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Savvy Shopping Tips for Brides-to-Be: Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

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Discover savvy money-saving tips for brides-to-be planning a budget wedding. Learn timing, value, and where to find discounts!

Jessica Bishop Headshot

Budget-savvy shopping is truly an art, not a science. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to scoring a deal. However, finding great deals is all about timing, diligence, and your own perception of value. Trust me, everyone loves getting a good deal! But it’s important to understand that buying an item secondhand or using a coupon doesn’t automatically mean you’re getting great value for your money. You need to be budget savvy to spot the difference, and there are other factors at play too. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you navigate the world of smart shopping with some of my top savvy tips for brides!

Savvy Bride Shopping Tips

Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it was a good deal, especially if it is not something you truly need. Don’t buy into the myth that a discount makes it a good choice or good value. Here are some factors to consider when trying to determine if a purchase is actually a savvy choice:

  • Timing: Sales and discounts often have specific timeframes, so it’s important to keep an eye out for these opportunities. Plan ahead and shop during major sales events like Black Friday or end-of-season clearance sales.
  • Quality: Sometimes, spending a little extra money on a high-quality item can actually save you in the long run. If an item is cheaply made and will not last, it’s not worth the initial savings.
  • Value: Consider the cost per use or how much you will actually benefit from the purchase. A $50 dress that will only be worn once may not be as budget-friendly as a $100 dress that can be worn multiple times.
  • Actual savings: Don’t be fooled by “discounts” or “markdowns”. Always compare prices and do your research before making a purchase to ensure you are truly getting a good deal.

How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck as a Bride

To kick things off, let’s talk about the key aspect of being smart with your budget and snagging the best deals: understanding the value of what you’re buying. Now, this can vary depending on the time and effort you’re willing to invest and the financial resources you have available. If you’re feeling a bit lost and don’t know where to begin, don’t worry! I’ve got your back. Here are a few helpful shopping tips to get you started on the right track as a savvy bride to be!

Sign Up for Promotional Emails

Subscribe to your favorite retailers and vendors for potential sales and discounts. Signing up is a breeze. The only challenge lies in managing the influx of emails. This is a good time to remind you that it’s crucial to sign up for a wedding planning-specific email address to keep your primary inbox clutter-free.

Next, your wedding inbox overwhelm can be easily remedied by implementing filters on your email. Not only do these filters keep your inbox tidy, they also help you resist the temptation of impulse purchases. By storing tempting offers out of sight, you can avoid buying things you didn’t even know you needed until you laid eyes on them. When the time comes to shop for something you actually need, you’ll have a dedicated folder brimming with sales and coupons to peruse.

Use Social Media to find Discounts

Engaging with your favorite retailers on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest can lead to discovering exclusive deals and promotions. Follow your preferred wedding vendors and be on the lookout for special offers that can help you save money. You may also come across new vendors that you never thought of before but offer great prices and quality services.

Learn about Sales through Influencers’

Brands often collaborate with influencers to promote their products, and these partnerships may result in special promo codes or discounts for the influencer’s followers. Therefore, it can be worthwhile to follow your favorite influencers to learn about exclusive deals and discounts available on their Amazon storefronts.

Similarly, the emerging TikTok Shop platform has become a hub for influencers to share their favorite products with their followers. Often, influencers will partner with brands to offer exclusive discounts. So one helpful shopping tip is to keep an eye on your faves who are currently engaged brides just like you! By following influencers relevant to your wedding plans, you can stay informed about potential sales and discounts. Be aware, however, that not all products promoted by influencers may suit your needs or be within your budget. Always do your own research and cross-check prices before making a purchase.

Bookmark Deal Websites

One of my favorite savvy bride shopping tips is to take advantage of websites such as Groupon and Living Social to find significant discounts on various wedding services. These platforms often offer great deals, especially for new users who might even get sign-up discounts. From wedding venues and catering to photography and floral arrangements, you can discover a wide range of options at discounted prices.

Helpful Money Apps to Help with Budgeting for Your Wedding Day and Every Day!

Leverage Coupon Sites and Wedding Deals

In your quest to make your wedding more affordable, don’t forget to check out coupon sites like Honey. These websites automatically apply the best coupons to your purchases, ensuring you get the best possible deal. It’s a simple way to save money without the hassle of searching for coupons yourself.

