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figment fan21
12-17-2008, 06:52 AM
Hello ladies!

On my list trip to the world DBF became my DF. :woohoo: :bride: Now that its been a couple months since the engagement we are starting to talk about wedding budget. Since we are paying for it ourselves it is really really tight. (we just bought a house this past september which makes the budget even tighter) I'm trying to get ideas on what we can do to save as much as possible. I started looking on websites like craigslist and ebay to try and find dresses cheaper than at those little boutiques that charge and arm and a leg. Has anyone ever bought a dress that was used? How did that work out for them? Should that be something i should cut back on or should i go to those boutiques? Any helpful hints from you girl would be much apprecaited on any aspect of wedding planning on a budget. You girls are the experts! :worship:

TIA! :goodvibes
-Katie:bride:

michellejed
12-17-2008, 08:08 AM
Congrats!!!

Some of our local stores have a yearly sale...All dresses are $99!! keep checking local ads for the sales and don't be afraid to look at used. If the dress is not a big issue to you then why not get a gently used dress?

There are so many budget ideas out there, depending on the time of year, how many people are invited, etc.

You could have a small wedding in your new home, in a park, at a friends house.

You could make all the food yourself with some help from friends.

You could use free wild flowers for your wedding(depending on time of year)

Have a friend video and take photos (put a disposable camera on each table for the guest to take pics for you)

Have a cupcake cake instead of the big expensive one.

Good luck with your planning:thumbsup2

RachaelA
12-17-2008, 08:10 AM
David's Bridal has $99 sales many times throughout the year. They also have dresses for $249. You could check ebay. Maybe you could find a dress used and then go try on a version in the store before you buy a used one.

englishteacha
12-17-2008, 08:11 AM
Congrats! DH and I paid for our wedding ourselves, too, 6.5 years ago. We were also 22. :) We had a church wedding and a reception at the American Legion, which had a lovely ballroom. I first bought a dress at JC Penney-simple white evening gown for $99. It was lovely. After I thought about it a while, though, I realized I wanted something more fancy. So I returned the JCP dress (and found my bridesmaid dresses for $40 each at the same time, so I figure it was fate!), and went to the small, local bridal shop. It was a mom and daughter business, not a fancy boutique. I tried on several dresses and "The" dress jumped out at me as soon as I put it on. Total cost was $400, which seemed expensive at the time (I was a poor college kid), but I've since learned that in wedding dress prices, $400 is actually pretty low. So, don't discount the small bridal/formalwear shops. Almost every town has one. The shop I went to had some very expensive dresses, but also a nice selection of gowns under $500. My niece got married this past summer, and wore a dress almost identical to mine, and she paid $1000. I was in shock! I did shop used dresses when I first began looking, but being 5'4" and a bit plump, there weren't a lot of pretty dresses in my size. :) I would definitely consider a used gown. My sisters all offered me theirs, but they got married in the 80s...lots of lace and puffy sleeves. Ugh.

2 friends bought dresses at David's Bridal. While the dresses were pretty, the alterations didn't hold up. One hem tore out, and another the bustle came apart. For a dress you're only wearing one day, you'd expect it to last through the day! So if you buy from DB, you might want to hire your own seamstress to make any alterations for you.

Edited: Just checked JC Penney online. They have 4 bridal gowns, all under $150. They're quite pretty, and on sale. Thought you might want to check it out! Some of their special occasion dresses are also available in white as well as the "bridal gowns." An advantage with JCP is that you can return special occasion dresses if you change your mind! A bridal shop won't let you do that!

Edited again: Chadwicks.com has a couple simple gowns in ivory/white under $100. One is very Greek, like the wedding dress in Mamma Mia. :) Quite striking, really!

Good luck!

JillandFamily
12-17-2008, 08:11 AM
We made our own invitations. We bought the special wedding card stock, and printed them ourselves. Saved a bundle and they looked really pretty.

kimsuenew
12-17-2008, 08:35 AM
We had a very tiny budget, but had a very nice wedding! :lovestruc Where there is a will... there is a way!

We had our reception in the Church we were married in, and served cake/punch/dainty items... only (no meal). I made my bouquets and bouteniers (I had taken floral design at a JVS for two years), we only had one attendant for each of us, my two younger sisters were the book attendant, nephew was the ring bearer, and we had no flower girl (as we knew no one with a young daughter).

I rented (yes, rented) my wedding dress and veil... it was a dream dress and actually brand new! :goodvibes DH rented his tux, as did the best man and ring bearer. My oldest sister was my "MOH" and we actually bought her dress second hand and we had it professionally cleaned.

My husbands DSis had married a man that DH whole family was close to and had grown up with. Everyone attended the same Church, same Christian school and college, and were always at holiday's together (his family became extended family). My BIL's father volunteered to take all of our pictures and while he was not a paid professional, he had top of the line professional equipment (camera and lenses), was talented, and had quite an eye for pictures. He refused any type of payment... his taking the pictures, film cost, and development (but not enlargements of course) was our wedding gift!

I had my "dream wedding" (with about 100 close family and friends in attendance) for very little money, so yes... it can be done! :thumbsup2 Our biggest cost was the cake and invitations (and rental fees for tuxes/dress)... the Church use was free (we did pay the Minister of course).

Check out gown rentals in your area... you might be pleasantly surprised! :goodvibes Consider being married in your Church and having your reception there as well! Keep your reception/refreshments very simple and keep the number of attendants low (ecspecially if you are paying for the tux rental/dresses as we did). Consider having a talented friend, armed with a wonderful camera, be your photographer... same with the videographer!

