Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wedding Thoughts on our Anniversary

Last Thursday Hubby and I celebrated 4 years of marital bliss. We went to the Sox/Indians game (does that man know me or what!) We had a great time, even though it started to get pretty cold towards the end.


Not sure why I'm making that face?!?
So this week I had me thinking a lot about the weeks leading up to our wedding and the planning that took place. It boggles my mind that I was able to pull it all together. Hubby laughs when he calls our wedding the 40% off wedding, a joke regarding all the 40% off coupons that were redeemed at Jo Ann Fabrics in the months leading up to the big day. But, I like to think that I did a relatively good job of keeping the costs down. Of course there were the things that I splurged on. So I thought, since the focus of my blog has been saving money lately, that I would share some things I did to keep the costs relatively low.


DIY at your own risk


A recently engaged lady that I work with informed me the other day that she was going to do her own flowers for her wedding, so I ask the centerpieces or bouquets? Both was the answer. ‘Do you think that is a good idea?’ Was my only response. I have said this on numerous occasions. If you are not a florist, or if you are not related to, or friends with a florist, just hire one. It’s a really important element of the day, and it is really hard to put them together and keep them all looking good.

So, that brings me back to my wedding. See I fancy myself a crafty girl. So I thought, I can make all these things for the wedding and it will save us a ton of money. Reality sank in very quickly. It happened one night, in our living room, just me some ribbon, and one of those ‘bow maker’ things. Hubby (back when he was just boyfriend) came home to me sobbing (out of frustration) without even one bow made. To clarify I was making pew bows for the ceremony. Hubby (bless his heart) reminded that the florist had offered to take care of them. No, no, no I had said I make them myself, thinking how hard could it be? Turns out, super hard, I called the florist the next day. For $100 bucks, the problem was solved.

But, I worked through the bow making incident and moved on to bigger things. I made all the save the date cards, favors & place cards, welcome bags for the hotel, and water bottles for the tables that I had made and attached customized labels for. I made a card box for the gift table, the programs, jewelry for all the girls, the baskets for the flower girls and all the Thank you notes. So, it turns out I might be alittle crafty after all.



Miscellaneous Ways to Save

So besides making your own favors, and driving yourself crazy running back and forth to the craft store, there are some ways you can really save.


- Book your wedding on a ‘off-day’ Friday and Sundays – this will usually net you some significant savings, just be mindful if this is a solution that makes sense for your guests. This wasn’t a option for us due to the volume of out-of-town guests we had coming.


- Enlist Friends and Family – we got our limo for free, and paid just $500 bucks for DJ – thanks to Hubby’s friends. Don’t be afraid to ask, at the very least they will be able to recommend someone if they are unavailable.


- Keep things simple. Our tables were decorated very nice with what was termed as the ‘basic’ package. It was simply, white roses in a glass vase, and frames with the table number, classic. We only set-up room blocks at one hotel, because we had some many guests, Hubby and I got two nights free for our room, a free night for both sets of parents, and we did not have a rental fee on conference room where we held the brunch the following day. Research all the options that you have with each one of your vendors, and ask a lot of questions, you will be surprised at how much you may get for free.

Like the water bottles, don't you??


- Scale back on your rehearsal dinner. We pulled ours together for around $250, we had about 20 people, by hosting a cook-out. It was all done with one trip to Gordon Foods. It was a wonderful way for everyone to mingle in a relaxed atmosphere.



Everyone looks too excited don't they?  LOL

- Skip the wine. We had an open bar (which was closed during dinner), but we had the option to have wine service with dinner for an extra charge. Since neither of our families are wine drinkers, so there was no need for this extra cost. No one even noticed that the bar was closed; they were too interested in the wonderful food!


Elements worth their price

 
My best advice is always this. Spend the majority of your budget on what is important to you, and skimp on the other details. There are some elements that you need to be prepared to spend some money on.


Photographer


Why go to all this trouble, if you do not have a professional there to capture it all.


If not for him, I would not have this picture, and it is one of my favorites..


Invitations


This in my option sets the tone for your wedding, which is if you want it to be formal. I do not suggest that you print your own. This can be a relatively low expense if you order from the right company. Do not use address labels. Hand write these all the addresses.

Florists

This was covered above. Unless you are one, hire one.

No way I could have done this.


If you have any tips, or tricks that you used, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at cynfullywonder@gmail.com


Later
~Cyn