Looking for little ways to save money on your wedding without risking your guests thinking you’re a cheapskate? There are plenty of ways to have a nice event without breaking the bank.
Instead of ordering engraved invitations from a ritzy stationery store, print your own using your computer and printer. Most office supply, stationery or craft stores in your town (and online) have a great selection of paper that can shoot right through your printer. For a wider selection of colors, textures and sizes, browse through a scrapbooking store. Stationery and card stock can even be found on the shelves at Wal-Mart. Beautiful fonts are available for download online, and many are free or very reasonably priced. Look around online for inspiration and then play with your computer and printer until you achieve the results you’re looking for. Or, if you’re lucky, you know someone who is a talented graphic artist and can enlist their help.
Substitute lacy, delicate bridal shoes that you’ll never wear again with white sandals or pumps from the your favorite store’s shoe department. Shoes that are designated as “wedding shoes” tend to be more expensive, plus no one ever finds a reason to wear them in the future.
Ditch the live band at your reception and go with a DJ service. Pick your favorite tunes from their large inventory, mix it up! An experienced professional wedding DJ service can really provide a fantastic event that everyone will enjoy.
Don’t sink your money into a monstrous wedding cake. Order a smaller, fabulous version of a traditional wedding cake and supplement it with sheet cake made to match the color and flavor of the cake and icing. Keep the sheet cake hidden in the kitchen and have it cut, put on plates, and brought out to the dining room so no one will ever notice. You’ll still have a pretty wedding cake for the cake ceremony and photos. Another way to save big on your cake is to place an order from Sam’s or a similar store without mentioning the fact that it’s for a wedding. (They tend to jack the price up for a wedding, while a simple cake in the same flavors will be reasonably priced.) Order three separate, double-layer, round cakes in three different sizes to fit on a rented cake display with three graduated plates. Dress it up with flowers once you place the cakes on the floating cake stand.
In place of an open bar, serve only wine and beer. Or place one bottle of red wine and one bottle of white wine at each table. Your guests will get the idea that the bottles on the table are theirs to consume. If you’d like to have a champagne toast, wait until it’s time for the toast and circulate trays of already-poured champagne. Not everyone will want to participate in the toast, and only a sip is really needed in each glass.
To save even more on beverages, skip the alcohol. Serve iced tea and water with the meal, coffee after the meal, and punch with the wedding cake.
Instead of large floral arrangements as centerpieces, think outside of the box to create centerpieces for each table at your reception. Roses, Gerbera daisies or floating candles are attractive floating in glass bowls. Two or three pillar candles in various heights are always attractive and can be picked up at discount prices following many holidays. Take advantage of the beauty of the area where you live by utilizing sea shells, twigs arranged in an attractive manner, or other natural wonders.
Rather than hiring an expensive photography studio, you can often find very talented people at more reasonable prices. Ask around at camera stores in your area. The people working there are likely photography junkies who either offer their own services or know someone. Photo journalists are usually less expensive and the popular “photojournalist” style of wedding photography is a great alternative to the staid, traditional approach.
Placing disposable cameras on each table has become quite popular over the last several years, but getting all of the film processed can be quite an expense. Instead, ask several guests to bring their digital cameras and encourage them to circulate to get plenty of candid shots. That way, you’ll have images that you would have otherwise missed seeing.
Instead of napkins for the reception stamped with the couple’s names, the date, a cute image or quote, choose solid color napkins from a warehouse club or party supply store. No one notices what is on the napkin as they wipe their mouth and throw it away. Save the money that you would have spent on cutesy matchbook covers, too.