Post # 1
Hi, everyone! I am new to the Beehive. My wedding isn’t until the fall of next year, so I’m starting rather early. Plus, since he and I are paying for a lot of things ourselves, we don’t have a lot of money to work with.
So far, here are ways we are trying to cut on costs…if there’s anyone that has any suggestions, feel free to chime in…
1. Keeping the guest list small (close friends and family only)
2. Opting for a limited bar as opposed to open bar
3. Do it yourself on wedding invitations and wedding programs
4. Not having an engagement party or bridal shower
5. Cutting down on the amount of live flowers for decoration
6. Considering doing a two layer, as opposed to three layer wedding cake
That’s what we’ve come up with thus far. What do you suggest?
Post # 3
Have you considered just having a small show cake to cut and then sheet cake to serve people? Sheet cake is so much cheaper even if it’s the same type of cake.
We did most of the smae stuff to reduce our costs. Do you think you need programs? We didn’t make them and I don’t think anyone really minded.
If you have time, you could buy flowers yourself and arrange them the week before the wedding.
Welcome fellow Jersey girl!
Post # 4
You have a great list so far!
– NJ is really pricey I hear! Maybe consider treaing your small guest list to a fancy restaurant dinner in a private room rather than renting a venue and caterer. Linens, chairs, tables, flatware, waitstaff, bar already there!
– going with a used gown or a gown that is being resold by another bride (after she changed her mind)
– getting a sample sale dress
– going with non-flower decorations
– skipping the favors
PS etiquette wise the bride and groom do not fund/host their prewedding parties. someone always hosts them for you.
Post # 5
@nolabels: For my daughter’s wedding, I came up with a list of guests, an idea of a budget, and the type of place where my daughter wanted to get married. Then I looked for a very inexpensive venue that fit her vision and my (empty) wallet. I took her top 2 or 3 priorities under consideration, and started to look at options to make it work. Her wedding was in a suburban area for 65 people for $5K total. It ended up having everything they envisioned for their wedding. 🙂
Post # 6
Since I’ve done some event planning across the river, I would suggest checking out non-traditional venues. For example, wineries may offer you discounts on their wines (which is likely all you can serve, at least for wine, they may also allow beer or liquor that you provide) if you host there.
I’m with the PP who noted that your number four suggestion really should apply for saving your own money since you shouldn’t be hosting gift-giving parties for yourself. Traditionally, it would be your bridal party or close friends who would host a shower for you. Some people consider it okay for families to host (though that’s up for debate, too). If you don’t want your friends or family to be out extra money, then it would be a cost-saver for them.
Post # 7
Be open to different venues than the “traditional” venues – that will save you some serious cash if you just shop it right!
Have you considered not doing a seated dinner? You could either do a buffet or a heavy hors d’oeurves menu depending on time of day.
Another suggestion that you don’t have to take is to do a Friday or Sunday wedding, though it sounds like alcohol is a priority so it’d probably be a night-time wedding (Friday would be better than Sunday in that case, and you couldn’t do the lighter menu as it’s more of an afternoon option.)
I can PM you a really good thread that I started about a year ago with lots of ideas if you want. 🙂
Post # 8
You can really cut down your flower budget by doing non floral centerpieces, and eve cutting bm’s flowers and have only yourself carry flowers. I also cut out bouts for the men and only the groom had one – no one noticed. Be really inventive with decor! If you want a mismatched look thrift shops are great for vases.
DIY invites are good, vista print is also good and around the same price as michaels DIY invites. Beware of DIY invites – they can end up costing you more than you think!
I found it helpful to get a venue that is all inclusive – has all the linens, tables, sound equipment, podium, etc etc etc.. you may find a cheap venue but if you have to rent all that stuff $$$$
Cutting down the bar and guest list is a sure fire way to save money.
Cutting out transportation all together is a great way to save money. We did that and didn’t miss it at all.
Post # 9
Finding a venue that lets you bring in your own liquor
Photography- printing your own photos and just getting a CD of the photos from your photographer- no albums or anything like that
Skipping a limo
Smaller bridal party
Post # 10
Just keep it all simple, try and remember that most likely, you willl be the only one who cares about all those small details. Just have fun with it because at the end of the day the only thing you’ll care about is the person you are marrying. Not all the decor.
Post # 11
Oh also cutting out the videographer… just have a friend/family member film the whole thing is good enough. And really looka round for a photographer. We found one who is relatively new but still took amazing photos! We got a great deal.
Post # 12
and oh! cupcakes! way cheaper than a cake. I found a baker who made a small 6″ cake for us to and 100 cupcakes for $90.
Post # 13
You may also want to consider a Sunday, instead of a Saturday. That alone should cut your venue costs by at least a quarter or even possibly half. Also, consider a brunch reception instead of dinner (just beware of all the add-ons, like omelette bars and the like). Remember: People tend to drink less during the daytime!
Also, I think someone already mentioned this, but seeking a venue with an in-house caterer that does EVERYTHING for you (set up, tear down, etc) is probably another good idea.
Lastly, I know a lot of people may frown on this, but have you considered a dry wedding, a no-host bar, or a partial no-host bar? What I mean by “partial no-host bar” is: you cover the costs of, say, a glass of wine or beer per guest (or a mimosa or poinsenttia, if you go the brunch route), while still having a more fullsome selection of boozy stuff that guests are welcome to purchase for themselves. That totally depends on your comfort levels and on whether you figure your select guest list will be ok with this approach, though.
Post # 14
I’m on a very small, very tight budget. Here are the budget advice sites that I have bookmarked — all have helped at least a bit, some have helped a lot!
We’re cutting things we thought we HAD to have, but then realized we’d rather not be broke forever while we pay it off. And we’re leaning on friends and family wherever possible to contribute their talents. FI’s aunt does cakes, and the cake will be her gift to us (saving us hugely). A friend who’s an amateur photographer is doing our engagement pictures. My photographer is the photog for the city and does weddings on the side and is charging $120/hr. I can do my own album on Shutterfly for $25 – so we don’t need the massive $5000 two photographer luxury album thing. We’re doing a limited- instead of fully-open bar.
You’re giving yourself lots of time, so you’ll be able to do thst most important thing in budget-cutting: research!
Post # 15
1. You can have cupcakes or a sheet cake for your guests.
2. Have no wedding entourage; or only a best man an maid of honor.
3. DIY your reception centerpieces.
4. Skip the limo/vintage car.
5. Skip videography.
6. Trunk shows/sample sales on wedding dress.
7. Skip the airbrush and fake eyelashes on makeup, or travel to the artist’s studio.
8. Use ceremony chairs for the reception.
9. Skip the Save the Dates.
10. Only RSVPs.
Post # 16
If you’re an old bride like me consider not having a bridal party – this is saving us lots of money (and heartache apparently if the Bridesmaid or Best Man forum is anything to go by).
Decide on your decor sooner rather than later so you can scour boards and charity shops for it.