How I Saved Money On My Wedding
Now, we all know weddings are a huge expense and the only downside to the best day of your life is having to spend all that $$$.. BUT, there are ways to save and be smart with that money you are spending! Since we had to plan our wedding in less than 6 months, I had to do a lot of brainstorming and Pinteresting on what things I could save money on! These are my top picks that really made a difference and ways I saved:
1. Guest List.
Now, I only mention this first, because it's the hardest and I want to get it out of the way.. The amount of money you are spending on your wedding ALL comes down to the number of people attending your wedding.. One more person is one more chair, meal, plate, napkin, utensil.. which essentially leads to one more table, linen, centerpiece...etc. Believe me, I would have loved to have the entire universe at my wedding!! Like, if I know you, COME! But.. unfortunately, it can't work that way if you are trying to ball on a budget.. It is so important to sit down with your fiancé and write out your list and think about questions like, "When was the last time we had a face-to-face conversation with this person? Last week? Last month? 2 years ago?..." and "Will we still be in a close relationship with this person 5 years from now?" and "Has this person supported you and I throughout this relationship and do we see ourselves being friends with this person after we are married?" This part is really hard, because of course, I would have loved to invite everyone I've ever known to my wedding, but I had to remember that this was the most important day of my life.. This was about Josh and I, our relationship, and our future.. You WILL probably hurt someone's feelings, but at the end of the day.. you have a budget and this about YOU TWO. Also, most people understand if they have gotten married before.. and if not, they WILL eventually understand when they plan their own wedding..
Serve a buffet style dinner instead of a served dinner.. I also loved doing a buffet because a lot of football players came to our wedding and I know they would go for seconds (even thirds) and a buffet style dinner gives you more food for your money! This also gives more of a casual feel to your wedding, which I really wanted. I didn't want it to seem so formal, and I loved that people could get up and get as much food as they wanted, whenever they wanted!
One thing that helped up save on our invitations was including a postcard for the RSVP. Now, there is NO RULE in the book of Wedding's For Dummies or any wedding book of that matter that states that there must be an ADDITIONAL self-addressed stamped envelope for your RSVP card. Just include a postcard instead of a card that requires an extra envelope.
Also, remember to consider the weight of the paper of your invitations.. You don't need a piece a paper that's a centimeter thick to invite someone to your wedding.. a) it won't magnetically stick to their refrigerator and b) no one cares that much. They are reading it, and not looking at it again until the day before the wedding.. We decided to go with a simple mid-weight invitation.
ALSO, order extra initially.. It costs less to order 250 from the beginning rather than order 200 initially and needing to buy 25 extra later on when you think of more people to invite because some people RSVP'd no.
Floral was one thing that was really important to me.. I love flowers. I love the romantic feel that it gives to a space, and I wanted a lot of them. But they are EXPENSIVE yall! Sooo... use fake ones :) For my ceremony, my wonderful crafty Auntie found gorgeous ivy and other flowers online to ADD to the pots that were along the aisle. The pots already had real greenery in it, but I wanted more white/ivory in them, so we mixed real flowers with fake flowers and you could not even tell! She also had peonies in her garden that she grew, and we cut those, placed them in a cooler, and used those the day of! My florist also sprinkled rose petals around the pots to add to the romantic feel.
Another way to save is to use your bridal bouquets and bridesmaid bouquets for your centerpieces! Right after the ceremony, during cocktail hour, the staff took our bouquets and placed them in the vases at our head table. We also only added elevated centerpieces to the tables that were on the outside to give an illusion. The rest of the tables had simple greenery and candles. We also carried over flowers we used from our rehearsal dinner the night before over to the wedding reception.
5. Only fully set the head table.
This one is big.. One way we really saved was only doing white glove on the head table.. On the head table was a charger, salad plate, napkin, salad fork, dinner fork, dinner knife, teaspoon, and water goblet. Full nine yards..On the rest of the tables we just did a napkin, dinner fork, dinner knife, and water goblet. The guests were walking up the buffet to retrieve their plate anyways, so I saw no point in setting every single table in white glove setting.
I decided to only use my blush lamour linens on the head table and cake table. This not only saved us money, but also set apart the head table from the rest of the tables. For the reserved tables and the remaining tables, I decided to just go with an ivory linen which presented a clean, polished, yet simple look.
(pic above was before our bouquets were added as centerpieces.)
PUBLIX. Cakes from local bakeries can be up to $2,000.. While Publix makes GORGEOUS wedding cakes for a fraction of the cost.. I wanted a simple ivory cake with real floral accents and the Publix bakers executed my vision perfectly, if not better! I got a 3-tier cake (buy however many tiers you want) and then bought a sheet cake that they saved in the back to serve, which saved us some $$!
Along with flowers, I absolutely LOVE candles.. I decided to put my candles in glass vases and they make any table look elegant, romantic, and well put together.. All you need is a little bit of greenery. We also decided to create a candle wall and had a bookshelf FULL of lit candles against one wall.. When the sun went down and it was dark outside, all the candles were lit and it was SO romantic and elegant. Probably my favorite detail of the reception...
Lastly, and in my opinion most important, choose a venue that has great character already so that you don't need as much decor! Castleton Farms really speaks for itself.. I knew that my wedding would be absolutely stunning no matter what because of how gorgeous the scenery and the grounds of the venue are.. A lot of my guests got to walk around and explore the beauty of the venue which really added a lot to my wedding in my opinion! Josh and I got to even go off on our own during the night and enjoy it by ourselves by dancing under the stars in the Vineyard.. by far my favorite moment of my life.
And that's all I have for now! Hope you all enjoyed and if you have any more suggestions for brides, comment below or comment on my last Instagram post!
Until next time..
Venue: Castleton Farms
Principal Planner/Coordinator: Darla Walker
Photography: Tracie Ancelet