The countdown begins to my June wedding this year!
With wedding to do’s consuming my almost every day, I thought it would be fun to start a mini series on the blog: Wedding Wednesday. Here you’ll find all things wedding including budget tips, wedding planning, bachelorette party topics, bridal shower topics, updates, wedding prep and beyond!
My hope in this new series is to not only share my wedding planning journey with you guys, but to share tips, hacks, and lessons I’ve learned along the way (because Lord knows I have learned from a lot of mistakes!). You can expect at least two wedding Wednesday posts a month until the big day in June <3
I remember when I first started wedding planning I was completely overwhelmed… anyone else? There is so much that goes into planning a wedding and sticking to a budget that I had no idea where to start! Not to mention the last wedding I attended I was a flower girl at- so it’s safe to say I don’t remember much.
And in case you didn’t know… weddings are expensive!!!
I have (far too many times) gotten caught up in all of the glitz and the glam of wedding planning. And that small little thing called comparison seeing other people’s weddings on social media.
I’m thankful to have had a few people remind me along the way (thank you to my fiance and my mom haha) that even though it IS a big deal and a big day, you should not go into debt for your wedding. At the end of the day the most important part is that all your favorite friends and family are there in one place celebrating you and your marriage. And all the extras are exactly that… extra.
Every couple will be different on what they want to save on versus splurge on based on what’s important uniquely to them, but I wanted to share where my fiance and I saved money versus splurged to provide some inspiration and lessons I’ve learned along the way.
WEDDING SAVES VS. WEDDING SPLURGES
- SAVE THE DATES & INVITATIONS
- This is an area of wedding planning where you can easily save or go all out for. To save even more money, I’d skip the save the dates, or even send them out virtually.
- I was thankful that my wedding planner has a discount code with the site Minted who makes save the dates and invitations, so that’s what I used for mine. It made it so effortless and saved a lot of stress and time.
- I’ve seen some budget brides make their invitations themselves at home, but that just wasn’t practical for me or my time. What we are going to do to save money on our formal invitations is a virtual RSVP on our wedding website.
- Don’t get me wrong, I’m a dessert girl through and through, but for my fiance and I cake is something that won’t make or break the wedding. We knew we wanted some form of cake, but were willing to sacrifice to the “look” + using a local baker for something more affordable. To give you an estimate of what one of my quotes was, it was $5 per slice per guest which would have been $750 for our guest count!!!
- We decided to get a two-tiered textured cake from Sam’s Club so we could have something to cut (thank you TikTok for this rec), but then pull from more sheet cakes in the back. This came out to be WAY more affordable.
- We didn’t have any extra money to spend on special details like custom napkins or custom drink stirrers. But again, these details would be nice and special to have, but they don’t make or break the wedding. Guests won’t think twice about a plain white napkin!
- WEDDING FAVORS
- My fiance and I decided not to do wedding favors for our wedding and are putting this money towards something more long lasting like photography. I’ve heard a lot of people say that most wedding favors don’t get picked up or they eventually get thrown away, so to us that didn’t seem smart to invest in.
- Music definitely will make or break your wedding, but we got lucky with our awesome DJ we found! I would have put music on the splurge side of things since music is so important to creating the energy for the reception, but we were lucky we came in under budget for this one. Something to note is that during my research I found that most DJs were more affordable than bands.
- Photos and videos are one of the only things you’ll have after your wedding day, so it’s worth the investment in my opinion. We originally didn’t have budget for a videographer even though I knew I really wanted one. I felt like having a professional video capture our day is a timeless gift and is so different and special than just seeing a photo. We were again lucky to find a talented videographer in our area who is in our budget!! So thankful we are able to include this for our wedding day.
- You only get your wedding day once, so dressing to the nines was important to me and something I was willing to splurge on. You know what they say… if ya look good, ya feel good.
- Don’t forget to include a budget for your veil, alterations, shoes, and accessories because those can add up too!
- WEDDING PLANNER
- If you are someone who hasn’t been to a lot of weddings and generally doesn’t know a lot of information about weddings like myself, I’d recommend hiring a wedding planner. But take into account that this is definitely a splurge!
- With hiring a wedding planner comes their expertise in all things weddings, vendor connections in your area and overall (hopefully) taking most of the stress out of your hands and making your wedding flow seamlessly!
- Keep in mind that some venues won’t let you reserve them for a wedding without a wedding planner.
- Like video, photos are timeless. After the big day, pictures are one of the few things you are left with so it’s worth it to be picky about who you choose to let capture your day.
- This was something my fiance and I were willing to splurge on to find the right photographer for our wedding. After emailing with a few, getting various quotes, and having two phone interviews, I found my perfect photographer!
- My biggest advice is to really research and get to know the photographer before booking so you feel comfortable and confident that they will be able to capture the vision you are going for.
- Food and alcohol can make or break a wedding in my opinion. It was important to my fiance and I to 1.) have enough food for all the guests (I know, duh) and 2.) make sure that the food is actually GOOD. With our guest count of 150 the cost of food and alcohol adds up quick, but it is worth it to splurge on this for your guest’s overall experience. Good food plus free drinks will bring happy people to the dance floor and make your wedding one to remember!
- Choosing a venue can be really hard. I knew I wanted a certain look for the venue to match my classic Charleston themed vision. This might be something that you want to splurge on if you find the one that feels right!
- If flowers aren’t something that is important to you, there are many many ways to save and DIY here. But for us flowers were a splurge item I was okay with. The “look” I want for the wedding is a classic, timeless vibe and floral arrangements can hep bring that vision to life. Now, if you’re on a budget like myself, there are ways to do flowers with your florist to not break the bank! It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but I just didn’t want things to look bare.
- One tip if you don’t want to splurge a lot on rentals is to look for a venue that includes most everything you need and/or has a lot of natural beauty in that you don’t have to rent a lot to fill in the space or decorate.
- But if you’re like me and you found a venue you absolutely loved, you’ll have to budget in more for rentals. We’re renting things like our tent, dance floor, tables, linens, fans (because it’s June in South Carolina haha), champagne wall, and more.