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Planning the big day? Looking for simple wedding ideas?! Check out these fantastic free wedding ideas that will save you time and money!
(That's me in the above photo!)
Checklists, budgets, vendors, dresses, flowers, decorations, lights, food, drinks, music, cake, transportation, party favors, table linens, invitations, save the dates, stamps, ah!
Planning the big day is a lot of work, even for an organizer. :) Since I now have first hand experience, I want to share my simple wedding ideas and lessons with you in hopes of making your engagement as fun and as stress-free as possible. Enjoy!
The most important thing about planning a wedding is that you remain true to yourself. It's not anyone's wedding but your own. Keep this in the forefront of your mind. You have been waiting a long time for this big day, and it should be what YOU want it to be.
Brides often drive themselves crazy over trying to please everyone else. This is a huge mistake and causes a lot of emotional strain which is the exact opposite of how you want this process to be. Again, remain true to yourself.
Now that being said, don't shut everyone out either. Be open to their wedding ideas. Listen to what they have to say, because in the end they are just trying to help (even though it doesn't always seem like it). Tell them you'll consider it and thank them for the idea. Who knows? You may just love what they have to say.
Anyone that is forcing an idea on you rather than suggesting one does not have you in mind and should not be involved in any part of planning the wedding. Period.
So the lesson summed up is... consider the wedding ideas of others and remain true to yourself. READ MORE ABOUT DEALING WITH MENTAL STRESS THAT CAN ACCOMPANY THE WEDDING PLANNING PROCESS.
You must meet with every vendor. You must go to every venue. You must see absolutely everything in person for all the obvious reasons and for all the not-so-obvious ones. Must!
Obviously you want to choose vendors and venues that are within your budget, offer what you want and are available for your date.
Not so obviously:
What is the atmosphere of the hotel you are recommending to your guests?
Do you feel comfortable with your photographer?
How's the service at the restaurant where you intend to have your rehearsal dinner?
I repeat, you MUST SEE EVERYTHING in person.
I've heard horror stories. One was about a bride and groom who hired an inexpensive yet professional videographer through a national online company. They didn't meet with him prior to the wedding, so there was no sense of who he was or what he's done. Come the big day, he decided to simply not show up. Yikes!!!
Help a bride out...or whoever is planning the wedding. This is one of those simple wedding ideas that is actually post wedding for you but pre-wedding for others.
The first place people look nowadays is online (at least that's what I did). If I wasn't directly referred, I did Google searches for vendors and then looked at the reviews others had posted about them. Believe me, it made an impact in the decision-making process.
You will most likely consider online reviews in your vendor decision process (thanks to the brides that came before you), so give back. When you're special day is over, review your vendors online - TheKnot.com, WeddingWire.com, or what have you - and let the world know what your experience was (good or bad).
Weddings are expensive. All the details really add up, and they add up fast!
The best place to start is with a budget. You need to know how much you are aiming to spend on the whole thing. No matter who is paying for the wedding, it is absolutely crucial that you know this number at the beginning of the planning process.
Once you have a budget figured
out, decide what details are most important to you and your
husband-to-be. Is it the venue? Is it the photographer? Is it your
dress? Is it the flowers? Or the cake? Or the music? What aspects of
your wedding are worth spending more money on?
CAKE simple wedding ideas to save money
Bakeries charge by the slice, and it's easy to spend $1000 on a cake. Crazy!
MUSIC (during the ceremony) simple wedding ideas to save money
String quartets can cost a pretty penny, because you are paying multiple (usually four) artists by the hour.
MUSIC (during the reception) simple wedding ideas to save money
DJ or band? If having a band is not as important to you, then hire a DJ. They are less expensive and can offer a wider variety of music.
WEDDING GOWN simple wedding ideas to save money
There are tons of ways to save money on your dress!
PHOTOGRAPHER simple wedding ideas to save money
The pictures are all you have left after the wedding is over, and trust me, it all happens really fast. That being said, quality is a major factor when choosing a photographer but that doesn't mean you have to spend a crazy amount of money.
The MOST important factor is the connection between the photographer and you and your spouse-to-be. If you are uncomfortable or don't like the photographer in any way, it will show in the pictures so don't settle.
Now that being said, you can choose an experienced photographer who takes quality photographs that you are comfortable with and still save money...
INVITATIONS simple wedding ideas to save money
Just like everything else, it is beyond easy to spend a lot on wedding invitations. There's folds and bows and inserts and RSVP cards and on and on and on.
VIDEOGRAPHER simple wedding ideas to save money
FLOWERS simple wedding ideas to save money
Flowers are fun!! As with anything else, it is very easy to spend a fortune on them. But of course, I have some money-saving strategies for you. :)
SEATING ARRANGEMENTS simple wedding ideas to save money
Just like the RSVP cards in the invitations, place cards for the dinner can be an unnecessary expense. A really economical way to direct your guests to their seats is to display a framed seating chart (or two). Not only do you save money, but it is greener and easier to set up.
First, decide the size of the frame(s) you are going to display. Remember, the larger the text on the chart, the easier it will be for your guests to find their seats. I'd suggest frames that are 16"x20" or 18"x24". You can use frames that you already own, get inexpensive ones at an arts and crafts store like Michael's, borrow them, etc.
Then, you can download seating chart templates from the Internet, have a design savvy friend create it or draft it yourself. Make sure the document is saved as a .pdf and that it's the same size as the frame(s) you have/bought.
Next, take the document to Kinko's (or the like) and have them print it out on the most inexpensive paper. (It's a really thin stock of paper, but it doesn't matter because it'll be framed!) This shouldn't cost more than $10 per print out.
Put the printed seating chart in the frame and voila!
all you have to do is find out if your venue has easels (which I'm sure
they do). Also, remember to display your seating chart(s) in a very
visible location for your guests.
SOME THINGS BORROWED simple wedding ideas to save money
Think about all your friends and family members who are already married. They've gone through this whole process and may have some items they are glad to lend you like...
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