(Closed) Wedding Cutbacks

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 3
1718 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

Hmm… one thing that I didn’t spend a lot of money on that I’m glad that I didn’t is flowers!  Flowers are SO EXPENSIVE and while I do drool at an elaborate bouquet or centerpieces, I am just glad to have saved hundreds/thousands on flwoers.

I bought a fairly expensive dress (not really by wedding standards, i think, but to me it was expensive!) and I look back and wish I spent less. I’m probably the only bride who ever thought that about her dress huh?  I loved the dress… but now that the day is over I cant believe I have that thing hanging in my closet.  I don’t want to get rid of it, so I cant recoup my costs by selling it cause I still like looking at it, but I would have treasured it just as much if it cost 1/4 of what it did 🙂

Post # 4
5398 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Without a doubt if I could have done anything differently I would have looked for my dress way sooner and I wouldn’t have spend nearly as much on it as I did because I spent WAY too much.

Post # 5
596 posts
Busy bee

things i’m glad i didn’t spend a ton of money on:

– flowers (they are so expensive and don’t last)

– shoes (no one sees them!)

– invites (people just throw them away, except for maybe you and your parents)

– favors (very few ideas are super cool and worth the extra $$ to pull off.  so either do something generic and affordable like an edible favor or don’t do one at all.)

Post # 6
619 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Thanks for the posts girls! I am definitely getting helpful information in what to save money on for my 2010 wedding.

Post # 7
342 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I’m not married yet, but here are some thoughts my sisters passed on to me when they were helping me with my budget…

One of my sisters wishes she would have invited more people to her wedding.  She says that if she had it to do over, she would have gone over her budget and invited everyone she wanted to.

My other sister wishes she wouldn’t have spent so much money upgrading her table linens.

Post # 8
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I’m going to have to echo previous posters and say that I’m glad I didn’t spend much on flowers.  While I looove gorgeous, full bouquets, I only ended up holding mine for half of the ceremony, and then I set it down and didn’t pick it up the rest of the night.  Who wants to spend hundreds of dollars on something that you’ll hold for an hour?

I’m also glad that I didn’t spend a ton on my dress.  It was pretty, it looked nice, but didn’t break the bank.  Now it just hangs in a closet and I curse it because it takes up so much room.  If I had spent more on it, I would just be cursing it more because I spent sooo much money on it and it is still taking up a ton of room in my closet. 

I wish I would have spent more money on photography.  I had the option of a 2nd photographer for the day, but at the time I thought would just be a huge waste of money.  In retrospect, the extra pictures would be nice.

Good luck with all of your planning!

Post # 9
62 posts
Worker bee

I was really glad I didn’t spend money on:

1.  A florist.  I ordered 250 white roses through wholeblossoms.com and had enough for 4 bouquets, 10 bouts, 15 centerpieces, and almost 100 roses in our hotel room.

2.  Shoes.  Mine were $10.  I wore them for… half an hour? 

3.  Our photographer.  We found her through a friend, and she shot the whole day for $200.  I recommend looking at younger photographers who are just starting out- ours mostly does senior pictures, so her ‘all-day’ price was way low.  She gave us DVD’s with pictures, and I distributed them online rather than buying albums.  I printed some for us, but the cost was less than $20 instead of hundreds.

4.  Makeup.  I did my own and felt great.

5.  Cake.  Sam’s club.  Less than $100 for 150 people, and I got tons of compliments on it.  :]

6.  My dress.  Like penguin, I have no idea what to do with it now.  It got kind of trashed, but I can’t decide if I should throw it away or try to save some of it… and it was only $200.  If I’d have spent thousands, I’d probably cry every time I opened my closet.

Things I would do differently now:

1.  Have a friend act as a day-of coordinator.  I thought the idea was dumb, but looking back, it would have been smart.  I was the one running the show, but the catering staff/church employees/etc. kept saying ‘well, I didn’t want to bother you.’  I probably could have handled everything, but vendors didn’t want to intrude, so some things got a little crazy.

2.  Have a designated sound person, and practice with the system.  Our parents were seated to music that was COMPLETELY wrong [part of a mix cd I’d made for getting ready- a tune from the Corpse Bride].  Having said that, I was glad we didn’t hire a DJ for the reception.  We made our own playlist with tons of dance music, and it was great.  :] 

3.  Get help with hair.  Not necessarily a hired person, but a friend with an extra curling iron would have saved me a lot of time.

Post # 10
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2000

I had a co-worker once who’d been married for 4 years and they were still paying on his wife’s wedding dress! I bet they regret that.

I was the typical broke college student paying for my own wedding when I got married. So there’s not too much I could change if I were getting married at that level of brokeness.

