May 18, 2011

Budget Brides: Here's your keys to budgeting

I promised plenty of budget bride ideas, because I consider myself a "budget bride".
Lately, I have been reading articles that are "ways to save on your big day" but I think the suggestions are annoying.

Here are the top 3:

Have your wedding on a weekday.
Don't do any flowers
Have a friend DJ or do your photos

Here is why, even if you are a budget bride- NONE of those will work

1. No one wants to go to your wedding on a Wednesday night, after work
2. No flowers? We're women
3. A Friend DJ? Ok... Ipods are great, and speaker systems are great. Who is announcing your first dance? Or that you are cutting the cake? You? The Groom? 
Non- professional photos? Ut uh. Your " friend" all of a sudden is dancing and you have no photos of certain elements of your wedding.

Here are some tips for the budget bride that doesn't want to budge on the look or feel of her event:

1. Hold your wedding on an "off" time like a Sunday afternoon, or a Friday evening. When people are still more apt to make it, but it is less expensive.

For example: A Saturday night wedding at the Glen Manor runs $7500 for a rental. Friday is $5500!!

2.Opt to skip on "some flowers".
-Use candles or lanterns on some tables.
-Have the florist create a few "wow" centerpieces, then use greens and a few florals on other tables.
-Spend money on your bouquet- it will be the focus of MANY photos, opt to do smaller bouquets- or corsages for your girls.... a single stem even.
-Also, don't rule out places like Whole Foods- brides have been known to get beautiful flowers there for a fraction of the cost.

3. Hire a DJ, but ask if they have another member of their team that DJ's for less.
-Call around for tons of estimates.
- Tell them you really want to book them but have a strict budget. Say they charge $1100 for the night and you want to stick to $950-- tell them that!! They want your business, and in these times, need it. If they don't lower the price, they might throw in something like a slide show, or an extra 1/2 hr of playing time for free.

The same goes with photographers. There are tons of professionals that are just "starting" out, but are actually trained and went to school for photography. You are better with someone like this, than a friend that has a good camera! 
-Or ask a photographer you love but is out of your price range for perhaps a recommendation of someone less expensive (this worked great for us).
-Finally, if you love a photographers work- but can't afford their 10 hr package. Think about a smaller 6 hr package. They can still get all the best moments- but just won't be there at the end of the night to catch the sweaty crowd doing the Macarena.

Finally, with all vendors. Be wary of an upsell. Sure the look of a pintuck satin linen is beautiful, but is  it worth the money? Your cotton pintuck linen looks just as good- and likely, your guests won't even know!

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