Post # 1
My fiance and I are getting married in July 2013. We found a venue that we absolutely love and also a photographer. Both are reasonable prices and well worth their price. Our venue has $7500 minimum spending – the meal is $40/person, drinks are approx $5.50 each, but we plan on having tickets, so cost to us would be approx $3.50 per drink. Ceremony fee will either be $500-$750, depending on if its outside or inside. There are no other hidden fees (mike rental, podium etc.) Photographer is $3500.
We haven’t booked anything else for our wedding, but I have more then willing to cut costs on other things. I am just absolutely in love with our venue, and don’t want to cheap out on a photographer. Our anticipated budget is approx $20000.
What would you recommend we do to save some extra money?
Post # 3
Can I recommend both what not to and what to do from what I’ve learned so far?
-make your own veil. So simple. So worth it.
-DIY a sash or buy one used/on etsy.
-beware of any shoe that says “bridal”. They are usually overpriced and uncomfortable
-make a list of “most important” to “who cares” for all things wedding. Is transportation super important? If not, have someone drive. Are programs a “must have”? If not, forgo them. What about flowers… or are “non floral items” okay too?
-look into dresses from sites like dressilyme or preowned. I wish I had…
-look at flowers that are in season and local
-DIY your own invites unless they come in a box. Seriously. Hundreds of dollars later I have gorgeous invites and have gone hundreds of dollars over budget.
-Use more flowers than you have to. They cost money. LOTS of money!
-get stuck in “upgrade” mode. Everyone you will talk to (vendor wise) will suggest you add things in like they are talking about just having another glass of water or spending a few *cough thousand* extra dollars for perfection! Before you agree to upgrading that 3 tiered cake that serves 100 to a 5 tiered cake that serves 400 for your 120 person wedding, take a day to think it over.
-get stuck on “every one else does it” mode. Just because it seems that every other girl in the world and on the bee strasses their shoes with swaroski crystals does not mean you need to. As hard as that is. Really hard sometimes!
-buy something that looks perfect for your wedding because it is on sale. When you don’t have to come home with yet another “perfect” item and realize that your guest bed is now full of boxes and bags of what currently seems like crap, you will thank me 🙂 And so will your wallet!
Post # 4
I just want to second the preowned dress route. I got mine for 1/4th retail.
Post # 5
– skip favors (they usually end up in the trash or sitting in someones junk drawer)
– skip limos (they’re expensive, not environmentally friendly, and really theres no need for them)
– skip things like chair covers and chair upgrades…honestly, its a place for your ass to rest while you eat. no one will notice if you have perfectly nice plain chairs.
– buy your hair piece/jewelry/other accessories on etsy
– don’t mention the word “wedding” when making your hair, makeup, mani/pedi appointments (some places jack up the prices) until AFTER you’ve asked for a price and booked it.
– don’t go nuts with decor. Keep it simple and minimalistic – its cheaper, and it looks classy.
Post # 6
simple minimalistic decor is always the way to go (I even make the argument that centerpieces are unnecessary)
Another vote for the preowned dress try on styles you like at bridal salons, but the shop around. Seriously take in to consideration that you are paying ___$$$____ to wear a dress for ONE day. and none of your guests can tell you what designer it is when you are walking down the isle, they will know that it is pretty, it is white, and it fits you like a glove. done
Everything that @mandypop: said to skip is about spot on.
I would also add that you can purchase things like guestbooks, cake servers, toasting flutes, shoes, etc. that are not designed for weddings they can be dressed up with ribbons and lace and you can add your own personal touches for about 1/10 the cost of a ‘wedding version’ make the list of what you NEED v.s. what you don’t care about now so that when you are shopping around you know what not to get on impulse
Post # 7
@takemyhand: I disagree with you on the invites. I made my own and saved a bundle and have requests from people to make theirs since i did such a good job. The cheapest I was quoted for my invites was $14.95/invite and I made mine for under $5/invite using nicer quality paper.
What I do suggest is doing a trial run of your invite if you are DIYing in a cheap but comparable paper/product. This will let you know if you are capable of pulling it off or not.
