Being that I am currently full time student, will not start working until August 2009, don’t have parents that can financially help I and have saved NO money, I have had to find ways to keep my budget LOW.
Venue: First, my reception will be at an amazing local place that is owned by the city where I live. For tables, chairs, ceremony and reception area I will be paying approximately $1100. I do have to provide all the decorations, but I have ideas for that as well.
Caterer: Next, because I will be renting a city facility, I can provide my own caterer. Also, I will not be able to afford food for 150 + people if I go through a caterer. I plan to make all the cold items my self and have a local restaurant provide the hot items. Then I will be hiring a local wait staff company that provides all of the wait staff, chaffing dishes, set up and break down. You can also place an ad in your local newspaper to hire individuals to serve as wait staff, set up and break down (just be very careful when doing this).
Decorations are key to a beautiful wedding. Instead of purchasing bows for the chairs, you can buy cloth or ribbon from a craft store and tie them on yourself. I also went to the local party store and found tons of classy decorations for a very low price. For the tables you can purchase the less expensive table skirt, and then use a nicer overlay. I found overlays in my color for $5.99 for a 60X60 round table. I am also using artificial flowers rather than real. This will also save money for your bouquet, not only are they less expensive but you don’t have to spend the extra money for preservation. I am also going with a less expensive chair and renting chair covers from an internet site for $.78 each. For centerpieces I found a great idea on line, unfortunately I can not find the lantern, as it was custom made, so I will be using an item I found at the local flea market for $10. My venue does not allow candles, so I will be purchasing battery operated lights for the inside, no one will no the difference
If you do decide to go with real flowers, get a price quote BEFORE telling them it is for a wedding. That is a rule to use for everything, there is a huge mark up for weddings.
Attire: Next, my dress this is probably one of my favorites. I am purchasing my dress from eBay. No it is not used. This store custom makes every dress with your measurements and colors. I found the same exact dress at a bridal store for almost $1000.00. I will be purchasing mine for $165.00, free shipping. If you want to try the dress on prior to purchase just go to your local bridal shop, they will most likely have the same dress or one very similar. I’m also purchasing costume jewelry over real. It looks great and is very inexpensive.
For your bride maids, purchase their dresses after prom season. Most dresses are dramatically reduced. Flower girls have the same rule check after Easter and Christmas for children’s dresses. For the groom’s men, most tuxedo rentals will give the groom a free tux with the wedding party rental.
Cake: If you purchase your cake from a cake designer you will pay much more. A local bakery, that I love, makes the best cakes. I am purchasing my cake for 150 people, designed any way I want for $110.
Invitations: I am creating my own invitations. I you are not creative, you can purchase and invitation kit. You just add you information to the pre made designed blank invitation. You have to print them yourself, but it still save money.
My final tip is to search for the lowest prices and ask if they have discounts. My photographer and videographer will only cost me $1150 for 4 hrs of service. If I use them together I get $150 discount. I would have missed out on that if I didn’t ask. I found a local established DJ for $200 for 4 hrs. This was with my extensive researching.