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My Dream Day Doesn't Fit Into My Budget!

Dear Olivia,

I don’t know what to do! Everything is turning out to be so much more expensive than I had prepared for. My parents are giving us a set amount and not a dime more. There are so many things I want to include in the reception (large centerpieces, a big band, and top-shelf bar, a beautiful location...) I want this to be a day that not only my fiancé and I will look back on fondly, but a day our guests can’t forget. - Sally-Anne


Deep breath, honey! The first thing you really need to do is prioritize. Pick your top three “must haves” and stick to them – easier said than done, I know! With so many temptations, cute ideas and DIY projects nowadays (we heart you, Pinterest!), a bride is easily distracted. Reel it in, girl!

If music is your number one priority, focus on that. Bands are way more expensive than DJs, but if you’re not willing to budge, then you’ll have to find a different place to cut back on. Say “bye bye, fire-breathing hula-hoopers!

Consider some of these cost savers:

  • Cut back on your guest count! Not to sound rude, but if you don’t think you’ll see them again in the next two years, give them the boot. Stick to your nearest and dearest. Put together a B-list (your second round of potential invitees), say, new friends or coworkers you can send an invite to as you get enough “no”s from your first round of invitations.
  • Pick a venue like a hotel, country club or restaurant where tables, chairs, linens, dinner and glassware are included. Choosing an off-site venue will cause your rental costs to add up quickly. Do you really need that tent?
  • Choose an “off-day” like Sunday or even a weekday. Saturdays are usually the most expensive days to get married. Food and beverage minimums are the highest on Saturdays. Plus, vendors may be able to cut you a break on a less “in-demand” day. Also, think of having your reception earlier in the day – guests will drink less, cutting down on your top-shelf bar bill.
  • Cut the bubbly toast! No need to fill everyone’s glasses with champagne…most of it gets thrown away anyway. Your guests can toast with whatever drink is in their hands.
  • Don’t be afraid to find bargains. You can save on your dress (vintage/borrowed), bridesmaid’s dresses, favors and so on. With the world at your fingertips online, you can find almost anything at a good deal.
  • If you love the idea of large centerpieces, consider alternating with smaller, less elaborate décor on other tables. You don’t have to have the same centerpiece at every table. This adds some variety and flair to your room.

As you begin making decisions and spending dollars, you’ll soon realize that you can’t have it all, and that is okay! The things that you decide to cut out will probably not be missed by your guests anyway. Allow yourself to splurge on a few things, but try not to go overboard. Think of the big picture!

Love, laughter and happiness,



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