To Moms Who Have Had a Wedding...

Updated on June 05, 2010
L.P. asks from Uniontown, PA
38 answers

I am recently engaged, and now thinking about having a wedding. We cannot afford anything extravagant (big surprise there, huh?) and are looking for creative ways to have something special, without spending a ton of money.

So, for those of you out there who have had a wedding, I ask the following:

**What did you LOVE about your wedding?

**What part of your wedding extravagance/expense, in retropsect, would you do over in a heartbeat, regardless of the expense?

**What extravagance/expense, in retrospect, do you wish you had limited or eliminated altogether?

**What corners did you cut to save money?

**How did you pay for everything?

We welcome any creative ideas for having a budget, yet classy and enjoyable wedding!!

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

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So What Happened?

OMGoodness - I am getting SO MUCH GOOD INFO!!! I was feeling (as I'm sure most future brides do) like I didn't really even know where to start with all this. But you all have given me some really good suggestions. It seems the concensus is to go with a good photographer, and that's CRUCIAL to me because I am a photography buff, so I know I'd be totally pi$$ed with crappy wedding day photos! And I have also realized some things that aren't so important to me, having read through this. I am kind of crafty, and have helped friends with decorations for showers, weddings, etc., so I know I'll do a lot of things like centerpieces, favors, and invites myself. So as many of you noted, I can save some there. Thank you all for sharing your experience with me! I am actually starting to look forward to getting started planning now!!!

More Answers



answers from Harrisburg on

Congratulations!!! I actually just planned a wedding last are a couple of my suggestions:

1. Get married on a weekday. Most places will offer a discount if you book them on a weekday. My sister got married last year on a Friday and her venue was almost half the cost.

2. DON'T spend a lot of money on the cake. No one will remember what the cake looked like, (unless its extravagant) or tastes like! And if your guests are really having fun...they wont even remember seeing you cut it!

3. DON'T cut corners on the photography!!! Those pictures will be your only memories. Make sure you hire a quality photographer and don't trust a friend unless that friend is a professional and they are approaching your wedding as a job. Also, consider if you really need a videographer...Are you REALLY going to watch the video??

4. FLOWERS: Some would disagree...but my sister used silk flowers in her wedding and they were beautiful!! No one but the wedding party knew they weren't real. I had soo much fun putting together the bouquets and boutineers that I am considering starting a new business..

5. ALCOHOL: DON'T feel obligated to offer top shelf...people are going to drink what ever you provide...TRUST ME! Even if its just a bottle of red a bottle of white and one beer!

6. I know a great place in NY that will custom make wedding gowns cheap cheap cheap!!! Message me it you want the info.. but my sister got a custom gown made only to fit her for $700!!!! It was gorgeous and looked like she spent $7000!

7. DO make sure the food is great!! This is what people most look forward to and will remember. Trust me, some one will remember if their steak was too cold...or if it was amazing!

8. You can save a lot of money making your own invites. I made my sister's for less than $100.

I always say that your guests will remember the food they ate and how much fun they make sure your dj is fun and really know how to get the party started. The cake, the decor, flowers, dress...thats all for you. No one else really cares about those me. Don't get caught up in all the wedding hoopla. Have fun planning and let me know if you need any help!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

I loved the fact that the girls in my line wore $20 dresses that they reuse over and over again! I bought black summer dresses... they were cute plus I wasnt going to pay big bucks for dresses they would wear ONCE, forget that! LOL Also we wore flip flops, it was an August wedding so it was hot, there fore all the dresses were string straps and summer ones, making them a whole heck of a lot cheaper! I dont know what I would do over again.... it was all lots of fun! I would for surely take more pictures though! Cutting corners.... I made my own flower bouquets for me and my girls, saving me a TON of money! I went to a local craft store and signed up to get their coupons, I bought the expensive things with the coupon! I also made my own invites... so much fun and cheaper if you find a local paper store, so you can get the paper for cheaper and then print them at home! :) For my flower girls I made these cute little flower bracelets... out of one daisy flower (daisies and tulips were my flowers) and I safety pinned them to a thick ribbon and added some velcro to hold them together, they were super cute! I also made my own goodies, cookies and such... for guests to snack on and I made a yummy juice out of sprite and sherbet... it turned out pretty good! I also found a photographer that was just getting started in the business and needed some way to advertise... we signed a paper saying that they would do our engagements and bridal pics for free if they could advertise our pics, they also gave us half off the regular price on our wedding day pics... however, our wedding day pics were better from our friends and family. We slowly paid for things over time... Every pay day I would go to the craft store and see what I could afford and I would also research on the web some ideas on how I could be more crafty with my wedding so that I could save money... Im not a crafty person either so I did pretty good for not being crafty! LOL The only things that we did not end up paying for cause my parents and my in laws paid for them were the place we got married at, which was about $1300 for all day... and then the food $600 which I was very upset with anyways... If you are short on money I would write down a list of everything you want for your wedding in the order from most important to least important and buy them in order of priority to you! Oh and also, my dress.... My dress cost ME only $300 it was brand new, never been worn, the woman that bought it ended up not getting married and then when she did (to another man) she was getting hitched in the temple where she couldnt wear the strapless dress... so she posted it on a classified ad online and I found it... the dress cost her $2000 but she just wanted the money for her dress rental so she could get married in the temple! We had 1 yr to plan our wedding and I think that is another reason why we saved so much money... we had time to research everything and prepare! Also go to lots of bridal shows... they have free give aways... I never got anything but hey, maybe you will have better luck! Good luck... and congrats! Hope everything goes well..... if you want more tips or anything message me.... I have tons more ideas that you could maybe use! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lake Charles on

I just got remarried about 2 months ago. We had a ball!

I bought my dress at Jcpenney for $5!! Yes!!! $5!!

I borrowed my moms pearl jewelry.

We only had 2 attendents each, and kept the colors simple with red and black. So my girls wore little black dresses they already had.

We made our bouquets for CHEAP from hobby lobby.

A friend of mine made our wedding cake for cheap, because we actually used a Birthday style cake instead of all the tiers.

The lady that did my hair, also took our pictures with her nice camera and for $100 she took 972 pictures!! AWESOME!!

We did our wedding outside at my mom's best friends house. And all my mom's friends cooked the food for the reception also held there. I went to Sam's and bought most of the food and then they cooked and served. We had brisket, shrimp casserole, green bean casserole, corn, rolls, tea, and punch.

