Frugal Wedding
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    McD
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    Default Frugal Wedding

    Weddings cost a ton of money. Here is how I kept mine relatively cheap.

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    McD
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    THE DRESS
    My gramma never had any girls of her own and I am one of two granddaughters that she has. I was the first to get married and she wanted to buy my dress. We waited until David's Bridal had their 99$ dress sale and off we went. Unfortunately, I didn't find a 99$ dress that I like but I found one for 250$ that was 50$ off for 200$. I was very limited in my dress options as I had the ds in my tummy at the time. There are other ways to get a dress for less money. For example, many women wear their's mother gown, others find beautiful gowns at second hand stores. I'm sure you could even rent them.

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    McD
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    THE VEIL
    Do not purchase a veil at a bridal store. They will gouge you on the price. David's Bridal had a beautiful veil that matched my dress perfectly---unfortunately it was 300$. If you go to a craft store, i.e. Hobby Lobby you can purchase a pre-made but, plain veil from anywhere from 9.99---to 24.99. Now I know all you ladies are crafty. Hobby Lobby had beautiful adornments that I purchased, i.e. pearls, crystals, trim for the edge etc. for minimal money. My sister-in-law made my veil, it looked much for beautiful that the 300$ veil and cost roughly 60$. Also, it's now a family heirloom.
    SHOES
    Do not buy shoes at David's Bridal (or similiar wedding store). They are usually around 50$ and then you have to pay to get them dyed. In my instance, I went to pick up my shoes on the Thursday before my wedding, they handed me a pair of size 9 1/2 that obviously were not mine as I have a size 5 foot. They had never dyed my shoes. So they dyed them and I took them home dripping wet. Also, they dyed one of my bridesmaids the wrong color. Check Payless, you can find the dress shoes that are exactly the same for half the cost and they will dye them for much less. Try and have them dyed a white/off white/champagne so you can wear them more then once.

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    McD
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    ACCESSORIES
    Do not buy accessories at Davids Bridal or wedding store. They jack up the costs like crazy. For instance I was handed a little tiara to wear that would have cost 100$. I found a beautiful one at Hobby Lobby for 9.99$ Also, many teen jewelry stores like Icings by Claire's have the exact same product that they market to teen girls for Prom. They are way cheaper. Same with jewelry. I didn't buy any jewelry, I chose to wear my mom's pearl set. You need something borrowed anyways.
    ALTERATIONS
    Do not get alterations done at Davids Bridal or wedding store. I made this mistake---the alterations cost more than my dress and were done incorrectly. I had netting longer than my skirt length and on the bust of my dress the lining kept poking up. Needless to say, I made sure all that money was refunded. Look for a local alteration service, or if possible, have a friend or mom do it.
    HAIR MAKEUP NAILS
    I didn't spend a dime in this category. My mother in law is a hair dresser so she did my hair for free. I did my own makeup---I don't trust ANYONE to do that but me. And my mil paid for me to have my nails done. Here are my suggestions in this category. If you have a friend who is good with hair, have her do it. If this isn't feasible, see if you can get either your hairdo deeply discounted or free even, if you have the entire bridal party getting their hair done at the same place. Same with the nails. My advice on makeup is to do your own---you know how you like it and you want it to look like you in your pictures.

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    McD
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    LOCATION of WEDDING
    Most people choose to get wed in a church. I did and since husband and I aren't really churchgoers we didn't have a particular preference to churches. So we shopped around and found a Lutheran church that cost 250$ to get married in. Shop around. See about churches and whatnot. I could have gotten married in the military chapel for free but hubby didn't want a military wedding. I'm not sure about costs of other places, like outdoors etc.
    WEDDING DECOR
    My suggestion here is not to go hog wild. Most churches are beautiful to begin with. Plus, you don't want people to be distracted by the decorations---you want them to look at you.
    All I did was have pew bows on the pews for family and the church had candelabrahs (spelling) with candles provided.
    GUESTBOOK, HIS/HER GLASSES, CAKE SERVER/KNIFE
    Do NOT buy from the place you get invitations. They jack up the costs. You can get the same things at HallMark stores super cheap. In my case, I got all of them in a set at David's Bridal for 50$. They weren't engraved or anything, but we put pretty ribbons on them and they looked great.
    UNITY CANDLE
    Don't buy from the invitations people. They jack up the price. Luckily for me, my gramma works in a candle factory and bought them for me for like 10$. You can get pretty much the same thing at Hobby Lobby dirt cheap.

