Bridal Style on a Budget: The Shoe Game

Showing off your style as a bride is such a fun part of the wedding planning and designing process! But when it comes to your attire for the day, expenses can stack up realllllll fast. Who would’ve thought that shoes would be so dang expensive?! We love a good shoe, but realistically, you won’t really be able to showcase those stunning heels under your wedding dress. Keeping that in mind, it’s hard to swallow the price tag on a lot of those Instagram-worthy shoes. That’s why we did a round up of our favorite places and styles of shoes that won’t break the budget for your big day! We love shopping for shoes at places like DSW, Famous Footwear, and Off Broadway to really find a good deal. You can usually find sales and even coupons for places like this versus going directly to somewhere like Steve Madden. While it can be hit or miss, check out your local TJ Maxx or Marshalls too, you can find some great steals there! While all the shoes shown here are going to be more traditional bridal whites and off-whites, shoes are a great way to bring in a pop of color or even your “something blue,” so definitely keep that in mind during your shoe hunt.

Flats

Sandals

Strappy Heels

Pumps

Save Your Wallet With These Budget Friendly Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

IMAGE SOURCE: @VIOLAMIRABILISDESIGN

IMAGE SOURCE: @VIOLAMIRABILISDESIGN

Weddings can be a burden on your bank account, and most forget about the additional expenses surrounding a wedding like the bridal shower, lodging for family, and the rehearsal dinner. To help you save on additional expenses, we've come up with budget friendly rehearsal dinner ideas your friends and family will love.


Image Source: Cedarwood Weddings

Image Source: Cedarwood Weddings

BUFFETS

Buffets are a great catering option for your rehearsal dinner because you can offer a few different dishes that fit into your budget. Who doesn't like a pasta and salad buffet, or some southern style mac and cheese and fried chicken?! 


Image Source: The Sweetest Occasion

Image Source: The Sweetest Occasion

APP STATIONS

Appetizer stations are perfect for the bride and groom who want a more cocktail hour style dinner. Friends and family can feel free to socialize and have a lighter dinner. You can make your apps themed to go with your wedding or have stations representing cuisine around the world! 


Image Source: Intimate Weddings

Image Source: Intimate Weddings

B.B.Q.

Barbeques are the laid-back option you didn't know you needed for your rehearsal dinner. Have a pre-wedding party and grill everyone's favorite burgers and dogs. Play backyard games, and just have fun!


Image Source: Blog Lovin

Image Source: Blog Lovin

MURDER MYSTERY

Gather everyone for an exciting murder mystery dinner night! You can play this in the comfort of your home if you have a small dinner guest list. It will help the happy couple forget about the stress of the upcoming day, and who doesn't love a party game?!


Image Source: Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

Image Source: Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

A PICNIC

If there is a beautiful park in the area, consider having your rehearsal dinner picnic style! Bring comfy blankets, pillows, finger foods, and champagne! Everyone can be involved by either packing their own food or bringing a dish like a pot-luck. 


Top Tips to Successfully Throw an Intimate Engagement Party on a Budget

Image Source: Mod Wedding

Image Source: Mod Wedding

Engagement parties aren’t supposed to empty your wallet; they’re supposed to be an intimate celebration with your closest friends and family to honor you and your fiance - don’t forget that in the midst of all the planning! We’re here to help you save money for your big day, so we put together a list of the most important things to consider when you want to throw an engagement party on the everyday girl budget.

Stick your budget - it’s not the time to go overboard!

Image Source: Zazzle

Image Source: Zazzle

Save the extra cash for the ceremony and reception - it’s inevitable that you’ll overspend along the way, so don’t blow the budget early on with the engagement party. Check out different vendors, price out different food, drinks, and rentals, and add everything up ahead of time. Factor in some unexpected and hidden costs so you don’t get blindsided by a surprise fee. But most importantly, come up with a figure early on in your planning, and remind yourself how crucial it is to stick to it!

Keep the invite list small.