But I regret not having a better photographer. I hired a guy from my church based on portraits he’d shown. They were nice but that doesn’t translate to good wedding photos. Everything was posed & staged and looking at them doesn’t give me any sense of the day. Of course being a photographer now, it pains me see the technical problems. I’ve never been a girly girl & at that time hadn’t worn a dress in years. But I fell in love with a foo foo dress that I would have never thought in a million years I’d like. Lots of beading & lace details. My photographer wasn’t good enough to get those details. I might as well been wearing a plain white dress- you can’t see anything that made me fall in love with it.

My second biggest regret is not having a wedding planner or at least a DOC. I was clueless of what to do. My family can cause more drama than help and I was burdened with vendor issues, payments and clean-up. 

I just realized I read your post wrong but I’ll leave it. IMO favors are probably the biggest waste of money especially things with your name or photo printed on it (an actual photograph is okay).  Really, how many things do you keep at home with other people’s names/pictures on it? I feel bad when I throw away the votives wrapped in tulle with the printed ribbons tied around it. The couple spent money on it, but I don’t want it. The same goes for bubbles. I may keep 1 for my neice & nephew when they visit, but most get tossed. I love my clean, sleek fridge & I’m not going to clutter it up with magnets.The only favor I’ve  liked is a packet of wildflower seeds.  I’ll try & find a corner of my yard to plant them in the spring.

If I’m close enough to you to be invited to your wedding and attend, thats thanks enough. I don’t want to come home with anything (except maybe an extra piece of cake).

Post # 11
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I always here dont spend a money on cheap little favors that will never get used.  If you want to do favors just get something you can eat. Yummmy!!!!!

Post # 12
2640 posts
Sugar bee

I am glad we went with a DJ over a band.  (For many reasons).  Not just $.  But it’s easier to replace  a DJ if they don’t show or get sick.  they take up less space.  Aren’t as loud.  Play the songs you want, exactly as you like them. 

Bridal bouquets, corsages, etc.  can easily look pretty without a lot of money.

Simple invitations.  No one really remembers them. 

Inexpensive shoes, especially if no one will see them.

Make invitations/programs/favors yourself.

Skip upgrading linens.

If you can double duty (ie Bridesmaid or Best Man bouquets also as head table centerpieces, or table centerpieces also as weding favors) more power to you.

I’d suggest not skimping on things guests will remember about your wedding.  I’ve been to weddings feeling like the bride and groom skimped completely on showing guests a nice time, only to spend all of their money on a super expensive honeymoon etc.  (I understnad if a couple doesn’t have a lot of money, but when you know good money is going towards  wedding expenses that are "personal" to the couple and not related to "hosting" guests, that’s inconsiderate.)

Post # 13
820 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

i haven’t had my wedding yet but since a lot of people talked about being glad they didn’t spend a lot of money on their wedding dresses, i wanted to throw in my 2 cents! my cousin got married two years ago and she CONSTANTLY tells me that every time she looks at her wedding pictures she wishes she got the more expensive dress that she wanted. she liked her dress fine, but seriously she says every time she sees pictures she regrets the decision not to spend more on that and go with the dress she really wanted. so i really think it’s a matter of prioritizing: some things are more important to some people, not so much to others. i’m trying to prioritize for my own wedding, knowing what i care most about and refuse to skimp on versus things i am not as concerned about and will gladly cut/skimp on (i.e., have to agree with images, i do not think ANYONE cares enough to want to take home favors monogrammed with our names on it!)

Post # 14
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

not married yet but already wishing i had not let FH/MOH talk me into doing wine glasses for favors… (even tho it was a gift from MOH).

letting FH talk me into spending 2K on photogpraher instead of 1K like originally planned (2K includes 1 leather album, frame signing thingy, and digital retouching of photos we pick for the album vs just DVD for 1K)

needing chair covers (the place chairs really ugly w/o them), but at $4 each… i guess it’s not so bad

being talked into having my reception a month and a half earlier than I wanted (lower minimum fees…) instead of late May when it has a much lower chance of rain

Post # 15
37 posts

I thought almost every dollar was well spent, but if there was one area where we could have downgraded, it would have been the bar.  I opted for an open bar (charged on consumption to us), with top shelf liquor.  I underestimated how much my guests could drink.  If I could do it over, I probably would have done an open bar (with standard liquor) during cocktail hour and beer and wine only during dinner. 

Post # 16
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I did not spend alot on Flowers, Shoes, or Invites. Everything was pretty simple. I also did not do my own centerpieces as i am sure some are very pretty I would have spent a ton of money on something I would have to deal with later and the ones the hotel provided were just fine. No one looked at them anyway!!

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