budget

Vintage Clock Tower Wedding With Paleo Reception

From Houston to Denver to Singapore, this adventurous couple has committed to love each other in sickness and in health. Dave and Melissa's beautiful wedding features a delicious but super healthy meal, vintage and steampunk decor, and a tech savvy solution for guests who couldn't celebrate with them in person!

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Love Story

Here's an excerpt of Dave and Melissa's story, written by their dear friend Megan for their wedding website:

Dave lived in Houston and Melissa lived in Denver when they met online. They spent several months getting to know each other by exchanging messages, sending emails, and video chatting. Finally, Dave decided that he absolutely had to meet this girl, so he purchased a plane ticket to Denver.

Their long distance relationship continued on for some time. They flew to see each other as often as they could. The trips were never long enough or frequent enough, so Melissa took a chance on love and moved herself to Houston. 

While they were still enjoying the glow of their new permanence in each other’s lives, something completely unexpected and rather heartbreaking was discovered. A few months after arriving in Houston, Melissa was diagnosed with a rare and incurable autoimmune disease. Dave bore the news with compassion and fortitude, never wavering in his commitment to her.

Dave and Melissa continued to build their lives together for several years. Marriage was often thought about and discussed, but Melissa didn't know Dave had picked out a ring or that a proposal was on its way. A few days before Christmas, Dave proposed to Melissa at her favorite restaurant. They were ready to not only plan a wedding, but a marriage.

Next, we'll hand things off to Melissa to tell us about their big day!

Inspiration

I was born in Colorado and moved back for college. Capital Hill and downtown were my stomping grounds, so it just seemed appropriate to have our wedding where Dave and I first met instead of in Houston. We wanted the theme to be simple and elegant. I'm a huge fan of vintage furniture and jewelry as a result of going to auctions all of the time with my mom when I was growing up. We chose to do our wedding in grayscale. Black and white is popular, but I found it a bit limiting and I love metallic colors tied in with the matte colors.

Budget

Dave and I were lucky with wedding costs because I have a B.A. in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Colorado and had picked up a lot of diverse tech skills at my job. I was able to design all of the save the date magnets, invitations, envelopes, RSVP cards, website, cupcake table signs, wedding party app signs and app setup, and html email announcements regarding the wedding day details. 

We kept our wedding party small, which was a huge help. We had always talked about a very small wedding and only had a maid-of-honor and best man at our side. With the size of the Clock Tower venue, it's good that we did!

The things we splurged on were the food and cake because we are both very into fitness and nutrition. It was important for us to have good food that we could eat and food that our guests would enjoy. Bistro Boys Catering helped us out immensely with a Paleo menu and Azucar bakery provided us a Paleo cake with gluten free and regular cupcakes. 

The Clock Tower venue was a bit of a splurge too. We looked at doing our ceremony at one place and holding the reception elsewhere, but it was actually going to run us more with the venues we were looking at. They provided chairs, tables, and some decorations, and planning a wedding from Houston while we were both working full-time made this a no-brainer. Less things to have to source! The big commitment with the Clock Tower is that you do have to pay for it all up front. 

We decided not to go with a DJ because we knew the music we liked and had it all on our computers. It was easy enough to come up with a playlist and put it on an iPod because the Clock Tower had a sound system we could hook into. One of the workers there just had to hit play at the right time. 

No need for a videographer. I brought my laptop and we bought a 100 foot ethernet cable so I could plug it in directly to the internet so there'd be no streaming issues. I borrowed a camera, tripod, and microphone and set them up on my own right before the ceremony. Guests that couldn't make it could watch us get married live, and those that weren't available at the time could access the video any time after that on my YouTube account. 

My iMovie video skills allowed me to make the rehearsal dinner slideshow video, showing photos of Dave and me as a couple and as we were growing up. 

