One Last Post

>> 9.13.2010

...until the wedding.

First, I'd like to thank everyone for your comments on my engagement announcement!

I love that you assume that I'll have a thrifty wedding (well, duh!) and that many of you are interested in reading about my plans BUT I don't think Thrifty Little Blog is the place for wedding planning. I know I'm usually a bit disappointed when my favorite blogs are taken over by new topics and I don't want my home/ lifestyle blog to turn into a full-fledged wedding blog. That's why this will be the last wedding-related post that I'll write on this blog until the wedding. I promise to come back with a budget breakdown post next year, but other than that, this blog will have no other changes (the topics and posting will stay the same).

Still, I'm itching to write about my thoughts and ideas about the most expensive day of my life my wedding... so I've created a little spot in the blogosphere for just that purpose:

It's my Thrifty Little Vows.

Feel free to stop in from time to time to see what I'm up to... or maybe you'll want to subscribe and get every update in your Google Reader... or maybe you'll avoid it because you've had a giant crush on Nate and want to pretend like he is still available. Whatever the case, you're always welcome! I've already added in a more detailed proposal story and a post on how we met.

But before I move my wedding-brain over there, I have one final wedding-related question for you:
In your experience planning (or attending) a wedding, what do you wish you would have spent more or less money on?

26 comments:

Kate@TwentySixToLife September 13, 2010 at 12:07 PM  

Woohoo! I'll definitely be checking out the other blog!

As far the wedding expenditures go, I wish I had spent more on a great photographer. The day will only happen once, but the photos are forever. And since our wedding was a big party, we focused on getting a great DJ and having great food (and drinks!). We spent almost nothing on flowers and decorations (just get a location that doesn't need "dressing up") and kept everything else reasonable. Have fun planning!

Kristi W @ life at the chateau whitman September 13, 2010 at 12:15 PM  

Alright! I just added your new blog to the reader, and I'm off to check it out.

Lauren September 13, 2010 at 12:18 PM  

Great idea Kasey! I didn't want to go full fledged wedding on my blog either. I am excited to hear what great ideas you come up with! And keep up with your "regular" blog too! :)

Not sure if you have seen this site but it's one of my favorites:
http://www.mydiyweddingday.com/

Lauren September 13, 2010 at 12:19 PM  

oh.. and the majority of our budget was spent on food and our photographer. I wasn't willing to settle for crappy pictures! :)

Kristen September 13, 2010 at 12:29 PM  

I agree with spending more moolah than you'll want to on a photographer. My hubby and I had a photographer friend who gave us a great deal ($300) --- so when planning the wedding I was like SWEET!! But, I didn't get the artistic quality that I really wanted and now, after 2 years of marriage I really wish we had spent more for a professional photographer (now, I would easily pay $2,000+ for amazing photographs). Because when its all over with, that's all you really have are your photos.

Also, if we had had the money, I would have loved to have had a videographer who could make a lovely video of our special day. I had a friend video tape with his little hand-held (which I love going back and looking at), but its not all "hollywood" like a professional videographer could have done.

CONGRATULATIONS!!! and have fun!

tellerallaboutit September 13, 2010 at 12:32 PM  

I second some of the other comments - do NOT scrimp on a photographer! It was by far one of our biggest expenses and it was so worth it. Also, do NOT get a videographer. Just buy yourselves a decent video camera and pay a friend $50 to kind of "babysit" the camera during the evening. Trust me, you won't regret it! Especially if you have a Mac - SO easy to edit it yourself. That's a tip I picked up from a friend and it was the best advice I got! Happy planning!

Julie,  September 13, 2010 at 12:33 PM  

We were thrifty for our wedding day, too, so I have no regrets on what we spent. But I do have some suggestions:

- Food and drink are worth spending money on. It's likely what your guests will remember (and appreciate) the most.
- Photos will be one of the few tangible items you'll have from your wedding, so they're worth some extra dough.
- Your dj could make or break the party, but good dj's don't necessarily cost big bucks. Just make sure you get references and recommendations.
- Your dress should be comfortable and you should feel beautiful and confident in it, but there is no need to spend 4 figures on an outfit for one day. Remember to factor in alterations, too. If you can find a manufacturer that makes the dresses to length (Casablanca did for my dress) that can save a lot of money since more layers to hem = more $.
- DIYing decor is fun, cheap, perfectly customized, and the most memorable for you and your guests (though I'm sure I didn't need to tell you that!)
-And lastly, don't forget to haggle!! As my husband says, everything is negotiable!

