How did you save money on your wedding?
I'll go first! Joe and I handcrafted our favors and packaged them in hand-wrapped cloth that matched our wedding colors. The favors were then quickly finished with a vintage button. Very easy and we did it in one night! Using inexpensive cloth is such a great way to make your favors look like they cost $5 when they really only cost 50 cents!
No caterer- family chefs DIY'ing food.Researched and found a free photographer and free venue
Those are my major ones. Other than that DIY'ing all the little stuff and shopping around.
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.
Oh, also...heavy appetizers only (all night long instead of formal meal). Prob $25 per person instead of $85!
Favors, ordered glass photo coasters that were $1 for two and came with a note in the photo area that said "thanks for making our day picture perfect"...but we turned it into a DIY and put a different photo in each one (Robin don't tell anyone our secret!). $0.80 each!
Cupcakes instead of cake. We were quoted $4.50/slice for the cake and then our venue charges a $1.50 cake cutting fee. So we went the cupcake route which is only $1.50/cupcake and no cake cutting fee.
No limo - instead renting a "fancy" car for two days.
Using my Mom's veil as my something old. Cutting it to finger tip or cathedral length and adding beading to the edging.
Decided yesterday to order dyeable shoes in ivory then after the wedding dye them black so I can wear them over and over.
Got rental items (tables, chairs, linens) from a vendor closer geographically to our venue. $40 vs. $150 delivery fee.
Friend (who is a pastor) as officiant.
Friend is DJ.
Friend and cousin doing makeup and hair.
No fancy bridal book made by the photographer....DIY after the wedding with the proofs from the photographer (this was part of the negotiation - he simply makes me a disk of pics instead of spending HOURS/DAYS making the album).
Took up the $19.99 Target BM's dresses.
Postcards instead of cards (less postage and no envelopes).
Dress altered by an independent professional instead of boutique. Also, ordering shoes from boutique b/c they will give me 20% off.
I guess this summary makes me feel like I have worked a lot of deals so far - THANKS! I will have to check in again in a couple months to see if I am still workin it :) P.S. the wedding industry is the place to be...these vendors make SOOO much $, it's unreal!
We saved the most with flowers because we didn't have centerpieces. We also made our cocktail table centerpieces. We also DIY all of our day-of stationery.
I decided to DIY the centerpieces. I followed a link from a PW post and purchased flowers for $0.49 that I had just purchased the day before $5.00 each. I obviously returned the first flowers since I needed 200 of them and rather than spending $1,000 I spent $100!!!! Hoorah for me. That's my HUGE savings at the moment.
-We DIYd all of our paper products; invitations, STDs, programs, placecards, table names, flower cones, etc.
-I found my gown at a sample sale and saved 45%. Then took my dress to a private seamstress that also did the BM dresses instead of at the salon.
-Borrowed or was given all of my jewelry and my mom made my garter.
-My mom made our table runners, bags for the BMs gifts (PIB), had the hankerchiefs (from lartisana.com) embroidered at a local shop in UT that was less than anything I could find.
-Had our friend officiate (he went through the Universal Life Church).
-My brother & uncle played acoustic guitars for the ceremony. And used a karaoke machine for our mic & speakers for the ceremony. At least that is what i believe it was, my family and friends brought equipment & set it up.
-Didn't hire a DOC, the venue offered someone for the rehearsal, ceremony, and most of set up. My mom's friend helped with everything else.
-Found a venue that provided (and included in the price) all linens (in various colors so that we could choose-mix & match) & chivari chairs. Didn't charge a cake cutting fee, open bar was unbelievably inexpensive (they have since wised up & upped the prices), allowed us to bring in any of our own vendors.
-Our friend works at Disneyland, so we were able to get a discount on our favors (mickey head antenna balls).
-Searched for a great photog at a reasonable price. And I was so happy with our choice!
I know there is more, but that is all I can think of right now.
I did a lot of DIY's for the Save the Dates, decorative details and Programs
Took a chance with Julius Bridal and I'm glad I did!
Linens were provided in my quote
DIY'd our flowers which was huge!
Took a chance on a photographer that was just starting out and on craigslist at the time I signed the paperwork. Throughout the year before our wedding they had done some twenty odd weddings so they were seasoned by the time of our day. I just knew that while at the time the portfolio wasn't huge, they had great taste and style. And since they are within the first few years of establishing their business (and because they're good people!) customer service was wonderful!
Did not hire day-of coordinator. You don't need it!
Hired a friend of a friend (who is now just a friend!) to do the make-up. She had attended beauty school after college for fun, didn't practice but knew exactly what to do and let me name my price which was great!
Zazzle postcards for the announcements, would probably use them for save the dates too...
DIY candy favors in cello bags would be a reasonable but colorful favor, or cookies like Kohler's. We decided we didn't want to deal with food so we gave books but I bought them from Dover Thrift Editions for less than $3 ea.
No photographer, no videographer, The only real flowers are the corsages, bouts for parents and grandparents, my friend is making the bouquets , cd favors doubling as placecards , open beer, wine, soda only and cash bar for liquor , my aunt is making the cake, and on top of it , I picked my venue solely on it being the cheapest I could find , the menu is a set buffet , I don't get choices other than choosing 3 meats from what they offer , it's not my ideal menu , but it's good enough I think for a meal served at 1:30 pm and did I mention CHEAP.
Also , we both agreed we are not giving eachother gifts , at least not right now.
DIY'd all paper products: invites, STDs, Programs, place cards etc.
Photog is a friend who is starting up her business and she's doing it for FREE
DIY Centerpieces (no flowers)
Friend who is just starting a business will be our DOC
Shopped around for DJ, the price went from $1200 to $845
Cake will be made by a girl who is just starting her own buisness
Shopped around for EVERYTHING
DIY DIY DIY!!!!!!!
