(Closed) Budget Brides: What are you doing to save $ on your wedding?

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 3
37 posts
  • Wedding: April 2011

We are forgoing traditional wedding photography. We will rely on snaps taken by family and friends at the wedding. Will do a portrait session with a professional photographer either before or after the wedding so that we will get good photos of us in our wedding attire. By The Way we are not having any attendants so this works for us. about $300 for a top notch local photographer vs.  $2000 and up.

Post # 4
339 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Hmm – still in the beginning of the planning process, but here’s what we’ve done so far:

1) Getting married on Sunday saved us over $800 w/both our venues combined

2) Reception venue is a wine cellar that comes with a private room, private bathroom, bartender, barware, tables, and chairs and allows us to BYOB (beer only – wine must come from them but their prices are more than reasonable)

3) Got my dress from a consigment shop – it may be last season’s (not that anyone else will know this) but I got a $1600 gown for $200.

4) Will likely get our invitations & Save-The-Date Cards from 123print.com

Post # 5
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Getting my dress made – ca 400.

DIY flowers from mkt, non floral centrepieces.

Cupcakes @ 1.50 each instead of cake.

DIY invites.

Thinking about Titanium rings for both of us. $130 ish.

Friend doing make up – will either be heavily discounted or free.

Might look into getting one of the Amex/BA hook up credit cards, to clock up airmiles while paying vendors.

Post # 6
1995 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

we found a caterer that had no corking or cake cutting fees! 

we hired friend photographer – worked out amazing!

we didn’t hire a limo or any transportation

we didn’t hire a DOC or purchase any decorations – all DIY

we used milk jugs for centerpiece vases.  we actually drank all that milk! plus got the $1.50 deposit back afterwards!

we bought our invitations from ac moore

Post # 7
1260 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I had a budget wedding in June, and used many of the tips you mentioned in your original post. The ones I found the most bedget saving:

– used a family acquaintance rental property for our wedding and reception (fee: $500) *[this obviously is not a viable option for everyone, but happend to work out for me]

– used flowers from grocery store boquets along with flowers from MIL’s garden. Assesmble the flowers myself. No bouts or corsages, only bridal bouquet and three bridesmaid bouquets, plus centerpieces. Total flower cost: $60 [If your family has a garden (or you do), do this option!]

– used a photographer who was just starting out and needed to build her portfolio. Fee was $1000, BUT we got the rights to the photos, two CDs filled with high and low res pics so we can make our own prints. It can be risky to go with someone so new, but our photos turned out great, so the risk was worth it for us.

-DIY invitations, email/phone RSVPs

– small guest list (we ended up with 50 guests)

Friendors helped me out a lot, but I understand its not possible for everyone. Things like grocery store flowers, a photog just starting out, and DIY invitations with email RSVPs are all viable ways to bring down the cost.


Post # 8
113 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Here’s what I did to save money:

Our STD’s were postcards.  35cents at zazzle

invites were a DIY set on clearance from Target

flowers were DIY from Trader Joes purchased morning of the wedding.

my dress was a bridesmaid’s dress in white, only cost $200 DIY hair & makeup

small guest list (35 invites ) 45 ppl came

self-catered the food.

Biggest tip: when asking for prices don’t say it’s a wedding

Post # 9
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

  • All-inclusive venue $89.95 per person for venue, 3 course meal, all linens and chair covers, cocktail reception with champagne punch, 2 bottles of wine with dinner, 4 hours of open bar and our honeymoon suite for Saturday Night 
  • DIY Save-The-Date Cards
  • Micheal’s Bride’s Invitation Kit
  • DIY card box, escort cards etc.
  • Forgoing favours
  • Saved up points with grocery store and getting $1100 worth of flowers using all points
  • Using left over points to buy food for backyard BBQ Rehearsal Dinner
  • DIY hair flower, veil and hot pink crinoline
  • Shopped around for all the cheapest vendors for cake, limo, DJ
  • DIY make-up
  • Small Guest List (54 ppl)

Post # 10
321 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

-spent $250 on vintage dress.

-diy catering, cost around $1000 for all food, booze and supplies for 50 people.

-booked my tent in the middle of winter and scored 20% off.

-booked a B&B venue for the whole weekend which allowed my family and friends time to do all the decorating ourselves.  venue also provided most of the tables for reception and rooms for all our out of town guests.

-diy flowers and bouquets.

-asked bridesmaids to help with a lot of stuff, in exchange they wore their own nice black cocktail dresses so no extra expense for them.

-used same chairs for ceremony seating as for reception seating.

-booked the local mayor to marry us, cost us a $40 “donation.”

-booked a string quartet from the local high school to play for the ceremony. $135.

-IPOD reception.

-no rehearsal dinner.

-MOH did makeup as gift.

-sister made delicious cake as gift.

-diy honey favors cost around $30

-bought “used” (bride bought wrong ones and never used) tableclothes from other weddingbee bride for $6 a piece. nearly every decoration was purchased this way or from thrift stores.

-bought string lights day after Christmas at insane discount.

-diy all papers: invites, save-the-dates, favor tags, placecards, framed food labels, programs.  came to around $60.

-diy cake topper.

-diy table runners, approx. $20 but tons of time.

-Dollar Tree pillar candles, best deal out there!

Post # 11
1221 posts
Bumble bee

* Michaels invitation kit

* DIY Card Box

* getting flowers done, but buying my own vases from Dollar Tree

*having my cousin do my hair

* booked wedding on a sunday saved us 1k

* booked wedding 8 months in advance to get a free cake

Post # 12
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

*First and foremost, only 80 guests were invited, and clearly not all of them will come.

