Post # 1
So we all either are/or know a bride who’s planning/planned a budget wedding. What are some ideas you have heard of or are using to help keep the budget under control?
For example: Don’t __________________ do this: _________________
Here are some things we are doing/not doing:
– Don’t hire a DJ use an iPod, speakers, and a playlist. (Save 4-8 hundred dollars)
– Don’t hire a baker/cake designer but buy the supplies ($37) and pay a friend ($100) to make it. (Save 2-4 hundred dollars)
– Don’t pay for full-service catering/serving but have all the items served ‘family-style’. (Save 3-8 hundred dollars)
Post # 3
We skipped save-the-dates & ceremony programs.
We had a plated lunch instead of a plated dinner.
We used word-of-mouth suggestions and acquaintances for photography & DJ services.
We booked an ‘all inclusive’ venue- meaning we didn’t need to rent chairs, tables, linens, plates, napkins, glasses, utensils, etc.
Instead of doing traditional centerpieces and a candy bar, we used bowls of candy at each table as the centerpiece (with a few flowers as well, but not a whole bouquet at each of our 23 tables) and used clear baggies with personlized ribbon for guests to take candy as the favor.
I also bought my dress off the rack at David’s Bridal and took it to a local seamstress for alterations.
We still had a fairly traditional wedding and reception with all our friends and family present to celebrate with us, but it didn’t have to break the bank!
Post # 4
Don’t go with an all inclusive venue, go with someone who allows you to bring in your own food, alcohol, and cake
Don’t buy fancy invitations, make or partially make your own
Don’t hire a florist. Either arrange bulk flowers yourself, or use non-floral decorations.
Don’t have a bridal party of more than six–for many reasons. Just have a few close friends. Even if you weren’t planning to buy their dresses anyway, you will spend less time/money on their bouquets, less money on gifts, and your sanity.
Post # 5
Friday instead of Saturday wedding
DIY’d all invites and use the scraps for programs, signs, etc. instead of paying for each item (save 3-5 hundred)
DIY wholesale fresh flowers instead of using a florist (save 6-9 hundred)
DIY centerpieces out of trash items instead of using flowers (save 3-4 hundred)
DIY boutonniere alternatives instead of using flowers (save 60-100)
All inclusive venue instead of hiring caterers, servers, rentals, transportation, etc. (save $2000 compared to our alternative)
DIY custom cake topper instead or purchasing one/flowers on cake (save 1-2 hundred)
Post # 6
think outside the box, and be flexible on location. If we’d had our wedding in the city where we live, the venue we would have used was $5000 just for the space, tables and chairs. No linens, no food, no serveware, etc…It was GORGEOUS, but would have limited our wedding so much.
Instead, we looked farther away (about an hour and a half outside of town…this did not affect any of our guests, as everyone lives 2-6 hours away from us anyway), and found a historic home that was used for weddings and events. We got the whole house, tables, chiavari chairs, all linens, silver service, place settings, dishes, glassware, EVERYTHING for $600 from 8am-10pm.
Our entire wedding is just a touch over $5000 now, excluding dress, ering, and honeymoon.
Other ways we saved:
-I DIYed my sash instead of buying the $600 one I fell in love with at the salon
-I DIYed my wooden doll cake topper (I even made the “bride” one a dress and sash to match mine) instead of spending $$$ on etsy for one
-We are only using a florist for my bouquet and the boutonnieres, DIYing the rest (centerpieces, etc…)
Basically, I just did a lot of stuff myself, LOL!!
Post # 7
Prioritize!!!!! Be open minded. Don’t turn your wedding into a competition. Don’t get sucked into wedding blogs and images.
Post # 8
@suburbian: Use up and coming people for things like photography. It’ll be cheaper and they’re right out of school so they should do a good job since they’re trying to build their portfolios.
Do a buffet vs. plated dinner.
Do a rehearsal with only the most necessary people (or skip it).
Make your own centerpieces.
Get a friend or family member to officiate.
Skip save the dates.
Do your own hair/make-up (same for bridesmaids) .Of course this only works if you don’t go and buy a shitload of products from Sephora 😉
Have fewer bridesmaids.
Decorate the reception venue yourself.
Have a backyard reception.
Cut the guest list. Do you seriously need to invite your tenth cousin twice removed?
Only do flowers for bride’s bouquet and maid of honor’s bouquet.
Have the wedding either off season or not on a Fri/Sat night
Buy a pre-owned wedding dress
Wal-Mart makes wedding cakes that are apparently really good!
Or… my personal favorite.. ELOPE! (Sorry, had to stick it in there).
Post # 9
Do online RSVP to save on paper and stamps
If you buy a used dress, buy one in your size. I thought I was getting a great deal on a dress, but it was two sizes too big, and will cost me about $500 to alter. Oops.
Post # 11
@DaneLady: Candy centerpiece – interactive AND pretty!
@EffieTrinket: We are having in a backyard – so not much we can include via a venue- but I love your idea of not having a florist! I have heard of places like 99flowers and a few others that do bulk deliveries. I think this is a huge way to save!
@housebee: I think if we were voting DIY invites would win by a landslide! I’m interested in your boutonniere alternatives – I still can’t find a way to make them less then $10 a piece (and the local florist offers them for $7).
@xlsm: Your DIY sash idea could help save a lot of brides some bank! Do you have pics or a DIY walkthrough?
@JenGirl: Pinterest is killing us all!!!!! AGGHH!
@canarydiamond: I wish the ‘skipping favors’ thing would become more popular. It is such a waste of money – yet I hear even the most budget bride telling me how she is getting personalized mint tins or a wine topper…how much longer till this tradition dies?!?!
@Biandi: I honestly would have never thought about ‘left over beer’. With our friends I didn’t think of it as a possibility – but I think there are a lot of people who don’t take this into account.
I think to add to this you could say the having a few ‘signature’ drinks instead of hiring a bartender. Then it’s self serve and still an ‘open bar’.
@MattieK: Aww! That’s terrible to hear about! It is a good note to others though! Yet one more way the ‘industry’ is overcharging just because of the specific ‘event’ that it is being done for. No way that alterations lady is charging 500 bucks for any other alterations – regardless how big the dress is. ugh :l
Post # 12
@suburbian: These cost me just over $5 each to make (we’re all gamers), I think another bee (msfireflower (sp??) did really cute paper flower boutonnieres. I’ve also seen ones done with feathers, buttons and beads.
Post # 13
@Biandi: That’s a good tip – things people remember vs. what we think is important. We get so excited about ‘details’ but what really matters is the main event – getting married and a great celebration.
Post # 14
If you’re interested in nixing the florist – I’m making all our flowers out of paper! It’s going to take a lot of time but it’s going to be dirt cheap.