Thursday, July 12, 2012

Budget Wedding How To

SpitFire and I got engaged on July 3rd 2012, and we have chosen to get married this December the 15th, 2012.

That gives us just over 5 months to organize everything.
We are planing a low budget, short and sweet winter wedding.
However will we pull this off?
With this being my second round at planning a wedding and having helped a few friends with their weddings in the past 2 years, I've come up with some rediculously good ideas for keeping it simple and classy.

Here's how:

The Officiant - Ask a Friend
 One of our close friends is a lawyer, and can officiate weddings!
If you don't have a lawyer friend, anyone can become and "ordained Minister" Via this web link:

The Ceremony -
- if you attend Church, your church will usually give you the hall rental for 50% off outside members price
- Find a Free Location! a Park or Botanical Garden, a Beach, a Bridge over Water, a Museum, a fancy Home. Stretch your mind and make it your own.

We think we are going with a Quirky, Cute, Non Traditional but not tacky Ceremony Venue. TBA

The Reception - A.K.A. the After Party!
- Our location is Free. It has a fully staffed bar. We can bring in our own food, and decorate as we wish. Just Fabulous!
There are many Free locations, you just have to find a location you like, go in, and ask.
Some Ideas:
- Sports Club houses - these are usually licensed and low-key with little restrictions and endless possibilities.
- Legions - military personnel, very budget friendly, with catering available at most Legion Halls and  you support their business in return.
- a Family of Friend's Home - order in the Food and Music and decorate your home!

Music -
-Reception - You can book a DJ for an hourly rate. You can also just make a playlist of all your favorites and  hit play in a borrowed sound system. And then make a copy of the songs, and give away a CD as the Thank you Gifts to guests.
- Ceremony Music - ask family or friends to play their instruments.
- Many local music teachers will do this for a very small fee.
- Getting married in a church? - the organist usually comes included with that fee :) 2 birds, 1 stone! Oh ya!

Again, we are probably going the free route here as well by borrowing a sound system, and making a playlist beforehand. 

Decorations -
Beg Borrow and Steal:
Beg- friends, family, and people online (Kijiji or Craigs List)  are always giving away knick knacks, gifts and random odds and ends. ask them for donations to your wedding, but be specific on what you need and want. Browse the Free Ads for decorations in your theme color.
Borrow - you can rent many decorations and items from your local party planner and wedding stores.
- borrow decorations from someone elses event! Once people plan and hold an event, most of their small simple items get trashed. Find out who's holding what, and if you can borrow items either before or after their event.
- Find out what your venue had stored - often churches have archways, fancy decorative trees or flower pots, pew bows, etc.  Most reception venues will have a storage room full of goodies too, you gotta dig and ask to find out!
-offer to pay half the rental fee and split items for events with a friends event.
Steal -ideas! and Do It Yourself! It's always cheaper that way!

Food -
-DIY - again, if your venue lets you bring in food, go for it! sure it takes more time on your end, but the money saved is worth it.
- Skip the sit down and do cocktail hour instead -SpitFire's mom makes some crazy yummy food, and my mom's specialty is desserts. So We're keeping to finger foods and deserts, with a cocktail style reception.
- limit your open bar - we have a set budget for pre-paid drinks. Once that is gone, guests will have to buy their own drinks. This way, we make sure everyone has a few drinks but our bill doesnt get blown out of the water.
- Hate DIY? - Order in. Lots of restaraunts have great appetisser plates which you can order in.
- Contact your local grocery store and put together a custom sandwich plate, Fruitr plate or cold plate. It will be fresh and fabulous on a dime!
-SpitFire's idea of low budget food was a back yard BBQ. Thank god it's December in Canada and that was not an option for this wedding! - but I'll give him credit, thats definitly low budget ;P

The Dress -
- With the failure rate of weddings now days, you can buy a never-worn gown for half the price of retail. One brides failure is another brides gain.
- Wedding Gown Stores often have huge Trunk Sales! If you have enough time before your wedding to get the dress tailored, this is a great option, and many dresses are 50-75% off at these sales.

- Borrow a vintage dress, or pull out a family piece and have it updated and altered.
- What I'll be wearing - its a secrect. But I will tell you it didnt cost me a thing this time round.

The Wedding Party -
-Rent the grooms tux and his men's outfits from a local store.
- Most men already own a suit. Just buy a new shirt and tie to make it fresh.
- Give the bridesmaids a color, and let them buy their own dress.
- Dont have one or keep is small -1 or 2 people. Less gifts, less organizing, less hair to do, less make up to do, less to worry about.

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