Post # 1
Ok, ladies. I LOVE a bargain, and it’s become a bit of a game to me to see how cheap I can do this wedding.
What are some money saving things you guys have done when it comes to venue/decor/food/drinks? I’d love to hear how your creativity saved you lots of money!
And also – what is your budget/what was your final wedding cost?
Post # 3
I bought my flowers from the florist at the grocery store.
6 boutonnieres, 6 corsages, and 3 dozen roses I’ll use for a main flower arrangment and my bouquet. Total bill: $184.
At other florists, a bouquet alone would have been $184.
And we got the flowers yesterday. They are BEAUTIFUL.
Post # 4
Well done! I totally agree….flowers are flowers. Why pay more for a posh “wedding florist?”
Post # 5
I brought everything online 🙂
1) dress came to $228
2) flowers – silk, came in at about $200 once I added my extra ribbons and bling etc…
3) disco lights – we are having an iPod wedding and buying 2 lights online for about $50 was cheaper than hiring them 🙂
4) Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses – also online $138 instead of $400 in store…
5) underwear – $60 instead of $150+ in stores
We also go bonboniere boxes, cake bags and our wedding arch (we are standing under it to get married) decorations off eBay.
I also did a lot of DIY – coathangers for B & G, 3 BMs, MOB, MOG and FOG – about $5 each rather than the $30 or so online 🙂
Invites and placecards about $60 for all materials (granted it took 3 people about 3-4 days work but they are awesome :))
I am sure there is heaps I have forgotten 🙂
Wow listing all that made me sooooo proud of making our budget stretch so far 🙂
Post # 6
@SupermarketGirl: We are using our friends and family expertise and talents. We are not hiring anything out. I love that everyone involved knows us and will help make our wedding personalized. They all love helping and being a part of it as well. I found my dress for free off of Craig’s list. I had It cleaned, altered and i added a few details which cost me all less than a $100. We are having an afternoon desert reception to save on food. Our location is a state park, $100 for the day. Our budget is $4000 and I think we will be close to that. We could of saved a lot of money if we had a smaller wedding, we will have over200 people. The number of people quickly add to the cost, every cost is multiplied by the number of people. We found deals on , Craigslist and used our resources. it can be doneand have fun making it your special wedding.
Post # 7
My good friend is a makeup artist, she’s doing my makeup, MOH’s, and three Mom’s for free. FI’s friend is a DJ and he is also gifting his services to us for free.
Bought our invites from Michael’s with a 50% coupon, bought a magnet save the date kit from Michael’s with a 40% coupon, found our florist on Kijiji and our complete package is $500 (which to me is amazing because of the previous prices I was quoted for the flower I wanted which were Anemone’s, the packages started at $1,200), also found our Photographer on Kijiji getting a full package including e-session, unlimited photos, wedding album, slideshow etc. for $600
Post # 8
I haven’t gotten married yet, but here are my savings so far!
Dress – $275. the dress itself was free, I am using my mom’s dress. It was $200 for alterations to modernize it, and $75 for the cleaning and pressing.
Photography – free. A family friend is doing it as our wedding gift
Cake – free. Another family friend is doing this as a wedding gift.
Invitations – $65 for 150 invitations w/ envelopes, and 150 RSVP cards w/ envelopes. We used the Vistaprint Groupon for this
Ceremony Venue – $125 It is in a state park
Reception Venue – $400, but this price is for 3 days. It is a group camp in the state park, and we will have it from Fri-Sun. This also serves as accomodations, as it has 2 cabins (1 for each of our immediate families) and 2 dorm buildings (with 20 rooms for guests to stay in if they so choose).
Jewelery – $35 total
Catering – around $10/pp. It is a family friend.
Post # 9
We’re doing a lot of our own food.
I’m getting my flowers from Costco.
I am DIYing a lot of stuff, including making my own cake.
We won’t have to pay for any venue because we are having the wedding and reception in my grandmother’s back yard.
Post # 10
@SupermarketGirl: Right there with you about making a game out of it! I don’t like to say this too much, but honestly my available budget is higher than what I would like to spend… it’s one day, you know? So, I’m trying to come in around $7k, which still sounds crazy to me.
So, let’s see… did email save the dates, free. Invites are from Michaels, on sale/couponed and printing at home. A lot of things, I just did a lot of shopping around until I came across something that worked and was a great price. That’s the case for dress, venue, officiant, photographer, and arguably rings. Some things, the effort that would have been involved to bring it down just wasn’t worth it to me, like chair rental, catering, and cake. Well, actually the food is through the venue’s caterer and is a pretty great deal. And friends are helping with alcohol (brewing beer) and music, and flowers are from a local grower who I’ve known for years.
