Staying Within Your Wedding Budget: Alterations, Shoes, Wedding Blocks, & Wedding Rings for HIM!

Part Five:

Well, it’s officially been {almost} a year since our wedding day! I have decided to reflect back on our wedding day with a series titled, “How to stay within your Wedding Budget when it’s less than $20,000”! Welcome back for part five of this series!

wedding

My dad gave me a very strict budget. My sister had gotten married two and a half years before me, and he wanted me to stay within the same budget as her. My dad set a budget for each category of my wedding. He was not going to go over that budget, and it was a pretty low budget compared to other weddings in the DFW area. I was determined to stick to it though, and worked really hard to stay within the budget! My dad budgeted pretty much every category possible, but I was allowed to move money from category to category. So if I overspent in one category but underspent in another, it was ok!

When planning a wedding in the DFW area, it is very hard to stay within a budget that is under $17,000! My budget was $16,519. The average cost of a wedding in Dallas is $28,810. That means I had about $12,291 less dollars than the average bride in the DFW area. However, I was determined to stretch this money as far as it would go, and that I did! Therefore, I want to help any other brides who might appreciate the tips and tricks!

Here is a breakdown of my budget:

Category Budgeted Amount Amount Spent
 Invitations/Envelopes/Stamps 400 262.50
 Wedding Dress 1700  1595.50
 Photographer 1500  1515.50
 Videographer 1300  1150.15
 Wedding Cake (Bride’s Cake)  575  535.00
 DJ 600  975.00
 Flowers  700  289.75
 Alterations  150
 Shoes  54
 Hotel Rooms  700
 Wedding Ring for Matthew  400
Chapel & Reception 300
 Security  210
Wedding Coordinator 375
 Venue Rental 955
Food 6000
Bar 600
Lights in Reception Not Budgeted
Grand Total: Budgeted: $16519  Spent:

Topics that were previously discussed will be linked in the above chart!

Today I am going to focus on four of the smaller categories: alterations, shoes, hotel blocks, and the groom’s wedding ring!
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Alterations

I realize that most bridal stores offer alterations in-store, but my store did not do that. Therefore it was up to me to find my own alterations. If I could do it again, I would try to buy a dress at a store that has alterations. I had no idea where to go for alterations, and I needed someone AMAZING to alter this dress for me! After all, it’s only the most important dress a girl could ever wear! I asked around and found a local lady who does alterations in her home that many of my friends and co-workers recommended. She was a little over my budget of $150 (she cost $200), but she did a lot to the dress. I had her sewn in the cap sleeves, add the belt, shorten the dress, and take it in too. And she did beautiful work!

Tips for Saving on Alterations:

  1. Buy your dress from a shop that has in store alterations. Many times they offer a deal for getting it altered there!
  2. If your store doesn’t offer alterations, use social media to aide you! I didn’t trust the opinion of random reviews online- I needed real people that I knew to recommend someone!
  3. Use someone who does the alterations in their home rather than a store- they are usually cheaper because they aren’t paying for things like a storefront!
  4. It’s ok to splurge a little in this category!! Be realistic in your budget for this category. You want someone who is good to be altering your dress. It would be a nightmare if someone ruined a dress you spent so much money on!

Shoes

I am not a heel-type of girl. No way, no thank you. I have very sensitive feet, and knew that I did not want to spend my wedding day wearing uncomfortable shoes. My favorite type of show in the whole entire world are TOMs. I would say 80% of the time, my feet are in TOMs. (Unless it’s summer- then they are in flip flops!) So I knew right away that I would love to wear TOMs in my wedding. I am also a super crafty person! So I decided to paint my own toms for the wedding. I am in love with them!! I still wear them today because I think they are so cute! I bought light grey TOMs and then painted them. I painted the fronts and the backs yellow. On the fronts, I wrote out the verses from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. I still had some space after writing the verses, so I included our wedding date, venue, and other sayings like that. On the back, I wrote “Mrs. Kell”, one word on each shoe. Then on the outside of each shoe, I painted a heart and wrote “Love never fails”. The toms were on sale for $40, and then I spent about $13 on paint and brushes.

Tips for Wedding Shoes:

  1. Wear shoes you love. Wear the heck out of them! Try to find shoes that you will wear again, so that you aren’t spending a ton of money on a one wear kind of item.
  2. Think about comfort. My feet were killing me by the end of the night, and they were comfortable shoes! I can’t even imagine what my feet would have felt like in uncomfortable shoes. Keep in mind that you will be standing most of the day!

Hotel Rooms

Guys, making hotel blocks was the last thing on my list. I should have just assigned this to someone else, because I could have cared less about it. It took me forever to finally get around to even making them, and to be honest my dad did it when he was in town. Hotel blocks = boooooring. My dad set a budget of $700 for hotel rooms for the family (him, my brother, sister, me…), and we were able to book them for $710. Barely over budget, so I was happy about it. I don’t really have much to say about this topic because it was boooooooring…. So my one tip… just let someone else handle this!

Wedding Ring for Matthew

Matthew and I went to a few different jewelry stores to look at wedding rings for him. He’s never worn a ring of any type before, so he had no clue what kind he wanted.

Tips to Saving on your Groom’s Ring:

  1. Introduce him to other material besides gold. Gold is expensive, and I’ve heard so many stories about men losing their rings! Remember earlier when I mentioned that we went to 12 weddings in the year leading up to ours? Yea, we did! So thankfully, Matthew had plenty of new grooms to talk to about what kind of ring they got. He decided he wanted a tungsten ring. I kept asking if he was sure, and he said yes repeatedly. Tungsten rings don’t scratch easily, and that’s what sold him on it. I was thrilled because guys, tungsten rings are so much cheaper than white gold! I had budgeted $400 for his ring, but also knew that I would probably go over that. This was a category that I was paying for myself, not my dad. So I was thrilled when he wanted tungsten!
  2. Have your groom shop around in real stores to find what he likes, but then try to order the ring online. You could save hundreds of dollars ordering online! Matthew started looking online, and found his perfect ring on Blue Nile. 
    • (This isn’t a sponsored post, just a very statisfied custromer!) I can’t say enough amazing things about Blue Nile. Guys, I ordered the ring and it was way too big. I sent it back and had a new ring within a week, no hassle. It was still too big. Again, no hassle to exchange it. They were quick, and had amazing customer service. We finally got the right ring! (So note to you: this ring runs large!)

3. When shopping online, use a coupon or wait for a sale! I got it during a Christmas special where anything priced $150-$300 was half off. That means I got his wedding ring for $85!! That’s amazing, and saved me so much money that I was able to put towards another category. (More on that in another post!)

(Also, side story. Two and a half months into being married, Matthew lost his wedding ring. Gone, poof. So we had to order another one! Thankfully, it was a cheap ring. It wasn’t on sale, so we spent $160. But that’s better than what we would have spent on any either ring!! Next time they are 50%, I’ll probably go ahead and buy another spare. Apparently my husband loses rings easily…)

Our Rings!

I hope some of these tips help another bride save money in this category! I’ll see you next time for the next section of “How to stay within your Wedding Budget when it’s less than $20,000”!

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