Pinyo at Moolanomy asks for our best wedding tips and stories, and I couldn’t help but reply. Although our wedding was not the model of restraint and frugality, we did do one or two things right, and I thought I would share them.
Our wedding was for us a pretty extravagant affair. I wish I could tell you the total amount it cost, but since I was much worse at budgeting back then (basically, my idea of a budget was to write down a bunch of numbers on a piece of paper and then completely ignore them) I honestly only have a ballpark estimate that we spent about $10,000 for a wedding with 50 guests. Which means we spent about $200 per guest, if you look at it that way, lucky them! I did attempt to cut costs where I felt like we could, and one of the ways I did that was by doing things myself by hand if possible. I made all the placecards for the tables instead of having them printed, and I think they came out rather well. But the thing I did myself that I was most proud of was created the favors for everyone to take home.
I saw in a bridal magazine that you could order chocolate bars with a special wrapper around them commemerating your wedding, and I thought that was a really cute idea for a favor. But instead of ordering them, I bought some pretty colored resume paper, and designed them myself on our computer, printed the labels, and replaced the outside labels on 50 Hershey bars (bought on sale) with the new wrappers. Many people asked me where I got them from, so I would say my do-it-yourself favors were a success. So if you have an idea for a favor but feel they are too expensive, see if you can replicate it yourself. You might be surprised! Our do-it-yourself version cost me about a fifth of what ordering them would have.
The other thing that we did that really cut costs for our wedding reception was in our location. We had our hearts set on this specific location for our wedding reception, but it was a bit out of our price range. We went and inquired about it, and found that if we chose to have our reception in the downstairs ballroom versus the upstairs one, we had a much lower minimum on what we had to spend to reserve the space that was well within our target amount for food – and we could have the same amenities as we had in the upstairs ballroom. So we went with downstairs, and none of our guests ever knew the difference. We still did pictures in the same place, and we were still at the same location, just a different room than I had originally expected. That alone saved us $4000 in costs.
Think outside the box. To save money on your wedding, see what you have to have, and what would be nice to have, and what you can do without, and let those things work for you. We had a wonderful day that I will never forget and with a few simple things on our part, managed to not go completely broke in the process as well.