7 Ways To Have A Gorgeous And Inexpensive Wedding

Blowing $100,000 on a wedding is still in season, and there’s no better way to show up your over-spending friends than by throwing a lavish affair without bankrupting your parents. Inside, seven tips to have a lovely and affordable wedding.

1. Prioritize: Are flowers and a gown especially important? Spend your money there, and reign in other expenses.

2. Don’t be afraid to haggle. Mention that you’re willing to recommend your vendor’s services to all your friends and cousins and sisters who, oh my god, like, just got engaged! What a coincidence!

3. June wedding? Real original! Be flexible with your date. April and October are perfectly nice, and far less expensive. For an even better deal, get married in February.

4. Ok, fine, the February wedding may not be the hottest idea, but instead of getting married on Friday or Saturday, consider Thursday or Sunday.

5. Long engagements save money. You’ve got your whole lives ahead of you. Make your grandmother wait an extra few months and take advantage of seasonal sales that can halve the cost of pricey dresses.

6. Invitations are pretty and all, but people throw them away. Consider printing them yourselves or letting people RSVP online.

7. Understand the business. Flowers and cakes are expensive because they’re labor intensive. Simple but elegant cakes taste as good but cost far less. Similarly, exotic flowers are nice, but make the displays less time-intensive.

“All these things add up,” [Alicia Rockmore, CEO of Buttoned Up Inc] said. “I think it’s just remembering that at the end of the day, people are there to celebrate your wedding. They’re not there to see what $500 flower arrangements you have on every table. Just remember that people, your guests, are never going to notice the details that you do … Don’t get overwhelmed on every little, tiny thing that you need to spend money on. The most important thing is that they’re going to be there to support you.”

Bridezillas seriously scare us. Before you get carried away with wedding plans, sit down and read Rebecca Mead’s One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding. It’ll save your sanity, and the down payment on that house you’re going to want in a few years.

Getting Organized Cuts Wedding Bills [WDSU]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    Thursday weddings are an abomination. Even worse than Sunday weddings. Just say no.

    1) Flowers and Limos are the biggest wastes of money when it comes to a wedding. The Flowers die and the limos you use for all of 30 mins, between reception and church.

    2) Save money – have ceremony and reception on same site.

    I agree with saving money on invites. Also, learn to use Excel. Excel is one of the best tools you can use for a wedding.

    You can keep your guest list, present record, wedding expenses AND honeymoon expenses all in one place.

    3) Reward Points – with all the money you are spending, make sure you get as many points as possible.

  2. Rando says:

    Weddings are the biggest waste of money. I’m down with signing a piece of paper and calling it a day.

  3. Manok says:

    i spent my money on the honeymoon. My actual wedding was in a simple, very old chapel on a mountaintop. The reception was at my house and everyone had a great time. We knew we’d rather have cash for the honeymoon in Disney.

  4. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    You want to spend your money on the following things:

    1) Entertainment
    2) Food
    3) Photography.

    Those are the three most important things. Those are what make the memories of the day. The photography is incredibly important because you want to document your event. Make sure you get a photographer that IS NOT A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY. You want a professional. (If the professional is a friend of the family, that’s ok, but you don’t want Uncle Dick with a point-and-shoot documenting the day)

    Also, make sure that the photographer will give you a CD copy of all pictures taken. Not proofs; the raw digital images. Sometimes they’ll charge you 50-200 bucks to get it, THAT’S OK. But if they don’t release the pics to you, LOOK ELSEWHERE.

    DJ’s – Don’t spend money on smoke machines and light shows and inflatable props. What you want is someone who can have fun without resorting to hacky crap. Do you want grandma on the dance floor having a good time, or a dumb pic of her wearing oversized sunglasses and an inflatable guitar with a “WTF” look on her face?

    Bands – Attend a showcase and watch them play live. DO not rely on just a promotional DVD. If fthey don’t do showcases, ask if you can see them at a wedding.

  5. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    BTW, I love how the author says “the little wedding details your guests won’t notice” but then advocates a Thursday wedding.

    At a wedding, you want to drink and have a good time. If you’re getting married on a Thursday, you’re either restricting your guests’ good time OR you’re making them take a day off tomorrow. No. Absolutely not.

  6. Tracy Ham and Eggs says:

    DJ’s – Don’t spend money on smoke machines and light shows and inflatable props. What you want is someone who can have fun without resorting to hacky crap. Do you want grandma on the dance floor having a good time, or a dumb pic of her wearing oversized sunglasses and an inflatable guitar with a “WTF” look on her face?

    Music is key. Ive been to a quarter million dollar wedding with a crappy (not cheesy) wedding that was no fun. No one was dancing and it was a giant bore. Meanwhile Ive been to lots of wedding at the Legion Hall/local Party hall that have been a blast. A DJ who can keep people dancing, a decent meal (forget the fancy shit) and people you like and the wedding is a blast.

  7. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    @Tracy Ham and Eggs: Absolutely. Music is the vibe that runs a wedding. Too many DJ companies are trying to make this like player intros to an NBA game or something.

    If DJs advertise audience participation crap like chicken dance and macarena as a HIGHLIGHT of their services, get out. Get out immediately. Nobody likes doing those anymore.

    You need to have communication with your entertainment about what kind of music you know your family and friends like. You have to also realize that YOUR music tastes may not be the stuff that will get people on the dance floor.

    My guaranteed go to song for weddings: The Bee Gees “You Should Be Dancing”. It’s not as well known as other Bee Gees songs, but it’s got that vibe that gets people on the floor.

  8. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    Another Money Saving Tip:

    If you’re having the reception at the hotel, see if the Hotel will allow you to use the shuttle vans to get you and the wedding party and parents to and from the church.

  9. Jon Mason says:

    Spent a lot less than $10,000 on our wedding for 100 guests: Luckily no alcohol tab due to my wifes families religious beliefs, just had a night out at a local bar a couple days before for those of us who wanted a booze up. Had it on a Sunday lunch-time at a Wedding chapel where the place is pre-decorated, minister provided and catering on-site. No DJ (which I half regret) – we just burned mix CDs to be played for various things – one with first dance songs etc, one with general background music. The easiest money-saver: Printed programs and invitations ourselves. With MS Publisher, a little bit of patience and some good quality paper you can easily get near the quality of professional printing. Had friends do the photos and video – Both were serious hobbyists with pro equipment so came out looking great and saved us $100s if not $1000s. Only things we spent real money on were: Cake, Gown, Suits, Flowers for Bridal party.

    Spent as much, if not more on the honeymoon – Vegas then the Grand Canyon, and glad of it. As others said, unless you are some bigshot whose guests will be snobs, most people’s friends/family are there to see you be happy and socialize, not to say “ooh, look at that $5,000 ice sculpture.” Provide a nice looking place with some half-decent food/dessert and people could care less about what color napkins you have…

  10. bohemian says:

    Unless your under about 23 or highly religious the traditional wedding is kind of an outdated practice. It all smacks of giving away a girl into religious indentured servitude.

    I wish more people would buck the marketing that professionally accomplished adults need an old style fairytale wedding. More of the sedate ceremony or going to the courthouse with some sort of party afterwords might be more appropriate.

  11. MonkeyMonk says:

    Elope to someplace beautiful in Europe like Italy (e.g., the marriage paperwork in Italy can be completed in only a couple of days even for non-residents). Then you can tell people you got married at a castle in Florence — because the town hall in Florence is pretty much a castle. Then travel around Tuscany and Chianti for the next few weeks and make a honeymoon out of it. All this for a fraction of the cost of a marriage.

    If your friends and family get their noses too out of joint you can invite a few of them out with you or just throw a big party when you get back.

  12. Tracy Ham and Eggs says:

    @bohemian: The party is half of the fun. Or for those in their late 20s its a great chance to “get the gang back together”. Look, I dont advocate the big expensive wedding, but a nice reception with an open bar and music is key. (Ive been to cash bar weddings, can still be fun)

  13. rachaeljean says:

    I got married on a Thursday. It was completely fine, and literally cut my costs in half!

  14. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    @bohemian: If anything, a “relgious” wedding ceremony has nothing to do with the amount of money you spend on a wedding.

    I’ve seen hardcore catholics dump huge amounts of money into a wedding, and I saw a Jew and an agnostic dump huge amounts of money into a wedding. This is about the “party” aspects, not so much religion.

  15. Sjixxxy says:

    @BuddyGuyMontag: The wedding I was at last night had the chicken dance, and a lot of people still seemed to have liked it. Ugh.

  16. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    @rachaeljean: It was fine FOR YOU. But like it or not, you did inconvenience a few of your guests, unless you had like 10 people there.

  17. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    @MonkeyMonk: I had actually floated the idea of having a small sunset wedding in the mountains in Arizona, but my wife protested; grandfather is confined to a wheelchair and she wanted him there.

  18. gillis says:

    My wife and I (mostly my wife) planned our wedding a couple of years ago. We ended up spending about $8000. We had a total of about 80 people at the wedding and reception.

    First main thing, it was a June wedding, it was a Chinese style wedding, and it was in a major metropolitan area.

    To help cut costs:
    1) We bargained with a recent photography school graduate
    [i.e. requested no prints but instead wanted the raw camera files (all digital so no haggling with filme). Other may or may not be comfortable about this option. Plus, we gave him ability to really be creative to help build his profile.] This should also work for recent film school grads as well :)

    2) We opted to purchase the gown and tux. Gown was second hand, tux we went to many different clothing stores to find the right style.

