Many brides go crazy when planning their weddings; I’ve been a bridesmaid more than once and have experienced the “madness” at close range. The sight of a bride reading the latest “must-have-it-all” magazines, expensive bridesmaid gowns, pricey reception halls and the list goes on. The groom, groomsmen, bridesmaids and father of the bride all cringe; we swear we hear our wallets screaming, “Help me, help me!”
I had a wedding on a shoestring budget. I wore an old-timey, lacey dress from Gunney Sax that I drove competition carriages in; it was white. I had a wide-brimmed white hat loaned to me by a friend with a garland made of wildflowers plucked from the roadside by another friend. The groom wore his AF dress blues. The wine at the reception was provided by friends, as was the food. I doubt $100 was spent for everything. It was beautiful.
At friend’s weddings, they do want a little more than my “bare bones” ceremony. I have learned how to put budget weddings together on a budget.
Let The Bride Go Crazy With Plans
I know, I know. But trust me, this is a great place to start. Let the bride read all the magazines with pricey dresses, dream reception places, honeymoon hotels and so forth. Have her identify the things that she really likes and make photocopies; keep them in an organized notebook.
The bride and groom should make the notebook. When it’s fine tuned, as in “this-is-what-we-want,” the creative meetings should begin.
Here are tips to create an elegant wedding on a budget:
- Take a picture of the bride’s chosen dress to various stores; they might have something similar for a cheaper price.
- Ask if the bride’s mother or future mother in law wants to donate her dress if it’s similar; fittings and embellishments work wonders.
- Rent a gown instead of buy one.
- If a friend is a seamstress, ask if her skills could become her wedding present. The couple should buy the fabric and notions.
- Bridesmaids can choose a dress in the bride’s theme colors that look classy and can be used after the wedding as well.
- Invitations can be designed and printed at home on a computer; tons of software is available online. The paper can be purchased at various craft shops; look for sales.
- Scour internet sites for tips about creating elegant looks inexpensively, such as using clear dollar-store plastic stemware instead of renting crystal. Breakage? No problem.
- Use discount stores or websites for inexpensive decorations.
- Create the scene you want for a wedding and then do what Hollywood does- build it yourself. For example, an indoor beach wedding can have a wide, flat box filled with sand, surrounded by rented or purchased palm trees (or large printed pictures mounted on the walls), tropical plants from nurseries (or friends) and music played from a CD. Ask creative friends for help.
- Have a friend who possesses camera skills take the pictures and videos as a wedding present.
With a little imagination and careful budgeting, you can have the elegant wedding of your dreams without spending a fortune to get it.