(Closed) Wedding budget hacks that helped you save money?

posted 5 years ago in Money
Post # 61
7199 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

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travelvisor:  Sorry for the late reply. 

It’s hard to say how long they all took. I could make 9 roses from scratch (cutting, glueing, finishing) in 2 hours. I made about 100 of those. My bouquet was another story. A lot of those flowers too a lot longer, especially because I got so used to making the roses. I’d guess I put in at least 15 hours on that all told. It definitely wasn’t easy but I was time rich and cash poor, so it made sense for me. 

Post # 62
1023 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

We’re not really have a budget-friendly wedding, but we’ve found ways to cut back!

-Vistaprint 50% off sale for STDs

-DIYing floral centerpieces with Dollar Tree vases and Sam’s Club carnations

-BMs can buy their dresses anywhere (i.e. J Crew dress for $50 on eBay)

-We’re bringing in our own booze and hiring bartenders, an open bar for 300 people for around $2,500

-Boys are doing Combat Gent suits (buying suits for the same cost to rent them)

-Cutting cake only, cupcakes for guests

-“Favors” are donuts from a local bakery at the end of the night

-Followed our vendors on FB, so we were notified for sales and deals (we got our limo service booked on black friday with 30% off)

-Paid in full at the time of booking some vendors got us 10% discounts


Post # 63
1242 posts
Bumble bee

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emitchell456:  Not having a bridal party!

Post # 64
427 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

– Not having a bridal party (no extra flowers/gifts to buy)

– BHLDN dress, about $450 with alterations

– His suit a nice Ben Sherman purchased a few years ago from Nordstrom Rack

– Nothing Bundt Cake for wedding cake ($70 for 2 tier)

– Dessert table included Costco cookies and brownies, those 2 items maybe $50

– Favors was the dessert table with little bags with a thank you sticker

– Graphic designer friend designed invitations free, printed using their printer for $40 for 75 invites AND response cards

– Having amazing friends willing to help set up a lot day of and clean

– Using a friend’s sister in law for Day Of required by venue vs professional

– Venue: Booking the last weekend before peak season pricing

– Bar: Venue agreed for our consumption bar to not stock the high end stuff to reduce max cost of drinks

– Accessories: Necklace set from Amazon

– Thank You cards: Super cute FOIL from Walmart, $6 for 50!

We didn’t skimp but didn’t go too high end either on flowers, DJ, and photographer and glad. Those vendors we had were AMAZING, and reasonably priced.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Groover808.
Post # 65
58 posts
Worker bee

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emitchell456:  Instead of paying $1000 for my bridesmaids’ flowers, we bought 150 roses for $150, and put together the bouquets the morning of. Saved us so much money, and it was fun putting them together with the bridal party. I was also very minimal with the decor. We only had uplighting, and the centerpieces. No one even noticed there were no chair covers, draping, or all of that extra fluff. 🙂 I skipped the engagement photos so that I could splurge on the wedding photos and videography.–No regrets there at all!!

We also had a great venue without a bar, so we hired a bartender, and brought our own alcohol. We were able to have an open bar without having to spend thousands! 

Post # 66
58 posts
Worker bee

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chigirl217bride:  We used dollar tree for our centerpieces too! It was such a steal!

Post # 67
530 posts
Busy bee

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emitchell456:  Not so much saving hacks as it was getting a second job hostessing two nights a week. It allowed me to continue to keep up my standard of living. I hostess on Wednesdays and Saturdays 5 hours a week. I also used Thumbtack and did A LOT of research and quote comparisons before booking vendors like florists, photobooth, etc.

Post # 68
577 posts
Busy bee

Venue includes beer and wine, and price was lowered during month of June bc space is smaller. Printed all our invites at home, saved a ton but it took so much time!! Printing our invites at home for rehearsal dinner. Not getting a hotel for it and purchased all the little things online at Amazon or eBay. Fiance is getting cheap ring, less than $100. Purchased place cards online and will print them ourselves. Venue decorates the reception so saved on flowers. Was going to go with Costco but the thought of storaging them and bringing them was too overwhelming, actually saved money going with a florist it was $600 with tax and delivery, whereas costco would have been slightly more and plain. I think shopping online helps to save money. I purchased my ring bearer pillow from Amazon and its tiny!! So there is also that. 

Post # 69
273 posts
Helper bee


Post # 70
33 posts
  • Wedding: September 2016

1. National park venue. $100 Any day of the year. We’re using it for reception and ceremony.  Our particular venue has no running water and only porta-johns and I get that’s controversial, but I’m sure that there are others that have better facilities.

