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Thursday, October 10, 2013

14 Ways We Saved $ On Our Wedding

Our wedding seems forever ago...  It's funny to me that Fall now reminds me of getting engaged and planning our wedding.  I had meant to do some posts after life calmed down about things I learned from the wedding planning process, but as you can see that didn't happen.  This post is not about how to find the perfect man or how to have a great marriage {I am not sure if I will ever be qualified enough to give advice on that}.  If you are working on no budget or a rather large this post is not for you.  The budget is one of the most difficult parts of wedding.  Tall Tan Man and I had different priorities which made things difficult.  TTM said all he cared about is good food, a band and a videographer.  Well, honey ALL those things aren't cheap. I wanted everything to be pretty and fun. :) After many tears talks we came to a couple compromises. These are just a few things we did to save money while still having the wedding of our dreams! 

1. Flowers

Flowers can be soooo ridiculously expensiveve.  Yes, they are pretty, but they die.  I did some research and hydrangeas were in season...which = CHEAP.  So make sure you do some research.  I had 8 bridesmaids so I did not want to spend a ton a money on their bouquets {no offence ladies, you know I love ya}.  

I only paid $25 a pop.  I ended up using a grocery store in Plano {Market Street} which I think helped my price. I loved my bouquet.  Again, I researched flowers and I fell in love with Ranunculus. 

After it was all said and done my bouquet/boutonniere bill ended up only $400. Cha Ching.  $100 under budget.   

2.  Buy your dress off the rack

I was panicked when I decided I would plan a wedding in 3 months.  How in the world could I order a dress and get it in time?!  Well, turns out some dress stores carry smaller sizes that they are willing to sell right then and there.  Annnnddd they will give you a discount!  Bonus!!  I got my dress for $300 under budget.  I found out after that my alterations were going to cost me $250.  Geez oh pete.

I was happy.  One more piece of advice I would like to add is I was told I had to get my dress professionally steamed.  After getting a quote for $150 my Mom and I decided we could do it!  And by golly we did it.  We borrowed someones steamer so it ended up costing zero dollars.  :)

3.  Cupcakes

I always knew I wanted cupcakes as our {Wedding Cake}.  My decision was confirmed after finding out that the venue wanted to charge us a $1.50 per slice cut.  Heeeck no.  I shopped around at couple cupcake shops that wanted $3+ per cupcake.  My Mom found out from a friend that got their daughter got her wedding cupcakes from a grocery store {Market Street, same as our flowers}. 

I was soooo happy how everything turned out!  I think it all turned out beautiful and delicious, and everything was only $140.  Steal of a deal.  I know not all grocery stores work the same, but the one we found worked with us to do all the things we wanted {peanut butter frosting!!}.

4.  Creative Groom's Cake

My man does not love sweets.  Crazy, I know.  He does love Oreo's though...

I wanted everything to be personal, but not expensive. Check, check. 

5.  Exit with Rice

First off, I wanted to exit with everybody throwing confetti.  I loved the idea, because I felt like it was the perfect way to end the celebration.  That idea got nixed by the event staff.  I shouldn't of asked... It wasn't in the contract.  I started looking around online and saw that throwing rice doesn't kill birds.  Urban legend.  Rice it is!  Our exit cost us $5.  

Booo yah.  

6.  DIY Invitations

You can read {here} how we made our own invitations and saved a toooooon of money. Total cost without postage $70.


7.  Make your programs

We used a couple card packets from Hobby Lobby {I have a ton of envelopes left over if you want them...}, and white/black card stock.  We were able to use the same embosser from our invites, and TTM added a little chalk which looked awesome. 

I'm telling you, you can save a lot of money by doing your own printing. Total cost for 100 programs was $22.

8.  Make centerpieces & arrangements. 

There are so many options when it comes to making centerpieces. Our tall centerpieces were made from sticks from a forest, and spiced up with gold spray paint.  Pine cones and ball jars were also free.  I did a bunch of after Christmas shopping to get all the glittery gold stuff.  Tall Tan Man can't wait till Christmas when I get it all out again and decorate. 

We ordered hydrangeas a couple days before the wedding from Whole Foods, and arranged our own flowers.  Trust me, it wasn't that hard. 

We also arranged our own flowers to put down the aisle {we also used these at the rehearsal dinner for decorations}.  

9.  Get married in the winter.  

This is not always an option, but it sure helps the price of a couple of things.  This helped us get our DJ, rehearsal dinner place, and videographer at a better price. 

10.  Let your bridesmaids pick out their own dress.  

This was simple.  My girls have good taste & I wanted no drama.  I loved not worrying about this. 

11.  Join Groupon  

We got our photo-booth from groupon, and we used this as our {guestbook}.  Best Idea Ever.  

12.  Be careful with the small stuff. 

Everything will add up quickly so be smart about small purchases.  Hobby Lobby sells Garters and you can use 40% coupons.  I found a headband a Charming Charlies {but I forgot to bring it to the hairdresser...whoops}.  I love my earrings that I found from Stein Mart.

13.  Shop the fancy outlet places for shoes.  

    I found these Stuart Weitzman's for %50 off of %50 off.  Score!  

14. Search for the unexpected caterers. 

We probably tried 10 BBQ and Mexican places for our rehearsal dinner before deciding on a winner.  Our winner ended up being a whole in the wall place that tasted amazing and cost only $8 a plate.  Thank you Hutchins BBQ.  

All of the beautiful pictures were taken by incredibly talented Caroline Jurgensen {the rest were most likely taken by my iphone}.  Hope this was helpful!  What tips do you have?


PS.  I am on FALL BREAK!  Yep, us Coloradans have the next 10 days off...what to do...

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