The Budget Savvy Bride » Ashley Catherine http://thebudgetsavvybride.com helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank Wed, 27 May 2015 17:43:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Oregon City Brunch Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/oregon-city-brunch-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/oregon-city-brunch-wedding/#comments Tue, 31 Dec 2013 16:30:37 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=26973  

I’m back! I have to say the month leading up to (and after) your wedding goes very quickly. But I happened to luck out in several ways with our celebration. One by having absolutely beautiful, although crisp and chilly, weather for our outdoor ceremony. And second by staying under our $10,000 budget.

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Ashley + Tom
October 5, 2013
Oregon City, OR  |  Abernethy Center

What was your budget?

We set our budget at $10,000 knowing that with help from our family this was a budget we could realistically afford. From there we used general rough estimates on specific categories like food, dress, venue, etc. Here’s how it played out: 

  • Wedding rings – $815
  • Bride’s outfit – $1,190
  • Groom’s outfit – $185
  • Venue – $1,000
  • Catering – $3,100
  • Alcohol – $600
  • Cake – $160
  • DJ – $500
  • Flowers – $300
  • Centerpieces – $75
  • Paper goods – $400* (rough estimate)
  • Photography – $1,000
  • Guestbook – $30
  • Hair and Makeup – $60
  • Salon appointments for bridesmaids – $180

Our budget came to about $9,600 total. Our parents covered catering, alcohol and venue costs and other friends and family pitched in on several small items, either by offering assistance making them, or by helping to pay for them.

 

 

How many guests did you have?

100

 

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

It was very important for us to have a wedding that felt personal and intimate, even though we would have around 100 guests. We had a morning wedding and featured a brunch menu complete with a waffle bar, fresh fruit, croissants and scones. Tom and I love breakfast food so this choice was very appropriate!

Our cake toppers were action figurines from our favorite video game, Halo. Which is also the first game we played together as a couple. Nothing helps you bond more than a mutual love of killing cartoon aliens!

It was also important for our guests to have something fun to do. On each table we placed scrabble pieces along with a clue card. Once unscrambled, the word would spell out a favorite TV show, movie or video game of ours. Since we were going to Ireland for our honeymoon, we hung a large map of the country on one of the walls in our reception space and had guests mark with gold stars the places they thought we should visit on our trip.

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We cut out what I consider unnecessary frills. This means no programs or favors. We also had minimal décor since our venue had plenty of ambiance on its own. I had been collecting unique bottles for the past year and used these as our centerpieces. I estimate with the money I spent on ribbon accents and the money I spent on some of the bottles (others were donated to my cause) each centerpiece was roughly $4.

Another big factor that saved us money was picking a date in the “off-season” and choosing a morning over afternoon or evening. This fact alone saved us thousands of dollars. No joke!

We also chose three single layer cakes, rather than a tiered cake, which helped cut costs.

 

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

Time is your friend. If you plan a wedding on a crunch your options are fewer and you will likely spend more. Use your friends, but don’t abuse them. Our DJ, florist and photographer were friends of ours or friends of a friend. I didn’t presume what we should pay them or assume we should pay them pennies just because we knew them. We told them our rough budget for these categories and let them decide what seemed fair.

 

What was your biggest splurge?

My dress was at the very top of my budget (about $900 + tailoring). We splurged a bit on food, opting for a hosted waffle bar rather than pre-made food. Unknown to us at the time, our fathers chipped in to offer a hosted drink for our guests, mimosas.

 

What was your favorite detail?

My former coworker and friend did our flower arrangements and they were one of my favorite things from the day. I still keep some parts of my bouquet (that happened to dry well) on my desk at work. The flowers were stunning, and were found at a local grocer’s market and flower farm.

Tom’s aunt paid for and designed our save-the-dates and invitations. I used left over card stock from those projects to make our table cards.

My stepfather married us which was incredibly personal and touching. We wrote and recited our own vows to each other, and he read a favorite bible passage and favorite poem of ours.

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

I had my “florist” friend and her cohorts tie small baggies full of flower petals to the back of each chair in the ceremony area. After Tom and I said “I do”, kissed, and headed back down the aisle, our guests threw flower petals at us to wish us well!