    3) We kept it casual and wedding party was small (one each). I realize it may be “Wow .. that’s sooo small”.. but in the end you choose the groom’s eldest sister and the bride’s eldest brother and that’s it.

    4) Have a friend officiate. Had a close friend of both of us act as officiant for the wedding.

    5) Cut the limo. We decided.. since it was a June wedding, it’s nice weather, we hired bicycle cabs. Just one actually, and told the guy tell his friends since there are 80 people who’d like to site see. So there were a bunch of bikes for all the guests

    6) If outdoor wedding, hold it at a public park. Because public parks are owned by tax payers, you can get a really good discount on a very scenic outdoor area. They do have restrictions, but quite reasonable, usually. Our license to do this cost us $25 for the entire afternoon. Then, if it rains, and you need to move, you don’t lost piles of money. All you have to do is contact city hall or parks and rec for the area.

    7) Buy own alcohol and bring to reception. We purchased our own champagne and other alcohol so we wouldn’t pay the restaurant prices.

    8) Ask friends to volunteer. Ideally, you should get a little gift for them, but you’ll find people are more then willing to help out. Have your friends use their strengths that would be well suited to the tasks at hand.

    In the end, the wedding was ours and ours alone. Our parents were there, yes, but the wedding is our memory so we wouldn’t let them take over (hehehe).

  19. linbey says:

    Even this is spending way too much on a wedding. If you truly want to do it right, just go to city hall and get married then have all your friends over for hot dogs and burgers on the grill. Its very inexpensive and you can save all the money that you wouldve blown on a big extravagant event that accomplishes the same thing anyway and use it for a down payment on a house or something

  20. Great, now I just someone to marry.

  21. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    @linbey: Not everyone is like you. Some people want a nice wedding.

  22. pengie says:

    My family lives 1300 miles away from me and my boyfriend, so if we do get married, there is probably no way in hell we can pay for a traditional wedding if we’re paying for plane tickets or whatever. I think we’re both comfortable with the idea of signing off on a sheet of paper and exchanging rings.

    Although… @MonkeyMonk, the boyfriend loves Italy, so your idea sounds PERFECT. Our families might be bummed, but we could always have a (cheap) wedding reception after the fact!

  23. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    I originally wanted the backyard BBQ for a wedding. But the wife wanted something different, and the parents, who are status-seekers, wanted to have a “nice” (mom’s words) wedding.

    So we bowed to their wishes, but did it their way. My bride is one of the few who walked down the aisle to music from “Battlestar Galactica”.

  24. Brie says:

    No wedding favors. We gave away small magnets which we lovingly made by hand, but 15 years down the line I look back and think “who cared?” Worse yet are sending small portraits of the bride and groom out with the thank-you notes. Your co-worker likes you and hopes you have a long and happy life together, but she doesn’t need a 2×3 print of the two of you.

  25. Kaj says:

    @BuddyGuyMontag: but isn’t the whole point that it’s their day? If they want to get married at 2:00 p.m. on a Tuesday, it’s their thing. The people that truly want to be there will figure out a way.

  26. Jon Mason says:

    @Kaj: Maybe people should get married at a secret location leaving only a series of clues, after all if people want to be there they will figure it out right.

    /sarcasm off

  27. ivanthemute says:

    Venue, flowers, food, decorations, DJs, all that stuff eats through a budget in no time. My wedding was just over $3000, including engagement ring and wedding bands. Venue was at a bed and breakfast (Battle Island Inn in Oswego NY) which had a wedding package including a two night stay at the B-n-B. The wedding was an early afternoon/evening affair on a Wedensday (the Mother-In-Law’s birthday, so everyone already had the day off anyway.) Venue, about $750 for both ceremony and reception. Food was $14 a person for heavy finger foods (can’t spell the french word for it) totalling about $260 plus tax. Alcohol was BYOB. We went with homemade silk flowers for the bouquets and boutiners, about $60. Wedding dress was ordered from David’s Bridal online (went into the store, got sized, ended up finding the exact same dress online for about 60% less and wasn’t required to buy all the extras at inflated prices.) Dress, $210. I wore my mess dress uniform, so no money on my side for that. Her engagement ring was custom made for $400 (she chose a garnet solitare instead of a diamond.) Wedding bands were about $500, $420 for hers in gold and about $60 for mine (tungsten carbide.) We left a few dozen cameras laying about (all digital) for the guests to use and ended up cherry picking about 100 outstanding pics (out of about a thousand) for our album. Photos, about $100 in printing costs. The remainder was taxes, fees, travel expenses etc. Lovely wedding, great fun.

    With the bigger weddings ($50k or more) it’s less about the wedding, and more about showing off. Screw that. If you’ve got the money to throw a 1000 guest party, then spend it. If not, do like Rando says and have a small ceremony or have a judge do it.

  28. chese79 says:

    I agree, if you want a big fancy wedding have one. If I was just at a big wedding that probably cost 100k+. I was also at one the next week that probably cost 10k. Both were nice and fun.

    After my own wedding which was more than 10k but still closer to the low end of the scale.

    It sounds bad but my proiorites are:

    1)Some form of open bar(this can be a formal bar or a kegerator with a pretty ribbon on it)

    2)Good entertainment(can be a live band, an ipod, or a dumb slideshow, or anything else)

    After that it is whatever makes the bride and groom happy.

    “Get a life and live it, loser”
    -Joe Queer

  29. Paul D says:

    What me & the wife did:

    We bought blank invitations at a craft store for $20 and printed them at home on the ol’ inkjet. (They were on clearance.)

    No flowers except a simple bridal bouquet.

    No DJ or band. My old boss at a music equipment shop gave me a free PA rental ($50) as a wedding gift. Laptop + iTunes FTW.

    No tuxes, gowns, limos. No wedding party at all, in fact.

    Our “favors” (IMO the coolest part), if you wanna call them that, consisted of Hershey Kisses in small, red plastic Chinese take-out boxes. Less than $150 for everything, and an evening’s worth of work.

    No photographer. As part of our wedding budget we bought a nice DV camera and had my wife’s teenage brother do most of the filming. All of our friends sent us their digital pictures and DVDs a couple of weeks later. We still have the camera and have used it quite a bit in the last 3 years.

    My wife’s wedding gown was actually a bridesmaid’s dress ($150). (It was available in white, but that’s boring, so she got it in RED.) I wore a black double-breasted suit I bought at Men’s Wearhouse ($300). Our wedding rings came from TitaniumStyle.com and were not expensive.

    The bulk of our total expenditure went to food for 150+ people…and the bar tab ($3000 alone).

    We came in just shy of $10,000 for venue, ceremony, dress, suit, music, food, open bar, favors, invitations, hotels for a few family members, parking, and and a couple of hired hands to help us clean up at the end of the day.

  30. Paul D says:

    PS: Our venue was an art gallery.

  31. geekgrrl77 says:

    I’m all for having a party and celebrating with friends and family that you love someone, but beyond that, weddings are SO irritating and overrated! All the formalities and the ridiculous money spent (buy a house instead!), not to mention all that bridezilla foolishness, is just WAY over the top.

    Have a party with your favorite people, keep it simple, and try to let go of all that “is my wedding invitation, dress, flowers etc. perfect? crap.” What does having the perfect, big, expensive showing-off wedding really have to do with spending the rest of your lives together anyway?

  32. Paul D says:

    PPS: I forgot to mention…my wife walked down the aisle to Brian May’s wedding march from Flash Gordon.

  33. donkeyjote says:

    8) Screw everything else, pay for Round trip travel to vegas for 50 at a real church (which can still do instant weddings). Good, non-cheesy, cheap.

  34. battra92 says:

    @Rando: Weddings are the biggest waste of money. I’m down with signing a piece of paper and calling it a day.

    I’m half with you on that. I’m quite religious so it’d have to be with a minister if in the odd chance I ever get married but if I do I can’t see spending more than a few hundred on everything.

    Honestly, you don’t need the elegance of Versailles at a wedding. I mean, if you want to be Marie Antoinette then expect to have your financial head chopped off with the bills for what amounts to one day where 90% of the people are bored out their minds or getting trashed.

    @linbey:
    Sounds like a plan to me. My best friend did that and his marriage didn’t last that long so he wasn’t out all that unnecessary expense.

    By the way, the biggest waste of money: the wedding ring!

  35. We said “F— tradition” to a certain extent. We just got married 2 months ago.

    We had our ceremony at a beautiful park in Calabasas, CA for next to nothing. Rented chairs and an archway. Very brief, very nice. No maid of honor or best man, so saved on clothing there. I rented mine and our ringbearer’s tuxes, and her dress was a clearance sale piece online ($70), which her mother did minor tailoring on for free.

    Our reception was at the Calabasas Community Center. It wasn’t dirt cheap, but wasn’t ridiculous either, and we had a HUGE room, with tables and chairs arranged, all evening. Dinner was a fully-loaded taco bar, which overfed 100-odd people for about $700. Instead of a cake, we had monogrammed cupcakes for a few hundred from a really good bakery.

    Her family bought the liquor, we printed the invites ourselves on her Gocco press, I got the rings at cost since I work in that industry, and my friend did the photography for peanuts since he’s a professional.

    It’s all about finding out what resources you do have available, and allocating money to what you need to buy / rent.

  36. @enriquez the water bottle: “since he’s a professional”

    Not really how I wanted that to come out. I meant that it was OK to use my friend, since he’s a professional. The peanuts thing was a bonus.

