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How Did You Save Money on Your Wedding?

I'm Asking: How Did You Save Money on Your Wedding?

It's well-known that most everything in the wedding world is wickedly overpriced. Taking advantage of blissfully engaged couples just isn't cool, yet the cycle of ripoffs continues when there aren't obvious alternatives. Asking around is the best way to discover cost-saving measures, and I know that any helpful advice during the wedding planning process is worth its weight in gold.

TeamSugar member Spectra gave some great insight when she commented about her cake: "I also got a good deal on my cake by having a family friend who owns a bakery do it. You can save a lot of money on your cake if you get one with buttercream icing instead of fondant; plus the buttercream cakes usually taste a lot better anyway."

What money-saving tips do you have for brides in the planning process?


Join The Conversation
djkatscan djkatscan 8 years
my SIL worked at the reception location, so she was able to negotiate a better deal for a nicer room with a balcony. Plus I held my wedding on a Tuesday. I wanted to get married on June 21st and did not want to wait till that fell on a Saturday. Everyone was there anyways(they requested off work and whatnot, I figured if they wanted to be there they would make it happen. They had pleanty of advanced notice, and I was right) The fact that I has it on an off day also contributed to the lower cost of services all around. I also got all my hair accys from Clair's. I got a dress that was last years style, at a very small bridal shop and it only cost 300$. I went to my normal hairdresser for hair/makeup. I got a discount on my wedding ring for computer work that I did for the jewelry shop. I made my own centerpieces out of mirror tiles from home depot, with a 1$ heart shaped bowl from walmart, with floating candles and those round stones, and fake rose petals scattered around it. I made my own favors, sparkley soaps in little organza bags, was easy and fun to make. I did use the money I saved for other things that were not cheap and I didnt really want to scrimp on. I did hire a DJ, but they were the best in town and played exactly what I wanted. I also paid for an extra photojournalistic photographer, but I did not get books and all that, I got 2 DVD's with all the photos on them (and they did not say PROOF all over them). I have since been able to use these photos to give people gifts like digital frames with my wedding pics on them.
tysontysonxv tysontysonxv 8 years
I'm in the long process of planning my wedding, and I am trying very hard to save money. I bought my dress at, which had a dress that I adored, and it was %75 off the original price. I'm also holding my ceremony and reception at the same place, so I don't have to spend unnecessary money on two locations and transportation between the them. For the reception, I couldn't compromise on the full open bar, but we are doing "heavy hors d'oeuvre" stations rather than a sit-down meal. That also allows for fewer tables and elaborate centerpieces.
Ladytron7000 Ladytron7000 8 years
Better yet, elope. Let your friends and family throw a party for you if they want. That's what my friend did, and though we we had a fabulous wedding on the cheap-ish, I think a fling in Paris would have been nicer and a smart financial decision. Don't let the industry fool you. Weddings should not cost a significant portion of your annual income. If your parents are paying, ask them for a down payment instead. Then, see Casa.
Ladytron7000 Ladytron7000 8 years
1. Get a caterer that lets you buy your own booze. Go to a good liquor store that will let you return unopened items. 1.Buy your your flowers in bulk from an online wholesaler and have your bridesmaids make their own bouquets (and yours). Three flowers, same color family, different textures (I did red roses, alstromerias, and carnations). Wrap with a pretty ribbon and trim. It's easy. Extras go in vases. Voila. Save $1200. 3. Order everything you can online. Don't get caught up in an overpriced bridal store.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 8 years
One great money-saving tip I heard was instead of sashing all your chairs, just sash the back row and side chairs. I thought that was pretty clever!
Witchy-Ways Witchy-Ways 8 years
Me and my dad had a conversation at the last family wedding we attended and he simply said "I hope you don't ever get married in church, that will save you a lot of money." Catholic church weddings usually have an "agape" afterwards, then there's the "actual" wedding party. Which means two buffets, etc. I've actually known many people who said that they saved the most money but simply getting married "only" at civil registry office and then having a nice party with great food afterwards. No need for big flower arrangements, only one menu served to the guests. Of course, if you're religious this probably doesn't apply but since I am not, I intend on doing it that way. It just seems unreasonable to spend so much money on "tradition" instead of focusing what you're actually doing: Getting married because you want to, and throwing a party for your relatives and friends because they want to :D
kristyy kristyy 8 years
Oh, also wanted to add this. Check out Craigslist for used or left over items from other people's weddings. Someone may have bought a bunch of vases for their centerpieces but no longer needs them. Does it matter if the vases have been used? If they have 20 vases, they are probably looking for someone to take them all at once and would offer a significant discount!
sweetrae80 sweetrae80 8 years
