Author Topic: How did you save money at your wedding?  (Read 19839 times)

nereo

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #50 on: April 19, 2016, 05:28:40 AM »
We got married at city hall so it didnt cost anything.

However, my engagement ring cost that 3 months of his gross salary that the ads tell us we need to spend. Haha. He was a graduate student so hence the large % of his salary that went into it. But its ok, he actually had a large net worth,about $100,000 in 1980's dollars.

This was our experience as well.  At the time my income was very slightly negative (small student loan) while I was working at a field station for my graduate degree.  I looked everywhere but couldn't find a ring that cost -$625 (3 months of my 'pay').

meerkat

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #51 on: April 19, 2016, 07:25:45 AM »
- We supplied our own alcohol. ABC Liquors allowed us to return unopened bottles the next day so we only paid for what was used.
- I built the cupcake stand out of plexiglas and I think plastic candle holders. I let the florist know to have some extra flowers on hand to add to it (which was more a matter of redistributing a handful that would have been put elsewhere, rather than adding to our total).
- The cupcakes came from Publix.
- This wasn't really saving money at my wedding, but my wedding jewelry and veil have been used in I think three other weddings since I got married. Usually the items were out of my possession for about a year but it's not like I needed to use them in the mean time.
- We didn't get a hotel room for ourselves for the wedding night. We were exhausted and happy to be back in our own space. Plus we didn't need to get a cat sitter then either.
- We didn't bother renting a car for our grand goodbye, and then with all the chaos of the day itself my husband had gotten a ride so we had to drive my beat up little Honda. I had to slide the driver's seat back to accommodate all the extra material from my dress, but it fit.
- My ring was already in the family and his was a simple band.
- Kept the guest list small.
- My parents had a high caliber printer for their business so we were able to print the invitations and assembled them ourselves.
- The Save the Dates were postcards, also printed at home.

Avoid the Wedding Tax - where possible (and ethical), don't mention it's for a wedding; our rentals were for a "family picnic", our cake was certainly not a wedding cake (and didn't look like one), and the park permit was also for a "family picnic"

Definitely! Not me, but my sister-in-law saved big on cake and flowers by getting them from the grocery store and not mentioning that they were for a wedding.

Inaya

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #52 on: April 19, 2016, 07:48:03 AM »
Oh I forgot one! We got our invites, thank you cards, etc. printed by VistaPrint. You can design them yourself, or there are lots of artists on Etsy who will sell you a customized design fairly inexpensively. Be sure to sign up for the VistaPrint mailing list--they have some great deals.

asiljoy

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #53 on: April 19, 2016, 08:23:25 AM »
Picked what mattered to us
  • My ring's stone is a purple sapphire, my favorite color and my birthstone
  • We got married in my family's church, which was free because we were members, and decorations weren't needed because it's a beautiful old school church complete with stained glass
  • I'm allergic to flowers, so instead we went with simple desserts as center pieces
  • No cake, but we already had a butt load of desserts in the room
  • Had a pancake breakfast a VFW for the reception dinner; the venue had no fee beyond meal costs, and we decided to go with a meal that we knew they could execute well and really, who doesn't love breakfast for dinner
  • Didn't sweat the small stuff; seriously, you aren't going to remember what color the toenails of your bridesmaids are or the decorations on the ceiling 10 years from now.
  • Pretty much invited everyone we knew. Because the per plate costs were minimal (yay pancakes), costs really weren't an issue and it was fun to  have everyone there. I can't imagine when we'd have another opportunity to do that kind of thing.

Things I wish I would have saved money on:
  • Postage! We made the invites ourselves, but completely forgot that I'd need to weigh them (our wedding was out of town for the majority of guests, so I included things like maps/hotel suggestions/etc) and I chose fancy cardstock that was heavvvvvy from a bulk supply store. The things ended up costing like a buck a piece to send.
  • DJ. The guy we hired ended up getting sick and sending a sub who truly made me uncomfortable and I sincerely wish we would have just loaded up an iPod and hit play. We like dancing, but we're a tight enough group that the iPod thing would have worked fine. Not sure that it'd be a good idea for everybody though.

swick

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #54 on: April 19, 2016, 08:25:10 AM »
Be yourself - best advice I could give. (Umm provided you are the resourceful Mustachian type!)

We set out expectations very early by creating custom Avatars in a Scott Pilgrim Cartoon Character generator and photoshopping on wedding attire. These we got turned into postcards that served for our wedding invitations.

