Our daughter just got married this last weekend and since we are pretty frugal, I thought I would share some frugal wedding tips to help all those other families out there trying to plan a wedding for as little money as possible. Granted, some people spend thousands and thousands of dollars on weddings. We just believe that you can still have a beautiful wedding and save the extra money for a vacation, car, down payment on a house, and much more.
Why spend $900 on invitations when you can spend under $200. People throw these pieces of paper away, you know. When thinking about wedding expenses, save your money on things that last.
My daughter has a degree in fashion design and my husband is incredibly talented and can take a picture and build something to look just like it. No worries if you don’t have any creative people in your family though. I’m sure you know someone that is very creative that would be willing to help you or barter something in exchange for their time and expertise.
Here are my best frugal wedding tips:
Dresses – One of the first things most girls do when they first get engaged is to look for a wedding dress. Although we tried on the $800-1600 wedding dresses, my daughter found a very nice $75 non-traditional wedding dress at lulus.com that fit in perfectly with her wedding theme. She ended up purchasing 2 of the dresses so she could alter the dress to the way she wanted it and make the veil. The bridesmaids dresses were found at Macy’s in the junior department. Look in non-wedding places for dresses to save the most.
Invitations – We used VistaPrint for our invitations and reply cards. Their templates are amazing and make even the most lame artist look more professional. If your daughter is not good at designing invitations like mine, ask a creative friend to help you make invitations and reply cards.
Venue – Since we didn’t have much time to plan the wedding, most Saturday dates were taken and we had to look at Friday or Sunday dates. I had NO idea that the cost for most halls is half the price on Friday and Sunday! So if budget is a big issue, you might want to consider renting a hall on a Friday or Sunday instead of Saturday.
Decorations – Have the bride pin detailed pictures of how she would like the wedding hall and church to look to a secret Pinterest board. It’s much easier for everyone to visualize what she wants when they can see pictures. Then you can decide whether you can make or borrow the items in the pictures. We borrowed many items from a recent bride, had my husband make some things, and used almost all the flowers from the yards of a few people in our area. We ordered baby’s breath (it’s pretty expensive) in bulk. One of the best frugal wedding tips we had was to order flowers from a grocery store floral department. They can also put bouquets together for you for much less than a florist.
Food – This can get pretty expensive. Although it’s a tempting way to save money, I highly discourage the parents of the bride or groom to take on this task of catering. If you don’t have a friend that caters, maybe ask a few people to make some of the dishes and hire a friend to manage the whole operation. Make sure you have plenty of helpers. This is one area where you don’t want to be too frugal.
Use your Resources – We found that as soon as you say “wedding” all kinds of people come out of the woodwork and ask if you need any help. Take people up on their offer if they are willing to do whatever the bride says. If you think they will be offended if she vetoes their idea, then move on to the next friend.
We were told not to scrimp on the photographer or DJ. I would also add caterer to that list too. Those were the places where we spent our money. If you have a DJ that fumbles around and mispronounces names or doesn’t know how to keep a wedding moving along, your guests will notice. If your pictures are terrible, you will all remember that for years to come every time you look at the pictures. And if your food is cold or tastes bad, your guest will remember that for a long time.
I hope these frugal wedding tips were helpful. Plan well and enjoy the day when it comes!