N.B from Baltimore, MD
One place where you can save money is by checking either your local BJ's, Price Club or Costco for your cake. I believe they do the baking right on the premises and you can get a nice sheet cake for a reasonable amount. In fact, check your local grocery store! My friend did that and the cake was excellent. Have a disc jockey instead of a band. Serve punch and soda. You can spike the punch, I'm sure that would be a lot less expensive than a bar--unless that's part of the deal at the legion hall. Does the $1500 include a wedding gown? Look at the clearance rack. My gown 25 years ago was clearance--it cost me $125 marked down from $400, which is almost a 75% savings and it was still beautiful.
Good luck, and congratulations! (03/02/2006)
My husband and I got married in September of last year and we had both the ceremony and reception for about $1500. The best way to cut costs is to do most of everything yourself. Decorations, food, invitations. Anything you can think of. It does take a bit more work and time on your part but it also saves you money. We had an outdoor wedding with just family there and then we had a reception for everyone else. I know a lot of people say not to do it, be we didn't have an open bar at the reception. It was a cash bar but that saves a huge amount of money. Our family members helped out with preparing the food for the reception and decorating the reception building. We held our reception at the local community building and it had a complete kitchen and bar there. I bought my dress from a wedding store but it wasn't a traditional wedding gown. It was a bridesmaid's dress on the sale rack but saved about $150 buying it that way, and I loved the dress anyway. Even if I could have bought any gown I wanted I think I still would have gotten the one I did. My sister-in-law burned off c.d's of our favorite songs for the reception instead of hiring a d.j or a band and it worked out fine. A friend knew a lady that bakes cakes and we hired her to do our wedding cake. It cost us less than $75 and we would have paid twice that amount to have a caterer or store do it for us. It turned out beautifully. Keep your decorations simple, but pretty (flowers, ribbons, and lots of tulle) work great! I got a lot of ideas from different wedding websites and then figured out ways to do it my way and saved a lot of money! Hope these ideas help you out some. Good luck and congrats! (03/02/2006)
we did it on $1500
we had our local grocer make up sandwich platters,relish tray, potato salad, coleslaw
we provided our own drinks (soda,tea coffee,juice) also had chips and dip etc. These can also be bought at Sam's club real cheap) or can be done by you (Aldi's is a great place to shop or save-a-lot). We had the grocer make up 2 heart shaped cakes (for around $50-$75 for both)
my sister helped decorate the church where we had our reception (this was free) a photoghapher at Walmart did our wedding pictures (for $100) and they turned out great (so ask them if someone at your local retailer might want to make some extra $$) we did not serve alcohol (since we were at the church) and I found my dress at a local wedding shop on clearance and with alterations was still only $500 total. If we rented 3 or more tuxes we got 2 free tux rentals so ask if they have any discounts on tux rentals The brides maids chose to pay for their own dresses to help us out. We made up my flower arrangement that I carried with artificial flowers bought at Walmart and some ribbons attached. After the reception at the church we all headed to our local bar/restaurant and any one wanting to drink paid for their own drinks. We all had a great time and I wasn't near as stressed as I would have been had I had a more elaborate wedding. We had a CD burned with all our favorite songs that we played for the church reception.
good luck (03/02/2006)
p.s our church had a full kitchen for us to use (03/02/2006)
I don't know how much time you have to plan but the more the better. You can have a very elegant wedding for very little by catching the sales and LOOKING in the wedding stuff but buying the look-a-likes in a different dept. My husband and I got married August 05 and I bought my wedding dress thru Chadwicks (check out http://www.chadwicks.com/chadwicks/product/product.asp?pf_id=37105&dept_id=62&parent_id=50& and think of it in ivory) for under $100 with shipping and handling because my mom got a coupon in her email. We made the food, my mom-in-law supplied the candles (Candlelite consultant), and got our silk flowers through my husband's aunt and cousin who owned a flower shop and supplied labor for free. I even saved my bridesmaid's a lot of money by deciding on dresses in JCPenney's Spring Sale catalog and getting them to get their shoes during the Bogo sale at Payless. (Payless also has a AAA discount.) As my bridesmaids gifts I got them a necklace and earrings set (on sale of course). Also keeping the ceremony and reception as small as possible will help out a lot. I've been told that food is half your cost.
Hope your wedding is everything you're wanting. (03/02/2006)
We splurged on some items (like the wedding cake and the bouquets) and saved on others (I arranged the rest of the flowers myself.) The wedding was in the backyard of my parents' house - Also did the rest of the decoration - used lengths of tulle to make swags between 2 trees to create an "altar" area & used potted lilies, which we then planted in the garden.
Also used a swag of tulle on the outside of our closed patio to create a wedding effect. Used family linens to make runners on simple paper tablecloths from the supermarket (the color was right) - These went with the flowered paper plates I got at Target - which looked like vintage china plates.