2. When you can’t go to the thrift store for something, buy a discount gift card on raise.com in advance, get an ebates account, and order online through them for cash back.  Buy when things are on sale and then you’ll save money three different ways on the same purchase.  Go ahead and go in store to try stuff on and then buy online when you get home (or from your phone while you’re still there)!

3. Tell people you aren’t paying for babysitting and they have to sit next to their own kids at the wedding. Lots of potential no rsvps.  Saved money two ways (and a headache one way) on that one.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by lacavac.
Post # 71
400 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Harn Homestead

So far we are saving money on a few things, but at the same time I had to realize I am an out of state bride only going to the town of my wedding 3 days before the wedding, so I had to change somethings. None the less, here is how I saved:


DJ/Bar/Linens: Located the company on craigslist, they were running a special which was in my budget, but at the very top end, so I haggled. I got my open bar for 150 people, an awesome barrel bar setup, ALL linens I could ever need and my DJ with 2 sound systems for 5.5 hours for $1600 saving me about double that amount due to paying in full and asking what else they could add in for me since i was willing to pay right then.


Wedding planner: I am using an Events Planner for a university in the town my wedding is in, she does wedding on the side. Also located on craigslist, but happened to know someone in her department at the universtiy so talked to them as well as her past clients. $500, which saved me about $1000 if not more based on other peoples quotes.


Cake: I went to culinary school and have a good friend who does wedding cakes on the side so she is doing my 4 tier cake PLUS FI’s cookie bar for $500! Saved me about $750


Favors: Our cookie bar will be suppulemented with EXTRA cookies so they guest can take them home, I work in a restaurant and can get a case of 150 cookies for about $30 and I’ll but 2 cases and bake them. Saving me about $200.


Dress: I bought my dress at a well known bridal/pagent dress shop where alterations are included in the price. My dress is $1650 with alterations! This saved me $100 as they were that much cheaper then the other store with this dress PLUS the $450 in alterations the other store said I would need. Also was given 10% off there because I knew someone who refered me and got a little discount.


Acessories: We are making my bridal belt as the one at the salon was $400!! Found everything we need for less then $50. We are also making my birdcage veil for about $10. All my jewelry has been gifted to me or I am borrowing it for the day, so no cost there. Saved me $350 or so


Shoes: I picked toms and found them on ebay for $40, saved me $20


Bridesmaid dresses/gifts: I am not paying for the dresses except for one, as she is traveling from Scotland to stand by my side. However, since I know the owner they are gettin 10% off on their orders! Gift wise, I got them all toms for after the ceremony when their feet are tired $120 from ebay, saved $60. I also got them shirts to get ready in, found them on super sale at JCP so got them for $20, saved $70, BONUS my FG’s mom has an emboridary machine so shes doing that for free! Last thing is hangers and jewelry, all found on etsy, I just sent the seller an email about buying multiples and they both sent me a code for 10% off PLUS both shops are shipping for free, so saved about $20.


Groomsmen: Future Mother-In-Law insits on buying their outfits, but if its under $1000, I can put the rest of the money to something else in the wedding. Buying their pants, vest, shirts and socks from JCP with coupons when on sale, $500. We are getting their shoes from the converse outlet for $180, saving us $30. Lastly the bow ties will be from etsy and again messaged seller and got a 10% off code!

Groomsmen gifts: still looking on etsy, think a nice drinking glass etched. They run about $20 a piece, I will ask for a code though.


Flower Girls: We are making their outfits, however again we arent covering this cost.


Flowers: I had really wanted to DIY them all but realised there will not be enough time since I will be coming from another state with a ton to do prior to the big day. So we found a local florist via angie’s list and got a discount from the site, then I asked if I paid cash would they do a discount and they are! Were told $1800, but we get a 10% angies list discount plus $100 cash discount. We arent sure of final cost as we may add or remove some flowers once we see them. savings over other florist we spoke to about $400.


Hotel: I work in a hotel so I get the benefit of having super cheap rate, saving us about $450 on our rooms to get ready in. Also working a deal for the room blocks for the guest!


Catering: We are using a friend of the FI’s who has a family mexican restaurant. They are catering for 150 people a fajita bar plus enchiladas and all the fixings for a little snack during cocktail hour for $1500!! Savings is about $3000, HUGE score for us here!


Officent is a family friend, going to givev him and his new wife a cute date night basket filled with gift cards to restaurants they like and an AMC movie giftcard too! $300 savings after I buy all the thank you items


Make up/Hair: Is a girl I used to go to school with, she is doing my makeup with lashes and hair for $160 and this INCLUDES my trials. 