  37. We did the Sunday afternoon wedding route, early enough in the afternoon that our friends from New York, Connecticut, Virginia, and DC could come and go home within a day. The same meals on Sunday afternoon cost $13-15 less PER PERSON than Saturday night! Ceremony was at 3:00, cocktail hour at 3:30, reception started at 4:30 and was over almost 9:00 pm. We also got married at a Hyatt, and used the points from the loyalty program to pay for our night in Honolulu before sailing out on our honeymoon.

  38. nardo218 says:

    I’ve been to a million weddings — big family — and I’ve noticed that buffets that are catered are the best value. People may say they want beef 6 months in advance, but when the time comes and that chicken looks better… You’re paying so much for food, and usually with a sit-down dinner, people don’t clear their plates. With a buffet, they get what they want and usually enjoy eating it more. Also, you have more options if you cater, which can save you money, and you can probably take the leftovers home or distribute them, so there isn’t waste.

    Also, don’t get any place setting favors that have your names on them. No one wants a shot glass or champagne flute with “Katie and Jason [date]” on it. People will leave them behind and you’ll be stuck with these ugly things you don’t want and can’t unload. Get something creative and functional. Good things I’ve seen are coasters with the Love statue in philly on, pretty maracas for a Mexico destination wedding, playing cards with the sports team the couple was passionate about, and the always welcome tulle bag of mints.

  39. Woofer00 says:

    It’s somewhat sad to read the comments under this post. A few of my relatives recently got married and chose to spend much greater sums than $10,000 for the wedding and ceremony of their choice. However, don’t get confused – the ceremony itself was simple and cheap. Rent a church, find a priest, get a tux and gown, flowers, photos, etc. It can come far under the $10,000 mark. The real cost is in the reception. The reception is much more about celebrating the occasion with friends and family than in serving any real puspose. Wedding where the reception is skimped on the save money tend to become less than memorable. If you want to think with your wallet and not your heart, then cut out the reception and simply get it done and over with. But then again, people tend to enjoy having memories of one of the landmark moments of their lives. Unless you plan on divorcing and remarrying every few years, in which case feel free to make each wedding as cheap a possible, I don’t think it’s necessary to try to cut the cost down under $10,000. It really depends on where you live, but I know from experience that trying to cut wedding costs down below $30,000 is a nightmare in the Greater New York region. However, a fair amount of the cost can easily be recovered in gifts.

  40. Two more things:

    1) My cousin’s December wedding had ornaments as the favors. So many people left theirs behind. I decided to do Lindt truffles in red & gold foil (wedding colors) as my favors. Sure enough, NO ONE left theirs behind, and they weren’t that expensive!

    2) Spend money on flowers. They show up in all the pictures (your guests too). We had two big floral arrangements for our “altar” space during the ceremony, then they were moved behind our sweetheart table during the reception. Ask what can be done with seasonal flowers whenever you’re getting married. That will bring down expenses. My cousin’s wedding had TONS of red roses, in December, in the Northeast. I shudder to think what that cost!

  41. cronomorph says:

    “Even this is spending way too much on a wedding. If you truly want to do it right, just go to city hall and get married then have all your friends over for hot dogs and burgers on the grill. Its very inexpensive and you can save all the money that you wouldve blown on a big extravagant event that accomplishes the same thing anyway and use it for a down payment on a house or something”

    Yeah, you try floating that idea by a woman. If she’s in the least bit romantic, it ain’t happening.

    My finacee is graduating in August, her family is gonna be here, so I suggested that once she get out of the graduation gown and into a wedding gown the same day, then we could take the honeymoon before her job started, but that idea wasn’t flying.

    She wanted a big fancy wedding, at Disney actually. But when we did a price check it came in at a minimum of 16k for a Thursday, weekend would have been a minimum of 25k. We ended up compromising, and as of right now it’s coming it at around 11k. A smidgen more than I’d have like to spend, but it hard to do something for cheaper in Atlanta. We’ve got the reception site reserved, a photographer (a pro local guy who is awesome), the wedding site (our church), and she picked out a gown yesterday.

    We’re looking into doing invitations and such ourselves. Her mom said she’d pay for that (we’re paying for around 80% of it ourselves) but I’d rather do everything I can solo and put that money toward reception costs.

    Our main argument now is over a limo. I’m against having one for the 12 miles drive from the church to the reception site. She argues I’ll be too tired to drive, but honestly this is a case where being cheap wins out over being tired.

  42. bravo1995 says:

    Tell all this to my future mother-in-law… guh.

  43. @Woofer00: I don’t think the point is to say “Never spend more than $10k,” it’s more about looking at what you’re spending it on before feeling you have to commit to it.

    I see these comments about spending less, and they mostly seem like they still had a good time.

    Watch any of those wedding shows on TLC or Style, and tell me you don’t feel like gouging out your eyes in frustration at all the needless crap you see on there.

  44. Woofer00 says:

    Some important things to make sure to do.

    Set aside time to shop around. Word of mouth can produce better deals and rates than any wedding website of catalog ever can.

    Do what you can on your own. This includes: invitations, programs, favors, and a few other necessities. Each can save thousands.

    Sample everything! Food, photos, video, music, everything! No reason to hire a videographer who can’t do high resolution, photographer who can’t compose a picture, a DJ with bad taste, or especially food that is of subpar quality. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve heard of mushy salmon, rubbery chicken, and rockhard beef. Noone wants to remember your wedding as “the time I got food poisoning”

  45. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    @Paul D: Gordon’s alive?!?!?!

    Brilliant. As huge Queen fans, the wife and I debated doing that, but she hates “Here Comes the Bride”. So we used “Wander my Friends” from Battlestar Galactica, known as the Adama family theme.

  46. consumersaur says:

    Alcohol and food should be the top funding priority of anyone planning a wedding.

  47. Woofer00 says:

    @enriquez the water bottle: I don’t disagree at all. But when you lose touch with reality and try to cut corners in too many places, it ends up being that the details make the entire cost of the reception a waste.

    A couple examples: renting the smaller cocktail room to save a thousand dollars, but your guests have nowhere to sit or stand. Printing your own invitations to save money but using a poor quality ink that bleeds so bad you can’t read the directions. Renting a church that echoes so much the priest’s speech is unintelligible. Finding a church and reception hall that are over an hour apart, not even accounting for traffic.

  48. @Woofer00: Of course. I fully agree.

  49. spinachdip says:

    @Rando: We did courthouse + a dinky lawyer’s office, but we’re still going to do *some* sort of ceremony.

    We did it mostly because of benefits and stuff, but I’m glad we did. Splitting the marriage and the ceremony gives us a lot of freedom when it comes to planning. Shit, we don’t even have to have a wedding per se, just a big party on the beach is fine.

  50. yetiwisdom says:

    We saved a lost of money when, quite unexpectedly, close friends offered their shore house as a venue so we were able to rent a tent and have a wonderful outdoor wedding & reception. Well-dropped hints to friends might help save serious bucks. Having ours away from our local metro area probably saved about 20% overall because of the less-competitive marketplace for wedding svcs.

    Also re DJ’s, we found one that was cheap but friendly (came recommended). We thought his music was blech so we offered to plot out and record our own music on CD’s and asked him to bring the personality and stick to the script. People loved the music selection (I mean, who doesn’t love Punk Rock Girl?) and the DJ did a great job on lights and personality.

    Find experienced locals that you can trust to help. While making accommodation arrangements we met some extermely nice fellas that ran a local B&B. We told them what we were up to and they made some recommendations that turned out to be huge savings.

  51. TeraGram says:

    I got so tired about hearing who I “had to” invite to my wedding that I finally said, “screw this!” and we eloped in Vegas.

    I figured that if I was getting stressed out just hearing about “obligations” and how it was important to register here there and everywhere, that the actual planning & paying for the event would send me right to the loony bin.

  52. loganmo says:

    I guess Im glad that as a gay, I dont have the legal right to worry about such issues…

  53. d2kd3k says:

    I had to laugh when I read “without bankrupting your parents.” My husband and I paid for our wedding, and so have most of our friends.

    To be more precise: we planned a minimalist wedding and then were actually showered with suprises, but we certainly didn’t bank on the considerate small gifts that popped up in the course of the wedding.

    We didn’t want a Ziegfield Follies wedding, and I was severely ill when we married so I couldn’t have survived planning or executing a wedding extravaganza.

    Instead, we had a lovely, intimate wedding: the two of us, our two witnesses (plus one witness’s fiancee, whom we met at our wedding; he asked if he could bring her along–they’d just got engaged–and we said, “of course!”), and the BC marriage commissioner who did the ceremony. My husband’s family would not have been able to attend anyway, and my parents were extremely understanding about my health constraints.

    We paid for the license, the venue (a Bed & Breakfast, we were packing to move and couldn’t hold it at our place; and the friends who would have hosted for us had pets I was allergic to), the dress, and the marriage commission (who, to our great delight, bore a striking resemblance to George Takei).

    I got a two-piece Chinese red silk brocade dress that I have enjoyed wearing since, and bought it for a regular (i.e., no wedding markup) price in a regular dress store.

    We took our guests out to a lovely restaurant for dinner (the Afghan Horseman in Vancouver), and the belly dancer was so excited about the wedding, she volunteered to try and drop by at the end of her shift. (Alas, she didn’t make it. We would have loved to have her.)

    Then we drove around Stanley Park looking at all the Christmas lights across the water (winter wedding), and finally, before the midnight ceremony, we stopped off and bought everyone bubble tea.

    A close friend did our wedding photos the day of the wedding. My parents bought my husband a lovely suit as an unexpected gift, and send me an also unexpected bouquet of roses. My “maid of honour” brought my favourite cake in the world, the vegan carob walnut cake from the Naam, and she couldn’t find Lego people or anything similar to use as cake toppers, so she finally settled on two floating ginger bread men as candles — when we lit them up it looked like their umbilical cords were on fire, and the pictures of them melting into waxy blobs are among our favorite wedding pictures.