Post # 8
Keep an eye out for living social/groupon deals. Our invites ended up being $1.11 EACH for the invite, custom envelope, labels, thank you card, RSVP card and more envelopes. Yeah. Awesome.
Post # 9
@j_jaye: Agreed. If you compare to getting them handmade and designed for you, DIY is much cheaper.
I was thinking more like, if I were to go back and start from the beginning, I’d go to Michael’s with a 40% off coupon, buy my invites and print them at home and be done with it. While I am managing to get my place cards, menus, programs, thank you cards, invites, inserts, rsvps, envelopes, pocketfolds, etc for under $7 pp (for everything), I still think it would have been easier and cheaper to have just used a Michael’s kit and dressed it up the way I like it and then just printed the menus and programs at home.
Post # 10
I working with a similar budget and I got a great deal on my flowers and invites.
I picked a florist whose work I have seen/received/given many times. His arrangements always look great (nothing exceptionally creative, just beautiful fresh flowers). I showed him an inspiration picture and said I wanted red. He showed me the types of red flowers that would be in season (a.k.a. most affordable). Since I liked the in-season flowers, I gave him carte blanche to create the red arrangements, bouquets, bouts, etc. Since I’m flexible, he will select the flowers with the best pricing and pass the saving onto me.
For invites, I found a young, local graphic designer who works with a local print shop. She doesn’t have an extensive portfolio but the work I have seen is exactly what I wanted. Because she is just starting out (transitioning her invitation work from hobby to full-time job) her prices are below market value but work is amazing.
Hope this helps!
Post # 11
One word: negotiate. Seriously. You can negotiate everything – you just have to be okay with hearing “no” – and remember to be respectful.
Post # 12
@j_jaye: I think it depends on budget, I don’t she the OP will have any any problem covering any invites on a 20k budget, but I have certainly seen some rediculious prices out there so I agree,
Personally I am DIYing invites which I thought would bring down the cost, but at $6.50 an invite for my invites (including postage) They are nearly 30% of my wedding budget.
Post # 13
We splurged on our photographer (total about $5000 with proofs), spent about $13,000 on food and priemium open bar and our entire wedding cost about $25,000, including rings. I really just prioritized, shopped around, did a lot of DIY where either a) I wanted to, or b) knew I could save money. We didn’t have any transportation. One cost savings was alternating non-floral centerpieces (we used submerged bear grass with a floating candle). We also didn’t upgrade linens or chair covers or any of those things. I know all of this depends on the market you are in, but just some suggestions. Good luck!
Post # 14
Buying previously used wedding decor/items from kijiji and/or craiglist. 🙂
Also, I bought (new) items that were really nice and versatile — so I know another bride would be interested in buying them afterwards.That, or I can just keep them — ex: my rustic cake/cupcake stands made of tree, would be nice for any occasion anyway.
Definitely negotiate the price and shop around, especially if your event is not in the more popular seasons or weekends. Ours is on a Monday — so we had a 50% off on venue rental (that’s $2K savings). I also negotiated a “non-weekend” pricing from our vendor. Well, if they’re just sitting at their home/office after a hectic wedding weekend, they might as well work on our wedding! Hehe.
Post # 15
Thanks for the tips ladies. I am not concerned at all with decorations or flowers. I was thinking maybe babysbreathe for my bridesmaids and possibly for centerpieces. I’ll have alot of candles and wont be paying for extra linens. Although, I may try to make some table runners (our tables are square) if I can do it cheaply. I don’t care to have a cake, favours, or a guestbook. I am also really wanting to DIY my invites, but am not very creative so am a little worried. I will be searching for a second hand dress. Although my budget is $20 000, I want to find ways to spend much less then that.
Im not sure that I want to forgo a limo though. I know youre in it for such a short period of time, but its a really fun time with the bridal party. Any suggestions for a cheaper method of group transportation? There will be 12 in the bridal party in total.
Post # 16
@lanny: You may want to use wide chair sashes for your table runners. My daughter did simple but nice DIY invites and RSVPs for very little money-It really depends on what you want. Baby’s breath will look nice and not cost a lot. It sounds like you are doing quite well with your budget and ideas so far. Perhaps we could be of further help/make further suggestions if we knew a little bit more information?