Plan your own royal wedding on a regular budget

In five short days, the world will stop what it is doing to watch the wedding of the year as Prince Harry marries American actress, Meghan Markle.

As with past royal weddings, this one is expected to dazzle the imaginations of wedding lovers everywhere; many looking for inspiration for their own dream ceremony.

While the vast majority of people don’t share the same royal budget, there are plenty of ways to fulfill those dreams, even right here in Columbus.

10TV talked with one local wedding planner with tips of the trade so good, she used them for her own big day.

Sarah Straty is the events director for the Bluestone, a special occasion venue in the heart of downtown Columbus, recognized as one of the top picks in central Ohio by the Knot.

After living out her own fairytale wedding in Nashville last October, Straty can say she knows from experience that each wedding is unique, custom-designed and fit to a budget, royal or not.

Tip #1: Shop local.

“I think just working with local vendors is something that’s really important,” Straty said. “There are some great deals online but having a relationship with a vendor, you can talk through what you’re looking for and what your vision is and most importantly what you’re budget is and they do this for a living. They do this all the time so they can give suggestions on how to fit your look and your budget, whereas, maybe a website can’t do that in such a great way.”

Tip #2: You don’t have to stick with tradition if it doesn’t work for you.

“My husband and I for example, did a wedding on a Sunday and it worked out really well for us,” she said. “We made a whole weekend out of it and saved a lot of money in the process so it’s definitely worth asking if you find a venue you love.”

Tip #3: Once you find that venue, re-purpose your ceremony décor at the reception.

“You’re not buying two groups of decorations whether it be florals or lanterns or any of that fun stuff but kind of doing something little more dual-purpose.”

Tip #4: Consider skipping the large decorative cake for something a little smaller.

“A place to save money when it comes to food or dessert… A lot of our couples are doing maybe a little bit of a smaller decorative cake with their baker and then they have some secret sheet cakes in the back that we can slice up and no one’s the wiser but it saves you a good amount because they don’t have to do all of that decorative work on such a large cake. So it can save you some money in the long run.” Straty said.

Tip #5: Don’t try to please everyone.

“It is hard to please everyone when it comes to food so I think pick things that you really love, that your fiancé really loves. Maybe bring your family to a tasting if your caterer or your venue offers it but I think you just gotta go with your gut on something that you enjoy,” she said.”

Tip #6: Give yourself time to find the dress of your dreams.

“There are a ton of different dress shops and places to look at dresses so going in with a vision, you know… Give yourself some time. Let go of some of this pressure to find the dress immediately,” Straty said.

Tip #7: Don’t get lost in the details.

“One of my friends during our wedding reception pulled me aside and just said, ‘Soak this in, you know, look around and make this a real memory,’ she said. The day goes so fast so just take a minute to look around at all the people that are celebrating with you and how beautiful this evening is,’” she said.

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