Congratulations! :flower3:

TifffanyD
12-17-2008, 08:45 AM
Hey OP, you sound like us! We eloped to Vegas (in theory to save money). My mom paid for the plane tickets and room as our wedding gift, and we booked a $1000 wedding package that included pictures, a small cake, limo, location fee, minister fee, bouquet, and buttoniere.

I bought my dress on sale at White House Black Market outlet in orlando. It was normally $180 marked down to like $40. Black and white, so non traditional. DH got his wedding clothes at kohl's - just a nice shirt, slacks, and a tie.

We got lucky and my mom knew someone who could do the catering fairly inexpensively for the reception. We held it at a community center we rented. My cousin who is a divine baker made our wedding cake as our gift. Invitations we bought the special paper and printed on our PC. We got it on clearance and spent about $8 for invites, envelopes, reply cards, reply envelopes, and seals.

For music we made cds and hooked up extra speakers and played them. We also made our own centerpieces and wedding favors.

All in all we spend < $5k for the wedding in vegas, clothes, and reception - not bad!

natmurr
12-17-2008, 08:58 AM
consider a day other than Saturday - we were married on a Friday and saved a bundle on the reception hall rental

consider an evening wedding. We were married at 7pm - the church was beautiful in the evening lights so we didn't feel the need to add decorations. We had a cocktail reception so the guest knew not to expect a full meal

look into local community groups or ladies auxillary for your catering. My Grandmother's Women's Institue made up beautiful fruit & veggie trays, dessert sqaures and cookies and finger sandwiches. We bought frozen jumbo shrimp when it was on sale (just thawed it the day of the wedding and served in a crystal bowl. We also had an appitizer day before the wedding. My family got together and made up a bunch of appetizer that could be frozen and thawed the day of the wedding.

skip the wedding favours - make a donation to your favourite charity instead - put cards on the tables announcing your donation.

The only thing I would spurge on is a wedding planner or decorator. They can make things look fantastic without spending a bundle (I was luckily and had my designer uncle-in-law give us his time let us borrow from his stock of supplies!) I also used family photos as the main part of the table centre pieces - I had wedding and anniversary photos of our parents & grandparents and had them blown-up and printed in black & white. It was a great tribute to their happy marriages!

I got my dress at David's Bridal but had it altered by my own seamstress - it held up beautifully. The tuxes were rented, and we didn't rent a limo. We did all our photos before the ceremony (that was the best! - I HATE going to weddings and waiting around FOR HOURS while pics are done!)

When it was all said and done we spent about $5000 and had about 180 guests. People still to this day tell me what a lovely wedding it was!

Darcy03231
12-17-2008, 08:59 AM
I did my 2nd wedding on a budget. Here's what we did:

I wore DSis dress. It fit perfectly and it was a gorgeous dress. She's a bit taller than me so I bought a full petticoat for under it and with higher heels than she wore it didn't need any alterations.

We got married at 9 am and had a brunch. Much cheaper than a dinner. Also, there was no need to serve alcohol, which can get very expensive.

Between my family and friends we did all the pictures ourselves. They came out better than the professional ones from my first wedding.

We didn't bother with a limo or a DJ. We kept the guest list small. We bought the cake at a local supermarket bakery (sheet cake) and cut that. We didn't bother with throwing the bouqet, but that could be easily done.

After the brunch we did a big party at our house. We told everyone who wanted to come in shorts and t-shirts, we had the pool open and did a big barbeque (hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, tossed salad, etc). Members of both of our families pitched in and made lots of food. We had a keg and punch (non-alcoholic) and bottles of rum and vodka if people wanted to add to the punch. Everyone had a great time. It was so relaxed and fun. People still tell me it was the best wedding reception they've ever been to.

englishteacha
12-17-2008, 09:04 AM
Kimsuenew, your wedding sounds great! Our wedding was only possible because of our family's help, too. We made our own invitations, my family made the food, a friend made our cake as a gift, and a friend took photos. Since we didn't have a professional photographer, many of our guests gave us copies of their photos, too. We have an amazing wedding album with over 600 pictures! :)

It's important to decide what's important to you. I wanted tasty food, good music, a beautiful dress, and pretty flowers. My mom is an amazing cook, and made a dozen pans of lasagna for the reception. We heated them in the hall's kitchen in the convection oven. She made them in advance and froze them, so it was easy to handle on wedding day. We hired a DJ who kept the party going. :) My flowers were awesome. I wanted daisies and wildflowers, and let the flower shop design the bouquets. They were gorgeous, and because I gave the shop free reign, they were able to make them very inexpensively.

foltzy
12-17-2008, 09:08 AM
We spent around 6K for the entire wedding (including all clothes for us, my brother-in-law, sister, mom, and dad).

Our wedding was held outside at the hotel where we were getting married (They had a beautiful ballroom). Everything was included food, cake, a nights stay, the use of the outside gazebo, and the ballroom.

We got married on a Sunday afternoon and it cost us way less. If we would have gotten married on Saturday night it would have cost us $40 a head, having it on Sunday meant we got the cost for $20 a head. No alcohol though except the champagne toast but with our families that was a good thing.

We also got a lot for free. My dh aunt did mine and my girls hair as part of our wedding gift, another aunt officiated as part of our wedding gift. A friend of my mom's did my flowers for cheep and did pictures for cheap.
Don't be afraid to utilize all the connections you have.

My dress was the most expensive at $600, but the price included everything (veil, undergarment, stupid skirt thing) no alterations so it just had to be bustled.

