Brides (and grooms!) on a Budget

Let's pretend for a second we all have unlimited amounts of money to spend on our wedding. Glowing fairy lights adorning extravagant flower arches, a decadent 5 tiered cake being cut on the marble dance floor, and a dress fit for the queen...or perhaps Kate Middleton. For those lucky enough to be able to throw this fantasy wedding, I envy you and I'll be waiting by the mailbox for my invite. For the rest of us however, I want to give a few tips on how to stay in your budget, whatever that may be.

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1. Hire a Planner

Too pushy? Maybe, but there's a reason many couples decide to go with a wedding planner. Not only do they help ease your stress so you can actually enjoy the wedding process, but they've also had time to build relationships with vendors. A planner can give suggestions on the best bakery within your budget, trim the cost of lighting through innovative design, and even negotiate the cost of your floral arrangements.

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2. Focus on What Matters to You

Are you a cake girl? A flower guy? A music couple? Just because you're working with a tight budget doesn't mean you have to compromise on everything. If you know you'll die without having a specific band play the song to your first dance, call them to ask for a quote. Zero in on what you absolutely must have, and allot the remainder of your budget accordingly. You might even be surprised to find something was less expensive than what you were planning on!

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3. Ditch the Floral Installations

Don't worry, I'm not telling you to ditch all of the flowers. The bouquets, the boutonnieres, the petals thrown in the air to create a breathtaking picture, those are all things you'll remember years down the road. While the grandiose table arrangements are absolutely breathtaking, they can cost a fortune. Instead, try peppering the table with small arrangements or inexpensive greenery and candles. Everyone will be too busy dancing to miss the extravagant designs, and your tables will look beautifu

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4. DIY, DIY

No, I'm not talking about construction paper and Elmer's glue sticks. A huge part of your budget goes into the labor of the vendors you hire. While you can't help your florist with the arrangements, you can cut costs by offering to help vendors in other areas. Save on stationery costs by offering to package and mail the envelopes yourself. Were you blessed with the gift of delicate handwriting? Try doing your own calligraphy. Get a small cake for the bridal party and have a family member bake a cake like Mike and Jackie did. Ask the best man to pick up the tablecloths to save on delivery costs.

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5. Choose an Off-Season Wedding Date

Unless you have your heart set on tying the knot on a warm June evening, consider a winter or spring wedding. There's not as much demand in November, January, March, or April as there is in September, so vendors tend to give discounts. Having a wedding during one of these months is the best way to save. Plus, who wouldn't want a blanket of snow as their winter wonderland wedding backdrop? If you absolutely MUST have a beautiful July wedding, try choosing a weekday instead of a weekend. While it may not be as inexpensive as an off-season wedding, you’ll definitely save a pretty penny.

Fall Wedding Trends in Review

Now that we’re pulling out our winter gloves and parkas, this seems like a good time to look back on some fall trends you’ve likely seen a lot of. Check out 5 wedding trends we absolutely adored this season!

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1.       Copper

Yes, copper has been "in" for a while, but José recently did a wedding with copper accents, and it turned out more beautiful than I could have imagined. The copper played well against the lighting and greenery, amplifying it more than silver could have without distracting from the overall look. Its slightly industrial look works beautifully in open spaces, and is a rather inexpensive option for those on a budget.

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2.       Transparent Elements

Think The Glasshouses. What better way to see the warm fall sunset and be surrounded by changing leaves than to choose a venue, or tent, you can see through. At hotels like The Parker, you can look out to the lush tree tops in central park on your left while catching a glimpse of the NY skyline on your right. If you can’t incorporate transparency into your venue, try putting your cake on a tall Lucite cube; you’ll bring attention to the grandiose designs in a chic, minimalist way.

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3.       New food

While three course meals are still all the rage, we’re beginning to see couples opt for foods they love as a way to incorporate their personalities into the big day. Taco trucks at midnight, sushi for dinner, and ice cream during cocktail hour are all fun ways to break away from the traditional meals. Mike and Jackie brought in a Mister Softee truck for their guests to enjoy, and everyone went crazy over it. If your wedding is scheduled for the colder months, try a hot coco bar! Guests will love you for it, and you’ll love having a steady supply of marshmallows to pop in your mouth while you jump from table to table.

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4.       Vibe over pallet

If you’re one of those people that describe things by how they feel rather than what they look like, then this one is for you.  Instead of focusing on color palettes, couples this fall will be focusing on the theme of their wedding. Rustic Chic, Boho Romantic, Modern Elegance, and Brooklyn Charm like José's couple above, will all have a place at this year’s weddings. If you’re worried about clashing colors or décor, try making a Pinterest board of ideas. You’ll be able to see pictures side by side and get a taste of what works and what doesn’t. Or you could just hire José 😉

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5.       Bold Prints and Colors

One of my favorite trends has got to be the bold colors grooms have been wearing. A burgundy tuxedo with groomsmen in gray suits is absolutely stunning, especially for a fall wedding. If you aren’t daring enough to wear red on your wedding day, try a brighter shade of blue. José’s couple Mike and Roy wore Navy and Cobalt blue suits, and it looked amazing. My favorite part about this trend is definitely it’s flexibility—even for casual weddings, this trend has a place. If you’re opting out of wearing a tux, try pairing your suit jacket with bright pants. Better yet, lose the jacket all together and choose a neutral shirt with printed pants

Welcome to Beyond The Buzz!

To the Newlyweds and singles, the recently engaged and the “when the heck are they going to propose”, to everyone out there with a need to dive into the world of weddings, welcome to Beyond The Buzz. I'm Mackenzie, the writer behind the screen, but (as much as I'd like to) I can't take all the credit. José is the voice behind the posts. He's incredible at what he does and offers amazing insight into the world of weddings.

 For those who don’t know José (are you living under a rock?) he’s a “cool under pressure”, charming and funny, incredibly talented wedding planner known for pulling off spectacular events in the New York area. And I’m not just saying that because he pays my salary… While he’s had a lot of practice perfecting weddings, most of us aren’t that fortunate; our best friend when seeking information is likely Google, and if we’re lucky, a friend who recently got married. Enter: Beyond The Buzz.

This blog will feature stories from José, bonus Wedding Buzz info, trends to watch for, DIY ideas, insta-worthy weddings, and everything in between. We’re here to share laughs and advice, and inspire the next amazing wedding, but at the core of it all, we love to plan weddings. For those of you looking to hire someone who can transform your dreams into a reality (hey, it’s cheesy but it’s true), there will always be a button below each post that directs you to our contact form. Just fill it out and José will reach out to you to start planning your big day—did I mention he’s amazing?

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