We were very upfront about the fact that we had all the "stuff" we would need, had very little room in our car on the drive home and were planning on moving soon. We said instead of presents if anyone wanted to contribute, using their own special skill/interest that would be awesome! We were flexible and worked with whatever ideas people had. I know this wouldn't work for many people, but not having firm expectations lead to a lot less stress. We ha a few requirements and let everything else go.

How we saved:

 - My silk wedding dress was made by my mom and aunts, in two pieces (corset top and skirt) That I could wear for more than the one occasion.

 - Hubby's Mom made short sleeved silk shirts for the guys in various shades of orange and yellow and they wore plain dress pants. We went with a camping theme and sunrise colors for our MORNING wedding.

 - Bridesmaids all wore their favorite little black dress, and my mom made scarfs in silk matching the men's shirts that they tied around their waists. Super cute, and was a fun memento for them.

 -  The decoration was all camp themed - My aunt brought in a canoe and used Christmas lights and blue cellophane to make it look like it was really in water. Freshly picked Sunflowers and evergreen bows from my parent's property were used for table decorations.

 - One of my aunts printed off family photos from both sides, mostly of us all camping and we hung them on some trees we brought in and sprinkled the around for people to look at, made a garland out of them to hang on the walls. Everyone LOVED this!

 - It was the same price to have the hall for the whole day as a couple of hours, so we got married in the morning, had a brunch reception that we catered ourselves, rented out the local mini-golf course for people to play if they wanted, and had a whole host of board games for people to play. We stayed all day and also served a light buffet dinner. One of my favorite memories of all time is my rather religious and reserved aunt throwing her fists up in the air shouting "We slaughtered that ORC!" while playing Castle Panic - her first time ever playing board games.

 - Flowers, bouquets and arrangements were all done in fake flowers with self-picked greenery, and we have reused them in various ways since (easy, I use to run an art center) One of my aunts is a florist so she made everything look classy.

 - We didn't do engagement rings; wedding bands were bought off Etsy for 40.00 for both of em.

 - We didn't serve alcohol since it was brunch and didn't have insurance - but we did buy a Soda Stream for the occasional and had a Build Your Own Italian Soda bar which went over AMAZING.

 - We actually had our "Honeymoon" a few days before the wedding. We needed the break to recharge beforehand since we were doing mostly everything ourselves, and when all the family and friends did end up coming into town, we wanted to spend as much time as we could with them.  We popped down to the states for a few days, splurged on a nice B&B and were able to get some last minute food shopping done that brought down our expenses considerably compared to grocery shopping in Canada.

 - One of my aunts took our wedding photos, AND  I created a "Wedding scavenger hunt"  for guests and had my laptop set up with a card reader so guests could take pictures and just upload them right to my computer. This was really easy and made sure I had copies without having to get them emailed or sent later. Now, this worked for us because I'm a photographer and have shot weddings, so I knew what I had to do and how to direct people to get the shots I wanted. If the photography is super important to you, I would spend some budget on it.

 - Cakes were ordered from a local baker and not decorated as "wedding" cakes, so we got several! Toppers were two robot rubber duckies we picked up on our travels.

 - We catered everything ourselves, with my family. Now we have a family history of getting knee-deep into food events and have done weddings before. It was an awesome experience, but totally exhausting :) My mom's best friend came in to run the kitchen during the event which was awesome, couldn't have done it without her.

 - We got marriend the weekend after the long weekend in which the resort community finishes up, so less busy, still beautiful weather (although glad we had a back up plan and got married in the hall insead of on the beach since it rained all morning, the first day of rain in weeks) and got great rates on the hall and mini-golf course.

 - We took a nice wedding photo and got thank-you cards printed for cheap off of vista print with a Groupon.

We got married in 2013 and people are still talking about it. We have been told it was the most relaxed, fun wedding people have ever been too. ohh and Unique...I'm sure some people actually mean it as a compliment ;)

