Wedding Tips for Budget Friendly Brides

Wedding Tips for Budget Friendly Brides

Weddings can become costly very quickly. Therefore, creating a budget is one of the first things you should do when you begin planning for the big day in order to stay on track. As you are creating this budget, believe it or not, it is also important to know your credit score because a good score is crucial when having big life events like having a wedding. My rule of thumb: There’s no need to spend a ton of money to have an elegant wedding; you just have to spend wisely.  Before making any financial commitments to a dress, a caterer, even a venue, it’s important to first plot out how you will pay for the wedding as a whole. What good is it to have a beautiful dream wedding gown…and no reception to show it off at?

Budget Tips for Floral & Décor:

  • Opt for flowers that are in season to save on cost. Also, instead of cutting back on the number of florals, cut back on the number of kinds of florals. Using any one in abundance – from hydrangea to sunflowers or even branches, all of which will make a great impact throughout the space.
  • Simply reuse your ceremony flowers at your reception. You can work with your florist to handle moving them over from your ceremony location and repositioning them at the reception space.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of the glow. Candles, candles, candles! Even tealights in abundance are a great way to create a romantic, elegant ambiance while cutting costs on floral. Whether arranged in clusters, in squares or used to line your ceremony alter, stairs or venue window sills for an amazing look!
  • For most receptions, the tabletops will take up the majority of the visual space in the room, but elaborate linen rentals can add up quick! You can save a fortune here by sticking with the standard white or cream option your caterer most likely has and adding only a unique overlay or runner instead.
  • Choose a location that requires minimal décor and can stand alone as the beautiful backdrop of your celebration, like a garden or beach. Mother Nature can take the credit here!

Budget Tips for Your Dress, Vendors & Menu:

  • Recently, many brides are going with the trend of having a change-out gown after their ceremony for the reception—which isn’t cheap! Instead of changing into a completely different dress all together, opt for simple changes like a DIY fabric sash, a different hairstyle and a touch of costume jewelry – you can keep your ceremony dress (and your budget) but change your overall look for a night of dining and dancing!
  • You don’t need to have a rock-star budget to have your entertainment be a hit with your guests. Some of the greatest performers are the most cost-friendly—whether you hire a local church or children’s choir or a solo guitarist or violinist from a local music school.
  • While I love a beautiful wedding cake – it’s often the case that most guests are too busy dancing to ever get to try it. Save a bundle by skipping the 5 tiers and instead going for a smaller beautiful cake to cut.
  • Some options for scaling back – tastefully – on the catering costs include; serving a fancy pasta as your entrée. The fillings and presentation can be gourmet – just not the price tag. Eliminate seafood and prime meats from the menu – especially at cocktail hour where a single shrimp appetizer can cost several dollars! Daytime weddings and Dessert receptions will cut back on the amount of food required as well.
  • Though printed materials will set the tone for your day, there is no reason why these need to cost a fortune! Flat printing, home printing, unique fonts and a designer layout, sticking to standard sizes (which saves on postage) and adding your own embellishments such as trim, adhesive stones or decorative papers are all ways to DIY your own amazing invites at a fraction of the cost!

Lastly and most importantly, the secret to planning your big day is to bring as much personality to your event as possible. The close friends and family that make up your guest list will recognize and appreciate the special touches, and it will really make for a memorable evening!

Wedding planning can be daunting, but remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  If you prepare, then everything will turn out just how you envisioned.  In addition to the tips I provided above, there are many tools out there that can help you stick to your budget.  Another important piece in planning is knowing your credit score so you can properly plan on paying for your big day.   Capital One’s Credit Tracker, a free online/mobile interactive tool, which enables cardholders to easily manage their credit throughout the planning process by allowing them to see their credit score, track it, and learn how to strengthen it.

Please tweet me @DavidTutera and @CapitalOne and share with me your budgeting tips and how you stayed on track when planning your wedding.  Did you #OwnYourTrack and have the wedding you always dreamed of? Capital One customers, don’t forget to download the Capital One mobile application and use Credit Tracker to manage your credit.

