What a year it has been! 2018 was full of so much love, and 2019 is already starting to line up with exciting engagement shoots and wedding plans. Did you get engaged over the holidays? Book us now, because our calendars are filling up fast!
After the proposal and engagement celebrations comes the planning for the most important day of your life. One thing which every prospective bride and groom to be will have asked at some point is how you can save money on your wedding day. Getting married costs money, there’s not much getting around that. It’s a fabulous party and you’ll want to share with with your friends and family, you might want the most beautiful dress and shoes or venue you can get. It all adds up quickly.
There are lots of tips and tricks across the web for how to have a beautiful wedding on a budget. At Our Wedding Story we have already brought you DIY Wedding Ideas and creative tips. This time we have scoured the web to bring you the best tricks and tips for having a unique, individual and beautiful wedding when you are on a budget.
Here’s how to keep a lid on your budget and still have a beautiful, unforgettable wedding day.
How to have a beautiful wedding on a budget
1. Drop The Gift List
As fun as it is to get lots of gifts many couples will have been living together before getting married. Whilst you wedding day used to be a way to get everything you needed to start out in life together, today you could well have all these things. Instead of asking for a wedding list, ask for wedding favours. Do you have an aunt who’s great at baking or a friend who’s great with flowers? People are always happy to be involved in your big day!
Asking talented family and friends to offer their help instead of gifts is a great way to involve people in your wedding, spend time with them and keep that wedding budget down.
2. Food & Drink
With potentially lots of mouths to feed and drinks to serve, food and drink can be one of the most expensive parts of your wedding day. If your venue doesn't provide catering there are great ways to cut down on costs here whilst still serving up a fantastic feast. As an alternative to asking a relative who loves baking to make a wedding cake, ask each guest to bring a different dessert. You can even make it a bit of a competition! Bring and share meals are also a great way to cut down costs as everyone brings a dish and shares it with the whole party, it doubles up as gifts too.
If you do use caterers, consider your menu choices. A BBQ picnic or buffet style wedding breakfast can be stylish, fun and cut down on expense. Try buying alcohol and drinks in bulk to reduce your bill. You can eat fantastic food and have a fun time without breaking the bank.
3. Have an outdoor ceremony
Have you always dreamed of having a church wedding or pictured it happening in an old house? If not, why not consider an outdoor ceremony? Renting a venue, whether a building, function hall or church can be expensive. Instead, think about holding your ceremony in a public park with a beautiful view, your own home or a home of a friend or relative.
Each of these bring you the chance to create a beautiful, picturesque and memorable wedding day whilst avoiding the cost of renting a ceremony, and perhaps even a reception, venue. If you decide to hold an outdoor wedding, make a backup plan in case of bad weather - you probably don’t want to get married in a downpour!
4. Stationary, invitations and cards
It isn’t always easy to create your own stationery such as wedding invitations, thank you cards and other stationary, but it can be done and it can be another great way to save money. Sites such as Vista Print offer cheap wedding invitations you can order from home. In the digital age, going paperless and using e-invites or a website/ blog can be a great way to save money and also be environmentally conscious by saving paper. You could even just send email invites. It might feel quite modern, but do you keep old wedding invites?
A wedding is a big party and celebration. You need to keep everyone entertained through the day and evening. Hiring a band or a DJ can be an expensive proposition. A well considered and created Spotify playlist is almost guaranteed to keep people dancing through the night. Alternatively, think if you know any family members, friends or local musicians such as small bands or buskers. Often people will be more than happy to play your wedding for a small fee.
6. The transport
Do you need to hire a big fancy car for your wedding day? They look great in pictures but often only have to take you a short distance. Again, try asking around people you know who have nice cars. If there is a classic car club in your area try asking its members to see if you could exchange a favour with them.
7. The timings
The longer the day, the more food and drink you have to provide guests and the more entertainment you will need. Think about having a ceremony a bit later in the afternoon so you only have to provide guests with one lot of food, like that BBQ, Buffet or picnic. A sunset meal with friends outside could lead to some truly fantastic photos.