lpb0306

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #55 on: April 19, 2016, 03:40:15 PM »
Our wedding in the Bay Area last year cost us $6,100 total. To save money, we:
- used a pretty community center instead of a fancy reception venue
- had Mexican food catered instead of fancy food
- no alcohol
- bought sodas and waters from Sam's club and returned the packages we didn't open. Spent $200 and then returned about $90 worth.
- used Vistaprint for invitations
- did phone/email RSVP instead of mailing back
- bought Dollar Store and Michaels (with coupons always) cylinder vases for our centerpieces, bought fake flowers and candles online to go inside the cases submerged in water (total was $150 or so)
- only used real flowers for my bouquet and boutonnieres, and a few vases of flowers at ceremony; cost us $300
- had no bridal party!
- invited only 140, and 105 ended up coming
- DJ cost us $250
- 4 tier cake (HUGE) was homemade by my aunt!
- bought tablecloths online and sold them afterward for a little less than half what we paid (it would've cost even more to rent them!)
- rented chairs for $2 each instead of the fancier ones (metal folding chairs were included at the place, but I didn't like them haha)
- had friends help set up reception venue before wedding
- friends offered to do photography; we gifted them $400 and got digital only
- rehearsal dinner was actually just family get together at in laws house, with homemade food!
- used my parents car for transporting us, and my brother drove us
- made our own table name signs and table cards
- oh! Rented my wedding dress for $230 instead of buying something I would never use again
- ceremony was at our place of worship, and cost us nothing.
- officiant didn't charge us; we gave a gift card for a restaurant, and my parents took them out for dinner before the wedding as well.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 03:42:04 PM by lpb0306 »

couponvan

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #56 on: April 19, 2016, 07:19:48 PM »
1997 wedding here - Can you believe I still have my "Planning a Wedding to Remember" wedding planner guide by Beverly Clark? I "almost" got rid of it in a Kon Mari clean out, but it brings me joy.  I am getting sentimental about the wedding, as we're approaching 20 years.

- get your engagement ring mounted on a "man's band" and have a matching ring with DH.
- have friends do the videography - but use 2-3 in case one turns out badly.  You're only going to watch that video at the 1 year, 5 year, 10 year, and 15 year mark. (FYI - we only had one, and grandpa thought he messed it up....we didn't realize we actually had a great wedding video until YEARS later!!)
- use college student musicians as your band if you don't want to go the DJ route. They are cheap and want advertising for their future promotions/gigs.  My piano teacher donated the wedding music.
- Find a location looking to expand into the wedding market and pitch having the wedding on a non-traditional date - Thursday? Sunday? Ours was $25/head, limited to 125 people ($3K) at a Northern California winery including the wine/champagne/food/flowers/table clothes. Only we didn't get to choose the menu/table clothes/wine/champagne and had to sign away rights to them using our photos in promos.  (Rib eye steak is what they chose for the main course....fine with me!!! Umm, you want to put my pictures in bridal magazines - fine with me!)
- Wedding chapel - use a historical church that's small as an extra excuse to limit the guest list.
- Use an old car from a car buff instead of limos if you want style but not expense.
- The Groom's tux is free if you have 5 groomsmen (sorry guys!)
- Bridesmaids dresses were Jessica McClintock samples - $10 each. Dear sister converted a dress into a ring-bearer pillow and flower girl dress.  (We probably could have done without those two, but they were cheap decorations.)
- Dress - buy a sample instead of a custom ordered one.  Mine was $357 and probably still a lot of money (a long long time ago....), but the "new" version was $1,500. DD plays dress up in it with her friends all the time.
- Shoes - the cheaper the better.  These are not even visible!
- Veil - have a crafty friend make one if possible.  My sister made mine.  Again, DD plays dress up with it all the time.
- Use potted flowering plants like hydrangeas to make bouquets out of.  20 years later those plants are still blooming every year!  Dear sister made all the groom/groomsmen flowers with one dozen roses.  Buy additional flowers at the flower market if they have one.
- Our wedding favors were homemade truffles - affordable, make ahead and disposable, but they look very elegant.
- Have a friend act as the pastor and write your own vows.
- Let all the little problems go....As long as you are there, and the groom is there, nothing else really matters. :-)
- Stick to a simple/basic invitation (you can use the internet nowadays)
- Do your own makeup.  Have a trusted friend do your hair (and practice before the big day).

Our special winery is now Francis Ford Coppola winery....the anniversary celebration there for just a few will cost more than the original wedding.

ETA - My sister makes Martha Stewart look bad. ;-)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 07:22:50 PM by couponvan »

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #57 on: April 20, 2016, 05:10:19 AM »
I attended a wedding recently for which the bride's family spent at least $20,000.

It wasn't all that fun as a guest. The couple seemed to have a blast. Of course, all I was thinking was that 20K+ would have made a nice downpayment on an asset, but instead paid for a bland dinner for more than 200 people.

