Monday, April 26, 2010

What's Your Priority?

This may seem obvious, but it's really important to prioritize when you're planning a wedding on a budget. Since it can be difficult to know where to start, I thought I'd get the juices flowing and lay out a few decisions to think about. Once you figure out the 2 or 3 most important things to you, the rest of the pieces will kind of fall into place. Start here...

Which is more important to you--
a) the location of the ceremony
b) the location of the reception

If the reception is more important to you, try to have your ceremony right there, if the location allows that. This will cut back on the cost of transportation (limo, shuttles, etc). Vice versa, if you've always dreamed of saying your vows in your family church, try to pick a nearby affordable reception spot.

Point being... be reasonable- you can't have your ceremony in the church you grew up in and then take a limo an hour away to your favorite reception spot on the water.

Which is more important to you--
a) decorations
b) entertainment

If you blow a huge portion of your budget on extravagant flowers, you might consider using an iPod for your wedding entertainment. If you really want your guests to unwind and have a good time, you might make your own bouquets and centerpieces in order to have a really good DJ.

Which is more important to you--
a) food
b) bar

If you want a really nice seafood and steak meal for your guests, you might limit the bar to beer and wine (and limit the variety). If you have a bunch of partiers on your hands, you might focus more on the bar, skip the passed hors d' oeuvres and have a more unconventional meal like Italian style (pastas & salad) or pulled pork (pig roast).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Budget Wedding Flower Fix- April

This month, I've incorporated bright gerbera daisies and fruit to create a great spring centerpiece for around $20.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Intimate Wedding Party

One of the factors that can push that wedding budget over the top is something that most people don't even take into consideration.  You've cut out the videographer, made your own favors, set the event earlier in the day, etc... but did you ever think about making your wedding party smaller so you could splurge somewhere else?

I can't tell you how many times I hear brides talk about feeling "obligated" to have certain people as their bridesmaids.  Before you know it, they have 8 or more girls marching down the aisle with them.  I know because I was one of them!  You're not obligated to do anything on your day- only what you want to do.  If you cut your wedding party to 2 or 3 bridesmaids (including the maid of honor), people will understand that you are only including your absolute closest friends/family and they won't be offended.

Photo Credit:

Here's how you'll save:
  • wedding party gifts (typically, people spend $30-100 on each bridesmaid)
  • limo (instead of getting a stretch limo for 20 people, now you can get a smaller one for 8)
  • flowers (a bridesmaid bouquet typically costs between $75-150)
  • photographer (the more people in the wedding party, the more variety of shots and angles the photographer has to take.  I'm not talking about money on this one, but more the amount of time you have to spend away from your event to get all those shots)
  • rehearsal dinner (less heads to pay for)

All costs aside, making your wedding party more intimate means more quality time with the people who are most important to you and less running around trying to get everyone doing what they need to be doing.  It's really less of a headache and more of a good time if you don't have to worry about dealing with a huge wedding party.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Inexpensive Honeymoon Getaways

Depending on the type of setting you and your husband enjoy, you could create a great honeymoon getaway that you may have thought you couldn't afford.  If you're thinking about skipping the honeymoon altogether because of money, you should definitely reconsider.  Just get creative and think about what your area has to offer.  I'll be focusing on the Maryland area, because that's where I'm from...

Camping in the woods- Ok, I know this sounds rugged and probably the farthest thing from romantic, but think about what it has to offer.  Laying under the stars each night, the beauty of nature, long walks together, possibly some nice streams to relax by, beautiful mountains all around.  There are so many nice places to go around here and it's usually only around $20 per night to camp. 

Camping on a beach- Asateague Island is such a beautiful and romantic place to visit.  Why not stay overnight?  This island is close to Ocean City and has beautiful wild horses that will usually walk right up to you.  Between the horses and the waves crashing on the beach, what more could you ask?!

 Photo Credit:

Go off the beaten path- Everyone wants to be near water on their honeymoon, but instead of going to the usual tourist traps, try an area like Southern Maryland that has all the same beauty but virtually no tourists and much cheaper rates.  There are so many gorgeous spots on the bay down there, vineyards, tons of history, etc.

Ocean City- I know it may not seem this way when you're thinking about your honeymoon, but isn't a beach a beach?  You don't have to fly thousands of miles away just to experience different sand than what you're used to.  You could stay on the bay side for cheaper rates- then all you have to do is cross the street to get to the ocean!