10 Tips for a Luxurious Wedding for Less...
Got champagne & caviar taste on a beer & chips budget? Let’s be honest…Who doesn’t want to save a few bucks?! Its not that you’re necessarily “Ms. Frugal Fran,” or “Mr. Cheapskate” (Not that there is anything wrong with that), but perhaps you’d like to host a fabulous event sans the costly mistakes...? Well here are my top 10 personal go-to industry tips to creating a luxurious wedding or ANY event (for that matter) for less!
Photo Credit: Whirlwind Love Photography
1.) Set Your Budget
Do this before anything else & leave some cushion for additional miscellaneous expenses.
Be realistic and write down your MUST-HAVES (i.e. live musicians, great food, beautiful venue) & work the budget from there, accordingly.
2.) Minimize Your Guest Size
I know..I know...If you've been following me for a while then you've heard me say this again & again, and it should be a given at this point, however I cannot stress it enough. If you're on a budget & your guest count is high, so will the final bill & your stress levels...Just think of it this way...The higher the guest count, the lower your "high-end" look will be. It's much easier to get the wedding of your dreams with 50-75 people or even 100 than it is with 300+ guests (many of whom you don't even speak to, nor will anytime soon!) Hey just keepin it real! Haha!! Oh and by the way...If you're one of those couple who prefers to not have a 300-guests or even 100-guest wedding, I've launched a series of exclusive all-inclusive wedding & event packages that will give you ALLLL the luxury feels for less! They're part of my Le Petit series and include all the elements of a bougie wedding on a very manageable budget. I'm talking wedding décor, event supplies, florals, wedding cake, favors, and more! Oh and did I mention that you'll still have ME as your Luxury Wedding Designer & Planner. You're probably thinking what's the caveat right? Luckily, I am one who likes to keep it all-the-way real over here. There isn't any...The packages are ideal for couples who prefer a more intimate-sized wedding, and so the guest count maxes out at 50 guests. If you're interested in this package, then be sure to check out more information here, and fill out our contact form for further details.
3.) Find a Great Venue
If you want a high-end event on a budget then your venue is going to play a major role in that. After all, the venue acts as the canvas & backdrop of what's to be your special day. Yes, you can find a cheap rental space that you can spruce up, but if it’s a garage…it’ll look like a garage and then it'll take wayyyy more time, effort, & MONEY to transform the space, as opposed to a beautiful backdrop with stunning decor pieces to create a beautiful ambiance. Now don’t get be wrong…I LOVE my blank canvas venues...They are definitely a designer’s dream because you can really let your imagination run wild! But not all “blank canvas” spaces are created equal. Some leave a LOT to be desired. My suggestion would be to do some well thought out research and opt for some updated blank-space-type venues. Why? Well #1 they are typically less expensive than a traditional all-in-house venue; 2.) You have more freedom in terms of how you want things to look by bringing in your own rental pieces; & 3.) You have way more overall control on how things are done (i.e. design layout, food, preferred vendors, & time). Still not convinced...? With Mariage Blanc Designs, our clients gain access to view our venue e-book that contains over 100 various venues (including "blank canvas" event spaces, catering halls, mansions, barns, restaurants, castles, etc.) in the New York tri-state area & beyond, complete with pertinent info like pricing, guest capacity, policies, etc., to help narrow things down and make this process much easier for you! Another great venue option is your backyard or one of a family member or close friend. Now with hosting an outdoor wedding, there comes a lot more responsibility and it can easily cost more if your guest count is on the higher side. My tip is to try to keep it at 50 guests or less. If you're considering hosting your wedding outdoors, then be sure to read my blog post that covers the 7 Mistakes To Avoid When Hosting An Outdoor Wedding.
4.) Chic Décor
I'll let you in on a little secret...Many clients don't know what to do with the newly purchased décor after their event. Lots of client brides just donate décor items to get rid of all the “stuff” because there isn’t any need for it anymore. Vintage stores, flea markets, garage sales & even Craigslist (Yes, you heard right!) is where this stuff ends up. A good resource for brides selling their wedding dresses & décor items is Facebook Marketplace and Wedding Bee just head over to the “Classifieds” section on Wedding Bee...You're welcome 😉. Oh and please remember to use extreme caution when utilizing these resources! Don't just meet with anyone alone & always try to meet in public areas if possible. Oh and if you'd like some suggestions on some luxury décor for less, check out my Amazon store under the All Things Wedding Planning category. These flameless candles are a definite must-buy for the venues that do not permit open flame.