We did buy our invitations but my mom works for a printer (we used every connection).

We also did our own favors and I bought stuff on clearance (bells to ring) too.

The wedding and reception was terrific. It couldn't have been more perfect.

KigerKat
12-17-2008, 11:33 AM
Here are some tips I came across when planning our wedding last year:

1. Don't get married on a Saturday! We got married on a Sunday and saved on the reception location and DJ

2. Have a small bridal party - less stress having to keep up with fewer people

3. Don't serve a sit down meal if you are having the reception catered. Heavy hour d'oeuvres can make a great meal.

4. Try making some floral arrangements out of silk flowers - that way you'll get to keep a nice souvenir from the day.

5. Search on Ebay for some of your supplies like cake topper, knife set, toasting flutes, jewelry, shoes, veil, tiara, ect...

6. I got my programs from Greeting Card Village online. They were cheap and beautiful! I wish I had found them when I did the invitations, which DH and I spent hours printing and putting together by hand.

7. For favors, we made music cd's of some of our favorite love songs. They were cheap to make and people loved them!

8. This one is kind of touchy, but it saved us a TON of money...don't serve alcohol at the reception. DH and I don't drink to begin with, and we didn't see the point in spending hundreds of dollars to let other people get sloshed out of their minds. It worked out in the end, since we didn't use the caterer that owned the facility and there was some weird liquor license law that prohibited our caterer from serving alcohol in the same location. It all really depends on what the two of you want to do at your reception.

tinker&belle
12-17-2008, 11:46 AM
We had very little money and were going to have to have the reception in the church, but DH's family said if we would rather have them pay for a Hall we could do that for the reception and then we had pizza and 2 liters for the rehersal. The rehersal was really low-key that way and we loved it, plus we liked that the reception was fancy instead which was what we cared about.

EthansMom
12-17-2008, 11:50 AM
We had a budget wedding that was great. We invited only our immediate family, my dress was a simple bridesmaid's dress, and we had the wedding ceremony and reception in a small reception room at a moderately-priced hotel.

A friend of mine had a more elaborate wedding and rented a designer dress for a fraction of it's full value.

LeeLeeLuvsDisney
12-17-2008, 12:41 PM
We did our whole wedding for about $5k. Here are some budget ideas that I used:

1. We had an 11:00am ceremony at our church, then a lunch reception at a small country club. The per person charge was much less for lunch than for dinner, and there was no minimum (Saturday evening the minimum on food alone was $5k!). Avoid Saturday evenings - lunch, or Friday, or Sunday, everything is usually less expensive.

2. We kept our wedding small. We only had 40 guests, and that kept costs down.

3. We did not get a videographer, but we splurged on a professional photographer. We had her there for 3 hours, and she gave us the rights to make all our prints ourselves. We got our photos on CD a few weeks after the wedding, and we can go to whatever store we want to make enlargements, copies, etc.

4. I chose an inexpensive flower (daisy) for the bouquets and table centerpieces. We also used a local florist rather than a wedding specialist florist. We saved a bundle.

5. We got the cake from our local grocery store. It was elegant and pretty and tasted good. We saved a bundle.

6. I got my dress on sale from David's Bridal. I luckily did not have to alter it, but if I had, I would have done the alterations at a local seamstress, not at David's. I think I paid about $300 for the dress and crinoline.

7. We made our own invitations. We bought paper stock and ribbon and just printed them on our home printer. They turned out really nice and they were inexpensive.

Other tips:

- Serve only beer and wine if you are planning to serve alcohol. It's much less expensive.

- Food choices make a huge difference in price - explore your options.

- Consider skipping the videographer and just set up some cameras on tripods, or have friends film. You can edit everything together later if you want.

Handbag Lady
12-17-2008, 12:54 PM
We got married at the DLH Rose garden and it was lovely. We were also on a budget.

-We got married on a Monday. Saved $2500.

-No videographer. This is my biggest regret. Everyone told me that someone or more people would videotape it and we can just borrow the tape. Yeah, no one brought one.

-I shopped around for photographers and found one for $1000, all inclusive for 8 hours. If I do this again, I'd hire college students as I wasn't happy with our pictures.

-My mom bought yards of material that I loved and doled it out to the bridesmaids. They made or had someone make their own dresses. Saved a bundle right there PLUS my back-up singers had dresses made that they liked. I ony cared that they had the same color & material. One wanted sleeves, one wanted a two-piece skirt and bustier. They were happy, I was happy.

Although I LOVED getting married at Disneyland, we were only able to because my dad pitched in some cash. Otherwise, we could have had a very nice budget wedding ourselves.

Here another idea: Call around to friends and family and see if anyone has a condo in a gorgeous setting. My sister rented out my aunt's rec room at her condo for $50 and had her wedding reception there. Luckily, my aunt lived in an awesome condo overlooking the ocean, so it looked a whole lot more expensive that it actually was...

HunnyPots
12-17-2008, 01:00 PM
My daughter is getting married in July and we are also doing a budget wedding and I mean with a capital B!

We checked out David's Bridal and she found the dream dress. Unfortunately, it was $700 which I just cannot justify right now. Actually, even if I could afford it, I hate the idea of spending that much money on a dress she'll wear maybe four hours out of her whole life. Still, I wanted her to have a beautiful dress that she loves. Our solution? Ebay! We found the exact dress, very gently used, and got it for $200! Now that I can live with!

If you're wearing a veil, don't buy it from a bridal shop! They are ridiculously expensive! Buy some tulle from a fabric store for less that $1 a yard and make it yourself or if you'd rather not, buy one at Michael's for around $10 - even less with a coupon. Know one will know the difference.