    The owner of the bed and breakfast we had the wedding at, and stayed at that night (our big splurge), was extremely excited to host her first wedding. Her mom made us a matching corsage and bouttonier. The owner herself said that she and a friend still had their matching bridesmaid’s dresses from a wedding the previous summer, and asked if they could wear them, and of course we said yes. So we have two women we don’t know in matching dresses in our wedding pictures. The owner’s husband and a long-term guest of the B&B were there, too, and we shared the cake with them after the midnight ceremony.

    We didn’t do a wedding registry. And ever since, we’ve been forever grateful through multiple moves that we haven’t been hauling crates of matching china across the continent.

    The costs weren’t obscene. The planning wasn’t stressful or onerous. The money that other people budget for a wedding we put into more immediate and, to us, far more important costs like healthcare and moving expenses.

    Is this the right wedding for everyone? Of course not. And was it an absurdist circus? Yes! In the best possible way. Did it reflect us, our relationship, and our life together? For better or worse, it sure did.

    We had a lovely, intimately, low-stress, enjoyable wedding ceremony and celebration that served the primary purpose of getting us legally hitched. We are two of the only people I’ve ever met who had fun at our own wedding. And, we’ve just kept celebrating ever since, because we are really happy together.

    We also did one thing really right: we asked our parents if there was /anything/ that the really wanted us to do (or not do). If anyone had felt strongly about the wedding being in a church or in a white dress or inviting everyone that they knew, we would have honored that (if they had covered the costs and planning, because we just didn’t have the means to do it). And everybody said, go do your own thing and be happy. So we did.

    Your mileage of course may vary.

    My recommendation to friends getting married is always: figure out what the wedding is really about for you (and the people around you), figure out what is negotiable and non negotiable, and then go out and throw the wedding that is right for you, however big or small or mainstream or off the charts that might be, and make the most of it and enjoy the hell out of it.

  54. yourbffjill says:

    @loganmo: You do in California, come here! Then you can spend yourself into debt on a ceremony like the rest of the country! :)

    We are spending a sizable chunk of money on good food, good music, and good drinks (although we found a place that will let us supply our own alcohol, so that is a huge money saver). The best weddings I’ve ever been to were awesome parties, and I left thinking about how much fun I had and how good the food was. I don’t remember their wedding colors, centerpieces, or favors, so I’m keeping that in mind during the planning process. I’d elope on a beach if I weren’t using this as an excuse to throw a fabulous party.

  55. @MissedTheExit:
    I would’ve kept them. Nothing like small mementos from a happy time in the past.

  56. ScarletsWalk says:

    My wedding was crazy cheap, but people still tell me how great it was.

    We had it at a small inn. We invited just close family and friends, but we pretty much took over the entire inn, which made it like a celebratory weekend and got to spends lots of time together. The ceremony and reception were on the same property, so no limos, transportation.

    We were allowed to bring our own food so we saved tons of money bringing pre-made lasagnas, etc. We served it buffett style too.

    We had a cupcake tower instead of a traditional cake. We got store bought cupcakes and decorated them ourselves.

    My favors were little tiny flower pots with silk flowers in them. So they doubled as decorations and flowers on the table.

    We got a great photographer cheaply and just got the key shots and left out disposable cameras for candids.

    I got my ring for $40 on ebay, his for $50 at another place online. I got my dress for $20 at a discount store and used pearls I already owned. I hate bugs so I had a silk flower bouquet too so I wouldn’t be swarmed.

    Not only did we save tons of money, but we saved tons of aggravation and stress and it translated into a beautiful weekend.

  57. d2kd3k says:

    @MonkeyMonk: @MonkeyMonk: What a great suggestion!

    Another budget location idea would be a nude beach. I wanted to have our wedding at Wreck Beach in Vancouver. I figured a $5 bottle of sunblock costs a lot less than a wedding dress. I would have done it, happily, but my husband really wanted a winter wedding, which doesn’t work out so well at a clothing-optional venue.

    @bohemian: I hear you. A lot of the western traditions and symbolism really don’t work for us — I also don’t begrudge people for whom they hold meaning. No white dress, no rings, no chapel, was just right for the wedding we wanted.

    @Paul D: Cheers for red wedding dresses!

    @cronomorph: “Yeah, you try floating that idea by a woman. If she’s in the least bit romantic, it ain’t happening.”

    I’m all kinds of romantic, and our wedding was hardly Martha Stewart.

    I really encourage people to talk about this kind of stuff early. If the two of you have radically different ideas about celebrations, budget, social status, the public presentation of your relationship, and all the other subcurrents at play in planning a wedding, odds are these are going to be friction points for the rest of your married lives.

    Why not look for and hook up with someone who has similar ideas and values?

    @TeraGram: Good for you!

    @loganmo: Don’t overlook that you might fall in love with and marry a lovely Canadian some day.

    @enriquez the water bottle: Congratulations on your wedding! I hope you have a long, happy life together. :)

    . . .

    I do find it interesting that in the comments here, some people are so emotionally invested in THE BIG EXPENSIVE WEDDING that they feel a need to denigrate or attack people with other opinions. (In feminist theory, I believe this is referred to as internalizing oppression.)

  58. fuzzball21 says:

    I got married less than a month ago! I spent LESS than $3,000 on my wedding, and I heard no complaints at all except for the weather, which obviously I had no control over.

    What I bought:
    $130 on wedding gown and alterations
    $1,000 on caterer and baker
    $125 for a tux rental
    $375 for ceremony and reception hall rental
    $500 on wedding rings
    $100 on flowers
    $75 for a gift for the photographer
    $150 on gifts for the bridal party and the flower girl/ring bearer
    $15 on invitations
    $100 rental on a stereo system with an i-pod plug in

    I live in Chicago, but I got married in Iowa (because my husband is from there, has a large family who is older and not as willing to travel), and did most of my shopping for everything here. I bought my dress at a Korean dress shop for less than $100 (they have awesome bridal dresses that are lighter and easier to move around in, they don’t have trains, and are nicer for hot weather!) and spent $30 on a bottle of whiskey for my friend who did the alterations (she refused to take money from me, so I bought her something she likes and would not refuse!) The caterer and baker were a steal because they were both gluten free and allergy friendly, we over fed 100 people, and had a full dessert bar! The hall I rented doubled as a ceremony site, if it rained, which it did… it was still only $375 was for the whole day! I did the flowers myself because I currently work for a wholesaler, and all florists DOUBLE their prices when they find out it’s work for a wedding, and they of course charge a TON for labor. (All the bridesmaids and grandparents got sent home with flowers, nice green arrangements, and a green vase to match) My one friend works for CDW and was honored to be my photographer, he said the negatives would be mine, and I’d just have to pay for developing, which turned out not to be the case. (The person who did the processing over processed a roll, and as a result we got all of it for free, including digital color correction on the over processed roll!) $15 on the invitations because my sister printed them for me, I found them on clearance last fall, and just hung onto them. Who needs a DJ? I asked all my friends and family for requests and people sent over the music that they wanted to hear. I loaded it all up on my i-pod and had one of my friends work the different play lists thought the day.

    Case in point-
    My husband and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. So, we didn’t. We shopped around, decided we didn’t need fancy things, and in a few cases were lucky. Friends and family were all offering help and all wanted to play a part in the wedding! When people find out that you are getting married, they are always happy to help! I told my photographer that I’d be willing to cover his costs and pay him for photographing the wedding, he refused me several times, and instead wound up with a really nice gift from the both of use instead.

    I say good for the people who spend over $3,000 on a wedding, that just means that there are more bargains for me!

  59. privatejoker75 says:

    We got sick of everyone else’s opinion and eloped in bermuda. The total for everyhting, including the cruise, was less than $2000. We still received gifts from family and friends and with the money that we saved, we bought a house.

  60. missdona says:

    Don’t skimp on photography. I’m sure your Aunt Sally and all your friends take great snapshots, but nothing beats professional photography.

    For me (because I’m vain), professional hair and makeup was just as important as the photography.

  61. Benny Gesserit says:

    I made the mistake of watching part of an episode of “Rich Bride Poor Bride” the other day. When I tuned in, the bride, groom and her mother were sampling a wedding cake.

    When the groom stated he preferred the previous one because it was less expensive and tasted quite good, his future wife and mother-in-law berated him and, after a few torturous minutes, informed him THEY had already booked and paid for the cake so his opinion didn’t matter. “Besides”, says the bride, “It’s MY day.”

    Someone, anyone, please tell me this show is a joke and women really don’t treat their future husbands like this?

    If – big IF – this was real, I hope he realized he was marrying a manipulative harpy and walked away before getting legally bound to her. (We couldn’t stand one more second of listening to her belittle him.)

  62. uricmu says:

    We had a small wedding and didn’t want to go with the fancy wedding cakes that taste like stale bread. We ended up getting a huge two-level decorated cake at Coldstone Creamery (I’m not kidding). It was the tastiest wedding cake ever, and only cost a fraction of what other places would want.

  63. uricmu says:

    I assume everyone familiar with this one?
    (from the BBC Man Stroke Woman)

  64. sven.kirk says:

    @fuzzball21:
    I Got you beat
    What I bought:
    $70 wedding gown (ebay[wifes idea]) and alterations
    $150 on food
    $125 for suits (best men and groom)
    $0 ceremony (pastor)
    $25 permit to rent park
    $50 wedding rings (ebay)
    $50 decorations (flowers/balloons)
    $300 photographer (who sucked[yes a 'real'pro])
    $50 invitations and programs
    $5 music used on own boombox (ran out of cd-r’s)
    $50 party favors

  65. ivanthemute says:

    @enriquez the water bottle:
    I see these comments about spending less, and they mostly seem like they still had a good time.

