Money savings tips?

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amvicev Posts : 7 Registered: 1/8/08
Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 4, 2009 9:08 PM

I'm going to do this on my own. With the help of some fabulous ladies on here and friends, I've decided that I don't want to have anyone help out because I don't want them to want something that I don't want, kwim? I was wondering what are some money saving tips on not only the ceremony but reception? We have the venue that not only does the ceremony but the reception, but they do not cater it, provide the cake, music, flowers, or photography. Do I really have to have a DJ? Aren't they expensive? What would be another solution? Flowers: I was told I could purchase flowers in bulk and arrange them myself, but the venue is 6.5hrs away, could it still be done? Photography?? I don't even know what to ask on that. Cake: how important is it to have it done by a professional wedding cake decorator?? Do I have to provide gifts to everyone that comes (favors I guess they're called). What about the WP, do they buy their own attire? Do I have to provide them with gifts? I just don't know what I can skip out on, and what I have to do. Any ideas would be great! Thanx

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simplebride2 Posts : 33 Registered: 4/17/09
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 4, 2009 9:22 PM Go to message in response to: amvicev

It's your wedding so it's totally up to you. It can be whatever you want. My FH and I are going very non-traditional and not doing anything the way it is "supposed" to be done. People will ask you "aren't you doing x,y or z?" Just be prepared to tell them it's not your style and your doing it a different way. That being said, you sounded like you actually wanted a fairly traditional wedding. Do whatever elements are important to you, skip whatever you really don't care about! If it's not important to you, who cares if it's important to anyone else; they have/had their own chance when they get/got married.

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deansbride Posts : 220 Registered: 3/24/08
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 4, 2009 9:53 PM Go to message in response to: amvicev

The biggest money saving tip I have is to have a Friday or Sunday wedding and milk it!! Tell all your vendors and plan way ahead. For example I planned most of my wedding last spring and summer and everytime I talked to a vendor I told them that I was having a Friday wedding and asked what kind of discounts can I get for that (I made sure I knew their "normal" prices before I went). That alone has saved me thousands ($400 print credit form photographer, $200 off the DJ price, $2,000 off the venue, etc.). Many also signed contracts at their current prices, which I am sure went up this year.

You do not need favors, if you want to give something do little chocolates or candies. You can get super cheap stuff after Valentines Day or Halloween. The other thing I saved on was invitations-I got cheap "seal 'n sends", but that was because I didn't care about a peice of paper people are just going to throw out. The other thing I am finding out is the that the more casual the wedding the more you will save too.

You should make a list of the top 3 most important things to you and the 3 least important things to you. The bottom three you can skimp or even cut out and the top three you can (hopefully) splurge a bit on.

Congrats and good luck!

"When you are in Love you can't fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams."

-Dr Seuss

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Toast Posts : 480 Registered: 9/10/08
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 4, 2009 10:06 PM Go to message in response to: simplebride2

Like the other poster said, it is your wedding, so you can do what you want and what will make you happy. As far as your questions go...

No, you dont really have to have a DJ, but it might be kind of boring without one. DJ's not only provide background music while you are eating, but announce things as your doing them. Like, the father daughter dance, or cutting the cake. So, they do earn their money. I dont know what rates are out there, but around here its about $800-1500 dor 5 hours. You could look into getting someone cheaper...check craigslist.com for people offering their services. Alot of people who used to be a dj, but are retired, will post on there and do a wedding every now and then. An alternative would be to set an ipod on shuffle, and just let it play!

Flowers: yes, you can purchase them in bulk and do them yourself. however, if you do this, go for simple. my friend just got married 2 weeks ago, and she just did simple bouquets of tulips. cheap, and easy to make. Even though your venue is that far away, im sure you will be there the day before. So, maybe look into a local florist that will let you place an order for what you want. my friend did that and paid $1 per stem. so, slightly over cost, and a lot cheaper than retail

Photography: again, look online at craigslist.com and see if you can find a local art student who is talented and can do it for cheap. maybe $500 will get you a full day of coverage, all the touched up digital prints on cds. You have the bargaining power of the student getting experience.

Cake: you definately dont need to have a professional cake made and decorated. you could just have a large sheet cake in the back that noone sees, and a small cake on display that you can cut. also, a lot of grocery stores are now making 3 tiered wedding cakes. or, an alternative could be cupcakes! that is something that you could do yourself, or just order them from your local grocery store! pie is another alternative too! you could order a dozen pies...at $12 per pie, thats less than $150!

You really should provide a gift for those in your wedding party. Its a nice gesture since they are standing up for you, helping you with planning and are spending the money on gifts, attire, hotel, etc.

Wedding party members are responsible for their own attire. girls will buy their dresses, guys will pay to rent their tuxes.

