Did you know that Studio Blue is on Pinterest? It’s true! And we’re in love.
In case you are one of the few people not on Pinterest, it’s is a great way for brides to share inspiration in the form of visual (and virtual) boards. Studio Blue’s Pinterest boards have a ton of inspiring, real-wedding photos that include creative portrait ideas, flowers, ideas for military weddings and more. Plus, you can pin inspiration straight from our blog with the Pin It button found below each picture.
Pinterest still has a waiting list to join, so if you want to sign up, you have to wait to get an account. But, as a thank you to all our wonderful brides-to-be, you can skip to the front of the line with our exclusive invitation! Like us on Facebook (if you do not already), send us a message and we’ll send you an invite to join right away.
We also realize that not only is it our duty to provide stunning wedding photography for our bravest brides, but also to share some of those creative tips we learned from beautiful budget weddings past on how to plan your fairytale wedding while still saving money.
Location, Location, Location!
One perk of being a military couple is that you can hold your wedding on a base. Many bases have wonderful beaches and beautiful gardens and the best part is that you can use them (mostly) free of charge.
Maybe someone you know (or even someone they know) has a large backyard or access to a clubhouse that can be rented for a small fee. This can be an excellent blank slate where you can add your own personal touch, get creative with the décor and still save…that’s right, money!
Make it stylish (and affordable!) and get married at the courthouse. You can still incorporate traditional military elements into your service, just with a smaller wedding party and guest list.
If you’re envisioning a more traditional ceremony, you can ask a military chaplain to perform the wedding. Military chaplains are free, just don’t forget to make a small donation to the chapel as a “Thank You!” Chaplains are always happy to suggest a donation amount, so don’t be shy to ask.
Also, Friday and Sunday weddings are becoming more popular and are considerably cheaper than Saturday evening weddings. If you are flexible, this may be a perfect way to still have the reception at your dream venue for a steal.
If you consider yourself something of a Martha Stewart, hit up the craft stores in your town and make some of those cute decorations or favors you’ve been re-pinning on Pinterest. How cute (and easy) would it be to give out favors of red, white and blue jelly beans tied up in cellophane? Or buy plain white candles in various heights and tie some star-spangled ribbons around them to make great centerpieces.
Whatever your inspiration, we suggest giving yourself 6-8 months to work on your various projects in your spare time so you don’t feel stressed or overwhelmed (trust us, stress and glue guns do not go together).
Speaking of being creative, think outside the box for other wedding elements and entertainment. For instance, consider hiring students to play music during your ceremony. Check if there is a music school in your town – hiring a string quartet made up of students can be considerably cheaper than a professional group – and much cuter! Or make a special playlist for the cocktail hour, dinner and dance party and ask a buddy to man your iPod at the reception.
If there are some things you cannot make or have a friend provide, try asking businesses and vendors if they have a military discount. You would be surprised how many would extend one even if not advertised.
A Little Help From My Friends
Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and start pulling all your DIY wedding elements together. Who better to ask for help but your friends and family? While it can be hard to ask for “favors”, know that everyone is actually dying to help as much as possible. They see this as a great opportunity to help out someone they love and feel a little more connected to a day that is incredibly important in your life. And guess what? They’ve been waiting for you to call. So hop to it!
So how can they help and how can you save money? Ask someone to make fruit platters or other easy snacks for cocktail hour. Instead of hiring a professional bartender, ask your friends to help fill buckets on every table with wine and champagne and set up a self-service keg.
Put those groomsmen and bridesmaids to work and have someone who knows your family well be a “family photo” wrangler. When it’s time to take the wedding portraits, they know to grab uncle Bill from the buffet table.
In order to really pull this off, it is important to know what needs to be done and to give each person one small task they are fully responsible for seeing completed. Make it easy on yourself – you can do something like create a sign-up list and have everyone pick one to-do that fits them best. Before you know it, everything will be ready to go with barely a sweat broken.
There are a lot of options for planning a gorgeous and AMAZING wedding without dipping into your savings. We love to hear and share these kind of tips with our other brides, so tell us your great idea in the comments section or on our Facebook page and you may see your wedding featured here!
Even if you’re still gaga over your recent engagement, you should know that your first wedding-related tiff is just around the bend. But lest you think we’re trying to rain on your prenuptial parade, know that we think the many small arguments that you and your fiancé will have during the course of your engagement are great practice for marriage – better than counseling, really and much cheaper. Plus, then you get to make up afterwards, right?
Now, don’t get us wrong – we love a classic Vegas-style blowout with all of its kitschy, occasionally tasteless accoutrements – however, not every bride relishes the thought of being handcuffed to her chair by a stripper in a police uniform. It would be too bad for the slightly-more-demure among us to have to forego the fun of a ladies’ night to remember, though, wouldn’t it?