What I Learned Planning My Own Wedding - Part 2 Save VS. Spend

You have the ring, you posted a cute announcement on Facebook, and called grandma. You're engaged!!! Now you want to get started on creating your dream wedding, but where are you going to start?? As we stated in our previous blog post, wedding these days are bigger and more expensive! Even a small wedding is going to cost a pretty penny. Pinterest has ruined us for life! So where you need to start is budget! And what you need to decide after that is where are you going to try and save and penny pinch, and where are you going to spend a little extra. Make a list of what is important to you to have, what you could do without, and what you are willing to get creative with money wise.

Brittany Elizabeth Images

When we made our list I had a few things that were important to me that I knew would be worth the extra spent on them. My dress because of the fashionista that I am, the venue since we were going to get married in Mexico before my mother became ill I wanted something that was still gorgeous, my bouquet because of my mother and I's love of flowers, and photographer/videoagrapher because you'll keep those forever! Now, this is just my own personal list. Yours is going to be completely different! Just remember, not everything needs to be top dollar. You just have to get creative!


 My Save VS. Spend Strategy



If you read our previous post, you know as a business owner I had little to no time to make my own decor, and little time to decorate a space. So what I needed to find was a place that was already gorgeous! I had 2 ideas for this. My first was finding a gorgeous plot of land with beautiful scenery. This lead to it's own list of problems though. The first was time. The time it would have taken to get the area set up would be essentially a month. Then once I started looking into it more we would have had to rent a tent in case of rain, porta potties, tables, chairs, get electricity out there some how, and a whole list of other issues. By the time you rented all that, I was looking at a hefty bill. So it was on to plan B, finding a beautiful venue that I didn't have to decorate. That lead us to the Meadow Barn. My biggest suggestion is look for a place that let's you use outside vendors! you'll get a gorgeous location, be able to save on food, DJ, etc

Brittany Elizabeth Images

It was important to us that we had amazing photos and video. The day goes by SO fast and all you have left are the memories and the photos/video. I highly recommend searching long and hard for the right fit for you! We did have a budget in mind of a Max I was willing to spend. Luckily both our videoagrapher and photographer were right within that budget, and exactly who we wanted! the moment I was able to find both of them, I knew they were a perfect fit! both had the look and vibe I wanted for the day! But it definitely took me a while to find them!

Now, this may not be part of your spend strategy, and that's great! Personally, this dress was all that really mattered, ha. I never was one to "picture my wedding" growing up, but I was one to imagine what my dress would look like. so I researched dress designers, picked my favorites under my budget, and looked up where they would be. alternatively, I also looked up my favorite designer look alike. There are tons of designers that are much mroe affordable if you can't get a dress from your dream designer! 


Bridal Bouquet

Now, This was a personal choice, and I know many brides who decide to save on their bouquet and opt for something less extravagant. If you do go for a more extravagant one like myself, try to think of other ways you can use it. mine ended up in ALL our photos, because obviously, was used as a centerpiece, and now is a display piece in my house in a case with other wedding items from the day. I put quite a bit of importance into my bouquet as well. My mother's love for flowers is something to passed on to me. I may not have as good of a green thumb as her, but I'm definitely a plant and flower lover! so I wanted something to reflect, and also be something I could carry with me that was a part of her. The ladies at Nepstads went above and beyond for me. Lace from her wedding dress with weaved through the bouquet and a locket with her picture was tucked on the side that I held it so she could be next to me all day. 

Brittany Elizabeth Images - Nepstads Flower and Gifts


this was a big saver. Because I spent a little extra on our gorgeous venue, I knew we wouldn't need much, so we'd save there! But I still wanted to make a statement, yet stay on budget. So, I researched and researched all the latest trends in wedding decor and found gorgeous ideas of people using pampas grass! I thought PERFECT the bushy look is going to be enough drama for a centerpiece, it's inexpensive, and I can watch when Hobby Lobby has a glass sale and get those fun vases that I can sell later for what I bought them for! I then figured I would supplement with those open geometric vases, and buy wood flowers when they were on sale and you can get them 10 cents a flower! But once I saw how much it was to rent table cloths, I decided to rent wood tables from our venue instead, making those supplemental centerpieces unneeded because the wooden tables were a statement themselves! Saved sooooo much just with that!

Brittany Elizabeth Images - Nepstads Flower and Gifts

I then bought Hula Hoops for above our table, painted them black, and had Nepstads decorate them for above our head table. The original plan was to get a neon sign, but those are WAY spendier than I anticipated. The decorated Hoops were much more budget friendly, and made such a gorgeous statement!

Brittany Elizabeth Images - Nepstads Flower and Gifts 

Another tip is make sure when you are picking out your decor think "what can I sell later", because you'll recoup A LOT in just reselling it. I had people asking to buy the glass vase at the wedding. and the pampas grass is dried to get that look, so I was able to sell that too!

