When I got married three years ago I was amazed at how expensive everything was and how any average middle class person could even try to throw the beautiful weddings I saw in every bridal magazine without going broke. It took a little creativity but I was able to cut some corners, be able to save money and still have a wonderful wedding.
1) The Cake
I noticed that whenever I went to a wedding, there was always leftover cake. Either people didn’t want it or the pieces were just too big. I decided to bypass that route and get cupcakes instead! It saved money in the long run because there were very few extras and most people wanted to take some home. Most bakeries offer the cupcake option and it’s usually the cost saving option without losing a delicious dessert.They can also make a top cake piece if you want cake toppers. I went with alternating raspberry cream and chocolate mouse fillings but there are a ton of options to choose from.
(Delicious and the cupcake tower is adorable)
2) The Dress
It’s discouraging to look through bridal magazines, see something that you love and then realize that some of these dress cost more than a new car. There are ways to get a beautiful dress without spending thousands of dollars. I got my dress at a vintage clothing store that was having a huge charity dress sale. Dress shops all over donated dresses to sell with the proceeds going to charity. My dress was originally $650 but I got it for $75. Yes, you read that correctly. My wedding dress cost $75. Adding in some small alterations and I totaled out at $140. Still saving a ton of money on a dress I’m only going to wear once.
(Not the best view but I love this picture)
3) The Veil
The wedding veil and the seating chart are two small wedding details that can actually really hurt you in the wallet if you don’t prepare for them. Some veils can run a few hundred dollars depending on how detailed you want it to be. I decided that I didn’t want to spend a lot since I was only wearing the veil for the ceremony and planned on removing it after that. I got a beautiful birdcage veil from the rtisan shop on Etsy (see here). It was handmade, gorgeous and gave a little vintage feel which I loved! I did make it unique by getting an antique brooch at a jewelry store, hot gluing it to a mini comb and adding it into my hair with the veil for a great hairpiece. You can get an awesome glue gun here.
(Veil and homemade hairpiece)
4) Seating Arrangements
I also got my seating chart on Etsy. Instead of paying for individual seating cards for every guest, I made one giant chart. It listed where everyone sat, and since I was doing a buffet (also a big cost cutting option), I listed the whole menu in the middle so I saved money by not printing a ton of menus for every table either. Getting the pdf design was cost effective and I got to use the money that I saved to buy a huge print out from Kinko’s and a beautiful frame online to put it in. If you find a great graphic designer, you can get something that is personally for you. Now I have this great memory of my wedding day that lists everyone that came and what we had to eat that day.
5) The Flowers
You never realize how expensive flowers are until you have to buy a ton of them. As beautiful as it is, covering your wedding in flowers can cost you big. My wedding colors were hot pink and black. They weren’t exactly colors that came around too often in nature so had a professional do the bouquets and the boutonnieres because I was just not that crafty. I did do my own centerpieces by ordering flowers in bulk online and buying vases and water beads at an arts and crafts store. You can also find them here. They weren’t perfect but I wasn’t willing to shell out that much for something that was going to die by the next week. So if you are brave enough to handle all the flowers on your own, there are a few really great websites that will ship bulk flowers to you that you can work with. Just do your research and shop around.
If you get creative, you can surprise yourself by how much money you can save and put toward the things that you can’t do yourself. But please remember that nobody will remember that random wilted flower or the pink napkin that wasn’t the “right” pink. They will remember you and your special day. Relax and enjoy yourself! You’ve earned it!