(Closed) Wedding Details – What Are You Skipping to Save $ ?

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 76
191 posts
Blushing bee

Still in the beginning stages of planning but:

-non wedding venue and/or Sunday

-non wedding and/or sale dress

-no bridal party ( 2 flower girls)

-DIY: food, flowers, cakes

– cheap DJ

-student photographer

-mimosas instead of open bar

-sterling silver/ gemstone ering & sterling silver(mine) & probably tungsten (his) wedding rings

Post # 77
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Love this thread!  How we are saving:

  • ceremony and brunch reception at a great restaurant, only 4 hours total time and then we’re going to have people back to our house for an after party
  • no DJ, using spotify instead
  • no limo because no transportation needed
  • no formal cake, restaurant is providing a few dessert options
  • no paper items (stds, menus, programs, etc.) except for invites & thank you notes and i made them on vistaprint
  • inexpensive shoes – $48 at DSW and i love them
  • no bridal party
  • no favors – i feel like i always just throw them out when i get them anyway
  • dress is ann taylor and was half off!
  • gonna do the centerpieces myself with wholesale flowers (but i’ll prob get a professionally done bouquet)
  • minimal other DIY decorations
  • found a photographer who is trying to build her business – she’s only charging us $450 for 4 hours of shooting and she’s including 1.5-2 hrs of “getting ready” shots for free

we’re still working out how we want to handle the bar.  we’d like to just cover it, but that adds up fast, so we may just cover beer & wine



Post # 78
2165 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception/The Gallery

Some of you are so creative in how to save! And those of you with great connections to vendors or talented people–so envious!

Unfortunately, our budget is quickly getting bigger than I expected and we’re not really cutting a lot of corners. HOWEVER, I am a good bargain hunter so I know I’ll be able to save money on a lot of things!

So far, I have saved by:

  • Ordering once-worn Kate Spade heels on Poshmark for $75 (including shipping) It’s a win-win, I get my fancy shoes and I spent less than $100!
  • Using a friend of a friend for all our design work–he’s giving us a discount
  • Not having a videographer (unless someone, a parent, etc. wants to gift it. I just don’t think it’s worth it
  • Not having a cake and doing an ice cream bar + assorted other desserts instead
  • Found a sash for my dress at a bridal auction from a local shop that was closing. The one I tried with my dress was $700. This James Allen one would have been $300+. Got it for $90. Sorry for the bad auction photo–I pick it up later today. 

I’m sure we’ll find other ways to cut costs but right now it feels more like 1 step forward 5 steps back. Oh well. 


ETA: Oh! I forgot! I will definitely be doing my own calligraphy and purchasing the font for our designer so we can make some of the simple paper items myself. Also, no ring bearer/flower girl (And thus no gifts, etc). We’re doing very minimal decor at the church, if any–it’s beautiful on it’s own. And my mom has some small melee diamonds that I may use for a pave band. I want a larger 5 or 7 stone band but may just use these for now and get a more flashy ring in the future. 

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by DrunkInLove.
Post # 79
205 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

I wanted a small wedding, but alas, not looking like it. Aside from keeping numbers low, we are doing the following:

  • Venue doesn’t charge a venue hire, just for the food per head, which is great
  • Mother is doing all flowers/bouquets/etc as she does this frequently
  • FI’s aunt is doing our cake and cupcakes, also something she does frequently
  • DIY invitations
  • No designer shoes, in fact, I ordered a great pair of shoes today that I would like to get shoe clips for then they are done and dusted
  • Found a great place for my dress – free alterations, includes my garter and veil/whatever I am putting in my hair, includes petticoat. They also let me pick jewellery with it, but I bought my own outside of it anyway
  • My hairdresser put together a package for me at the salon for hair, makeup, nails, waxing, colouring, the whole shebang and it is a bargain
  • No favours
  • Definitely thinking of skipping the DJ
  • Very simple, minimalistic centrepieces
  • Having a friend marry us
  • No car, as it is unnecessary – venue and reception are one and the same place
  • No save the dates

Anyway, that’s what I can think of on the spot πŸ™‚

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by zeus.
Post # 80
492 posts
Helper bee

We are planning a backyard wedding at our private residence. That alone is huge savings. No limo, officiant (since a personal friend of ours is ordained), garter, bouquet toss, videography or bridal party. Also, no flower girl or ring bearer since my son & daughter (6 yr old twins) will be walking me down the aisle. 