Speaking of Michaels - watch for those weekly coupons and make good use of them! Can't stress that enough!

I am doing her cake. Nothing terribly fancy, three tiers frosted smooth and trimmed with ribbon and decorated with strawberries. Instead of stacking the tiers, which can be trouble if you don't know what you're doing, I am using a three tier cake stand that I got at Michael's with a 50% off coupon! The least expensive wedding cake I could get from a bakery was Wal Mart for $140 - not bad but I can beat that!

She is getting married in the garden of a nursery so we won't need extra flowers for ceremony decor, just her bouqet, boutineres, etc. so we are getting the flowers from Sam's Club and putting them together ourselves. I can get two dozen roses for $20 so I'll probably spend a total of $60 for flowers!

We are also printing our own invitations. You want them to look nice of course and be something to have as a keepsake but remember that most of them will end up in the trash. I am buying blank invitation cards and envelopes in the colors of her wedding and printing them on my husband's laser printer, just as we did for her graduation invitations. They will cost me less than $1 each.

Don't waste your money on favors. Most of them will get trashed anyway. If you want to send your guests home with something, make it something edible.
We are going to have Dove Promises and Hershey Kisses on each table that guests can help themselves to.

That's all I can think of now but I hope it helps. Have fun!

Handbag Lady
12-17-2008, 01:17 PM
Oh, yeah! My veil was less than $10. I wanted a LONG train, but my dress didn't have it. So, my crafty maid of honor bought yards of tulle, and then bought fake pearls and dotted the tulle with the pearls. THe edges didn't need finishing because the pearls made it look finished.

We just tucked it into my tiara (on ebay for $15) and voila! I looked GORGEOUS! She even cut a layer of tulle short then I had a blusher! (It helps to know crafty people.)

Inigo
12-17-2008, 02:56 PM
My wedding 22 years ago was budget. I don't have much in the way of parents, so I pretty much had to do this on my own. With DH's help, of course. And with the help of a lot of people whom I love.

My dress was the most expensive part at about $300, and the tux rentals. The bridesmaid's dresses came from the JCPenney Outlet store in Columbus, OH. I had to drive three hours to get there, but was able to find the exact shade I wanted for about $10 each. The hemline was a little different, but other than that, it was the dresses I wanted. (I even bought an extra in case one bridesmaid bugged out.)

I found an adorable dress on clearance at Sears for the flower girl.

The dresses all needed alterations, and I was fortunate to have a friend who could do those. She also did all the floral arrangements, boutenaires, bows, decorations, etc, so all those cost me were for the supplies. I have to laugh, because the friend is actually the older sister of one of my ex-boyfriends. She told me she was planning on doing my wedding when I dated her brother, and she still loved me so she would do this for me even though I married someone else. It's still family though. Her aunt (mom's sister) is also my husband's aunt, since the aunt is the widow of my mother-in-law's brother. We definitely live in a too small town. (My kids are not allowed to marry anyone in the state of IN. We need fresh genes!) My friend borrowed the petticoats from her friend, and she made me the most beautiful veil.

My aunt (not related to my husband, BTW) helped with the flowers.

We got married by my husband's 78 year old great uncle. That was funny, since he did go off a tangent during the ceremony, telling stories about when DH was a kid, and when I was a kid. (DH is 9 years older, so we were never around each other when we were kids.) That made the ceremony more personable. (Uncle Lloyd will be 100 in three weeks!)

We were married in the church where my grandparents attended. My grandfather was the trustee who helped raise the money to build the current church, so it was almost like having my grandparents there.

The rehearsal dinner was huge, and I think just about everyone that was invited to the wedding came to the rehearsal dinner. DH's cousins fixed the food, and we sat, talked, ate and visited for hours after the actual rehearsal.

For the wedding, we had punch, cake, mints, and nuts. The cake was baked and decorated by a friend using a design I concocted from putting together parts I liked in pictures of other wedding cakes, so it was a one-of-a-kind cake. Fortunately, I had a friend who had taken all three Wilton Cake Decorating classes. The main cost was buying the pans for the three different shaped cakes.

DD and I took the Wilton classes when she was 12. Her flowers are beautiful (mine are not-so-pretty), so she could conceivably do the wedding cakes for her friends when they get married.

My MOH had just finished cosmotology school, so she did our hair and makeup for the ceremony.

The wedding singer was a cousin of my husband's, and was the granddaughter of the uncle who married us. Another distant cousin played the organ for the ceremony. My high school art teacher, who is a photographer on the side, took the pictures. He gave me the film to have developed, so I was able to get the prints made that I wanted. My friend's dad had a videotaping business, so she was able to have the wedding videotaped as her present to us.

I've been told, and it seems from the pictures and video, that it was a lovely service. I was there, but a lot of it was a blur at the time.

Hmom
12-17-2008, 04:12 PM
We paid for ours also. I wanted to have fun, but not break the bank :)

1. Didn't really do centerpieces. Bought taper candles at a craft store sale for .25 and holders at the dollar store 2/1.00. Volunteered to pull ivy (not the poison kind!) out of friends & family yard to help them "clean up." Wove the ivy through the candles & holders & trailed it out to the plates.

2. Sister-in-law made our cake as our gift.

3. Flowers were a gift from a friend.

4. My hairdo was a gift from another friend.

5. Made my hair piece. Not as hard as it sounds!

6. Another friend made my gown. I had to pay, but it wasn't as expensive a buying something at a wedding store. I think I paid what I've heard some people say they've put out in alterations at wedding stores.

