1. Your Dress: Dresses that cost $2,000-$15,000 are gorgeous! But if you do not have that much to spend, do not worry.
If you try on a dress you love at a shop, write down style #, designer and color and search on-line, call other shops and see if they can beat the price, and/or look at the following to find it.
-This website has designer dresses on sale up to 90% off! (here is where you search your designer and style #
-Be Aware of $100 dresses on the sites that remake the designer dresses from different countries. If you are on that much of a budget, go ahead and try, but keep in mind they will only look "similar" and not be THAT dress, and will not be made as well..
Ebay! Yes, Dresses that brides have worn once! If you buy your dream dress for a quarter of the price and spend $100 on a tailor...that is a DEAL! (here is where you search your designer and style #)
is a trust-worthy site where brides sell their wedding dresses, jewelry and accessories. (here is where you search your designer and style #)
2. Bridesmaid Dresses: Yes, you can find dresses around $150 and up at bridal shops.
-If you have maids of all shapes and sizes, then this idea may be hard. If not, how about Target or Macys? Why not order the same dress online in all different sizes. Who said they have to cost $250 in order to be a bridesmaid dress? For example for a spring wedding: a cotton, knee length dress with a pretty, simple pattern from a regular store would be amazing! You may even purchase them for your maids as their gift!
-I am a fan of non-traditional, as you know. To be honest, I never understood why maids match 100% anyway...are they not their own person? How about pick a color and tell them to find a dress.:"Beige. Knee-length. Strapless. GO!" or Pick a some guidelines: "Chiffon. Floor Length. Pastel Yellow or Champagne. GO!" or even easier, just tell them a color or 2!
3. Ask for wedding help instead of wedding gifts. Maybe you have a friend who plays the guitar. Instead of hiring a band for the ceremony, ask him to play. Nothing is more elgant and intimate than the sound of single acoustic guitar strings. (That is what I had at my wedding!) Perhaps you know someone who is a skilled Cake Decorator, amazing with the sewing machine....etc. Go through your family and ask for help! In my experience, they would much rather help out the bride and groom than write a check. Not to mention they will feel honored.
-Many sites say instead of hiring a photographer or videographer, have your friends do it. I disagree for 2 reasons. The 1st: I always say your pictures is one thing to splurge on! This is how you can re-live your wedding day, get the best you can get within your budget. The 2nd: Do you really think your friends WANT to be spending your wedding taping and taking pictures of your wedding? You should be planning your wedding around your guest's needs, this is not the way to do that.
5. Reception Location: Of course, if you book top places in wedding season, they don't need your business because they have plenty other brides. Here are some ideas:
-Park, Outdoors: As long as there is no booking fee, booking a park or outside area will be less expensive. All you need is a few permits and perhaps a tent. Keep in mind this is not as cheap as it sounds. Tables, tents, chairs, etc...adds up, but will be a fraction of some other place's fees.
-Does a friend of yours have an enormous home on a lake? Perhaps has a backyard with a gorgeous flat piece of land? A room in their house with cathedral cieling JUST big enough for your 60 person affair? Maybe they own an old barn you could clear out? Ask them! Not to mention it will be very unique and one-of-a-kind!
-Vrbo.com has houses all around the country for rent. How about renting a house for the weekend on the coast and having your wedding there? One of a kind!
6. The Date, Time & Season
-I know, I know, June weddings are to die for., but also most popular! Why not have a wedding out of wedding season. Venues & vendors are booked easily during wedding season and to be honest, do not need your business because they will have another bride the next day. April-June, September- October just try to avoid. How about a white winter wedding? The amount of TLC you will get because you are one of limited clients is a bonus.You can negotiate in free things like champagne toasts, upgraded linens, ice sculptures, cake, etc. and the fees will be lower.
-Keep in mind Prom season in May! Oy-Just stay away!
-Friday and Sunday weddings! Why do we stay away from these days? You are not alone, everyone else does, too. So let me explain to you again. TLC! You will be the only wedding that day and you will probably be the only one inquiring for that day so you will be getting discounts, cheaper rates, things for free and lot of attention the entire night.
