(Closed) Cost Savings: What is a Waste; What Isn’t

posted 10 years ago in Beehive
Post # 3
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I’ve never heard that it is all about the dress.  I think spending an outragous amount of money on dress you only wear once is a waste of money, so I decided to spend under $1000 including accessories and shoes.  Other areas to "cut" or save money:

Cheaper flowers that still look good such as Daisies instead of roses, buy them wholesale if you can.

No favors, or inexpensive favors — based on a number of posts on weddingbee guests prefer edible favors.  I made chocolate suckers for each guest at under 50cents each.

A location that is all inclusive for the ceremony/reception so you aren’t hiring different vendors for everything.

Explore your cake options — you only need enough cake for about 50 – 75% of your guests — don’t base it on all of the guests.  Avoid fondant, keep it simple. 

Digital photo packages are generally cheaper.

Cut the program, or make them yourself.  Don’t buy expensive invitations, people just throw them away anyway, inexpensive and elegant works.

I have a ton of other ideas… my wedding was very budget but none of my guests knew it.  They all loved it and thought that my diy stuff was beautiful. 

If you want more details on my planning, diy, and vendors you can go to http://www.calioc.blogspot.com


Post # 4
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

The main regret I hear from people is not about the dress, but about photography.  We’ve stuck to the budget religiously on everything except the photographer.  She is our splurge, and I’m sure we won’t regret it!

Post # 5
244 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

I did not have a budget wedding, nor did I have a lavish one, but looking back this is what I would say.  When you are in the wedding planning cloud, wedding things seem so important and you can’t imagine having your wedding without XYZ…and you bend in so many ways to try and have thse things. But after the wedding…when you go back to your normal life, you will eventually emerge from that fog and think "wow I’m surprised I anguised over X and in the end it really didn’t matter." So if you are ever torn over something and feel yourself wanting to spend money that you don’t have…just say no. You won’t regret it later.

 Things you should spend money on (or at least get the best you can afford)

Food (including alcohol), Music, Photography – IMO a succesful wedding is one where guests are enjoying themselves.  It’s not worth spend $5,000 on a dress if you serve the same piece of lame rubbery chicken that gets passed from wedding to wedding. Feed them well and they will rave about your wedding. They will not remember your letter pressed invitation if the DJ or band is bad and no one dances…they will leave early and throw out your lettepressed menu on the way to the door.  Get them dancing and they will remember all the fun they had. Photography is for you…great photography can make the simpilest wedding look amazing.

Don’t spend money on –

The dress, the cake, things like aisle runners (especially the embroidered ones), globos, favors, programs, invitations, bathroom baskets, etc. –  For almost any of the most expensive dresses you can easily find a knock-off and NO ONE will know. More then likely you will look great in lots of dreses so don’t get caught up on one that’s breaking the bank. Serve your guests a real dessert and spend $50 on a little cake you and your husband can cut.  Things like invitations are nice, paper is nice, and if you can afford it great, but there are a lot of great affordable options out there and the paper products should be the first to be cut back on if you have to save money.  These things get tossed at the end of the night anyway.

If you have extra to spare –

Personally I think things like flowers (for the reception not the ceremony), linens, nice chairs, and room lighting (not specility dance floor lighting) are examples of things that can change a room and make it seem like more. If you can’t afford them then they are NOT necessary. But if you have some money and you’re thinking of where to put it, then these things can bring a room together and make a wedding seem nicer. No, I don’t think a guest will notice the linens, or the chairs, or maybe even the flowers, but they will notice the general mood that these things create. All of these things can be done on a budget though…don’t get caught up needing a certain shade of purple napkin that costs more then all the rest or having your heart set on peonies when roses will do.

Post # 6
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

My favorite cost-saver so far has been sheet cake!  My fiance and I are doing a small decorated cake for the cake-cutting ceremony and a big sheet cake in the back for the caterers to cut and serve immediately.  We originally wanted to do this so the cake could be served more quickly (when we’re guests it always feels like forever in between the cake-cutting ceremony and actually getting our piece of cake), but it’s a huge cost-saver as well.

DIY flowers are also a great idea.  If all you want is bouquets, it’s super-easy to make pretty bouquets yourselves from flowers you find at a local wholesale flower supplier or a farmer’s market. 

I’m also a fan of print-your-own invitation kits.  Target, Michaels, and even Staples have some very simple but classic invitation designs, and not counting inks you could spend as little as $0.50 per invitation.

Really, it boils down to what you and your Fiance think is important.  Decide on the areas where you really don’t want to cut back, and then see where you can cut costs.  If you’re a fashion lover, maybe it is "all about the dress" for you, so you buy a "print your own invitations" kit and save money there.  Or maybe you really want to splurge on the food, so you buy a white bridesmaid’s dress and upgrade the food options with the money you save. What are the parts of the wedding you guys are most excited about?

Post # 7
497 posts
Helper bee

Obviously, the most important part is getting married…that goes without saying.

The rest is just a party. So what’s the best way to throw a great party? Make it memorable.

You don’t have to have the best centerpieces ever, or the most amazing cake ever, or the best food ever. You just have to make it memorable. Whether that is by having an incredible venue and letting it speak for itself, or having a fun entertainment option (like a photo booth or a great band). If you focus on making it memorable, you will find that one big thing will really do it…the rest is just icing.