I had it at my house!
ladybirda ladybirda 8 years
I think the best way to cut costs is to trim the guest list. With fewer guests, you can afford to feed them better, which to me should always be priority #1. The worst two weddings I went to were where the bride and groom cheaped out and didn't have a cocktail hour, so we starved because dinner couldn't start until they finished taking pictures. And these were both very religious weddings so the ceremonies were looooong. Whatever else you do, don't cheap out on food, it's the one thing guests remember!
kristyy kristyy 8 years
- Tried on a bunch of dresses and had an idea of the style I liked. Then I shopped on Craigslist and eBay for a similar style. Ended up scoring a brand new dress for less than $100 because no one was bidding against me! I found that many brides would buy a dress and then find another one they liked and ended up having 2 brand new dresses. Remember this: It's the bride who makes the dress, not the dress who makes the bride. Do you think the groom really cares what you're wearing??? He can't take his eyes off YOU, not your dress. - Hired a young guy as our photographer (who worked for a big shot photographer). Although he was young, he had the skills we were looking for and was so eager to please us and did a wonderful job! - Printed my own invitations, but I used vellum paper instead of the one included. - Bought the favor kit and made my own favors. - Made our own CD and rented the audio system from the hotel. - Family members did our flowers. - Had ceremony and reception at the same venue, so no additional site fee. - Kept it small and intimate! Greenapples has this idea of her wedding being big, elaborate, and leaving her in debt. But many of our guests said they loved how it was intimate. In fact, my cousin is now planning an intimate one as well! We cut back on a number of things and did a lot of it ourselves. However, we didn't skimp on the food and our guests were treated to filet mignon and an open bar. But because of the small size and our resourcefulness, we were able to keep it way under our budget and still enjoy it and have beautiful pictures.
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
I loved my wedding and had a lot of fun and only spent a few thousand dollars. My wedding dress was only $99 and was absolutely beautiful, it was worn once in a bridal show and would have cost $1,000 but since it was worn even though for only a few minutes during a show it was on sale. The bridal shop even had it dry cleaned. Like some one else mentioned, it is just one day and the marriage is what counts. I would rather have saved the money to put towards buying a house.
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
Wow greenapples you are just nasty and i am sure no one actually would want to be married to you so you don't have to worry about the expense.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
IF you need/want to save money, it's all about prioritizing. We splurged on amazing food and a great band, and saved on my J Crew wedding dress on clearance and an amateur photographer.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Oh, also, one of the small cost-cutting measures my sister took is coordinating with the couple getting married in the church after her on flowers. Both couples wanted white flowers and have similar tastes, so they are able to split the cost of the ceremony flowers. Obviously it wouldn't work for everyone; but it worked out well for her.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Sorry to stray from the intent of the post. :oops: For people who want to save, I've known of people who did a Friday night wedding or a Sunday afternoon wedding instead of the traditional Saturday wedding; they saved A TON.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
It's great to save on weddings if you can/want to/need to. It seems like all of you ladies came up with some creative and interesting ideas. However, I also want to express that, in my eyes, it's also OK to spend a lot of money on your wedding if you can afford it and you want to! The sentiments looking down on those who do choose to spend a lot are just are judgmental as the sentiments looking down on those who saved. Spending a lot doesn't mean that your wedding will be impersonal or that your marriage won't last; to suggest it does is silly. I'm not married, but I've been helping my sister plan and she has cut a few costs (e.g. she sent her Save the Date Magnets with her Christmas cards). However, her wedding is going to be pretty large and somewhat expensive. She and her fiancee are a little older and more established; they can easily afford it. So, having a big, expensive wedding isn't always a bad thing! (And greenapples, destination weddings can be a lot less expensive than non-destination weddings, FYI.)
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
wow, just wow greenapples! i think youre going overboard withthe snarkiness! if you want a super expensive wedding and can afford it without regretting it later then hats off to you! but you dont have a right by saying that other people cant find ways to cut costs and still have a perfectly lovely wedding. and i agree with the above poster, its the marriage that matters, not the wedding! for me, as long as the couple was happy, who cares what the guests think? and this post was designed to help brides to be in cutting wedding costs! please take your haughtiness somewhere else!
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
i got married overseas, so it was cheaper, but still had close to 1000 guests.
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