Budget Woes: Who Pays For What?

All aboard the Awkward express!

Following the rush of excitement that comes along with the engagement and initial planning, that slightly unpleasant conversation is lurking in the shadows, waiting to jump out at you & your future Mother-In-Law at brunch {over a few too many mimosas!} It’s not the most fun topic of conversation, but figuring out who is contributing to your wedding (and how much) is vital to planning your wedding budget. Use this MMW guide and turn the ol’ tricky task into just another easy assignment:

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$ $ $ $ $

THE BRIDE PAYS FOR:

  • The groom’s wedding ring
  • The groom’s wedding gift
  • Bridesmaids’ gifts
  • Personal stationery

THE GROOM PAYS FOR:

  • The bride’s engagement & wedding ring
  • The bride’s wedding gift
  • The groomsmen’s gifts
  • The marriage license
  • Clergy/judge fee
  • The boutonnieres
  • Transportation
  • The bride’s bouquet

THE BRIDE’S FAMILY PAYS FOR:

  • The invitations
  • Services of the bridal consult
  • Wedding gift for the newlyweds
  • The bride’s gown & accessories
  • The church/reception music
  • Flowers for the church/venue
  • Bridesmaids’ bouquets
  • Transportation for the bridal party
  • The reception fee
  • Catering
  • The wedding cake
  • Gratuities
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Their own attire
  • Their own lodging

THE GROOM’S FAMILY PAYS FOR:

  • Their own attire
  • Their own loding
  • The rehearsal dinner/luncheon
  • A wedding gift for the newlyweds

THE BRIDESMAIDS PAY FOR:

  • Their dresses + accessories
  • Transportation to and from the city (where the wedding is being held)
  • The bride’s gift
  • Bridal shower or luncheon
  • Bachelorette party

THE GROOMSMEN PAY FOR:

  • Their suits/tuxedos + accessories
  • Transportation to and from the city (where the wedding is being held)
  • The groom’s gift
  • Bachelor party

. . . 

THERE ARE SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE ASSUMING THE SELECTED PARTIES WILL PAY FOR SAID ITEMS – ARE THEY FINANCIALLY STABLE {CURRENTLY EMPLOYED/NOT IN DEBT} + WILLING? CONSIDER WHAT YOU AND YOUR BEAU-TO-BE CAN PAY FOR YOURSELVES, THEN DISCUSS THE DETAILS WITH YOUR WEDDING PARTY. AT THE END OF THE DAY, A HAPPY FAMILY IS WORTH MORE THAN EXPENSIVE CENTERPIECES. NEVER LET EXPENSES COME BETWEEN LOVED ONES! FACTOR IN YOUR OWN UNIQUE WEDDING EXPENSES AS YOU GO.

HAPPY PLANNING
meg's modern weddings FLOWER
{IMAGES: 2 BRIDES PHOTOGRAPHY}

13 Unexpected Expenses to Plan For

As you begin jotting down your wedding budget, you’ll immediately set aside money for the venue, the photographer & the dress, but are you aware of…

*DUH DUH DUH*

the unexpected expenses?

EEEEEK.

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Sure, you’re a very organized chick, but those sneaky little unpredictable purchases and fine print fees can really add up if you’re not careful! Here’s a quick list of some minor expenses that brides often forget about:

POSTAGE

After you share the engagement news with your fam, friends & social media, you’ll begin the invitation process. This includes: the save-the-date, the invitation, the RSVP card & the thank you note. Let’s say you mail a postcard for your save-the-date at 34¢ each. Add the three following stamps at 49¢ per piece and you’re at $1.81 a guest. Plan on inviting 150? You’re paying about $272.00 on FRICKIN’ POSTAGE DUDE! Reminder: this is not to scare you, just prepare you.

INVITATIONS & BEYOND

That postage is accompanied by your super cute custom wedding stationery! The pre-wedding paper isn’t the only stationery you’ll be using though, remember to budget in programs, escort cards, place cards & table assignments (if necessary.)

THE MARRIAGE LICENSE

Ah, the license: so *offish* – but you wouldn’t believe how many brides and grooms forget to bring the license on their wedding day let alone set aside some money for it (which I don’t blame you, my biggest concern on the morning of my wedding will probably be finding the nearest Dunkin Donuts.) The cost of a marriage license varies by county – in Alabama, you’re looking at $44-74, and in Florida, you’ll pay up to $95!

