(Closed) Ways to save money on wedding…

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Obviously, cutting the guest list is the number one money saver (the fewer people you have to feed, the cheaper!!)… for people with large families, that might not work out as well. 

You could have an earlier ceremony then do a brunch or lunch reception

You could get married at a non-meal time and host appetizers and finger foods

Have an at-home reception and cater in bbq or do a cookout style if your wedding is less formal

You could serve only beer, wine, and maybe a signature cocktail instead of hosting a full bar

You can look into getting married at a local park, museum, history or cultural arts center- they  generally offer much cheaper rental rates than other venues

Tap into friends or family members who have special talents (though, I’m not often a fan of “friendors”, but acquaintances are ok!)… use them to help with the cake, flowers, or photography

I’m sure there are about 1000000 other ways to trim the budget, but these are some of the things that pop into my head πŸ™‚  Best of luck!

Post # 4
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

You can pinch pennies in a lot of places just by doing research and finding the less expensive options, and those savings add up. Bridal expos and such are great places to meet lots of vendors and price shop. But big savings in few places can help a lot.

We’re getting our biggest savings in three places: bridal party, dress, and photographer, pretty much in order of increasing savings.

We’re having only one attendant each, so we’re saving big bucks on their stuff – my one attendant’s dress was $55, so I bought it for her. I’ll get her a small gift as well. That’s a huge difference from multiple dresses and gifts, not to mention all the spa-day stuff people sometimes do (I’m not a spa gal, so we’re doing our own hair and nails and such). 

My dress is a cocktail dress, basically an ivory bridesmaids dress. $350 with extras like extra fabric I’m using to make a replica of sash from an Amsale dress I liked (that dress was $5000). But you don’t have to go short to save – consider a long bridesmaids dress in white or ivory, or check out places like j.crew or Ann Taylor for dresses.

Our biggest savings is probably the photographer. Photography packages in our area run an average of $4000, which took our breath away. But we decided we didn’t need two photographers with all day photography and expensive photo books. So we’re paying one photographer (whom I met, btw, at the local bridal expo) $480 for coverage from an hour prior to the ceremony until we depart the reception, and that includes high resolution images on a cd, which we’ll print and turn into photo books by ourselves (not as fancy, but nice anyway, through Shutterfly, for about $25 each).

Do some searching and soul-searching, and you’ll find ways to save that suit the wedding you want!

Post # 5
4653 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Find out what your friends and family can do! For example: My Aunt is amazing at flowers and offered to do our flowers for us so we are buying fresh flowers in bulk and she will be putting them all together for us

Price shop! And shop early look for sales and coupons dont be afraid to shop off less known sites with good reviews!

Book early I have found a bunch of places have early booking discounts!

Make a list of Needs and wants! First focus on the needs get those done before anything and if you have money left over you can do the wants! 

Giveaways! I have won over $1,500.00 in things I wouldn’t have been able to have if I wouldn’t have won them (Save the date magnets, a $600 purse, A wedding dress, Hair flower, Custom postcards ect…)! PM and I can share with you how to find all the amazing giveaways!

Post # 6
261 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We are doing a lot of DIY things for the wedding. Our guest list is around 100 people.

Flowers: we are ordering roses from costco and making our own bouquets and boutonnieres.  They are only like $80 for 100 roses which is more than enough for our wedding party.  We will probably end up using some of them for the center pieces as well.

Cake: We will have a multi tier cake but only the top tier will be actual cake the other layers will be fake.  The Fiance and I will cut into the cake but the guests will be served from a sheet cake in the back.  WAY cheaper than getting a real multi-layered cake.  Lots of people seem to be doing cupcakes too to save on cutting fees but our venue is bring your own eveything so no cutting fee.

Food: Mom was so generous to offer making some of the food for the wedding so we will be just ordering some food from a restuarant that the Fiance and I like.  However there is the added stress of figuring out silverware, plates, etc since we are going this route.  I think we are just going to buy and resell everything once the wedding is done.

Dress: I was actually really lucky and was able to find a dress at a thrift store that seems like it’s going to work out for me.  In the process of looking for someone to do the alterations.

Manual labor: I’m involved at a church so I’m donating an amount to have some of the missions group that are fundraising to come and help with set up, serving, and cleaning up.  WAY cheaper than hiring “professionals”

Just some of the things we are doing. πŸ™‚

Post # 7
1430 posts
Bumble bee

Having the wedding on a sunday or friday night instead of saturday can save some money at certain venues. We were lucky to have a lot of friends who we used as vendors that saved money so utilize the talented people in your life. I also saved money by weddingbee. If your looking for something cheap (vases, pic frames, anything decor related) no one will have better suggestions than the girls here.  DIY was a fun way to save and make the wedding more presonalized as well.

