1) DIY as much stuff as possible
OK, so I might be a little biased about this one since I am a very DIY-minded person. However, some things are so simple to do and you can save a lot of money. I made all of our invitations, programs, and place cards by hand, well I had an invitation making party and invited some friends over to help out. Most of the work was just designing the invitations on Microsoft Word, printing, cutting, gluing, and tying ribbons. If you aren't a big DIY person, then just ask someone who is to help you out.
2) See if you can get your flowers from a local grocery store
I asked a coworker where she was getting her flowers from and was surprised to hear that they were coming from a Sobey's grocery store. I was really pleased with how everything worked out. Their prices were much lower than a florist, and they did a great job. Our flowers cost about $350 if I remember correctly for 6 bouquets, 11 boutonnieres, and 4 corsages, made of roses too.
3) Skip the DJ- use an ipod or laptop instead
This decision was a no-brainer for us. We aren't huge party people, and didn't want the dance to be the main focus of our reception. Even if it was, I think that it worked out better than having an actual DJ. We just made a playlist in advance and hooked up our laptop to the sound system. We enjoyed having more control over what songs were played (we didn't have to struggle through the YMCA). We were running short on time but had a few songs we wanted to dance to that hadn't been played yet so we moved them up, and took out some of the slower songs that weren't as big a hit. This is a really easy way to save money too.
4) Pass on the open bar
We never really considered having an open bar since many of our family members and friends don't drink, but I was shocked by how much it cost! At the place where we had our reception the price per person for open bar was almost as much as the meal! Everyone would have had to get 5 or 6 drinks each to make it worth having, and I knew that wasn't going to happen. We also didn't really want to have people getting drunk at our wedding either. I know that some people consider it "rude" to not have an open bar, but it's a pretty hefty price to just avoid being rude, and I think that many people understand that weddings are expensive. A few other options are to stock the bar yourself, or even to have people pay $2 for a drink and pay for the difference.
5) Spend money on things that people will notice, be more frugal with things that nobody cares about
This piece of advice was especially salient to me when thinking about centerpieces. There are some wedding I have been to where the centerpieces were too big and were just in the way. Others I couldn't tell you what they were a month later. Instead of spending $200+ per table on floral arrangements, we used a vase with water, floating candles, and sprinkled rose petals, which was much more affordable, but still allowed us to use the colour scheme. A few candles will go a long way!
|This is the picture I took for the people at the hall so they knew how to set up the centerpieces. We had real rose petals, but you get the basic idea :)|
6) Skip the giant bakery wedding cake
Jordan and I aren't huge fans of cake, we both like it, but we like ice cream much better! So we decided to get our ice cream cake from Dairy Queen instead. It was only $30, and the girls working there really liked us so gave us extra punch cards so we were able to cash it in for another free cake later on! We served the ice cream cake to the bridal party, and had the caterers do an ice cream sundae bar instead, which I think was a hit. Wedding cakes are so expensive, and some places will even charge you to cut it up and serve it. I know it's a big trend right now, but it's easy to work around. For my sister-in-law's wedding, my mother in law made the cake (for free), used plain white icing, a tiered cake stand, and wrapped purple ribbon around it. It looked and tasted great too!
7) Don't pay anybody to do something that you could do yourself
In going to wedding shows, there are so many services available to brides, but some of them are just unnecessary! For me, it would have been really silly to hire a wedding planner since I love planning events and was really on top of everything. I can understand why other people would hire one, but it was not necessary for us. Another thing that we were on the fence with was getting a company to come and do a photobooth. The companies that did it charged $1000+, and we just couldn't justify paying them. Instead we used a piece of plywood and leftover wallpaper, a bunch of dollar-store type props, and had a friend take pictures for us. A professional likely would have done a better job, but it just was not worth paying someone else to do it when we could do a pretty good approximation ourselves. I think that our guests had lots of fun and wouldn't have really noticed the difference if it was someone from a company doing it, but our bank account sure noticed the difference! The one exception we made to this rule is that we had our flowers delivered. It only cost $20 and it would have been too rushed to have someone pick them up from out of town that day. Really weigh the pros and cons before paying for anything!
8) Borrow whatever you can
I was fortunate to be able to borrow a few things for free for the wedding. I borrowed my veil and tiara from a friend, and some jewellery from my grandmother. My grandpa also drove us from the ceremony to the reception in his classic car, so we didn't have to worry about that either! Our friends got married the weekend before us and we were able to borrow tons of tulle and lights from them, and then pass them on to her cousin who is getting married next summer too. I don't have any use for all that tulle beyond our wedding day! Take advantage of your connections, a lot of people are happy to help and be involved.
|My shoes were from Payless as well, $20!|