My mom found a very inexpensive florist with great reviews and we really didn't need a lot of flowers because the venue was already decorated with some nice fake ones. Flowers weren't a big deal for me, but they were for my mom. I could have gone with just bouquets for my sister and me. 

Photography was something worth splurging on. I have a design background and having taught Yearbook, I know pictures make the story. Pictures fill in that bit of the story you miss while you're getting ready and running around. Pictures are how you will see the guests you didn't get a lot of time with at the actual event. Pictures are what will trigger your memory years after the event has happened. Dave Camara was phenomenal. We booked him for our engagement photos as well. He's laid back and very professional with a creative eye. He'll get the standard shots, but he also gets ones you'd never think to frame how he has.

I really wanted to get my dress from a consignment shop. I don't believe in splurging on something you're only going to wear once, and I planned to consign my dress after the wedding. I had some trouble booking a time at Marry Go Round (a bridal consignment shop in Houston) and we ended up at David's Bridal just to get a feel for what I had in mind. The only issue is that I tried on a dress that was perfect and it was $1000. I said I only wanted to spend half of that at most. Peer pressure won out. I don't regret it, and still plan to consign that dress. 

Dave and his best man rented tuxes from Men's Wearhouse. It was easy because we were in Houston and he was in Raleigh, North Carolina, and they have stores in both areas. 

I chose 3 Little Birds Salon due to location, affordability, and reviews. We were traveling from Houston to Denver for our wedding and I was relying on family to get me where I needed to be since Dave had the rental car. They did a great job and nailed the more vintage hair style I was going for with the pin curls. I'm very low-maintenance and wanted to look like me for my wedding. I did a test run with the salon, but my sister ended up doing my makeup just because I wanted a very understated look. Free definitely wasn't a bad price. 

We didn't do a registry and chose to use honeyfund.com to help pay for our honeymoon instead. It didn't make sense to gather a bunch of things we'd just have to pack that might not work once we headed to Singapore.

I pooled my resources of friends and family to make some of the details come together that would have normally ended up costing me a lot more. One of my best friends and college roommate officiated the wedding for us. It was so much more personal and again, didn't cost us a dime. Meagan is a pro and I recommend her to anyone who is looking for a ceremony that is a bit less traditional.

Unique Details

We did our save the date magnets using vistaprint.com. They were definitely the cheapest and most reliable print vendor and I've been using them for a long time. I designed the graphics for the envelopes and made separate files with every recipient's unique address. We printed those at home and used the same files to print on the pearl, off white envelopes we sent out with our formal invitations. 

I also designed our wedding invitations in Adobe Illustrator, tying in steampunk elements to match our venue. I bought clock parts on eBay and in Hobby Lobby, and we spray painted them silver on brown packing paper in the garage. I glued a couple of gears onto the invites along with two hands on a clock that showed the time our ceremony was to be. I also found silver paper doilies that I used to help add a vintage feel to the invitations, and then we glued silver/black ribbon to the cards and tied them. They were very labor intensive, but we sent out less than 100, so it only took a few days of long hours to get them done. 

I designed the RSVP cards to match the custom wedding invitations and had them printed by vistaprint.com as well. They always have sales running for business cards, so that's the size I made them. Rather than doing a pre-stamped and addressed envelope, we only provided our phone number or website to RSVP in order to save some money. 

In the end, was all of the stationary cheap? No. Were they cheap for highly custom and intricate designed invitations? Yes. I priced them out and I think I would have paid about $12-15 each for them if I had outsourced them. Thank heavens for Hobby Lobby sales and some ingenuity. 

Favorite Memory

If you know Dave and I well, you know we love to laugh. I had gone down the the 14th floor to use the restroom and just happened to catch Dave walking out. He left the toilet seat up! Dave Camara, our photographer, just happened to be there and captured the moment. It was so funny and out of the norm. 