The best tip to keep an intimate engagement party low-cost is to simply keep it intimate. Don’t go crazy with the guest list - you can do that later! Keep it low-key and personal, since the whole point of an engagement party is to bring the two families together ahead of the wedding. Not only will you save money on food and drinks, but you’ll also have a much more special affair, since everyone will be able to mingle and get to know one another before the big day.

Image Source: @manduhmichelle

Image Source: @manduhmichelle

Skip the open bar.

No matter how fun you want your celebration to be, there’s nothing fun about the price tag that comes along with an open bar, so keep the drink menu simple. Select a few signature drinks beforehand, and avoid over-the-top cocktails that are more hassle than they’re worth. Forget the fussy ingredients and go with something classy that everyone will enjoy like a fresh and fruity sangria!

Skip the three course menu, too!

Image Source: Simply Recipes

Image Source: Simply Recipes

Simplify your food just like your drink menu! You should have a little something for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you need to offer a fancy sit-down meal of everyone’s choice. Go with something effortless like finger foods that you can keep dishing out throughout the evening. We just came up with an awesome list of fresh new apps here.

Save the florals for the big day.

You don’t need vase upon vase of fresh flowers at your engagement party, so save the flower budget for the ceremony. Instead, thrift some fun centerpieces for a shabby chic vibe. For a really romantic look, use soft string lights and simple wood accents. You can totally DIY your engagement party decor, too! But remember - for an intimate party like this one, you don’t have to go over the top in your decor or in your budget.

Image Source: Etsy

Image Source: Etsy

Honeymoon Hotspot: Montana National Parks

Image Source: @rockymountainscrambler

Image Source: @rockymountainscrambler

If you’re in the midst of planning your honeymoon and the price tag of a tropical vacation seems a little too steep, but you aren’t exactly up for the hustle and bustle of the city, think a little outside of the box! The National Parks all over the U.S. offer gorgeous backdrops and incredible adventures for any couple looking to get past all of that wedding planning stress and enjoy newlywed life together. Take, for example, Montana’s Glacier National Park and Yellowstone - these are two of the most underrated honeymoon spots out there, and it’s easy to count them out if you aren’t really a camping kind of girl. But between their beautiful “glamping” campgrounds and stunning log cabins, the National Parks in Montana offer an absolutely breathtaking romantic getaway suitable for any budget!

Image Source: @yellowstonenps

Image Source: @yellowstonenps

Although Montana is filled with acres upon acres of different National Parks, Glacier and Yellowstone are the two most popular for couples looking to add a little adventure into their vacation. Both are the perfect spot for some “glamping” - glam camping, that is - because of the wide variety of accommodations available. A week spent in a cold tent under a sleeping bag is far from romantic, but the campgrounds and cabins at Glacier National Park make your trip luxurious and comfortable - and yes, there’s electricity! If your budget is a little on the higher end, consider renting out a large luxury cabin like this one. The mountain views are like none other, and there’s a full kitchen. It’s the perfect opportunity to sleep in and enjoy some breakfast in bed with your new hubby!

Image Source: @glampinghub

Image Source: @glampinghub

If you’re looking to spend a little less and go back to the basics (still comfortably, of course), check out this adorable retreat in Helena National Forest. It’s the perfect compromise for the husband looking for a little bit of rugged adventure and the everyday girl that’s a little hesitant to sleep on the ground. Cuddle up in your queen-sized bed with your hubby, look at the stars, and sip on some wine - it’s the epitome of romance and totally within the budget. The best part? If you’re feeling hungry, you don’t have to grill up any lackluster campfire food! There’s a quaint but upscale 5-star restaurant on the campgrounds. Tons of other great options dot the mountains, but be sure to grab a homemade meal at the local favorite, Russell’s Fireside Dining Room.

Image Source: @goingtothesunroad

Image Source: @goingtothesunroad

Montana is the ideal getaway for couples that are looking for a little bit of easy living post-wedding, so take advantage of the slow pace of it all. Sip on some delicious cappuccinos at Glacier Coffee House while you watch the sun rise over the mountains. Pack up some waters and a picnic lunch, toss on your comfiest shoes, and explore until you find the best spot in the park. Grab a camera and capture the beauty of the jewel-toned rocks below Lake McDonald’s clear water, or follow the path of the Bozeman to Norris Geyser Basin. Set aside a day to road-trip down the Going-To-The-Sun Road, a gorgeous stretch of highway that passes everything from glacial lakes to spans of forest. No matter how you spend it, Montana’s National Parks are the perfect budget-friendly spot to slow down and getaway with your honey for a little while.

