Favorite Budget Wedding DIY Picture of the Week: April 26th Edition

April 26, 2013 by Nominal Nuptials

I frequently scour the depths of Pinterest looking for not only great budget wedding or DIY projects to share with my readers, but also for ideas for my own wedding! Follow Nominal Nuptials on Pinterest by clicking here!

Today’s picture comes from Pinterest user Connie Stone (via Vanessa Buchanan) and features these beautiful DIY Wedding Shoes!  It’s not completely done from scratch, as you need a basic shoe to start with, however the embellishments all around it are a great way to jazz up the shoe without spending the big bucks that a similar style shoe would cost in the store.  All you need to do is pick out the style and base color shoe you want (if you don’t already have the shoe, you can buy really cheap shoes at stores like Payless ShoeSource©).  Next, head over to a craft store near you and purchase lace, ribbon, thread, artificial flowers, or whatever else you’d like adorned on the shoe.  All you have to do is glue the items onto each shoe and voila!  A stunning shoe!



Saving Money on Your Wedding Dress

April 24, 2013 by Nominal Nuptials

Wedding dresses can really get expensive!  Kate Middleton’s wedding dress for her Royal Wedding to Prince William in the not too distant past was a whooping $326,550 USD in today’s exchange rate ($250,000 Euros).  That is a little on the extreme side, but in general, wedding dresses do tend to run in the thousands of dollars and can make up a huge portion of your wedding budget.

There are a lot of ways you can save money on a dress, however, and listed here you’ll find just a few of those tips!

Photo by Franz Xaver Winterhalter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Franz Xaver Winterhalter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


1) Buy from a discount wedding store: Discount wedding stores, like David’s Bridal, make a lot of dresses that look very similar to a lot of the super expensive couture dresses out there.  Stores like this often have a pretty wide selection of gorgeous dresses at a fraction of the price of a similar style dress at a small boutique wedding shop.

2) Buy a white prom dress:  The material may not be as nice as a traditional wedding dress, however, prom dresses are often very gorgeous and when in a white or ivory color, look like they are made to be wedding dresses.  Prom dresses aren’t nearly as expensive as wedding dresses, so buying a prom dress in white or ivory (or whatever color you want, actually) is a great way to save money on your wedding dress!

3) Buy pre-owned: A lot of brides sell their pre-worn wedding dresses after their wedding for a lot of different reasons, most of them financial and sometimes just to make extra storage space in their home.  These dresses have only been worn once (most of the time), so most of the time they are still in excellent condition. Websites like Ebay are great ways to find gently used dresses at a fraction of the cost they were new!

4) Buy a regular white dress and add embellishments to it: If you or someone you know is great with a needle and thread, buying a simple white dress from any store and then adding various embellishments to it yourself is a great way to save money.  Regular white dresses are much less expensive than traditional wedding dresses, and by adding your own extras to it (if the dress even needs it) makes it much more personal and looks just as stunning as if you went out a bought a wedding dress from a bridal shop.

What is my plan?

Well, I’m not sure exactly where I’ll ultimately be purchasing my wedding dress, as you never know where you’ll score an amazing deal, however, I can tell you where I want to purchase my dress!  Not too far from where I live, there is a great bridal shop that uses the proceeds of all their sales to support programs for victims of domestic violence.  All the dresses in their shop are donated to them from bridal boutiques from all over the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, and are then sold for between $300 and $700.  Imagine getting a couture dress for $500! This place has it! A friend of mine purchased her dress there for $350, and after we did a little internet research on it, found out it was couture!  Score!  I hope to find my dress there, as they are beautiful dresses for a fraction of the cost of the same dress at the original bridal boutique, AND the money goes to a fantastic cause!  If you have shops like that in your area, I highly recommend visiting them!

What about you all? How did you save money on your wedding dress?  Please feel free to comment!


10 Tips for Planning a Budget Wedding

April 22, 2013 by Nominal Nuptials

Weddings are inherently expensive.  Tack the word “wedding” in front of a product or service and the price magically goes through the roof.  It’s unfair, it sucks, but there are ways you can still save some money on your big day!

Here are a few tips on how to save money on your budget wedding while still throwing the wedding of your dreams!

Photo by Flickr user golden_lily

Photo by Flickr user golden_lily

1) Have it “off-season”: Wedding-related services and products tend to be a lot more expensive when it’s “wedding season”.  It varies depending upon where you live, but later in the spring through the early fall tend to be the most popular times for weddings, and thus more expensive!  Not everyone jacks up their prices during the busier seasons, but a lot of people do, so  watch out for that.  Having your wedding in January or March, or any time during the winter, can really save you some money on different vendors and you might even be able to negotiate even lower prices due to the fact that it’s not so busy for them.

2) Have it on any day other than Saturday:  Saturdays are definitely more expensive when it comes to weddings, as it’s certainly the most popular day selected for these events.  You can save a lot of money by having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, and even more still if you hold it during the middle of the week.  Sure, your guests may have to take an extra day off work, but they will because it’s your day and those that are there with you are the only ones that matter!

