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The year before our wedding we lived in a van because we wanted to travel… the year after our wedding we knew we still wanted to live in a van because we loved the lifestyle, but we were now moving abroad to travel… So how were we going to manage throwing a “Mr and Mrs Adventure worthy” Wedding without burning through the funds we needed to build our bright and bold future together? Very carefully, that’s how. Here are 9 tips you can follow to help plan a budget-friendly wedding that will exceed your WILDEST dreams!
1. TALK ABOUT IT and plan accordingly.
It’s important to discuss, and agree upon, what you both feel is an appropriate budget for your Wedding Day, as well as what each of you are, and are not, willing to compromise on – personalized napkins, a 3-tier cake, photo booth or a DJ for the reception? Some things are more important than others, decide what those are and simplify the rest. For us, it was our guest list and location that we weren’t gonna budge on, the rest was just pretty little details.
2. LOCATION, LOCATION, (you’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again) LOCATION.
Research National Parks and State Parks in your area of choice. They have incredibly reasonable rates and usually have a beautiful dance hall to offer along with the unparalleled, natural beauty that will inevitably surround you.
Another great idea is to look into vacation rental property sites like HomeAway and VRBO, as they have some incredible homes listed that are especially used for weddings! In fact that’s how we found our dreamy beach house in Islamorada! Not only did our home provide us with a stunning venue, but we were able to choose all our own vendors, we didn’t have to worry about ending the party at 10pm and it also gave us a beautiful (and convenient) place to stay, no hotel needed! We truly couldn’t have been happier with our choice.
3. Enlist the help of family and friends!
Do you have an uber talented BFF who plays the guitar, the violin or piano? Or maybe your aunt is a hair stylist, your mom an incredible baker, your dad’s best friend a photographer or your fiancé’s groomsmen are pros at engineering outdoor lighting – who knew!? The thing is, these are the people who love you most in this world and having them truly be a part of your big day is what makes the MAGIC. You will never forget the time, effort and kindness of those loved ones who helped make your wedding dreams come true… enlisting their help not only makes less of an impact on your budget, but more importantly, it makes a priceless impression on your heart.
4. Make your own invitations!
This may seem easier said than done but with the right supplies and the desire to make something truly unique, anyone can do it, and depending on how many guests you have, you can literally save thousands! Paper Source is my FAVORITE place to go for supplies and then you can find a local printer to make beautiful, high-quality prints on card stock.
5. When it comes to food, remember that taste trumps all.
Do you have a favorite dish you both LOVE? Maybe it’s tacos, Thai or a sweet local food truck that serves up THE BEST grilled cheese in town! Keep things casual yet delicious, disposable yet sturdy. People don’t NEED steak and fine China to be happy, some brides might, but if your budget is a priority, there are much simpler ways to make sure everyone’s belly is happy – like the 6-foot sub we ordered from our fave deli for our engagement party! In the end, there was nothing left.
6. For flowers, think simple… or maybe even not at all?!
Just like a giant sub, you don’t always need to be fancy to be great. Let’s take Baby’s Breath for example – classy, feminine, timeless and wayyy affordable. These were the only flowers present at our wedding, except for the few white roses placed in my Bridal bouquet. As for boutonnieres, we didn’t even use flowers! We opted for starfish; find ways to incorporate your venue that benefits you while also adding to the uniqueness of your special day.
7. Make your own centerpieces, fo FREE!
Being that our wedding was shortly after Christmas and New Years, empty wine bottles were easier to find than Waldo on a blank page (hah!). Tip: If you don’t know someone who works at a restaurant, ask the manager if they would be willing to help – the worst thing they can say is “No,” and as long as you keep asking until you hear a “Yes,” you will succeed! With the help of my mom we de-labeled over 90 wine bottles, and with a bit of chiffon + a spool of hemp, our friends helped transform them into the beautifully dainty centerpieces you see here.
8. Beer + Wine + BYOL
Opt for flavored water and a self-serve beer and wine set up. If you’re concerned that won’t be enough for some, invite your guests to bring their favorite liquor or drink of choice! They won’t mind, honestly they’ll appreciate the option!
9. Refill your piggy bank with a HoneyFund!
Want to have your cake and eat it too? Chances are that after planning for your wedding, funds for your honeymoon will be running pretty thin. Instead of asking your guests for things, why not invite them to contribute to your honeymoon! A romantic picnic in Hyde Park, a castle stay in Ireland, a fancy dinner date in Paris – having a HoneyFund makes it that much easier to treat you and your honey to those special experiences no matter how much you did or didn’t go over budget 😉
Read about our romantic Honeymoon in London, made possible by the generous HoneyFund contributions of our loving friends and family!