Your first step down the aisle

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Choose the color and fabric of your bridesmaids dresses, then allow each to choose their own dress within those parameters in order to find a style they feel beautiful and comfortable in while fitting their budget.
Kelly M.
Have an intimate wedding with immediate family and close friends. Have a big party/reception 6-12 months later.
ELAINE B.
Do not be afraid to negotiate! The sticker price is never the price. I got my fiance's $1200 band for $400; I got our per head count (venue/catering/drinks) from $130 to $85 per head; photobooth from $1700 to $1400...especially if you are off season (which March counts ladies). Ask your recently married pals for recommendations and then drop their names for a discount, and/or drop the names of people that are engaged like you, and/or show the vendor who's boss by knowing the competitors' prices and asking them to match it. It will never hurt to ask!
Kristin G.
Ask the advice and use your resources from friends, family and loved ones. Everyone has talents, contacts, and information that can help you get the best deals with vendors who do great work, or they can help you do it themselves! Also, this is the best way to help others who are in tight financial situations to have their assistance and advice be their wedding gift to you!
Erin M.
Instead of ordering an expensive bridal bouquet, have your guests each bring a single flower to the wedding and have a friend (hopefully someone who can arrange flowers) collect the different flowers and arrange your bouquet and give to you just prior to the wedding. This used to be done in the olden days, and you can have some beautiful bouquets at no charge, and the guests enjoy it because they helped. You can use the extra flowers for table/entrance arrangements.
Miko M.
Hello... My biggest cost-cutting tip would be to find one location that can be beautiful and functional for both the ceremony and reception site. In addition, to the site fees themselves which can be costly, this tip cuts down on travel cost between venues and decorating costs. We have managed to find such a place and are so excited for our upcoming BIG day! Best Wishes, Sherry and Mike
Sherry T.
Add photos to your invitations at a minimal cost by using a strip of photos from a photo booth and making duplicates. This can be a fun and cost effective way to get a great picture that reflects your personalities.
Evette R
Don't be afraid to barter for services. I'm a professional writer, and after attending a local bridal show, I realized that many vendors could use some editing and/or writing services. I approached them with the idea of trading services -- my writing, messaging, and marketing expertise for their wedding services. I've saved thousands, and expanded my portfolio! I have another friend--a graphic artist--who has taken a similar approach. The trick is to think outside the box. Your vendors may be running lean in this economy--what can you provide them that would be of value? It's a great way to expand your network, help your vendors, and save some cash in the process.
Jennifer W.
Call area hotels and request a group discount for your guests. Include suggested hotel information in your invitations.
Vicki P.
We are going to borrow some of the components of the centerpieces (candle holders, etc.) from people who have already purchased these items for their own wedding. We are also planning a brunch instead of a dinner reception. It will cut food and beverage costs and also be more representative of our relationship. I recently was laid off from my job, so we are also having a longer engagement than we originally planned to give us additional time to save money for our wedding.
Dabney R.
Use Curly Willow Branches and arrange yourself for centerpieces and ceremony decorations. Spray paint them white, silver, or whatever color you like. This opposed to flower arrangements saves a bundle but still looks elegant and high-end.
Leah G.
It's never to early to start shopping for gifts,favors or anything else you may need, espeicaly after the holidays. I saved tons of money this way.
SHIRLENE F.
Instead of having a real DJ at your reception, have an outgoing friend do it instead. You can rent speakers or borrow them. Compile your music beforehand on a playlist so it's ready to go!
Cheryl K.
Can't afford calligraphy? Use an home printer and a free calligraphy font (from a site like dafont.com) and print in a very light color on the envelopes. Then use a thick paint/ink pen from a craft store and trace the lettering. Looks just as professional as real calligraphy.
Carla S.
The best way to save is to hire a wedding coordinator! You might have to shell out extra cash for one - but they know the very best, tried and true ways to make your wedding stunning without getting you into debt!
Kara S.
A lot of the people who will be attending my wedding are people who live near me. I have decided I am going to do wedding invitation but I am going to hand deliver most of them so I can save money on postage.
Angela B.
Make your wish list in order of priority. Every bride is different and looking to see what's at the top of your list may give you a better idea of where to spend money and where to let things go.
Jessica L.
First and foremost - Being a bridesmaid is hard work, make sure you thank your maids for everything they have done
Alfred Angelo
Have your wedding on another day aside from Friday and Saturday...this will save you big. If you send out the "save a dates" with anticipation, your guest should not have difficulties making arrangements to attend your wedding regardless of the day you have it on.
Jessica T.
Most everyone knows someone with a flower garden, ask about using their flowers for your arrangements. Most people would think it a honor for you to ask them.
Angela B