First and foremost, I hope everyone had a nice, lazy weekend! If you haven’t already, I would LOVE for you to email me (abby@abbyjeanpress) your info (name/closest city/age) for my upcoming “little black book.” Not to worry, all information will remain completely confidential. Secondly, I wanted to let you know that I have posted the Winners of the Inspiration Board Contest. Thanks again to everyone!

During our Inspiration Board contest, I fell in love with Avalon’s board…the colors, the styles, everything. It seemed to me to be the perfect board, so I was curious to know how her actual wedding translated. Brace yourselves people, this is going to be good.

Here are some photos from her recent wedding…

Avalon_wedding

(photos by Amy Schubert)

Now here is the real kicker…Avalon and her fiance had this beautiful affair for under 20k. Yep, you heard me right. They managed to design a magazine-worthy wedding for under twenty thousand dollars. The average wedding in America costs roughly $30,000. And let’s face it, the average wedding in America…looks nothing like this!!

So, Avalon has been kind enough to share with us some of her cost saving tips, for an oh-so-chic wedding:

1. Prioritize. When you don’t have a huge budget, it’s essential to focus on a few excellent ideas you can execute well than to try to accomplish too much and spread yourself thin. I would caution you to really think twice about buying an expensive dress if you are having a lower budget wedding. Everyone will think you look beautiful on your wedding day no matter what, and there may be areas where an extra thousand dollars will make a bigger difference.

2. Be flexible. Although it wouldn’t have been our first choice, a Friday morning wedding gave us a lot of leverage with vendors who would have otherwise declined to work within our relatively small budget. We ended up loving our intimate brunch and now we can’t imagine having done it any other way.

3. Pick a low-cost venue. Look at parks, museums, and other lower cost alternatives. These sites can also cut down on the amount of decorations you need by providing dramatic (and free) backdrops.

4. Choose vendors carefully. In most cases, we couldn’t afford the vendors whose portfolios we loved. Instead, we chose those we could talk to and showed them a lot of pictures we liked. It took some micro managing, but we ended up with great results for a fraction of the cost.

5. Do it yourself. Make as much as you can yourselves, but only if it will save money AND look good.

6. Don’t over-do-it-yourself. DIY has its advantages, but too many projects will just make you feel stressed out and weary. We only did what we felt we could pull off expertly. A homemade feel can be charming, but if projects look too unfinished, it may be better not to do them at all.

7. Buy it yourself when possible. We were able to buy our own alcohol, which definitely saved money. We also bought a lot of décor items, like vases, trays, and frames, which we now use in our home. Our vases cost less than the cheapest options our florist gave us and we got to shop around for styles we loved.

8. Splurge selectively. It’s counterintuitive, but spending extra on a few key areas will focus people’s attention and they probably won’t notice other things are missing. Having an espresso bar wasn’t necessary, but definitely made our brunch seem more special. We decided letterpress invitations would be an awesome way to set the tone for our wedding, even though they cost more.

9. It’s all in the details. I think this is the most important tip. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Repeating your color scheme and various themes with some subtlety is key for a pulled together look. We used stamps to repeat the birds and leaves motif from our invitations on the escort cards, guest book, and table numbers. We couldn’t afford to make welcome baskets, so instead we made packets of information on our home computer in coordinating colors and distributed them with locally made chocolates.

10. Don’t forget it’s a party. It should be fun, and most of all, it should reflect the two of you. Getting wrapped up in the “once in a lifetime” way of thinking makes it easy to overspend. Try to remember that the event is a celebration of your love and not a competition. I guarantee you won’t even care if things don’t go exactly as planned when it is all said and done.