My life revolves around recycling clothes, so why would I want my wedding to be any different? For Mikey and I’s wedding I tried my very best to buy as few decorations as possible and we either borrowed or bought materials from 2nd hand stores that we could make our own. My Mother-in-Law helped a lot with this process and I will be posting pictures and descriptions of the work we did in preparation for the wedding.
If you have a smaller budget then the average wedding, I would suggest three things;
1) Have a longer engagement (10 months)
2) Do not stop looking until you are satisfied with a price
The reason why I suggest a longer engagement is because when you are running out of time, your stress level sky-rockets and you are more liable to accept the first cost you see. Another reason a longer engagement is beneficial is because venues, photographers, etc. book quickly and if they have a good price then I will guarantee they won’t be available for a last minute booking. Also, when things come down to the wire businesses might charge more for last minute decisions and none of these things make small budget wedding plans fun, that is the most important part too!
When looking for prices/cost of everything pertaining to a wedding use any resource you can possibly think of. Two of the most expensive departments in your wedding budget are the photographer and catering. When I first starting looking for a photographer I search facebook, I searched all my friends profiles and their websites. I also asked my friends, I have close family friends that independently contract with several bridal shops and wedding venues and I am telling you when you call a business with a positive connection you will be amazed at what falls in your lap.
I found several small business photographers that typically shoot family photos or newborns/baby photos, but if I thought they were unique and would photograph a wedding well I would contact them and began negotiating. I told them they could use our pictures as promo’s for their business, I negotiated the number of hours we would need them there, and I negotiated package deals. Remember these are small business owners and are their own boss, they can and will say yes and no to your offer, but until you ask you won’t ever know. In the end, our photographer and I made a deal; we will get a free photo album with around 250-300 printed photos and I will give their daughter Sign Language lessons for 15 weeks. Be brave, put on your game face, and get going.
I want to feature a website I found towards the end of my wedding preparations, so I didn’t get to utilize the main purpose of the site. The website is called Once Wed. www.oncewed.com. It features used wedding dresses, they are all in great condition and reasonably priced. They also have wedding ideas and Do-It-Yourself Weddings, which is my favorite part.