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If you're planning a wedding, it's safe to say you've got some (emphasis on some, here) money to blow. But unless you're literally rolling in dough like Mariah Carey and her billionaire fiancé, you're probs not trying to blow your entire budget on a custom designer dress or insane flower wall. Nope, you're all about saving that money! But because there's a big difference between being frugal and just being cheap, we asked real brides to share how they got a killer wedding deal without completely compromising on quality.
1. Set the date on an off day.
"Our dream venue was $2000 more on a Saturday than it was on a Friday so we booked the Friday date and saved a couple grand to use on flowers, décor and other wedding items. We also got married during the off season, which was another couple thousand in savings." — Caroline
2. Book "new" vendors.
"We were able to nail down a couple talented vendors that were relatively new to the wedding industry so we saved big on our photographer and cake designer simply because of that fact. It did require a little bit more effort in terms of researching/finding them, but the money saved was well worth it in the end. Both the cake and the pictures turned out beautifully!" — Shadi
3. Use in season flowers.
"I wanted the church and reception hall filled with flowers so to keep costs down, we used flowers, plants and greenery that were in season. We had a local florist supplement with roses and such, but we saved $1000 using what was in season and local that we could grab." — Katie
4. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.
"We got quotes from several different caterers. One was such an amazing price and we were definitely going to go with that person. When a few caterers followed up however, we thought what the heck, why not ask them if they'll price match? One of the more expensive caterers that we loved agreed! We taste tested at both places and wound up booking the pricier place, which was really such a steal." — Cara
5. Split the cost of rentals
"Thank goodness for our wedding planner! She was able to help coordinate splitting some rental costs with the couple getting married the day after so we saved a ton on things like the dance floor, lighting and chairs." — Emily
6. Buy a dress that isn't brand new.
"I looked a lot at secondhand dresses on OnceWed and other wedding websites like that. Ultimately, I ended up finding my dream dress at a local bridal boutique though. Since it was last season, I got it for $1500 less than the original price! I also had a friend who borrowed her wedding dress from one of her BFFs so she really got a good deal." — Elaine