 

VENDORS

Venue and Catering: Abernethy Center  //  Photography: BMW Photography  //  Cake: Le Cookie Monkey  //  Flowers: Penny Beckwith  //  DJ: Jon Del Secco  //  Dress: Sweetheart Gowns  //  Rings: Sherrie’s Jewelry Box

 

 

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DIY Pearl Accented Veil http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/diy-pearl-accented-veil/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/diy-pearl-accented-veil/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 15:24:01 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=23502

Forget the dress. These days a new veil purchased in a boutique or even a David’s Bridal will cost you anywhere from $50 to $300. Definitely not budget savvy. Some brides forgo the veil in favor of a simpler look like a birdcage veil, hair brooch or flower accent. These are typically much less expensive than a veil. But if you’re like me and want the classic bridal look, one option to consider is reusing a previously worn veil.

I mentioned in another post that I am not a crafty person but this project was one that I was really looking forward to. First because I got to work with my mother on it and that was special for us. Shout out to my mom, who has been a huge help to me throughout the wedding planning process! The other fun aspect was watching this 20-year-old veil transform into something modern and lovely.

Supplies:

  • Veil
  • Sewing scissors
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Glass pearl beads

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When I got to the veil Mom had already removed the fake roses that were attached before we started the project. She didn’t know I was going to document all of this! First, using the fabric scissors, I gently cut away all of the poofs.

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Now that the veil was poof-free we could easily see the wires that had held the fake roses in place. Next I took a sturdier pair of scissors to cut these off, and pushed any rough edges around the circlet so they wouldn’t poke my head!

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Using gorilla glue, I attached the end of this sheer and translucent white ribbon to the circlet and began wrapping it all the way around. I didn’t worry about being exactly precise with spacing, but even so the ribbon now looks like it was meant to be there.

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Finally Mom and I took a strand of tiny glass pearls we purchased at a crafts store and began wrapping this around the circlet. Every so often I would put a tiny drop of gorilla glue down and press a pearl to it, just to make sure the whole thing wouldn’t slide around or otherwise fall apart. We used another type of fabric glue at first and it wasn’t enough to hold everything in place but the gorilla glue was fantastic. I would absolutely recommend the stuff.

So that’s how I took an old veil and reconditioned it to look brand new! All for around $5 worth of craft supplies. If you don’t have a female friend or relative with a veil, take a look a bridal consignment shops. Just because you can’t find exactly what you’re envisioning, doesn’t mean you can’t take something close and create your vision with the help of some simple supplies!

 

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Getting Married Before the Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/getting-married-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/getting-married-wedding/#comments Fri, 20 Sep 2013 13:29:40 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=23420

That’s right. I’m now legally married. This was not our original plan but came about because of our honeymoon travel itinerary.

My dear father-in-law did a very generous thing by purchasing our plane tickets to Ireland – we’re very excited! He also booked our flights. And he booked mine in my married name. Years ago this wasn’t much of an issue, you could bring your certified marriage license to the airport with you and still go on your flight. We thought that was the case this time but I double and triple checked with Orbitz, the State Travel Agency and our airline. While the government seemed to think I could travel on the marriage license, the airline and Orbitz disagreed. They said their regulations are much more strict now especially for international travel. Quite a few months had passed when our travel itinerary was forwarded to the fiancé and I (not calling him husband just yet!) and returning my plane ticket and purchasing a new one would mean a lot of lost $$ for my father-in-law. So it was decided to get married legally early and begin the name change process so that by the time we leave on the honeymoon I can travel on my brand new passport.

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Not the marriage license – apparently just for looks! We’ll sign this at our wedding on October 5, 2013.

This definitely added some stress on top of the wedding, I am now going through the name change process while still planning our big day, but I think it was the right choice. Fortunately my Stepfather is ordained and was willing to perform a simple ceremony at a moment’s notice. We applied for our license on a Friday morning, were married Monday night, the paperwork was filed Wednesday morning and we received certified copies that same day. All in all a very quick and easy process. In fact getting married legally is a very painless process, much less involved than renewing your Driver’s license at the DMV or filling out Financial Aid information for school. Tom and I even joked that our real marriage license looked like a FAFSA form.

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THIS is our marriage license – with the select information photoshopped out.

For our impromptu ceremony we had just parents and siblings in attendance. We said simple vows to each other and even though we were in front of just our immediate family… I cried and was really at a loss for words up at the altar. I have NO idea what I’ll do on our wedding day! It was important that we not take the focus off our wedding which is still the day we are looking forward to, the day we will celebrate the start of our marriage and the day we will count as our anniversary. Even so our small ceremony was very meaningful and I can now see why someone would want to elope or have a small, intimate wedding. I didn’t feel like I was putting on a show for anyone. Everyone there cared A LOT. It was a great moment! But I still want that wedding and I don’t quite feel “married” yet. Tom and I joke that we are half-married.

