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#1 of 47 Old 10-07-2007, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok some I'm getting married next sept and am looking for tips and tricks to save money.
It is going to be an outdoor wedding - in a beautiful, free location. I'm also making my own dress, as its considerable cheaper, it will be lots of fun and I know it will get so much joy from it.
So any other ideas wonderful MDCers?
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#2 of 47 Old 10-07-2007, 04:57 PM
 
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Well, we saved a bunch of money for my wedding thusly:

A friend of the family did the church flowers. (She could have done the bouquets too, but was too nervous).

Mum made my wedding dress; the mothers of the bridesmaids made their dresses.

I made and iced my own wedding cake (hobby of mine, I wouldn't recommend it unless you know what you're doing; and only if it's a cake which doesn't require last-minute prep!).

We made our own invitations, orders of service and wedding favours (little handmade triangular boxes with a few Hershey's kisses inside) out of matching paper.

Friends provided the music for the wedding--I have friends who play violin, piano and cello, and they did a gorgeous job. The music for the reception was a bunch of CDs we compiled for the occasion, but I can't honestly remember if they got played or not!

The wedding video was also friends; or rather, a couple just starting out in the wedding video biz who wanted to do a few free weddings to get their reputation going, and their mother knew us. Actually it was a bit of a disaster; I didn't want a wedding video, and it turned out not so good! But never mind.

The photographer was a professional wedding photographer who flew in from Australia to take our photos, because he had a crush on my sister.

We did pay for the hairdresser, but my sister made the bling to go in our hair--she attached little pearl beads and copper wire to bobby pins.

The makeup was another friend.

My engagement ring, which I adore, has a Ceylonese sapphire and two little diamonds, which are actually cubit zirconium. That saved us about $1000; it was in the 'dress ring' section of the store, not the engagement section (because they're all diamonds!). All I had to do was persuade DH that I couldn't care less whether the diamonds were actual diamonds or not (and seriously, I couldn't), and we had enough money to buy a very fancy knife set.

The wedding cars... two other friends of the family. Spotting a trend here?

The church--well, my dad's a pastor. So it was my childhood church, not gorgeous but OK, and free. The pastor, being my dad (tandeming with another family friend, so he could give me away), likewise free!

I realise you probably can't replicate all these conditions for your own wedding, but take a closer look at your friends and parents' friends and so on. Some of the 'friends' I mentioned weren't that close--for example, the makeup lady works with DH in a huge company. But it turns out, people LOVE helping out for weddings. I gave everyone who helped gift baskets, which I made myself (some homemade items, some fancy food, etc).

One thing I didn't do myself was the catering; my MIL was horrified at the idea and talked me out of it. She was probably right; the caterers did a fine job, and it was one thing less for me to worry about. My sisters and I went over to the reception place the day before and decorated it, while I assembled and decorated the cake. The place had these lovely glass tables with glass bowls sort of suspended underneath, and we filled the bowls with pot pourri and arranged my favourite books, open to places with passages about love, on top. Heaps of people commented and thought it was a great idea (and a few of my geekier friends were noted to have removed the books and read a few pages!).

I'm not sure if this is a money-saving tip per se, but we used flax flowers for decorating the cake, the reception and also in the bridesmaid's bouquets (mixed in with real white roses). They were lovely, and dyed the perfect shade of blue, which was better than trying to find blue flowers. I bought dozens of them and they came in handy for all sorts of things--decorative pew ends, you name it. That kind of tied things together. The other 'symbol' of the wedding was a (cheap!) Celtic knot rubber stamp and some copper paint. My wedding colours were cream, blue and copper, and the theme was 'A threefold cord is not quickly broken'; so the knot concept seemed to work. We printed out hundreds of copper knots, cut them out and used them to decorate the invites, the wedding favours, the orders of service. It was nice.

Good luck, and try not to stress too hard about the dress! Mum did mine, and we ended up changing the pattern a week before the wedding because she couldn't get something to work. It was stressful for her--I don't know if she'd call making it 'a joy' exactly!--but she was very proud and relieved when it was done. And it looked great.

