(Closed) We just bought our first home…how to save $$ on the wedding?

posted 10 years ago in Beehive
Post # 3
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Cutting the guest list as much as possible, especially if you’ve got an open bar.

Skipping floral centerpieces and using something more economical like candles instead.

Renting a sound system and hooking up an iPod instead of using a DJ. 

Getting proofs from your photographer and printing out your own photos afterward instead of paying for an album.  

Making your own invitations and programs from kits you can buy at Target or Michael’s.

Having a cocktails-and-appetizer reception instead of a full dinner.


…not sure if any of those are possible or if they’ll help you cut corners, but that’s just what popped into my head. Sorry this is making it tougher to plan your wedding, but congrats on finding a great new place to live!  

Post # 4
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2007

Reduce your guest list, cutting out the alchohol and cutting out centerpieces, get a modest DJ or ipod set up are big ticket items that will save you instantly! You can have a lovely centerpiece for your table or just the parents and put candles on the rest of the tables. No one will notice! 

Post # 5
1718 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

I’ve tried my best to have as few vendors and "extra" details as possible.  When I do have vendors, shop around for "new talent"…those who are just breaking into the biz and looking to build their portfolios.  There are tons of new people out there in photography, makeup, florals, DOC’ing…its easy to find them thru your local knot boards or if you make requests here on weddingbee.

think of other ways to spice up your tables than flowers.  candles/scattered flowers/petals always work lovely.  The guest list is the #1 moneysaver for us, by far…at $100 a plate, we’ve been really strict on the guest list…its hard to swallow that 10 people equals $1000, but we try to keep that in mind and have managed to keep it simple.


Post # 7
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

It sounds like the open bar is the last big expense, then. What about doing a few signature cocktails? Can you talk your Fiance into that if you really lay out the numbers for him?

Post # 8
28 posts

We’re having a "NO HOST" bar…which means for those of our guests that are planning on drinking will be paying for their own drinks.

 Every venue that I’ve looked into when I was looking…really all suggested having that, as they do know that’s where the bulk of the cost is.

 Try also "talking down" the cost of each plate of your food…IF you’re really wanting to keep your guestlist at the number its at. Ask your venue if they charge for kids meals (i.e. chicken fingers, etc). Don’t bother serving hor’ douves as that will cut down the cost too! Just do the dinner which usally comes with salad first then entree along with bread and butter. Skip having "Dessert" because the dessert will be YOUR CAKE!!!

Be a DIY kind of girl. If you’re not…come on this forum and ASK if people (other Wedding Bee’ers can help you out). Design your own invitation, programs, etc. BE CREATIVE…GET CREATIVE.

Go silk rather than real – for flowers.

Like another bee’er said…use iPod rather than getting a DJ

Do you really need a limo? NO! Ask a relative/friend, etc…who’s got a fairly new car…if they wouldn’t mind you using it to shuttle you from church to reception, if you don’t have a newer car yourselves.

Nix having a wedding coordinator. Why do you really need one? If you don’t work…and FH does, YOU think of what you want…and/or ask your Maid/Matron of Honor or best friends or whomever close to you for thoughts and ideas.

Most of my things…I’ve done it myself: My Save-the Date cards, my Money Bag, my Guestbook, my Bouquet and bridal parties bouquets and boutts. Only people who’ll have real flowers will be our moms and grandmom and Godmother. We’re decorating our own pews and candleabras, my center pieces will be aisan lanters which I’m DIY’ing. My invitations was done half in chinese and half in english from an asian printer which was really cheap! (200 for $100!) One of my groomsman is going to do our DJ’ing (he’s got the equipment). Only thing we have to pay for is the food. (My mom is paying for that…but I was able to get $17.95 for each plate but with tax and hotel tax, it comes out to $22 something (really not bad!) and it’s Chicken (we’re not doing the whole 9 course meal that most asian receptions are. I also get reduced plate costs for my vendors…because I asked (Closed mouths don’t get heard).

 Of course the wedding is something to remember…but I think (me personally), cutting out costs in the wedding is better…KNOWING about getting a home…which is the better deal.

 If your Fiance really really still wants the bar after you’ve attempted to show him the numbers….the perhaps doing a car wash to raise money. Get your bridal party involved in this. Do a 50/50 raffle. We did this and it’s helped out a lot!


Post # 9
235 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

The limo I would say is definitely something you don’t need, unless you’ve paid for it in full.  Also, consider that the photographer’s albums cost about $900 – and since that probably isn’t money you need to be spending right now, tell the photographer you would like to pay for the album later.  With the economy the way it is, he/she will probably understand. 

Also, as far as wedding attire, if you haven’t already bought it, make your own veil or borrow one.  Veils and wedding accessories are the most overpriced things you can buy for a wedding.  The cost of that can drop from $100-200 to about $5.  Hair doesn’t have to cost $125 to do – it can cost as little as $25 or $30.  Have an experienced friend help you with your makeup instead of getting it professionally done.

Check out http://www.invitationconsultants.com for invitations.  Don’t let anybody tell you you need to pay more than $1-2 apiece for invites.  Get simple ones.  The reality is that people need to know where and when the wedding is, and they don’t need ribbons or doodads.  Keep the weight of the invite under 1oz. (this is very possible) and do not get square invites, which cost more to mail.  Consider making RSVP postcards instead of using the envelopes – which will allow you to use postcard stamps instead of .41 stamps.  If you don’t have a wedding website, get a free one so that you can put up directions, hotel information, etc. instead of mailing it with the invitation and adding to the weight.  

