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Project:Life Photography

Saving Money (and your Sanity!)

By Ashleigh Farley | Photography by Project:Life Photography

Posted: Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014

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Ashleigh has been living in Charlotte since 2008 with her oversized yellow lab. She is a communications professional, grad student, runner, and lover of all things wedding! After attending 13 weddings in three years, it's now Ashleigh's turn to be at the altar. Join her as she blogs about her adventures in step-by-step wedding planning and tips for other brides-to-be!

While chatting with a recent bride, my mind was blown when she told me that she attempted to do her own flowers for her wedding. Let that sink in for a moment. She never consulted a florist and her rationale was that she had done her own flowers for her bridal portraits and they turned out well. Bridal portraits are one thing, but flowers for your entire wedding are a whole different beast.

Needless to say, without the help of a professional, this was almost a disaster. The bride was up until 2 A.M. the morning of her wedding putting together bouquets. She had to pay for double the amount of flowers needed, because the first round of flowers weren’t open yet. Her bridesmaids ended up with one flower in their bouquet and she gave up on having boutonnieres and corsages until a crafty bridesmaid stepped in.

There are many things that you can do to save money when planning your wedding, and many decorative things that you can do if given the appropriate resources and time. However, there is no need to skimp on major parts of your wedding and to cause yourself an unbearable amount of stress. Some great ideas for places to save money are:

1. Place cards: these days there are so many options for place cards these days that you don’t need to pay a calligrapher to do actual cards. You can get creative (and maybe have friends, family or your bridesmaids help) with crafting something unique.

2. Chalkboards: no matter the scale of your wedding, you can make chalkboards look fancy (think: framing a chalkboard with a fancy gold frame) and with practice, or a good friend, can likely make something you’d be proud to have displayed on your big day.

3. Desserts: in recent years, we’ve moved away from serving enormous wedding cakes and having alternate dessert options such as cookies, brownies and cupcake towers. Lucky for you, these are things that you, or family members, can make in advance and serve. Take it one step farther and make “to-go” bags for guests with a simple stamp of your wedding date or your names and you’ve also covered your favor for guests.

Your DIY crafts should be accents on the big day, unless you’ve had prior experience and are sure you’ll be completely satisfied with the turnout. You can also buy items that may seem too expensive to just rent. We found that table runners with our florist were cheaper than with the linen company, and that we were able to bring our own alcohol to be served, and that my sister-in-law makes some awesome mini-pecan pies. Leave the big things to the professionals and save yourself some unnecessary stress.

What’s the biggest DIY project you or a friend tackled for a wedding?

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