Challenges

I found it really difficult to try to plan a wedding in a different city and wrap up the school year as a teacher. Not only that, we were moving to Singapore less than two weeks after our wedding. We used Google spreadsheets to keep ourselves organized and we were able to share the sheets with our parents and anyone else involved. We had tabs for the guest list, vendors, budget, invitations, RSVPs and thank you notes. It was really helpful and I still use that document as my address book for family and friends. Thank heavens for email. Otherwise, I don't think anything would have been planned!

(For help planning a wedding long-distance, check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings blog post, "Tips for Planning a Wedding from Out-of-Town".)

We also had a challenge with our venue because I have elderly aunts and uncles who wouldn't be able to walk up the stairs from the 17th to 21st floor of the clock tower. We discussed so many options and nearly changed our venue. Ultimately, we came down to the solution that we could live stream the ceremony on the 18th floor to the 17th floor where tables would be set up for those relatives. The caterer would be on the 17th floor and would make special plates of food for our guests. The restrooms were also on this floor, so I knew they'd see all of the guests and there'd be no problem with everyone mingling and being involved. I was so stressed out, but none of those guests RSVP'ed yes or showed up. It was all for nothing. But, we were ready!

Lessons Learned

I wish I would have known how much it would all cost. You start out thinking you're going to put on this great event on a crazy small budget, and there are some things that just won't meet your ideals unless you're willing to fork over the money for those things (ie - venues, etc). Then you realize that the venue doesn't matter. The decorations don't matter. Very few of those details really matter. The people you are sharing this event with matter. It wouldn't matter if it was potluck in your parents back yard. Don't stress. It's not worth it.

(For budgeting help, check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings blog post, "How to Create a Wedding Budget".)

Tips for Engaged Couples

Start early. Don't stress out because some of those small details won't make a bit of difference on your big day. Ask for help!

Marriage Advice

Now that you're married, what marriage advice would you share with other couples?: Communication and laughter are our tricks to success. There was a point in time that Dave and I read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, and it has come in handy so many times. It talks about 5 different ways people feel loved, and those ways can change over time. Communicating these with each other has made a world of difference in our relationship. 

Guest Count: 50 // Photography: Camara Photography // Venue: Clock Tower Downtown Denver // Bakery: Azucar Bakery // Caterer/Bar Services: Bistro Boys // Videographer: BusyMo Media & Design // Event Rentals: Clock Tower Events // Stationery: BusyMo Media & Design // Florist: Ed Moore Florist // Hairstylist: 3 Little Birds Salon // Wedding Dress/Bridesmaids' Dresses: David's Bridal Houston Galleria // Groom's/Groomsmen's Wardrobe: Men's Wearhouse // Shoes: Ebay // Accessories: Amazon // Wedding Website: mywedding.com // Wedding Guest Photos: weddingpartyapp.com

5 Tips for a Frugal Fall Wedding

Planning a fall wedding has tons of advantages—a beautiful natural backdrop, off-season vendor pricing, and less risk of sweating through ten layers of tulle. Even if your dream venue offers a discount after the summer wedding rush, keeping your budget under control (hello, approaching holidays!) is still a concern for most autumn brides.

Check out these five tips for planning a beautiful, frugal, fall wedding!

1. Go Au Naturale With Fall Foliage

Unlike your marriage, costly floral arrangements won’t last very long. Splurge on your bridal bouquet (or, if you’re crafty, make your own!) but choose seasonal foliage to save serious cash. Leaves as greenery can look just as stunning as an expensive arrangement, especially if they’ve turned brilliant red and gold. Jack-o-lanterns may be too Halloweeny (unless you’re having a Halloween-themed wedding!), but uncarved pumpkins make unexpectedly charming centerpieces.

Extra Frugal Tip: Repurpose your bouquets as decorations after the ceremony. You’ll need to get your maid of honor to wrangle them (you’ll be busy!), but have vases ready on your cake or head table to turn bridesmaids’ bouquets into beautiful table arrangements.

2.Forget the Cake—It's Pie Season!