    Watch any of those wedding shows on TLC or Style, and tell me you don’t feel like gouging out your eyes in frustration at all the needless crap you see on there.


    I absolutely hate those shows. It might be class envy, but the sheer amount of waste involved is enough to make you want to kill someone. $70k for an alcohol budget? $20k for the gown? But…if you can afford it and it’s what you want, why not?

  66. grandzu says:

    More extravagant the wedding, the worse the marriage.

  67. I think the real point is that when you’re buying a wedding (so to speak) you just want to keep in mind the same things that you do when you buy anything else. Know what you want and be willing to shop around for the price you want it at.

    A lot of people have noted that big weddings are kind of silly (and they are) but who doesn’t want to feel wicked special at least once in their lives?

  68. stinerman says:

    @BuddyGuyMontag:

    It also pays to be clear about who owns the copyright to the pictures. A friend of mine posted some of their wedding pictures online and got a letter from their photographer asking them to take the pictures down.

    I’ll be damned if my pictures are going to be held hostage by a photographer who wants to resell my pictures to me over and over again.

  69. BalknChain says:

    We did:
    1. Destination wedding/honeymoon (all inclusive)in Jamaica with no family and no stress for under 2 grand since it was hurricane season. Included photos, video, t-shirts, luggage, dishes, cake, beach ceremony, flowers, etc. and free days for another stay.
    2. small reception at a hall at home so family could see us in our attire, my mother made the cake, we made our own food, open bar beer only which was cheap when we paid at the end, DJ was only 350, dress was only a bit over 200 with alts, purchased tux for about the same price as dress-cheaper than extended rental, made our own favors which were peppermint patty-guardian angel coin-Hershey kiss stacks tied in mesh. Cheap and fun for around 5 grand.

  70. Eels says:

    My cousin just went the Sunday evening route, which was smart for her, because it saved her a ton of money and also cut down her guest list a lot. If you get married on a Thursday or Sunday, the people who love and care about you will find a way to make it work. In a year I’m not going to remember that it sucked having to take Monday off. It was by far the nicest wedding I have been to.

  71. Tracy Ham and Eggs says:

    @BalknChain: Nice that mom made the cake. I have seen some incredible looking wedding cakes that haven’t cost a fortune.

    (Ok, thats cheating, one of my close friend’s wife works for a certain famous cake maker so most of our group has gotten a good deal).

  72. hills says:

    Find a venue that will let you provide your own liquor – We bought our liquor & wine, then just paid the bartenders to serve – saved a lot of ca$h!

    Plus, we got to enjoy the leftovers (for a long time!)

  73. bohemian says:

    @grandzu: All of my peers that had the big wedding are divorced with one exception.
    Those that are on their second marriage or waited until they were in their 30′s or 40′s and did the low key thing seem to still be together.

  74. Titan0 says:

    My wife and I spent $30 on our wedding. Our only expense was a justice of the peace to perform the ceremony, which we did on a public beach. Because, well, we love one another and don’t need to prove it to anyone else :-)

  75. BalknChain says:

    @Tracy Ham and Eggs: Yes, and it was good. I have been a guest at some weddings where the cake is just no good at all. It was beautiful and tasty. A few people placed orders for cakes from her. Which I then end up delivering since I have the SUV :) It was so low pressure all the way around. I have seen a lot of friend’s feel a little jealous that we had an absolutely stress free wedding. We started planning a traditional one and we got stir crazy. Then we saw the Beaches/Sandals ad. Best choice we EVER made. Can’t wait to go back!

  76. BalknChain says:

    @Tracy Ham and Eggs: Oh, neat to hear that you have a baker friend. Any way you can save money
    :)

  77. Bubarubu says:

    Ceremony at a state park (free) followed by a hotel reception ($2k on food, $3k on open bar which is a whole ‘nother story, free suite for the night), 3 nights at a lakeside B&B (less than $500), off-the-rack clearance dress for my bride (she has both simple and frugal tastes, when she saw the pathetically small engagement ring I could afford, she worried about how ostentatious it might look…I picked well), free tux rental for me with 4 groomsmen, honoraria for the two clergy who did the ceremony (interfaith wedding, $800), one small tiered cake and then a bunch of sheet cakes my aunt baked (she supplies a small restaurant and was more than happy to get involved). My parents picked up the bar tab, her parents did the flowers and invitations, we paid cash for the rest and started married life with no debt but student loans. It can be done.

  78. Bubarubu says:

    @Bubarubu: Oh, and we burned our own CDs in advance, so no need for a DJ.

  79. Burgandy says:

    Vegas wedding ran us less than $2500, including travel & my dress. We had the ceremony at Paris and stayed at Bally’s. Ceremony was great, we had dinner at on the restaurants down stairs, we were serenaded by the waiter (we were his last party EVER before he started with Phantom of the Opera rehearsals) and my grandmother, who was an accomplished Opera singer in her time. We got married on a Monday and spent the rest of the week in Vegas, no crowds. I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

  80. BalknChain says:

    @Bubarubu: That sounds very nice. There is no finer backdrop for a wedding than mother nature at her finest. We had fabulous weather in Jamaica, fortunately. A hurrican hit Florida the day after we flew out of Miami and one hit Jamaica the day after we flew out of there!

  81. BalknChain says:

    @Burgandy: sounds stress free too, which is great

  82. morganlh85 says:

    I highly recommend the book Bridal Bargains.

    I also highly recommend having your wedding at a place that DOESN’T do weddings…i.e. an art gallery, a dance studio, an empty loft, a building lobby, etc. The price is usually much lower because the owners haven’t figured out that they can cash in on wedding business yet.

  83. morganlh85 says:

    @Titan0: Celebrating with family members who support your relationship does not equal proving it to people.

  84. hypoxia says:

    Eh. Why throw your money away on something like this? Think of the down payment you could have on a house instead! Get something tangible with value for your money.

  85. bmwloco says:

    Got married on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the old Inn on the Parkway site. Drove a ’54 Pontiac Star Chief convertible. Only immediate family and close friends. Cost? Zip, nada, nothing. $100 bucks to the preacher – who handled all the legal stuff.

    Friend, who has done graphics work for some very, very big clients with cred (National Geo…hint) did invites.

    Threw a party for our friends. About $1500 out of pocket. 200 folks. Post party with a keg, gratis. Pizza. Gratis.

    Honeymoon suite $300 at a historic hotel. We left after a raucous night then honeymooned in the Virgin Islands for under $1000.

    So far, so good. It’s not about money, but creativity and willingness to do a little work.

  86. Shadowfire says:

    Our flowers were really nice, and cheap. I think the croisages, bouquets, centerpieces… everything involved, cost us less than $300. And there were a ton of them. We went with a small florist in the middle of nowhere (the biggest town in the county, which also housed the only stop light in the whole county), and most of our flowers were spring wildflowers. Good stuff.

    On the negative side, Men’s Wearhouse totally screwed up my tux, and I highly recommend no one ever use them. Ever.

    Seriously, ever.

  87. morganlh85 says:

    All the wedding poo-pooers…you seem to forget that when some proper planning and budgeting, you can get all that money spent on the wedding back, sometimes a lot more, in wedding gifts.

  88. antisane says:

    Got married in our living room, cake from the super market, JP ($50, friend of a friend), 4 guests (my mom, her parents, and the friend that introduced us years before).

    Total cost < $100.

  89. ladypalmer says:

    People still comment on our wedding 6 years later. We had it in a rose garden at the Parthenon in Nashville. The use of that cost $70, my dress cost $80, and we had a simple reception at a local hotel. My mom was so pleased to have saved the money that she paid for our hotel for our honeymoon. The US Grant in San Diego is such a beautiful place; I highly recommend it! Meanwhile, a couple we know who just spent their life savings on a lavish wedding are filing for divorce 2 months later. Not that the two are related….just saying.

  90. HungryGrrl says:

    To all you ‘spend on food!’ people…

    I work part time for a catering company, who at this time of the year mostly does weddings. It’s UNBELIEVABLE the amount of food that gets thrown out at weddings.

    Please don’t overload your guests with hor dorves and then feed them a plated dinner. Half of the plated food will be thrown away.

    Please don’t have berrys and cream in addition to cake. No one eats them and 4 lbs of strawberries will be thrown out at the end of the night.

    The most efficient way I’ve seen of doing a wedding dinner is ‘stations’… not quite a buffet, but rather a salad station, a carving station, and a sides station. Guests get as much food as they want and there is much less waste.

    No one needs 5 hot hor dorves and a cheese table. Keep cocktail hour short (under an hour) and move right on to dinner.

  91. @Shadowfire: Hm, that’s where I rented mine, and it turned out OK.

    Then again, it’s the only time I used them.

  92. @Tracy Ham and Eggs: A DJ who can keep people dancing, a decent meal (forget the fancy shit) and people you like and the wedding is a blast.

    A lot of that comes down to matching the DJ and the props to your crowd. When I was a DJ, the success of the night depended more on the type of guests then anything I did. Each wedding crowd has its own unique flavor.

    So, if your people just want to dance and don’t need any encouragement, get a DJ who plays music and shuts up (my personal style). If you want to coax your people into dancing, get a DJ who’ll be interactive and do skits and the electric slide. And, if your people don’t want to dance at all, rent or borrow a PA, have a friend push some buttons for the newlyweds’ first dance, and call it a night.