-Time of Day: Morning Weddings, such as a brunch or lunch…save you lots of mula.
-Friday: You are thinking people will have to take off work or won’t come. Let me tell you two things: One, if they are important to you, they will come; and two, who doesn’t love taking a day off? You have told them well in advance! Not to mention people love having the rest of their weekend free!
-Sunday: Yes, people have to work the next day so it may not be a “party, drink-fest” type affair. A Sunday brunch or afternoon wedding is one of the most relaxing and lovely weddings I have ever done! A Spring Sunday wedding…Awww, it is like Easter!
7. Take Advantage of Students (let me explain): For every service you need, there’s a student willing to provide it for a nominal fee in exchange for experience. Especially in bigger cities like New York or Baltimore, you’ve got students from some of the most renowned schools and programs; Institutes of Fine Art and Music at your fingertips. There are plenty of talented apprentices eager for experience. Scour Craigslist and contact schools for names, but be sure to ask for samples before you commit. The last thing you want is a shoddy guitar player or a yucky cake on your big day because you failed to sample the goods first.
-Hire someone to run your ipod. You can have your wedding songs, traditions songs, dance songs all ready to go.
-Band: Instead of an expensive 10 piece band, how about hiring a band that you saw on open mic night that you loved, or a jazz artist that blew your socks off at an event, or even at your local bar! They will charge a minimal fee and would love the experience. Then use your ipod to dance the night away!
9. Skip the 5 tier Cake!: Paying $1,500-$40,000 for a cake that will be devoured not your thing? How about a simple design with real flowers instead of expensive sugar flowers? A mix of cakes and/or desserts from Costco on an elegant dessert table? A small beautifully decorated 2 tier cake for $400 and sheet cake in the back to be served to the rest? Cupcakes? Endless ideas here!!
10. Skip the Fancy-schmancy Rehearsal Dinner. How about a picnic, or having your family or his (whoever has the bigger house) host it at their house after rehearsing at the venue. Maybe pick a restaurant and ask if they have an area big enough for 25 or so to block off for you. You will cut the cost of rental fees and caterers.
11. Grooms Tux: Ok, call me crazy.www.studiosuits.com. Each groomsman can have their own suit tailored to them and even better they get to keep them! Guess the price: $100-200/each. You could choose slim fit, the amount of pockets, pleats, you name it! Highly recommended!
12. Flower Girls/Ring Bearers: Go to target, Marshalls, the mall and find a gorgeous little dress and suit for them! Flower Girls should like….GIRLS…not little brides! My ring bearer matched the groomsmen adorably! The groomsmen wore linen suits, and the ring bearer wore linen pants, and suspenders with a matching boutonniere. Unbelievably adorable!!
13. Flowers: If you want high centerpieces you need to go to a florist, but if you are ok with minimal flowers, keep reading
- If you want flowers, lots and lots of flowers, 2 things are a must: LOCAL & IN SEASON. This is the most inexpensive option.
-Boutonnieres: Make your own! If you want real flowers, these can be made 1-2 days in advance and kept in the fridge. If you like “unique” and “different” then you can make them months in advance: Silk flowers, fabric flowers, any adorable ideas you have will look amazing and be different! All you need is some ribbon and a hot glue gun.
-Centerpieces: A darkened room twinkling with candles…is there nothing more romantic? If candles are not allowed, use LED lighting. In between the candles, use 2-3 small vases with a single pretty full flower. Instead of spending $400 for each big peony centerpiece, just have 1 or 2 small vases of them raised at different heights. Simple can be gorgeous! I
14. Hire a planner! If you are looking at this, you already have. We know this in’s and out’s of wedding biz, where to get awesome décor cheap and the little known things about weddings on a budget! Please do not hesitate to ask!
15. Alcohol: Use a venue and/or caterer that allows you to bring your own alcohol. Price liquor stores (even ones that they do not recommend, like the ones I recommend) who will give you the best deal! If it a good store, then you can return what was not opened after the wedding! Sa-weet!