Thursday, August 7, 2014

Budget Bride Wedding Checklist and Budget Tips

So your getting married, and looking for ways to save your wallet from drowning? I'm no expert, but I am a frugal person in general. Why wouldn't I find ways to save a buck? After all, I want to be able to eat after our wedding day, right?! 

Luckily, for you I've come up with a few different ways to save on your wedding. To company my fantastic recommendations for saving, I have also created a new Budget Bride Wedding Checklist. After reviewing several different wedding checklists, I have come to the conclusion that I won't be needing things like... hiring a wedding planner, hiring a venue coordinator, hiring top of the line photographer, booking rentals, lighting, and swags. I didn't hit the lottery, and I'm more than sure if your reading this, you haven't either. 
Get my new Budget Bride Wedding Checklist, click here.

Update 6/1/15:
Wedding Dress
(I don't know how I forgot to mention this bit originally, but here it is.)
Your wedding dress is probably the most important part of the wedding day for most brides. It's searching, and purchasing your dream dress, that makes your wedding day a hundred times better. The dress you see in my picture above...The sweetheart neckline ball gown with tulle galore, the beaded bling belt, and laced down pattern...yes that dress. I found this dress at Camille La Vie's Outlet!! Yes an outlet store, and the best part, this dress was $395.00 BOOM! This store had tons of dresses for around that price, it wasn't just this one dress. I tried on another for $595.00, and it was gorgeous. David's Bridal is always doing a sale. Go to outlets, search for sales on line. Travel a distance if you have too. I highly suggest you try on your dress, you find shops near you, or even an hour or two away. 

Cheaper wedding dates
Consider the day of your wedding. Of course everyone wants to get married on Saturday, and Sunday, which makes these days the most expensive to book. Consider having your wedding on a Thursday or Friday to save some money. Venue's will give you a good discount if you have the wedding on a day that's undesirable. 

DIY your save the dates, and wedding invitation:
Making your own save the dates and wedding invites will save you a lot of money!! If your technology, and design savvy, try your hand at making your own invites in Photoshop. Or if you'd prefer not being a graphic designer for your wedding, head over to Wedding Chick. They have free printable wedding invites, save the dates, programs, table numbers, etc. They're cute, and Wedding Chicks always adds new printables all the time. 

Send your save the dates, and wedding Invites via EMAIL:
I know this option isn't actually the most desirable but it'll save you a grip on paper, and postage! If your worried about your guests not RSVP'ing, you could direct them to a RSVP website like rsvpify, or free-rsvp. The more modern, and easiest way is for you to use a wedding app, for guests to RSVP at, such as the Wedding Party App. Of course, for the older guests who aren't tech savvy, you might want to mail the wedding invitation. 

Find a budget friendly venue:
When browsing through venues, make sure you see tables and chairs. It starts to add up if you have to rent chairs for the ceremony, tables, and chairs for the reception. If your having an outside wedding, make sure your venue has chairs for you to use at no cost to you. If the chairs cost money, it won't hurt your guests to stand during the ceremony. After all, ceremonies aren't that long. Your venue should be affordable in everywhere! 

Negotiate with your vendors, and venue:
Sometimes you have to play a little game called "hard to get." Don't act excited, but more aloof. This gives you the ability to negotiate with your vendors and venue. What I've noticed while being in the wedding blogosphere is that vendors and venues are willing to shave off some cost, if your willing to leave good reviews. It's a trade off for both vendor, venue and yourself. If your a blogger, send a few letters, and tell them how you can help their company! Sell yourself, and you might be surprised with the discounts. 

Find a budget friendly cater:
We all know that the food is the most costly part to a wedding. During my planning, and research I found that buffet, and family style caters are more cost efficient than single plate meals. I've been to several weddings, where buffet style has actually worked better than single plates. The food stays hot, and the guests are allowed to eat what they want. 

Family or friend Officiant:
This is one thing that my fiance and I have always agreed on. We want to have a special friend or family member marry us. It's more intimate and you can always share that bond with your officiant. Plus it saves you a lot to have someone you know marry you. 

Find a wholesale florist:
Flowers are so expensive, and you only really need them for a few hours. Find yourself a wholesale florist and find out what flowers are cheaper than others. Wholesale florist have more options you can choose from, then lets say Target or Walmart. Wholesale florist also have flowers for much cheaper, and they are always willing to negotiate. Explore the flowers, and get them to print you out a sheet with the flowers your interested in with the costs. 

Guest photographers:
Recently I was viewing some photographers websites, and their rates. What I found...was really expensive! I know, I know "A picture is worth a thousands words, and memories are forever." Really, tho?! It's out of the budget! So the solution, book a student, or friend photographer. Negotiate your cost down, and book them for an hour. Get some great pictures, and move on! You don't want your guests waiting for you for 2 hours, while your getting photographed anyways. You want to take pictures, eat and party. Let your guests take pictures for you through your wedding app! Have everyone at your wedding download your wedding app, and get the reception pictures later from them. Easy, and cost efficient. 

Dollar Store, Dollar Store, Dollar Store:
Please don't cringe at the idea of exploring your local dollar tree. I love to go to the dollar tree every now and again to find teacher/school supplies. While I was there, I went through the home section and noticed these beautiful long cylinder vases I had just seen at Michaels for much more. At Michaels the vases were $5.00 each, and at the dollar store, only $1. What a find!!! Along with the vases I found crystal AB rocks, and at Michaels these rocks were so much more! I was in heaven! The dollar tree, will help, just go and find out for yourself. The dollar tree also has candles galore. 