Nontraditional wedding desserts are more popular than ever—cupcake towers, cookie buffets, and even sundae stations are rapidly overtaking the traditional wedding cake. Since the fall season is the perfect time for pie, why not serve it at your wedding?

Unlike cake, which is a standard at birthday parties, retirement send-offs, and graduations, pies are generally served only around the holidays (unless you have an awesome grandmother who makes them for you all the time and, if so, please invite us over), so they’re more of a rare treat. Consider replacing the four-tiered frosted wedding cake with a pie buffet—with so many pie options, everyone will be able to find something they like!

Extra Frugal Tip: Host a pie-baking marathon the weekend before your wedding, and get friends and family to help you assemble your delicious desserts. Buying ingredients in bulk will help save cash, and you might even be able to recruit Grandma.

3. Take Advantage of Gently-Used Wedding Gear

The summer wedding rush is over, meaning Craigslist is packed full of summer brides trying to unload their used decorations, dresses, and tableware. Scour local buy-and-sell groups to see what kind of deals you can score. Lots of brides have figured out that buying things like tablecloths and wine glasses is cheaper than renting if you can sell it later, which means bigger savings for you. If you can match up with a bride with similar tastes, you may be able to score centerpieces and other decor for a fraction of the price—and, if they’re DIY, will be a huge time savings for you.

Extra Frugal Tip: If you can find a bride whose wedding is the weekend before yours, offering tear-down help in exchange for wedding items could save you hundreds or more. For example, she may be willing to cut you a crazy deal on items like tablecloths or wine glasses if you pick them up right after the wedding—you may have to wash them, but you’ll save serious cash.

4. Spend on Photos, Save on Video

Recording the memories and emotions of your wedding day is a huge priority. If you’ve already spent your photography budget on a great wedding photographer to capture those fleeting moments, you may have given up on the idea of videography to round out your digital memories of your big day. Here’s the good news: while relying on guest photos alone to fill your photo album isn’t the greatest idea, you can DIY your wedding video and preserve your wedding day story—often for free!

Consider getting a friend with a good artistic eye to record video of your ceremony and some of your reception highlights, and then deliver the digital footage on an external hard drive after the wedding. Services like WeVideo allow you to edit video online for free, and with a bunch of awesome features like non-cheesy transitions, stylized text, and voiceover narration, you can make your wedding video look professional in no time at all. They have easy drag-and-drop editing, so it’s simple to cut out Uncle Doug’s long-winded (and not entirely sober) speech about how awkward you were as a kid!

Extra Frugal Tip: Try out the WeVideo Flex package—it’s cheaper than a recurring subscription, and won’t expire until you use it.

5. Ask for Help Instead of Gifts

We all wish we could afford a wedding planner to take care of every detail (and manage demanding relatives) leading up to the wedding, but at upwards of $2,000 for a day-of coordinator, it may not fit in your frugal budget. If you’re not afraid to ask, you’ll be surprised at the number of friends and family members willing to lend a helping hand in lieu of a gift.

If you’re doing a backyard wedding or renting a super-minimal venue, you’ll need help setting up and tearing down. Recruit your younger cousin whose student status means he can’t afford a lavish gift. Let him know you’d be super appreciative if he could help move heavy tables or sound gear, and you’d consider it the best wedding gift of all. You may be worried that it sounds greedy, but guests tend to stress over gifts more than you might think and giving them a free (and hugely appreciated) alternative will make everyone happier.

Extra Frugal Tip: Seek out friends with special talents, like your crafty former roommate or piano-virtuoso coworker, to help with decorations or provide reception music. Just be careful when using “friendors”—if you put too much pressure on someone to help out they may back out or feel resentful. Only ask them for what you know they can handle, and be gracious if they can’t commit.

Remember, your wedding day is about you and your future spouse! Don’t be afraid to replace old traditions with things that are extra-meaningful to the two of you, especially if it helps slim down your wedding budget. Having an autumn wedding is a great way to save cash and create a beautiful, memorable event that you and your guests will cherish forever.