*One venue for both ceremony and recepetion, and they aren’t charging any rental fees for the use of space, linens, centerpieces, etc. – just food and drink (which is enough, trust me).

*On that note, cash bar. Call me tacky, but I really don’t need to (a) spend a wad of money I don’t have and (b) encourage my best friend to get drunk and tell stories from college that didn’t happen or are extremely exaggerated.

*Also, an hors d’oeurves buffet instead of a sit-down meal. The food price per head is about the same, but there’s no serving staff to pay, place cards to make…

*… And no favors.

*DIY Save-the-Date cards, made of solid-color vellum paper and designed by me in Print Shop, and mailed in discontinued (i.e. discounted!) envelopes ordered from the same paper place.

*DIY Invitation kit bought online for ~ $50 (includes invitations, vellum sleeves to dress it up, envelopes, and RSVP cards and envelopes), including shipping.

*No programs. Instead, I’m going to have a list of bridal party members, musical selections, special thanks to photog, cake designer, etc. in an 8×10 frame by my guest book – so all the guests can see and read it, and I don’t need to kill more trees or pick up left-behind, wasted programs afterward.

*Free wedding website to keep information up to date (like, notifying everyone that the venue has changed ownership and names since I printed the invites… and it’s too fancy for the ill-behaved brats, so don’t bring them, especially since they’re not invited anyway). Also has our menu, local attractions, accomodations info, etc. on it, instead of killing more trees and spending more on postage to mail out a thousand pieces of paper/cardstock.

*DIY flowers ordered in a bulk wedding package online. (Haven’t done this yet, obviously, but Mom and I have been practicing our bouquet-making skills with fakes.  lol)

*No videographer.

*Non-professional photographer, a friend of mine from college who works in digital media/photography for his job. His work is excellent, and much cheaper than a pro. Plus I know he’ll be fun to work with!

*Non-pro cake… well, sort of. She works in a restaurant bakery, but not a specialty boutique or anything. She did my sister’s cake and a friend’s cake, and they were excellent.

*No tux rentals. The guys will all be wearing charcoal grey suits and white shirts they already own. (Actually, my Fiance needs to buy each, but he could use them for work anyway.) We’ll be supplying the ties as part of the groomsmen’s gifts.

*My dress was discontinued, so I purchased the sample for a good deal and was also given a discount on the alterations. That wasn’t planned, but a happy, money-saving accident nonetheless. ๐Ÿ™‚

*Miscellaneous other crafty-type projects for decorative and personal touches. For example, I’m going to use wishing well cards as a guest book alternative (not to beg for money), so I’m decorating a little basket to put them in that will also double as a card box.

*Probably my best buy: 50 Rat Pack love songs on iTunes for $5.95. That will play for almost 3 hours, which is exactly the length of our reception. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 13
2866 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Basically our WHOLE wedding is DIY/on a budget:

DIYing the flowers (real ones but I could get WAY more by ordering them myself) & table decor (I can sew)

DIYing invites/all lables/signage etc (I’m a graphic designer so I love these projects). I also made our cake topper and my hairflower.

Appetizer reception & Sunday afternoon wedding (we’re not really partiers so we didn’t want to have a late night thing)

No bar (NO we’re not having alcohol at all, we don’t drink, it doesn’t fit what we would do if we had guests over to our house, so no one should be surprised by it – plus we’re not doing a dance party thing so it shouldn’t matter)

Self DJ (we’re using a computer not an ipod but we just want some background noise while people visit)

Friends and family are going to take pics, also a friend is playing the ceremony music.



Post # 14
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

We chose a small venue that limited our guest list!  That and we bought a lot of the decor items (and specifically chose things that we knew we could use again) at HomeGoods/Marshall’s/etc.

Post # 15
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

The venue will cost us the most, but it’ll be worth it, all things considered. ๐Ÿ˜€

Here’s what we’re doing to save money:

  • DIY flowers – I’m making ribbon roses and it’ll cost around $50 total if I do ’em right.
  • Self-Catering – My Fiance and Future Brother-In-Law will be doing the catering
  • Friend will be doing the photography
  • Another friend will be doing videography
  • Our officient is a relative
  • Centerpieces are salsa bowls filled with candy
  • Another friend is making the main centerpiece for the bride & groom’s table
  • Another friend and her family are making candy rock on swizzle sticks
  • Decorations are DIY
  • Cardbox is DIY
  • Invites/announcements & RSVP cards are from Zazzle – I designed them
  • Programs are going to be printed on cardstock – again, I designed them
  • Having cupcakes instead of large wedding cake with a small cake for my and Fiance to cut
  • I’m making the garter (wish me luck on that!)
  • Going to as a friend who is a DJ to DJ for us and going to use iPod and speakers
  • Also going to have friends who are musicians play
  • Buying food/silverware/cups/plates/etc from Costco and/or Sam’s Club and/or other wholesale places

I’m sure there’ll be plenty more stuff, but that’s all I can think of right now.  Reach out to family and friends and co-workers who you wouldn’t mind having at your wedding.  You’d be amazed at what talents they have hidden and what they’ll be willing to do for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, the dollar stores, thrift stores, eBay and yard/garage sales are your friends.  Cheap in price does not always mean cheap in quality.

Post # 16
535 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Lots of DIY and a Sunday brunch wedding!

I get discounts on everything for it being a Sunday, and more discounts on top of that for it being in the morning. I love the idea, so it’s a total win for me ๐Ÿ˜€

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