I could go on, but I don't want to take up too much comment space. Congrats again and good luck with the planning! Enjoy it all -- it's such a special time and it won't last long!

AnneWF,  September 13, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

Congratulations on your engagement. Weddings are always fun to plan and put together. Would you consider putting a link to your wedding site at the top of your page?

Peace,
Anne WF

Danielle and Clint September 13, 2010 at 1:16 PM  

I am with everyone else on photographer! Pictures last forever.

Also, plan your wedding in the off season, if you can. We did a Christmas wedding and saved tons on the venue, and never had to worry about our date booking up.

Do not skimp on the flowers also. get quotes and ask the florist their opinions on what would work for your price range.

YAH! Can't wait to read your plans!

Danielle and Clint September 13, 2010 at 1:19 PM  

O and the DJ! We went cheap on him and saw him preform at other weddings and he stunk at ours!! I could of set up my Ipod for a better time!

Audreya September 13, 2010 at 1:50 PM  

Agreed... photographer! You can find beautiful dresses for a good price. You can be creative with a menu, etc. But pictures are so important and you do get what you pay for.

Of course, as a cake decorator, I also have to say THE CAKE!! I did not love my cake (didn't hate it either) but it was before I started doing cakes. Now it would be a whole different ballgame. PS: Austin is my second favorite city in America. Just sayin'. :-)

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog September 13, 2010 at 2:01 PM  

Wow, so much to think about! Thanks for the tips!!

@AnneWF~ Good idea! I just added a button thant links to it under my picture on the right :).

Amanda @ Tall Glass of Water September 13, 2010 at 3:45 PM  

Can't wait to see your thrifty wedding ideas. And offering a few of my own. I agree, I want this blog to stay on topic just how it is :)

Kelly@TearingUpHouses September 13, 2010 at 4:04 PM  

I am sure that there will be many, MANY readers of your new blog. Reasonably priced weddings (as mine was!) are challenging!

As far as my wedding, I would have spent more on my tailor. I took my dress to an inexpensive place I'd had success with in the past, but didn't realize that it was a different dressmaker working on my gown. She completely butchered it. Long story.

What I would have spent less on was flowers. We really skimped on them to begin with, but went with a gentleman who was highly recommended and paid well for what we got. Well, he was a FLOP. I figured if we were only going to have a few it made sense to pay a little more for something fantastic and also so that we wouldn't have to worry about it, but in the end he was late and the flowers were TOTALLY UNIMPRESSIVE.

Most of our budget was spent on our oceanfront venue, dinner, and an open bar. But we had a tiny (forty person) wedding -- by choice, not because of budget -- so it wasn't terrible.

Anyway, congratulations again on the engagement!

Kelly

p.s. I'm actually in the minority that "skimped" on photography and was THRILLED with the results. I paid two art school students turned full time wedding photographers and they charged me $500 (total) for eight hours of wedding shots and a one hour engagement shoot. AMAZING, I know. I loved working with them, and I was pretty happy with the results -- and I'm incredibly picky about photography. I did, however, look at a ton of their work before I hired them.

Kelly@TearingUpHouses September 13, 2010 at 4:04 PM  

I am sure that there will be many, MANY readers of your new blog. Reasonably priced weddings (as mine was!) are challenging!

As far as my wedding, I would have spent more on my tailor. I took my dress to an inexpensive place I'd had success with in the past, but didn't realize that it was a different dressmaker working on my gown. She completely butchered it. Long story.

What I would have spent less on was flowers. We really skimped on them to begin with, but went with a gentleman who was highly recommended and paid well for what we got. Well, he was a FLOP. I figured if we were only going to have a few it made sense to pay a little more for something fantastic and also so that we wouldn't have to worry about it, but in the end he was late and the flowers were TOTALLY UNIMPRESSIVE.

