(Closed) Best Money Saving Tips….

posted 12 years ago in Money
Post # 3
22 posts
  • Wedding: January 2008

I felt bad about it, but I went to bridal salons to try on dresses and figure out sizing…then went home and bought them for a fraction of the price online (eBay!).

Plus, I negotiated pricing with my photographer since I’m getting married in an "off-season!"

Post # 4
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

For trusted vendors, I paid cash in exchange for no tax and and some percent discount.  For my $4000 flowers, 10% discount is $400 and tax would’ve been few hundred more.  I did the same thing with my photographer.  Just make sure when dealing with cash, that the vendors have a REALLY good reputation, otherwise, it can turn out badly.

Post # 5
114 posts
Blushing bee

My best money saving tip has simply been negotiating so far ~ I was able to negotiate my day of coordinator down by 50% her original offer; I’ve also talked my photographer into extra hours but for the smaller hour fee, and I talked the caterer into a 4 course sit down meal vs. a 3 course sit down meal and only paying the 3 course fee.  I saved with the coordinator (and used that extra money toward my dream dress) but I guess the other negotiations are just more bang for my buck.  Works for me! 🙂

Post # 6
116 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

My suggestion is to ask. Work with what you have and who is available…aka your family and friends. I’m saving a LOT of money and having my friend design the wedding invitations of my dreams for 1/8th the cost if I bought it at the store. Lastly, do your research. The more you know the better off you are.

Post # 8
33 posts

We’re saving by using people that we know do the work.  My fiance works with our photographer (our engagement pics turned out great and it was inexpensive!).  We’re also having my fiance’s grandparents do our cake (they do this for a living).   Our caterer is a friend of my fiance’s (she’s catered for years and he worked at her caterings when he was in high school). Our DJ is a contact that my fiance knew from previous work (he gave us a GREAT deal, in exchange, we’re his personal advertisers – we give out his name and number to those who ask and give his "normal" rates.)

 Obviously, this won’t work for everyone, but you’d be surprised how people you know can really help you out.

Post # 9
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

We saved money by skipping alcohol, asking for help with certain items (favors, caricature artist), having a partially catered reception (we provided the BBQ and guests provided the home made side dishes), having the wedding and reception in one place, purchasing my dress on ebay, having a minimum amount of flowers (1 bouquet, 2 wrists, 3 bouts), hiring a two-piece band for our ceremony music (ask around at small music instruction studios…a lot of times people are in several bands and can work for fairly cheap since they don’t advertise), skipping programs, making my own wedding cake, having a friend/family member marry us (we treated her to dinner after the wedding). We had also planned on using our car for the getaway car if my boss hadn’t treated us to a limo.

Hope this helps!

Post # 10
28 posts
  • Wedding: August 2008

We chose to have a Saturday DAY wedding which (at the same venue) brought us from $150/head to $55/head! At 282 invites that’s a great deal of savings.

We opted for DJ over band and decided to set up our own musical equipment (we’re a band) and perform in conjunction with the DJ to "spice things up". In addition, as it’s a day wedding, most of the vendors are giving a discount as well. The DJ’s Saturday base rate is $895, but for Saturday DAY it’s $750!

I shopped at expensive bridal shops, and then bought a "replica" of my favorite wedding dress (which would have cost me $2000 ) at David’s Bridal for $450! 

I utilized VistaPrint.com’s 250 Free Business Card offer, and made them our "Save the Date" Cards!

We are having our ceremony/reception at the same place so we don’t need to pay for transportation! 

I’m not wearing a veil!

We’re planting a tree in everyone’s name through American Forest’s Global Releaf program, in lieu of favors (they give nice cards in our wedding colors to place at everyone’s seat). It’s only $1 per person, and it’s tax deductible as a charitable contribution!

Our wedding cake is included in our package!

So… I guess my advice is, lock yourself onto the internet and don’t let go. I spend the majority of my free time researching "wedding stuff". And yes, I feel a bit obsessive and weird – but this is my first wedding, I don’t have sisters, and my mother got married in a courthouse! I have to do lots of research so I don’t go into this blindly. Good luck!