Also think about what day of the week you get married. Week days can often be cheaper than weekends with vendors more willing to offer discounts. If you are going for an inside wedding does the time of year matter? Getting married out-of-season can also lead to cheaper packages.
8. Go off-the-rack instead of bespoke
Every bride and groom wants to look their best on their wedding day but does that always mean going bespoke? There are many dressmakers, dress shops and men’s outfitters with fantastic ranges of ready made and off-the-peg outfits for your wedding day. If you decide to go bespoke for your own outfits, for bridesmaids and groomsmen avoid custom outfits all together. This works best when you choose colours, styles, choosing a vendor with plenty of sizes. This way you should avoid any spats with your wedding parties.
9. Take a simpler honeymoon
A big post-wedding expense is the honeymoon. Whilst a long-haul honeymoon to a far-flung destination sounds fun it’s far cheaper to stay closer to home. For your honeymoon choose a destination that helps you to focus on what matters, unwinding after the busy period leading up to your wedding day. Kick back and savour some real quality time together. A flight halfway round the world with multiple connections might not be so much fun! Wherever you go make sure you connect with each other and really enjoy this time together.
The best way to have a beautiful wedding no matter your budget is to relax. Things will crop up and problems will occur. Try to take it all in your stride and work together as a team to keep each other calm. Assume a few things will go wrong along the way but that in the end you day will be as magical as you have dreamed.
After all the planning and work in the lead up to your wedding and the excitement of the day itself, a honeymoon gives couples a welcome escape, a chance to spend quality romantic time together as you set out on your journey into married life. If you are planning a honeymoon, but either can't take a fortnight off work or don't have the budget left, you should consider a mini-moon vacation break.
After wedding costs such as the venue, entertainment, food & drink and your rings, a honeymoon can be a big expense. Saving up for a longer honeymoon might just not be practical as you are paying for these expenses along the way. At the same time, finding a dream destination at an affordable price, booking the flights and sorting out transfers all takes time. In the run up to your wedding, your schedule can be pretty full!
A mini honeymoon or 'mini moon' vacation can be just as glamorous, indulgent and romantic as a traditional long honeymoon. Choose the right destination, and even close to home you can find fantastic places to enjoy time together. Getting a mini moon right is about finding a gorgeous place to stay, somewhere with a few romantic activities in the area which is not too far from home. You don't want to spend too long travelling and use up all your time flying.
So settle in for a few days romance, relaxation and fun with our guide to mini moon's.
Take the pressure off
Those weeks building up to your wedding day can often become some of the most intense and busy of your life. A bride or groom to be will often have a spreadsheet or long 'to-do' list of tasks to tackle in their wedding planning. It can feel like you are very much under pressure to get everything done. Planning and paying for a honeymoon on top of this can add more stress. So why pile more on yourself? Take a mini moon instead to cut costs and take the pressure off yourself. This way you can enjoy the planning after the wedding.
Go somewhere special closer to home
A mini moon doesn't have to mean compromising on either the romance or luxury of your honeymoon. Staying closer to home, whether in the same state or a different part of the US doesn't mean giving up on gorgeous destinations either. Do you have special memories of visiting or staying somewhere in the USA together? Perhaps it's where you first met or where you got engaged. By choosing to take a mini moon in the USA, you could stay somewhere which is meaningful to your relationship together. A place where you can relive wonderful memories as a couple as you start your married life together. If that special place is abroad, but a relatively short-haul flight you could still head out there too. This can equally apply to a romantic getaway before the wedding as to a mini moon.
If you do choose to have a longer full-blown honeymoon later, you are giving yourself the chance to save up for a blow-out trip with the budget of a lifetime. You'll also feel that you haven't missed out on taking romantic time straight after your wedding to spend together. Having a mini moon straight away and saving the blow-out vacation for a little later also lets you put any wedding gift money towards the costs of your honeymoon without you having to pay out deposits when cash can be tight.