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Husband and Wife after signing our marriage “homework”

So know this, weddings are important. There is something to be said about saying your vows in front of everyone, in front of the community. It adds a layer of ceremony and importance. But when it comes down to it, a wedding is not about marriage, it’s about show. Marriage is committing indefinitely what you already have with your significant other. Hopefully it’s an acknowledgement of the relationship you’ve built and has a solid foundation of trust and history. Being married today I don’t feel like a different person at all. And that I think – is a good thing.

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Tips for Surviving The Inevitable Bumps of Wedding Planning http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/tips-for-surviving-the-inevitable-bumps-of-wedding-planning/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/tips-for-surviving-the-inevitable-bumps-of-wedding-planning/#comments Mon, 09 Sep 2013 14:47:37 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=23201

 

No matter how long you plan or how simple you want your wedding to be, you will run into some bumps along the way. These issues I encountered mattered a lot to me at first. But now they seem like small pieces of what will be a great day, no matter what. Here are some of my Tips for Surviving The Inevitable Bumps of Wedding Planning:

I asked one of my good friends from childhood, the girl I considered my best friend, to be my bridesmaid. Her reaction wasn’t what I expected – she kept saying she wanted to do what made me happy but wasn’t really into it. When we went dress shopping she spent most of the time complaining about the price of a dress or that she couldn’t wear her favorite colors – navy blue or violet purple (our colors are orange, red, brown, and reddish-purple). I decided it wasn’t working and told her she shouldn’t feel obligated to be a maid if it wasn’t truly something she wanted to do. Yeah, it hurt that she wasn’t interested but overall it was a relief.

TIP: Don’t take things too personally. Each person has their own comfort level when it comes to being part of a wedding.

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We’re in the midst of getting RSVPs in the mail with just a few days left until the deadline I gave. And… we have a little over 1/2 of them back. Frustrating? Extremely. We have to give our venue a fairly accurate count so that we don’t overpay for food or have to turn people away. So my fiancé and I will be spending next weekend getting in touch with our respective people who did not RSVP. I don’t expect this to be easy or fun since we’ll be putting people on the spot – and that’s if we can reach them. But we have to know.

TIP: Plan ahead for this as it WILL happen. If the venue needs your count by mid-month, ask for RSVPs at the beginning of the month to give yourself enough time to hunt down answers.

The fiancé and I went with a Saturday morning wedding because we love breakfast food but also to save some $$. This means we don’t have time to really do anything earlier in the day. For me that means hair and makeup needs to come to my house really early in the morning. I had been talking to someone who was willing to do that but just discovered she wouldn’t be bringing any supplies with her – her equipment stays at her salon. And I am utterly HOPELESS when it comes to makeup. Most days I just wear some powder foundation or go barefaced. So now with just over a month left I need to find someone else who can bring their own supplies, travel to me, and be willing to get everything done before 8am.

TIP: Be upfront about expectations with your vendors. Be realistic about what you can accomplish pre-wedding, especially if you are getting married early in the day.

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Our venue provides their own catering and you are NOT allowed to being in any outside food or alcohol, besides a cake. That was a drawback when we choose the place but we stuck with them for several other reasons. Our options for alcohol are to pay for an open bar ($250 set-up free + $5 per drink) do a tray-passed toast of champagne for $3 per person or have a cash-bar set up for $250 and let people pay for their own drink. I’ve read in wedding magazines that cash bars are tacky and have heard several conflicting opinions about which route we should take. But the simple truth is that we can’t afford an open bar. I thought that giving people the option of getting a drink was better than denying them that choice. I don’t know what people will expect – I know the weddings I’ve been to have included an open bar. But they all took place at night and had a much smaller guest list than we do. I am confident that our guests will have a good time regardless.

TIP: Don’t focus on what people will think or what some wedding magazine or judgmental person tells you is expected. Do what is comfortable. Do what is in your budget.

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Project Centerpiece http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/project-centerpiece/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/project-centerpiece/#comments Thu, 05 Sep 2013 12:45:42 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=23044

I don’t consider myself a “crafty” person. I can’t knit or sew, I don’t scrapbook, and I stay away from paint. But I also knew part of planning a budget wedding would include some DIY. What I’ve realized is that I can be creative with items without needing to make anything myself, or at least not anything time-intensive.

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Close to my vision. Photo from Seattle chic on Flickr.

