Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting wedding planning tasks for a bride. After all, the wedding dress is the focal point of your bridal look. When you get the dress selection right, you will look gorgeous on your wedding day.
Although nothing beats the thrill of discovering “the dress” from numerous available options, it isn’t always possible for every bride to buy a brand new dress. A new designer wedding dress is always expensive. Fortunately, it is possible to get married in a beautiful dress even if you must work with a small budget. All that you require is early preparation and flexibility with the best options available.
A budget wedding dress will trim your overall wedding expenses. According to this article on Project Wedding, couples should allocate no more than 10% of their total wedding budget to their outfits. This amount doesn’t include just the bridal dress. It should include the groom’s tux too. Unfortunately, not all brides can find their dream wedding dress as well as fit all related extras like accessories and alterations within this limit.
Nonetheless, it is no big deal if you are ready to go the extra mile and find a budget-friendly dress. When you do, the good thing is that you can allocate the remaining funds to bigger priorities like the menu, entertainment or venue. So, the benefits are many.
For most couples, their wedding is the single most important celebration in their life, till now. It can be confusing when you want to celebrate this big day in the best possible way, but are worried about how much this will cost you. After all, it is just one day, and is it worth spending years paying for the debt that you incurred on the celebration?
Different couples have different takes on this. So, if you have the budget and want to have a big bash on this special day, so be it! For those who want a smaller celebration that is intimate and meaningful, yet easy on their pocket, here is some help.
Here are ten tips to help you plan your wedding on a small budget, so you begin your life together as man and wife without worrying about the money you busted.
1.Stretch your dollar to the most–Borrow or recycle
Trimming down the wedding guest list is a necessity for any budget wedding. So, no surprises there! When you have a smaller guest list, it is possible to recycle things, make use of what is available, or borrow things for the occasion. If you have an eye for details and a knack for mixing and matching, there will be no trouble executing your wedding details in the most impressive manner without it costing you a dime. Trays, platters and plates are wedding essentials, and if you have a close-knit group of family and friends who can lend you things from their homes, you can create an impressive buffet arrangement with what you find.
Recycle everything from your wedding dress to the centerpieces and décor, and your wallet will remain plump. Since you will anyway be setting up home after the wedding, it is a good idea to buy things for the wedding décor, that you can re-use in your new home. Sarah, the hardworking bride, tells us how she managed to pull off her stylish wedding for less than $6000 by using such options. Her wise planning included trays from Target for her dessert table, that she could take home with her and use again. Read more about her brilliant wedding here.
2.Eliminate non-essential vendor services
There is no hard and fast rule on what you should have at your wedding. This is all a matter of priority. So, splurge on the essentials that you simply must have, and eliminate or step down on those that you can do without. You can always substitute certain vendor services with affordable options that will work. For example, you can save a chunk of your budget by eliminating the band and DJ from your celebration. Instead, compile a playlist and play the songs using a good stereo system. You can do your floral décor with what is inexpensive and easily available, and eliminate the services of a florist. Or, forego the makeup and hair artist’s services for the wedding day, by doing it yourself. Just make sure that you know what your priorities are, and don’t compromise on them. The rest is up to you to take or leave, as your budget permits.
3.Find a cheaper dessert option instead of the wedding cake
Wedding cakes are more about the look, than the flavor or taste. Most guests remember how the wedding cake impressed them, but won’t always recollect the taste it had. Some may even have skipped dessert altogether after the heavy meal they enjoyed. However, cakes are expensive, and so you should think of whether you really want it. There is a world of desserts waiting to be discovered, and these are even more enticing than a slice of wedding cake. So, step away from cake and turn to alternate options for a wallet-friendly, practical and delicious choice that is bound to impress. This article on the wedding blog of Apartment therapy provides some unusual options that will have you saying, “Why didn’t I think of it?” You can also refer to this previous post for more ideas on what to serve instead of cake, at your wedding. Choose a dessert that is truly unique and one that you love, so your wedding has a sweet ending that is both delicious, personal and delightfully inexpensive.
