Wanna-Be Wedding Planner

Hey Wanna-be’s! As promised, I’m following up with another wedding blog!

Hoping this one gets more feedback, I felt like my last one fell a little short! I get it, people don’t like realizing they’re Bridezilla’s.

And it’s hard hearing real life examples.

And sometimes I ramble too much.

Whaaattttt.

Oh well. I thought it was fun, AND I got to show off my wedding pictures. Win for this wanna-be. 

This week I’m tackling saving some cash on the wedding and reception. It’s a huge issue, and let me tell you, it’s hard to save and have things look like the fairy-tale wedding you’ve always dreamed about!

Coming from my own experiences, I’ve put together a few of the top ways to cut some corners on that final wedding bill:

  1. Determine Your Budget
  2. Shop Around
  3. Don’t Give Into the Wedding Industry
  4. DIY
  5. Skimp on what you can, Go Big on what you want

Hope you find it helpful!

Wanna-be Wedding Planner: Tips to Save Some Cash on your Big {expensive} Day

Determine your Budget, and Stick To it.

Setting a budget and sticking to it is my biggest piece of advice to someone who is planning a wedding. Especially if you’re paying for the majority on your own!

You guys are going to think I’m crazy, but my favorite part of wedding planning was writing out the budget and crossing things off when they were paid for.

I know, super weird. But I work with numbers all day, what do you expect?

First things first, figure out what you and your hubby really want at the wedding. Do you need ice sculptures, a dramatic entrance on a horse drawn carriage, and a ball gown fit for the queen?

If you do- One, I’m super jealous, because that was not in my ballpark budget regardless if I wanted it, and Two, determine that early and so you can set your budget!

Here’s how I laid my budget out.

First, I added in all the things I wanted and set a price for them. Key point – research prices and vendors before you set the budget. If you plan to only spend $500 for food, but you’re wanting Steak Deburgo for 500 people, this might throw a wrench in things.

Budget

I took out all pricing, because that’s mine and hubby’s business, but you get the point 🙂

Next, I laid out the payment schedule over the 7 months we paid for the wedding. What I mean by this is, some of the funding came from family, some from our paychecks, and some from savings. I color-coded (duh) where the funds were coming from, and when the item would be paid for.

Lastly, I was determined to follow the budget and cut extra costs where I could. And I did cut extra costs!

I suggest, and what I HAD to do, setting up a side checking or savings account. The hardest part for me when budgeting was, half the wedding vendors don’t want paid in full until the week of the wedding. What craziness is this?

I’m the type of person who has cash and wants to spend it RIGHT THEN. I hate waiting when I want something done. Tough personality traits when wedding planning.

I knew I couldn’t trust myself not to spend it if it was in my checking, so I either withdrew that money and hid cash in my house (not recommended… blaming my old Italian relatives for teaching me that one) or put money in second account to send that money to.

Shop Around

If you get anything from this long, rambling blog, please take away this! Ladies, SHOP AROUND! This is so important!flowers

Personal example- If I would have gone with the first florist I spoke to, I would have paid $350 for my bouquet and $110 a piece for the BM’s. I ended up paying $150 for mine, and $60 for theirs. The flowers were beautiful!! (If flowers aren’t that important to you, they were to me, look for less expensive alternatives.)

Another super important thing to me (which sounds silly now) were my center pieces. I obsessed over them, and ended up having 8 different ones.

All gorgeous, if I do say so myself 🙂

img_5968

One of my 8 centerpieces. I used fake flowers in this one, and one other. The rest had real ones.

It would have been so much easier if I went to Hobby Lobby and the florist and purchased all the books, lanterns, vases, flowers, table numbers, etc. that I needed all at once, but I knew I wanted sort of an eclectic look, so why not shop around and mismatch a little?

I saved so much cash buying things as I saw them, a little at a time.

And let’s face it. No one, other than yourself and your mom, are going to remember your centerpieces. Why shell out all the dough?

I had centerpieces for 35 tables, and I spent no more than $120 on the actual centerpieces, and $200 on flowers. That’s roughly $9 a table, ($3.50ish if I would have used flower alternatives).

Here’s how I did it! So simple.

Swap Sites; Craigslist; Goodwill

The hundreds of friends getting married this summer

Your own cupboards!

Used is not something to be scared of! It’s going to be used after your wedding, right? Plus it’s so fun to take credit for turning something old into something shiny and new!

There are always nice things out there, it just takes a little patience!

Don’t let the Wedding Industry Win

Weddings have been happening for hundreds (thousands?) of years, but everyone that has ever planned a wedding in modern day knows there are certain “expectations.”

Who defines these expectations? What started all the traditions?