I wrote this blog post while participating in a program on behalf of Capital One and received compensation as part of my participation. Sponsored by Capital One.


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#DavidTuteraRealMe Dream Gown Giveaway

I often meet brides-to-be who make decisions about the most important day of their lives based on what other people think or tell them rather than what they truly want. I’m here to tell all of you that your wedding day is just that–YOUR day. It’s your day to feel like a princess, to burst with happiness to be marrying your best friend and to relish in this day you have dreamed of your whole life. That’s why I’m giving away a gown from my David Tutera for Mon Cheri collection; I want you to walk down the aisle in the right gown for the real you.

How to Enter the #DavidTuteraRealMe Instagram Giveaway:

1. Take a picture showing the world the real you: the you that is not afraid to laugh at herself, is confident in her ability and who knows real beauty comes from within

2. Visit the David Tutera for Mon Cheri Gallery on from your mobile device, browse the dress collection and choose your favorite dress.

3. Save the image of your favorite David Tutera for Mon Cheri gown to your Photos folder.

4. Log into Instagram via a mobile device and post your favorite David Tutera for Mon Cheri gown along with the picture of you being the real you, using the hashtag #DavidTuteraRealMe. It is imperative to include the hashtag as this is how we will find your entry.

The winner will be announced on July 3rd, 2014 and the contest is open to US residents. See below for full contest rules and details.


Complete David Tutera Instagram Contest OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. The David Tutera Real Me instagram contest (“David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest”) begins on June 2nd, 2014 and ends on July 2nd, 2014 (“Contest Period”).  Entrants must be located in, and a legal resident of, the 50 United States or the District of Columbia and 13 years of age or older. All federal, state and local laws apply. This promotion is intended for viewing in the United States only and shall only be construed and evaluated according to United States law. Employees of Mon Cheri Bridals, LLC (“Mon Cheri”), those involved in production, development, implementation or handling of the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest, and any agents acting for the above entities, and their respective parent companies, officers, directors, employees, subsidiaries, affiliates, service providers, prize suppliers, or any other person or entity associated with the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest (collectively “Contest Parties”) and members of their immediate families (spouses, children, siblings, parents) and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, whether related or not, are ineligible to enter the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest.


No purchase is necessary to enter the David Tutera Instagram Contest.  Purchase does not improve the chance of winning.  Rules of Entry:  Go to (the “Website”), and view our gallery to find your favorite dress.  Save the image of the dress from our website, post it to Instagram and direct the image to #DavidTuteraRealMe.  Limit one entry per person per day. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on July 2nd, 2014 (the “Drawing Date”) to be eligible to win the Prize.

Incomplete entries or entries that have been tampered with or that, in Mon Cheri’s sole discretion, contain inappropriate content will be disqualified. Entries become the property of Mon Cheri. Proof of submission does not constitute proof of receipt. Mon Cheri is not responsible for late, misdirected, incomplete, or inaccurate entries. If there is a dispute as to the identity of an entrant, the entrant will be deemed to be the authorized account holder of the Instagram account. The “authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person to whom the email address used to establish the Instagram account is assigned by an Internet service provider, online service provider or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with such email address.

PRIZE:  One entrant will be randomly selected to receive one free David Tutera for Mon Cheri wedding dress of her choice from Mon Cheri’s then-current hanging inventory at the time of selection (the “Prize”).

Odds of winning the Prize depends on the number of eligible Entries received.


The potential winner will be randomly selected in a drawing held on or about the Drawing Date from all eligible entries received. The drawing will be conducted by Mon Cheri.  Upon selection, the potential winner of the Prize will be contacted by Mon Cheri via Instagram Direct, informing the potential winner that she won the Prize.  To claim the Prize, the potential winner must contact Mon Cheri to make arrangements to select the dress from Mon Cheri’s then-current hanging inventory.  If a potential winner does not claim her Prize within six (6) months of the Drawing Date, if she is found to be ineligible, if she cannot or does not comply with these Official Rules, or if her prize notification is returned as undeliverable, such potential winner will be disqualified, the Prize will be forfeited, and an alternate potential winner may be selected, at Mon Cheri’s sole discretion.