I think the easiest way to save money on a wedding is to forego the Princess experience and don't fall victim to to the Wedding Industry.

NDQ

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #58 on: April 20, 2016, 07:19:43 AM »
Not super frugal but easily affordable to us.  We paid for it ourselves so no input from the parental units on either side.  (One small drawback, MIL doesn't consider us really married because it wasn't in the Catholic church, all these 19 years since)  We got married at a winery on a Sunday afternoon.  One witness each, my best friend and his sister. They wore a dress they already had. My best friend's husband was our officiant.  He was supporting his PHD studies in religious anthropology with being a Unitarian officiant.  He wrote us a special ceremony that combined the setting and our personal interests.  He made everyone in our families cry.  Or maybe the cellist made everyone cry - I really wanted live music so another friend recommended a colleague from the symphony she is a member of and we paid her cash for one hour of solo cello for the actual ceremony and then toasts and photos.  We hired a video guy for one hour and paid him cash at the end of the ceremony.  The photographer was hired for three hours but we got sick of having pictures taken so she left early.  The table center pieces were candles from the venue, savoy cabbage leaves and grapes, plums, pears, peaches.  Our guest ate everything but the cabbage leaves.  We splurged on the food and drink but only for 32 people including us.  The cake was actually three cakes that we brought with us from a gluten free bake shop.  Two of our guests were celebrating their birthday that day so they each served one of the cakes and we served the third.  The venue had wanted $1.75 to plate each piece of cake!  Then everyone went home.  It was a memorable experience for us and many of our guests have mentioned how good the food was or how moving the ceremony was.  I can't remember how much it all cost in the end- but it was all done for cash we had saved and my only regret was the ridiculous amount I spent on shoes for the day.  I had left shoe buying until August and had a heck of a time finding white shoes that didn't look awful or kill my feet.  I only wore them about 10 more times after so dollar per wear was silly spendy. 

Inaya

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #59 on: April 20, 2016, 07:59:47 AM »
These posts saying the best way to save money is to not get married at all make me chuckle. You can say that about anything. Imagine going into a travel thread and saying, "The best way to save on travel is to just stay home!" They'd get torn apart since travel is hallowed ground around here. From a consumer standpoint, a wedding isn't a whole lot different from travel. It's something you choose to experience based on your priorities.


That said, another way to save on money is to not have a honeymoon. We couldn't afford one, and we still haven't gotten around to it almost two years later.

Cognitive Miser

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #60 on: April 20, 2016, 10:34:52 AM »
I read “A Practical Wedding” by Meg Keene and loved her no-nonsense advice to finding the three things that matter most to you and focusing your budget and effort in those areas.  For us it was food, drink, and photography.

Venue: My in-laws’ backyard

Attendants:  My brother and Mr. CM’s brother

Guest list: We only invited family out to aunts/uncles/cousins – no friends.  Our invite list was 102 people and 45 showed up.

Flowers: One bouquet of calla lilies made up at the grocery store for me, some baby’s breath in old pickle jars that I decorated with burlap and ribbon.  Baby’s breath ordered from Sam’s Club in bulk, delivered to the house by FedEx the day before the wedding.

Mr. CM’s suit: He bought new because he needed a new suit, but it’s not like a designer suit or anything.  He has worn and will wear it again.

Wedding dress: My grandma’s 70-year old lace dress, with about $250 in alterations, which my parents paid for as a gift.

Reception dress: $10 off Ebay.  Grandma’s dress was too delicate to party in.

Beauty: I did my own makeup but had my hair done at a reasonable salon.

Food: In-laws bought a pig as our wedding gift and roasted it in their pig cooker.  We had the sides catered by a girl who was struggling to get her food truck business off the ground.

Cake: Made for us by Mr. CM’s grandma

Music: Family friend controlled an iPod for our  ceremony music, and for the reception we just let it run with a song list we built in the car on our road trip up to the in-laws’ town.

Liquor: Purchased at a liquor store in our own state that takes returns; way cheaper than the state-run liquor stores where we got married; served by the same family friend who ran the iPod.

Favors: None.  We bought ~$25 thank-you gifts for our immediate family members who were so heavily involved with planning/helping.

Photography: Our biggest splurge.  We didn’t want any family members to “work” and anyway didn’t know anyone who was good at photography.  We really had to shop around to find someone who had a package less than $3500. I think we paid about $2000 for four hours of photography (including an assistant photographer) and a DVD with all the images.  I made wedding albums online with the images using coupons.  Anyone planning a cheap wedding should know that wedding photography is like highway robbery.