7. Favors were boxes of chocolate. Our wedding was in November, so the day after Halloween, I was out buying every piece of chocolate that I thought would look nice in a small box. Bought the boxes online super cheap, no engraving, not from a wedding site. Tied with ribbon.

Good luck!

Hmom
12-17-2008, 04:26 PM
Ok, after 8 years, the brain gets a little fuzzy on the details. A few more that I remember.

1. No videographer. Had friends bring their video cameras, put them up on tripods at the ceremony & reception & just let them run. Someone was in charge of checking on them to see if they needed a new tape. I still make my husband watch it every year on our anniversary :love:

2. No limo. Actually, totally forgot to plan how new DH & I were getting from ceremony to reception :rotfl: We ended up jumping in a friend's car.

Have fun planning!

crisi
12-17-2008, 04:29 PM
My second wedding was on a budget.

I wore a very nice white cocktail dress - short. He wore a suit.

We got married in a courthouse by a JP for some small amount of money plus the license.

We had our reception in a rented public park building - had a friend DJ, ordered sub sandwiches, I baked my own wedding cake. Another friend did photos. Still another did all my flowers - which she got wholesale. Brought in wine and beer (which meant that our biggest cost was the cop we had to have onsite if we had alcohol in a public park building).

dreamin_disney
12-17-2008, 05:37 PM
Congrats. I'm also on a tight budget. I did spend more than i wanted to on my dress. It was on sale so i saved $75 off plus davids bridal send me a $50 giftcards i got to use toward the dress. I walked out with dress, puffy slip and a good strapless bra for $681, yes it was way more than i wanted to spend but I felt happy in it and thought it was really pretty. I got 6 month
0% finan. to pay it off. I'm making my own centerpieces, favors, and main table floral arrangement. I also made my own invitations using a kit from Michaels 40 invites for 18.00 with a 50% coupon. I bought just about everything i could from Michaels and joann with 50% coupons. My cake i will get from a grocery store instead of a bakery. It willbe a 3 tier cake. My MIL will buy and make the food. You can do it just start looking and planning now

figment fan21
12-17-2008, 07:38 PM
wow you girls are amazing! :worship: I can't believe all the advice. I'm definatly taking most of it.
We are thinking of getting married on a Sunday instead of a saturday.10/10/2010 is what DF wants because it'll be easy for him to remember. :rotfl:
I did do some research on cupcake wedding cakes and i LOVE the idea. So i think i'm going to try making them on my own and hopefully it'll work! :goodvibes
Our wedding is going to be small only 75 people max. which will make the cost less... my friend had 300 people at her wedding and she spent 30,000$ :scared1: yea not my budget.
I have a question though... We are not that religiouse and i'm roman catholic and he is Episcopalian so to be fair we weren't going to have a ceremony in a church. So how do you go about finding somewhere to have a ceremony? :confused3 where would be cheapest but still pretty?

englishteacha
12-17-2008, 07:51 PM
My niece had her wedding at the Elks Lodge where her reception was held. 2 cousins had outdoor weddings with giant tents. Just beware...the tent rental was more than I paid for the hall where I had my reception! You could start looking at local reception halls...many have a nice area where you could have your ceremony.

Miffy
12-17-2008, 08:07 PM
DH and my wedding expenses were:

1) the license
2) the fee to the county clerk for officiating
3) taxis between the Kissimmee County Court House and WDW
4) mini-golf at Fantasia afterwards, which cost was reduced by DH getting a hole-in-one on some unknown-to-us predesignated hole, thereby making his round free...and the golf was not full-price anyway, since we had an AP discount
5) dinner at the Japan pavilion in Epcot, window seats for Illuminations...DH and I aren't big eaters, so the dinner was pretty inexpensive

I'm not sure of the total cost, but it was easily affordable. We both wore clothing we owned anyway.

To me, it was the most wonderful day ever, as every day I spend with DH is.

I'm really posting this to let you know that you don't have to spend lots of or in fact very much money to have a great wedding. The great thing about your wedding is that you and your DF are in love and are getting married.

ah1126
12-17-2008, 08:54 PM
My advice is start buying things now. Anythink you know you will want, watch for sales! I bought things the whole year leading up to the wedding and it really helped with the budget.

We did our own invitations, I found some great deals online for the supplies.

Also look at Oriental Trading for things. We got our champagne glasses and serving set from them. They were ingraved and I don't think either set was more than $15.

My Maid Of Honor had been in a wedding the year before and her dress matched my colors, so she just wore her dress again. We were able to find a matching one for the other attendent for less than $50.

The place where we got the tuxes offered a free rental for the groom if the groomsmen got their tuxes there.

We got married at 2pm, so we just did snack/finger foods.

We watched for deals after Easter and got the flowergirl dresses for less than $10.

For flowers, we got them done at a grocery store with a flower department. This was a big money saver. Just make sure you order in enough time if you are getting married close to a big flower event (prom).

For your dress, consider one that could be worn again. My dress was off white with embordered flowers. After the wedding I got the train cut off. We went on a cruise a year or so later and I wore it to the formal dinner. My dress was the biggest cost of the wedding, but I have worn it twice!

Keep your eyes open everywhere you go. You never know where you might pick up something that will be perfect for your special day!

Congrats!!