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    McD
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    PHOTOS, INVITES, MUSIC
    Now, I know this isn’t going to work for everyone. However, we had a local photographer who was very reasonably priced. I was charged 545$ and I received a TON of pictures. This same photographer also had a printing company, and a sound and light show. I was able to have my invitations, napkins, and a sound n light show for way under a thousand dollars. I’m thinking the total was like 700$. Now, this guy is willing to travel—he’s based in Illinois, traveled four hours to do my wedding, and has traveled as far as Alabama. Let me know if you want this guys number. He does almost everything. Plus, if you use all three of his services he gives a discount of 10%.
    ALL THINGS RECEPTION RELATED And FLOWERS! And PROGRAMS!
    Reception Halls are expensive. We priced one at a 1000$ and you had to buy all additional liquor through them. What we did was rented a local policemen’s hall, put a deposit of 100$ and if we cleaned ourselves, the money was refunded. My parents cleaned up after the reception and got the money refunded. Check around for places like that, like a KC Hall, VFW, American Legion, even a Senior Citizens Center. Offer to clean yourself to get money off the price or even free. It also helps if you can have a family member do the cleaning later. Keep the reception decorations simple. We went to a party favors store and purchased the white plastic tablecloths. We spread them over all the tables, and dressed them up with some pretty wedding confetti, fake ivy on the center on the table and small glass globes that we put water in it with floating candles. Craft stores have all these items pretty cheap. Also, we bought a ton of Hershey’s Kisses and printed little tags off the computer that said He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me So Much, We Tied The Knot. Then we tied them onto the Hershey’s Kisses with ribbons. The place looked very elegant and was very inexpensive. Now on to the Food, Cake, Flowers. We didn’t have a sit-down meal at our reception. They are just way to expensive. We had a sandwich line. One platter had rolls, another cheeses, another condiments, another meats, then we had a veggie platter, a cold salad, and a combination of punch/tea/coffee. I advise you not to go through a catering business. I went to Hy-Vee. It’s a chain grocery store that also has a bakery and a floral dept. Because I got all three items through Hy-Vee I got a 10% discount. Check out local stores in your area. There is really no way to cut down the cost of the cake, other than making your own. Same with flowers---although I advise you to go with seasonal flowers otherwise it will be way more expensive. As for booze, DO NOT HAVE AN OPEN BAR. You will get hosed! Instead, buy a keg or two, and have a cash bar. Way more price effective. Oh, and as for wedding programs, buy some nice paper scan a picture of you and your fiancée and make them yourselves on your computer. You can make them pretty and cheap.

    I think that about covers how I did things---if anyone has any questions pm me.

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    Registered User celina's Avatar
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    when family members offer to help out, let them, we got the cake done awesome for free...and to save on cakes, as around...alot of ladies do these from their homes..i took my picture of what i wanted to a bakery 800$, i asked my aunt what she would have charged a stranger she said 300$....so ask ask ask..ask ask

    my fil was a part time photographer...and knew alot of on the side photographers...and made a deal with one, i'll do your kids weddings, you do mine..and they did, handed us the film and that was it...so i own the negatives to mine..

    also, with digital photography so many people have awesome equipment, if $ is tight, as a few diff friends (this is imp so if one doesnt turn out you have backups) and ask them as a gift to take pics..and hand you the discs and you take care of reprinting

    again i made my own invites to rave reviews....

    bought flower girl dress second hand

    flowers were silk because mom wanted to do them and i didnt want her stressed more at the end.....they were great...

    we did centre pieces ourselves...painted terra cotta pots, with silicone blocking the whole (they were painted xmassy and i got them in march for 10c each and painted them forest green with gold and silver accents..) not my original wish, but my other idea was at 2.99 each...so big saver......added a crown of flowers around base and then a floating candle...

    used grandfathers grand marquis as the bridal car....it made him beem , (hes proud of his new vehicles) a cousin drove it....it was free and made an old man happy and beam with pride....

    for the church i rented an arch which honeslty wasnt necessary and we made pew bows for the family seats

    the bubbles, in MY time..lol...those mini ones were .89c each...i got the kids ones...the big 125ml for 20c took off the label added lace and a small rose....i chose all green.....

    the trick is to be flexible..its trulu only one day...choose where you want the money to be...

    if i had a choice and and dad would have Given me the 10000$+ i would have simplified the wedding and kept the cash...

    my dress became the christening gowns for each of my 2 kids...and the bodice and veil are still intact...no regrets..even at the outlandish price, if i had too i would have traveled out of town to daves bridal

    we had a dinner made inlaws pay for it, since they wanted it and i didnt care.....i'd love a champagne breakfast wedding....halls charge next to nothing, because they can book the hall for an evening wedding the same day...

    the things i remember about my day, were mostly my dh.....how i felt in my dress....my pics..taken in mom's garden.....not the hall, the flowers, the cake the decorations....

    the next day gift opening at mom's was the most fun.and the best part....i refused to pay a fortune for a honey moon suite, we jsut got a regular room at a different hotel (in secret to avoid surprises) we got in at 2am beat, tired, took 2 hrs to take bobby pins out...and we fell asleep in the tub......


    hair, was done at salon attached to bridal store, got a free trial....loved it....reasonably priced...smaller place...nails done by same girl...waste of money for acrylics, wouldnt do again....make up done my aloette...had a free trial so she knew what i wanted and i knew what to expect, charged 15.00 a girl..included their own lipstick, came to the salon to do it...so saved time....

    dont regret my wedding, adore my MARRIAGE....good luck to all you gals out there and gents too

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    McD
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    Oh Celina's post reminded me a few things.