Post # 8
2067 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We did ours for about $12,500… Some ways we saved money:

  • I borrowed a veil from a friend and a sparkly headpiece/comb from my SIL
  • Wedding dress: A manager at Alfed Angelo negotiated a cheaper price, trying to get me to buy it that day… I didn’t buy it that day and I got a small boutique to match that price πŸ™‚ That boutique did free alterations, so I saved more there πŸ™‚
  • Shoes: clearance rack from Target, $6
  • Photographer: close friend, gave us a great deal
  • DJ: iPod reception, MCed by a close friend
  • We chose to have a dry reception because we don’t drink, that saved us a lot of money.
  • We did a buffet with a served salad instead of a plated dinner
  • We got the apparel for the ring bearers and flower girls on sale after Easter. We didn’t pay for thatreally the clothes for them became much more reasonably priced
  • Make up: my SIL (a former Mary Kay consultant) did it for me for free
  • Officiant: my dad, so free πŸ™‚ and ceremony venue was free then too
  • We got the groomsmen’s suits on sale for them
  • My brother and SIL did our ceremony music for us
  • I got all of my gifts for the BMs on sale
  • Cake: we had a four tier cake, but we didn’t use fondant… That saved some money for us
  • We DIYed invitations and programs
  • We used really flowers for the bouquets, bouts, and corsages.  Everything else was free (petals, ceremony decor, centerpieces) from Hobby Lobby. We got them all on sale

I was in a wedding a year ago. They had an early wedding (10 am maybe? Or 11) and then had a brunch buffet for their reception

Post # 9
4675 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Like other girls here I am a lower budget bride (I would LOVE your budget btw πŸ™‚ ) 

~ for photography we hired a girl who is new to the bussiness (she went to school with my sister, and in fact she is using my sister as an assistant for some of her larger weddings, and is doing a fantastic job so far!)  (talk to people you know!) 

~flowers- NOT going with a ‘professional’ but using a freind of my moms who will put flowers together for us- we will be providing a lot of flowers from my mom’s garden and the rest will come from a wholesaler or what she has to offer us

~cake is going to be 25% off because it is though my caterer (find the good deals!) 

~for centerpieces we wanted blue mason jars.  My aunt sent an e-mail to a bunch of people she knew and found a bunch for us (like around 30 quarts), for FREE! (more talking to people and using your resources) 

~Venue- a very nice park pavillion building- we have it all day for $350- it is beautiful, the location has a lot to offer our guests- BUT as it is not a ‘traditional’ venue it does not come with a staff, so we have to do all of the labor (except for who we hire of course) 

~ for favors we are doing a desert/sweet buffet- We will be making a lot of the deserts and I plan on spending around $100-200 on candy.  

~also having my wedding in the middle of nowhere helps a lot! Everything is a lot cheaper where I am having my wedding (in my hometown) as apposed to where i live (large urban area).  I never would have been able to spend so little on things like venue and food.  

Post # 10
2965 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Dont forget about ebay or craigslist. There are alot of reputable vendors just throwin out deals on craigslist (limos, florist, DJ, Photography, I can go on…) and you can find very affordable wedding decor as well as other things on ebay. Also thrift stores may have sum nice vases for centerpieces and dollartree.com. Clip coupons for Michaels or Hobby lobby for crafts. Oh and btw, our budget is 4K.

Post # 11
287 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@Budgeting in Seattle:  LOVE IT! Great deals!


@MsPiggy:  Friends, Friends, Friends!!!! We’re trying to keep ours under 5,000. So far, so good. 1.) i’m going to go with above poster: cut your guest list. 2.) find a cheap venue  parks etc…We got a banquet room at a local restaraunt which is actually a really nice place they only ask for $1000 food/drink minimum. 3.) ENLIST friends! we have 1 very close friend marrying us, one of our “crafty” family members decorating, 1 friend dj’ing, and a cousin who’s just starting out (but AMAZING WORK) doing our pictures. We’re getting them all gift certs to a restaraunt except my photographer cousin – she’s getting ticket to vegas to meet my cousin (her uncle) for the first time (brother to her dad who just passed). 4. decorations- find used stuff on craigslist.

Post # 12
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Ways we’re saving money:

Having ceremony in backyard

Not renting an all inclusive venue… we rented a hall and are bringing in our own decor, food, etc..

Not having transportation

Not having professional videographer

I also tried to find the cheapest florist, photographer and dress I could find and just by chance got a great florist, decent photographer and my dream dress all for under $300 each.

Looking to save on the caterer, which is the next big vendor we have to book.  I did find a bakery that can do our wedding cake for $70.  And I am diy-ing a few aspects of the wedding, like my veil, a garter and the ring pillow.  

I set a price for what I can afford to pay for each item and try to never go over that. 

Post # 13
944 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Pick 3-5 things that you can’t do without, and cut down on the rest. For me it was my dress, the venue, the catering, the photography that was the most important. Flowers, decorations, the cake, invitations, favors – not so important to me so I’m cutting corners or doing the DIY route. I did blow $ on a brooch bouquet because I wanted to have at least one keepsake for me. Some of the things you want your guests probably won’t even remember, so don’t spend a lot of money on them!

Post # 14
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Oh and we’re having Fi’s cousin dj and we have a playlist.

Post # 15
30 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

We don’t have a set budget, but are planning on spending less than 2500. Things we are doing:

  • Our ceremony and reception sites are a couple different shelters in a BEAUTIFUL park. We’re paying $25 for the ceremony site from 10am-5pm and $40 for the reception site from 10am-10pm. 
  • We’re keeping our menu casual, pulled pork sandwiches, a couple salads, hot dogs for the little ones, etc…
  • We’re not serving alcohol (FI and I are not big drinkers)
  • We’re making barbeque sauce for the favors
  • We’re playing music from our ipod
  • FIs cousin is doing our photography for $100
  • Another cousin is making our cake as our wedding gift
  • Bridesmaids and I are going to make our bouquets the night before 
  • We’re keeping the decorations simple (one of the plusses of having it in a park)

Good luck!


Post # 16
4653 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Also repurpose items I have a friend who is spray painting wine bottles to her colors to use as vases! I love the idea so much I just might “Borrow” her idea for half of my tables!

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