My husbands grandmother made his groom's cake... as he wanted banana pudding! Everyone loved it...instead of boring old cake.

We bought the guys bear mugs from Wal-mart to toast with and the girls wine glasses from the dollar tree.

We made our own center pieces ... clear vases with crystal pebbles inside with water and real flowers that came from a local flower shop...looking to get rid of them. then we put tea light candles around them. With white table clothes on the tables.

Our sign in book I made from snapfish (photobook) with our engagement pictures. And everyone chose which page they liked the best and wrote us a little message on it with a marker. Loved the idea!

As wedding favors...we had a candy table and did all kinds of red and black candy and had treat bags. The guest loved that because they could either eat it now or take it home. We address labels with our names and date to put on the bags.

We made or invitations. Go to Michaels or habby Lobby or even Walmart. We paid $17 for our invitations!

We had one keg...and then I bought 2 kinds of wine. The wine we didn't use...we brought back. By in bulk it is cheaper.

My mom's friends decorated and we had a meeting to see what everyone had that we could put together! We didn't rent anything or buy anything.

My brother sang at my wedding. He is a country music singer. And him and my cousin did the music. Downloaded music from his laptop hooked up to speakers.

We only spent maybe $1000 and that included gifts for the attendants and the ladies that did all the decoratons and cooked. The bride and groom outfits. Paying for the Justice of the peace. Etc.

It was more of a party atmosphere than a wedding and reception. We kept is casual and simple...good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I've never dreamed of the big white wedding, so I wanted mine to focus on us choosing to spend the rest of our lives together, not the extravagance.

1. What did I love?
- That we didn't get sucked into pomp and circumstance - it just wasn't us
- We didn't let anyone make choices for us - completely how we wanted it.
- Wedding/reception in one place
- Great food

2. What would I do over?
- My dress - I didn't want a traditional wedding dress, and I liked that mine wasn't, but I wish I'd seen the J Crew catalog earlier and gotten one there for $300 instead of the one I selected (I loved that it was red, though)
- I would have taken charge of the music. We used my husband's iPod and speakers, but he didn't do a good job of loading songs

3. What would I eliminate or limit?
- the number of people we invited. We had ~90 people there, and I didn't get to spend enough time with any of them. We felt obligated to invite distant family. I'd limit it to less than 50 people

4. How did we save money?
- We made our own invitations
- Got center pieces at Sam's Club/orchard
- Did family-style meals instead of individually plated
- Wedding/reception at one location
- Rehearsal dinner at our house the night before (BBQ)
- Had my uncle officiate
- My husband wore a nice suit, I wore a bridesmaid dress
- No bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, etc.

5. How did we pay?
- We saved and paid cash. Our wedding wasn't inexpensive. But, it was what we wanted. We could have saved $1000 in food costs just by knowing that 10 people were going to RSVP and then not show

6. Ideas?
- Do what you want, not what other people think your wedding should be
- Keep it small and intimate - a lot of people we know are having a few close family/friends at their wedding and throwing a BBQ a few weeks later as a reception
- One former colleague had ham sandwiches and chips in a barn for his wedding, and loved it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Well when I got married daddy paid for it.
We saved on the DJ. I didn't want a band, just some good music. We hired a friend of a friend. He did a great job.
I got my dress from Filenes' Basement in Chicago. It was $99. I had a seamstress fix it a little. Total cost under $200.
I would change what my girls wore. I would let them choose a nice black cocktail dress, then it could be used again.
Pick your favorite song for the church ceremony. We ended up with the 12th of Never. I don't even know the words to it. I really wanted Annie's Song or Can't Help Faling in Love.
We had a catered buffet instead of the sit down fare. It was wonderful and half the price.
We did wine and chapaign and beer but cash bar.
My SIL had my hubby's uncle do the ceremony, he's a pastor. THey did theirs in a park.
My cousins picked flowers from friend's gardens for the centerpieces.
I had a tent in the backyard with little white lights.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

We were on a budget and had a friend do the pictures. I am so disappointed with them and wished we would have spent more and got some professionally done.

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Philadelphia on

Looking back I would have doen things differently. I know a few people who have had pot luck weddings in the backyard and have had a wonderful time. Everyone who is coming brings a dish! This saves lots of money. Also for an officiant, I know people who have become certified officiants via the web, so one of your friends or family members can marry you and here this is lovely. I always say the most important part of the party is the music so if you are going to spend your money somewhere do it on a band or really good dj. Lots of luck and congrats!

Also I think that since you are cutting costs, you are not interested but I am a calligrapher. You can check out my site:

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

I am actually planning for my wedding in September, however mine is just a renewal ceremony as we went to the courthouse just the two of us the first time.

That said, we are keeping costs way low. I have given myself a $2000 budget. We rented a remodeled barn that everyone uses for weddings unfortunately (I live in a small town of about 3000 so there arent many options for something different) but it is very convenient with two stories to have the entire thing in one place for $150. I found my perfect dress but ended up spending more than I wanted to on it, but its gorgeous and I would spend the money on it again in a heartbeat!! I have found my awesome and unique centerpieces that are giant margarita glasses filled with gems and flowers out the top and made them myself for under 100 bucks. There are some great silk flowers around nowadays that look just like real flowers.

Luckily I also have some great friends that are helping out with other things like pictures, I have a friend going to school for photography and she is going to take pictures at my wedding and reception. I have another friend who is doing my bridals and I hired a photographer to do our announcement pictures because we are going to use the session as a family picture day as well with our 15 month old little girl and I wanted them a little more professional to display in our home. My hubby's friend from work has a cover band and they sound great and play some awesome songs so they are going to play at the wedding, but if they hadn't I was planning on making a CD of songs to play. For dinner, we are spending a little more and are making hamburgers and hotdogs but are having family cook them up BBQ style, which suits us well! I am also making my own invitations which will save us a ton of money as well.

I would suggest taking advantage of your friends and family that could help out with pictures or cooking etc. They are more than willing to help if you just ask them. :) It could also be their gift to you if they wanted.

Good luck planning and congrats!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from York on

First, congrats on your engagement!

I loved having my wedding outside. We had the ceremony at a State Park so there was no cost. We just had to let the park ranger know ahead of time. I did pay to reserve the pavilion near the area I wanted to avoid anyone using it that afternoon.

I spent a lot of money to do a mass butterfly release in memory of our grandparents who had passed away. It was more extravagant than the rest of my costs but it meant a lot to me and my husband.

