pic courtesy of WeddBook
For one thing, by the time people hit their 30th year, they have likely been to 225 weddings, or at least it feels that way between showers, bachelorettes, rehearsals and the actual event. Every wedding is beautiful and special in it's own way, but after attending multiple weddings you have a much better idea of what works and what matters.
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Justin and I are largely paying for our wedding ourselves. Although, I am doing everything I can to keep costs down, it still manages to add up quick. I am definitely not the only one that has shared so-called tips and tricks on saving money. There are countless books, articles and magazines that are targeted to budget-minded brides. However, I feel as though they all say the same thing and often their definition of 'inexpensive' is quite different than my own. Plus, it's a much different feeling when you are paying for a wedding yourself, along with a mortgage. Oh the joys of adulthood!
Here's How We Have Attacked The Wedding Planning Craziness Without Breaking The Bank-
1. First and foremost, identify what is important to you...and what isn't
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pic courtesy of Burnett'sBoards
2. Be flexible
We knew we wanted an early-Fall wedding. For one, it's my favorite time of year and for another, the weather is typically nice in KC then. We focused on the month of September but weren't set on a particular day. This helped tremendously. Our dream venue had one opening from August through November, which happened to be a Friday. We thought about this and weighed the options of losing our favorite design space and decided to go with it. Not only was a Friday evening rental several thousand dollars cheaper, we found our band and photographer charged a little less for Fridays too.
pic courtesy of OnceWed
Have the ceremony and reception at the same place. Not only is this considerate for your guests so they don't have to travel to different venues, but it also saves money. One venue means your altar flower arrangements can quickly double as center pieces etc. etc. There is typically just a nominal charge for adding ceremony time to your reception.
4. Bring in the booze
pic courtesy of OnceWed
5. Google is your friend
So is Etsy, Pinterest and The Knot. BUT...too much of a good thing is not good at all. Visiting a message board on any wedding website can cause you to second guess your decision on your cake, dress, invites, whatever. It can also cause a case of bridezilla-ness. Normally sane women will start over-analyzing the shape of their cake, the shade of the ribbon tying their bouquet together, etc. It's easy to get lost in all the details, but remember to keep your eye on the prize...your sweet hubby-to-be. Use wedding websites to scout out deals and unique ideas but don't forget to step away from the computer every now and again.
6. Do your research before signing any contract
pic courtesy of EtsySellerArtSeed
A few general guidelines to keep you sane during wedding planning-
7. Make it your own
It's easy to fall into the cookie-cutter wedding: white dress, black tux, I do, me too, time to eat cake.
The weddings that have stood out to me are the ones that I felt best represented the couple. The ones with personal touches. I went to a wedding several years ago where the bride wore a short white dress and fun red heels. It was just so her. I loved that she looked like herself and let her strong sense of style show-through.
pic courtesy of DetailsDetails Love that the bride wore a daring black gown
With this in mind, we want guests to know they are in for a true party as soon as they walk in. Guests will be offered champagne or sparkling cider as soon as they enter (pre-ceremony). Music (upbeat, contemporary music) will be playing as well. In lieu of a traditional guest book, we will have a Wish Tree, where guests will write sweet notes that we can cherish forever. We are also planning a few unique surprises during our ceremony, but I will wait to share those until after the big day.
8. Don't forget the reason for the wedding
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9. Know that everyone has an opinion but yours and your fiance's is the one that matters most
Weddings seem to bring out the best and the worst in people. Some people prefer sit-down dinners, when you love buffets or suggest a DJ after you've booked a band. Just smile, acknowledge their suggestion and remain confident in your choice. Weddings can also bring up old family feuds. Aunt Susie isn't speaking to Aunt Carol or your second-cousin Mary is upset that you didn't invite her 7 kids. Whatever it is, you can't let that impact your day.
pic courtesy of JuneBugWeddings
10. If at the end of the day you married your best friend, than your wedding was a success
pic courtesy of TheKnot
Even the most well-planned events can go wrong. It may be a windy, rainy grey day. Your veil may tear (a 'la Pam from The Office). Your cake may melt (which actually happened to my future in-laws who have been happily married for well over 40 years now). It's these types of things that can make for some funny memories later on. Don't let a minor incident put a damper on your day.
With less than 4 months to go until our big day, we are getting excited! I wrote this post as much for myself as for other future brides and grooms:)
pic courtesy of WantThatWedding