There is no getting away from it, weddings are expensive affairs. It is also true to say that they just seem to be getting more and more expensive as people expect more from celebrations. The best way to save for your big day, however, is to try and cut costs wherever you can. That doesn’t mean you can’t have the day that you have always dreamt about, it’s more about making small changes that can have a big impact on the overall cost of your celebrations.
Read on and find out how you can control the cost of your wedding, to help you reach your savings goal quicker.
1. Slash the guest list
You don’t need a huge wedding for it to be a spectacular affair. In fact, inviting only the people who really matter could help make your day feel even more special. You will also save money too, as you will have to buy fewer meals. It can be easy to fall into the trap of feeling obligated to invite certain people, but remember that this is your day, which should be celebrated in your way.
2. Get married outdoors
If you can, why not consider getting married outdoors? That way, nature has already provided you with decoration and beautiful spots for photographs. Imagine the amount of money that you could save on flowers to help you decorate your venue if you just make use of what is available for free.
3. Hire a band
Bands are a great way to keep your guests entertained during your party. They often have all their own equipment too, so can be incredibly cost-effective because they limit the amount of equipment that you have to hire for yourself. Just make sure you hire a band from your local area so that you can save on costs when it comes to travel and accommodation.
4. Speak to your caterers
Providing your guests with food is often the most expensive part of your day. It can be tempting to opt for the most extravagant meal to help everyone celebrate in style, but often costs can really be managed better here without sacrificing any enjoyment of your day. Talk to your caterers about your budget and see what ideas they come up with, you might well be surprised.
5. Limit free drinks
You really don’t need to provide a free bar at your wedding or even offer top-of-the-range drinks to your guests on arrival. There are plenty of ways that you can save money on alcohol on your wedding day, so don’t be afraid to limit your offering. It’s your day and you can celebrate it the way that you want.
6. Don’t marry at the weekend
If you get married at the weekend, costs automatically jump up. Venues struggle to sell their services during the week, so the prices are often ridiculously lower in an attempt to try and encourage people through their doors. You might be worried about the availability of your guests, but with plenty of advanced warning, they should be able to organize the time off to come and celebrate with you.
How did you decide on this location? The St Regis has always been near and dear to our hearts, being in a long distance relationship many nights were spent together in hotels and the St Regis quickly became our favorite. When we visited Aspen to select a venue, the St Regis quickly easily was #1 on our list.
Where did you have your reception? St Regis Monarch Hall
How did you decide on St Regis Monarch Hall for your reception? For some reason I have always had this strange, uncomfortable feeling with ballrooms, even though there are beautiful ballrooms throughout Aspen. I wanted a close, intimate, romantic feel and that is exactly what I got once we transformed the Monarch Hall inside the St Regis. The low ceilings and endless windows that overlook into the courtyard helped create the closeness and intimacy that we were wanting. I wanted to make it as easy as possible on our guests and after the ceremony they were able to just walk inside to the reception.
Where did you have book your accommodations?Limelight
What was the mood at your wedding? I would have to say the mood at the wedding was pure joy and happiness. Two families finally joining as one. Most all of the guests knew each other and we could honestly feel the love and encouragement in the room from everyone.
What is your best memory? It is difficult to narrow down to just one best memory but I would have to say our first look, when Jordan turned to look at me on the bridge for the first time and also me walking down the aisle. Both memories that we will never forget.
Meredith Finley, Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding? It is difficult to narrow down to just one best memory but I would have to say our first look, when Jordan turned to look at me on the bridge for the first time and also me walking down the aisle. Both memories that we will never forget.Be sure that you are ok with and understanding that some guests and potentially even some family members may not be able to travel to your destination. Given that our destination was in the mountains and high elevation, both sets of our grandparents and great grandparents were not able to attend.
Do you have any additional thoughts or photos you would like to share with us?
Jordan and I were high school sweethearts both born and raised in Amarillo, TX. After high school we went to different colleges and dated long distance for 12 years before he FINALLY popped the question.