I wish I had limited what I spent on flowers for centerpieces at the reception.

I made my own invitations and programs. My friend made the cupcakes for my cupcake tree. A cupcake tree prevented me from having to pay the $1 per piece cake cutting fee. We didn't rent a limo like many couples do. We used my dad's Jeep Wrangler which is a beautiful royal blue and well taken care made awesome pics! I also fell in love with a wedding gown that was discontinued. Luckily the rack size fit me perfectly so by buying that one I saved A LOT of money.

We had an engagement that lasted 2 years so we continually put money aside to pay for everything. I am proud to say we were able to pay almost the entire wedding and reception with cash.

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answers from New York on

Hi L.,
I married in January in New Jersey!! :) But the weather was great! it was early in the morning and the reception following it. We did it at a small restautant that had a small hall in the basement, with about 100 people. The food was awesome, still 13yrs later we still talk about "the food and the cake!!!" I cut my expences with the favors by doing them myself; I wanted to give something that people could use or eat rather than throwing out a month after the wedding; so I had little boxes full of chocolate candy, and for the tables I did a slim pretty vase with a rose, of course you can change the flower and still make it simple and elegant. I cut the cost with the restaurant by not having alcohol, there was a bar and people bought their own. Since I don't drink and neither does my husband, we didn't think anything of it.
We had a friend photographer from our church do our pictures. :)
I safe in the invitations, by ordering by mail rather than going to a specific place. My flower arrangements were very simple and inexpensive.
You can also safe if you have it at home, granted that you have a big house :)
The only thing I was willing to compromise to spend more money on was my wedding cake, I didn't want a cake that looked good and tasted horrible like the ones I've had in the past at friend's and family's weddings. The good thing was that a friend made it for me and all I had to do was get the ingredients. It was delicious!!! Some people were chocked when they found out that it was a carrot cake, instead of your typical wedding cake (and that was because it is my husband's favorite cake) but once they tasted it, they went for seconds!!! I pretty much did everything the way I wanted, so I figure he could at least have the cake!!! :) lol
I would love to do it again, and when and if I do it again, I think this time I'll like to do it at a beach !!! :)

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answers from Minneapolis on

A few more ideas ")

I loved my wedding. Here were my money savers:

1. A friend made my cake for $80 (cost of materials). I loved it and thought it was beautiful, even though it wasn't a fancy pants cake.

2. Buy your gown off the rack... I found one for $300 that was "last years" design and needed only a few alterations. Saved me a TON.

3. Skip the favors (or make something simple). I molded chocolates and scattered them on the tables. It took time, but to me it was a nice touch. But, I know I could have skipped it without anyone caring.

4. Invites - make your own (a friend designed mine for me as a shower gift)... she also did my makeup!

Something I am glad we spent money on was the honeymoon. We spent 3 weeks in Spain and it was amazing (still budget travel - but that's how we roll). We had a family right away after marriage and probably won't be able to travel like that again for many years. I'm glad we did it when we could.


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answers from York on

You can definitely cut costs by doing the invites and wedding programs yourself. I'm only semi-crafty and my hand-made programs were a big hit. I just used off white paper and printed them so they would fold in half. I found gorgeous paper (almost fabric-like) on sale to use as a cover and tied it with a bit of ribbon. You can do your own center pieces for super cheap by using votives and petals, but skipping real flowers at the tables. Same thing with favors; there are tons of little crafty things you can do online. You don't have to buy wedding favor kits, especially since it's cheaper to buy the tulle and cut it yourself! I went to the Flower and Craft Wearhouse in Blueball, PA for my supplies- a hike but worth it. I think they have a website.
We were able to bring the booze to our wedding which saved money. We had a small selection of wines from local wineries (my Dad helped me wheel and deal with them!) and a few basic beers. We also did a cupcake cake which was cheaper and more appreciated by our guests. They were moist and delicious, no cupcakes abandoned on tables and forgotten, not even a single one left for us to freeze for our first year anniversary!
The best thing I did at my wedding was personalize it for my guests. We had pictures from our parents' and grandparents' weddings at our families' tables, pictures from childhood costume parties etc. at our friends' tables. It sounds hokey to write it, but we did it in a classy way. People have a good time at weddings if they are socializing, and we found that adding those touches to the tables got people talking to one another.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

My husband & I flew to Vegas and got married (planned ahead--hubby planned all arrangements) at the Flamingo Hilton Chapel. We had a (very) few friends meet us there and it was great! It can be as simple or as lavish as you like. Don't skimp on photos though--we bought all the proofs and ALL of the negatives since I had access to a lab at that time, so I printed our own.
When we came back we had a small reception for family and close friends. Wouldn't change a thing!

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answers from Harrisburg on

**What did you LOVE about your wedding?
I loved that it was in my most favorite part of the world (where I'm from - the pacific northwest) on a very beautiful day in a rustic church and that all my nieces and nephews played a part.

**What part of your wedding extravagance/expense, in retropsect, would you do over in a heartbeat, regardless of the expense?
One thing that I actually regret not spending more money on is a photographer. I wasn't all that happy with the photos in the end and this is how you remember the day! I wouldn't skimp on hairstylist or flowers either.

**What extravagance/expense, in retrospect, do you wish you had limited or eliminated altogether?
Seriously, the food really didn't matter all the much. People don't come to a wedding for the food and only about half the people had a piece of cake so I wouldn't get too caught up in those details.

**What corners did you cut to save money?
Had people help with things like making the favors for us. Also, we went with a local red wine and a local white wine which weren't that expensive.

**How did you pay for everything?
My parents gave us a chunk of money (which wasn't a huge amount) and we paid for the rest

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answers from Pittsburgh on

What did you LOVE about your wedding?

We loved that it was small with only our closest friends and that we planed it with several events. We spent the whole weekend with friends. They were all invited to join us after the rehearsal dinner for late night cocktails. It was an afternoon wedding and that evening we did a walking ghost tour in the historic town. Then we told everyone where we would be for brunch the next day. It gave us a chance to really enjoy each of our guests on a personal level.

**What part of your wedding extravagance/expense, in retrospect, would you do over in a heartbeat, regardless of the expense?

The food and the setting. We were married outside at a B&B and the way they transformed the place during our cocktail hour from wedding the reception was fun for all.