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#3 of 47 Old 10-07-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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I love outdoor weddings- that's what we had. I would say we had a frugal wedding. There were some splurges by Here's a few things we did. My aunt has made all the cakes in our family so that was her gift to us. My husband is from Mexico and his family also brought a tradition Tres Leches Cake (A total suprise!) For the food we made it ourselves. My husband (with some help from his family) spent the whole day (wedding was at 4pm) preparing traditional Mexican foods for a buffet. Family members from my side came early and made additional items like salads etc.

Flowers I had arranged with a vendor at the Farmers market to have a certain amount of bouquets for tables and around the alter which was only ended up being $150 for I got all the vases at thriftstores or garage sales for like .50 to 1.00 each

One of my bridesmaids did the make-up. Hair was done at discount price cause it was a beauty school

Made my own invites


I totally agree with pp. Look at friends and family to help out. It saves a bundle

Good luck
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#4 of 47 Old 10-07-2007, 05:01 PM
 
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I just got married last november, and I would say that negotiating on things helps the most. Make sure to ask your vendor's if they can take any money off. Maybe ask for whatever flowers are in season, or ask a helpful relative to pick up the food instead of having them deliver. Good luck, and congratulations! I was able to get a considerable discound by having my wedding during thanksgiving weekend, and working with the caterer and florist to give me the options that were to my taste and budget.

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#5 of 47 Old 10-07-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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If you want to serve a meal, serve brunch or lunch. We did all our own cooking for a late morning wedding and served all brunch type foods. It was classy but VERY cheap for around 50 people.

Don't serve alcohol. : That is an instant savings. We did coffee, tea and punch. It was fine.

Wedding favors are optional and usually entirely un-missed. We skipped them.

Our entire wedding cost around $500, that included my dress and the professional photography.

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#6 of 47 Old 10-07-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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We did a harvest theme wedding, and it was perfect. I utilized my best friends as wedding slave labor. We made all the invitations (no small feat considering they each had a little bunch of dried flowers tied with a piece of rafia.) One of said friends knows caligraphy, addressed all invites by hand. We bought two 5 gallon buckets of wild flowers at farmers market, and put them in mason jars as our centerpieces on half of tables. Other half got little couldrens of plenty overflowing w/ apples, garlic, onions, pumpkins (mini) & gourds, grapes, & peppers - the fall things. On the gift table, we had a large couldren overflowing. My friend's mom & I canned a bunch of things for the favors. The short 1/2 pint jar holds half a peach perfectly. We stamped and glittered little brown paper bags w/ handles (bought for about 15 cents each) for the favors to go in, everyone filled one before leaving.

We also had friends play the music, it was their gift to us. We rented and set up the tables & chairs our selves the day before the wedding. We bought about $500 worth of booze (including one very expensive $120 bottle of champagne for us, a $40 bottle of Moet for the wedding party, and a dozen cheapy $5 bottles for everyone else) and a friend was our bartender as a gift. He even found another friend to help him, and they made out well in tips.

I called in every favor anyone ever owed us plus some. Mother made my dress. OUr cake was free - one of my former bosses & friend made it, I got the caterer to do the food for $12.50 a person because I couldn't afford $16 but I used to run jobs for her, so she did it, my musician friend composed a special song just for us as we made the march together, another friend married us, etc, etc. Oh, and the rings were my grandma's we only had to pay about $250 to get them repaired, sized, etc.

