We added a daughter-in-law to our family in August. It was a beautiful wedding that didn’t cost a ton of money. It was simple, yet perfect!
The internet is your #1 source for ideas and how to do things. Start with TheKnot.com for step-by-step guides to planning. Then spend time at Pinterest.com searching for ideas that you like and want to have. The wedding is all about the small details.
Here are things we did to save money and yet have it still be wonderful!
1. Have a meeting with everyone involved and decide on a budget. Whoever is going to contribute needs to state an amount so you know a total budget that you have to spend. Like anything else, it will probably cost more than you have planned.
2. Sunday weddings are usually cheaper than Saturday weddings.
3. Be careful while trying to save money, that you don’t spend more! We were going to have the reception at their church for a very small fee. However, we would have needed a caterer, tables, tablecloths, beverages during the dance and someone to serve them, decorations, set up, clean up, tech person, and more.
4. Negotiate everything! After deciding a reception at the church was going to be a lot of work, I called a banquet center. I asked the owner his bottom price if I brought him 150 people on a Sunday when he had no other events. He gave me a price of $1,000 below cost and threw in some extras. It was a win-win. We had a great deal, and he had 150 people on a day when he had nothing booked. It was only a little bit more than we were going to spend at the church, but we could walk in and walk out when it was over.
5. Look for different venues for the ceremony. They wanted an OUTDOOR wedding on August 4th in Missouri! You may know someone with a beautiful yard, a lake, or they rented a garden in a city park for $115. We were prepared for the heat, with fans for programs, and sunglasses on every seat. There were to be wheelbarrows with ice and bottles of water at the back for guests to take to their seats. However, our prayers were answered as that August day was 82 degrees and cloudy – perfect!
6. Create you own invitations. Chelsy found a design she really liked online and I had a friend design, print, and cut them. We assembled and wrapped them with a ribbon. Tying a bow raised the postage, so we wrapped it around and secured with a dot of hot glue. If you are having a stamped RSVP card sent back, have a post card printed instead of a card with an envelope. The postage is much cheaper. We ordered envelopes from Envelopes.com and hand addressed them.
7. Have an A and B guest list. It will start much larger, and you will most likely need to eliminate relatives that the bride and groom don’t know or haven’t seen in ages. Many people will get moved to a B list until you get the number that you can afford. If you get RSVPs back stating that someone can’t come, then you can move people up from the B list and send them an invitation. Be careful, we had very few people who were unable to attend.
8. ASK! ASK! ASK! Who do you know? We needed 150 chairs for the ceremony. They are $1 to $3 to rent. I have a friend who’s son rents chairs and when asked he said we could use them for free. Then we needed people to setup and take down the chairs. I asked some friends and they were more than happy to help. Our DJ was my son’s friend who does it professionally and he gave us the service for almost half of other bids we were given.
WARNING – Friends aren’t always the best people to have do things at your wedding. Your friend may be great at taking pictures, but isn’t really the best at capturing your wedding! Always check out their work. Cheap or free is good, but not if the most important shots were missed!
9. Check prices for alterations. There are usually cheaper places than the bridal shop. Tuxedos can cost a lot. Be careful not to pick something that will cost your wedding party a lot of money. They opted for no coats and no rented tux shoes. Tux costs were $72.
10. Decorations can really save money if you do them yourself. I was able to get a birdcage for the cards at a garage sale. Tim cut wood slabs for the table with a chain saw. Be sure to use 40 – 50% off coupons at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Clip the coupons or using one on your smart phone. Check eBay and Amazon for other items you need.
11. Save money by having a smaller wedding cake. Their baker made sheet cakes out of the same cake and had them in back to cut. There was more than enough cake, but cheaper with sheet cakes. After it was cut, nobody knew.
12. Be different! The rings were carried down in a Pokeball. Yes, my son is a Pokemon fan. It was a huge hit at the ceremony
The wedding was a little over $6,000 with a ceremony, reception with a full banquet, and a dance. It still seems like a lot, but not when the average price of a wedding today is $25,000.
Photos by https://daniellecastlephotography.com