Cheaper Ways to be a Bride

Since I began my journey in bridedom, I have found a variety of ways to make the wedding day cheaper. Unfortunately, not all of those methods could be incorporated into my own wedding.  I suppose it may have helped had I been researching long before actually being proposed to.  (I had at least 7 years!)  However, I decided that I would have plenty of time between the proposal and the wedding to plan an incredibly cheap ceremony and reception that would be beyond magnificent and worthy of every magazine publication that ever existed.  I was WRONG!

Let me share some awesomely creative ways to make your wedding cheaper so that you don't make my mistake.

1.  Location --

a)  Plan an off-season wedding.  You will more than likely get cheaper rates.  In our case, even though use of the catering company was mandatory for the use of the property, because we were having our wedding in the off season we were able to bring in our own caterer (for less money than the property's catering service).

b)  Ask for extras to be included in the total price.  Justin and I managed to get chair and table rental to be included in the price of the property rental.  Yay!  That saved us quite a bit of money!

c)  Find a location that is already decorated.  It will save money later.  (I promise.)

d)  Work with the location to lower the fees.  In our case you had to be a member of the church in order to use it for free.  Otherwise the cost was going to be $500.  Ouch.

2.  Attire --

a)  Find a dress on the sales rack and embellish it with a belt or bolero.  Dresses are expensive, but you may be able to create your perfect dress without paying more for it.

b)  Apparently you can add clip-on earrings to your heels to jazz them up!

c)  For a formal affair that is light on your bridesmaids budgets, choose a dress color (like black) that they probably already have in their closet.

d)  Flower girls can shop at department stores for cute dresses to wear during the wedding.  It's cheaper on mom's budget and it is still super cute!

e)  Men can wear suits instead of tuxes for the wedding.  Most probably have a black suit somewhere in their closet.

3.  Vendors --

a)  Only schedule and pay for the time you need.  Plan ahead and think about the time it will take for you to get ready all the way up until you depart from the reception.

b)  Ab(use) family and friends.  It's amazing what kind of help they can provide!

4.  Decor --

a)  Shop around.  Craigslist, Goodwill, garage sales.

b)  Enter contests!  Search twitter, facebook, google.

c)  Use things found around your house. (or your neighbor's best friend's cousin's house.  Whatever.)

5.  Invitations, Guestbook, Menu --

a)  Use vintage postage.  It can save you 30% or more.  (And it looks awesome!)

b)  Create your own!  You can completely personalize invites by shopping around for paper, printing yourself, using rubber stamps, hole punches, etc, etc...  (If you need help printing, seek a local printer.  It is still cheaper and more personal than buying your invites pre-made.)

c)  There are so many guestbook ideas!  You can use your guestbook as decor (like a wishing tree) or just do a simple thumbprint guestbook. (Style Unveiled offers one for free!)

d)  Recently couples have been doing a single menu on a chalkboard rather than having an individual menu for each person.  What a great idea!

Any other suggestions for getting married cheaply that I have not thought of?!?

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