Tips to save: Check with your local newspaper and see if any of their photographers do weddings on the side. I work at a newspaper and one of the photographers is doing my wedding for half the price studios charge. Instant $$$ saver.
For music...have a laptop and tons of MP3's? Hook it up to an amp and let the good times roll. You don't need a DJ and you can pick exactly what you want in the order you want it. Put a responsible, but outgoing friend in charge of the music and MC'ing the reception - most reception sites should have some sort of sound equipment or check with local schools or friends of friends to see if you can borrow theirs.
Instead of flowers for centerpieces, go with floating candles. I LOVE THIS IDEA! You can have your friends and family pitch in their favorite bowl, fill with water and buy cheap floater candles. Decorate the bowls with water gems or fake rose petals.
Dresses: check discontinued racks or consider buying a used one online. And consider buying the store sample dresses - usually they're in great shape and only need to be cleaned. Saves tons of money. Also buy your veil and hair accessories from a craft store - much cheaper than a bridal salon.
Food: Opt for a buffet-style and check with local culinary schools to see if they have students who do catering on the side or put a great cook you know in charge. You can also opt to do hors d'oeurves or desserts only. Stick to champagne as your only alcohol if you really want it for toast or limit alcohol selections to only beer and/or wine or one or two "signature drinks."
For hair and make-up, check with local hair design/cosmetology schools and see how you can negotiate. Or simply do it yourself or have a friend try...some styles are not that hard, but make sure to do a few trials!
Cake: Have a talented baking enthusiast make it or make a bunch of cupcakes. Also go through grocery stores, like Publix or Albertsons. You'll be surprised what a nice cake you can get for a fraction of the cost you'd pay at a bakery.
I'm out of ideas for now...but when I think of some more I'll post. My budget is more than $5k, but not by my own choosing. I'd be happy with a Latin luau in the backyard, but the families won't have any of that! =)
This is great!!! I think my screen name pretty much says it all for me! I have given up! I am taking my $4000 that my dad is giving me for my wedding and eloping to Hawaii. I am extending an invitation to everyone that I would have invited to my wedding had I had it here. Some won't be able to afford it, but next summer we'll have a gathering at that farm w/ a pig and corn roast that everyone can attend. Maybe we'll even have it a bit of Hawaiian themed! I think that will be fun!!
Yay! I'm so glad this thread is catching on. Okay, first of all I want to post a link to a GREAT wedding thread on craftster. It's got weddings from $10,000 to absolutely free. There's people getting married on streetcars, in backyards, even at the JoP! Check it out and you are SURE to get some ideas.
If the link doesn't work or you can't cut and paste, here's how you get to the wedding forum:
-Go to http://www.craftster.org -Click on the circular logo on the left that says "enter the forum". -Scroll down until you see a yellow bar that contains a subtopic title "OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS" -Under the yellow bar, there will be another subtopic calling "Crafting for Specific Occasions" and under that you will find a list of tiny text underlined occasions. "Weddings and Bridal Showers" is in that list.
Hi everyone!! I know what you mean it really bugs me to hear some of the other brides complain about not having enough money for their already $25,000 dollar wedding. Why would someone be willing to go into debt for one day? Isn't the meaning of the day more important than what the dress looks like or How expensive the food was? Ok sorry I am done now it just drives me crazy to read some of the posts.
Ok if you need to buy plastic plates, cups, tableclothes, anything like that try http://www.orientaltrading.com They also have champagne flutes (personalized), cake cutter sets (personalized), for less than $13 a set. You can also get favor bags. Check out Ebay. Make some of your items. Make your invitations, programs, and favor tags, etc. your Ringbearer pillow could be made out of two vintage hankerchiefs, or some nice fabric you love. My biggest thing is to just not think "well if I had more money I could...." It only ends up making you feel worse.
It is very easy to do a wedding for under $5000. I went to a very good websight to order my dress. http://www.bridalstoreonline.com I found a dress there that in a bridal store here was $650, I got mine for $338 (shipping and everything) You can also go to a craft store and by the box of printable invitations. I got 80 invites for $30. The kit includes responce cards, envlopes and a web sight to help you with the spacing. There is so much you can do to cut cost for a wedding. My wedding is at the end of April and we will be spending just above $1000.