All in all, including the food, which was most expensive, we had a $10000 wedding for about $3500 and my dad paid for about $2000 of it, so we only paid about $1500. Good luck, you can do it! Start now, and really know what you want, and do it yourself, you'll have a great time!
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#7 of 47 Old 10-07-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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If you want to serve a meal, serve brunch or lunch. We did all our own cooking for a late morning wedding and served all brunch type foods. It was classy but VERY cheap for around 50 people.
Heck, I completely forgot that one. YES! Our wedding was 1:30, and we had a buffet afternoon tea at 3:00ish. SO MUCH cheaper than a sit-down, roast dinner; and just as nice; in fact, I preferred it to a heavy meal. Plus we had a lot of kids at the wedding, so it was nice they could grab a club sandwich, run outside to play and come back later for a muffin; rather than sitting down to a huge, overpriced meal they didn't really want.
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Don't serve alcohol. That is an instant savings. We did coffee, tea and punch. It was fine.
That too. I never drink, so I'd forgotten to even mention it, but yup; big savings. We had punch, tea and coffee, and sparkling apple/grape juice for the toasts.

In fact, there's a Presbyterian guy who goes to our church, who has infomed his son that he must marry a strict Baptist girl, so as to avoid the cost of alcohol at the reception!

Also, weddings are usually cheaper on weekdays than weekends; but that can be a pain, and it sounds like you've already got your locations sorted?

The only other thing I'd recommend, which isn't about cost at all, is this: you don't have to go on the honeymoon until the next day. DH and I came back to our new home and spent the night (we unwrapped all the presents that evening and put them around the house, which was fun!), had a good rest, and the *next* day went on our honeymoon. Actually we saved even more, by driving down with one of the groomsmen, who came from the city we wanted to visit. Terribly romantic!

ETA: Oh, and can't resist adding (!): I wanted a wedding quilt, so Mum cut squares of fabric and everyone signed one at the reception. Mum and I... well, mostly Mum... embroidered over the names, and she's piecing together the quilt top now. It's a cool idea if you want something a bit more creative than a guest book.

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#8 of 47 Old 10-07-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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I will follow this thread. I'll be planning a wedding (hopefully!) soon.

My ideas are to have the ceremony late morning and then follow up with a brunch buffet. Totally informal and the only alcohol we'll need is champagne (for the mimosas and toasts ) My DP's best friend will officiate the ceremony. We'll put together our own music or DP knows TONS of musicians who could play for us. I am not interested in wearing a traditional wedding dress, just a nice dress that I can wear again. Not sure where I'll get that, but it won't be too expensive. DP will wear a suit he already owns. Flowers will be from the farmer's market.

Hmmm, that's all I've got so far!
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#9 of 47 Old 10-07-2007, 07:23 PM
 
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We are trying to get married a few days before thanksgiving : because dp mom decided to come visit us so that means at least someone from dp's side will be able to be at our wedding. The fact that all of his family live in Maine and we are in New Mexico has helped keep the wedding cheap since we are gonna keep it under 10 people even though more of my family could come we are gonna still have it small because I would hate for tone of my family to be there and none of his.

The rings and dress are what we have spent alot of money on but that was all put on layaway so its not alot of money all spent at once. Most things we are getting friends to do (flowers,music, rev,photography) we will have to pay for the site about 170$ (we are getting married during the slow season here so all the prices are down it would normally be 250) We arnt having a reception just a few of us having dinner at my dp resturant (hes a cook) and then we will probably have our wedding night there since we will get a discount on the room also.

Im really trying to control the spending and not go overboard with the "dream wedding" since we have money save but not to spend on a wedding its all being saved for a car. Which in the long run I know I will be happier having more money for my car then a wedding.

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#10 of 47 Old 10-07-2007, 07:34 PM
 
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We were really budget. We designed and printed up our own invitations, and I wore a store-bought brown velvet dress and my husband wore jeans and a favorite purple corduroy shirt. My MIL bought me a bouquet of blue and purple wildflowers from the saturday market (where we also bought our silver rings for $10 a piece,) and I tied a purple ribbon around them. I made the cakes, which were just six single-layer chocolate cakes with cream cheese frosting, and topped with fresh flowers. We strung simple white christmas lights throughout the garden.

For the ceremony we stood in front of my in-laws' garden at dusk, and had people gather around and my husband and I exchanged our self-written vows. We had distributed disposable cameras throughout the crowd, so we got lots of shots from all different angles, which was really neat.

