Attention Ladies (and Gents, if you’re listening), I got married in September and made it to the other side (the more sane side where I’m less likely to spontaneously combust). Planning a wedding on a budget is all about knowing when to hold your horses and when to bite the bullet. Trust me, 99.999% of the “must haves” on Pinterest won’t make or break your wedding day. You’ll go on living your new amazing married life without ever thinking about how you could have added just one more DIY candle to the centerpieces. I hope these little tips can help you decide what’s important to YOU. So if you’re a bride, take a breath and relax for just a moment (I know it’s hard!).
Now I don’t necessarily mean you need to spend the most money possible on your photographer. I mean you need to expend the effort into finding a photographer who suits your style and the style of your wedding. Before you start requesting information… look through portfolios, read reviews, and ask around. For example, if you want your wedding to be classic, vintage, and soft, maybe don’t opt for a photographer with a lot of angular, harsh photos. Most good photographers will try to give you what you want, but their style is their style. In other words, don’t try to make a square fit into a circle. When the wedding is all over, you’ll want photos to look at over and over and over again. Trust me.
I didn’t know this was actually something you could do before we started planning our wedding. I’ll be honest, I hand wrote all of the addresses on our wedding invitations and it was a pain in the tail. The idea of having someone write it all for me was tempting, but I just couldn’t justify the cost. If you don’t want to write them yourself, instead of hiring a calligrapher, think about printing out clear labels with a nice font. (The nice font is KEY, labels can go from effective to cheesy real quick.) Or consider buying a personalized stamp for your return address. You can find these on Etsy for less than $20.
My husband and I almost didn’t do this. I am SO SO SO glad we did. Seriously. Get a good, reputable company to film and edit a wedding video for you. We used Complete Weddings+Events. They have franchises all over the U.S. Pictures are extremely important to me, but there’s just something about video. It’s like reliving the best day ever over and over again. Get video. You won’t regret it.
SKIP: Champagne Fountain
I know, I know, it sounds super cool. And I’ve been known to have more than my fair share from champagne fountains, but for the price, we decided it simply wasn’t worth it. It’s expensive and by the time the champagne filters through so many times, it loses it’s bubbles. And that’s no fun.
SPLURGE: Airbrush Makeup
Hire a good artist and get airbrush makeup. It may sound ridiculous, but this one’s a game changer. I had a makeup trial done a local salon and it was TERRIBLE. I seriously lost it. It was shiny, messy, and streaky. I ended up hiring the same makeup artist Eleni had for her wedding. Airbrush makeup stays on like CEMENT. If you’re like me and blubber at the mere thought of your wedding day, you need airbrush makeup. You’ll look flawless all day long. Just a tip: Moisturize like your life depends on it before getting airbrushed. It WILL dry out your skin.
SKIP: Hairpieces (or any accessories for that matter) from wedding shops.
If you’ve ever glanced at anything at a wedding shop, you know it all costs an arm and a leg. These shops always have that “when in Rome” kind of feel to them. Like, “Hey, if I’m going to buy my dress, I might as well buy this bedazzled headband, that flower, a belt, earrings.. Ohhh, that necklace, and this pair of shoes that will probably deform my feet.” Do yourself a favor, if it’s not really all that important to you, stop by any store like Charming Charlie or TJ Maxx. You could even search for wedding hair accessories on Etsy. There’s some awesome stuff on there. You don’t have to spend $300 on a hair clip.
SPLURGE: Ceremony Coordinator
You don’t necessarily need an all-inclusive wedding planner (Ohhh, to have the kind of money *sigh*). But I would highly recommend getting a ceremony coordinator… Someone to watch the clock and keep things rolling. A good coordinator will keep everyone on the same page and be the middle man between the boys and the girls. Remember, nothing starts without the bride but it doesn’t hurt to have someone there to make sure your guests aren’t tapping their feet waiting for the show to start.
I hope these tips got you thinking a little bit! If you’re getting married, congratulations and have fun! If I could go back in time and give my engaged-self some advice, I would say don’t get too wrapped up in the nitty gritty details and let it take away from the pure joy of being engaged!! Pin ‘til you can’t pin anymore! If you’ve already gotten married, do you have any things you wish you had or hadn’t done at your wedding? Let us know in the comments!