Hello readers! Elizabeth here. As my mom and I always say, our job at Make My Wedding Work is to help the bride realize all her dreams. With so many weddings behind us, we've discovered a few reoccurring ideas that tradition, mothers-in-law, and every bridal show ever, dictate you must follow or bring shame upon your marriage. We happen to think otherwise. Through professional and personal experience, I've learned that some traditions were meant to be broken. So, I'd like to present you with the first five traditions to break, so that your wallet will later thank you.
1. Trade a cake for a dessert bar at half the price.
When I first starting budgeting for my wedding, I was astonished at how much wedding cakes cost. Don’t get me wrong, they were all creative, beautiful ideas, but at the heart of it, you’re paying $10 to give each guest one slice of cake. Expand your sweet horizons with a dessert bar. We got several types of cookies, ice cream and toppings, pies, mini cakes, fruit and fondue and more, displayed just as prettily as a cake. In the end, the wide variety still cost less than the cake. And don’t worry, superstitious types – you can still have a piece of a smaller cake to go in the freezer for your one-year anniversary.
2. Sell your dress back.
At bridal shows, the one thing that always mystified me was preservation services. Give them your dress, and they’ll seal it up all pretty in a box for you to store in the attic by the Christmas decorations for years to come. I’ve never even seen my mother’s wedding dress but in pictures, even though she still has it. Give your dress a new life after you’ve had your fun, and sell your dress to a consignment store, or through a site like trendsy.com. You’ll get a little cash back, as well as the knowledge that your dress will make another bride’s day all the more special.
3. Faux flowers are tres chic.
In budgeting, right after catering is flowers. Very expensive and very fickle, flowers are still a lovely way to decorate a church, venue and the hands and lapels of your bridal party. Why not use fake? In keeping with my above comments on the preservation service, your false flowers will never grow old, brown and brittle in a box. You can also experiment with different materials. I made flowers for my bridesmaids and groomsmen out of felt and book pages, which looked great and were personal to us. You can also use your faux flowers to create your centerpieces weeks before the actual day.
4. Let your bridesmaids (and groomsmen) be beautiful in their own ways.
Once you pick your colors, you’ll want to pick your bridesmaids’ outfits. But, if you’re like me, your bridal party are all different heights, weights, skin tones, hair colors and unlikely to all look good in the exact same clothes. Give your bridesmaids and groomsmen a selection of colors or hues from your palette, and then let them shop for their perfect outfit. Have them send you pictures of what they find so you can approve, and to unify them, consider a matching accessory that you provide, like shoes, shawls or jewelry.
5. Off-season is now in-season.
Timing is everything, and no place is that truer than when planning your wedding day. That said, choose ANY OTHER SEASON than summer. I know the concept of an outdoor summer wedding seems ideal, but there are a ton of factors that add stress to a summer wedding, like availability of venues and vendors, scheduling around guests graduations, recitals and vacations, and the added expenses of a summer honeymoon. In terms of budgeting, the simple act of picking ANY OTHER DAY than a Saturday takes dramatically reduces your bill. We picked a Friday wedding in January, and saved thousands on our venue, photographer and honeymoon.
I hope you enjoyed the first five tips, please feel free to comment if any of these have helped you save a bundle, and stayed tuned for the exciting conclusion of our list next week !