Really, almost everything has been frugal in some way, but I think the two things that have helped the most were finding a venue where we didn’t have to bring or rent everything (tables, chairs, linens, dinnerware, etc.) and just cutting out things that nobody cared about, like fancy transportation, programs, all the various pre-wedding parties, and all kinds of things I can’t even think of because I just didn’t care about them!
Post # 11
@Couloir: Oh my gosh! You got your dress for free off Craigslist!? Please post!! I’d love to see it, I’m impressed!
Post # 12
So great hearing what you guys are doing to save cash! And you’ve all given me several ideas…thank you! 🙂
Post # 13
@nutMeg13: I’d love to see your dress, since it was your mom’s! I think it’s so great you’re wearing her dress…it seems so few people end up doing that, even though I know all our Moms would love it if we did!! Of course, my mom was a size zero when she got married, and I couldn’t even fit my little toe in that size. Ha!
Post # 14
- Wedding: August 2013 - An amazing non-profit retreat
I found my perfect dress at a thrift store for $200. I have a seamstress friend who is going to change it to a lace up back, so that and cleaning will add another $300. Too much in my books, but better than buying an off-the-rack wedding dress. Those prices make me feel ill :S
Invitations were on sale at Michaels– $50 for 90 invitations, RSVP cards, and thank you cards
Faux flowers for table numbers and smaller decor on sale at Michaels– $10
A vase for the head table in our wedding colours– $8 on sale at Michaels
Two coordinating candle holders to go on either side of the vase– $2 at dollar store
Thirty peacock feathers to make bouts and to accent bouquets (in sets of three)– $30 at dollar store
The venue we have chosen is a not-for-profit retreat, deposit is only 10% and there is no tax. All tables/chairs/linens/glassware, etc… is supplied.
Now that we have a solid idea of our wedding, it’s time to nail down a date! (We’ve switched from spring 2013 to summer)
Post # 15
i love the challenge of a good deal.
we got our diy invites from the clearance section and i added some embellishments $1 each
my aunt made our cake as our gift. she has her own cake company but if you know someone who can bake, there are some simple ways to decorate a cake.
i used a previous florist client of mine for all of my flowers at cost.
i did a lot of diy projects that were very inexpensive. tissue pomanders, menus, table #’s, etc
i used a lot of items that i had already for decor (vases, votives, etc)
Post # 16
Okay let’s see…
- Had a friend’s dad officiate – $0 (except the $40 we spent on a gift for him)
- Got married in the middle of a large circular fountain, so the license was cheap – $200
- Photographer was a good friend – $200 plus an extra $45 for a good bottle of scotch as a present
- Cake was from HEB (grocery store in TX). We went to a bridal fair, tried a bunch of cakes, HEB’s was second-best only to a place that would have cost us $400 – ended up spending $117
- Flowers from HEB as well, only used daisies for the aisle decorations, when at the bridal fair, they gave me a “coupon” sort of thing where I got a free toss bouquet. Used the toss bouquet as the flower girl’s bouquet – altogether for flowers, ~$25-30
- I made the centerpieces.. bought 30 frames from Dollar Tree, painted them Tiffany blue. Three pictures on each table, one of each of us as kids, one together as adults. Scattered starfish on the tables, eight tables plus the guest book table & cigar bar table. Probably altogether: ~$55
- Got the DJ to give us a lower price, would have spent over $1000, actually spent $750
- The girls carried parasols instead of bouquets. It was $8 apiece for the parasols as opposed to probably $30 per bouquet for five girls, and as a bonus, they could use them to shield the sun, as it was in TX in June outside, very hot! Spent $56
- Got my dress from Nordstroms, short white cocktail dress, absolutely adorable: $140–my shoes were $160, but I figured hey, I’m saving a ton of money on lots of other things! I love those shoes, btw..
- For the rehearsal dinner, we had a BBQ place called Rudy’s cater for about 45 people. We also got a pony keg and had the rehearsal dinner at our house. Spent about $650.
- Our reception included pretty much everything: tables/linens/chairs, room rental fee, dance floor, security, the most expensive catering option: carving stations with top round of beef and smoked turkey, potini bar (mashed potatoes in a martini glass! awesome!), salad, etc., cake cutting, 10 parking passes for the parking garage. We also put $1,000 toward the bar for two kegs and about 50 mixed drinks. Altogether for that, $4,225 for 75 people. The place was gorgeous too, it was sort of circular and overlooked the bay on the second floor. So pretty!!
Altogether, we spent about $8,600. This is including wedding bands, gratuities, the cost to make my bouquet (made a brooch/silk hydrangea bouquet), catering, tables/linens/chairs, cake, our wedding night room, the rehearsal dinner, arch/chair rental for the ceremony, gifts for bridesmaids/groomsmen/reader/officiant/FG, aisle decorations, groomsmen ties, both my makeup trial and my makeup for the day of, the DJ, the photographer, the marriage license and my shoes. And everything else.