5.) A Refined Palate
Listen, I am the ultimate foodie. I get it...You want good food, but you don’t necessarily want to pay $200-$300+ per plate for it. My solution is to search for an awesome food caterer (it can even be your favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant...Hey sometimes they be the best ones) & ask if they service larger takeout orders for bigger events (be straight-forward and honest that it's a wedding though. Never be that guy that tries to cut corners by being deceitful with the type of event it is). With this kind of order, you can have a family-style buffet that aesthetically lines the dinner table. Another great food idea is to opt for passed hors d'oeuvres throughout the reception. You can always dress it up with formally dressed food servers & silver trays to make it more classy & fun! Think of it as an extended cocktail hour. Here's a bonus tip! You can apply the same principle with drinks...Load up on wine & champagne, hire a bartender, & do 1-2 signature cocktails for the event. You'll get that sophisticated vibe for a fraction of the cost. Trust me, your guests will still be full & content! 😋
Photo Credit: Inka Originals
6.) Professional Photography
Listen, what would be the point of all this if it wasn't beautifully documented? I see hiring a professional photographer as a long term investment. Personally, its largely helped me in conveying my brand’s overall message. I mean how else would my clients see, know, & trust me and my work if it wasn't properly documented? It’s sorta the same idea for weddings & events. You invested money into this wonderful event & you want to be able to view it afterwards in all its glory! It seals the deal in creating a luxurious vibe on a more modest budget. Don't skim on this guys...Trust me. You'll be cherishing these memories for a lifetime. Wedding photographers can range from $3k to $5k to $10k & BEYOND. You can find even lower price points with someone who just started their photography business & is looking to build their portfolio & audience. Obviously, do your due diligence and research...Check out their websites, reviews, & portfolios & ask questions. A great idea to get that luxury look for less is to book fewer hours of coverage for your wedding. A lot of photographers offer this option with their smaller-scaled photo packages. Not everyone wants or needs 8-10 hour coverage on their wedding day. If you get the main highlights of the day, then you have enough to tell your beautiful love story in it's entirety! Another great idea is to book an engagement shoot first to see how it goes. If it goes great, you’ve built somewhat of a working relationship & got your wedding photographer all in one shot (no pun intended Haha!!). Plus some photographers offer an exclusive price or an exclusive add-on if you book both the engagement session and wedding day with them. With a professional photographer, you're getting editorial style pictures that look like you shot with a Vogue magazine…1 word TIMELESS.
7.) Professional Videography
This should kind of go hand-in-hand with the photography, but you'd be surprised at how many people nix the whole video or think snippets on their iPhones will do (totally cringing right now....) My own mom's wedding videographer bailed on her wedding day last minute for another higher paying gig & I'm still mad to this day that I can't see her wedding! 😡 They say a picture is worth a thousand words...Well I say a video is worth a thousand more (probably even more in this day and age to be honest). Therefore, try to book a few hours of video coverage, similarly, to #6 tip above. You'll probably have to do some more research to see which videographers offer smaller packages, but it'll certainly be worth it. With technology nowadays, these guys will have your event looking like a feature film.
8.) Wedding Designer & Planner
I know what you're thinking another #shamelessplug. Hey listen…If I really wanted to do that then it’d be the #1 tip on the list! Haha!! You might be thinking, Steph if I'm already on a tight budget how can I afford you?! But wait! Hear me out...If you were to hire a carpenter to build you some cabinetry, would you buy the wood and tools yourself...? Kinda the same concept here...I've been doing this for a while now, so I know ALL the tea on quality products, mark downs, & getting the most bang for your buck! Not to mention, certain logistics that not too many people would be familiar with (i.e. staking poles to install string lighting for an outdoor wedding, table dimensions for chair to guest ratio, proper table linen dimensions for said tables, & every other thing you may possibly NOT think of otherwise). Plus who is setting everything up and breaking everything down when the festivities are over? Just think of me as your captain steering the ship, or in this case your discounted luxury yacht! Ya wanna know what's even better...? My mini-matrimony package series, Le Petit Mariage wedding packages, are the the perfect accoutrement for several of my tips. More specifically, tips #2, #4, #6, & #7. Remember how tip #2 focused on minimizing your guest size, and tip #4 focused on chic décor? And how can we forget tip #6 & #7 which mentioned the Photographer & Videographer vendors?! If you're clueless on how to go about executing said tips, the good news is that my Le Petit Mariage wedding packages, give you all the high-end vibes sans the super high-end price tag, so that you too can have that stunning wedding you always dreamed of. We found a way to make it attainable by partnering with a series of wedding vendors who were gracious enough to provide us with exclusive rates that you wouldn't normally get anywhere else in order to make your event dreams a reality! Make sure to fill out our contact form if you're interested in further information regarding pricing, features, vendors, & more!
Photo Credit: Inka Originals
9.) Rent a Private Vehicle
So guys...there’s a way to bypass the whole "super pricey limo company" with the surprise tip, fuel, and “opening the car door” service surcharges. And I can't believe I'm giving you all my secrets, but sharing is caring right?! Basically, you can rent out luxury & vintage cars from the actual car owner for a fraction of what it would cost to rent it from a limo company. For more info, check out Book A Classic. Again, you're welcome 😉.
Photo Credit: Purroy Productions
10.) An Event Theme
Last by certainly not least! I live for a great theme! And although, this is not totally necessary, I strongly encourage it if you want your event to give off a certain vibe & elevated aesthetic. Themes are not as daunting as some people may think. A theme can be something as simple as modern chic. It doesn’t have to be the Great Gatsby all the time, but with a great theme, comes great direction as to what ambiance you want your event to have. Not to mention, guests get really excited when the theme & requested attire is super fun and exciting like the Kentucky Derby or the Grand Centennial Ball, or Old Hollywood.
Well guys...That's all for now! I really hope you found these tips extremely helpful. Remember these tips do not only apply to weddings, but they can be used for all events across the board. Please be sure to share them with your family & friends who you think could benefit from these tips! Also if you enjoyed this blog post, then this is just tip of the iceberg! Make sure to join my VIP list so that you're in on all our juicy tea, tips, package specials, and more lifestyle content. Sign up here.
Photo Credit: Whirlwind Love Photography
#mariageblancdesigns #upstatenewyorkplanner #luxuryweddingforless #luxuryweddingsforless #backyardweddings #outdoorweddings #elegantoutdoorwedding #highendweddingforalowendprice #bougieweddingonabudget #weddingplannertips #weddingplannertips #mariageblancdesigns #mbd #laviedelafête