Cousin singing at the ceremony
Dress alterations by independant seamstress, who is also making the bridesmaid dresses for under $100
Like everyone else, lots of DIY. This includes centerpeices, decor, invitations, STD's, programs, etc. We're doing it all.
My aunt is very into photography and has all the special equipment as well as a great eye.. she's doing our photography for free.
Same aunt also happens to have worked as a floral designer, so we are buying the flowers in bulk at wholesale and she's assembling the bouquets, bouts, etc.
Instead of a swanky reception with a fancy dinner, we opted for something more our style.. a texas/country casual feel. So for food we're having a fully catered BBQ buffet for 9.25 per person. That includes their delivery, setup, people there to manage the buffet, cleanup, takedown, 2 meats, 3 sides, water and tea. With 180-200 guests, the food is our biggest chunk of money.
For the venue, we reserved a historic chapel ($300) and a big casual reception hall that has more of a dancehall feel to it ($1000) rather than a country club or specialized wedding venue that tries to sell you a "package". As a downside, we ARE having to decorate/setup everything ourselves, but with organization and careful time management - my specialties - I don't think it's going to be a big deal.
Instead of cake we're doing cupcakes. Our HR girl here at work does cakes a side job, and she is doing 300 cupcakes PLUS the grooms cake for just $300.
The DJ we're using is a family friend, he's driving from 2 hours away and only charging us $300 for the whole evening.
We're using the same officiant that married FI's mom and stepdad, he's a "good ol' boy" and only asks that we feed him afterward.
Other friends of ours own a limo company, so we're getting a massive discount.
My mom is making our ring billow, basket, garter, ribbon, pew bows, etc. She's a quilter and is very crafty, so we're able to get nice fabric (silk dupioni) and have nice custom items without spending $$$.
I got the cutest headband/tiara from Hobby Lobby for $8. I picked up shoes for the ceremony on clearance for $10, and boots for the reception on ebay (new with tags!) for $25.
We're big into watching for sales.. I picked up a lot of decor for 75% off, and if I need something from Hobby Lobby I wait til it's 50% or I have a coupon. If it's online, we watch for free shipping offers or coupon codes.
Gosh I sound cheap lol
Negociate with photographer for DVD slideshow for free
Cut the guest list
Cut the flowers
Dress from davids bridal
No outside DOC (venue is kinda a DOC)
Shopping around for best prices
having a small and private party (75-80 guests max)
DIY save the dates
shopping around for great prices
sunday reception (it really wasnt by choice but it worked out for the best, we're saving tons $)
i got my dress at a sample sale and paid 1/2 price of retail. (still cost a lot so i dont think this really counts)
linens bought downtown (super cheap)
clearance bridesmaid dresses
FI is a graphic designer! WOO HOO!
-He designed our invites, STDs, map, RSVP card, candy table sign, table numbers, programs, tears of joy packets, etc.
-Using "real touch" flowers instead of real and DIY
-Using "linen like" table clothes instead of renting for $10 ea.
-FI's boss is doing our photography for FREE, we found a 2nd photog on craigslist for FREE
-Candy buffet instead of individual favors
-DIY reception decor
-Venue is $400, the one in our hometown was $2500 so we opted to go 15 mins out of the way
-Bought FG dress on ebay for $13
-Hobby Lobby, Hobby Lobby, Hobby Lobby! haha
Wow these are great tips and advice! Please keep them coming!
Here's another one from my friend Marissa, who works with high-profile wedding invitation designers to bring you all the gorgeous wedding website templates...
Marissa found her dream dress, and then called around to multiple bridal shops to negotiate the price (much like negotiating when buying a car). She ended up saving hundreds of dollars off her gown!
I went to Michaels so many times with the 40% off coupon. When I got my favor boxes, I went 3 days in a row.
I asked friends if they knew anyone who could give me discounts - I got my shoes from a bridal salon for 50% off retail.
We budgeted 7 or 8 glasses per person but our caterer said we needed more. We saved a few hundred $ by planning on using clear plastic cups (not dixie) at the end of the night in case we ran out of glassware. Glasses were $1+ each - the plastic cups were like $.20 each.
I DIY'd part of my invitations and did online RSVPs.
I didn't do an inner envelope.
we took advantage of a package that our venue offers with a partner business that includes catering, cake, open bar, DJ, flowers, photographer, videographer, limo, invitations, tuxedo rental - basically everything. and for all this, we're paying what most places here in nyc would charge just for the venue! we opted not to do the invitations through the package tho, because i wanted to design them myself, but that part of the budget can be allocated to something else like upgrading flowers. this really saved us a lot of time too because we didn't have to search for all of our vendors.
other than that, i'm borrowing a lot of things from friends who got married last year!
We are saving $ thanks to family help
1. Photos- my dad and uncle are doing photos. My dad is a photographer and my uncle will cover all the shots my dad has to be in.
2. Flowers- my bro worked at a flower shop for 2 years and is going to design all of our bouquets. Plus, I bought all of our centerpiece supplies (ie: vases, candles) in downtown LA for a bargin. Instead of rose petals on table and down the aisle, I am going to use potpourri from the $.99 store (I'm buying it a month prior and letting it sit out to lose the scent and picking out the wood chips)
3. Dress alterations- Im going to wear 3.5 inch heels so I can avoid the $100 + alteration from the bridal salon.
4. Music- Having a singer perform a few songs (an elvis impersonator! it is in vegas) and then having a dj the rest of the night (rather than a band)
One of the biggest things that we did was scrap the "all inclusive" resort and decided to go with an art gallery although we have to bring in most of our stuff. We still ended up saving over $6,000.