Sunday, June 29, 2014

I Can Now Add Published On To My Resume (And some really helpful wedding planning tips)

I get a lot of emails from brides who are asking my opinion on budget-savvy wedding planning. I absolutely love helping them out.

The other day, I got an email asking for budget wedding tips. But it wasn't from a bride. It was from, the website for MONEY magazine, which is published by Time, Inc. ( online). Last week, my tips appeared in a trio of articles on the sites. Two of the articles have eight tips and the third has seven. In case, you didn't see the articles and my tips, I wanted to share them below. I'm leaving the tips numbered, in case you go back to the full article and want to find mine among the others.

white wedding

From 8 Ways To Throw a Memorable Wedding for Less, published on June 25, 2014:

2. Stay Away From the Peak “A day in June will command a higher price than a day in January. If you are able to keep your date flexible, you should be able to save between $1,000 and $1,500, or even more if you opt for a weekday instead of weekend. Because it’s an off-peak time, you may also be able to get a lower rate for some vendors, like a wedding band. Your guests may also thank you for the winter wedding, as airfare and hotel rates for on off-season destination will be lower as well.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride On a Budget

5. Don’t Be Shy About Borrowing “Most venues host events other than weddings and may have items in storage for those occasions that you can borrow for free. My wedding was beach-themed and for the centerpieces I wanted hurricane lamps with floating candles. When I described what I was picturing to staff, they brought almost the exact same centerpieces out of storage and let me use them. Another friend wanted string lights, and when she asked the venue for recommendations on where to rent some, they already had them in a closet.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride On a Budget

8. Think of Everything “When you book a venue, be sure to find out what ‘extras’ are included. The ‘cheapest’ venue might come without tables, linens, silverware, and many other items that you will need to rent. A full service venue can save you money—and save you from having to coordinate multiple vendors. A friend rented a beautiful courtyard and loft. But the outdoor courtyard had no lighting, a problem for nighttime dancing, and the venue only had seating for 80, despite fitting 120. So my friend needed to rent lights and seating for 40. What had initially seemed like the best deal quickly became as costly as other venues.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride on a Budget

wedding drinks

From Wine and Dine Your Wedding Guests for Less, published on June 25, 2014:

4. Add Your Signature “If you decide to have an open bar, you can limit what is available. You can restrict it to beer and wine only, or add house liquors. If top-shelf liquor doesn’t fit your budget, don’t serve it. Your guests won’t mind. If a complete open bar doesn’t fit in your budget, consider beer and wine plus a signature cocktail. Name it after the couple, incorporate local flavors, anything can make it really unique. And, if all else fails, close the bar for an hour during dinner and save yourself a bunch of money.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride On a Budget

7. Skip the Steak “Many sit-down weddings give options for entree choices, and one of those is almost always steak. Don’t feel pressured to serve a filet mignon over a prime rib. The filet option can add around a $10 per head cost, regardless of if your guests choose it. Make delicious choices for the cocktail hour and your guests won’t even think about the cut of meat at dinner.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride On a Budget

bride and groom

From Say Yes to a Cheaper Wedding Dress, published on June 27, 2014:

2. Score the Store Sample “If you can find a discontinued dress, you will get an even bigger savings. The shop has to get rid of the sample since they can’t order the dress after discontinuation. So you are doing the shop a favor by taking it out the door. These dresses have often been tried on before, but so has most of the clothing you buy in any store, so that shouldn’t be a deterrent.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride on a Budget

7. Go In as a Group “Many of the major tuxedo stores will offer a group discount, and often the groom will get his tux for free with a certain number of groomsmen rentals. Be sure to ask about these discounts before ordering. Also, associates will add all accessories at the time of rental (cufflinks, pocket squares, shoes), but not all of them may be required for rental. Ask if anything can be removed. Your groomsmen might all have their own black shoes and can save money by not renting them.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride on a Budget

BRIDAL BABBLE: Which of my tips is your favorite?


  1. Congrats! And great tips- especially the steak one.

  2. That's so wonderful! Congrats! xoxo

  3. Congrats on being selected for an article for Money. Great tips for the budget savvy bride.

  4. Expert advices to stick on budget. Although weddings can be super pricey, there are always ways, big and small, to save a few dollars. These are great ways for money-savvy brides.Thanks

  5. Congratulations! Great tips. Now that the wedding is complete, I hope you will continue to share your great advice and tips, especially from a brides perspective.

  6. Wow! Congratulations! and excellent tips!