PRE-WEDDING ENSEMBLES

Don’t tell me you’re set on absolutely SLAYING your wedding day in your Haley Paige gown but plan on pulling something old out of your closet for your bridal party, bachelorette extravaganza, etc. Give yourself some room to purchase a few pre-wedding event ensembles!

THE UNDIES + ACCESSORIES

You’re only focused on that incredible blush ball gown that you literally dreamt of and just happened to find at Kleinfeld’s, I get it. But don’t forget that you’re probably gonna need a bra and undies to go underneath. Also budget for your jewelry, veil, garter, wedding night lingerie (ooh la la!) shoes & shape-wear (optional.) I recommend having a pair of fun, comfortable reception shoes as backup.

BEAUTY BILLS

Okay honestly I’m a cheap skate and won’t be scheduling a facial at the spa a week before my wedding – but if you enjoy pampering yourself, definitely remember to save for mani-pedis, teeth whitening, massages and the optional tanning package. Keep your eyes peeled on Groupon for deals in your area!

HAIR & MAKEUP TRIALS

Setting aside some cash for your hair and makeup is a given, but you’ll want to schedule a trial to make sure you’re obsessed with your wedding day look – and this is often an added cost. You may think you want that messy boho fishtail braid but end up choosing a glam top knot following the trial!

LAST MINUTE ALTERATIONS

On the biggest day of your life, in the most beautiful dress in the world, you deserve to look and feel amazing (in a gown that fits perfectly!) If you’re working on losing weight, toning your body or simply misjudged your size, you’ll want to give yourself at least $100 to work with on your final alterations.

PLEASE FEED THE VENDORS

Don’t forget about them. It may be part of the contract or just a nice gesture, but the officiant, photographer, band, planner, videographer – they’d like some fuel to continue working your perfect wedding! Budget and schedule meals for them throughout the day.

TIP$

Eh, gratuity…only slightly complicated. In some contracts, gratuities are included. It’s important to figure this out beforehand because the list of people who should generally be tipped includes: the wedding planner, hairstylist, chef, catering manager, wait staff, bartenders, videographer, parking valets, photographer, musicians and drivers.

DELIVERY FEES

Depending on your venue, you may have rented or planned a lot of decor to be brought in. If your venue is outdoor, don’t forget that you may have to pay for the installation of a tent floor. Delivery fees on linens, flowers, labor, set-ups and break-downs should all be noted when planning your budget.

UNEXPECTED ATTENDEES

Brides: your sorority sister might send regrets but end up getting that weekend off from work and show up anyway, your uncle probably forgot to RSVP but wouldn’t miss it for the world and one of the groomsmen will more than likely end up bringing an uninvited date {dressed in something weird, like a zebra print body-con minidress} but it’s out of your hands. Don’t let this issue take even a moment from your big day – just add 5 extra meals when giving your caterer the final head count…just in case!

THE ABSOLUTE UNPREDICTABLE

Did the caterer forget the cake? Did the groom forget his dress shoes back in your home state? Maybe an essential vendor cancels last minute and you’re left scrambling – give yourself a $200 emergency fund just for peace of mind. If anything goes wrong, trust that your wedding coordinator can handle it or the maid-of-honor can easily run to Nordstrom’s. If you don’t use the emergency fund *fingers crossed* use it for the booze on your honey moon: win-win.

. . . 

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY. GO INTO PLANNING WITH A CLEAR BUDGET & A LEVEL HEAD TO AVOID ANY ISSUES LATER ON!

AN EXTRA TIP BEFORE YOU GO: USE THE FREE INBUDGET APP TO MAKE IT EVEN EASIER. HAPPY PLANNING!

{PHOTOS BY: LAURA FOOTE PHOTOGRAPHY, KRISTA FOX PHOTOGRAPHY}

From Miss to Mrs: Your Last Name Change Checklist

One of the biggest changes that comes after the vows? Your last name! Changing your last name isn’t the most exciting part of the process, but it’s one step closer to becoming a Mrs.! Follow my checklist below to ensure you’re prepared {& having fun along the way}

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1) Marriage License

First step is to have your official marriage license (or a copy from the Clerk’s office) sent to you – snazzy seal included.