Favors are nice, but are not totally necassary. lots of people are starting to skimp on them, but its still nice to provide if you can. A candy bar is cool, and popular. Also, if you have a charity that is near and dear to you, you could always make a donation to the charity in the name of your guests. That way, you are donating to a good cause, and you can simply provide small cards on the tables that say "a donation to the ASPCA has been made in your honor". noone will ever know how much you donated, but they will still feel all warm and fuzzy inside like they helped a good cause.
:)

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 4, 2009 10:15 PM Go to message in response to: Toast

ArtBride I think and I know CaatStandish didn't/aren't having DJs - they used and IPOD on shuffle with their fave music. you might have to buy the hardware to hook it to the venue's sound system - but you may be able to rent it.

You could even set up a play list of songs - options are limitless.

K - those are my thoughts on Djs - nothing else yet. :-)

 

 

 

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 4, 2009 10:21 PM Go to message in response to: amvicev

Check out Craigs List - find a photographer, look for photography students, get a cake from WalMart or CostCo. heck get a small pretty cake for you both to cut for pics and have a sheet cake in the back. Who has to know?!?!

Keep in mind you have no guarantees in some respects, but you can have a wonderful wedding on a shoestring.

Forego favors - who really cares?? If you need favors have little labels made (DIY - do it yourself - OR order on eBay) for hershey kisses - leave a couple at each setting or have bags of 2-3 made up.

But you CAN forego favors.

EDIT Added: Do invites yourself - find kits ALL over. Get rid of the program - or if you need it, make it yourself.

Nala - posted a great wedding site where previous brides post things for sale - I'lll get her to repost.




Edited by: PharmToxGirl on Jun 4, 2009 10:22 PM

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Palmtree2 Posts : 9 Registered: 5/5/09
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 4, 2009 11:54 PM Go to message in response to: amvicev

As far as flowers, I recommend russwholesaleflowers.com to buy in bulk :)

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RACR Posts : 52 Registered: 3/18/08
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 5, 2009 10:51 AM Go to message in response to: Palmtree2

We saved on a ton of things - we are using a freelance photojournalist from our local paper as our photographer - he's fantastic and thousands less than a wedding photographer.

For centerpieces instead of spending a ton of money on flowers we bought pillar candles from The Christmas Tree Store ($75 for 35 of them!) and bought two dozen roses from our florist for $30 - they will be sprinkling the petals from the roses on all the tables.


As for the DJ - you could do the Ipod shuffle idea in pp and yes, you should be able to rent any equipment you don't have from a local audio/visual store for pretty cheap.


Another idea is to serve just wine and beer rather than shelling out for an open bar that could be very expensive.

skip the favors, no one will miss them.

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AmyElizabethM Posts : 1 Registered: 6/5/09
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 5, 2009 11:36 AM Go to message in response to: amvicev

I don't think you need to worry about favors for everyone. I just got some for the bridesmaids and groomsmen that double as wedding attire. I got the 5 bridesmaids pashminas (only 6.95 and good quality, I found them at http://www.beltoutlet.com/sabbscb.html). They will be able to wear them at the wedding b/c I got them in matching colors, and a nice pashmina is always great to have. The groomsmen were a bit more difficult, but I ended up getting them hats from the same website (they are fedoras http://www.beltoutlet.com/stvifewistbr.html), add some style and I know at least some will wear it elsewhere.

Hope this helps! I've found internet shopping for deals for weddings is one of the most convenient things ever.

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ChelsRae85 Posts : 371 Registered: 5/16/09
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 5, 2009 12:12 PM Go to message in response to: AmyElizabethM

I just wanted to elaborate on a few of these ideas (I gotta throw in my .02 LOL!)

Cake: Not only can you buy at a grocer's bakery, but a simple white cake could be relatively easy to make on your own, if you're feeling brave. My mother and I are making mine!

Music: If Dj's in your area are upwards of $500, it may be more economical to do the ipod thing, and it could even be cheaper in the long run to buy your own speakers for the ipod (if you figure speakers are a few hundred bucks and a DJ is $800-900ish). It depends on your area and the going rate.

Flowers/Centerpieces: The less flowers you use in your centerpieces, the cheaper they'll be. You can get mirrors, glass rocks, glass vases, candles, and the like at the local dollar store or WalMart and arrange them so they look classy. You can also pick up mismatched vases, candlesticks, and baskets at any thrift or antique store. Add in some beautiful colored sand from Michaels or JoAnn. You can really make lovely centerpieces with only minimal use of flowers. Tuck in some feathers, or fresh greenery from your backyard! Also, a lot of people don't like the use of fake flowers in weddings because they really cost about the same. However, if you can find some on sale, and use them in tall cylindrical vases submerged under water, it's going to be VERY hard to tell they're fake, and it looks sooooo pretty for minimal cost. Other people choose to decorate with fresh fruit, which is an option too.

Invites: These don't have to be nearly as extravagant as you might think: some elegant scrapbook papers, a paper cutter, and a printer are really all the ingredients you need. Extras like corner punches, ribbons, and brads are small details that can make a big statement. Remember, the bottom line is that these are just tools to deliver the information to your guests. They don't need to be $5-$8 each, and sometimes, less is more when it comes to how they look.