Rings: Ok, this was really our biggest splurge.  Specifically, my engagement ring.  Mr. CM is not Moustachian and wanted to get me a really nice ring with his own money.  I let him.  He let me pick out the design and he picked out the stone.  It’s beautiful and I love it.  I guess I don’t necessarily consider this as part of the wedding, although I understand why some people do.  His wedding band was inexpensive titanium, and mine was a bit more as it matches the engagement ring.

Metric Mouse

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #61 on: April 22, 2016, 04:29:24 AM »
These posts saying the best way to save money is to not get married at all make me chuckle. You can say that about anything. Imagine going into a travel thread and saying, "The best way to save on travel is to just stay home!" They'd get torn apart since travel is hallowed ground around here. From a consumer standpoint, a wedding isn't a whole lot different from travel. It's something you choose to experience based on your priorities.


That said, another way to save on money is to not have a honeymoon. We couldn't afford one, and we still haven't gotten around to it almost two years later.

I would argue the biggest difference is that you can get 99% of the benefits of marriage without a wedding. Hell, you can get 90% of the benefits of marriage without getting married.  You can't really get the benefits of travel without traveling. It's not a truly fair comparison.

sjc0816

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #62 on: April 22, 2016, 07:05:19 AM »
Our wedding was free. The deal was, buy a week at a Jamaica all-inclusive and get a wedding there for free. Can't beat that! Of course, the week in Jamaica cost us about $1,800....but my dress was $30 and DH wore khaki's and bought a new shirt for $50. We didn't invite anyone though.....so that definitely cut down on costs. lol. 

Metric Mouse

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #63 on: April 22, 2016, 07:41:00 AM »
Our wedding was free. The deal was, buy a week at a Jamaica all-inclusive and get a wedding there for free. Can't beat that! Of course, the week in Jamaica cost us about $1,800....but my dress was $30 and DH wore khaki's and bought a new shirt for $50. We didn't invite anyone though.....so that definitely cut down on costs. lol.

That's MMM level of creative bookkeeping right there! Good work.

icemodeled

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #64 on: April 23, 2016, 12:45:16 PM »
Our wedding was frugal simple and beautiful. I researched tons of locations to have it (I wanted an outdoor wedding). Everything was costly and nobody we knew had a good backyard to use. So we did a destination type wedding. We drive 5 hours to Gatlinburg TN and had it ontop of a mountain. It was $800 total for the location, minister AND photographs. Was a package deal. We only had close family (parents, siblings, ect) No fuss, no real planning and virtually stress free. I wouldn't change a thing as it ended up being a gorgeous day and very private. When we came back we had a reception 2 weeks later at a park. Casual cookout style which was inexpensive. Loved it, fun as we had cornhole and games for kids. Again stress free. Our cake was cheap at a local bakery, they used our colors and had a simple flower desgin with initials. My dress was simple to, strapless, white with gold sash around waist. It wasnt expensive. Everything was great about it and we didnt go into debt for it.

I also made my own bouquet,  about $5. My sister in law takes nice pictures so she did that to since the photographer had a limit. We bought most decorations and guest book/invites at discount stores or garage sales. It all looked nice though! No music(they provided the wedding march song), no catering, did my own makeup/nails/hair and rings were very well priced (my husbands ring was used), no band and no fancy cars. Why would anyone need all that anyways? Back then I wasnt even MMM dedicated and didnt get wrapped up in silly spending.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 12:52:59 PM by icemodeled »

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #65 on: August 31, 2016, 01:20:27 PM »
I got married last weekend.

I would have been perfectly happy just to go to city hall, but she wouldn't hear of it.


We spent just under 6k, which was 1k over budget.
The original 5k came from an inheritance, so in a sense it "doesn't count" - it didn't come from our savings, and we didn't have to work for it.
It wasn't part of the plan (we asked for no gifts), but we got more than enough in gifts to cover the overage.

The biggest thing was we used a cabin in the woods that belonged to a family member, so there was no cost for the venue.
The families spent several days building and repairing and cleaning and decorating.