2) Social Security Card

It’s time to apply for a new social security card! Make an account and then mail in your application for a new social security card via the SSA website.

3) License

Next step is changing your driver’s license at the DMV – i know, i know *eye roll* but I suggest stopping at your local Starbucks and having the barista write your new last name on your cup so you can admire it during the duration of waiting in line. Remember – you need to bring the certified marriage license, your old license, AND the new social security card (the most necessary form of identification!)

4) Bank Accounts

Did you agree to a joint bank account? (If so, congratulations! Your hubby must really trust that you won’t spend his life savings at Old Navy – good job!) Stop into your local branch with your new forms of identification – marriage license and driver’s license. Request a new debit card and new checks and to change the name on your account. When your new debit card arrives, promptly order this adorable custom cutting board featuring your new last name.

5) The Easy Stuff

Once steps 1-4 are complete, the rest of the process should be easy as pie. Simply call/email the following associations to begin the name change process:

  • Doctor’s Office

  • Post Office

  • School/Alumni Association

  • Gym

  • Electric Company

  • Credit Card Company

  • Voter’s Registration Office

  • Employer

  • Insurance Companies

  • Passport Office

. . .

Will you be too busy sun tanning on your honey moon to worry about the name change? Go to Miss now Mrs. to easily change your last name for $29.95 – & lastly: congrats, newlywed!

{Photos by: Nicole Clarey Photography, Sierra Solis Photography}

The Ultimate Guest List Guide

One of the most daunting wedding planning tasks is none other than gathering the guest list – but the actual wedding guest list isn’t the only roundup of friends and family that you’ll have to consider. With various pre-wedding parties and post-wedding get togethers, figuring out whose invited to what can get a little overwhelming. Pour yourself some Pinot & take some time to think about your expected attendees with the MMW Guest List Guide:

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THE BRIDAL SHOWER

SEND INVITES TO: Bridal Party, Family Members, Friends

The first official pre-wedding party should be celebrated with all your closest friends and family, and the groom’s female family members. Keep in mind that any guest that was invited to the bridal shower {& probably brought a gift} should absolutely receive an invitation to the wedding.

bachpartyTHE BACHELORETTE PARTY

SEND INVITES TO: Bridal Party, Close Family Members, Friends

Whether you’re planning to party in a Nashville Bar, or your local Barre studio, this bash is all about letting loose with your gals! This is the perfect time to get rid of wedding planning stress and enjoy a day dedicated to your besties. Keep in mind that your theme for the party plays into who you should invite. Doing a brunch and spa day? Definitely invite your future mother-in-law. Playing “Pin the Junk on the Hunk” on a party bus in Vegas? Ehhhh maybe not.

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THE REHEARSAL DINNER

SEND INVITES TO: Wedding Party, Family Members, Out-of-Town Guests

The rehearsal dinner is something special that you should celebrate with your small circle. This is a time to reflect and prepare for the biggest day of your life! The bridesmaids, groomsmen, both sides of the family and any guests who have traveled for the big event should attend and enjoy a delicious dinner with the soon-to-be newlyweds.

weddingdayThe wedding

SEND INVITES TO: Family, Friends, Other

THE MAIN EVENT! This is the guest list that means the most (obviously) – you should carefully consider who you want to witness the most sentimental moments of your lives. Start with the number that the venue can accommodate. If your seaside escape can hold 150 guests, split (as evenly as you can) the number of guests that you and your groom plan to invite. I suggest gathering your family members first, then closest friends and finally your co-workers, etc. You can always send out your initial invitations to the A-List, and save those declined RSVP’s for your B-List/anyone you’re on the fence about. My golden rule: if you haven’t sat down and had dinner with the person in the past year, pass. You also need to account for plus ones.

PLUS ONE PLAN:

MARRIED/ENGAGED – Send invitation to the couple
IN A SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP – Plus-One

(I personally believe plus-ones are reserved for guests with significant others/friends you’ve met before – this doesn’t include the groomsmen who always has a new piece of arm candy.)

