5 Tips Wedding Planning on a Budget

The day you've been waiting for your entire life has finally arrived! He proposed and while he's still waiting for an answer you already start planning in your head how the napkins will be set and what china you will use!Wedding planning is a pain in the butt! First rule of thumb is to marry someone who will be as involved in the wedding planning as you are and will help you sort through all the stress. Better to have a helpful groom-zilla than to be the horrible bridezilla by yourself!
GETTING STARTED My hubby and I got married a year before we finished university, so we were on a pretty low budget and really needed some help from our parents. First and foremost, we had to decide how many guests to invite and from that we built our budget.We met with a wonderful couple who help people get started with planning their wedding. They gave us ideas for venues, DJs and photographers that were exactly within our budget, and some more advice, all for free! While asking around for advice from other married couples can be helpful, it can also get really confusing; I highly recommend finding people with professional experience that offer that kind of service close to where you live.My husband I are two ordinary people who fell in love during our service in the army and we wanted this event to be a simple and romantic declaration of our love and what we stand for. We wanted to keep it low key and avoid an over-the-top fussy wedding at all costs.
THE VENUE After having looked at many venues, we finally found the perfect place: low-key, romantic and just about in between our families geographically. The most important thing about searching for the venue is to get the right vibe from the business owner; no matter how chic and posh the place may seem, if the place does not have the right energy you're looking for don't take it. You don't want to be disappointed on your wedding day!

When looking for a DJ or a band it is very important to take notice of what music he/she listens to before you sit down to talk business. Make sure they "read" you as a couple and understand the sort of crowd you will be hosting.

THE DRESS The next step was my favorite part, the Wedding Dress! My first word of advice is to go to the most prominent bridal shops and try on several different shaped dresses. This way you will eventually be able to put together the perfect cut, fit, fabric and color for you and for the event you're planning. Once your search is more focused you can try your luck at the million plus bridal shops and boutiques, or do as I did - find a really amazing seamstress. I  gave my seamstress a picture of my favorite dress and we chose the fabrics together and voila! Not only did the dress cost a quarter of the price of the designer dress that I liked, but I was also involved in creating the perfect wedding dress for me!

THE PHOTOGRAPHER As students on a very low budget, the best help in planning a wedding is knowing people or having friends who know people. A friend of ours recommended a photography major who had just graduated from art school and who does artistic, as well as event photography. We loved her work and how natural and unstaged her photos were. We decided to book this photographer and, as she had just graduated and had little experience, paid about a tenth of the price the big photographers were asking. What's great about giving someone relatively inexperienced an opportunity is that they are looking to make their big break and come to the event energized and ready to make every moment count. Another friend of ours, an up and coming film director, offered to shoot the video of the wedding. Both the video and stills came out absolutely amazing!

HAIR & MAKEUP For hair and makeup, since I was looking for something very simple I had a regular makeup artist do me up. If you're like me and don't want to look overdone, my suggestion is to watch some makeup tutorials on YouTube that explain how to get the perfect look.

The best advice I can give you brides to be is to keep your cool and take everything in stride. Things are bound to go wrong at some point, so always have a plan B.

Our wedding day was amazing and we had a lot of fun with our friends and family, even with a small budget! The gifts we got helped us get through our final year of university and even treated us to a super fabulous honey moon with all the pampering we deserved after the all that wedding planning!Good luck and enjoy your big day!
xx