She got her dress on some kind of sale, I think it was around $120? 
My tux I already owned, I got it for $30 at goodwill for a costume party.
The invitations were online only, "paperless post", no optional upgrades, so free.
The band was one which her father is the bassist for, so no cost for that.
Entertainment was provided by foam swords, a badminton set, and board games.
Dinner was a (prepaid) taco truck.
Our staff was a former personal assistant to a family member, and 3 assistants she choose.
Our rings were flashing multi-colored sparkle jelly rings.  They were also the gifts we gave out to guests. 
(well, ok, we have "real" metal rings too - they came from a pawn shop, and I believe were under $300 for both of ours)
Flowers were by a personal friend whose family owns a flower shop.
Cake and wine were donated by family who really wanted to help in some way (we would have just done without them)
Then there was chair and table rentals, and food (from Costco), the photographer (least expensive nearby on Yelp - he turned out to be AMAZING), and she got professional hair/make-up people.


We certainly could have kept it lower, but its hard to reign in excited family members.  Her mom, in particular, was worried about not having enough of things, so we ended up with much more food, drink, and chairs, then we really needed. 
But I guess I can take some comfort that at least we still kept it between 1/2 and 1/3 of the national median.


http://www.randomthoughts.fyi/2016/08/bakari-willsky-kafele.html

Evgenia

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #66 on: August 31, 2016, 01:51:14 PM »
Keep in mind these are Bay Area prices...

I didn't buy a dress (I wore a custom silk gown I just had hanging around, from a five-years-previous summer of EIGHT black tie weddings). I paid $189 to have it dry cleaned. Husband wore a suit he already had. He spent $110 on a tie and pocket square; I spent $40 on Spanx and $100 on shoes I wore after the fact.

We got married in my FIL's backyard in Northern California wine country and had our reception at a local community center for $9/hour ($135 for 13 hours). We did have to buy event liability insurance for one day, required by community center, for $175.

My engagement ring is a family heirloom, but it required some repair (chipped diamond replacement, resizing, and re-plating) for $700; an appraisal for insurance at $150; and both of our wedding bands for $145.

I paid $18 for three bouquets. I cannot stand florist prices and the local florist quoted us $345 for three small bouquets. My mom went to Cal Mart, found two of the loveliest, bright bunches of flowers, split one bunch for the two bridesmaids, wrapped ribbon around them, and that was that.

We also ordered a dozen or so different cakes from the same grocery store, and had a cake bar instead of a wedding cake. People LOVED it, and almost every guest took a photo and sent it to me later. We saved many hundreds of dollars this way. The wedding cake business is RIDICULOUS.

For other decorations we made, we spent $100 for centerpieces for 8 tables, and $100 on fabric for various things.

TheInsuranceMan

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #67 on: August 31, 2016, 01:59:33 PM »
Diamond for DW was from her family, a hand-me-down, so to speak.
Nothing else besides that.  I'm sure it was stupid expensive.  I have no idea the total cost, and I don't want to know.  Then again, my wife and myself didn't pay for a single bit of it. 

Oh, and it was open bar all night :)

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #68 on: August 31, 2016, 04:59:27 PM »
the local florist quoted us $345 for three small bouquets.


That makes me feel much better.
I had no reference to compare to.
We paid her friend $500, for two enormous flower arrangements (on either side of us during the ceremony), plus smaller matching ones for all of the tables (inc snack and drink tables), and her bouquet and our flower girls, all set up included.

https://www.yogile.com/wilksykafele#120l

https://www.yogile.com/wilksykafele#121l



https://www.yogile.com/wilksykafele#177l

MicroRN

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #69 on: August 31, 2016, 05:58:11 PM »
We paid $200 to use the local college arboretum, and I think $300 for a JP?  Kept it very minimal, just close family.  My dress was a red cotton sun dress from Macy's for about $75, that I still wear six years later.  We took everyone to our favorite local restaurant for dinner.  I think with us included there were 23 people.  I don't know what the dinner bill was because my Grandad insisted on paying, but knowing the prices there probably about $1200-$1500 for food, drinks, and tip.  It was fun, simple, and very low-key.  My mom put together a small reception back at the hotel with a cake, wine, beer, soda, and ice cream.  Again, not sure what that cost, but probably $600 or so. 

Things we skipped - bridesmaids and groomsmen, flowers, invitations, limo, a band, and all the other trappings.  We had planned to just go to the courthouse, but a lot of family got distressed over that, so we figured we could bump it up to a small wedding.

Our honeymoon was ~$2500 - 4 days in Newfoundland.   

The rings were the one huge wedding expense.  $3000 for two custom rings.  They aren't super fancy (matching white and yellow gold bands with engraving), but we figured if we're planning to wear these every day for the rest of our lives, they should be exactly what we want.  We had them made by a local jeweler.   

mm1970

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #70 on: September 01, 2016, 01:29:45 PM »
Keep in mind these are Bay Area prices...

