Weddings can be expensive. But they don't have to be! My fiance and I would rather have the day we want and be able to afford a house to or atleast rent one! Our goal was $7,000 but when looking at estimates we thought it would be closer to $9,000. Now after doing some ressearch I have found some new ways to save and saved more by shopping around!
My fiance and I want a simple wedding. Our colors are blue, white, black. Simple, spring, candles and photos are the basis of the planning. We are building a photo tree for part of the decorations. We are having guests bring photos of the bride or groom or both and put them on the wire photo tree that we make together. We will also have photo boxes next to the tree for excess as well as two extra photo boxes, one for the bride and one for the groom to collect dollars during our dollar dance. We are also big fans of candles so they will be a big part of decorations.
Tip #1 LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
I have always had a dream to get married at my home church. My grandparents, my parents, my sister, and my grandfathers second marriage were all at my home church. Because I am a member, the church is free to me. I still have to pay for the pastor, organist, and church coordinator (and the kitchen if the chef needs it for $180). My fiance and I also wanted to have an outdoor reception. Well... my church has a HUGE side yard they through their yearly kickoff on with tents and everything, also free.
Location: $0 ($180 if kitchen is used)
Tip #2 Invitation to shop around
I was planning on getting our invitations through an online wedding invitation site spending about $350 for 75 invites, rsvp, enclosure card, and save the date. INSTEAD, my fiance and I happened upon some wonderful deals at a local Ollies! We went in with no intention of buying anything for the wedding but looked in the invitation aisle and found some STEALS!!! We found invitations from Target, matching thank-you cards, magnet save the dates, guest book from Hallmark, blank scrapbook, honeymoon scrapbook with all the croppings (pun intended), bridal shower invitations, and bridal shower thank you's. We also looked at local ads with Michaels and A.C. Moore to find more deals on photo boxes, stamps, bachelorette invites, and scrapbook items.
Invites: $5.50 for 50 invites (bought two) $11
Thank-you's: $.79 for 10 (bought four-shower) and
Save-the-Dates: 2.99 for 6 (bought 7) 20.93
Guest Book: 2.99 (borrowing guest book pen from cousin who just got married) 2.99
scrapbooks: 2.99 (blank) and 4.99 (honeymoon) 7.98
Photo boxes: five for $10 deal $10
Stamps: $1 (Mr. and Mrs. stamp for Thank you's)
Bachelorette invites: $1 for 6 (blank notecards)
Scrapbook items: $1 sticker sets (bought 5) $5
*While looking for my dress I found the perfect tea length dress on davids bridal online! I was planning on dropping $500 for a dress. The one I picked is $199. I also found during my cousins wedding that I am a sample size 14! So no need for alterations! :)
I also found the perfect dress at the store I work for, for my bridesmaids! Right now they only have it in brown, BUT if we get it in blue then I will buy four. Each costing $29.99
Estimated bridesmaids dresses: 119.96 BUT THERE'S MORE! With my 20% discount at my job the NEW total is $95.58!
Tip #3: Simplicity is key!
We are simple and want our wedding to reflect our personality. For our center pieces we are buying glass containers, probably from dollar tree, and putting some colored pebbles in the bottom and fill it up with water and one floating candle. We also want to use a unity candle but my church has a candleabra for this purpose, FREE! We also are having two in memory of and one in honor of candles (also floating) but will use tall glass containers instead. For our cards, we are borrowing an old suitcase and hanging letters to spell CARDS so at the end of the wedding we can close it up and pack it up with our honeymoon items and read them on our honeymoon (or there and back). For linens, we don't want to spend $5 a table so we are going to buy yards of fabric and cut the accordingly for each banquet table. GETAWAY CAR!! We were going to rent a go cart to be silly since everything is at the same locatioin and just rid around the church BUT instead we are using his truck which will be painted the proper blue color for a Christmas present so essentially the getaway car is FREE just paying for gas!
$1 per glass container (need 20) $20
$5 for 10 teacandles (need 23 so buy 30) $30
$3 for 1 glass vase (need 3) $9
$1 per pack of pebbles (ten needed) $10
Wooden letters:$1.50 per letter (5 letters needed) $7.50
Getaway car: FREE!
Tip #4 CHOCOLATE! NON-PROFIT! NEW ADDRESS!!
For favors, we want to skip the expensive non frugal favors that end up in the junk drawer. Instead we are opting to bake brownies then use a heart shaped cookie cutter, put them in snack bags. We will also be ordering new address cards (business cards) from vistaprint.com which usually has deals like 200 for $10. I am also a big advocate for Compassion International and will be ordering informational cards to add to their favors.
Brownies: $2 per box (need 20 boxes) $40
Baggies: $2 for 10 (need 15) $30
address cards: $15 (including shipping)
Non-profit cards: FREE!
Tip #5 Keep track!