We did a potluck, and people brought just an incredible amount of great food and drink. And we basically just spent the rest of the evening eating and drinking. The one thing I wish we had done was to have music. I had in mind a local folk-rock duo. That would have been the only real expense, we just didn't get it together in time. Nowadays, I would just make up a play list on my computer and hook up some speakers!
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#11 of 47 Old 10-08-2007, 06:10 PM
 
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First of all, let me preface this with the fact that I never dreamed about my wedding as a little girl or anything, so I wasn't really emotionally invested in the little things. I pretty much regarded myself as the production manager of an event and went from there. Don't get me wrong, I was VERY emotionally invested in the idea of getting married, but I wasn't emotionally invested in the idea of having calla lillies as opposed to gerbera daisies or whatever. I am *very* picky and consider myself to have good taste (others may argue ) so it's not like I didn't care - I just handled things pretty objectively. IMO this is the best attitude to have to plan a wedding.

DON'T read bridal magazines unless you can trust yourself to just flip through them for ideas...there's a lot of junk in there about 'expressing your personal style' and they try to play on your emotions to spend more.

Don't pick colours or themes. Our colours were white and silver and our theme was getting married. Personally I think themed weddings are cheezy and you can go freaking crazy trying to match everything. By keeping everything pretty neutral, we had more options among the things that were cheap and not ugly. I wanted my bridesmaids to get dresses from the mall (special order ones are ridiculously priced) so once we found those I worked the colour in.

Nobody cares about decorations or favors. If your location is already fairly pleasing, just bring in a few flowers and you're good for decorations. Nobody cares about centrepieces - if you don't DIY, just sprinkle some rose petals on the tablecloths and you're done. For the head table, put your bouquets in vases ~ voila, centrepieces. Favors are totally optional, so if you're stuck for cash, skip them. Seriously, nobody will notice.

Stick to your budget for flowers. I hired a high end florist because I wanted to get good service, but I was fine with less expensive flowers. The flowers were the last thing I bought so I could cut the budget on those if anything else went over. I told them - $300, white and purple, do whatever you want (we bought flowers last so I was OK with picking colours by then.) I went with the idea that all flowers are pretty so no need to obsess over getting exactly the right ones. She showed me some stuff in store and I OK'ed it on the spot. She was floored. She was used to brides coming in with a much higher budget, months before the wedding and hemming and hawing and coming back three times. No wonder people stress out about weddings!!
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#12 of 47 Old 10-08-2007, 06:51 PM
 
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Candles! Don't bother with floral centerpieces, we used hurricane jars (bought for 50% off at a craft store, so about $5/each) filled them halfway with cranberries and stuck a pillar in the middle. We also scattered votives in simple, cheap IKEA holders all over. It's cheaper and you can make them ahead of time, unlike floral arrangements.

Do your own flowers. Bouquets are quick and easy with a few people helping you. I ordered my flowers wholesale online, roses, they were probably $120 for 5 bouquets and boutineres. They were gorgeous and really easy to work with.

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#13 of 47 Old 10-08-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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I actually priced my dream wedding last year (we were going to get married and had to delay it due to a family crisis) and it came in at about $15,000.

HAHAHAHAHA. I am now a little more realistic (said family crisis has resulted in less financial support from my parents) and I now that can't happen. So, I'm thinking we'll be planning for October 08 starting any day now.. ( cart before the horse, anyone? ) and I've got to decide how to compromise on my dream wedding.

Are there any good websites devoted to FRUGAL wedding planning? All of the big "wedding" websites are so expensive :-x

One thing we will not compromise on is the photographer, the one we really like will cost about $3000. The invitations will be made by us with help from a friend w/a letterpress machine for the cost of materials. The dress will be my grandmother's dress, with some minor adjustments made by a family friend.

Any other thoughts?

