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I have a post coming up on tips and ideas to save $$ on your wedding.......anyone care to share some of their tips and ideas to be included??
 

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Our first step to our wedding planning was to decide how much we would spend and to create a budget for every cost we needed to account for. Our biggest success is that we stuck to that budget like glue, no matter what.
My suggestion for couples about to marry is to prioritize what is important to you and what you think you can spend less on without affecting the type of wedding you want to have. Spend on those aspects that are important and everywhere else, scrimp as much as you can.

We used our mom and sister as our free wedding planners...they had experience in party planning and did a lot of the leg work for us when it came to researching things like the flowers, photographer and videographer. A wedding planner looks like an added expense, but a good one can actually end up saving you money in the end because they know a good deal when they see one, and they can sometimes even get a better price as a "vendor" than a person off the street. They also save you a lot of time - and time is money ;-).

I saved a ton of money by ordering my wedding invitations online. You send for a free catalog in the mail, you pick several that you think are nice and they send free samples of the styles you like along with samples of the fonts and the ink colours you want to choose from. Once you make your selection, they send you the copy for approval before they print. My invitations were a third of the cost of the place up the street. And they were nicer...they added a lined envelope and tissue to protect the inserts for free.

I chose a DJ over a band - a big money-saver.

I also saved money by re-doing my sister's wedding dress (removing the sleeves entirely and re-shaping the skirt) instead of buying a new one. You would never in a million years know it was the same dress (besides, I think they all look about the same anyways), but I know this would not be palatable for many brides.

We used both airline and hotel points for our honeymoon, so that was free.

We DID NOT skimp on the venue, food or alcohol. The most important thing for me was that my guests would have a wonderful time at our wedding. I never regretted any of the sacrifices I made to splurge on those aspects of the day we thought made our wedding great.
 

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FrugalTrader, I hate the idea of a destination wedding for the purpose of saving costs (no offense to you at all). I know a few people who did this, and imo, all you do is pass the cost of the wedding on to your guests.

"Hey, I can't really afford to host this wedding, so I'll invite y'all, most of you will say no because it is too damned expensive to attend, but please send your cheque anyway as courtesy and Miss Manners dictate. And for those of you willing to shell out the grand or so for the flights and the hotel, you'll be treated to the crappiest wedding ceremony EVER planned by the hotel coordinator and administrated over by some stranger, and you'll have the same meal you would have gotten for free anyway at the all-expense-paid resort. Oh, and thanks for booking this vacation with us, because the wedding service, our hotel rooms and flights came free if we could book ten other suckers, er, guests."

It's one thing to do it if you REALLY dreamed of a beach wedding or something, but just to save money? I think it's tacky.

Again, no offense meant...
 

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Book in the off season. It's slow for a lot of businesses that deal with weddings, so better chance of cutting a deal and a lot of them will jump at a chance to work that time of year. You can plan a for a wedding less than a year away without worrying about dates, since most vendors will be available. Plus, you can expect a high exceptance rate, since most people won't have any conflicts at that time of year.
 

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The easiest way to limit costs: invite less people.

Seriously.

We made a list that was 200 people long, then booked a place that fit 100....so had to start pruning.

In the end we only invited people we knew very well....none of the friends you haven't talked to you 10 years, none of the friends of your parents business. It was mostly family and really close friends, which is what it should be.

Maybe we hurt people's feelings, but we're ok with that....just tell people it's only for family and a few friends and that you wish you could invite everyone, but your heart was set on the place that only held 100 people
 

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Years ago, I was the best man for a University friend's wedding. There was NO money available, so it was done for almost nothing. The groomsmen wore business suits we purchased ourselves, and could use later for job interviews, other weddings and funerals; instead of renting tuxedos. We rented a community hall for $40 (for community association members. Non members are charged $100; but membership cost $10). We saved the cleaning charge by cleaning up ourselves after the wedding.

We rented tablecloths, dishes, centerpieces, etc.. The bride's friends made decorations. Friends, family, and guests brought food for a potluck supper. The bride and my wife spent a few evenings making mixed tapes of songs which were played on borrowed stereo equipment. We took turns tending bar, with purchased and donated alcohol. There was a 'loonie jar' for voluntary drink donations.

When I was a kid, I went to many small town weddings like this in Legion halls. Everybody seems to have a great time.

One of the worst weddings I went to was in the grand ballroom of a CP hotel. Only about half of the guests were invited for dinner, and there was no alcohol served or available, except for the wedding party and family. Their drunken toasts and speeches went on interminably, to a mostly sober audience. The money saved on dinner and drinks went to expensive dresses, rings, photos, entertainment, etc. I thought it poor manners to invite half of the guests to the ceremony and dance, but not the dinner; and to make drinks available to some guests but not others.