And WHY, WHYYYY was it decided that it’s “normal” to feed 300 people dinner?! It’s your wedding, shouldn’t someone shell out money to feed you dinner? *sigh*

But listen here, wanna-be’s. Don’t let anyone tell you how your wedding has to be.

Everyone has their own style, and if you want that Cookie-Cutter black and white wedding, you go for it. But don’t let someone tell you it has to be that way, or it’s wrong. Whatever way you decide to do is right and beautiful, because it’s YOUR wedding.

My own “out of the box” example- I’ve hardly ever been to a wedding where all the cake or cupcakes were finished.

But you HAVE TO HAVE A WEDDING CAKE!!! *eye roll*

We had almost 800 cookies at our wedding, for 280 people, and we barely had enough to take home. People loved them, no cake necessary! Side note, our cookies were flipping amazing (Thanks to our family and friends that helped!!), so I completely understand why they were almost gone.

Don’t let the wedding industry define what should be at your wedding, OR what you should pay for things at your wedding. There’s simply no need!

DO IT YOURSELF

The haunting DIY label. As you all know, I’m a total wanna-be DIY-er, so how could I not do a few things on my own wedding??

This saves a ton of money if you do it right. My take on DIY wedding is,

cardbox

play to your strengths! It’s when you run into those fails that it starts costing money.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for trying again when you fail, that’s what this blog is founded on! But when you’re on a budget, sometimes it’s more cost effective to have it done “right” the first time.

 

I know, I know. It hurts my pride just saying that.

A strength of mine is, I’m really good with a hot glue gun (super challenging, right?), so I made things like a seating chart on a re-purposed window, adorned with flowers, and my card mailbox. The picture above was taken after the wedding, I swear it looked a little better the day of!

And as I said earlier, I made all my own centerpieces, as well as my own pew decorations. Credits to Goodwill and hot glue! Total money saver!

On the other hand, I am not so good with drawing. I tried 700 ways to make a “Happily Ever After” sign. Literally a fail every time, and I wasted money on different materials.

Learn from my mistakes, wanna-be’s. Play to those strengths!

Skimp on what you can, Go big on what you want

Again, let me repeat, I suggest figuring out what you want for the wedding early in the game. Sure, other things and new ideas are going to pop into your head at some point while planning, Thanks Pinterest, but try and stick to your guns when planning out the overall structure.

The super important things for me were Flowers/Bouquets, Food, Beer (more for my husband), Photography and Atmosphere.

I spent good money on my bouquets, but as I said above, I got them at a less-expensive rate than originally planned. I budgeted out $1100, and only spent $850. I’d say that’s a win.

As for my centerpieces flowers, I ordered them online and put them together on my own. Sounds terrifying, right? It sort of is! I used the website, Bloom By the Box, and they were fantastic! I have a few friends that have gone this route, with theirs turning out wonderful as well. Totally recommended if you don’t mind a little DIY.

wedding dress

So much detail in one $400 dress! I loved it!

One thing I decided that was not so important to me was my wedding dress.

 

*key the gasping, fainting brides-to-be*

Sure, I wanted to be beautiful and love the dress I was in, but I did not want to spend a fortune!

I kept telling myself, it’s going to get stepped on and beer will be spilled on it all night, why spend thousands of dollars? But I also didn’t want to wear something that looked, for lack of better words, cheap. Super snotty sounding, I know, but let’s be real, it’s your wedding day.

I tried on a ton of dresses, ranging from $200 to $1900. The one I picked, the perfect dress, was $418. It was new, but it was discontinued and had to be purchased off the rack. This worked out perfect for me, and I totally suggest asking your bridal associates about it!

Disclaimer- DO NOT be deterred by this if you’re not a size 4. I am NOTTTTTT even close to “ideal dress size,” but I still found one. Heck, it was even able to be altered when I found out 2 months before the wedding that I was Pregnant! Chalking that up to a win!

Reiterating what I said above, don’t let anyone tell you what has to be spent on your wedding. If peacocks and an 8 piece band are your heart’s desire, get them. If you want to simplify things and have a party in a cornfield, do it!

Try and scale back on things that are less important to you, but go big on what you really want!

This is your wedding day, enjoy every part of it! Including, how your bank account looks after the day is paid for!

 

That’s my take on Wanna-be Wedding Planner this week! I’m hoping you found this as helpful as I did!

Please feel free to share any of your own tips and money saving tricks. I’d love to hear from you!!

 

Angela 

One thought on “Wanna-Be Wedding Planner

  1. Tiffany says:

    Your wedding was beautiful and everyone could feel the love between you two! Everything from the center pieces to the cookies was exactly your style! I’m happy you didn’t give in to the wedding industry or to those wanting cake at the reception! 😘 You were stunning and I don’t believ I’ve ever seen you that happy! (Love the picture with the ring bearer above)

    Liked by 1 person

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