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#14 of 47 Old 10-08-2007, 08:15 PM
 
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Instead of hiring a fancy-schmancy (read: very expensive) wedding photographer, we interviewed and then hired a freelance photographer with the local metro paper. For $425, she took a few hundred photos (mostly in photojournalistic style, which is what we mainly wanted, and then some posed shots of our assembled families) and gave us the negatives at the end of the reception. (This was before digital cameras were in such widespread use; I imagine anyone you hire now will use digital rather than film that needs to be developed, which will save you even more $.)

My husband's cousin, on the other hand, got married two months before us and paid a wedding photographer more than two grand for about 60 photos that were mostly posed, completely unspontaneous shots. If they (the wedded couple) want copies of any of their pics, they have to pay the photographer a fee, since he retains the rights to all their images.

So in my humble opinion, we got a much better deal. Just look through your local paper (the closest metro paper will have better selection usually) and see what photographer's style you like. Then give 'em a call to see if they're interested in an interview.

Congrats! Here's wishing you a beautiful wedding.
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#15 of 47 Old 10-08-2007, 08:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beccalou79 View Post
Instead of hiring a fancy-schmancy (read: very expensive) wedding photographer, we interviewed and then hired a freelance photographer with the local metro paper. For $425, she took a few hundred photos (mostly in photojournalistic style, which is what we mainly wanted, and then some posed shots of our assembled families) and gave us the negatives at the end of the reception. (This was before digital cameras were in such widespread use; I imagine anyone you hire now will use digital rather than film that needs to be developed, which will save you even more $.)

My husband's cousin, on the other hand, got married two months before us and paid a wedding photographer more than two grand for about 60 photos that were mostly posed, completely unspontaneous shots. If they (the wedded couple) want copies of any of their pics, they have to pay the photographer a fee, since he retains the rights to all their images.

So in my humble opinion, we got a much better deal. Just look through your local paper (the closest metro paper will have better selection usually) and see what photographer's style you like. Then give 'em a call to see if they're interested in an interview.

Congrats! Here's wishing you a beautiful wedding.
:

Forgot to add, that we hired my good friend to do photojournalist style photos at the wedding. We bought about $60 worth of film (color & b&w) and paid her about $300. She gave us the film, we own it and we developed it. We have approx. 40 rolls, for less than $600!
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#16 of 47 Old 10-08-2007, 09:09 PM
 
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Okay well I didn't read all the pp but for our wedding/reception I did a lot of the work myself. We actually got married by ourselves in a cabin in TN for our honeymoon, very sweet and private. We had a reception later for friends and family to attend. I made the food and cakes myself (not being my wedding day I could do that) and did the decorations myself. I had the reception hall free (lucky me I work at a bar that has a separate reception hall. Since I had the reception on a week night that wasn't used and easy for family to attend I got it free)

For decorations I bought plain candleholders for .25-.50 ea and hot glued little rhinestones and glitter on them myself very pretty. The centerpieces were these candleholders with candles. Lighting and decor! For the big centerpiece I did one of the lg floating candle bowls with colorful fake rocks in the bottom and candles. Invites were done on stationary paper that had inlaid look leaves to fit the theme.
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#17 of 47 Old 10-09-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beccalou79 View Post
Instead of hiring a fancy-schmancy (read: very expensive) wedding photographer, we interviewed and then hired a freelance photographer with the local metro paper. For $425, she took a few hundred photos (mostly in photojournalistic style, which is what we mainly wanted, and then some posed shots of our assembled families) and gave us the negatives at the end of the reception. (This was before digital cameras were in such widespread use; I imagine anyone you hire now will use digital rather than film that needs to be developed, which will save you even more $.)

My husband's cousin, on the other hand, got married two months before us and paid a wedding photographer more than two grand for about 60 photos that were mostly posed, completely unspontaneous shots. If they (the wedded couple) want copies of any of their pics, they have to pay the photographer a fee, since he retains the rights to all their images.

So in my humble opinion, we got a much better deal. Just look through your local paper (the closest metro paper will have better selection usually) and see what photographer's style you like. Then give 'em a call to see if they're interested in an interview.

Congrats! Here's wishing you a beautiful wedding.

