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The Ultimate Guide to Having a Cheap & Beautiful Bohemian Wedding Part ONE

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How to have a low budget bohemian wedding. 

This post started off as just a few helpful tips for having a bohemian wedding and then I started writing a freaking book and had to break it up into two parts. Little known fact about me, I started blogging life as a wedding blogger. For true! My blog was called Broke Creative Bride and it was full of tips for having a super unique tiny-budget wedding. It recently popped into my head that just because I'm a "mom blogger" doesn't mean I can't still talk about weddings, especially bohemian weddings! So I started writing and couldn't stop!

I personally didn't really have a "bohemian themed" wedding. I had a Hollie and Caleb wedding. It didn't really have a theme as the wedding and reception were inspired by me and my husband's likes and personalities. Our wedding was even featured on Offbeat Bride! I'm going to use that as a badge of honor to convince you that I am indeed knowledgeable of the tiny budget wedding world.

Bridey Me, 2008

Just a little post-wedding brawl - my wedding, 2008

Wedding beer - my wedding reception 2008


So what makes a bohemian wedding "bohemian" anyway?

Staying true to yourself and your tastes regardless of what others may think.

Bucking typical wedding traditions and doing whatever you like, however you like.

Giving your guests a beautifully unique experience they'll talk about for years.


I can say with some authority that you don't have to spend a fortune to have a great wedding! All you have to do is set your budget and work around it by being creative and frugal.

In this first post, we're going to be talking about what to do in the early wedding planning days that will save you tons of cash from the start. I'll also touch on dressing yourself, the groom and your wedding party for next to nothing. ENOY!



FIRST THINGS FIRST
1.Forget everything you know about how a wedding should be a make your own rules. Realize that wedding traditions are handy for keeping order in a wedding and can prevent chaos in planning but they're not law and you are free to do away with any or all the traditions you want!

2. If you do a search online for anything for yourself or for your wedding online never ever use the words "bridal", "wedding", "bride", "groom", etc. Why? Because those are the magic words that make everything more expensive.

3. Don't worry about what other people are going to think about your wedding no matter how offbeat it is. It's your wedding. Not theirs.

4. Don't lose yourself in following wedding trends like the latest DIY projects and color schemes. This can result in your wedding looking like everyone else's and you're not everyone else. You're a unique human being so let your special day show it!

5. Don't forget your fiance in the planning phase! If he has input or ideas, listen to him and compromise if you're both not on the same page. It's his wedding too!!

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EARLY PLANNING $ SAVING TIPS
1. Make your guest list and then narrow it down to the bare minimum amount of guests like family and close friends only. The fewer guests you have, the less you'll need to spend on invitations, food and chair and table rentals. Fewer guests also mean you can seek out a smaller, more affordable venue.

2. Don't buy a wedding dress or any wedding decor unless you're 100%sure you know what you want your theme to be. I learned this the hard way and ended up wasting a lot of money on decor and invitations I didn't even use because I changed my theme and color scheme three times before I settled and finalized.

3. "Save the Dates" are cute but they're kind of a waste of money. In the age of all this fancy technology and social media networking, it's perfectly ok to announce your engagement and give a heads up about your wedding date online. If you want to make the message special and memorable, have a photographer friend take some nice photos of you and your fiance to send along with the message.

4. It has become quite normal and acceptable to send wedding invitations online, so if you're on a teeny weeny budget, this is something you can scratch off your list completely. Designing invitations is fun and if you DIY, it can be very low cost, but the price to mail all of those invitations can get pretty out of hand. Not to mention obtaining all of those addresses is a total pain. So if you insist on doing invitations, try to hand deliver as many as possible to cut down on postage costs.

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THE WEDDING PARTY
I honestly feel that it's not very fair to make a girl pay for a dress she's only going to wear once... especially one that 5 other girls in her life have. Or for a guy to pay $150 for a suit he has to return waaaaaay too early Monday morning. Plus the look of a wedding party wearing matching outfits might look a little too rigid for the free-spirited nature of a bohemian wedding.

 By letting your wedding party pick out their own outfits that match the theme of your wedding, you can save everyone a lot of money. Create a guideline with images for inspiration, websites, and store locations to help your party understand the look you're going for and where to buy their duds.

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Do you really want to spare yourself even having to think about all of that? Do away with the wedding party altogether. This saves you the mental and emotional energy of (literally) picking out your favorite people to stand beside you. No one can get offended for being left out if everyone gets left out! This will also save you money on bridesmaids bouquets, groomsmen boutonnieres, and gifts.

The same goes for the flower girl and ring bearer. They're cute but you don't have to have them if you don't want them! I didn't have either at my wedding and I don't regret it one bit.



THE GROOM
Tuxedo? Classy AF but not really bohemian. So how should a bohemian groom dress? However he wants! But if you need a little guidance here goes:

 If you're going for a casual look, think typical Johnny Depp style - a vest over a dress shirt with slacks or jeans.  He probably already has those clothes in his closet so you might not even need to spend a dime! Up the "boho style" and have him wear a collarless shirt or even an Indian kurta or dashiki.