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The Post-Wedding Brunch

SEND INVITES TO: Wedding Party, Family, Out-of-town Guests

The final festivity! Enjoy a sweet brunch to send off your out-of-town guests, thank your beloved bridal party and your immediate family.  Use this time to let your guests know how thankful you were for their attendance and savor the time spent laughing, relaxing and recounting the incredible night before.

. . . 

Guests lists can get stressful, but keep in mind that the most important part is spending time with your loved ones. Always invite the people who mean the most!

{Photo Credits: Jose Villa Photography, Nadia Hung Photography, Cyn Kain, Anna Kuperberg, Santorini Glam Weddings & Jen Wojcik}

Instaworthy Announcement Ideas

Nothing makes my mornings like waking up next to my snoring bulldogs, flopping over to my nightstand, grabbing my phone & checking Instagram excitedly for the latest engagement posts. #ISaidYes, #Feyonce & #HePutARingOnIt are my favorite hashtags to search because many of the photos posted are the greatest moment of that person’s life! You can flash your new rock, post the exact down-on-one-knee moment, or opt for a simple selfie of you and your new fiance, the options are endless! Sensing a proposal in your future? Check out my absolute favorite insta-ideas before you post the best news!

 ONE KNEE WONDER

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*SWOONS*

If bae plants a photographer, you’ll be lucky enough to have the best moment captured – his hopeful smile, your surprised expression, the second he took your breath away! I love this action shot because it allows you to share the exact experience with your loved ones.

A DOUBLE DOSE

yas

The man, the ring – the rest of your lives!

Love love love this trendy new Instagram announcement idea that features a satisfied beau & the ring! Both are obviously big parts of the moment so why choose just one?

THE “TA-DA!”
tada

Do you want a private proposal? Do you love the outfit in which you were proposed in? Then post this shot of yourselves – something sweet and special but doesn’t reveal every detail of what went into the big surprise, which in some cases is best left just between the two of you!

THE SPARKLER

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The most popular announcement is simply a shot of the ring – it’s straight to the point and you absolutely deserve to show off your tangible, diamond studded promise of a lifetime! Add to the romance by showing off the new rock in a sweet embrace, like the couple above, way cuter than hovering your hand over your kitchen countertop!

Pawfect Announcement

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Did you see this one coming? Announce your engagement with the assistance of your best friend! So unique, so sweet and completely unforgettable – if you and your significant other currently parent a fur-child together, prop the ring on their snout, take a photo, post to the ‘gram & prepare to go viral.

Announcing your engagement on social media usually comes after you call your mom and before the engagement shoot – it’s kind of a big deal, so make this post one to remember!

5 Must Have Elements of Pre-Wedding Party Decor

The big day requires a whole lot of planning.

But before you walk down the aisle, you’ll prance down the street to your favorite restaurant for an engagement party brunch, line dance through a bar at your bachelorette party and mosey on over to the local froyo shop after you choose your bridesmaids dresses! Your girls will do the majority of the planning for these upcoming events, but message them with a link to this post featuring our favorite pre-wedding day decor options for every party!

gold foil balloons

Gold foil balloons are the most *popping* aesthetic element, perfect for all the fun gatherings you’re about to attend! They make incredible photo props and signage for a bar or gift table. Check out my absolute favorite balloon vendor – Eugenia from BalloonUp! She offers a fabulous variety of gold and silver foil letters, numbers {in a convenient array of sizes, too!} Add some of her confetti filled latex balloons as added accents and your party {and photos} are bound to wow the bride and the guests! By the way – my “MMW” balloons from this photo-shoot lasted 8 days! I love a good quality product that exudes style.

marquee madness

Another signage essential! Marquees literally light up any darker venue. Add some flashy marquee letters to the bachelorette party bar, the engagement party DIY sundae station or a personalized marquee spelling out the bride’s new last name for the bridal shower entrance!

bold banners

The possibilities of creating the perfect banner are virtually endless! Does the bride prefer burlap or lace? Will you spell out the wedding date or the brides favorite phrase? Hang these babies on treat tables, favor spots or above a photo-booth station!

descending florals

How gorg are these hanging floral wreaths? They are beautiful decor elements that make a statement but don’t block the guests’ view as some bulky centerpieces would. Play up a rustic engagement soiree or an elegant bridal shower tea party. These bring the charm and the style to any party.

tufts of tulle

You’re used to seeing tulle on the bottom of the bride’s dress, but the light & airy fabric looks incredible falling gracefully from rafters, holding balloons in place or lining round tables. You can do so much with the textile by adding color or twisting it for texture!

