Getting married is one of the most memorable times in your life. Some women have dreamed of this since they were little girls. It is a balance between matching the dream wedding to your budget. The first step is to set a budget as well as a date for the wedding.
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Each area may celebrate weddings differently. Even within the United States, the southern states tend to have more informal receptions. Northern states have formal sit down receptions. Pick, choose, and modify items from the lists below that work the best for you. Every penny saved counts!
Download Free Excel Wedding Guest List Spreadsheet and 24 Money-Saving Wedding Tips
Skip the “Save the date” mail outs. It will save postage and printing costs.
If money is tight, skip the diamond engagement ring. You can always get one later and just have the wedding bands for now.
With the modern technology of cell phones, emails, texting, Facebook, Instagram, etc, it is not necessary to have a newspaper engagement announcement. Fewer people are getting traditional newspapers now and some newspapers charge for this.
Engagement parties are nice, but not necessary. While someone else may be paying for this, there will be expenses for the future bride and groom like getting a new outfit that can be skipped.
Remember how expensive it can be for your wedding party, especially for the bridesmaids. Limit the number of people in the party. This will mean less gifts for you to buy for them too.
Skip hiring a wedding planner and do it yourself.
Limit the number of guests. This will decrease the size of the reception hall and church needed. It also reduces food and invitation expenses.
Invitations – skip the RSVP cards – let them call, email, or if you have a website for the wedding, respond there. Many people have stamps on self-addressed cards and this can be expensive for the number being sent out.
Some couples give their finance a gift. This is an easy expense to skip and not miss it.
Do you have a wedding planner? Check out this one.
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from: Erin Condren
Limit the amount paid for the wedding dress. It is easy to get caught up in the moment and it’s for your big day, but it is only for one day. Buy a simple dress and sew additional bling or beads on it. Good Will, Amazon, and second-hand shops also sell them. I was amazed at what you can find on Amazon for wedding attire – great prices and elegant. Check them out here. Also, look at bridesmaid dresses to see if one would make a great wedding dress. Some places even rent dresses.
Alterations of wedding dresses (and bridesmaid dresses too) can be very expensive. Ask for an estimated price before they start pinning everything.
Skip the new wedding shoes. Be comfortable and wear something simple. With a beautiful wedding dress, people will not be looking at your shoes.
Borrow or use your own jewelry.
Borrow or make your own headpiece.
Skip the new going away outfit. You only wear it a very short time, so it doesn’t need to be something new – be comfortable or wear something from a wedding shower. If you decide to buy something, be able to wear it again.
Ring bearer tux – check the price to buy it instead of renting. It may be cheaper to buy. Tux shops should be able to let you know.
Make your own ring bearer pillow or container. Use coupons from craft stores to buy the materials.
Rehearsal supper – have family or friends cook for you. They can BBQ or cook a gumbo, etc. The place can be plain or decorated. This will be less expensive than a restaurant.
Offer to do the same for your friend’s wedding. You can pay for the food or they may want to give that to you as a wedding gift.
Flowers -choose from silk or fresh flowers. For fresh, skip the exotic flowers since they will be more expensive. Have a small inexpensive bouquet for the one to throw. Places like grocery stores and general stores have fresh flowers. My wedding flowers were from a licensed florist from Kroger’s Grocery store (I was on a budget!) and they were beautiful.
Photographer – choose a good one to capture the memories, but save money by not getting a fancy album.
Skip the aisle runner.
Programs are nice for everyone to see who is in the wedding party, but it is another added expense that could be skipped.
Reception – Food
Brides cake -have a smaller bride wedding cake with large sheet cakes to serve guests. Ask them to do the sheet cakes with the same cake mix and icing so your guests don’t miss out.
Grooms cake -Have family or friends make the groom’s cake. Amazon has wedding cake toppers.
Skip the alcohol or limit it. This is a big expense.
Consider having friends and family cook for the reception instead of having it catered. Someone would need to be in charge of it and this would make a great wedding gift for them to give the couple. Catering is nice because it is less to worry about, but the convenience comes with an expensive price.
Reception – Other
Skip party favors for guests. They are there to celebrate with the bride and groom, not to get a gift.
When leaving reception, just let everyone clap and cheer you on. Don’t spend money on them blowing bubbles or the many things that others do as the couple leaves the reception. It is an extra expense to eliminate.
Skip the limo and ask family or friends with a nice vehicle to chauffeur you.
Use the bridesmaid flowers for decorations at the reception and then they can bring them home.
Skip the printed names on the napkins.
Do your own photo booth, instead of hiring someone to do this. Make your own backdrop, get props from Amazon, have someone take pictures, get their email or text it to them. If you have a Polaroid camera, the pictures can be printed immediately.
Skip the DJ – use a playlist and have someone in charge of it.
Save money and time by skipping the bows on chairs.
Use social media for the wedding announcement instead of putting one in the newspaper.
Limit the number of chairs, tables, etc. rented. Assign someone to be in charge of getting rented items back in time to avoid any late fees.
Decorate with plants, mason jars, or reusable items and not expensive flowers. Keep them simple. Remember that whatever is put up, must come down too.
Out of town guests do not need welcome gifts. They want to be there to celebrate your special event.
Avoid going over the time allowed at the reception hall to avoid extra fees.
If money is tight, delay going on a honeymoon until you can save more money. Getting settled in an apartment or house can be expensive. There is no need to have all these expenses at the same time. Consider going somewhere near for just a night.
Skip the fancy thank you notes that match the invitations. People will probably not remember. It is more important to send a handwritten thank-you note. The dollar stores have cute ones.
There are many wedding expenses that may be forgotten. One hidden expense is tipping the various vendors involved in your wedding. Check out this video to see what this wedding planner recommends.
Make a budget and work with it. You can decide to spend more on certain items and cut back on others. It is all about being able to spend the rest of your life with your loved one and not the fancy impression made from your wedding. Best wishes!!