This week we introduce you to Jessica Bishop, the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride, the #1 online resource to help couples plan a beautiful wedding on a budget they can actually afford. By sharing practical tips, personal advice, doable DIY projects and approachable inspiration, The Budget Savvy Bride educates, equips, and empowers couples to plan a wedding they are proud of and that truly represents their values.

Jessica has been nationally recognized as a Budget Wedding Expert, and has shared her money-saving tips and tricks with outlets such as BRIDES, About.com, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post and more. Jessica’s first book, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer is available on Amazon.

Let’s hear from her:

1. What sparked your interest in the wedding line and inspired you to start The Budget Savvy Bride ?

I started the site while planning my own wedding back in 2008. At the time I was working as a graphic designer for a marketing company that produced Bridal Shows and local Bridal Magazines for different markets in the southeast US. I was immersed in ALL things wedding but was discouraged by the lack of resources out there for couples who were looking for ways to have a beautiful wedding that didn’t cost a fortune, and thus The Budget Savvy Bride was born!

2. What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started The Budget Savvy Bride?

I think the biggest thing I have learned and strive to focus on in my business is to provide value and helpful information to our readers. The reader always comes first in any decision I’ve made with the site. Because the site started as a hobby, money was never the focus for me. Luckily, I’ve stayed true and authentic to my purpose for the site and it has grown organically as a result. Being able to make a living at something I’m passionate about while truly helping others has made my work so fulfilling!

3. How do you balance creativity with commerce for a wedding?

When it comes to budget weddings, there is definitely a need to weigh the value of your time as well as your money. Many couples choose to take things on themselves, craft DIY decor, etc in order to save money. Sometimes, spending extra time to do things yourself can save you a bundle, but in other instances, it’s just easier to purchase something or pay someone to do something because of the amount of time required to do it yourself. I think it’s something to keep in mind when debating on going the DIY route with anything for the wedding. Another thing I encourage couples to consider is the type of companies and businesses you are working with and supporting for your big day. It’s easy to go for mass-produced options that are cheaper monetarily, but sometimes spending a little more to work with a small business owner or artisan is a great way to impact your local community.

4. What are your 5 top tips for planning a budget savvy wedding?

The short and sweet version of my top five tips are: 1. Start by Defining Your Vision. 2. Set Your Budget before you start actually planning. 3. Figure out what you can realistically take on yourself or DIY 4. Don’t be afraid to ask your talented family and friends for help, and 5. Never pay full price — always check for discounts, coupon codes, etc! I expand much further on these budget wedding tips both on the blog and in my new book, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer, available now on Amazon.

5. What are your go-to online resource for DIY inspirations?

I love scouring Pinterest for great DIY projects and tutorials, but one of my absolutely favorite resources for DIY Wedding Ideas is my friend Jen’s blog, Something Turquoise! Her ideas and tutorials are top-knotch and so creative!

6. Let’s talk Fashion, How can the brides stay on trend without breaking the bank?

There are so many more affordable options for brides now than there were ten years ago, from rental sites like Rent the Runway to secondhand resellers like Nearly Newlywed. Get your dream dress for less by buying a used gown and give it a second chance to shine!

7. Name your 5 favorite fashion Brands/ Designers for Bridal wear? What is it about their designs that appeals to you?

My favorite brands for budget savvy bridal fashion are David’s Bridal, BHLDN, Azazie, For Love & Lemons, and even ASOS! They each have a variety of options at affordable prices, with styles that appeal to just about any type of bride!

8. Share the secret recipe of how you allure your everyday look?

My personal everyday look has been evolving a bit as of late. I used to dress very classic, favoring tailored and structured styles, but I’m embracing a bit more of a relaxed look these days. My hair has gotten quite long, and I wear less makeup than before. Most days, I go natural with relaxed waves, a coat of mascara and a bit of lip gloss. Style-wise, I’m most comfortable in simple jeans and a feminine top, or a flirty wrap dress with ballet flats

9. What pieces do you love investing in and why?

I’ve always been a bit of a savvy shopper, but the pieces I’ve invested in most have been shoes and bags. I opt for classic styles that will last me for years, and it’s always a good investment. I’m obsessed with my classic black Kate Spade Cameron Street satchel and my black leather Tieks!

10. A current beauty trend that you absolutely love?

I love that natural beauty is really making a comeback, instead of the heavy look of foundation and lots of contouring. Who has the time? I’ve found myself investing more in skincare products than makeup, and as a result I’ve had less spots to cover up! I enjoy the look of fresh, dewy skin, natural brows, and a bit of mascara. Letting our natural beauty shine is a movement I can really get behind!

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