As some of you may know, I am a newlywed. My Hubby, Jason, and I got married October 10, 2009 and we couldn’t be happier!
Due to the fact that we are both penny pinchers, we decided that we would have our “dream” wedding, but, on a budget. We planned on $2,500 for 100 guests. But ended up with $3,000 and 130 guests. Our wedding was beautiful and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!
We had everything, dj, photographers, hair/makeup, wedding gown, catered food, linens, and a beautiful location. I know, you’re asking how, right?!?
The first thing I wanted to get out of the way was the photography. Since I started planning our wedding in January the pickings of photographers were running slim. I really wanted to work with Katie and Robb O’Dell of Lucky Clover due to the high recommendations of the girls on TheKnot.com. We ended up booking them for our engagement session and also our wedding. All of our pictures turned out beautifully and we have created a lasting relationship. I can’t give out exact figures, but, we saved a LOT of money and they are VERY VERY affordable
My nightmare was my dress. I looked at every bridal store in the Cincinnati area and couldn’t justify paying over $1,000 for my dress. I ended up finding the dress I was looking for at Snooty Fox, a Cincinnati consignment store. They bought out a bridal salon and were selling all of their dresses for $100. I found the dress I was looking for and paid $107 including tax! I did however have to spend $350 to have it altered. But, it was well worth it. The pictures do not do the dress justice.
Next was the food. I had contemplated making all the food myself. But, J said there’s no way. I’ll pay to have it catered and to save your sanity. See why I married this guy?!? So I called around and got prices. I ended up finding a local small catering company, Golden Rule Catering. I paid a little over $1,000 for main course, 2 sides, salad and beverages. I cut costs by supplying the plates, cups, utensils and napkins that I had bought for $45 at Garden Ridge. This kept costs down by $250 and they were in our colors.
One way we were able to save hundreds was by making my own wedding invitations. I found these on clearance at Micheael’s for $14 for a pack of 50, with envelopes and return envelopes. These cost me around $28 plus the cost of stamps and I made them myself with my home printer!
The one thing my hubby wanted was a cheesecake as the main cake. Of course I couldn’t say no! We ended up going to Jerry’s Cheesecakes, because, well, they are simply the best! We paid $175 for a 3 tiered cake and it was beautiful! I’m so glad we decided to go this route and it was a hit to say the least!
I wanted my wedding to be nice. I couldn’t have plastic tablecloths with the venue we had chose, the Anderson Center. So, I looked high and low for a good deal on tablecloths. I found 90″ round tablecloths for $6 a piece and purchased 20 of them. I paid $124 including shipping! I think the company has since been bought out because their site is now longer working. But search around craigslist, theknot.com, and even company’s websites. They often will barter if you call or email them!
Jason really wanted a DJ. I searched around the web and wasn’t about to pay $800-$1,000 for 4 hours of music. We had asked our friends, best free resource, and happen to find out the guy who does the DJing at our cruise-ins also does weddings. So we were in! He charged us $250 for 4 hours of play time and even ran speakers outside for the ceremony so I could walk down to the wedding march.
The tuxes were rented. I really wanted to purchase the suits from JOS Bank, but, there was never a good time to get 4 guys together at one time. So one of my bridesmaids, Danielle, and I went to a bridal show and fell in love with these brown pinstripped Calvin Klein suits. We ended up renting these from Folchi’s Formal Wear. We were given a deal on these due to the fact that someone drove through the building the day before our wedding and had to drive all the way to Kenwood to pick up 3 suits. What I loved about renting was that I didn’t have to worry about getting shoes or undershirts! That saved a little extra.
I really wanted to make all of my flowers and I did. I made my bouquet, a throw bouquet and 2 bridesmaids along with all the boutonnieres. The total for all of my flowers and ribbon was $54. I am really picky when it comes to flowers and saved at least $250 by doing them myself.
Since “Mini Me” was our flower girl, I wanted her to have a keepsake from the wedding. I decided to make her a kissing ball and she loved it! It cost $12 to make and a lot of fun because “Mini Me” helped make it! I used various 40% and 50% off coupons to purchase the flowers. I couldn’t believe how expensive fake flowers are. They are the price of real flowers!
I wanted to keep the feel of the room romantic, yet simple. I bought glass hurricane vases, a candle and a fall floral ring. I bought all of the items for the centerpieces at Old Time Pottery in Florence. The total cost of the centerpieces was $8 and I had enough for 20 tables. That is $160 for table decorations! We also had buckeyes as our favors (get the Buckeye recipe here) the total cost to make over 1,500 buckeyes was $24. So for $184 our tables were covered with elegance!
During our ceremony we wanted to have “mini me” baptised. We ended up giving our officiant $150 for the ceremony and baptism.
The proof is in the receipts! I spent a total of $3008.30 for a total of 150 guests. I’ll be selling my tablecloths and centerpieces to regain some money and will be well under our budget! As for my wedding dress, I was going to sell it, but, have decided to hang onto it. I’ve got a few friends who would like to borrow it and when “mini me” gets married we can always use the beading off of the dress. As you can see we had a beautiful ceremony and reception and didn’t skimp on anything. You don’t have to be a “coupon queen” to save on your wedding just a savvy shopper who has an open mind!
Some simple places to look for cheap items are Garden Ridge, Michael’s Craft Store (with coupons), Old Time Pottery, Craigslist.org, Ebay.com, Goodwill and even garage sales.
What are some ways that you cut costs on your wedding?
I hope you enjoyed the first week of our ten week series on Addicted to Saving Series. Stay tuned next week when I give you some tricks on saving money with a Cincinnati Staycation!