First off, one of the best pieces of advice I was given, was always ask for a discount or a way to save some money.
We chose to get married at an off peak time, 11am in order to save some money and it sure did, about $3,000! Another great benefit was that they included a TON of stuff in their package. Chandeliers, screens, candles, etc. The set up, take down and decorating was also part of the package. It couldnt be beat!
Cost of Venue including linens and food: About $5,000
I utilized the natural beauty of the location and the existing elements instead of spending lots of money on flowers to pretty it up. I worked with our florist to pick flowers that were readily available during that season and that would create a big impact. I also bought elements of the centerpieces at a wholesale place instead of renting them from the florist for much more money. Our centerpieces also doubled as table numbers. It kept the tables from becoming cluttered and was unique and fun at the same time.
Cost for Flowers: About $900
Now when it comes to photography, music, hairsylist and a DOC, this is where the bartering came in. I am a graphic designer and offered my services in exchange for theirs.
My amazing photographers, Margie and Robert from Old World Studios, were getting married the month after I was so we traded an extra hour of photography for a monogram design and a gobo plate. Cost: $800
My DJ I booked was new to the wedding biz, and seeing as how dancing wasnt a big part of the wedding, I didn't need to spend mucho dinero on that. I bartered business card design for a discounted price for music for the ceremony and reception. Cost $400
I wa splanning my wedding from out of town, 2 hours away so having someone in the city was going to be a big help, but I didn't think I could afford one. Bella, from Bella Brown Weddings and Events had contacted me earlier and we worked out a great deal. She was putting on an event that was in need of some design elements and paper goods. We did a straight up trade. I designed what she needed, and she was my DOC. Cost : free
My hair Stylist was recommended to me by my DOC. We negotiated a trade as well for logo and business card design for a discounted rate. Cost : $75
Now I know not everyone can do the same thing as I did, but I hope it gives you ideas as to the ways you can save money. You never know what your talents can offer.
Our cake was another big budget saver. I wanted something simple so I coldnt see spending hundreds of dollars on a cake. I went to the local HEB (Grocery store) bakery and ordered it from there. I lucked out in that the decorator used to work at an exclusive bakery in town. So I got the great work for half the price and it tasted great. Now I can drive down the street and get my wedding cake when ever I want! Cost : $100
Like most graphic designers, I love paper and looked forward to the task of creating my invitations.
I created my invites for a fraction of the cost using local craft stores for supplies that were totally custome and unique. The result was wonderful and I still get compliments on them. Cost: about $150
I did spend a little extra to get the addresses done in red calligraphy. seeing as I how I saved so much doing the invites myself, it was worth it. Cost: $85
The favors were another DIY and fn to do as well.
I love baking, my family knows this, so we created a homemade cookie buffet!
My mother, mother in law and grandmother all made cookies. I found different glass jars to put them in and made labels to identify what they were. It was a big hit!
I hand stained a little chalk board I bough at Michaels and wrote a fun note with a chalk marker. Red take out boxes were available for guests to take what they liked.
By utlizing local resources, help from family, and my own inginuety I was able to create a wonderful and personal wedding. I hope I have given ohers some ideas and dont forget to have fun!