Used a collection of champagne glasses for the toast - Bought a large champagne bottle of inexpensive French sparking wine, which we had tested beforehand. Had a punch bowl of iced tea with large ice cubes made with flowers frozen in them.
No DJ - we used CDs & our karaoke machine - Found my linen wedding dress at a thrift shop & wore family heirloom jewelry.
We did our own invitations on the computer/ and sent our e-vite "save the date" invitations, as well.
It was small, inexpensive and very satisfactory. Don't tell anyone where you cut corners and no one will notice. It used to be customary a generation or so ago to have weddings at home - and certainly saves the rental of a space, especially if your wedding is small. (03/02/2006)
This might not appeal to you, but have you thought about having the reception at your church? Our church charges nothing for church members to have the ceremony. The reception is the cost of food only, and food can be pretty cheap! Of course, it's harder to have alcohol, but sometimes that's not necessary. Just a thought in case you hadn't considered it. (03/02/2006)
By Pastor April
If you don't like cake, you might try having a dessert table instead. My husband and I both dislike frosting so we had friends make brownies, cookies, tarts, and even chocolate-covered strawberries. I was against the whole cake-in-the-face and on-the-dress thing, so we avoided it all together. People commented on how great the desserts were. Some of my friends have even copied it and believe me -- saving $300 on a cake is a pretty good deal, too! (03/02/2006)
Ok mine was gorgeous and very inexpensive and everyone kept saying that it must of cost lots. No.
Reception areas also try your local post, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and they may have better price. Or if someone has access to a large meeting room.
Food: Have someone cook and make appetizers than can be made a day or so ahead. Our cake from a trendy coffee shop that was just branching out in wedding, party cakes. It was fabulous the chocolate came from Switzerland. It does not have to cost much to look good. I have been to some that had shrimp etc and others that had nice cold cuts and assorted breads and cheese set out nicely, with grapes for decoration and eating. Green olives set out with toothpicks are good too, just pick your favorites. Christmas lights can be strung around to look nice around a piece of lattice or ceiling.
Good luck. Oh and borrow extra serving trays or pitchers people are glad and happy to help.
ENJOY your day it is yours and RELAX and have
a great time. We did and it was great. (03/02/2006)
Go to Freecycle.org and locate your town on their website. You'll find a lot of people that are willing to part with wedding and party stuff to help out someone in their hometown. Good luck and congratulations. (03/03/2006)
We did our wedding for about $2500 total, but the most expensive part was the food, which we decided to splurge on. Check out local county and state parks alot of them have reception halls or large buildings that they rent. We got married at a beautiful county park facility (in NY), with the wedding and reception at the same place. The facility rented for $450 and had a full service kitchen. For my brothers wedding, my immediate family contributed food they had made, and set up a buffet. Other responses mentioned getting your own drinks, etcdefinitely a good idea. Walmart has soda for 50 cents a bottle. If you want alcohol, try getting a keg and get wine in boxes (from wholesale stores and some liquor stores). Id stay away from liquor since then you need all the mixers, etc. For help during the reception, hire a couple of local high school or college students (over 21 if you have alcohol). Most will work cheap, especially if food is involved! We hired 3 girls for $30 each. They can serve drinks, set up the buffet, and clean up tables after dinner. For music, either try burning your own CDs and set up a stereo on autoplay, or get a younger relative to try out their DJing skills. They dont necessarily have to talk, just put the CDs in and hit play. For the ceremony, Davids bridal sells wedding CDs with traditional marches and other songs for the ceremony (for less than $20). You can also contact local high schools and colleges and ask about small ensembles or bands that may be willing to play for free or a small fee. For pictures, you could place disposable cameras on the tables, and collect them afterward. Or again, try asking around collegeslook on nearby college websites for journalism or photography professors and email to ask about students that may freelance or just want experience. Another idea is to ask a relative with a nice camera to take pictures during the ceremony, and rely on guests photos for the reception. Do any relatives bake? Ask for a cake as a wedding gift, and have them use all white icing and the cake decorating items available in the bridal section at Walmart or Michaels. And finally, for decorations, go with white paper tablecloths, white heavy paper or plastic plates, plastic silverware, clear plastic cups, and white paper napkins (check restaurant supply stores or wholesale stores, or search online). Our centerpieces were candles (we used battery operated ones we got at the dollar store (2 for $1)), surrounded by small clear plastic cups that we filled with soil and planted a few pieces of ivy in, and a ribbon tied around the cup. The ivy is cheap (try Walmart), and if you have some time, you can take cutting of a few plants, place them in water, and grow morethen, the cups also served as the favors (ivy means Friendship). You can add color to the tables by using inexpensive ribbon from Michaels or a fabric store or Walmart and just twisting it a little and laying it amongst the ivy cups. Search online for wedding favors, decorations, etc., save the pics, and try and copy what you like by using things found at the dollar store! (03/03/2006)
