100 Tips to Save Money on Your Wedding Budget

Your wedding budget should not be something you are paying off for the next 5 years!  There is a lot of pressure from family and friends to spend lots of money and I am here to tell you that you don’t have to!  Make your budget something you are comfortable with and not what your family and friends tell you.  Choose what’s important to you – and cut back on the less important items.

Here are 20 tips to save money.    If you like these, email us at Bride&BrideStLouis.com and we will send you the complete list of “100 Ways to Save on Your Wedding Budget.”

Here you go:

  1. One of the best ways to save money is to keep your guest list small.  If you are having 50 guests or less, there are places like Tuscany Gallery (www.TuscanyGalleryandEvents.com) that can host your wedding ceremony & reception for a very modest price, and it’s beautiful.
  2. Consider a different time of day for your wedding, such as morning or afternoon.
  3. Consider a buffet or family-style meal rather than a plated meal. You can also opt for a cocktail hour with appetizers rather than a formal dinner.
  4. Stick with flowers that are in season. Or buy flowers from wholesale places like Sams and make an casual arrangement yourself.
  5. Consider getting married during off-peak wedding season. June and October tend to be the most popular month for weddings.
  6. Print your own invitations at home. Also check out Creve Coeur Camera’s Business Express. They do beautiful invitations and other print material and can even address your envelopes!
  7. Purchase handmade items directly from the designer on places like Etsy–and cut out the middle man.
  8. Consider a wedding location that isn’t a traditional “wedding” location, such as apark, municipal building or school.
  9. Have less formal food options. Everyone loves comfort food and snacks! A new trend is to bring in a food truck. Also consider food stations, such as a hot dog station, taco bar, or salad station where guests can create and choose what appeals to them.
  10. Consider a wedding dress that is not from a traditional bridal store. Browse a major retailer or online store for white dresses at a good price. Watch next year for the 2nd “Run for the Dress” event, where thousands of dresses are sold here in St. Louis for 50% to 70% off the retail price.
  11. Think about saving money for your maids. Bridesmaid dresses can also be found at a discount store or outlet or have your bridal party wear something they already own all in the same color.
  12. Shop sample sales or go dress shopping while there are sales. This could mean shopping way ahead of time to get a good price.
  13. Consider doing your own hair or makeup. Or go to a makeup store and have a professional teach you how to apply a good look.
  14. Instead of buying something, consider renting it, with things such as a tuxedo. Or, consider a more relaxed look like casual dressy attire.
  15. Purchase silk flowers over real.
  16. Consider not having favors to cut down on costs or limit them to one per couple instead of one per person.
  17. Helium Balloons make for wonderful décor to add color to any basic banquet room.
  18. Use coupons to find deals on craft items, wedding supplies and accessories. Michaels many times has 40% off coupons.  You might have to make multiple purchases over several trips to get everything, but it’s a great way to save a lot.
  19. Ask friends to help out with anything they can contribute. Maybe one of them could even officiate the wedding.
  20. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to the wedding budget. The last thing you want is for him to go and splurge on something he wanted while you promised to make cutbacks on things you wanted. Marriage is all about compromise.

7 Different Ways to Add a Unique Touch to Your Wedding

7 Different Ways to Add a Unique Touch to Your Wedding using locally sourced flowers and floral elements.

Flowers are a key component to any wedding décor.  The Color, Texture, and Smell – all combine to add to the intimacy of the day.   Yes, you and your bridesmaids will carry bouquets, but there are so many additional ways to add the romantic feel of flowers and nature to your event.  To keep the costs in line, look around you.  What is naturally growing in the park.  What is native to our area?  Moss and vines, river rock, ferns, berries and foliage in winter combined with other flowers and décor elements, can be super elegant and beautiful.  Here are some ideas that you might wish to incorporate in your décor.

  • Create a signature drink and add a small floral bloom.
  • Incorporate Garlands with draping and simple white bows to define an area.
  • Centerpieces can be more than just flower arrangements.  Add a touch of wood and/or light with lanterns to add a bit of glamour.
  • Make a Floral Backdrop for an outdoor wedding.
  • Use a floral garland to decorate your cake.
  • Decorate Your Head Table with a beautiful garland of flowers and candles.
  • Decorate a trellis to create a beautiful ceremony site. (This is great for outdoor weddings!)
  • And, one more, decorate the back of the Mr. & Mrs. Chair with more than a bow.

Good local flowers include Gerber Daisies, Roses, Peonies, Baby Breath, Statice, Asters, Mums and Sunflowers.  Be creative and let your imagination soar!

