In part one, I asked you to dream of your perfect wedding without concern for money or resources. To imagine your ideal day with all the bells, whistles, and designer dresses that you can think up.
At this point, you might be pretty bitter with me. You might be asking yourself why I wanted you to imagine your perfect wedding day without concern with budget or resources and now you have to come crashing back to earth to boring old reality. The truth is this is where it gets fun. There are so many ways to create your perfect day, you get to tackle reality and make it do what you want it to do.
Fabulous & Frugal: Venues
Did you dream of a romantic candle lit ceremony in a castle with your friends and family around you. What? You can’t afford to get married in Leeds Castle in England and are now more depressed than ever? Fear not – putting it altogether is the best part. These strategies can work for weddings in any situation: beaches, ranches, community halls, golf courses, or backyards. I just use castles and history because that’s what I like.
Find your own castle in your local city or town – most cities and towns have a castle/manor/historical home that is available for event booking. What if you don’t have that in your local centre or they’re not in your price range? If you’re feeling gutsy, drive around some neighbourhoods with some beautiful historical or estate homes and knock on some doors. If you explain what you’re looking for and how you might see their home as part of your day – maybe you’ll be able to have a summer wedding on their grounds or in their garden – gorgeous historical home or manor in background.
So instead of the Über-castle, go for this:
You can even take a regular venue or hall and turn it into a vision. I wanted a wedding day that brought together a vintage French royalty feel with a clean modern look. Phil and I chose a golf course as our venue because it offered a nice room with beautiful views and a great deal on catering. This is pretty far from fairy tale wedding in the castle, so what to do?
Even though we went with a golf course, I was determined to weave in my vision of French vintage while keeping cleaner lines to suit our more contemporary venue.
Here’s what we did with our venue:
Fabulous & Frugal: Centrepieces
According to Yahoo Answers – the most scientific source possible – the average centrepiece costs between $30 to $300, depending on your wedding. Flowers and centrepieces can be as costly as you want to make them – with each table, the price goes up. What are some creative ways of doing this?
I used ostrich feathers centrepieces and damask table runners to soften the feel and bring in a French vintage inspiration. I initially wanted to buy the feathers and resell them on Ebay but the price would have landed me at over $1000 just for the feathers. Instead, I found a wonderful lady on Kijiji that rented centerpieces for $28 apiece – and she set them up and took them down at the end of the night.
Another neat idea I read about was to collect together some of your best photography shots and get them done in black and white for your table centerpieces. If you want to get more personal, include a few lines about the photographs mounted on the tables as well.
Wedding Bee has a lot of amazing affordable do-it-yourself ideas for centerpieces that you can use to create a beautiful wedding day. You’ll see everything from beautiful yet affordable to expensive and elegant on this site. Check it out for all your wedding needs!
Another wedding I read about recently that really impressed me was from Jordann at My Alternate Life. She planned an amazing wedding for 150 people on $4500. What Jordann ended up doing for her bridal bouquets and centrepieces was to time her wedding for a certain point in the season for when many of local wildflowers were blooming in a meadow close by. She organized some family and friends to help pick the flowers and make them into bouquets and centrepieces which turned out perfectly. Cheers to Jordann for this amazing idea. Read here and here for more.
I ended up having my bouquets made by an amazingly talented girl who had an advertisement in Kijiji. She used ostrich feathers, satiny materials for flowers, and damask fabric leaves. She made me a fascinator, five bouquets, and four bridesmaid dress sashes for $400.00. Here are some pictures:
Chair coverings, tablecloths, overlays, and runners are all expensive to rent as well. I looked into renting overlays and runners from some local businesses but their prices would have been equal to what I could buy them for on the internet. I decided that if I bought my linens, I could turn around and sell them on Ebay or Kijiji. I ended up buying mine from Chair Cover Factory and Ebay. Be sure to look around and find the best deal and then sell them afterwards to recoup the money spent.
Fabulous & Frugal: Photography
Photography is also a big expense. Most people don’t want to compromise on their photographer because these are the keepsakes that preserve their memories. Finding a good photographer deserves its own post but here are a couple of tips:
- If you really want a specific photographer and they’re expensive, try and see if they’ll come out for fewer hours. Sometimes you can arrange a four or six hour shoot for a fraction of the cost a full day would normally cost.
- Look outside major cities. Go to bridal shows in smaller centres or look up photographers on the internet. They are no less talented than their larger city counterparts but might be keen to offer you a better deal because there isn’t the same demand for services in their own town. Even with travel costs, it can be a good deal.
- Kijiji. Yes, I know. Do you really want to get your wedding photographer from the same place you would buy a dog House? The answer is YES! We got our photographer for $500 for ten hours. He had years of experience but had moved into a different field and only did a few weddings a year as a Hobby. He took beautiful pictures! The compromise we made was that he wasn’t going to photoshop or artistically alter them in any specific way. They turned out great!
Check some out here:
Fabulous & Frugal: Your Wedding Dress
Dresses can also be a big part of any wedding budget, I ended up buying my wedding dress from a lady who ordered straight from the manufacturer and sold them out of her home for $325.00. Kijiji was my hero once again. Here are some pictures – I wanted something that felt French royal vintage (if that’s even a thing) but affordable. I liked the dress and it fit with the theme. Here it is:
Some other ideas:
- Cross border shopping if live in Canada. They’ve increased the amount you can spend before you pay taxes so you won’t necessarily have to pay duty anymore. And the deals can be amazing!
- Buying your wedding dress second hand from a consignment store, online, or through a classifieds section. You would be surprised at what you can find!
- Opt out of a traditional wedding dress option and look for a beautiful cocktail or formal occasion dress that fits your wedding celebration. Not only will you avoid the crazy mark-up on anything classified as ‘bridal’, you can find something truly unique and special for your day.
- Go to the wedding designers directly by finding them online. It’s amazing what you can save by cutting out the middleman! Vera Wang style and reasonable prices.
I hope this helps with planning your fabulous wedding on a frugal budget. Good luck with organizing your perfect day! Comment if you have any questions or your own ideas, I’d love to hear them!