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The full title of this post is “3 Creative Ways to Cut Your Wedding Budget Without Sacrificing Style” — and though that was a little long for our formatting, the second half is equally as important as the first! I firmly believe that the most beautiful weddings don’t have to cost a fortune, and that they are ways to trim your wedding budget that not only don’t detract from your day, but actually add beauty and meaning. Read on for three of my favorites!

From Emily and Matt’s wedding by Clark Brewer

Supplement your professionals. While some things should ALWAYS be left to professionals, I think there are some amazing ways to cut costs while working hand-in-hand with the pros you’ve hired! For example, I provided the centerpiece containers and ribbon to my florist, knowing I’d be charged a mark-up for those items if I didn’t. We also hired a live band for our reception, but worked with them to play a CD my uncle mixed for us over their sound system at cocktail hour. Our calligrapher, Moya, hand-lettered our first names for our invitation, and we were able to use that digital file several places in our wedding instead of, say, paying her to letter each one of our favors individually. A few more examples: order a professional wedding cake but ask family friends to bake additional sweets for your dessert table; hire a fabulous photographer but design your own wedding album with a company like Artifact Uprising or Milk Books; rent larger lounge furniture items like couches but add in pillows, ottomans, or side tables from your own home.

Elaine Palladino

Borrow! Not everything has to be bought new (or even old) for your wedding! Borrowed pieces can lend a beautiful air of family and heritage to your wedding day, and, in my experience, guests love having a hand in the magic! I borrowed my clutch, my bracelet, my earrings, lots of our centerpiece containers, our communion cups, easels from my artist friend, pillows and blankets for our lounge area, cake plates, and probably many other things I can’t remember. Replacing expense with meaning = always a win in my book.

From Darcee and Hunter’s wedding by Jen Dillender

Share! I was lucky enough to be marrying just two months after my now sister-in-law, so we purchased several things to use at both of our weddings, including our veil and four boxwood garlands. We were also able to split some bulk supplies (like out-of-town bags) and therefore get a lower cost. I’ve long loved the idea of brides getting married on the same weekend at the same venue sharing major costs, like a tent or draping, and was thrilled to get a press release from a company the other day that’s making this more plausible! Bouquet for a Day is a site that matches brides together that are getting married at the same location and within a day of each other. Not sponsored, just thought it was a super cool idea after my own heart :)

I would LOVE to hear: are you using or did you use any of these budget-slashing tactics at your wedding? They really can make a huge difference!!

P.S. More budget advice.

Jen Dillender and Elaine Palladino are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! Magazines are popping up (early) everywhere, we’re nailing down final V9 Launch Party details and we’re already looking forward to another one of our favorite annual holiday traditions: Gingerbread Barns. While I have a strict no Christmas music rule until after we’ve eaten Thanksgiving dinner, I’m absolutely delighted to announce that we’ll be back at the Carolina Inn for our sixth annual Gingerbread Barn Building Event on December 8!

We’ll be pulling out our favorite holiday aprons and reindeer antlers for a night of gingerbread barn building fun at the lovely Carolina Inn. Please RSVP if you’re planning to join us, so we know how many graham crackers to purchase and how much frosting to secure! Everyone is invited, and most attendees choose to work in groups, so grab your best gals, your sweet mama, or your favorite fella! (Just make sure everyone in your group purchases a ticket individually!)

Not familiar with this SW holiday tradition? Take a peek at a few past recaps for some barn building inspiration: 2013, 2014, 2015. For the last few years, many people have come armed with building plans and extra supply reinforcements–we love the enthusiasm!

We hope to see you there on December 8 – can’t wait to squeeze some of our local friends!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
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Leigh and Steve might not be Southerners by home address, but after a trip to South Carolina, they couldn’t have imagined celebrating their wedding anywhere else. But, just like our own Emily brought the South back to her hometown New England wedding, Leigh and Steve brought a bit of their home states with them through details like mussel shells place cards from the beach at the end of their street in Massachusetts and eucalyptus to as a homage to Steve’s childhood in California. And don’t think those were the only sweet details Leigh and Steve incorporated into their wedding! From taking a boat from the chapel to the reception, just like Leigh’s parents did, to including essays from her grandparents on marriage into their ceremony, tradition and family was weaved throughout.