4.Serve family style dishes
A welcome alternative to the plated meal and wedding buffet, serve family style dishes at your wedding. Not only does this bring down the cost considerably, these are hearty meals that everyone will naturally enjoy. When you choose a family style meal, you will need less service staff, which is again a budget winner. This article on the Huff Post tells us that family style wedding dinners are better than buffets and plated dinners, since they are the middle ground between the two. It is more elegant than a buffet and less formal than a plated meal. By serving items on large platters that can be passed around, you can also eliminate elaborate table décor, not to mention the casual and informal vibe that this activity can create. Don’t skimp on the quantity of food available, just choose dishes that are interesting and filling so your guests aren’t left hungry. This idea is also perfect for wedding parties that include children, as you needn’t plan a special menu for the younger taste buds in this case.
5.Keep to local products for the bar
Instead of having the standard open bar, give your wedding a unique twist by serving up local fare that you can buy from nearby vineyards or breweries for a fraction of the cost. Not only will your guests have plenty of new and unusual options, you will be thankful for how cheap it will be. Also, switch out the champagne for the toasts. Guests can toast with whatever they are drinking. After all, it is the sentiment that counts, not the details of how it is done. If necessary, add some non-alcoholic drinks as refreshers, and serve them at the beginning of the reception. This will not only help your guests feel refreshed at the beginning of the function, it will also reduce their capacity to drown in alcohol later. If you should splurge on anything, it should be on improving the appearance of the drinks served at your bar. Inexpensive garnishes and colorful mixers are all it takes to dress up drinks and make them look festive and more expensive than it actually cost you.
6.Forego the extras
All the little things add up quickly, and you can stay ahead of the game if you stick with the essentials only. So, forego elaborate decorations and trimmings for your wedding favor wrap-ups, menu styling and floral décor. Consider whether you really need things like a dessert table, coffee bar, photo booth or individual place cards. Rather than aiming for perfection, you can work with a tight budget if you look at the bigger picture and execute it with simplicity. So, the lesser textures in décor, lower it will cost you. Similarly, go with simple menu choices that are full of flavor and compensate for not looking too great. Your favors do not need satin bows that will mostly end up in the trash, nor do you have to spend a fortune on signboards when your guests can find their way at the venue, without them.
7.Go with an artificial bouquet that you can DIY in advance
Flowers are an expensive factor at weddings. Minimize the cost by choosing alternative options for your décor, or keeping floral arrangements to a minimum. The bridal bouquet is one essential though. Despite this, there is no condition that your bouquet has to be made with real flowers. You can add your own DIY details to this accessory of your wedding dress ensemble, by making your own bridal bouquet with alternatives like cloth or paper. Unlike other elaborate DIY projects that consume time and take a lot of effort, your bouquet is a simple and relatively easier option to handle. With a little crafting knowledge, this is the perfect way to have an attractive bouquet, sans the cost. Check out some great tutorials on creating amazing bouquets, at this link here and here. The best thing about choosing to DIY your bouquet is that you will have a keepsake from your wedding, that you will forever be proud of making.
8.Rent what you can
With wedding dresses, wedding accessories, décor and more available to rent, you can find plenty of economically viable choices for your wedding day. Unless you are particular about owning what you wear or use at your wedding day, renting is a practical and sensible option. After all, most of these things won’t find a second use. So, why waste so much money by buying all of it, when you can get what you want for much cheaper. Bridal shops like Best for Bride allow brides to rent their wedding dress for a fraction of the original cost, so you can look great on your wedding day without the hefty price tag. If not the dress, you should definitely consider the accessories. Indulge in your dream of wearing a grand tiara and looking like a princess on your wedding day, even when you don’t have to buy it. By renting part or most of your wedding ensemble, you can look fantastic on a tight budget, and isn’t that how you should beon your wedding day?
9.Reduce the number of wedding party members
A big wedding party translates into extra expenses not only for the members in it, but also for the bride and groom. You will have to set aside a part of the budget for buying gifts, bouquets and many more things for the members in your wedding party. This can quickly add up. Think of whether you really need so many people beside you at the time you say “I do.” Wouldn’t it work just as well if they were seated with the rest of the guests and took home wedding favors that were much cheaper? Plus, by keeping your wedding party to the bare minimum, probably just your maid of honor and two bridesmaids, you do not have to worry about ruffling feathers when you do not ask someone to be on the list, or making anyone who secretly isn’t keen on it feel uncomfortable by inviting them.