I also needed to get creative with food. luckily our venue let us pick our own caterer and we didn't have a mandatory minimum like other venues we had looked at. Some were minimum $35 a person. YIKES!! Since Juan is Mexican, and we were originally getting married in Mexico, Mexican food was an obvious choice. We thought about a couple different options. We knew we wanted something fun and memorable, yet affordable. That's how we decided on a Taco Truck! EVERYONE loved it!!! Remember you don't need a fancy meal to make a lasting impression. We've been told SOOO many times how our wedding food was their favorite. Brick Oven Pizza and salad was another option we thought of. Still fancy, yet much more affordable. We ended up going this route for our Dinner Rehearsal. 

Brittany Elizabeth Images

Keep it all in 1 location
Have your ceremony and reception at the same place! If you booked your dream venue, get your money's worth! Not only that but you'll save big bucks on not renting 2 locations, and a party bus to transport your wedding party! plus, you can use your ceremony decor at your reception!! 

DJ or Band
We saved a TON on not having a dance. Neither Juan or I dance and we wanted to focus more on our guests than getting people on the dance floor. Plus we both REALLY enjoy live music. So instead of a DJ or full band, we hired an amazing musician to play for the whole day. Then during his breaks we had a friend who used to DJ for wedding act as Emcee and help with a coulple games! The plan was to then also have a Mariachi to do a fun entertainment at night, but that ended up not happening as the band double booked and didn't tell us!

Wedding Cake
Don't feel like you need a fancy wedding cake! Instead get creative with what you serve! Because those tiered cakes can cost over $300. We wanted Tres Leche cake to add some Mexican flair. So we ordered plain white frosted sheet cakes in tres leche with varying flavors, put eucalyptus on the bottom and fresh flowers up top. We then had a friend build us a gorgeous wooden cake stand (see below about using your friends!), then took a hula hoop to frame the one layer cake and wrap eucalyptus on it. All of the cake for our guests cost less than 1 wedding cake! And everyone LOVED the cake. best cake they've had. Other ideas are cookies and milk, mini cheese cakes, varying flavors of cupcakes, etc.  

Brittany Elizabeth Images 

Use Family and Friends 
Your Family and Friends are your biggest asset! And if any of them have a talent of some sort, USE IT! Ask If they would be willing to do X instead of a gift. you'll find that most are more than happy to! Not only that, but it adds such a personal and more meaningful touch to the whole day! And get creative with it. Besides what we already mentioned, we had custom illustrated invites made by a close friend, Cynthia with Origal Cyn made a gorgeous last name round that went up next to the ceremony, My sister who does hair did my hair and helped with Makeup, and my cousin helped decorate with gorgeous items I had gotten from her and Renee at Nepstads. And that wasn't even Everyone we asked! It truly took a village to make this wedding come together. 

Brittany Elizabeth Images

Brittany Elizabeth Images - Original Cyn Decor and Signs

Non Wedding Sites
Search for things without the word wedding or bridal. Most of our favors for our groomsmen and bridesmaids were found on amazon and etsy. Example: If you want robes for your bridesmaids search "silk short robes" or "Floral Robes" instead of Bridesmad robe

Party Favors
If you have it in the budget, GO FOR IT! But what I've noticed is they honestly aren't remembered later. We had so many cute ideas of mini Mexican favors, but it just wouldn't fit in the budget to get 250 of 1 thing, no matter how small. So instead we focused more on making memories and adding little moments to the day that people would have with them forever! 

Engagement Ring
Juan and I actually got engaged before I even had a ring. My mother had been re diagnosed with cancer, which pushed us to move up life plans. so the ring was part of the saving plan for the wedding. Many are surprised at the price of my custom ring when I tell them. Most had spent WAY more on a ring they picked out already made, with a smaller main stone. And my biggest secret? I didn't get a diamond. I wanted something with a little color and more unique. I also get bored quickly. So I wanted something I could replace every so often. That's how we landed on green quartz. LONG story short I had wanted Grey CZ, but apparently that's not readily available in the states. Green Quartz was still sturdy, and has an interesting greenish grey color to it. Biggest piece of advice is find a jeweler you trust and willing to help you out in creating something great in your budget! Woelfesls was AMAZAZING for this reason. He helped us immensely and worked tirelessly to find the right stone

So there you have it!!! Our Save VS. Spend Strategy! I'd love to hear what you splurged on and what you decided to cut back on to help with the bottom line!


Venue: Veranda at Meadow Barn at Country Orchards
Photographer: Brittany Elizabeth Images
Videographer: Ludeman Productions
Dress: a&bé bridal shop minneapolis Made with Love - Unique Bridal Collection
Jacket: Adorn Boutique
Engagement Ring: Woelfel Jewelry
Groom's Ring: Staghead
Flowers: Nepstad's Flowers & Gifts
Bridal Hair: Joslyn Reimnitz Legacy Studio LLC
Wedding Party Hair: Infinity Salon & Spa
Hair Piece: MariaJuliet Feliciano
Earrings: Etsy - Gisoutache Jewelry
Veil: Etsy - White Jasmine Bridal
Food: Taqueria Sanchez food truck
Groom Suit: ASOS
Wedding Signs: Jenna Miller

Last Name Round Sign: Original Cyn

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