Catering: It's a lot of work, but it's possible to self-cater, depending on how much time and energy you have to put into it. For mine, we're buying basic ingredients for salad, fruit and vegetable trays, cheese trays, a dessert buffet, and fresh baked rolls and breads from our local baker. Then the morning of, we're picking up a few pans of fresh lasagna from a local italian eatery, which will be placed in warmers. My mother also suggested placing a few buckets of KFC grilled chicken in warmers. If they don't see the KFC buckets, how are they really going to know or care where it came from? Grilled chicken is grilled chicken. We're also creating all our hors d'ouvres the night before. Bottom line, we think we can create a relatively elegant and colorful buffet for between $500 and $800. Check around when asking for venues to make sure if you want to do this, you aren't required to use their catering services.

Dress & Attire: For you, check out the David's Bridal $99 sale, which seems to be perpetual in existence. Also, be on the lookout if you have a while for a nice secondhand dress, either on ebay or at a secondhand shop. They are out there, because not everyone keeps their gown hidden away in a closet after they're married. For the dudes, check and see how much it is to rent a tuxedo in your area. If it's too much, you can always go the route of having the groom and his gm buy coordinating dress shirts and trousers, which may or may not be cheaper depending on the cost of tuxes and where you live. For me, tuxedos are actually cheaper than buying, BUT they don't go with the look of our outdoorish, preppy spring wedding as much as khaki suits will, so that's what we're doing.

My Planning Blog

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SandyD Posts : 35 Registered: 2/14/08
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 5, 2009 2:55 PM Go to message in response to: ChelsRae85

I am a little bit confused with the whole post. I read the other thread about asking your families with the cost of the wedding, and things seem a bit confusing to me. You and your fiance already have two kids, living together, struggling like all americans, and you want to spend $10,000 or so on a wedding?? I am with your future inlaws and suggest you go to the courthouse. Maybe your future inlaws don't really seem like they care about a wedding because they think your priorites about getting married are totally out of order.

You two love each other, you have children. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting married at the JOP. It can be as special as you want it to be. Invite friends & family to witness the ceremony, and have a BBQ afterwards. That saves a lot of money right there. My husband and I got married at the courthouse, it was special for us. We have been married for 15 years, wich is a LOT longer than most people. We were planning a anniversary party this year to celebrate, however it had to be cancelled.

Save the 10K for your children's college fund. Your children should be your #1 priority, not worrying about how to save money on a wedding, when you can start a wonderful marriage for $50.00.

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ChelsRae85 Posts : 371 Registered: 5/16/09
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 5, 2009 3:03 PM Go to message in response to: SandyD

Sandy, I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I very respectfully disagree. A wedding is the ONE day in a woman's life when she gets to dress up and be the star. I think that, more than anyone, the mother of two children deserves to have a special day just for her and her man. I do think $10,000 is still a little steep for a budget wedding, and I certainly don't fault couples who DO choose to go to the JOP, but neither do I fault a woman for wanting to have a memorable wedding day.

And it can be done for far less than $10,000.
My Planning Blog

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SandyD Posts : 35 Registered: 2/14/08
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 5, 2009 3:19 PM Go to message in response to: ChelsRae85

I am not trying to argue either....I hate conflict!!! But you actually think that a mother of two, especially so young, who is already financially struggling should REALLY spend that kind of money on a party, just so she can "dress up and be the star" instead of being a responsible parent and put that money back for a rainy day.....or to the kids college funds.....or medical expenses for the kids..etc?

There is absolutely no reason why she cannot dress up and be the star at the courthouse. People do it all the time. In my personal opinion, the fact that they are entertaining the idea of spending so much on a party is very irresponsible for parents who are already struggling to take care of their children financially. When you become a parent, you needs and wants are gone.

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ChelsRae85 Posts : 371 Registered: 5/16/09
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 5, 2009 3:29 PM Go to message in response to: SandyD

I totally see your point, which is why I said I think $10,000 is really a little steep.

I have seen fabulous weddings done for $1000-$2000, which is still a lot of money but I seriously doubt that spending that means the kids won't go to college. I mean, really all you need at a wedding and have it not done at the courthouse, is a dress, a groom, and an officiant.


My Planning Blog

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SandyD Posts : 35 Registered: 2/14/08
Re: Money savings tips?
Posted: Jun 5, 2009 3:40 PM Go to message in response to: ChelsRae85

Very True!!! I think sometimes people forget that the actual "wedding" really doesn't matter....unless you are only doing it for the attention and gifts.....it is the marriage that is the most important thing! A wedding day is just that...a day. Who cares if it is at a courthouse, a church, a port-a-potty, or whatever. It is the marriage!! If you can't afford the party....don't have it! Concentrate on the marriage!

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