(Closed) What was your biggest money saving move?

posted 13 years ago in Money
Post # 47
138 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010


I loooove this thread!

My fiance and I plan to save by doing the following things:

– Hiring an inexperienced DJ for $300. We figured that people can entertain themselves. As long as the food we serve is good quality, and the drinks are plenty, everyone will groove to any music 🙂

– Using Carnations for the bouquets and boutonniers. I plan to spend only $150 overall, and I will make the bouquets myself.

– Cutting out the Late Night Sweet Table. It’s all just a bunch of extra pastries that go to waste.

– Getting my invitations made in the Philippines (low conversion rate there, I plan to spend only $60 for 120 fancy invitations.)

– Getting my dress made in the Philippines (again, with the low conversion rate, I will spend at most $350 for a beautiful gown)

– Wearing Crocs which are only $25 instead of fancy bridal footwear.

– Having no kids as part of the wedding entourage.

– No giveaways, people just throw them away anyway.

– Fancy electronic Save-The-Dates ($0)

– $5 DIY Centerpieces

– Doing my own hair and makeup.

– Cutting out the limo – our bridal party will just come in their own cars.

– No cocktail hour before dinner (save money on h’or deauvres)

– Basic bar package only, which consists of beer and wine – no champagne.

– Going to an Antique shop to purchase our wedding bands.

– Having three identical cakes instead of a traditional multi-tiered wedding cake.


So far our biggest expenses are food, open bar, and our photographer. Everything else can be watered down 🙂


Post # 48
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2022 - Still Looking!

Great question!  We saved money on just about everything, but our *biggest* money-saver was undoubtedly holding the reception at a restaurant.  Around here, reception site fees cost thousands of dollars, before you ever purchase a bite of food.  Our particular restaurant was more budget-friendly than many caterers, plus no rentals needed and no site fee!

Post # 49
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

We’re cutting costs wherever we can, so far the biggest savings have been:

  • no cocktail hour, we’re having everything at one venue and going straight from ceremony to receiving line/dinner (we’re doing our photos pre-ceremony)
  • having a 3 course dinner inestead of 4, and using the credit for our late night snack (over $500 saved)
  • DIY music instead of DJ ($500-$700 saved)


Post # 50
13 posts
  • Wedding: October 2020

not engaged (yet) but my SO and i decided that we want to have our ceremony and reception on top of this mountain that our friend owns, he lets his friends have weddings there free of charge (sorta like a HUGE wedding gift) so that will save a pretty penny. i also want to DIY as much as possible.

Post # 51
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I will be making the bouquets out of fabric.  I plan to incorporate some family costume jewelry and my mom’s amazing button collection into my bouquet.  I am more excited about my bouquet than I am about my dress–my bouquet is something that I will be able to have on display forever.  The dress will just hang in the closet. ;(

So, since I’m not looking for the world’s most perfect wedding dress, I won’t be spending an arm and a leg on it.

Centerpiece flowers (because I want real flowers at the wedding and they won’t be in the bouquets) will come from Costco.  I have my eyes set on the 100 roses for $100, but I may get more creative as time goes by.  As for vases, We have a handful at home and I found 15 vases stashed in the kitchenette cabinet at work!  aha! Add in a DIY table sash on top of the (provided) linens and wha-la.

We’re also keeping the guest list small–my folks plan to host a party at their house for the rest of our family and friends sometime next year.

Oh!  And I’m going to DIY my own hairpiece/birdcage veil.  I’m quite excited about this.

Best wishes with your saving!


Post # 52
21 posts
  • Wedding: June 2009

Our biggest savings are coming from


  • DIY non-floral centerpieces  (starfish in vases)
  • DIY invites – total cost for 100 invites was $71 w/out postage. I did not use all 100, so the left over paper will be used for escort cards, table numbers, etc.
  • Flowers from the bouquets will be chosen the week of the wedding from a farmers market type of place. I will just choose what I like from what is available and go from there.
  • FI’s ring is being made by a friend for free!
  • Buying things at wholesale!!! Hooray for FI’s wholesale tax id!


Post # 53
47 posts
  • Wedding: October 2009

I was originally planning around a $10k wedding, but my mom withdrew funding because she thought we were getting married too soon, so now I’m planning to spend ~1200, self-financed (we are both students on budgets)

-Having the wedding and reception in a (gorgeous) public park. 

-probably no booze (morning wedding, park doesn’t allow alcohol, debating whether it would be tacky to surreptitiously spike some OJ for covert screwdrivers)

-Using a dress I already owned for my wedding dress (free)

-Thrifting blue vases for the flowers, plus planning to buy flowers from costco and arrange them myself (maybe $15 on vases, $85 on flowers)

-self-catering reception with "swanky picnic" theme

-My fiance is wearing a plain silver band that I received as a memorial after my father died as his wedding band (free)

-30 or so guests (plus their kids)

-we have a friend who’s a wedding photographer and is going to do our wedding for whatever it costs him to rent his fancy lens

-doing my own hair and makeup

-designed invitations myself, planning to get them printed by vistaprint during a promotion. 

-Cutting out anything that is not meaningful to me and/or would make the party way more fun. 