Yeah, we tried that. Unfortunately the few photographers we did contact from the local papers are not interested. The photographer we found and love is an ex-newspaper photographer and she is really excellent, and considerably less expensive than any other wedding photographer we found, plus she is willing to provide high-res digital images rather than prints, which we can't find any other photographer willing to do. It's just apparently a very expensive part of the country for weddings! If we were willing to compromise on photography, a very good friend of ours is a professional photographer and would probably do it for us - but it is important to us that she be able to be a guest at our wedding and not work at it The way we see it, the photographs are the one tangible thing we will have to remember this day from and we are willing to spend money on it. We're just trying to shave costs everywhere else to be able to manage the photographer we want.

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#18 of 47 Old 10-09-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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Okay well I didn't read all the pp but for our wedding/reception I did a lot of the work myself. We actually got married by ourselves in a cabin in TN for our honeymoon, very sweet and private. We had a reception later for friends and family to attend. I made the food and cakes myself (not being my wedding day I could do that) and did the decorations myself. I had the reception hall free (lucky me I work at a bar that has a separate reception hall. Since I had the reception on a week night that wasn't used and easy for family to attend I got it free)

For decorations I bought plain candleholders for .25-.50 ea and hot glued little rhinestones and glitter on them myself very pretty. The centerpieces were these candleholders with candles. Lighting and decor! For the big centerpiece I did one of the lg floating candle bowls with colorful fake rocks in the bottom and candles. Invites were done on stationary paper that had inlaid look leaves to fit the theme.

I love that idea for centerpieces - where did you get the bowls? I tried pricing them before and they were like $10 each!!

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#19 of 47 Old 10-09-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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I strongly encourage getting an experienced pohotographer - even if you have to pay a professional. I have seen too many weddings where someone's friend or brother tkaes wedding pictures, and there is not a single decent photo of the bride and groom, much less the wedding party and families. If you do use a non-professional, sit down a week before and make a list of exactly what you want - family groupings, wedding party, special friends with the bride and/or groom. A professional is used to rounding people up for these shots - a friend might need a helper or two. I don't think there's anything wrong with posed wedding portraits.

At the same time, buy a bunch of disposable cameras, and hand them out. They will provide your candid shots, and pictures of guests that you might not otherwise have gotten picures of.

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#20 of 47 Old 10-09-2007, 02:28 PM
 
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http://www.indiebride.com/

This is a good wedding website, and you'll probably find some likeminded brides in the forums.

I'm going to go against the grain here and say you don't have to DIY to be frugal for some things. If you are very crafty and have lots of moms and bridesmaids who are into it, do it. However, a wedding is a *big* event so you don't want to overwhelm yourself with details. I did my own invitations from a kit ($50.) Well, it took me an entire weekend to design, line up my printer, and print them, plus I spent $25 on fonts and clip art. I was also limited to doing something within my graphic design capabilities (intermediate at best.) Later I saw some online services that would have done really nice ones for $100 ~ oh well. At a friend's wedding I was the photographer and it was DIY flowers...problem is they left it until the afternoon of. Actuallly it was quite hilarious - the bride, her mom, and the bridesmaids were nervous and were totally drinking and distracted, so I quietly sat in the corner and tried to figure out the floral twine...we barely made the church. I was quite happy to get a florist and go with the cheaper flowers as I said before...boquets and boutonnieres aren't too challenging, but if you want any arrangements those are tough to do yourself. Also, at my own wedding I did not want to coordinate a hall, caterers, and decorations so I rented a restaurant...yep, sounds spendy, but we did lunch on a Sunday in October, so the owner lowered the 'minimum' you had to spend for free hall rental and it was very no-hassle. The place was gorgeous so we didn't do decorations at all. I guess a Sunday wouldn't work if you wanted a Christian religious wedding, but we're Jewish so it worked brilliantly!

