Hi beauties! I have missed you all so dearly. I do apologize for my absence the past couple of days. I have not written a post since last Thursday. This past week I was unable to get any work done. My cousin from NY got married over the weekend in Orlando, which brought my entire family on my moms side to Florida. I haven't seen any of my family in years, since they all live in NY/NJ, and I live in FL now. Easter was also this weekend, since my family was still in town, we spent time together. So yeah, I had a pretty busy week. But today I am back, and ready to share some heart to heart advice.
My wedding anniversary was also this week. April 6, 2012 I married the love of my life! Going to my cousins wedding over the weekend, (which was actually the first wedding I've been to besides my own. Can you believe that?) really opened my eyes to all of the things that could have been better at my own wedding. It is officially wedding season, so all my future brides, especially those on a budget get your notepad out and pay attention.
Weddings are not cheap, unless you are very well off financially, or your family is financially set. Majority of couples try to foot the bill of the wedding themselves. This usually lands a lot of couples in debt. The amount of money you spend on your wedding does not determine how well it will come out. My husband and I were not in the position to afford a lavish wedding, but I knew I wanted something special. So with the help of our family, we set a budget, and began planning. I knew there would be many things I had to cut cost on to stay within our budget, which I believe was about $10,000-$12,000. That was still enough money to have a great wedding. I had a year to plan our wedding, which to me is more then enough time to do it right. Ok, enough rambling. Below are the areas I chose to cut the cost, that I devastatingly regret. I hope you don't make the same mistakes that I did.
*Note to self ladies - when someone is recommended to you, unless you
know hands down they are amazing, say no thank you, and look for a
professional online. Many of these individuals were recommended to me, and I was a very trusting girl, unfortunately.
Pictures are the most important part of your wedding! You are not able to see all the special moments that are taking place on one of the biggest day's of your life. Pictures hold all the loving memories that you can cherish for years and years. I, unfortunately have no real wedding pictures, because I decided to trust someone that had no prior wedding experience, to save a buck! Worst decision ever, and one of my biggest regrets. The best pictures I have came from my family, and friends - thank God for camera phones! Do your research on a photographer, and if they are amazing, pay the money. It is so worth it in the long run.
This is one of the few decent pictures I have of our wedding. :-(
You also want a great video recorded of your special day. Something you can watch and relive for years to come. The same as the photographer, do your research and find someone great. To this day, we have yet to see our wedding video!
2. The DJ
Having fun is something I think a lot of people look forward to, when attending a wedding. Having a DJ that is on point is SO important ladies! He/She is the person that will keep your reception running smooth, as well as keep your family and friends entertained. You want a person who knows what they are doing, and is very professional. Someone with a great personality, and a clear voice. This person will host your whole reception. My husband and I met with our DJ several times prior to our wedding. We told him the songs we wanted, and when they should be played. We let him know about our families, so he could be more engaged. Let's just say the day of our wedding he must have forgotten everything we went over, because he totally flopped! Again I was trying to save a dollar, but was it worth it? Hell no! Girl...pay the extra money to ensure you are getting the best!
3. The Decorator/Coordinator
If you are a DIY kind of girl, like myself, you may be thinking about providing the decorations yourself, and having someone arrange them for you. I am a control freak, I can admit it. I know exactly what I want, and how I want it. I knew the kind of atmosphere I wanted for our wedding. I looked at 100s of pictures on Pinterest, which was my best friend during this time. I knew a lady who did a great job decorating. I had been to events where she was the coordinator before. Let's just say the day of the wedding, she didn't quite see my vision. Pay for an event planner, or someone with a lot of experience in this area, so that everything looks as perfect as you imagined. Again, take the time to research, so you get exactly what you want on your special day.
4. The Caterer
All I can say here is, you get what you pay for. Don't be cheap! Visit the caterer. Taste the food. Love the food before you sign the contract.
5. Hair and Makeup
Don't get all DIY crazy with your hair and makeup, unless you are a professional MUA and hair stylist. I wish I knew as much about makeup and hair as I do now. I would have done so many things differently. Pay for quality makeup and hair. This is your day to look the most beautiful you might ever look in your life. This is your day to be the princess you always dreamed of! Pay for quality work, and do a test look with your MUA and hairstylist. Make sure you are happy with the work they provide, before you pay for it. You won't regret it.
6. The Bar
If you choose to have alcohol, have an open bar, and make sure it comes with your catering package. Don't buy the liquor yourself. Biggest mistake ever! I don't think we purchased enough, unfortunately. The only drink my husband and I had, was our champagne toast. By that time all the alcohol had run out. Take the stress off yourself, pay the additional cost for the bar. You want your guest to feel happy, and comfortable. A few drinks usually loosens up the crowd and encourages fun!
Although I regret not chucking up the extra cash for a lot of things, there were items that were totally worth cutting the cost on.
I chose to order all my decorations online. They were beautiful, and didn't cost me much at all.
Make your own invites and programs. I purchased the stationary at Micheal's, and ordered my invites off ofvistaprint.com (best site ever)
I made my own favors, and place card. Not only was this fun, but it made our wedding a bit more personal.
My Mother-in law and Sister-in law's made the bridesmaids bouquets. They came out beautiful, and looked extremely expensive.
Using silk flowers instead of live ones for center pieces, is a great way to save money. Flowers die, use that money for something else. Great quality silk flowers look amazing.
Your wedding should be everything you ever wanted. Go above and beyond with out putting yourself in debt to make your dream come true. You and your future hubby deserve it!
SOUND OFF!Are there things you regret or would do over with your wedding? Are you a future bride, and not sure where to save money? Did you find this helpful? Let me know if you want to know some of the sites I used to find a lot of my decor, I'd love to share.