Hello all you beautiful couples! I hope everyone is making it through the winter by dreaming of the beautiful days ahead, especially those of you planning for a spring/summer wedding!

Being stuck in the house so much this winter has given me a lot of time to think about all our weddings coming up as well as all the weddings I’ve attended this past year, both as a guest and cinematography assistant! One of the main things that keeps popping in my head is all the creative ways the brides/couples have managed to save money by, finding cool ways around vendor fees and cutting “traditional” costs all together!

Almost everyone is on some sort of wedding budget and it is so hard to imagine not getting exactly what you want out of your big day. But all of these innovative guys and gals have proven that you can have it all and still stick to your budget! So keep reading for some of my favorite saving ideas compiled not only from personal experience, but also from picking the brains of some of my nearest and dearest recently married gals (ehhhemmm I’m looking at you Mrs. Frazier and Mrs. Goodman).

I want to start with flowers! While planning my wedding I was most scared of the cost of bouquets and centerpieces, all I ever heard was how expensive they are! This was intimidating because I had always dreamed of a wedding dripping with floral arrangements at every corner of the venue! That however, was very much not in my budget! Luckily one of the reasons I chose my venue (Abbie Holmes Estate) was because they did their own seasonal flowers and arrangements. Outside the sidewalks were lined in a variety of mums and fall gourds and just generally had immaculate landscaping! This made it possible to knock my floral needs down to bouquets and centerpieces. I opted to do simple baby’s breath centerpieces atop wooden plaques, it was simple, inexpensive and very pretty! Going that route left me a good budget to get gorgeous bouquets done for me and my ‘maids!

I have also been a part of several weddings where the flowers were bought wholesale and the couple made their own flower arrangements and bouquets! If this doesn’t scare you, I think it is a great way to go!

By enlisting the help of bridesmaids and family to put it all together it gets done quickly and efficiently while saving you big bucks! They aren’t elaborate but they are always beautiful! I also had a friend skip a flower bouquet all together and she made herself a brooch bouquet! She used broaches passed down from various family members as well as ones she found at flea markets, antique shops and estate sales. This route was definitely not a time saver but it was so unique and stunning, as well as saving money on fresh flowers! I have also seen table centerpieces that do not include flowers at all, but rather use simple tea light candles, “props” such as old books or simple greenery and citrus fruits! Truth be told, the more creative a table scape the more impressed I am!

Postage! Now this is a no brainer, unless you have very traditional parents or grandparents that absolutely insist on going full blown traditional on the invitations and RSVPS, in which case they can pay for them….just kidding…kind of!

I have received so many invitations that do not come with an RSVP card that you mail back, instead the invitation gives you the couples wedding website address and has an RSVP page right there! You choose your meal, name the guests attending and then with the click of a button you’re done! This saves a ton on postage and is actually a very convenient way for guests to respond. I love this method because, in the name of full disclosure, I operate mostly in the form of “organized chaos!” and sometimes, just sometimes I lose things and those little response cards tend to get shuffled in and thrown away! Oops! I have even occasionally seen sending the actual invitation via email, and that not only saves on postage but eliminates invitation costs all together! After all we are living in a modern world!

Entertainment! Now this is an important one! Some couples insist that a wedding is no good without a live band and some insist on photo booths and fire dancers and tight rope walkers. Please note, I have never been to a wedding with the last two but I watch enough TLC to know that those kinds of things do happen at weddings! When it comes to entertainment I truly believe you almost can’t go wrong! Talk to each other and decide what is most important to you both. If a band is what you want, then maybe forgo the photo booth or the after hours pizza delivery. If you think a photo booth is key, then go with a DJ and use the photo booth photos as a guest book of sorts!

And if the entertainment is the last thing you are worried about and the location, food, dress etc. is where you want to spend the bulk of the budget then have a friend with great taste in playlists spin some tunes on an iPod and speaker! I have been to a wedding like that, and although the creative genius behind Across The Bay Films (AKA my husband) would disagree, it was still a super fun wedding! The guy with the iPod took requests, played all the favorites, and everyone danced and had a good time!

Last but not least I want to share just a few of the things that brides have shared with me that they “saved” on, but wish they had splurged on! This is important because it is a day you want to remember forever and you don’t want to live the rest of your married days thinking, “our day was so perfect, EXCEPT I wish we had just done…” Below are the things I hear the most that couples wish they had:

· Better transportation options for guests to and from the venue. Find a bus service that works within your budget so you have the peace of mind knowing everyone has a safe easy way to get to and from the reception.

· The dress! Several brides are so conscious of the price that they end up choosing something they “like” that has a great price tag instead of the one they “loved” with a less desirable price tag! Now I’m not suggesting your try on dresses way outside your price range I am just saying that you want to feel great on that day and if you need to go a few dollars out of your price range to get that bridal “feeling” then buy it and serve just beer and wine or some other easy compromise!

· Videographer! Now I know you are all thinking “sure sure whatever, they are a videography company so of course they say that!” But I swear to you I am not just blowing smoke up your you-know-what! This is by far the #1 thing former brides have said to me! Friends of friends say it at wedding showers, sisters, cousins and maids of honor say it to their bride when we are at bridal fairs.

With HD/4K cameras, drones, and top of the line editing equipment, you'll feel like you're getting married in Hollywood! Evenso, a great wedding cinematographer will be detail oriented, passionate about his/her craft, and above all, unobtrusive on your special day. Pictures are one thing, but there is no comparison to the movement, sound, and the overall emotion that a videographer can create with film. If you want an amazing and creative videographer, then you might have to splurge a bit on this one!

There are so many ways to get everything you and your fiancé want out of your big day, but the key is to compromise! Make a list of the most important things and splurge on those and with the rest, you can get creative and save!

Until next time! Happy Savings!!


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