Post # 11
212 posts
Helper bee

i am also doing a saturday DAY wedding which cut my per person cost from $230 to $135 at my venue.  At first, I felt weird throwing a reception in the afternoon (will ppl actually dance, ceremony will start before noon, will ppl drink, etc).  But now i’m embracing it.  My venue actually looks BETTER during the day due to natural lighting.  And everyone assured me that ppl do in fact like afternoon weddings.

For my dress, I went to the designer’s sample sale and saved $3000 off my dress.  So i was able to have the dress of my dreams!

I am doing DIY save the dates, invitations, placecards, basically all the paper stuff.  I love love love letterpress but then I thought about how many ppl actually save wedding invitations and thought that 2 mins of "wow" was not worth $1000+.


Post # 12
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

I fired my wedding planner. Seriously. She was suggesting too many expensive decorative things she adds on to brides. So I let her keep part of the deposit and requested a refund for the other part. I saved nearly $1000 because I let her go. We had too many different ideas & hers were more expensive.

We’re getting married on the beach- no location fee, no church donation, only a payment to the minister (100 I think). We just have to get the permit (100) and rent chairs (200). And I’m making the decorations myself (100) & having friends set them up for me. By firing the planner and doing this, I saved over $700.
We are having our reception at a Holiday Inn on the beach, this way, we don’t have to pay for transportation from hotel to ceremony to reception to hotel… And the Holiday Inn is throwing a room in for free so we don’t have to pay for the room night before or of the wedding.

Ebay and clearance sales. I bought a Jcrew wedding dress for $35 with shipping and another dress from Lane Bryant for $15… so I bought three in case one didn’t fit b/c ya’ll know sizing on  wedding dresses is crazy. I got charger plates from target on clearance for 50% off for 3.50 for a pack of 4 so I bought 22 boxes (.75 each charger- cheaper than renting) then they went 75% the next day. I loaded up all 22 boxes of 4 in my car, went to the customer service and told them I would like to return them, then re-buy them for the 75% off. Which I did and saved $50. So now my 88 chargers were 32.5 cents each- 38 dollars versus 80… Way cheaper than renting. Persistence pays off. I bought my FH’s khaki suit at the Banana Republic outlet on clearance. Granted, I bought his suit before I even had a dress, but it was a steal and they had his size. I got it for 160 for the jacket and pants. I just need a shirt (he already owns a white one) and tie- which I haven’t found just yet.
I’m paying $400 for a DJ b/c I put an ad on craigslist, myspace and facebook detailing exactly what I wanted and what I didn’t and said that was my price, whoever could match it, contact me. It worked.
We chose a small venue- forced limited guest list. We can’t accomodate more than 80 guests. Period.
I’m having a girlfriend that sells Mary Kay makeup do my makeup &  another girlfriend that does hair do my hair.
My aunt used to do silk florals for weddings and she offered to gift me my bouquet, Maid/Matron of Honor bouquet, bouts and corsages. 500 dollars saved if I’d had a florist do it, 200 saved if I would have done it. I like real flowers, but honestly, I like free better.
I’m baking my own cake. I figured that I can call on betty crocker for my wedding, as she makes annual visits for birthdays! Saved over $400.
I’m making my own centerpieces. I’m ordering the flowers online and I’ve already bought the vessels from pottery barn on clearance. There isn’t much money saving here because the vessels are kind of expensive, but I figure since I’m doing them instead of a florist, I’m at least saving something! I think that’s it!

Post # 13
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I’ve noticed that a lot of vendors that were at the Bridal Fair in our area, offer a discount if you mention that you saw them there. Even if you really didn’t….lol. How will they know…honestly? You can find al ist of the ones there by googeling the show in your area.

I saved BIG on my DJ this way – I got unlimited hours, all the bells and whistles, custom play lists – everything for only $550! Just for mentioning the bridal fair.

Also – though this may not be the option for others, I’m opting out of a wedding band for my ring possibly. My ring is platinum and going to mean that the simple band witht he chanel set diamond in it will be $1200 + instead of the $400 or so for white gold (like I told him to get and I was fine with!!! LOL but Noooooo he had to go and get the expensive stuff LOL) we’ve decided that we’ll do that band at the one year mark maybe. 