Happy weddings to you all and it can be done very nice with out going into debt.
My fiance and I are paying for everything. Here's what I've done to save: I picked a great site to hold both the wedding and reception. (Now there's no limos or anything like that.) The place could be expensive but I had my heart set on it. So, we're getting married on a Sunday (10% discount) and trying to keep our wedding small since it's a strictly per person charge. I printed my own invitations with paper from LCI paperLCI paper. $54 for 100 "Send and seal". They are one piece invitation and response card. They also have nicer stuff, but come on,invites end up in the trash unless you're the bride! By talking to everyone at work, the gym etc., I found a lady who will do my cake for $100. It's her hobby. She doesn't advertise. I'm making my own centerpieces. (Ukrainian Easter eggs since our date is a week before Easter.) This should help me cut down the cost of flowers also! The photographer is someone just starting out and is taking pictures and handing over the negatives. I can do the rest. $300 for the whole day. I plan to use mypublisher.com to put together my own book. Hope this helps! I will be reading for some more tips!!! I still have find my accesssories and flowers. Best of luck!
Check out local cooking schools for catering or even just getting your cake done.
Silk flowers if you decide against real (some can be expensive). I have found several really inexpensive websites ex: gladiolas (normally very expensive real/or fake) I found for .85 ea stem (6 flowers per stem). I will post all the websites I have used so far:
Talk to all your friends (just saying it again). Found our bartender for $100 plus tip jar from the local cigar shop my FH hangs out at a lot. One of the employees there used to be a bartender so we asked him and he said sure.
DJ - again post post post. Found him through another bride on a message board. He is charging us only $450.00
WAL-MART may be a haven of corporate greed, but they have two different veils for like $10 that aren't bad at all. One has a ribbon edge and the other has no edge. It would be very easy to get some fake pearls or sparkly beads for a dollar or two and a needle and thread and sew a few here and there. Or just plain, these veils are pretty. I'm going to get mine there probably. They also have flowergirl and full size white gloves for like 6 of 7 bucks.
I found one of those HUGE dollar stores that has like departments for everything, and they had a wedding section. They had veils (same with Wal-Mart, perfect quality for something you're only going to wear once) for ONE DOLLAR and gloves and tulle favor circles and a TON more stuff. Most dollar stores, even if they're not that big, have a few wedding items.
Once you subtract the cost of our rings, our wedding came in at just over $3500. For that we rented a lodge for 3 days for us and our out-of-town guests, had a catered lasagna dinner for 60 with a variety of wines, punch and two cakes, and a mambo instructor.
We saved money by having a casual affair (which, of course, isn't to everyone's taste), I made my dress, my BMs' skirts and GMs' shirts, we bought our flowers as mixed bouquets from Trader Joe's and wired them ourselves, bought tablecloths online, made quilted tabletoppers, had very simple centerpieces (pillar candles in painted saucers), skipped all the frou-frou (like printed matchbooks), made our own favors (dragonfly soaps), printed our own invites, reply postcards (also saves postage) and thank-yous, had the whole event at one location, had a talented friend take our photos, had just a guitarist for the ceremony, bought the wine in the 1.5L bottles and had them self-serve . . .
The main thing is . . . THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!! Don't get sucked into what people expect, or what the ads tell you it should be like. Make your wedding a reflection of who you are!
I'm so glad to hear that i'm not the only one who feels three inches tall because i have a tiny budget! You girls are awsome!
Rings: if you aren't allergic to them, 10kt gold bands are only about $35.
Veils: DIY veils are really not that hard to make...just get the pattern, fabric, barrett or comb and glue
Invitations: DIY Walmart invitations are a dream come true!
Food: Check with your local high school vo-tech program...some of them have a food service program...since the kids need the experience, they may cater and clean up the whole thing for only the cost of food (they can do cakes too!)
