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Budget Wedding Planning: Top 10 Ways to Save! | Eau Claire, WI Wedding Photographer

For this weeks BWP post, I really dug deep for a topic that hasn’t been covered yet and would really be a great source of information for all you planning brides and I finally decided to share my Top 10 Favorite ways to save money on your wedding. There are many different ways to save, and many websites out there to help you but these 10 are my absolute favorite, and I think they are also the most likely to save you the most on your wedding day. So, without further adieu…here you are.

#1. When shopping for your wedding dress, if you go to a wedding boutique only shop the off the rack discounted dresses. Many local shoppes will offer dresses at only $99 and no one will be the wiser. However, if you’re like me and you’d rather a dress that has been handled a little less then think outside the words: bridal, wedding dress, etc. Take anything related to the word “wedding,” out of the equation and begin to look for dresses at department stores. You will be so surprised what you can find, and how beautiful these dresses will be. With minimal searching, ie, about 5 minutes of web searching…I came up with these beauties:

 

Wedding Dresses, Inexpensive

(Source: Bloomingdales, LM by Mignon Gown $290)

 

Cap Sleeve Wedding Gown

(Source: Bloomingdales, ABS by Allen Schwartz $90)

#2. Ask friends & family to participate in your wedding in some way. Some of your family members may be more than happy to donate their time, resources, talent, or supplies in order to ensure that your wedding day goes off without a hitch. If you have a family member who is excellent at cooking food, ask them to donate their time in making some cookies or treats to set out as favors. Ask another family member or friend who is great with decorating to help you plan the decor and decorate the day before or day of. Someone who is very talented with decor could help you make the most uninviting of places, a gorgeous and memorable spot for your wedding all while staying within your budget. I love the idea of asking friends & family, because to me, this is what a wedding should be all about. A merging of families, and the bond of your two families will be formed during this time and so much stronger the more involved everyone is, so don’t be afraid to ask.

#3. Have a casual dinner, instead of a sit down dinner. Serve small h’ors d’oeurves and allow everyone to mingle and chat with one another. Have small seating areas arranged for conversation instead of multiple tables. It means less clean up for the dance and less decor. Another option is to serve family style. Have all food served at the center of tables and everyone can eat at their designated table as a “family.”

(Source: Atelier Joya)

#4. Choose foods that are in-season. Check with your local farmer’s markets or butchers for the very best deals. If you’re using a caterer, make sure they understand that you are on a budget. Have a set amount that you’re willing to spend before you even visit with them, this way your caterer can tell you if your budget is possible in working with them, and they can stretch your budget as far as it will go.

#5. Skip the champagne toast. Guests will be just as happy lifting the glass of whatever it is they’re drinking and the majority of people won’t even notice that you skipped it.

#6. When deciding on favors, try to make sure that those favors will work as other things as well. Favors that double as seating place cards are always adorable, and again less clean up as it is likely your guest will take or eat their favor at or before the end of the night.

#7. Use fruits & vegetables as table decor and centerpieces. Typically, they will be less costly than flowers as well as a different and unique way to decorate. You can still have a few buds here and there to spruce things up, but you will save a bundle going this route. Especially if you stick to the in season rule and if you have a grower that you can go straight to the source and negotiate a price.

#8. When decorating, find ways to make inexpensive materials beautiful. Tulle, streamers, and paper are all inexpensive and have a wide variety of uses as decor if you’re creative. I’ve seen pomanders, hanging decorative balls, and a wide variety of other things used with these materials. Also consider materials that are absolutely free to you. Pine cones, leaves, rocks, wild flowers, acorns, twigs, and branches just to name a few.

#9. Purchase in bulk whenever possible, and be sure to hit after holiday sales for a variety of things that will be marked anywhere from 50-90% off. You’ll be able to get Christmas lights, Valentine’s Day heart doilies, candies, autumn decor, and even candles all at discounted prices after the holidays, ensuring that you’ll be saving the maximum amount possible. If the store you’re visiting is out of an item you’re looking for, ask an associate to check with another store. In most cases, another local store will have what you’re looking for and they will set it aside or ship it for you. Same goes if you’re looking online. Never assume that just because the online resource says it’s OOS (out of stock) that it actually is. Call the 1-800 number and see if another store has it available for purchase. In many cases, since it’s not available online or at your local store, shipping will be free. Again, be sure you ask!

#10. Always think outside the box. Never get trapped with thinking it’s not possible. It is always possible. Be creative. If you can’t be, or you’re simply worn out with all the details, call in reinforcements. Bridesmaids aren’t just there to look pretty on the day of your wedding. These are the girls you trust with everything. Ask them for their help. And when you choose those bridesmaids, make sure you’re choosing people you know are going to be there for you. If you have any doubts, even if it will cause hurt feelings…SKIP THEM. You’ll be glad you did. On your wedding day, you want to be surrounded by people who love and support  you, and who have helped make your wedding day amazing. No bad nuts. Choose wisely.

These are my personal top 10. They’re the things that I strongly believe will help you cut your wedding costs down by thousands. What are your favorite ways to save?