My husband, Mike Holmes Jr., and I had so much fun planning our wedding and we learnt a lot throughout our year and a half engagement. During the wedding planning process, it is crucial to prioritize what wedding details are important to you and your partner. Staying within budget was very important to us.
Michael and I decided that our top 3 priorities and big spenders were food, alcohol, and music - we wanted to show our friends a great time and agreed on our best party must haves. Knowing this, we were able to cut some of the costs associated with other typical wedding expenses that were not as important to us.
If you are looking to plan a wedding on a budget and eloping or a city hall wedding doesn’t appeal to you, here are the top 5 ways you can save on your wedding day:
1 - Bouquets and floral arrangements: Go wild!
Wild forage your flowers and make your own bouquets. There are so many DIY videos out there, do your research! Days leading up to my wedding I spent lot of time in nature. Being in the Blue Mountain region I was surrounded by gorgeous gardens and vast wilderness. The making of my bouquets became an intimate affair for me as I wanted to use plants in my bouquets that came from the land and region that I was getting married on. I wild foraged the flowers and greenery for my bouquets with the help of friends and cherished neighbours. I saved upwards of 10 thousand dollars by not ordering my flowers from a florist. Furthermore, by getting married outdoors I didn’t have to spend excessive amounts of money on floral arrangements because we were surrounded by nature and an abundance of trees, flowers, foliage, and florals.
2 - Venue: Friendly neighbours!
Michael and I were seriously blessed when it came to the generosity of friends on our wedding day. We fell in love with the land owned by a dear friend of ours and she gifted us her property to use for our venue as wedding gift. By getting married on a friends property we were able to save oodles of money on a venue that can otherwise quickly add a lot more zeroes to your already escalating wedding costs.
3 - Photographer and videographer: Keep perspective.
Hiring a photographer and videographer proved to be a fickle process. I truly thought that the prices we were getting quoted for a wedding day photo shoot were astronomical and unjustifiable. I asked myself, in 20 years, how many photos will I have have hanging framed in my house from my wedding day? Maybe 3? So I didn’t feel the need to spend upwards of 10 thousand dollars (or more) on a wedding photographer, especially being a post medical school graduate with a ton of debt to consider. So, as a result, Michael and I decided to hire a personal friend who has a love for photography. By doing that we saved thousands of dollars. The friend/photographer that we chose has all of the best gear, but strictly does photography for passion not profession. There are so many talented photographers with high quality cameras and if you don’t mind working closely with them to get the perfect shot then you can save a lot of money in the long run.
4 - The dress: Ditch the designer!
If you are able to wrap your head around not wearing a designer dress on your wedding day you will be able to save thousands of dollars. I understand that this idea might be a hard concept for some brides to wrap their heads around but I personally couldn’t justify spending thousands of dollars on a dress that I was only going to wear for one day - and don’t get me wrong, I love love love beautiful fashion so I get it! However, my solution to avoiding the purchase of an expensive designer dress was finding a design that I loved and then hiring a seamstress to replicate it for me. The original cost of the designer dress that I loved was $3000.00 + the cost of shipping from Australia + the cost of fitting/sizing + the risk of not knowing if the dress would look good on me after all since it was coming from Australia! Yikes! (side note, the Australian wedding dress game is so hot right now! Check it out.) However, by avoiding all of that and hiring my own seamstress, the total cost of the fabric + seamstress fees came to six hundred dollars!
5 - Accommodation: Home is where the heart is.
Michael and I got married in the Blue Mountain region 10 minutes away from a home we recently bought which is also very close to my parent’s home. The night before our wedding day, everyone on the bride’s side stayed at my parent’s home and all of the groomsmen stayed at mine and Michael’s house. By doing this we were able to cut costs on accommodation for us, the bride and groom, but also for our parents, as well as the members of our wedding parties. Being in someone’s wedding party can quickly become a costly expense. Making sure you are conscious of that and supporting your wedding party members in any way that you can is very important. We did our best to take our wedding parties’ needs into consideration at every turn and were happy to be able to give them and their partners free accommodation throughout the entire duration of the wedding weekend.
In the end, simplicity seemed to be the name of the game for Michael and me. We wanted the wedding day to unfold as naturally as possible, flow at our own pace, be surrounded by the beauty of nature, and the ones we hold close to our hearts.
By focusing on our top 3 wedding day priorities, letting go of the unnecessary yet unavoidable expectations of what a wedding should be like (something I like to call “fluff”), and maintaining perspective throughout the wedding planning process, Michael and I were able to save some big money on our wedding day. This strategy worked great for us and even if this specific list doesn’t work with your wedding day vision, if you can take these concepts and apply them in your own way, you will be able to save a lot of money in the long run.
xoxo Sending Love and Light
Lisa Marie Holmes