Most of our budget was spent on our oceanfront venue, dinner, and an open bar. But we had a tiny (forty person) wedding -- by choice, not because of budget -- so it wasn't terrible.

Anyway, congratulations again on the engagement!

Kelly

p.s. I'm actually in the minority that "skimped" on photography and was THRILLED with the results. I paid two art school students turned full time wedding photographers and they charged me $500 (total) for eight hours of wedding shots and a one hour engagement shoot. AMAZING, I know. I loved working with them, and I was pretty happy with the results -- and I'm incredibly picky about photography. I did, however, look at a ton of their work before I hired them.

Ann Porteous September 13, 2010 at 4:24 PM  

That is great to see you did your own blog for the wedding!
I know from planning my own you will need it!!
DO not scrimp on the photos!
We paid a lot for the venue but it was totally worth the package deal, food and beverage and a great place for the PHOTOS!!
and remember to plan a honeymoon right away, do not scrimp out on taking one!!!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards September 13, 2010 at 5:59 PM  

i would have paid a little more for a photographer to get all the digital rights. And, I would have splurged for a photo booth to get shots of all our guests.

I think I would have gone for a simpler dress that cost less. I loved my dress, but it feels wasteful to me.

Best of luck! So happy for you.

Ingrid@morestylethancash September 13, 2010 at 6:20 PM  

I feel that the best thing we did at our wedding was on top of having a wedding photographer we had a good friend of mine be our unofficial photographer. She took photos of everyone taking our photos, my father hopping around on his crutches (he broke his leg 3 days before the wedding) people gossiping together, laughing, and all the stuff my husband and I didn't see.
After being married for 23 years it is her photos I love looking at, not the professional ones.

Kim at Yellow Brick Home September 13, 2010 at 7:53 PM  

Kasey,

We had an ultra thrifty DIY wedding ourselves. Everything I found in the stores, online, or through vendors made me think, "I can make that better." We spent hours upon hours upon hours crafting our own guest lists, programs, invites, save the dates, centerpieces, favors, etc. We even bought colored light bulbs for our venue to avoid hiring a lighting specialist. Luckily, we had a very understanding event coordinator at our venue (an old art gallery for the reception with a theater attached, where we had the ceremony).

Truth is, we look back and love every special touch we put on our very amazing day. It was honestly the best day of my life!

My biggest tip for you is to NOT settle for a student photographer / family member / amateur. It may seem harsh, but our biggest chunk of money went to the photographer which we do NOT regret AT ALL. Those photos are priceless, and as a photographer myself, I wasn't about to hire a friend or former classmate (also photographers) just to save money. They were there to enjoy the day with us - not work.

As for what I would have spent more money on...nothing! Because we literally made everything ourselves, the whole day had such a special stamp on it. It was so much hard work and a lot of weekends and week nights spent inside crafting, but in the end - it was worth it. Everything.

I'll stop rambling, but I just love weddings so much! You should see my ridiculously organized binder! Phew. If you have any questions along the way, please drop me a line. I'd love to give advice if you don't think that's too creepy :)

Congrats again!

Liz,  September 13, 2010 at 8:03 PM  

Congratulations!

I second the comment a few above -- I would have paid extra for the digital rights to my photos. Most photographers seem to "throw" in the rights nowadays, but I was going with a family friend who runs a professional photography business and they charged an extra $500 for the rights. I definitely wasn't willing to pay that much extra so that was the sacrifice I made (my dad's one "demand" was that we went with a photographer we knew/whose work we knew). I'm not in love with any of my posed photos, but I am in love with a lot of the candids and I did end up with an album that's really really nice, and that I really enjoy flipping through. If you get an album definitely include a lot of candids; they really make the album and capture the spirit of the day.

