Like most little girls I dreamed and fantasied about my wedding day. From the dress to the horse drawn carriage, I had always wanted a Cinderella wedding. What I didn’t realize however, was the price tag associated with my dream wedding. You tack on the word “wedding” to any service and the price goes by 50%. But like most brides you find a way to cut costs and make your wedding dreams come true. So in honour of wedding season I am sharing cost cutting insights from 7 brides starting with yours truly.
I was in the very fortunate circumstance where our parents paid for the bulk of our wedding. But as new University graduates we wanted to cut costs where we could. Do you know what is really expensive? Invitations. And the worst part? You spend all this money on invitations only for them to be thrown in the garbage. We saved ourselves over $1,000 by doing an e-invite. Using Glo we only spent $130 which included custom save the dates, wedding invitations and wedding website. The best part of all the website populated all of our guests data for us which made our planning so much easier! But please don’t send e-thank you notes. Respectfully thank your guests with a personalized note and send it via snail mail. It costs more but it’s proper etiquette. Another way I cut costs was by having my wedding ceremony in a location that required ZERO decoration. I had my ceremony in a garden that was already decked out with beautiful flowers and trees. I literally spent $0.00 on decorating our ceremony site.
The next best thing to getting married yourself is watching your little sister marry the man of her dreams. Naomi is as thrifty as they come. To save money on a DJ Naomi hired a square dancing caller for the first couple of hours during their dance. Not only did this get the room up and dancing but it was under $50, which is way cheaper than paying a DJ for those couple of hours. In order to save on flowers (which can be VERY expensive), a family friend who is very talented at floral arrangement offered to do the flowers as a wedding gift. Most of the flowers came from a friends garden which was sentimental and cost effective. Finally, Naomi is a candy lover and a candy bar at her wedding was a must. To save on candy Naomi bought candy in bulk after all the major holidays (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc) and saved over 70% on all of the candy for her candy bar!
I had the privileged of welcoming a new cousin into our family this past June. Katie was a breathtaking bride and added many personalized touches to her big day. To save on decorations Katie skipped out on hiring a decorator and embraced the DIY concept. One of the most amazing DIY projects I have ever seen was the custom back drop for their ceremony that beautifully complemented the rustic chic feel of their wedding. Katie also took advantage of Facebook wedding buy and sell groups. Not only are these groups great for getting some amazing wedding decor at a fraction of the cost, but you can also sell your decor after your wedding to make some extra cash.
We had such a blast at Julia’s wedding. I probably burned at least 1000 calories on the dance floor. To save on wedding decor Julia re-used many of the decorations from her showers and bachelorette party, which she now also uses as house decor. Reduce, reuse and recycle people! When it came to wedding wear such as shoes, Julia bought items either last minute or at end of season to score some amazing deals. And similar to Naomi’s wedding, Julia saved on all bridal bouquets, boutonnieres and ceremony flowers by having her mother-in-law arrange the flowers rather than paying a professional florist, and her flowers were gorgeous!
Ali had a beautiful wedding at her family cottage in Muskoka. The landscape was absolutely gorgeous and it was evident that a lot of hard work went into this beautiful day. To save money on her wedding, Ali went with flowers that were in-season. To compliment the cottage feel of her wedding she chose wild flowers with accents of her favourite flowers (gerbera daisies and calla lilies). Ali also utilized her dad’s handy man skills in ways you would not believe. Rather than purchasing or even renting, Ali’s dad hand made pretty much ALL of the beautiful accents displayed at their wedding including the bar (yes he made a bar), drink canoe, serving trays, LOVE sign, ceremony arbour, and table back drop. So if you know someone who is handy try leveraging their skills for your big day. Perhaps it can be their wedding gift to you.
If anyone could rock a flower crown, it was this bride! To save money on flowers for her special day Bethany purchased “dead” hanging baskets and other flowers for 50% off. Bethany used her green thumb to bring these flowers back to life and used them as decor for her ceremony and reception sites and even created her own table flower arrangements. Now that’s flower power! Rather than purchasing wine from the wedding facility, Bethany bottled her own wine that came with a beautiful custom and personalized label and was a fraction of the cost. Bethany also recruited family and friends who all came together to make their desserts and wedding cake. Think of all the love that went into those tasty treats!
If you want to skip out on the big wedding altogether and really cut your costs, consider a destination wedding like Jen! We had SO much fun in Jamaica celebrating my best friend and her new hubby. Jen got married at the Grand Bahia in Runaway Bay with her closest family and friends. Because we would be hitting the beach right after the ceremony, Jen didn’t want to spend a fortune on hair and make up. So to cut costs Jen had her bridesmaids do her hair and make up (which looked like a professional job). Jen also found a stunning bridesmaids dress to use as her wedding dress for only $300! Finally, because getting legally married in Jamaica would have been an added expense to their wedding budget, Jen got legally married in Canada prior to the wedding for free. A family relative who is ordained married them right in his living room at no extra cost.
Your wedding day is the best day of your life and you want everything to be perfect. But it is only 1 day of your entire life. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to have the wedding you always dreamed of. What are some ways your saved on your big day? Comment, share, and join in the Instagram conversation (@theaccountantswifeblog). I want to hear from you!