I am getting married May 24, 2008 and we are on a very tight budget, but I want it to be very elegant. My budget is around $2,000, can anyone give me any help, please!
Kisha from Bronx, New York
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I am getting married October 7, 2007 for the first time. I am 39 years old. While planning my wedding, I realized the wedding industry is such a scam! But if you know where to look & do the majority of the work yourself, you can save $. I expect all of my wedding expenses to come in under $2,000 - $2,500. My wedding will consist of 35 people (I invited 50).
Size of Wedding - If you hold a smaller wedding, your costs will be lower. Plus I want to be able to spend time with my guests, I know I couldn't possibly devote time to all of my guests if I held a larger wedding. I only invited those family members & friends that I am really close with. Try to invite only the people that matter the most to you & don't worry about offending anyone -- this is your day, not theirs. Plus most people are relieved to not have to attend weddings for people they are not close with so they do not have to buy a gift.
Wedding Dresses - Look online but make sure you know your measurements before you order anything because wedding dresses are usually not returnable plus I believe you are supposed to order the dress 2 sizes larger than your street clothes. Most web sites post the measurements. I found my dress on Ebay. It was brand new with tags from a bridal shop. With shipping it cost $185!
Wedding Invitations, Flowers, Decorations & Favors - Look at local craft stores/dollar stores/Wal-Mart/garage sales. A local craft store in the Chicago area frequently holds 50% off sales in their bridal department. To give you an idea of the items I bought & prices I paid: wedding invitation kit (60 invites with response cards) - $17; bridal bouquet (silk flowers) - $6; ring bearer pillow - $6; mint tins (30) - $10; favor bags in my wedding color (60) - $6; cake topper - $10. I found wedding invitation samples online for free & printed the invitations on my own printer. I got so many compliments on them that I was even asked for the name of the printing company. Boy, were they shocked when I said it was me!
Hair/Makeup/Nails - If you call salons & tell them you want price quotes for bridal services, the prices are usually higher than if you asked for a quote on hair/makeup/nails under regular services. Don't mention the words "bridal" or "wedding" & get a better deal. If you are really pressed for the reason you want these services, say you have a big date.
Wedding Cake - I am getting my wedding cake from a local grocery store bakery that feeds 60 people for $60! I didn't realize what a good deal that was until my Mom told me that's how much her wedding cake cost in 1964 for 100 people. When I called professional bakeries, the costs for cakes were much higher.
Family/Friends - My Mom is crafty & she created all of the corsages/boutonneires from silk flowers for less than $15.
Thank You Cards - I bought a box of 50 elegant Thank You cards from Wal-Mart for only $4.99.
I hope my tips help you & congrats on your upcoming wedding day!
Victoria had some wonderful ideas! Also, if you don't know of them, Oriental Trading has some wonderful wedding items for low prices. My daughter was married in August 2004, and I purchase alot of the items from Oriental. They normally have really good sales right before and after Christmas. The dollar stores are great resources for low prices. You can have a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank! It just takes creativity and some "thinking outside of the box"
The previous feedback seems very helpful and informative. I also was married in 2005, on a tight budget. I found a lot of my wedding stuff for 50-75% off at places like Hobby Lobby or Walmart. We also printed our own invitations and bought the better envelopes to mail them in. I would stay away from bridal websites and magazines, since they push the more expensive ideas. Websites like Martha Stewart Living or Simple Living are great for ideas and research. One idea we used, was to take jelly ice that looks like real shaved ice and put into minature round glass bowls. We then placed floating candles inside and had flower rings outside. I thought they were nice table center pieces. Oh and i borrowed mirrors from a friends to place under the centerpieces. Ask around to family and friends to borrow their formal silver or crystal ware for the wedding. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials.
A lot of the little things can be purchesed at discount or dollar stores, such as napkins, cutlery, champaign glasses, etc.
You can make your own table centerpieces from vases, bowls and flowers from there also.
Get your attendants to help you at a pre-wedding party for a fun time.
You can make your own, or have made wedding invitations (they don't have to be ingraved)at statonery stores. There are also programs for the computer to print out anything.
Shop around for discounts or rentals of table linens. Ask family members to help prepare some of the simple food items instead of catering the whole "affair".
Look into renting a hall of a fraternal organization, which should be cheaper than a Hotel, or some churches have nice accomodations for weddings.
At the party for making table decorations, have them also help you make "birdseed bags" to be thrown after the ceremony.
The one thing I can say is dollar store! Not sure if you have a dollar tree in your city, but that store that sounds so cheap, has some pretty things in it. I watched the show who's wedding is it anyways and one lady by the name Lynette, made one couples wedding just so elegant and expensive looking using many things from the dollar store. You just need to use your imagination from with in to make it work. Good luck!
3 words...BORROW, BORROW, BORROW! Ask your friends and family if you can borrow their things for decorating, etc. It will save much!
