In an effort to curb spending, you and your partner have thought of the elements that you really want for your wedding and dropped the things you can live without. You can’t wait to bring the vision to life and cross your fingers that your vision matches your wedding budget. … read more
But I digress. While we had a bit of a limited budget for our flowers, I let my imagination (and Pinterest) run wild while I was planning our wedding. I presented my inspiration photos to our coordinator and florist with baited breath—could we afford my dream arrangements? They thankfully let me know that my inspiration was do-able with some creative (and money-saving) twists. I’ve shared some of the tips they gave me below.
You know how planners recommend making a list of your priorities before you create your wedding budget? Well, I haven’t talked about flowers up until now because they’re way, way down there on our list.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some beautiful flowers at the weddings I’ve attended as a guest. And I love checking out wildflowers on hikes. But spending thousands of dollars on something that’s going to die in less than a week makes my head hurt.
So when our day-of coordinator offered to make our flowers for us, I jumped at the opportunity. She has a wholesale flower permit and access to the flower market at Pike Place, and I have realistic expectations about what she can do with my admittedly small flower budget.
Here’s a little bit of flower inspiration to brighten your day (and hold me over until I can see what our options are in person!).
Wedding Flowers: Finding a Last Minute Wedding Vendor
Guess what, bees? The Eels are two months out from our wedding and still do not have a wedding florist. That wedding stress I was talking about earlier? Yeah, some of it is totally self-inflicted. It’s our last major vendor to book, and I just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. Flowers were always toward the bottom of the priority list for our wedding, and we set a budget of $2,000.
Rewind to January 2016 when I met with our first potential vendor and they quoted me a jaw-dropping $8,500. As someone who doesn’t even want her fiancé to spend $20 on a Costco bouquet of flowers, I would never have even considered this in the realm of possibility. I immediately nixed this vendor because: Know your audience. I felt that this vendor didn’t even consider our budget and my floral desires. They eventually contacted me again and were able to lower their proposal to half of the original proposal, but something about that smelled fishy and it wasn’t because we’re eels.
Just typing that title makes me feel a little ridic. No one cares more about chairs than wedding-crazed brides. I, too, fell into the chair hysteria and needed Chiavari chairs for our wedding. With a seating requirement of 200 people, it was starting to look like a pretty hefty price tag. Was I going cray to spend that much money on CHAIRS? One particular vendor I looked at was going to charge us $14 per chair AND a separate $3.50 for the seat cushion. What the what? You’re going to rent me a chair without the seat cushion? Next!
It’s pretty typical in Hawaii for the marrying couple to pay for their bridesmaids’ and groomsmen’s attire. If you’ve ever paid for your own bridesmaids’ dress or suit, or stepped into a David’s Bridal, you’ll know that this can add up quickly.
Since I was paying for all the dresses, I wanted to find something everyone would love, as well as something that was affordable for us. I just couldn’t see spending $100+ on a dress they would only wear once and not particularly like. It’s not that I’m a cheapskate (or maybe I am?)—I would just rather spend the money on them for things that they would appreciate, like hair and makeup to make them feel awesome on the big day or cool bridesmaid gifts.
I wasn’t sure where to start looking for a dress that would look wedding appropriate at an affordable price point. I wanted something sparkly, blush, and flattering on all the girls in my group (long or short didn’t matter). Luckily, I knew my girls would look awesome in anything. I found these sparkly, pink sequined dresses while searching for inspiration online and used that as my starting point of what I was looking for. While I would have loved to get those Tadashi Shoji dresses for my girls, their $300+ price tags were budget busters.
Here’s a random Miss Dreamcatcher fact: I really hate wearing shoes. But since, you know, germs and pointy surfaces exist, I probably need some to wear on our big day. Because bright and colorful is a theme we’re keeping up with throughout the whole wedding, my shoes will be no different. I started with two basic requirements: inexpensive and fun. Bonus if I can wear them again. One day Bridesmaid Ravenclaw and I were were strolling through Payless Shoes, and I snagged these babies for $5. Score!
A great man from my youth once said, “Money can’t buy me happiness, but I’m happiest when I can buy what I want.” Most of us, of course, have budgets to follow when it comes to our weddings—we can’t always buy what we want.
But they look so happy… / Imagevia Giphy / Source: ABC/Happy Endings
It took the Horseshoes while to nail down our budget. We had to figure out a few things: How much did we want to spend? Were we being realistic? We then had to figure out how much we wanted to spend on each vendor/item once we had a rough number in our heads.
I feel fortunate that my parents raised me to be pretty frugal. I got my first job at 15, working as a junior counselor at a JCC camp guiding a group of first graders around the camp every day. When I got to college, I worked two part-time jobs and saved up a nest egg large enough to pay off half of my student loans by the time I graduated.
It goes without saying that being financially responsible is important to me. I consider myself lucky to have found someone with the same views about money. Most of the time, discussions with Mr. Feather about finances are easy; we see eye-to-eye from the start on a lot of big issues.
Budgeting for our wedding was no different. Here are the four steps we took to create and (so far!) stick to our wedding budget.
Step One: Discuss your overall budget.
This can be really difficult to do without getting a sense of what weddings cost in your area. Avoid infographics or articles that try to put a number on the average cost of a wedding in your state or country. That’s just the average wedding as determined by some magazine or website, possibly with ulterior motives.