Post # 1
What were some ways you were able to save money?
My budget is $10k, but I would really like to come in under that.
What we’ve paid for so far:
- Church- $250 donation
- Reception venue- $900 (not what I wanted to spend, but love the place! only comes with tables and chairs)
- Photographer- $1250 (very reasonable in my area for a semi-professional, includes 2 hour engagement session, 10hr coverage, and a 16×24 canvas print)
- Band- $1000 (one of our MUST HAVES!!)
FI’s parents are going to chip in roughly $4500 because that is what they spent on his older brother’s wedding. This is going to cover alcohol/drinks and the rehersal dinner. I’m hoping we’ll be able to stretch some of this money to other areas as I want a very low-key rehersal dinner (would prefer to skip it all together, but FMIL says no).
For food, we plan on having a pig roast which should cost no more than $2000 for 120 people. This includes 3 sides, a bread of choice, plates, napkins, and flatware.
Not sure if we’ll be doing a cake or a dessert bar…
I can’t spend any more than $1000 on a dress, but I would LOVE to be under $500. However, the dress I’ve fallen in love with costs roughly $900 used 🙁
A friend of ours is doing the invitations (she’s a graphic designer) for just the cost of materials- roughly $500 (could be a little cheaper depending on paper quality, print quatlity, etc)
As far as decor, I plan on thrifting and DIY-ing everything. Flowers will be bought from a local farmer (not sure price) and I can steal some greenery from my MOH’s backyard (TONS of ferns!).
Thinking about skipping favors.. haven’t decided yet.
Any ideas of what else I could do to save a little money??
Post # 3
i’m all for skipping favors, they’re can get expensive and often end up not getting used by your guests.
Post # 4
You should be able to get invitations, STDs, programs, and more using Vistaprint for less than the $500 with your friend. Take a look at their designs.
Cake: I got my cake at Ralph’s. My fiance and I happened to love the cakes there as much as the cakes we tasted from a wedding cake bakery. I talked to the baker at Ralph’s, and even though they don’t make round cakes of different sizes, she made rectangular cakes and cut them to size for the cake stands I bought. I hired a cake flower artist to make the flowers on top to make them look professional. My cake(s) for 100 people cost $250, and it worked out great!
Dress: Try off the rack or used. Keep looking for that dress you like on pre-owned sites. Bargain with the seller. I’ve been trying to sell my dress, and with all of the scammers out there, I’m going to run out of patience fairly soon and get more and more flexible with the price. So try haggling.
You’re paying more for things than I paid for at my wedding, and it ended up costing about $12K. Keep in mind all of the little things that add up – decorations, gifts, flowers, favors. I did ALOT of DIY, and trips to Michael’s (even with 40-50% off coupons) really added up.
Post # 5
@christineandjohn: I’ve looked at Vistaprint but didn’t really like any of their designs. I probably should have gone into more detail about the invitations my friend is doing. $500 is for the invitations and envelopes, reply postcards, programs, thank you cards and envelopes, and a map from the ceremony to the reception. So we’re getting quite a bit out of her!
Post # 6
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
@MichiganGirl24: Definitely skip favors.
Heck, skip flowers while you’re at it (seriously I wonder over and over why I thought they were necessary). Especially skip them as centerpieces. I bought candelabras and re-sold them.
All that cute stuff that you COULD buy (cake topper, card holder, getting ready clothes, etc.) give it lots of thought before plunking down any amount.
Post # 7
We’re doing cupcakes (much cheaper than a wedding cake) and getting (minimal) flowers from a grocery store. We only have 30 guests, though, so it’s probably easier for us to economize, sorry! One thing I would point out is that, surprisingly, we’ve found it cheaper to buy some stuff (cloth napkins and tablecloths, drink dispensers, champagne flutes) rather than rent it. Scope out IKEA, Dollar Stores, TJ Maxx/Home Goods, and department store end-of-season sales for deals on this stuff – the bonus is you can re-sell these items later to bring costs down even further!
Also, be careful about alterations costs on pre-owned or sample dresses – several that I came close to purchasing would have quickly cost almost as much as a new dress after being cleaned and altered to fit.
Post # 8
@loveandapitbull: Great tips! Here in Toledo we have the Libbey glass factory outlet and I’ve been able to find glass water pitchers for $5 a piece! I plan on looking for glasses there too, though I do love Ikea!
We also have a local county park that has 3 huge fields of black-eyed susans (my favorite flower!).. I’m not sure how legal it is, but I’m considering cutting a bunch for the reception! My MOH also has two HUGE hydrangea bushes, so that’s a possibility too!
There is an ebay listing for the dress I want, but the girl who’s selling it had TONS of alterations done. She claims they were for the better, so she’s still charging $950 for the dress. I offered $700 but she said she won’t consider lowering the price unless the dress doesn’t sell during the current listing. *fingers crossed*!
Post # 9
We were able to have a great wedding and it ended up costing right around $10,000. Sounds like you’re really on track so far! Anyway, here are some of my suggestions.
If the Farmer’s Market flowers don’t end up working out, I’d definitely suggest ordering from someplace like Sam’s Club or Costco. We got Sam’s Club flowers and they turned out really nicely (all of my flowers ended up at under $400…not bad considering a florist quoted us over $1,000).
We also did a lot of thrifting and used several vintage vases for the centerpieces (on top of stacked hardback books that I already had in my book collection). Most of those were found from multiple Goodwill runs and didn’t cost much at all. You can also sometimes find good deals on big sets of vases and things like that at http://www.shopgoodwill.com/.