Bring on Project Centerpiece! My venue offers votive and tealight centerpieces for $8 per table. But I knew I could come up with something more unique and fitting for our fall-themed event for far less. First off we will be having fresh flowers in our centerpieces so I will obviously need something to put them in. I settled on using wine bottles. For the last several months I’ve been saving up nice bottles I buy (not always wine), peeling off the labels, soaking and cleaning them. Friends and family members, after hearing of my plan, have been generously donating bottles as well. I plan on tying red, burnt orange, or purple ribbons to each of these.

 

I’m calling these “free” even though in some cases I’ve spent something on them… I can definitely say they come to less than $4 per bottle. But just plopping one of these on each table won’t do. We’ll also be scattering these red, white, and orange glass pebbles on each table around the centerpieces. These were given to me for free from my boss. We used them for an event last year and they had been lying around the office ever since. I’m just glad I found them!

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The third element will be framed photos of my fiancé and me growing up. These will also be free. I’ve asked family and friends if they were willing to donate frames for the day and so far I have a good sized collection of wooden, silver, and neutral toned photo frames. In a few weeks I’ll start digging around our families’ homes for some pictures to put in them. I think this will give our wedding a nice personal touch and who doesn’t like something cute to look at?

One thing I really like about these centerpieces is that they are not only inexpensive but almost completely waste-free. The bottles will be recycled, the pebbles reused, and the photo frames returned to their owners. This makes me feel really good.

 

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Wedding Guestbook Ideas http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/wedding-guestbook-ideas/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/wedding-guestbook-ideas/#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 13:47:10 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=22820

 

One of the nice things about planning a wedding on a budget is not feeling obligated to do what is considered traditional. From the aspects you decide to cut out completely (we’re not having table numbers or favors) to things you decide to do a little differently, or to DIY.

Throughout the wedding planning process I’ve been pretty open to new and different ideas. My fiance, on the other hand, likes to go the more traditional route. And even though some people say the wedding is all about the bride, I always strive to make sure Tom is involved even if it’s as simple as asking him if he’s okay with something I like. If he wasn’t, I wouldn’t do it!

One area we’ve compromised on is with our guestbook. I knew people got creative in this area but I never realized how much until I started looking at wedding boards on Pinterest. Wow! And a lot of these wedding guestbook ideas are not only more unique than the traditional book with lined pages for signatures, but can also be more budget savvy. See some of the examples below:

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The guestbook can be something you use as decoration.

 

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Or a guestbook can be an item you will use later on.

 

 

We decided to go with a photobook ourselves. This option satisfies my need to have something fun and still gives Tom a “book” where we can read notes from our guests. Tom’s best woman (his good female friend will be in our wedding party) received $20 credit for Shutterfly when she purchased her gown at David’s Bridal. She gave that to me to use! I chose a 20-page 12×12 inch hardbound book for $35. With $20 off, the price went down to $15, and shipping added $10 for a total of $25. I think it’s a great deal! Our photobook will feature pictures of trips my fiance and I have taken and it will give our guests something fun to look at as well. 

I think a photobook is a great option and I’ve seen lots of deals through sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. But don’t feel limited by what is traditional, choose something you’ll appreciate years down the road whether it’s a framed photo or a surfboard!

 

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Cake Drama http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/cake-drama/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/cake-drama/#comments Mon, 19 Aug 2013 13:04:50 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=22674 WeddingCakeCoquette

Desert is one area where my fiance and I have done some serious compromising.

For starters, I wanted cupcakes. They’re fun, you can get them in a variety of flavors, colors, and there is less to clean up at the end of the event (not that I would be doing the clean up). But as it turns out my fiance is more of a stickler for tradition than I am. He really wanted the classic wedding cake, so we nixed the cupcake idea. We weren’t looking to get anything elaborate – see the cake in the photo above! Some cakes can really become more art than food, which is never a good thing in my opinion.

What kind of cake did the fiance want? Chocolate. Plain old chocolate. Meanwhile I wanted us to offer a couple different flavors for our guests. Because, let’s face it – not everyone wants chocolate. Tom was standing firm, but a trip to my cousin’s wedding changed his mind. They had several little cakes, maybe five or six total, in all different flavors. And the guests loved it! So in the end we agreed we would have a medium sized chocolate cake that would function as our traditional cake. This will be the one our topper goes on, and the one that we cut. And we get to have two other little cakes!

