What are some ways to cut wedding costs?

by DIY wedding planner on February 3, 2013


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I’m looking to save as much money as possible but still have a nice little elegant wedding.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

MRS*K*2B! February 3, 2013 at 9:08 pm

>make invites yourself,
>use balloons instead of flowers as centerpieces (can get sum gorgeous ones)
>buy your dress from a sale (still be beautiful)
>ask you wedding party to pay their own outfits (if you havent already :)
>do a buffet instead of sit down meal, have wedding later so people eat before
>dont do a favour per person, do a small bunch of favours for each table
>dont waste money on seating charts, just let people sit where they like
>have an open bar, dont put a tab behind
>ask a friend to do music, using i pod etc, saves on dj fees

im trying to think…. im sure there are plenty of others!

good luck! if youre creative then you can have a very elegant weding on a small budget!

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nova_queen_28 February 3, 2013 at 9:20 pm

feeding guests is a quick win because it is a dollar amount multiplied by your # of guests.
Instead of having a wedding with a dinner, go for an afternoon reception with finger foods and cake or have a late evening reception. Just don’t have any part of your ceremony or reception between 5pm and 7pm if you aren’t serving a meal – - at those times guests will expect dinner.

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?Invisible Pink Unicorn? February 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Do your own invitations, buy a pre-owned wedding gown, don’t have an open bar, use silk flowers vs real ones, real ones are very heavy depending on the size of your bouquet found this out the hard way, silks are much lighter, depending on time of day have just a cake/punch reception, or if a full meal make it a buffet, skip the wedding favors -

If I think of anything else I will add on

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Feeling Guilty? February 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Only have a best man and maid of honor standing up. Have the wedding outdoors at a park or at someone’s home. Have a cash bar or no liquor at the wedding. Go to a bakery for a wedding cake.

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Helen T February 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I have been looking at the same thing and have found that weddings abroad can be a lot cheaper and offer some amazing packages. The one im looking at has everything included except accommodation. Photos, reception, favours, decs, flowers, hair and makeup, all for 5000! to me thats pretty cheap looking at the prices in this country. The accommodation prices are pretty cheap too. We’re looking at Zante

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Jay Seven February 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm

http://www.lowbudgetwedding.com/

check this out it might help

and i hope i get an evite

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Messykatt February 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm

It would help a lot if you could give more specifics. When you say elegant, what does this mean? Are you wanting something dressy and then maybe rent out a room in a nice restaurant? Or maybe in your crowd elegant means no drinking beer straight out of bottles :)

Just remember, the only requirements are the bride, the groom, one attendant for each, and the officiant. Everything else is by choice and everything else can be done by you (get a friend to take photos, do invites yourself, etc).

Also, how many people? If it’s under 50, I’d recommend real flowers, but talk to the florist in some of your grocery chains. You might be able to get some great deals. And your cake can either be something the restaurant puts together if you go that route, or check on craigslist for people who make these as a hobby. You’ll need verified refs of course but I know people who’ve done this and gotten exactly what they want.

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Des_Angell February 4, 2013 at 12:14 am

We are pretty much in the same situation. Trying to make this wedding within budget so we can actually have it by next summer. Some things i did to cut costs were:
-> Have a buffet style dinner instead of a plated service
-> Do a toonie bar instead of a free bar
-> Borrow or use your own laptop and get a song list on it you can play yourself instead of hiring a d.j
-> Look for new photographers most are willing to do the whole wedding free if they can use your photos in there portfolios
->Look at the dollar store for items (I found vases for the centerpieces $1 each). Also this website efavormart.com has great wedding items for a pretty good deal.
->Get the cake done by a grocery store instead of a specialty cake store
-> Go with cheaper wines
-> Buy your dress after september when wedding season is over, tons of sales
->Buy a cheap basket, pillow and book and decorate them yourself with fabric and beads or whatever goes with your colors/theme
->Sign up on the michaels craft store website and recieve a 50% off coupon

