Brides and Grooms: Need to Plan a Wedding on a Budget? Check This Video!

It’s that time of year: WEDDINGS!! What’s one to do if you are planning a wedding but the prices of things keep going up? Well there are ways around that but you have to be ingenious, flexible and thoughful.
San Francisco’s Channel 2 had this interesting bit on how to save money– which is not so easy in the Bay area but the tips are pretty valid no matter where you are (Unfortunately there’s only the link, and no video embed)
1) location: get creative and think about parks, smaller churches, even the beach. If you know a church or a great house that’s avaialble for rental, check out prices before you book a hotel.
2) Definitely check out clothing rental stores– there are often second hand stores for bridal gowns or bridesmaid gowns as well as rental stores where you can rent that $4000 bridal gown for so much less. For those bridesmaids, think about letting having the wedding party wear the same color but different dresses (try short so they can really be re-used) or similar dresses in different colors because not everyone looks good in lavender or coral. (so been there and done that)
Isaac Mizrahi for Target Cowl Neck Dress in French Cream
Check out some of the prom dresses and take a look at possibly taking a vintage dress and turning it into a bridal gown. There are many options out there and sometimes you can find bridal dresses onsale and online. If you are back east or have access to the fashion centers in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, NYC and LA, you might want to think about sample sales in those areas.
adorn-bridal-jewelry-rental.jpg jewelry (photo courtesy of
Borrow or RENT jewelry for your special day. Not the wedding ring but everything else could be rented or borrowed from friends, family and even
3) For guys, let’s get real and think about suits rather than tuxedos – unless you are having an evening wedding.
Wool Tuxedo from!!
4) Photography and Video: this is one area I would tell you that you get what you pay for. While you wear the dress for a few hours, the flowers last one day, the food and cake gets eaten but photos and video last forever. Honest!! It’s the one thing that is the living memory of your special day.
If you truly are on a budget here are some options. Check out senior photography students from local colleges who have the skill (talk to the head instructor) to photograph your wedding. Do the same with someone from the TV/video department for them to video the wedding.

Go to Costco or Sam’s Club and buy a couple dozen disposable cameras and set them on tables or give them to responsible people to shoot candids of the wedding. Candids include people at every table, the special moments that one might want of family members, people before and after the wedding. These kinds of candids aren’t what you expect your photographer to shoot, but they add so much and people love to shoot photos of different things.
5) For an inexpensive reception, think about champagne punch, wine, sodas and miniature desserts. By having things like petit fours, mini- cupcakes, brownies, cookies, you don’t have to serve a meal and you can have this in the afternoon and not spend a fortune on food but just tiny bites of things from candies to cookies and still have cake. Order special cookies with your names on them from online bakeries or local treat shops. With all the cupcakes stores around, there is sure to be some store that can make mini-cupcakes or give you a batch price for regular size cupcakes in a variety of flavors.
Or you can talk to a caterer about keeping expenses down by doing a dessert reception with less expensive champagne, wine and sodas as the beverages of choice. Don’t forget that you need a catering person to help serve and keep the champagne punch and champagne flowing.
Having two to three people on staff is well worth the time and money unless you have family or friends who will help out on this side of the thing.
Sometimes you can hire students from the local colleges in the culinary program to help serve and keep the food and beverages available for much less and perhaps even do part internship and give them a grade for their assistance.
6) For the cake, think about having a sheet cake for most of the servings and a small but beautifully decorated tiered cake that can be used for the shots. The multi-layer cake can be much smaller and thus less expensive (and they can create a tall cake using cardboard layers) .
7) Talk to a nursery about buying some plants and flowering trees for the decoration of the reception and the church.
Talk to a local community college’ nursery department or check out florists diligently to get you some really economical arrangements for tables and look at flowers in season for the wedding. Roses are great but if they have to be flown in, you are going to pay for them. Think simple in terms of bouquets and flowers for the bridal party. Have a separate smaller bridal bouquet made up for the bouquet toss too so that you can keep yours !
These are just a few ideas of cost-cutting measures for having a great wedding. The average cost of a wedding is now about $30 thousand dollars and given the economy these days, it might be wise to economize wherever possible.
Stevie Wilson

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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