Different centerpieces:
Be different, an change up your centerpieces! They don't have to be all the same. This will save you a lot, and it'll give your reception a vintage look. 

DIY your own centerpieces:
As I said already, head down to the dollar tree, and make your own centerpieces. You can find all kinds of vases, and candles. Then the day before, go to the florist with your bridesmaids, and get the cheap flowers. Buy vase lights at Michaels, for cheap, and it adds a classy touch. 

DIY your wedding program:
You can print out individual programs for free by using the Wedding Chicks pre-made programs, or you can make our own program in photoshop. If you print out individual programs, it looks nice, but if you want to save even more...make one big program. You can make a poster with your program for everyone to see when they come to ceremony. It'll save you the hassle of printing, wasting paper, and printer ink.  

DIY wedding bouquet and boutonnieres:
The reason why you found a wholesale florist is to save money on centerpieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres. It's not hard to make bouquets and boutonnieres. You need to find inspiration on pinterest of course, but it'll save you big time!! I recently was apart of a wedding, and referred the bride to the wholesale florist I found. She bought so many flowers, including my favorite peonies, for $95!! She made, 6 bouquets, including her own with the flowers she bought for $95!!!! That's it! You could buy one bouquet for that much or make 6 for that much. It's definitely up to the bride. Buy the flowers the day before, and store them in your refrigerator. Or buy them early in the morning and keep them in water and ice.  

Hire a student to do your hair and make-up
If your on a budget this might be the option for you. Hiring a student is a great idea, because even though they're learning still...their fresh on the scene. They have drive, and are schooled on all the new styles.

Employ wedding party for cake service
One hidden cost a lot of the caters forget to tell you about, is the cake service. Employ your wedding party to help with this task. Serving cake doesn't take long, and it'll save you a few hundred. 

Beer, Wine, and Champagne
Everyone forgets about the good ol'beer, wine and champagne. After all, the most common drinks to buy are beer and wine. By adding beer and wine to the mix it'll eliminate the cost of fancy cocktails. Its cheap, easy and cost efficient. 

Candles make all the difference! They add sparkle and elegance to your table, and centerpiece. Like I said earlier, candles are cheap, and they can be found at the dollar store! If your venue only allows electronic candles, buy them wholesale, but you can't add as much. 

DIY party favors
Don't be afraid to make your own party favors! I love looking at Oriental Trading for ideas. Mason Jars are very affordable and cute to add candy, and what not. There are several websites out there that sell little jars, boxes, etc. at wholesale prices. You can always go to the dollar tree and get your favors there. Also if you want to save more, make one party favor for each couple. There's no reason why both boyfriend and girlfriend need the same party favor. Both favors are just going to be wasted anyways. 

Elegant Wedding Favors

DIY Photo booth
I really, really want a photo booth at my wedding, but just to rent a photo booth for a few hours is in the thousands. I'm not willing to part with the thousands but I can part with a few hundred. The first option, and is the most expensive is the Zink hAppy Smart App printer. One of these printers will set you back $199, but you can set it up for your friends to take pictures through a cell phone, and print out 2 pictures, one for the guest and one for you and your memory book. The next option is doing a Polaroid Instant camera booth! The cartridges are available on Amazon, and it's cheap. Lastly, I like Fuji Instax, because the camera is cheap depending on what model you get. The one I saw, and loved was $60. The cartridges are also cheap, and you can find them on Amazon. The Instax works similarly to the Polaroid. Print out free props and have your guests take pictures!

Negotiate Kids Meals
Let's face it, no matter how much the parents of the kids try an convince you their kids aren't picky, they are. Kids want burgers, fries, chicken nuggets, etc. They don't want, or will appreciate a fancy meal. This is where you can really negotiate with your cater to make the kids meals cheap. 

Bring to-go boxes
I don't like food to go to waste. I would hate to buy so much food for my wedding, and waste money. Buy cheap to-go boxes, and have your guest pack up any food they want to take with them. You need to have your maid of honor box up your top cake layer for your year anniversary anyways. Box up another slice or two for you and your groom to eat later. To-go boxes are a great idea! 

Luckily for you, I have a few blog posts to help you through the planning process! I hope this post, and others help you! Thank you for reading, and I always LOVE hearing from my fellow brides, and readers. It makes my day, so don't forget to drop me a line or two :)
1. How to make your own Wedding Planner

2. Wedding Timeline/Checklist

3. Wedding Gift...How to make your bridesmaids a planner...for your wedding :D

4. How to make your own save the dates

5. How to make "Will you be my bridesmaid?" Cards

6. Wedding songs. 

7. How to make a Wedding Monogram in Microsoft Word

8. How to Hand Stamp Silver: Wedding Gift for the Bridesmaids

9. 10 Things Every Bride Needs to Know

To get this checklist click on the Budget Bride Wedding Checklist, or click here

I also have a new and improved wedding checklist for those of you who aren't on a budget, which is below. Click here to get the wedding planning checklist

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  1. As a wedding professional I just wanted to chime in and let you know that for some areas (maybe not where you live) Sundays are actually cheaper than Fridays by around $1,000 so sometimes Sundays really are the way to go - it may be one reason why they are so popular as opposed to Fridays or Saturdays. :)

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Be respectful of other commenters, and blog author - Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.

Don’t feed the trolls - Carefully consider your response if you encounter a user who displays combative behaviors.

We reserve the right to remove comments - Comments that we find to be abusive, spammy, off-topic, or harassing may be removed.

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