(Closed) Budget Brides: Post Ideas Here!

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 3
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Its not in my budget to hire a photographer to do the whole wedding and reception.  I was sick about this becasue I really wanted good pictures.

I contacted a local photog that I really like and explained my situation and asked if I could do a pre wedding session, much like an engagement session, and keep it at $400-$500.  I gave him a list of photos I liekd from his own portfolio, and some websites of other brides and grooms that I liked and said "I like this style.  Can you make it work"

He said absolutely yes and I couldn’t have been more excited.

My niece’s friend is an aspiring photographer so she is doing the day of photos or what I like to call the action shots.

Post # 4
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

For budgetary reasons, I initially thought about making my own invitations. But I’m not really so crafty, either, plus I took into consideration how much printer ink would cost me. Then I found seal-n-send invitations on http://www.annsbridalbargains.com. I just received a sample in the mail a few days ago and my fiance and I think we’re going to go with it. The style we chose costs $114.00 for 100 invitations, but what really sold us on it was what we’ll save in postage. Because they aren’t overweight, they’ll only cost the standard $0.44 to mail and the RSVP card will cost the price of a postcard stamp.

Post # 5
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Staples does wedding invitations, if you’re not comfortable DIY-ing them completely. =) They have a lot of templates to choose from, some of which you can use a photo of your fiance and you on. They also do RSVP cards, thank you cards, save-the-dates, favour tags, etc. And the more you order, you get a price break. You should be able to order them online (I think it’s http://www.staples.com/copyandprint in the US) or in-store.

Post # 6
2470 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Check out preownedweddingdresses.com. If you find a dress you like that is out of your budget, you can look for it on the site for much less!

Post # 7
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

We bought invitations at Michaels with their 40% off coupons and got 100 invitations for $26.  What a bargain!  These happened to be marked down already, but even so, using the Michael’s coupons is a great way to save money. 

We printed them out at home and then a family friend did the addressing for us, so the calligraphy was technically free (although I did buy her a generous thank you present).  The only other thing we had to buy (besides stamps) was extra envelopes because the invitation set only has the invitation card, inner envelope, response card and response envelope.  I wanted the traditional "outer envelope" thing too, so we purchased those at another store for $.50 each.  And for our reception cards, we bought nice 8×11 card stock and cut it into 8 equal pieces.  Total of $4.00 on the paper.  Total spent on the invitations not including stamps: about $100.  🙂   

They turned out great.  If you match the colors well, no one will be able to tell!  Several people asked me where I’d had them done and couldn’t believe it was our own work!  

Post # 8
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I got our print-your-own wedding invitations off of eBay for $6 per box of forty. Three boxes did the trick for us, with some left over.

My wedding venue is free – it’s one of the gardens at the college where I teach. The reception immediate afterwards is at the college’s conference center which is also free to use, but we have to get the food there except for the wedding cake. The garden is beautiful and the conference center is very elegant so I am not decorating either.

The wedding after-party is a pig roast to be held the next day. $250 for covered pavillions, softball and volleyball fields, kitchen, bar area and real bathrooms. Can service hundreds of guests and there’s ample parking. I am getting covers for the picnic tables and tableware in bulk which saves tons of money.

We only need about 2 hours of photgraphy – my Maid/Matron of Honor is a photographer but obviously can’t do the ceremony pics so we hired a young photgrapher trying to start his business whose work we like _ $250 for two hrs. of photography, editing of 25 pics and a CD with ALL the raw pics. My Maid/Matron of Honor can edit them later.

Music is being handled for the ceremony and the pig roast by one of my friends who works for the college’s IT department. His services and the PA and sound system are also free.

Total budget for ceremony, refreshments afterwards and pig roast – under 4K.


Post # 9
3979 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Instead of having your reception on a Saturday night at a so-so venue & still paying through the nose, consider having your wedding on a Sunday night or Friday night at an awesome venue for half the price.

Our venue on a Saturday night has a minimum in 10K food/drink sales. A Sunday afternoon/evening it jumps down to less than half the price of Saturday night.

I’d also suggest involving your friends & family! It makes the wedding more personal & will save you a lot. Consider having a friend perform the ceremony (save $200 officiant fee), have your family friend who plays guitar play something during your ceremony, etc. You get the idea 🙂

Getting your guests to RSVP online is a good option for your wallet & the environment! You’ll save .45 cents per invitation & you won’t need an additional envelope. This only works if you have a young, with it crowd… ours is the opposite lol.

Great ideas so far ladies!

Post # 10
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010


Now I have been a single mom for five years.  I have a great job, but pay for a nice house, new suv, and my son.  So there’s your sign as to where my $$ goes.  I’ve known T for almost 2 years and haven’t used this site since then, but can tell you..I have champagne wishes but on a beer budget after paying for all of this.  (T pretty much is so sweet to pay for our vacations now though!)

I wanted 2 summers ago to take my son to Disney/Orlando.  I didn’t want to stay on site & desperately needed some rnr and wanted one of 3 resorts, all of which were totally out of my price range.  I wanted to have a great pool, relaxing, spa, and some child friendly fun WITHOUT slews of kids around us.  I wanted to go to the Omni Championsgate, JW Marriott, or the Ritz Grand Lakes. 