Weddings can cost a fortune, but really, the most important part of the day is affirming your love and commitment to each other and sharing that affirmation with your family and friends. I have been to weddings that costs thousands of dollars, yet the marriage itself only lasts a couple of years at the most. On the other hand, I am a nurse and have many elderly patients. If I see a wedding picture on the wall, often I'll ask about it. Many of them will tell me about how they were married in a small ceremony perhaps in a family member's home or at a justice-of-the-peace, in a lovely ceremony with only close relatives or family members present. Despite the humble beginnings, many of these marriages last a lifetime. My husband and I were married 16 years ago when I was in nursing school so we didn't have much money to work with. We held the ceremony in a small church near our home. We were able to use the church hall for free after the wedding for our reception. I knew a girl who was trying to start her own flower shop and she provided the arrangements for just the cost of the flowers. My dress was made by a woman whose daughter worked at a store where we looked at rings. I bought the pattern and material and she sewed it for (what I thought was) a fairly small fee. It turned out to be very pretty. I had worked at a hotel before nursing school and the food manager catered our ceremony on the side for a very reasonable price. We bought our cakes at a small bakery and avoided buying anything too showy or big. We had sodas, sparkling water and punch to drink. A family friend had a son whose hobby was photography so, as a wedding present, he took all the wedding photos and they turned out great.
Basically, my advice is : don't be afraid to let people know that you are on a budget. If you know anyone who works or has skills in any areas which can be wedding or reception related (i.e. flower arranging, cooking or catering, DJ'ing, etc), see if they would be willing to help you out and try to work out a deal which would be beneficial to you both, such as a reduced fee for the opportunity for them to practice their skill or build up a new clientel.
Good luck and I hope you have a beautiful wedding.
I think that is a good deal for a hall, and with the kitchen, maybe you can find volunteers with the food, or a potluck? I got too caught up in the wedding hype, and ended up not having enough for the honeymoon I wanted (which in hindsight was a little more important given the stress of the whole thing!) Check your network of family and friends for favors and discounts, you'd be surprised who knows who! (03/09/2006)
Our wedding was also very inexpensive. We borrowed almost everything. The church was free, and we rented our local community center for the reception. We borrowed beautiful custom made topiaries that were made for my boss, who is a millionaire), for his wedding reception. We borrowed silk trees from everyone we knew and put white lights in them to decorate. (In all, we were able to borrow about 14) We made all the bouquets, and boutonnieres, and corsages. We rented the floral arrangements for the church. We borrowed a few white table cloths, but we also got some plain white sheets from Goodwill, and used some of those as well. We also made an arch out of white, satin and clear helium balloons. Our cake was a gift from a friend who is a professional cake decorator. Our pictures were a gift from a photographer friend. We did a trade-out for the limo. (My fiance' fixed the limo-owners computer). To further cut costs for all involved, we each only had one attendant. (This also simplified things. I went with mine to pick out her dress. A lovely black cocktail dress that she could actually wear again! (she got to pick it) She already had black heels too. Our immediate families prepared all of the food, which was just appetizers, cake, and punch, and finger foods. (Since our religion does not permit alcohol, we obviously didn't have that concern.) We had my nephew play our mix cd. We bought a cd with the wedding march, and burned it into a cd with our other songs. Since our wedding was at night, we opted for it to be candlelit. So I borrowed candle holders, the small glass votives, from everyone we knew. I even borrowed my wedding dress from my sister in law. I had always loved it, so it didn't phase me one bit to borrow it. I did however buy my own veil. Since I didn't care for hers, and had my heart set on a certain one. For our honeymoon. we used our frequent flier miles, and his uncle loaned us his condo on the beach in Florida. All in all, I really wouldn't have changed a thing. Even to this day, (7yrs later), people still bring up to me all the time, that mine was the most beautiful wedding that they ever attended. I don't think it is necessary to have alot of money to make a wedding spectacular. I think it mainly takes alot of creativity, and most importantly alot of love. (03/12/2006)
We had a large, very "frugal" wedding, although nobody would have ever guessed by attending. Now is the time to have relatives and friends tap into their creativity and put their varying talents to use! You would be surprised at how many people will want to help. I did all the arrangements and flowers, found the perfect dress at a discount because some of the sequins were loose, and ultimately all we really had to pay for was the reception. What's most important is prioritizing your WANTS and NEEDS, and knowing where you're willing to make compromises. For example,if you NEED a thousand dollar dress, you better go with silk flowers and a "bring a covered dish, please" reception. In our case, we felt that the reception took precedence over live flowers and an expensive gown. It may be very different for you and your fiance. My best friend rented a local hall for $100 and had her aunt cater the dinner. A friend was the dj. Also - do you or your fiance have skills you can "trade" with someone else? My husband is in construction, and we traded his labor for someone else's skills and labor to help us out...Good luck!(quote)(/quote) (03/16/2006)
Hey N.B from Baltimore, I live in Martinsburg, WV about 90 minutes from you. I had a few thoughts for you. Try moving outside of city limits, that should help with costs. Depending on when your wedding date is the weather can play a part to your favor as well. If you are having a spring/summer wedding you can have it at a park. Most offer a pavilion for just a couple hundred dollars tables included. Place disposable cameras on tables with a note attached asking them to capture special moments for you. Then you can develop them as your convenience. The Dollar Tree has tons of wedding favors: Bubbles, thank you notes, paper/tableware, balloons, decorations, flowers for centerpieces or bouquets & boutonnieres.
