Your first step down the aisle

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

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The day you go try on your wedding dress, don't go alone. Make sure you have someone there who is positive and is supportive to you when picking out your dress. Make sure YOU feel confident and beautiful in it.
Jessica 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.
We planned our wedding for the weekend after a big event that was being held at the church. We're going to save a lot of money on flowers because the entire church is already going to be decorated. We also considered planning the wedding for the weekend after Easter or around Christmas when the church would be decorated.
Victoria S.
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.
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.
If you are a member of your church, you can probably have your wedding ceremony and reception there for free (saves lots of money!). Look at your local craft store for pre-made silk bouquets/ideas. And if you are willing, cut the high price of candles by making your own to help create the ambience you want at your reception.
Sigred S.
For wedding flowers.... 1. Find out what other brides are having weddings/receptions in the same space as your on the same day. Work with these brides to choose flower arrangements that suit everyone's event, and then pool your money to buy flowers that can be used for each event during the day. Saves money for everyone, and is kinder to the environment (fewer flowers cut). 2. For bridal bouquets.... If you have enough time, you can grow your own flowers for bridal bouquets. Find out what flowers will be in bloom (in your growing area) at the time your wedding is planned, and plant your flower garden accordingly. If you don't have enough space to grow all these flowers, recruit family members and bridesmaids to help.
Jennifer W.
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.
Don't cut costs where people are going to feel like the wedding was paired down. If you don't have enough food, or the only decorations you have are the ones that were provided by the venue, it will not feel like a wedding that was planned with attention to detail. Try cutting in cost per item, but not skimping on quantity. So instead of renting the chairs, look into renting chair covers for the chairs provided to see if those will be cheaper. Instead of serving less food, serve more of cost effective types. Prime rib served in slices will go further than individual plates of food, and certainly doesn't look or taste cheap. If your wedding looks like you spent a lot of time and money on it, you and your guests will never know the difference between it and the wedding you would have had with unlimited resources.
Ericka Q.
I found all my reception decorations and flowers online at Craigslist. I saved 75% of the cost buying previously used.
Terri W.
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.
Guests generally don't remember what they ate that night, besides the cake. They just remember that they did eat. So don't feel like you have to do a formal gourmet food spread! Go more economical and fun with your food selections, and cut out a HUGE portion of your expenses!
Jennifer L.
For the bride on a budget - some venues offer GREAT discounts if you choose to have your wedding the same day (separate times) as another wedding being held at that location. We are having our evening wedding 1 hour earlier than originally intended. But at a $5,000 savings, an hour earlier wasn't a big deal to us. We knew we wanted an evening wedding and found a location where the other ceremony was being held earlier in the afternoon.
Amanda S.
Photo booth idea: Instead of renting an expensive photo booth make your own: Create a photo backdrop by attaching a fun piece of fabric onto a large board and hang it on the wall. Place funny glasses, hats, etc and cameras on a nearby table. Let your guests dress up and then take their own pictures!
Sue M.
Don't be afraid of being creative. Who says you need to have huge flower centerpieces on all the guest tables. Find something unusual that either matches your theme or the time of year. For example, fill the bottom of a glass container with white sand and shells with a pillar candle matching the wedding's colors for a summer wedding. Mood lighting and a centerpiece all in one. And much cheaper than the usual.
Jaclyn H.
One of my tips that is really helping my wedding is since flowers are so expensive, I am having the local vocational school do my bouquets for my wedding party. They are coming out beautiful and they are less expensive than going to a flower shop.
Rachel B.
If you and your spouse already live together and/or don't really need any home goods, then create a wedding registry website that friends and family have the choice to donate money to either your wedding or honeymoon. The account can be linked to Paypal. Every little bit counts. A monetary gift can always come in handy especially when unforseen costs arise.
Natasha B.
Try the bridesmaid gown/dress on yourself. As the bride see if you would like wearing it if you were the bridesmaid.
Tara F.
You don't have to sacrifice your dream wedding, but in order for you to do that you need to prioritize. What do you want to spend the most money on? What would you mind not having or spending less money on? Maybe you don't need that limo or ice sculpture. See what you wouldn't mind doing yourself or not having at all. If elegant food isn't your thing, get your favorite fast-food or restaurant to cater. *Be Creative and use your loved ones to help you! -Hope you all get your dream weddings without giving yourself a nightmare of debt!
Jacqueline D.
If you want your bridesmaids to match, but they are very different body types let them pick out their own dress in your colors. They know what fits their body the best and you still retain veto power.
Kellye B.