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I am so so excited to finally share some of our wedding planning details with everyone. The last year has been crazy. We got engaged, moved to and from Minnesota, we are trying to sell our house and plan a wedding. If you’re thinking I’m crazy right now…you are right! But Richie, my fiancĂ©, has been amazing at helping me get everything done!

Since I was a little girl, like almost every other, I dreamed of the day when I would marry the love of my life and couldn’t wait to plan. Getting engaged was fabulous and the first few months we just enjoyed every second of it and put off wedding planning. When we did start planning we realized it was not going to be easy. I have a huge family and Richie and I both have a lot of friends so I immediately knew that it was going to be a big wedding but we didn’t want to spend thousands and thousands of dollars. We did our best to keep our costs low throughout our planning so far.

So what have we done? A lot and hopefully sharing some of our experiences will help you plan your special day. First, we knew that we wanted to use a caterer that was a family friend. I had no idea it was going to be so hard to find a venue that was in our price range but could fit all of our guests. We realized that our list of 300 wasn’t going to work. We decided to hire a wedding coordinator to help us along the way. She has been so wonderful and helpful. Her name is Karin from Cinderella4aDay in Kingston, NY. She helped us a find a historic sight that was perfect for what we needed. It could only accomodate a 150 but with some extra details we could fit 200. So we booked the venue for $4,000. We chose the end of April because it saved $1500 on the place alone.

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Above is a wedding that was previously held at Locust Grove also known as the Samuel B. Morse Estate in Poughkeepsie. The grounds include 200 acres right along the Hudson with beautiful gardens, an old mansion and the beautiful West Gallery pictured above. We are going to get married outside and then we will have cocktail hour on the outdoor patios followed by dinner in the West Gallery. We are adding a tent outside for dancing so we could fit 200 in the dining room instead of 150.

I always thought that I would love every second of planning but it’s so stressful and there are so many decisions to make. A few tips that I have learned so far that have helped us save a lot of money.

-Consider getting married in the off season for example, March or April or a winter wedding. I cannot tell you how many things we have saved on so far by doing this. Just about every vendor will cut you a deal on the price. Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price and look around to compare.

-Using your own caterer will save you so much money! Our’s is preparing three different packaged for us to choose from with different price points.

-Ask your florist if you can purchase your own glassware for the floral arrangements. You will pay way less and save hundreds this way! Also try to re-use your flowers. For example, we are having lanterns line the aisle with flowers and then are putting them on the cocktail hour tables. We also have a few arrangements that will be at the top of the altar and we will reuse them for the West Gallery. Try to find out what flowers are in season and which are cheaper. For example, we are using a lot of babies breath because it’s cheap but looks gorgeous when done right.

-Etsy is amazing for the small little details. I bought my ring bearer pillow, flower girl basket, bird cage etc. and I didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg. Plus, you are supporting local artists which I love. I will post pictures of these later in the week.

-Don’t think you need to spend a ton of money on your dress to look great. The first dress I tried on at a boutique, I fell in love with. It was gorgeous but had a $2600 price tag. My jaw dropped. I left feeling disappointed but a week later went to David’s Bridal to try on dresses (which I swore I would never do). I tried on a lot of dresses and fell in love with one. That is until the wonderful woman that was helping me said I had to try this dress on. It was nothing like what I wanted. I hated lace dresses, I didn’t want strapless and I wanted something very couture. I ended up getting the opposite of what I thought I wanted and I love it. It’s simple, elegant, timeless and perfect and it was only $1200!!! Plus, when you get your dress at David’s Bridal all of your bridesmaids get a deal and it’s a win win. Vera now designs dresses and bridesmaids dress for them and they are to DIE for. I chose a Vera dress for my bridesmaid that is AMAZING!

Anyways, Happy Monday! I will post later in the week with more details!

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