WELCOME TO WEDDING WEEK! I’m so glad you could attend. :-) As many of you know, my daughter Britta is getting married this week! Wow! What a crazy summer it has been! I can’t believe the BIG DAY is almost here! In honor of this special occasion (and to help me make the most of this precious time with my daughter before her fiancé whisks her away!) we have lined up some very special guests bloggers who are going to offer their best advice on everything from planning a wedding on a budget, to hair and makeup tips, and everything in between! (Well, as much as we can fit into a week!)
Even if you aren’t currently involved in planning a wedding, chances are you will be sometime in the future whether it’s for you, your child, your grandchild, your cousin, your niece, your neighbor, your neighbor’s child…you get the idea. This will be great information to tuck away for that day…or share with a friend.
So let’s get started shall we? Please welcome our first “wedding guest”….Joelle Duff of A Charming Occasion.
Hi everyone, my name is Joelle Duff, and I am a wedding coordinator and blogger from Southern California. I was so graciously asked to stop by today to help celebrate the wedding of Jillee’s daughter by sharing some wedding planning tips and tricks with all of you!
It seems that these days, weddings have to cost an arm and a leg. Just because a wedding is small or DIY doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s inexpensive, and costs can add up without you even realizing it. Most of the time it’s the details, which aren’t necessarily accounted for in the original budget (think wedding party gifts, event rentals, and staffing), that are the culprit. Another reason can just be getting overly inspired; if you spend too much time on Pinterest or wedding blogs, you may start getting ideas for projects and details that you never originally planned for.
Regardless, I want to reassure you that it is possible to stick to a smaller budget. It’s all about tracking expenses, making a list of your priorities (and planning according to those), and compromising. Here are a few other fun, inconspicuous ways that you can keep costs down.
DIY Dessert Bar
Depending on the formality of your wedding, and how close you are with members of your family, a potluck dessert bar can be a HUGE hit. If you have aunts and grandparents that are known for their baking skills, why not ask them to share their desserts with your guests? No need to expect anyone to make enough dessert for everyone; just ask if they might be willing to make some cookies or cupcakes to put on a dessert bar. Get a small cutting cake for you and your bride or groom, and fill the rest of the table up with some meaningful sweets. Add some handmade tags to let everyone know who made the treats, and for an extra special touch, ask if you can share your family recipes with everyone.
Rent the Dress
I know that there are a lot of brides out there who want to have their “Say Yes to the Dress” moment, but if you aren’t one of them, why not consider renting a wedding dress? If not that, you can at least rent a designer dress for your rehearsal, and there are even websites for your ‘maids to rent their dresses too! There are so many options out there, and you don’t have to worry about forking over the big bucks for a dress that you’re only going to wear once!
Think about it this way: if you were to buy everything you needed for your wedding new (i.e. candle holders, champagne flutes, décor items, etc.), what would you do with it afterward? Exactly. These days, there are so many wedding websites and message boards dedicated to selling used items after the wedding. Not only that, but there are a lot of brides who had to cancel their wedding who sell items that were never even used. I remember scouring the internet for paper lanterns, vases, and even signs and picture frames for my wedding. Not only that, but there are a lot of women who sell their wedding dresses after the fact as well. If you have your eyes set on a designer dress (without the designer price), consider searching for the same dress used. You never know what you might find!
Skip the Favors
It’s no secret that I think favors are usually a waste of time and money. If you do choose to do favors, I recommend doing something perishable. Send your guests home with a donut for the ride home, put in pretty packaging, or a candle in your wedding colors. I find that guests tend to leave behind things they may not have an actual use for, like mix CDs, keychains, or anything with your names engraved on it. I guarantee that your guests are going to be so much more appreciative if you put on an entertaining reception that caters to them, with candy bars and a great DJ, than if you order something small for them to take home.
There are a lot of ways to cut costs for your wedding, but there’s also a lot of bad advice out there as well. Not every wedding needs a limo! Just think creatively, and critically, about your decisions, and try to think of how you would feel if you were a guest before making a decision.
Weddings don’t have to be a waste of money, and my biggest piece of advice is just to remember what the day means to the two of you! Plan according to your priorities, and know that as long as the day ended in a marriage, the wedding was a success.
Thank you Joelle!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for more great WEDDING WEEK ideas!