Happy Wednesday everyone! I am so excited to be back sharing more wedding tips for you guys today! Today I am going to be talking about everyone's FAVORITE topic when it comes to weddings. BUDGET! I'm sure this strikes a very sensitive cord with some, and also brings up one of the most stressful parts of a wedding. Since we got married in New Jersey (one of the most expensive states to get married in) I know the feels. I've come up with 5 tips to help you budget for your wedding, and some insider info that I learned along the way!
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1. Utilize handmade sites, flea markets and local sales
Etsy- Etsy was a HUGE part of our wedding. Some of the items we got from etsy were my bridal shower invitations, our cake topper, the downloadable table numbers, our "guest book" (which was an old card catalog), my bridesmaids robes and hangers with their names on them, the gift tags for our favors, the tags for our place cards, our wedding signs and we also purchased our some other small trinkets that were used throughout the wedding. By the end of everything Etsy had taken a lot of our money, but it was SO much cheaper than if we had out right purchased everything through a store. Also, supporting small businesses is awesome so we were glad to do it!
Flea Markets- We purchased old cameras, library cards, and over 200 keys at a local flea market in New Hope, NJ. I love that we had a mix of old and new at our wedding because vintage has always been such a huge part of my life, I know I needed to incorporate it. This saved us a lot of money and allowed us to be creative when staging our
Local Sales- There are tons of local Facebook groups, but also craigslist ads that you can use to find so many different things you'll need. A lot of brides sell their used centerpieces, vases, etc since they probably won't use them again. Utilizing these types of sales is great because the price is HEAVILY reduced, and usually everything has only been used once!
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2. Find a venue that doesn't require you to use their vendors:
We got so lucky in our situation that we got to pick all of our vendors ourselves. This helped us budget better, but also allowed for us to create a space that was all our own. We got to customize our venue in our way, and that was something that was really important to us. We also got to pick what we wanted to spend money on, and what we didn't. We didn't feel forced into anything which is extremely rare to find, but it is out there- just keep looking! Nowadays venues can be places you never thought of so I urge you to think outside the box, and create a wedding that is completely inspired by your vision.
3. Decide what's most important to you and your significant other:
I mentioned this in my last post, and I cannot stress it enough. Make sure you sit down with your fiancee (soon to be husband or wife) and really discuss what you want to spend your money on. For us, it was a no-brainier .We knew photography and videography were extremely important to us, so we made sure we had a good budget for those two things. We also cut back on other little things that didn't mean as much, like the cake. We didn't want to go crazy with the cake since we both don't really like it, so we chose a very basic cake option. Food was also very important so we wanted the best cocktail hour and dinner options available. When you budget for something in advance it really helps keep you on track when the wedding is being planned.
4. Pass on the "pricey" details:
It's easy to get caught up in the things you need, and the things you think you need. Every bride goes through this. You wonder if you're making the right choices, or splurging when you shouldn't be, etc. My best advice is to really think about how important the choice is to you. If something really means a lot to you, then you should do it, and if it doesn't then you should pass. For instance when our maître d' set up our table setting options, there was one tablecloth and set up that I fell in love with. It turned out that the tablecloth and charger plates were extremely expensive, and would end up being a few thousand dollars extra if we had decided to include these. We ended up going for a cheaper option, for both the charger plate and the tablecloth, and they both ended up looking gorgeous either way. For those of you who don't know what a charger plate is it's the outside plate that the main plate sits on. You're probably thinking not a big deal right? As a bride when you see something you love it's really hard to not want it. It's hard to pull yourself away and say, "I don't think we need that." But in the end, you don't really need anything. It's about what you want. So remind yourself that when you are getting quoted for unecessary amounts of money for things you don't "need."
5. Cut down on printing costs by printing your own!
Our invitations, menus, church programs and our table numbers were all printed by Office Max. We went there and told them everything we needed, and they helped us print all of the papers on really beautiful thick card stock. My friend Olivia designed the entire collection from start to finish and did all of the calligraphy for our wedding, so I am very happy with how it turned out. It all felt very unique and styled with our flowers and overall aesthetic, which is what I really wanted. If you have the option of choosing a friend or designer to create your invitations, it's a really great route to go because it's cheaper and helps you make it your own. There are also tons of sites that have pre-made templates of what you can choose from. We printed our invitations through Wedding Paper Divas.