Chic Weddings for Less

by Frugal Brian

weddings for less

The day of your wedding is one of the happiest, most exciting, and stressful days of your life!  Think about all the weddings you’ve ever been to.  Each one was most likely a little different.  That’s because these days weddings are more about individual expression, and less about old-school formal traditions.  That’s good news for the bride on a budget, because it means you can choose the areas where you’d like to splurge, and where you’d like to save.  Use some of these strategies to save yourself significant amounts of time and stress.

1- Decide between time and money.  This applies to whether or not you’d like to hire a wedding planner.  You can save money by doing all the planning on your own, or give yourself extra time by hiring some help.

2-Decide what’s important…and what’s not so important.  It’s your wedding, your money, and your budget.  What have you dreamed about having at your wedding since you were a little girl?  Perhaps a big, fancy cake is your dream while the flowers aren’t a big deal to you.

3- Prioritize.  If push comes to shove and something must be cut from the wedding, have a priority list already established will make your life a lot easier.

4- Purchase or borrow a bargain wedding book.  Choose one that meets the needs of your particular wedding.  They can be incredibly helpful.

5- Decide on the “look” and “feel” of your wedding.  This is also known as your theme.  Once you’ve decided on a theme, you won’t end up buying things that do not fit with your vision for your big day.

6- Determine what you can spend.  This is wise to do as early as possible to avoid getting your heart set on something that you simply cannot afford.

7- Make your own budget.  Don’t go with the advice of bridal services that will tell you that X amount should be spent on your dress, and X amount on the cake.  Go back to your priority list and work your budget out using that.

8- Research before you buy!  A little research can save you big time when it comes to purchasing your dress.  Also, consider looking into renting formal wear for any children in the wedding. 

9- Look into a variety of materials for your dress. The more popular a fabric, the more it will cost you.  Heavy satin is at the top of the list cost-wise, so look into something such as taffeta.  It’s still elegant and will cost you far less.

10- Rent your tuxes as a group and you’ll likely get the groom’s tux for free.

11- Try a dessert table instead of one big cake.  It will give your guests more options, and you can make many of the dessert yourself. Hello, savings!

12- Purchase some of your flowers from a price club.  They sell bouquets year-round, and the flowers will look just fine as buffet decorations or centerpieces.

13- Get creative with your centerpieces. Hit a craft store and see what catches your eye.  Try filling cheap glass vases with colored stones and a few flowers. You can also give the centerpieces away instead of purchasing gifts for reception games.

14- Be flexible with your flowers.  The more exotic the bloom, the higher the cost.  Many flowers have domestic look-alikes that will get the job done at a fraction of the cost.  Ask your florist about substitutions.

15- Purchase your invitations at a club store, and skip the engraving.  Unless you’re having a black tie affair, there are other types of lettering that are just as elegant, but much cheaper.

16- Print your own reception cards.  Purchase vellum at a local paper store and enjoy the savings.

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