Sticking to a budget and maintaining your vision for your wedding can be a constant battle.Wanting to save money in your wedding budget doesn't make you cheap or tight...seriously, it makes you a conscientious and smart.
Why spend more than you need, especially when you can funnel those saving into other areas of your wedding (or mortgage or honeymoon!). The surprise and realisation of the cost of some aspects of planning a wedding can be a total Debbie Downer- especially when those first quotes come rolling in.‘It costs HOW MUCH?’ was our usual response…and then we’d worry and wonder if it was ever going to be possible to pull the whole thing off!
In this episode and blog, I share some of The Bridechilla Communities, favorite and very clever responses to saving money.
Listen to episode 278 of Bridechilla
These aren’t the standard ‘Just DIY everything’ ideas either (which might I add can get you into more trouble than it is worth sometimes). What great about these tips is that as well as being forward thinking and sustainable, they're all adaptable for any budget.
Some of my tips are USE CASH BACK WEBSITES like Ebates. It's money straight back in your pocket and they often have exclusive deals and coupon codes.
Take on Small But Super Money Saving Projects
After deciding that the boutique dress sash was over priced, I bought $7 in material and earnestly took mental notes as the retailer explained how to carefully line up the fabric grains between the two pieces. I went home and thought, ffs, will anyone notice my misguided fabric grains?!
Don't overspend, but also, don't lose sleep over DIY perfection.
New Skills and Asking for Discounts
I don't know if I'd recommend this because I ended up WAY in over my head, but I taught myself calligraphy for my save the dates and invitations! And then somehow my fiancé talked me into opening my own side business! (Check out Emily's Etsy store)
My slightly more useful tip is to always ask if pricing can be negotiated- the worst a vendor can say is no! We negotiated a big chunk off of our venue and band just by asking.
Use Family China instead of Hiring
So far my favorite cost saving thing is that we're using multiple family China patterns instead of renting or buying. China and Fostoria are the kind of thing that sits in the cabinet and almost never gets used. My mother-in-law says her grandmother and great-aunts would be thrilled to know their patterns are being used.
It was my mother-in-law's idea. And then when we talked to the caterer and she said she's seen a lot of people using China patterns ("Vintage is the new rustic"), we were like "Great! Let's do it." I've been very lucky that my fiancé's parents have been so into collecting glassware, silverware, etc since rentals has been something I don't even want to think about. But I'm very excited to see the final result.
Re-Purposing A Relative or Friends Veil
One thing that just happened and worked out perfectly - I'm using my mom's veil! I was talking to my MOH this weekend about how expensive veils are and she's borrowing one from a friend, and I'm wearing my mom's. It just doesn't make sense to me to spend all that money on something like that. I'm also DIY'ing our invites because I love crafts, and it's fun for me. Doing a lot of DIY stuff like signs, decorations, etc. That seems to be saving us the most money - although not crazy amounts. Little things here and there that I feel like I can do, I do.
Order Invitation Templates from Etsy
I ordered a PDF off Etsy for my invitations (cost 12 dollars) and I'm going to print them using Catprint.com which will cost me 40 dollars for 75 invitations including envelopes
Scott I found our photographer on Groupon, our DJ was on yelp & is also a teacher/actor so he wasn't charging "wedding " prices... I'm making our centerpieces.. I got a dress from BHLD for under $300 & took it to a seamstress to personalize... we limited our guest list to 80 & found a venue that includes our ceremony, reception, cocktail hour, food, alcohol for a few hours & a coordinator. I bought my accessories on Etsy.
My way of mentally checking myself is taking a step back and trying to think of the detail I am stressing about at weddings I've been a guest at. (I.e. Escort cards, centerpieces, ceremony isle decorations, etc) majority of the time I don't even remember the detail. That helps me come down from my whirl of emotions!
Ditch Hotels and Use Airbnb instead
We asked for discounts also. Paid in full/cash for vendors, usually got us 10% or a couple hundred dollars from each. I bought the bridesmaids dresses off of amazon for 25$ each. Instead of hotels we rented an airbnb for the girls and for the guys bridal parties- divide by the number of people and it's cheaper than a hotel.
We bought our table linens, it was cheaper to buy than rent and then we can resell them.
Your rehearsal dinner doesn't have to be extravagant- ours is a fish fry outside at the airbnb where the girls are staying. We also got a lot of decor from a friend that got married last year. Also stalk the invitation websites- we designed ours then waited for a 40% off promo code weekend to order.
Pooling Resources and using Thumbtack
I used thumbtack to find a photographer and hair/makeup artist.
I negotiated with several of my vendors.
My venue is a place I worked at growing up and my dad still works there so I get an employee discount. The DJ is a friend of friend who is a hobbyist so no wedding pricing. My florals are being gifted by family. We are doing a show cake and then large sheet cakes in the back to save on dessert.
Our favors are local candies that come out to 25 cents each.
We are doing glow sticks as our recessional.
My mom is hand painting our inexpensive invites.
We are going to local breweries and wineries to buy alcohol directly from the vendors themselves.
After nightmare experiences at bridal stores i decided I was going to boycott all of them and "wedding dresses" in general - i was mortified that some of these stores looked at me like I was "a poor" for saying my budget was $2,000 and under. I only shopped regular online stores and just filtered for white dresses. I found the perfect designer lace maxi for $300 on SaksOffFifth