Enter me stumbling upon this site.  http://www.biddingfortravel.com !  I had wanted to try priceline but thought it too risky.  This site was perfect!  It teaches you HOW to bid on priceline and can give a recent readout of what hotels in what area are available and correspond to a certain bidding range.

I read for about 2 days on that site to "learn".  I got the room of our dreams for 2/3 off what the going rate was on hotels.com or expedia or the hotel’s own brand site!

We got the vacay of our dreams and for less than I’d imagined.  The pool and the waterslides at the resort were so great and relaxing, and my son loved their kids’ club.  He got super amounts of attention and begged me to go there in fact!  we were even able to bring our little puppy with us and the concierge walked my puppy during the day for free!  Best part was hanging in the lazy river away from the maddening crowds and hanging (when he was at kids’ club) in the adult pool by the cabanas. 

This site saved me over 800!  and I never knew it.  I would have spent full price (or the "best" price they were offering on those websites) and stayed half the vacation or had to go somewhere much much more inexpensive.

I can’t say enough about this site.  It’s free.  Worked for me.  And if I need it again,t I will use it!  If we have a destination wedding, I may use the tips/tricks to pay for our immediate family’s rooms! 


Post # 11
92 posts
Worker bee

I highly recommend the book Bridal Bargains.  I’m doing all the usual things to save money:

 -printing our own invitations, purchased at Michael’s with 40% off coupon.

– I am lucky in that my cousin is a professional photographer and has agreed to do our wedding!

– we decided to get simple wedding bands.  The cheapest, well-recommended place I’ve found so far is weddingringhotline.com.  We both got 18k white gold bands and the total was around $300. 

– we chose a venue that allows us to use our own catering and liquor.  We are still planning to have an open bar, but will buy liquor at Sam’s Club, wine by the case, and provide 2 kegs.  One of the waitresses at our regular bar will bartend.

– I tried on dresses at a local bridal store to get a feel for what I liked, and am now looking online for once worn wedding dresses.  I’m looking to get a Maggie Sottero dress (usually run $800-$1500) for around $500 with shipping and bustle already done.

– We are probably going to skip a lot of the things I consider unnecessary and trivial, like the favors.  I think providing good music, food, and alcohol is most important to the enjoyment of our guests and they probably won’t care/remember if we had organza overlays on the table and sashes and matching chargers etc. 

 – we’re getting a simple 3 tier cake from Publix.  If we had the money it would be nice to get a stunning, custom cake but I don’t even like cake, half the guests probably won’t eat it, and I don’t think it will make a big difference.

– I also plan on doing my own floral stuff, using flowers bought in bulk from Sam’s Club or fiftyflowers.com.  My centerpieces are going to simply be orchids submerged in cylindrical vases, so they should be fairly easy to arrange. 

 The biggest challenge I have so far is finding affordable but elegant food for an evening reception.  We’re considering having a restaurant drop off the entrees and just getting the side stuff like salad and garlic bread from Sam’s as well.  We would still have to find someone to set it up and man the buffet station, but we were thinking of craigslist for that.

Post # 13
15 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

Hi Ladies!!

 Just wanted to share some of my budget ideas:

 1) Don’t forget consignment!  Boston’s Good Will hosted "Brides on a Budget" this year (I think it was their first year) and had thousands of gowns for sale that had been donated by local bridal boutiques.  The prices ran from $80 to $250 tops.  I got mine there.  Also, keep an eye out for your shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc. from local consignment stores too.  I picked up a to die for pair of Manolo Blahnik’s for only $75!

 2) SAVE YOUR GIFT CARDS!  If you have any, that is.  I hoarded a few for Victoria’s Secret and, armed with a coupon they issued this year for their semi-annual sale, managed to get my undergarments at no cost to me.

 3) Look for a venue where all the rentals are included and that has an in-house caterer.  We don’t have to rent anything, or pay any additional vendor fees.  Plus, because ours is a non-profit that is not allowed to do more than 10% of its annual income on non-member events, the prices are very low.  The site does not have different menus for Friday vs Saturday events.  

Post # 14
1042 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

For wedding dresses, shop around and check out places like preownedweddingdresses.com and oncewed! I saved $1k on my wedding dress just by buying it on preownedweddingdresses and it was a brand new dress!

Also I’m moving this thread to "money" so it will have more visibility 🙂

Post # 16
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

As crazy as it seems, Goodwill, Salvation Army and other thrift stores can be treasure troves! 

From shabby chic, mis-matched china to vases, you can find all sorts of things there for quite cheap.  We found vintage leather suitcases to "wrap" our wedding party’s gifts in for just a few bucks more than the cost of a nice gift bag. 

Look online for linens.  I looked early on and thought it would be more expensive to buy them than to rent them and so didn’t give it another thought.  Then I was pointed to a website that had them for the same price as the rentals and had free shipping!  The tablecloths have already done a friend’s wedding and I’ll be able to sell them after mine in a few months. 

Drop any preconceived notions about where you can get things from.  Who cares if they don’t typically do weddings?  Chances are they could still have what you need and possibly for cheaper. 

COMPARISON SHOP!  My fiance has laughed at me for the ridiculous amounts of research I’ve done but in the end I think I’ll probably have saved us a couple $1000.  And make sure you compare actual prices!  What you might think is a screaming deal might turn out to be really expensive because of shipping. 

I also third the used wedding dress idea.  I saved hundreds there and didn’t even need any alterations!

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