I ended up DIY-ing my center pieces and table numbers; instead of numbers I actuallyed "numbered" each table according to 1 Cor. 13, a cliche verse to many, but one that is really meaningful to me. So for example my tables were numbered (1) "Love is patient", (2) "Love is kind", etc. I used scrapbooking paper, a Cricut, stamps, and dollar store frames to create them. It took a bit of time, but very little money and I loved the final product. So much so that I ended up hanging the frames in a grid like pattern on the wall of our bedroom, and it adds so much to the space and is sentimental. My whole point with this is that while it's not only cheaper to DIY, some things you may be able to enjoy after the wedding as an added bonus :)

One last thing: I was really, really determined to cut the location costs down. I live in Delaware so attractive wedding locations were limited from the get go, but just about everything was ruled out from the beginning just because it was more than I was willing to spend. In the end I had my ceremony in an old church on a state park, and my reception at restaurant in the middle of nowhere that boasted a beautiful terrace and backyard (where I had my reception). Both were absolutely perfect and I was so glad that I didn't settle and spend more than I was willing to, and kept looking even when it was incredibly frustrating.

Good luck with your planning!

Marie Bean September 14, 2010 at 10:23 AM  

I'm not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, perhaps through young house love's blog, anyways, I enjoy reading because I just moved away from Austin and still love and miss that city. I started a wedding and event planning business (www.marieandco.net) and would love to help you come up with thrifty wedding ideas if you ever need any. I love all things DIY especially when it comes to weddings. check out my website if you have a chance and email me if you have questions, I also have lots of ideas for great caterers around austin, florists, rental companies, etc etc. Good luck with your planning!

Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d September 14, 2010 at 3:13 PM  

I 100% agree with the comments about hiring a good photographer/ In the end, that's all you'll have left once the day has passed.

RJ @ A Life Designed September 14, 2010 at 6:20 PM  

We did spend a decent part of our budget on a photographer {$1400}, but still weren't happy. *lol* I wish I'd doubled the budget and kept looking {and I looked at *a lot* of photographers!}

Overall everything else was very DIY or on a budget {we cut out a lot like no cocktail hour, I designed + printed any paper goods that we used}, but I wish I'd spent less on my dress. It was beautiful and I loved it, but I now have a $600 dress hanging in my closet and have had no success selling it. :S

Good luck with all your planning!

maggiewants September 15, 2010 at 12:27 PM  

Eh, the photography thing is hit or miss, I think. We hired a police officer who had done wedding photography as a side job for 25+ years. He was very reasonably priced, open to suggestions of what photos I wanted, and we got all the rights. I think if I would've shelled out two grand on a trendy photographer, I'd end up with trendy pictures (whole wedding party jumping in the air, anyone?) that I would laugh at in just a few years. I think a lot of the expensive wedding photography today is very beautiful, but like I said, trendy, and almost vain. My husband and I only have two large pictures from our wedding hanging up. One is a close-up of his jacket and boutonniere and one is of my bouquet, and they hang in our bedroom. We have a small wedding album of posed and candid shots that we love.

Other areas I'd consider watching your spending: invitations (they get thrown away by 99% of your guests someday), flowers as decorations (if you have a nice venue, no one even notices them), and your dress.

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia September 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM  

Uff, so much to read so I'll try to be short. We had a destination Wedding back on the homeland. We paid $1500.00 for the Wedding @ a Beach resort wich included A welcome basket, flowers -including my bouquet, a Romantic dinner for 2 in a sister Hotel, 2 guitar players for the ceremony, small cake, decor, one 8x10 pict. framed, Civil Judge, and private dinner for all in a Ocean view restaurant. NOW, everyone paid for their stay in the hotel (about $65which was all inclusive)so pretty much they closed the Restaurant we choosed to have our Wedding Dinner. We got married in a Gazebo overlooking the ocean, it was decorated with simple white fabric that dance in the breeze. I din't bother much with the decor.

The Hair Styler and photographer work with the hotel but was optional, no commitment there.
We choose to spent the most on the photos and we don't regret it one bit. Everything was great because pretty much our family used this time as vacation, so it was a weekend long celebration.
I'm so following your wedding blog!
Crap- that wasnt that short!

Jenna Scott September 30, 2010 at 2:03 PM  

Congrats! I did my wedding in under$2500, including the dress & all the bridesmaids dresses! (mostly because my venue was a family members very large backyard) If I could do it all over again, I'd hire a great photographer. Our pictures were like homecoming pictures, nothing too special ;( but, we made up for it on our year anniversary,when I trashed my dress to get some over the top pictures!

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