An Event That’s Perfect For You
The moment I saw the 2001 movie, The Wedding Planner, I was absolutely mesmerized. I spent hours, days and weeks fantasizing about weddings. Not the typical fantasy of being the bride, but the “Once in a Lifetime Dream” of being a wedding planner. Years later, I finally have an opportunity to turn my fantasy into reality and I am ecstatic.
During my first wedding season, I encountered brides with large budget and those with extremely limited budgets. The one consistent theme with them all was the desire to create the wedding of their dreams. I believe that every Bride and Groom deserve to celebrate their love and the beginning of their lives together in the best way possible. I believe You deserve the Best Effort.
I have composed the following list of suggestions to help plan a wedding on an extremely limited budget. With sufficient time to plan, you can have a wonderful experience.
The wedding invitation is the most efficient way to invite and inform guest of your perfect day. Not only does it set the tone of what’s to be expected but it also helps your guests to prepare. As a newly engaged couple you certainly have the option of choosing a formal or informal invitation. No matter what the style, there are several budget friendly options available. This year I was fortunate enough to find invitation card stock at my local Michael’s ® store on sale for one of my brides. The prepackaged materials provided everything we needed, including a template to create and print the invitation at home. But for those of you who prefer not to take on this project, consider online stores such as Zazzle and The Wedding Shop by Shutterfly®. Both sites offer incredible products with short turn-around periods.
Historically, weddings were beneficial business arrangements between families and alliances. The wedding dress was simply a dress chosen to represent the bride’s family wealth and social status. The 1840 marriage of Queen Victoria of England to her cousin Prince Albert marked the beginning of the grand wedding dress in white. By 1850, Godey’s Lady’s Book declared white as the most fitting color for a bride. Fast forward to the twenty-first century and you will discover that the dress is the most quintessential part of a wedding.
With a limited wedding budget, you might find yourself a bit discouraged when shopping for that perfect dress. After all, Say Yes to the Dress features bridal gowns from $1,500 to $30,000 and beyond. Don’t stress…. Take a deep breath and focus on affordable options. There are many consignment stores such as Anonymously Yours in Dallas that offer a variety of pre-owned and designer sample gowns. For an even deeper savings, try online rental stores such as Rent The Runway ®.
The ceremony and reception venue create the ambiance for your dream day. Often, budget constraints can limit your possibilities. This wedding season I had the honor of planning an “At Home” wedding that quickly became one of my favorite events. By removing the furniture, we were able to accomplish a ceremony chair set-up with an aisle that gave the event the perfect amount of formality. That same area became an intimately romantic dinner for close relatives and friends utilizing chairs, tables and linens rented from a local event rental store.
Catering is a luxury item that can consume up to 40% of your wedding budget. As an Arkansan, my southern hospitality runs deep. Eating is an experience that deserves praise and recognition. However, that too comes with a hefty price tag. Creative alternatives to providing great meal options are To-Go platters from Olive Garden®, Chili’s ® or your favorite restaurant. Other budget saving ideas are heavy hors d’ oeuvres, charcuterie boards or salads that require minimal effort to prepare. The key is to do your best with décor and presentation. If purchasing décor is not within your budget consider DIY projects from Pinterest and YouTube. Also, scour Craigslist and other social media sites from wedding décor previously used by others.
The wedding cake finds itself with a less than stellar history but it has evolved into a fan favorite at weddings. The cutting of the cake by the bride and groom is symbolic of their union and the promise to forever provide for each other. If your budget does not allow for a three-tier fondant covered custom cake with gum paste flowers, consider other alternatives. Many grocery stores, Walmart® and Sam’s Club ® offer wedding cakes and cupcakes. My favorite bakery offers Cupcake Happy Hour with half off cupcakes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you are a DIY bride you might consider baking the cake or cupcakes the week prior to the wedding and storing them in your freezer. Allow your confections to thaw 24-hours before your wedding. Enjoy!
The wedding of your dreams is only moments away. Enjoy the journey and plan as much as you possibly can. I strongly encourage you to seek assistance with your planning to ensure that no details are forgotten and no tasks are left undone. Professional assistance will add to your budget but you will soon discover that it was worth every dollar spent.