I travel a lot for work and was traveling through Denver one day in December 2016. I went to collect my bags from baggage claim for my next flight and to my surprise Jordan was waiting in baggage claim and had planned a surprise getaway for us in Aspen. He had orchestrated the trip and planned everything perfectly, with the help of my sister and even my co-workers, my bags for the week had been packed for me. A horse drawn carriage picked us up at the Little Nell and under the Christmas lights downtown he got down on one knee. The following day he had hired a photographer to take engagement photos for us on top of the mountain. It was truly my fairytale engagement and after spending a week in Aspen we could not think of a more magical destination to return to and get married, surrounded by our closest friends and family.
The St Regis has always been near and dear to our hearts, being in a long distance relationship many nights were spent together in hotels and the St Regis quickly became our favorite. When we visited Aspen to select a venue, the St Regis quickly easily was #1 on our list. We were married on September 30, 2017 in the fountain courtyard of the St Regis. Therain parted just in time for me to walk down the aisle.
The right wedding arch helps set the tone for your special day. Over the years, couples have taken many routes to create their arch and tailor it to their theme. More traditional arches still incorporate sheer fabric and fresh florals while modern arches take a creative approach by using unexpected materials like shells, bamboo and glass. Some even shy away from the traditional arch shape for more modern shapes like hexagons, triangles, circles and more. The only limit is our imagination!
ProFlowers created a guide to wedding arch ideas so you can get a better idea of what you can do with your arch. They have tips for different ways to decorate your arch and inspiration for modern, classic and rustic arches. Their guide also has tips for different types of materials you can use so you can get a better idea of what you can do to make your wedding arch your own. Peruse through their guide to see what styles you’d like to incorporate for your big day!
Your wedding is the culmination of months, if not years, of planning. After all, this is one of the most important days of your life. You want to make sure that everything goes as perfectly as possible. You’re creating the memories that will last a lifetime for you, your soon-to-be spouse and your guests. That means every detail — from the color of the flowers on the reception tables to the first song you’ll dance to as a married couple — has to be considered with care. Even if you and your partner don’t want to go all-in on an elaborate wedding and reception, there’s still a lot that has to be planned well in advance. Yet with all the thinking you and your significant other have to do about the actual wedding day, it’s easy to forget about all the planning you’ll need to do for the moments following the wedding.
If you don’t take some time to plan what you and your partner need to do after the wedding, you might find yourselves dealing with a lot of unexpected stress during what’s supposed to be the honeymoon period of your lives. For example, immediately after your wedding, you’ll need to decide how you’ll preserve your wedding dress. You should look for a professional cleaner or other type of service that can protect and preserve your dress for future generations as part of your wedding planning. This way, you aren’t left scrambling to find one in the weeks after the wedding.
Another important consideration for your post-wedding planning is how you’ll preserve the memories you created during the festivities. You probably have a mountain of photos and videos left over from your ceremony and reception. That’s why it’s important to set aside some time after the wedding to sift through them and create albums for you and your guests. Finally, there are plenty of practical considerations that need to factor into your post-wedding planning, such as filling out change-of-name and change-of-address forms, and scheduling ring cleanings.
There’s so much work that goes into planning your special day that it’s easy to forget about all the work that comes after that day. The checklist below will help you plan for everything that needs to be done after your wedding. So, keep it handy and you won’t be as overwhelmed when you should be enjoying life as a newlywed.
4th of July is the epitome of summer- with a day full of barbecues and patriotic pride, it’s a day of celebrating. While your wedding day may not be full of the stars, stripes and sparklers we have on Independence Day, there are many ways to incorporate the red, white and blue in a beautiful way. Here are a few ideas! (For more chic 4th of July wedding ideas check out our other post here).
Berry in love:
Berries are so summery! Add fresh fruit topping to your cake or incorporate berries in your decor, food or favors for a pop of color.
What is more “4th of July” then fireworks? End your wedding night with a dazzling fireworks display! For a more cost-effective option, sparklers are great too.
Red, white, blue and I do!
Choosing red, white and blue as your wedding colors is an obvious way to have a festive occasion. Incorporate plaids, stripes, and different shades from bright to muted for an understated Patriotic feel.
Photos//Kelly Oshiro Design via Bridal Guide
Include a Flag!
A giant flag will add a little drama to your wedding photos! We just love the idea of hanging a flag outside of a white barn- perfectly patriotic!
Photo// Annie McElwain via Martha Stewart Weddings
Fun, festive signature cocktails!