The winner of the Prize is solely responsible for all costs/incidentals and any other expenses not specifically mentioned as being included. No substitution, transfer, or cash equivalent for the Prize, except that Mon Cheri, in its sole discretion, may substitute a prize of equal value due to the unavailability of the Prize for any reason. Any depiction of the Prize is for illustrative purposes only. All federal, state, or other taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner. The David Tutera Instagram Contest is subject to these Official Rules and all federal, state and local laws and regulations (collectively “Rules and Laws”). David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest void where prohibited.

A Prize won by a minor (as defined in the jurisdiction of the minor’s residence) will be awarded in the name of, or to, the minor’s parent or legal guardian.  A potential winner of the Prize, or the parent or legal guardian of a minor in the case of a minor, will be required to sign, execute, have notarized and return, an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability Release, a Publicity Release and any other documentation that Mon Cheri requires (collectively “Affidavit/Release”) or such potential winner may be disqualified and an alternate potential winner may be selected by Mon Cheri in its sole discretion.

Except where prohibited by law, entry and/or a winner’s (or such winner’s parent or legal guardian in the case of a minor) acceptance of the Prize constitutes permission for Mon Cheri and the Contest Parties to use winner’s name, address (city and state), photo, likeness, biographical information, statement and voice for advertising/publicity purposes worldwide and in all forms of media, in perpetuity, without further notice to or compensation in connection with the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest or any Prize awarded, and the Contest Parties or Mon Cheri have the right to modify, edit, adapt, electronically alter, use, assign and/or dispose of any entries however it sees fit without any notice or compensation to entrant or any third parties.

Any person attempting to defraud or in any way tamper with the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest will be prosecuted and is not eligible for a Prize.  Any attempt to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest is a violation of criminal and/or civil laws and should such an attempt be made, Mon Cheri reserves the right to disqualify the entrant and seek damages and other remedies to the fullest extent permitted by law.

If, for any reason, the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest is not capable of running as originally planned, Mon Cheri, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest or any portion thereof and conduct any or all drawings from all salvageable eligible entries received, if any.  Mon Cheri reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to void suspect entries, cancel, suspend or modify the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest should virus, bugs or other causes beyond the control of Mon Cheri impair or harm the security or fairness of the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest.  In the event that the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest is cancelled for any such reason, Mon Cheri will conduct the drawing from among all eligible entries received prior to the date of cancellation.   Notice of cancellation will be posted on the Website.

By entering the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest, entrants, and such entrant’s parent or legal guardian in the case of a minor, agree and acknowledge to be bound by the Rules and Laws, as well as the decisions of Mon Cheri which are final and binding in all respects; to waive any rights to claim ambiguity with the Rules and Laws; and that Mon Cheri and the Contest Parties shall have no responsibility or liability (including, but not limited to, liability for any property loss, damage, personal injury or death) in connection with the David Tutera Instagram Contest, human error, incorrect or inaccurate transcription of entry information, redemption forms that contain printing, typographical or other errors, for Prize limitations set forth in any supplier’s policy, and the acceptance/possession, use, and/or misuse of the Prize awarded herein, even if caused by the negligence of Mon Cheri or one of the Contest Parties.

Each entrant and, in the case of a minor, such minor’s parent or legal guardian, further agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Mon Cheri and the Contest Parties from any and all liability resulting or arising from the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest; to release all rights to bring any claim, action or proceeding against the Contest Parties; and hereby acknowledges that neither Mon Cheri or the Contest Parties have made or are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the Prize.

Winners, and in the case of a minor, such winner’s parent or legal guardian, release Mon Cheri and the Contest Parties from any and all liability and responsibility with respect to the Prize and/or the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest (including any property loss, damage, personal, injury or death). In no event will Mon Cheri or the Contest Parties be liable for any damages or losses of any kind, including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages arising out of the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest, access to or the use of the Website or Instagram, or downloading images or any other information or material from the Website. Without limiting the foregoing, everything regarding the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest including the Prize and anything contained on the Website are provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement. Some jurisdictions may not allow for certain limitations or exclusions so some of the above limitations or exclusions may not apply.