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SophiesMom February 4, 2013 at 1:07 am

Keep your guest list as small as possible.
Do It Yourself invitations, favors, flower arrangements, etc. (check out http://www.marthastewartweddings.com for some ideas).
Keep your wedding party small and remember that they are supposed to pay for their own stuff anyways, so don’t worry about that (other than keeping their outfits reasonably priced).
Look to your friends and family members to see if you have any good resources there, such as someone who is very good with photography to do your photos. This could be their gift to you so it’s a win win!
Shop around. Give yourself plenty of time for planning so you can get the best prices.
Get married in the off season to lower your venue costs (March – September is considered the bridal season for most areas, but it may differ depending where you are). Also, for most venues Saturday nights are the most expensive during the high season, so try for Friday or Sunday (check the venue you are looking at, it may not make a difference).

There are tons of ideas on http://www.theknot.com and you can type “ways to save money on your wedding” into google and pull up some great articles.

Good luck and congratulations!

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Kimberly February 4, 2013 at 1:17 am

FLOWER IDEAS
Buy flowers wholesale in a local market, grocery store, or online http://www.fiftyflowers.com, and pay a florist to do simple centerpieces. Want to keep things really easy? Do one to two looks in abundance and make an impact. Place tons of branches, like curly willow or dogwood, in urns or tall glass vases from the dollar store; for a bit more flair, hang LED tealights from them with ribbons in your wedding colors.try groupings of the same flower/s in different hues for an affordably stylish look. Cluster vases of different sizes in interesting configurations on tables.Keep ceremony flowers simple by only placing arrangements near the spot where you’ll be exchanging vows, not on every aisle seat or pew.

LINEN IDEAS
You can go to a fabric store and make your own linens and overlays. Or if your venue already comes with plain white linens you can create your own overlays to go over the table cloth like a nice organza. You just have to know the size of the table. Or rental from an online linen rental company if their prices are good. And they normally ship nationwide and send linen sample swatches.
http://www.bbjlinen.com
http://www.glowconcepts.com
http://www.fabulousevents.com
http://www.linennstuff.com
http:// http://www.lineneffects.com
http://clothconnection.com

FOOD IDEAS
If you prefer an evening reception, but still want to stick to a budget, consider a desserts-only reception. Specify on the invitation that you will be serving desserts, so that guests don’t expect a full meal. Offer a delicious array of sweets: pastries, pies, mousses and a dramatic flaming treat like Bananas Foster. To accompany, serve champagne or prosecco and specialty coffees and teas.
Another increasingly popular choice is the cocktail party reception. You’ll save thousands on food and decorations; after all, you can forgo big floral arrangements for your tables and adorn small cocktail tables with candles and modest bunches of blooms. Hand pass hors d’oeuvres like mini hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and mini quiches. On a multi-tiered table offer finger foods like Italian breads, olives, artichoke hearts and cheeses, finger fruits and salads. Or consider a chic wine-tasting reception. Guests can sample from different small dishes at food stations, each matched with a special wine. Printed cards can explain the pairing.
Good luck planning hope you like these ideas.

Invite Ideas
DIY your invites. There are websites that you can go to as well as going to a staples, office max or crafts store like micheals or a.c moore etc…. and they should have DIY wedding invite kits there for an inexpensive price

Bridal Dress and Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids dresses could be bought for a good price at macys, jc pennys, charlotte russe etc…. For the bridal gown you could figure out when your favorite dress designer or bridal store is having a sample sale so you can get a great dress for cheap or just stick to a budget. Also for tuxedos, normally tuxedo companies have sales and specials so keep an eye out for that. Also suites my be a little bit more cheaper but less formal.

Photographer:
This is so easy and way cheaper than hiring an actual photographer to do the job. Place a few disposable camera’s on the tables. People will take it upon them self’s to take pictures of the even. You will end up with a lot more pictures than what you would have paid for a photographer. Or if you don’t like that idea you can always give a few throw always to a few people that you really trust, and have them take pictures for you.