    And maybe you do want a picture of Grandma wearing stupid sunglasses. It’s your wedding and you should do (within reason) what you think your guests will enjoy.

  93. ellastar says:

    @d2kd3k: I find it interesting that the people who are so set against having a big, expensive wedding also feel the need to denigrate or attack people with other opinions. Or those who act snub the very idea that someone has a choice to spend money or not. Like linbey‘s comment “If you truly want to do it right…” No, that’s just one opinion (linbey’s) on how to get married. It’s not the ONE RIGHT WAY. Or bohemian who attacks the religious aspect of it. “Unless your under about 23 or highly religious the traditional wedding is kind of an outdated practice. It all smacks of giving away a girl into religious indentured servitude.” Please. Since when does age have anything to do with the appropriateness of a traditional wedding, especially if they’ve never been married before? (Second and third marriages are another matter). Just because you think that it is outdated and a marketing ploy doesn’t mean anyone else does, or even has to. It’s YOUR opinion, not a fact.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Just please don’t push your opinions onto others because they happen to think differently.

    I’d like to have a big, expensive wedding when I get married, if I could afford it. I only plan on doing it once, so I’d like to enjoy it. But I also know what I can and can’t afford. My wedding will most likely be a medium, not-too-expensive one.

    I don’t want to have a small, intimate wedding at a courthouse or small home because it’s not me. But I don’t begrudge those who do choose to go that route.

  94. Mike8813 says:

    I got married in a courthouse by a justice of the peace. Cost me 60 bucks. I’m just as married as any morons that need doves released upon reading their vows.

  95. bohemian says:

    @ellastar: You might not begrudge someone for having an untraditional or small wedding but the wedding industry sure will. That was also more my point that people’s personal preferences. There is a ton of marketing and associated social pressure to have a huge expensive wedding with tons of things people really don’t need. Anyone who has read through a wedding magazine or gone to one of these wedding shows has seen some of the silly things the wedding industry tries to tell people is socially mandatory.

    If someone really wants that huge cathedral wedding, go for it. What I have issue with is people having huge weddings or buying certain things because they have been told they have to. Formal social situations are so foreign to most people that they will believe anything they are told is a social protocol because they don’t know any better.

  96. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Paul D: OMG, that’s AWESOME!

    If/when I get married:

    What? It’s a pretty song, damn it!

    @uricmu: Nope, I never got the BBC when I had television. Loved the clip though.

  97. jillian says:

    We cut corners by:

    - printing our own invitations & programs on tree free paper (www.invitesite.com)
    - buying all the booze at Costco (beer & wine only, and Costco had a shockingly good selection of wine)
    - having candle centerpieces instead of expensive flowers
    - minimizing use of flowers to bouquets & boutonieres
    - buying my dress & my husband’s suit off eBay
    - having an old college friend DJ for us (he was better than a wedding DJ anyways, and totally rocked the party)
    - having both the ceremony & reception at the same beautiful location
    - and because said location is a nonprofit, we get to actually tax-deduct the expense as a donation next year

    It was still a ridiculously expensive party, but it was beautiful & everyone had a total blast. Plus, if you run an open bar, no one will notice if anything isn’t perfect.

  98. Invalid_User_Name says:

    I am so happy to read that there are a lot of other folks out there who believe as I do: that the wedding industry is overhyped unnecessary fluff that would chose to drive people into debt. I wonder how many of those who spend money on the doves and stuff end up divorced because they bought into the whole “perfect” thing.

  99. @ladypalmer: Meanwhile, a couple we know who just spent their life savings on a lavish wedding are filing for divorce 2 months later. Not that the two are related….just saying.

    Still, though, it can happen.

    A YOUNG family friend, who had dated her fiance for 5 years, got married on a three-story yacht, with catered gourmet food, and the yacht was out at sea for the duration of the reception. We can’t imagine what it cost.

    Divorced 4 months later. And we had better food than they did.

  100. unohoo says:

    When I got married eons ago, I chose a small Sunday afternoon wedding that my parent’s house could accommodate. It was catered. I only invited about 50 people (limited to close family and friends). I bought my gown on sale and got flowers for the tables at the local supermarket. My fiancé wore a business suit–no point in a tux. I believe the wedding cost under $1000–including gown and rings–probably the equivalent of $3000 today (best guess).

    There are lots of ways to save–one does need to be flexible, though.

  101. thelushie says:

    @Manok: That sounds so romantic. I want a simple wedding in a park or the beach and then a BBQ for the reception.

  102. azgirl says:

    Since half of them are doomed to fail, and the rest are just miserable… save your dough.

  103. thelushie says:

    @BalknChain: T-shirts??????

  104. Norcross says:

    My wife and I managed to get married for under $1000, dress included. The only thing (IMHO) worth the money are the pictures. After all, it’s all you’ll have 20 years later, and if it ends in divorce, it’s the only thing to burn!

    And a side note, a public park in Florida is free to get married in. My wife an I got married on Ft. DeSoto, which was #1 beach a few years ago, for FREE.

  105. broke463 says:

    big wedding $ savers:

    - buy your flowers in bulk from costco, they have amazing prices and beautiful flowers. i did this for my recent reception and had bouquets for 25 tables plus leftovers for decorations for $600

    - costco also has invitations at a 25% discount online from most of the major stationery companies.

    - buy vases and other decor from a craft store like michael’s. my vases were $3 a piece. the $1 stores (like dollar general) usually have sections for wedding favors. you can find some really unbelievable stuff there.

    - check out the jcrew.com clearance section for wedding dresses. they have amazing gowns and constantly put their clearance items at an additional 20% discount. my wedding dress – $79

    - see if your reception venue offers a “banquet keg” instead of beer by the bottle. it’s still going to cost you 2-3 times more than buying a keg on your own, but will be far cheaper than being charged by the bottle.

    - i wouldn’t have my reception on a thursday, but i would recommend moving it to an “off” month. i eloped in november and then we had a reception for 250+ in january. it was great b/c the band, space, photographer and guests that i wanted to attend were all available and i got most of my services at a major discount – 50%+

    - we eloped on the beach – cost? – $0. use natural areas as locations, they mean major savings.

    - i hate cake, so does my husband, and when you see how much wedding cakes cost you may hate them too. instead of a cake we served a plated dessert; another option we considered was a chocolate dessert fountain. costs were 3-5x less than a traditional wedding cake and far more delicious!

    as many have said, don’t skimp on the things that matter most to you. i spent more on my wedding photographer than anything else and i’ll never regret it.

  106. anyanka323 says:

    Some of the ideas that other people have suggested are great.

    I like the idea of only having your truly close family and friends at the ceremony. It just feels more intimate if the people who truly know you are present rather than the distant relatives whom you rarely see witness your special moment.

    I’m not a huge fan of the large receptions with a full dinner. You can’t satisfy everyone’s dietary preferences. I would prefer to have a less formal reception with just cake and snacks. You also would save money on the catering bill that way too.

  107. Landru says:

    @BuddyGuyMontag: Not everyone is like you. Some people like a nice small wedding. On a Thursday night.

  108. mythago says:

    @ellastar, don’t confuse “big” and “expensive”. Yes, if you have a large and fancy wedding, you’ll spend more than if you had a backyard BBQ. But there are plenty of ways to have a more ‘traditional’ wedding without getting fleeced by the wedding industry, which will use “but EVERYBODY does it” and “you don’t want people to think you’re CHEAP….” to try to scare you into wasting money.

    I can’t believe the original post on this – those ‘seven tips’ are fairly useless.

  109. bravo369 says:

    i think it’s amazing to see what some people say they spent on their wedding. it must be the area in which you live. I live in the NYC area and am currently planning my wedding. Venues are AT LEAST $100 per head. multiple that by 150+ people and it’s $15000-$30000 alone for the reception (depending on place). then you throw in flowers, rings, dress, tux, bridal gifts. the reception cost is going to be offset by monetary gifts at the wedding though but still.

    $3000 just covers the wedding rings we are looking to get. We are going to save money by not getting as many flowers, making own invitations, no limo, and buying wedding dress on ebay (she said it will be good). we both definately want a live band though and from others who got married, they are telling me it’s going to run at least $3000-$7000.

    i guess it’s just priorites but there would be no way i could get into a $3000-$8000 range unless i had it in someone’s backyard.

  110. CPC24 says:

    Here in the South, big, lavish weddings (and sweet 16 parties) are pretty much unheard of, unless the bride’s family is really rich. We don’t even have drinking and dancing, except maybe in Catholic weddings. Did I mention grooms get their own cake, too?

  111. MollyNYC says:

    Re open bars, you might consider limiting your alcohol to just wine. It’s less expensive than hard liquor, more soigne (IMO), and (since it’s harder to get drunk on wine), your friends and loved ones are more likely to remain upright throughout the festivities. (Prosecco’s really nice, and cheaper than that other bubbly.)

    (A lot of people think that the hallmark of a proper wedding is enabling your guests to get utterly, knee-walking, room-spinning hammered at your expense. Obviously, this isn’t a good idea if you’re trying to cut costs. Less obviously, it’s also insane if you have all the money in the world. Anyone who’s disappointed at your reception because they didn’t get as drunk as they’d hoped has a substance problem.)

    ************
    Jim (The Canuck One) – There’s no percentage for those reality programs to pick polite, reasonable people. Who’d watch? The future Mrs. Jim will be ‘way nicer to you than whatever you saw on “Rich Bride Poor Bride” because practically everyone in the universe is.