The couple that had the cheap wedding is still married, and doing well. The couple with the more expensive but horrible wedding is divorced. I can't say there's a cause and effect; but maybe the weddings gave clues to priorities.

My parents had a very low (no) cost wedding and stayed together until death did they part.

My opinion is that you can have a good or bad wedding on any budget. A wedding is a day, a marriage is supposed to be a lifetime. It doesn't make sense to me to blow tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding that could be better spent establishing a home together.
 

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FrugalTrader, I hate the idea of a destination wedding for the purpose of saving costs (no offense to you at all). I know a few people who did this, and imo, all you do is pass the cost of the wedding on to your guests.

"Hey, I can't really afford to host this wedding, so I'll invite y'all, most of you will say no because it is too damned expensive to attend, but please send your cheque anyway as courtesy and Miss Manners dictate. And for those of you willing to shell out the grand or so for the flights and the hotel, you'll be treated to the crappiest wedding ceremony EVER planned by the hotel coordinator and administrated over by some stranger, and you'll have the same meal you would have gotten for free anyway at the all-expense-paid resort. Oh, and thanks for booking this vacation with us, because the wedding service, our hotel rooms and flights came free if we could book ten other suckers, er, guests."

It's one thing to do it if you REALLY dreamed of a beach wedding or something, but just to save money? I think it's tacky.

Again, no offense meant...
Alexandra, tell us how you really feel? :) No offense taken.

I dunno, I like the idea of destination weddings b/c it generally means a smaller wedding. In addition, the "important" people will find a way to make the wedding, otherwise, the expense will deter most. The bride and groom can always pitch in the travel costs for the guests. If with that, it would still cost much less than a 200+ local wedding.
 

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Food and Entertainment: Those are the 2 most important things that you shouldn't skimp, anything else is fair game.

Some ideas off the top of my head

- Instead of renting a limo or expensive car, see if your relatives or acquaintances have an *almost as new* car, buff it up before the big day, decorate it with whatever you like and you can save some good coins.

- consider taking digital pics instead of the traditional pics (not sure if anyone still does in this digital day and age). Pretty much the same quality (given the right photographer) and it costs less

- ask people to bring cash as gifts instead of coffee makers or food processors that just take up space. It may sound tacky to some but it's YOUR party and YOUR call.

- buy second-hand wedding dresses (or rent one), there's no reason to spend a good chunk of coins on something that you will probably wear once in your life.

- visit weddingbells.ca. The ladies there can give you even more tips and tidbits.
 

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One way we saved on our wedding was I looked for a "expensive" bridesmaid dress. It didn't have the beads and bobbles that your traditional wedding dress has but it was ivory and beautiful and wasn't 400 degrees in the sun....oh and I paid $300 for it! My wonderful husband bought a suit (as mentioned before) and he is still wearing it :mad: LOL

There's my 2 cents!
 

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My parents had a very low (no) cost wedding and stayed together until death did they part.
We used this philosophy when buying our wedding bands today. We wanted simple plain bands. We figured if this we good enough for our parents who stayed together then its good enough for us.

Alexandra, tell us how you really feel? :) No offense taken.

I dunno, I like the idea of destination weddings b/c it generally means a smaller wedding. In addition, the "important" people will find a way to make the wedding, otherwise, the expense will deter most. The bride and groom can always pitch in the travel costs for the guests. If with that, it would still cost much less than a 200+ local wedding.
I wish that was true. We really wanted a destination wedding but decided against it since there were important people in both of our lives who wouldn't make the trip no matter what the cost was(my father, her grandmother).

The real reason we wanted a destination wedding though was we really didn't want the hassle. We wanted the resort to take care off everything.
 

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Ramit Sehti at I Will Teach You To Be Rich has an excellent post on weddings: http://http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/the-28000-question-why-are-we-all-hypocrites-about-weddings/

His point is that everyone says they'll have a simple wedding but when it comes down to it, there are going to be things are are very important to you at your wedding so you'll be willing to pay for them. The most important thing, he argues, is saving and planning. Many people think they'll have a simple wedding but few do so the most important thing is to save up for it.

I'm getting married in two months and we're happily paying for our wedding with cash we alone saved over the last two years. The event isn't as simple as I originally thought but we have the money in the bank so it doesn't matter.