Post # 54
839 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I am actually very very lucky – my fiance (hubby) is a manager of a catering business!!!! So – because of his ‘connection’ – we’re obviously getting our catering for close to nothing.

He does a LOT of business with a winery here in town (in fact, I think this winery is their #1 customer) so we’ll be getting HUGE discounts on the wine/champaigne.

Our reception/ceremony hall is one of the most coveted in town – I know my best friend was quoted about $25,000 for hers a few years back…well since my Fiance knows the owner, we’re getting the ceremony for free and the reception is only going to cost us $7,500 (already booked).

I’m also doing silk flowers. A co-worker did hers at the place we’re going for all around $100 total (so i’m hoping for that as well)

DIY save the dates and invites. DIY favors/name plates (candle idea i saw on Etsy).

His boss (the owner of the catering business) will be making the cake for us.

One of my bridesmaid’s father is a professional DJ – so obviously he will be our DJ.

the more and more i think about it, we’re actually getting away with our wedding for fairly cheap (considering what it could be).

Post # 55
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Here are a few places we have saved:

 1.  DIY save the dates & menu cards

2.  My mom made my veil

3.  My mom had my wedding jewelry made from an old necklace that belonged to my grandma

4.  We are getting married by our town’s mayor (free!) at my fiance’s parents house (free!)

Post # 56
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I can’t save I saved a lot on any one thing.  I tried to keep everything in a good price range, used Michaels 40-50% off coupons for the misc. items (including invitations), and borrowed a lot from my sisters and sister in law.

Instead flowers for centerpieces, I made candles in vases w/rocks for much cheaper (supplies from Wal-Mart)! and they are great.


Loved seeing how everyone else cut back!


Post # 57
30 posts
  • Wedding: September 2009

Get married on a weekday! My venue was almost 500 per hour on a Sat night, and the rate dropped to 50 per hour on a thursday! Also, every single one of my vendors has thrown in extras or freebies for my weekday wedding…lastly, even though the flowers are going to be about 3,000, we are donating them to a charity after the wedding, and getting a tax deduction for a charitable contribution….plus all of my beautiful flowers will be going to hospices and hospitals!

Post # 58
670 posts
Busy bee

Since I’m and encore and FH is not, he’s very involved on much of the decision making – which I think is awesome!  We discussed early on what we thought w could save, number wise, and are trying to move backwards from that.  We splurged on the venue that he and I both fell in love with and opted to save money in other places.  Our guest list is looking about 300 and we’re still very far out.  Here’s what we’ve done so far:

 – DIY Silk flowers for me and all attendants (venue is fully decorated and we may add an arrangement or 2, but none are needed)

 – DIY tablecloth toppers (venue uses ivory linens at not charge)

 – DIY Invitations and STD’s

 – Postcards for RSVP and STD’s

 – DIY Guestbook (I recovered one I found at a 2nd hand store)

 – DIY Hair and Make-up – (My sister just graduated from the Art Institute and her networking is amazing.  We are getting photography, hair, make-up, custom monogram, and slide show all FREE) 

– Cake – we are having the caterer make a smaller cake and use sheet cakes to feed everyone.

 – Dress to be ordered off ebay from a custom dress maker in china – budget is 300 for that

That’s everything I can think of for now, but I’m sure there is more.

Post # 59
11 posts
  • Wedding: December 1969

there is some great idea’s in the topic to save 🙂 

we have decided that instead of getting a guest to buy us presents they are just paying for their own meal per head which saved us $2000 and we are having about 70  and everyone so far thinks it a great idea saves them trying to work out pressies.

we are also having a friend do the photos for free.

i ordered my dress online through peridress which ended up costing me $250 so i save almost $1100 on the the store he in australia was selling it for $1390.

 We are using our friends nice car which then saved us money on the wedding transpotation.

We are getting married in a public park with this there was no fee.  

we have done all our own centre pieces and decorations. i got my childrens suits of ebay for $40 each. so far the wedding has cost about $1500 so i am not going to argue with that.  



Post # 60
1420 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

My best money saving move for this wedding is also the flowers. I chose to go with a silk florist. She will give me everything I need for myself and my attendants for about $150. Some of my other DIY projects will also save me some dough.

Post # 61
221 posts
Helper bee

I think the thing that saved us the most money by far is making a budget we can be proud of and sticking to it. We decided how much we would spend for each category and once we decided stick to the budget. If it doesn’t fit into the budget were not buying it. You do have to get creative though. It helps to have a family who will pitch in too.

1. Being lucky and having a chef for a brother who can do food at cost.

2. Being able to bring in and use our own alcohol. We will only be doing beer, and wine. 

3. Doing our own flowers and centerpieces. 

4. We aren’t having a professional photographer. I am lucky to have at least 4 people who are photographers who want to shoot my wedding. We are picking FI’s good friend who takes photos for bands for a living. He does an amazing job.

5. We are doing our flowers.

6. No limos, we have cars. I will probably just borrow my Dad’s Mustang.

7. DIY invites, oh and no save the dates for us.

8. Cutting the little things really add up. Favors, Out of Town bags, a dessert buffet, a cocktail hour, designer anything, etc.


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