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Budget Savvy Bride: Or how to save a dime, save some time and make it mine


Going into the wedding planning and knowing we were faced with fairly limited funds yet knowing we had to do something to make everything easier for our guests, budget problems immediately arose.


First thing was first: Get married in Australia (his home), Jackson Hole, Wyo. (my home), or find some 'middle point'? 

While it would have been cheaper for us in some respect to just get married in Jackson, since that's where we both reside, the vast majority of our guest list is hopping the pond to attend. Plus, flying into Jackson ain't cheap, and during 4th of July weekend, neither is anything else in town.

So, Australia? Well, that would be nice. But, then there was no way many on my side would have been able to go. And that seemed like kind of the impossible task, planning while half the world away.

OK, then. Middle point it is. But ... where? We wanted a beach. We wanted somewhere easy to fly to from most airports. We wanted to have the planning be as painless on our end as possible.

So, we want someone to do it for us. Check.

We want to go somewhere nice and tropical. Check.

Easy access. Check.

Eureka!!! Hawaii it is. 

We looked into what it would cost for the Oz guests, the Boston guests and the Jackson guests to attend, and Jackson was the most expensive to fly from, but everywhere else was manageable. Whew, not too huge of a burden.


We figured we would go with a straight-up package from the hotel and give it a few tweaks. Included in the package is photography, videography, champagne and some appetizers. Great!!! We were only planning on doing a vast array of apps, so some of those are taken care of. We nixed the videography and instead used some of the money toward lounge sets and Chinese lanterns (that would have cost us an extra $1000). The included Champers helps us with the bar tab, which we're doing wine, beer, signature drink and jager shots. And we decided to choose our own photographer, who we're flying in, which is still cheaper than the amount the hotel quotes for the photography package. And she's throwing in a couple  'adventure days' around the island.


Instead of flowers, which I'm not incredibly fond of and I believe aren't very eco-friendly, I've gathered brooches and will be making my own brooch bouquet.

Our centerpieces will be pineapple jack-o-lanterns and balloons. We're DIY-ing flags that say 'Home Run' and 'Hit for a Six' instead of rice, bubbles or what have you.

We made our save the dates from postcards of the hotel. I calligraphied them myself.

My dress was an off-the-rack clearance dress ($100) that needs a few alterations, but is nearly identical and $500 cheaper than the one I planned on getting.

Instead of trying to feed 100 guests with standard wedding cake ($495 to feed 30-40??) we'll go portion-sized and hit up the cupcake craze.

One of our good friends and my hairdresser has offered to do my hair.

No DJ, no band. Our iPod selection rocks and we'll keep it that way, thankyouverymuch. 


Our wedding bands will be message rings found on Etsy. At a whopping price tag of $28.

Our goal is to not only try to save ourselves money, but to not be a financial burden on our guests. Thus, we've recommended people traveling from the same destination look in to doing group rates from airlines. We're doing such with our wedding party and friends in California. We got half off the published room rates at our hotel, which also includes many surprising amenities complimentary. We've said we prefer they just be at the wedding and not get us a gift. Our wedding party can pick what they wear, as long as it's colorful.


No engagement party, no bridal shower, no rehearsal dinner, no morning after brunch. We want people to get the most out of their vacation without being burdened by wedding activities. We are, however, keeping the bachelor and bachelorette parties. Our wedding parties are insisting on it.


I found my shoes for $20, and they're beautiful and comfortable.


For us to cut costs has been fairly easy, as we're both used to living on the cheap. We just decided that there was a whole lot of standard weddingness neither of us really wanted or needed. We're spending money on the apps and on the bar and on having a vacation with our friends and family, many of whom we haven't seen in over five years. And extravagance scares us. Like, really scares us and makes us ridiculously uncomfortable (something we figured out after attending a family member's wedding).

Last Updated: August 3, 2013 at 11:05 pm
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