Make it a surprise
What bride-to-be doesn't like to be whisked off her feet and be taken somewhere special by surprise? When you're travelling long-haul you need to find your partners passport. You might need to organize visas, which can require passports and even visits to an embassy! With a more local mini moon, all you need to do is book the time off, choose a destination and surprise your partner with a wonderful, romantic getaway when you really need one.
Don't just stop by surprising your new partner with an unexpected post-wedding vacation. You can make your mini moon more romantic and special by organizing surprise activities. Think of something you love to do together as a couple or even take a walk on the wild side. Plan that activity you both always dreamed of doing. That mini moon needn't feel cheap or like you are missing. in fact it could even be much more luxurious than a longer vacation.
Keep that newlywed feeling for longer... and give yourself something else to look forward to.
It's a strange thing to say but after all the bustle in the run up to your wedding and the relaxing fun on the honeymoon vacation, couples can often find that they come back down to earth with a bump as they easy back into everyday life. For some, it can be difficult to let go of all the planning they have been doing for the past few months. By taking a shorter mini moon first and then coming back to plan a longer honeymoon after the wedding, you get to enjoy that newly-wedded bliss longer. When you do come around to taking that big honeymoon, it will bring back all these memories and feelings from your wedding day. After settling into your new life together and getting into a routine, it can be a lovely treat to enjoy a vacation together, indulging in pampering, romance and special treatment.
At Our Wedding Story, we can help you tell your wedding story through beautiful, high quality images and video. Contact us today to book your wedding or engagement photography shoot.
A Romantic Beach Side Wedding
San Francisco is a city famous for many things. Most people know it for it's unique Victorian architecture, its quirky artistic character, its fast-paced urban environment and its new tech scene. However, one can also find a remarkable romance to the city if your slow down and soak up the incredible natural setting. In a city surrounded by the Pacific ocean and San Francisco Bay, there is now more romantic setting for an engagement than on the beach!
Eric and Michelle chose to have their engagement shoot on a beautiful beach stretching along San Francisco's Pacific ocean. With the Golden Gate bridge and the rolling hills of the Marin Headlands as their background, they could not have chosen a more quintessential bay area setting. Their simple, coordinated white outfits perfectly compliment the dramatic natural setting without distracting from it. The couple shared an intimate romantic afternoon on the beach, where they explored tide pools, soaked up the rare San Francisco sunshine, and appreciated the incredible 360 degree views that are so often masked by fog; an incredible bay area afternoon for a beautiful and sophisticated bride and groom!
A Romantic Day on the Beach by Our Wedding Story
Share your wedding dress and outfit ideas with us and we hope to shoot your wedding story soon.
With Azami and Johana we took off to the countryside to take this wedding shoot. It is great to get out of the city, away from the beaches and bustle of San Francisco and stepping out into the countryside.
A wedding with two brides has twice the photogenic beauty and Azami & Johana took this up a further notch by taking a couple of dresses each with them. After all, what bride doesn't want to have the best dress she can? All the dresses today came from Wear Your Love, a fabulous local bridal store.
For any bride, her wedding dress is one of the most important parts of her day. As a bride you might have dreamed for years about it, or never been into wedding clothes until you became engaged. Whatever your thoughts on wedding day outfits, when all eyes are on you, you'll want to look fantastic.
The second set of dresses our brides took are a little lighter and free flowing. You can see Azani & Johana can even jump around pretty easily in them!
The hood veil is romantic, beautiful and even a little whimsical. the detailing on it is as beautifully crafted, as all the dresses here are.
In the next gallery of shots, we have another beautiful dress and style to share. Azani and Johana certainly know how to enjoy themselves with this many dresses! We've tried to highlight the beautiful detailing on this wedding dress by including flowers, grasses and as much of the natural world as we can in each shot. The lace paneling on the open midriff make this dress perfect for mid-summer weddings.
