Weddings can be incredibly expensive and bring out the crazy in everyone, not excluding me. I’m not a typical girly girl, although I do enjoy getting pampered and will dress nicely on occasion, but thinking about the wedding can get me all out of sorts. I stress over whether I should be losing weight to look awesome in my dress, how I’m going to have my hair and makeup done to look absolutely perfect, if I need to have my bridesmaids get their hair & makeup professionally done, how I’m going to incorporate our colors throughout our day, when we’ll have time for pictures and what kind of pictures we should take. It gets a bit overwhelming…and expensive.
One of my favorite blogs to read when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC) is A Practical Wedding. Those ladies over there know their stuff, and express thoughts and feelings much more eloquently and clearly than I ever could. If you’re planning a wedding, go there….now!
After being engaged for about 6 months, I’ve gotten most of the big things done, including picking out my dress, the bridesmaids dresses, and going with A to pick out suits. These are definitely areas where I saved money and thought it would be helpful to readers who are getting married too!
The first up is: ask for a discount. Seriously, just do it. We ordered the bridesmaids dresses all through the same retailer and I asked if she could give us a discount because all 5 of the girls were ordering their dresses from her store, and I knew other stores gave discounts for groups of 5 or more. She ended up giving me a 10% discount on every dress, which definitely helped! My fiancee is in charge of the men’s attire and is also getting his groomsmen a discount because he asked for it. We also bartered with our DJ and told him that we could only pay X amount of dollars from our budget, and he agreed to the amount. Another great piece of advice from a friend who got married last year was to call up vendors and tell them how much you’re willing to pay and see what they can offer. She did this with her photographer and was so happy with the photos and the photographer’s willingness to work with her budget.
This leads to me to my next point: leverage one vendor against another. I had gone to a few different bridal “salons” to try on dresses and at one of them I asked to try on a dress I had tried on before at a different store. The same exact dress was about $200 more, but when I told the consultant that she told me they would match the price. If you can have them give you a discount AND match price, you’re golden.
The third piece of advice I have is to buy used items. There are a ton of bridal websites DEDICATED to this idea. Ruffled blog is basically Craigslist for brides. If you’re looking for a specific item for your decor, attire, or anything else this blog will most likely have it. I also know there are a ton of websites such as Pre-owned Wedding Dresses where you can find awesome discounts on used or never worn dresses.
The last thing I plan on doing to save money and recoup some costs of my wedding is selling used items. Both Craigslist and Ruffled blog are awesome for this, and items usually sell pretty quickly. The friend I had mentioned above bought all of the linens, tableware, and barware for her wedding and has sold nearly all of it back!
Weddings don’t have to be crazy expensive (just crazy) if you don’t want them to. Set a budget, be patient, and work with your vendors; there are a ton of great people to work with & if you can find the right ones you’ll have a great wedding without breaking the bank.