Your first step down the aisle

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Instead of having your wedding meal catered, have a potluck. Ask a few of your friends and family to make side dishes and salads to serve. The bride and groom (or parents) purchase and cook the meat. It saves you tons on money. Besides, home cooked food always taste better than catered food. You only get a few choices of salads and side dishes and instant potatoes when you have your meal catered. Where I live, family and friends are more than welcome to make something for the wedding. To make it a little fun, have them write down the recipe and give them to you as a gift.
Jill B.
When trying on dresses, make sure that all your Bridesmaids go together. Then you can get the full visual effect of how things will look on your wedding day. If all the girls do not know each other, it makes a great introduction as a group and breaks the ice for future planning. Also, make sure someone takes pictures with their digital camera so that you have something to refer back to when making a decision. After all, the camera never lies.
Lee M.
Check your city recreation department for reception sites! I found my city offered the local golf clubhouse after hours for only $100.00 rental fee for up to 6 hours! The location is beautiful, convienent, and private. Also, the city is contracted for the catering and liquor. Expenses were greatly reduced as compared to other venues. The cost of the reception per person averages about $30.00 per person with food, alcohol, and gratuity. What a bargin!
Virginia A.
Utilize your friends' talents. Think about what they love to do, even if it isn't their day job. Many people have creative talents that they enjoy as hobbies but are too afraid to quit their jobs to pursue. This is a perfect way to save money and also give your friends an opportunity to show off their skills. I've found that people are usually very flattered and honored by your requests. I asked my friend who loves baking to make our cupcakes and I asked another friend who knows a lot about beauty products and make-up to do my wedding make-up. A third friend who has excellent photography skills is going to be our photographer. So utilize your friends skills and make your wedding a way for them to shine too!
Esther J.
Flowers. Get them from a wholesale company yourself and save thousands of dollars. Look in the phone book under wholesale in the flower section.
ELAINE B.
Never stress over all the little details in the end your day will come together and be the most magical day of your life!
Jamie S.
Visit different department stores and ask consultants at the cosmetic counters to try out different looks on you. It is a free way to find the perfect way to do your make-up. Plus, they often give away free samples of great products!
Kylie J.
Use the resources of your friends, family and loved ones. Everyone has talents, contacts, and information that can help you get the best deals with vendors, or they can help you do it yourself! 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
Get a seperate checking account for all wedding related funds. This way when it comes time to pay it will be seperate from your personal money. It's a much better way than paying with cash.
Mallory V
I plan on saving big $$ for my wedding by making my own bouquets! I'm taking a $50 class on how to make wedding bouquets. I'm going to attend this, buy flowers in bulk, and invite my mom, my fiance's mom, our grandmothers, aunts, and my bridesmaids to have a floral-making party the day before our wedding. What better way to save money AND get all the most important women in my life involved!
Stacey C.
Instead of favors, make a donation to a favorite charity. Charitable organizations are in the economy too, so why not donate in honor of your wedding guests!
Deanna T.
Instead of buying save the date cards, send save the date e-vites! Saves time, money, paper and postage!
Lisa T.
Wedding cakes can be pricey. The best way to cut down on cost for that is to have a display wedding cake that is a fraction of the size of a normal wedding cake. This would be for cutting and taking pictures. When serving guests your wedding cake, get sheet cakes in the same flavor. Bulk warehouse stores have them for as little as $17 per sheet and it serves about 48 people. Also, have a talented, artsy friend decorate the display cake. Much of the cost in any wedding cake is the decorating of it. Mine is going to cost around $120 for my 150 guests(display cake included!).Flowers can also be pricey. There are beautiful fake arrangements and singular flowers for making your own bouquet. Arts and crafts stores have these periodically on sale for next to nothing because it's the end of the season. Check the clearance bins. We're spending $65 on all of our flower needs!
Brianne B.
I found out that another wedding was going on the previous weekend. I contacted the bride and she is leaving her whole set up-chairs, dance floor, flowers alcohol etc-I just asked her to tell me how much to give her-So we both make out!
Spring H.
Instead of having a lavish reception, we will be having a luncheon in the banquet room of the church. Not only will the venue be less expensive, but so will the food. We also like that this allows us to smoothly transition from ceremony to reception. All that's left to do is creatively imprint our style through the decor!
Elizabeth V.
Photo booth idea: Instead of renting an expensive photo booth make your own: Create a photo backdrop by attaching a fun piece of fabric onto a large board and hang it on the wall. Place funny glasses, hats, etc and cameras on a nearby table. Let your guests dress up and then take their own pictures!
Sue M.
Marry at the church that you have attended, possibly the one your parents or his parents were married. You save on excess fee for the location, because you or he or your parents are memebers of the congregation, and you have a meaningful ceremony in a beautiful location with wonderful music by professional church musicians. You can even have a lovely, tea reception in the fellowship or church hall, saving fees for the location, and saving money on the reception menu by not having a sit down meal or alcohlic beverages. You still have a wedding avoiding many extra expenses.
Ingrid d.
Be sure you can deal with the weight of your wedding gown. Do not get a gown that is too heavy and can't walk in. I went to a wedding and the bride wore the heaviest dress, she couldn't even dance.
Roxana F.
I am cutting down on the open bar. Instead of 2-4hours, I am having just a 1 hour open bar. After that it will be a cash bar. Also, I will not be having an extra course of desserts.
Paula S.
Always make sure there is a towel around when taking the bride and bridesmaids flowers out of the water. Also, If you don't want to throw your own bouquet, have your florist make a throw bouquet out of carnations. They are cheaper and stay together well when thrown.
Jennifer L.