Engaged, married 20sb out there? Or just trying to throw a party? I know weddings and parties can be expensive but there are many, many ways of going around to throwing a fancy affair without spending all you've got in the bank. My husband and I had a less than $5,000 NYC wedding. By utilizing our resources like friends and cheaper options. ($300 bouquet??? I'll make my own for $35) We didn't think we could get away with it, but it was possible!
Do you have any tips on throwing parties on a budget? Do share! xo
I am getting married in May and we are DIY-ing a LOT of items. I've saved over $600 so far in centerpieces simply by making them myself (wine bottle centerpieces - super cute)! I DIY-ed pockedfold invites, which saved another $200. We limited flowers to just myself and the bridesmaids, which was a HUGE money saver as fresh florals are veryyyy pricey!
We also searched out independent photographers and DJs instead of going with the high price tagged typicals. This can be tricky, but we used family recommendations and did A LOT of research. We have saved at least $2000 on photographer and I'm being completely honest when I say she is better than those charging thousands more than she does. We also saved about $1000 on the DJ -- haven't heard him yet, but his recommendations were awesome!
I bought my girls' jewelry for the wedding in an after Christmas sale -- they are each getting $120 sets that really cost me $30. I ordered thank you's with a coupon from VistaPrint (and, yes, they're cute)!
An inexpensive wedding can definitely be done if you're willing to put in some leg work! I'm not being cheap with my wedding, I'm just being smart with my money.
If you want to see what we've done so far (or even check back after May to see if I'm telling the truth!) here's our wedding bio: http://mrandmrs2013.weebly.com
Yes! I'd love to see in May :) xo
Nagehan, I shared this link with a friend who is in the early stages of planning her Wedding.
I think this post is very helpful! I too know the importance of using your resources and connections to save money... People have to realize you can have a dream, or a perfect Wedding without blowing all your savings. Don't be afraid to DIY or ask friends for help...
My friend loved your Blog! :)
Aw! Thanks Rach! You're such a fab bloggy friend :) xoxo
My number one recommendation is to take a step back and think about who you know. Instead of hiring an overly expensive wedding coordinator, I found a mutual friend who coordinates events on the side and was there to point me in the right direction along the way, check up on my planning progress, and helped decorate the venue. Rather than hiring a professional orchestra to play the wedding, we asked some of our very musically talented friends, and we did the same thing for our reception as well. Our engagement pictures and wedding pictures were photographed by my uncle who is a professional photographer. Our centerpieces were created by my mother in law and bridesmaids. Our reception was catered by a bakery who gave us a deal simply because of their friendship with my in-laws. The venues were decorated by a family friend who is an interior design professor at my Alma mater.
What about venues? Do you have a coordinator friend who works for a venue who can get you a Family and Friends discount? Does your State Capitol allow events for free in its ballroom? (Oklahoma does... not sure if it's common!) Is there an ideal, or mostly ideal, room or area at your University you could get a discount on since it's your Alma mater?
Think about your connections. And I agree with Ashley - ask family and friends for recommendations. Ask your "been there done that" -ers. Cakes, flowers, dresses, sales... Make a list, make a budget, and stick to it. Budgets can be frustrating and difficult to work with, but they're not impossible and you'll thank your husband and yourself later on for keeping your heads in the game and saving up.
I should have also added, after reading below, we most definitely paid our friends and family members who played a part in our wedding, whether it was singing, catering, decorating, etc.
Just a comment from a non-bride who has been involved in a buttload of weddings with brides and bridesmaids ranking on the scale from -700 to 11 (with zero being the lowest and 10 being the absolute highest). I know this is a genuine "hey how did you save cash?" post, but so many brides I know have taken the "friends as resources" approach and totally exploited it. I am that friend: the one who's invested in photography, knows Adobe, can get down with a needle and thread and glue gun.
For example: I design wedding invitation suites on the side (they typically start at $800 because they're detailed and that's what my clientele would pay otherwise) and I do handprinted and embroidered signage and banners. I cannot tell you how many friends and friends of friends and cousins and in-laws and random facebook friends from high school approach me about discounts and if they "supply all the material" could I just do it when I "find the time." It makes me cringe. And I do a lot of discounted work! But... at my own offering. There is an air of it's okay if you're spending your time and money so long as I'm not spending mine that swirls about a lot of this stuff--especially when it comes to what roles bridesmaids will play in wedding/shower/engagement party/whatever else planning.
You guys all seem really fantastic and I've checked out Nagehan's link and Ashley's wedding bio. Everything looks wonderful and your being smart is totally different from what I'm talking about. Just wanted to give the other side especially if some potential offenders are lurking around. It can really sour some friendships.
You definitely have to pay for all of your friends' hard work. There are no excuses for it.
I totally agree! I wouldn't encourage anyone to take advantage of their friends or expect things for free.
We definitely paid for all of our friends' efforts. We also didn't insist on discounted prices or free things. If they were offered, we accepted but still paid more than what we were asked to pay. No one likes a moocher.
I admire anyone who can have a beautiful wedding with cutting all possible corners. I know I wouldn't be able to do it.
Popcorn is a great snack at parties... inexpensive and amazing.
Just posted a recipe for some fantastic popcorn today - Cilantro Lime Popcorn.