Videographer:
Go to a rent to own store and pay the rental fee to rent Three or four Cameras. Purchase your tapes they aren’t that expensive. Then get you a few stands and place them in the appropriate places, at the church. You will need to get extension cords as well. The best part about this is you can return these items and get your money back. Except the rental fee on the cameras. Have some one in charge of moving the camera’s to the hall for you so that way they are in place before you get there.

Decor
When it comes to the decorations for the hall. BORROW, BORROW, BORROW! I can’t say it enough. Get a hold of as many Christmas lights and other decorations you can. Buy some tulle it isn’t that expensive. Wrap the lights and tulle every where. Pull up some pictures off the internet for some ideas. There are cheap ways of recreating the same look.Look at the dollar store for items such as vases for the centerpieces. Also check craft stores like micheals and a.c. moore.
http://www.beau-coup.com/table-decoratio…
http://www.weddingdecor.com/centerpiece.…
http://www.topweddingsites.com/wedding-d…

Cake:
The wedding cake isn’t very cheap although there is a solution to this delima. You can purchase simple round or even square cakes from the bakery and the appropriate tools needed to assemble the cake. As well as a few fake flowers, then your topper and you just saved 100-150 on your cake. Or you can make the cake yourself and have a professional decorate it for you.Also getting it done at a grocery store is alot cheaper then a speciality store.

Music:
You could make a playlist on your ipod if you have one and hopefully the venue has a great sound system so you can play it off that. Or a lap top would work as well

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Poof February 4, 2013 at 1:35 am

-MAKE YOUR OWN CENTERPIECES..if you are smart about it you an make it a lot cheaper than allowing a florist to do it

-Don’t let Wal-mart or Hobby Lobby trick you with their wedding decor prices. Their rose petals are 500 of them for 10 dollars. On EBAY.. i bought 4000 rose petals for 22 dollars!!

-Cut down the number of guest, if possible.

-Don’t use a caterer.. My mom asked a bunch of her close friends from church to all make the food. All she is doing is buying the ingredients.

-Don’t have favors (the kind you buy online or in bridal stores)..the fact that you are giving people a meal should be the ‘favor’. If you are on a tight budget.. not really worth it. I don’t think people care much about hershey’s kisses.. They can just buy those themselves! I’m expeting around 350 guests. If I get a favor that costs 1 dollar.. that’s $350 dollars just on favors! I am buying a bunch of “to go boxes” and people are taking the extra food home and/or cake.

-Print your own programs (if you even want any)

-There are budget wedding invites online. Just be simple as possible and buy your own ribbon or accents and attach them yourself. Try to pass our your invitations rather than mailing them. Only mail them to the out-of-state guests..Save on postage. Don’t buy extra response cards for people to respond. Create a wedding website where people can RSVP on there.. I made one at http://www.projectwedding.com. Or create and e-mail where people RSVP by emailing you to your wedding email. ex. johnandmaryswed@yahoo.com

-Use silk flowers instead of real. If not, make sure you pick flowers that are in season of your wedding. Gerber daises are a good choice and inexpensive.

-One of my friends tried on a bunch of dresses in the stores and wrote down all the style numbers of the dresses she liked. She than went online and bought it there. In the store it was 3000 dollars.. She bought it for 1500 online. Craiglist.com <–people sell their wedding dresses for really cheap. Just dry clean it. I promise nobody will be able to tell.

Good Luck!

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Karl S February 4, 2013 at 1:42 am

My girlfriends mom is an amazing wedding planner. Me and my girl have actually had lots of opportunities to help her out when she gets short staffed. She really is the real deal. She’s all about saving money and putting quality first. She has a great blog with tons of Free advice for saving money weddings.

http://susanwilder.blogspot.com
hope this helps.

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