Your first step down the aisle

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So far, the biggest cost I have seen has been in renting a location for the reception. Many places have a food and drink minimum on top of high rental rates. Many also only allow you to use their linens and tables which can be pricey. Try finding a non-traditional location for your wedding reception. Use your parents' or a friend's house or backyard, a public park, or a local YMCA or YWCA. Keep in mind, many times local organizations like the YWCA will use a portion of your rental cost to fund their programs for women and children, so you can help those in need while saving money at the same time! These locations will also allow you more freedom in planning your catering and rental items and won't have costly minimum requirements.
Kathleen P.
Dress up your reception tables... Make your own table runners. Usually your local craft store has 40% off discount coupons in the local papers. Use these coupons to purchase fabric and have a seamstress or tailor make table runners. I have 20 tables plus a gift table, cake table as well as a head table and purchased the fabric for $79 and my seamstress sewed them for me for $50. This allowed me to make my centerpieces less extravagant which saved me TONS and the table runners added the perfect touch to bring in my wedding color scheme!
Sarah W.
Make sure you write down all details. Don't try to remember everything-you will leave something out.
Carolyn R.
Do It Yourself! Don't be afraid to try new things. Not only does it make your wedding more unique and meaningful, but it definitely cuts costs in multiple categories. Flowers, invitations, decorations, favors etc. It can serve as a stress relief as well to take your mind off the big picture and concentrate on one little one.
Jessica R.
Send save the date or invitations with instructions to RSVP on your wedding website! There are a ton of free wedding website servers and this will save money but also eco-friendly by saving on paper too!
Melakeh K.
Gotta crafty momma, a sister that's an art major, or even a creative gene of your own? I've been lucky enough to have all three! My tip would definitely be to do as much as you can yourself. While it may be more time consuming, we have saved a lot of money already, and have spent extra quality time with each other. My fiance and I are fortunate enough to have had over a year to plan and we've already gotten started on some DIY projects for our big day! Rather than hiring a wedding planner, we researched several venues in the area and kept the information in a notebook. I've sewn fun beach bags for the women and girls in our bridal party. We've started designing our "save the dates" via InDesign on our home computer, and I plan to take a floral design class in order to do our own funky centerpieces and bouquets. My advice would be to try things on your own, at least at first...before spending the extra money to have things done for you. It's more personal that way!
Lauren H.
Make your own reception dinner with the help of your mom, mom to be and any bridesmaids that want to help. Not only will it cost less, your guests will actually feel like they've eaten a meal. What a better way to spend a day with your mom and mom to be! Besides, who couldn't use a few cooking lessons from the pros while saving money?
Janon N.
We reused leftover centerpiece flowers from my sister-in-law's wedding. It was easy because we have similar tastes. Also, my father-in-law is retired from a major US candy manufacturer. He was able to get us a variety of chocolate table candies for a STEAL of a price. DIY is the way to save buko bucks!
Dawn K.
To save money on expensive flowers, have an edible center piece that doubles as your favors. Purchase candy coated chocolate in your wedding colors and place in a glass bowl with empty favor containers around it. Scoop the candies with a small scoop.
Michele G.
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.
When your addressing invitations, also address a Thank you note envelope so that way, you won't forget anybody when you send out thank you's after the wedding.
Leah B.
Start planning as early as possible. so you are not overwhelmed. Do research to see what you like, then shop around for the bargains. Do whatever you can yourself. like your invitations, create your own centerpieces, etc. You will find that a lot of vendors or venues will work with you.
Gina G.
Have a small wedding and make every detail significant. We are writing our own vows, planning a back yard wedding and every detal is going to be home made instead of store bought. My flowers will be dried flowers from our garden, and each part of the day will have more meaning since we are planning it in a simplistic way.
Kristina H.
Try buying wedding decorations at a dollar store. Not only will you save money, but they always have different items in stock!
Amanda B
Book all inclusive sites in the off seasons December - March. The prices are about $2000 less and you dont have to take care of anything but the extras!
Michele C.
Have an intimate wedding with immediate family and close friends. Have a big party/reception 6-12 months later.
ELAINE B.
I go on the Michaels website to find ways to save on my wedding. They have great ideas about do-it-yourself projects. I'm definitely going to do the aisle bouquets with fake flowers to cut costs in my wedding (especially because we are only using them for the ceremony).
Christina M.
As a mother of 4 children and planning a wedding on little money, i shop thrift stores for great deals of wedding items. i spent a total of $75 for all my centerpieces and only $1 for all my table placecards!! It pays to look for the bargains!
ocean l.
When planning with your florist, ask if they have the 'Convertible" floral stands. They can use the 5' stands for the aisle arrangements at church, and convert to the 1' or 2' stands for the centerpieces at the reception, using the same arrangements atop each stand. This cuts your flower cost by a huge amount.
Maureen S.
I kind of think flowers are over-rated and they're sooo expensive! Unless you really like flowers there's no need to buy a bouquet for yourself.... I had a friend that got married last year and she FORGOT to take her $200 bouquet with her. NOBODY noticed until she told them.
Rachel R.