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Really save money planning your wedding and still have the elegant event you desire!

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We are a team of exceptionally passionate creatives who are dedicated to authentic wedding day storytelling. 

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Congratulations on your engagement! Planning a wedding in the Metro Detroit area is no small feat. Whether you are new on your wedding planning journey or you've been engaged for awhile, you've probably discovered just how expensive hosting a wedding can be. We are a team of Michigan wedding photographers who listened to our clients and can't wait to share all that we've learned about saving money planning your wedding. According to an article titled, "Average Wedding Cost in Metro Detroit" by Detroit Wedding Day, couples in the Michigan will spend an average of $25,000 on their wedding day celebration. You can see the article and all it's helpful information HERE.  

We've worked with newly engaged couples in the Detroit and Ann Arbor areas for many years so we know a few things about wedding budgets. Couple that with our experience working with Michigan wedding planners and venue coordinators and we've discovered some top industry secrets that are guaranteed to save your wedding budget! We are thrilled to share these top insider tips below. Some of these tips aren't for the faint of heart, so buckle up and enjoy! Even if you incorporate one or two of these ideas they are bound to save you in the long run! Happy wedding planning!

Michigan Wedding Photographers share Seventeen of Our Best Money Saving Tips!

Congratulations on your engagement! Planning a wedding in the Metro Detroit area is no small feat. Whether you are new on your wedding planning journey or you've been engaged for awhile, you've probably discovered just how expensive hosting a wedding can be. We are a team of Michigan wedding photographers who listened to our clients and can't wait to share all that we've learned about saving money planning your wedding. According to an article titled, "Average Wedding Cost in Metro Detroit" by Detroit Wedding Day, couples in the Michigan will spend an average of $25,000 on their wedding day celebration. You can see the article and all it's helpful information HERE.  

We've worked with newly engaged couples in the Detroit and Ann Arbor areas for many years so we know a few things about wedding budgets. Couple that with our experience working with Michigan wedding planners and venue coordinators and we've discovered some top industry secrets that are guaranteed to save your wedding budget! We are thrilled to share these top insider tips below. Some of these tips aren't for the faint of heart, so buckle up and enjoy! Even if you incorporate one or two of these ideas they are bound to save you in the long run! Happy wedding planning!

Michigan Wedding Photographers share Seventeen of Our Best Money Saving Tips!

For those real money savers skip the Saturday wedding. Yes, you read that right. If you really want to save money without skimping on everything you love, then get the MVP award by hosting your wedding on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Sadly Friday’s and Sunday’s won’t really save you much because those are still very popular choices. 

skip the saturday wedding

If you are serious about saving on your budget then you'll want to

Tip One

Save on your bridal wear! Consider a bridal consignment shop. Let’s be honest, gowns are worn one time. Bonus if you are a size 6-10 because you can pick almost any gown off the rack. Just size up and hire an experienced tailor to make alterations. This can save you some serious money on your wedding budget. If second hand bridal gown shopping isn’t for you, try to shop off the rack at your favorite bridal salon and ask about sample or trunk sales.  

CONSIDER BRIDAL CONSIGNMENT

Score major savings on bridal wear by thinking outside the box and 

Tip Two

You might need something borrowed anyway, so why not borrow your bridal jewelry? You can even ask mom or grandma for an older piece of jewelry and you can score your something borrowed and something old all in one wearable family heirloom that saves you money! 

BORROW YOUR BRIDAL JEWELRY

Something borrowed can save your budget quite a bit!

Tip Three

My experience working with couples for 13 years has told me one thing, a good wedding planner can save you more money, more time and more hours of stress than any one single thing you can do for your wedding. Your planner’s job is to help save your budget but keep the wedding beautiful so believe me when I say the good planners do this very well. They can help you negotiate pricing with vendors, and know where and how to cut corners but keep you on track. Do some upfront research though and interview a few different planners to make sure you are hiring someone with experience in your area. This is where you want someone local as they will have the inside scoop.

HIRE AN EXPERIENCED WEDDING PLANNER

A good wedding planner will save your budget more than their fee

Tip Four

Save on your floral budget by shopping in season. Talk to your florist about the flowers that are in season during your wedding and design your arrangements with those flowers in mind. Pro-tip: Flowers can be fickle. While this is something that people love to try to DIY, we've seen more stress than savings from DIY wedding day floral, it really is best to leave it up to the professionals. Save yourself the stress and find a florist to work within your budget and try seasonal flowers.

BUY FLOWERS THAT ARE IN SEASON

Your favorite flowers may not be in your best budget interest

Tip Five

Shop marketplace and local wedding social networking groups for items you’ll need. No need to buy new place card holders or table numbers if you can find exactly what you want from a local friend. 

social media wedding networks

Shop pre-owned from local couples whenever possible

Tip Six

Skip the signature cocktail if it results in a higher bar price. Truth be told they do look good, and are fun if you have it in the budget. But if not, skip it. We promise that no one will notice that it’s not on the menu. 

SKIP ON THE SIGNATURE COCKTAILS

Signature cocktails are trendy and fun, but they may cost you more

Tip Seven

Serve chicken over beef. We eat a LOT of wedding food! If you have filet in the budget then go for it! But if you find yourself in a financial bind, try  to save on the catering bill by opting for chicken. Ask if the chef can prepare a nice chicken marsala or something with a specialty sauce. If dinner service is tasteful and elegant, people won’t remember if they ate chicken or beef at your wedding and you may save some serious money.