Neither Mon Cheri nor the Contest Parties are responsible for late, lost, illegible, misdirected, stolen or undelivered entries.  Neither Mon Cheri nor the Contest Parties assume any responsibility or liability for any failure of a person to be able to access the Website, Instagram, unavailability or interruption of the Website or Instagram or other technical problems in connection with the Website or Instagram not in Mon Cheri’s control.  Neither Mon Cheri nor the Contest Parties will be responsible for any damage to an entrant’s computer as a result of accessing the Website or Instagram, entering the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest or submitting an entry.

As a condition of participating in the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest, entrant agrees that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with the David Tutera Real Me Instagram Contest, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively, before a court located in the State of New Jersey having competent jurisdiction, which court shall apply the laws of the State of New Jersey without regard for doctrines of conflict of law.  Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys’ fees, and entrant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.


For a copy of these Official Rules or winner’s list, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:  Mon Cheri Bridals, LLC, David Tutera Instagram Contest, 1018 Whitehead Road Extension, Trenton, New Jersey 08638.


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Old Hollywood Supper Club meets Non-Traditional meets Family Dinner

Bride and Groom, Suzanne and Robert knew from the start that they wanted to have a non-traditional wedding. Both in the film industry, they liked the idea of incorporating an old Hollywood sort of feel, but they wanted to include some unconventional elements to keep the wedding fun and unexpected for their guests.

The inspiration really started with selecting the right venue.  They knew they did not want a ballroom and they knew they wanted something with character. The bride and groom fell in love when we scouted Majestic Halls in downtown Los Angeles.


Built in 1921 and originally used for the Bank of America headquarters from 1930-1972, this venue still holds its original form and even retains the original safety deposit boxes in a vault below the main floor. 04_oldhollywood

A lot of ideas stemmed from the old fashioned bank concept. A safety deposit slip acted as the save-the-date mailer and the chic, elegant invitations featured a key hole on the envelopes, which mimicked the deposit boxes. Guests were all asked to attend in 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s attire to add to the overall feel of the wedding.

The bride and groom did not want their guests to feel like they were going to a regular wedding, so to kick things off, cocktails were served prior to the ceremony in the original bank vault.


As guests arrived, old fashioned movie lights were positioned outside the main entrance to light the way for guests.  A classic maître d’ was positioned to greet guests as they entered the vault.


Instead of Escort cards, antique keys hung from the original safety deposit boxes.


The bride arrived to the cocktail hour in a simple white short dress with the groom at her side. Soon after, a pretend bank robbery was staged for the bride and groom, who were in on the get up.


Towards the end of cocktails, four old fashioned dressed bank robbers busted into cocktails and took the most treasured item in the vault- the bride and groom! This was great entertainment for the guests, but also a great way to transition into moving guests to the dinner reception upstairs, so they could see what would happen next!

To add to the nontraditional concept, instead of walking into the ceremony space, guests were invited to the reception first.87

Guests enjoyed a family style meal, featuring: braised beef short ribs, sea bass with buttered leeks and two scrumptious rich salads.



An eleven piece band played traditional big band type music as guests entered and throughout dinner, while 1920’s and 30’s movie clips played on screens on the 2nd floor balconies.




Tables donned low all white lush arrangements in vintage mercury glass containers, so guests could easily converse over the centerpieces. Silver beaded café lamps also accented the tables along with mercury votives to add that soft dinner table glow.


Plush leather dinner booths acted as the seating to keep in theme with the supper club feel. To keep the look varied, black leather studded dining chairs were added.


Rich silver and black motif linens graced the tables with red charger plates on top to add that pop of color to the tables.


Table numbers were replaced with titles of the couples’ favorite films, and eight stunning twelve foot drop crystal chandeliers were built over the existing ceiling fixtures to add a wow factor to the room.




It was all an amazing sight to see and a unique wedding to have been a part of!

Photography: Duke Photography

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