For the brides out there that want an awesome wedding for minimal stress and maximum savings, this post is for you! These are the ideas that blew my mind when I was planning my wedding, and helped take a TON of stress out of the process. It's only fair that I share these Game-Changers with you!
1. Timing is everything
When my husband and I were booking our venue, the manager asked us what our timeframe for the wedding was going to be. "Uh" was our response, as we hadn't yet considered this. Most of the weddings we had been to started at 5, so we figured ours would be around that time, but we weren't sure. The venue manager saw that we weren't sure, and told us:
"If you have your wedding at dinnertime, your guests won't eat beforehand, and will be expecting dinner. If you have your wedding at lunchtime, your guests won't eat beforehand, and will be expecting lunch. But if you have your wedding in between the two, your guests will have eaten beforehand , and you can get away with serving light hors d'oeuvres."
This changed everything for me. Right then we decided our wedding was going to be at 3:00, and we have saved hundreds of dollars by not having to deal with dinner or lunch preparations!
2. You don't have to get a caterer
Once we decided that we were going to get married in between mealtimes to save some cash, my mom and I gathered a list of everything we would need to serve roughly 100 people (plates, cutlery, napkins, cups, drinks, crackers, chips, cheeses, fruit, pinwheel appetizers, etc.) And took that list to Sam's Club to stock up. Everything there was in bulk, and made it SO much easier and cheaper to get everything I needed. If you don't have a Sam's Club membership, fear not! You can go here to download a One-Day Pass to access all the goodies you need for your wedding!
Another thing I did was talk to family and friends and ask them to help with the wedding by making something simple. For example, one of our friends makes awesome sweets like cake pops and chocolate bark in her spare time, so we asked her to make a big batch of chocolate bark to bring in lieu of a wedding present. We also asked my grandmother if she would be willing to bring a Crock-Pot of her famous spicy cheese dip to keep on warm. They were both more than happy to help, and there are weddings that I've heard of that are potluck style, where everyone brings a dish. If we didn't have a lot of family coming from out of town, that would have been what we did; having family make a little something adds a special sentiment to your wedding as well as saves money.
3. It's okay to ask for money
Let's face it: most couples nowadays live together before they get married. Logan and I did, and when we finally started planning our wedding and came to the matter of registering for wedding gifts, we decided to pass. First of all, we both lived on our own before living together, and so when that happened, we had double of most things anyway, so we already had everything we needed, plus spares. Second, we had (and still have) minimal space in the house that we are renting, so we don't have space for a lot of new things. We are in the process of buying a house soon, and we both agreed that when that happens, we will finally do "registry shopping" and upgrade the things for our home.
With all of that being said, we did not want to do a traditional wedding registry, but instead opted to ask our guests to donate money to help pay for our Honeymoon. I personally struggled with this, because it goes against tradition, and I just don't like asking people to give me money. But upon further research, I found that more and more brides are doing this, so I felt a little more at ease. I found this poem on Pinterest, and copied the words down with lovely hand script onto inserts for our invitations.
It's a lovely and polite way to say "I'd rather receive a check than a toaster." This idea will save you the stress of registering, and it will save your guests the stress of actually going shopping through your registry. Unconventional, but definitely a Win-Win for everyone!
I hope these are as life-changing for you as they were for me! Was there a wedding planning tip that you were given that made everything SO much easier? Leave it in the comments below!