SERVE chicken menu items over beef 

Budget friendly menu advice that won't leave you tasteless

Tip Eight

Save on transportation by hosting your ceremony and reception at the same venue. By hosting at a single venue you don’t have to worry about transportation for you and your wedding party or a bus service to transport guests from one location to the other as well. 
Check out two of our favorite venues: Planterra and Pine Knob

HOST YOUR EVENT AT ONE VENUE

Want to save on wedding day transportation?

Tip Nine

A general rule is the more tiers you have on your wedding cake, then the more expensive your cake will be. Some bakers will have pre-made mock tiered cakes that are used to wow your guests and for photos. These cakes will have a small part that you cut for photos, but what only you (and your photographer) will know is that the real cake is in the back already ready to serve. Believe me when I say no one will know! Here’s an article we found by Martha Stewart Weddings that is helpful deciding what is best for you. 

OPT FOR FEWER TIERS ON YOUR WEDDING CAKE

Save on your bakery bill by following this tested advice

Tip Ten

Save on invitations by using a local printing company. I worked in printing and publishing before venturing out as a wedding photographer, and happen to know that smaller family run printing shops do still exist and can offer you huge savings when planning out your wedding stationary. Another tip that will save you money in postage is to go paperless with your RSVP’s by inviting your guests to RSVP on your wedding website. 

USE A LOCAL PRINTING COMPANY

Save on printed materials such as invitations, maps, menus, etc.

Tip Eleven

Read your contracts thoroughly and look for any hidden or adjustable fees. Feedback we’ve heard from couples throughout the years has included negative experiences with additional charges that couples weren’t aware of up front, but were technically in their contracts. Some of these charges include cake cutting fees (this fee is normal, but it shouldn't be hidden), late dinner fees (if our couples ran late for dinner the venue assessed a fee to keep the meal warm), overtime fees that were double the regular rate for venue rental, etc. The bottom line is making sure you understand where overages and hidden costs may be. If there are costs that seem unreasonable to you, there is no problem with having a conversation up front with the vendor to understand what it is and ask to negotiate it if you feel it’s necessary. 

SEARCH CONTRACTS FOR HIDDEN CHARGES

Spend time and save your wallet by reading your contracts carefully!

Tip Twelve

Remember, everything comes with a price tag. While late night snacks may be important to some, if you are trying to find ways to slim down the budget, then opt to skip the late night pizza or slider bar. I actually see more late night snack bars left lonely and alone rather than being eaten. If you are looking for a place to save, this could be it.

SKIP THE PIZZA OR LATE NIGHT SLIDERS

Most guests don't eat the late night pizza or snacks or realize it's there

Tip Thirteen

Ask your venue if serving beer and wine during cocktail hour while opting for the full bar after dinner offers significant savings.We realize a fully stocked bar is very important to some and we aren't suggesting that you be a poor host, but everything has a cost associated with it. So if you are looking for ways to save yet still have an elegant event, this may be an option for you. Remember that you will still have a full bar once the ballroom is open for guests. 

SERVE BEER AND WINE DURING COCKTAIL HOUR

How you can really save money on your bar by changing one thing

Tip Fourteen

Shoes. I love shoes. I really, really do. I love Jimmy Choos, Manolo Blahnik’s, Louboutins, etc. I love every single one of them. But here’s what I know. Ninety nine percent of our brides wear their wedding shoes for MAYBE 10 percent of the wedding day before their feet begin to hurt and they slip into some comfy flip flops. So, while it pains my heart as a shoe girl to say this, just buy the comfortable shoes. You’ll be on hard stone most of the day so your feet will hurt sooner than you think on your wedding day. 

SKIP THE DESIGNER SHOES

Your feet are going to hurt. They are going to really, really hurt.

Tip Fifteen

Select a venue with natural beauty or elegant décor / architecture. If you pick the right venue that is surrounded with natural beauty or the space itself is historic in nature, you may not have to do that much regarding decorating anyway. This is where an experienced wedding planner can come in handy helping you pick the perfect space for your wedding and budget. A historic or greenhouse venue may cost more than a reception hall style venue, but keep in mind what you will save if you don't have to really do much regarding decor. This can be our best hidden secret!

LOOK FOR A BEAUTIFUL VENUE

Pick a venue with natural elegance or historic architecture

Tip Sixteen

A brilliant way to save money on your favors is to offer something elegantly edible or a plant like a small potted succulent they can take home with them. Bonus savings on the succulents because if you have a green thumb it’s really easy to grow your own succulents from cuttings and this is a gift your guests will love for years to come. 

PEOPLE LOVE FOOD AND PLANTS

Choose edible favors or succulents for your guests to take home

Tip Seventeen

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ABOUT US

We are a team of exceptionally passionate creatives who are dedicated to authentic wedding day storytelling. 

OUR FAVORITE VENUES

Pine Knob Mansion

Planterra

Lovett Hall

Greenfield Village Eagle Tavern

BOOK US

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Michigan wedding photography by Kellie Saunders, LLC. Kellie leads a team of dedicated and passionate wedding photographers in Michigan who service the Metro Detroit area. Her team provides wedding photography in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, Rochester, Birmingham, Port Huron and the entire metro Detroit area. This award-winning team's work has been published both locally and nationally. Her team of professional Michigan wedding and engagement photographers have an authentic documentary wedding photojournalism style while creating timeless signature fine art wedding portraits. Please inquire for destination weddings.

©2021 KELLIE SAUNDERS
DETROIT MICHIGAN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERs
725 S. Adams rd., suite 140, Birmingham, MI 48009
KELLIE@KELLIESAUNDERS.COM
313-468-0273

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