Decorations: I just pack-ratted 10 boxes of white lights for $5 each from k-mart...also if you have to rent linnens, this might be a place to splurge a little...you can really create an effect with the color and length of your table cloths and/or chair covers. it might save you in decorating costs since its something you have to get anyway. for the head table, i am just getting vases and sticking mine and the bridesmaids bouquets in them as centerpieces. you could also pile your favors on cheap little plastic cake stands and make them be centerpieces too (also makes one less thing to have to get rid of or store the next day).
Ceremony site: If you live near a national or state park, you can use their picnic areas as a ceremony site. We are getting married in the Delaware Water Gap national park and there is only a $50 site fee
Favors: you can do donations to a charity in yoru guests honor...it could be $50 for all 300 of your guests or $50 per guest and no one would know...just print out little cards that say "in honor of you, our guests, we have made a donation to the XYZ charity."
That's all i can think of for now...thanks for all of your suggestions girls!
Thanks for this thread! My FH and were going to take out a loan to help pay for this, but with all the ideas I've gotten on here (which is why I change my mind once a week) we don't have to. My mom paid for my dress and I'm paying her back. All of the guys clothes are on layaway at the western store, all they have to provide is shoes and socks! The bridesmaid dresses my mom will pay for (she got a David's Bridal card) and I'll make payments to her. And with my tips from work I go out once a week and stock up on the things I want. We have a storage shed, and I'm packing things up tight (like the glass and candles, etc). If I find decorations at Michael's or Garden Ridge I like I put them in a special container under my bed. We've decided for a beeer and pizza reception, so the food won't be too expensive and we'll just have a good old time! I've also found the dollar stores to be extremely wonderful! I am going to check out some of these other sites too. Thanks ya'll and I will be checking back for more ideas!
Since my FH and I have been previously married we wanted a wedding that was very intimate and reflective of our personalities. We splurged on our rings purchasing signature platinum pieces. Our total budget is around $3000. This includes the wedding site, reception site, dress, tux and attendants attire. We rented a local indoor park for the ceremony at $75. an hour. That included flowers and decor; they did it all for me. The park has a waterfall and wish pond, so in leau of rice or bird seed we are giving each guest a penny on a card that says toss the penny and make a wish for our happiness. So for a total of $300 the ceremony is already done. The reception will be a cocktail party in the home garden of a relative complete with a waterfall and gold fish pond. We enlisted family friends to serve at the reception. We stocked up on after Christmas sales on lights and decorations. the bouquets will be hand picked out of my own garden. I grew the flowers I wanted. we cut out the normal attendants and have just put my daughter in as a ring bearer and FH niece as a flower girl. We have ordered a pound cake with raspberry and lemon filling. We are having it iced by the baker but the decorations will be hand made by my new MIL. I work for a soda company so I am having sodas, mixers and sparkling waters delivered to the reception site. We booked the photographer on a package deal. $500 for a couple of hours and we pick the pictures that we want. Because I saved so much money on the ceremony and reception we can spend extra on the dress and rings. So it can be done. Just have to take control and be creative.
I am doing a$5000. Wedding, and it is easy if you do some leg work. My Wedding will look like a $10.000 when i am done. Call everyone you know and ask question's, Find a Photographer from College or someone you know that takes great pictures, Cake can be from someone you know or by a Grocery store.much cheaper, Some Bridal Stores throw in 100 Invites if you purchace your Dress and the Bridesmaids,or go to Michael's or Walmart and get your own Invites and do them yourself, Flowers! same as Cake Grocery Store or someone you know Just make sure you shop. Hall's can be Cheap if not Free if you use there Caterer. If you have a Resost that is normally closed to the public but open in Fall or Winter it is usually cheap, or an Elk's Lodge, American Legion Post. or just a simple Hall that my require you to get the food and they provide the rest.Centerpieces for the table's can be made by you. Go to a craft store and look around. I am having a Winter Wedding with some Christmas deco's . I am thinking of doing Nutcrackers in the middle of Greens and berry's then 3 votives candle's on each side. made by me. Use you imagination. it can go along way. Good Luck to all.