Spending money on your wedding can be stressful and downright painful on your wallet. Your constantly trying to figure out a way to have a gorgeous ceremony but without the hefty price tag! Trust me, I totally get the whole budgeting thing...I once ate ramen noodles for a month straight just to save up for a new camera lens! When it comes to cutting corners there are ways to do it without sacrificing what you really want!
The cake, yes it's gotta be tasty and not look like a 5yr old threw it together. Maybe try reaching out to baker's that are local, small businesses need help to & they are lower in costs! Try looking for someone who is just breaking out in the baking business, or if you have a talented friend/family member who is bake savvy...go for it! After all you can't frame the cake to last forever!
The dress. Well this one is a tough one...after all you do want to look amazing! Here's a little known dress secret I'd like to share, Church Street Bridal. This shop is FANTASTIC. They carry designer gowns at HALF the cost and proceeds go to a great cause!! The staff is super friendly and helpful, So get that gorgeous gown here and save, save, save! (& help out a great cause!)
Venue. There are some really great hidden gems all around Virginia that can save you a TON without cutting out the amazing drop dropping scenery. Here's a few I know of: Rose Hill Game Preserve, Salubria (Germanna foundation owns this) & Kildee Farm. I'll search for more and blog a better list once I find them;)
The one thing I highly suggest that you DON'T cut corner's on....the photographer. I know, I know...your thinking she's only saying that because she IS a photographer. No I'm saying this as a bride who once cut this corner & boy do I regret every minute of it. I paid $50 and got what I paid for. I don't even show those pictures to anyone because of how terrible they were. The price tag behind wedding photography is broken down like this: our time, we take 8 hours to shoot (sometimes longer) we then have to sort through thousands of photographs, editing can take up to 3-4 weeks, we pay for equipment, gas, food & energy drinks (if your me!) We really put A LOT into making sure your portraits are spectacular! Yeah Uncle Bob has a DSLR he just bought from best buy, but he doesn't have the experience and knowledge like we do! I pay for workshop and classes to better my skills/knowledge to stay ahead of the game. Uncle Bob just watched a 2 min YouTube video. Photography should be on the top of your list along with the Venue, both go hand in hand for creating the most memorable part of your day!
So take this little word of advice, Instagram is great....but NOT for wedding portraits.