the larger the costs. Remember, a venue can start at $40 to as much as $300 per person! Even more!
2. Once you have established that, what kind of budget do you have? Will your parents, godparents or grandparents chip in? Now is the time to ask! They may offer to pay for the alcohol costs, or the cake or the limo or the flowers or the wedding dress. Any cost savings, would be great.
3. Buy used wedding decor. Weddingbee.com and other sites offer used decorations at a fraction of the cost. Decide on a theme: country or elegant backyard, park, or a hall like the Veteran's or Lodges like the Elk, or even a church party room would be good. Colors or theme gives your party your individual touch or style. My theme is black and ivory Damask with dark calla lillies, feathers, silver and gold touches - kind of an art deco look. Someone may want a more country rustic with lots of mason jars with daisy's, burlap table runners, and sweet old fashioned decor.
3. You may want to get an initial consultation from a planner (sometimes they charge very low or free) and can at least get your take on what is right for you.
4. Buy wedding magazines and do some research on wedding blogs such as wedding.com and weddingbee.com and mywedding.com
5. For supplies go to orientaltrading.com and look at their ideas, decor and accessories. They have great stock and reasonable pricing.
6. Choose your wedding party TOGETHER! You want to make sure your bridal party gets along. Keep it to a minimum so that expenses for flowers and gifts are low.
8. Get your flowers from home depot or another garden center. Many arrangements or potted flowering plants are quite lovely and cheap.
9. Go to Costco or BJ club warehouses if you want to purchase your own food, cake and appetizers.
You can also do a search on her for venues in your city and state. They usually give pretty comprehensive listings so you could see some venues and get some pricing.
August 14, 2012
wait till you can afford it
August 15, 2012
Every time I see "we are on a budget" I say good for you! In fact, every wedding (whether extravagant or minimal) should have one. It is important to establish how much you are willing to spend and then break down the amount per category that you will need to spend. You may have to make adjustments to it based on your priorities. You have only one vendor you truly need, and that is your officiant. Be sure to lock that in right away. Only attempt the DIY that you have experience in. Trying to take on too many DIY projects can backfire. You may not have the space for it, may not budget it correctly and then end up paying more than having a pro in the first place, or paying one on top of the expense already incurred.
THANK YOU, Guest, for your comment about officiants! I have discovered through my own experience as an officiant that we are often the last service provider that is booked. Too often couples take the time to book the venue, photographer, caterer, and DJ before they even think about securing the services of an officiant, only to be scrambling at the last minute to find one that is available. Just this past week it broke my heart to turn down 3 couples seeking my services because I was already booked for their wedding dates, which were only just a few short weeks or months away.
Take the time to find the right officiant, too. Your ceremony will set the tone for your whole day, and you want it to convey your unique story. You also want it to touch the hearts of your guests, and resonate with you as a couple. Without that, you may as well get married at the courthouse. So, take your time to find the officiant you 'click' with to guide you through the process of creating a beautiful, meaningful ceremony that will leave you with wonderful memories of a lifetime!
Without an officiant, no wedding takes place -- it's just a big party. Pick your date, find your officiant, and THEN figure the rest out. Please.