Your first step down the aisle

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Take a moment or two several times during your very special day to take a few "mental pictures" so that you can remember some of the special moments of the day. So many people say that their wedding was just a big blur of activity. This simple "Here's Me Now" conscience mental photo lets you keep that memory alive for many years to come.
Shirley I.
Have your reception at the church. Consider just having a cake and punch reception and then going out with your friends afterwards or getting an early start on the honeymoon.
Amy K.
Bundle services. Try to find a church that is able to provide most services at a discounted price.
Corinna J.
Always try on your dream dress, but also try on styles you normally would not. You never know what will strike you and fully enhance the beauty that you are.
Alfred Angelo
Go to Hobby Lobby in order to get a veil. They look just as nice as the ones that they have in the stores for a lot less. Also Wal-Mart and Target sell sets that have the garter, guest book, and flower girl basket all in one (along with the ring bearer pillow). Fake flowers look just as nice and last a lot longer when you begin to decorate. You can still use real flowers as well as the fake ones to decorate.
Jocelyn S.
I have a small budget for the wedding, so I am making my own dress with my mom. I am using the petals from all the flowers my fiance has given me for the petals to be thrown, and we are making the invitations and the favors. We are also getting a simple three tiered cake at a grocery store and decorating it ourselves.
Jillian D.
To save on flowers, grow your own or buy them wholesale and ask a crafty friend to arrange them the day before the wedding. For music, photography, cake, set up and many other things ask friends or family with special talents to help you out and offer their services as a gift to you. Hold an h'orderve reception instead of a full blown dinner reception in order to cut costs and to avoid eating the buffet dinner that doesn't even taste that great anyway.
Lydia W.
By doing my wedding on a Thursday night rather than on a Saturday night, I saved $9000 on the reception hall, and approximately another $1000 on the DJ + Photographer!
Floryn G.
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.
For beautiful flower centerpieces, go to your local nursery and buy potted flowers overflowing with blooms. The centerpiece will cost $25 or less and guests can take them home afterwards!
Myfanwy C.
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.
Make sure to have a bustle added to your gown for the reception and dance
Emily N.
Put a boutonniere on ALL VIP, and tell your photographer how many there are. This will help ensure photos throughout the whole wedding of these people.
Jennifer L.
Instead of ordering Save the Date Cards, create a letter about you and your fiance's journey to how you got to where you are and some future plans, print it out on decorative paper. Even with envelopes, printing and paper you still save couple hundred dollars and it's fun and unique!
Lexie G.
Always remain calm under pressure. Remember this is you and your groom's day. Don't sweat the small things. Nothing is ever perfect so don't expect it to be perfect now. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy it!!
Nichelle D.
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 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.
Don't mention "wedding" when you're talking to vendors about prices. If you tell them you're throwing a "big party" (which you are!), prices are a lot lower than if you actually say you're having a wedding reception.
Lauren M.
Choosing a ceremony and reception site that is naturally beautiful will diminish your need for decorating extravagantly, thereby lowering costs on decorations and flowers.
Joyce P.
Think outside the box on your rehearsal dinner. We chartered a yacht for a sunset cruise and are bringing a few bottles of wine and some hoagies aboard. The cost was much cheaper than having dinner at a restaurant.
Shauna A.