3) Negotiate custom packages with your photographer: A lot of photographers post their different package options on their website, and list what is included in each package type.  You may be able to negotiate a lower price if you remove some of the items from those lists.  For example, some photography packages include such things as an engagement session or a second photographer.  If you’re not planning on having an engagement session, or you’re happy with only one photographer, there’s a good chance they would knock some off the price of that package.

4)  Choose a photographer a little out of your area: If you live in a more populated area where prices are inherently more expensive due to your physical location, you might want to expand your search and look for photographers that live in a different area (ex. different state or different county).  Bear in mind, there will likely be a travel fee involved, however, sometimes the cost of the travel fee is still less than what you’ll save by not hiring a photographer that lives in your city.

5) Choose an “atypical venue”:  Places that hold weddings all the time often come with a higher price tag.  They know they’ll always be able to book a wedding on any given weekend, so they tend to be able to get away with higher prices and little wiggle room when it comes to negotiating discounts.  If you go with a less “traditional” venue, such as a park or a campground, you may be able to get a much cheaper price (in some cases, it could be free!).  Of course, a lot of the more traditional wedding venues also come with extra services (such as set up crews, clean up crews, and servers), whereas a park, campground, or other venue that doesn’t typically hold weddings will most certainly be 100% DIY.  If DIY isn’t your forte, you might have to spend more for your venue, but if you can work with a bare bones place, you can really save a lot of money in the long run.

6) Be your own DJ: This one isn’t for everybody, but it’s certainly one thing Jacob and I will be doing for our wedding.  You can save hundreds of dollars by not hiring a DJ and having your own playlist on a laptop or MP3 player/iPod.  You can create different playlists for different parts of the evening, and dedicate someone to making sure guests don’t have their way with your carefully planned selections.  You’ll want to play songs that everyone is familiar with, and leave most of your more eclectic stuff at home.  You can read more about being your own DJ here.

7) Buy artificial flowers instead of real ones: Real flowers can get expensive quickly, particularly if you choose varieties that are not in season in your area and need to be trucked in from a far away location.  You can save a lot of money on flowers by purchasing artificial flowers instead.  They will still look stunning, and you can keep them forever as a memento for your big day!  You can find more tips on saving money on flowers here.

8) Bring your own alcohol: Not all venues will allow you to bring in your own alcohol, so this won’t work for everybody.  If you are able to bring in your own alcohol, certainly take advantage of it because you can easily find some delicious beverages at much lower prices than the cost of the alcohol supplied by the venue.  Jacob and I will be stocking up on wine from our local Trader Joe’s, as they have some really great wines for really affordable prices.  You can also save money by having wine and beer only, or if you’re going to have liquor, just have one type of liquor for a “signature drink”.  You’ll save a lot of money by not having a full bar and only a limited selection.

9) Get help from your crafty friends and family:  If you have friends and family members that are good at making things, put them to work!  For example, my mother is making our wedding favors, and one of my good friends is making my wedding cake as our wedding gift! That right there will save us several hundred dollars on our wedding!  DIY projects can save you a lot of money, so if you are a creative person or have friends or family members that love getting crafty, recruit them to help with your decor or other parts of the wedding.

10) Do your own hair and makeup:  Getting your hair and makeup done professionally can get quite expensive.  You’ll also need to pay for a hair and makeup trial as well, which is often the same price as the hair and makeup on your wedding day.  You can save a lot of money by using your own makeup (or buying some new makeup that is not too expensive) and doing it yourself on your big day.  You can find a lot of great makeup resources online, and there are hundreds of how-to videos on YouTube that you can use for reference.  The good thing about doing it yourself is that you can practice as many times as you want without having to pay someone else to do it!

How about you all? What sorts of money saving tidbits did you do for your wedding that may or may not be included on this list? Please feel free to comment!


Favorite Budget Wedding DIY Picture of the Week: April 19th Edition

April 19, 2013 by Nominal Nuptials

I frequently scour the depths of Pinterest looking for not only great budget wedding or DIY projects to share with my readers, but also for ideas for my own wedding! Follow Nominal Nuptials on Pinterest by clicking here!

This week’s Favorite Budget Wedding DIY Picture of the Week comes from Pinterest user Kimbery Kreider (via Tania Hunt) and features this very creative little hanging tin can flower pots.  You can use them as decorations, backdrops for photos, or perhaps even favors for your guests.  You could use them like vases, or you could fill them with dirt and a live plant for your guests to take home!  Very simple, yet very beautiful!



How to Save Money On Your Wedding By Being Your Own DJ

April 17, 2013 by Nominal Nuptials

One of the things I’m most excited about in terms of DIY at Jacob’s and my wedding next year is the fact that I will DJ our own wedding!  Well, we’re still 18 months out, so I’m sure I’ll get more excited about something else along the way.  Anyhow, rather than spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on a professional DJ, why not crank the tunes myself?  I’ve been known to host a rockin’ party with killer tunes, so why stop now?

