Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Budget Weddings Part 2 (Flowers)

Flowers are a hugely important aspect of most weddings but they can also be hugely expensive. Nothing makes a wedding look more timeless or elegant than beautiful flowers so it is important to budget adequately for your floral needs. That being said, there are a ton of ways to have gorgeous flowers on your wedding day  even when you have a tight budget.

1) Be FLEXIBLE. I cannot stress this enough.  You may have visions of massive rose and calla lily bouquets  interspersed with dainty greenery (or whatever your fantasy floral arrangement might be) but chances are you will have to have them special ordered or they will be hard to get, and consequently you will pay more for them.  Keep a general color scheme and design in mind and go from there to decide on specifics by what fits best in your budget.  For instance, I knew that I wanted autumn-y flowers and that were maybe yellow and orange. One of the prettiest bouquets I found was at my local Kroger store. I didn't end up using it but all it needed was a few supplemental carnations and a silk ribbon to hold it together and it would have been perfect!

$9.99 Kroger bouquet

Have fun and explore different flower options. Roses are pretty, but they aren't the only flower in the world! Hydrangeas and carnations make a big impact and cost so much less than long-stemmed roses.  

2) DIY is your friend, especially if you plan on using bulk quantities of flowers.  Just make sure you give whoever is arranging them, be it you or any of your artistically inclined friends and family, enough time to make all the arrangements and be sure to have enough refrigerated space to store the flowers/finished arrangements! I found this out the hard way when I got my shipment of bulk sunflowers and greenery two days before my wedding and had to frantically remove EVERYTHING in my refrigerator in order to store them. Also worth noting is that many wholesalers offer wedding packages and bridal bouquets for much cheaper than a local florist could.

Top: Gerbera daisy corsage from
Lower: DIY sunflower bouquets
(Photos ©Polyrhythm Photography)

Some great websites to order wholesale flowers from are
Bunches Direct
Global Rose
Whole Blossoms

Note: I went with 50Flowers for my bouquets. They turned out absolutely lovely, but a few of the gerbera daisies were already wilting when I got them, and the company didn't include care or storage instructions in the package; I had to look that information up online.

Classic Red Rose Bouquet $64.95 from BunchesDirect

3) Silk flowers- my least favorite recommendation of the bunch.  Realistic silk flowers can be hard to find and oftentimes a bouquet made entirely out of silk flowers looks tacky and cheap.  However, if artfully arranged, silk flowers can be a valid alternative to a cut flower bouquet.  You can also supplement a cut flower bouquet with some silk flowers to "fluff" it up.  I should also say here that I have absolutely no problem with silk flowers being used as decorations. You decorations probably won't be photographed as closely as your bouquets so silk flowers are great to use for altar or reception decor.  Silk flowers are  usually also much easier to work with when decorating because they don't wilt and can be glued and bent in just the right way.  

Part 3 coming soon! More on saving money for your ceremony, music, dress, and more! 

Sponsored Links:
2400 Rose Petals White
from: Global Rose
200 Red Madame Delbard Rose - $165.00
from: Global Rose

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Budget Weddings Part 1 (The Engagement Ring)

*This post contains an affiliate coupon code. This simply means that I will receive a small percentage of sales completed using this code. It will not add any additional costs to your order and will greatly help me out*

SPECIAL OFFER: Use code RF92221 at to receive FREE SHIPPING on your order ($35 value)! Code good through 10/2014

I recently spent a large amount of time (14 months!) preparing and planning for my October wedding.  Trying to plan a wedding is stressful enough without budget constraints, and it seems like there are a lot of websites with some decidedly unhelpful advice on how to save money.  I found a lot of good tips, but some of them seemed like they weren't geared towards real people.

Several of my friends have been with their significant others for almost 5 years but keep putting off getting married because of the cost of a wedding.  While one option would be to simply go to a courthouse and get married in front of a judge, there are several options to have a real ceremony and reception on almost any budget.  Here are some ideas:

1) The ring:  I know, I know. Almost every girl dreams of having a big sparkly rock on her finger, but diamonds are expensive.  Additionally, the majority of diamonds are not ethically sourced.  You could always go a for a less conventional engagement ring and use a pearl, vintage (not new!) ivory, opal, etc..., or you could avoid a significant amount of expense and moral conflict and go for a synthetic or lab-created diamond or simulated diamond.

Synthetic diamonds are essentially the same as natural diamonds, but have been artificially created in a lab environment.  They have the exact same geological composition as natural diamonds but are created using technology.  Many companies specialize in lab grown diamond jewelry.  I would advise asking around and doing your own research to find the best company for you, but here are some companies to get your search for the perfect engagement ring started.
Diamond Nexus
Mia Donna

Diamond Nexus Belle Engagement

Simulated diamonds are NOT diamonds but are other stones or materials that are made to look like diamonds.  Very good diamond simulants look almost identical to diamonds at first glance and should really only be identifiable by a gemologist or jeweler.  These are by far the cheapest way to still get a sparkly diamond look for your engagement ring.  Be wary of extremely cheap rings, though, because the quality of settings and the ring itself will still affect whether or  not it looks "cheap" or "fake". Here are a few options to consider.
Carat* Jewellery

As with making any decisions about making a life change, I would recommend talking to your significant other about your feelings on not having a "real" diamond ring.  If you do decide to go the route of a lab grown or simulated diamond, do your research and find a reputable company with good reviews.  Best wishes and happy (hopefully) engagement!

Check back for more budget wedding tips including flowers, ceremony, and more!