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Wedding saving tips: What to do, what not to do, and how to budget
Wedding season is here, and for those couples on a budget, you may be wondering how to have a big day without spending in a big way. We have some tips on how you can create the perfect moment of matrimonial bliss without going over your budget (and maybe even while staying under it).
Consult the experts
By experts, we mean bridal magazines and websites. There is no shortage of resources available to you by professionals whose job it is to plan beautiful weddings for a small amount of money. Look for these tips and make a list of your own— compare and contrast ideas, see which suggestions pop up most often, and keep an open mind about solutions you might not have otherwise considered. A lot of the work is already done for you, courtesy of these publications, so get to Googling for the best tips.
Talk to your friends
The odds are high that you know of someone who has gotten married within the last year or two. This is the perfect chance for you to ask for their help. Neither of you has to share your budget if you’re not comfortable doing so, but they can give a better idea of current flower prices and which bridal salon is offering the best deals. They can also give you insider tips on locations and what they did to save their pennies beforehand. Everyone’s wedding has a budget—some of them may be large; others are small, but even the grandest wedding can be scaled down to fit your needs.
We don’t want to step on any toes but do take the time to consider your wedding day versus the rest of your life. While weddings are wonderful events, they are also the start to something much more wonderful: your marriage. Keep this perspective in mind as you make financial decisions for your big day. In ten years, will you still remember going with the less expensive catering service? If so, that’s okay—everyone has different priorities. But at the end of the day, the highlight for most couples is that they finally get to begin their lives together.
Choose a less popular day
Fun fact: Saturday evening weddings are by far the most expensive weddings. This is because Saturday evening is the most highly-desired ceremony time for many couples, and venues charge a premium for reserving these dates. Look for other options, like a Friday evening or a Sunday afternoon. You can even take it a step further and get married in the middle of the week if you’re feeling really crazy. Be sure to avoid holiday weekends, as these also tend to drive up venue prices. Choosing a less popular day means choosing a less expensive day—and it all goes back to your budget!
Location, location, location
There are many gorgeous wedding venues in the area, but there are also a lot of equally beautiful options that don’t cost money to use. For instance, if some local friends have a large backyard, you might consider using it for either your ceremony or your reception. Do some research on how you could use your favorite park for your ceremony to keep the outdoor feel without the price tag. You can make any venue beautiful with some simple decorations, so look for the potential in each place you visit.
Don’t use so many fresh flowers
Flowers are wonderful and picking them out for your wedding is especially fun. Unfortunately, flowers are often expensive, too. Talk to your florist about adding a few fresh flowers to your bouquets and make the rest of them yourself out of silk flowers from your local craft shop. This combination will allow you to have a stunning look in your décor that keeps you well within your budget needs. Bonus: those silk flowers will last forever, which means you will get to keep your bouquet for as long as you want it.
If you have crafty friends, now is the time to call on them. Work together with your friends and wedding party to do some DIY projects as a group. You might be able to create your own invitations, make your own cake, and do your own makeup instead of paying a professional, which can add up to big savings. We know it’s a special day, so we aren’t asking you to break out a Betty Crocker box mix for your wedding cake—but you should consider looking for a local friend who could give you a break on the price of the cake if you choose a simple design.
Skip the limo ride
For many brides and grooms, it’s tradition to leave the reception in a big way. This might mean a ride in a limousine, or, if you’re super fancy, maybe a horse and buggy. Either way, consider skipping this step altogether to save a few hundred dollars. If you’re really set on not driving yourself to your post-reception destination, ask a friend to drive you, or look for a car service that offers options within your budget. Leaving in style is fun but having the extra cash to spend on your honeymoon is even better.
There are so many ways to make a wedding great without breaking the bank, so put on your thinking hat and look for creative ways to stay within your financial needs. Make a budget, decide which priorities are the highest for your big day, and plan to have an amazing, finances-friendly wedding that you will remember for years to come.
Affordable Mother’s Day gift guide
Whether you are shopping for a mom, sister, aunt, grandmother, or friend, these gift ideas are affordable and sure to wow. Succulents are all the rave and the perfect gift for anyone with a green thumb. Re-pot them or pot several together to make the gift even more special. Crafty? Try your hand at creating string art or transferring a favorite photo onto wood for a very heartfelt gift. Beaded bracelets are trendy and can spell out a special name or meaning. A memory frame or box is another gift that can easily be pulled together on a budget, but shows a special person you care. Not crafty? Compile a box of sunshine for your special lady. Fill it with lots of favorites or choose a variety of yellow gifts for those sunshine feels.