It was a beautifully golden day when we shot these photographs and they fit right into the countryside setting.
What woman doesn't love shoes? These are a great alternative to traditional wedding shoes.
Red Woods wedding Photography Shoot. Dress by Wear Your Love
Jordan and Scarlet choose to have their wedding photography in a beautiful, natural setting. A woodland clearing.
Where do you dream of getting engaged or married? Do you imagine a beautiful white-sand beach with just a few special loved ones around you? Or do you dream of a traditional wedding, set in a church or old country house. Or do you dream of slipping away by yourselves, like Jordan and Scarlet, to find a special place. Somewhere quiet, like walking through a forest and finding a clearing, somewhere just the two of you can share. That's where we shot these wonderful pictures with today's couple. Somewhere intimate and natural.
It's always a pleasure to work with a couple who are having a lot of fun with their wedding, engagement or pre-wedding photo shoots. Lots of brides and grooms can be a little nervous. We all want to make sure our photos, memories which last a lifetime, truly reflect who we are.
When you find that special someone, you'll have more moments of playfulness, like our couple had in the woods, than you will be able to count.
We just loved their outfits which were creative and, along with just a few little details, cakes and flowers, really accentuated the beautiful surroundings.
Talk to us and let us know what your ideal wedding day, engagement or pre-wedding photo-shoot location is.
Contact us today to book your wedding photography.
Maggie and David were married on a beautiful summer's day in California. Like brides and grooms around the world, their wedding day was the happiest day of their lives. You can see from their beaming faces! !
For both bride and groom, care for gender equality, and caring for the environment are hugely important. Maggie is a social worker and David works for Greenpeace. Caring for the natural world and people are at the heart of what they believe in and do. Their outdoor natural wedding reflects their caring nature.
Both bride and groom started their day getting ready. Dressing and preparing for their wedding day ahead.
Equality and openness are important to both Maggie and David. So they both wore flower wrists to show their equality in marriage.
As people started arriving, the groomsmen were getting ready and still managed to have fun, despite any pre-wedding jitters.
The natural setting for the wedding ceremony and reception was perfect for David and Maggie. Being nestled away in the countryside gave their day a magical quality.
Under the bough of a beautiful old tree, surrounded by nature and without shoes (for most of the day), Maggie and David came together with each other and the natural world.
After months of preparation, surrounded by friends & family and in a wonderful setting. David and Maggie were married.
It's then time to celebrate with family and friends as they congratulate the couple, before the manage to make a quick escape!
After the wedding under the bough of a tree, it was time for a reception under the canopy of crystal sunlight then a sky studded with pin prick stars.
In many weddings, couples find themselves faced with the decision of whether to have a culturally traditional wedding or a wedding that’s reflective of their own personalities and unique relationships. For Ariel and Jon, however, it was not a question of either or. Their wedding was destined to be a magical affair where culture and tradition blended with the eccentric and artistic community that the couple has surrounded themselves in.
Music has shaped the lives of both Ariel and Jon individually – and as a couple, they have found that music is at the heart of their relationship. Ariel is a singer and songwriter who focuses her music around empowerment, healing, and the strength of community. She uses her music to bring people together and to open hearts in spiritual sound. Jon is a musician and songwriter as well. His music is highly acknowledged within the Burning Man community. In addition, he and his band also travel throughout California performing.
Ariel and Jon are both heavily involved in the Jewish community, so having a traditional Jewish ceremony was extremely important to the couple. During the time of the ceremony, Ariel was a rabbi in the makings. After the wedding, she continued on to Israel to continue her training as a Rabbi.
Throughout the ceremony, you could catch glimpses of the couple’s spirituality and the Jewish tradition. The ceremony started off with the loving and celebratory tish circles for both the bride and groom before the ceremony, where family and friends gave their blessings, laughed, and told stories. Tradition holds that, on the day of their wedding, the bride and groom hold a certain kind of magic and spiritual strength; both shared this with their guests through special intimate moments with individual friends and family members where they gave out their blessings. The ceremony was concluded with the signing of the beautifully designed Jewish Ketubah scrolls, a special agreement between the bride and groom.
