@holister: Congrats on your engagement! My fiance and I have a tight budget and my number one tip — negotiate. Call and be polite, explain that your Fiance and yourself our paying for your own wedding and are wanting to start your life out together without wedding debt of putting thiings on credit cards.
This worked wonders for me. Our wedding running total as of right now, and we’re pretty much done with everything besides my undergarments for my dress and here are our totals:
had we paid full price for things: $18,968
our actual total: $8,458
We are getting married at an outdoor gazebo in front of the London Bridge (az) -actual london bridge brought over from london, it’s awesome and beautiful) and then having our reception inside their largest and most elegant 5000 sq ft reception room (they had 8 rooms to choose from and this is the most exp one- we got the rental fee waived).
How did we do it? Negotiating starting with the paragraph I first posted. Then we negotiated EVERYTHING haha – we didn’t have a “set date” so we got to set a date April 18th in their non peak season, but it’s perfect – not too hot, not too cold, perfect 7pm estimated sunset time.
Negotiated photographer — $3500 package for $1250
DJ – $1000 for $400
gazebo – $1000 for $250
reception room – $1500 ($1000 rental and $500 set up/take down) for $300
sit down full dinner – this was a BIG one. $45/pp for $11.55/pp
Invitations & rsvps (I posted pics on here if want to see, just click on my posts) – we wanted unique personalized ones and got 50% off through Mixbook — best customer service, easy user interface. Click on “live chat” and ask for Veronica – she can tell you how to “blend” the mixbook logo, which actually removes the mixbook logo, so you don’t have that on your invites, or anything else you buy.
those are just a few of MANY things that we negotiated!
Oh!!! and the latest! Our honeymoon in San Francisco that we will be going on afterwards – we won our 3 1/2 star hotel right on fisherman’s wharf – king room – for 4 days for less than the price of 1 night stay on Priceline! Use tips from betterbidding.com and fellow bees on this site! It was our fist time using priceline and the other bees are the ones who talked me through it!