(Closed) Ways To Cut Costs?

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
849 posts
Busy bee

Our 2 biggest cost cutters are having the wedding in his parents’ backyard, and to use fake flowers instead of fresh. We’re probably going to have family make the food instead of catering, but that’s not set in stone yet.

Post # 4
Member
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

For me, the venue and food were the absolute #1 and 2 costs, with food being number 1.  The biggest way to cut the budget, is to keep the guest list small (easier said that done).

I made a lot of items for our wedding myself, including the programs, place cards etc.  Anything you can do yourself is going to be a money saver.

We’re not doing a champagne toast.  Instead, people will toast whatever they are already drinking (wine, beer etc).  I wonder if your venue will come down in cost if you take that out of the contract as they wouldn’t have to supply either the champagne or the glasses.

I got our magnet Save-The-Date Cards at magnetstreet.com.  They are great and were definitely some of the lowest prices I could find.

Regarding the RSVP cards, I wouldn’t recommend sending them without postage.  It really isn’t very much more of a cost.  I have about 250 people invited with about 115 actual invitations mailed, which is a large list and even then the extra postage for the RSVP cards was about $50.  A lot of people might find it rude to not include the postage, *unless* you have an online option for RSVPing and even then, you’d want to include postage for those who are not tech savy.

 

Post # 5
Member
112 posts
Blushing bee

Im networking with a couple other girls to try to swap/share decor, since that can be a huge part of the costs. But it seems like that may be taken care of for you.

Post # 6
Member
3364 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

For us…so far!

– Sunday Event

– Venue being inclusive and including Beer, Wine, Champagne; Amazing Cake; Sit-Down or Buffet Dinner; Centerpieces; Linens; Waterfall Ceremony/Tented Reception; some lighting; Linens. READ VENUE REVIEWS as much as you can! Thats how we nixed our first choice and found our photographer!

– We are doing our own favors; thinking of doing “Mom’s Homemade Once-A-Year Fudge” in cute “Present-Looking” boxes.

– Vendors; Dont be afraid to negotiate pricing! If your getting married off season or not a regular day of the week; dont be afraid to ASK! Worst they can say is NO! Best they can say is “We offer …”!

– DIY or even SEMI-DIY always can be helpful, but before you dive in budget it out!

– I got my invites from Michaels, 60 invites for about $40! (Using Michaels Coupons)

– STD Magnets through Vista Print

– Dollar Tree for my Rose Petal Aisle Runner

– Garment District/LA Flower Mart for my Wholesale flowers for my Bouquets and Centerpieces (Im doing 2 styles so I have 3 styles total)! 

– Found my shoes on Clearance at DSW.

– RESEARCH! before buying anything! and dont be afraid to use COUPONS or look for COUPON CODES!

– And you can buy gently used items like veils or jewelry! Preownedweddingdresses.com or even on WeddingBee Classifieds!

– I found my alternate style centerpiece vases at a dollar store by my house called the Dollar Bell; who would have guessed! 20″ tall vases for $5.99/each! SCORE!

Thats everything I can think of so far! Best of Luck!

Post # 7
Member
633 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

The two biggest things that helped me to cut costs were flowers and the cake. We got only the minimum number of flowers needed and this saved us hundreds. We used other types of things for the decor to add flare without all the fresh flowers. We had some, just not a ton. We also opted for a smaller cake than originally planned. This saved us about $200 and it was a good thing because a lot of the cake went to waste.

Post # 8
Member
5095 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Biggest single cost-cutter: SMALL GUEST LIST.  We invited 78; probably 60 will come.

This not only cut our per-person catering/alcohol costs, but it means we can have it at my mom’s house/backyard. FREE VENUE!

Other ways of saving:

No wedding party – this means no paying for bouquets/corsages, gifts, hair/makeup, extra rehearsal dinner meals

Friendors: An amazingly talented friend did our invitations at cost – ended up being around $110. My FH’s best friend is officiating (we’re paying for his hotel).  A family friend/photog is shooting the wedding for a drastically reduced fee. Another great friend is making my jewelry. One of my best friends designed and made my wedding dress, although I actually paid her a lot for it – but FAR less than I would have paid for a comparable custom made or designer gown.

We’re supplying our own alcohol, and we’re not serving hard liquor.

Ipod reception

Tungsten carbide wedding band for FH/heirloom wedding band (free!) for me

The hotel we blocked rooms at provides a FREE shuttle between the hotel and the wedding as part of the deal. And if enough people book rooms, we’ll get a free suite.

No limos or hired transportation

That’s all I can think of at the moment…

Post # 9
Member
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

For us, the biggest saving so far has come from having a Sunday night wedding.  A lot of our vendors have given us discounts.  Venue and food typically make up the bulk of the budget and this is where we’ve saved the most.  

I also don’t like jewelry, so I made it clear an engagement ring was not necessary.  For our wedding rings I think we spent $600 for both.  Just plain bands.

Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.  I realize this doesn’t work with every vendor, but if they truly want your business, they might budge on price or work with your budget.  It might mean less hours for photography or no album (make your own!), but you were able to make the price manageable.

Prioritize your wants and your needs.

For flowers, choose in season and think outside the box.  Bunches of baby’s breath on it’s own is cheap and gorgeous.

Post # 9
Member
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

For us, the biggest saving so far has come from having a Sunday night wedding.  A lot of our vendors have given us discounts.  Venue and food typically make up the bulk of the budget and this is where we’ve saved the most.  

I also don’t like jewelry, so I made it clear an engagement ring was not necessary.  For our wedding rings I think we spent $600 for both.  Just plain bands.

Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.  I realize this doesn’t work with every vendor, but if they truly want your business, they might budge on price or work with your budget.  It might mean less hours for photography or no album (make your own!), but you were able to make the price manageable.

