Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Planning A Budget-Friendly Wedding

With the booming Philippine wedding industry (hence the growing list of "must-haves" and "to-dos" being fed to the newly engaged couples), it is definitely becoming more and more difficult to plan a budget-friendly celebration.

But contrary to what people say, you don't really have to spend a lot on your wedding day. (Although believe me, it becomes way too easy to suddenly blow your budget when there are so many beautiful nice-to-haves being thrown your way! Trust me on this. I feel your pain!)

Even though our budget wasn't really the smallest one out there, we were still able to have our dream wedding without breaking the bank (too much, haha!)

Here are some wedding planning tips that we found particularly useful:

1. Set your priorities and agree on your non-negotiables as a couple. 

This is the most important thing to remember when planning your wedding. This not only gives you an idea which wedding supplier you are willing to spend more on, but it would also strengthen your resolve as a couple when other factors (or people) come into play.

In our case, we decided to invest in a good photographer and videographer to preserve the memories of that day. Hubby and I are overly fond of taking photos and videos, so it was only natural for us to make this our priority. (In fact, while other couples take months to go through their wedding photos, it only took us a day to look through 4,000+ photos! Lol!)

Overall, it was a very good investment because Manny and April Photography and Dan Mendiola Wedding Films were both very professional and did an amazing job during our wedding!

Go here to view more photos and videos.

2. Choose your venue wisely.

Your choice of venue could either make or break your budget. Weigh your options carefully and ask the right questions. Venues have a way of blowing up your budget due to the hidden charges their agent may conveniently forget to tell you about, or even the amount of money you'll need to spend for event styling. Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before booking a particular wedding venue:
  • How much would I need to spend on event styling, lights and sounds, chair or tent rentals, etc. if I chose this particular venue?
  • Do they charge extra fees for unaccredited caterers, electricity used by other suppliers (i.e. lights and sounds suppliers, projector, photobooth, etc.), alcoholic beverages, etc.?
  • When looking at the wedding packages being offered by your venue, ask yourself if you are willing to spend a bit more to avoid the hassle of coordinating with more wedding vendors, or would you rather pick cheaper alternatives on your own?

We chose the Verandah of Oasis Manila because it requires very minimal styling to achieve our winter-inspired wedding peg. We opted to use their mood lights and uplighting (so we don't need to pay extra fees), and decided to use white and lace details for our table linens and decors. (Good thing our photographers and videographers were really good at their craft! Otherwise, they would not have been able to work well with the difficult lighting our venue had.)

3. Remember: DIY does not always mean cheaper!

Always compute miscellaneous expenses (i.e. transportation to get materials, etc.) along with the raw materials when considering to do DIYs. And when you have plenty of DIYs, do make sure you have a good coordinator and even friends or relatives to support you. I've seen brides complain on wedding forums that their wedding coordinator was not able to bring out their DIYs on the day of the wedding itself. So much work put to waste because of an oversight!

I only did a few DIYs due to time and energy constraint. My fabric bouquet and the entourage's fabric corsages and boutonnieres cost only a little over 3,000 PHP. (With excess materials at that!)

Here's a photo of me holding my DIY fabric bouquet.

Find out more about my DIYs here!

4. Think outside the box.

You'd be surprised where I got my wedding inspiration.

I actually got it while watching Disney's Frozen! (Yes, you got that right! Frozen! Lol!) It was during this particular scene that I decided I really wanted a winter-inspired wedding!

And it was during this all-too-familiar song sequence that I decided I wanted an Elsa/Rosa Clara-inspired wedding gown! Teehee! (Don't judge me!)

Do I look like Elsa yet? Teehee!

Fortunately, you can achieve a winter-inspired wedding celebration by using minimalist details. And without upgrading our Oasis wedding package for the caterer (which was already steep because we had a whopping 250 guests invited), I asked the event coordinator of Josiah's Catering if we could revise their standard set-up a bit to suit our wedding peg for no extra charge. They agreed, probably because the flowers I wanted to use were really cheap. (We used asters and calla lilies.) This is the end result, captured beautifully by Manny and April Photography!

The aster flowers looked a bit like snow, don't you think?

We also liked the standard Hearts & Bells cake we got as part of the Oasis wedding package!

5. Find the right balance between quality and budget - you'll thank me for this later.

Now just because it is cheap doesn't mean you should go for it. While we were very happy with some of our other purchases, most of the wedding suppliers that we regretted getting were the ones we didn't put much thought into and simply got because it was more convenient and cheap. So be very careful when choosing your wedding suppliers!

Nevertheless, most of our affordable finds were good quality, so if you are still looking for viable options, you may want to consider getting some of our suppliers.

We gave our principal sponsors these customized Kimochi Aroma microwaveable herbal pillows and a bottle of wine with a small DIY note attached. I made the sort-of poem myself. Hihi!

For our secondary sponsors, we contacted Chemiscents to have these customized perfumes made with our monogram. Their price is really affordable for the product quality. Do check them out!

Regardless of the feedback you may get about your wedding (positive or otherwise), just remember that it is truly the marriage that counts. Do not let other people get you down by tactless comparisons or unnecessary opinions. Just focus on the fact that you are finally married to the love of your life! This is just the beginning of your life together, after all.

So to the one reading my blog post, may you have (or find) a happily ever after!

Final Note: All photos shown on this blog post (except the photo of the DIY notes for sponsors) were taken by Manny and April Photography. Please do not take without permission or proper credit to our wedding photographer. Thank you!

Do you have any other wedding tips that you may want to share with budget-conscious couples? How about other affordable wedding suppliers you may want to recommend? Do leave a comment and share your thoughts with us!