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How to Save On Your Wedding Venue {Budget Wedding Week}

July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July to all you wonderful Americans out there!!!  (And happy fourth of July to you non-Americans too.  I guess it’s still July 4th where you are, even if you don’t celebrate anything.)  I hope you all have an amazing and safe day, celebrating our country! ——– Welcome to the fourth installment of Budget Wedding week.  Like I told you all the past few days, Nate and I did not have a specific budget for our wedding (the less we spent the better) so it was my goal to create the day of my dreams for as cheaply as I could.  I researched, got help, took full advantage of sales and, at the end of the planning, realized the whole wedding had come to $3,500!

Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to share my budget wedding tips with friends and family to help them create amazing days for amazing prices!  I figured it wouldn’t be right of my to leave you all hanging.  I’m sure plenty of you would love knowing the tricks for weddings (or other events) of your own.  That’s exactly what I’m going to do this week! One big money guzzler is a wedding venue.  Nate and I got married in Portland in early July.  There’s no telling what the weather’s going to be like on July 2nd so we decided we’d be less stressed if we just had an indoor wedding.  We looked and looked for a venue for a decent price that could fit 250-300 people and where we could have our reception.  Most churches and other venues were EXPENSIVE!!  We finally settled on a church right near the college we had attended and ended up spending $1000 (yes, the venue was almost 1/3 of our wedding budget).  It was more than we had hoped to spend but it was the best price for what we were looking for. One of the perks of our location was that they had a lot of wedding decorations we were welcome to use.  Before we put our deposit down, I pursued through their selection of wedding décor, settled on a theme I could use a lot of them in, and made a mental list of the other things I would have to buy/borrow.  Really, I didn’t have to buy/borrow much! The Wedding Décor: IMG_9072 IMG_9074

I was a girl that used fake flowers to decorate for my wedding.  There were so many reasons I decided to do that.  For one, fake flowers are just cheaper!  Seriously!  Fresh flowers are expensive!!!  Beyond that, I also knew that I wanted to take part in the setting up and decorating for the wedding (mainly because I’m OCD).  Since the wedding was at two in the afternoon, we set up the previous afternoon, before the rehearsal.  If I had used fresh flowers, they would have withered and died by the time the ceremony rolled around.  That would be so much worse than fake flowers. IMG_9076IMG_10002

The arch and communion table belonged to the church so we didn’t have to buy those.  I decorated the arch with some of my flowers and thought it made the perfect backdrop for our ceremony.  It was very simple but very beautiful! The Reception Décor:IMG_10560 (42)IMG_10560 (56)IMG_10560 (67) I adored the way our reception turned out.  The room we were having it in had such harsh, florescent lighting and I really struggled with being ok with that lighting.  It didn’t take me long to realize that I didn’t need to use the overhead lighting at all!  I decided I wanted the ambiance to be kind of dark with a lot of candles and white Christmas lights to light the room.  We lined the walls with lamps (set on low) the church already had for a little extra lighting and I borrowed a ton of Christmas lights, stringing them up and accenting them with tulle. After we strung the lights and set up the tables and (church provided) tablecloths I laid out all the candles, candle holders, mirrors, decorative stones, gold “grass”, and other table decoration the church provided.  I had purchased 5 mirrors, 2 large candle holders, and a pack of 1000 tea candles.  Yes, that’s ALL I had to buy to decorate our reception and the mirrors and candles were purchased at the dollar store!  I told my mom, sisters, bridesmaids, and whoever else was helping out with decorating the reception hall what I envisioned the tables looking like and let them just go for it.  It was fun for every table to be different but also be unified. All in all, we spent around $40 on ALL our decorations for the ceremony and reception.  I felt so blessed to have so many wonderful decorative pieces already provided for me. Check out one of my favorite bloggers:

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