(Closed) saving for the wedding… how did you do it?!

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 16
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Wow! Love some of the other suggestions (money market, direct withdrawals, etc.)!  We’ve done a few things that PPs have already mentioned, but I think our method of doing is most helpful for you (especially since you have QUITE a bit of time).

  1. Without changing ANYTHING for 1 or 2 months, keep a spreadsheet of EVERY expense you make, every dollar, every penny & assign it to what you paid for (ex: $64.03 – cell phone bill; $5.92 – FI’s lunch 2/12; $54.27 – groceries week of 2/8; etc.); then, at the end of the month, discuss with your Fiance – what expenses are unnecessary?  What expenses can we live without until the wedding? (Remember that you have to get along peacefully without these expenses…it shouldn’t be sacrifices that one or both of you are reasonably unwilling to make)
  2. Once you both have determined what is easy to save, calculate how much that will add up to be by the time of your wedding.
  3. Separately (but simultaneously), prioritize aspects of your wedding – what do you want to spend your money on?  Number of guests? Quality of food? Live band?  What do you want to spend your money on & how much is the average amount in your area (or the area of your wedding destination)?
  4. Compare these two amounts – are they close? For us, it was – we could save about $2K (meaning all money went to the wedding, none to life savings) a month, for 14 months = $28K; our wedding budget for 68 guests (two ceremonies & receptions) is $28.2K.  So we factored in cutting cable (hulu & netflix are our best friends right now) & that covered the extra couple hundred.  And, if we’d thought about it, getting direct withdrawals from our paychecks would have been convenient.  But what was best was that we could afford our dream wedding without having to ask for help (read: compromise to our parents’ dream wedding).

There’s no need to force yourself to scrimp & deprive yourself if it’s not necessary – planning a wedding is stressful enough without making unnecessary sacrifices. And if you find that your dream wedding is well beyond what you can save, you’ll have the exact tools to either: a) show both sets of parents what you’d like their money to go to, or b) sit down together & figure out what can be DIYed, friendored, or compromised to fit the budget.  Good luck!

Post # 17
873 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’ve been saving money in general for a couple of years now, but this is my tip for saving even more than you are already doing.

I sat down and thought of the 3 most pointless things I spend money on that I can cut back on.  (Starbucks, taxis, eating out by myself) I figured out that per semester, I could save nearly $1500 just by avoiding spending money on these three things.  Then I started doing alternatives (buying ground coffee from Starbucks and making my own, taking the taxi only to church not work, eating out only when with another person).  It made a huge difference in terms of monthly savings.  So sit down and be honest about where you spend money and how you can curb those spending habits.

Post # 18
216 posts
Helper bee

It’s not about making more money–it’s about spending less…

at least that is what I learned. Research books on being frugal–you can easily learn a bunch of tips that can add up to dramatically cut down on your monthy expenses. It’s scary how much money we waste when we are not aware.

I like reading blogs like practical Bride because it reminds me to not get caught up in the wedding frenzy. You don’t need a designer dress or shoes, you don’t need expensive wedding jewelry, or an obsene amount of money on flowers and decor. It is all nonsense really and kind of puts things into perspective for me–which has helped me keep down costs (because it is easy to be pressured into spending more).

Buy as much as you can for your wedding online with coupons!!! (just type in store name and coupon code). I have a rule to not buy anything unless it is either on-sale or I have a coupon for it. I have used coupons to buy all my bridal party gifts, all my wedding jewelry, both of our wedding bands, even my save the dates and wedding website. I saved hundreds. Literally! Even obscure websites have coupon codes. Whenever you see something online you like, make a habit of googling a coupon code first. It’s free money afterall.

You can send all your unwanted gold jewelry to overstock.com and they will give you a price for it. If you accept they send you a check–if not, they return the items to you.

Although, not for everyone I use credit cards exclusively to make purchases. I pay it in full every month and there are no additional fees. Every few months, I earn a free gift card which I used to help purchase FH’s wedding band and for other wedding related expenses.  



Post # 19
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I like everyone’s ideas.  I took money and put it in an ING account.  It has made lots of money of course not as good in the last 6 months but I’m sure that will pick back up again soon.  We have been trying to stay in more and cook more.  I keep a spreadsheet too of all the bills.  When a bill comes in that is above the average then I know I need to cut back.  Also, start looking for sales to get your wedding items.  And buy those items a little at a time.  So for example, I’m doing a pink candy buffett. So it’s V-Day I’ve gone to all the dollar stores and bought most of my candy.  After Christmas I bought all my containers on the clearance asiles.  I did the same thing with all my BMs and Shower HOstess gifts.

Post # 20
1981 posts
Buzzing bee

DIY. seriously.

I am making my own very complicated save the dates, my own invites–down to the envelopes (not kidding. just made an envelope template fifteen minutes ago)–and using the cricut for some of this, so it’s just the cost of replacement blades that we needed anyways (the Cricut is my sister’s).

My Bridesmaid or Best Man gifts–sewing them cute clutch wristlets with their names embroidered in the lining (my mom has a sewing machine that does this! Awesome!), making their jewelry, assembling “bridesmaid emergency kits”

I’m making most of the decor. I’m stamping my paper napkins myself. I’m baking my favors the week before the wedding. 

I do not recommend this approach if you don’t have experience. I’ve made jewelry, paper goods, I’ve sewn purses, I know my way around Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and how to use my Wacom tablet, I’ve baked and stamped and everything else before. Honestly if it were new to me, I would be overwhelmed, but most of this stuff is pretty second-nature to me now.

Good luck!


Post # 21
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I did an ING account, it was the most helpful suggestion given. I have the amount sent directly from my bank account. I don’t see it, I don’t spend it LOL If I have anything extra after bills I send that too.  It has been very successful for our saving.

Post # 22
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I saved money from things like tax returns, but someitmes it was just easier to spend the mone and then rework my budget around that rather than save.  (i.e. I would spend $50 at a craft store and then go out to eat less often the next couple of weeks)

Saving for short-term items is really hard for me, so I hope you find a way to do it successfully!

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