**What extravagance/expense, in retrospect, do you wish you had limited or eliminated altogether?


**What corners did you cut to save money? .

We cut all the corners we could and stayed on a budget. I didn’t have any flower (the wedding was outside and it was beautiful enough. I made all the decorations and centerpieces and those were the favors for people to take. We didn’t do the “bouquet” toss or the “garter” toss but we did a fun history of US game and gave out candles. Our guests still talk about that.

I also had my gown made rather than buying it off the rack. That saved me several hundred dollars.

**How did you pay for everything?

While we were planning the wedding we just made sure to cut corners in daily life to help save extra for the big day. We managed to cover all of our expenses and not ouch our savings.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any more questions or want more details.
Congrats and best wishes!!!!

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answers from Philadelphia on

I completely understand your dilemma. I did a ton of things myself since I had 'expensive taste' and not an expensive budget.

Here are my suggestions-
1. splurge on photography- The pictures are the only things that last forever... (besides the marriage) :) Find someone that will sell you an image CD so you can print wherever you want. My day was totally stressful, but the pictures tell a different story.
2. You can make your own bouquets by ordering cheap arrangements from (just allow enough time for shipping). I simply divided up the arrangement into a few bouquets and tied them with pretty ribbon. I did have a florist do corsages and bouttenniers though...
3. Collect those 50% off coupons for Michael's, A.C. Moore, Joann fabrics, etc... get things little by little there.......... (You can do your own invitations......get decor...............candy...........favors, etc................) Each week I would buy floral wrap, favor bags.......candy......decor....etc...
4. You can always have your wedding at a restaurant......that saves money on having to bring in a caterer...........have a liquor license, etc... If I had it to do all over again I would have had mine at Bucca di Beppo or some other restaurant........
5. Some places charge a cake-cutting fee even if you bring your own cake. Cupcakes are totally cute and don't have to be cut.
6. Make-up- Make an appointment at Clinique or a make-up counter. They'll do a trial run and bridal make-up usually for free. You just have to buy 1-2 items.............
7. David's Bridal has very affordable wedding gowns.
8. Instead of choosing a uniform bridesmaid dress, you can just have everyone get a long black shoes.......or- choose a color......Or- my friend had us get dresses from Macy's or Sears instead of a bridal shop. (50 dollars per dress instead of over 200)

If you add the word wedding to anything, the price doubles or triples..... Cake= cheap
wedding cake= expensive
You may be able to be creative about getting better deals on things if they're not specific to weddings.

Honestly if I had it to do all over again I would have done something simpler and cheaper. (even eloped........and had a party afterwards) LOL! Everybody wants a piece of your day............then there's not a lot left for you. We had a dessert table........I never got to see it.......... etc........

Congratulations & Good luck!
M. ;)

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answers from Dallas on

One peice of advice-- get a good photographer. We did cut corners with our wedding except for the photography and didn't regret it at all. Good luck and congrats!

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answers from Miami on

You have a ton of responses here, but here is my two cents!

LOVED about my wedding... the actual ceremony. We were married in the Catholic church that we attended together and it was truly the only part of the day entirely about us- we picked the readings, the music, the prayers and it was beautiful!

DO OVER without question... the photography. At the end of the day, all you really have are the memories and the pictures!

ELIMINATE... definitely the favors. No one really cares about them. In fact, my sister got married a year after we did and she didn't do them- no one missed them and it saved almost $1000!

CORNERS... you don't have to have a fancy wedding for peole to enjoy themselves. We had a big fancy wedding, but we did our rehearsal dinner as a catered BBQ (complete with white tent and rentals) in our backyard with beer/wine/soda for about 70 people and it cost us about $3500 total (including invites and paper goods). People had a blast and we really loved having the party at our home.

**My niece fell in love with a bridesmaid dress that she ordered in off-white when she got married. It was beautiful and under $200!

PAYMENT... I would do as much in cash as you can! It may limit what you can do, but you won't have to worry about it after the day is over. Seriously, you could do a really nice party for well under $5000. If you start putting cash away regularly, you will be fine.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Our wedding/reception had 151 guests and we pulled it all off for just under $7K.

**What did you LOVE about your wedding?
- The location: someone we barely knew, 'sponsored' us at a 150yo country club. Just gorgeous! Also loved all the personal touches that barely cost a thing.

**What part of your wedding extravagance/expense, in retropsect, would you do over in a heartbeat, regardless of the expense?
- DJ is definitely worth the expense. Altho, he didn't follow all of our requests, and didn't trust our judgement of our guests (we told him they were dance-aholics and he didn't believe us until after he saw it).

**What extravagance/expense, in retrospect, do you wish you had limited or eliminated altogether?
- can't think of anything - we'd decided ahead of time to skip things we'd seen at other weddings (money dance, garter toss, bouquet toss)

**What corners did you cut to save money?
- using the country club was so affordable, since they only charged us for what we consumed and there were no rental fees for anything
- daytime wedding (ceremony at 12, reception 1230-530), allowing for lighter foods, beer/wine only, more simple attire for wedding party, more simple flowers
- same location for wedding/reception, saving time and money, allowing for us to greet each guest in a reception line
- a friend who does photography as a passion (but not her career) took the pictures and they were awesome; relatives took video
- we extended the savings onto the wedding party; the bridesmaids picked whatever dress they wanted in the same color; the groomsmen wore slacks/shirt/vests/shoes (no jacket, no special pants) from the tux shop; spent $500 on flowers by having random flowers for my bouquet, greens only for the bridesmaids baskets (which were 4/$1 at the dollar store), greens for the groomsmen, boutteniers (SP?) only for groom and father of the groom (my father passed), wrist corsages for mothers of groom/bride, using my favorite flower (but also expensive) by doing 1 inside a basket of greens (same baskets from dollar store) for each table.
- pizza/chicken fingers/french fries for the kids at $4/each.
- appetizer food along with various food stations
- flower girl got her dress at Easter time, on clearance and she used dried flowers (from all the flowers my fiance had gotten me over the years), saving on flower cost
- I got fabric on sale at Joann Fabric and had a seamstress make my dress, cost was less than $250 (including undergarment)
- got my shoes during prom clearance (they're still my fave shoes :))
- wanted to use a certain favor, because it helped tell the story of the proposal, so I emailed the company who made the product and they sent me cases of the stuff at no cost
- cupcakes instead of wedding cake, saved on time and money, was a big hit and made it for guests to take home
- bought the most simple invitations and didn't get the extra envelopes/tissue/etc, saving on postage as well as cost; I could have printed them myself, but learned from a previous event that the jams/smudges/etc were too much of a headache

**How did you pay for everything?
- the club charged us $1,000 to hold the date, then billed us for the entire thing 30 days after the wedding; we had plenty of time to save and paid cash.