Expressive accessories like hats, jewelry, and unique ties can make a groom really shine up and stand out!

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If you're going for a more formal look find a suit and tie in a unique color and/or pattern that really expresses his personality. You guys might be able to buy a suit cheaper than you can rent one so be sure to price compare before settling.

Vintage suits are always a winner and you can find them in great condition at pretty much any thrift store.

If you're wanting a formal look but a full suit is going to be too costly, just buy a cool blazer made form perhaps velvet or brocade and have him wear a dress shirt and slacks he already owns. If you order anything online, always go by measurement and not size. Asian products are rapidly taking over online marketplaces and it's getting harder and harder to tell what's what. Even if it's a quality product, their sizes run VERY small so always check their measurement chart and product reviews.




THE BRIDE
What does a bride put the most effort in to for her self? Her dress! So keep this in mind, simply put: any dress is a wedding dress - a sundress, prom dress, costume dress, anything you like. Your dress doesn't even have to be white, ivory, cream or whatever version of white you can think of. It can be whatever color, pattern or length you want.

What ordered online vs what she got!
Try to avoid traditional bridal shops as the prices are usually way too high and you're  most likely not to find anything uniquely bohemian there anyway.  You will, however, find some luck in regular formal wear shops that sell prom and pageant dresses. You can find tons of fun and colorful options there. You can also find amazing affordable colorful dresses if you use the keywords "pageant dress",  "quinceanera", "prom dress" or "ball gown" in your online search.

When I was getting married just 8 years ago, you could safely buy dresses online without a single worry but unfortunately, poorly reproduced knock-offs are plaguing the internet now. So if you shop online for a discounted dress, be sure to read site reviews first. AND  if a price looks too good to be true then it is too good to be true and you could end up with some awful piece of trash.

To score a great cheap dress, check your local thrift shops first. I come across cheap and amazing vintage wedding gowns and like-new prom dresses all the time. Also check department stores like JC Penny's and Dillards and online sites like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon. 1970s Gunne Sax dresses make perfect bohemian wedding dresses!! Ask your grandmother if she still has hers (or if you're over 30, your mother most likely wore one).

You can boho glam up any regular dress with amazing low-cost accessories like massive necklaces, belts, sashes, vests, shawls, body chains and anything you can possibly think of.

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Also consider customizing a cheap plain dress by beading it, dyeing it or even embroidering it yourself. Are you handy with a sewing machine? Make your own dress or upcycle one to become whatever you desire!

There's no rule saying you have to wear uncomfortable heels or fancy strappy thingies. You can wear boots, flats, sandals or even go barefoot if you want. New shoes can eat into a budget big time so if you're not finding what you want, ask a friend if you can borrow some cool shoes or buy them off her cheap.

Do your own hair and makeup. Look up ideas on Pinterest and practice the look a couple times before the big day so you can do it effortlessly. If you're not big into that kind of stuff but you still want to get all gussied up on your special day, ask a trusted friend or family member to do your hair and makeup for you.






4 comments:

  1. I love your blog- I feel like I could have written this post! I stumbled upon you on Pinterest I think! Great info. Now I am off to read part 2!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved reading this post as we just got married in October and had what many would call a bohemian wedding. Honestly it was just a Jess & Brandon wedding. We had a very untraditional, simple, fun and love filled ceremony & reception. First we got the perfect location, my parents beautiful backyard. Not only did that save us a TON of money but it meant so much to us and now we have alot of memories everytime we look out back. We invited 32 people, 28 made it. This may or may not have made some family members and friends mad but we wanted to be surrounded by dearly loved ones & that's what we got. My dress was a beautiful rustic green, my hubby's shirt and shorts cost less than $20 and our daughter's dress was less than $10. Our friend got ordained over the net & married us which was perfect because he made it personal. My brother was our photographer and our "DJ" was our iPod. We didn't have a dress code other than be comfortable & nothing fancy. Almost everyone was barefoot. We are HUGE music fans & wrote our vows using music lyrics from songs that meant something to us. Funny thing we didn't see or hear the others vows until we said them & we ended using alot of the same lines. The setting sun was our perfect background for pictures. We had a pizza bar & a s'mores bar & of course a Jack Daniels bar. No wedding cake, no wedding party other than our daughter, no fancy flowers just simple bouquets for us two girls, no limo to whisk us away. The day was absolutely perfect, nothing could have made it better. In all honesty I think the total cost including my dress was $550. I did order our invites online but it was totally worth it, that only cost $40. We didn't do thank you gifts for our guests or even fancy silverware & plates. It was Solo Cups & paper plates. I haven't heard any complaints from anyone who attended, everyone had a wonderful time and said it was one of the most heartfelt beautiful weddings they've ever been invited to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you had a wonderful wedding!!!! Thank you SO much for sharing these details!

      Delete
  3. Thank you so much for this -We are just in the planning stage of our big day, and could not think of a better way to start the process. x

    ReplyDelete

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