I recently wrote this article for Style Me Pretty and am so excited to share with you here!
I won’t lie: getting a letter in the old fashioned post is hella romantic. But in a day and age where conservation is key, it is prudent to explore alternative options for save-the-dates and invites. Consider a video save-the-date that you can email out to your guest list, or an evite with all the necessary info. This will not only save you cash, but will also eliminate unnecessary paper waste. However, if you’re dead-set on mailing your info to your guests, use recycled paper stock.
If you’re a hugely sentimental and nostalgic person (like I am), you could skip purchasing your bling and wedding threads new altogether. Perhaps there’s an heirloom ring or necklace in your family that could be passed down? I’ve also seen a few brides (see the photo from Nicholas + Emily’s wedding above, where she wore her mom’s retrofitted dress) of mine wear their mother’s dress (after they’ve made a few updates with a tailor) and the end result is just stunning. Lastly, you can also check out consignment stores that specialize in secondhand options for attire and accessories. Why not save a little cash on an outfit you’re only going to wear once?
Instead of buying 150 brand-new mason jars, sift through your local Craigslist ads to see if there are any couples selling their used wedding novelties and décor. Or, do a quick Google search for rental companies that may already have these items (e.g. silverware, vases, decorations) amassed for you. No need to reinvent the wheel!
As a vendor myself, I keep my contracts online so that I don’t have to print out important paperwork to put in the mail. If you’re a vendor and don’t have this set up just yet, look into resources such as Honeybook or MachForm, both of which allow you to store and sign proposals online. Once my clients sign, I simply email them a PDF copy and voilà! No need to drop anything in the mail! (Related: ask your photographer for an online gallery where you can download the images instead of getting a disc or USB in the mail.)
One of my favorite wedding venues in all of Colorado is the Lyons Farmette. In addition to being obviously adorable, the site features an organic farm where produce and flowers are grown locally to be included in the weddings hosted onsite. How cool would it be to have a true farm-to-table wedding? They also provide recycling and compost bins around the property to help reduce waste, something all venues should have. (Related: think about donating your leftover wedding grub to local food bank or shelter.)
People are getting married much later in life nowadays, which means that by the time they tie the knot, they probably already have all the fun kitchen gadgets and trinkets for their house. Instead of doing a traditional registry through a department store, try Honeyfund, which allows guests to donate online to less-traditional registry items like a down payment for a house or honeymoon activities.
Let’s be honest: do you really need another beer koozie from a wedding? In lieu of gifts for guests, consider donating the cash you would have spent on favors to your preferred charitable cause. I snagged this idea from a couple who decided to donate to a local foundation after severe flooding had devastated the groom’s hometown of Lyons, Colorado, in 2013.
Ashley Kidder is a Denver-based wedding photographer who loves weddings of all shapes and sizes. When she’s not photographing rad couples, you can find her slinging kettlebells around at the gym or going on long romantic walks with her corgi, Sherman.