Where do you get best deals? Not wedding places! Look for craft stores, dollar stores and party shops for ribbons, candles and decorations. Check out furniture rental places for chairs and silverware etc. Check out bulk lots on Ebay for balloons, bubbles and decorations. Be creative! Any vendor that tailors their business strictly to weddings is likely to be charging a premium.
Consider our suggestions below and you just might find some great ideas for your big day…
- Consider having your wedding any day but Saturday.
- Get married during the off-season months of January, February, March and November.
- Consider a small town or country wedding. Hair salons, florists, bakers, catering etc. are often cheaper in small towns rather than large cities.
- Who do you know with a beautiful yard with a garden? Backyard weddings done with style can be just as gorgeous as any rental facility.
- Hold the reception at a private place or a friend or family’s large home or business. You will be able to buy your own alcohol and hire your own bartenders.
- Have your ceremony and reception in the same location to simplify things and save you money.
- Negotiate a good package deal on an all-inclusive venue, such as a hotel.
- Do you want to look like a star look without the cost? Consider renting your wedding dress.
- Another option would be to borrow a dress from a friend or family member.
- Check out sample sales if you wear a size 6, 8 or 10, they generally happen once a year.
- Look at Craigslist, Ebay or other online re-sales or auction websites for pre-owned, purchased and not used dresses or discontinued styles. If purchasing pre-owned, be careful that the garment is not dirty as cleaning a wedding dress can cost up to $250.
- For bridesmaids dresses check out department stores and sales around prom time.
- Use your guest favors as your centerpiece decorations; announce that the guests should take them home when the event is over.
- Plan your wedding around a holiday, when the church will already be decorated or find out if anyone else is getting married on the same day and split the decoration costs with them.
- Go to a dollar store to see their selection of party favors and decorations.
- Take inventory of what you’ve already got, candles, smooth marbles for flower vases etc.
- Borrow what you can’t buy.
- When pricing flowers at a florist, don’t tell them it’s for a wedding. Wedding flowers always cost more.
- Another great option for flowers is to check out wholesale businesses like Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club.
- Buy white Christmas tree lights after Christmas for decor. They will elegantly light up a room with very little cost.
- Decorate with balloons in addition to flowers – find an online store and get a bulk-lot of balloons in your wedding colors.
- Add candles to centerpieces, as they are a symbol of romance and they’re inexpensive.
- Create your own accessories such as your ring pillow, wedding veil and decorations.
CEREMONY – WEDDING PARTY – GUEST LIST
- Consider having a friend or family member conduct the wedding ceremony.
- Limit the number of bridesmaids, groomsmen.
- The bigger the wedding party is, the more expensive it’s going to be to have your rehearsal dinner, buy dresses, rent tuxes and to purchase gifts.
- Keep your wedding intimate by having a small guest list of your closet relatives and friends.
- Create invite standards such as no distant relatives or work friends and don’t invite anyone you haven’t talked to in five years.
PHOTO and VIDEO
- Do you have a photographer in your circle of friends or family?
- Only book the photographer for the wedding ceremony and the first hour of the reception.
- Schedule a time to pose and 2-3 people to assist rounding up the wedding party for photos so the photographer doesn’t have to wait around for you to get organized.
- Before you hire a photographer, ask around to find one who will give you the negatives.
- Put disposable cameras around at the reception for guests to use. You will get some great candid shots!
- Do you have a videographer in your circle of friends or family? If so, give them a list of moments to film at the the ceremony and reception.
- Hire a one-camera video package and request little or no editing.
- Choose simple recipes and seasonal items.
- Consider a buffet option. It’s often less expensive.
- Order a smaller beautiful cake for the cake-cutting ceremony at your reception, and order a large simple sheet cake of the same flavor to guests.
- Ask for a simple, cheap menu for children.
- Consider having a cash bar.
- Consider hiring an amateur musician or local music student to play at your reception.
- Think about your family and friends, is there anyone who is a talented musician? They may be willing to play at your reception for a smaller fee than hiring a professional.
- Borrow or rent a good sound system, organize your collections of cds, and see if you can locate a student from a local school, a friend or relative to be the disc jockey.
- Buy your wedding invitations online, rather than an expensive retail store.
- Consider skipping the inner lined envelope.
- Rather than a reply card set, consider a reply card postcard (if you have a lot of guests, you’ll really save on postage)
Remember your real purpose and intention – your wedding is the first day of a new beautiful loving relationship and a life-long commitment.
Focus on your goals together as a new couple, relish in your love and don’t sweat the small stuff. When you’re happy – your guests will be happy. Create your day to be fun, exciting and full of lots of laughter. A good time with close friends and family will long be remembered – the type of flowers and the cost of the decorations will quickly be forgotten. To assist you in keeping within your budget, remember the small details matter very little and keep in mind your future goals together such as moving or saving for a home.