How to have an affordable Wedding in Atlanta

I posted an article on Ehow awhile back and I wanted to share the information on my blog.

There is no need to go into debt for this one special day. There are several ways you can cut cost but still have the wedding you always dreamed of.

Here are some ideas and tips to help you create a memorable day that friends and family will be talking about for years to come
things you'll need:
  • A proposal!
  • A Groom
  • Day planner
  • Phone
  • Decorations
  • Menu
  • THE Dress
  • Your closest family and friends

First, remember that when planning your wedding that the ceremony is for the Bride and Groom; the reception is for the guests.  Now, coming down from cloud nine after the proposal...and back to the real world, lets discuss dates, budget and more.  September worked well for us because we found vendors and locations to cost less than the summer months. Also, January-March seemed to have better prices as well as having more open dates. September in the south is still warm, so it continues to have the feel of a summer wedding. Vendors and popular locations book extremely fast and well into the calendar year so you may need to be flexible.

Once the date is chosen, it’s time to talk location. We were married at the Log Cabin Church in Smyrna, Ga. It is small but quaint! This site is perfect for pictures!
Here is the link with more details:

Renting a tent for the reception is an option for venues that have small meeting rooms. Since Georgia weather can be unpredictable and we wanted to include dancing at the reception we chose "The Highland Inn" in Atlanta. This site has a lot of character and is famous in the area for hosting celebrity guests.
They were easy to work with and very accommodating. It was a great place for our out of town guest and parents to stay. They also offer a complimentary guest room for the Bride and Groom.
Be sure and ask the possible reception venue if tables, chairs, linens, etc. are included in the rental. This site allows you to use your own caterer.
Here is the link:

Finding affordable vendors can be challenging.
Minister: Using your own minister is the best way to save money, but if you do not have one, do you have a family member or friend that is ordained?
Coordinator for Ceremony: Ask a family member or friend who is good at coordinating and also detailed. This needs to be a "take charge" but probably not a bossy individual that could create misunderstandings; I don't recommend the Maid Of Honor because she already has a busy position assisting the bride.
Rentals: A-1 Rentals helped supply the tables, chairs and linens to the Highland and they are very affordable, here is their link:
Flowers: there are several ways to cut cost of flowers especially the bridal bouquet. Many larger grocery stores have florist. Price a bouquet of your chosen flower and then ask what they would charge to create a simple but elegant arrangement. A simple, one red bud boutonniere for the groom and a different color or flower for the groomsmen can be less expensive. We were able to copy beautiful bouquets for the bridesmaids using carefully chosen silk flowers. The total? Less than $75 for the entire party.
Caterer: Ask around among family and friends for someone who is good at planning large meals for groups, maybe someone experienced in a church or civic organization. Choosing a heavy hor'dourve meal cost much less than a formal dinner. We included a fun child's table.
Bride's Cake: Check with Publix and larger food chains. They offer beautiful, more affordable options. One way to cut cost here is to offer a Bride's cake for decoration-one to three layers on a smaller scale. Then have servers bring out sliced cake from the kitchen from a sheet cake.
DJ: Look for local talent or an up and coming DJ to save money.
Photographer: Almost everyone knows a budding photographer. Ask if they would be willing, and you will provide all the film and developing.

The DRESS!! The most important part! I found my $1500 dress at a quaint wedding shop in Knoxville, TN that was used as a display in Bridal Shows. This is called "off the rack" and is a good choice for a budget bride. I scored mine for $350. My bridesmaids dresses were ordered for $95 each. Look for classic but up to date styles and a color that is complimentary.
Here is the link:
My shoes were purchased at Macy's on sale. My veil was something borrowed. My garter was from Party City, it was red and black with a gun for my Military Husband. My Jewelry was from Claires. I bought my husband's ring at Zales and even had a $50 off coupon!
* You are welcome to contact me for any information on vendors.
* Know your budget limit before making plans.
* Research, research, research, don't settle with the first thing you see. Shop prices everywhere.

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