If you do DIY things...or even if you don't...have a wedding 'day-of' coordinator. WAY too many brides are so stressed that they don't enjoy the big day. Pick an organized friend who is not in the wedding party and put them in charge. I recruited my friend Sharon to come to the hall early, get the flower deliveries and place the flowers, get everyone in the right place, etc. We had a wedding 'production meeting' the day before with all the wedding party and Sharon and I gave everyone a 'call sheet' detailing when and where things were going to happen, rides, etc. Then on the day I told everyone to take their problems to Sharon, not me. Hey, getting my hair done and GETTING MARRIED is enough work!

Here's another place to save money...don't do a video!! I'm a television editor and I've shot/edited weddings for friends. I've got to say that 90% of wedding videos I've seen are really sucky. You can't light them properly and it's tough to get a good angle, the sound is bad unless you mic everyone, which is a pain, plus the fact that most commercial wedding videographers barely know which way to point the camera (and will still charge you $1000.) There's a lot of lag time in a wedding ceremony which is super boring to watch, unless you edit it, which will just cost you more. Don't do it!!

ETA: I used some of the budgeting tools from mainstream bridal sites (i.e. the Knot) as a starting point, but needless to say it was just a starting point!!! It does give you a good idea though of little things that might come up that you forget to put in your budget (i.e. marriage licenses)
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#21 of 47 Old 10-09-2007, 03:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nina_yyc View Post
http://www.indiebride.com/

This is a good wedding website, and you'll probably find some likeminded brides in the forums.
Thanks for this site I will definitely check it out!

I hope to do a mix of DIY and inexpensive solutions. I have family friends involved in baking & flowers so I hope to call in favors for some things BUT I know better than to do the flower arranging myself not in the least because I have no skill at that

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#22 of 47 Old 10-09-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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Don't forget to check out oriental trading company (they have a printed catalog as well as a website). I got favor bags and lots of other wedding stuff from them at really good prices. Just remember that the day after your wedding, the only difference in a bride that spent $1 and the bride that spent $10,000 is her checking acount balance (or lack thereof). I have never had a friend wish they had spent more on her wedding, but many who wish they spent less.
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#23 of 47 Old 10-09-2007, 04:08 PM
 
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We got married 10 years ago, at the end of August. For flowers, I asked my grandpa, aunties, mom's friends, etc. to grow a few pretty flower boxes/containers that they would be willing to share for the wedding. We put them at the front of the church with some candles. You could think about what would be available and pretty for the time that your wedding is, and ask around to a few people you know who have pretty gardens and like to care for flowers. We borrowed a wrought iron table and two chairs for the front as well, for the registry. Keep after Christmas sales in mind for decorations that you could use.

We chose a good photographer for some portraits at a park, but a small package from them. We have a few great portraits by a professional, rather than hundreds of so-so pictures. Then my friend's dad, who loves taking pictures, randomly took photos for us at the ceremony and reception. He wouldn't have taken money, and ended up giving the pictures to us (developed) as a gift. But I would have gladly paid for the film, developing, and a small donation for his time. I'm sure there are many people who would be willing to do something like that.

Using mirrors on the table with candles can be really pretty. I'd ask around...sometimes people have things sitting around that they'd love to be put to a good use. I know our church had lots of vases, candle holders, etc.

All the best for your upcoming marriage!

Carlyn - loving and caring for my family.
Married 13 years, mama to 12 (boy), 8, 6, 4, 1 (girls)
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#24 of 47 Old 10-09-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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For my wedding I've saved money in a few ways.

I found a $1,500+ gown I loved and that my mom is doing minimal alterations on for $46!!!

I ordered flowers ( using black magic roses) from rosesource.com for $100 total, I have a couple people who are going to help me arrage them before the wedding.

I found invitations I loved on line that were over $400 ( the tops are wired and beaded) but I'm making myself for under $50.

I'm making my veil for under $5 and adding a nice bead to shoes I paid $12 for at Ross.

We are getting our cake from Publix.

Buying our own beer and wine from Total Wines.

We are also inviting about 50 or less people we really care about, and are going to take more than a minute to talk to all day.