Another goldmine for wedding deals is the Wedding Deals section right here on The Budget Savvy Bride. Here, you’ll find a curated list of discounts and promotions on wedding essentials, from gifts to decorations to attire. This resource is frequently updated by our team to help you save on various aspects of your wedding planning. Remember, every penny counts when you are planning a dream wedding on a budget! Pro tip: bookmark our wedding deals page for you to refer to anytime you’re doing any shopping as a bride!

Check Out Wholesale Options

Consider purchasing certain wedding decor items from wholesalers. These wholesalers often offer cost-effective prices, which can be used as a benchmark to determine if you’re getting a good deal elsewhere. Buying from wholesalers can help you cut costs without compromising on quality. Check out some of these reputable online wholesalers below:

  • Koyal WholesaleSpecializes in high-quality wholesale wedding decorations, including centerpieces, vases, and floral supplies.
  • WebstaurantStoreWell-known for restaurant supplies, they also stock a vast array of wedding decor items. From table linens to candle holders, they’ve got you covered.
  • EFavormartThey specialize in party supplies and wedding decor, offering a range of products including centerpieces, tablecloths, chair covers, and more.
  • Event Decor Direct – A leading supplier in the event planning industry, Event Decor Direct has a comprehensive collection of high-quality wedding decor items.

Remember to compare pricing and read reviews before making a purchase to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

Save on Wedding Flowers

Another excellent resource for budget-conscious brides is FiftyFlowers. Renowned for their wholesale flowers, FiftyFlowers offers a wide variety of blooms straight from the farm to your doorstep, cutting out the middleman and significantly reducing the cost. Their selection includes everything from roses and lilies to tropical flowers, ensuring there’s something to suit every wedding theme and style. This flexibility combined with the cost-effectiveness of buying wholesale makes FiftyFlowers an ideal option for those looking to save on wedding flowers without compromising on quality or aesthetic appeal.

Utilize RFP Platforms

Request for Proposal (RFP) platforms such as Thumbtack and WedBrilliant can be incredibly useful when planning a budget wedding. These platforms allow you to post what you need for your wedding and vendors will bid for your business. You can outline what you’re looking for, whether it’s a photographer, caterer, or wedding planner, and specify your budget.

Service providers will then offer quotes based on your requirements, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your needs and budget! This competitive process encourages vendors to provide the best possible price, helping you to save money without sacrificing the quality of service. This is one amazing shopping tip to have in your pocket as a bride, because you won’t see options that are outside of your budget! Remember, these platforms also provide reviews and ratings for each service provider, so you can make informed choices.

Learn the Value of Resale

Explore resale options when looking for specific wedding items. Purchasing resale items can lead to significant savings. For example, you might find cylinder vases for a fraction of their wholesale price on platforms like Craigslist. Be sure to check local listings and online marketplaces for potential bargains.

  • Craigslist – An online marketplace where you can find a wide variety of used items, including wedding decor and apparel.
  • eBay – An international marketplace with a vast selection of resale items, from wedding dresses to decorations.
  • Facebook Marketplace – A convenient platform within Facebook where users can buy and sell locally, including wedding items.
  • WeddingSwap App – An app dedicated to buying and selling wedding items, providing a platform for couples to shop budget-friendly pre-owned items for their big day.
  • OfferUp – A mobile-driven marketplace where users can buy and sell locally. Wedding items are often listed here.
  • Local Thrift Stores – Don’t underestimate the potential of a physical thrift store. You might find unique and vintage items that could add a special touch to your wedding.
  • Garage Sales – Another local option where you might find interesting items at a significant discount.

When buying resale items, it’s essential to exercise due diligence. Always inspect the items closely for any damage or wear and tear. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on the price – most sellers expect a bit of haggling, especially for high-ticket items. Also, consider the cost of any necessary repairs or dry cleaning when evaluating the total price. Finally, ensure the items fit your wedding theme and aesthetics. Remember, while buying resale can save money, it’s important that these items contribute positively to your special day.

Consider Pre-owned to Save More

Opting for pre-owned items is another excellent strategy for saving money while planning a budget wedding. This approach is particularly effective when it comes to purchasing expensive items like wedding gowns. Online platforms such as Stillwhite, the world’s largest wedding dress marketplace, offer a wide selection of pre-owned wedding gowns at discounted prices. With a bit of patience and diligence, you might be able to secure a high-end, designer wedding gown at a fraction of its original retail cost.