The options for signature drinks are endless. This pretty and patriotic sipper is what Cocktail Academy called the “From Sea to Shining Seas” made with bourbon, lime, blue curacao, mint and bitters.
Photo// Steve Steinhardt via Martha Stewart Weddings
We hope you found these patriotic wedding ideas inspiring! Wishing you a safe and fun 4th of July!
Mother’s Day was celebrated this past weekend, and as you approach your daughters wedding day you may be feeling very emotional about your little girl growing up and celebrating this big milestone in her life. It’s a special time for bonding together, lots of happy events and Planning a wedding together can be a very fun process, or maybe it’s involved a lot of butting heads and disagreements about everything. Regardless of your experience, here are some fun ways for you as the mother of the Bride to be involved, but still let your daughter have the wedding she is dreaming about.
DO respect the opinions of your daughter and her fiance. If your side is contributing financially to fund the wedding, it might be tempting to want to make the decisions. While your daughter likely values your input, respect their wishes and taste. Be honest about the budget and your ideas, but allow them to make the final decisions on vendors, decor, and other details. DON’T criticize the dress choices. While your daughter’s fashion choices may not be what you have envisioned her in on her special day, hold back any negative feelings. If you love a look, tell her so. If you are not a fan of something about the dress, share in a nicer way such as- “I really loved how the first dress fit you so well- maybe you should try another dress with that style but with the lace you want.” Shopping for a dress is one of the most fun activities for the MOB, make it a fun moment where your daughter feels special. DO choose your battles. You are likely going to disagree with some of the choices she likes, and it may be difficult to release the planning reigns a bit. But fighting about small details isn’t worth it, the important thing is that you will be by her side on her wedding day. DON’T forget your dress. While clearly the brides dress is the most important fashion choice of the wedding, you want to look special too. Picking out something special to wear for the occasion is fun (and for many MOB’s it can be stressful!!) Choose a style of dress that matches the formality of the wedding- i.e. you don’t want a full length ballgown at a barn wedding. And of course avoid WHITE. That shade should be for the Bride only. DO provide some input for the guest list. Ask the bride and groom about the number of people they are planning on inviting and their plans for your contribution to the guest list. Some couples choose to give each side of the family a certain number they can invite. Once you have received an idea of the number of people you can invite, share your list with them. DON’T ignore a Bridezilla (or Groomzilla) If your daughter is out of line or making everyone crazy with their actions, talk to them. If they are anxious or overwhelmed, offer to take something off their plate. Remind her of the important things- their love and rest of their lives together. The wedding is just one day, while it should be special, it isn’t the end of the world if something isn’t working out as they had hoped. We hope you found these tips helpful as you continue to enjoy the wedding planning process with your daughter. We wish you both a lot of happiness and joy as you celebrate this special occasion as a family.
Recently engaged? Congrats! Getting started with the wedding planning can be overwhelming. Where do you even begin? We hope that Aspen Wedding Guide can be a helpful resource for you during your wedding planning. Before thinking about anything else, we recommend starting with choosing your aspen wedding venue. This is because you can’t really pick a date until you have a venue, and before booking anything else you need to know your wedding date! Also, your wedding venue will set the tone for your wedding. Whether it’s casual or formal, rustic or modern, the decor and other details should match up with the style. Here are some tips for getting started on your search.
Choose the date. While you can’t specifically finalize a wedding date until you have confirmed your venue is available on that date, having a rough idea will be so helpful when trying to choose a venue. If you know you want a winter wedding, obviously a venue that has an inside space is key here in Aspen. When looking at venues, finding out availability will be easier if you know you’d like a Saturday in June or July vs just a vague “any date.” Here are some more helpful tips for choosing your wedding date.
Consider the style you want. When you think about your wedding day what do you envision? Are you tying the knot in a barn with burlap and lace? Saying “we do” barefoot with a mountainscape and wildflowers in the back? Or do you picture a ballroom black-tie affair? Thinking about your ideal wedding day style will help you pinpoint venues that would fit into this vision. Here are some of our favorite ceremony sites, look through them and see if any fit what you are looking for.