Small guest list of 40-50 ppl, many DIY projects taking place and purchasing flowers in bulk, by a local wholesale distributer. 

Post # 81
348 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - country club in Michigan

A few items:

  • Our cake is a small, 30 person cake, with sheet cakes for the other 100 guests. The sheet cake is IDENTICAL to the fancy, tiered cake (same exact flavors, same baker), it’s just not covered in birds and flowers and stacked. This saved us $400. 
  • Only offering beer and wine, and no liquor. The venue estimated this savd us about $1,000.
  • No designer shoes. I paid $80 for a pair of blinged out shoes at Macy’s. They are perfect, and I wouldn’t have gotten anything else even if I had the budget.
  • Bought my veil and jewelry at a going-out-of-buisness sale at a local bridal boutique. I got everything 50% off, which was awesome. 
  • Skipping flowers at the church. Although it would have been nice, the church doesn’t allow any by the alter, so my mom is just making an arragement for outside. This saved us $400 from what the florist originally wanted us to do.  
  • We are hosting our wedding at an old converted mansion that was turned into a country club. because it’s a small club, the prices are ridiculously reasonable, and the venue is gorgeous.


Post # 82
471 posts
Helper bee

-Sunday brunch wedding (way cheaper and still comes with bottomless mimosas)

-printed save the dates at target photo

-used the potted orchids that came with venue for centerpieces. 

-bridal bouquet, toss bouquet, 5 boutenieres, 4 corsages, and 4 bridesmaids bouquets were 170 from albertsons.  Look like ones from an independent florist 

-hand stamped guests names into wine charms for favors 65 cost me 20 bucks 

-doing my own makeup, I always look not myself when someone else does it. 

-chose a veil that looks best with my hair down so I didn’t have to pay for hair 

-eliminated RSVP cards.  Just used a website

-made my own wedding signage 


Post # 83
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2017
  • View original reply
    PinkPearls:  Ive cut a bunch of costs but its still a dream wedding. We are lucky to have great friends and family.


  • No Photographer- Close friend is acting as photographer and does all of our family pictures anyways
  • Officiant- My close friend is doing this for us for free
  • Wedding make up and hair- I WOULD have paid for this but got lucky and its a gift from a friend
  • Videographer- None
  • Designer Shoes- Im buying Davids bridal shoes on sale and paying under 30
  • Limited Bar- It is open but it is only 3 types of wine and 3 types of beer
  • Save the dates- Cheap cheap cheap online
  • Invites- Half off at michaels DIY
  • No bridal party- Our children are our bridal party
  • I did get an amazing ering that i prob dont want to know how much it cost, but im using my grandmothers band so thats free (we arent including the ering in the budget tho)
  • No real flowers, all decor is DIY – Think lots of candles. Im all about the ambience and lighting
  • No limo or transporation costs other than the gas in our own vehicle πŸ™‚
  • We arent paying for guest hotels (but its only my parents, a niece and a cousin who wouldnt let us pay anyway)
  • Reception Decor- Our friends own it so we got a great price on it, get to decorate early and it includes tables and chairs and all the lighting in the curtains and all. They are also catering the event and while we dont have a discount on that, its all in house and much easier.
  • Our ceremony venue is beautiful and requires very little decor…was only 50 bucks to rent for however long we need it!
  • We kept out guest list small – 65 people including us, so that way food, alcohol, favors, invites, etc. would all cost less. πŸ™‚
Post # 84
900 posts
Busy bee
  • Sunday wedding 
  • Only using flowers for my bouquet, bouts and corsages for parents and best man
  • No bridal party (except for one best man)
  • No save the dates
  • No wedding programs
  • No guest book
  • No limo
  • No hen/stag party
  • Raw footage videography only (no editing)
  • Re-using designer shoes I bought for a formal event last year
  • Dry wedding. We are having a brunch wedding, and we don’t care enough about alcohol to bother. I’m having a signature punch made, and will be bringing in some sodas as well.
  • Small wedding of less than 50 invitees

My splurges:

  • Food. I’m paying extra for a dessert bar to be made on top of having a catered meal and a wedding cake as well
  • Videography/photography. While I made some cuts (only having raw footage video), the biggest portion of my budget is going toward photography and videography

My philosophy here is that my wedding is about good food and people with cameras to catch it all!

