1. Create a budget. The Knot has an awesome budget tool where you can put in your total budget and it allocates how much should be spent in each area. You then can adjust the areas to emphasize which take more priority than others. As you enter amounts, the budget tool automatically adjusts your remaining balance and totals for you. This is a must!
2. Plan ahead! Pick your theme, color and date at least one year ahead. This way you can shop season end clearances for your wedding’s seasonal items AND have time to wait for things to go on sale!
3. Don’t use Save the Dates: You don’t need them! If you want them, they can be fun and cute…but you don’t need them!
4. Make your own invitations: Really beautiful invitations can be made with a simple word processing or scrapbooking software. You can make 100 invitations for under $80 and still have them look customized and beautiful! Embellishments from craft stores and computer graphics can be used to inexpensively design memorable invitations with little experience!
5. Look for favors, shoes and jewelry outside bridal stores. You can usually get these items for almost 75% outside bridal shops because they aren’t tagged as “wedding” but they can still be used perfectly as wedding items. For instance, wine glasses in a favor shop may run $4-$8 a glass. However, you can buy painted wine glasses in your theme for about $1.99 at a non-bridal shop.
6. Check out Craigslist! Many brides sell items they won’t want to keep forever (such as flower girl baskets, aisle runners, extra favors, extra centerpieces, ring bearer pillows) for half the cost. You can also rent centerpieces from former brides!
7. Choose your items and wait for the sale. Everything goes on sale at least once…I am convinced…If you wait for it, it will come.
8. Plan a black and white wedding. This color combination is classy, varies the least and can be found everywhere even beyond bridal shops …which means you save money!
9. Register and use the rewards. Many registries offer incentives such as jewlery discounts, bridal salon discounts and cash back on your total registry purchases (ahem Macys!). Many also give you coupons that will help you save on things such as your honeymoon clothing and wedding jewelry.
10. Delay your honeymoon. Plan it for the off peak season and save some serious dough! Plus it will give you something else to look forward to in the future!
And now for a couple of bonus tips!
* Visit bridal shows and expos. The entry is usually free and they are a GREAT opportunity to comparison shop, find inspiration (that you can later adapt to your budget or own handiwork), win prizes and score some exclusive discounts and freebies. Plus…they are fun! Enjoy being bride and soak up the attention and perks!
** Have you tried Ebates yet? Ebates is an awesome program where you earn money back in gift cards for things you are buying online! It is free to join and you earn for every purchase you make. There are also special days where you can earn as much as 10% back! You also get special access to coupon codes. Stores such as Nordstroms, Macys, Vistaprint and Jo Ann Fabrics (plus thousands more!) are all included! I used Ebates while Christmas shopping this year and I made an additional $30 on things I was buying anyway! You get to choose your payment options too and receive bonus payments of $5 with any first purchase through Ebates. You don’t need a credit card or anything to join. You just sign up! When you are going to a site to make a purchase, go through Ebates first to search for the store and then continue to the store’s site. It’s that easy. If you are printing your own programs and invitations, you should check out some of their online ink dealers. I get my ink for 55% off through Ebates and their ink supply store partners! You can use the gift cards that you earn to buy gifts for your bridal party or even more things for the wedding! In the bridal planning world, it pays to shop online!
Sign up and check out Ebates here!
* Another great site for brides to be is a spot called Wedding Wire. Wedding Wire allows you to research reviews of your vendors, venues, salons and more from real brides in your area! You can search by name or by location. I found this really helpful when researching a salon and our photographer. Check them out here!
If you are looking for FREE printables and how-to’s for your wedding, check out the DIY Bride site! This site offers free water bottle labels, booklet templates, wedding clip art and more! Every little bit helps! Plus there are also tutorials on how to make inexpensive items such as tin can luminarias, a list of popular wedding songs, templates for favor boxes and more! I love the wedding coloring book that you can print out for the little kids! Check out the site here!
All information listed in this post is the intellectual property of ForBeerBudgetBrides.com. Please do not duplicate without permission.