Friday, April 20, 2012

Wedding on a budget

Oh, my, goodness. I had almost 3000 pageviews yesterday. And so far almost 500 today. (I am not exactly sure when the day switches over, it seems to be somewhere in the middle of the evening for me?) I feel very humbled that so many people are interested in reading what I have to say. Thank you to my wonderful readers! And thank you very much to The Frugal Girls who featured me from their chic and crafty party! I love being able to share my random thoughts with all of you wonderful people!

Today I went out wedding stuff pricing with my sister. She is getting married this summer and I am so excited for her! I have so much fun helping her plan her wedding because it brings back wonderful memories of my own wedding planning time 4 years ago. I absolutely love wedding stuff. I am endlessly fascinated and I could browse the wedding aisle for hours (well maybe not just 1 wedding aisle but I don't seem to mind store hopping and looking at very similar but slightly different wedding supplies at several different stores for hours :) And of course girl time is also very fun! Guys just don't get it. If you take a guy to the wedding aisle his eyes will immediately glaze over, or he will go into hunting mode (Ok, we are here for party favors, and paper decorations, check and check, ok lets get out of here). So you have to take a girl friend so you can take your time and look :)

One challenge I think we all face when wedding planning is keeping it within the budget. No matter what your budget is it is always a balancing act to make sure that you get everything you want but don't spend too much. When I was planning my wedding I didn't have a strict budget but my husband and I were both in school and my parents are not super rich so I wanted to keep the costs very low. We managed to keep our wedding to right around $1000. (Yes I know that is super cheap and not 100% reproducible, We were expecting to spend $2000-3000, but there are definitely ways to keep wedding costs down. Do you know what my #1 wedding budget secret is? Family, Friends, Family! Think of all your family and friends, most of them are very willing to help make your special day special. We only signed 1 contract for our entire wedding. That was for the photographer, but she was my husband's cousin so she gave us an amazing deal! (And she was super amazing because she photographed our wedding while she was 8 months pregnant, I didn't realize just how hard that would have been for her until 6 months ago. She only did the wedding, we asked some crafty aunts and uncles to photograph the reception) Everything in our wedding was done by family or friends. We bought our flowers from a wholesale distributor (I have an aunt who had a craft license and we just paid her the tax and paid the wholesale price for the flowers) and my mom did the flower arranging and she did an amazing job! We had a dessert bar for the reception and we made all the desserts ourselves (we had a friend of the family who ran a catering business who let us use her industrial kitchen, which was totally easier than trying to cook them all in 1 small home kitchen, if you don't have a caterer friend maybe your church would let you use their kitchen?). For the cake we bought 6 small round cakes from Walmart (They were super cheap, I don't remember the exact price, but I think they were under $5 each) and 1 sheet cake for in the back. We used buckets and boxes under a nice piece of cloth to make a beautiful cake stand. And some friends from church helped us out by serving the food during and getting it all laid out and keeping an eye on it (I wouldn't have family do this, it has to be someone who doesn't mind missing out on a lot of the wedding) We did all of the decorating ourselves and friends and family came to help. We did a lot of stuff ourselves and had a lot of help from wonderful family and friends!

What are your tips for keeping wedding costs low?

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