(Closed) Tips for saving money on your wedding. Help!

posted 5 years ago in Money
Post # 3
45 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

I have a couple tips…..I found a website where table cloths were cheap to buy. We had 2 receptions and the cost to buy ended up cheaper than the cost to rent. Once they were cleaned and pressed before the second reception I realized why people rent. When you factor in cleaning the linens, it really is better to just rent even if you find a good deal. 

Another thing…..anything marketed for weddings is so much pricier. For bridesmaids dresses I went to downeastoutfitters.com and bought beautiful lace dresses for around 30 dollars each instead of getting dresses out of a line made specifically for bridesmaids. 

If you are planning on doing bridal photos, etc….it ends up being cheaper to buy a bouquet with preserved flowers or brooches rather than buying fresh flowers multiple times. 

Call your local grocery store and ask someone if they have anyone in the bakery who happens to be awesome at wedding cakes. Usually if you talk to someone who has been there a while they are pretty honest about who does a good job and it can be the difference between spending a couple hundres on a cake and over a thousand. 

Hopefully some of that helps!

Post # 4
8464 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

DIY everything!  Seriously, anything you make make/produce yourself will help save money.  I’m saving on invitations, programs, guestbook, cardbox, flowers, centerpieces, jewelry, wedding party gifts, favors, etc.  The list goes on and on, plus by DIYing your wedding, you give it your own personal touch.


Post # 5
575 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Ask every vendor for a discount. All of ours gave us one just by asking!

Post # 6
923 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

Check out shopgoodwill.com.  There are a couple of wedding dresses/bridesmaid dresses/veils available.  Like this awesome dress for $8:



Post # 7
1832 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

Print your own invitations, tons of places sell invitation kits, all you do is format and print. Shop around with regards to your vendors, get the best prices, if you have your heart set on one vendor, ask if they could match another vendors rate. Get married during an off peak time, I’m getting married in the winter, with a HUGE savings from our venue, and a discount from our photographer. If you don’t mind buying a pre-owned wedding gown you will save a bundle. Silk bouquets are cheaper then fresh flower.

Post # 8
3092 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

The thing that is costing me the most…other than big ticket vendors…is the cost of changing my mind about little details.


So maybe do a good search of thing you may want, sketch it out, get feedback, make a decision and stick with it 🙂



Post # 9
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Okay, I’m not doing an inexpensive wedding, but I am meticulously stretching every penny so that it looks like a $50k wedding instead of a $22k wedding. So here are my tips with that in mind!

As another person mentioned, DIY’ing is not always worth it. I LOVE crafts, am super organized (actually do event planning & marketing professionally), have great vision, etc. The linen example is a great one though – you’re not always just paying for the product, you’re paying for the labor. Anything you can DIY in advance and forget it – do it! Anything you need someone to fiddle with the day of – really weigh if DIY’ing ends up cheaper/less hassle.

Pick your few things you are going to splurge on and stick to it. For example, I am splurging on draping & lighting – having the entire draped with white pipe & drape and extensively uplit. But I am going cheaper on flowers, because I don’t care as much. (I’m doing silks for $800 all in including centerpieces and vases I can resell, comparable items from a florist would be at least $3500).

Ask for discounts. Ask if there is an off-season discount, a military discount, whatever might apply to you. One big one I found is for paying cash or check rather than paying with credit card. Vendors usually have to pay around 3% of the transaction in credit card fees, so I got at least that in a discount from every vendor that offered the option of paying by CC – more with others.

Barter!!! As I said, I do marketing professionally, and I am bartering my services with my day-of coordinator, my seamstress that is making the Bridesmaid or Best Man dress & alterations for my dress, and possibly my hair & makeup stylist. Since mine is marketing, it works best with newer vendors that are trying to get off the ground, but depending on what kind of services you can offer, it may work with all sorts of vendors. I have a friend whose husband does pond maintenance and she has been able to barter amazing things – bands, bouncy castles, tiling, etc.

Make your own invitations. This one is huge. I’m doing invitations that would cost $8+ each from Etsy for about $2.70 each (including postage). You can even get way cheaper on that depending on how much you care about invitations.

Figure out a drink plan that is most advantageous to your budget. At first we were just going to do straight open bar on consumption, but we started running numbers (I did spreadsheets like this for a lot of things, including flower options) and realized we could serve MORE alcohol for LESS money if we bought by the keg/bottle than if we did on consumption. Then we took it even one step further and realized we could do non-alcoholic drinks + 2 kinds of beer + 4 kinds of wine + signature mixed drink for even cheaper, and there would be more booze to go around. This was huge.

Package deals can be a good deal with vendors, but make sure you do the math yourself. I was able to get my main vendor (decor/DJ/lighting) to throw in some free furniture and a chair upgrade just because I was using them for so much else. Try to get a couple of comparable quotes from different vendors.


Post # 10
2856 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Try to find a venue that includes a lot of things in their price, as well as providing on-site catering and bar! Our venue was FREE, as in, we did not pay a fee to hold the venue and have our wedding there. We paid for food, we paid for booze, but there wasn’t a standard flat fee just to hold the event there. The other awesome thing about our venue was that they had everything there that we needed and we didn’t have to pay extra for it: cutlery, glassware, dishware, linens, chairs, tables, space heaters (for outside), sound system. They made their money on the amount of guests who booked rooms, the food and the booze for the reception. The only fees we paid were one for the licensing on the music (a levy from the government for playing licensed music in a public place) that was about $110, and one for chair setup (which included setting chairs out on the bluff for the ceremony, and setting all the tables and chairs up for dinner) which was $2/chair, or $140. My ONLY vendors for our wedding were the florist, the venue itself (provided catering, tended bar, wine service during dinner), and our commissioner. It was SO easy and simple to do it this way!