I"m so excited!!


Best of all............................................... .................................................. .................................................. ..........................................this is allowing us to splurge on a trip to Rome!!!

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#25 of 47 Old 10-09-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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The other big expense I have is alcohol - provided we go ahead and have an evening reception (which we really, really want... but might compromise...). Where we'll be, we can't buy it ourselves, it has to be provided by whatever caterer we use It is so expensive! Even if we just do a champagne toast. Ugh. I have this image in my head of warm, cozy, intimate - which to me says "evening" but maybe I can get that at an afternoon tea reception too? (mta: around 70 guests)

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#26 of 47 Old 10-09-2007, 05:26 PM
 
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For the alcohol maybe check with local bars/bartenders in your area. I had my reception at the bar I work at (they have a separate reception hall) for us we didn't have an open bar at the reception. Instead because the hall is connected to the bar guests that wanted to drink could walk into the bar to get their drinks and bring them back into the hall. I set it up ahead of time so that the drinks could be bought at a discount. It might not be cheaper to do it this way if you are going to pay for all drinks but may be an alternative if you don't care about having alcohol. This allows the ones that do drink to get their own easily. Just a thought.
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#27 of 47 Old 10-14-2007, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow sorry I haven't been back to reply sooner.
Thank you everyone for your input, its all fantastic. There are some really helpful ideas for things that I was completely lost with.
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#28 of 47 Old 10-14-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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I had a traditional church wedding and sit down dinner reception, DJ, ect....and I regret it! I wish I had a light reception with punch, cake and finger food goodies and that's it. It was way too much and overwhelming at the reception. It was also the major expense of the wedding and it just wasn't worth it.

I think many pp's advised against it, but the one area where I wasn't "frugal" was with a photographer and videographer. I wanted to remember this and to have good quality photos and video. My parents were so against the videographer that they refused to pay for it. After they saw the video (which was amazingly edited) they cried and said how wrong they were! My wedding was the first, and only on 3 sides of the family. We had relatives from all over the country come. The photos of family members are priceless as many have already passed. We hired reputable professionals who were also reasonably priced. This is one area I wouldn't skimp. I barely remember the day, but I have the pics and video to remind me.

We made all the centerpieces, party favors...the cake was from our Publix (to die for!) and was cheaper than my dress!

I found invitations that were basic, elegant and very inexpensive at a local printer. It ended up being cheaper than had we tried to do it ourselves.

My dress was off the rack and then altered. We got discounts because it was "last years" dress.

I agree with a pp who said not to try and do it all yourself - you want to enjoy the day and not be sressed with the details. Good luck!
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#29 of 47 Old 10-14-2007, 04:18 PM
 
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I'm thinking more and more about an alternative time for a less formal, not-full-meal reception. We don't want to have all of the dancing and formal evening stuff, so I think the reception would be shorter this way too. I'm thinking hors d'ouvres, wine/beer/soft drinks, and then cake and a champagne toast. Is this reasonable? If we did this, I'm thinking it would be more casual - no assigned seating at the tables, a lot more mingling of the guests and just a more welcoming feel. Am i crazy?

If this might work, what time would be appropriate? If we have a 2pm wedding, then a 3pm reception - a 3-ish hour reception is starting to put things at dinner time. Would it then be appropriate to have dinner? Would it be polite to arrange for out-of-town guests (there will be quite a few) to have dinner at their expense somewhere? I guess I just feel like it would get very awkward - not to mention finding a reception site willing to do this, since they would be sacrificing an evening 'do to let me have the room/caterers for an afternoon event.

So then I think about a luncheon thing - 11am wedding, 12-3/4 reception. But I don't want to serve luncheon foods :P I'd rather do hors d'ouvres or a proper elegant dinner, yk?

Any thoughts??

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#30 of 47 Old 10-14-2007, 04:57 PM
 
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I doubt a reception would last 3 hours with out a sit down dinner/dancing and all that stuff. 2 hours at the most is what I would think.
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