I recently did the flowers for a wedding and we wanted to set glass vases with bouquets around the reception area. The cheapest I had seen glass vases was $2.99 each at wal-mart and considering we wanted a dozed that added up. On a fluke I went to Goodwill and the vases there ranged from 49 cents to $1.99, for nice, glass vases of various sizes. I bought a dozen vases for 1/2 the price they would have been at walmart and filled them with seasonal flowers from friends/family's gardens for free and we had gorgeous arrangements for $13 total! My sister used various sized wine glasses (or other stemmed glasses) for candle holders at her wedding that we got at Goodwill/St. vincents. She put 5 to 7 different sized glasses on each table with tealight candles in them on a square of fabric that matched the wedding colors. Very elegant. I don't know if you have Aldi stores in your area or not, but their flowers are very inexpensive and good quality and you can order an amount ahead of time to pick up before the wedding. Depending on your colors, you can get ribbons and such at 50% off right after christmas.
We were on a tight budget too. After visiting bakers I was not going to spend 300 for a cake. I found a walmart bakery and we did a huge three tier cake, with smaller cakes at the base and ribbons from top to smaller cakes. I got my entire cake for 100 bucks. Also make your own invitations.
Here is great little favor for tables in nice decorative bowls. print off white labels with what you want on them. wrap them around the hershey nuggets ( gold or silver) remove the outer label attached your table and woo la. I bought decorative bowls from dollar tree for a 1.00 each and filled with my candy. Also another idea is take a plastic spoon (color of your choice again) dip in melted almond bark. wrap some tooly around the spoon part with ribbon and serve next to coffee. there great. Here was another little idea. Go to dollar store again, purchase heart shaped cookie cutters. I used my great grandmothers fav cookie recipe ( she passed away) and was unable to attend. printed that loving cookie recipe and attached to cookie cutters on card with curled ribbon. and also had those on table as favors. Again like 25 cents per favor. We also printed off hubby's grannys on other side. Another great idea is go to floral shop and purchase magic floral gel add water and wedding confetti. put in pretty clear vases and you can insert your flowers in and walla. another table center piece for about 2.00 each for each center piece. I actually bought white carnations and separated in bunches soaked steps in food colored water and the tips of flowers will turn the color you are soaking. can do this a couple days before reception and insert in vases. saves a lot of money on fresh flowers. carnations in bunches are really less expensive.
Use white bedsheets for your centerpiece on the tables and ask Family, family, family for help...
May God bless you and your endeavors
I just put this on another post, consider an early afternoon tea for the reception. Instead of worrying about food, you can serve cake, punch, nuts, mints, a few cookies and maybe a nice fruit salad. Champagne, alcoholic or not, can be served to toast the bride and groom. If done right, it can be very elegant.
Oriental Trading Co. also has very good prices on some wedding decorations. Best wishes for a beautiful wedding/reception.
Think outside the box. Look at stores like IKEA for centerpieces done with candles. Another website to look at is Candlecraving.com for ideas with candles. Stay away from purchasing candles at dollar stores. They are usually low grade wax and have awful chemicals in the wicks to make them burn hotter. An idea for having a reception at a "place" but at a better price is to have it on a non-traditional day of the week like a Thursday. And don't say it's a wedding. Tell them it's an anniversary party. In a year it really will be your anniversary. Skip having a photographer and buy a good quality camera and ask a member or friend of the family to take the pictures for you. Sign up at Shutterfly.com and you can get GREAT prices on printing your pictures. A way to combine something to throw, placecard holders, and favors is to use luggage tags with the guest's names and table assignments, and a bell tied on. Instead of throwing something the guests ring the bells. The biggest thing about doing something on a budget is knowing what is most important and focusing on that aspect. Forget about all the other "traditions". You're still married if you don't have a champagne toast at the reception and you've saved that much money towards paying a down payment on a house. Best of luck and good fortune on your upcoming wedding.
Well all I can tell you is to let everyone chip in that's in ur family not on money but on setting up the wedding. Gather up ppl who can cook, decorate, and whoever is a good planner and very organized to send out invitations and get married in a church that you go to b/c they wont charge a thing. I mean that's how I will do it and the only thing you will be paying for is ur dress, and ur bridesmaid dresses and ur food and invitations so see how that works b/c that's what I would do.
You can also make your own veil and bouquets, so easy. Just google DIY bouquet and veils, ring pillows as well. If you work on a project a day, you should save on your special day! Congratulations!
ps- always negotiate! You can negotiate on almost everything you buy! If you have a ac moore nearby, they have a 40%off coupon every week on there website.
Hobby Lobby is my bestfriend, I am getting married April 26, 2008, and I have gotten everything I need for under $3,000, I just need my dress, and thats only $500.00.
i bought my dress on ebay, it's beautiful and it was only $200.
I went to a friend's wedding reception a couple of years ago and it was a potluck picnic at a county park pavillion on a Sunday afternoon. At first I thought, 'oh, how sad - she's going to regret this one day - it's not traditional at all!' But it turned out really nice; it was a beautiful day and we were by a lake. She and her husband didn't have to rent a thing - no tents or chairs, no portajohns, no caterers, nothing. A friend made the cake, someone brought a boom box, the kids had plenty of room to romp around and not break anything, and we all got to sample homemade recipes. It was the ideal wedding-on-budget. I highly recommend it...you do NOT need to spend a bunch of money to have fond memories of your big day - just focus on spending it with friends and family because that's what really matters.
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