Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding

:: Top 5 Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding… Without Anyone Missing a Thing ::

As we all know, weddings are expensive! For the budget conscious engaged couple, having a wedding with family and friends may seem like an impossible dream, but never fear! There are ways of having a lovely wedding without breaking the bank (or robbing one)…

1 :: Check out inexpensive venue options :: Your venue does not have to be some fancy pansy hotel with impossibly high rates. Choose a place where you can have your ceremony and your reception. How about a beautiful park or a community clubhouse like a senior center or a VFW hall, or even a friends backyard? Get married at the courthouse, then celebrate with friends and family at a local hangout. Think outside the box and take note of what is available in your neighborhood.

2 :: Avoid guest book bloat :: Be thoughtful about your guest list. How many people can you afford to invite? Be prepared to make some tough decisions. Be cognizant of your budget bottom line and develop your guest list accordingly.

3 :: Supply your own beverages and food :: Buy your booze at a cut rate liquor store. Or just serve beer, wine and soft drinks. Make sure you have plenty though… Nothing spoils a party like running out of spirits. Are you having an outdoor wedding? Consider a barbeque. Or how about a relatively inexpensive Italian feast of spaghetti, meatballs and salad? Or a Mexican meal with big containers of rice, beans, shredded beef, tortillas and condiments so guests can put together their own plate?

4 :: Save on wedding attire :: Scout for sales, or display items, or gently used, or discontinued clothing lines. Check for buys after high school prom nights. Think beyond “wedding attire”. How about after Christmas holiday dresses that can be fabulous substitutions? Wear a suit instead of a tux. Or, go casual and comfortable and leave tradition behind.

5 :: Enlist the help and talents of friends and family :: Do you know any musicians who could play at your wedding or during the ceremony? Can someone with a good PA system act as a DJ utilizing your pre-planned song list? Does anyone you know know someone who is an excellent baker and can make your wedding cake for a bargain price? Put out a call for help. Ask for ideas. You can even suggest that friends help with the wedding instead of buying gifts!

How did you, or are you, saving money on your wedding?! We would love you to share your suggestions in the comments below…

Milwaukee, WISCONSIN :: Ken & Jay :: Home Is Where The Heart Is // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Home Is Where The Heart Is ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: {MRSter ApprovedReminisce Studio by Miranda & Adam

Ken & Jay recently got married in Boston, MA, where the two of them live. Having so much love for their family and friends, they decided to have two wedding receptions, one in each of their home states: Wisconsin and Rhode Island. We were lucky enough to be the photographers for their celebration at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the day couldn’t have gone any better!

We met up with the two handsome grooms in Café Calatrava, where some finishing touches were being made to their reception decor, and they helped each other with their bow ties- so sweet! Then we made our way around the stunning, modern museum to capture some portraits of the newlyweds. Windhover Hall, as well as all the other inspiring architectural elements, made the perfect backdrop. They were so sweet with each other, and we could tell what a wonderful pair they are.

Soon they joined their family and friends for some pictures before heading to cocktail hour. The details came together perfectly, including a cleverly illustrated menu, Jeopardy game instructions, custom place settings, etc. They also made donations in honor of their guests to Autism Speaks and the National Kidney Foundation.

Everyone enjoyed taking in the views of the Milwaukee cityscape and lakefront before it was time for dinner. Afterward, some really thoughtful, touching speeches and toasts were made. Then guests were treated to an absolutely amazing video montage that told Ken & Jay’s story, beautifully illustrated their relationship and concluded with their ceremony (cue tears of joy filling the room).

Since the two of them love playing games, they presented a game of Jeopardy for everyone to partake! It was so clever, and we loved capturing their guests having so much fun! Afterward, Ken & Jay were welcomed to the dance floor for their First Dance as newlyweds. And throughout the evening, the talented band kept the dance floor packed! Everyone was having a blast watching the band, decorating themselves with glow-sticks and dancing the night away! What a party!

DISTINCTIONS

Home State Celebrations. Game Night. Architecture.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter ApprovedReminisce Studio by Miranda & Adam
Venue :: Milwaukee Art Museum
Catering :: Café Calatrava
Band :: Chicago Diamond Trio

LOCATION

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

COLORS

  

 

Phoenix, ARIZONA :: Kishia & Jen :: Colorful Farm Wedding // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Colorful Farm Wedding ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: {MRSter ApprovedAlyssa Campbell Photography

Kishia and Jen wanted a beautiful outdoor casual morning celebration of their love and {MRSter Approved} The Farm at South Mountain couldn’t have been a better backdrop to their day. They had musician friends playing guitar and singing throughout the day, including a special song sung during the ceremony. Both Kishia and Jen’s daughters were in the ceremony, and two friends married them and did a fabulous job with the ceremony.

I could see Kishia and Jen’s love for their tribe throughout the wedding. I loved the moment right before the kiss where the officiant made the two wait for the big moment, causing hearty laughs from Kishia, Jen and their guests before he finally let them have their kiss to seal the deal!

