by Ryan Conner
Karley Osborn is a bride-to-be living in Plano. Her fiancé proposed in March. They’re getting married in July. No, she’s not crazy, and yes, she’s confident she will be able to order a dress and have it triple-fitted in plenty of time — no matter what the experts have to say about it. Karley also happened to intern for D Magazine and work as a social reporter with People Newspapers. Every Wednesday, she’ll be documenting her planning process. From flowers to fittings, she will use her first-hand experience to help other brides in the event of a last-minute love affair.
In magazines like People Style Watch, they’re always doing this feature where a leather legging/Louboutin-clad Blake Lively (or some other A-lister) is pictured in all of her expensive fabulousness just opposite from a pair of pleather pants/vinyl stilettos that common girls can purchase from stores such as Wet Seal or AMI Clubwear. It’s that look for less, save or splurge thing that intends to comfort readers by saying, “Hey—you may not be able to afford Jen Aniston’s La Mer face cream, but this CVS-brand moisturizer is almost just as good.”
When you’re getting hitched in a hurry (and you’ve got a budget to boot), you might despair that you’ll be perpetually relegated to the saver’s side of the column, forced to nix luxuries like envelope calligraphy and custom head pieces in order to make it to the church on time. But fellow aisle-sprinters longing for luxe, here’s the truth: every bride (unless there’s a black AmEx somewhere in the mix) has to strike a balance between saving and splurging, and no matter how short the length of your engagement, you can achieve the wedding look you want if you prioritize correctly. Unsure of what items belong in each category? Jump for a few examples from mine and Fiancé’s planning process to help get you started.
1. The Dress. Save or Splurge?
Since I began my dress journey by trying on the Mercedes of wedding dresses at Warren Barron in Highland Park Village, this was tough. But ultimately (and to my father’s astonishment), I decided to save on the gown-of-all-gowns. Although time shortage played a part in this decision (as previously discussed it takes about six months for wedding gown orders to arrive), I could have paid a rush fee and gotten just about anything with enough time to spare. But when push came to shove, I realized I’d only be wearing the dress for four-ish hours. And I’d like for all of my guests to have food at the reception, you know?
2. Ceremony Music. Save or Splurge?
Last week, Fiancé and I had “The Talk”—the one where we discussed the various merits of having a DJ, a band, or an iPod dock manned by my dad to play music during our ceremony and reception. Although my dad and an iTunes playlist certainly would have been more cost-effective than our other options, we chose to splurge and booked a violinist/cello duo. At events, music equals mood, and it was important for us (okay, for me) to incorporate an element of formality into the otherwise casual vibe of our ceremony. So, live musicians it was.
3. Invitations. Save or Splurge?
Ohhh, this one was tough. As you may recall, I wanted so badly to order custom invitations from the Dallas-based boutique Simply Mox. The price difference between online sites like Minted and Wedding Paper Divas, however, ruled out fancy pocket folds for this particular budget-conscious duo—we’re talking hundreds verses thousands here, so Fiancé and I filed this one under the save category. That being said…
Because we saved a truckload on our invites, we were able to splurge last week on making the envelopes containing them extra pretty. We hired Heather at Design Roots for the job, and were so impressed by both her professionalism and her gorgeous scripting styles. Other fun options we considered for the exteriors? Custom postage by Zazzle.
5. Photography. Save or Splurge?
Honestly, yeah—I could have scrolled through my friends’ Instagram accounts and asked the person with the most artsy-looking photos to take all of our wedding pictures. I would have saved at least $3,500 in the process, too. But the way Fiancé and I have heard it, a wedding is commonly considered to be the most important day in our lives, like…ever. So we spent our money accordingly, and decided to splurge. We’re trusting Suggs Photography to capture every moment.
There are about a million other decisions Fiancé and I have had to make through this crazy planning process, but you get the point—it’s been quick, but it hasn’t all been pleather. We’ve chosen to allow for a few big splurges and have had plenty of time to pull each element together. Our formula: Decide what’s most important to us, allocate our budget accordingly, and make decisions quickly. Follow it for yourself, and we promise two things: you’ll avoid arriving at your Big Day penniless, and you’ll glide down an aisle that’s distinctly your style.