Following dreams with Elaine Burge
I recently had the pleasure of getting to know Georgia native and professional artist, Elaine Burge. She’s as bright and full of energy as her gorgeous paintings. Her artwork can be found at ElaineBurge.com or follow her on Instagram @elaineburgeart to see more of her creations.
A Little Bit about Elaine
Born and raised in Georgia, she loves country living. She describes herself as having a ton of energy, which is one reason the slow pace of country life is so perfect for her and her family. “I love the animals that surround us and the wide open spaces” that change so drastically from season to season.
The Art Start
Elaine has always been creative and inspired by her surroundings. She started painting as a way of income in high school – first as a muralist, then as a muralist painting scenes behind miniature train layouts. She launched Elaine Burge Art in 2011.
Turning a Dream into a Career
Elaine says, “I always dreamed of it (painting professionally), but didn’t know it was possible until my husband told me he believed I could; and so I did! It was his faith in my ability to succeed that gave me the courage to pursue my passion.”
Weighing being a people-pleaser and giving myself what I need creatively can be a challenge.
Being my own boss – I don’t like to be told what to do.
Favorite Piece of Artwork
I don’t have a favorite… It’s always the one that has the freshest paint on it, I think.
A bride named Gia reached out to me and asked if painting her wedding would be something I would consider doing. I said why not? I painted her gorgeous ceremony on the lawn in front of the Swan House. It was such a moving experience that I knew I had to have more!
Where do you find inspiration?
Honestly, there isn’t much that I can’t find inspiration from. My spontaneous creations are kind of therapy for me, where I can let my hands work and my mind relax. It just happens! I love textiles, nature’s color palettes and the way that painting is an outlet for my energy. I feel that I pull inspiration from things I see on a daily basis… like the way the sun hits the grass at a certain time of day… the way a quilter lines up locks of color and sews them with such care… the juxtaposition of a structured fence against a chaotic scene full of splashes of color.
I think the way that you live your day is the way that you live your life… I cannot remember where that quote is from but just to be sure to make today count because your life is made up of a bunch of todays!
If you could only paint with once color forever, what would it be?
It would be Golden Acrylic’s teal.
What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur?
Go for it! It’s harder not to do it if that is what you want. You are the only one holding you back.
What is your favorite thing about Georgia?
There is so much to love, but I think the pace of life, specifically in this area (Riddleville), is my favorite.
Supporting Black-owned small businesses in Georgia
Buying from Black-owned shops, restaurants, and brands is just one of many ways you can support a community that is essential to Georgia’s culture and economy. We rounded up our favorite small, Black-owned businesses across Georgia that offer everything from jewelry and trendy apparel to baked goods and more—below are 19 Black-owned shops and restaurants throughout Atlanta, Savannah, and Albany you can start supporting today.
Boutiques + Markets
the beehive – Atlanta
Deez Jazzi Jewelry – Savannah
Just Add Honey Tea Company – Atlanta
Albany Fish Company – Albany
Back in the Day Bakery – Savannah
The Flint – Albany
Good Times Jazz Bar and Restaurants – Savannah
The Grey Market – Savannah
Le Petit Marche – Atlanta
Popbar – Atlanta
Sisters of the New South – Savannah
Sublime Doughnuts – Atlanta
Tropical Taste Restaurant – Albany
Who’s Got Soul Southern Café – Atlanta
Auntie Renee Story Teller – Atlanta
Brave + Kind Bookshop – Atlanta
Footprints of Savannah Walking Tours – Savannah
Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia – Atlanta
Medu Bookstore – Atlanta
TikTok trending recipes of 2021
Have you tried any of the trending recipes on TikTok? These are the ones that sparked our interest and have us wanting to get it the kitchen to try them all.
Photo source: Nature’s Cereal, sugarandsoul.co
Netflix & chill
Netflix and chill took on a whole new meaning in 2020. With most movie theaters still not re-opening, we’ve compiled a list of the top movies to stream this spring!
Godzilla vs. Kong | HBO Max on March 31
Coming 2 America | Amazon Prime on March 5
Concrete Cowboy | Netflix on April 2
Jack Snyder’s Justice League | HBO Max on March 18
Mortal Kombat | HBO Max on April 23
For the Family
Raya | Disney+ on March 5
Tom & Jerry | HBO Max on March 5
Cruella | Disney+ on May 28
The Kid Who Would be King | Disney+ on April 16
Oldies but Goodies
The Color Purple | Hulu on April 1
Legally Blonde | Netflix on April 2
Night at the Museum | Disney+ on April 1
Mad Max | Amazon Prime on April 1
Madea’s Big Happy Family | Netflix on April 1
Napoleon Dynamite | Hulu on April 1