Today's tips are brought to you by Lauren Colman of WeVideo. She is a video creator, social media nerd, mom to a French bulldog named Squish, and power napper.

Visit WeVideo.com to learn more about how you can create your own outstanding wedding video.

Tips for Planning a Wedding From Out-of-Town

Whether you want a wedding outside the U.S. or in your hometown after moving away, there are unique challenges in planning a wedding from out-of-town. Destination weddings are fun, romantic, and exciting, and can be executed expertly with some careful planning.

Save-the-Dates

Your guests will need plenty of time to make travel arrangements and request time off from work for your destination wedding, especially if you're getting married over a busy holiday weekend. After you book your venue, send out your save-the-dates about 1 year in advance so your guests can mark their calendars and begin prepping to celebrate with you.

Research Local Laws

Before setting your wedding plans in stone, make sure to research local laws to avoid surprises. For example, I planned my wedding reception in a state park in New Jersey, only to later realize alcohol is not permitted and there is a strict limit to how man cars will fit in the parking lot. 

Also, research what you have to do in order to obtain your marriage license. If you're getting married in the Denver area, read "How to Get a Marriage License in Denver."

Plan Details Virtually

Your destination wedding will have a lot of moving parts, with supplies and help coming from all over. Using Google Docs and Google Sheets to plan your wedding will help ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

The great thing about Google Docs and Sheets is that they can be shared via email with anyone. You're working in Chicago while your fiancé is finishing law school in Pittsburgh and your parents are helping plan your Denver wedding? No problem. You can all look at your wedding budget and edit it in real time. The documents save automatically and are stored in the cloud.

After thoroughly planning out your wedding weekend itinerary, share the document with all vendors, friends, and relatives who are involved in executing your wedding plans.

Consult a Local Wedding Planner

Destination resorts often have an on-sight coordinator who can recommend wedding pros they usually partner with and assist you in arranging your wedding plans from afar.

If your venue doesn't have a coordinator, consider hiring a wedding coordinator based in the area of your wedding. If you haven't budgeted for a full-service planner who can help you find local vendors, at least consider hiring a local day-of coordinator who can support you in executing all of the wedding day details.

If you're getting married in the Denver area, check out our directory of local planners and coordinators.

Read Reviews and Get Recommendations

Browse the internet to get a feel for what past clients are saying about your prospective vendors and check out what people are saying about them on social media. Also, put local networking to use. Once you book a vendor you really like, ask them for their suggestions. For example, if you find an amazing caterer, ask them which florist they love to work with.

Be Upfront About Your Budget

It's quite common for wedding pros to hold-off on giving a price quote until they've had the chance to meet with you face-to-face. You don't have time for this process if you're planning from out-of-town, of course.

When you reach out to vendors, be upfront with your plans and budget. Explain that you're planning from out-of-town, what you're hoping to accomplish with their services, and approximately what your budget is. This will help you quickly find the vendors that are right for you.

For more budgeting tips, check out "How to Create a Wedding Budget."

Schedule Meetings for the Same Day

If you can arrange at least one visit before booking your vendors, meeting with them in person will definitely bring you peace of mind. While you probably won't visit the Bahamas to check out your potential wedding venue in advance, you might be able to schedule a visit to your wedding locale if it's in a nearby state. 

You won't have time to meet 5 different photographers, so before coming to town, narrow down your favorite vendors. Schedule appointments with all of your prospective vendors for the same day or two so you can crank out as many meetings as possible during your short visit. While time may be limited, don't forget to read all vendor contracts carefully before signing them.

Make Payments in Advance

If there's one thing you don't want to worry about, it's transporting large sums of cash to pay vendors in person on the wedding day. Always ask vendors if it's possible to pay in advance via credit card. Be sure to ask for a receipt and pay off your bill right away.

