Last year we talked about brides on a budget and how to save on that special dress. This past Summer we had the opportunity to actually plan a low budget wedding ourselves and put our fashion budgeting know-how to the test.
In this case the bride’s mother was a seamstress so the dress was made custom for only the cost of materials. A very simple dress just suited to the brides taste. While not everyone has someone who will make them a custom dress for free, most brides consider the dress the most important part and will plan it into the budget as costing a fair percentage of what will be spent. We consider this a wise thing to do, if you are on a budget then the details should be first priority and the venue and food can be as simple and low cost as possible, provided they still meet particular needs in regard to taste, space, comfort and location.
In our wedding the bride’s parents chose to use their own backyard as the reception location and relied upon family to help with the catering. The bride was extremely fortunate to be marrying into a family in which one of her sisters to be ran her own cake decorating business. So even the cake came from family. This freed up much of the budget to focus on the theme and wedding décor that made their wedding personalized and unique.
For those of you planning to be married this Fall or coming Winter, consider that simpler weddings as far as venues, food and themes are very en vogue. Pinterest is full of gorgeous wedding ideas that range anywhere from romantic to vintage/shabby chic to country/rustic or boho. All of which can be very much DIY.
Trends now often dispense with certain traditions such as not expecting the bridesmaids to have matching dresses; instead letting them each choose their own attire based upon your set guidelines, such as a certain color pallet, tone, length and/or style. We love this new trend which not only adds more visual interest, richness and texture to a wedding party but is a fun way to let your bridesmaid’s personalities shine through. This will make for a more relaxed comfortable setting, more genuine smiles in the pictures and happier memories for all. If you have ever been a bridesmaid you might have experienced some trepidation in being “forced” to wear something that you might have felt was personally unflattering or not to your taste. This eliminates that crisis and can really make your wedding stand out as uniquely lovely without being stuffy or boring.
Another trend we’re seeing now is how the “green movement” has changed what is acceptable décor for a wedding. Re-using and recycling are all the rage now (in fact the proper term has been changed to ‘upcycling’) and you will see everything from old window frames or shutters to tin can vases to origami flowers made from the pages of old books. We love the idea of these moss filled antique thimbles as wedding favors–a far cry from the nut and butter mint cups from weddings of the past. How lovely to give something alive and with visual character rather than something edible that will be gone in a moment, (unless it’s remnants remain in your teeth for a while).
Of course, it seems that here in Salt Lake City wedding favors aren’t really such a heavily followed tradition as they are in other parts of the country. It seems that with all the weddings we have here and the percentage of weddings that require a lower budget, favors seem to be the first thing to be cut from the list, if cuts need to be made. Not the worst tradition to forgo in our opinion since ultimately favors are often just worthless junk that most people are only too happy to not take home with them.
Still, if you personally wish to have favors for your guests you can be sure to find many fabulous and un-traditional ideas on Pinterest and elsewhere on-line. Espcially in the DIY department.
Though most of us here in Utah do not have endless money to throw at any whim the bride may have, one advantage we actually may have over the rich and famous is that we usually have more time to do things ourselves, especially for those who are between jobs, or retired. Therefore, if you want to go DIY for your wedding, you might just be able to recruit some less busy family and friends to help make favors or decorations that require little to no money but a fair amount of time.
Now as for themes to choose for a Autumn or Winter wedding: Our favorite ideas are the ones that look to nature for inspiration. This doesn’t mean however that your wedding has to feel like a Halloween party or Harvest festival. Unless of course that is exactly what you want. There are also some very non-traditional and unexpected ways to implement elements and colors of nature into your décor.
Or, if the more non-traditional, rustic or old fashioned ideas are not to your taste, you might desire a cleaner, more modern, graphic theme which still offers many DIY options.
Whatever your taste, our advice is to chose a theme that truly expresses your personal style and then find ways to work this theme into as many components of the event as possible. Some amazing weddings of the past have focused on a simple item or element and based all decor off that idea. Some of our favorites include keys, lace, feathers, butterflies, birdcages, and pinwheels.
Try to think of an object that has meaning for you, and if it’s something unusual or unexpected, so much the better! The details, even very inexpensive ones, are what will make your wedding memorable, even more so than the food or venue.
Just to make things a tad easier for our local brides however, here are five of our top picks for local businesses that offer the best deals on all things wedding.
Elise Kester of Elise’s Sweet Treats & Edible Eats makes amazing french macarons and has the best prices for macarons of any other vender in the state, so if you adore the look of these colorful little pastries then this would be our suggestion for how to acquire some. (Elise can be contacted by phone: 801-674-0079 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ah! Macarons! So elegant and yet simple. (Plus gluten free!) Less is more with these and so you could even skip the Eclairs and brownies if you so wish and only offer a selection of these little french beauties that can be made in any color or flavor you wish. Making individual dessert plates for your guests to pick up can help maintain quantity control per guest , although Elise can also make them into towers or fill a tall vase for you which displays both look amazing on a buffet table. So if you’re doing a buffet, you could offer these little dainties as the one special treat offered at the buffet and the cake as the main dessert. You could even offer an entire range of macarons and hold a sort of macaron tasting as the flavor possibilities are truly endless.
April Elizabeth of A E Design is a freelance designer who also makes gorgeous custom wedding gowns. Plus, as a local of Taylorsville, the fittings are about fifteen minutes away from most Salt Lake locations. Check out an amazing example of her work above.
Remember though, having a dress custom made is not usually a cheaper option than purchasing from a generic wedding gown shop. We only offer this reference as the best local resource for custom made gowns. If you can’t afford to make the gown a large part of your budget and cut back in other areas then we suggest looking through our tips in Say yes to your dress for less: A guide for the bride on a budget. However, if you have your heart set on a specific design that simply can’t be found in stores then going custom made is your best bet. April is extremely attentive to details and understanding her clients needs is top priority for her.
Melody Kester of MAKK Design is an amazing local florist who has been in the business for 25 years. She is very professional and has an amazing eye for making arrangements that must be noticed.
Selva Baily of Jungle Cakes makes amazing cakes for all occasions and is wonderful to work with.
Aaron Thorup is an awesome local artist who creates incredible LDS temple art. So whether you need a special memento to celebrate your Temple marriage or would like to commission Aaron to customize and digitally enhance a favorite photo, this is a great resource to know about.
Check out the slideshow for visual examples of these vendors. You can also see more of our favorite local resources by checking out our top picks pin board.
We hope all these ideas and resources will inspire and help you to create the truly fashionable wedding you long for without breaking your budget.