Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cut Cost Not Quality

Who doesn't want to have a beautiful wedding? I think it's safe to say that most, if not all couples have this as their ultimate goal. But with a beautiful wedding comes an extravagant price tag, right? Not necessarily. When planning a wedding or any type of event, it's important to remember that it's not all about how much money you have to spend. What makes the difference in having a beautiful wedding and not breaking your pockets to do so, is how you spend the money you have. Following are a few cost cutting ideas to consider when planning that beautiful wedding, without going to the poor house to do it.

Dress For Less
Shop wholesale
Check out E-bay for gowns
Consider renting vs. purchasing
Have gown made
Consider wearing an evening gown vs. a “wedding” gown
Shop for Bridesmaids dress after New Years or during prom season
Shop David’s Bridal $99 sale
Check out Jessica McClintock stores
Purchase a simple plain gown or dress and dress it up yourself with appliqués, trimming etc.
Consider purchasing a sample gown
Check out thrift shops or consignment stores
Borrow a dress
Buy shoes in summer where white shoes are everywhere and avoid purchasing “wedding” shoes
For the groom: Consider wearing a suit vs. tuxedo

Smile Pretty For The Camera
Don’t pinch pennies on photography
Use contracted time for ceremony & reception – forgo the at home pictures. Have friend or family member snap these shots
Have photographer take pictures at ceremony, photo location, and a few detailed reception shots. (Eliminate the need for at home pictures or staying during the entire reception)
Schedule cake cutting, dancing and bouquet and garter toss early and release photographer early
Provide disposable cameras to be used by family and friends to get candid shots at the reception

You're Invited
Print invitations yourself from computer
Consider purchasing standard, plain invitations, and dress them up yourself with photos, ribbon, etc.
Have a local printer or copy center print invitations from a disk provided by you
Use lightweight invitation cards with postcard response cards – to cut down on postage
Mail order or online order invitation vs. going to a printer

Party Time
Cut down the guest list
Serve juice and soda (non-alcoholic beverages) vs. liquor (dress them up to be beachy)
Serve cake and punch vs. a plated meal
Consider hiring student from the restaurant school to cater and serve as wait staff
Purchase your own liquor – wholesale (Make sure facility will allow you to bring in your own liquor) – Also you still need to have a professional bartender
Ask caterer about cheaper alternatives regarding desired menu

They're Playing Our Song
Play taped music vs. having a DJ or Band
Designate a friend or family member to play CD’s

Let Them Eat Cake
Purchase a plain cake and decorate it yourself
Have a sheet cake vs. a tier cake
Get a small decorative cake for pictures and supplement it with a sheet cake
Have a friend or family member who bakes make the cake as a present
Consider having a tower of cupcakes with your initials on them to serve as cake and favors

Tip Toe Through The Tulips
Consider carrying one tropical stem with ribbon vs. bouquets
Let the venue stand on its own – take advantage of the site’s décor
Consider candles or small arrangements vs. elaborate flowers as centerpieces
Consider using local in season flowers
Use lots of greenery and filler and accent with just a few flowers
Opt for a small and simple bouquet
Forgo purchasing a toss bouquet – toss one flower from your bouquet, or toss the whole thing if you are not going to preserve it
Combine fresh flowers with silk flowers
Bride bouquet – fresh flowers, all others silk
Buy in bulk from Cosco’s, Sams, BJ’s
Purchase from a grocery or produce store
Use small Styrofoam balls decorated with flowers or seashells vs. bouquet for bridesmaids

Do Me A Favor
Make donation to a charity in each guest’s name
Favors and trinkets get left behind. Choose something meaningful and something guests will use

Have a family member with an upscale car chauffer you
Rent a car vs. a limo

With This Rings
Purchase from a wholesale jeweler
Consider purchasing rings from the Estate case
Consider catalog shopping

Etc. Etc. Etc.
Purchase your own make-up and have a friend or coordinator do your make-up
Have make-up and hair done by beauty school student
Ask around to see if anyone can donate to your cause – perhaps as a gift – either in service or lending you materials for decorations, etc.
Guest book – use a beautiful journal vs. “wedding” guest book
Utilize Coordinators knife, server, basket, pillow, glasses, etc.
Regarding the above items, do not purchase any “wedding” items – much cheaper to purchase these items not attached to the term ‘wedding” and dress them up yourself


Tish @TPTR said...

Fabulous tips for budget conscious brides. Great post.

J.BRIDE said...

As I bride on a budget I can truly appreciate these tips - I love the one about having guests make donations!

Anonymous said...

These tips really helped! I liked the one about using CD's for music. We have a very small budget and this helped a whole lot!!! Thanks so much! :)