THE LOST SIERRA'S VERY BEST WEDDING PROFESSIONALS


Let's talk about your wedding budget. Okay, okay, we know the money talk is your least favorite topic - but bear with us. In the age of social media, with extravagant styled shoots popping up on your feed, hosting a wedding that lives up to the hype can be extremely overwhelming. We've put together a few tips & tricks that will help you save money without sacrificing style. Trust us when we say your bank account will thank you for reading!


Hire a Wedding Planner

Spending money to save money is a real thing! Wedding planners have spent their careers establishing relationships with vendors and know who will meet your budget (and who will not). Your wedding planner has spent countless hours with these vendors and can vouch for their services and ensure that they will deliver on their promises. Handing over a hefty deposit to an unknown vendor that may or may not substantiate their services is a risk not worth taking.

A big part of your wedding planner's job, and often one of the first steps in the wedding planning process, is to build out a budget that suits your needs and allocate funds accordingly. This is not their first rodeo; they will help you with identifying which vendors will have high price tags and where to cut spending without compromising your overall wedding vision.

If hiring a wedding planner is a hard-no for your wedding budget, consider finding a planner that offers a day-of or month-of service. You are investing most likely a year of your time planning and small fortune in your wedding day, so it is worth a little extra cost to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Having a wedding planner rooting for you will take loads of stress off your back so that you and your partner can sit back and relax, and bask in the magic of your big day.

  

Request a Staycation for your Bridal Shower/Bachelor(ette) Party

Parties leading up to the wedding day are getting a bit crazy! A one night out with your closest friends has turned into an exotic, week-long vacay. Jet setting with your besties can be a fun and iconic way to celebrate your upcoming nuptials, but when planning a wedding it can feel like an enormous expense.  Be upfront with your friends and family to let them know the financial situation you are in - they will understand. It's important to celebrate, so suggest that you have a weekend together at your closest city or beach town. A local get together will save you the stress and expense of an extended holiday. Also, we can guarantee your friends will thank you for keeping things low-key. After all, being in a wedding party is hard work too.


Shop Sales & Pre-owned

Whether you are shopping for a wedding gown or décor, make sure to shop in advance to take advantage of sales. For your gown and bridesmaids' attire, contact your favorite designers and inquire about upcoming trunk shows. Even if it's a discount of 10% - every little bit helps! Also, sample sales are a great avenue to pursue if you are looking to save money on your dress. When bridal boutiques are making room for new inventory, they will often sell their gently used floor samples at half the cost. Typically, any wear and tear that exists on the dress can be rectified by a seamstress.

Shopping preowned might not be your go-to thought when it comes to saving money. However, if you are willing to search for purchase gently used items, buckle up for a BIG money saver. There are tons of online AND brick and mortar boutiques that offer stunning pre-owned bridal attire and décor. Check out The Real Real, Poshmark, and Wedding Recycle for rehearsal dinner dresses, suits, tuxes, décor, and even shoes that will appeal to your budget without compromising standards.


Use Your Friends' Talents

If you have a friend that is in the events industry, take advantage of their talents! Whether they are a photographer, DJ, florist, or hair and makeup artist - don't hesitate to reach out to them for their services. They will most likely offer you a "Friends and Family" discount or provide their services as a wedding gift. Using your friends as resources will not only save your budget but will also make you feel better about investing in a friend's business.

Before inquiring with your friends about their services, make sure to do your research to ensure their style and personalities fit your vision. Doing business with friends and family can be socially tricky. Being 100% confident in your decision will make your planning process less stressful, not more.


Have a Friend or Family Member Officiate

Finding an officiant can be a daunting task, especially if you and your partner don't have a preexisting relationship with a spiritual leader. The individual who has the privilege of carrying out one of the most important moments of your life should be someone close to you - selecting a family or friend not only is cost effective but also sentimental. Choose someone who knows you and your partner well, is organized, and an articulate speaker. This personal touch is sweet and comfortable and ensures you don't have a complete stranger in the background of your wedding photos - win, win!


BYOB

If your venue allows you to "bring your own booze," this can be a great money saver! Supplying your own alcohol not only means buying your favorites but also being able to purchase in bulk from warehouse clubs and direct wineries. This also ensures that rather than relying on a generic bar package, you can have your dad's favorite scotch on hand and your go-to seasonal red is served with dinner. Also, keeping the unopened bottles is huge! You can return them (in some states) and receive an unexpected reimbursement that will make your bank account smile.


DIY (With Caution)

We have all seen DIY gone wrong - so please move forward with caution. Simple projects such as assembling escort cards or welcoming bags are the best way to approach DIY. If you are feeling adventurous, head to Costco and check out their greenery garland and florals. However, whichever projects you choose to take on, make sure to watch loads of YouTube tutorials so that you know EXACTLY what you're doing on the day-of. 


Repurpose Blooms  

Florals are one of the most beautiful décor elements but also the most expensive. We know, we know, how can you sacrifice florals? Our tip to getting the most bloom for your buck is to reuse the same arrangements throughout your wedding day. For example, your bouquet can be used as a centerpiece for your sweetheart table and the blooms that line your aisle can be installed around the reception area as décor. Work with your wedding planner and florist to get creative - this is not their first rodeo repurposing blooms.


Order your invitation suite online

Wedding invitations are the first impression of your wedding style that your guests will receive. The rising trend of custom intricacy, hand-pressed paper and calligraphy is breathtaking but can come at a steep price. If a custom invitation suite is out of your price range, there are multiple websites that offer a wide variety of digital calligraphy fonts as well as artful designs that will mimic the bespoke vibe you are looking for without the price tag.


Schedule a midweek wedding

A cost-savvy way to get the most bang for your buck is to book a midweek wedding. Most venues and vendors will offer a discounted rate for days outside the typical Friday-Sunday "wedding weekend." The most sought-after wedding venues will have their weekends booked out up to two years in advance allowing these dates to be priced at a premium. Also, not only does booking midweek allow you to save thousands, it also ensures greater availability so that your dream venue and vendors are obtainable. If you're looking to tie the knot at a dream worthy venue with the greatest vendors at your side, this is the prime way to save BIG money without compromising your vision.

 

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