Our Frugal Wedding: Only 8 Months 'Til Wedding Season!


Wedding season is in May and June, dork! Right, but what good are all those money saving tips when you locked in all of the plans months ago and the big day is fast approaching? They'll come in handy for the next one! Just kidding... Besides, wedding season is when you decide it is. Planning a wedding? Read on.

1> Church Decorations. We had a Christmas wedding. It was a decision we had made, without considering some of the side-effects. With the ceremony set for the Saturday prior to Christmas, the church was already tastefully decorated. Not only did this save us money, but a lot of time as well. Remember: Wedding season is when you decide it is. Make the most of it!

2> Reception Decorations. We started planning this wedding about a 18 months prior. Knowing the date, we were planning on a Christmas theme. So what happens, after Christmas? After Christmas sales. The year before our wedding, we went shopping for decorations - taking tally of how many of each item we would need and noting which stores had what. The day after Christmas, we were there. We bought over 250 red, gold or silver ornaments (these were table decorations as well as the take-home gift), about a dozen strands of pearl or globe Christmas lights (used throughout the reception hall), and various other odds and ends. All at 50-75% off, depending on the store and the item. Which would then become our personal Christmas decorations after we were married. It pays to plan ahead.

3> Reception Location. Free of charge. My wife's family were members of the church we were getting married in. Thus, the attached reception hall, brand new at the time, was available to use at no charge. You don't really want to drive between locations anyways - hoping Uncle Ed could find the place, waiting and waiting for the bride and groom to arrive. Consider a church with adequate facilities on-site.

4> The First (and only) Round Is On Us. Open bars, and even cash bars can be quite costly to have set up. We didn't want a dry wedding reception, but we also didn't want a bunch of drunks driving away at the end of the night. Solution: a case of champagne and a couple cases of wine distributed amongst the tables. Everyone had a good time, yet the alcohol was finite so no-one got totally trashed. Plus, buying the wine in bulk garnered a good discount.

Unless you were in on the planning, you would have had no idea that you were at a cheap wedding.

How did you keep your wedding budget low? What do you wish you would have done to keep it low?


Anonymous said...

We hired a taco cart that served three taco choices at $1.50/taco, and my husband brewed beer under supervision of a master award-winning brewer friend (so it actually tasted really good!). We trolled wine sales for the year prior and stocked up on wine that way. I made my dress (which I DO NOT recommend ;-)), made paper flowers with friends, and had a friend make our cake as a wedding gift. It was really amazing, but I was EXHAUSTED and ready to relax in our wedding suite that an executive friend had gotten us a discount on -- still a splurge, but soooooo worth it!

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