So you just got engaged and are over the moon excited about wedding planning, right? Then you start seeing the cost involved with every little thing and PANIC. Don’t worry, I’ll show you how we planned our amazing wedding all on a budget. From the DIY to what we splurged on, no detail is left to spare.
First thing first, you need to set a budget. If family is going to be helping you, determine what you can afford with their budget and how much you are going to spend yourself. Second, decide on what you’re going to splurge on vs. what you’re going to save on. This was HUGE for us. For example, DIY florals were a yes for us because I love florals and I knew my bridesmaids did. A photographer? Splurge. That’s no question. But let’s keep going into detail.
4 Things You Should Splurge on Your Wedding
An amazing photographer was a non-negotiable for us. We found Jennifer through The Knot and she was unreal. She edits her photos with more of the light and airy tone, which was exactly what we were looking for. I clicked with her as soon as we started emailing and we booked her right away. A big tip is to find a photographer who includes engagement photos in their packages too! And of course stalk their socials, look at tagged photos, and check their website. She is so so amazing and is our go to gal for photos. She just took our announcement pictures for our pregnancy, too!
Food and Alcohol
Another non-negotiable. We knew we wanted to have amazing food and drinks and we kiiiind of took the easy way out by having our wedding at a restaurant. We got engaged at the beginning of the pandemic and knew we needed to book something quick for a 2021 wedding. Once we started looking at venues, we found Five Crowns and knew it would be perfect. We had never eaten there and with the pandemic we couldn’t even go on site to visit, so we booked it sight unseen. CRAZY. But we knew the food had amazing reviews and you can never go wrong with a good steak house.
Hair and Makeup
When you’re paying to have photos that will last the rest of your life, you need good hair and makeup. Janet did hair and makeup for one of my Maid of Honor’s weddings and I loved her. I already knew how she did hair and makeup so I knew it would be a fit, but I had her do a trial of hair and makeup at our engagement photos. I highly recommend doing a trial just in case.
Day Of Coordinator
I cannot even tell you how much stress I didn’t have with hiring a coordinator. Adam and his team at Unoaked are frequent flyers at Five Crowns. We opted in for the “Month of” plan that Unoaked offers. They don’t do a day of because, well, that’s just a bit stressful in my opinion and I see why they don’t offer it. Even with the month of, we got SO much out of it. Unoaked did all of this: made our timeline with the vendors, reached out to any vendors and the restaurant, set up any decor we gave them, did a run through at our rehearsal dinner, and just made sure the night went as planned. I think the night wouldn’t have been as amazing if we didn’t have a planner. I highly highly highly recommend at least getting a day of coordinator to do all of that.
6 Things You Should Save on Your Wedding
This, of course, could differ from person to person. For us, florals weren’t a huge deal and neither was the actual decor. The restaurant we got married at was already so pretty on its own, we really didn’t need much to spruce it up.
Again, our venue didn’t need much. Lucky us! Florals are SO expensive, but rightfully so. I don’t ever want to discredit florists because their prices are 100% justified. We went to a local wholesale floral market and spent about $500 on florals. This included enough florals for our centerpieces, my bridal bouquet, 7 bridesmaids bouquets, 3 mini bouquets, 10 boutonnieres, 2 10 foot table runners and some petals just in case we wanted to spread them on the tables. We had leftover greenery but we used up every single rose. We did David Austen roses, spray roses, baby’s breath and eucalyptus. About a month before the wedding I did a small purchase around $200 to test out what I wanted, then I placed the big order with them. Florals aren’t cheap and if you don’t have help it’s almost impossible to DIY all of that. Our wedding was on a Saturday and we put together the centerpieces the Thursday before. I am so lucky that one of my MOH’s is local so we went to her house to make the centerpieces. Then on the day of the wedding each bridesmaid got to DIY their own bouquet. It was such a fun process and I can’t recommend it enough! If you’re in Orange County, CA we used @ocwholesaleflowers.
Table Numbers, Seating Chart, Escort Sign and Table Decor
This was so fun to make! I knew I wanted pretty simple lettering so I went to Etsy to get some inspo. Once I had the general theme I was going for, I opened up Canva (if you haven’t used Canva you can click the link for my referral!) and made it in there. For the table numbers and table decor I just printed them on 4×6 cardstock on my own printer. I used these frames from IKEA too. The seating chart and escort sign I reached out to a local print shop and had them print each for about $25. Then I used these frames from IKEA and now I’m going to reuse the frames in the nursery!
Easy peasy. I ordered these books from Amazon and used my Cricut to cut out the lettering. It was so simple!
Photo Guest Book
Another easy one. All we did was order this book from Amazon and used my Cricut to cut out the lettering. We used my Polaroid camera and scrapbook tape to get all the pictures in the book. I don’t have a nice pic of the actual book, but we have footage of everyone enjoying themselves! It was so fun to look at all the polaroid pictures the day after the wedding too.
This is just what we did for our wedding. You can definitely interchange and splurge/save on other things, but this was so perfect for us. We had 50 people total at our wedding and roughly spent about $20k total. That included everything for us: hair, makeup, dress, venue, food, alcohol, photographer, etc.
If you ever have any questions about how we planned our wedding, please feel free to comment below or email me. I’d love to help or refer you to anyone I can!