Photographs are increasingly one of the most important things to couples on their wedding day. They want the day to be captured so they can cherish the memories for years to come. Often, they invest in a great photographer and even videographer whom spend the whole day making sure every detail is captured. With the rise of the importance of bridal portraits is a newer tradition of the first look. This is when you set up a time before the ceremony where the couple sees each other for the first time on the day. This is different than tradition where the first time the couple sees each other when they meet each other at the altar. Today I want to go over some of the reasons I personally think a first look is a great idea.
The important thing is to do what feels right for you but if you chose to take photos after the ceremony make sure to have activities for your guests and please whatever you do let them eat!
Most people start thinking about their wedding way before they ever get engaged. This can lead to big dreams and high expectations. Sometimes I see couples that allow these expectations to overwhelm their budget, and the last thing you want to do is start out a marriage in a lot of debt. I want to talk about a few ways to get the wedding of your dreams without sacrificing your budget.
When you are just starting out planning you and your fiancé should both chose one thing about the wedding that is most important to you then make sure to budget that in. This may be a photographer, DJ, Floral, or the wedding dress. During my Wedding my fiancé and I knew we wanted ice cream instead of cake so from the very beginning we planned for it in our budget and decided to not worry about some other details such as a photo booth or paper programs. Setting these priorities can really help you when you are nearing your budget and deciding what extra things are not necessary and can be cut out of the wedding. I suggest that you also spend a little more on those things most important to you as these are the things that you will remember for years to come.
I try to tell couples getting married at Cedar Springs sometimes less is more! You have chosen the venue for a reason and its beautiful gardens and scenery speak for themselves. This means it is ok to pare down your table settings. Sometimes we get caught up trying to compete with other weddings we have been to or seen on Pinterest. Each wedding is unique and try not to compare your wedding to anyone else’s. Simplifying your tables is ok more expensive is not always better. One of my absolute favorite ways to do this is to use a small potted plant as your centerpiece rather than cut flowers. This is often cheaper and can be given away as gifts after the reception. This can be mixed and matched with cut flowers, lanterns, or candles creating a beautiful area while saving you some money. If you are obsessed with cut flowers like I am and don’t want to go without on your wedding day try the local farmers market and get what’s in season. My local favorite is Davis Farm Flowers! They can even make your gorgeous bouquets for you for very affordable prices. You can go check them out at the link below:
One thing which can really help offset the amount of money you spend on your wedding is plan on selling it after! There are tons of Facebook wedding and buy/sell/trade groups out there that can be a great resource to buy or sell your items. Personally, I sold almost everything from my wedding including my dress and made enough back to splurge on our honeymoon! I kept a few cute mementos to place in a shadow box and let everything else go. Go check these sites before spending full price on anything as most of the items have only been used once and are a significant discount. I’ve seen linens, centerpieces, Polaroid cameras, signs and so much more on these groups. A few of my favorites can be found below:
Don’t forget to check Offer Up and the Dollar store too! Another great money saving option is using cash back apps such as ibotta which gives you rebates on the items you already buy at the store which you can set aside for the wedding or the honeymoon.
The quickest way to lower the cost of your wedding is to cut your guest count. Small intimate weddings are truly beautiful and allow you to splurge on some of the other items important to you.
The last tip I will leave you with is to make sure to value your time too! Sometimes DIYing things can end up costing more money and more importantly your sanity. If you have to start taking time off of work to create all of your centerpieces or pressing the fold lines out of your linens it may be time to bring in a professional. Most wedding professionals have affordable options and can execute your dream within your budget just make sure to be upfront with your expectations and budget before you sign the contract. The knot.com and Wedding Wire have some great budgeting tools which can help create your budget and keep you on track.
Weddings are so exciting but can become overwhelming when you are just starting out. Your vendor team can either be the solution to your stress or even the source of that stress. This is why picking the right vendors the first time is the key to pulling off the wedding of your dreams. I’m going to go through a few tips on how and where to find the right wedding vendors and then list a few of my favorites.
The first thing that can be kind of daunting is what type of vendors to find first. There are a lot of helpful tips on the internet which can help you plan. Both Wedding Wire and The Knot have resources as well as a simple search on google can offer a wedding planning timeline. These all have conflicting information as far as what vendors to book first. Some may tell you to always pick a date first while others say never chose a date until you find your venue. Below is what I have found to be the most stress-free order to book your vendors
Lindsey’s Favorite Vendors
These are just a few of my favorite local vendors. Don’t hesitate to ask if you are in need of more recommendations!