What is the easiest wedding expense to reduce when a bride is on a budget and how is it done?

Sharon Ives
ScrapFree Photobooks
sharon@scrapfreephotobooks.com

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There are plenty of ways to reduce your budget. You could do a luncheon, instead of a 4 course dinner, you could do a cake and snack type of reception instead of a meal, alcohol definitely fattens the budget and could easily be removed. Any time a bride can do something herself (i.e. decorations, invitations, etc.) she will save $$. My husband and I saved $$ by not renting a tuxedo (he wore a black suit and we bought him a new shirt and tie), by doing our own flowers and boutinierres (I wanted them to be very simple anyways), we honeymooned close to home (3 hour drive to a great lodge in the mountains), I bought my veil online, We had our ceremony and reception at our church, etc.

In my opinion: DO NOT skimp on wedding photography. This is not an area of the budget to get rid of. I am a wedding photographer, yes, but I became one after I was married. I did not hire a professional, I had a friend do it who was "pretty good at taking pictures". Needless to say, there are only a handful of shots from our wedding that are even decent. None of them are great. Find a photographer you love, who has work that you love, and save up for it. It will be worth every penny. My hubby and I are having our 5 year anniversary in October and we are having a professional photographer do a trash the dress/bride and groom session since we HATE our wedding pictures so much. However, there is no way for them to go back and capture our ceremony, our wedding party, etc. One way to save on wedding photography is to go with the smallest package that your favorite photographer offers, just to make sure you get the ceremony covered as well as bride and groom shots and wedding party images. You can also wait to get your album until your 1-year anniversary. Then you can have your guests capture your reception with disposable cameras or something similar.
Reducing the guest list is a good idea, but what if you still want uncle joe and your 30 college friends to attend?

This is why I created my store. I belive that the first step to budgeting a wedding is in the gown shopping. If you spend 400 or more on your gown and then have to buy all your bridesmaid gowns, theres a third of the budget right there. My store speicalizes in letting women do layaway and reducing costs of gowns. This is what I set out to do when I started . This way everyone can have that dream wedding and still have uncle joe and the 30 college friends getting drunk at the reception. You can see in the pictures that the details on the gowns I sell are as good as some of the gowns selling for 500 or more. This dress is a 600 dress but i sell it for 300. Thats half the cost.

You must limit your guest first of all. Next one is your wedding stuff expenses. You cant try 2nd hand wedding dress if you can't find wedding dress that fits your budget. Try to have 1 BM only. You can ask your entourage to buy their own dress too. For your wedding dress, I have checked out goodorient (dot) com where my sister bought her wedding dress. There are plenty of cheap and reasonably priced wedding dress there. :)
You must limit your guest first of all. Next one is your wedding stuff expenses. You cant try 2nd hand wedding dress if you can't find wedding dress that fits your budget. Try to have 1 BM only. You can ask your entourage to buy their own dress too. For your wedding dress, I have checked out goodorient (dot) com where my sister bought her wedding dress. There are plenty of cheap and reasonably priced wedding dress there. :)
Change the day of the wedding to a week day! Having a wedding during the week will take care of the guest list (people work during the week) and the budget (venues have lower costs during the week). I know it may sound mean to have it during the week but a budget is a budget. If you are concerned about the people that have to work, have it on a Thursday or Friday night. That's what I did and I came in $3500 under budget.

You can save on your wedding dress by checking out local fashion design schools, askfor their top students to create you a unique, custom designed dress. You may have to agree to let them to take photos for their portfolio, but you will get a fabulous dress at a great price. The quality should also be outstanding, as they will be marked on it.

Photos can be tackled in the same way, go to a photography school and ask for the top student. Another idea is to buy cheap disposable cameras, you can even get 'wedding' ones, and place them on the reception tables. Ask your guests to take reception photos, you will end up with lots of candid, 'real' photos. Just make sure your guests hand the cameras in at the end of the night and don't take them home!

Angela :)

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Ways to cut expenses...Where will the reception be held? Maybe you know someone with an awesome backyard....That would make a great wedding present! Known anyone who lives in a highrise? Those places has some really great clubhouses and rent for reasonable prices. Food....Certainly you don't want to skimp on the food, but perhaps you can offer fantastic hors d'oeuvres instead of a sit down dinner.do you want more tips and planning ideas,can use the wedding planner iPad app and make use of it.

Hey check out this site no budget required!! have the wedding you want a t a price you can afford.  www.21stcenturybrides.com

Booking a venue which allows external/third party vendors also can reduce expenses by a lot..

Or booking in off-season months like November, January, February or March.

 

For more ideas, check out my website: affordable wedding site.

The guest list is probably number one, but if you want to keep all your guests, the choice of food would probably be the next one. Maybe opting for a buffet style instead of a sit down dinner and chicken instead of steak.

Great ideas in here!

Well, I'm a budget bride myself and a big chunk of our budget went to the travel expenses for our dream destination wedding. I have a cousin who's majoring in Photography and he happily offered his services for my wedding. It's a win-win situation: him being able to travel to Cancun for free and my wedding as an additional project on his portfolio; and us who get to have a near professional photography service for free! :)

My ex husband and I were on a budget and had to pay for our own wedding. We choose to get married in Jamaica. We stayed 7 days at an all inclusive hotel and after 3 days the wedding and reception is free and taken care of by a wedding planner at the resort. My wedding was small since we could t afford to pay everyone's way, but lucky to have our best friends, brothers and moms attend. It was nice and I don't regret it at all.

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