Greetings Brides! We thought we'd take the opportunity to help many of you out there, who are planning your weddings, with financial advice. We know it can be a grueling, arduous effort to plan your nuptials, complete with nagging in-laws, cat-fighting bridesmaids, and more cake tasting than the average stomach can handle. The least we can do is offer some tips on helping you save some of your dough so you can alleviate some of that palpable stress you're bound to be feeling.
Tip #1: "Hire" Your Friends
Do you have crafty gal pals? Why not ask them the favor of helping you put your wedding together? Hiring a professional wedding planner/organizer/crafter can be one of the biggest wedding expenses that you'll have to dish out for. Getting together with your friends on a weekly basis for a wedding-craft and wine extravaganza can not only help you towards your wedding goals, but also provide you with some much-needed stress relieving laughs. You could also tell your friends that their time put into this endeavor can be their wedding gift to you, thereby saving them money as well. It's a win-win ladies. Check out this DIY idea board from Weddbook.com:
Tip #2: Bigger & Fewer Tables
Ladies, we know you fantasize about your reception hall, and how there are tables for miles, with everyone you've ever known, sitting around them, their eyes glimmering with a mixture of awe, emotion, and jealousy. Now picture fewer, bigger tables, instead of lots of little ones. Fewer tables means you have to construct fewer centerpieces, and fewer dollars dished. We love this outdoor table set up from Rajabf.com:
Tip #3: Friend Photography
Do you know any amateur photographers with amazing, expensive cameras? Chances are you do. With photography software becoming increasingly popular, people don't necessarily have to take the most perfect pictures on site, and can tweak them later. There are a lot of folks out there who are fairly savvy with a camera and VERY savvy with Photoshop, so you don't necessarily have to spend lots on a photography bill.
Tip #4: Buffet vs. Dinner
You may want to consider having buffet-style food at your reception, as opposed to plated, or family-style. Having plated meals with controlled portions, being served by an elegant wait staff may SOUND appealing, but that can add up quickly. Firstly, you need to pay for the extra wait staff AND tip them at the end of the night. You also need to send out response cards so that guests can indicate their meal or meat preference, which is another added expense. Look at this unique dessert buffet set up from Cakeslindalewis.com:
Tip #5: Your Friend's Band
We all know that typically, a DJ is going to be less expensive than a band, right? Well, what if your friend, or your friend's friend has a band and is willing to play for very little money, or even free? Maybe you pay these nice musicians back one day by hooking them up with free mani-pedis, or whatever your trade may be. Hey, musicians need to stay well kept too...(below picture was taken from DanceBands.com)
Tip #6: Local FlowersFlowers can be one of the most important, mood-setting elements of your special day, and we don't think you should have to skip them altogether just to pinch pennies. If you buy flowers that are local, or in season, you will most likely save a decent percentage on this expense. The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers is a great resource for finding flowers near you.
Tip #7. Design Your Own Invitations
According to TheInvitationBlog.com, the standard, one panel wedding invitation can cost around $2 - $5 per invitation, while a print-your-own design version can be $1 or less. Try your hand at making your own design, or enlist the help of a friend who's good with Adobe software. Make it a simple, elegant black & white design and save even MORE on the cost of printing. We are loving these simple, but beautiful invitations from onewed.com:
Tip #8: Bargain HuntingI've got three little words for you, brides: Ebay, Craigslist, and Etsy. There are loads of former brides out there who are willing to sell their gently-used sets of wedding decor on Ebay or Craigslist, you just have to spend a little time hunting. Etsy.com is great if you're in search of decor that is fresh and new. If you are able to find a newer shop on Etsy, they will be more willing to haggle with you in order obtain your business and garner a good review.
Tip #9: Secondhand Dresses
You don't necessarily have to buy a severely USED dress, ladies. Sometimes women will just decide against a certain dress, after they've purchased it. They may have gained a bit of weight, making the dress no longer fit, or they may just decide to go in a different direction at the last minute. Websites like oncewed.com or stillwhite.com connect brides to be with former brides looking to get a little something back on their purchases. Just make sure you get plenty of photographs, and even ask the owner to Skype with you for a bit before buying. Look at this gorgeous gal selling her stunning Monique Lhuillier gown for 67% off the original price!
Tip #10. Twigs & Branches
The centerpieces at your reception can be one of the most biggest expenses in your wedding budget, especially if they are floral. They can be upwards of $150 per centerpiece. Luckily for you, natural/rustic weddings are all the rage right now. If you were to assemble your own pieces using twigs and/or branches, it could save you roughly 75% percent of the cost. Start collecting branches now, ladies. Nature is free! Martha Stewart has some awesome ideas for branch-themed centerpieces!
We hope these tips will help you save some on your big day! What are you doing to save some money for your wedding? Please let us know in the comments below!