posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
942 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

on the other side of the world here but, based on my opinion, I think some of the main areas you can really save some $ is on:

Flowers – go to the markets, DIY. noone else cares about perfect flowers except the florist and the bride. cheap, market fresh flowers are still pretty flowers

Dress – you do not have to have that $2000 dress. you do not. a $500 dress will still be beautiful. you do not have to have a $400 sash or a $400 veil or $400 shoes. aim for below $100, they do exist. Don’t let those salespeople pressure you, keep looking.

Photographer – barter, bargain, shop around. There are decent photographers available that charge decent rates. Even $5000+ per day photogs can F up your photos. $500 photogs can do a great job. You truly do not need 1000 photos of a few hours. 100 beautiful photos is more than enough.

favours – they are nice but not nearly as important as we’d like to believe. Anything over $2pp is probably not worth it. 

Alcohol – big budget item and likely to blow out even the most frugal brides wedding budget. A personal choice but always a good idea to limit your bar, or better still, BYO

Engagement photos – why are these necessary?

honeymoon – you will want a break after all that planning, but who says it has to be in a different country?


love you work OP, you’ve done a fantastic job ๐Ÿ™‚

our best deal was spending $120 on 5 cakes for a cake display table, rather than $750 on something tiered. We were more than happy with 5 flavours to choose from ๐Ÿ™‚ we just stuck a topper on one (a grand mariner infused vanilla sponge), that was our wedding cake for cutting


Post # 4
587 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I am stunned!! Amazing work. Enjoy!! I’d tell you to opt of of the transportation because I looove yellow cab pics but if you want to give your wedding a fancy flair, that’s a good way to do it for sure.

Post # 5
3307 posts
Sugar bee

Great work! Good job!!!

Post # 6
4945 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

My venue (Chapel Dulcinea in Austin) = FREE! (though we donated our deposit money)

Dress: $60

Flowers for bouquet: $8

Husband’s new pearl snap shirt: $70

Wedding jewelry: $5 clearance

Photographer: $500 for 2 hours (she generally costs about $4000-$5000 for an all-day weekend wedding)

Just to show you – we spent very little, so I totally think you can do it on the cheap but still have it nice! Definitely DIY your flowers if you can. There are so many brides out there that have really beautiful weddings on a budget!

Post # 7
488 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I DIY’d my invitations (and got tons of compliments, I might add) for around $50 for 30 guests.  I understand if you may be limited on time. 

Flowers you can totally get great ideas on here, youtube, and blogs.  Making a bouquet is easy and all you need is some ribbon, pins, floral tape, and some flowers from a grocery store or market.  You can do this for less than $100 easy.

Do you have to have a violinist?  Is there a friend who can play the guitar?  That is just as intimate and romantic in my opinion.

Officiant…. $350?!  I would shop around. 


ETA:  I think you have some AWESOME ideas, and these are just my opinions.  ๐Ÿ™‚


Post # 8
1562 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

My absolute best score was my cake – $137 for a three tier cake.  But, it’s an old school style, so that won’t fit most brides today.  

Other than that, my dress was $550, down from  $800 because I bought the sample right before it was discontinued.  Officiant was $150, but we want to gift him more this year.  Reception location was $200, and food was $1000 for 85 ppl.  

Post # 9
9170 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Sounds like it will be a beautiful and classy affiar!  Nice work.

My biggest saves so far:

– dress – $110 from Macy’s

– flowers – mostly or entirely FREE out of my parents’ huge garden!  I love colorful wildflowers so it’ll be perfect.

– band – we’re just paying for their gas and lodging since it’s FI’s old band and they’re great friends of ours.

Post # 10
551 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Your list looks good, here are some things we did to save: 

We found a retired judge through the city, to be our officiant $75

Grocery store for flowers, much cheaper and diy coursages and boutineers (although they can’t gaurantee colors and types, but I’m ok with that) there are tons of youtubes out there showing how to make these. 

We may nix the limo and do the hotel shuttle for up to 20 people which is $10 each way. I have heard of limo competition out there, so shop around for sure! 

