the birdie blog guide to a poor girl’s perfect wedding // part two: prioritizing

hi again, my dears! ❤

so glad you stick around and bear with my craziness 🙂
click here for the introduction, and here for part one- in case you missed out.
today is part two of the wedding under $6,000 series, and we are going to be talking about prioritizing. (yeah, buddy!) Prioritizing is such a huge part of planning a wedding. it will keep you from becoming overwhelmed (for the most part) and help you stay on top of the deadlines and DIY’s you set for yourself. this step is also the part where you will make a lot of the big decisions.


first things first- get a partner. a right-hand-man. (or woman. woman is a more likely story, let’s just be honest here.) for me, this person was my mama! ❤
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perhaps it will be your maid of honor, or even your hubby-to-be! you’ll want someone who can be there for you practically 24/7, who is only a phone call or text away. If you’re a big-picture person, find a detail person. If you’re a detail person, find a big-picture person. even thought this might look like a recipe for disaster on paper, trust me, you’ll be glad you have an opposite who’s your other wedding-planning half 😉 my mom and I are definitely opposites in this area, and we didn’t always get along perfectly when I was in high school and my first year of college, but we got super close in the eight months we wedding-planned together! (I know that these times will be very special, not only for you and your man, but also you and your planning partner!)

the person you choose should know you well, and should be able to handle your moments of panic over the one missing tea light out of two hundred without batting so much as an eyelash of frustration. this person will take over when you’re burned out. you’ll hand them half of your to-do list, and they’ll get it done. you find the professionals, they set up the appointments. you get the invitations designed, they send them to, and pick them up from, the printer. this is the person that will remind you that your nana can’t survive the walk over the muddy field to get to that hidden spot you swear would be perfect for the ceremony. this is the person who will help you lick 150 envelopes while watching Dan in Real Life and eating chipotle. get the idea?

I know that I could not have planned my wedding without my planning partner. I don’t know how anyone can!

take your time and make sure you pick someone who can really withstand this task!! 🙂

the next thing on your wedding to-do list is not the funnest thing (sorry!), but it is important. Budget time!

first, figure out who’s paying how much. will it just be the two of you funding your nuptials, or will one or more sets of parents be pitching in to help. if they aren’t, is it because they don’t wish to, or because they financially can’t? if they would love to but can’t, assure them you’d love to have their help on a to-be-determined DIY! then make sure to write down in your wedding jot-book that they want to help!

once you’ve figured out how much money can be put towards your special day, STICK TO IT!! write it down. keep it in front of you at all times. you CAN stay within your wedding budget means! that is, after all, what this blog series is about 🙂

whew, the uncomfortable stuff is over!

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write a list of all the categories you’re going to be dumping money into. here’s a good start:

invitations and other paper items (I designed our invites and programs, and J’s dad’s printing company printed them for free)
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wedding dress (I bought mine, vintage, on Etsy for $150)
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DSC_0325 DSC_0335
yep, that’s my dad and I ordering the dress online, and me opening the dress after coming home from a crappy work shift. real life bride right here.

bride’s accessories (I wore my mother’s wedding earrings and a flower crown of mostly greenery made by a friend who was once a professional florist. I also bought new shoes.)
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groom’s attire (J wore clothing he already owned- with the exception of new shoes and suspenders. his grandma knit him a tie, and he wore his dad’s tie clip)
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rings (his was on a major sale, as was my engagement ring!)
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flowers (or something cheaper and more unique- I went with lanterns! groomsmen wore succulent corsages, and moms and grandmas had flower corsages. I did wear a flower crown, and had succulents on the cake.)
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food (we made our own homestyle comfort food from family recipes- corn, mac and cheese, meatballs- and we got s’mores ingredients for the bonfire!)
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cake (my mom made ours- and she’s not a baker! you could also do a different dessert, like pies or brownies)
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drink (we didn’t serve alcohol- just a couple pounds of Starbucks coffee we bought on clearance, iced tea, lemonade, and a few packs of old fashioned bottled sodas)
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          “ribbon curtain” from thrifted, cut bed sheets
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          old family bookcase, filled with odds and end from our childhoods, photos, etc
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          bottles + jars we asked everyone we knew to collect, plus tea lights (100 for $4 at IKEA)
signage (my bridesmaid jenny created all the beautiful signs for our wedding.)
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music (our $10/month subscription to spotify came in handy here. we created our own playlist and asked a friend to DJ. we gave him a list of announcements and songs to play at certain times. not a single hiccup, and it was all special music of significance to us! you can even do a one-month free trial at spotify and pay $0!! Also, my husband surprised my dad by playing violin for the father daughter dance, and one of my bridesmaids recorded a piano piece she wrote for my walk down the aisle)
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dishes/glassware (I thrifted enough vintage plates and coffee mugs for dinner. we used plastic silverware that looked real, small clear plastic cups, and square white paper plates for cake. by in bulk at costco or bj’s for super cheap!)
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hair/makeup/nails (I did my own hair and makeup, and my maid of honor did hers and helped some of the other girls. we got our nails done at a salon the morning of the wedding)
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guestbook (made one on shutterfly and used a coupon I had been saving for 50% off!)
tables/chairs (these came with our venue for free, and we covered the tables with brown paper and lace. we also brought our own vintage pieces from home for the head table)
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favors (J’s mom made her deliciously famous HUGE homemade cookies, and we put them in paper packaging with a custom sticker.)
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venue (was given a discount- we are friends with the owner of the venue)
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          the view as guests entered the venue on a winding, wooded road
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photographer (our big splurge was 100% worth it. paid $2,400- almost half our budget!!- for this amazing gal to document our day.)
exit toss (rice, bubbles, confetti… we bought sparklers!)
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you know what you’re dreaming for each of these categories! (if you forgot to big-picture pinterest for any of the above categories, now’s the time!)

start thinking- what can you DIY? what’s most important to splurge on? which things do you need a pro for? the most important thing is to begin networking. who do you know that is a talented pianist? does your friend have a great space you could use for the ceremony? what can you ask family members to start collecting for you? can you use that big box of ancient family photos in the back of your closet? what about your grandma’s button collection? if you can’t afford something, can you fake it? begin creating a map of plans for accomplishing these things. start crunching numbers. make a to-do list! so it begins!!

next time, we’ll talk about hiring the pros- everything you need to know… from a photographer!

till next time!

2 thoughts on “the birdie blog guide to a poor girl’s perfect wedding // part two: prioritizing

  1. Hi, Moriah! Love the blog, first of all.
    I was wondering what you used to design your invites and programs. My wonderful, future in-laws have one of those fancy printers for things like this and I’m an artsy lady, so I plan on making my own save the dates invites. I’m just not sure how to go about that. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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