(Closed) What are you scaling back on/cutting out of your wedding??

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 17
540 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

– We didn’t do flowers on our tables. Our favors were plants so that made the table look full enough. The bridesmaids bouquets were DIY and I carried a bible with ribbons (it is family tradition), so we cut out most of the cost of flowers

– No limo. We borrowed a vintage truck from a family member

– No programs. We figured that people are there for it no matter what it entails. 

– DIY Invites and Save the Dates, favors, seating chart, place cards, table numbers, table runners (out of free material), “guest book”

– Free and barrowed vintage decor,

– My husband made our ceremony site with some of our family and friends in a beautiful clearing in the woods, so it was PERFECT and free too!

– Used the family business’ model home for the reception, perfect and free

– Won our DJ through a church auction. She was who we were going to get anyway, but it saved us A LOT of money.

– We has strawberry shortcake instead of traditional wedding cake. It is our favorite and our caterers did it as part of our package instead of having to pay another backer for a wedding cake.

– My friend (bridesmaid) is a hair dresser and did our hair. We did our own makeup.

– No veil, made the flower for my hair out of extra material from when my dress was altered.

– No flowers for the guys or family that weren’t in the wedding party.

– No hotel

– No isle runner

– Nothing monogrammed

– Basic linens, chairs, flatware and plates

– Bought him a suit rather than a tux. He looked so sharp but not stuffy like some tuxes can come off. It did costs more but we saw it as an investment that he could wear time and time again rather than a one day purchase, and you could get a cheaper one then we did and make it even more worth the money.

– I got a beautiful dress that I plan to resell, hopefully recouping some of the money spent on it.

– Very small bridal party – 4 people total

– No videographer. We had my uncle take a few home videos just for us to watch in a few years. He always has his camera anyway.

– My other Uncle is my Pastor and did the cerimony for free for us.

– Homemade Photo Booth. A wall with pictures on it, that were cut out so people could stand behind them as if they were in the pictures. My mom made it, and it was a HUGE hit.


We did have a cocktail hour, a sit down dinner with salad served family style, drinks, vintage soda bar, a candy bar, a rented tent and dance floor and great photographers, but we still saved a lot of money and didn’t have to compromise on what made our day wonderful.

Post # 18
2491 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012



-large bridal party (just 2 for me and 2 for FI)

-flowers for parents

-flower in general for the most part (except bouquets and bouts)



-fancy cake (ours is free and provided by the caterer for dessert)

-fancy chairs/linens/etc (ours will all just be ivory, ivory slip covers, etc)


-speciality drinks or liquor

-friendors for officient, makeup and flowers

-great discount on photography

-DIY late night

-hotel blocks (all of our guests are either localish (within 3 hr drive, which for here isn’t crazy) or from very far and staying with relatives)

-champagne (doing sparkling wine instead)

-DIY veil and jewellery


Things we ARE splurging on:

-I was going to get my dress from dressilyme, but spent $1500 on it in a store.

– Uplighting

– Card box/mailbox (it’s vintage and so cool, but much more than the $30 I set aside for a thrift find)

– cowboy boots for myself

– pro hair

– shoes (I refuse to wear uncomfy shoes all night!)

– honeymoon (we are going on a roadtrip through the states for 3 weeks, so it will be pricy)

– DIY invites and paper. I thought this would be cheap, but it ended up that it will still cost us quite a bit of money.

Post # 19
5 posts
  • Wedding: December 2012

No save the dates

No flowers (the church will be full of Christmas trees!)

No chair covers

No fancy cars

No favours

Friends doing hair and make up

No adult bridesmaids

There are probably more I can’t think of right now 🙂

Post # 20
3622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

-Homemade dessert bar

-Friend making the wedding cake

-No special transportation

-Friendor doing hair

-Homemade photo booth

-Having the wedding on a Sunday

-Having the wedding in the morning

-Using Vistaprint’s 100 free postcards (for STDs)

-Probably doing email RSVPs (saving on return postage)

-Using a cheaper tailor for alterations, not DB

I’m sure there’s other stuff, that’s off the top of my head

Post # 21
284 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

This is a helpful thread.