    We bought mini bubbles in bulk from Oriental Trading Co. and wrapped some ribbon around them. Made a few homemade birdseed thingies too. Way cheap. We used hubbys car as a getaway car. His best man drove.

    We didn't get a honeymoon suite either, but we did order a regular room with a romance package. That included strawberries w/ choc n whip cream, champagne and buffet breakfast the next morning.

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    McD
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    Mine total cost right around, or under 3000$. I didn't keep track but thats what my dad told me and I know he was pretty impressed.

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    Registered User momof42003's Avatar
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    A couple of other things to remember..

    If you or sometimes your parents are a member of a certain congregation, sometimes you can get the church for just the cleaning fee.. My sister did this and paid only 45.00 to use the church to be married in...

    Depending on the time of year opt to have an outdoor reception. My sister asked the local park and they even allowed overnight camping, and as long as we did a thurough cleaning it was like 200.00 for us to be there for an indefinate amount of time.

    For her reception decorations we put different vases on the tables with wild flowers in them. We too did the bubbles and a craft store was going out of business, so we were able to get small favors to put mints in... Total cost was about 50.00.

    Uncle did some photography on the side and he did their wedding as a gift.

    The grooms brother is a chef, and he did the main course of prime rib for the reception, while the bridesmaids, and myself made all the salads and extra stuff the day before.. Saved a ton of money by not having it catered....

    My sisters veil was given to her by my aunt.. My mom had worn it in her wedding and then her sister (my aunt) wore it for hers... It was nice to see my sister wear it.

    I did all the church flowers. I had a huge yard with tons of flowers for free in it and most of the family thought that they had been made by a florist... I also made the brides boquet and the bridesmaids bouquets.. The boutineers and corsages were bought at a local florist for a discount-because we asked...

    The groom, my dad and the ring bearer wore tux's while the rest of the men wore nice dark grey suits that were bought at JC Pennys... They had decided that the other guys could benefit from a suit and they cost almost as a tux rental. The bridesmaids all got their dresses from a local boutique.. We are all different shapes, so it was easier to do that than order from a catalog or bridal shop. The flower girl wore a dress we found at Wal Mart at Easter and bought it a little big for her.

    She found a cake she loved, but not the price.. So she went to Albertsons where she found the same cake and got a small version of it and ordered two sheet cakes decorated in the same colors as the wedding cake.. No one really cares where the cake comes from, so why not have a smaller one for show and the sheet cakes to eat.... LOL...

    As for her dress, we went to a bridal shop that was going out of business.. She found the dress almost from the get go, and because of the going out of business she got her dress for 300.00. Accesorries for all of us were at a minumum and we each bought our own.

    We had a family friend that did the whole DJ thing and hired him for less than 400.00... There was good music, and lights and a dance floor...

    Did have two kegs of beer there, and many people brought their own booze... So not much money spent there...

    My sisters and I did this wedding all on our own. It took a long time in doing, but we did it.. When the extended family found out that we did most of it, they were hurt that they were not asked to help... So like celina said ASK FOR AS MUCH HELP, AND THINGS THAT YOU POSSIBLY CAN!!! I think her wedding was around the 2,000 mark... Not really sure, it has been going on 8 years... LOL I hope it was ok to give my two cents on inexpensive wedding ideas...

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    Registered User jzkitten's Avatar
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    I agree, ask friends and family. We had a friend do our cake for $50. Another did the artifical flowers as our wedding gift, we supplied the flowers. Another friend put the deposit down on the park. Family decorated the pavilon and bridge, made the punch and tended to the cake and punch table. Most of our wedding decorations came from Ben Franklin craft store on sale. Glasses, candles, knife and server was bought at Walmart and decorated by us. Another friend took photos and developed them as our gift.
    We rented the matron of honors dress, bought the maids dress and mine at a local discount bridal store. Guys supplied their own clothes (black slacks, black shirt and black tie) Oh, instead of a veil, I chose a ring of flowers with ribbons streaming off the back (friend did this also) Basically all we paid for was food, clothing and decorations. We had a simple wedding with cake and punch. One other thing DH did was that we faced our friends and family and the preacher had her back to them. That way the pictures wasn't of our backs and everyone could see us.

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    Registered User celina's Avatar
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    the hall my fil runs is a french canadian community centre but we rent it out to anyone..so think out of the box for halls, also if you book your wedding there, the stag and doe is free....for those not familiar with this tradition, its a party about 3-6 months before the wedding, usually hosted by the brides maid and best man, as a fund raiser for the couple (we raised 1200$ at ours) you sell tickets to it, 5-10$ ppl pay to get in, and there are a variety of draws and such and a dj and a massive party.....so we give the hall free for that (the liquor sales make it worth while for the hall)

    i laughed at the easter dress...we did that for the flower girl , she had a growth spurt so we sewed extra lace at the bottom...got her an easter hat to match...and i was the flower girl at her dad's wedding and i had always kept my basket, so my mom made a new arrangement in that same basket...

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