There are a few key factors that you’ll need to take into consideration when being your own DJ that if it’s not done, your wedding music may seem a little odd or out of whack.  I’ve actually spent a lot of time DJing my own house parties, so I’m excited to share these tips of which most come from first hand personal experience!

Photo By Andres B (originally posted to Flickr as iPod mixer) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo By Andres B (originally posted to Flickr as iPod mixer) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


1) Amplification and Balance:  In order to get people off their butts and onto the dance floor, the tunes need to be pumpin’.  In other words, you need to have speakers and/or a subwoofer that can really amplify the tunes throughout the room.  No one is going to want to dance to a quite little mono stereo that you can barely hear when you’re 20 feet away.  Along those same lines, test out the base, treble, and balance of the sound system before the big day in the location you intent to set it up for the reception, so you can figure out exactly where the settings need to be for the big night.

2) Play music everyone knows:  I absolutely love love love to dance!!  (Did I mention I love it?).  However, when there is a song playing that I’ve never heard before, I’m not very likely to be out there shaking my groove thing (with the exception of the New Years party I went to in Mexico, but that doesn’t count…).  That being said, if you play a bunch of elceltic stuff that maybe only you and a couple other people are familiar with, you’re not going to have very lively dance party.  Instead, play music that everyone knows!  You’ll likely have a few different generations present at your wedding, so be sure to play fun hits from all decades to get people’s butts out of their seats.

3) Carefully plan out your playlists well in advance:  Having a single playlist containing all the songs you want, both slow and fast, and having it play on random will likely result in very odd transitions and likely very poor attendance on the dance floor.  Create separate playlists for different parts of the evening (i.e. one for ceremony if you’re providing the music for that; one for the cocktail hour/dinner; and a third for the groovin’ dance party.  Be smart with the song order as well–you want to keep people on the dance floor once you have them there, so intentionally bunch songs in different genres with smooth transitions from one bunch to another with cross-over genre type songs.

4) Play a good balance of slow and fast songs:  How many slow songs should you play?  Do you have a rowdy bunch that can dance all night long? Or do you have a variety of skills and abilities attending your event?  For the older folks or less able bodied people attending your wedding, you’ll want to toss in slow songs here and there so that they have a chance to dance.  Not everyone can fast dance all night long!  Depending upon your crowd, a good mix might be 3 or 4 fast songs, then 1 slow song, then repeat.  The beauty about having your own playlist is that you can always skip songs–if the energy is picking up, maybe skip past a couple of the slow ones and keep the fast ones pumpin’!

5) Have a “music bodyguard”:  If there is a way you can lock your iPod or other music device so that no one can fiddle with it without a password, DO IT.  If not, you’ll want to designate someone at your wedding to be a sort of watchful eye or bouncer over the music, so you don’t have guests running up and messing with your playlist.  You can also instruct this person when to pause the music for any announcements or other special things you will be doing during your event, so you don’t have to keep running back and forth yourself.

How will Jacob and I handle our music?

Well, I’m very excited to be playing the role of DJ at Jacob’s and my wedding!  One of my favorite parts of party planning was creating the playlist, and I have to say that I have made some mean playlists in my party hosting days!  I am completely confident in my abilities to create a kick-ass playlist, and I am so excited for the job!

Even though we’re still about 17 months away from the big day, we’ve already been writing down ideas for songs we’d like to have at the wedding on a shared Google Drive spreadsheet.  I wanted to start jotting things down now, as you never know when you’re going to remember a song you really want to have and you don’t want to risk forgetting it again! I’ve also enlisted my sisters to help come up with songs, particularly ones that hold near and dear memories for us from when we were growing up.

We haven’t yet figured out the amplification issue yet, however, there is a small stereo at our venue already that we may be able to use.  At some point I’ll want to test the acoustics, and if they aren’t any good, then I’ll reach out to my musician friends for help securing some speakers and/or sub-woofers for the event.

How about you all?  Did you hire a DJ or did you do your own music? Any regrets? Please feel free to share any comments you might have!


Favorite Budget Wedding DIY Picture of the Week: April 12th Edition

April 12, 2013 by Nominal Nuptials

I frequently scour the depths of Pinterest looking for not only great budget wedding or DIY projects to share with my readers, but also for ideas for my own wedding!  Follow Nominal Nuptials on Pinterest by clicking here!

This week’s Favorite Budget Wedding DIY Picture of the Week comes from Pinterest user Marlene Heroux and features some AMAZING DIY snowglobes!  This idea is absolutely fantastic!  Simply attach the items you want to feature inside the snowglobe (i.e. the snowman or trees seen below) to the underside of the jar lid, fill the jar with water and add glitter for the snow.  Screw on the lid and flip upside down and BAM! Snowglobe!

I think this is a fantastic idea and hope you enjoy the image!