Say yes, to a beautiful wedding, and a great big yes, to money saving ideas for weddings! Creativity is one of the best ways to reduce your expenses, so let’s take a look at some options you may have in trying to save money as your wedding plans begin to come together.
Creativity comes in when you are working on a limited budget, but if your desire is to make a particular part of your wedding really shine, choose that area with the idea of spending more of your budget there. That does not mean the whole wedding won’t be beautiful, but in your case, decide what is most important, and let that idea help guide your spending in that particular area.
For my wedding, my reception was where I wanted to shine. I had separate rooms at the same venue for the ceremony and the reception. We decorated the ceremony room beautifully, but the reception hall was where we chose to spend the most dollars.
Because I knew my guests would only spend an hour or less in the ceremony room, one of the things I did was to use silk flowers there. Yes, they were beautiful and tough to tell from the real thing. But the fact is they were less expensive than the real flowers that I chose to display on the guest tables and around the reception hall. It was at the reception where my guests touched, and “smelled the roses.”
Let family and friends suggest ideas from their weddings that were less expensive. Modify those ideas to fit your needs.
Potential Ways to Save Big!
Ask family and friends to perform a service in exchange for something you need. Example, you have a friend or associate who does Calligraphy or graphic art. Come up with something you can do as a fair trade for that service or at least pay them less than you would a professional with whom you have no relationship.
Search it for items you need, both retail and resale – often brides are selling bridal goods from their recent wedding. Sometimes you will find these things work perfectly for you but at a greatly reduced cost.
Buying versus Renting
You might think it cheaper to rent rather than buy some things for your wedding. Believe it or not, sometimes depending on what it is, it is cheaper to buy rather than rent. For my wedding, I purchased, rather than rented my table and chair coverings.
After the wedding, the tablecloths and chair covers could have been resold, but instead, my husband and I donated them to a very grateful ladies group at my mother’s church. They planned to re-use them for church anniversary parties and other church functions including small wedding receptions at the church.
Yes, it is almost always possible to donate purchased items to charity, or a church or try to resell them online after the wedding. If you do decide to donate to a charity, it may also be possible to take a tax write off. With renting the only thing you will ever have, is a receipt.
Buy your fresh flowers wholesale. I will discuss silk and fresh flowers in a later post.
Camera store personnel may be able to recommend someone who is an excellent photographer, although not “a Professional.”
You may be able to find very talented people to capture your wedding at reasonable prices going this route. People working in photography stores are often able to do the job themselves, but if they don’t offer their services, they can probably lead you to someone who can do what you need.
Photo-Journalists may be another option to consider, and their style of wedding photography is a great alternative to the more traditional approach.
Note – Photo-journalists will shoot your weddings like that of a story that is, capturing events as they happen with minimal formal posing and interference. The photographer typically will also take some more traditional formal portraits according to your wishes.
Be sure you understand the contract – most professional photographers will own the original image (typically in digital form these days) and sell you a portfolio of photos which are subject to copyright. You may be able to negotiate the ownership of the images or processed images.
Guests as Photographers
Another great idea to add to your wedding photo collection at no expense is to ask several friends/family members to bring their digital cameras to the wedding. Ask them to be your eyes as they will probably know many of people there.
They will be able to capture photos at the moment that your official photographer simply will not be on the scene, as he/she will be busy elsewhere.
At my wedding, my husband took his camera and a tripod and caught some great group photos after the wedding (he did have a remote control to trigger the camera so he was in the photos as well). However, family and friends took and shared many lovely photos that we treasure.
Ask friends to put the photos on a thumb drive, which you may want to supply, and have them send it to you later. Or, you could also ask a computer-savvy friend to set up a laptop at the reception where you could invite friends to download their photos for you before they leave the reception.
Sometimes for those mature DIY or second weddings, the family/friends photos may suffice. You will get lots of great candid shots of your family and friends from your wedding and reception this way! If you choose to use a professional photographer, save the family and friends photos in a different album.
Instead of ordering engraved invitations from a ritzy stationery store, print your own using your computer and printer. Most office supply, stationery or craft stores in your town (and online) have a great selection of paper that will work beautifully with your printer. For an added selection of colors, textures, and sizes, browse through a scrapbooking store.
Cardstock and stationary are also found on the shelves of crafts stores, and retail stores like Wal-Mart and Target, etc. Beautiful fonts are available for download online. Search the internet for inspiration and then play around on your computer until you achieve the desired results.
Another idea for your wedding invitations is simply to go online to websites such as vistaprint.com, minted.com, basicinvite.com, and Shutterfly, etc. and design your invitation right online. They will be printed and shipped to you when they are printed.
This may be an area in which you may be able to ask a family member or friend to do the preliminary computer work and get back to you with suggestions.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about the ways you can save. There are more, but I do not want to make this post too long, so I will continue this discussion in my next post.
Please be sure to leave your thoughts and comments below. Thanks for visiting and please come back for my followup post where I will continue with more money saving ideas for weddings.