I am getting married in March of next year and we are trying to keep the wedding at $5000. What can I do to keep it at that rate including the following: cake, favors, flowers, dresses, ceremony, reception, catering? Help.
McGuire from CA
For flowers try the florist in the grocery store, I had the best flowers instead of using another flower store. For the cake try a local coffee shop, one that you like the desserts at. We got a cake with the chocolate and the price was less than 1/3 of regular cost. For favors try buying a large piece a tulle and cut and place birdseed in it and tie with ribbon in your colors and place little fake wedding rings on to it. My little sis used M & Ms for hers instead of birdseed. For tables put floating candles in little dishes, or for beachy theme put sand in vase and then put candle in it and sprinkle shells around. Remember it's your day do what you two want not your or his family or friends have fun. (05/09/2005)
Buy a dress at a thrift store; they are so cheap. Ask family members to volunteer their services and cook for the reception (this can save tons of money). Find an individual that will make your wedding cake. They are always cheaper than the bakeries. Find an individual that will make the bridesmaid dresses for you. Patterns and material are cheap and they are easy to make for those that know how to sew. Save your money for the flowers. (05/10/2005)
Favors are not required, so you can save money there by just not doing them at all. But if you want to, go creative. For my wedding we printed a postcard with a poem on it and gave that to everyone. If you have a CD burner on your computer you can also do a music CD, you can plan on one for each couple.
Packets of flower seeds (forget-me-nots or babies breath are nice) are also inexpensive. One wedding I went to, gave each couple one of each CD and seeds. Cookies instead of a cake is an idea and just a small cake for the cutting/bride and groom. Depending on seasonal flowers in March where you live, can you do fresh tulips and or daffodils from someone's garden? (05/10/2005)
Make your own bouquets/floral arrangements. I ordered my roses from a wholesaler in town. Sam's and Costco sell roses for around $14 for 2 dozen and will order your colors for you in advance. I spent the day before my wedding with my bridesmaids and Mom making all the bouquets, boutonnieres, etc. We had a fabulous time and had beautiful flowers. Just make up one "practice" bouquet and boutonniere ahead of time so you know what you're doing. Then, elect a trusted friend to take care of distributing the flowers to everyone the day of the wedding. Also, we did not give "favors".
Instead, my grandmothers made a basket of cookies for each table that the guests could snack on before dinner. We didn't get printed napkins either, we just used regular white ones. (05/10/2005)
We had our wedding in the morning so that we could have a lunch reception. We saved $10 per person for the meal. Plus, I made my own bouquets and boutonnieres out of silk flowers. I also made our centerpieces using 12x12 inch mirrors bought from Lowe's, votive holders bought at a dollar store, and colored stones that matched our wedding colors. I wore my mother's wedding dress and had it altered so it didn't look so 70ish. For favors we took clear plastic Cinderella slippers, put 3 Hershey kisses in them and wrapped them with tulle. Everyone loved them. Also, we put out 5 disposable cameras on various tables and let individuals take snapshots for us. Plus we had a friend make a beautiful multitiered cake for 350 people for only $300. Good luck on your wedding plans. (05/10/2005)
By Melanie in OH
Check with a local fire department. I am checking for my wedding now and they do a night meal for about $7 per person. I could make the food, but with the meat added I wouldn't same much and I can save the time for decorating and making my flower arrangements. Check with local dress shops the dresses on the clearance rack can be really inexpensive. (05/10/2005)
I am planning my wedding for a September 3rd, 2005 date. I am doubling my flower arrangements at the church as centerpieces at the reception. We are using silver julep buckets to put the flowers in and using ribbon to hang them on every other pew at the church. We are buying the flowers wholesale and doing our own flower arrangements, bouquets, and boutonnieres. We are keeping the food casual as well. Remember to have fun and enlist the help of your friends and family for their help as well as ideas. (05/16/2005)
I'm also getting married next year in February and I also am trying to keep my wedding around $5000-$6000. So what I decided to do was get my family to chip in and make a dish, have my ceremony and reception at the same location, make my own flowers for my bridesmaid (A C Moore or Michael's) find an alternate for your centerpiece, because flower centerpieces are extremely expensive. Get you dress from the thrift store or borrow you closest relative's and have cameras at the tables. For the cake, get it at a local cookie or bagel shop. (06/07/2005)
To save on my wedding I realized most couples marry on Saturday. With my reception on Sunday I saved 17 dollars per person on food and I also had cupcakes and a small cake instead of the traditional wedding cake. (06/20/2005)
My wedding is in August 05 and my budget is $4,500. I am ordering my flowers from Marisol blooms you can get 250 stems for $155. And they are real. My bridesmaids and I are making the centerpieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres ourselves. That alone has cut about $1,000 off of the total cost of my wedding. For your centerpieces buy some glass vases from the Dollar Store and some colored gems to match your wedding put them in the bottom add water and roses and your set. I also advise you to buy seal n send invitations they're inexpensive and just as beautiful. I got mine from Invitations by Dawn they were $93 for 100. I think the name of the invitation was Swirls in Pearl. Good luck and remember it's a day to celebrate love and sometimes less is more. (06/28/2005)
I printed our picture on heavy cardstock and put the ceremony program on the other side and made it a fan for our outdoor wedding. They wanted $138 for 100 programs and I just printed them on my computer for the price of cardstock, ink, and wooden handles. (05/13/2006)
Michael's is a great resource for finding inexpensive ways to do it yourself. I've been happy with what I've found so far with invites, programs and favors. (08/14/2006)
So many great ideas. I would add the following here. I make wedding cakes (long time hobby) you can automatically subtract 1/4 of the guests when ordering your cake. People have to leave early, or they are dieting and don't eat cake. If you are having 200 people, order for 175. etc. Also, you can cut costs by getting a smaller "display/cutting" cake and get sheet cakes "on the side", for mass serving.
For dresses, if you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can go to the Jessica McClintock Outlet store in South San Francisco. They have discounted wedding dresses (pretty casual ones) and lots of bridesmaids dresses, mother of the bride, and flower girl dresses.
You can find dresses online (99.00 and up) and the thrift store idea is a good one, even if you have someone alter it for you (update the style or fit).
Hint: get a good photographer, even if you choose the most basic package because those photos will be the one thing you have, after the cake is eaten and the dress is stored in the attic.
Best of luck to all of you brides.
(married 23 years and still honeymooning.)
My sister got married last month we bought flowers from Perla Farms they deliver nationwide and the flowers were beautiful. We saved a lot of money and the flowers were very fresh. Perlafarms.Com (02/24/2008)
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