My wedding day was the best day of my life. Most people thought we were insane to plan a wedding in only 4 months...AND to intend to pay for it all ourselves with a very tiny budget. However, my thriftiness did not fail me and the day was beautiful. I'm going to post a few pictures so you can see my "bridal look". And just because I think my husband is super hot. ;)
My Top 5 Tips for Planning a Wedding are:
1) Wedding Wednesday: From the time I got engaged, every Wednesday was designated to wedding planning. Whether is was addressing invitations, painting chalkboards, designing bouquets, I got a lot of stuff done for the wedding on Wednesdays, that way I didn't wait until the last month to do everything!
2) Don't spend a ton of money of you don't have to: My husband and I paid for about 98% of the wedding ourselves. I am a bargain hunter, so I always bought things when they were on sale. I also decided what was most important to spend money on and eliminated things that were not essential. For example, for my wedding favors, rather than shelling out $2 or more per guest for a favor, I signed up on shutterfly and received 100 4x6 prints for free. I printed up multiples of my most favorite of our engagement pictures, wrote a thank you note on the back, and we put them up on a jute cord with mini clothes pins in the entrance to the reception hall. When shopping for my dress, I found one that I loved in the store but it was $1000. I knew the style/silhouette I wanted, so I went to the internet. I was able to find the EXACT dress I tried on in the store on a site based in China for only $129 (with FREE SHIPPING!). The dress had to be altered a little, but other than that you could not even tell that it was not the $1000 dress from the boutique! www.aliexpress.com was where my dress and bridesmaids dresses were from! When I ordered our invitations I was able to get a deal on Groupon for 100 invitations for $40 on zazzle.com. I was able to pick from a few different designs then I was able to completely customize the design to our wedding!
3) Do-It-Yourself Projects(DIY): Thank Heaven for Pinterest! I gathered lots of DIY projects from pinterest for my wedding. I painted picture frames from the Dollar Tree with black paint to use as chalk boards (cost for 10 chalkboards was roughly $10!). I also had ZERO real flowers at my wedding. All flowers were purchased from Afloral.com. Boutonnieres and Bouquets were pre-made. We took them apart and put them back together using burlap and jute to give the rustic feel.
4) Get your groom involved in the planning: My husband really enjoyed having an input in the plans, but he enjoyed even more getting to build/design stuff. My husband is an engineer so when I had the crazy idea to build a backdrop for our wedding cake out of wooden pallets, he jumped to the task! It turned out so beautiful! He also really enjoyed helping me put up the pictures we used as favors! I also let him choose what him and his groomsmen wore. I gave my opinions and colors I wanted, but pretty much gave him free reign over the guys clothes.
5) Enjoy it! When we planned our wedding date for 4 months out, I thought it would never get here. I had a ton of fun planning though, so it went by so quickly! It can get stressful, but always remind yourself of what is to come at the end of the road and you'll realize it is all so worth it!
**Photography by Dana Oliver Photography**