You wouldn't tell by reading my blog, but, I AM GETTING MARRIED. That's right, Jason and I are going to be tying the knot after 8 years! The wedding is in less than 3 months and this entire process has been a learning experience. I have done most of the planning on my own. In this time I realized that spending a lot of money on a wedding is far from necessary. My budget for everything is $3,000. Here are ways to have a beautiful wedding and reception without the cost.
1. Don't go to bridal shops. You wear the dress for less than 12 hours and it sits in a closet never to be worn again. I went to a local second hand store. I know what you are thinking...gross, right? Well the dress is brand new and is a Allure Bridal gown. It is exactly what I was looking for and I could afford. My dress was $100 and when you see it, your jaw will hit the floor. That's ok though, I will pick it back up for you!!!
You can also check out ebay.com, craigslist.org and theknot.com for dresses. You will be shocked at how many dresses are new!
2. 50% off coupons to Michael's have became my friend! I bought 48 votives with candles for $12. I am going to buy labels and put our monogram on them. I have also bought our initials and going to hang then on the bridge that we will walk over for our ceremony.
3. Don't do the food yourself. I was going to do this until I realized how affordable catering is. Now I am doing a buffet, bought our own plates, napkins, utensils, etc. to save money. I also realized having the caterer do a unlimited beverage bar can't be beat either. Even with pop on sale, I was only saving $75. Plus that doesn't include ice, coolers or having someone go ice down the beverages. I am using Golden Rule Catering and they have been wonderful! The owner, Carol, is also a couponer!!!
4. BUY a suit. I have also come to realize that a tux is not an option for Jason. We are going to buy him a suit from JOS Bank. They are always running a BOGO special. That way he has a suit to wear for the next couple of years. The cost of renting a suit vs. buying a tux is about a $25-$50 difference.
5. Don't do a traditional wedding cake. Our caterer includes a sheet cake in the price of the buffet. We are either going to buy a few cheesecakes to display or just diplay a fake cake!!! Jason really wants cheesecake, so I think he might win on this one!
6. Last, but, not least. Flowers. Do them yourself. If you don't trust your work, find a crafty friend or relative. If you need a lot of flowers I recommend The Flower Exchange. They will deliver them to your door a day or two before the wedding. Put them together and clear the fridge! Also, if you don't need that many flowers check out your local Kroger or Sam's Club. I spoke with the Manager in the Floral dept. at Kroger and she was excited about helping me. I am going to her in Sept. to figure out what flowers I want!
7. Favors are a big PIA! I am doing simple and sweet! BUCKEYES! Who doesn't love some chocolate? I am also debating on doing a strawberry jam and putting them in the middle of the table with the votives. The estimated cost of this is about $40 for 1500 Buckeyes.
I have spent $8 for my shoes at Kohls, $100 for my dress (taking it on Thurs. to get altered), $50 in decorations, $10 on Hannah's dress, food/beverage with a cash bar will be around $1500.
At the end of the day, it's not about all the details. It's about Jason and I declaring our love and devotion for one another. We have always put everyone else's needs ahead of our own and now it is OUR TIME! We are finally becoming a family and I can't wait to marry this man!