Maybe have your wedding late in the evening after dinner then only serve cake and punch (that way you could invite more guests). Oh you could use white lights to decorate oh so beautiful. Dress idea check out dept. stores for prom dresses, unless you tell someone no one will ever no. My prom dress was white and could have easily been a wedding dress.
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Let me help eliminate the crockpot- toaster multiplies. Select products you need and want for your kitchen. (03/17/2006)
Check a local park either city,county or state, see if the have a hall or something with a kitchen. My husband and I got married at a city park that had a restored farm house set in the woods, normal rent was 200.00 for up to six hours, but we bargained since we were getting married on a Mon. night,we got it for 100.00-because it was an off night and it wouldn't of rented anyway. We did all of the food ourselves, all of the decorations, lots of tulle and artificial flowers,ribbon etc. My husband even made our wedding cake a 3 teir white cake with fresh flowers between each tier. I made all of the corsages and bouquets, table decorations, we got married last June, so right after Easter I went and found my bridesmaid dresses and flower girl dresses at J.C. Pennys for 10 to 20 apiece on clearance, tea length pink chiffon with satin ribbons, my dress came from Dillard's at an after Christmas sale, it was a tea length cream satin a-line dress with a short jacket-I choose not wear the jacket and had added a dress length satin ribbon around the empire waist and down the length or the back, the entire dress with upgrades was 40.00. The guys wore black dress pants with light grey silk shirts and pink ties- no jackets too HOT!!! Each guy had their own pants, the shirts were 20.00 a peice the ties I found at Walmart after easter for 5 bucks a piece. The entire wedding party was outfitted for 200.00. We served chicken and beef kabobs that we grilled early the morning of our wedding. We also had a Ceasar salad-my favorite-and rice pilaf we also had fresh fruit kabobs, we had beer and homemade wine coolers, iced tea and a pink punch for the kids. The meal cost approx 6 bucks a head with drinks for 60 people we also hired 2 people to serve and help family with clean up cost for that was 150.-well worth it. We didn't pay for a band, we had downloaded some old favs and some romantic music and just played cds. It was a pretty simple wedding it turned out very beautiful, total cost with extras i.e: favors bubbles invites thank-you notes etc was about 1400.00. Good Luck!!!!! (06/29/2006)
By Billie Jo
Don't forget ebay for deals on supplies. Decorations, chair covers, favors, centerpieces, cake tops, etc. Ebay has it all. So search often for things you need. A lot of people sell their used items cheap to make some money back. I also plan to sell my centerpieces on Ebay after my wedding, and maybe a few other items in great condition. Also, ask any friends/family that have been married in the past few years to borrow things, slips, jewelry, vases, help out with food, whatever. (12/09/2006)
My wife and I had a beautiful wedding on $1500.
First, We got married on Wednesday night. Most halls/chapels are EMPTY midweek... any business for them is good business. I asked them to let us use the facility for $500. Most of them have "permanent" decorations so we spent ZERO money, time and energy decorating.
Second, WE HAD A DESERT RECEPTION... Cake, Sparkling cider and snacks -- We had a beautiful Three Tier Wedding Cake from a Grocery store for $100. Sparkling cider from Sam's Club - $50 Plates, forks, napkins, plastic stemware - $50. WE had the reception at my parents clubhouse at their condo complex -- Total reception $200
Third, my wife bought a used dress. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!! It was $75.00 = Payless shoes she has never worn again - $12.00
Fourth, I ordered our flowers (her bouquet and the bridal party/ushers/best man) from the Grocery Store floral dept. $120.
ll the other stuff we bought at discount, Invitations -- whatever. Total was less than $1500. YOU CAN DO IT... THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX... By getting married on a Wednesday we also got cheaper hotel rates -- $19 -- for our Honeymoon!!!!! (05/23/2007)
My advise is you should go to "The Dollar Tree" stores. They have lots of nice wedding things.
Good luck! (07/07/2007)
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