GOLD FOIL BALLOONS + FLORAL WREATHS + PERSONAL TOUCHES THAT REFLECT THE SOON-TO-BE NEWLYWEDS = PARTY DECOR PERFECTION – HAPPY PLANNING!

Wedded Etiquette: Thank You Cards

As a wedding guest {& someone raised by very polite parents} I’ve grown to realize the immense importance of thank you cards!

After your closest friends & family have attended, loved & celebrated such a large life event with you, thanking them should be your top priority. It can be a handwritten letter, a greeting on the back of a photograph or a specialized piece of stationary; it’s more about what you say than how you say it.

*THE MMW GOLDEN RULE: SEND OUT THANK YOU CARDS NO LATER THAN 3 MONTHS AFTER THE RECEPTION/RETURNING FROM YOUR HONEYMOON*

The sooner the better! You don’t have to use a box of thank you notes as your airplane carry on, but it’s more appreciated {& less stressful for you} to get them written and sent as soon as possible. As for what’s inside? Check out our short & sweet template below:

1) Greeting

Who Attended/Sent a Gift

Dear Elsie & Jay,

2) Purpose

Why you’re writing them

We can’t thank you enough for celebrating our special day with us a few weeks ago!

3) Gift

Mention what was gifted & what you love about it

The gorgeous throw pillows you gifted us match our family room decor perfectly! We absolutely love them.

4) Thanks Again

Reiterate your gratitude

Thank you again for attending the wedding & helping us begin our life as newlyweds. We feel so blessed to have such an incredible group of family and friends.

5) Closing

Love, Sincerely or Best

Love Always, Jenna & Evan Cook

Simple as that!

Now, check out our favorite “thank you” photo ideas:

{IMAGES: STYLE ME PRETTY VAULT, VERO SUH PHOTOGRAPHY}

Color Scheme Forecast: 5 Hot Combinations for 2017 Weddings

2017 color schemes are dialed back, light & absolutely stunning for any season. Check out these incredible hues fit for a bright colorado winter wedding or a lakeside ceremony!

Martha’s Vineyard

blush + navy + gray

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Preppy, classic & ultimately romantic – this scheme plays up the fun femininity and charm of a late spring/early summer gathering. Feature nautical elements or city-chic decor.


September Harvest

orange + burgundy + gold

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We’ve elevated your average Autumn color scheme. By opting for brighter tones in warming colors, your venue can come across as bold and luminous instead of overdone and typical. Infuse the decor with nature, but try tree stumps and wildflowers instead of common leaves.


Sunday Brunch

mint + rose gold + slate gray

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Does this not scream Spring!? In a season where everything is defrosted and new, show off a crisp array of colors for your big day.


Delicious Avocados

cream + khaki + moss

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I’m just naming these based on the vibes I’m getting {okay…and the breakfast I’m eating!} Fresh & muted, this color scheme is fit for a backyard BBQ or an elegant church ceremony. Rustic decorations fit well with nature-like tints.


Country Home

periwinkle + canary + ivory

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My absolute favorite {& probably the least popular} 2017 color scheme – so radiant it would work for a variety of venues! The elegant ivory and periwinkle is offset by a bright canary yellow. I’d love to see a yellow to blue ombré cake and a bouquet of hydrangeas!

Which color scheme will you choose for your big day? Comment below!

 

Planning at a Glance: 12 Month Guide + Checklist

YA’LL LOOKING FOR A CASUAL, 12-MONTH PLANNING CHECKLIST?

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MMW has you covered! You don’t need to set a date minutes after you post your engagement announcement to Instagram, but it’s always a good idea to have an idea of when you should start booking vendors & finalizing details.

12 MONTHS

  • PICK A COUPLE DATES: Choose a few different options. Narrow down a season, then a month {preferably avoiding any big holidays} – later, you’ll need to check with your officiant/venue to pin down the date.
  • CHOOSE A VENUE: Both ceremony & reception sites.
  • BUILD THE BUDGET: *gulp* It’s gotta happen at some point, so set your budget before purchasing anything!
  • CONSIDER A WEDDING CONSULTANT: The last thing you need on your big day is to be worrying about the minor details – like what to do if the caterer is behind schedule or a drunk guest needs escorting away from the mic during speeches.

