Blushing Belle: Top 10 Wedding on a Budget Tips

Weddings are incredibly special, beautiful, fun, tedious and EXPENSIVE. It's your special day, and a fairy tale moment. So, how can you have your perfect wedding without breaking the bank? Here are a few tips that will hopefully help soften the budget!

1. DIY

You can spend 12 minutes on Pinterest and find hundreds of amazing DIY ideas from wedding decor, invitations, recipes, recycling, etc. Doing projects yourself instead of shelling out the cash for wedding favors, decorations or what have you, it can be much cheaper to buy supplies in bulk in order to craft the items yourself. This not only is fiscally responsible, but it really adds a personal touch to your special day.
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Invest in a Cricut. Seriously. These things are magical and can do ANYTHING. You can do all of your decorations, thank you cards, invitations, name cards and more with this device. 

2. Write up a budget. Start planning early. 

After you're done replying to all of the Facebook comments, texts and carrier pigeons sending congratulations on the engagement, start planning. When it comes to your budget (I recommend Microsoft Excel, but I'm a nerd. There are a ton of apps you can use specifically for wedding costs if you're more into that!), outline your dream wedding first. If you could have everything you wanted from guests to cake to decorations to location, what is that you want and what is it that you're looking for? After you get that out of your system, start downsizing to realistic expectations. After that, decide on the number that you would wish to spend (we'll go with $5,000-$10,000.) Once that number has been selected, assign an amount to an item (for example: $2,500 to venue, $1,000 to dress, $1,500 to bridesmaid dresses, $2,000 food and drink, etc.) Keep track of your spending and prioritize. Also, the earlier you start the easier it is to book cheaper venues and other things.
Wedding Cost Estimator
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3. Something borrowed.

Whether you can rifle around in your grandma's attic or a Goodwill, sometimes borrowed is better. You can recycle anything from dresses, jewelry, or decorations. Save on costs by seeing what you already have available to you.
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4. Shop online.

Shop online for deals, sales, and items you may not be able to find in stores. Shameless plug here, but Redneck Couture has beautiful, handmade jewelry for brides and bridesmaids that won't take a massive chunk out of your budget and shipping is FREE. They make for excellent accessories for the bridal party or for a gift!

Recycle Your Wedding 
29 Places to Shop for Your Wedding Online

5. Printables!

Some people make it their duty in life to create fantastic printables for any and every occasion from place mats, name tags, invitations, to activities, game boards and more! Printables can range from being free to $3.00, but are worth it instead of blowing hundreds of dollars on invitations, thank you cards and other stationary and decoration needs.
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31 Free Wedding Printables

6. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen get to dress themselves.

Spending money on bridesmaids' dresses and suits for the groomsmen can be stressful for anyone that's spending money on it. Select a color that you're into and instruct your bridal party to get a dress of any kind in that color. That way they can spend whatever they want on a bridesmaid dress and it won't cost you a dime. You can perhaps invest in an accessory that unifies all of the bridesmaids (perhaps Boot Bling, necklaces, little clutches, a DIY piece of jewelry, etc.), but ultimately you can let them select and worry about their own outfits. 
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(chicvintagebrides)
4 Things to Remember If You Let Your Bridesmaids Pick Their Own Dresses
Why Letting Your Bridesmaids Pick Their Own Dresses Can Work
3 Things You Can Let Your Bridesmaids Choose

7. Non traditional gifts.

"Thanks for the solar powered shower head, Aunt Deborah!" said no one ever. Going the traditional wedding registry route is a good idea (get everyone else to buy you dishes, kitchen appliances and that fancy quilt from Bed, Bath and Beyond); however, sometimes people will try to get you something similar to the things you ask for and you end up with stuff you don't need or already have. Asking for help with wedding costs, or sometimes just cold hard cash money may be a nice alternative to consider.
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8. Food and Drink.

Explore and keep your options open. Almost all budgets take the biggest hits when it comes to venues and the food and drink options. Buffets are a nice way to save on food costs. Making your own appetizers are a good idea as well, for most places gouge for that. Come up with a signature drink for the bar instead of having an expensive open bar. You can also do a BYOB or pot luck wedding.
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9. Plan for the honeymoon in advanced.

