RetailMeNot.com's Top Ten Tips for Saving Money on Your Wedding
Budget Savvy Brides Love Saving Money on their Weddings with Retail Me Not!
We'd measure to say Retail Me Not saved us $100s of dollars in our wedding planning, and $1000s of dollars in our lives!
So, of course, we wanted to share with you some relevant tips they posted for saving money on your wedding!
1. Save Money on Your Wedding Venue
Be creative – contact your local parks department to see if there are decent deals on public parks. Going to the chapel? Off-season months like January, March, and November, are generally less expensive. Live in a costly city? Search nearby towns for more affordable venues.
Sometimes venues that include everything like chairs, tables, linens, etc can actually be more expensive than hiring a rental company. Not always, but sometimes. Be sure to look at the breakdowns of all your options to choose the most cost-effective choice.
2. Save Money on Your Wedding Invitations
Forgo the blotted paper, bows and other decorations. Not only do these raise the cost, but the post office will charge for the extra weight and bulk. Save money (and go green) by ditching the response cards and having guests reply online.
Skipping the response cards and rsvp envelopes, plus the required postage, will save you a hefty chunk of your invitation costs. There are so many creative ways to request an RSVP that don't include the expense or hassle of a mailed response card!
3. Save Money on Your Wedding Catering
Hire a caterer that provides everything you'll need, from the food right down to the plate it's served on. Have an elaborate “stunt cake” for the ceremonial cutting and a sheet cake for serving to guests. Not a cake fan? Cookies, brownies, even a self-serve Candy Bar are tasty (and affordable) alternatives.
I always recommend checking out restaurants instead of specifically ‘caterers' as many restaurants do catering as well and have the necessary equipment required.
4. Save Money on Your Wedding Bar
Instead of a full bar, consider offering beer, wine and a signature cocktail. You can further reduce the tab by offering an open bar for the first hour and cash bar for the duration of the reception.
Finding a venue where you can provide your own alcohol can save you a ton as well. We bought cases of 2 buck Chuck from Trader Joe's and beer from the Army PX and our alcohol costs were under $500!
5. Save Money on Your Wedding Dress
If you're not wearing your Mom's, will your daughter wear yours? Consider renting your wedding dress instead. If you must buy, get on the mailing lists for local bridal shops, and you'll be privy to information like sample sales and trunk shows.
6. Save Money on Your Wedding Photography
You will cherish these photos forever. Make sure your photographer provides digital files, allowing you to make copies down the road. People will have cameras at the reception, so take all of the staged photos early. After the cake cutting and bouquet toss, send the pricey picture taker packing.
7. Save Money on Your Wedding Music
If you are set on live music, check out the local university to see if a music student is available to play at your wedding. Like the DJ price, but shudder at the thought of doing the Macarena? Forgo potential embarrassment (and extra costs) by doing it yourself. Program your iPod and enlist friends to make sure there are no bumps along the way.
We did the iPod DJ thing and had a family member play guitar for our ceremony, which worked out really well for us. We actually created a playlist on the computer and ran it from a laptop instead of an iPod. It saved us so much money and went off without a hitch.
8. Save Money on Wedding Services
What better time to enlist the help of your friends and family? A well-spoken friend can officiate and crafty cousins can put together centerpieces, invitations and favors. Recruit the web savvy to search sites like RetailMeNot.com for discounts on goods and services.
We recommend getting help from family and friends to help in assembling our diy decorations and other pre-wedding prep! Who doesn't love having a little crafternoon with their besties while drinking wine and watching chick-flicks?
9. Save Money on Wedding Decorations
If you plan your wedding around a major holiday, the church or event hall may already be decorated, saving you a bundle in flowers. Not that lucky? Choose local wildflowers, a good alternative to pricier roses. You can also use candles instead of flowers to bring an intimate, romantic feel to your ceremony.
You can easily put together centerpieces very cheaply by collecting vintage bottles and jars from thrift stores and using wildflowers instead of full, lush arrangements.
10. Save Money on Your Honeymoon
Who needs another toaster? Register for your honeymoon instead. Chose activities you're planning, your hotel, etc., and guests can pay for a piece of your trip by setting up a Honeymoon fund with Honeyfund or Zola!
Check out sites like Airbnb.com for vacation homes that people list for rent online. You can rent houses with full kitchens instead of a hotel where you have to pay to go out to dinner every night.
These and more money-saving tips can be found at the RetailMeNot blog or follow them on Twitter.