Think about the size. All venues have a maximum for the number of guests it can hold. You want it to be comfortable, not cramped for space. Whether you want a large wedding or a more intimate affair, it is important to make sure your dream venue will accommodate your wedding size. While you don’t need an exact count (that will come much later!) creating a rough guest list will helpful in determining whether your wedding will be 50 people or 250 people.
Don’t forget your budget! Creating a budget for your wedding day is typically one of the first things brides and grooms do before beginning to plan. How much do you want to spend on the reception and ceremony venues? A wedding planner can help you determine the average costs and percentages of the different pieces as well as recommend venues that fit into your specific budget.
Once you have these questions answered and you have narrowed down the venues to a few you are interested in, set up an in-person visit.
Now that you have the basics covered. Here are some helpful hints on what to ask your during your in-person venue tours to make sure you find that dream wedding venue.
Will you be the only wedding on your date?
How long do you have access to the venue?
Is there a bridal room and/or grooms room?
Is it handicap accessible?
How many bathrooms are available?
What is the parking situation?
What is included in the rental fee?
When can vendors arrive for set up?
Are there any restrictions for wedding decor?
Are there recommended vendors? Is use of these vendors required?
What would be the rain plan?
Can I see photos of the venue set up for the ceremony/reception?
What are the available options for setting up different parts of the wedding?
We recommend touring at least three venues and asking as many questions as possible. Make sure you know exactly what is included and have a contract specifying these details.
One of the sweetest parts of wedding planning is choosing a wedding cake or dessert to end your night with. (Cake tasting, sign me up!) It can be overwhelming trying to narrow down the choices. Afternoon Delight Bakery can help with all of your wedding dessert needs, whether you are looking for a traditional wedding cake or a dessert table with many options. Owner, Ashley Buerger, takes pride in each and every cake she make as it is never “just a cake,” but a work of art and a delicious memory from the best day of your life. She makes everything from scratch and can help you with designing the perfect cake.
Read on for a few tips for deciding on a wedding day dessert.
Choose your desserts. There are so many options, but think about what you envision for your wedding.
Here are a few ideas: Traditional multi-tiered wedding cake decorated with flowers or fondant. Cupcakes in a few different flavors. Small cake for cutting along with cupcakes or other desserts for your guests. Dessert bar with mini desserts- macarons, brownies, cookies, tarts, shooters etc. Cookies or pies in multiple flavors.
Consider your budget
It is important to be honest about your budget in the beginning so that your baker can recommend options that fall within this range. Typically tiered layer cakes are a per person price. To figure out how big of a cake you will need, this
While budget can be a big factor in choosing the dessert you serve, think about your own tastes. Does the bride absolutely love cupcakes? Is the groom a cheesecake fan? Incorporating both of your favorites can be a fun way to make your celebration unique.
Think about your wedding style. Is your wedding venue and decor more casual? Or are you having a black-tie affair?
For a more formal wedding, the traditional tiered wedding cake is common. Casual weddings with a more laid back feel often go with the less traditional desserts- pies or cookies! If you are having a wedding cake, connected the design to your overall wedding theme or colors will tie it all together. For an outdoor wedding- a cake decorating with burlap or a naked cake is a great option. For a formal affair in a ballroom, a little bling or flowers matching your bouquets are beautiful options.
Choose a flavor. While there are many options available, keep things simple with a few options.
If you are doing a tiered cake, you can choose different flavors for each layer. Keep in mind that many guests will shy away from the more unique options in favor of a traditional chocolate or vanilla. A
offers about 15 different cake flavors along with more than a dozen icing flavors and filling options. She can help recommend great flavors that go well together.
Have some fun!
Why should dessert be boring? If you really want to make a statement- Afternoon Delight Bakery offers a variety of Boozy Cupcakes- Strawberries and Champagne, Mint Julep, Margarita, and more! You can also offer a late night snack of cookies and milk or a s’more bar can be a lot of fun as well. Here are a few examples of dessert tables that
has done! These displays feature fruit tarts, cookies, brownies, carrot cake, mini cheesecakes and more.
We hope you find these sweet tips for choosing a wedding dessert helpful! What type of dessert are you planning to serve at your wedding or what did you serve? Still looking for a wedding cake or dessert bakery? Check out our favorites here.
The best memory from the wedding day was skiing down the mountain in our formal wedding attire together.
Riding up to the ceremony site with my dad.