Consider doing a DIY open bar, buying all the alcohol yourself, or cutting the types of liquor you’re serving.  Just because its an open bar doesn’t mean it needs to be top shelf, or sponsored by the catering company.  Consider contacting a local bartending academy and saying, "we’re willing to pay x amount of money – do you have any students who are looking to get experience?".  Buy the liquor yourself from a warehouse.  Since you’ll have a house, you should have plenty of room to store it.

Also, consider moonlighting at a store that you shop at frequently to get a discount and save money – your local grocery store or Target – the more money you save in your everyday life, the more money is available for your wedding.  Consider taking public transit more, turning the heat down to save money on fuel, taking shorter/colder showers, canceling your cable subscription for the time being, not eating out, not buying coffee from Starbucks – if there is really nothing more you can cut from the wedding, think more in terms of cutting other luxuries out of your life right now.  Make sure you are using a rewards credit card for everything (but make sure you aren’t going into debt for the wedding). 

Check out  http://www.thesimpledollar.com for more ideas.  This particular article has some great ideas – http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/01/19/the-little-things-do-matter-twelve-little-hacks-that-add-up-to-a-lot/


Post # 10
220 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

Register for your honeymoon instead of household items if you can swing it.  Honeymoon registries cut you a check when everything is said and done.  You can use the money as you see fit.  Its a way of getting cash without directly asking for money.

Have you printed your invitations?  You may want to change the time of day that you get married.  Brunch, Lunch, or Cocktails tend to be more economical.  Guests also tend to drink less earlier in the day.  Its a way to cut bar costs without having a cash bar.

I worked at UPS at the crack of dawn before my regular job to save money.

Your vendors must be really strict!  If you cancel more than 6 months out, you should get most if not all of your deposits back.  You might want to check your florals.  Even flowers at cost can cost more than candles.

How many tables are you having?  Sometimes going with a larger table will save money.  Less linens, less flowers.

I would suggest posting your budget.  There are some pretty smart women on this site that could give you great ideas. 

Post # 11
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2007

Going along with edb’s ideas… check out http://www.thegrocerygame.com for help with saving on your weekly groceries (i found out about this on the nest). Basically it takes the items that are in the weekly circular from the grocery store you shop at and lines them up with coupons in your Sunday paper. We saved $30 last week. The service costs $1 for a trial month and then it’s $10 every 2 months after it. So far I am pretty happy!


Good luck! It’s really exciting that you found a home in your price range and you are getting married the same year! Congrats! 

Post # 12
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I’m baking cookies for our favor 🙂 Cute square ones with the letter "s" on them wrapped in celophane and tied with ribbon. It’s ceap and it’ll be a fun way to spend time with the maids and Future Mother-In-Law before the wedding.

I know that’s not the most exciting advice ever but it’s something, right?

CONGRATS! On your new home!!! Don’t you fell all grown-up now? LOL.  



Post # 14
23 posts
  • Wedding: December 1969

Congratulations on the house!  We are in the process of buying one ourselves.

You might want to try DIYing floral centerpieces.  I bought flowers from a vendor at a local famer’s market and did simple one flower arrangements in each vase.  I bought vases when they were on sale at Michael’s for $1 and each flower was only $.25-2 depending on the type.  We used five different types of flowers so that if one type of flower wasn’t blooming at the time of our wedding that we could just get more of a different flower type.  I took four people an hour to make 26 centerpieces (we did this the morning before the wedding).

We also did DIY bridesmaid bouquets, corsages and bouts but those are a little harder an more time consuming. 

Here’s some pictures of how they turned out:       


You can find more pictures here if your interested: http://community.theknot.com/cs/ks/user/page.aspx?username=Fox%26theHound

HTH! Robin

Post # 15
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

Skip or ask someone to help you with:

Programs, champagne (guests can use the beverages they have for the toast), alcohol all together, reduce the time the photographer is there, limo, place/escort cards, personalization of anything, wedding party gifts (write a letter to each detailing why you like that they’re standing beside you that day…it’s meaningful without having spending a lot.)

Use flowers to top your cake or nothing at all, have someone you know bake the cake or bake it yourself (time management is key here), or even use small cakes as centerpieces. Borrow as much as you can: cake cutters, veil, accessories (I borrowed a necklace, earrings, hair comb for my wedding).

I might be a little biased, but don’t get rid of a DOC. Just change your tactics. Ask a friend or family member who is NOT going to be in photographs to be your DOC. They might not be able to do it all, but you’ll have a point person for vendors and problems.

Also, check the local Craig’s List boards for vendors or inexpensive items you can use at your wedding. You have to be a little more discerning, but there are some genuine finds on there.

Do you have your dress yet?

Post # 16
15 posts
  • Wedding: May 2008

I know how you feel! We recently bought our house and the wedding’s not until May. Paying for a new house while planning a wedding is not expensive!

Depending on where you are and how big your house is, you might consider is renting out a room in your house to a friend…though it’s not nearly as nice as living by yourselves, it would give you a few extra hundred dollars a month and help with utilities.

Also, if you don’t need too many gifts, you could ask close friends and family to spread the word that you’d prefer money as a gift because you just purchased a house. I know in some cultures, money is the standard wedding present.

You might also consider doing online RSVPs, which would save you return postage on the invites.

Good luck! Congrats on the house!

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