When I was young, I never really had any dreams about my wedding. I didn’t have anything planned, no real must haves-I always just wanted to have fun at my wedding. When I got engaged, I realized I’d be planning the whole event by myself. I was not excited. I also had to sit down and really put everything into workable figures as to how much we could afford. Here are a few tricks that I learned to save me tons of money on my wedding:
1. I knew I wanted my wedding to be on the farm we own, so finding a location was easy (And free). The wedding was scheduled for October, so we did need to have a backup plan in case of rain. I wanted to clean out a barn and have it available as a back-up, but that didn’t work out, so we ended up renting a tent, some tables, and a few porta potties, which was STILL cheaper than renting out a hall or other venue. I ended up finding an incredible deal for Christmas lights online, so I was able to string Christmas lights up around the tent for some added ambient light. The nice thing is that from now on I’ll never run out of Christmas lights! LOL
2. For the invitations, I found some great deals online, and went through Wedding Paper Divas. They have discount codes available quite often, so keep an eye out. Instead of having people return an RSVP card, I simply had them call or email to RSVP-that saved me us quite a bit of money on my invitation budget.
3. For the ceremony, I asked my bridesmaids to just dress in coordinating colors. I had chosen a sunflower themed wedding, so I gave them yellow, green, and brown as choices, and they could wear pants or dresses-I really wasn’t very picky about this, as I wanted them to have fun and be comfortable!
4. I was able to get my mother in law and father in law to make the food and the cake. This saved me tons of money. Since my wedding was casual, I wasn’t worried about fancy food. My father in law was known locally for his bbq pork, we had that, along with ready-made foods such as baked beans and corn.
5. Oriental Trading became my best friend. I got some ideas from Pinterest for my favors, and I decided to make little take home buckets with little bags filled with sunflower seeds. I got the ribbon, thank you charms, bags and buckets on oriental trading, and I got customized monogrammed stickers to put on each little bucket from etsy. I had some issues with a few of the buckets, but I called Oriental Trading and they were super quick to replace the broken buckets for free. One evening of crafting and they were done!
6. My husband wanted the pastor he had as a youngster to do the officiating, so we called him and he was able to do it for free! We of course paid him after the ceremony, but he didn’t want any money up front.
7. I exhausted my options for wedding dresses and couldn’t find anything that suited me. One of the ladies at a wedding shop suggested that I try on bridesmaids dresses, and get it made in white. I found the PERFECT dress, and ended up spending under $250!
8. While I know that this won’t be feasible for most, we grew sunflowers for my wedding. Unfortunately, a few days before the big event, birds got the best of them, so I ended up having to scour the local florist shops for sunflowers. For filler, we picked flowers and greens from around the farm. I was able to put small bouquets on each table, and have bouquets for each bridesmaid. I also was able to get some other flowers for my “Flower boys” to pass out at each isle. My grandmother put the bouquets together, which made them incredibly special.
9. I went barefoot at my wedding, so I didn’t need to shell out money for shoes!
10. I’m a stickler when it comes to photography, but I didn’t want to spend more than I had to. I put an ad out on Craigslist for “Up and coming” photographers to send me portfolios of their work, and I was able to snag an incredible photographer for less than $750!
11. I also put an ad on Craigslist for a makeup/hair stylist. I was able to have her come to my house and do everything for me and my bridesmaids before the ceremony for much less than going to a salon would’ve cost.
12. I hit up Craigslist again for a DJ. I met with the DJ a few days beforehand to get everything lined up. He brought everything he needed and stayed until it was over!
13. I was able to have a harp player at my wedding, which was wonderful. My husband had worked on her car in the past, so he contacted her and snagged her at a steal for a few hours in trade for discounts on future car work.
14. I made a BIG stop at Costco and got all the drinks and paper products instead of ordering online.
15. We printed up the programs at the house instead of having them printed.
16. I bought label paper and generic water bottles, and printed up beautiful labels for the water bottles instead of having them made.
17. I had quite a few out of town guests, and wanted them to feel welcome and special. I made each guest a gift basket, complete with local favorites and info. I went to the local chamber of commerce and got some postcards and brochures to local attractions along with some free souvenirs like magnets and postcards. I printed up some fact sheets and contact numbers as well. I dropped each basket off at the hotels my guests were staying at in anticipation for their arrival.
All in all, I saved THOUSANDS by doing a few things myself and finding people on Craigslist. Use your friends and family as network connections to get in touch with people you’d like to help with your wedding! And take a few chances-do some things you wouldn’t normally do-it’s your day and those types of special touches make your wedding special!
Thanks to Cattle and Cupcakes for this wonderful post!
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2. Start a Pinterest board named “Frugal Wedding Ideas” and start pinning! You must pin at least 3 items from “Madame Deals Frugal Wedding Ideas” onto your board.
Comment below with your Pinterest username and link to your board.
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Contest is open to U.S. residents only.
Contest ends on 9/2/12.