The bride and groom put a unique twist on the traditional wedding by encouraging their assortment of friends to display all of their creativity and eccentricity- through music, performances, and fashion. The dress code was described as “outrageous casual”, and their guests showed up dressed to impress, giving the wooded wedding an intriguing, magical feel.
Ariel and Jon's day was filled with music, tradition, love, and laughter. It was an incredible reflection of who they are and the powerful loving communities that they have chosen to surround themselves and dedicate their lives to.
Talk to us today about how we can capture your wedding day on film and let us tell your wedding story.
Villa Vannucci Wedding by Our Wedding Story
Meet Molly and Duncan. The couple met during their freshmen year at Standford when they ended up in the same class. A few days later they had shared a first kiss and become boyfriend/ girlfriend. They haven't looked back since!
Duncan took two pieces of great inspiration for the wedding. He wanted to include Bells of Ireland and other greens around the wedding venue to accentuate the natural surroundings. Molly ended up really pleased with this. Their centre pieces also told their story. Duncan proposed to Molly on the LA beach where she is from. Little touches like this really help to share your journey with guests.
The bridesmaids wore simple,yet elegant free-flowing light grey dresses. Their flowers also had accents of those creams and greens from the centre pieces.
Both Molly and Duncan took a bit more of a laid back approach to their outfits. Molly chose a relaxed dress as she wanted to be the girl Duncan fell in love with when standing next to him on her wedding day.
Father and daughter enjoying a quiet moment together.
Molly and Duncan exchanged plain gold wedding bands with the inscription 'All my love 8/8/15' on each.
Your wedding day can often rush by in a blur. We like to capture every moment we can and from every different angle. It helps you to see things you may have missed on the day, or see it in a new way.
Here we caught a great shot of Molly & Duncan along with the bridesmaids and groomsmen from across the water.
After dating for six years and living together for year and a half Duncan proposed to Molly. The ring carried a diamond passed down through Duncan's family and was work by his Great Grandma and Grandma. After all the planning and the ceremony, Molly and Duncan could finally enjoy being married with their bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Molly and Duncan included lots of little creative touches and nods to their life together. Tables were named after places which are special to the couple, rather than being numbered. Oxford was where the couple spent time together abroad.
The ceremony and reception were both held outdoors, a great way to take advantage of the beautiful California weather. It also allowed us to get some fantastic shots.
"We are best friends, we have silliness, playfulness, warmth, coziness and snuggles. We have a lot of fun together".
As the sun started to go down, there was still time to get some beautiful pictures of Molly and Duncan together.
Contact us today to book your wedding photography
City Hall Wedding
Meet Matan and Marina. If there is one thing which unites this eclectic couple it is their love for each other... and Unicorns. Matan & Marina have such a passion for the horned horses that they even run a Facebook group dedicated to all things Unicorn for Unicorn lovers across the world.
Matan and Marina both have an artistic side. We captured little moments like the ones above where we could see their personalities and creativity shine through. Matan is a world renowned music installations artist, Marina is a part organizer and healer.
While the ceremony was simple, the surroundings of the city hall are a fantastic and elegant setting for a wedding. The ceremony space has fantastic light and we were able to capture wonderful shots like those below.
When you have a beautiful space like the City Hall, it is great to be able to explore different parts of it and photography an iconic location in a new way. Matan and Mariana helped by wearing Unicorn masks and by being playful too.
It is also interesting to us to capture moments and spaces in both colour and black and white. Both methods of photography pick up and highlight different details.
The pictures above and below really showcase how we can use black and white to tell a story and highlight a scene in different ways. The silhouette below really captures the intimacy of those little moments people experience on their wedding day.
Contact us today to book your wedding photography.