My family had four weddings in one year. There was one in August, one in Septembe,r and two in December. My parents are wonderful loving people, but there was no way they could take the bills of four weddings at once. Not only that, we, their children, didn’t want them to. So we came up with a few ways (other than starting married life in massive wedding debt) to make our special days fit our budgets.
I got my wedding dress for $40 at a thrift store. It was the design I wanted, the size I needed, and didn’t end up costing me an arm and a leg. Many people also have dresses that are passed down in the family from mother to daughter. If I didn’t like it I would consider having the dress altered to meet my needs or tastes. In addition to the dress is jewelry that is kept in the family. This gives family members a chance to share stories, items, and contribute to the wedding in a non monetary way.
One of the biggest bridesmaids complaints that I have heard is that they paid for the dress, and that they will never wear it again. Either it isn’t in their taste or they don’t have a function in mind where it would be apropriate. Women have begun to remedy this by giving their bridesmaids a color and then allowing them to pick the dress individually. Another way I have seen it done is the bride picks a dress suitable for every Sunday wear that is $50 or under. Take advantages of sales on dresses to buy one get one free sales on shoes
We have already covered dresses and jewelry, but there are always things that could be borrowed for a wedding. I borrowed my friends’ skills. If one has a gift for party planning I put her in charge of the shower. I suggested refreshments be something simple, like an ice cream bar. Then I suggested each person could bring a topping. It reduces the cost for her and ensures it’s not a burden for everyone else. Or perhaps my friend is an amazing decorator. I asked for her help decorating the reception and count it as a gift. If my friend is handy with a make up brush and blow dryer, I asked her to be part of my special day by ensuring I look my best. This reduces my costs, and helps build memories with my friends.
Be prepared for things to not go quite as planned. People miss flights, sales, and come down with the flu. Colors may not look in real life the way they did in my head. The important thing on this day is not so much the decor as it is I’m joining my life with someone I love.
Have fun and congratulations!
Wedding season is just around the corner for this wedding photographer by day and Thrifty Diva by night. Right now brides all over the country are planning their big days that will happen this summer. One of the biggest complaints about wedding planning is the cost. According to CNN, the average cost of a wedding is around $28,000. With that number getting higher every year and the economy still trying to rebound, people are trying to find places to save money. Here are some of our best money saving tips for weddings.
1. Get married on an off-peak day. You’d be surprised that most venues and even businesses will give discounts for off-peak days. Try getting married on a Thursday or even a Sunday. Winter is another time that a lot of places will give discounts.
2. Go Pinterest crazy! I have been LOVING what I am seeing at weddings from Pinterest inspired boards. People are getting these ideas and doing them themselves and saving money on decorations. There are so many ideas for thrifty wedding decorating it’s ridiculous!
3. Do a dummy cake. This is very popular. People are just having a smaller cake for the top of their cake made, then the rest is fake. They cut the top during the reception then the rest is taken to the back where a sheet cake is cut and presented. No one ever knows!
4. Buy, don’t rent. At least by buying you can resell your stuff. Nowadays online there are lots of places selling wedding stuff for cheap. Use it and then turn around and resell it. It’s not a bad idea for you to try and buy used stuff too. Most of the time it was used for one day. Check out eBay!
5. Offer a cash bar. Liquor is expensive and it’s not as taboo anymore to do this. People are there to have a good time and usually don’t mind having to pay for their own drinks. This could save you thousands.
6. Use your cake as a favor. Instead of buying separate favors, buy small cake boxes so people can take the cake home with them. Then you won’t be stuck with wasted cake and they still get something to take home. I LOVE wedding cake after a wedding.
7. Go with a DJ over live entertainment. They are always cheaper and you can have just as much fun.
8. Stay on schedule. Most of your vendors at your wedding are working per hour and you contract per hour with them. Stay on schedule so you don’t need them to stay longer and spend more money.
9. Buy a used wedding dress. If you aren’t the kind of person who cares, this is a FANTASTIC way to save a thousand or two. Most wedding dresses are used once and end up still in great condition. Check out consignment stores. Often times bridal stores will even have their demo dresses for sale after a while. After a good cleaning, you would think it’s new!
10. Price buffet dinners and sit down dinners. It’s a general assumption that buffets are cheaper, but that’s not always true. Make sure you check both kinds to see which is less expensive.
What are you doing to save money at your wedding?