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helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

So, I've been trying to come up with some ways to cut corners, save a buck or two (or two thousand) with budget saving ideas. It's tougher than I thought, especially when I'm not willing to budge on the guest list. We chose May to get married so we're in the beginning of wedding season, therefore we won't save there because it's peak time. And we decided to marry on a Saturday, because we'll be having many out of town guests come in and that's the easiest way to do it, so no savings for booking a Friday or Sunday.

Budget Saving Ideas for Your Wedding

Design/print/assemble my own invites/STDs/programs/etc

With the plethora of craft stores out there, there's really no reason why I shouldn't be able to get it done for cheaper than getting them professionally done. And they'll be more personalized, which I like. 🙂

Serve light appetizers instead of a sit-down meal

or forgo the fancy filet mignon for some tasty southern BBQ or hot wings- E loves him some hot wings. MMM… delicious. No matter what anyone says, I feel like I definitely want to serve heavy enough food to fill up my guests. It might not be fancy but hopefully it will be delicious.


Have a family friend make our cake as a gift to us

Tammy, our neighbor in the house we lived in from my middle school to high school years made all of my birthday cakes during that time period. She makes amazingly delicious and beautiful cakes, which I dubbed Tammycake many years ago and the name has stuck within my family. She has graciously agreed to do our wedding cake and I could not be MORE excited! I actually just recently read this post on Ashley's Bride Guide (great resource for Nashville brides!) about rental cakes! You rent a pretty, decorative cake that looks good, but then buy plain, delicious sheet cakes from your local Publix. Very cost-friendly!

Use an iPod instead of a band or DJ.

E's not such a fan of this idea- he really wants to use this DJ that his sister used at her wedding. Get this, his business name is “DJ DUDE.” Really. How am I supposed to take this guy seriously? He also is a dead ringer for Willie Nelson.

No unnecessary flowers as decoration.

Just bouquets for me and bridesmaids, bouts for the groom, groomsman, grandfathers, and fathers and corsages for the mothers and grandmothers.

Less attendants = less cost.

I have 2 sisters, and 3 best friends from High school. I have a few girlfriends from college that I would like to include, but I feel obligated to include them all if I wanted to include one. So I think I will go with the 2 sisters and the 3 HS friends…


Creating our own centerpieces, decorations, and other miscellaneous crap.Again- there are so many craft stores out there, there is bound to be something out there that I could create that”s unique and stylish.

Not paying exorbitant rates to rent glass jars for our candy buffet.

We will just buy them at Goodwill, thrift stores, places like (OTP) Old Time Pottery or Carolina Pottery. I have already found a TON at Carolina Pottery- each under $10. And they can definitely be used again for one reason or another. Once I figure out how many I need, I”m going to start picking them up. I”ll definitely be posting on this later!

Borrowing some tables instead of renting extra.

We're not getting married in my home church. This is a subject that my mom and I have argued over many times already. But I think we will definitely be able to borrow some tables to set up for a buffet, guest book, gift table, etc.

Skip the wedding favors.

They are a waste of money, and any item with E & I's name and wedding date is just going to get tossed by most people in attendance. In my case I think the candy buffet is probably going to double as the favor. At least people can enjoy that, ya know?

Browse sites like Retail Me Not for coupon codes.

At RetailMeNot people upload coupon codes for discounts to thousands of online merchants. You can search by store, website, and- in some cases- by item! E and I always use this site when we order pizza. Lots of codes for free shipping at different stores which is AWESOME. Check it out- it”s become one of my first stops before I make a purchase online!

Doing my own makeup.

*GASP!* Do my own makeup?! NO WAY!? I”m not a makeup artist or anything, but there's alot of great ways to figure out what looks good on you. I personally LOVE to go to Sephora. The girls who work at the Sephora in my area are SO helpful. They will do your makeup for you, show you how to do it yourself, tell you what looks good on you- it's great! My friend K who got married a few weeks ago, just went to the Clinique counter in the local mall on her wedding day and promised to buy something if they did her makeup and it turned out AMAZING. She looked beautiful! And all she had to do was buy some lipgloss that she will definitely get some good use out of. There”s no need to pay someone to do your makeup when you can do something like this or just learn how to do it yourself.

Splurge only on the things that are MOST important.

As far as photography, which is my #1 priority price-wise- I've been thinking that it might be worth it to spend the extra money for an awesome photographer, but only pay for him/her to shoot and then buy the digital negatives from them. We could forgo the prints, albums, canvas-sized portraits, slideshows, etc- and just get the disk of all the original images. Then down the road when we save some more money we could get stuff printed, order albums for us and our parents, etc. Plus I want to design my own album anyway and this would give me the freedom to do so!
So that's what I've got so far. Anyone have any other tips or tricks to share?


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About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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  • if you do your own invitations and need a great printer – i use they have great quality and fast turnaround and cheap rates. they might be an option depending on what you decide to do and you can almost always get an e-coupon.

  • kay*

    you have some good tips here. i agree that you should spend money on things people will remember most – for me this is (1) food and (2) music – i always remember these. while playing it from an ipod is fine i think a dj adds a certain energy that wont be had if your ipod is just on shuffle…what about a early afternoon wedding? that way you don’t have to do the full sit down meal thus saving money on food? oh and on second thought (3) decor – i always remember if the place looked nice and pulled together or not…and this can definitely be achieved on a budget…if i think of anything i’ll let you know :o)

  • budgetsavvybride

    @ashley- thanks for the tip! I will definitely keep that in mind!

    @kay*- I definitely see your point on the music thing… perhaps we’ll be able to fit it into the budget- we’ll just have to see as everything unfolds. But I definitely love the idea of having a early afternoon wedding. E’s sister gave me the idea for a “brunch” wedding. I freakin’ love brunch so I’m definitely considering it! 🙂

  • If you’re open for wedding dates, Fridays are the least expensive! We saved a TON by having a Friday night wedding!!!! (Sundays are the next cheapest, with Saturdays being the most expensive.)

  • Jessica, One thing you haven’t mentioned here is a planner. A lot of budget brides think a planner is too costly, or that it is something they do not need. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Planners have a history with vendors, and usually get a discount for bringing in business. Even without a discount, a planner can finagle a price down to be within a bride’s budget. Not only that, but planners are a wealth of craftiness for putting a lot of glam into a low budget wedding. Even if you don’t hire a planner for the whole shebang, having a planner to coordinate the day of is such a big help. It is always best to trust a professional to direct everything so you and your family members & friends can relax. I love your blog and ideas! I would like to offer you a 50% discount on my services if you do not have planner already – I absolutely love helping create memories for every bride, regardless of budget! ( Not to mention I have coordinated several weddings at Cool Springs House, so I’m familiar with the venue)Good luck!

  • Amy

    I am doing my own makeup. But years and years of theatre makeup work is my calling card. If I have time my eyeshadow is a work of art always. So, I think that it’s okay to do makeup yourself.. most girls do it everyday anyway.

    And sephora is my downfall. I spend too much money there.

    And I have been reading your past blogs. And I am officially smitten. We have alot in common.

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