Consider National Chains

Using a national chain when possible can reduce some potential confusion. Renting the groomsmen's attire from a chain such as Men's Warehouse will allow you to easily make arrangements from anywhere.

The groomsmen can go for a fitting at the Men's Warehouse near their home, and their information can be sent to the Men's Warehouse near the wedding location. It will also be simple to get a replacement of the correct color tie in case anyone spills mustard on theirs!

Consider Accommodations

If possible, have your ceremony and reception in the same location so your guests don't have to worry about transportation. Before booking your venue, consider whether it's easily accessible from local hotels and an airport. It's a nice gesture to reserve a block of rooms at a hotel so that your guests don't have to decide where to book a room. 

For more ways to welcome your guests, read "Accommodating Out-of-Town Wedding Guests."

Simplify Your Decor

Traveling with loads of decorations and favors can be challenging. Consider keeping your decorations simple. Try to rent a venue that has natural beauty and doesn't need a lot of decor. Brighten up your venue with flowers arranged by a local florist, and consider renting other decorations and purchasing favors from local providers instead of trying to bring them with you.

Plan Your Flight

If you'll need to fly to your wedding destination, it's never too early to sign up for airfare price alerts from Airfarewatchdog or Kayak. Before purchasing your plane ticket, consider the airline's luggage policy. If you have a lot of DIY decorations or attire to pack, consider flying with an airline such as Southwest (domestic flights only) which allows you to check 2 bags for free. If possible, put your most important belongings in your carry-on luggage so you don't have to worry about it getting misplaced.

Arrive a Few Days Before the Wedding

Can you imagine missing a flight and not making it to your own wedding? Leave plenty of time in your schedule to arrive to your wedding area without feeling rushed or panicked, and encourage your family and wedding party to do the same. This will give you time to tie up any loose ends, track down missing luggage, purchase local supplies, pick up rentals, and meet with vendors, if necessary. 

Rent a Home

Skip the hotel and consider using Airbnb to find a home to rent near the wedding venue. You and your wedding party will be traveling from out-of-town with luggage, wedding clothes, decorations, etc. Having a house to settle into for the weekend will help everyone feel at home, reduce stress, and prevent important wedding items from getting lost. You'll also save money by cooking in, instead of staying in a hotel and dining out.

Be an Early Bird

Remember, it's never too early to start planning. Nail down as many details as you can in advance so you'll have time to hammer out any last minute issues. Start by booking your venue and the vendors that are important to you, and branch out to smaller details from there.

Soon you'll be well on your way to an amazing, memorable destination wedding!

Sources: Every Last Detail // The Pink Bride

How to Create a Wedding Budget

No matter how much or how little money you have for your wedding, a budget will help keep you from spending more than you'd anticipated. If you track your expenses carefully, you might even come in under budget! Let this motivate you: Anything that's left over in the wedding budget can be used for a new home, car, or vacation!

Answer Some Questions

  • What is your wedding philosophy?
  • Who's paying for the wedding and how much do you/they have? (Remember, the more people there are funding the wedding, the more opinions you will need to take into consideration throughout your planning.)

Pick Your Tool

If you're a math loving technophobe, by all means, create your wedding budget with paper and pencil. For the rest of us, there's Excel, Google Sheets, or a wedding planning website such as Wedding Wire or The Knot.

  • Excel Document:

While Excel is a powerful spreadsheet tool, it is difficult to share updated versions with your fiancé, parents, or other wedding money decision makers because your spreadsheet is saved onto your computer's hard drive.

  • The Knot or Wedding Wire:

TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com both have free budgeting tools. This a great option if you're feeling overwhelmed because you don't know where to start. There are suggested fields for you to fill in under headings such as "Reception," and "Ceremony." This means you don't have to come up with much from scratch.

You can just skip the fields that aren't applicable to you. The downside is that it's not easy to share with others, although it is printable. I didn't end up using this tool, but the suggested fields did guide the creation of my budget.