Throwing a Jack and Jill The Everyday Girl Way

Image Source: Wedding Chicks

Image Source: Wedding Chicks

Weddings are already a major hit to the budget, but once you factor in all the extra traditional events - engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelor parties, you name it - it’s easy to overspend. That’s why our favorite new trend in the wedding scene is going the non-traditional route. Skip all the extra planning, and condense all your pre-wedding celebrations into one big event with a Jack and Jill wedding shower! Jack and Jills are unique because they don’t leave anyone out; think of them as a bridal shower, but for the bride and the groom - and yes, men are invited! Tons of brides nowadays are opting for a combined, single celebration that brings all their loved ones together, and we’ve got the low-down on how to throw a fantastic Jack and Jill party under even the tightest of budgets!

Image Source: Brit + Co.

Image Source: Brit + Co.

First thing’s first: the guest list. Jack and Jills will inevitably have more guests than a bridal shower would, as both the bride and the groom get to invite their friends and family. The best piece of advice for a bride planning on a budget is to keep your guest list small! Don’t over-invite guests just because you feel like you have to - they can always make an appearance on the big day. Make your Jack and Jill a small and intimate celebration with the people closest to you and your soon-to-be hubby! Less people means more personal mingling, less food and drinks to pay for, and it gives you the freedom to play fun trivia games or pass out adorable favors to every guest. Our favorite favor idea is super simple and easy: create DIY pressed flower coasters. We love the idea of picking out some of the same florals you plan on using at your ceremony and tying those into fun arrangements for each coaster.

Image Source: Curb Alert Blog

Image Source: Curb Alert Blog

With a Jack and Jill party comes one major obstacle: most bridal showers just have finger food and tea time since they’re traditionally elegant and feminine events. Amping up your guest list to include men may seem a bit intimidating, since they’re likely to eat a good dozen of each of the hors d'oeuvre you spent hours slaving over. Consider approaching your menu differently to save time and money. An outdoor venue is not only free - backyards make a gorgeous event space, and you can play up the greenery and incorporate it into a beautiful spring party - but they’re also the perfect excuse for a classic barbecue! Make a packed topping bar, grill up some burgers and veggie skewers, and serve classic cookout food for a casual and relaxed event.

Image Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

Image Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

If you’re looking to save even more money and your gathering is on the smaller side, ask each guest to bring their best family recipe and style the event as a potluck. You’ll just be responsible for the drinks, and you can focus your energy on less daunting parts of the planning! We love the idea of creating one signature, personalized cocktail to serve up for guests and having a little bit of beer and wine available on the side. This cuts down the cost of alcohol substantially, and adds a touch of creativity and originality!

Image Source: Wedding Wire

Image Source: Wedding Wire

The key to decorating for a Jack and Jill on a budget is making sure there’s some personalization involved. Grab some customized disposable dishes with you and your hubby’s initials, search for some old thrifted picture frames and fill them with photos of you and your fiance, and incorporate your wedding colors into the decor. Romantic touches like a customizable date mason jar add some adorable decor, but they also function as a fun way for your guests to get involved! Have each guest suggest a date night and toss it in to reference when you’re inevitably stuck somewhere down the line, or even incorporate some classic trivia. Because both the bride and groom’s loved ones are involved, couple’s trivia is even more personal and is sure to be entertainment for everyone!

The everyday bride doesn’t have to settle for less just because she’s working with a smaller budget. With a Jack and Jill party, you can actually have more for less. It’s economical, easy to plan, and it’s so much more memorable to get all the guys and girls together to celebrate! The key is to set a budget, leave room for expenses, and stick to it. No one ever said a bridal shower had to be an exclusive, ritzy event, so make it more your style, involve more of your loved ones, and save some money while you’re at it!