This entry is from our Wedding and Honeymoon Experts Guest Posting Series where professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.
Prioritize Your Wedding Budget
Let’s be real, you can’t splurge on everything, it’s called a budget for a reason. But you should focus your spending on the things that matter to you! Don’t really care about invitations and other paper goods? Great- go as cheap as you can on that and put the hundreds of dollars you saved toward the bar (that’s everyone’s priority right?!) Sit with your partner and think about the top 3 pieces of the wedding that mean the most to you – whether it’s flowers or food or the bar!
Skip the Paper Goods
Items like programs, menus, and other signage are fun and pretty, but at the end of the event¦ it all goes in the trash. Most paper goods are unnecessary and an easy item to cut from your budget- while also reducing waste!
Flowers can be a very big part of your budget and a great opportunity to get the most bang for your buck. Reuse bouquets and arrangements from your ceremony wherever you can at your reception. If you have altar pieces, move them to the cake or sweetheart tables. The bride and bridesmaids do not want to carry around bouquets after the ceremony- have some simple vases on hand and use them as centerpieces or to dress up the buffet or bar.
Buy Recycled Décor
Most couples are looking to make any little bit of money back from what they spent on their wedding. And why not take advantage of the work someone else already did? Blogs like 100 Layer Cake and Ruffled and even Craigslist have every style of recycled décor with awesome discounts.
Renting vs buying¦ Traditionally most grooms and groomsmen would rent suits or tuxes- often ill-fitting and difficult to order, pickup, and return. Instead, let the guys buy a suit- it’s an investment they truly will wear again! On the other hand, brides and bridesmaids have more options than ever to rent dresses! Websites like Rent the Runway and Little Borrowed Dress (now called Union Station) make it easier and more affordable to shop for dresses they will really only wear once.
Don’t DIY Everything
Or, while you are at it- DIY nothing at all! Crafting is great for certain people. Have lots of time, lots of help, or experience? Terrific! But if it’s a month before your wedding, it will cost you more time and money driving to Michael’s 4,000 times because you have no idea how many rhinestones it will take to cover that frame, or marbles to fill those vases. You know what else costs a lot? Your sanity.
Make Dessert an Event
Dessert can be an opportunity to spend a little more, and get a lot more! Instead of a traditional cake or dessert buffet, opt for a made-to-order station¦ from fresh fried donuts to hand-scooped ice cream to chocolate-covered bananas, a dessert station offers a unique experience for your guests they’ll remember far longer than a piece of cake.
Don’ t Overlook your Ceremony
It is easy to get caught up in the party¦ the little details and colors and all the pretty stuff you see on Pinterest. Often times, planning the actual ceremony is saved for last! Seems counter intuitive right? Remember – both literally and emotionally- getting married is the reason you’re having this crazy party in the first place. Make it memorable, make it special, and make it a true representation of you as a couple!
Put the Party Before the Pretty
When prioritizing your budget, focus on the things that matter to you, but also prioritize on the things that will make the biggest difference to your guests overall experience. That means bring the party! Your guests want to eat, they want to drink, and they want to dance. Better to spend on those items than on an extra flower arrangement for your escort card table, or fancy, framed bar menus.
Don’t Skimp On¦
There are a few items that are worth spending on, no matter what your budget. Never skimp on:
- Music: A good DJ or band not only provides music, but helps with the overall flow of the event, guides guests, and sets the tone! You may not recognize a good DJ because everything just goes smoothly, but you will sure as heck recognize when the music just isn’t right, there is awkward silences, or strange transitions.
- Photography: The only item that will last beyond the wedding day- your photos! You want to be sure you are truly investing in a good photographer for your memories. Also, your photographer is the only vendor that will (literally) be in your face all day long- make sure you mesh well and feel comfortable around them.
- Day of coordination: With all the great planning tools available these days, it’s easier than ever to plan and design your own wedding- however, the last thing you want to be worried about on the day-of is setting up and managing vendors. It is so important to have someone there to make sure everything runs smoothly and you enjoy all your hard work!
Allie Shane Bio: Allie Shane is the owner and lead party animal at Pop the Champagne Events, a Day of Coordination agency in Southern California. With over 100 weddings under her belt, she knows the ins and outs of making a day smooth, pretty, and most of all- fun! Her team at Pop the Champagne is a team of bad ass chicks who know how to make your day perfect. Day of coordination is the only thing they do- and they do it best. You’ve done all the dreaming, the planning, the DIYing and the freaking out¦let Pop the Champagne take the reins and enjoy your day!