  • Google Sheets:

The advantage of Google Sheets is that you can easily share them with others. If you have a Gmail account, you can create a Google Sheet for free. You can adjust the settings so the people you share it with can view the sheet or view and edit it.

Create Your Budget Document

Your budget needs three columns. "Items," "Projected Cost," and "Actual Cost". Don't forget to use a sum formula at the bottom of your Projected Cost and Actual Cost columns which will total up each amount for you.

Recognize the Difference Between Negotiables and Non-Negotiables

Using your wedding philosophy, you and your fiancé can decide what is important enough to you to splurge on, and what would be okay to cut in order to save money. For every couple, these things will be different.

For example, as ridiculous as it may sound, one of the few dreams I had for my wedding was to have an inflatable bounce house at my reception! I didn't care what it would cost; I had to have it. My parents really wanted to serve coffee at the reception, but I felt coffee had nothing to do with my wedding philosophy, and it just wasn't a priority to me like the bounce house.

Needless to say, our wedding guests jumped around in a bounce house, caffeine-free. Your list of. It is totally possible for you to stay within budget and go all out on some things, as long as you're willing to save on details that aren't as important to you. Your list of negotiables vs. non-negotiables will allow your budget to focus on what you can buy, instead of what you can't.

Research

Browse our Local Venues & Vendors Directory, make phone calls, and search the Internet to get estimates for the items you envision for your wedding, and enter the prices into your budget under Projected Cost. Start with big ticket items such as venue, catering, and photography or any extremely important non-negotiables.

Then, move onto smaller, negotiable details like your rhinestone "BRIDE" bathrobe. Leave wiggle room for unexpected expenses because they will pop up! (It's going to be 30 degrees hotter on our wedding day than we expected!? We better buy more water bottles!)

Once you've seen your projected expenditures, you and your fiancé may need to discuss tweaking some things in order to stay within your budget. 

Record Your Purchases

As you make purchases and book vendors, carefully keep a record in the Actual Cost column of your budget. It is much easier to enter prices into the budget immediately after each purchase than it is to try to remember them accurately later. Don't forget, you might have to cut some of those negotiable items. ("GROOM" boxer briefs??)

Stay True to Your Wedding Philosophy

Creating the budget isn't the hard part; sticking to your budget is the hard part. When disagreements arise about how to spend the budget (and they will arise) check to see if the expenditures in question align with your wedding philosophy to keep decision making simple.

What are some negotiable expenditures you're going to cut in order to stay within your budget? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Photography by Jon Stars

The One Thing You Need to do Before You Start Wedding Planning

Before you begin wedding planning, there’s one thing you need to do with your fiancé:

Create a wedding philosophy.

Before you pick out napkin colors, ask yourselves these questions:

1. What is the purpose of our wedding?
2. Who is our wedding for?
3. How do we want to feel at our wedding?
4. How do we want our guests to feel at our wedding?
5. What are our values and priorities?
6. What is our budget?

Framework for Tough Decisions

Your philosophy might be, “We want to honor our culture's traditions and our guests.” Then, when tough decisions come up like, “Should we spend an extra few hundred dollars to buy an arch to stand under during the ceremony?” you can look and see if it aligns with your philosophy. Is the arch an important part of your culture? Is it an important family tradition? Will your guests feel more honored seeing the arch? If the answer to these questions is "no," your decision has been made for you.

Stick to Your Philosophy

As you plan your wedding, you can continually ask yourselves, “What details will help us meet our wedding goals?” You will have to make so many difficult decisions about what to spend the budget on, so having some kind of framework to work within can really relieve stress and simplify the process. Your wedding philosophy will help you determine what's worth it to you to splurge on, and what's okay to save on, ultimately helping you stay within budget.

Inspire others by sharing your wedding philosophy in the comments below!

Photography by Jon Stars.

Source: 2000dollarwedding.com