(Closed) What's your best wedding saver/discount secret?

posted 6 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
576 posts
Busy bee

I was fortunate to know someone who works with custom printing, so I got my beautiful invitations for an absolute steal! She threw in a discount that ended up saving me about $200.

One of my girlfriends has her own floral event boutique, so our wedding present from her is getting the flowers done at cost. Her husband also built us an arbor to get married under, which is sweet.

My family has used the same DJ for numerous events, so he gave us a discount for the wedding, and when we booked him for the rehearsal dinner as well he charged us 1/2 of his normal rate.

It’s all about who you know!! 

Post # 4
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

My aunt is doing our cakes for free, I’ve done most of the decorations myself out of materials that I already had, and the invites are cheaper since I’m printing them.

Looking in unusual places as wedding venues also helped us save money. We’re having our wedding at a farm where it’s not even $12,000 to rent out the place including tables and chairs, whereas our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices ranged from $7,000 to $10,000 and up. 

I’m also using a cheaper caterer to save some money. I’ve used them before and I think their food is fine. It’s $15/pp for silverware, plates, dinner rolls, and selections of 4 entrees and 4 sides. 

I also tried to haggle with photographers because that was one of the last vendors I had to book. Luckily I was able to get a decent deal for a well-reviewed photographer. 

Post # 5
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Hmm.. a few that worked for me:

1. Buy a preowned dress.

2. Use a venue space owned by a restaurant and ask them to waive the space rental fee if you meet a certain catering minimum.

3. Never settle for a venue that isn’t *giving* you something for your money (besides air and a place to stand.) It’s the little things that count, and add up. If they make you feel like you need to win them over and not vice versa, keep it moving!

4. Buy invitation kits from Michael’s or get a groupon for Vista Print. Either way they are dirt cheap and look pretty darn good. 

5. Buy a veil on etsy or ebay. It’s the same product that the bridal stores are offering (often times with more options) for a fraction of the price. 

6. If it looks like you could have made it yourself, you probably could! At least consider it.

Also, don’t ever give up. When you thought you couldn’t live without something and the door gets slammed in your face, a window will fly open and you will see why you are better off. At least this has been my experience. 

Happy planning ๐Ÿ™‚


Post # 6
1849 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Instead of paying separately for a venue, food, and serving staff, I’m getting a large banquet room at a local restaurant for free, as long as we meet the food and drink minimum. It’s also much easier for the restaurant than for an outside caterer, so I get a much better deal on food and can easily afford to feed my guests filet mignon and seafood, even with an open bar and a fairly small budget. And there’s even enough room for a dance floor! I feel like I’m not missing out of anything, but I get some serious bang for my buck. 

Post # 7
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Cash is king. Our vendors gave us a cash discount, except the venue though. 

Post # 8
1722 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Best friend is making our cake, she just graduated from culinary arts school.  My cousin is taking our pictures, she has taken all of my family’s “pro” photos, she does amazing work with photoshop.  And we will do a lot of DIY, my sister is super creative and has offered her brain and hands to me ๐Ÿ™‚  I’m also considering getting a pre-owned dress and doing fake flowers but we will see where money is when the time comes to pay for stuff. I guess it’s really about who you know.

Post # 9
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Our photographer! I booked him after a wedding fair promotion knocked about $800 off the price and he included 5 hours of photo booth for free! Normally that alone is worth $1500.

Post # 10
3357 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

1. Buy flight tickets relatively early.

2. Have a really really small guest list – my reception dinner cost under $1k.

Post # 11
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Ask for a lower price!  I have asked every single vendor if there is any wiggle room with price and some have given it to me.  Probably saved about $1-2k this way.  Of course some told me they don’t offer discounts, but that’s OK too.  My wedding is on a friday night so I use that as my opening… “I know some vendors offer discounts for Friday evening weddings, do you?”  ๐Ÿ™‚  

Post # 12
3697 posts
Sugar bee

Brides Against Breast Cancer for the gown!

Post # 13
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We are getting married on a Friday evening, and it literally cut our food and drink minimum at the venue in half…big saver for us.

Groupon/Living Social/coupon sites are awesome! We saved $600 on fabulous invites, and made a photobook for our guest book using a coupon site. Also used one for wedding bands…I love those sites!

I also got my dress at Running of the Brides…which I thought would be my worst nightmare but it was SO fun! I definitely recommend it. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to absolutely find THE dress there though. Just have fun, and if you find it- great!

I also think spending extra time researching the big ticket items like venue, photography and food helps so much. I thought I would never find a good photographer in our budget, but we found a FABULOUS one for a great price (our budget was $2000). I was on a tight budget but didn’t want to sacrifice time, quality or even the second photographer…and we did it! It took a LOT of time and effort, but I’m so happy we found her. She is wonderful.

