If you’re reading this, I don’t need to tell you that wedding’s are expensive. Back in 2001 I spent under $8,000 on our wedding. That was cheap even back then! On average couples were spending around $15,000-20,000 about 10 years ago.
So how did I save money on OUR wedding? Here are my top 10 tips:
1. Biggest save: DRESS: Order a bridesmaid dress in white. I only paid $200 for my dress, it may have been expensive as a bridesmaid dress, but it was SO cheap as a wedding gown. It even had enough train that it needed to be bustled. I saved about $2,000 compared to the average wedding gown price.
2. CAKE: Hire a small in-home baker to make the cake. There are plenty of ladies out there who are very talented when it comes to cakes, you just need to ask around. Ask to see his/her portfolio. I wanted a very pain cake, 3 tier with rose petals. If you’re trying to be budget friendly with your wedding, you need to think simple anyway. 😉 My mother-in-law bought the cake, I believe it was around $200 (including several sheet cakes). I don’t know what the average bakery cake costs, but I’m guessing at least several hundred dollars.
3. WEDDING DAY: Back 10 years ago every wedding was on a Saturday, Friday weddings were unheard of. So our reception venue gave us a deal, normally it would’ve cost over $5,000 for renting the hall (including food). Since we did a Friday wedding, it cost $3,000. Guests actually liked the idea, we had the ceremony after work hours (about 5:30pm) and it freed up their Saturday.
4. FLOWERS: I’m the creative type and I’m also very organized, I like to plan ahead. So I bought a wide assortment of silk flowers that were on sale at Michaels craft and supplies store. If you’re not the creative type, you may want to ask your friends if any of them would like to help you out. I spent around $200-300 for all my flowers (7 bouquets and 20 table arrangements). Again, keep things simple, it’ll save you money and no one even remembers your flowers. Seriously.
5. PHOTOGRAPHY: I hired a co-worker who was a professional photographer (not specifically a wedding photographer). All I wanted were some good snap-shots of our day, I didn’t need all the fancy posed and lighted shots. We were 23 when we got married, this was just 1 day in our life. I never go through our photos. The photographer charged me $800 for all the negatives and had prints made of all the shots. Back then most wedding photographers charged between $2,000-4,000 easily for a package that only included prints (no digital wedding photographers back then). My how times have changed! That being said, if photos are important to you, just cut back in other areas. 🙂
6. INVITATIONS: At the risk of telling you that I designed my own invites, I wouldn’t actually recommend doing them yourself unless you’re very artistic/creative. They were a pain in the butt to assemble back in the day (when I did layers of paper, vellum, etc.). I would recommend that you hire a professional that has inexpensive yet high quality designs (like Appleberry Ink). 😉 http://www.appleberryink.com
7. TRANSPORTATION: Don’t do the limo, it’s a complete waste of money. Ask around and see if any of your friends or family has a nice car to transport you guys. If you’re on a budget, a limo or any other type of special transportation is definitely not necessary.
8. HAIR: I had a close friend of mine do my hair. Ask around, there are a lot of talented ladies out there than can help you out. Also, check YouTube tutorials or Pinterest and experiment on your own several times to see if you can possibly do it yourself!
9. MAKEUP: You don’t have to hire a professional makeup artist. Again, ask friends/family if they know anyone who likes doing makeup. If you like the way any of your friends do their makeup ask them if they wouldn’t mind trying to do yours a few times before the big day and see if their style is something you like. Also, makeup counters are a great idea! Most times, they only require you to purchase some of their makeup and they’ll do your face for ‘free’. Then you’ll also have the makeup for any touch-ups you might need. 🙂
10. THE BOOZE: My in-laws picked up the bar tab. But there was still a limit on that. Keep your budget to a certain # of kegs and bottles of wine. Once they’re out, then guests can be expected to pay for their own drinks. You can also have a time limit, like from 5-7:00 is complimentary drinks (or until the bottles/keg is gone). Usually the couple will pick up the tab for soda pop (so the guests can at least have some sort of beverage for free).
11. BONUS TIP: One extra thing that you can save on is the linens and chairs. Unless you have a lot of shallow and materialistic guests at your wedding, no one will notice that you have the standard white linen table cloths and no chair coverings or fancy chairs. Those things can be VERY spendy. But, if that’s important to you, cut back in other areas so you can afford this luxury.
Another area to think about is the band/DJ, I have no experience in that area so we went cheap on the DJ and he stunk. He played “Nookie” by Limp Bizkit really early in the evening, when all the elderly guests were still there and it really wasn’t time to get down and dance. Plus, I wouldn’t have ever played that song at a wedding… really?
Hope some of those tips help. Every penny counts and things add up REALLY fast! Most important thing of all is that you remember this day is about you two as a couple. The wedding is just 1 teeny tiny day in your married life. Some people experience the post-wedding blues, all that planning and BOOM, it’s over… So really enjoy that day to it’s fullest and concentrate on one another, don’t worry about talking to every guest. Maybe just make sure to talk to some of the people who flew in from out of town. Other than that, most people will take care of themselves and be engrossed in conversation with the other guests you invited.
Happy wedding day!!!!!!