By Emily Fogarty
Planning a beautiful wedding does not have to break the bank when you do it yourself.
Do you hear what I hear? It must be that time again wedding bells are ringing in full force.
The only problem is the age-old question of how to plan the ultimate wedding without breaking the bank. With so much to be done for the big day, some of Atlanta’s up and coming wedding planners give their tips for planning the best wedding, on a budget.
After the magic of the proposal wears thin, the reality of planning this event sets in. It does not matter if you are having a small, intimate wedding or a huge blowout there are always tons of things that have to be done. Budgeting money for the flowers, dresses, cake, food, favors and so on can be quite the task. If you are a savvy girl, or know someone who is, using a few tricks of the trade might be the best way to save some dough.
Independent wedding planner, Toni Gallo, said, “No matter what budget my bride has, I will usually use some kind of do-it-yourself aspects. I kind of think it brings some personality to their big day.”
Do-it-yourself, or DIY for you already crafty folks, can really help bring a fun, relaxed vibe to your wedding, and the budget definitely is not strained. One good way to save a little cash is by making your own invitations, or programs. Just type your information on the computer and buy fancy paper, or whatever you want and print out on your personal printer.
The average invitation costs anywhere from $8-15 per invitation, according to Gallo. So depending on the wedding party, this could become pricey. Printing your own will not only save you money, but also time.
Pictures are one of the most expensive parts of a wedding, according to another independent wedding planner, Emilie Stembridgee.
“They can end up adding thousands upon thousands of dollars to a wedding budget. And sometimes they do not even get every shot we want,” she said.
Now it would just be your lucky day if you happen to know someone who can take a decent picture and is willing to let you shamelessly use them for free. That would be the jackpot, am I right ladies?
But if we all are not that fantastic, buying disposable cameras and having them at each table at the reception is a good way to get candid pictures of everyone who attended your wedding.
Weddings tend to be quite hectic and you might not get to see everyone, so having photos that they took of themselves might be a good way to bring some personality that a professional photographer might have missed.
Setting up a photo booth where anyone can go in and just be silly or do whatever they want is also an inexpensive way to bring some life into your big day.
Music is another place where you can cut corners if need be. Instead of having a big band, you could always just rent a disc jockey, or even make mixed playlists and just be your own music maker. This way you can hear every song you want to, and none that you hate.
Gallo recalls one wedding she did for a family member where “the bride and groom, who were my best friends, decided to make a mixed tape of the top songs they wanted to remember their wedding by and then got the guests to sign it. It was just a personal touch that I found ingenious.”
It is little touches like that, which can make your wedding that much more personal.
There are tons of other ways to cut corners when planning this big occasion, without making it look like you did, such as letting the bridesmaids chose their own dresses, just as long as they are the same color; or getting fresh flowers from the market the day of and tying them together with a simple ribbon.
Weddings can be stressful, time-consuming to plan, and hectic, but using some DIY tricks might help bring this big day back down to earth, reminding you that the true focus is on the love and union of two very special people.