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Rach Loves Troy for sharing their dreamy day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! We were about to move in together, and I wanted to have a “big talk” about our future and timelines. Little did I know that I was playing perfectly into his plan. We went out to dinner one night to talk about everything, and walked from his apartment down to the Bunker Hill Monument. Once we got there, he completely surprised me and got down on one knee. He had also hired a photographer to hide in the background to capture everything, which was perfect, because I completely blacked out! If you want to see what an “ugly cry” looks like, I will send you our proposal pictures…
When did y’all get married? April 3, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 97
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be (much to the surprise of my mom). We went to one bridal salon and shopping took a total of 30 minutes. I ended up choosing pieces of two Judd Waddell dresses–the bottom of one dress and the top of another. I loved the lace back of the dress and the dropped waist.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did. After thinking about it for a while, we realized we would be too excited after the ceremony to want to sit and take pictures. Our wedding planner, Tara, was amazing about setting the schedule for the day. We did our first look early and took almost all of our photos with our bridal party, which allowed us to have about an hour before the ceremony to relax and hang out in our cottage across from the chapel with our bridal party and parents.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My dad has been going down to Bluffton, South Carolina to play golf with his buddies for years. A couple of years ago, he let the rest of us in on this beautiful location. I considered venues closer to home in New England, but after a lot of hemming and hawing, I couldn’t imagine getting married and celebrating anywhere else but South Carolina. We absolutely loved the Moreland Landing location for the reception, because it was very important to me that we would be able to be outside for the reception (it was impossible to find a venue in New England that would allow us to do that). The Chapel was perfect, small, quaint, and not intimidating.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We asked my grandparents to write an essay on their thoughts on marriage. They are our only grandparents still with us, and made the very big trip down to South Carolina to be with us for our wedding. It was so special to have them be a part of the ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our wedding planner helped us find an acoustic guitarist to play the ceremony music. I walked down the aisle to “Edelweiss,” which was my parents’ first dance song at their wedding. I kept it a secret, but asked them to pay special attention to it. I nudged my dad as we walked down the aisle to make sure he heard it!
Describe your wedding flowers. I loved our flowers! Amy did an amazing job bringing my description of what I wanted to life. Peonies are my favorite flowers, and they looked perfect for the spring. We also had a lot of eucalyptus, which was an homage to Steve’s childhood in California.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We both loved the reception venue, Moreland Landing (that can be a detail, right?). The wedding was in early April, and it actually snowed back home in Boston that day, so it was perfect to be outside in the sunshine along the river, and then later dancing under the cafe lights. There was even a three-story treehouse that our guests could climb up to see beautiful views of the river! A more specific detail that was special to my heart was taking a boat from the chapel to the reception. My parents took a boat away from their wedding, and it was a nice, quiet time for us to reflect and take a bit of a breather after the ceremony. We also had mussel shells for place cards that I had picked up from the beach at the end of our street in Massachusetts–I wrote out everyone’s names and sent them down to our planner before the wedding.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We ended up choosing to do a buffet versus a plated dinner, and I feel like that kept the vibe very relaxed and fun. We chose the “pig pickin'” menu, which included a lot of great Southern food! The fried chicken was to die for. We also had roasted oysters during the cocktail hour, which was a very new way to eat oysters for all of us from up North (everyone loved it).
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make decisions about what is very important to you both (and individually) on your day, and don’t go crazy over details that are less significant to you.

Photographer and Videographer: Rach Loves Troy | Planner: Tara Skinner of Posh Petals and Pearls | Ceremony Venue: The Chapel at Palmetto Bluff | Reception Venue: Moreland Landing at Palmetto Bluff | Florist: Harvey Designs | Band: The Free via Sam Hill Entertainment | Paper Products: Goosefish Press | Bride’s Gown: Judd Waddell | Hair and Makeup: Bride’s Side Beauty | Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier

Palmetto Bluff, Posh Petals and Pearls and Rach Loves Troy are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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