10.Weigh your options
Even when it concerns things that you simply must have, weigh your various options and find the one that is practical yet costs less. For example, if you must hire a limo for you entrance and exit, go with a black one that will cost much lesser than a white or silver limo (check out here: https://limofind.com/). Similarly, think of monochromatic bouquet options and simple bouquet arrangements instead of complicated flower arrangements that will cost more. In case of table décor, choose basic, but classic materials to do the job, instead of fancy table décor that will cost more but perform the same function. Basically, we suggest you prioritize value over look, and you will find choices that are appealing but inexpensive.
Making smart moves when planning your wedding will help you save up more for the more important thing—the rest of the life you will be sharing together. And memories don’t depend on the tiny details, it is always the big picture that matters. So, tell us what were your budget ideas that helped you get the most value for money, at your wedding?
To find great offers, deals and discounts on wedding dresses, accessories and décor, check out our special offers page at Best for Bride. Our lowest price guarantee also ensures that you find a fabulous wedding dress at the best price possible, when you shop with us. Alternately consider our rental dress and accessory services if you want a cost-effective solution to your needs. For all this and more, check out our website at Best for Bride by visiting this link here.
Congratulations! You are engaged! Doesn’t it feel great?
As the realization of this new relationship status sinks in, you might be super-excited to start wedding planning and that’s when the bombshell drops—crazy wedding expenses! Yes, weddings are expensive. Everything from the venue to the photographer and food can have you straining your bank accounts down to the last penny.
Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can cut expenses and make the most of what you can afford. After all, you do not want to start your marriage in debt. So, here are 10 money saving tips that every couple should consider. This will help you cut a few corners and save some money while budgeting your dream wedding.
Three aspects of the wedding usually fall into one account—food, beverages and venue. Together, these three components will consume almost fifty per cent of your total budget. The easiest way to reduce expenses on venue rates is to book a single venue for both the ceremony and reception. This will not only eliminate the rental charge for an entire site, it will also allow you to save on transportation from one site to the other. Two birds with one stone! If you want to further cut charges, consider hosting the wedding during the off-peak season or on a weekday, when prices will be drastically slashed. An advantage of doing so is also that it will be easier to obtain the venue booking as the competition will be very less on these days. Saturday nights are usually the most expensive option. Get married a day early, or a day late, and you will appreciate how much easier this will be on your pocket. Another intelligent idea we found on Buzzfeed is to host your wedding on a day preceding a public holiday, so everyone gets to have fun late into the night as they are off work the next day, and you still get to save yourself some money.
Three words—Snip! Snip! Snip!
Be ruthless with cutting names off your guest list and your wedding expenses will be reduced drastically. Rather than hosting a huge wedding where you don’t know half the people and have to skimp on the service due to budget constraints, isn’t it better to have a lavish affair with the few people who really matter to you? A direct approach to reducing your wedding guest head count is to omit children and colleagues from the list. Also, not everyone needs to have an invite with a plus-one. Limit the plus-ones to spouses, serious partners and live-ins only. Well, if your parents are paying for the wedding, they may want to invite a few extra people, so handle this as is appropriate in your case.
3.Food and drink
Skip the traditional formal dinner and opt for a wedding brunch or lunch instead. Perfect for a casual wedding, you could cut costs this way. Now, if you want a sit-down plated meal, choose a three course meal over a five-course meal, and it will still go down well. And you can minimize costs by choosing to have your reception at a hotel, instead of at a rented venue. This way you will not have to bring too many things in like utensils, seating arrangements, table linen etc, as it will all be available at the restaurant. You can always find the right dishes to serve on their menu. Most good restaurants have beautiful chairs and tables, and there is no doubt that they are perfect places to dine at. So, help your budget by taking this route. When you choose a restaurant that looks stylish and matches the theme of your wedding, half your job is taken care of. When serving beverages, stay away from the idea of an open bar. Serve beer and wine instead of liquor and add one cocktail drink to complete the list.
