Hi Everyone, I am so excited to finally get started. I’ve wanted to become a blogger for a while now but never had the nerve to take the plunge! But let’s give it a try! So I recently got married to my best friend, Kyle, and planning my wedding was the most fun project I’ve ever done. I only gave myself 3 and a half months to plan and I was on a budget. I didn’t have a small budget but no matter what your budget is, we all want to save money and cut costs where we can. I researched all my wedding decorations, vendors, caterers, tablecloths etc.. to make sure I was getting the best deals. I want to write this blog on ways to cut costs on your wedding day because I find that is a challenge for most people. Setting a budget and sticking to it is not always easy, but I came in $400 under budget! So let me walk you through my experience in cutting costs and the research that backs up my points! Here are my favorite 8 ways to cut costs on your wedding.
1. Do not RENT everything from vendors! In my experience, vendors that will “do it all” charge so much for a simple tablecloth or centerpiece idea. They will do it all but for a couple of pretty pennies. For example, I wanted to rent 12 solid grey tablecloths and 12 red runners. I was quoted $25 for each tablecloth and $10 for each runner!! That didn’t includee delivery and clean up fees that brought my total to over $475. I thought there has to be a cheaper way, so I did some research and found a wholesale company called smartyhadaparty.com . They sell tablecloths for $6-15 each. I got a bundle pack of 12 for $120 and “delivered and cleaned up” myself! So I saved $355. The same lady quoted me $25 each for a very simple centerpiece design. I bought supplies and made my own centerpieces for half the price, and got to give them away as party favors at the end of the night to my grandmas! Another example I have is renting or having your caterer provide plates, cups and silverware. I was quoted $4 more per person for a plastic plate, silverware and a cup to be added on to my catering bill. I went to www.smartyhadaparty.com and ordered my own and spent $2 a person. With a guest list of 100 people, I saved $200 and had leftover supplies that I got to keep. I ended up selling the leftover packages and made more money. Do your research! See what a vendor quotes you and make it your goal to find it cheaper. Use websites like Amazon, Ebay, smartyhadaparty, Oriental Trading, Home Goods, Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby.. or my favorite, GARAGE SALES!!!
2. Buffet is the cheapest way to serve your entire guest a full meal. I created a BBQ menu that I wanted to serve at my wedding and contacted multiple catering services for a quote. I wanted to compare a full service meal (your guests have a waiter come to their table) to a buffet style service. I got quotes from 6 companies, and 4 of the companies were DOUBLE the price to have a full service. The other 2 companies were 25%-35% more then buffet, and that fee was just to pay the waiters. I had a buffet style and I had no complaints from my guests. We called out table numbers so we didn’t have a long line at the buffet tables and it all went smoothly. My meal was $17 a person. For the same BBQ menu with a full service I got quoted $21.50-$35 per person. Multiply that by my 100 guests and I saved $450-$1800 by having a buffet style.
3. Buy your bridesmaid dresses at a department store instead of a bridal shop. I shopped online at various department stores (JCP, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Kohl’s etc…) before selecting my bridesmaid dresses. I looked for the best deals and used coupons/reward systems before making my selection. Buying at the end of prom season or summer is when you will get the best deals! I wanted dresses that were red, simple but formal looking, and I found them for $30! Originally the dresses were $90! With 3 bridesmaids I saved $180 by researching sales, coupons and reward programs! When I went to a bridal shop they offered me 10% off the bridesmaids dresses if I bought my wedding dress there. The dresses were $150-180, so even with the 10% off, it wasn’t worth it. With 3 dresses, I saved between $360-$450 by using the department store over bridal shops.
4. Your wedding Gown!!! This was my favorite thing I shopped for and the one item that EVERYONE will comment on, so you want to make sure it’s exactly what you want without breaking the bank. My advice is to call the bridal shops before you make an appointment and tell them your dress budget. Ask how many dresses they have that are under your budget and if they have any “off the rack” dresses that are available. Off the rack meaning the dress designer discontinued them but the store still has them available! The best thing about doing it this way, you get to take the dress with you the same day!! It’s best to know what style of dress you want before you call so you can find out how many dresses they have that are your style and in your price range. Some shops will not respect your budget, will put you in your dream dress and it will ruin your budget. I called 5 shops before making my appointment and it worked out for me. They knew ahead of time that I was not willing to go over budget and to not put me in dresses out of my range. I found a dress that was originally $1100 but I paid $400! It was an “off the rack” sale.
5. Videographer and Photographers photo copyrights! When you select a photographer or a videographer for your wedding, make sure they give you the rights to your photos. Meaning, you can have the digital prints to your photos so you can print the photos yourself. That way you can use Snapfish, Shutterfly, Costco, Walmart etc.., instead of paying the photographer to print your photos. In the end, it will save you so much money. Both of my photographers and videographers allowed me to print the photos on my own. You can print and pay as you go at your convenience, instead of having a big expense all at once.
6 .Dollar store DIY projects are my favorite kind of projects!! People are surprised by how many supplies Dollar Tree actually has. You should check it out before you head to a crafting store. A few of my favorite supplies are the variety of silk flowers, flower arrangement supplies, the different size vases and white candles. I made my own centerpieces out of Dollar Tree supplies! It was the cheapest way I found to make the centerpieces exactly the way I wanted. Head over to “How to Make Flower Centerpieces” and I will show you step by step on how to make them. Another Dollar Tree decoration I used was in the chapel. I lined the aisle with 2 vases next to each pew. The shorter vases were filled with water and had a floating candle. The taller vases had a white candle sitting in it. It was very simple but added a special touch to the room!
7. Get married on a weekday! Most venues are more expensive on a Saturday and Sunday! I got married on a Friday evening and it was $1500 cheaper than a Saturday.
8. If you see something you like on Pinterest or in a wedding magazine, try to make it yourself before you buy it. Etsy is a fun place to shop, but most of the time it is cheaper to buy your own supplies and make it yourself. It’s fun to show your guests the things you made! Pinterest has tutorials on how to make almost anything, so just research it first.
I hope this article can help you cut costs on your big day!! These are just a few examples of what I did when planning. Let me me know what you think. 🙂 Thank you for visiting!! Don’t forget to share this on Pinterest!