From the moment you begin your journey into the world of wedding planning
you have opportunities to save money. Here are some ideas to get you
1. Make your own invitations, or have a friend or family member make them
for you. Check out WeddingClipart.com (www.weddingclipart.com) for clip
art and templates.
2. Instead of including response cards with the invitations, save the postage
and include an e-mail address and/or phone number for responses.
3. Buy your invitations online. There is more selection online, which means it
is easier to find invitations to fit your budget. In many cases you buy direct
from online sources, so you cut out the middleman and the mark-up. Some
websites to check are www.theamericanwedding.com, www.
regencyinvitations.com, and www.paperstyle.com.
4. If a fancy designer gown is not a must, consider renting a wedding dress
or buying one second-hand. There are often wedding dresses — some never
worn — advertised in the classified section of newspapers.
5. Buy a dress online. Sites such as eBay (www.ebay.com) can offer
significant savings on wedding dresses, both second-hand and brand new.
Sites such as The Bridal World (www.thebridalworld.com) http://www.
warehouse prices on new wedding dresses.
6. Consider buying a discontinued dress from a bridal store.
7. If you are planning a casual wedding, check out the dresses at area
8. Do the guys really need tuxedos? Maybe suits would look fine.
9. A bride who’s into crafts can make her own veil and headpiece. Materials
are plentiful at craft and fabric stores, and instructions are available on the
Internet and in books.
10. Buy inexpensive shoes. If the bride’s gown is long, no one will see the
shoes anyway. Ballet slippers can be purchased from a dance studio for a
11. Borrow a friend’s crinoline.
12. Buy bridesmaids’ dresses from a department store.
13. Do your own hair and makeup.
14. Use flowers that are in season, and use plenty of greenery in the
15. Pick out some pretty garden bouquets from the grocery store, a flower
wholesaler or a greenhouse, instead of going to a florist.
16. Bring the floral arrangements from the ceremony to the reception site
instead of buying separate ones.
17. Use floating candles instead of floral centrepieces.
18. Place a single flower in a bud vase or float a single flower in a bowl of
water instead of using a full arrangement.
19. Use potted plants instead of cut flowers.
20. Lots of balloons in colours that complement your wedding theme are a
great alternative to more expensive decorations.
21. Buy some tulle and twinkle lights, and decorate the venue yourself.
22. Dollar stores can be great sources for favours. They usually have candles
galore, and they have fun stuff for your child guests.
23. Instead of renting a limo, rent a fun car, such as a Volkswagen Beetle or
a convertible Ford Thunderbird, and have a friend play chauffeur.
24. Use your car or that of a friend or family member to transport you from
the ceremony to the reception.
25. Is an elegant rehearsal dinner necessary? If not, consider a more casual
dinner. You could go out for Chinese food or order a pizza or even have a
26. Have your wedding during the off-season (Nov. 1 to April 30).
27. Get married on a Friday night or on a Sunday.
28. Have a Christmastime wedding. Chances are the venue will already be
29. Hold the ceremony and reception at the same location. You’re likely to
have a lower total rental fee — and you’ll save money on transportation and
30. Choose a venue that needs little adornment, such as a garden or
31. Serve appetizers on a buffet instead of having servers circulate them.
32. Ask friends or family to make the appetizers and desserts.
33. Consider having a cocktail reception instead of a sit-down meal.
34. Have a brunch or lunch reception, or provide a buffet instead of a plated
35. Have a potluck reception.
36. Use the wedding cake as the dessert. (Everyone will be stuffed anyway!)
37. Borrow seldom-used items such as the punch bowl and cake knife
instead of purchasing them.
38. Instead of a wedding cake, order a fancy cake from a bakery. (Who
doesn’t love cheesecake?)
39. Decorate the top of your cake with fresh flowers or fruit instead of a cake
40. Have an open bar, but limit the selection of beverages. Instead of
offering hard liquor and mixed drinks, allow the guests to choose from wine,
beer, wine coolers and soft drinks.
41. Choose a venue where you can supply your own alcohol.
42. Make your own wine and beer at a do-it-yourself place.
43. Offer poured service rather than leaving the wine bottles on the tables.
44. Don’t bother with champagne for the toast. Guests can toast with
whatever they are drinking.
45. Hire one musician to play at both the ceremony and the reception.
46. Instead of hiring a deejay, create your own CD compilations and play
them throughout the reception.
47. Have a professional shoot the standard shots and opt for the basic
package. For all the other photos, provide guests with disposable cameras or
ask friends and family to bring their cameras.
48. Call a local university or college to find out about any talented student
photographers that shoot weddings.
49. Call your local newspaper to find out if any of the photojournalists do
50. Instead of hiring a professional, have a friend videotape the service.