4 Simple Wedding Ideas + 10 Money-Saving Ideas For A Wedding On A Budget
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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!
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!
Check out my latest book and bust through that procrastination! Available as a paperback and an ebook on Kindle but NO KINDLE NECESSARY. Enjoy!
4 Simple Wedding Ideas
Simple Wedding Ideas:
#1: Whose Wedding Is It?
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.
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.
Simple Wedding Ideas:
#2: Meet Everyone You Hire
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!
want to choose vendors and venues that are within your budget, offer
what you want and are available for your date.
Not so obviously:
the atmosphere of the hotel you are recommending to your guests?
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!!!
Simple Wedding Ideas:
#3: Review Your Vendors
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
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.
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).
Simple Wedding Ideas:
#4: Be Budget-Friendly
Weddings are expensive. All the details really add up, and they add up fast!
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!
any baking-savvy friends, relatives or co-workers? You'd be surprised
how many people know "people" that make beautiful cakes out of their
homes as a side business and don't charge nearly as much as the
- Also, do you need a huge, fancy cake? If the cake isn't
as important to you, then why not have a display cake and serve the
guests sheet cake? A display cake looks great and is simply for show.
They are less expensive, because they are smaller or sometimes they are
tiered but the bottom layers are not actual cake. With this wedding cake idea, the guests won't know
the difference and you save money!
- I've also heard of brides going
into bakeries the day of and buying a bunch of smaller cakes that were
already made fresh that morning. You save money because you're buying
something "as is."
- Finally, what about cupcakes?! We did
cupcakes for our wedding and it ended up being a couple hundred bucks.
Plus, everyone LOVED them and it's one of the unique things people
actually remember about our wedding. That's them in the photo below. Food for thought.
MUSIC (during the ceremony) simple wedding ideas to save money
quartets can cost a pretty penny, because you are paying multiple
(usually four) artists by the hour.
- Why not hire a classical guitarist? Or a harpist? One musician, one instrument, just as good, if not better.
- You can also scrap the musicians altogether and play music through a sound system. Trust me, it can sound just as good.
MUSIC (during the reception) simple wedding ideas to save money
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!
keep in mind that you are wearing it once. And seriously, what is the
likelihood that your future daughter will wear it at her wedding?
anyone you know have a dress you would consider wearing? If so,
altering it a bit would cost way less than buying a brand new gown.
stores and charities can have tons of wedding dresses! Lots of brides
donate their dresses after the big day to charities who help babies, the prevention of human trafficking and the military. Check out:
- The Angel Gown program
- Little Angel Gowns
- Newborns In Need
- Brides Across America
- Adorned in Grace
- There are also websites dedicated to selling pre-owned wedding gowns. My favorite is Tradesy.com. It's free, fast and easy. Then of course there's Craigslist, eBay, your local newspaper's classifieds and so on.
- Have your dress cleaned and preserved right after the wedding, so you can sell it in good condition to another bride-to-be. I sold my dress to a local consignment shop and ended up making almost half of what we originally paid for it back!
PHOTOGRAPHER simple wedding ideas to save money
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...
- Hire the
photographer for 6 hours instead of 8. Usually the last hour or so of
the reception is people doing what they've been doing - dancing. The
photographer can capture that at the beginning of the party.
get your wedding album right away. Order it for your one year
anniversary. This could easily take $500 to $1000 off of your
photography expense. It takes quite a while to get the album anyway, so
why not wait a bit?
- If you live in an urban area, consider
photographers who are based outside of the city. They tend to be less
expensive and just as good. You'd be surprised how costly vendors are
simply because of where they are.
INVITATIONS simple wedding ideas to save money
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.
- First, keep it simple. I have been to numerous
weddings and couldn't recall what a single invitation looks like. That's
not what people remember, so make sure you pick something that you like
and gets the job done. Other than that, you don't need the fancy
shmancies unless you have the budget for it.
- Second, go to Google
and search for "discount wedding invitations." You'll find tons of
legitimate websites that have designer invitations on sale.
do you need an RSVP card? Think about it. The RSVP card adds an extra
printed piece of paper, an envelope and a stamp. This is a huge expense.
If you are comfortable having your guests RSVP on your wedding website,
then by all means do it!
- Get creative with it too. On your invitations
you could put something like, "We've gone green! In lieu of RSVP cards,
please let us know whether or not you can attend by filling out the form
on our website." Now who could argue with going green?
VIDEOGRAPHER simple wedding ideas to save money
do you even want a wedding video? I've been to many weddings that
didn't have a videographer. Talk it over with your spouse-to-be. If
you're comfortable with just having photographs as a record of your big
day, then you can eliminate this expense altogether.
- If you know
you want to have your wedding videotaped, do you have any family members
or friends that would want to volunteer for the job? Possibly as a
- If you're going to hire a professional, first make
sure they are just that. Meet with them at their studio. Ask about their
credentials. Ask to see some of their work. Cover all the angles.
that note, a videographer can get expensive. To be budget-wise, hire a
professional to capture the day on film and only edit out the
unnecessary shots. Having them make a six-minute highlight DVD with
music and titles is very time consuming and can cost hundreds of dollars
- If you'd like to have a highlight DVD of your wedding, consider having it made as a one year anniversary gift to each other.
FLOWERS simple wedding ideas to save money
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. :)
- First and most often said, pick flowers that are in season and not hard to come by.
selections with your wedding colors in mind as opposed to the type of
flower (unless your wedding theme is a certain kind of flower or
something of that nature). There are so many kinds of flowers out there
that come in so many colors. Your look can easily be achieved without
using expensive, rare flowers and without breaking the bank. For
example, if you are looking for a white flower think about using
hydrangeas. They are beautiful, take up a lot of space, not hard to come
by and therefore very economical.
- Repurpose!! Coordinate ALL the
flowers, to not necessarily match, but to look cohesive - centerpieces,
ceremony arrangements, bouquets, everything. After the ceremony, use the
bridesmaids bouquets as centerpieces on some of the reception tables.
Use the bride's bouquet as a centerpiece on the sweetheart table. Use
the arrangements decorating the ceremony on some of the reception tables
(if you are getting married and having the reception in the same
- Does the cake table really need full flower
decorations? Does the place card table? Does the guest book table?
Instead of putting full arrangements on these tables, have the florist
sprinkle petals on them. This way you have a floral presence, a
decorated look, and a much smaller price tag.
SEATING ARRANGEMENTS simple wedding ideas to save money
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.
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.
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
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...
- box or receptacle for gift cards
- hair accessories
- wedding gown
- How do you propose to a professional organizer? Click here to find out!
- Click here for tips on how to change your name and a name change checklist!
- The Knot's website is very helpful with a plethora of simple wedding ideas, resources and much more. Check them out!
- I cannot say enough good things about The Complete Wedding Planner & Organizer! I followed it every step of the way, and planning my wedding was so much easier. It's full of wedding ideas, tips and tricks, and I highly recommend it to all brides.
Have a good "lesson learned" moment while planning your wedding?
Share your wedding wisdom! Failure? Success? Funny story? Horror story? We want to know the details and how you dealt with it.
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