Finally, I’m making my own centerpieces by ordering flowers in bulk from Sam’s Club and using dollar tree glass cylinders. I don’t always think DIY is worth it, but when it comes to really simple floral centerpieces, I think I can handle it! Saves a TON of money…but I may be singing a different tune a few days before the wedding trying to get those things together!

Post # 14
515 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Ways I’ve Saved Money:

1. Booked my venue for a Wednesday afternoon. Got it half off. Comes with tables, chairs, linens, etc. Chose a venue that fit my theme, so it needs minimal decor.

2. Booked photographer through a special promotion. After that and the weekday discount, that’s half off too.

3. Small guest list! We’ll have about 40ish.

4. No open bar- just wine.

5. Self catering and no full meal. Just munchies and cake!

6. Aunt is doing ceremony music for free. Reception music via iPod. (Venue comes with a sound set-up for iPod music.)

7. DIY invitations, centerpieces, aisle decor, and all other decor.

8. Cake from the grocery store bakery. 1/3 the price of specialty wedding cake shops and their cakes look and taste just as nice.

9. 20% off on officiant for paying in full at the time of booking.

10. 10% off gown for paying in full at time of order. Will also get an additional 10% back on the GST at customs at the airport, which will essentially knock off the cost of the alterations.

11. Bridal veil from Etsy for $60. Cheapest veil in any boutique I saw was $200 for basic 1-tier tulle. Mine has Swarovski crystals and edging on it. Much nicer!

12. Saving $300 on groom’s suit by ordering it in America and having it altered there just before the wedding.

13. No bridal party!

14. Silk flowers- Bridal bouquet and groom’s bout for $130 on Etsy made from silk flowers. All floral decor is also silk. Saves time AND money!

15. DIY photo booth. Using my dad’s iPad and the Wedding Booth app. Buying props second hand. DIY Cost: $10. Renting photo station from photographer: $600.

Ways I’ve Wasted Money:

1. I wasn’t clear on how far in advance we will have to apply for a marriage license and ending up wasting $300 on change fees to our plane tickets because I didn’t take into account the waiting period on the marriage license.

2. I didn’t discuss with the bridal boutique before ordering my dress the kind of alterations that would need to be done. I’ll be paying $200 more in alterations than I expected.

3. I added pearl embellishments to my invitations that made them just slightly too thick to be mailed at the letter rate. They had to be mailed at the parcel rate at $1.90 a piece. That was about twice what I had budgeted for. Good thing my guest list is small.

4. I told my mom and sister (who are in charge of making the DIY decorations) to buy whatever they needed to do their projects and that I would reimburse them for it and just save the receipts. I didn’t realise they both have an addiction to Hobby Lobby and they bought a ton of stuff that they thought was cute, but then couldn’t think of any real use for. Thankfully, they were able to return a lot of it, but I nearly got stuck with a tab for almost $600 because they are impulse shoppers. Now I’m making them send me pictures of anything they want to buy before they buy it.

5. I’ve been very indecisive about shoes and I’ve wasted money on shipping charges by ordering different shoes online and then returning them.


Post # 15
11234 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

– Vista Print for invites, especially if you get a Groupon! I designed our whole suite and am using $17 for $70s plus the 25% Big Day discount.

– Bought my dress on my first visit to a particular shop = discounts on their tuxes (and their bridesmaids dresses, but I’m not doing dresses through them), plus a free groom’s tux with 5 rentals, and $50 off accessories (I got shoes)

– Flowers from Whole Foods (or from an online wholesaler if you need more than just a few bunches) / friend of Future Mother-In-Law is doing the designing for free

– Photographer has only been in business for a couple of years (but has a degree in photography and worked in a photolab in college, also amazing), so her prices are still relatively low, AND we got a referral discount because I found her through a friend who did the makeup for a wedding she shot

– Cousin is making the cupcakes

– Ceremony venue is the amphitheater in a municipal park ($140 for 3 hours and includes chairs and electricity)

– Sound system for the ceremony and a backdrop that I fell in love with for the reception are from our good friend’s parents’ rental company

– Centerpieces are DIY–saved wine bottles from us and family, milk glass pieces from mine and my grandma’s collections, Dollar Store candle holders, and some spray paint

– Friday wedding–only made a dent in the reception, but it cut their venue minimum from $10k to $5k

Post # 16
6512 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Watch the deal sites!  We got $100 off our Minted invitations, and $100 off my fiance’s wedding band from Blue Nile (which arrived last night – I love it!!!)

I agree with all PPs who mention VistaPrint – they have amazing prices, and you can customize/design almost everything.  We got our custom Save the Date postcards from them for $14, s&h included!  And everyone LOVED them ๐Ÿ™‚ 

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