Save, Save and Save For Your Wedding

The planning continues. You’ve informed the world, you’ve set the budget; and by this point you are facing the reality that this best day of your life is not going to be cheap. Don’t fear! There are plenty of ways to cut corners and save a penny [or more] here and there. I wanted to share with you some ways we’ve managed to save in various aspects of our wedding and some ideas I found through diligent Pinterest research.

The Dress  – You don’t have to drop $1000.00 to find that dream dress of yours. Ruche Bridal Boutique has some beautiful dresses starting at $200.00. Are you an expert sewer? Try making your dress; this could also work as some serious therapy if wedding planning becomes overwhelming. Going for the vintage look? Try out Mom’s or Grandma’s dress.

Bejeweled: Wear some of Grandma’s vintage pieces or jewelry from one of your family members’ or future in­laws’ wedding day. Did your future hubby give you a to­die­for necklace on your first Valentine’s? Maybe break it out for the ceremony. All of these options add a nice touch of sentiment to your ensemble.

Hair, nails, makeup, oh my! Instead of ordering a professional, have a family friend or relative do it. My fiance’s sisters were in pageants, so we are going to be borrowing some of their friends’ talent for my bridesmaids’ makeup. You can also make this an opportunity for you and your girls; do each others hair and makeup; and as a part of the bachelorette party, get a mani/pedi.

What your favorite little man will be carrying – ­ring bearer pillow: Ask someone to make it for you. One of our good family friends is making ours for us; it’s another subtle way to add a personal touch to your ceremony.

Extra olives, kind sir ­- Drinks: Bar or no bar! That is always the question when planning a wedding. Some attendants can’t bear the thought of going to a wedding with a cash bar and some brides and grooms are perpetually wondering if crazy Uncle Joe is going to grab the mic and “say a few words.” Regardless, this is your day. Pick what best suits you and your sweetie. Tim and I settled on providing beer and wine and having a cash bar for those who want mixed drinks. Coffee dates were pretty much what led to the “will you marry me?” So we wanted to include a coffee bar for dessert.

Flowers: Flowers is where a good chunk of the budget goes. Find a lower­price flower that you like and be creative with the arrangements. There are some gorgeous arrangements primarily consisting of baby’s breath on Pinterest. The arrangement is beautiful, simple, rustic, and elegant. If you’re having a wedding in a church, one idea is to get married around Christmas or Easter when the church is already beautifully decorated.

Entertainment: Instead of hiring a DJ, put together a playlist and have a good friend or relative be the Master of Ceremonies. Tim and I are putting down a wompin’ 10 bucks for Spotify premium and having his older brother MC.

Dessert: Instead of getting a multi-­tier cake the size of the Eiffel Tower, opt for a one or two­tier cake and provide other modest desserts. If you love baking, this can be something you, your bridesmaids, and future sister­-in-­laws all do together. Tim and I opted for a two tier cake. If you’ve met us, you know one thing about us: we love the sweets…and cake? Well, it just wasn’t enough. So we’re going to be having cookies, lemon bars, angel wings (traditional Polish dessert), Rice Krispie treats, and more.

Printing: Design your own save the dates and wedding invitations, and frequent Groupon or AmazonLocal Deals for some excellent printing deals. For the thank you’s: make a stamp with your return address on it and save yourself the printing costs for the return address labels.

Centerpieces: Make some Instagram photo strips filled with pictures of your journey together as a couple. You can make them themed or have varying themes from table to table. My fiance, Tim, is from Alaska, and I’m from Michigan; we met in California; and in college we traveled to Ireland, France, and Rome. Since we learned so much about each other [how Kaitlin is a horrible traveler], each table will have a strip of pictures from a certain city. Another crafty idea is to have mason jars with votives in them; they’re cheap and last for hours. Use old family photos or pictures from your grandparents’ or parents’ wedding day. This adds one of the most personal of personal touches.

Photography: Hire a family friend of a friend who’s trying to build a resume and get experience.

Videography: WedIt is at your service! The company sends you 5 cameras three days before the wedding. Hand them out to loved ones once the weekend commences. Send them back to WedIt after the festivities are over and they will edit a personal, intimate video compiled of all the footage your loved ones captured.

Guest favors: Write a personal thank you note to your guests for helping you become the person you’ve become. Send them your love and let them know their presence is appreciated and cherished. Then, use one of those amazing Groupon printing deals you found and print ‘em out!