Post # 1
When we first started budgeting the wedding I read so many blogs over how to cut costs. The number one tip I found was to cut the guest list, typically surrounded with words like trim, minimize, and slash. We just didn’t want to forfiet friends and family. It just didn’t make sense for us personally. (no judgement for others) We are active in our church and community so we’ve ended up inviting about 320 people and we have estimated about 230 will come. We cut so many aspects of our wedding down, including we cut out invitations all together. We just did Save the Date Magnents that I got from vista print with a groupon and it included our website where people RSVP.
Any other bee’s cutting wedding aspects instead of their guest list? What aspects did you cut, coupon, diy, or someone gifted their talent?
Things that helped us with budget
- A photographer friend is gift us our engagement pics (tomorrow!)
- My sister is a professional photographer and will be doing the wedding
- My aunt video’s my uncles band and is going to be recording our wedding
- My uncle is a professional guitarist and will be providing the ceremony music
- We have another friend coming who is a professional singer and has a band and she might be gifting us the reception band
- My old boss and the Best Man’s wife will be gifting their planning talents as my DOC’s.
- I have three friends who are gifting their talents and time to managing our food at our cake and punch reception
- Our old choir director (very important to us) has gifted us her time and is officiating our wedding
- Our pastor at our church here at college has gifted us our pre-marital counseling
- My sister’s friend is gifting her time and doing the bridal hair (she’s cut my hair and styled it for formals for about 8 years now)
- Our friend is gifting his time to be our MC/DJ and will be in charge of announcing what is happening when
Wow, I really am so blessed looking at all those gifts. We may not be blessed with money, but by golly we have some amazing friends and family!
Post # 3
@MelodicCallie: You certainly are blessed! It sounds like you have wonderful friends and family, and I’m sure your wedding day will be beautiful (and under budget)!
Post # 4
You are truly lucky to have such a diverse group of friends, who are also willing to give of their time & talents.
Not everyone is so fortunate…
Probably WHY there are sooo many posts on WBee from Brides who are facing the MANY dilemmas that happen as they work thru cutting their Guest Lists (or food, or bar, or decor, etc)
Post # 5
We’ll probably be at or over budget but we’re hoping for $3000 for the wedding. We’re trying to not go in anymore debt since we’re both 22 with student loans (boomer sooner!). We’ve been on our own for 3 years now so those gifts are the blessing allowing us to have a wedding with so many loved ones.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC
@MelodicCallie: you most certainly are blessed. I understand why you cant cut your guest list!!
Dont forget the flower market for flowers
Post # 7
Goodluck – I hope you are on target with a 30% decline rate. It’s a bit higher than I think most people suggest rely on (25%), which normally wouldn’t matter so much but for the fact that you have a larger wedding so a change there could really impact your budget.
I did not rely quite so much on others – my friends didn’t have such talents plus I’d be worried about them not enjoying themselves (and what if something went wrong? A lot of bees post bad friendor stories). How I saved:
- Negotiation. I negotiated:
Shopped for good deal:
- My dress
- Champagne toast
- Reduced bar price
- Second night free stay at Inn
- Taxes on flowers (wedding in New Husband w/no taxes, reception VT – we picked up and didn’t have to pay them)
- Rings – paid fee to ship rings to New Husband (my parents) didn’t have to pay tax and asked for deal that was offered to new purchasers on the day we picked them up
- Delivery fee for pies
- Free cheese platter – part of deal offered initially bc it was ~7 months to date
- Reception site fees – part of deal offered
- Bar fee – part of deal offered
- Discount on photographer
- Clearance price matched shoes
- Coupons for items in out of town bag (bought at BJs)
- Groupon for part of bridal party gifts from redenvelope
- Free pictures for centerpiece names
- Costco + sale items for BBQ
- Groupon for photobook
- 40%-50% discount coupons off everything from craft store (photo mat, out of town bags, tulle for church, ribbon for bows, etc.)
- Picked up forever stamps just before price increase
Selected cheaper options or skipped things
- Pocketfold invitations
- Veil (by my mom, with her headpiece)
- Flower pick up
- Flowers for rehearsal bbq & on pews at church (ordered from Costco)
- Centerpieces (quilted mats by my mom, potted flowers by his mom)
- Mailbox card box
- Rehearsal BBQ held at my parents lakeview house near wedding
- Thank you cards
Gifts from others:
- Pies not cake by preference
- No liner for tent
- Reusable suit over tux rental
- No fancy lingerie
- Only 3 bridesmaids (family)
- Skipped save the dates
- Simpler flowers
And we cut the guest list
- Engagement party offered as present by two friends (otherwise wouldn’t have had)
- Favors homemade caramels a wedding gift by a friend
- Borrowed Tiffany diamond & platinum necklace from DH’s very good friend
- Pie topper a whimsical lego bride & groom (gag gift) from my brother
With the exception of the guest list, I calculated I saved $5122.56 on a $25,000 budget (ok, $25,004.60 but I call that VERY darned close). That doesn’t include DIY savings, gifts, or skipped items – only negotiated and good deals.
Post # 8
@MelodicCallie: Wow awesome! I always like hearing about ways to make things happen on a budget. We’re on a shoestring budget and have changed our plans quite a few times…but this is the FINAL plan…
- ceremony site: free for residents of my county (win!)
- chairs for ceremony: free through a business partner
- decor: $140 bought seconhand from a previous bride
- reception/dinner: gifted
- photographer: extremely discounted, family friend
- minister: free (but we will give him a tip of course)
- music: ipod
- dress: bought discounted off the rack last year
- his wedding band: $50 (giftcard for free rings where you just pay shipping!)
Though we lost money from our original deposits when we were planning a much more elaborate wedding, the amount we are saving is substantial. Our original plans were over $12,000 while this updated plan will cost less than $3000 out of our pockets.