13 Tips for Stress Free Wedding Gown Shopping

Wedding Gown Shopping

Tips for stress free wedding gown shopping:

  1. Create a budget.   Most brides will spend about 10% of their wedding budget for their dress.
  2. Start shopping early.  It takes anywhere from six to twelve months from the time you place the order to when you bring your wedding gown home.  Bridal designers need four or five months to make it, and then you need to schedule fittings.
  3. Know what kind of dress you want. Love satin, hate lace…let your stylist know what you love and what you hate.
  4. What kind of wedding are you having? Destination wedding, outdoors, grand ballroom, barn/country….this decision will play some kind of role in selecting the right dress for the mood of your wedding.
  5. Most bridal shops prefer appointments, but most are happy to work with walk-ins too. Saturdays can be crazy busy, so why not try a weekday appointment for a more private and relaxing experience.
  6. Bring one or two people whose opinion means the most to you. The reality bridal shows show brides bringing a huge group of family and friends – and that just add drama and indecision to the process.
  7. Get ready for your appointment and bring items you want to wear down the aisle. Wear a strapless nude bra and a seamless thong or brief.
  8. Some dresses look better on you than on the rack. Let the stylist help choose a style which will flatter your body.  Keep an open mind.  Try different silhouettes to see which one makes you feel stunning.
  9. Forget about “sizes” in the wedding gown industry. Every designer’s size charts are different.  Taking in a gown is easy; letting it out is difficult.
  10. For most shops, a 50% deposit is required when you order.
  11. Don’t be afraid to say “yes” to the dress on your first attempt. When you know, you just know.  If you feel exceptional in that dress, it’s your dress.
  12. Move around – sit – dance a bit. You want to be comfortable.
  13. Gowns are made to order, so minor details can be customized or switched. You can add a belt to add some sizzle, or add some colored tulle underneath to add contrast.  Straps can be added or you might want to order a small jacket or fur for those cooler months.

 

 

Some things to consider before you say “I Do”

 

Before you get married……

 

If you want to live together “happily ever after” there are a few things you should know about each other before you tie the knot.

First – Know Who You Are

Know who you are and what you want from life before getting married.  If you want to focus on a career, have kids, travel a lot….be sure to talk about these things prior to getting married.  You don’t have to agree on everything.  You just need to understand what each of you want and expect in a marriage.

Second – Know that you can’t change him (her)

The truth is what you see is what you get.  People will change, but only if THEY want to.

What’s his financial status?

Sharing space has its own challenges.  Sharing expenses can lead to hurt feelings and bad relationships.   Be sure to discuss together how you plan to handle finances together.   This is where total honesty is important.  Don’t hide your credit problems from each other.  Additionally you will want to have a clear picture of what each person desires – a nice home, a new car, etc.  Are you a saver?  Does he spend like crazy?  Be sure to acknowledge your partner’s goals and bad habits when it comes to making and spending money.

Knowing your partner’s priorities can help eliminate squabbles after you are married and lead to a long term, loving, and caring for each other relationship.  Having someone to cuddle up and knowing there’s someone who loves you no matter what is what marriage is all about.

Third –

A good marriage must be created.

In marriage the “little” things are the big things.

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say, ”I love you” at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is standing together and facing the world.

It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is not only marrying the right person — it is being the right partner

 

Photo Album or Photo Book

Weddings are a milestone in life and there’s no better way to keep those memories of that special day that a quality Photo Album or Photo Book.  So, what’s the difference between a Photo Album and a Photo Book you ask?   Here’s the difference.

One of the most obvious differences between Albums and Books is the paper type.  Photo Album photos are printed on photo paper and is protected by a UV coating.  It is then reinforced by a premium substrate that makes the pages rigid, thus insuring that the finished product has long-term durability.   Some companies offer both “thin” and “thick” width substrates.  Depending on the width of each individual page, about 50 to 100 pages are usually the maximum number of pages available.

Photo Books are printed directly onto press paper.  Some companies use a coated paper or others use a variety of specialty papers.   Since Photo Book pages do not include a substrate more pages can fit into a Photo Book than an Album.  You can generally include anywhere from 50 to 200 pages in a single classic style book.

Finally, the price point is another difference.  Photo Books are generally less expensive.

Regardless of which option you choose, the most important decision is getting those memories off the CD and making sure that those memories are preserved for a lifetime.  Technology changes rapidly and you might find yourself without those images in a few years.

Bridal Show Tips

 

 

Many brides tell me that they are thoroughly overwhelmed the first time they attend a bridal show, so I thought it might be good to lay out a few guidelines to help you make the most of your time.

Here are tips to get the maximum benefit from any show:

  • Before you go to any show, print several sheets of adhesive address labels with your name, contact information, AND wedding date.  If you have not yet set a wedding date, add something like Spring 2018.  Quickly peel off a label and stick it on an inquiry sheet at any booth that you would like to receive additional information.
  • Bring your checkbook – you just might want to book or hold a date.  High demand dates go quickly.  September and October dates book quickly here in our area.  It’s prime wedding season, and many vendors like venues and photographers book a year out!
  • Bring family and friends you trust, and whose opinion matter.  But be careful of the size of your group because too many opinions, and you could be overwhelmed with indecision.
  • Invite your groom, but take him only if he wants to have a voice in this part of the wedding planning.  If this is not his thing, don’t torture him!  (Note:  At our April 23rd, 2017 My Dream Wedding Show in April he can tour all the OLD VINTAGE CARS at the Gateway Classic Event Space, while you plan your wedding.  Plus, we are offering a FREE, complimentary photo of you and your groom with a vintage car.) 
  • Know what you are looking for and what’s your budget.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
  • Be ready with phrases such as, “I’ll think about that.”  And always give yourself a set amount of time and make a decision.  One of the biggest causes of stress in wedding planning is not making decisions on a timely basis…and then things start to really back up and you’ll find yourself in a spin trying to finalize decisions.

Whether your wedding is a few months away or an entire year, a bridal show will help you pull everything together.