Hi everyone! I'm Jeni - the girl behind the Two.Shades.of.Lovely blog and co-owner of the Two.Shades.of.Lovely shoppe! I was so happy to be asked by the fabulous Tranae to be a guest on a series that was themed around one of the most special days of my life.
Between finding the perfect dress, selecting a memorable venue, serving only the best food and drinks, and dancing the night away in style, weddings can be expensive....but they don't have to be.
Below I've compiled a little list (because I will gladly take any opportunity to make a list), and a free printable on how to stick to a small budget, while still achieving your fairy tale wedding.
1. Remember, this is YOUR wedding
There was a time where weddings "had to" fit a certain mold. That is not the case anymore. Remember, this is a special day for you and your soon-to-be husband to celebrate the love you two have, not to live up to other people's expectations. If all of the wedding magazines tell you that you "need" a $1000 veil, a poofy dress, and a full meal served at your wedding, but you'd rather stick to no veil, a tea length dress, and appetizers, do it!
2. Use those talented friends and family!
Do you have a friend that bakes with the best of them, perhaps a cousin that plays in a great band, a Great Aunt that knows her way around a sewing machine? Use those skills to your advantage and ask for some help! Always offer to pay, but at times family and friends will offer large discounts on their services or even use their offer to help in lieu of a gift.
3. Skip the Four Course Meal
One of the largest costs in weddings are catering and food services. If you are looking for a way to cut out hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars, alter your menu. There are plenty of other suitable options for food for your big day. Just keep in mind, that if your wedding is during a typical meal time, note on the invitation the type of food that will be served.
*My husband and I were looking for ways to lower our cost of our wedding. We opted to do our wedding at dusk, and serve "heavy appetizers" and cocktails. We had amazing finger foods, great drinks, and a cake to die for.
4. Something Old...
There is nothing better than giving an old family heirloom new life. If your grandmother has her veil sitting in a trunk somewhere, even an old wedding set locked up, the personal touches will save you money as well as give your wedding a heartfelt personal touch.
*I used my grandmother's old butterfly broach on my dress for the big day. Looking back at the photos, just seeing the broach made me remember I was carrying a little piece of her on that day.
5. Don't Sweat the "Small Stuff"
When your wedding doesn't come with a large budget, sometimes things will have to be left out. But I can assure you that you if you use paper napkins in the place of cloth napkins, an I-Pod playlist instead of a DJ or full band, or store-bought bouquets in place of large florist arrangements, your guests and you will still have had a memorable special wedding.
Some of the easiest ways to cut additional costs are to skip some of these things for the Big Day:
Skip the DJ - with technology these days, you'll be able to have an amazing sound track by compiling you and your soon-to-be's favorite songs with the help of an i-pod, tech savvy friend, and some speakers.
Skip the elaborate cake - instead, how about some of these adorable mason jar cakes for each guest, a cupcake tower like this, or sticking with a good ol' fashioned pie for a fun spin on the cake tradition.
Skip the Florist - if you don't believe me, check out some of these store-bought flowers that were turned into gorgeous wedding bouquets! (Here Here & Here) Instead of large floral arrangements for centerpieces, you can opt for something a little different. We used some local twigs and river pebbles for ours.
Skip the traditional rehearsal dinner - dinner for all of your family, your wedding party, and everyone's plus ones can add up....quickly! Turn this otherwise expensive event into a light-hearted relaxing night before your big day! This can be anything from a pizza party, to a backyard barbeque. Our rehearsal dinner was a backyard barbecue hosted by my husband's family - we played horseshoes, bocce ball, laughed around the fire, and had some nice relaxing time before the stress of our wedding day.
Now - to the fun stuff!
I did a little DIY project for wine bottles at our wedding. They made a great keepsake, and were a cute way to use budget friendly wine and dress them up (everyone loves "TwoBuckChuck" from Trader Joes right!?)
Clink this link to take you to your very own printable for some fun wine labels.
*They can also be used for other things, think - cards, gift wrap, mason jars, glasses, drink coozies, the possibilities are endless!*