4.Wedding Cake—don’t make it, fake it
Well, maybe not the entire cake, but at least the extra tiers! Remember that each tier will add several dollars to the cost and unless you have so many guests at your wedding, why let it all go to waste? Most bakers can create faux wedding cakes which look exactly like the real thing. They usually use Styrofoam layers and cover it with icing and decorations, so it looks like the real deal. So, you can get the look, but for much less cost. There are several other ways to make the most of your cake budget, the details of which we have covered in a previous article dedicated to the subject. Here are some of the ideas in a flash:
Use a smaller couture cake for display and sheet cakes in the kitchen for the actual service
Limit the expensive flavors to one or two tiers alone, while using standard flavors for the remaining tiers
Choose standard shapes like circle and square instead of topsy-turvy and fancy shapes to reduce cake costs
Decorate with economical options like real flowers, ribbons and easy DIY toppers
Go for butter-cream frosting instead of fondant and cut the price by almost fifty per cent
Use half or three-quarter servings in place of full serving sizes to eliminate wastage and cut costs
Serve cake alongside other desserts in the buffet, instead of at the table. Then, only those who want it will have it and you can reduce the overall order this way
5.Rent your wedding dress or buy it second-hand
If you are not keen on having a brand new wedding dress, opt for a rented one or seek one out second-hand. Vintage wedding dresses are a happening trend, and you can max out on this now. Second hand wedding dresses can be found for as low as half the original cost, even when there is little to no damage to them. There are websites dedicated to this, and you will find plenty of choices to select from. The other option is to rent your wedding dress from a consignment shop or bridal boutique like Best for Bride. Here, you can mostly find the gown in the style you want to wear for a fraction of the original cost and not worry about what to do with it later. With the option to also rent matching accessories like wedding jewelry, veils and headbands, you can achieve the perfect bridal look without hurting your bank balance. All you have to do is place your order in time, collect you dress on the appointed day and enjoy your wedding in it. Return it after the wedding, and worry no more about what to do with your wedding dress. It couldn’t be easier. The third option is to repurpose your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown with the help of a talented tailor. Not only will this not cost as much as a brand new wedding gown, it will also give your family heirloom new life. Sentimental and sensible, isn’t that smart? Now, your groom could also rent his tux and the two of you could divert the money saved into a well-deserved treat like your honeymoon.
6.Make the most of sample sales and trunk shows
If there is time left for your wedding, you needn’t go wedding gown shopping already. Keep your eyes and ears open for sales and trunk shows and you could pick up a dress at a better bargain. Or, browse through the sale and clearance section of websites like Best for Bride and make your pick from the dresses listed there. If you aren’t too particular about wearing a specific gown on your big day, why not make the most of your wedding budget by choosing the best choice within your means from these listings? The same could apply to your bridesmaids dresses too. Look for any bulk discounts and use it when choosing the dress. They will appreciate your concern, and nobody at your wedding need know that these were picked up at a sale.
7.Try alternate bouquets
Cut flowers are expensive and not environment-friendly, so spare the pain and still have fabulous wedding bouquets and décor with alternatives to original flowers. Bridal and bridesmaid bouquets using silk flowers and paper flowers are very beautiful and attractive. Similarly, you can vary your décor using fruits, candles and other easy-to-find accessories and still have a fantastic and unique wedding design. You could even consider succulents and potted plants for your wedding décor, and these could be used again either in your new home or gifted to the party guests to take home with them. Now, if you must have flowers, go for the seasonal and local variety and you can save some cash this way too. Ask your florist for what is within your budget and leave her to weave her magic with it. Or, if you are up for the challenge, make your bouquets on the day with what you find at your local grocery store. The price of the flowers you get there will be far less than at a flower shop, and this means you can find more flowers for your budget. Imagination is key, and it is not difficult to create splendid centerpieces, bouquets, aisle decorations and even venue décor using craft supplies from thrift stores, provided you know how to work around them. You can also use the same flowers that were used at the ceremony venue for the reception, and cut down on associated costs. All it takes is a quick move of the pieces from the first location to the second, and I am sure nobody is going to mind it.