Found my dress on recycled bride, $325 with shipping (brand new tags still attached, she just changed her mind-score!) slip was used (but still in excellent condition) on craigslist for $30

Rings are from our local jeweler, Shane, but used Mia Diamond alternative (man made) for stones. Found his titanium ring at walmart $50 (versus the same brand and style at the jewelry shop for over $100).

Diy template for save the dates and invites, and had Vista print make them as postcards for both (postcard shipping for std’s lowers costs too). Paid $3.00 for cards and shipping for ea order, from an email special from vista print. Will use the post cards for the top page of the invites and then layer with different colors/ layers of cardstock from walmart ($3.50) and then attach a ribbon  ourselves. 

Booked venue on a Fri (cut bill in half) also doing a custom menu-bbq to help keep costs down. Venue procides dinnerware, tables, linens and some decor, saved a lot here, by signing up for specials via email and booking early.

Made a deal w/our photographer, asked for a custom pkg for 5-6 hrs with a retouched disc, got a few bids for $600. 

Dj-friend of ours, but do some shopping, some will compete or use ipod.

Skipping favors, no one likes those anyways, if anything, it’ll be a little shooter or something, since we aren’t providing hard liquor.

Providing 2 kegs and cash bar (lots saved here). It’s becoming more acceptable to forego the drinks and provide a cash bar, or limited bar with only a few options or signature drink only etc.

Booked downtown hotel for the day /night of with early booking special and spoke with sales desk and coordinator who gave our guests discounts and free breakfast, this took some digging, I called and emailed and finally was directed to the correct person, as the first 3 did not want to do a deal for some reason, so be persistant.  

Honeymoon: Mexico 4 star all inclusive for under $2500 for 6nights! whoo hooo! We love this resort too (check varying dates of departure and arrival for best rates).




Post # 11
857 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I hope you can do it! I’m also planning a budget wedding here in NYC, however, with a larger guest list, the budget is going to be higher than yours.

The best tips I have is to use your friends/friendors, don’t settle and shop around! 

Post # 12
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

– Friday wedding – venue minimum cut in half
– Ceremony at local park’s amphitheatre (so it has seating and a “stage” area) – $140 for three hours
– No favors
– Cupcakes being made by my cousin
– Found an amazing photographer who does beautiful work, but has only been in business a couple of years (she has a degree in photography and worked in a photo lab in college) – $1300 for 8 hours, e-session, all photos (edited) on a DVD with print rights, two shooters, etc.
– DIY save the dates, invites, etc., designed myself and printed through Vistaprint with a Groupon $? not sure how much total yet
– Wholesale flowers, arranged by a florist friend of FMIL’s – $? not sure yet 
– Dress – $700 (although I didn’t pay for it), plus then I got my shoes for $25 (which I DIYed over)
– Borrowing or making my jewelry
– FI’s tux is free because he has 5 GMs; GMs get a discount because I bought my dress at the same place
– Honeymoon flight is free, thanks to a family friend who’s giving us his frequent flyer miles 

Post # 13
74 posts
Worker bee

Bump, loving the ideas!

Post # 15
10452 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I was very pleased with myself for booking our photographer during a promo deal where we saved $800 and got a photo booth thrown in for free! ($1500 value)

Post # 16
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Wow, I am impressed with what you’re able to do with your budget.  My budget is also $5000 (was $5000… might be a little over).  I saved on so many things and the thing pushing us over is the honeymoon, which is the 1 area we’re really splurging on.

Photographer for full coverage: $220

Florist: less than $300 9and thisn includes ALL florals).

Venue: $3 p/p to rent the space

Ceremony: $112 for 2 hours of actual ceremont and cocktail hour time (price includes set up and gest arrival time).

Dress: $220 (I only paid $20, father paid $200).

DJ: $140 for 4 hours plus extras like lihts and bubble machine

Transportation: $120 all day

Officiant: $140 for a simple custom ceremony

Caterer: $1400 (more or less) for 150 guests (includes apps, main course and dessert).

Baker: $120 for 4 tier cake

Hair and makeup: $100

Massage and facial: $46

Plus all the little things I am DIY-ing like table numbers, guest book, ring pillow, etc that cost next to nothing.



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