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Confidence: the secret key to pulling off a guilt-free budget wedding

When I was planning my wedding, cost was a big factor. While I wanted to enjoy the day and have it represent my partner and me, I didn't want to do it at a premium cost. So I SCOURED the internet to find ways to slash my budget. The problem was that some of these "20 Ideas to Cut Your Budget" just weren't feasible. Here is where I think the biggest difficulties in planning a budget wedding lie: that it's really hard to find affirmation in choosing the "cheaper" way. So here are my tips for planning a guilt-free "budget" wedding…

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Couldn't afford it, don't regret it: why I skipped wedding photography

In our area, an "average" wedding photographer charges about $1500. A "good" photographer, about $3000. A photography student from the university, about $800. So, we could either have the wedding we wanted, or a low to mid range photographer with absolutely nothing else. Put that way, the decision was easy. It's not that we lack appreciation for the art form of photography or don't think there's any skill involved. It's just not something we've personally made a priority.

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Adorable wedding heels for less than $50

We all know this about super cheap shoes: some of them are designer knock-offs. Some of them aren't super comfortable or well-constructed. Some of them are available in limited quantities or are only available in limited sizes. Some of them are made under questionable conditions. But every once in a while with my shoe posts, I prioritized one thing above all other interests: are they under $50?

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19 amazing wedding shoes under $40

The reality when you're looking for wedding shoes is that sometimes you really are just looking for shoes to wear on this one day. Maybe you get a few more wears out of them before the pleather splits and the seams unravel, but you don't need forever shoes. For you, my lower-budget friends, this post is going to make your day, because it's packed full of colorful, slightly dangerous wedding shoes, all under $40. (Keep in mind that many of them are on sale, so by the time you click… they may be gone!)

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Carly & Travis' Southern feminist love party

Soon-to-be Offbeat Bride vendor, Carly from Two Spoons Photography, and her beau celebrated their amazing love (started at summer camp!) with an awesome alternative to a traditional ceremony: a series of toasts from loved ones and to each other. D'aww. Plus, their friends each brought their own DIY flair to the decor, food, MCing, guest book, and even the live music!

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Marta & Dan's antique country western wedding

Growing up in auctions, flea markets, and antique-dealing fathers definitely left it's mark on these repurposing and recycling kids. Like they say, "old trumps new every time!" So an old-fashioned, rural retro wedding was totally in order. Just watch out for the awesome unity ceremony… it's a little dangerous, but definitely exciting.

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Trade day of coordination duties with other engaged friends

"We knew we wanted/needed a day-of coordinator, but it also wasn't in our budget. We wanted someone objective who would help execute our plan, and we wanted our families to have a great time and not to have to worry about anything. We ended up doing a trade with our friends, who were getting married a month after us. They coordinated our wedding day, and we coordinated theirs. It worked incredibly well. "

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Sarah & Patrick's laid-back space jump wedding

Get married under the moon? You bet your ass these two did! That, along with a huge bounce house, handmade (and painted!) astronaut cut-out, and a planetarium show, made this wedding out of this world… and other puns! But seriously, get a load of the giant "LOVE" balloons at the ceremony, the bride's starry headpiece, and the bit of sage wisdom about photo-taking from their venue!