Something borrowed, something blue…and your life's savings, too. That's long been the implied ending of the age-old rhyme. And living in a city as costly as New York, the thought of paying for a wedding can be anxiety-inducing—but breathe, no xanax necessary, because it doesn't have to be a Chelsea Clinton affair. We've consulted the currently engaged, fabulous Fashionista editor Lauren Sherman to get some insider tips on how to plan for wedded bliss that's chic and cheap—no style sacrifice necessary! With a wedding in April (!), Lauren's been scouring for steals on everything from flowers to caterers, and the bride-to-be is being awfully generous with her findings. Whether you're planning your own wedding, or simply enjoy reveling in the fantasy, check out this round-up of affordable components that'll make for one magical matrimonial ceremony.
This is one DIY we can get behind—Lauren strongly suggests doing the flowers yourself. The soon-to-be down the aisle gal is purchasing her flowers from the New York Flower District in Chelsea because "they're so fresh that you can buy them on Friday morning, let them bloom in water, and they'll be perfect by the Saturday ceremony." Done and done.
New York Flower District, along 28th Street (between 6th and 7th avenues).
Think outside the box, you don't always have to book a hotel or a church. Lauren circumvented the usual notions and found a spot that's unconventional in a really cool way. The spot? 450 Union, a rustic warehouse in Carroll Gardens of Brooklyn, NY.
450 Union, 450 Union Street (between Bond and Nevins Steet); 718.522.3363. .
We're in love with OnceWed.com. The site has tons of DIY wedding advice, vendor information, and best of all, they have used wedding dresses on sale for less—a lot less—proving that wearing your desired finery isn't just a pipe dream. Prices begin at $50 and extend to $3,000+ on major names. We found this J.Crew Goddess Gown for more than half off retail price (originally $475, now $200). Or if the outfit is the one thing you're willing to splurge on, you can still save over 1k on this g-g-gorgeous Lazaro gown.
Don't skimp on the trimmings—it's all in the deets. Think something a lil' different—in place of a veil, Lauren opted for a headpiece from NY-based brand i love factory. They'll do a custom piece just for you!
i love factory is available online at ilovefactorybk.com by request.
You don't need to get a band, put your guests to work! Lauren sure is! She's renting a karaoke machine for the wedding night. Lots of bubbly + access to a microphone = fun memories (or cringe-worthy) for everyone.
Coryoke Rental, $250 flat rate (free delivery!), available at coryoke.com.
Craigslist doesn't always have to be creepy (hello moving vans!). When it comes to a photog, Lauren wasn't worried, saying, "It's a great way to find people. Our budget for that is really low—$1,500—but I know you could find a college student who has already done a few weddings for around $500." She firmly believes in using Craigslist to its fullest potential as far as sourcing photogs goes.
While Lauren advises sourcing your servers wisely: "the schools are a great resource—bartending schools, culinary schools, and pastry schools," we're still going to give a shout-out to Marcey Brownstein. She's an experienced NY-based chef known not only for her delish eats, but a catering service that's way reasonable price. Check out her website to read testimonials and sample menus. Yum.
Marcey Brownstein Catering, 555 West 23rd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues); 212-807-0568.
Fortunately for our bank account, Lauren says that "antique and vintage rings are very in-demand right now." She recommends Erie Basin for his great sourcing and his "really, really gentle" prices.
Erie Basin, 388 Van Brunt Street (between Conover and Richards Street); 718-554-0460.