Your first step down the aisle

Check out our favorite wedding planning tips from our Facebook Fans!

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Instead of a professional photographer for the wedding and the reception, have all of your guests snap pictures of everything. After the wedding have your guests send pictures that they took and choose your favorites.
Trisha R.
Involve your fiance throughout the planning process-- he will respect your ideas of your dream wedding while keeping a watchful eye on your budget.
Jennifer F.
Learn which things you can spend less on and the things that you need to spend more on! A photographer is something not to skimp on. Those pictures will be the only tihng left after everything is all said and done. The cake is something you can skimp on. Going to a cullinary school for cakes, or even reception food will save you at leat a third of what you would have originally spent going to a caterer.
Lauren J.
My sister originally planned a country club wedding but changed her mind when they found a house to buy before the wedding. I searched local fire departments & organizations and found a reception hall that was plain white. We borrowed everyones real and fake ficus trees and placed them around the perimeter of the room with white lights. Rented round tables & white chairs and china, along with cloth linens. We purchased high end restaurant items like chicken kiev from a wholesaler and hired waitress and kitchen staff from a staffing company. We prepared the food and the staff finished. Everyone commented on what a fantastic weddding and reception it was, just like at the local country club. We spent less than $3000 on the wedding and reception for 125 people.
Lisa H.
In order to ensure that your wedding fulfills the expectations of both you and your groom, create a survey/questionaire before you start planning or set your budget. Use the survey to gauge what details & priorities should be addressed in order for you both to be happy. Then set your budget and distribute the money accordingly. It's also a great way to gain more insight into your groom's taste.
Robin J.
Shop on Ebay for package deals of plates knives, forks, spoons and favors.
Jaylee K.
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.
When we started planning my wedding I wanted to have favors that were relatively inexpensive and practical. So often you go to a wedding and take home a little candle or a book of matches or something you'll never use again. So, with the help from my in-laws we decided to make small jars of strawberry jam. Not only was this a practical favor that people would use and enjoy again, the costs were low as we made all the jam ourselves.
Katie M.
To help with the troubled economy - have family and friends join in the wedding fun. Have a "Get Together" to help make bouquets for bridesmaids, pew decorations, flower arrangements for centerpieces for receptions or birdseed/rose petal bags. This "party" is not only cost saving but loads of fun to have everyone you love to be together, laughing and sharing with you as they play a part of the Wedding of your Dreams.
Shannon R.
Don't add people to your wedding party because you feel bad. This is your day and if they're your true friends they won't be upset if you don't include them. Plus it cuts down in costs having less in the wedding party.
Katherine H.
Ask your employer for help. And with that, ask any friends or family for help if they work in applicable fields. For example, I work for a printing company. I asked if they would be willing to help me out by printing my invitations - and they are happily doing it. On top of that, one of my bridesmaids is a graphic designer, so she is designing them! Talk about custom invites!
Kim G.
Do it yourself programs and favors!! I have saved so much this way and it was a lot of fun!
Leslie C.
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.
Bridesmaids can carry beautiful artificial flowers. They look real and just as nice, but they are so much less expensive and can be fun to make at the bridesmaid's luncheon!
Emily J.
To cut costs on your venue you can remove the champagne toast and just let everyone toast with what they are drinking. I took $180 off of my venue price from removing that alone.
Lisa B.
Get a very beautiful fake wedding cake with only the top tier as a real cake. Have an incredibly delicious cake in the back and serve that instead! It will cut costs greatly and no one will know!
mehruba a.
Take a day for yourself from wedding planning. After you accomplish something big (like getting your dress/flowers/bridesmaids dresses etc) find some time for yourself to relax. Weddings should be fun, not super stressful.
Becky A.
I got all of my wedding decorations online from craigslist. People who bought to much are looking to give it away, and when I am done with it I am going to pass it onto the next person who needs it. It is my version of paying it forward. This saved me time and LOTS of money.
Heather M.
Use freecycle to find free items for your wedding. Freecycle is kind of like recycling. People join a local freecycle group and post things they are giving away. I have found vases, mason jars and candles for our wedding and it cost me $0!!! http://www.freecycle.org/
Carla S.
Cater your own wedding. A girlfriend of mine had a traditional hispanic wedding and invited her bridesmaids over to help her prepare the food for her buffet style wedding. She said it was a great way to bond with her girls before the ceramony and she saved a ton!!!
Jennifer D.