Your first step down the aisle

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

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A "fake" bottom tier of the wedding cake is a less expensive way that will still give you the WOW factor of a larger cake that every bride wants. (The bottom tier is still decorated the same on the outside but the inside is foam.)
Bonnie T.
Going to bridal expos saved lots of money. By entering in sweepstakes & prizes I was able to receive $100 off DJ, $1000 off photography, and $350 off flowers. Expos are overwhelming but worth it!
Wendy F.
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.
Organize and enjoy your time collecting information on your wedding needs. Investigate first hand the gowns, table settings etc., with plenty of time. Do not give yourself grief if things aren't perfect ... just remember ... work hard and honestly to find the RIGHT spouse, work peacefully and with a sense of humor to find the Right wedding and reception. Don't confuse a Day with a Lifetime!
Leticia S.
In this current time period, most couples are already living together before their wedding. Most of the time, they register for stuff that they already own or up-grade on stuff they already have. Instead of registering for house hold things I already have, like pots and pans, I registered online for my honeymoon. You may also have someone sponsor your wedding. Now thats how you save money!!!
jenny f.
Networking is key. Look into classmates (if in college) that work for caterers, photography majors, etc. Getting your information and contacts from someone who has just recently had a wedding and still has fresh info is probably the best and less stressful . Start bargining - exchange goods for things you can do, you scratch my back I scratch yours!
Jahzeel S.
Choose the color and fabric of your bridesmaids dresses, then allow each to choose their own dress within those parameters in order to find a style they feel beautiful and comfortable in while fitting their budget.
Kelly M.
Have your wedding later in the evening and just have dessert/hor dourves instead of a big fancy meal
Leisa M.
Make lists for all your attendants so they know exactly what you need them to do to get ready for the wedding. It's much easier to make sure things are done when they can check it off as its accomplished! DO NOT expect your maid of honor to do all of it! Print the lists on bright paper so its easily found in their purse. have a master list at home and know who's doing what, so when they update you, you'll know what's not getting done and you can take care of it yourself or redistribute. Makes for a much saner day!
DArcy W.
Take your time. Ask family members if they want to donate to your wedding by say contributing for the cake, invitations, etc. During the ceremony you can call all of them up to thank them. It would help save a lot of money.
Vaness M.
As a young, poor bride I want a cheap, fun reception. For decorations in the hall I'm using balloons that go with my color scheme and serving pink lemonade and iced tea instead of liquior.
Hannah M.
DIY, DIY,DIY... Why pay for menu cards, petal cones, pomander balls, monograms, labels, etc?, when you can do it yourself. There are many templates and blogs with templates that are very easy (even I can do them) to achieve. THis way you can save money and add the personal touch yourself. You can even call your girls to help, pop some popcorn and have a Girls DIY Bash!
brandy b.
The best way to save on a wedding is to make your own bouquets and to get married at a wedding chapel. Also, you could have a small ceremony with your immediate family, and have your family bring a dish for the meal.
Barbara P.
Instead of having an open bar, buy the alcohol that you want and what ever you don't open, you can take back to the store. Have your wedding on a Friday - you save thousands on the hall.
Melissa I.
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.
Negotiate with your vendors. They have many options they can offer you, and they would probably prefer to cut you a deal than loose your business all together. Times are hard for everyone these days.
Julie C.
When trying on dresses, make sure that all your Bridesmaids go together. Then you can get the full visual effect of how things will look on your wedding day. If all the girls do not know each other, it makes a great introduction as a group and breaks the ice for future planning. Also, make sure someone takes pictures with their digital camera so that you have something to refer back to when making a decision. After all, the camera never lies.
Lee M.
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.
For a destination wedding reserve flight and hotel as a group for a group discount. Also growing your own fresh flowers for center peices.
Michelle R.
To cut down on the florist costs, I purchased the centerpiece candle holders and vases from a outlet store in Chicago. They cost a fraction of the price from the leading retailers. I was then able to take a picture and bring it to the florist. She was able to design my arrangements around these pieces and have her crew come in a few hours to set eveything up before the reception.
Roseanne G.