If you're in a big enough city, use Groupon and Living Social. We've nabbed wedding day transportation (a party bus!), all our thank you cards, a photobooth for the reception, customized guest sign-in books and a number of other things for AT LEAST 50% off. In the case of the thank-you cards, we spent $10 for all the thank yous we think we'll need for 200 guests. We've saved hundreds, and with our budget being so tight, w/out the deals we found, we never would have been able to afford it.
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We're having the ceremony and reception at the same venue. Keeping it small (40-50) and it will be in November. It's a second wedding for each of us, so we are keeping it relatively low key and saving $ where we can.
Using a venue that includes tables, chairs, chair pads or covers, linens and dishes. Also if the venue includes set up and tear down in their price. After all a bride wouldn't want her friends and family members to do this.
I think something to splurge on is the food and the decor. That is what everyone will remember. And splurge on the photographer. That way you will remember the big day that often goes by in a blur.
Shopping around is definitely key!! For decorations, recycledbride.com, ebay or craigslist are great since lots of brides will buy 100 votive candle holders and then what do you do with that many, but sell them to another bride. Also, decide when you first start planning what your priorities are. My fiance and I wanted great food & an awesome photographer, so we were willing to skimp in other areas to make it work. Another tip not mentioned is cake! Getting a small round cake for you to cut & then doing sheet cakes for everyone else saves A Ton! of money. We're getting cake to serve 300 for $50 less than it would have cost us to get a 3 tiered cake that only serves 100!!
My husband and I own a company in Southern California that offers wedding services, DJ, Photo and Video and I compiled a list of things to help brides and grooms save money.
Money Saving Tips
Date: You will save so much money if you get married during the off-season months of January, February and March. Also try a day other than Saturday.
Guestlist: You donít have to get married in front of everyone you know. Keeping the guest list small saves money on catering, gifts, invitations, and can reduce the size of the venue. Additionally, having fewer bridesmaids and groomsmen will save money too.
Venue: Your reception location is your largest cost, so try to get a deal. Never book with a venue that wonít negotiate unless it meets your budget. If your venue is a popular location, you may not get that deal!
A lovely backyard wedding is great with everyone bringing some food as part of their gift. This is wonderful for smaller weddings and creates an intimate romantic setting. You can also purchase your own alcohol and drinks to be served by a professional bartender for legality. You can save thousands! Make sure to have a back-up plan for rain.
Dress: Make sure you shop around. When you find the perfect dress, look online to see if you can find it cheaper. Thrift stores have gorgeous dresses at a fraction of the cost. You can also rent!
Flowers:When decorating the church or reception venue use silk flowers and reuse flowers from church at reception. Some lower cost flower options; Chrysanthemums, Daisies, Carnations, Gladiolus, Button Mums. Check with your florist or garden centre to see if you can rent plants, some places do.
Decorations: Try using your guest favors as your centerpieces. Buy a raised cake plate and display the favors on each table. Your MC can make an announcement explaining. Before shopping for candles, candle holders and other decorations be sure to check out dollar stores, thrift stores, Ebay, Craigslist, yard sales or chains like Wal-Mart.
Invitations:To make your invitations more personal and less expensive, do them yourself. There are paper stores and websites where you can find new ideas and ways to make your own invitations. Order your invitations over the Internet instead of a printing. Order a plain invitation from a company and decorate it yourself. All you need is a hole-puncher and some ribbon and/or parchment paper.
Alcohol: If you donít serve alcohol, you will save bucks! If you do serve it, do a cash bar where your guests pay for their own liquor. If you really want some alcohol, try providing a bottle of red and white wine for each table. You can even bottle your own wine and use fun personalized labels. Another suggestion would be to provide 2 drink tickets maximum per person. This saves costs and now you are not responsible for out of control drinking.
Lastly, many people think they can save money by recruiting family members or friends to perform wedding day services. Unfortunately, your friend has to spend your wedding working, and canít enjoy your day. And keep in mind, they are amateurs, imagine winding up with a terrible, shaky wedding video, dark, underexposed photographs, bad entertainment or inedible food. Not only can this ruin the memory of your day, but it can wreck your friendship or cause a family feud. It is always best to leave professional work to professionals.
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