In the spirit of wedding season, we enlisted the help of our awesome clients and founders of Jack + Ginger Studios, Calvin and Vanessa (a.k.a. wedding planning virtuosos). A quick glance at their site and you'll want them to be your besties. Their chic, out-of-the-box style is the real deal for brides and grooms looking to create an unforgettable wedding "experience". Without further ado, Calvin and Vanessa, take it away!
A WORD FROM THE PROS
We believe that your wedding should be a reflection of your favorite things. We also know that unless you’re Oprah, those favorite things cost money.
We’ve put together a few of our personal pro-tips to support budget-conscious creativity that aren’t typically talked about by the mainstream top 10 list makers. Love is a beautiful thing but, big financial decisions related to planning a wedding can be emotional. Emotional decisions have financial implications. Hopefully, this helps your emotional and financial piggy banks find better harmony.
It sounds like a recipe for budget disaster, but start the planning process by identifying the type of experience you want to offer rather than jumping into the conversation wallet-first. Ask each other a few questions such as: How do you want our guests to feel at our event? What is unique and/or important to us as a couple? Is there a specific detail we can’t live without? What traditions are important?
If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want your wedding to feel like right out the gate, perhaps starting with what you’re comfortable spending and seeing what that might get is the way to start. Most people have never planned a wedding before and don’t throw large events on the regular. It takes research and conversations to get acquainted with what’s needed to throw an awesome party and what those costs can be, which vary geographically.
Once you agree on the vision and budget (or budget range), the best thing you can do for everyone’s sanity is make peace with that final number. Walk away from the agreed-upon budget and don’t waste time second-guessing. The sooner you do, the sooner you can turn your focus to more meaningful things.
Consider a venue that lets you supply your own alcohol. This way, you avoid paying additional markups and have more control over what you spend. Open bars quickly become black holes of tequila and financial uncertainty.
SAY YES TO THE JUMPSUIT
Sometimes, the traditional wedding dress isn’t exactly the most budget-friendly option. Keep an open mind about different types of wedding getups; it doesn’t have to be something borrowed or blue to be the bomb-dot-com. Check out these examples of wedding dress alternatives that are pretty freakin’ amazing. And what about this flawless ensemble:
Look into venue pricing for a Friday or Sunday event. While other vendors might not have a pricing difference, many single-day use venues do.
SAVE THE DATE (AND YOUR MARRIAGE)
Be discriminating with the invite list. As awkward as it may be to cut that third cousin whose husband’s name you can’t remember, each guest – with their price per head – can cost a pretty penny. If money’s a consideration in your planning process, make sure to include only those folks who you really can’t imagine your big day without. Plus, disinviting people is never a good look, so it’s imperative to decide on your budget before sending out Save the Dates. Otherwise, your budget may not end up being able to accommodate that many guests, and tough sacrifices will have to be made.
I DO (EVENTUALLY)
Excited to get married, but need to plump up that piggy bank first? Ignore the haters – it’s 100% okay to have a longer than average engagement.
Pick a wedding designer/planner that you feel 100% comfortable with. You’re going to be spending quite a bit of “quality time” with them in the months to come, so it’s important that you trust their judgment, trust their abilities, and trust that they can handle it when you let your freak flag – or bride/groomzilla flags – fly. They are going to be the ones to lead all your other vendors to wedding day greatness, so make sure you vibe with whoever you put at the wheel.
TRY IT BEFORE YOU DIY IT
As crafty and budget-conscious as you are, DIY wedding crafts aren’t always as hassle-free as Pinterest makes it seem. Many blogs omit steps and underestimate the amount of time & effort needed to complete a task, so your wedding might not be the best event to test it out. However, if you do decide to try and make some things yourself, create a prototype first to see if you’re up for it. That will help you more accurately estimate what it will really take to scale the project for the big day. It’s also a good idea to factor in time and costs for what gets sacrificed to the craft gods.
Define each other’s top priorities and let each other run point on them. Ownership over specific tasks helps keep drama and resentment on low. It’s also good to grant veto cards: one for you, one for your partner. These come in handy when you reach a decision impasse.
We highly recommend having tough convos in a public space (preferably over a drink). You’re more likely to want to resolve the issue before heading home and less likely to say things you don’t really mean.
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
These pro tips will help you and your budget stay the course, but it’s also important to remember that your time – and stress level, happiness, peace of mind, etc. – are also currency. In some cases, paying full price for services without stressing about the cost can be the smartest move.
As diehard Stash Wealth fans, it’s no surprise that we’re also fans of doing things a little differently when it comes to creating weddings, too. We design wedding experiences for folks that like to throw a different kind of party. Our homebase is Oakland, CA. We service Northern California and Palm Springs with ease. Other localities are always enticing. See what we're up to on instagram or drop us a line on our site.