I know I'm forgetting other money saving ideas, but I'm sure you'll get a ton of replies. CONGRATS AND GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

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answers from Philadelphia on


We had a small-ish wedding (90 ppl) and stayed within our budget. We had a rule that we would only invite our closest family and for friends, they had to be people we BOTH had met. If I had some far-flung girlfriend he'd never met, she wasn't invited. Don't, however, try to save money by imposing a random "age cut-off." I know one couple who didn't want children, but had a cousin who was 10 yrs old. They didn't invite her because of her age and my Aunt is STILL bitter 15 years later. Establish your guest criteria, and stick to it. Its easier to be able to say to co-workers and distant relatives "we're only inviting first cousins" etc. Don't invite anyone you would feel weird contacting if they don't RSVP. (And trust me, even within your closest circle, people won't RSVP. Don't ask me why.)

To save money:
1. Have only one person stand up with you and one with your fiance. Less bouqets to buy and you don't have to worry about buying your maid of honor dress at a bridal store. That's really more a cost saver for your maid of honor... I'm sure she'll appreciate it.
2. To stretch flowers at the reception, I made my own centerpieces using a tall clear glass vase, a large colorful flower in the bottom, and small floating candles on top. We then put four votives around the bottom of the vase and had the florist spread rose petals around the center of the table, in between the votives and the center vase. Although I wanted really lavish flowers, it actually looked pretty good, and some of the guests took them home and still have them on their mantle! This was all stuff that was inexpensively bought at either craft stores or Ikea. We spent more to get nice table linens, which was worth it. Your table linens will be in a lot of your reception photos (believe it or not!)
3. Buffet style is less expensive than plated, if you go for an inside wedding.
4. If you can choose a venue where you are allowed to bring in your own caterer, odds are it will be cheaper, and possibly BYOB. Make sure you have the skills to track all this stuff down and keep it organized. If you don't like to "party plan", you'll be better off choosing a hotel where they will do it all for you. Try a Friday night and NEGOTIATE. Unless you want a Saturday in June, you shouldn't ever have to pay full price. Also, consider an "out of the way" hotel: my girlfriend choose a hotel at the Philadelphia Airport, which doesn't get a lot of group business on a Saturday night. She got the whole shebang (ceremony and reception) for a song.
5. No one will care if you skip the champagne toast or just serve well drinks or one kind of beer. Unless you're non-drinkers, though, do make sure you have plenty of whatever you're serving. But if most of your friends are beer drinkers, just have beer and maybe some wine with dinner.
6. You can definitly print your own invitations, as long as you have those kind of skills. If not, go to an stationery store and be clear about your budget. There are many, many affordable options. (I used to work in a stationery shop.)

To splurge on (or not cheap out on):
Personally, I think the music is CRUCIAL. We went to a very extravagant wedding at a museum and because they don't like "DJs" they just had a play list on their iPod. It was terrible. Even if you don't like DJs, they provide a structure for the reception and keep everything moving. I don't think you need to hire a band, but please, please hire a really GOOD DJ. I think even if the food is just so-so, if people can have fun and dance they'll have a good time. Even if you have it in your backyard (which can be really fun!), hire a good DJ!!!!

Don't skimp on the photographer (as many have said) but if you're not really pressed about a videographer, just have a friend do it.

Don't rely too much on friends, close family for set-up, clean-up etc. I think if you treat everyone like an invited guest its better and there won't be any bad feelings later. Its worth money to have it someplace where no one has to sweep up or do the dishes at the end. Even if you do the backyard, hire someone to help out and serve/clean up.

Do not under any circumstance, buy disposable cameras for the tables. That is really past its prime. People waste them. Plenty of people will have their own cameras and get great shots to supplement your professional photographer.

Most importantly, though, you and your fiance need to think about what is important to YOU. If its flowers, spend the money there and cut back elsewhere. If its a wedding video, likewise. If you don't care about the cake, have someone make it. For me, it was my bouquet, I spent a pretty penny on it and it was so worth it. It was in almost every picture! But, if you don't care about that, there are a thousand ways to cut prices there... even just carry a single rose or calla lilly. (or silk flowers, or a Bible, etc.)

I wish you all the best. It feels really good to walk-away from a wedding with no looming charges on your credit cards... resist any temptation to overspend.

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answers from Phoenix on

I got married last Oct in Laughlin NV on a riverboat. It was one price for everything and everyone had fun. We went up Thursday - Sunday (wedding was Saturday) so it was like a "destination" wedding. It was my second wedding. My first wedding was the typical "big" wedding that we all want and dream about. It was a waste of money! So although I still wanted the "wedding" experience, I didn't want to spend so much. I have a client that does "cozy weddings". She has a large property and everything is included in the price. Maybe you can google "weddings in Uniontown" and see what comes up. Also google "easy weddings" and "cheap or inexpensive wedding ideas" and tons of things come up. I bought everything for my wedding at a discount. My 2 daughters were in the wedding, we bought them matching dresses (off the rack) and I made silk flower baskets for them to carry and matching head bands with the same flowers. So there are a lot of ways to cut back and still have a great day. Congrats to you and happy planning!

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answers from Boston on

There was so much I loved about my wedding - mostly how much fun everyone had. Lots of dancing to fun music. I also loved my dress, my officiant and having such a big wedding party. We had 200 people there and if it were up to me, I would have had 200 more.

Actually, all of the things that I loved were the things that I saved the most money on. We went with a DJ, but that was just because ipod do-it-yourself playlists didn't exist then. I got my dress from a bridal outlet that sold dresses from trunk shows and so my gorgeous new white dress was only $350 (super cheap by wedding dress standards) and having a big bridal party was nothing (and if you want to keep it cheap for them, don't have them wear matching clothes).

Oh, don't skimp on a photographer. I love having a real wedding album, not just snapshots by random people. Expensive, but the day goes by so fast, it's worth it to keep it in pictures. We didn't have a videographer and I don't miss that.

I wish I hadn't spent so much money on food. Honestly, I didn't even get to eat any of it. Same thing with flowers. I'm glad that I had the bouquet that I did, but flowers for the table seem like such a waste in retrospect. I loved our invitations, but if I were to do it again, I would find a way to print them myself, rather than send them to a printer. That would have saved us big bucks.