Post # 8
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

I think you have to really sit down and decide what’s most important to you. If you and your fiance decide that it will just NOT be a party without music, put most of your budget towards a great band and skimp elsewhere. Or, maybe you love wedding cake and it won’t be your wedding without – go all out on the cake, but maybe don’t serve as fancy options for dinner. I agree with Mrs. Corn that it has to be memorable, but I think it’s most important that it’s memorable to you for having all the things you liked most there.

Post # 9
32 posts
  • Wedding: June 2009

It depends on the couple.  When my Fiance and I got engaged, the first thing we did was created a list and both ranked what was important to us.  What we found was that we were pretty similar in what was deemed important.  We spent a little more for photography, food, DJ because we wanted to have a "party" like celebration and great memories.  The flowers, invites, and cake were at the bottom of our list and we aren’t really putting much into it.

Post # 10
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

Speaking as someone who saves everyone’s wedding memorabilia (yes, I’m the one who saves your invites, programs, non-edible favors)  =)

Everyone has their own preferences but since you are asking for opinions, if I were to cut costs, it would be the dress and programs.

While I do remember some invites, favors, and centerpieces, those would have to be pretty lavish or unique to stand out.  If you plan on doing something standard, then I would cut costs there as well.

Videography is up in the air….I cut cost there and went with the cheaper guys and lucked out with a pretty awesome video.  But I know that is not always the case.

While expensive don’t always = good quality, have good food (people seem to remember having more fun when the food is good), good photography, and a good DJ/band.   

Post # 12
332 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

My Fiance and I did what HoneyDew and hers did. We made a list of what was most important to us as a couple and have focused on those things. The rest are just details. This board has helped me re-realize this-thanks!


Post # 13
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I agree with everyone above me.  If depends on what you think is important to you.

Post # 14
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

The one thing people always talk about is getting yourself a great photographer, and I completely agree. I’ve heard several people that I know personally complain after the wedding that their photographs are disappointing, and they wish they would have booked someone better. My uncle is going to be doing our photography, but he has been self employed as a professional photographer and done weddings for the past couple of decades.

Something nobody has mentioned is saving on the videographer. Unless you really think you’ll watch your video, you might want to consider not having a videographer, or at least getting a cheaper one. We are having boy’s uncle take videos for us, as he enjoys doing this and works a camera well enough. Check out Costco for invitations, and think of things that you really don’t need to have that the wedding industry tried to make people think they HAVE to have.

Post # 15
25 posts

To me, the most important part aside from the vows IS the dress!!

I think that having a dress that you love and feel wonderful in is so important. The point is that you only get to wear it ONCE….you don’t have mulitple chances to go back and do it over again. So, I think that your dress is the most important part. I really can’t tell you what any centerpieces looked like at any wedding that I’ve ever been too..seriously! But I can tell you which brides looked the happiest in their gorgeous wedding gowns!!

 That’s just my opinion. I will not go overboard on the dress though. The highest I will go is 1,000…but I put the dress up there VERY high! I agree that photography is also very high on my list..but then I think, ‘what good is an awesome photo of us on our wedding day if I’m wearing a dress I didn’t really like that much!’ LOL! But that’s just me!

 I’ve also been told that a great way to save money is to have a cake made of foam with one layer of real cake for the bride and groom to cut. Then have the sheet cakes in the back for guests. You can still have the beautiful cake you dreamed of without as much cost.

Post # 16
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I bought my dress on sale. I found that I could love an inexpensive dress just as much as the luxe ones without the HUGE guilt that came with the price tag. Nobody’s going to know you aren’t wearing a designer, just that you look incredible. Plus, nowadays it’s pretty affordable to hit Ebay up for a woman who’ll make it for you. My experience is that they’re much more likely to oblige to your demands than a snooty bridal salon.

Cake is another one. We’re serving sheet cake too. Everyone I talk to says wedding cake doesn’t taste good, anyways, and that Costco has yummy cakes. Nobody will notice that we don’t have some beastly thing to cut.  I have yet to have a delish wedding cake. 

Booze–we’re serving beer and wine, that’s it. People like that, and they won’t miss the jack and cokes. And we don’t have to worry baout people drinking. We’re cutting them off an hour before the reception ends, too.

bridesmaid dresses: be flexible. Don’t make your girls spend an absurd amount of money. Ask yourslef if YOU want to spend that in someone else’s wedding, but consider their income and if they’re fresh out of college, etc. For half my girls, $150 was ok. For the other half, $150 was WAY too much. 

I also made my own flowers, my own headpiece, my own garter, bought my "shoes (aka sandals) from Neiman Marcus on sale so I can totally wear them again (anything re-usable is justifiable in my book), went with candle centerpieces made from walmart glassware and candles from Sam’s Club, made bracelets for the BM’s, having the  ceremony and reception at the same place (maybe not applicable to you) and cutting out limos, transportation, etc. I’m totally OK with my parents dropping my Fiance and off at our hotel in their mercedes. I don’t care! 

Not gonna lie, at this point, I am NOT worried about my wedding looking chintzy. Are you crafty enough to do a lot of stuff yourself? And have the TIME?! That’s the big thing for me. I only work 40 hours a week, my Fiance is in Georgia, and I have time on my side. I have friends who do not, so they have to buy a lot of stuff. See if you can borrow! I offer stuff to my friends all the time, but nobody seems to be biting, lol. 

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