How we chose Snowmass and Aspen for our wedding: I have never been interested in having a large wedding and Adam always envisioned a traditional wedding. So When Adam and I got engaged, we had to think through how to celebrate the day in a way that would work for both of us. Since we are both avid skiers and so are our families, we decided to have a ski wedding!
I have been coming to Snowmass since I was 10 years old and Adam joined our family for the first time during Christmas 2017. He fell in love with Aspen just as I expected and even asked my Dad if he could marry me while going up the Campground Chairlift. We wanted our wedding to be something special so we were able to get permission to have a ceremony at the top of the Elk Camp chairlift with just immediate family (10 people only, including the groom and I). The ceremony was performed by one of my brothers and Adam’s sister. Following the ceremony, we skied down with the photographer in our wedding attire. We had a happy hour at Ajax Tavern and dinner at Table 47 at Element 47, both of which were amazing. Although the top of the mountain was chilly for spring skiing, the entire day was flawless and we both agree that it was the perfect non-traditional wedding for us!
We both love the views of Maroon Bells from the top of the Elk Camp Chairlift in Snowmass and couldn’t imagine a more beautiful backdrop for our ceremony.
Ajax for cocktail hour!
Element 47 for the Reception: I have been coming to the Little Nell for dinner since I was little (long before the restaurant was Element 47). The level of service that the Little Nell provides is incomparable and we knew they would have the most amazing dinner for our family.
Happy April! April showers bring May flowers right? If you are having a spring wedding, you will likely have an abundance of blooms to choose from and if you are getting married outdoors, flowers will be blossoming! Choosing in season flowers can also help you save money as they are more readily available.
We spoke to Laura Lucero, owner of Sunfresh Flowers, to find out trends and tips for choosing spring wedding flowers.
AWG: What are your favorite in season flower choices for spring?
AWG: What are some fun ways to make your bridal bouquet more unique or personalized?
LL: Sometimes the bride will add a special charm that we will incorporate into her bouquet. Or if there is a connection with the bride and groom where they met. One time I used feathers for the bouquet and boutonnière because they met on a retreat that took place on an Indian Reservation.
Here are a few gorgeous spring wedding flower arrangements for some inspiration.
This bouquet features a luxurious combination of burgundy peonies, garden roses, hanging amaranthus, stock flowers, wax flower, hypericum berries, eucalyptus, laurel.
A beautiful bridal bouquet featuring dahlias, hanging amaranthus, garden roses, freesia, stock flower, aspen leaves, willow eucalyptus, stock flower. The colored hanging ribbons tie in the wedding colors and add even more dimension to the bouquet.
This peachy table arrangement is pure perfection! Ranunculus, crab apples, Queen Anne’s lace, grapes, lisianthus, star of Bethlehem. Various greenery accents.
Another pop of peach, this bridal bouquet has a lot of volume and dimension! Coral peonies, white Casablanca lilies, stock flowers, eryngium thistle, lisianthus, eucalyptus, renunculus, hypericum berries.
More Tips for Deciding On Your Wedding Flowers
Keep your budget in mind and decide on your most important desires and other areas that aren’t as important- i.e. a peony bridal bouquet is a must and the ceremony flowers can be more simple.
When starting to envision what you want your floral design to look like, start off by describing the type of wedding you are having- Formal, informal, romantic, mountain, glamorous etc. Your floral arrangements should fit in with the rest of the wedding decor and style.
f you have a particular flower you would like to include, share this with your florist who can recommend some other options that compliment this particular bloom.
Have a general idea how many arrangements and the types you will need. This can include bride’s bouquet, bridesmaid bouquet, boutonnieres, corsages, flower girl, reception tables, ceremony arch and aisle ways, and more. Your florist can share what couples typically include if you are unsure where to even begin.
Think about color! Colors should compliment the rest of your wedding decor. You can choose soft romantic pinks, ivory and white for a romantic look, or go bright for a color pop with bright colors or purples. There are many choices!
Use Pinterest, blogs and wedding magazines and choose bouquets that you like or the style you are hoping for. Having specific likes/dislikes can help you and your florist with designing the perfect wedding flowers.
Thank you to Laura Lucero for sharing her knowledge and expertise! Visit her website for more gorgeous floral arrangements here.