So excited to have a new installment of Behind the Veil for you today! And this one is perfect for the budgeted bride, because Cris of Kiss My Tulle had a $5,000 wedding budget. She’s sharing her tips and tricks, so take notes!
As a wedding blogger, what is your favorite part of other people’s weddings?
The ceremony. Wedding blogs and bloggers get so wrapped up in the latest trends and tiny little details that we can sometimes forget that a wedding is about two people becoming a new family.
What was your favorite part of your wedding?
The ceremony was incredible. My mother-in-law officiated and we had readings from my little sister and The Boy’s younger brother. Having our family involved in the start of our new family was really powerful.
What was the first piece of wedding planning you did?
After buying my ring? I designed my own wedding planner/binder. I hated the super girly ones I found so I took the insides out of one, added my own page protectors (for magazine pages/inspiration and sketches), and worked it all up in a modern-looking binder from Target.
In your opinion, what is one vendor no wedding can be without?
A kick ass wedding photographer. I spent a HUGE chunk of my budget on ours and she was worth every penny! Miranda of Miranda Laine Photography made our middle-aged asses look amazing. She also did this really cool thing where she took individual photos of each of the families/couples at our reception. I love those! But even if a vendor is a Must-Have for you, don’t be afraid to look for a deal or discount. I scored Miranda’s services at a discount because I booked her at a bridal show and I also carefully negotiated the contract to include free rein of the images for my blog (this is REALLY important if you’re a bride blogger!).
In your opinion, what is one thing or vendor that you think brides can do without (or at least do sparingly)?
All that fancy-schmancy bridal gear (P.S. The total cost of my wedding day outfit was $60.20!). You DO NOT need a new veil (I borrowed one form my friend), new jewelry (I wore old earrings and a necklace that was gift from another friend), or fancy undergarments (I was topless under my gown and borrowed Giant Scary Underpants from a good friend [Yes, I washed them before returning them. Unclench, y’all]). Even my dress was free. Yes, FREE. I got my gorgeous fully-beaded, halter gown free from another bride at The Wedding Dress Project who loved it but was willing to let it go so someone else could be blessed with it. P.S. My dress will be available at the end of the month (completely FREE) to another bride so be sure to check Kiss My Tulle regularly to see when it’s available.
What was your favorite source of inspiration for your own wedding?
Pinterest, baby. LOVE the Pinterest. I was able to use the search feature to look for specific wedding décor or looks (i.e. “wedding ribbon cake topper” or “heart favors”) and group those ideas together according to what bit of the wedding they were used in. This also ended up being a fabulous resource when I would travel to visit family and friends – I could just pull up ideas online for them to see instead of lugging my binder around. You can see loads of the ideas I pulled from on my Pinterest boards (Seriously, follow me. I give good board.)
Do you do an inspiration board?
I most certainly did. Several. I did two different ones (one for the ceremony and one for the reception) for Budget Savvy Bride and I also created my own inspiration board in my living room on a bulletin board! I’m incredibly visual so being able to physically pin up photos and thoughts in one place (next to my desk) was really important to me.
Your favorite wedding memory?
I loved a random little moment that happened during the post-ceremony photo ops. One of my flower girls is severely autistic and started to meltdown during a group shot. I tried to calm her by singing her favorite song, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, to her. By the end of the song, the entire wedding party, family, and vendors were singing along. She loved it and that spontaneous moment was the coolest! P.S. That little moment is exactly why you should try to budget for a wedding videographer! We have photos of it but nothing beats actually seeing (and hearing it) on DVD. Katie of Lovebird Productions was SO affordable and because of her, I have that precious moment for life.
Your favorite wedding detail?
I totally thought my favorite detail would be my table settings (thrifted flatware and dishes plus DIYed cloth napkins) but it ended up being my fabulous bouquet. I bought all the flowers for my and the wedding party’s bouquets at my local supermarket (HEB – holla!) the morning of the ceremony. Two of my bridesmaids (who had never done flower arrangements before) did up my bouquet, 4 mini bouquets for the junior bridesmaids, and 3 bouquets for themselves and the matron-of-honor. They designed and created them while I was getting my hair and make-up done and I think my bouquet turned out gorgeous! Side note, I had forgotten to pick up floral tape for the flowers so my ‘maids stopped at Target and bought “green tape” – it ended up being green camouflage packing tape which worked out just fine!
Were you a DIY bride? If so, what did you DIY?
What didn’t we DIY? To stay within our $5,000 budget we had to do and make pretty much everything ourselves. We made the palette tables for the reception, I made cloth napkins for the table settings, and we spray painted old food cans and removed labels from jars to make the centerpieces. The centerpiece flowers were bought in bulk from a local wildflower farm and the bouquets were made from flowers from the supermarket. I quilted a ring bearer pillow, my mom made the flower girl dresses and our fabric backdrop for the ceremony, and every single bit of stationery and paper goods were designed and assembled by me (I did printing through VistaPrint and MyOwnLabels). I made the wedding cake and the topper, glitter initials for the dessert table, a couple dozen cupcakes for dessert, and wrote the wedding ceremony. PHEW! It was exhausting but I wanted a homemade look and feel and loved knowing that I saved bunches of money by doing things myself.
Describe your wedding style.
Homemade, chic picnic. I was inspired by two things: the backyard picnics we used to have at my grandmother’s house and a beautiful baby quilt made for me by my Great-Grandma Lucia. I wanted everything to feel homey and casual but with a touch of the pretty to remind people that this was a special occasion.
If you could offer one piece of advice to planning brides, what would it be?
Be prepared for the worst but know that you can make it better. We got engaged in January of 2011 and planned a May 2012 wedding. The Number One thing I wanted was to have my dad (who introduced us) perform the wedding ceremony. Unfortunately, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer in July of 2011 and given 30 days to live. That changed everything. He told us that the only regret he had was not being able to be at our wedding. So we flew to Alaska and did a quick planned-in-three-days wedding and had him officiate it. I’m glad we did because my dad passed away right before Christmas of that year. My “real” wedding wasn’t at all what I wanted but it was exactly what I dreamed of.
How did you make your wedding YOU?
I focused on my family and friends and having a big party. Lots of the things I wanted to have DIYed or decorated did not happen because at some point in the process, I decided to let it go and just enjoy the experience with the people I loved most. So what if the water bottle labels were crooked? The junior bridesmaids had a blast putting them on. We forgot to put out the cootie catchers and coloring books that we made. Oh well, it was fun making them together. No dancing at all? Big whoop. We had great conversations and (later in the evening) glowstick wars. My wedding ended up being “us” because I realized that I cared less about having all these perfect little trends and details and more about having a good time with my guests.
Thanks so much Cris for sharing your fab DIY & budget-friendly wedding! Totally a fan of those DIY projects and I think her advice for keeping in mind what is really important is invaluable.
What is your favorite detail or piece of advice from Cris? Do you have any tips to share for how you’re keeping your own wedding on a tight budget?
All photos from Miranda Laine Photography.