8.Go bargain hunting for your wedding favors
Personalized wedding favors created exclusively for your wedding are stylish and special, but not absolutely essential. The true meaning of wedding favors is to gift your wedding guests a small and sweet memento for their valuable presence at your wedding. This can be anything you deem fit for this purpose. It can be homemade cookies, brownies you had your baker add to your cake package or preserves that you bought on sale.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be in fancy packaging! It just has to be thoughtful and your guests will appreciate the gesture. Our suggestion is not to be too specific with your ideas and there will be hundreds of bargains out there, waiting to be snatched. Visit the sales and discount sections of wedding favor websites, and book a deal that falls within budget. This will give you a good bargain for the money you can spare. You can always customize it with a few craft supplies that can be found on sale, and you will easily have a personalized wedding favor in no time. Consider printing out your own monogram or wedding stationery using free fonts available online, and you can also save on expensive labels and tags for your wedding needs.
9.Hire and buy local
When choosing a caterer, booking your band or buying flowers think local and it will save you loads. Plus, you will already know what is best in the area and can make a wise and informed decision accordingly. Go with seasonal fare for your menu and the cost of your food will go down. Should your band have to travel from out-of-town for the reception, remember that you will be paying for their effort to travel this far for your function. Go with the local favorite instead, and you are certainly going to get a better bargain. Like we mentioned earlier, flowers that are flown in from elsewhere will cost more. So, think of whether it is actually worth the added cost. Wouldn’t you be able to achieve a similar effect by substituting it with something local? If so, isn’t that better?
10.Choose your transportation wisely
You do not need a limo, vintage car or even horse and chariot to drive you away from the venue. You can make a grand entrance or get away in any other car dressed up for the event. All you need is to use your creativity to dress up the car with some wedding paraphernalia, add a “Just Married” sign and you are good to go.
Every bride dreams of a fantastic wedding day. And, it goes without saying that she sees herself as a ravishing beauty in a stunning wedding gown in her dreams.
However, buying that perfect wedding gown may sometimes not be easy. As we all know, bridal gowns are expensive, and not everyone can afford the wedding dress of their dreams. So, what do you do in such a case? Do you settle for a cheap dress that fits your budget? Not necessarily. If you really want to wear a certain wedding gown, but can’t buy it, consider renting it for your big day. This way, you can wear your chosen wedding gown for a fraction of the price you would have to pay if you were to buy it. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to pass it on as a family heirloom, but you can at least be wed looking as grand as you always wanted to.
It is not just brides who can’t afford an expensive wedding gown that rent it. The article Weddings and the Sharing Economy on the Huffington Post suggests that more brides today are comfortable with wearing a used dress on their wedding day. These include women who are environmentally conscious and want to minimize their environmental footprint by wearing a pre-loved dress. Another category are those who do not consider it worthwhile investing in a dress that they will wear just once in their lifetime.
For all these women, here are some tips to remember when you have to rent your wedding gown.
Rent from a reliable bridal store
Remember it is your wedding day, and you want your wedding dress to arrive on time. TO avoid any risks in receiving it, make sure you choose a reliable bridal shop. Go with references from friends and associates. Also check out the online reviews and feedback about the service that these shops provide, before you sign the contract.
Slight alterations such as taking in, bustle and adjusting hemline are usually included in the rental service at good bridal shops. Before you set your heart on a dress, talk to the bridal consultant and confirm whether this will be included in the rental charges.
Plan to rent matching accessories too
Since you will not be owning your wedding dress, it doesn’t make sense to invest a huge amount of money in bridal accessories that match this dress. In most cases, the shop will also rent matching accessories, and you can make use of this service at a much cheaper price than if you were to buy them.
Discuss the terms and conditions of the contract before signing it
Check out the clauses on the number of days you can keep the dress, whether it has to be cleaned before being returned and the damage charges you will have to meet. If in doubt, ask the shop and sign the contract only if you are comfortable with all their terms and conditions. Ask when you can pick up the dress, and whether there are any late charges. Once you sign your contract, don’t forget to follow up with the boutique before the wedding, so that your dress is prepared and ready on time.