I didn't buy a dress (I wore a custom silk gown I just had hanging around, from a five-years-previous summer of EIGHT black tie weddings). I paid $189 to have it dry cleaned. Husband wore a suit he already had. He spent $110 on a tie and pocket square; I spent $40 on Spanx and $100 on shoes I wore after the fact.

We got married in my FIL's backyard in Northern California wine country and had our reception at a local community center for $9/hour ($135 for 13 hours). We did have to buy event liability insurance for one day, required by community center, for $175.

My engagement ring is a family heirloom, but it required some repair (chipped diamond replacement, resizing, and re-plating) for $700; an appraisal for insurance at $150; and both of our wedding bands for $145.

I paid $18 for three bouquets. I cannot stand florist prices and the local florist quoted us $345 for three small bouquets. My mom went to Cal Mart, found two of the loveliest, bright bunches of flowers, split one bunch for the two bridesmaids, wrapped ribbon around them, and that was that.

We also ordered a dozen or so different cakes from the same grocery store, and had a cake bar instead of a wedding cake. People LOVED it, and almost every guest took a photo and sent it to me later. We saved many hundreds of dollars this way. The wedding cake business is RIDICULOUS.

For other decorations we made, we spent $100 for centerpieces for 8 tables, and $100 on fabric for various things.
This is brilliant

mm1970

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #71 on: September 01, 2016, 01:34:13 PM »
I got married last weekend.

I would have been perfectly happy just to go to city hall, but she wouldn't hear of it.


We spent just under 6k, which was 1k over budget.
The original 5k came from an inheritance, so in a sense it "doesn't count" - it didn't come from our savings, and we didn't have to work for it.
It wasn't part of the plan (we asked for no gifts), but we got more than enough in gifts to cover the overage.

The biggest thing was we used a cabin in the woods that belonged to a family member, so there was no cost for the venue.
The families spent several days building and repairing and cleaning and decorating.

She got her dress on some kind of sale, I think it was around $120? 
My tux I already owned, I got it for $30 at goodwill for a costume party.
The invitations were online only, "paperless post", no optional upgrades, so free.
The band was one which her father is the bassist for, so no cost for that.
Entertainment was provided by foam swords, a badminton set, and board games.
Dinner was a (prepaid) taco truck.
Our staff was a former personal assistant to a family member, and 3 assistants she choose.
Our rings were flashing multi-colored sparkle jelly rings.  They were also the gifts we gave out to guests. 
(well, ok, we have "real" metal rings too - they came from a pawn shop, and I believe were under $300 for both of ours)
Flowers were by a personal friend whose family owns a flower shop.
Cake and wine were donated by family who really wanted to help in some way (we would have just done without them)
Then there was chair and table rentals, and food (from Costco), the photographer (least expensive nearby on Yelp - he turned out to be AMAZING), and she got professional hair/make-up people.


We certainly could have kept it lower, but its hard to reign in excited family members.  Her mom, in particular, was worried about not having enough of things, so we ended up with much more food, drink, and chairs, then we really needed. 
But I guess I can take some comfort that at least we still kept it between 1/2 and 1/3 of the national median.


http://www.randomthoughts.fyi/2016/08/bakari-willsky-kafele.html
That was lovely!

kyuuei

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #72 on: September 01, 2016, 02:31:32 PM »
It wasn't my wedding, as I'm pretty adverse to the idea... but for my family, ive had several siblings marry.

