Your first step down the aisle

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Have an evening wedding around 6:30 with a reception featuring heavy appetizers and a lavish dessert buffet. Save the money on the sit down dinner and don't worry about seating arrangements! Plus everyone enjoys the best parts of a wedding, the appetizers and desserts and dancing... and you enjoy it all on a lower price tag.
Paula T.
When my fiance and I started planning we made a wedding list: most important items at the top and least at the bottom of the list. We started putting in estimates and figuring out how to allocate funds from our total available wedding budget. Since things were already in priority order, it was easy to make decisions about taking money to eliminate things at the bottom of the list, to reallocate the funds to the things at the top. It also helped us figure out where we should DIY items to save money. Doing our budget this way is really helping us stick to it and possibly come in under our initial amount!
Kimberly S.
Definitley make a budget and stick to it. Look at different wedding websites and make a budget that will FIT your wedding. Try DIY websites, see what you or your bridal party can do yourselves. But 1st and foremost...DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!!!
Tara B
When selecting bridemaids dresses keep in mind the different body types of each of your girls. What looks great on one person may not look good on another. A-line dresses look good on everyone!
LaShonte T.
Find a venue that is willing to take on some of your extra cost, such as: your cake purchase, hotel room for the honeymoon night, decorations, catering, all for a set price instead of individual prices. We have spoken with the Embassy Suites who has a wonderful package that includes all of these things and will also host the wedding for a flat fee per guest!!! It cut a lot of small cost like the cake cutting fee, renting linens, the cake and they even gave us an awesome deal on rooms for out of town guest.
LouKisha M.
Find one person that has similar taste to yours and use them as an assistant if they are willing. This can save you time finding vendors they can do the leg work and you have the final decision. plus they get to feel VERY important.
Christina K.
For great ideas for the DIY items such as flowers and any thing dealing with paper and cut outs ask the kids. You will be surprised just how many great ideas they have.
kelley C.
Have an outdoor wedding, you will save a ton of money on flowers/decor.
Jessica L.
Take a deep breath and calm down, everything will work out as it should.
Kristel O.
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.
Check with family members and friends to see what they have. My future sister-in-law had a bunch of friends who got married last summer. They all pooled their centerpieces together and lend them out to others. By using pieces of their centerpieces, I am doing all of mine for free!
Marcia B.
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.
Ask for the list of vendors that the reception site uses. You may be able to get discounts from the supplying vendors that the catering site uses.
Raffaelina G.
If you're shopping for a strapless gown, make sure you bring a strapless bra to use while trying on. It will help give you a better idea of what the gown would look like.
Alfred Angelo
Use craft sites like Etsy.com. By using their alchemy function, vendors bid on my requested item and I got the best deal possible! I've used them for invitations, a custom-made stamp, and who knows what my next item will be.
Elisa H.
Look for wholesale flowers. They can be found much cheaper. Another fun thing is to get your bridesmaids together and help put the bouquets together as a party!!
Julia R.
I am doing all the invitations and paper products myself. IIt can save you money by not having them made by a printing company!
Elizabeth B.
We are ordering vintage vases, stemmed dessert cups, and stemmed bowls to create our own wedding reception centerpieces. We plan to make our own candles with the wedding colors in the stemmed dessert cups and use the vases and stemmed bowls for floating candles, in colored water and also filling them with colored wedding "jewels".
Barbara M.
Prioritize your spending! For us, photography was really important and we didn't care as much about videography. So, we're splurging on a great photographer and hiring a film student from a local university to film our ceremony. I think it's best to pick the three things that are really important to you and make those your "splurge" items. For everything else, get creative! Hiring students is a great way to cut costs, like an ensemble from the music program at a local college for your ceremony musicians. Also, consider using a local restaurant for your food instead of a high-priced catering company. Finally, don't be afraid to negotiate with your vendors! They've been hard-hit by this recession as well and most are hungry for business. You'll be surprised at how accommodating many of them will be if you try to negotiate on price.
Mary R.
Negotiate! Don't be afraid to tell a vendor that you can't afford the packages they offer--they will often specially create a package for your budget, especially in light of today's financial climate.
Jessica B.