I've been married for 8 years and I still check out because I love looking at wedding photos. Even if you want to have a traditional wedding, I think you'll get a lot of good ideas for how to save money.


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answers from Reading on

I loved that my wedding was simple.

I agree with most in saying that the photographer is very important. We went with a friend and I am not completely happy, even though it was cheap.

We made our own invites. I actually made them with rubber stamps and it took 30+ hours...but I loved them and it cost me about 40 dollars.

If it is during the school year look into getting your flowers made at a local vocational school, in the horticulture classroom. I got mine made there and we only had to pay the cost of the flowers and the students did the work for free. So, it was $117 for all the flowers in our entire wedding. They made the carrying flowers, a couple arrangements for at the church, and vases for the tables at the receptions. They even supplied the vases, I just had to take them back. If you are worried about students making your hand held, you can have them done professionally.

Another thing I did was borrow borrow borrow. I had friends that gotten married and used little votive candles which they let me borrow the holders. I borrowed mirrors to put on the tables.

Advice - if you have someone sing to a tape or if you just have a tape to be played during the ceremony make sure you have at least two. The tape player ate his tape and he had to sing without it. It was still very beautiful but I could tell he would have been more conformable if there had been the tape.

We also did not have any alcohol. This saved a lot. Of course our friends new that we didn't drink, so they weren't too surprised.

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answers from Tulsa on

What you pick to wear will set the tone for the whole ceremony. I can honestly say I have been married twice and both times I wore the long white gown and had big church weddings. My mom bought my first dress at J C Penney's. My second one I bought at a Bridal shop in OKC. I spent less than $500 with alterations and everything. I love watching the TLC tv show "Say Yes to the Dress" and am appalled when they spend thousands and thousands on their dresses. If i were well off then maybe I could splurge like that but I am just too frugal.

If you know someone who sews you could have them make your dress for you, there are many lovely fabrics and patterns to choose from. You could go to bridal stores, or second hand or consignment bridal shops to try some on. You don't know what you like or want until you have ruled some out. I am a girly girl so all the froo froo was right in line for me. The stores will usually give a hard sell to make a commission but you don't have to tell them you are just trying things on to see what your style is.

I will also tell you that you don't have to serve a meal, serve alcohol, etc.... The people are coming to see you celebrate your new beginning. A cake is nice and expected. I have a friend who called me and told me she and her boyfriend were getting married the next day by our Bishop at Church. We had a wedding cake made by midnight, decorated by 9 am, and at the church by 10. We moved the ceremony to the Relief Society room and had a reception in the cultural hall, better know as the gym to the guys. They were totally surprised, they left shortly after eating cake and visiting a few minutes to go to the State Fair.

Another friend had a daughter that was 17 and told her mom and dad they wanted to marry on Friday evening so they could live together on base, he was leaving Saturday morning. This was Tuesday, Mom and daughter went shopping for a dress and ordered one from a local bridal shop. They told his mom and dad on Wednesday and they spent the next 2 days listening to his mother crying and trying to bribe them to not get married and basically doing everything possible to stop it. The bride borrowed my vieil and made a hair appointment for Friday afternoon to have an updo with the veil. The dress came in on Friday morning and was too big but we took it up a bit and it looked wonderful. It was a Tea Length white dress with a simple dropped waist and a sweetheart neckline. She wore white shoes and hose with it. They made their own floral things with flowers and a book from Hobby Lobby. Phone calls and email was the way everyone heard about the ceremony. All our friends decorated my friends house and the wedding was in their living room. It was romantic, beautiful, and simple. Her bridesmaid wore a church dress. The little brother was the ring bearer and kept dropping the ring, he was only 3 or 4. He about stole the show. My FIL is retired Navy, Lt. Commander, and wore his dress uniform to the wedding. The groom had never met my in-laws so when he walked in the groom just about broke his neck jumping to attention. My FIL is a man with a sense of humor and walked over to the groom and said something about how the grooms orders had been changed and he was to come with him immed. The guys face was just about white as a sheet. He started stuttering about getting married and needing just few minutes...everyone was stunned because no one knew it was a joke. Anyway, he just couldn't keep it up and finally let the groom off the hook. The best part of the wedding was when the bride and her father did their traditional dance and she stood on her dads shoes while they danced.

So, a wedding can be anything you want. It can be a big ordeal with huge wedding parties or simple spur of the moment. If I can pull off planning a wedding in less than 24 hours and provide a wedding cake, or a semi formal affair in less than 3 days then anyone can do it.

Have fun and make it YOUR day.

i will pass on one piece of unasked advice...keep a copy of your wedding pics on a thumb drive or stored in a fire safe place. Your future generations will want to see them. My grand kids are always pulling out the photo albums and looking at the pictures of granddad and grandma getting married. They wanted to know where papa was and why Memaw wasn't there, for the longest time and I had a hard time understanding that memaw married granddad and I married papa later.

My friends house recently burned to the ground, caved in and fell into the basement. All my friends wedding pictures and those of her 7 kids were in her office being stored for them. They are all gone now. Pictures are a worthy expense. My first wedding they were hundreds of dollars the second everyone took their own and gave us copies. I prefer the professional ones. We keep copies of all our photos in both computers thumb drives and in our 72 hour kits. they can be printed over and over.

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answers from New York on

The thing we loved most about our wedding was writing the ceremony ourselves- the vows, picking the readings, and working with our officiant to present the most personable & heartfelt ceremony. All our guests remembered this and NOT the flowers, centerpieces or the cake.

To save $- we enlisted my MIL to make the centerpieces. Got a flat glass vases from Ikea for 1.99 each and filled with water. Put in beautiful floating candles and some flowers inside. They were really appealing and super cheap. We got flowers for the bouquets that were in season. When picking the venue, made sure certain things were included in the total price like the wedding cake. We hired a friend to DJ who also just brought all his own equipment. You could just use an ipod (make playlists ahead of time) and plug into their system to save even more $.

If I had to do something different- I would not skimp on the photography package. We had a great photographer but chose to pay only for the CD of the pics instead of having her edit the pics, print them, make books for us. It's been over a year since the wedding and we still only have the CD b/c we've been too busy (had a baby) to make a single print!

Wedding planning was a nightmare so I symphathize with you- send me a PM if you want anymore info/advice. I'm happy to help & good luck!