We cut the guest list to no more than 126 (although 100 would be perfect for me)

-I am cutting down by NO:

cost of officiant (family friend)

cost of DJ (family friend)

cost of cake (my Future Sister-In-Law insisted on paying for it)

special transportation

cocktail hour

printed menus

programs (it will be a quick outdoor ceremony)

open bar (with the way our families drink this would double our budget, but we are supplying wine at dinner)

real flowers, we are using silk flowers

our invitations were DIY

-things I’m on the fence about:

chair covers

favors for guests

-things we did go for:

the venue is perfect..exactly what I envisioned

coordinator/ decorator (this is an out-of state wedding, so it was a must or I’d be stressed out)

a complete table setting with nice linens and centerpieces (I didn’t want dispoable plates/flatware/drinkware)

food servers and kitchen clean-up (saves SO much hassle)

got my dream dress (!!!)

I want good shoes that I can wear all night (otherwise my dress will be too long if I have to change into flats)

hair appointment for sure

(…there are other things,,but I can’t think of them)


Post # 22
5889 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2012


  • No favors


  • No limo


  • No DJ/band (ipod)


  • Smaller cake with other desserts


  • Limited bar- wine, beer, champagne, and signature drink


  • Friend designed our invitations (which we then had letterpressed)


  • Mr. Meowerson’s brother has a catering company and is doing our wedding at cost (we totally lucked out here because his food is amazing)


  • Officiant- one of my best friends is officiating


  • Online RSVP


  • No professional videography (Mr. Meowerson’s sister’s best friend will be taping the ceremony, speeches, and first dance)


  • No albums or CD with photography (instead getting these via download)


  • Smaller centerpieces (6×6 square vases with my dream flowers in them- peonies and roses)


  • Smaller “posy” bouquets
  • I have one ring for both engagement and wedding band


Post # 23
202 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Our ceremony, rings, flowers, and photography and my make up by AVON was all for FREE! The church that married us give a dozen FREE WEDDINGS for couples that can not afford one. We paid for the reception hall and that was only $85. My family and I did the food.

Here are a few pics of our day and the church. You can not beat FREE. Without this church, we would have had to go to the courthouse.

Post # 23
202 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Our ceremony, rings, flowers, and photography and my make up by AVON was all for FREE! The church that married us give a dozen FREE WEDDINGS for couples that can not afford one. We paid for the reception hall and that was only $85. My family and I did the food.

Here are a few pics of our day and the church. You can not beat FREE. Without this church, we would have had to go to the courthouse.

Post # 24
1675 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

We cut back on a few things too, but mostly on things that weren’t important to us:

– no limo
– no professionally printed/designed invites
–  no DJ/band
– community hall venue (kind of wish we’d been able to afford a hotel)
– buffet dinner instead of sit down
– no open bar ($2 a drink instead)
– no videographer
– no cocktail hour
– no fancy cake
–  nothing monogrammed
– no menu cards
– getting our centerpiece flowers from Costco
– using friendors where possible 

Post # 25
5089 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@lioness_89:  We didn’t have any those things either, other than save the dates (less than $50 on zazzle) and limited open bar (beer, wine, champagne, pomosas)

Other ways we cut costs:

  • Wedding (ceremony and reception) at my mother’s home
  • We invited fewer than 80 guests, of whom 55 attended
  • No attendents (other than our chuppah holders) so no cost for flowers, hair, jewelry, etc.
  • My husband’s good friend officiated
  • Invites were designed and made for me by a printmaker friend at cost
  • Small centerpieces, gave florist total control to use local, in-season flowers
  • No engagement ring; my wedding band is my grandmother’s.
  • Another friend made my necklace; my earrings and bracelet were from a set of pearls my Mother-In-Law had given me a few years earlier; my right-hand ring was my other grandmother’s.
  • Photographer was a family friend who did it for next to nothing.
  • Yet another friend sewed the chuppah
  • We didn’t do any of the “details” that often go with weddings: special chairs or chair covers, monogrammed cake cutters, place cards/menus/programs, chair decorations, ceremony flowers
  • I don’t know whether to count my dress as a “save” or “splurge”; I paid $1000 for it, which is a LOT (to me anyway), but it was designed and handmade for me out of gorgeous silk by one of my best friends, and market price would have been many times that.


Post # 26
2702 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I like this thread too!


Here’s what we’re doing (er not doing):

No special chairs or chair covers

Using the linens provided by the venue (I may make my own table runners if there’s room in the budget)

Using the dinnerware provided

Limited flowers

Nothing monogramed

No videography

Buffet style dinner

Simple cocktail hour – meatballs (which are in place of a 3rd buffet entree included in our catering package), cider and donuts from a local apple orchard, and maybe a cheese, cracker, and veggie tray.  Nothing passed.

Save-The-Date Cards, invites, programs, thank you cards from Vistaprint (yay for Groupons!)

Postcard Save-The-Date Cards for the cheaper postage

DIY centerpieces, escort cards, card box, and other decor

Newer photographer (she’s still getting started so her prices are much lower than a seasoned professional)

No string quartets or anything like that

Cheap favors – (< $0.50 per favor)

Small wedding cake to cut and sheet cake to serve to guests.

No uplighting

No fancy draping (decor is simple)


We did this so we could have:

An open bar for the entire time

A large guest list

Our dream honeymoon


Post # 27
4822 posts
Honey bee

I chose a location that let us bring in our own food and alcohol vendors. We knew this would save thousands and thousands of dollars.

Our bar vendor was the best deal. We only had to pay retail price of the bottle of what we used and the hourly cost of the bartender and rented glasses. They did all the delivery set up and take down. We ended up with open bar for 165 people for 7 hours for 2K.

We also did online RSVPs, a chalkboard program, made our invites, used fruit with flowers in centerpieces because fruit is cheaper than flowers.

We had a family friend marry us. She is a reverand and my cousin is a DJ so he DJ’d for us.

We had the ceremony at the reception location.

Post card Save-The-Date Cards

I bought and resold the table clothes and runner so it only cost me about $100 to dress about 25 tables.

I sold my wedding dress.

I didnt do a makeup or hair dresser trial- but I have seen this girls work before. She did my friends wedding.

I am sure there are others.

Post # 28
891 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

No Save-The-Date Cards
No RSVPs (they will call/email)
We travel alot so we buy our quota of heavy spirits (such as gin, vodka etc) on taxfree. That is two bottles everytime we travel.
No transport – We will hitch a ride with FI’s dad
No live music -except for neighbour that is a musician that will play for free
No fee for church (FI iwas born in the city where the church is so it’s for free)
No Photographers fee, our photographer-friends will do our pics
No waiters for our sit in meal, we will have FSIL’s and FBIL’s friends to help us serve the food for free.
Reception will be for free. FI’s dad has connections on the reception hall so we don’t need to pay.
Makeup and hair will be done by myself, bridesmaids will do their own aswell
No invitation fees – I am designing these myself
No programs – We just don’t do them here where I am from
FI’s friend will be bartending the party
No hotel- Will be staying at my FMIL’s the days to the wedding
No videographer – We will probably have 3+ that will film anyways!
A smaller cake with homemade desserts are saving us alot of money
No weddingbouquet fees/No bridesmaid fees-I save on making these myself – and FI’s cousin is a florist so she will give us discounted flowers for the wedding
No food to be paid – Future Mother-In-Law and Future Father-In-Law will pay – Chef is also for free-family friend

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