11 MONTHS

  • GRAB YOUR GALS & GROOMSMEN: Pick your wedding party.
  • DRAW UP THE GUEST LIST: My guest list rule to abide by is only inviting family and friends whom you’ve enjoyed dinner with at least once over the last two years. This knocks out your new coworkers, the groom’s second cousin’s kids and any Facebook friends from high school.

10 MONTHS

  • SAY YES TO THE DRESS: EEEEEK! The best part of the planning process! Find your gown then give yourself 10 months for alterations or any add-on details.
  • INSURE YOUR WEDDING: Ensure and insure! Browse wedding insurance policies to avoid any issues and secure your deposits.
  • CHILLIN AT THE HOLIDAY INN: Research & book rooms for out-of-town guests.
  • CHICKEN PICCATA OR FILET MIGNON: Sit down or buffet, it’s time to book your caterer!

9 MONTHS

  • RENTALS: Ya’ll need tables, chairs or a tent? Contact & reserve your party rentals now.
  • GIFTS GALORE: I know, I know..the hardest task of them all, picking out gifts for people to buy you. Ugh. Complete your gift registry & add it to your wedding website!
  • VENDOR CHECK: At this point, you need to book your photographer, videographer, musicians & any other vendors who will aid in creating your perfect wedding.

8 MONTHS

  • BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Choose & order your girlfriends’ gowns, with enough time for any necessary alterations.
  • HONEYMOON PREP: Begin researching places for your honeymoon & consider arranging flights/hotel reservations.
  • FLORAL AFFAIR: Browse floral decor and bouquet ideas, keeping in mind what stems are in season. Hire your florist!

7 MONTHS

  • SEND THE SAVE THE DATES: {I was going to abbreviate Save The Date’s but nobody wants your STD’s} Anyways…the earlier, the better!
  • GROOMSMEN GET UPS: Pick out the boys’ fashion for the big day.
  •  A MUSTANG OR HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE: It’s a good idea to book your wedding day transportation now, especially if you’re renting a party bus or limousine.

6 MONTHS

  • PUT A RING ON IT: The groom, I mean. Order your wedding rings!
  • CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE: View cake options and book your baker.
  • INVITATIONS: Pick a Stationer and order your invitations by the sixth month mark.

HALFWAY TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER

5 MONTHS

  • GROOMING: Buy the groom’s attire & make necessary alterations.
  • PASSPORT TO PARADISE: Renew or buy your passports if needed for the honeymoon.

4 MONTHS

  • PRE-WEDDING COUNSELING: Start your pre-wedding counseling with your officiant.
  • A TRIP TO VICKI’S SECRET: Purchase your wedding day undies (& wedding night lingerie, ooh la la!)
  • PARTY TIME: Attend your own wedding shower! Wasn’t that one easy?

3 MONTHS

  • BACK TO THE BAKERY: Order your cake & cake topper.
  • CONSIDERING CALLIGRAPHY: You’ll have to enlist a talented calligrapher, only if you want your invitations formally addressed!
  • BOOK THE BEAUTY: Find your makeup artist and hair stylist & schedule trials.

2 MONTHS

  • SEND ‘EM OUT: Address, stamp & send out the invitations.
  • THE FAVS: Choose & order your wedding favors.
  • CONFIRM: Reach out to your vendors and make sure everything is still set for your wedding.
  • DRESS FITTINGS: Make sure that mermaid gown still SLAYS your life (& fits every curve like it did when you chose it!)
  • UNLEASH YOUR INNER POE: Write those vows, honey!
  • POINT & SHOOT: Discuss details and “must have” shots with photographer/videographers.

1 MONTH

  • MOST NECESSARY: Apply for your marriage license!
  • GO WITH THE PROGRAM: Arrange & print the programs for wedding guests.
  • FINALIZE IT ALL: Menus, seating charts, song lists, check lists.
  • THE BEST FOR LAST: Get your hair colored, engagement ring cleaned & nails did!

STAY STRONG – YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!

