Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Going to the chapel of thrifty love

Wow- it’s been a whirl wind last week. I had a great time with all the girls this past weekend, and my fiancé and I have been practicing our dancing. With so many last minute details to look over (cancelations meant new table arrangements, who knew signs could take so long to make?, we broke an electric razor and our digital camera) it hasn’t been an easy or cheap (tiny airline approved bottles=very expensive toothpaste per ounce) experience.

While my parents have been overly generous by paying for the wedding, we did try to be prudent with our spending. Here are some of the ways we tried to wrangle in the budget:

I picked three areas I wanted to spend the most money on:
location, food, and photography
All the other areas (flowers, paper goods, favors) we wheeled and dealed with vendors to get bare bones prices.

We booked my top location on a Sunday, to save on price (and it was the only day open for a year…)

We loved our caterer, and decided to go with a lunch to save money. At lunch time people only need a salad and a main course, no additional desserts beyond the cake, and drink less alcohol (in fact we only have wine and beer which we purchased ourselves). Since the lunch is served, we don’t have to pay for leftover wasted buffet food.

We booked a top notch photographer and an assistant while only paying half the fee by agreeing to edit and organize my own album using his digital negatives (I use to be a photo editor in the year 2000).

I made our invitations through VistaPrint, an online printing service, by creating my own invitation, postcard response card (less postage to furnish), and envelope. It was completely personalized and professional without being ecologically wasteful (who really needs all those extra envelopes and papers?).

Our florist knew how to stretch our flower budget and made some smart suggestions:
Using ceremony decorations at the cocktail tables, tucking big glossy leaves under our arrangements so that we could use fewer flowers (without having ugly filler flowers), and allowing us to make our own vases (birch bark wrapped mason jars) saved us from a $15+ per vase charge.

The favors are small silver frames (on clearance at an online store) that also hold the escort card (a free blank business card courtesy of Vista Print on which we typed each name). Later we intend to send a wedding photo with our thank you card that they can put it in this frame.

We are also bringing in some of our own decorations: family photos for a hutch in the cake area, a branch turned into a photo tree display, wooden monograms made by my Dad carved into our initials, and lots of moss! These items where cheap to bring in and I will be able to have in our home as decorative items that I will cherish forever.

These are just a few of the things that my family and I have thought up as cost saving measures over this last year. What are some of yours?

1 comment:

SB said...

you clever gal! You spent $$ on the things that matter!! As a photog, I am CONSTANTLY telling brides not to waste it on food that no one will remember, spend it on the pictures. Sounds self-serving but really not. Pictures matter in 20 years when you'd sitting on the couch.