5 Tips to Maximize Your Wedding Budget

If you’re planning a wedding, you’ve probably found that things can get expensive in a hurry. From big ticket items like your venue, photographer, and caterer to the small things like placement cards or chair covers, when you get down to the nitty gritty, there are a lot of places where you can spend quickly, not realizing how much you’re putting out there. So for all of you budget conscious couples, we’ve compiled this list of 5 Tips to Maximize Your Wedding Budget

Redwood and Rye_Geoff&Jose_W-291.jpg


  1. Hire a Wedding Planner
    We know what you’re thinking. “Ummm…I thought you said you were going to tell us how to SAVE money!?” But this is actually one of those things that where if you spend a little, you’ll get a lot more in return.

    Wedding planners are expert negotiators who have spent their careers building relationships with other vendors and businesses within the wedding community. So while you think you’re getting the deal of a lifetime, chances are your wedding planner will have a lot more connections and be able to present ideas that will help save you money in the long run.
  2. Consider Some DIY
    Hiring a wedding planner to negotiate all of the big items and help you visualize your wedding day is super important. But once you’ve got someone on your team who you know will work hard to save you money, it’s time to focus on some of the small details you can do yourself to keep costs down.

    Small details like placement cards, invitations, table numbers, party favors, vases, card boxes and the like can easily be made at home and those costs really add up helping you stretch that budget as far as possible!
  3. Buy or Rent Used Decor
    Couples these days are savvy. They’ve realized that more often than not, all of those little details that made their day special are likely to end up in a box in the attic unless they act fast and purge after the wedding. If you take a few minutes to search you can find almost anything you’d need to pull your day together. Everything from linens or catering supplies to wedding clothing and accent furniture are easily found online through Facebook communities as well as more specialized websites like bridalgaragesales.com or wedding-recycle.com. Choosing to buy some of this stuff used can really help stretch your budget.

    Bonus: You’ll be able recoup some of these costs later when you turn around and sell it to another couple!
  4. Have a Friend Officiate
    This isn’t a big money saver but it’s something people do overlook. A Justice of Peace can run you anywhere from $50 to $350 or sometimes more to show up and take you through the formalities. And nothing again’s J.P.’s but why have someone who you don’t know be the one to officiate your ceremony? Save some money and add a personal touch to your wedding day by having a friend stand in as your officiant. In most states, becoming ordained can be done online and will cost somewhere in the $30 to $50 range. Even if you only save $20, you’ll still be able to provide a unique touch to your wedding by having someone close to you performing your ceremony.
  5. Keep the Guest List Lean
    Unless you’re a Kardashian, chances are you don’t have hundreds of friends. Or even if you do, let’s be realistic. How many of those are close friends or relatives? As wedding photographers, one thing we hear from couples all the time is that they didn’t even know who half of the people were at the wedding. We get it. Your parents are excited and want to share this day with their friends or co-workers as well but unless they’re footing the bill it’s best to let these people share in the day later through photos. Guest count is one of the major influencers of your overall wedding budget and being conservative here can really make an impact on your wallet. Don’t be afraid to make some hard decisions here and limit your guest count to those you consider closest to you. While big, crazy weddings are a blast, sometimes the intimate weddings leave the most lasting impression.

So there you have it! We hope these 5 Tips to Maximize Your Wedding Budget help you keep some costs down while creating an amazing wedding day for you and your guests. To stay up to date with wedding planning tips, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter here. Happy wedding planning!

Selecting the perfect Engagement Ring

Once you've found the peanut butter to your jelly, that person you want to spend the rest of your life with you'll need to find that perfect piece of bling! 

RedwoodandRye_Gary Young_Jenna_Cole-128.jpg

Decide on a budget

While we firmly believe an engagement ring’s worth comes from the meaning behind it, money does play a major role in determining which ring to propose with. Deciding on a budget early can allow you to fully explore all your options when it comes to center gem characteristics and ring designs. There is no hard and fast rule about how much you “should” spend on an engagement ring, other than that you should spend what feels comfortable for you.


This may take some cleverness on your part, you may want to brush up on some 007 spy work for this. Look at their pinterest boards, what do they save? Talk to their friends see if they have any insight. But if you're set on not telling anyone, pay attention to the jewelry they wear. Are they more of a platinum/silver person than a yellow-gold one? Do they gravitate to vintage as opposed to simple, classic pieces? Watch them for a couple of weeks and take mental notes to size up their style.

Pick the Band

If you were a good spy you may know what type of metal they want. If not here are the advantages to some of metals.

Platinum is an extremely durable metal and will last a long time. However, it dulls much more quickly than gold, and it’s harder to bring back the initial luster it once had.

Gold, on the other hand, is  shinier than platinum, and because it’s a soft metal, it’s easier to buff and polish it to get back the ring’s original luster. Gold’s advantage over platinum is also its weakness. Because it’s a soft metal, gold wears down faster. In about 15 to 20 years, the engagement ring may have to be reshanked because it’s worn too thin.

While you may be interested in the durability of the engagement ring band, your future spouse is probably more interested in the way it looks. Right now, silver-looking engagement rings are the most popular. If your fiancé stays on top of the latest fashion trends, go with a platinum or white gold band. If they are more of a classic type, go with the traditional yellow gold band.

Redwood and Rye_Jessica + Spencer_Wedding -4.jpg

Picking a diamond

Here we go… The 4 C’s Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat. Though it goes against everything you learned in school, a "D" grade (which is defined as "colorless") is a top mark when it comes to diamonds. Cut speaks to the precise shape and positioning of a diamond's facets, which is the most important factor in determining a stone's beauty. Clarity is how jewelers describe inclusions or flaws in the diamond. (The most perfect, secondary to flawless, is "IF" or "internally flawless.) Carat is really all about the weight of the diamond; though it's important to note that it is not the soul factor in determining a diamonds value or brilliance. Shape is also part of the picking. Pick a shape that compliments them, oval is becoming more and more popular these days but stay true to your fiancé get what best reflects them. 

Buy That SHIT!!! 

Now Protect that SHIT!!!

It’s important to protect your investment from the unexpected with jewelry insurance. Jewelry insurance protects your ring from circumstances that most homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies don’t cover. Talk to your insurance agent for more details on that

Now that you have the ring you have to Pop the question!! Check out our blog post on creative ways to Pop that question!

Kerri + Chris_Redwood and Rye_Concord Engagement-25.jpg