Start a honeymoon fund (a jar in the kitchen or perhaps even a honeyfund) or invest in a credit card to use for all of your wedding costs that can reward you with miles or rewards for travel such as car rentals, resorts, hotels, etc.
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10. Ask for help.

Whether you want to hire an expert (most of which will try his/her best to save you as much money as possible so that you can pay him/her more), ask Mom/Dad, your best friend, or even just the internet. Seek out help for costs, funds, money, ideas, and ways to make your wedding planning easier or less stressful. Take all of the time you need. 
26 Ways to Save on Your Dream Wedding
Cheap Wedding Ideas
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17 Useful Wedding Cheat Sheets


 

 

Fun Dates on a Budget

Whether you're saving up for the coming holiday season, a broke college student finding romance or simply in need of a fun idea this list has something for you and your SO or group of friends!

1. Actually Netflix and chill

Yeah, we know what the kids are really up to when it comes to the "Netflix and chill" date, but it's actually a great date idea. Set up a que with a theme: binge a few episodes of a new TV show you both wanted to watch, horror movies, enjoy a couple of episodes of each other's favorite TV shows, RomComs, "bad" movies, etc. Cuddle up with a blanket and an array of snacks and enjoy! You get to spend time close to each other, learn a lot about one anode there AND watch some entertaining stuff.

2. Bowling

3. Dine In
Find a great copy cat recipe online from your favorite restaurant and whip it up together in the kitchen. Enjoy your meal with a bottle of wine by candlelight.

4. Strip Poker

5. Target range
Challenge each other to a blast off! Go to the local shooting range and fire off some rounds.

6. Go on a hike.

7. Backyard camping
Set up a fire, some sleeping bags and tell scary stories to each other while gazing up at the stars.

8. Go fishing or hunting.

9. "Free" Day
Make a list of local events or places that have "free day" specials. A student ID helps too!

10. Whiskey or wine tasting

11. Quirky destination
Pick a funky or interesting destination whether it's the next town over or a classic tourist trap, jump in the car and make a day trip out of it. Don't forget to bring a camera!

12. Matinee movie

13. Pumpkin picking and carving
Though this one is a fall exclusive, it's still a lot of fun. Head to your local orchard, supermarket or even Walmart and pick out some pumpkins and carving tools. Create some fun and spooky pumpkins while you listen to some nice music and share a couple of beers.

14. Go for a hike.

15. Go on a picnic.
Pack a nice lunch and enjoy the outdoors. Check out this article for the perfect picnic ideas.

16. Build a blanket fort.

17. Bartending
Go out and take a bar tending class or stay at home and mix some fun new drinks for each other and a few friends.

18. Karaoke

19. City wandering
Wander around your local city or head out to somewhere big and exciting. Walk around for the day taking photos, shopping, dining and people watching.

20. Horseback riding

21. At home spa night
Give each other nice full body massages after a steamy bubble bath. Then relax with a bottle of wine listening to soft music and enjoying some burning incense and candles.

22. Flea market exploring

23. Build something together
Find a cute, easy, practical and fun project. Build it!

24. Rollerblading

25. Go to a concert

 

DIY: Paint Your Own Saddle Shoes

OP: Dream a Little Bigger

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Look how cute these shoes are! Well, yes, they are cute but maybe not $75.00 cute...

Make your own for about $15-$20!

1. Gather your supplies

-black fabric paint
-black PUFFY fabric paint dotter
-brushes
-white shoes (I got these from Target for $14.99)
-a cup of water (to clean your brushes)

2. Prep.

-Unlace the shoe, it makes life 1235834% easier.
-squirt some of your paint into a toss away cup or paper plate. If you don't have one available, you can just use the paint cap! 

3. Paint the border of your shoe.

Use a thin brush to paint the border of the shoe and in the crevices.

4. Fill in the rest of the white using a thicker brush.

Repeat on the back of the shoe.

NOTE: Make sure to have a reference image handy. I preferred the entire back of the heel to be black, but it may differ depending on which style you like.

5. Dots.

Using the PUFFY paint blotter place the dots on the border of your shoe to represent the dimples. Using the reference image will help you figure out how far apart you should place them, but again, it's all preference.

 

6. Wait for the shoe to dry and relace. Done!

 

Take a pic in your Redneck Couture and DIY Saddle Shoes and tag us. You'll be featured on our social media!