Your first step down the aisle

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Do-it-yourself projects. Like invitations, keepsakes, programs, etc.
Keata M.
If you're shopping for a strapless gown, make sure you bring a strapless bra to use while trying on. It will help give you a better idea of what the gown would look like.
Alfred Angelo
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.
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.
Think elegant but simple, "simply elegant". Find a reception hall that can accomodate both wedding and reception. That saves on paying for two locations, decorations, and on transportation for the wedding party.
Eugenia H.
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.
Reuse flowers from the ceremony for the reception and centerpieces. In addition, reuse the bridesmaid's bouquet for reception/check-in tables and the bride's bouquet for the tossing bouquet to pass on the "good luck!"
Chau N.
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.
Always make sure there is a towel around when taking the bride and bridesmaids flowers out of the water. Also, If you don't want to throw your own bouquet, have your florist make a throw bouquet out of carnations. They are cheaper and stay together well when thrown.
Jennifer L.
Be sure to utilize everyone that is able and willing to help; this will reduce your stress level.
Veronica J.
We are getting married in Central Park and all of our guests are coming from out of the state of NY so we thought it would be great (and really cheap) to send hand written postcards as invites instead of the traditional ones which can be extremely expensive. I found a NYC souvenir shop and bought all I needed for under $5.
Shannon B.
Remember that it is you and your fiance's day. Make decisions that you two want even if some family members are not thrilled about it. If they love you enough, they will honor your wishes and go with the flow!
Daphney J.
I bought most of the items I needed for my wedding like my flutes, unity candle, guset book and pen on Ebay! They are the same items from Things Remembered but for less than half the price!!! We are paying for our wedding ourselves so we needed to save money. I also ordered my wedding favors and goodie bags on ebay, overall we saved about $600.00. Use the internet! But NEVER buy your wedding gown or bridesmaid dresses online! My friend did and she didn't get an Alfred Angelo original, she got a poorly made look a like!
Ana D.
Don't send out save the date cards.
Jana J.
Weddings are definitely expensive these days and being on a budget can be difficult. My tip is to go elegant but cheap. I have decided to have friends and family help me by making the cake, making my own flowers and decorations. I have also come up with an idea of having my soon to be mother-in-law and other family members help make the food and have the reception at the church instead of the hall to save on the cost of catering the food.
Kathy J.
Your bridesmaids are called "maids" for a reason! Delegate some jobs and tasks to them, it will clear up your schedule and your head!
Molly W
Instead of buying expensive floral centerpieces, make your own! For example: if planning a beach themed wedding, buy hurricane jars and fill them part way with sand and place a pillar candle in the sand. You can scatter shells around the candle and on the table to extend the theme.
Kelly G.
Wedding favors are a great gesture, but they aren't as useful as you may think. Take the money you would spend on favors and donate to a charity of you and your groom's choosing. Place cards for each guest telling them you donated in their honor. My fiancee and I are having a military style wedding so we will be donating to a military charity.
Kelsey S.
FInd people that you know who can use their talents on your Big Day. After some thought, a lot of my friends and family can help out with the big stuff. For example, my aunt makes and decorates cakes for a hobby, a friend went to school for photography, a friend of the family does flower arrangements, a friend's grandmother does alterations. The list continues. It pays to have connections!
Kristina D.
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.