Heart Tree Wedding Part 6: Advice and Tips

{See previous entries in this series here: Ceremony, Bridal Party Photo Shoot, ReceptionMore of the Reception, and The Music}

Well, now that I have successfully planned a wedding (in 6 months… while working full time… while finishing up my last semester of college full time… while purchasing a house and getting things ready to move in…lol), I consider myself an expert!

Just kidding.  But really though I did manage to pull off a beautiful wedding, way under budget, and completely stress free (not lying about this, I was never stressed).  I have a few budget tips and wedding advice I would like to share that will hopefully help some other brides.


1.   Be your own wedding planner.

You really do not need a wedding planner or a day of coordinator.  A friend or family member can help out the day of by making sure that people are in the right places at the right times, and that things are on schedule.  My aunt did this for us and everything turned out perfectly.

2.   Multipurpose.

Figure out the things in your wedding which can serve more than one purpose.  For example, since I am not a big flower person, I opted for cupcake centerpieces with red and aqua fondant flowers instead of real flowers.  Essentially this eliminated the need for both flowers and a huge fancy cake (although we did have a small cake for the head table).  We also realized that most favors we have received from weddings are usually fairly useless and may be discarded.  We instead had a candy buffet for the guests to enjoy throughout the reception as well as favors to take some home for later.

3.   Buy used.

Get creative.  There are a lot of things you can buy used for your wedding to cut costs.  You’ll reap the benefits of lower costs and also make less of an environmental footprint.  Some of the things I bought used for my wedding were the candy buffet jars (Craigslist), table number frames (Craigslist), and wedding dress (eBay).  Yes, I did say wedding dress, and I saved at least half by buying used and not having to alter the dress since it fit perfectly and the bustle was already in place.  It was definitely one of my biggest cost savings. 

4.   Re-sell.

Recoup some of those costs and, again, be a little greener.  I resold my cupcake stands, candy buffet jars, table linens, etc. after the wedding, and thanks to my thrifty shopping to begin with, I basically made all of my money back on these sorts of items.  You can’t even rent for that cheap.  Some good outlets to sell are eBay, Craigslist (for heavier items), and the Weddingbee Classifieds (for lighter items).

5.   Use your connections.

We made sure to use all the connections we had available to us.  Our photographer was a family friend, and his daughter volunteered to run our photobooth throughout the night.  Our florist was also a family friend.  We even found the most amazing and perfect venue (Tre Monti) via the man who owns it, who happens to be my uncle’s neighbor!  You really never know until you ask, and you might just happen to score yourself some great discounts!


Have a short engagement.

It will force you to make decisions and get to work rather than thinking “what about this” or “what about that”.  It will also save you money because you won’t have as much time to spend it!

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

I didn’t ask for a specific flower in my bouquets, I didn’t care who designed my shoes, and I didn’t care what tuxedos the groomsmen wore (as long as they had the aqua accents, of course!).  I only gave serious attention to the things I cared about like the handmade goods, food, and making sure it was a fun environment for everyone.  Everything turned out perfectly, and I didn’t stress out at all worrying about it.  The one and only “mishap” of the entire day was that aisle runner failed to stay tacked to the floor as the boys rolled it out.  Luckily, I was in the back waiting to walk down the aisle and I never even knew about it.  The only reason I found out was because my friend told me that my little brother had rated the wedding a 9.5 out of 10.  When I exclaimed “9.5?! Why?!” he let it slip about the aisle runner.  Apparently everyone had made a pact not to tell me 🙂

Delegate tasks.

You can’t do everything yourself.  Give a picture or an idea of how you might want something to be, and trust that your vendors and friends will not let you down.

Make your own traditions.

The idea of dancing the whole night, a garter toss, a bouquet toss, etc. did not appeal to us at all.  No offense to those who like that sort of thing, it is just not us.  Instead, we got to enjoy a night with close friends and family, eating delicious food, listening to great music, playing bocce ball, getting caricatures, and striking a pose in the photo booth.

{This post concludes the Heart Tree Home wedding series.  Thank you for reading!}

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