We moved right on from a debate about type of cake and flavors to where the heck we should buy this cake. I ran into a similar problem at each place I looked. A bakery will offer an “occasion” or “celebration” for say $1 or $2 per slice. While for a “wedding” cake they charge $4 per slice. I was starting to think I would need to lie about our purpose for wanting a cake!

I started our process by looking at ratings online – using Yelp. That helped me narrow down our selection. If I saw someone say the bakery was overpriced or they went through a ton of hassles, I took them off our list. In the end we visited two bakeries that were close by us, reasonably priced, and had great reviews! One of them was going to cost us around $160 to feed 100 people, and they included delivery as well as creating a unique design for the cake. The second bakery told us they would give us their regular “custom” cake pricing after hearing we didn’t want a tiered cake and only cared for minimal decorations. That turned out to be around $130 but won’t include delivery and again, designs will be limited to icing swirls, dots, and initials. In the end we went with the second choice. Not just because it was cheaper but because they had a fabulous pumpkin cake flavor that will be perfect for our October wedding! Oh, and the devils food chocolate isn’t bad either.

How was your cake search? Did you have trouble deciding on flavors / size / decorations?

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Fall Wedding Inspiration http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/fall-wedding-inspiration/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/fall-wedding-inspiration/#comments Thu, 08 Aug 2013 13:36:09 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=22546

 

Originally my fiancé and I were planning on having a late summer wedding. When we started looking at venues and what was in our budget, October became the best option. Fortunately the autumn months have a lot to offer for fall wedding inspiration. Our colors will be rich reds, oranges, purples, deep yellows and browns. Our ceremony is outside next to a gazebo in a grove of trees. And I’m counting on the leaves starting to change to give our space a warm vibrant feel.

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Our reception will be indoors but I want to carry out our fall theme by bringing the outdoors indoors. I plan on using décor such as cinnamon sticks, curly willow branches (I found a bunch of 10 online for $13), star anise spice, slices of tree trunk for table centerpieces, and pine cones. Some of these pieces I already have in my possession for free from work.

 

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to have fresh flowers for our centerpieces and bouquets. I understand they can be more expensive but I just love the feel and smells they bring. I’m lucky that one of my former coworkers and friend is a floral designer by hobby. She offered to put together all of my pieces with no upcharge beyond the cost of supplies. And she knows where to look to find bulk flowers locally for a great price. I’m looking forward to what we come up with! Right now I’d like to use dahlias, spider mums, liatris, zinnia, wheatgrass, baby’s breath, and possibly fiddle fern. I haven’t thought about how these will all look together but I like each one individually.

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Source: gallery.weddingbee.com, brides.com, intimatewedding.com

Another way we’ll incorporate the fall theme is with food. I plan on having spiced apple cider available to drink and one of our cake options (I’m thinking of going with three mini cakes) will either be spice or pumpkin! I don’t know yet about using pumpkins or gourds for decorating. I guess I’m on the fence with that one.

 

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Stretching the Dress Budget http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/stretching-the-dress-budget/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/stretching-the-dress-budget/#comments Thu, 01 Aug 2013 13:00:39 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=22492

 

I have a confession to make. I am a fan of the show Say Yes to the Dress on TLC. And I’m willing to guess I’m not the only bride here that watches. As anyone who watches the show knows Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan is not known for having budget-friendly wedding gowns. Most of the women on the show are looking in the price range of $2,500 to $5,000 and you will occasionally see those who get gowns priced at $10,000 and up. Whew! That’s my whole wedding budget right there.

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So what does this have to do with anything?

When I was originally setting my wedding budget I allocated $500 to $1,000 on the dress (including alterations). Of course I was hoping to stick closer to $500. Like many brides-to-be I got swept away in the magic and romanticism of “the dress” and went looking about three months in to my 16-month engagement. The first place I decided to look? David’s Bridal. And look I did! I did not find much in their racks that I liked. I didn’t want anything with bling… meaning zero beading. It’s just not my style. I’m also not a fan of extreme shapes like a mermaid or ballgown. Plus on my 5’1 frame I wanted something that would make me look grown-up and womanly and not drowning in fabric.

The first gown I tried on at David’s Bridal (and liked) was a lace fit & flare. It was pretty and I was feeling pretty good about myself in it, and excited to find something I liked. But it wasn’t the most comfortable dress. Even though it wasn’t a mermaid I still felt restricted in it and was worried I wouldn’t be able to dance freely. Then I tried sitting down and again, it was uncomfortable. I realized the dress wasn’t going to cut it. The next gown I liked actually had a bit of poof to it, something I originally didn’t want.

fit & flare style on the left with a poofy look on the right
fit & flare style on the left with a poofy look on the right

I debated this dress but ultimately decided that although it was fun and cute it wasn’t what I envisioned myself wearing on my wedding day. The nice thing is that both of these dresses priced in at $490 and $540 respectively. So they were right on the mark budget wise.