It was such an honor to document their joy-filled, colorful wedding and Jen and Kishia were so open and warm and joyful.

DISTINCTIONS

Colorful. Friends & Family. Beautiful Brides.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Alyssa Campbell Photography
Venue :: {MRSter ApprovedThe Farm at South Mountain
Catering :: {MRSter Approved} Santa Barbara Catering
Floral :: Crazy Daisies Flowers

LOCATION

Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

COLORS

   

San Antonio, TEXAS :: The Look Of Love :: Cassie & Jovie // Real Wedding

:: The Look Of Love ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: Parker of {MRSter Approved} The PK Photographs

When I found out Cassie and Jovie were tying the knot at The Gardens of Cranesbury View I couldn’t contain my excitement. Not only is this venue stunning, with so many different locations for photography, but the staff are the finest I have ever worked with. All the beautiful flowers you see were courtesy of the venue, which is located a short ways out of San Antonio.

The ceremony location had a beautiful gazebo with white chairs on either side of an aisle, and overlooked a beautiful tree filled valley. The gazebo was decorated beautifully, and as the guests filled in a nervous excitement filled the air. The wedding party and ring bearer made their way up the aisle, and when Cassie finally was in view, tears sprung to Jovie‘s eyes. Her proud father walked her up the aisle to her husband. As they said their handwritten vows to each other and put wedding bands on each other’s fingers, there was no doubt that these two were made for each other.

Guests enjoyed cocktail hour as we did some portraits of Cassie and Jovie in the beautiful gardens, and then the reception got underway! Everything was perfectly decorated, the cake table was so beautiful, and the night was full of laughter, dancing, and love. Cassie and Jovie were sent off to a sparkler exit to enjoy the rest of their lives as husband and wife.

DISTINCTIONS

Emotional. Handwritten Vows. Sparkler Exit.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} The PK Photographs
Venue :: The Gardens of Cranesbury View
Floral :: The Gardens of Cranesbury View

LOCATION

San Antonio, Texas, USA.

COLORS

  

Alberta, CANADA :: Mandi & Katherine :: Love In The Canadian Rockies // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Love In The Canadian Rockies ::

Submitted and photographed by :: {MRSter Approved} Lauren Hannah Photography

Thinking back to this beautiful wedding at Jasper Park Lodge makes my heart happy. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect wedding day to photograph: two beautiful brides, mountain landscape and soooo much love in the air!

Katherine and Mandi’s relaxed wedding day brought together rustic DIY elements and the simple elegance of the mountains. They used the setting of the Rockies as their inspiration for the decor as they both have a love for the outdoors and often visit Jasper on vacation.

The Brides had this to say: “We both agree that our favourite moments were when Mandi saw me walking towards her and me seeing Mandi for the first time walking down to her. Then us walking out to James Brown as wives and pretty much the whole day!”

DISTINCTIONS

Breathtaking Views. Beautiful Brides. DIY Décor.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Lauren Hannah Photography
Venue :: Jasper Park Lodge
Cake :: Bear Paw Bakery
Floral :: All About Flowers
Apparel {Mandi} :: Delica Bridal
Apparel {Katherine} :: Pure Bridal
Apparel {Bridesmaids} :: Delica Bridal
Apparel {Suit} :: Tip Top Tailors
DJ :: Jasper’s Alpine Music

LOCATION

Jasper, Alberta, Canada

COLORS

   

Saint Paul, MINNESOTA :: Rachel & Laura :: Nerdy Nuptials // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Nerdy Nuptials ::

Photographed by :: Melissa of Rivets and Roses

Rachel and Laura had a charming St. Paul, Minnesota wedding that took place in Irvine Park, and the reception followed across the street at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

They incorporated all things they love in to their special day, which included; Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter! All of the details they put into their wedding complimented the locations perfectly, and signified their relationship.

It was a perfect day for the two of them, and it felt as if you had just entered the world that they share together. Beautiful.

DISTINCTIONS

Rainbow Converse. Dinosaurs. Two Brides.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Melissa of Rivets and Roses
Venue {Ceremony} :: Irvine Park
Venue {Reception} :: Science Museum of Minnesota

LOCATION

Saint Paul, Minnesota.

COLORS

   

Pyrénées-Orientales, FRANCE :: Benjamin & Daniel :: Charming Château In France // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Charming Château In France ::

Photographed by :: Lemon Three Photo

After more than 8 years of a long-distance relationship; Daniel living in London, UK and Benjamin in Perpignan, France, we decided to tie the knot in the south of France, close to Benjamin’s home town. The wedding was the coming together of both of our families.

The organisation of the wedding was challenging as Daniel was still living in the UK, and Benjamin in France. This meant that precious weekends were spent meeting suppliers, food tasting, and organizing, well… everything. The rest was done via Skype – and thank goodness for our Wedding Planner, Sarah, who managed this with ease! Another challenge we faced was ensuring that both our English and French families felt at ease. To do this, we made sure that all elements and written communication were done in both languages.