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by PBeeWriter.
  • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by PBeeWriter.
Post # 85
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

View original reply
yerle:  my dad got married last summer (2nd wedding for both) and they didn’t serve food or drinks either. They called people the week before said the date and time, come if you wish. They had it in their backyard with about a dozen family and friends. Everyone stayed for about an hour then went home and they hopped in the car and left for their 2 week road trip honeymoon. Do what suits you πŸ™‚

Post # 86
26 posts
  • Wedding: April 2016

No limo

No open bar just Beer, wine, 1 signature cocktail

No hotel on wedding night (though i’m staying at one the night before to be away from him)

No bridal party! what? I know, just seems like expense and hassle. I’d rather just party with my friends at wedding, no jobs or obligations 

Just Cupcakes, no cake, No dessert bar

No fancy invites, just simple printed card and online rsvp

No designer shoes 

No dress change

Just cheese/crackers/veggies for appetizers. We are however splurging on dinner with two food trucks(they are NOT economical)




Post # 87
26 posts
  • Wedding: April 2016

I’m making my own bouquet with 2 bunches of $5.99 flowers from Trader Joes

no church decorations, the church is naturally beautiful

Post # 88
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Ever After Banquet Hall

LOL I knew there were more. Just took me a while to remember them all

– No STD’s

– Invites and thank you’s from Zazzle (with a groupon)

– Shoes are from Target’s bridal line

– Headpiece is from eBay

– I will be making my own card box from old shoe boxes

– Doing a pasta buffet as opposed to a meat entree. Saves us $5 a person..it adds up fast!

– Fiance used to be a DJ. A friend of his (who bought a lot of his equipment when he stopped) will be our DJ….pretty much for free πŸ˜‰

– Not leaving for our honeymoon till the following Wednesday. MUCH cheaper to fly mid-week. Also trimmed the honeymoon down to 5 days (more of a logistical choice than a financial one)

– 3 different styles of centerpieces, all DIY. One is free using items from SIL’s wedding (ok, I still had to buy the candles), second practically free using hurricane globes from venue for free (I um supplying the pillar candles and feather boas to go around them), and one that is more expensive (tall feather ones), but I only need to make 8 of them with mixing it up with the other two styles

 – I don’t know if this counts, but we chose a venue that may not have been our first choice location, but they don’t charge for the actual room rental, only the food, where most venues in our area charge for both. We compared several, and the prices per plate were pretty close to the same….so the decision was pretty easy to make

– Another one that may not count…I work in a bridal shop. I didn’t really want to get my gown there; it can be hard seeing other brides try it on. But in the end, I did love one there the most…and I was able to use my employee discount πŸ˜‰ Cha-ching LOL


There, that might be close to all of my penny-pinching. Probably not really, though LOL

Post # 89
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Ways we are saving:

  • Venue – our venue is only available to alumni/employees of my school; there is no separate venue rental fee and we are allowed to bring our own alcohol. Also, because it is a Catholic school they don’t accept tips – this includes the planners, catering staff, and bartenders
  • Flowers – seasonal/cheap flowers because I really only care about the color anyway. We are also only doing floral centerpieces on half of the tables. The other half of the tables will have candles only, although I keep second-guessing this decision – someone please tell me they did this and it worked out!
  • Photography – no engagement session and skipping videography altogether
  • Beauty/attire – I’m wearing my mom’s veil. Sentimental, and it only cost $25 to have the cap removed and replaced with a comb. I’m wearing shoes I already owned and doing my own makeup. My fiance purchased a suit on sale for less than it would have cost to rent a tux for one day.
  • Stationary – for both the save the dates and the invites I purchased a cheap template on Etsy and had them printed on Vistaprint. Both the STDs and the RSVP cards are postcards which helped save a few dollars in postage, and the invites themselves didn’t require any additional postage
  • Music – my brother is a musician and will play the ceremony and cocktail hour for free
  • Dessert – we are having pie instead of cake. This was a personal choice since neither of us like cake, but it had the happy side effect of saving us money!
  • We are also skipping a lot of miscellaneous stuff that we just don’t care about – no cake topper or serving set, guest book, garter or toss bouquet, or favors

After actually going through all of the ways we are saving money it makes me even sadder that we are still spending so much! Oh well, it’s only money right?

Post # 90
599 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
PinkPearls:  We kept the guest list small (40 people), skipped a DJ, I made an iPod playlist, hubby’s friend is a great photographer so he did our photos in exchange for hubby doing some work on his car, for the bar we did free pop/juice/etc and drink tickets (2 per person). In hindsight I wish I’d done open bar but at the time I was thinking some guests could bankrupt us at an open bar 😳

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