  112. katewrath says:

    I have complete admiration for people who can pull off the small private ceremony. Unfortunately, for most people, unless your family is a bunch of raging alcoholic assholes, you have no choice but to include them in some way.

    I don’t say this out of some misplaced notion of what makes for a “proper” wedding. It took me some time to figure this out, but you don’t invite people to your wedding for the gifts or out of a sense of propriety.

    You do it because your marriage is a significant part of your life and the people around you want to bear witness to it. It is a kindness and a mitzvah to let your community support you as you and your partner embark on a life together.

    I did not know this when I got married, btw. Like everyone else here, every single thing about our wedding became a stand in for who we were and the lives we wanted to live. Some people think a $30 Ebay dress defines them as rationalists; some people think $10,000 bar bills define them as generous hosts. In truth, you are who you are, and your families know and love you for that. No dress, no passed trays of sushi can change that. But then, that’s not such bad news, is it?

  113. d2kd3k says:

    @ellastar: Thanks for illustrating my point! :)

  114. BlackFlag55 says:

    We spent the wedding money on Land. Neither one of us is much concerned with flashy, passing moments like an expensive wedding. 30 years later, and we’re still making good decisions. But hey … that’s what makes our society great. You wanna do the Big Wedding? Have at it. Simple turns your crank? Have at it. There’s enough seats in this theatre of life for everybody.

  115. Kali Mama says:

    Without bankrupting your parents? It’s 2008 people, if you can’t bankroll your own wedding you have no business being married.

  116. choinski says:

    Here’s one: Get Married on September 11th! Nobody wants to, and prtactically any venue is dirt cheap. A freind of mine of the Ritz Carton to himself.

  117. thesuperpet says:

    Woah, what’s up with all the wedding nay-sayers?
    I had a nice wedding, cost about $1,500. I didnt’t really want a big wedding, but in my family that’s not acceptable, so my mother paid for it and I just went along with it.

    I think the biggest expense (besides the food/hall which was the event room of a family Italian restruant and very nice) was asuit for my husband because he didnt own one, but it was something he is going to use often in life.

  118. battra92 says:

    @azgirl: Since half of them are doomed to fail, and the rest are just miserable… save your dough.

    Wow, you’re even more cynical than I am.

    I always said if in the weird chance I get married (which is kind of hard since I’m not looking) I just can’t see spending all this money to show off. In the long run, no one cares and you all die alone.

    I’m not for eloping, though. My sister did that and broke my mom’s heart. She also married an asshole that none of us talk to so that didn’t help matters.

    Oh and another thing, I’m not wearing a wedding ring so money saved there.

  119. bonzombiekitty says:

    If/when I get married, my most important expense will be food and booze. I’d probably also splurge for transportation between the hotel that visiting people would be staying at and the reception – that way we can all drink without having to worry about driving.

  120. missdona says:

    @thesuperpet: Marrying without a big wedding is unacceptable in my family too. You would be gossiped about until you’re old and grey.

    We did a very affordable but grand to-do in Vegas. It had all the things my cousins’ NY weddings had, except it was in the desert and cost about 80% less.

  121. amyschiff says:

    April is pushing it for the midwest. April here in Michigan is pretty unpredictable… it can be lovely or bitter cold… or even snowy.

    I definitely do not want a huge expensive wedding. There are SO many other things that the money would be better spent on.

  122. rockergal says:

    i love how people say “I didn’t hear anyone complain”
    People will only complain behind your back. I mean who will go to a bride or groom and say “Sorry but your wedding sucks/is boring etc.

  123. britne says:

    we spent under $5000. =)

    our priority was the reception – good food, open bar, everyone having a good time. everything else was incidental – we just wanted to celebrate with friends and family.

    dress: $200 – david’s bridal, in the prom section. much cheaper than the other side of the store.
    shoes: clearance. =)
    hair/nails/makeup/etc: $0. did it myself.

    flowers: the flower girl and i sat around one weekend and made bouquets with silk flowers and ribbon. fun, and cheap.
    music: we made a cd of our favorite songs and played it at the reception.
    photography: left disposable cameras on every table, and several relatives took pics and sent them to us. we got some of the greatest shots!

    ceremony: outdoors, in a small park (free) with a civil celebrant (cheap).
    bridesmaids dresses: we let them pick. they looked awesome!
    groomsmen: we let them pick. bought them matching ties.

    everything else spent was the $3000+ on the reception. worth every penny to be drinking, dancing, eating, and having fun with those we cared about most.

    the best part? we’re just as married as people who spend tens of thousands, and we’re less broke because of it. =)

  124. drhilarius978 says:

    My finacee and I are more concerned with the marriage than the wedding. And, frankly, a solid marriage is built on low/no debt and a (fairly) inexpensive roof over your head. So, needless to say, we’re in the “Save it for the down payment” camp.

    Someone above said, “the more expensive the wedding, the more unhappy the marriage.” Some part of me is inclined to believe that. I mean, if you’re such the narcissist that what others think about you matters that deeply, if status is that crucial, then it seems unlikely you’ll have the spirit of compromise necessary to make a marriage work.

    Not to mention it’s hard to avoid acrimony with spiraling inflation, expensive fuel, and 50 – 100,000+ in consumer debt.

  125. Mistrez_Mish says:

    The price of the wedding and reception are determined by where the event will be held. Not just the actual venue, but also the city and state. (…unless you’re okay with going to a courthouse for the quick and super inexpensive way – there’s no major price difference with that regardless of your location.)

    The fiance and I are planning our wedding and it’s terribly expensive in NYC. After finding out that the average Manhattan reception price is $125 per person (this is just for the basic menu – want fancy? that will cost you a lot more). The least expensive venue (venue not scummy…in a SAFE neighborhood), offering a complete package ended up being a nice place in Queens – only $75 per person.

    We’re DIY the flowers and a whole bunch of other things… not blowing tons of cash on over priced dresses, etc… and it still adds up.

    The only thing that we aren’t trying to cut costs on are the photographer. When everything is done, it’s the photos that last the longest.

  126. “people throw them away”

    Do not! I save them all! And I have a big box of my great-aunt’s from old family weddings and I love looking through them.

    We rented a trolley for something like half the cost of the limo to ferry guests from the hotel to the church and back to the reception (which was next to the hotel). Everyone loved it, it was neat and old-fashioned and party central. (Poor wedding party had to go separately, sob.) (Single site was impractical as it was a Mass.)

    We actually skipped the flowers for the most part — I’m terribly allergic; we bought two arrangements for the church (the “cost” of using the church is donating them their flowers for the week) and a few bouquets, but on the tables we had arrangements of tapers in many different heights, which was atmospheric and *cheap*.

    When I worked at the newspaper in college, a lot of people would hire our staff photographers for a couple hundred bucks to come shoot their weddings. There are often very talented photographers at college papers (or in college art departments) who are willing to do the work very cheap, and give you all the negatives. Of course it depends on how important photos are to you, what they cost in your area, and how good a look you can get at the student’s portfolio. We had photo guys who’d done half a dozen weddings by senior year and charged $200 bucks + food & film, and did a really nice job; going rate for pros was around $3000 (+ food).

  127. @CPC24: LOL. I got married in North Carolina, big Catholic Mass in the cathedral, and all my Baptist guests were like, “Wait, there’s going to be alcohol? SWEET!” (And then they were like, “Wait, the service is going to last an HOUR? There had better be a LOT of alcohol!”)

  128. lalaland13 says:

    I second the One Perfect Day recommendation. Really thought-provoking book. And I got it in the bargain bin, which saved me money, money I can use on that wedding I’m not having anytime soon, since I live with a cat and no one else.

  129. RandomHookup says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: As least you didn’t have to sit them down to feed them (probably). Sit down weddings in the South are very rare (my sister-in-law has been to -1- in probably 200 weddings).

  130. @RandomHookup: We had the whole shebang, sit-down and all. My mom’s from a Boston Brahmin-style Catholic family, so there was never any question that it would be a) in a church, b) sit-down with open bar, and c) paid for by my parents. Because she feels there is a RIGHT WAY to do things.

    It wasn’t necessarily how I would have done it, but I had a great time and got the parts that were important to me (I planned the ceremony; my mom didn’t care as long as it was in a Catholic church), and got to have all my family around me. And my mom has great taste so it was a beautiful reception. Plus I had like zero stress until the couple weeks before because I did so little of the planning. :)

    Most of my local friends had a really good time, too, since they’d never been to a giant Irish-Catholic wedding before. It was like going to the circus for them. Or maybe the zoo. :P

    The rehearsal dinner, which we threw, was more our speed (and price range) — we had it at an Irish bar in downtown Raleigh and hired an Irish band and Irish step dancers (I was step dancing at the time). There were 80 people at the rehearsal dinner, so we had to do it on the reasonably cheap. :)

  131. *pokes the comment system*

  132. gneissgrrl says:

    Using small white daisies are nearly half the price of choosing roses, lillies, gerber daisies, etc. Also, we probably saved at least $1000-1500 by hiring the caterer for their ‘quality picnic buffet’ option (designed for company picnics and family reunions) instead of going the full service gourmet entree route.