The moment we saw Château Valmy, we knew this was the place we wanted to get married. The castle is set in the beautiful region of the Pyrénées-Orientales; with stunning views of the Mediterranean sea on one side, and the Pyrenees mountains on the other. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and its own vineyard.

With the grand setting we wanted the wedding to reflect this as well. We opted for a Black Tie dress code (which was pretty unusual for our French guests who are not so used to Black Tie events). Preparations took part in the castle itself. The wedding ceremony took place in two parts; the morning at the town hall for the official signing of the papers, and then at 4.30pm in the afternoon in the gardens of the castle. The decor was simple and elegant with white chairs and a large arch of Giposofilia. Bridesmaids bouquets and the groom’s button holes were a mixture of deep red roses and Calla Lily. The ceremony was conducted by the mayor of a local town (the same one from the morning), who is a close family friend. Readings from our nearest and dearest, were mixed between English and French so all guests could understand.

The cocktail reception followed in the castle’s vineyard with magnificent views of the vineyard and the sea, with a jazz band playing softly in the background. Wines were from the vineyard and 16 different canapes were served with chef stations scattered in the garden. The evening dinner then followed indoors. Decoration was elegant and understated, with emphasis put on lighting and candles, with a simple Gipsofilia centerpiece.

Speeches from  Benjamin’s brother and Daniel’s father then led to the champagne toast, entrance of the croque en bouche tower, and then an evening with an open bar and DJ from Ibiza… We partied until 6am!

DISTINCTIONS

Destination Wedding. Long-Distance Love. French Vineyard.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Lemon Three Photo
Wedding Planner :: Label’ Emotion
Venue :: Chateau Valmy
Floral :: Sarah Menager
Catering :: Dolce Vita Traiteur
Apparel {Groom’s Suits} :: Ralph Lauren
Apparel {Bridesmaid Dresses} :: David’s Bridal UK
DJ :: DJ Lady Evelyn

LOCATION

Pyrénées-Orientales, France.

COLORS

  

San Antonio, TEXAS :: Rachel & Nelson :: One Beautiful Summer Day // Real Wedding

:: One Beautiful Summer Day ::

Photographed by :: Parker of The PK Photographs

I was so excited when I pulled up to The Lodge at Country Inn Cottages. Picture hay bales and open fields, surrounding a beautiful stone and wood lodge set near a hillside. The cottages up the hill are where Nelson and his groomsmen were getting ready, while Rachel and her bridesmaids were in the Bridal Suite at the Lodge.  The sky was the brightest of blues, with a few perfectly shaped white clouds, and the wind did a great job of overcoming the heat of an outdoor summer wedding in Texas.

The ceremony was short, sweet, and beautiful. There were a few tears, a few laughs, and Rachel and Nelson couldn’t stop smiling at each other. A few cows even wandered into the field beside their ceremony to watch this beautiful couple tie the knot! After their ceremony, there was a reception with heart-warming toasts and beautiful dances. Such a beautiful event with beautiful, kind families and friends of this beautiful bride and groom, ending with the bride and groom dancing the night away with friends on the dance floor.

DISTINCTIONS

Beautiful. Nature. Let’s Dance.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: The PK Photographs
Venue :: The Lodge Event Center
Live Band :: The Kopy Kats

LOCATION

San Antonio, Texas.

COLORS

  

Gallatin, TENNESSEE :: Laura & Jeremy :: Blessings From Above // Real Wedding

:: Blessings From Above ::

Photographed by :: Anjeanette Illustration Photography

The couple met their sophomore year at University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where Laura was studying for her Architecture degree, and Jeremy for his Sport Management degree. Jeremy planned a surprise Christmas time proposal near a pond and fountain, where he had draped his car in white Christmas lights and “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele was playing over the stereo.

Fast forward to the wedding… They say when it rains on a wedding day, blessings and good fortune are pouring down from above, and in that case Laura & Jeremy were indeed covered! Jeremy and Laura were both so giddy and excited to be getting married that the weather did not phase them! As a photographer, their positive and excited attitudes made all the difference in the world for successful photos.

In my opinion, a happy brides smile makes for the best of photos! Thankfully, we had had a brief dry moment before the storm for an intimate first look, with only a large group of deer to witness! Their wedding day in September was 7 years to the weekend from when they first began dating, and Laura said she was so excited to be marrying her best friend!

One of the most touching parts of this sweet and intimate wedding, was the display table of framed portraits of family members on their wedding days. Also, many of the items were handmade by family in a very chic and charming manner. Their guests signed well wishes into their bible, and several large groupings of soft candle light completed the warm glow.

DISTINCTIONS

Best Friends. Intimate. Blessed.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Anjeanette Illustration Photography
Venue :: The Pick Inn

LOCATION

Gallatin, Tennessee.

COLORS