Hmom
12-17-2008, 09:58 PM
Roman Catholic married to a Baptist by an Episcopal minister at a Methodist chapel. :lovestruc

The chapel is part of a Methodist camp in our area. The place where we had our reception now has a gazebo on their grounds for ceremonies. There are many inexpensive options for ceremony locations. State parks, community parks, a local farm with a great barn, local wineries or colleges.... Think out of the ordinary. Is there some place you & DF love to go that would be perfect? With a small guest list, you'll have a lot of flexibility on creative locations. You never know what a facility might say until you ask.

Another suggestion - go to a bridal show or two in your area. I went to a big huge one & a smaller local one. Good research. I learned a lot about what I wanted & didn't want. Found my photographer & DJ at the small local show.

I agree with the advice to start shopping now. I got great prices on things because I was able to decide what I wanted & watch sales for about a year.

One thing that made our day so much fun for us is that we appointed my mom as the question manager for the day. Everyone - restaurant, photog, DJ, anyone who was helping with anything - knew in advance to talk to my mom, not me or DH, if there was a question or problem. It worked wonderfully! I didn't know until after our honeymoon that our credit card was declined when paying the final fees for the reception. :eek:

I also had a picture coordinator, my cousin. I had written out a list of exactly the order pictures were to be taken. Her job was to be sure the participants for each picture were there & ready to go so no one had to wait around. We were also able to be sure that our more elderly relatives had their pictures taken with us & were able to move on to the reception quickly.

Have fun!

HunnyPots
12-17-2008, 10:04 PM
Wow! You've got almost two years to plan? You could actually save enough to do pretty much whatever you want in that time. Start a special savings account and put some money into it out of every paycheck. I would not start buying anything for the wedding for at least a year. That way you won't waste money if you buy something now and change your mind as the wedding gets closer. Maybe start a scrapbook of ideas; anything you like or think you might like, put it in the book for future reference.

crisi
12-17-2008, 10:07 PM
I have a question though... We are not that religiouse and i'm roman catholic and he is Episcopalian so to be fair we weren't going to have a ceremony in a church. So how do you go about finding somewhere to have a ceremony? :confused3 where would be cheapest but still pretty?

Public park, private home, someone's yard, courthouse - a friend rented a museum on a closed evening - because she got married on a Tuesday night or something, the whole reception was cheaper. Another friend has parents with a condo - one great party room in their building - beautiful view of the city skyline - and rents for $75 but only to residents. My mother in law got remarried in her living room. We got married in judges chambers - but only had six guests for the actual wedding (100 at the reception). Another friend married at a yoga center with a meditation garden - she got married out in the garden.

zumbergc
12-17-2008, 10:53 PM
since you have so long, make sure you completely decide on colors or themes before you start buying. Cause if you change your mind, your out the cash.

You and fiance need to make a list out of the priorities you both have for the wedding, and what you both want most. Then look at the lists and look at where you want to place your money, and where you can agree to cut and save more money.

Like if the floral isn't important, but food is. You'll want to spend more money that way., or if photography is more important than food? Etc. Talk to friends family who have gotten married recently and find out the tips and tricks they used.

In jan they tend to wedding shows in our area. If you go, they generally have door prizes, etc. Alot of times the individual vendors have drawings, and you fill out a form. Bring address labels, fill them all out, heck you could win something small, but it still saves $$$

Jsme
12-18-2008, 08:51 AM
Wow what awesome ideas. I have always told my DD she needs to have a wedding that I can afford to pay for. I told her maybe at the beach or on a cruise. We have been or seen these type weddings and they were lovely. Everyone that was invited were responsible for paying their own way. I have no clue if that is the correct way of doing things but I personally had no problem with paying my own way.

I like the idea of asking if anyone has a specific talent, such as photography, cooking or planning events. This is an awesome wedding present. I have helped plan a wedding years ago and that was my present to my friend.

I love the idea of fresh flowers. You can buy them cheaply if you have a Alidi around. They have roses very cheap. You do not need to pay for long stem roses. They are beautiful with a ribbon tied to them and no other flowers with them.

I also enjoyed the idea of the train. I did not even think of making your own.

If someone that you know owns a home or condo, once again a great wedding present it the person is so inclined to give you the choice.

burberryplaid
12-18-2008, 09:20 AM
I've been married for almost five years and we paid for the majority of our wedding ourselves. (Our IL's paid for a few extra guests they wanted to be there) Here are my budget savers:

First off, I tell every bride I know to get the Bridal bargains (http://www.amazon.com/Bridal-Bargains-9th-Fantastic-Realistic/dp/1889392294/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1229611885&sr=8-1) book. It is full of great information and has an accompanying website. I couldn't have done it without this book!

Dress- I fell in love with a $1300 designer dress. $1300 was a little rich for my blood so I tried it on and got my measurements done at a local shop then ordered through a place called Pearl's Place (http://www.pearlsplace.com). It is an actual bridal shop in Louisiana who does a lot of business by phone. I was able to get my dress for $912! I was nervous about using them, but they have a good reputation in the Bridal Bargains book I mentioned above so I gave it a shot. My dress arrived on time, in perfect condition, in the original box with all original tags. I have since used Pearl's Place for a bridesmaids gown and will be using them to buy a gown for my BIL's wedding next August.

Flowers - I used a local grocery store. I was originally going to do my own flowers with the help of a friend who worked in a flower shop for many years, but to my surprise, it was cheaper to use the grocery store. My flowers were beautiful and everyone was surprised that they weren't done my a professional flower shop.

Jewelery and accessories - All of my jewelery was bought on E-bay. My tiara and veil came from online retailers.

Favors - We bought little square boxes on e-bay and filled them with lindt truffles that we bought at BJ's Wholesale. It cost us less than $1 per person!

Best of luck and happy planning!