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DON’T LET THE THOUGHT OF SETTING UP A SEATING CHART OR PICKING OUT THE PERFECT VENUE SENDS YOU INTO A SPIRAL OF ANXIETY! EVEN WHEN IT’S OVERWHELMING – ALL YOUR HARD WORK & PLANNING COMES TOGETHER FOR THE BIGGEST CELEBRATION OF YOUR LIFE.

{IMAGES: ANNA ROUSSOS, BRANDON KIDD, SOPHIE EPTON}

10 Under $30: Cost-Efficient Wedding Gift Options

I’ve always loved attending weddings, and after the initial excitement of wondering what the bride’s gown would look like and if the cake would be any good, my mind immediately wandered to the gift registry. As a student who worked part time for minimum wage at a tanning salon, purchasing a wedding gift was a little more stressful than need be. Of course the couple’s registry helped, but I couldn’t help feel a tad cheap gifting a $25 wire Keurig K-Cup Carousel wrapped in flashy white wrapping paper (that cost half as much!) Even if money is the least of your worries, sometimes you get invited to weddings in which you just can’t justify spending a lot on a couple you don’t know very well. I’ve gathered up the top 10 fabulous gift options for guests, all under $30 – not only are they affordable, very personalized and adorable, but so much better than a set of neutral bath towels or a mini milk frother!

1. CUSTOM CUTTING BOARD

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$20 – Etsy

I have a slight obsession with cutting boards, but wouldn’t it be sweet for the couple to look back on their big day every time they prep dinner? Guaranteed to make for some romantic meals!

2. Honeymoon Luggage Tags

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$26 – Kate Spade

How charming are these babies!? Kate Spade quality with a college budget price, you just can’t beat a small yet sentimental gift like these luggage tags. The newlyweds are guaranteed to use these just hours after the reception as they board for San Francisco or Santorini.

3. Champagne Flutes & Spirits

champagne.jpg  &  champagnee

$23 – World Market

In my opinion, gorg little unique champagne flutes like these beat super expensive glassware any day. World Market is known for their incredible array of wine, beer & spirits –  have fun picking out a pair of glasses and a special bottle. They’ll drink to that!

4. Personalized Golf Balls

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$19 – Etsy

Attending a country club wedding? Then this gift set of 6 is a hole in one. Customized with the couple’s name and wedding date, they can display them as keepsakes or use them for a quick 9 during their honeymoon!

5. Latitude & Longitude Bangles

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$19 – Etsy

If you’re close with the couple, gift them this romantic set of bangles personalized with a special location. You can customize the location to be the exact venue of their wedding, the honeymoon destination or the college campus where they met! Two individual, nostalgic gifts for under $20?! YAS!

6. Cozy & Comfy Throw Pillow

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$30 – Etsy

Adorned on the sofa or displayed in the bedroom, this gift wins for functionality and utter cuteness. Bonus points for the simplistic design that will go with any decor colors or theme.

7. Personalized Dog Tea Towels

teats

$12 – West Elm

Did I throw this in here selfishly hoping that my loved ones would read this and BE SURE to gift me customized Goose the French Bulldog tea towels on my wedding day? Maybe. But regardless, these are absolutely perfect for any couple who swoon over their fur baby. $12 gets you free customization of a dog print & the name. It also makes you the best wedding guest of the entire celebration!

8. His & Hers Mugs

mugs

$25 – Etsy

These are so much funnier than the basic “Mr. & Mrs.” mugs that someone else probably gifted them. Make the couple smile even bigger by adding their favorite individual roasts, coffee beans or loose leaf tea.

9. Ring Holders

hishers

Yeah, it’s rare – but believe it or not, at some point the newlyweds will take their rings off (for cleaning, swimming or the rec. league softball championship game.) These presh little ring holders are perfect for temporarily holding their most prized possession!

10. Towel Hooks

towel hooks

$27 – Etsy

A unique gift that is both useful & CRUCIAL for any couple that will share a bathroom! Save the newlyweds a couple fights over damp towels and where they wiped what – budget friendly and distinct enough that they definitely won’t receive this gift from anyone else.

Great wedding gifts don’t have to be expensive china dinnerware sets, elaborate cooking tools or crystal champagne flutes.

With a little customization and a lot of thought, your gift will be something the couple will remember (& your checkbook can forget.)