I decided to go for a more traditional bridal salon experience and booked an appointment at a small local boutique. Dresses started at around $750 and went up from there. I tried on about 5 or 6 dresses and found one I liked A LOT. It had everything I wanted! It was lace, aline, ivory, with no beading, and a sweetheart neckline. I didn’t cry but I didn’t want to take it off. That says something. My mom was with me and she also loved the dress. However I did not buy it right there… I wanted to keep looking. The next month the same boutique was having a trunk sale so I decided to go back with one of my bridesmaids and try on some more dresses. I must have tried on 10 or more. Some were nice but none were as nice as my favorite from the last visit. I asked the consultant if I could try that dress on again. Then I just knew. I loved it just as much as before and felt better knowing none of the other dresses had stood up to it. My friend liked it too! The only downside? It was $899 before alterations. My Mom ended up paying for half and technically I was under my top budget of $1,000. Here it is!

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Now, I love my dress. But I have been feeling a bit guilty about purchasing it a year before the wedding and only trying on gowns at two places. I recently went looking at bridesmaid dresses with my girls and saw some great dresses at another salon that were less expensive than mine. I kept thinking that I had found “the one” because Say Yes to the Dress and other shows like it always tell you to stop looking and buy once you’ve had that feeling. Did I make the right decision? I don’t know. But I am happy with my dress. I might have been able to find something just as great for less but I know I will feel wonderful on our wedding day. Instead, I’ll just have to be more conscious of our budget in other areas.

How do you feel about wedding dress shopping? Did you get a feeling when you found “the one”? Do you have any dress regrets?

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Giving Back at a Shower http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/giving-back-at-a-shower/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/giving-back-at-a-shower/#comments Fri, 19 Jul 2013 13:47:36 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=22605

 

A few weeks ago my wonderful sister-in-law to be hosted a bridal shower in my honor. I honestly didn’t know quite what to expect. I’ve only been to one bridal shower since most of my close friends are single or unmarried. But my sister-in-law is a pro at putting together events! I was most impressed that she organized the whole thing, including designing and sending out invitations, while living on the other side of the country from us.

As far as I know the shower was a pretty budget friendly event. It was held at the family home of my fiancé and sister-in-law. A couple of neighborhood ladies, and friends of the family, donated their time to provide catering. We had cucumber sandwiches, lavender shortbread cookies, lemon bars (my favorite), and garden salad. My sister-in-law brought out her mom’s silver tea service and we had hot bridal themed rose tea to celebrate with. Decorations were minimal, and consisted of vases with different colored roses set on each table.

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I decided to invite a mix of female friends and family to the shower and almost everyone was able to attend, which was great! At the one bridal shower I attended in the past we were given small favors or gifts to take home with us. I decided that I wanted to make little gift bags for the women coming to my shower. I made 15 bags for a total of $38.00 or $2.50 per bag.

What did I include? I wanted to get gifts that would be enjoyed by my older female relatives, girlfriends who are close in age to me and my younger sisters – who are not yet in high school. I decided to buy a box of 20 Sees Chocolates, because you can’t go wrong there. These were $20, not cheap, but the money did go to a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I bought 10 flavored honey sticks at a family farm near where we live for $2. I bought a pack of 8 little bottles of nail polish for $12 at Walgreens. Then I went to Bath and Body Works where I had a giftcard for $15 to use (given to me several months before). I absolutely love their pocket-sized hand sanitizers. They are the perfect size and were on sale 5 for $5. I got 10 of these and then grabbed a couple room sprays to round out the gift bags. I ended up spending less than $5 on all of this and Bath and Body Works provided the gift bags and confetti stuffing for free with my purchase.

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Each bag contained three of the five types of items: chocolate, honey stick, hand sanitizer, nail polish, or room spray. And I feel fairly confident all of these items will be useful and appreciated but the different women who attended my shower.

My favorite part of the shower was seeing the scrapbook my sister-in-law put together for me. She had each woman attending my shower write a note of marriage advice in there. These ranged from the sentimental to the hilarious. I printed out photos from the event and added these to my shower scrapbook. I will treasure it!

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