When Eric and I got married, we had a specific amount of money to spend on the wedding. We had both taken out student loans. Eric was in his last year of physical therapy school, and I had only been working for one year as a speech therapist. It was very important to us to stick to a budget.
Many websites out there offer good money-saving tips, such as:
- Get married in the off-season, or in the afternoon on a weekday.
- Limit your guest list, and don’t allow people to bring dates.
- Get married in a park or public space.
- Buy a used wedding dress, and let your bridesmaids pick their own dresses.
- Serve appetizers and/or desserts, not a full catered meal.
We didn’t follow any of these rules, and yet we still managed to stay within our budget. Here are some practical money-saving tips from personal experience.
1. We got married on a Sunday afternoon in August, and ended the reception around 4:30. Afternoons were simply cheaper. Since many of our guests traveled 1-2 hours to get there, an early wedding also allowed them extra time to get home for work the next day.
2. Similarly, we served a late lunch around 1:00, which was less expensive than dinner prices.
3. I bought my wedding dress in December for less than $500. After Christmas was great time to buy because stores were getting ready for the spring collection. I bought my veil from this Ebay store for less than $20.
4. Littleborroweddress.com. This wonderful website allowed my bridesmaids to rent their dresses for $50, plus shipping. I chose the color, and I allowed them to choose the style/neckline they wanted. Since a few of them lived in the same area, they shared the shipping fee.
5. I used Hobby Lobby 40% off coupons religiously. I love the Retail Me Not app, and I literally went to Hobby Lobby every single day to use that coupon. I bought props for the photo booth, rolls of tulle, a garter, string, cords and rings for our unity ceremony, place card holders, craft paper, double-sided tape, and even thank you cards. Fyi, Jo Ann’s and Michael’s also accept competitor’s coupons.
6. We bought a small display cake from Harding’s, a local grocery store, and ordered three large sheet cakes. It cost us less than $200. It did entail a $35 delivery fee, but it was still less expensive than ordering from a specialty bakery.
What are your money-saving tips for planning a wedding?