I’m revisiting this blog; I plan to be more active on it. At first, I was hoping to use this as just a marketing platform, but I think I need to start utilizing this to add some personality to the face behind these fairytale-inspired designs.
I’m going to be a Mrs. in four months; it’s exciting! I’m doing some DIY Bride stuff like I wanted and have been looking to keep the wedding as close to our budget as possible as well as have a lovely Special Day. To those who are planning their wedding but are also counting their pennies- I feel you. If you’re stuck with how to have a nice wedding without spending a fortune, I recommend the following…
- Sewing the dresses. I’m a fashion designer, so you knew that this was coming. Even though I gave into my mother’s request and bought a beautiful wedding dress instead of spending every waking second sewing my own, I have some ideas for those wishing to make their own dress. There are dress patterns available with fabric and notion suggestions. You can always buy a cheaper wedding dress or a formal dress from a store like Macy*s and embellish it. Sewing takes a lot of time so I only recommend this to someone who is confident with their sewing skills and have a lot of time to dedicate to sewing. Patterns can be bought at fabric stores as well as online- patterns can be pricey but they usually go on sale (on their company’s websites) often. I recommend the following wedding or bridesmaids gowns:                                    .
- If you’re buying The Dress, see if you fit the floor sample. The floor sample is the dress you tried on to see if you like it. If the floor sample fits and looks like its in good condition, you may be able to get that sample as your dress and on discount!
- Keep the money to buy/make a quality dress; you can be frugal with the accessories (shoes, jewelry, sash and hair accessories specifically).
1. Buy shoes that you can wear for other occasions and don’t buy shoes from the bridal section if you can help it; I bought my shoes from Modcloth. You can also buy plain shoes and dress them up with shoe clips!
2. BaubleBar is a popular place for brides to buy inexpensive bridal and bridesmaid jewelry; I found my jewelry at Macy’s.
3. If you’re looking for a sash for your dress, a double-faced satin ribbon will do the trick (seal the ends of the ribbon with a flame to keep it from fraying; there are YouTube tutorials on that). Please buy it from Amazon or a fabric store- trust me. it’ll be less expensive that way. You can also tack a fabric flower to it that you made or use a ‘clip anywhere’ flower!
4. If you’re going for a veil, make one using this tutorial here– no veil is worth over $40. Here’s a tutorial for a birdcage veil. If you’re going for a hair flower, go to this tutorial. A flower crown tutorial is here.
5. Bridal accessories can also be bought at Michael’s.
- Make the bouquets. I like to sew and I have a lot of fabric on hand that I’m not using, so I used this tutorial; however, you can make your flowers multiple ways. My georgette flowers for my bouquet is something close to this. For those who don’t prefer to sew and would like to make a jeweled bouquet, I’d use this tutorial.
- Use your bouquet as your table centerpiece. Buy a vase from Dollar Tree and have the bouquet sit in it during your reception. Bam. Your table just got fancier.
- Make the corsages out of fake flowers or a flower alternative. Martha Stewart’s wedding website actually has some great style ideas; just scroll through the different types of corsages and click one you like to read the tutorial!
- Make the boutonnieres out of fake flowers or a flower alternative. Again, Martha Stewart’s wedding website has some great style ideas!
- JoAnn’s, Michael’s (and your local fabric and craft stores) Party City and Dollar Tree for wedding supplies/accessories. JoAnn’s has coupons you can find on their site. As does Michael’s.
- Ceremony runner. Fake petals from Dollar Tree or Michael’s. Bam. Instant runner!
- Cutting out the Ceremony Programs. From what most blogs, sites, etc. say, most guests just leave them behind at their chairs when the ceremony is over. You can make one for yourself as a keepsake of your wedding, but a program isn’t needed for your guests if you’re not up to it.
- Cutting out the rice throwing at the ceremony. Also found through my research, not a lot of weddings do this anymore so no one is really going to frown upon you if you cut out the rice.
- Reception tables. Use large round tables- they can seat more people, need less linen and not as many centerpieces will be needed since not as many tables will be needed.
- Flowers. Use flowers that will be in season for your wedding. Swap out some the pricer flowers for carnations or cheaper flowers that will still look nice. See if using some greenery will make your florist bill rise or drop. Larger flowers = less are needed. Utilize the flowers from the ceremony and use them to decorate the reception. CostCo has some great flowers in bulk. To limit the flower amount you will have to take home, use centerpieces as gifts to special guests. Instead of renting vases, you can find some at Dollar Tree and JoAnn’s (with coupons from their site) and Michael’s (with coupons from their site).
- Cake. Shoot for smaller cake (1-3 layers) and supply the rest of the cake with sheet cake hidden in the kitchen (cake by the bride and groom is is usually cut in front of guests, then the cake is moved to the venue’s kitchen to be cut and then served). Sugar flowers and molded shapes are more expensive than decorating a cake with fresh, real flowers. Traditional cake toppers are at Michael’s. As are the Knife and Server. Some grocery stores are able to do wedding cakes. Buttercream frosting is inexpensive and can still look great.
- Time of day/year. Summer is the most expensive season to have a wedding. Renting venues out in the evening is more popular (and possibly more expensive) than the mornings. Having a reception in the morning/early afternoon for breakfast/lunch is usually not as expensive than late afternoons/evenings and serving dinner.
- Save the Dates/Invitations/Thank You cards. Choose one eye-popping element (paper, font, colored ink, envelope, etc) and keep the rest of it simple. Use postcards-style save the dates/thank you cards to save on envelopes. Square-shaped paper mail costs extra postage.
- Tule. It’s light, airy, romantic and can be bought as an entire bolt at WalMart. It’s a great fabric to make bows and drapery to decorate a venue.
- Guest List. My favorite way to make a guest list is this one. Also notable mentions on who to add to the list: those who would be offended if you didn’t invite them, those who would invite you and your spouse to their wedding, and those your parents want to invite and that they’re paying for (if your parents are helping you cover the cost of your wedding).
- Do all the major reception events (cake cutting, first dances, etc.) first. By getting all the major events out of the way first, you can have the photographer shoot it all, get a few photos of the guests on the dance floor, and then leave rather than staying the event for a few extra hours (and thus paying for more hours).
- Corkage fees. This is actually a great tip a dear friend of mine told me about. Venue making you pay per (alcohol) bottle? Literally get a few large CostCo-sized bottles of your alcohol of choice from- you guessed it- CostCo.
- Or have a dry wedding. My wedding is a dry wedding- my groom and I don’t have a lot of people who drink who are invited. Those who do drink cannot drink over a few thousand dollars worth of alcohol to be worth paying for a bar (and if they could, that doesn’t mean we would still want to pay for a bar- that is equally a bad idea…). Mocktails will be present, though!
- Using the web. E-mail invites and updates to your guests instead of snail-mailing things out. Make a free wedding website through WeddingWire.com to get free planning tools, a place for people to RSVP, get event info, post your registry, etc.