It's all about adding and subtracting; adding to your overall wedding budget (and if your wedding is in NJ? You'll be, um, surprised at how much that is...) and subtracting from your daily budget. One of the giant parts of everyone's every day budget is eating....again, ESPECIALLY in NJ, land of giant overstuffed hot dogs, amazing seafood and food from every culture and country. Yum! Of course the obvious way to save money is to cook, and I have some great blogs that can help keep your food costs under control AND give you some great new ideas for dinner!
5 dollar dinners Erin Chase, who writes this blog always has great, cheap, easy ideas. You can subscribe and always have a simple, cheap dish for dinner.
Tastemade This is an amazing website with loads of fun channels and videos, but Struggle Meals is all about dinner for 2 bucks a plate. Can't beat that!
Budget Bytes This is a fun one with great ideas! Very detailed but very easy too.
Broke Ass Gourmet
The 99 cent chef
So go cook now!
The internet; it's not just for shopping (and when you're planning a wedding? There's a lot of that!) and cute puppy videos. There are a lot of great sites that can really help your budget, for the wedding and beyond if you think creatively about how you use it!
You can use meetup to find groups of people who love what you do; glassblowing, volunteering, gardening. And you can find out about events and happenings you might love!
museums Our fave in NJ is the Montclair Art Museum. (and by the way, they are a fabulous wedding venue too!) Your local museum probably has all kinds of cool events going on!
amazon You can read chunks of books here, search cookbooks and probably find all kinds of recipes to try before you buy the ACTUAL book. (But we love books so buy as many as you can ;-)
community Your township's website will have all kinds of events listed, from rabies and flu shots to street fairs to movie nights. Check it out!
Park Commissions Nj has so many fabulous park systems! And all the parks host events of all kinds, for kids and families too! This link is for the Morris County Park system, which has some completely fabulous sites (great nj wedding venues too!)
colleges Always a source of great stuff! Art, concerts, events. This link goes to William Paterson University, one of my alma maters (and a great champion of jazz!!) , but if you're near a college or university, investigate what they offer!
Celia was amazing! She worked with us to create the ceremony of our dreams and I will forever be grateful. She worked to understand our story and truly learn what was important for us to include in the ceremony. We received so many compliments on her delivery and style from our guests. Thank you Celia! Highly recommend.
Of course, saving money for your NJ wedding is a priority right now, but your life will have many more exciting events that will require money; buying houses, having children, sending those children to college, going on vacation. These are the blogs that I read on a regular basis; they're inspiring, motivating, and practical. So yes, save for that wedding and beyond!
Mr Money Mustache
Dumb Little Man
Fox on Stocks
Our Freaking Budget
The Penny Hoarder
You know they have all kinds of cool little stuff; did you know that they have all kinds of wedding products too? From vow books to decor to cake toppers to candy buffet supplies, they really do have it all. Their prices for all their wedding supplies are really fair, they have a great selection, and, of course, they ship to NJ in record time. It's always fun to shop at OT!
I love flowers, and there are some amazing NJ florists. How can you afford to have them do the floral decor for your wedding? I happened to be at a wedding showcase at the Olde Mill Inn (in Bernards Township) yesterday (it rocked!) and I got to hear a lot of conversations between the florist across from me and the visitors to his booth. He had some great flower budget ideas. Here are a few of them, augmented by a couple of other ideas from the wonderful NJ florists I know.
1. Skip the cocktail table decor; people want a drink and a plate of food and cocktail tables are too little for anything more than a votive and some petals. No one looks at them anyway; use a cool colored tablecloth and/or runner instead.
2. Repurpose your ceremony decor at the reception. Those centerpieces can line the aisle or the altar space; the big arrangements or archway can be moved to showcase your head table.
3. The bouquets from your bridesmaids can be grouped together in vases to become the head table centerpiece
4. Don't order flowers for the food stations or buffet. Most venues have them already.
5. Skip the boutonnieres. No one will notice.
6. Alternate low and high arrangements; you'll get the height you need for tall rooms like The Palace in Somerset or the Tides in North Haledon.
7. When you talk to your florist, have a color palette in mind, but let them lead you to specific flowers.
It's me! Celia Milton NJ wedding officiant!