Disney845
12-18-2008, 11:00 AM
I remember when a friend was planning to get married a few years ago, that they found out that "special dates" like 10-10-10 can very pricey (like a holiday price almost) because they tend to be very popular.

rumrunnergirl
12-18-2008, 03:51 PM
One word: eBay.

Seriously, you can get stuff super cheap there. I got my dress off ebay (used, great shape) for $50 vs. $400 at David's. She did sell me a Women's instead of Misses (the auction stated Misses), but a friend is paying for alterations.

I got new titanium bands for $30 shipped. My veil w/rhinestones was $10 shipped. My new purse was $12 shipped. My DDs new dress was $22 shipped. My new "undergarments" were less than $20 shipped. My new Swarovski crystal necklace with matching earrings was $25 shipped.

I got new white pumps at the thrift store for $1, DH2B's shirt and shoes at the thrift, etc. We got candle holders new at the thrift.

I made my own "save the date" cards, printed out my own invites (got at Walmart for $7), made my own Unity Candle setting, making my own favors, etc. We're having a morning wedding followed by a luncheon. No alcohol at all.

I just checked out that Bridal Bargains book from the library but haven't read it yet. Good luck!

figment fan21
12-18-2008, 04:18 PM
I remember when a friend was planning to get married a few years ago, that they found out that "special dates" like 10-10-10 can very pricey (like a holiday price almost) because they tend to be very popular.


I just got a phone call from a place i was interested in and they said the same thing. ::BUMMER!!:: As much as it would be a cool date i'm going to try and pick another date around the same time.

figment fan21
12-18-2008, 04:21 PM
I've been married for almost five years and we paid for the majority of our wedding ourselves. (Our IL's paid for a few extra guests they wanted to be there) Here are my budget savers:

First off, I tell every bride I know to get the Bridal bargains (http://www.amazon.com/Bridal-Bargains-9th-Fantastic-Realistic/dp/1889392294/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1229611885&sr=8-1) book. It is full of great information and has an accompanying website. I couldn't have done it without this book!

Flowers - I used a local grocery store. I was originally going to do my own flowers with the help of a friend who worked in a flower shop for many years, but to my surprise, it was cheaper to use the grocery store. My flowers were beautiful and everyone was surprised that they weren't done my a professional flower shop.

Jewelery and accessories - All of my jewelery was bought on E-bay. My tiara and veil came from online retailers.

Favors - We bought little square boxes on e-bay and filled them with lindt truffles that we bought at BJ's Wholesale. It cost us less than $1 per person!


i'll have to get that book!
Ebay is amazing!
and what an awesome idea for favors!

you guys are the best! I'm going to print this thread out and keep all of your ideas! I think i'm going to start a wedding planning scrapbook/binder and fill it with all of your ideas and things i find on the internet. :cloud9:

Nyla
12-18-2008, 04:26 PM
Congratulations!

DF and I are also on a very, very tight budget with mortgage and now a new car payment. Our wedding is coming up in September. Yikes! Neither of our families are able to assist with wedding costs, so we are doing it ourselves.

Ways we have cut back:

1.) A friend is making our wedding cake for us. Sure it won't be as glamorous as some of the professionally done cakes, but after all, it is just cake. I for one am not about to shell out 2400.00 for a cake. Also, you could look at a bride and groom cake, and then passing out cupcakes to guests. Cupcakes are very, very popular right now, budget conscious or not.

2.) One of my bridesmaids is doing the photography. I lucked out here, as my best friend is a great photographer. She's offered to do our wedding for free, as she's just getting her business up and running. In the meantime, I'm advertising her to everyone I know, and plastering her work all over my webpage. Works out great for both of us.

3.) We're buying our floral arrangements from the grocery store. Several of my friends have recently done this, and all of the arrangements have come out absolutely gorgeous, and for a 1/8 of the price! You'd never know they weren't from a floral boutique. If grocery store florists raise your red flag, have your bridesmaids carry silk flowers, and you carry a real bouquet. No one will ever know.

4.) David's Bridal constantly has the $99.00 sale. However, while that price only commits to certain clearance dresses, the sale usually drops the prices of everything else in the store. One dress I tried on was normally $1200.00, but was on sale for $522.00. Too bad it wasn't 'the' dress.

5.) We are considering holding our reception at my mom's house. A very, very unfavorable idea in my mind, and I loathe the idea of a reception in the backyard, but we'll do what we have to do. Who knows, maybe I'll get the golf course club house after all. :cloud9:

travelgirl06
12-18-2008, 04:44 PM
I am loving this thread! We got engaged last month and are looking to hold a really affordable wedding (saving up for a down payment on a house is much higher on our priority list). We are toying with the idea of doing a "weddingmoon" (lots of all-inclusive resorts will give you a "free" wedding if you have your honeymoon there), but we are also considering a smallish wedding in our new hometown. I am looking for all the budget advice I can get.

I've been trying to look at wedding books just to get ideas (since we are still undecided on date, location, etc.), but they just overwhelm me. One of the magazines I looked at implied that you should budget $12/person for CAKE! That is not in our plans:thumbsup2

figment fan21
12-18-2008, 05:48 PM
Congratulations!

DF and I are also on a very, very tight budget with mortgage and now a new car payment. Our wedding is coming up in September. Yikes! Neither of our families are able to assist with wedding costs, so we are doing it ourselves.

Ways we have cut back:

1.) A friend is making our wedding cake for us. Sure it won't be as glamorous as some of the professionally done cakes, but after all, it is just cake. I for one am not about to shell out 2400.00 for a cake. Also, you could look at a bride and groom cake, and then passing out cupcakes to guests. Cupcakes are very, very popular right now, budget conscious or not.

