We found this very good blog post from a couple of years ago – and like all good advice – it still stands the test of time.
f you are planning a wedding, maybe some of these costs-saving ideas will work for you. It will be the wedding of your dreams, but it won’t make as large a dent in your bank account.
These smart ideas came from a soon-to-be-bride and reader named Kelly.
Off days: We are having our wedding on a Sunday instead of Saturday. This saved us 50% off the rental fee and we got a catering discount. Even though it is planned for Labor Day weekend, we got a tremendous deal. If you plan a wedding in the months of November through April, you will also find many deals. Or, consider a Friday night wedding.
Flowers: I found a florist who works out of her home, so she has no overhead costs. She matches any price you find anywhere else and I think her work is better than the expensive floral shops.
Photographer: With a little searching, we found a photographer who has been in the business for 17 years, but only in Milwaukee, WI for two years. She is offering her services for less to help build her client base in the new city. She also includes all of the files in her price. This is extremely important and represents a major value for me. Most photographers charge extra for photos on a disc.
Cake: I didn’t get a chance to do this due to the timing of our wedding, but I found out that you can go to an area technical college where they offer cake baking and decorating classes. The class would make the cake for you at a fraction of the cost. Instead, I found a baker who creates the cake at her home with the help of her husband. This saves money! She offers free delivery and is providing the stand at no charge.
Bridesmaid dresses: I found a dress I really liked, then called three other stores for price quotes. I used these quotes to convince my bridal shop to match the lowest price. Plus, they waived the shipping charge because I found it for less somewhere else. Most stores will quote you a price, although some are more strict than others. (When it comes to the wedding dress, this might prove to be more challenging.)
Flower girl dress: My mother found a shop that had two of the same sample dress and allowed us to buy the extra sample instead of ordering one at full price. I also heard that I could rent the dress from an online retailer. I wanted something specific in the style, so I didn’t do this even though some of the sites have lots of cute dresses.
Use Internet Resources
I wanted a flower in my hair but I didn’t want one that would wilt. I did some research online and found a great website, www.etsy.com, where people buy and sell homemade goods. On the site, I discovered Kat in Hawaii who makes clay flowers by hand that look amazingly real. Her company is Petal By Petal’s and instead of buying real flowers that would wilt, I am having her design clay flowers for my bridesmaid and me. They are the flowers and colors I wanted for a fraction of the price. They will also serve as keepsake gifts.
I researched everything, not just the popular brides’ sites. I found local sites, too. If you aren’t too picky, you can order almost anything online. Be careful, though. Some are authorized and others are just copies. You need the facts and to find a reputable company before ordering online.
WHN TIP: Do a search and enter the word “scam” with the name of the company. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) and the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov) to see if there is anything information about the company on their sites.
Thanks for the great advice, Kelly!
The next ideas came to WHN from Michele Acklin whose daughter, Sheri, is getting married on May 2, 20009.
Instead of a unity candle, the couple is pouring colored sand together to make a keepsake. The two colors will create a design that is unique and beautiful.
At the reception, there will be black cloth squares and fabric markers on each table. People can write comments about the couple. This might be trivia, good luck wishes or a special memory of the bride, groom or both. I am having them sewn into a memory quilt with wedding and other photos on some squares. This will be a gift for their first anniversary.
To save on decorations for an outdoor or evening wedding reception, you can light multi-colored tapers and place them in buckets of sand. (Of course, this won’t work outdoors if it is windy.) These are most likely available at your local dollar store if you don’t already have some at home. They don’t all have to be the same length.
Also for the reception, I am cutting tree branches, painting them white, wrapping them with tulle and placing them in buckets with white rocks. (You can collect the rocks and paint them when you are working on the branches.) These will be used to create an aisle in the reception hall after each is decorated with battery-operated strings of lights. More buckets of branches will be spread around the reception hall.
If you have ideas you would like to share with other brides, please email me at Susan (at) WhatHappensNow.com