Prioritize your wants and your needs.

For flowers, choose in season and think outside the box.  Bunches of baby’s breath on it’s own is cheap and gorgeous.

Post # 10
Member
3049 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

Flowers. I stuck to my guns on not spending more than $300-$400 on flowers. That meant non-floral centerpiences (which my venue provided) and the least expensive flowers for bouquets. I’m still not sure how this is going to turn out, but I told my florist (a family friend) that if my BMs had to have a less full bouquet, then I didn’t mind, as long as I’m happy with mine. Btw, I wanted peonies but those are dang expensive so I’m going with stargazer lilies!

For the bouts, I think we are going to make them by tying flies (fly fishing) which in the end will be cheaper than using actual flowers. 🙂

Post # 11
Member
436 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

For flowers I used dark red carnations in my bouquet and for centerpieces and free branches from my friend’s willow tree

Skip the STD’s and favors

If you have RSVP cards, use postcards so you can save on postage

Use a restaurant to cater instead of a “caterer”.  They were much cheaper!

I bought my veil online and it was so much cheaper than the ones at the bridal salon.

Post # 12
Member
370 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

My SO and I aren’t actually “officially” engaged. He asked me to budget out tenative plans however because I am a wedding professional in an artistic field (photographer), and we’re going to be on a super tight budget. We know that people will be scutinizing our wedding photos (I mean it’s not like I will be taking them, but you know how people are) so our wedding will have to be inexpensive but beautiful. Not that i wouldn’t want it to be anyway, but since he knows I feel like everyone I show is going to be judging even harder because of my profession, he wanted to make sure we could throw a killer wedding on the cheap! SOOOO, I’m basically all planned out and just waiting for my little ring (which I’m fairly certain is hiding around here somewhere!) and to pick out a dress!

So, ways I chose to cut corners:

Our prospective venue is an outdoor pavilion on a lake. It includes picnic tables, food (clam bake style), “choice of 2 domestic beers” (not the classiest but whatever, free beer is cool), and there are bathrooms on site for a per person price.

We decided to just roll with the rustic look of the wooden picnic benches. It is an outdoor pavillion afterall. Had they been those terrible alluminum ones I would have ran in the other dirrection, but these are the old fashioned wood ones that are just lovely to me. We’re just leaving them and not even putting down table cloths. Our centerpieces will be vintage tea cups and vases that I’m picking up from thrift stores arranged along with vintage books and pine cones. I’m planning on getting white roses in bulk from sam’s club. You can get 200 of them for less than 200 dolalrs. Sam’s club is great for flowers!

We’re going to decorate the pavilion with lots of DIY doily garlands and tissue paper pommanders hanging from the rafters. also I’m getting bolts of burlap to decorate with (super cheap from gardening supply places. you can get like 100 yards of it for 75 dollars).

We’re allowed to bring wine, and hard alcohol, but in terms of “hard liquor” we’re just making two signature drinks in big self serve glass drink dispensers. We’ll probably make enough to refill each once, then that will be it for hard stuff.

We’re setting up an ipod for music with playlists. we’re kind of music snobs anyway, and no one we know is that into dancing at weddings, so it’s really just background music.

for bouquets I’m probably going to carry a big bouquet of dried lavender. Bridesmaids will likely pick their own purple dresses and carry baby’s breath bouquets. Dried lavender bouquets can be found on etsy for under 20 dollars, and large quantities of babies breath can be purchased from Sam’s club for under 50. I’m also gonna grab an extra dried lavender bouquet or two and work sprigs of it into the center pieces.

A friend is getting ordaned and officiating out wedding, and my sister and her husband who play guitar will provide the ceremony music.

We’re going to make our own invitations (i’m proficient with graphic design) and save the dates. Our STD will be post cards to save on postage. Also, vista print does 50 free post cards for your first order. I’m going to order 50, my SO will, and my mother will, and we’ll get our STD cards free! We’ll also have no response cards in our invitations. We’re going to set up a website with dirrections to the venue, rsvp information, registry info, etc. so people can just rsvp there. One thing we are going to get is calligraphy, because my sister is a calligrapher.

If you’re doing an outdoor diy style venue, or backyard wedding, the name of the game is details. Little mason jars full of paper straws for drinks aren’t expensive to put out, but look great sitting on the bar next to a vintage ice bucket you picked up at a thrift shop for two bucks. People forget they’re in someones yard because little details transform it into some posh vintage french garden. That’s what it’s all about for me anyway.

Things I definitely will NOT be skimping on:

a photographer: pictures are what lasts forever. this isn’t just my profession speaking

getting my hairs did. Doing it yourself day of is just a stressful disaster waiting to happen.

a killer dress. a bride should feel like a million bucks on her wedding day. even if she’s going to a courthouse.

a day of coordinator. if you’re going the DIY route you need one of these, otherwise people start asking YOU all of the big questions, and you should be able to sit back and relax! Even offering a college student who has worked in catering before two hundred bucks to play your DOC will work so you don’t become everyones go to gal.

 

I hope any of this has helped. I’ve worked so many weddings and seen so many brides have nervous breakdowns behind closed doors I feel like I’ve really learned where to cut the fat and where to splurge!

 

Post # 13
Member
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

we hired a hall instead of a registered wedding venue, and we’re  having a picninc lunch (with posh picnic food- not just sandwiches!) and we’re having wedding cake/candy buffet instead of having formal dessert- that saved us quite a bit

Post # 14
Member
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

cut the guest list

 

Post # 15
Member
135 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Supplying the alcohol ourselves (with the option to return unopened bottles that hadn’t been chilled), and limiting the bar to beer, wine, and sparkling wine

 

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