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answers from Philadelphia on

We had our ceremony in our front yard & our reception in our back yard. We had about 100 people (I have a very large family) and we have a pretty big backyard. I always wanted my wedding outside, so that was a must for us. We rented tents (without side walls, which cost more), tables & chairs. We hired a caterer for the food (that was our biggest expense, but was still only $25/person). EVERYONE LOVED the relaxed nature of the wedding. They loved being outside & the food was awesome. Five years later I still have people telling me what a great wedding I had. In the front yard we put up a little arch & wrapped it with fake flowers. Then we bought a bunch of potted plants to surround that & got married there. The pictures came out beautifully. (And after the wedding we planted them around the house.) The only thing I would change about our wedding was the DJ. He stunk. If I had to do it over again. I would NOT have had a DJ. I would have had a CD player with speakers & just played whatever I felt like. (That was my original idea, but I let other people convince me that I needed a DJ).
I wore a traditional wedding dress but with a very short train (purchased at David's Bridal for about $400). If you need alterations I recommend getting them done somewhere else, that would save you money. David's bridal or a similar place would be cheaper than a boutique.
To save money on pictures...I recommend finding a photographer who will give you a CD of pictures which you can print out on your own in the future. Make sure they are unlicenced. Some photographers write their name over the pictures so you can't print them out yourself. This way you can spend a little more on the photographer and in the future when you have saved some money you can print out the pictures & do a photo book. We spent a lot of money on a photo book & I've only looked at it once since we've been married. We have some pictures that we printed from the photographer's CD & I look at those a lot, but not at the photo album.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Our wedding was AWESOME, by far the funnest wedding I have ever been to. We opted to do an outside wedding, but not at our house. We rented a place in Pottstown called Meredith Manor. They have packages for every budget, and we went low end. It's a byob of sorts, and we did provide alcohol, we got it at the outlet in DE pretty cheap, but there is always the option of hot having booze. We did not do a photographer, instead we put disposable cameras at the table and got some really awesome pictures from that. Plus the whole family had their cameras and sent us some good pics of the ceremony too- so we really didn't need that extra expense. We did minimal flowers, I wore my mother's wedding dress, we only had 4 other people in our wedding party. The pastor from my dad's church came to officiate for a donation to the church. Here is the kicker- We had our wedding on MOTHER"S DAY- knowing that a lot of people wouldn't be able to make it- that helped to keep the list of RSVPs short- I think overall we stayed close to $5k.

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answers from Washington DC on

1. Don't skimp on photography and videos. I did and regret not having great pictures and videos. :( Very sad about that.
2. Yes, get a reasonably priced dress. Nobody can tell what brand or even what material it is on pictures. Get something you're comfortable in.
3. We didn't have alcohol at our wedding. Nobody missed it or said anything. But then, most of our friends know we don't drink.
4. I made my own programs, invites and programs. Copied them at Kinko's.
5. Had silk flowers. Looked great on pictures. Give the centerpieces as thank you gifts to participants. Still have the big arrangements in my house.
My hubby and I split the cost of the wedding. He paid for the honeymoon, I paid for the tips.

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answers from Houston on

We were married on a Saturday morning with the reception immediately following in the afternoon. We got a great rate on the reception because it was not a peak time. Also, we got married in March (again not peak season for weddings). The rate was better for everything from the reception to the flowers because it was off season.

Good luck,

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I have a few tips. My wedding was beautiful and on budget. Only invite the people you really want there. Don't get sucked in to inviting people that you hardly know. It is amazing how a "few" extra people add to the expense. Pictures are very important. We splurged on the photographer and then had friends run the video camera. Also, for the dress and accessories, try Ebay. I got my dresses (one for the ceremony and one to dance in at the reception) on Ebay. They were beautiful and so cheap. Yes, the one came from China but I made sure to tell the seller that my wedding was two months before the actual date so that I could get a back up dress if I needed to. Besides, all the major wedding dresses are made overseas anyway. I went to David's Bridal and tried on styles of dresses to make sure that the style I liked on Ebay would look good on me and then I ordered it online. My great princess style dress that would have cost at least $1000 in a bridal store ( I used to work at one) was less than $100 on Ebay and was beautiful. The fabric was great and it had all the embellishments that I wanted. I have seen designer knock off styles on Ebay for less than 500. I also got the crinoline and my jewelry for cheap. My wedding ring is from Ebay and my husband's titanium wedding band was $30 instead of over $100. As for the food, I had a BBQ rehearsal dinner with a potluck and that was great. I have seen others do that for the wedding reception as well. Also, I would consider getting a DJ or at least having a friend dedicated to playing the music. A DJ's main job is getting the crowd participating and helping the guests be aware of what is going on at the reception. It isn't just about playing the music. If I had it to do over again, I would do my own flowers. Sam's Club has beautiful Roses and I think you can order wedding flowers from their website and it is like $250 for white rose arrangements and other flowers for the ceremony. Anyway, I hope this helps and I hope you have a beautiful day.

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answers from Minneapolis on


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answers from Stationed Overseas on

I got married on a Thursday! That cuts down the expenses big time! Don't try to get married on a Saturday afternoon. That's the popular day. Pick any other day and usually it will cut your expenses in half.
We had a small wedding, and when I say small, I mean there were 25 people including the wedding party and us. We were able to rent a small room at a golf and country club for about half the cost of trying to do it on a Saturday. Because of this we were able to have a full sit down dinner and open bar. My family and friends are not big drinkers so this did not cost us very much (most had 2 drinks or less and many had no alcohol). It also helped that we didn't have a dance, so no DJ. We paid for wine by the bottle, which meant that we were able to take open bottles home. The wine was served at the table by country club staff. This was cheaper than buying x number of bottles ahead of time and we didn't pay for the staff either.
I made my invitations myself instead of ordering them. Again because it was a small wedding it wasn't a lot of work. I bought cheap wedding invitations from an arts and crafts store and printed the information using our printer. Then I just dressed it up with ribbons and stuff.
We did not have a limo. We had a friend take one of those white markers that are washable and write on our van instead.
I used fake flowers to keep costs down. I was able to find those on ebay.
We had the wedding and ceremony in the same spot. The only thing we did was hire a justice of the peace to perform our ceremony. We were able to have our ceremony outside just beside the golf course.
I got my veil/tiara on ebay as well and bought my wedding dress off the rack on sale. By not special ordering I was able to save a lot of money on the cost of the gown. And because the wedding wasn't very big I didn't need a big poofy dress. So my dress was very simple with no lace or embellishments of any kind. The only thing it had was a short train.
My wedding party was very small. I had only my maid of honor and she bought her own dress. (I got her a gift instead!) My daughter was the flower girl and we bought her dress from Sears for about 1/4 of the cost of buying a flower girl dress from a bridal shop.
As for the cake, I used Safeway!! This is the cheap way out of big fancy wedding cakes! I used cup cakes that I bought from Safeway. I had Safeway custom make them with the right color icing and flavour. The only thing I did was buy a 3 tier platter to put them on. We also had them make a 1 tier round cake for cutting. The whole thing cost me less than $30. The tray was more but it's mine and I can use it again for other things.
We also saved money on rings. My husband's ring is titanium. I bought it online for $60. The engagement ring he bought me was part of a set, so he bought the wedding ring at the same time he bought the engagement ring, which saved us some money.
I got my makeup done at a makeup counter for free! If you go into any major department store and walk up to the counter they will usually do a makeover for nothing so they can sell their makeup. All I bought was the lipstick! You can even make an appointment beforehand and do a trial run!
As for hair I went to the salon, she only charged me for an updo and gave me a deal because she's been friends with my mother for years. It cost me less than $50 to get my hair done.
Photography was also cheaper because we got married on an off day.
Once we added it up it cost us about $6000 dollars but that did include one night in a $300 hotel suite and a 4 day camping honeymoon along with gifts for my parents and the bridal party. As for paying for things, my parents paid for the dinner and we paid for everything else.
Hope that gives you some ideas! Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