2.) One of my bridesmaids is doing the photography. I lucked out here, as my best friend is a great photographer. She's offered to do our wedding for free, as she's just getting her business up and running. In the meantime, I'm advertising her to everyone I know, and plastering her work all over my webpage. Works out great for both of us.

3.) We're buying our floral arrangements from the grocery store. Several of my friends have recently done this, and all of the arrangements have come out absolutely gorgeous, and for a 1/8 of the price! You'd never know they weren't from a floral boutique. If grocery store florists raise your red flag, have your bridesmaids carry silk flowers, and you carry a real bouquet. No one will ever know.

4.) David's Bridal constantly has the $99.00 sale. However, while that price only commits to certain clearance dresses, the sale usually drops the prices of everything else in the store. One dress I tried on was normally $1200.00, but was on sale for $522.00. Too bad it wasn't 'the' dress.

5.) We are considering holding our reception at my mom's house. A very, very unfavorable idea in my mind, and I loathe the idea of a reception in the backyard, but we'll do what we have to do. Who knows, maybe I'll get the golf course club house after all. :cloud9:


Congrats to you to Nyla!!:bride:
I definatly think flowers from the grocery store is something we'll do! I'm glad we aren't the only ones doing things on the budget. I was talking to a co-worker and he couldn't believe what my budget was. i thought he was going to spit on me or something. :guilty:
Us Budget Brides need to stick together!:bride: :grouphug:

russo6
12-18-2008, 06:15 PM
You could also look into getting married on a Monday of a holiday weekend. That really saved us a lot of money. My brother and his wife made their own chocolates as party favors in pretty white boxes with ribbons. It had their new family initial on it.

travelgirl06
12-18-2008, 07:09 PM
Katie,

I also wanted to tell you that I just read your engagement TR and your story is so sweet (and all the craziness just makes it that much more memorable!) I was at a conference in Baltimore and DF came out there to surprise me (and propose), as soon as I saw him, I knew what was happening, so I can totally empathize with the excited-nervous-queasy feeling. I was so nervous and happy that I was talking like a fool, but in the end it turned out to be a very "us" proposal, which was perfect:thumbsup2 .

I'm so glad there are so many other budget-minded brides on these boards. I was seriously getting sick of all the frivolousness that most people associate with weddings (if you want it and can afford it, go for it, but my $ is going elsewhere). I am "under-employed" right now, so money is a bit tight, and I'm glad to know that a nice wedding can be done on a budget.

Keep the tips coming!

emh1129
12-18-2008, 07:29 PM
We spent less than $5k for our wedding in 2003 in CT. Including reception, reception music (pianist), reception, DJ, dress, limo, flowers.
We had the ceremony at DH's church and we had the reception at a hotel ballroom (where DH and I met- I worked in sales and he was a cook!).

One tip if you are looking at a banquet hall- don't just ask for their wedding menus. Ask for all of their banquet menus.. you'll generally find that the dishes on the wedding menu are the most expensive, but the other menus (the ones they use for reunions, parties, etc) have lovely dishes, just priced lower.

A few of our mistakes- we should have gone to listen to the DJ somewhere before booking him & not just taking someone's word for it. He was good, but his set-up made me cringe. He had a sparkly sign on the side that was just tacky! Luckily he was sort of off in the corner..
And splurge for a good photographer. It will be all you have left afterwards (other than the beautiful memories and your DH, of course :) and you'll want to treasure those photos! We skimped in this area and I regret that.
And don't write off grocery store florists. I cringe when I think of how much of a markup we paid on our flowers (they were beautiful, but still..) just because they were from a small specialty shop. I've since seen some of the wedding floral displays at our local grocery store and they were breathtaking, too.. (I was just a snob, I guess).

liz9132
12-18-2008, 07:34 PM
my cousin is a wedding planner in lowell, mass. he is really good and will work with any budget you have. he creates some beutiful work. he can make centerpieces, bouquets and really do anything you want for whatever price your looking for.

here is his website: http://nuexquisite.com/

take a look. you will be pleased with his work. and truely he will create anything you are looking for.

also there is a reception hall in lowell that you can rent pretty cheap and is very nice. PM if you want the name of the place and info

figment fan21
12-18-2008, 08:49 PM
Katie,

I also wanted to tell you that I just read your engagement TR and your story is so sweet (and all the craziness just makes it that much more memorable!) I was at a conference in Baltimore and DF came out there to surprise me (and propose), as soon as I saw him, I knew what was happening, so I can totally empathize with the excited-nervous-queasy feeling. I was so nervous and happy that I was talking like a fool, but in the end it turned out to be a very "us" proposal, which was perfect:thumbsup2 .

I'm so glad there are so many other budget-minded brides on these boards. I was seriously getting sick of all the frivolousness that most people associate with weddings (if you want it and can afford it, go for it, but my $ is going elsewhere). I am "under-employed" right now, so money is a bit tight, and I'm glad to know that a nice wedding can be done on a budget.

Keep the tips coming!
awe travelgirl! thanks for reading my TR. It was a crazy vacation but it was the most memorable week of my life. Everyday since i have a moment where i think about it and leave reality for a moment.:cloud9: i wish i could be on that carriage ride at FW forever with him. even after all the mess in the begining. i'm truly a lucky girl.:goodvibes

anywho enough mushy stuff. I'm really loving all of these tips, i'm glad i asked the question because this is some great stuff for us budget brides!