- Prenup. Probably the most cost effective thing you can do, honestly. Already having a plan if things go wrong doesn't make you anticipating, it makes you smart.
- Cheap rings. Don't just go non-diamond... Seriously, you're likely to lose the dang thing eventually.. an heirloom from a family member for the ceremony and special occasions thereafter, and otherwise a cheap tungsten ring or one of these http://www.saferingz.com/ if you work in a profession that could cause something unsafe to happen with a ring. Knew a lot of deployment friends that just said they'd rather spend money on 10 cheap rings than 1 nice one.
- Picking out a nice venue can really skimp on a lot. Not an expensive venue--but one that is visually nice looking. A nice looking venue can mean a lot of money saved on decor... no need to decorate a wall that already looks nice just as it is. An outdoor vineyard already is pretty, no need to throw a ton of decor on it. A historic building--play that thing up! Your church looks how you expect it to look... Let the place speak for itself. You're spending money on the location, that location needs to do the bulk of the leg work for you. Many places offer chairs and tables already, and table cloths and such too. So, while it may very well be the biggest expensive, that doesn't mean it has to be expensive.
- The cake? If you have a friend that makes nice cakes, hiring them will be a good idea... sometimes a family member can buy a cake as a wedding present (this is what I did for my sister).. But, cakes can be made in advance too. A nice, large cake does not require a lot of training. Cakes just need one detail: to taste good. You can make that happen pretty cheaply. The decor? A nice cake plate isn't too expensive, and pre-made cake decorations put all over it is STILL cheaper than hiring someone to make it. Lots of youtube videos show off how easy cake making and decorating really is.. with a bit of practice a few months before hand, you can crank out a super sexy cake for cheap. Saw someone make a 'donut cake' by making a basic layered round cake and putting homemade oven-baked mini donuts all over it with homer simpson's face on the flat surface and it was such a perfect groom's cake. The inside? Funfetti box cake. Too easy.
- Make your own decor either way. Bulk cheap fabric + some pinterest guides = enough nice decor to really stick out. The little details? all those name plates, and wine glass jewels, all of it? No one remembers that stuff. Our buddies printed out old embarrassing photos of them in middle and high school and it was much funner and more memorable than haughty tiny details. Some flowers in some dollar store vases with a piece of fabric, boom. Done. Even fake flowers can look pretty good in dim light.
- Food? .. Depends. I've seen some wedding catering just as cheap as cooking one's own food.. I've seen a ton of little cesar's pizza boxes hahah.. but I've also seen pot luck weddings and I thought that was probably the cheapest way to go. I'm a big fan of pot lucks.
- Drinks? A keg + buying a variety of bottles and mixers and letting people pour their own is the cheapest way I've seen things done. It's easy to make this look classy as well. Some pre-made drinks in nice jugs for a signature cocktail or two... It's very easy to make a nice self-pouring area. 
- The dress.... Probably one of the more expensive things besides the venue. If you skimp on a lot of other stuff, chances are the dress will somehow make it through the day without costing an arm and a leg. Lots of people get rid of wedding dresses, its a good place to start. As far as bride's maids and groomsmen, I've seen people simply say "wear your nicest suit and get a blue shirt and white tie" and "wear a purple dress" and it turned out matching well and looking very nice. Saves your entourage money as well!
- And of course, marry in an off season.. if it's indoors, it really doesn't matter what time of year you marry. So, get married during the time people don't really do weddings. Spring and autumn are favorites, and so venues will be cheaper in off seasons.
- Honeymoon? Cruises are pretty cheap when bought last minute ($150 a person for an all inclusive 4 day cruise is much cheaper than a huge week-long trip somewhere), and there's lots of ways to travel on the cheap. No need to go all out.. you just bought a wedding..and... You've got your whole lives together. Make a mark for having a nice 1 year anniversary trip instead of a honeymoon, so you have time to recover.

I think that's about all I've got on the subject. ... I knew more about weddings than I thought I did. Hah!

meteor

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #73 on: September 01, 2016, 05:50:19 PM »

A friend of mine had a huge expensive wedding and at the end of the day she confessed to me she was so stressed out  that she had cried in the shower where no one could see her.  She supported me 100% in doing nothing: no ring (I don't wearing jewelry).  I only told 5 people at the last minute.  I wore a women's suit coat from Ross discount.  All I cared about was the religious ceremony from the person that married us. 

BTW:  My girlfriend got divorced.

Bakari

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #74 on: September 01, 2016, 08:06:04 PM »

- Cheap rings. Don't just go non-diamond... Seriously, you're likely to lose the dang thing eventually..


We aren't allowed to wear jewelry when working outside on the boat.
One of my coworkers a couple weeks ago was putting his ring back on before heading inside, we got hit by a wake, I could hear the metallic "ring" sound from inside as it bounced along the deck, and oops, overboard, into the ocean, there goes $400.


My wife just came and read over my shoulder and pointed out the thing about the ethics of the diamond industry, and how people should only buy diamonds 2nd hand regardless of the cost issue.

kpd905

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Re: How did you save money at your wedding?
« Reply #75 on: September 01, 2016, 11:26:39 PM »
My wife made all of the flowers out of paper, and she just rented them out to someone for $300.

I bought a tungsten wedding band on Amazon for $16.