To preface this post, these are things that I personally wish I would have known before I got married. This list is just my thoughts as a past bride and as someone who has photographed (and been to) countless weddings! There are lots of different ways to do things so I encourage you to find a combination that works for you! Listed below are a few things that I think you could save money on and a few things that I think you should splurge on! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
- Decorations: you can get them at thrift stores, or rent them from wedding coordinators.
- Exit: we always love a good sparkler exit. But if you are looking for something to save a little money on, you can replace sparklers with confetti! It makes for an epic picture!
- Open Bar: Don’t pay for ALL the drinks. We’ve seen some couples pay for their guests’ first drink (guests are given a “free drink” ticket when they enter the reception). Then the guests pay for the additional drinks they order.
- Wedding Date: Some vendors will offer weekday rates. So, consider getting married on a weekday if you haven’t chosen a wedding date yet!
- Catering: if you have the budget for it, getting the wedding catered is AMAZING and super nice! But if you are trying to save money you can make some of the food yourself. Typically this would entail finger food. This works well if your wedding is shorter. If you have people there from 1 pm – 9 pm, a good amount of food is important and I’d recommend a caterer. If your wedding is from 5pm – 8:30 pm you could get away with doing it yourself.
- Floral Arrangements: Let me preface this by saying I definitely think you should hire someone to at least make your bouquet. But what I’ve seen some couples do is have a florist design all the bouquets and boutonnières and then do the table arrangements on their own. Find the flowers that are in bloom that season and typically they will be a little bit less expensive.
- Jewelry: Your wedding day jewelry is an easy item to save money on. I ordered a lot of mine online! Sure, it was “costume” jewelry but honestly, no one will be holding up a magnifying glass to your earrings on your wedding day to see if the diamonds are real haha.
- Shoes: You can’t really see them since your dress will be covering them! I wore my most comfortable sandals on my wedding day! When we do bridal sessions in the mountains I always recommend NOT wearing nice shoes!
- Venue: Okay this is a toss up. Sometimes venues are so cute that you don’t really need to spend any money on decorations and that will save you money! But if it’s not in your budget you can always find a family member or friends with a really nice backyard and do the reception there! We’ve even had some couples do their events at an AirBnB!
- Photography and Videography: As a past bride, I cannot stress enough how important it is to invest into your wedding photographer and videographer. And yes, you do need both! If you’re spending a bunch of money to make your day be absolutely perfect, hire a QUALITY photographer and videographer to document it! I say it all the time: After a week your cake will be gone. The decorations will be taken down and the flowers will wilt away. Your dress will be stored away and no one will remember what center pieces were what color. When the big day is over, apart from memories, all you have left are the photos and videos. Photos and videos you’ll treasure forever! Photos and videos you’ll show your friends, family, children and grandchildren. Your wedding will be beautiful. Make sure you have a photographer and videographer who can reflect that beauty in what they document.
- Hair and makeup artist: They take so much pressure off you for your wedding! You don’t want to be having one of those days where your hair isn’t cooperating and your eyeliner is crooked on your wedding. Hair and make up artists full JOB is to make you look and feel beautiful!
- DJ: Hiring a good DJ will make a difference! There’s nothing more awkward than when your music cuts out when you’re walking down the aisle… or when you want to be having a party, but the only music playing is 80s rock! A good DJ will make sure your events are communicated to your guests and make sure they have a good time!
- Dress: If there is ever a day where you should look and feel amazing and be wearing something that completely represents you, it should be on your wedding day. Customize it to be the dress of your dreams! When else will you ever be able to do that?!
- Wedding Planner: This is actually a huge recommendation from me! On your wedding day a wedding planner will seriously take care of everything! Your wedding day is a time for you (AND YOUR FAMILY… cough cough.. moms!) to enjoy each others’ company and relax! Wedding planners will make sure everyone is in place, activities are on time and food and decor are taken care of! They will help coordinate events with the other vendors at your wedding so everyone is on the same page!
We’ve worked with many amazing wedding vendors over the years and would love to give you recommendations! Every vendor wants you to have the best day. Look over your budget and find a way to achieve just that!
Jones Co Creative