Photographer: We are using someone who is newer to the area, found on craigslist, but has some of the most breath taking photos I have ever seen! We vetted him as he works with a local fraturnity chapter we knew a member in and spoke to plus he has photographed me without me knowing in a 5k and I loved those photos!! We are getting full day coverage, 2 shoots, engagement, bridal and a boudiour session PLUS 3 memory photo books for $800, saving us about $3200 from the next photographer we liked. Another HUGE score for us.


Plates/Cutlery: Since we are a barn wedding, we are doing nice plastic settings because the venue has no running water and we didnt want to mess with the mess. Saving us $400


Venue: local historical barn, we get it for 2 FULL days, plus they have hardley any rules, except no flame and dont put holes in the barn. Cost $3000, and it comes with tables and chairs! The other barn we liked was $12000 for one day and not even a full meal with it!


Invites: I got a template off etsy for $60 and then had the print shop my dad use to work out print the entire suite, costing $360. Saving us $700, not to mention we seriously got everything, save the date, we got married, invite plus 4 inserts and the thank you cards!


**Something to know, I vetted ALL of my craigslist finds via wedding websites and doing personal interviews as well as speaking to some past clients to ensure I was in good hands. I got photos of what their work looked like and all from some vendors.**

Post # 72
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

Got a 50% off of 200$ purchase for weddingpaperdivas or our invites. Also had a 50% off purchase for zazzle for stds.

Dress needs no alterations. 

Im diying my veil ans capelet for 60$. I’m hand beading them. 

Found the flower girl dress for 4$ at goodwill!

kept the guest list under 40 and opted for a Sunday lunch. This saved us tons! Also we cut the bar out as its a lunch on Sunday.


Our wedding is paid off in cash except for his tux, gold bands, my hair/make up (I’ll probably do my own) and costco flowers! 

Post # 73
398 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I’m super proud of myself for getting ALL our paper/correspondence for less than $200.

1. Online STDs through Paperless Post, free

2. $20 Etsy design for invites

3. Invite design was a classy grey and white…which means it could be printed in black and white! Much cheaper than color printing. Also important: one-sheet invitations. No cards, pockets, linings, etc. this will keep your printing costs super low.

4. Used CatPrint to get all invitations and envelopes for about $60. Shop around. VistaPrint may be cheaper for you, wasn’t for us.

5. Online RSVP, so no RSVP cards necessary

6. Online rehearsal dinner invites through Paperless Post, free

7. Cheapie thank you notes from Michael’s.

8. $100 on postage for invites and thank you notes. Everything small enough that it required only one stamp, no RSVP cards, and online STDs and Rehearsal Dinner invites made this possible.



Post # 74
332 posts
Helper bee

We had a budget of $26,000…But we cut it down to $8000

– My wedding dress cost $550. 





– Small bridal party + bridesmaid dresses were $50 ea on sale! 




 – My SIL has red rose bushes in her front yard, so we are using her roses for some decor.


– Catering is $2500 for 70 people with a mobile catering service.


– We are having the ceremony and reception outdoors, so no venue fee. But, we are hiring decor for both. black and white Dance floor, wine barrells, tables,  mixed matched rustic chairs, black table cloths, black cloth napkins, ceremony decor, antique chairs for the bridal table… etc.




(FI’s parents have looooots of fairy lights like in this photo, so we don’t need to buy those either)


– DJ / MC was $1069 but, totally worth it. He is amazing, has public liability insurance, amazing sound and lighting system… We weren’t going to pass him up.


– Hair & Makeup for 3 girls is $500. Not including a trial.


– Photographer is $300 for 12 hours of photos + full editing. He is actually a university student studying photography & a friend of one of my bridesmaids, we really enjoyed his photo work, so we got a great bargain. He is super professional with a great price tag! 


– We found $1 mason jars at a discount store, which we are using for our guests to drink with all night + their name tag + apart of their wedding favour to take home.  Having to rent them or buy them off ebay would have cost 3 x more.



– We bought a $20 invitation design off etsy.com, and we printed it out at home ourselves. 



– My mum is a wedding cake decorator, so she will be making our wedding cake and edible favours / packing for free. 




– We are making our own centerpieces, with spray paint and dead tree branches haha. Plus a few crystals as well. Roughly $250 for 10 centerpieces. Which is a hell of a lot cheaper than flowers from a florist.


– Because we are having a backyard wedding, our booze for 70 guests is $700. Which is pretty cheap. At a venue there is a huge markup plus corkage fee’s. 


– Wedding cars, I think my FI’s family know a lot of people with some nice classic cars, so we will just go have a look at a few and choose some, probably just give them $50 each for fuel costs.


Thats pretty much everything I could really cut costs on…. Going from $26,000 to $8000 is a pretty good jump in cost….And, we still get everything we wanted…Just didn’t get it all from a venue. 

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