Keep track of everything you have bought, need to buy, prices, gifts received, thank you's sent, deadlines, contracts etc. Seriously, keep track of everything! No need to buy more than you need, double, excess, or pay for things you don't need or pay too much. Even keep track of guests! You need to keep a close eye on what you have, need, and want (if you have the extra money). Personally, I am an organizatioin freak so I LOVE excel! I have my guest list with accompanying contact information, whether invite, thank you, and save the dates were sent and how many guests per invite. This has really saved me a lot. It has been keeping track of guests, how much the running total is, etc. Also, it's a good idea to have a wedding folder to keep track of contracts, receipts, etc.
Running total: $696.38
Wedding April 2013
flowers (florist is a family friend charging only for flowers and supplies not labor or time)
tent (may skip)
cloth for tables (buy at joannes fabric)
aisle runners (probably buy on ebay or another online resale site)
mother of the bride and grandmother of the groom dresses
shoes, etc (will save by buying at department stores vs. bridal boutiques)
photography (may save by hiring a local freelance photographer who is a family friend and local police officer)
To save on food we are doing homey foods, buffet style, cupcakes vs. big cake, and water, tea and coffee. No alcohol, no fancy appetizers, no cocktail hour etc.
Congratulations to all you future Mrs. out there!!
*Update: I forgot to add a few things! My mom is a hairdresser so the hair is either free or discounted. The DJ is a friend who works as a DJ and is doing our wedding free (he said just feed him!). My aunt is having a renewal ceremony this July and has blue table clothes I can use and vases I can use so that discounts my total about $150 for decorations!
*Update #2: My fiance and I were planning tonight (going to meet with Dover Rentall tomorrow!). We figured out that 6foot round tables fit 6 people (MAYBE) and cost $13.60 each BUT banquet tables cost $7.00 and fit 8 people. So... $6.60 less AND 2 more people per table? Yes please! That means less space needed for tables and less tables so less money for tables AND less tent space needed. We are also arranging the tables in a large U around the dance floor which will help better utilize space as well and get guests to feel more involved and less secluded. We aren't round table fans anyway. So the setup will be a U where we are in the center. Our table will only seat four on the side facing the dance floor while all other tables will have four on each side. We are also getting four 1/4 tables to make use of the corners of the U adding two more seats instead of none and two 1/2 tables at the end of the U to add 2 more seats to each side. This will make it a rounder U instead of harsh and edgy. ALSO, we shopped around for plate ware, silverware, cups, and napkins. We the cheapest of DoverRentall, we would spend $312 NOT including napkins. BUT at our local wal-mart which Kyle gets employee discount at! It is $212.44 for those nice clear plastic chinet ware. Both prices give 3 plates for each guest (since its a buffet), one cake plate, one cup, and silverware (OR plastic chinet ware). BUT the cheaper one includes napkins AND plasticware!! Also, the table clothes my Aunt offered are light blue so it is a no go BUT we figured it we made our own from walmart that it would be about $11 a table. It is about $5 per yard for white (4 foot by 3 foot) (each table is 8 foot by 2.5 foot so we need 2 yards per table) then for a runner we will get a wide blue ribbon and run it down the table to add a accent of blue without going blue CRAZY! so take the $11-1.1=$9.90 per table with his discount! Let's see what Dover Rentall says tomorrow about their prices.
Dover Rentall (as of online prices)
Tables $7 (need 31) $217
Chairs $1.30 (need 160 -150 + 10 to be on the safe side) $208
Dinner plates $2.96 for 10 (Need 45 packs - 3 per guest) $133.2
Cake plates $2.96 for 12 (need 13 packs) $38.48
Cups $2.96 for 18 (need 9 packs) $26.64
Plastic ware $9.96 for 64 of each (need 3 packs) $29.88
Napkins $3.94 for a pack of 400 (buying 4 packs in case) $15.76
Cloth $5 per yard (45 yards needed) $225
Ribbon $1 per spoll, usually 1 yard per spool (45 yards needed) $45
Wal-Mart total: $513.96
BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE!
... He gets 10% off from Wal-Mart! SOOOOOOOOOOOOO....
THE NEW TOTAL IS: $462.57
New additions: $887.57
NEW SUBTOTAL: $1583.95
Let us recap what $1583.95 pays for:
Chinete, plastic ware, napkins, DJ, table clothes, tables, chairs, invitations, guest book, location, officiant, organist, coordinator, thank-yous, save the dates, bridal shower invites, bridal shower thank you's, bachelorette party invites, photo boxes, scrapbook and scrapbook items, wedding dress, bridal party dresses (4), centerpieces, card holder, favors
I will keep you posted on how the meeting tomorrow goes with Dover Rentall!
Make a list of questions you think of over a few days with your partner and otehr financially responsible parties to ask ANYONE who provides a service at the wedding, rental companies, caterer, baker, officiant, location, photographer etc. There are no dumb questions! It is YOUR day and you need to make sure everything is covered before hand so you can enjoy it that day!
*UPDATE JULY! We bought my wedding dress!!! We went to David's Bridal and found my dream dress (also one I found online). It was $249 BUT on sale for $199! No alterations needed!! YAY! So it is $199 ONLY! :)