This was the MOST important thing for our budget. Living in Atlanta, the venues are stupid expensive and have incredibly high food/drink mins. Find something a little different, maybe look in smaller towns near you. I’m getting married in a restored 1920’s theatre on a quaint main street in a little town right outside of Atlanta. We will get married on the stage and there is an adjacent reception venue that was included in the $1,075 fee. They also include the tables and chairs (nice ones, surprisingly) in the fee, which cuts costs. They rent the linens directly for $8 a linen, and all buffet tables, etc are included.
We aren’t having it catered, instead we are just doing a dessert reception with a mixture of homemade and store bought food. I’ve been scouring Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ikea etc. for apothocary jars and white serving items. I look online for coupons at Michaels and go to the 50% off sales at Hobby Lobby.
We are able to bring our own alcohol and hire our own bartender. This is very important if you’re on a budget! We are having beer and two buck chuck.
We have incredibly talented friends that are doing a lot of things as gifts – our DJ, videographer, officiant are all friends and free. Another friend is making the grooms cake for free. Our photographer is a friend of a friend that is doing our photography for half off. We have a friend that works at a printer store, he is getting ink refills for our printer for almost nothing. You really don’t realize how many friends you have that can help until you start asking around.
I bought my dress on Weddinbee! It was brand new, purchased at a sample sale by the original buyer, still with tags. Retails for around $800 here, I bought it for $85 with $30 shipping. The alterations are $260.
We are using babys breath and white carnations, like AnnieAAA suggested. I regularly scour Craigslist and got all of our centerpiece vases, a lot of candy jars for the buffet (about 10), bells to ring when we leave (we can’t throw anything), a guest book, and 100 new votive holders from a lady that cancelled her wedding and eloped, all for $65.
My FI’s suit is free when his groomsmen get their suits. He’s getting them all hats with their favorite teams on them and having them embroidered with their nicknames for $5 a hat (his is the store manager). I bought my attendants necklaces to wear in the wedding that are also their gift. I lusted over these at The Limited since Christmas and watched them slowly get marked down to $7 each, which is when I snagged them.
We skipped STD’s and are doing invites from one of the Letter Impress kits by Gartner from Target. We set up a website for wedding info, maps and RSVPS to save on extra stationary and postage costs. We both bank with Wachovia and signed up for the rewards program, where you get points for dollars spent when using your card as credit ilo debit. We almost have enough for a free night at the hotel on the wedding night.
Did I mention that I only started planning in May (because we couldn’t find a place, even though I’ve been engaged since last November!) and we are getting married on November 7th? It can be done, trust me!!!! 🙂