Your first step down the aisle

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

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Create a budget - if you set a budget you will most likely keep within the budget rather than getting out of hand.
Monica H.
Always try to do it your self!!! Favors and decorations are the your best bets for DIY.
Alyssa L.
I would have to say that my best advice for saving money would be shopping Ebay! You can find everything from invitations, centerpieces, wedding favors, even dresses for bridesmaids and the bride!
Jessica S.
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.
Create simple and inexpensive wedding decorations and favors. Some easy DIY ideas: Rock candy colored to match your scheme - especially if there are going to be lots of children. Organza flowers - It only takes a few yards of organza, and you can have tables-worth of decorations. Also, have your wedding on a weekday in the off-season. This will cut down venue costs significantly, and it might even help weed out some of those guests you invited out of obligation, which means less to spend on food and favors for them. It sounds a little selfish, but we are in a recession and having the wedding of your dreams is not worth the debt. Last, do the work yourself. Make your own favors, ask family members to help cater the food, decorate the venue yourself. Enlist your family and friends. They'll be happy to help you out!
Amber M.
Pick out the two or three things that you'll remember most about your wedding to focus spending on. Cut costs as much as possible on everything else. For me: location, cake, & photos.
Kate M.
Take your flowers with you when looking for your dress or your bridesmaids dresses. This will help you determine if everything will look good together and may help you decide to cut back on flowers or change the flowers that you have chosen.
Melodie G.
Everyone is willing to cut their costs if asked. For example, save the date magnets. I called the company and asked if they had any specials and they were willing to give me a substantial discount if I purchased from them. This goes for church rentals, hall rentals and even flowers.
Danyelle H.
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.
Fatten a bouquet with ribbon and/or tulle to cut down on the number of flowers and give a fuller look to a pretty inexpensive nosegay. Have your bridesmaids or groomsmen carry lifesavers or tictacs under bouquets or in pockets to give to the younger wedding party participants if they start to get fidgety. This is also great for avoiding that cough that just starts to bubble up during the ceremony.
Tonya S.
Instead of renting a venue for our reception and having it catered, since we are having a small wedding with our family and closest friends we are having a cookout style reception. That way the kids can play and we can just be ourselves. Weddings don't have to be super fancy, they should reflect the couple.
Summer S.
Ditch the florist and be creative with center pieces. My centerpieces and crystal trees that I am doing myself and having my venue set up. Each table is going to end up costing only about $40.00. My cousin also did centerpieces that were flagstones on top of each other with one of their pictures framed on top. They came out great.
Danielle V.
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.
Consider the neckline and back of your dress when selecting a hair style. Be sure to bring a photo of your dress when consulting with your hair stylist.
Amie W.
The biggest way I've saved is using family and friends to make things such as my cake or providing a reception area for free as a wedding gift. Any service you can get for free is a huge expense off your conscience and being a DIY Bride not only makes your wedding unique, but it saves big as well.
Jessica R.
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.
Don't get tricked into thinking that since you are spending a lot of money on something that it is the best thing out there, many cheaper things are better than the expensive things.
Junae S.
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.
The dollar store has all kinds of things you can use for the wedding, like flower petals and glassware.
Mel G.
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.