Also, pick a budget for flowers and stick with it. I went into my florist appointment with ZERO expectations. I told her what I wanted (how many bouquets and bouts), told her what I was willing to spend, and then told her my colors. I didn’t pick my own flowers. I told her the colors only, and she gave me a list of flowers that were cheap, in season, and do-able within my color scheme. I picked my flowers from that list, she mocked it up, we went with it. My flowers were just under $400 (including tax and delivery) and were STUNNING. That was for a bridal bouq, 4 bridesmaid bouq, groom bout, 4 groomsmen bout, 4 parent bouts.

Also, be careful with what you DIY. I found for a few things decor-wise that it would have been cheaper to just buy certain things instead of spending time, effort and money. Be selective, and be smart. 😉

Post # 11
429 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I definitely need some help in this area as well… so far I’ve gotten a couple things for a steal, like my ceremony venue for only $70! My dress came in $500 under my estimations (I won’t say under budget because I definitely couldn’t/wouldn’t have gotten it otherwise). 

My reception venue provides all tables, chairs, tableclothes, etc. 

I am looking at getting bridal jewelry on Etsy. It’s very affordable and looks lovely. 

I’m hoping my Maid/Matron of Honor can bake our cakes (she has worked at several bakeries and is a natural artist). I’m sure she’d be willing to do it, and I’d even offer to pay her if she would consider doing it… but I’m concerned that it would be too much to ask of her. Especially since I’m not certain if they’d have to be made the day of? Can they be made the day before, anyone know? 

Post # 12
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I looked specifically for a location that let us bring in our own vendors. When you are no locked into their choice vendors you can shop around.

Especially when it comes to alchohol. We hired a local liquor store that delivered the alchohol at their store price and we hired bartenders. (the liquor store had the license we needed). It saved us THOUSANDS!!!! for an open bar.

Post # 13
1676 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@housebee:  But only DIY what you know you can do and what will actually be cheaper in the long run. If you’re not a crafty person, buying the supplies and the hours of frustration that go along with a complicated DIY arent worth it.

That being said, I saved about $8 each on my invites and it mostly involved glue dot-ing things together. 

@autumnmountainbride:  I believe that most wedding cakes are made the day before (or even a couple) because you need the cakes to firm up so you can stack them. But I agree, that’s a lot to ask a Maid/Matron of Honor.

I also second just asking for discounts. I saved on my e-ring, my photographer, and the cupcakes just by asking – it was no big deal. Book early when you can – way less stress and youre more likely to get the discount. 


Post # 15
8464 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@red_pepper_gal:  Ah, I guess I should list a range which DIYs saved me the most and which didn’t (some came out almost the same as purchasing).  I did my own pocketfold invites and saved a bunch, but I did the graphic design and layout, printed on legal sized paper from home, and cut them myself.  From what I’ve experienced, the more labor intensive (handmade jewelry, sculpted cake topper, etc), the more money you’ll save.  The items I saved the least on were my tissue paper pomanders and my cardbox.  I have to note that you also need to consider the amount of time.  Many projects are super time consuming, so if you’re a working bee, mom, or both your time is probably precious to you.  However, my time is worthless, so I can spend as long as I like lol.  On the craftiness scale (1-10) I’d probably have to say I’m a 10 though (I throw my own pie plates), but on the artistic scale I’m just average (my watercolors look like poo).

Also Michael’s/Hobby Lobby printable coupons are your best friend in DIY

Post # 16
2693 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Early on, I knew I didn’t want to spend a ton of money and so researched vendors that were budget friendly.  I am getting great deals from all my vendors.  I haggled with my florist to get an amazing deal on all things florals.  I got my caterer to give me a 10% discount p/p on the menu.  I booked a venue that allowed us to bring in our own vendors by just renting the space. We’re providing our own alcohol and just hiring a bartender.

I am one of those brides that saved a TON on DIY.  I picked and chose what I could diy and what I couldn’t.  I also didn’t want to diy anything that was too hard or time consuming.  I diy-ed the card box, my garter, table numbers and signs, veil, baskets for petals and programs, my shoes, guest sign on photo mat, menu cards, thank you cards, etc.  Most of these projects cost me nothing or next to nothing and the most time I spent was less than a day’s worth of time on each, some just a few minutes.

We also diy’ed our invitations, which cost more than I anticpated due to what we did and the type of paper we used, but still saved a ton of money (we only paid for printing).  Fi did the design and it included 3 inserts.  We were quoted anywhere from $3 to$9 for invitations and we paid less than $2 for each set of invites.  We’re going to be doing our programs as well.

You have to shop around… you have to research and don’t be afriad to ask for a better price, try to get deals and haggle with vendors: if they want your business they will work with you and your budget.  Like my caterer said, it was better for them to get my business than for them to make more money.  They get most of their business from word of mouth; having me as a client will inevitably expand their business because if they do a good job, I will of course recommend them.

What I learned the hard way: stick to a budget no matter what.  I was doing great and then I got ahead of myself.  I increased my original budget 2x so I could get the things I wanted and then went over that budget by booking a longer, more expensive honeymoon.  While I didn’t want to spend this much money on a wedding and just one day, it’s still a budget wedding and since I saved on so many other things, I think we could splurge on the honeymoon, which I think will be totally worth it.

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