I got married a few years ago and I enjoyed my $2500 wedding much more than my previous $25,000 wedding!

We had our wedding/reception at a park district and that saved a lot! Instead of hiring a DJ I made a mix on my iPod and we played it over the PA. I had friends of ours who are musicians come sing for us as well.

For food we had a local Chinese restaurant cater it. At first we weren't sure if people would like Chinese food but it turns out everyone loved it! It was definitely unique. I made my own centerpieces by getting Chinese lanterns and putting those fake votive candles in them.

I got a photographer to shoot the pictures and just give us the card with the pictures on them. I know a lot about digital photography so I was able to make my own album.

I rented the tablecloths from a local rental place instead of getting them from the hall. They were much cheaper!

For my wedding dress I got a prom dress on sale right after prom. It was pink :) and only $150. For my stepdaughter, we got an Easter dress right before Easter when they were on sale and it was only $30 and made the perfect flower girl dress.

For the wedding cake I had a cupcake wedding cake! I used one of those tiered platters and my mom and aunt baked and frosted cupcakes.

Hope that helps! And congratulations!

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answers from Kansas City on

I got married in Vegas and it was awesome. We did the Star Trek wedding, but other places (excalibur, the venetian, etc) have really classy wedding chapels.

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answers from Erie on

You already have quite a few responses, but I couldn't resist adding my input on a wedding ;)

We married younger, so both sets of parents put in some $$ for the wedding, but the rest we saved ourselves. We had a church wedding and an outdoor reception at my parents' house (not to save money, but because we loved the idea). We rented a huge white tent and tried to keep everything on the 'casual elegance' theme, with potted flowers, real linens and dishes. Some areas where we spent more money than I now think we needed - my engagement ring (although I didn't have any say in that), my dress (I wouldn't have had any issue with wearing a used dress), and duration of the whole she-bang (we come from an area where receptions last until all hours, but that didn't mean ours had to be that way). Some areas where I'm glad we spent the money - photographer (a friend used a family member who takes great photos but did NOTHING to organize groups or get through the process quickly so people could get back to enjoying themselves), food (we were adamant that everything be flavorful, juicy and the right temperature), and real linens (we wanted it to feel like a nice reception rather than a picnic).

Since I don't know what size wedding you're thinking, I'll just throw out some ideas to cut corners that may or may not work:
- Keep the birdal party small (saves on flowers, gifts, and their expenses)
- Only invite those guests who you really want to see on your special day and hound those who don't respond by your RSVP deadline
- For reusable table settings: ask friends and family about borrowing china/flatware (some people have a stash of plates that you may not even know they have) or even a local cafe that isn't open on the weekends
- For disposable table settings: search for restaurant supply stores instead of party stores for more affordable dishes, flatware, etc.
- Skip the favors (most of the ones we've gotten at weddings have gone straight to the trash). After the wedding, if you have the $$ and the inclination, you can mail photos to everyone (assuming you ask your photographer to capture candid shots of all your guests).
- Order a fake cake (we had an outdoor reception in August, so a real cake that could stand the heat was unlikely to taste that good). Our display cake, simply decorated with flowers, was made of styrofoam - except for the top layer to cut - and got wheeled away. The cake that was served was from inexpensive (but yummier) sheet cakes, and most people never knew the difference. This allowed our baker to do the bulk of our display cake earlier in the week (when she wasn't busy) and spend a lot less total time on decorating. Although we used a professional bakery for both, you could save even more by enlisting help from someone who enjoys baking...

I think the most important thing is to keep it persnal to you and your fiance. For example, I grew up on a farm so we rode a tractor and wagon from the church to the reception and tied our birdseed packets with bailer twine ;) As long as you're true to yourselves, it will be a perfect day...

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answers from San Antonio on

Hubby and I got married on a Tuesday in the church; it was during the Thanksgiving week. My dress (not a wedding dress) cost 12.00 or so at Ross on clearance, it was burgundy (I loved it). I went to Garden Ridge and the Poinsettias were on sale for Christmas, so I bought Bright red, deep red and white, I found a case of 24 small vases at the Goodwill, put 3 poinsettias in each vase, had the reception in my aunts back yard, we didn’t use the “outside lights” but we strung A LOT of white Christmas light all around, My best friend made Lasagna balls (instead of layering you roll the noodle), her sister made 2 cakes (Betty Crocker mix), one Chocolate one vanilla, Basically I did what ever I wanted, I went to HEB and bought 2 dozen roses that morning made my bouquet and my 2 brides maids bouquets, I didn’t let anyone tell me what to do. But I did listen to any suggestions, most of which included getting a hall, hiring a DJ and caterer. None of which I wanted to spend money on, this was a very special day and I loved that it felt like it was MY and HUBBYS day, not like our first wedding where his mom planed everything (I was sick and literally Dying in the hospital, although I appreciate it, I didn’t feel and sense of ME in the wedding). What do I wish I did different……sometimes I do wish I had gotten a “real” wedding dress, but I always smile when I think of the day. Hubby did not wear a tux; all the men wore Khaki pants and a White short sleeved button down shirt. :-)

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