    But, I think the best advice is to only spend the money on what you personally feel is important to you to make your day fun & special…and then really skimp on what you don’t care about. (ie. we didn’t bother with a limo, but we did spring for the local celtic band)

  133. richcreamerybutter says:

    @cronomorph: don’t pin the blame on women…it seems dudes actually prefer bridezillas over those of us who would rather do it at City Hall then throw a loft party for the friends! Are you sure you can’t at least talk her out of Disneyesque ceremony in lieu of Tuscany? Sheee-it. :)

    Anyway, if I was throwing a party to accompany the act of signing papers, my priorities would be:

    1. Travel and hotel for parents to my location, unless I celebrated with them separately.
    2. DJ/Booze are equal and important priorities. Luckily I have many friends who are amazing DJs.
    3. A great loft space

    The best wedding reception I ever attended hands down was in a creaky loft in a sketchy area of town. I have pretty much forgotten every traditional ceremony and reception (with the exception of my ex’s sister, in which I supplied her with Xanax immediately before she walked down the aisle).

  134. The biggest wedding money pit I’ve noticed is the gown; brides think they are obligated to go to a bridal shop and pay literally thousands. Once you are looking at dresses that are specifically “bridal” you are automatically getting charged much, much more.

  135. ringo00 says:

    My wife and I hosted a rather large wedding (300 people) and reception for much less than 5000 dollars. W paid for nearly everything ourselves. Here are a few ways we save the pennies.

    1.) Photos – Our photographer is a photography professor at the college we both graduated from. He gave us half off his normal rate as an alumni discount. $700 total, nearest price we found to his offer was $1600

    2.) Flowers – We were engaged in the summer had our wedding in January. My wife bought off season silk flowers for dirt cheap and she and her girls did the arrangements. $100 for all the flowers.

    3.) Food – My mother-in-law’s social club (Red Hat Ladies) cooked and served the food for us, we just bought the groceries. $300

    4.) Tuxes – We found a small, privately-owned wedding shop to rent tuxes from. The cost was around half of Seno and Men’s warehouse for the same style and my tux (the groom’s) was free. $60 per guy.

    5.) Decorations – Being recent college graduates, several of my wifes friends had been recently married and had a glut of otherwise useless wedding decorations (pew bows, tulle fabric, various other white/shiny things) just gathering dust. All of the black and white decorations we used were second-hand. We simply modified them to add our chosen colors to them. We have also passed these on to some friends of ours to use at their wedding.

    6.) Invitations, progrmams, other printables – I printed the invitations myself for about 25 cents each. I found some very nice cardstock invitations with silver embossed borders, complete with envelopes, for dirt cheap at a closeout store at less than half of even Walmart’s prices. I spent less than $75 on all the printables for the wedding.

    I know it is a lot of work, but a very nice wedding can be had for not a lot of money. I hope this helps somebody.

  136. ringo00 says:

    I forgot to say, we got married a year and a half ago.

  137. mythago says:

    @rockergal, so what? Screw those people. Small-minded assholes who want to find something to pick at ALWAYS will – no wedding is perfect, or to everyone’s taste. People who want to bitch about the cost or how it ‘sucked’ are the same people who will gloat when the couple gets divorced. Who cares what they think? Be happy you only have to see them once.

  138. IC18 says:

    When we had our wedding eons ago. I think it came down to around $7K. It was overseas since most of my wife’s and my immediate family live overseas. Even flying out some of my family members out, the actual wedding minus airfare was no more than $3K and we still enjoyed ourselves. We decided to save as much as possible on a down payment for a nice house we would enjoy our whole lives rather than throwing it away at a wedding and a honeymoon for a day. I am still dumbfounded by people spending even $20K on a wedding.

  139. e.varden says:

    Eons ago I got married at City Hall. $40

    We lasted ten years; now, still friends decades later.

    - I was also a wedding photographer for a while: The covert nastiness between the erstwhile bride and groom that I occasionally witnessed was uneasy-making…I mean, I have an intimate lens on these people and I wanted to say “QUIT THIS FACADE; THIS ISN’T STRESS TALKING, YOU REALLY DON’T LIKE EACH OTHER!”

    Feh

  140. Meggers says:

    Just got married (last November) and the biggest money saver for us was using Safeway for the flowers. For a wedding party of 12 (large families on both sides) we spent just under 200 for all of the flowers and they looked great.

    Also we found a great reception site that included a top shelf open bar, a crabcake (we are Marylanders)and sirloin buffet and our cake for under 5k.

    When all was said and done, we spent just under 8k and it went great.

  141. joellevand says:

    My wedding cost $5000, including a designer dress and fancy photographer. Two secrets:

    1. Bridesmades dresses are the same style as bridal gowns, but 1/10th the price. Buy one in white.

    2. Elope to Vegas in said dress. Have fun. Let Elvis officiate.

  142. baconqurlyq says:

    Here’s what we’re doing to reign in the expenses for our August wedding.

    1. Most of the money is being spent on the reception. A nice buffet and open bar is what are really important to us. The ceremony itself is being held in the reception hall – a short one performed by a friend of ours.

    2. Another friend who takes pictures professionally is taking our pictures as our wedding gift.

    3. I’m renting my dress. Instead of paying $500 for a cheap carbon copy gown from David’s, which then I’ll have to worry about preserving and storing, I’m spending the same amount for a ridiculously lavish, original gown I can hand back and not worry about.

    4. Silk flowers – bouquets, etc. are silk flowers I bought from the craft store and assembled myself. They’re gorgeous, and they’ll be keepsakes for a lot longer than fresh.

    5. I’m also making the garter, the cake topper (sculpey clay), and my wedding purse. Being crafty rules, and all of these things then carry much more meaning.

    6. Another crafty friend is making my jewelry.

    7. Vegas, baby, Vegas. We’re holding the wedding off-strip (they have a regular shuttle to the strip). Then we don’t have to worry about our guests – the fine folks in Vegas can attend to their every whim.

    8. Wedding party is wearing whatever they like – everyone is wearing nice stuff they can wear again, or that they already own.

  143. julieannie says:

    By having a wedding in an off-season, be prepared to pay more for flowers. Most places don’t give discounts except in the dead of winter months. A site listing June as so expensive and popular but not mentioning the popularity of September really doesn’t lend much to credibility. And most cake places are starting to charge more on a per person price with fancy adornments not really adding on much. Buy a small decorative cake and have a few sheet cakes in the back for a real discount.

  144. merkidemis says:

    Weddings themselves are such a waste anyway. For us, it was put $10K down on a house or have a one day party filled with stress. I really wish I had pushed harder for it to be the former.

  145. randomd00d says:

    We got our 120 person wedding done for 3500 dollars, with a bit of luck and good planning.

    1) Go venue shopping! The church I attend wanted to charge me thousands… go figure. Ditto with past churches. Instead I found a medium sized beautiful church for 450 dollars. We used it for wedding and reception, and it worked out awesome.

    Churches and venues have HUGE discrepancies in price. The venues especially will enforce their catering only, which is ridiculously expensive.

    2) Shop for catering. We went with Johnny Carinos italian which was friggin awesome. It was about 1500 for 125 people for 2 entrees and bread, tea, salad, etc with full service and cleanup. DO NOT USE CATERING COMPANIES…they are way overpriced.
    Check local resteraunts that you like, such as souper salad, or whatever. Many of them will have special catering people, and your prices are much lower.

    3) Consider doing your own flowers. My wife got plastic sunflowers, and they were gorgeous with foil strips in glass vases for coloring. They were dirt cheap on sale. Flowers are stupidly expensive, so limit those to bouquets.

    4) Dont go crazy on a dress. My wife got hers free from her cousin (extremely lucky), but she was looking at 300-500 dollar ones. Remember… YOU WILL NEVER USE IT AGAIN. There really isnt THAT much difference between the 500 dollar one and the 2500 dollar one…not for 3 hours of wearing.

    5) DONT DO OUTDOOR weddings if you live in a hot area. It sounds great doing a botannical garden wedding, or in a park gazebo…but they just plain suck due to heat.

    6) Men… wear a suit. Everyone will have a black suit. Nobody has a tux. Save a collective 500-1000 dollars. Consider buying your groomsmen the same color tie…works as a gift and fits the wedding colors, and gives it a more uniform look.

    7) Do your own music. We made a wedding CD and a reception CD. Our family friend did the music. It was easy.. it just takes a tiny bit of practice to prepare and get the timing right. Do you REALLY need a fancy DJ to play songs one after another at a reception??

    8) Combat the Bridezilla and Wedding Feature Creep with the following:

    Imagine that every dollar you save on the wedding will go towards your honeymoon, or towards your new house, or some other favorable goal. Spending excessive money on weddings is just stupid.

    Many parents will give you a set amount. Or you can ask for it. In other words, instead of sticking them with a 50k wedding, discuss a set wedding gift that the couple can use for the wedding and any leftover can go towards a honeymoon, or house, or paying off debt or whatever.

    This helps eliminate the idea of “Its our special day… we are worth it!” and the feeling that “its not OUR money.. its our parents!”.

    Good luck!

  146. randomd00d says:

    One more thing…

    DO NOT do a thursday/sunday wedding!!! Do it Saturday.

    Seriously, HOW exactly does this save money? The venue is a bit cheaper, but thats about it. If you save THAT much money on the day difference, then you are spending too much money on the venue itself!

    Remember, you have to have a rehearsal dinner the night before, (friday). Even a friday wedding could mean people have to arrive Thursday for the dinner if coming from out of town.

    Also, people have to fly back to whereever they came from. Having to do so Sunday Night, then go to work Monday is a loser.

    Be considerate to the people you are inviting and stick to the Saturday wedding, unless you don’t have hardly anyone coming from out of town.

  147. michellebrown says:

    Great tips, I know so many brides who are on a budget this year. My bff though just actually broke up her with her fiance and decided to sell it to this site [www.idonowidont.com] which has a clever name. She felt it was the best way to have closure and she avoided most likely a very expensive overblown wedding but made some money in the end!