So peeps- this post has been on my heart for just like- FOREVER and I was finally inspired to write it after seeing this LOVERLY post by Once Wed, Designer Weddings for Less she collaborated with my very very very favorite photographer, Jose Villa for this styled country wedding shoot. Go check it out if you’d like and come right back… it’s pretty swoon worthy.
So anyway. Let’s talk about fabulous weddings. You know, the ones you see on the blogs and websites. The ones you might have been to and been overwhelmed by happiness and warmth. Let’s talk about what makes these weddings special. Only in extreme cases has an expensive exquisite meal been the catalyst for me thinking a wedding was great. As a photographer, small details, an interesting backdrop, good lighting, and LOVE makes the day a winner for me. Take LeAnn & Ryan’s June wedding for example…
This wedding was beautiful, meaningful, and (get ready to choke) cost less than $5000. The backdrop for the ceremony was a conservatory (few extra decorations needed), the bride and groom were surrounded by family rather than attendants, the bride’s uncle did the ceremony in a meaningful way incorporating a song he composed just for the couple and special traditions that Ryan & LeAnn wanted. Later in the afternoon, LeAnn & Ryan went to a nearby Inn/Restaurant to celebrate with the family. This part of town was special to them since they’d had most of their dates at the coffee shop across the street and got engaged at the park around the corner.
So, let’s analyze some things that might help you to have your very own perfect wedding day on a budget:
1. Be personal!
Make the day about you… about what you like. Show your personality.
2. Forget tradition!
Ok, now you can let out your breath. I know traditions are important on a wedding day, but just because it’s someone’s tradition, analyze whether it’s meant to be yours. Only keep what’s important and meaningful to you.
3. Search for a sample dress.
LeAnn’s silk & alencon lace dress was a sample she purchased for way under the price of a brand new dress. You can often score a deal on a discontinued sample and have it altered.
4. Go natural.
Opt for outdoors or a beautiful church for your wedding ceremony and don’t worry about fancy decorations. Keep it simple. You might even think about forgoing that expensive banquet hall and having a picnic in the park. Bring on the iced tea, lemonade and hot dogs! Done well, this can be as elegant or more-so than a banquet affair. And hey, it’s bound to be a blast!
5. Scale down.
Have few or no attendants. Trim the guest list.
6. Personal touches.
The #1 way to help your photographer give you dream wedding photos is to think small personal touches. Have a wall of your relatives vintage wedding photos. Make popcorn balls for the wedding favors. Make charming guest tags and pin them to a canvas seating chart. If you think outside the box, you’ll have a lovely personal affair without going broke.
7. You know this was coming… Hire a good photographer.
I know, it’s total hypocrisy… but it’s the one thing you shouldn’t scrimp on! The day will be remembered fondly through your photographs forever. It takes skill and patience and a proper knowledge of lighting to make everything appear the way it looked to you that day. Don’t trust Uncle Bob for this task. There are good photographers in many budget brackets, so search well and choose wisely. Your photographer will preserve all the other money you spent making it a perfect day.
Have a great weekend loves! xoxoxo