Post # 14
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

This may be obvious, but DIY as much as you can and your creative friends are a great resource!  Some things that helped me out:

  • A violinist friend arranged and played our ceremony music
  • a photographer friend took our photos and gave us a great discount
  • my brother is a graphic designer and did a really unique slideshow for the reception
  • the cake decorating instructor from Jo Anne Fabrics made our cake
  • My mom does floral design and did beautiful silk flower arangements and bouquets
  • I made all of our invitations/programs and my husband and I made our favors
  • We had the reception at a hotel where my dad’s company does business with, so they gave us a great discount.
  • Our rings were bought from my husband’s family jewler (gave us a great discount).

All of these things were at little or no cost.  My budget was $10,000, and using my creative friends and family members helped me to have a nicer wedding on a smaller budget.

Some other things:

  • Switching from an open bar to beer, wine & pop saved us a suprising amount of money.
  • See if the bridal salon will let you purchase their sample dress that you tried on.  They gave me 10% off for doing that, and then I didn’t have to wait for the gown to come in.  The dress was pristine and you never would have known it was the sample. It took some altering, but that cost less than if I had paid full price for a gown.
  • We honeymooned nearby (rented a cabin) and I’m glad we choose a low-key setting, because we were able to relax and come home quickly (we were excited to set up our apartment together)
  • We also had the rehersal dinner at a beautiful location (a winery) that allowed us to bring in our own food, which my mother-in-law prepared.  It was a lot of fun and cost very little. 

Post # 15
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

Our major one is getting married in February.  We had originally wanted November (I thought it would be cute to get married on the anniversary of our first date), but doing it in February saved us almost $50 per head!  I can’t imagine how much more it would have been to do it in the summer or early fall.

Of course, we’re in NYC, so perhaps in the South, summer would be the cheaper time :-).  But it absolutely pays to find out what your off-season is and how much it will save you.

Plus, our venue includes everything–food, chairs, dishes, waitstaff, open bar, etc.–in one price, so there are no annoying add-ons.

I’ve already mentioned in a different thread designing and assembling my invites myself.  This did not save me money in one sense, since I could very easily have bought considerably cheaper invitations; on the other hand, for letterpressed, pocketfold invites custom designed by me using art created by my dad?  I saved a huge amount of money, and I love the invitations. 

Other things we did: for the favors (a travel coffee mug), we went to a promo website (epromos.com) instead of a wedding website.  A promo business does personalized stuff for businesses to give away, and seem to have more variety at better prices than wedding favor websites.  The only thing is that if you have a small wedding, you may not be ablet to get a small enough quantity (at 150 people, ours is barely big enough to make this worth it).

We are foregoing cake and instead are having cannolis and cream puffs from our favorite local bakeries.  Even with overbuying on the servings (so that people can have both a cannoli and a cream puff, if they can stomach them!), we’ll still be paying only about $2.50 per head instead of $8-$10, for something we love much better than wedding cake anyway.

I bought my dress at the Filene’s Running of the Brides sale.  Again, in one sense this did not save me money, because there was absolutely no way I was going to spend thousands of dollars on a dress, but instead of the fairly cheap dress I was thinking I would get, I got an all-silk Romona Keveza dress I love for only $700.  As with the invitations, I did not have to compromise my dream to spend what I considered a reasonable amount of money.

Post # 16
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2007

got married on sunday to save.  had beer/wine/soda only, and negotiated for extra discounts including exclusions for people under 21 that wouldn’t drink alcohol.  we also DIY-ed all our paper – programs, invites, Save-The-Date Cards, card box, seating cards, etc.  used family discounts where possible (floral, bridesmaid jewelry, and photography), and our photographer gave us all the digital rights to our photos so we could distribute freely and not pay 30 bucks a picture.  we also did DIY gifts for parents – shadow boxes with photos – which only cost $20 bucks each.  bought comfortable, inexpensive wedding shoes, but splurged on the hair accessories.  had simple but elegant table arrangements with lucky bamboo, dahlias, river rocks, and candles (MUCH less expensive b/c of fewer flowers, and we bought the vases and mirrors ourselves).  used regular postage instead of custom-photo stamps.

other idea – have a cake dummy made and serve sheet cake instead (your cake will be fresher too, wish i had this option with my caterer).    

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