Amber and John’s Beautiful DIY Wedding!

I am so happy to be able to feature another wonderful Flat Broke Bride! The photos for this wedding are SERIOUS eye candy! I cannot get over her gorgeous dress!!!! Beautiful Bride Amber has some excellent tips on how to make your wedding gorgeous on a tight budget, so I’ll hand this over to her!

When you don’t have a ton of money to work with, you have to get creative. This has been the story of my life for, well, my entire life. Naturally, my wedding was no different. As much as John and I both wanted to have something small, we knew that would be nearly impossible, as we both come from BIG families. Here are a few ways that we saved money along the way:

1. We had a friend design our invitations, and I designed our thank you notes, engagement party invites, and save the dates myself. With the exception of the Save-The-Date cards (which I printed on my home computer), ALL of our stationary was printed through Vistaprint. There wasn’t one instance where we paid the full price for anything on there, as they are always offering 50% deals. Check often and you’re sure to get what you need at a VERY low cost!
2. We made the food ourselves. While starting to plan our wedding, the food cost was the SCARIEST number, as it was the largest. We actually met with a caterer initially, and even though the cost seemed like a lot, we figured that it was our only way. After stressing out over the number for a couple of weeks, John and I decided to talk to the caterer again about lowering the price & what we were having made in order to better fit our budget. Needless to say, the caterer was incredibly rude to us and a few days later, we fired him. It was at this point that we decided to make the food ourselves. I will not lie – the task was a little bit daunting, but there are a few key things to keep in mind if you are going to try this avenue. First of all, keep the menu as simple as possible. We were going with a southern theme, and had simple dishes like fried chicken (purchased from a grocery store), mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, and biscuits. Everything was able to be made ahead and heated up the day of. For desserts, my sisters made cookies a month in advance and froze them, as well as John’s mom made Greek specialties. For appetizers, John’s mom made some traditional Greek items. Second of all, hire a few people to help with the food prep, service, and clean up. We contacted the local culinary program to see if they had any students interested in helping us. Sure enough, they did and things went so much more smoothly thanks to them!
3. We held our reception at a venue that isn’t typically used for weddings. The place we found is a building that is partially used for a women & children’s center. Being that it was built-in the early 1900s, it is absolutely stunning on the inside and offered multiple rooms for our use, including a kitchen. Not only that, but the price was unbelievable! And to top it all off, all of the money went toward the programs at the women & children’s center! The problem with a lot of venues typically used for weddings is that they will charge more, knowing that they are in demand. Not only that, but you often have to use their caterer or pick from their list of preferred vendors. Look for something off the beaten path and keep an open mind to the possibilities of different spots. Most every space can be dressed up to fit your needs, especially if you are creative!
4. When it comes to the decorations, DIY DIY DIY! I constantly surfed pinterest and blogs for ideas for projects. Make use of materials that are inexpensive, or that you may already have lying around your house. For example, someone at work asked me if I needed a box of 1,000 paper doilies. I had no idea what I would do with them, but said yes. Sure enough, after some internet browsing, I found plenty of things to use my doilies for and they were 100% free! Also – If there is something you want to incorporate into the decorations, I cannot stress enough how important it is to shop around A LOT before you settle on the first price you find. Google Shopping & Amazon.com should quickly become your best friend. When it comes time to put the crafts together, enlist help. Have a craft party or two and you’re sure to get the job done!
5. Give new vendors a chance. Often times, people who are just starting out in the wedding business and are trying to build their reputation will have much better pricing. I was not going to book a DJ at first, but happened upon Rob of Soundscape DJ Entertainment. Not only did he do an amazing job (and wasn’t the typical DJ), but his prices were incredibly reasonable. We had the same experience with our day of coordinator, Alyssa Bacon of The Most Perfect Event. Her team worked so hard to help make all of the food service go so smoothly.
6. If your friends and family want to help, by all means, let them help! I don’t mean this in the respect of offering money, but offers to make use of their talents. Not only is it a way to get them involved in the wedding process, but it’s also a great way to showcase the people that you love. My 15-year-old sister is an avid baker, so she designed and made our cake. My aunt used to own a floral shop, so she put together all of the flowers. The wedding would not have been quite the same without these special touches!
Just because you don’t have a lot of money, does not mean that your wedding has to be anything less than beautiful. Do your research, get creative and you are such to have an incredibly special day!

I love this wedding! My favorite moment is of course the one above, but I love all the DIY touches they did to really make it theirs! The photos for their big day were very important to them, and since this bride is also a professional photographer, there was probably lots of shopping around for the perfect person! You can check out Amber’s photography biz here, as well as her personal blog with more of her wedding photos, here!

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