Your first step down the aisle

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Create your own custom save the dates. For my fall wedding, i went to a craft store, purchased fall leaf scrapbook paper and then cut it into large rectangles (i measured them to fit in the envelopes i bought first). On my computer, I created the save the date info and a miniature calendar (on the date of our wedding I put a heart with our initials inside of it!). I then glued those onto the leaf paper and attached a magnet onto the back. On the envelopes, i put some fall leaf stickers and they turned out beautiful! i have received a ton of compliments and i saved a ton of $!
Tracy H.
Involve your bridesmaids early and let them be a part of the planning; however, you must be understanding of their individual availability and time commitment. Involving them makes them feel a big part of the wedding.
Peti J.
When you start planning your wedding, list wedding expenses starting with the one that is MOST important to you. If you know you want a great band, list that as a splurge. Then, if you really don't care about centerpieces, maybe you can cut that out.
Sara M.
We are getting married in Central Park and all of our guests are coming from out of the state of NY so we thought it would be great (and really cheap) to send hand written postcards as invites instead of the traditional ones which can be extremely expensive. I found a NYC souvenir shop and bought all I needed for under $5.
Shannon B.
To save money on invitations, buy your own paper (do-it-yourself kit) from your local craft store and find a custom printing company in your hometown. Many local printers are willing to help and offer tips and this will save you $300 or $400. If you like ribbons, buy a roll of your choice from an arts store, and use a heated metal scissor to cut them. This will help you avoid the fraying ends.
Michelle M.
Due to the economy and our financial crunch, we have recruited family and friends to help with different aspects of the wedding like decor, DJ, catering, videography/photography, etc.
Vanessa S.
This may not work for everyone, but for those of you with a big family.... ask them to help out with everything. And I mean EVERYTHING!! My mom's sister is catering, my father is preforming the ceremony, my cousins are singing in the wedding. We are doing appetizers and desserts instead of a meal, therefore, we only have a few sit down tables for older guests, and for guest with children. We mostly have stand up cocktail tables. We cut corners with basically every aspect of our wedding. The only large expenses that we have are the tent (t's an outside wedding) and the photographer. We also made our own decorations, which are absolutely beautiful. We bought lavender, victorian lilac, and white fabric and cut them into strips, tied them together, and hung them everywhere. Our wedding would have cost us over $25,000.... We only spent $9,000!
bethany p.
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.
Forget trends. Sit down with your fiance and make a list of what's important to you for that day. Quite often the expensive favors and designer table linens go unnoticed and do not impact your day. We also decided to forget the band or DJ and do an ipod dock for music, and we are getting our flowers from a local farmer's market. We are saving tons of money and helping out local farmers.
Rebecca E.
Having a morning or early afternoon wedding, even on a Saturday, will help save on the cost of food, alcohol and possibly even reception hall rental rates. And that way the guests can still make plans for that evening and the rest of the weekend.
Mary Susan G.
I am having a beach wedding next summer and want to send out save the dates. Instead of ordering expensive cards from a store/website, we have decided to create our own "beach pass" as a save the date card. We are going to use Microsoft Publisher to create the template for a beach pass and then take silly photos of us from those photo booths you see on the boardwalk. In the photographs, we will hold up a sign that says "Save the Date" "Jen and John's Wedding" "July 9th, 2010." We think it's a cute, cheap, and creative idea to save us hundreds of dollars!!
Jennifer B.
Talk to others that are getting married and see if you can share costs. My cousin is getting married and I am using the same vases she is for the centerpieces. Check and see if there is a wedding the day before - you might be able to use some of the same decorations/flowers. Also, if you have the ceremony and the reception at the same location there is no need for limos.
Nicole B.
Hello, our wedding is on a very tight budget, but we still want to have a beautiful wedding and spend it with all of our friends and family who mean the most us. So what my fiance and I have come up with is to have a very small ceremony with only immediate family and wedding party at the local austin botanical gardens, where we can also take pictures and the scenic view should be amazing. Also for the ceremony a close friend is getting ordained and will marry us.
Kimberly b.
How about having family and friends help pitch in with cooking the food. Having a caterer is expensive. Also, think about cutting off having a open bar. Therefore, no one will get drunk at your wedding and wont mess up your big day.
LaToya S.
Have the wedding in a public area to cut down on cost of private facilities.
Kimberly S.
My fiance and I have budgeted for a 150 guest wedding that will come out to less than $20,000. Budgeted within this is a beautiful church overlooking a marsh at high-tide, amazing food, a well stocked bar, entertainment, and an awesome photographer who we grabbed for a steal off of Craigslist. Not to mention my wedding dress which is probably one of the most single expensive items in the budget. But I was promised the wedding of my dreams, and we're making it just that. My number one tip for brides, as memorable as you want to make this day, no one is going to remember it as vividly and as fondly as you will (even your husband five years from now will be a little hazy on the details). So make it about the memories and not the small details that will be gone by the end of your special day. Meaning: you toss your bridal bouquet away; every flower you purchase will be dead the next day; what do you do with the centerpieces when it's all said and done?
Katite G.
If you really want real flowers go to the florist and ask for half real and half fake. It is much cheaper than having all real flowers. Also, florists can keep what they made and reuse it for another wedding.
Krisha L.
In this day and age, many of us already have household goods. Instead of doing registries everywhere, let family and friends know what you need for the wedding and ask them to group together to pitch in for things like the cake, flowers, DJ, photography, hair & makeup artist.
Liza M.
Remember to consider your bridesmaids' budgets. These are the most important women in your life - make sure they stay that way.
Alfred Angelo
If you choose a reception venue, ask if they have a sound system. You and your fiancee can chose your own music and place it on your iPod which will hook up to the venue's sound system, saving you from hiring a DJ. You can also add musical requests onto your RSVP cards to add variety, you don't have to chose what someone sends you, but they may have a great idea!
Nanettee R.