Here are a few things we're saving money on:

Flowers: buying whatever is in season at the Superstore
Dinner: we're getting married in a rural area so the food is less expensive than many city locations
Alcohol: we provide table wine and then there's a cash bar during the dance

There are also lots of things we're not being frugal with. The important thing is that we're not going into debt for it.
 

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We're lucky to live in a rural area where it's expected that only close family members and very close friends attend the dinner. The reception dance is a community affair and a cash bar is the norm. Culture dictates what's socially acceptable so we can happily get away with a very economical wedding this August :D

We were able to slice our initial budget (5000$) in half by moving the wedding to my fiancé's hometown, where his huge family can help. Everyone is pitching in (cooking the food, decorating, music, etc).

I know a lot of the standard tips (off-season, small list, etc.) doesn't work for most people, but taking the time to think outside the box to find alternatives that suit you can help you have a low-stress, special and unique day.
 

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It's always advisable to personalize the decorations, not only does this cut the cost but it also adds a personal touch to the wedding and also would reduce the cost involved. For instance, if the bride or the groom is a photographer, they may choose pictures from their collection as the main subjects for the reception design. See to that the photographs taken are used for the invitations and other small attractions.
 

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I have a post coming up on tips and ideas to save $$ on your wedding.......anyone care to share some of their tips and ideas to be included??
Great ideas, my fiance and I are getting married this summer on a friday (still expensive zero discounts).

One tip I have is order your flowers wholesale (70% off!!!) direct from Thailand.

Huge Savings.
 

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I'm getting married in 2 months, so most of the planning and purchasing has already been done. I'm a frugal person, and so I'd like to share some of the ways I saved money. Mostly, it just involves taking the time to shop around for good deals.

1) Start early, and start with the venues. This is especially important if you think you might invite 100+ guests. I started last September, but many of the places that had reasonable prices were already booked for most of the summer weekends. The sooner you start, the more options are available, and thus the easier it will be to find a good deal.

2) Look for a photographer who is just starting out on their own. Make sure they have several years of experience shooting weddings, but are still new to the business aspect and thus have competitive pricing. They may not be easy to find, so expect a fair bit of research time. Try kijiji.ca, yellow pages, and maybe even a google search with "photographer" and your city name. A good photographer will have a website with a portfolio, or at least a photo blog. Look at their work and see if you like the style. Maybe get a friend or relative who knows about photography to evaluate the quality. Make sure they include a DVD with the full-resolution photos so you can get your own prints made - the photographer's packages of prints are rarely worth the price they charge. I keep all my photos on the computer anyway, and show them to people on my TV, so I'm only getting a few 8x10s for my parents and grandparents. I ended up going with a nice lady who charges $800 for a package that includes 2 photographers for the ceremony, formals, reception, and even includes an engagement session.

3) Make your own invitations. Search the internet for design ideas, but please don't replicate a copyright protected design. We saw a neat idea of using 1/4" ribbon, with one color forming a "V" coming down from the top and a second color of ribbon forming an inverted "V" from the bottom, loosely interlocked in the center. We used 3 layers of paper, sandwiching the ribbon ends between the middle and bottom layer. We bought nice high-quality paper and envelopes from a stationary store, and used the paper cutter at a Staples business center. We used our own laser printer, as the text was just plain black. Finally, rather than mailing out a whole bunch of stamped RSVP envelopes, we setup our own website and wrote a little php form that guests could use to RSVP for each family member (we're both computer programmers). You can easily get your own free wedding website: check out weddingwire.com or do a Google search.

4) Shop around for flowers. Costco has some very inexpensive rose bouquets and boutonniers. We are buying their bridesmaids bouquets, but she wanted to have the bridal bouquet custom made with calla lilys. So, after we decided what kinds of flowers we wanted to order (for everyone but the bridesmaids), I phoned about a dozen florists to get quotes. I was amazed at the range of prices! Several were between $650 - $750, but a nearby Grower's Direct quoted me $400. I later called another Grower's Direct location because the manager there supposedly specialized in weddings - this one was only $300! I'm actually meeting with her in an hour to finalize our order.

5) Who needs an expensive DJ? My fiancee and I don't like to dance, so it's really just for the guests. I was even considering going without one but I don't want all my friends and family to think I'm cheap (well I am, but most of my relatives don't know it). We found a guy who will play some oldies music for $550, plus $99 for setting up his audio equipment at the ceremony.


The only place I really did not want cheap out on is the rings. I let her pick out any ring she wanted, and was lucky that it was only $3000. My ring also has some small diamonds in it and cost $800. Her dress was also extremely expensive but her parents paid for it.
 
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