Having just planned a wedding in 5 months, I wanted to gather my best advice and a few tips I’ve learned along the way for anyone who might be interested in planning a conscious wedding.
First of all- congrats! You get to plan your day and it can be anything you want it to be.
I’m a strong believer that it’s your day and you should make the calls on how you feel it should be. So take my advice with a grain of salt! :)
Spend some time on Pinterest and instagram and come up with a mood board for your wedding and use it as your guide. We made a mood board for our cake, flowers, reception and even some photography we liked. It ended up being a super useful tool to share with vendors, and a reference point for us to make all those little decisions like what kind of holders to get for our table numbers.
Budget: Pick a Splurge and a “Conserve”
Be ok with breaking tradition. If there’s something that you could do without-do without it! Simple is better, less stressful, and less costly in the end. Figure out what budget works for you and your S.O. and decide what is most important to you both. Decide one thing you want to splurge on, and then be ok with conserving on some other things. Is it the perfect location for a venue? Is it a certain restaurant that you want to have catered? This way, you won’t feel like your skimping out on everything and you won’t kill your budget.
Delegate and Celebrate!
Find a few key things that are super overwhelming to you and ask your S.O to take care of them. When you find a venue and date or made a big payment, go out for a drink or have dinner. It’s so important to celebrate along the way and enjoy this time together!
Make the Most Out of Your Wedding Website!
We wanted a quick engagement and set our date for the fall of this year after getting engaged at the end of may. This meant we had to move quickly on our planning. Our first priority after setting our date was to set up our website so we could share the details quickly with our friends and family. We decided to use our website as our “Save the Date”. Once we got our engagement pictures- taken by our dear friend Thi Lam- we found a wedding template on https://www.squarespace.com/templates/wedding and used it as a guide.
To keep our lives easier, we added our Registry, honeymoon fund, and RSVP page to our website. We used myregistry.com which allows you to add any item from any brand- and it’s free! You just download the app and can literally add items from your phone. highly recommend.
Don’t Be Afraid to DIY
Having invitations designed and printed can be super expensive. Not to mention if you want to do placecards, menus or table numbers. If you want to use paper for your invitations, it’s a lot cheaper to design it yourself (or ask a friend) and upload your own artwork. Paper Culture allows you to upload your own and also has some great designs for inspiration!
Placecards, table numbers and menus get a little trickier but I found some beautiful seed paper on amazon, designed them, and printed them on the printer at my parents house (lol).
Find Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Wedding “Staples”
We wanted a confetti exit after our ceremony but since our ceremony was outdoors, our venue wouldn’t allow it -understandably. I thought to google biodegradable confetti and found EcoFetti! It’s a water-soluble confetti made from blown cornstarch. It breaks down quickly when exposed to water and is harmless to plants and wildlife.
For our rehearsal dinner, we did a casual outdoor family BBQ catered from a local BBQ spot. Instead of using single-use plastic cutlery and serving utensils, we ordered bamboo cutlery, serving utensils and plates- all on amazon! Here’s what we used.
Finding the Right Vendors: Support Small Business Owners
Finding the right vendor can be tough and extremely overwhelming. My advice is start small. WeddingWire.com is an amazing resource to help you find local vendors and small business owners. They have detailed reviews and sometimes include cost estimates- yay! Use your budget to bargain and pick up the phone! Being open and honest with people always helps. If you give them your budget, most likely they will work with you!
We found a local woman-owned bakery in the nearest small town to do our cake. She makes each cake herself and it was the best wedding cake I’ve ever had. Small business owners are usually entrepreneurs and extremely passionate about what they do! We found both our wedding photographer and videographer in Instagram just searching hashtags! @kayla.snell and @littlegrayfilms_co are both incredibly talented and lovely people. Investing in small business owners was so worth it for us- they were all delightful to work with and eager to go the extra mile to make our wedding day truly amazing.