I also utilized Etsy.com and was able to get boutonnieres and corsages, a cake topper, a veil, and some dried lavender bouquets (and extra stalks…for our centerpieces) for some great prices. Often when you place bulk orders with people (for corsages and whatnot for example) the seller will give you a discount if you message them prior to placing an order.
As far as favors go, we did a small donation in each of our guest’s names for the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation. This was meaningful to us because we had just lost my Husband’s Grandfather due to the disease a few months before the wedding so it was a nice personal touch. It also did not end up costing too much (I believe we donated $2 per person and we had 150 people so…$300 total). They sent us some nice cards stating that we had made a donation and we placed those at each place setting. I think a lot of charities will send you a card or something when you donate for an event like a wedding. We also had an edible favor that my Sister made for us (cookie truffles) so if you know of anyone who can bake, edible favors aren’t a bad idea and can be relatively inexpensive. Alternatively, no favors are fine as well.
Anyway, sorry for the book. But good luck! Hope your wedding goes well. 🙂
Post # 10
My wedding was 7K. We went a little over budget. I would suggest skipping the favors, programs and $900 for a dress… not in your budget. Have you tried this dress on? Look at 123print.com for invitations and STDs. I got my STDs from there 100 for $31.XX and the invitations and RSVP cards were under $100 (approx $80) for 100 each. You can do ALOT better for $500… seriously. What are your priorities? Try to take care of them first. Then cut back or cut out altogether the rest. Seriously you wont remember or care about any of this stuff 20 years down the road.
Post # 11
@Erika_Meep: +1 on this. I purchased my flowers from sams club too. I couldnt have been happier!!
Post # 12
@MichiganGirl24: Have her do the designs and give you the files, and then upload them to Vistaprint and use Groupons to purchase. I designed my own and had them printed that way. I spent ~$70 for 80 save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards, reception cards, and thank you cards. They screwed up the colors in one batch, and they reprinted them ASAP and reshipped with 2-day shipping.
Post # 13
@MichiganGirl24: I would love to do some dress creeping for you, if you want to tell me what style and stuff you have in mind! I found more than a few great and cheap options at DB, which I never thought I would! Of course, my final choice was not *as* inexpensive, but still a good deal! Have you already tried ON the dream dress?
I plan on DIYing my flowers, and probably no favors.
Post # 14
I second Sams Club flowers.. if you really want flowers on your tables go bud vases and a few flowers in each, you can easily do this for under $80 if you buy bulk from them, reviews are great and have had success myself with them.
We used catprint for our invites which included STD’s, invites, maps, accom’s, reception, envelopes, belly bands and paid around $150ish for 100 of them. Quick service.
And like PP’s said figure out what is important and prioritize. No one cared that I had 2 pairs of shoes, and they are in like 5 pictures. Waste of money ugh. Buy used, people only wear/use wedding stuff ONE day for a few hours.
Have a family style reception dinner. We did gourmet pizza and italian salads with beer/wine/soda’s for over 30 people for under $200 by having it at DH’s grandparents country home (yes people had to drive 20 minutes, no one complained), borrowed chairs/tables from the local volunteer firefighters (family connection), and didn’t have to do anything but minimal decoration as it was beautiful already. You don’t have to do pizza but you can do something similar.. pasta’s, but our goal was to give everyone a chance to mingle and talk before the wedding day craziness and everyone LOVED it.
Have a small cake with other desserts. I went back and forth on this and in the end was the right choice as everyone ate the cake bites in various flavors and I had a whole cake left! And it cost me under $200! Rather than the $500 for the hugh 3 teir cake we had planned. Note: our cake was still a 12″ base with an 8″ top decorated with fresh flowers. Was beautiful.
My two cents.
Post # 15
@MichiganGirl24: I agree with dtizkitten, skip the favors. Nobody really wants that stuff. Invitations end up in the recycle bin and do nothing to ensure your guests have a good time, so spending $4 a piece on them seems a bit pricey.
Many photographers will do a “location shoot” which is priced by the hour. If you don’t need documentary coverage of every detail of the day, you can book a photographer for one hour after the ceremony for whatever sort of photos you want, then pick and choose just the shots you want for prints. Trust me, the day is very special and you will remember it with or without photos. Weddings seem to have stopped being about getting married, and have become more about getting a magazine-quality photo spread. My favorite photo from my wedding is a B&W candid shot taken by my SIL. It is the only one that is displayed, the rest are in a box in the closet. You could save $1000, and buy your dress 🙂
Do not underestimate the amount of time it takes to DIY things like flowers. Sometimes it pays to hire a professional, give them a budget and let them do their job (my wedding mantra!) Have fun!
Post # 16
Our projected budget now, as it currently stands, is under $7k. My best advice is to eliminate things that mean nothing to you, so you can spend on the stuff that means alot:
-Beach wedding: we could do it for dirt cheap, but there is a company that will be decorating/set up/tear down at the site/act as a day-of coordinator for $1200
-Doing my own hair and makeup (part time MUA, so it’s a no-brainer)
-Making all of our cakes
-Food and Reception: going with a backyard BBQ reception. Literally, in a family members decked-out yard, poolside (no rental). Our food for 20 people *might* be $500, leaving plenty to spend on alcohol for our guests
-Save-the-Dates and Invites for $50 or less, period. Everyone throws them away, no sense spending a fortune.
-My dress is actually a prom dress and will only be $600 *with* alterations
-Flowers: we are only getting a bouquet and pieces for the family to wear. All will be silk from http://www.plumeriasweddingflowerboutique.com/ If we decide to do any real flowers for tables, we’ll just grab some at the grocery. Our estimated flower budget is $300 or less