Here are a few other online marketplaces where you could find pre-owned wedding attire on sale for less:

  • Nearly Newlywed – A curated online collection of new, sample, and pre-owned designer wedding gowns at discounted prices.
  • OnceWed – Another popular online marketplace for buying and selling beautiful pre-owned wedding dresses.
  • ThredUp – Best known for clothing, ThredUp also occasionally has wedding dresses and other wedding items at a significant discount.
  • Poshmark – Primarily a fashion resale site, but it also often has wedding items, especially clothing and accessories.
  • PreOwnedWeddingDresses – A site dedicated to selling used wedding dresses, veils, and other wedding attire.
  • Tradesy – An online marketplace where people can sell high-quality, designer items, including wedding dresses and accessories.

Utilize Savings Platforms

Craigslist and Freecycle are valuable resources for brides on a tight budget due to their expansive second-hand marketplaces. They offer a platform for people to sell or give away items they no longer need, which often includes wedding-related items like decor, wedding dresses, or even unused wedding favors. This means brides can find a variety of wedding essentials at significantly reduced prices, sometimes even for free.

On Craigslist, you can find local sellers offering everything from wedding decor to wedding dresses. Many of these items are lightly used and are sold at a fraction of their original cost. You can also negotiate the price with sellers, possibly getting even better deals. The key is to start searching early and check frequently as new items can be listed at any time.

Freecycle, on the other hand, is a grassroots, non-profit movement dedicated to reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. The platform is entirely free to use and all items listed are free to whoever is willing to pick them up. This means brides can potentially find wedding decorations, bridesmaid’s dresses, centerpieces, and more without spending a dime. As with Craigslist, it’s essential to check the site regularly as new items are posted every day.

In both cases, you’re not only saving money but also contributing to a more sustainable world by reducing waste. However, always remember to inspect items before purchase and ensure they align with your wedding aesthetic.

Peruse Wedding Forums and Communities

Platforms like our WeddingBee, Reddit, or even our Community serve as valuable tools for vendor searching. These platforms often have a community of brides who share their experiences and recommendations. You can ask for vendor recommendations, seek advice and discuss budget-friendly wedding planning strategies with like-minded individuals. These communities are an excellent resource for learning about deals, discounts, and money-saving tips from those who have already planned their weddings.

Only Buy What You Need

When shopping for wedding items, it’s tempting to get carried away and buy things you don’t really need. Unfortunately, this can quickly drain your budget. To avoid overspending, it’s important to create a detailed list of everything you actually need and stick to it. Resist the urge to make impulsive purchases and only buy the essentials for your special day.

One of the most effective ways to save money is by purchasing only what is necessary. By carefully planning your wedding and avoiding unnecessary expenses, you can prioritize your budget and prevent overspending on items that are not essential. Thoughtful planning will ensure that your wedding day is both memorable and cost-effective.

Top Shopping Tip Takeaways for Savvy Brides:

To wrap this thing up, we’ll leave you with some final pieces of savvy wisdom.

  • Timing is everything. Keep an eye out for sales, clearance events, and end-of-season discounts. You can score some amazing deals if you’re willing to wait a little longer.
  • Do your research. Before making a purchase, compare prices from different retailers or websites. You never know who might offer a better deal or have a special promotion going on.
  • Explore alternative options. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and consider unconventional options for your wedding needs. For example, renting instead of buying can save you a significant amount of money.
  • Be realistic about your budget. It’s important to set a realistic budget and stick to it. Remember, your wedding day is about celebrating love with your partner, not about impressing others with expensive items.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate. For larger purchases, don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors for a better price or package deal. They want your business and may be willing to work with you on pricing.

By implementing these money-saving tips for brides, shopping smart and being resourceful, you can plan a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank. Remember, the most important thing is to create a memorable day that reflects your unique love story, and with careful planning, you can achieve just that. Happy wedding planning!

Jessica Bishop Headshot

Jessica Bishop is the founder of TheBudgetSavvyBride.com, and has worked in various areas and roles within the wedding industry since 2007. She is the author of the best-selling book,The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer and also hosts The Bouquet Toss Wedding Planning Podcast. Jessica's expert wedding advice and savvy savings tips have been featured by Good Morning America, COSMOPOLITAN, Glamour, and more. You can learn more about Jessica on her personal blog and professional website.