any budget savvy brides in the SF Bay area?
I'm glad to have found this board!
Well, I'm starting to realize that the SF Bay Area is not a budget-friendly wedding. We're having our wedding in Palo Alto and lemme tell ya, I was getting "sticker shock" left, right & center from all the high prices!
I've been able to be budget-friendly with a few things:
1. photographer -- found him through a friend. he's been doing photography for a while, mainly just models & landscapes but wants to go into the wedding photography industry, which he told me is most photographer's bread-and-butter. So, since we're his guinea pigs he and his friend (also another photog looking to break into the biz) did our five hour e-pic shoot all over SF for free! The only thing we spent on is getting prints and I got those as Snapfish. Most photographers whose work I liked based on their online portfolio started at $3,800.
2. wedding dress -- ordered it through Milly Bridal which is in China. Most gowns are made in China anyway. They have an excellent rep and a bunch of us brides have gotten together online to share our experiences here. The best thing is that you can custom design your Dream Dress -- change the bodice shape, add more lace, different fabric, whatever you want! I'll probably save close to $800 since the dress I'm having made and really love is over $1,500
3. having our reception at a hotel -- sounds counterintuitive but I think we saved a lot by having it at the Sheraton Palo Alto. No room rental fee & they're providing us with everything we need set-up wise plus the centerpieces (floating bowls with candles, votives & candles) and I managed to the event manager to throw in chair cover & sashes too. I was at first planning to go the DIY route by having our reception at a park or museum but we'd have to get rent everything ourselves
4. florist -- I just met with a wonderful florist a few days ago who said she can do the flowers for our wedding for $450! Granted, it won't be the over-the-top extravagant arrangements but what she had in mind sounded wonderful! I'm not much of a flowers person anyway and my fiancé thinks that flowers are a "throwaway cost" (he's right!) She'll be using orchids & a few other flowers (lisianthus, hydrangeas, etc) for everything. She's do flowers for the bride, our 7 bridesmaids, 10 groomsmen, groom and 3 parents and 2 altar arrangements! I'll post some photos on my profile as soon as I get the final price quote from her
So that's it.... are there any other NoCal brides out there who has any tips about how to be budget savvy in our very expensive part of the world?