The cost of a wedding can be astronomical. In fact, the average wedding ran about $19,000 last year. Wouldn't it be nice to keep your bank account intact and still have the perfect celebration with all the trimmings? Our members have done just that. Try using some of their best wedding planning ideas.
Save on Dresses
I was able to purchase my bridesmaids dresses directly from the manufacturer at a fraction of the cost.-- cl-kristenrae
Shop the secondhand shops and scan the ads in the paper for a wedding dress, and you may save considerably.
Your attendants can also save money if you choose the color, but let them shop for a dress they like. They won't all have the same dress, but they'll have a style they like and may actually wear again.
I rented my dress. We also rented the tuxedos from a place that offered a free limo, too. My mom made my veil, which cost about $20 rather than $200.
-- cajun mommy
Buy the sample off the rack. The dress might be from last season, but if you like it, so what? Visit a wedding outlet store to find your dress. Outlet stores also have bridesmaids dresses at a reduced price.
After searching to find some fabulous shoes to go with my stunning dress, I was heartbroken. Everything was either "blah" or way out of my price range. A dear friend loaned me her shoes.
Shop for your wedding dress on the Internet. I went to a bridal shop and tried some on to make sure of the style I wanted. Mine was $260 including shipping.-- jackie711
I didn't have my hair or makeup professionally done. I had people help me and just spent a little more time on it.
We found our bridesmaids dresses at a department store. Only $35 each. My sister has already worn hers twice since October. This probably only works for less formal weddings.-- jackie711
Save on Flowers
I love fresh flowers, but silk arrangements can be made much cheaper than those made by the florist.
The only flowers we had were the bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages. The centerpieces were candles ($1 each) sitting on top of large mirrored tiles ($2 each) with a rented hurricane ($2.50 each) with lots of fall leaves and acorns spread around it (free!)-- jlbarri
At a mall bridal show I found a woman who works out of her home. I only spent $275 for the bridal bouquet and bridal party's bouquets and boutonnieres.
Save on Wedding Photos
Hire the photographer for just a short period of time, for the formal photographs. Then, instead of paying him to stay on at the reception, buy disposable cameras and request that guests take candid snapshots for you. People are more likely to "ham it up" for other guests than the photographer anyway.-- mcdonrachel
You can make your own wedding photo album for much less (around $15) than the cost of buying one ($50 or more). Buy a plain one, and use your glue gun to attach white fabric, lace, beads, etc.
Save on Food and Music
We had the wedding at 2pm, so instead of a sit-down dinner, we had it catered as a buffet, which cuts the cost per plate considerably. (My family hosted a dinner for the out-of-town guests later that night.)
Have a DJ instead of a live band. Hire your teenage cousin for even less!
We offered wine and beer only. We got it on sale over a holiday weekend. Total alcohol cost: $150.-- jlbarri
Use the talents of friends and family. I got my ceremony music for free because a man I work with is a concert pianist. We also had a free soloist -- the son of a friend.
Save on Invitations, Reception and Transportation
We held my wedding at the family farmhouse (no cost for a reception hall). We borrowed tables and chairs from local churches and businesses and rented several tents in case it
Check with family members if they have special cars. My cousin-in-law owns a Rolls Royce. For our wedding, they hired a driver; the driver transported us in the Rolls Royce from the wedding to the reception and to the hotel.-- morgan1
Hire a Web designer to design a Website about the bride and groom. The Website could contain details about the wedding, pictures of where the wedding/reception will be held, directions to the wedding/reception, contacts for hotels in the surrounding area for out-of-town guests. You could also provide on the Website an area for guests to RSVP, and how many will be attending. Still send out the wedding invitations, but include the Website address somewhere on the wedding invitations. This will cut down on the cost of the wedding invitations and mailing costs, since all the reply cards, and copies of directions would not be needed in the wedding invitation itself. (If someone does not have access to the Internet, they could call and the directions/reply cards would be
Order invitations from a catalog. When you narrow down your choices you can send away for a few free samples to make sure they are what you