For the bride on a budget, planning a wedding can seem next to impossible. Your friends and family will most likely offer you a slew of advice (all well meaning of course) for everything you should or shouldn’t do, and most bridal websites and magazines will tell you the same thing. It’s easy to get discouraged if you’re in a tight financial spot or even if the idea of a formal wedding just doesn’t do it for you. I happen to fit both categories. I know I can’t be the only one.
So what are brides like us to do? Should we cancel the wedding altogether? Or opt to just run down to the courthouse and call it a day? Those are certainly options, but I believe it’s absolutely possible to have the day you dreamed of even if your budget and tastes say “no”.
One of my favorite bridal websites is Off Beat Bride. It’s chock full of ideas that you may have never even considered. For instance, did you know a potluck wedding is an option? I didn’t, but I think it’s a great idea in lieu of wedding gifts. Are you and your honey not the dancing type? Or maybe you’re like me and just don’t like the over the top ways DJs run things, there’s always the option of hiring a live band but have you considered making a playlist on your i-Pod and using that instead? This couple did and it was a HUGE success.
When it comes to decor and centerpieces, my motto is “DIY before you buy!” If you have a knack for all things crafty you can save on cost and it may even prevent you from purchasing overpriced and poorly made items. Plus hand-crafted items always add a little extra “WOW” factor to any event. Style Me Pretty has great DIY wedding ideas for decor, flowers and gifts.
I’m also a fan of supporting independent and local vendors, and if there’s one place where those folks can be found its Etsy! I could spend HOURS browsing all the goods available on that site. If you really wanted to you could probably find all of your wedding needs including attire and food!
You may also find yourself turned off by the idea of being married by a religious official or by a complete stranger who knows nothing about you or your partner. Believe it or not, there’s actually a way around this too. Ask a friend of family member to do the ceremony for you, then send them over to Universal Life Church and have them become ordained. This is a legitimate ordination, but you’ll have to look into the specifics of your state’s laws regarding marriage. If your state does not recognize an ordination from the Universal Life Church, you can simply legally marry at the court house a few weeks before your actual wedding and have your friend or family member perform the ceremony on your actual wedding day.
So don’t let the wedding industry or the advice of others get you down! When it comes to weddings, you can absolutely have your cake and eat it too.