Straight from the Queen of DIY, Martha Stewart!
Everyone likes to save money...well, almost everyone (take THAT Jimmy Fallon commercial!). I happen to be one of those people who enjoy saving money, especially on bigger purchases. A wedding is no different. There are many ways to save and still have the wedding of your dreams, without cutting the good stuff aka the cool stuff.
1.) Rank Your Priorities--First and foremost, make a list of what about your wedding day is the most important (the Groom should be high up there), MSW lists entertainment to be a high priority as my fiance and I believe that the photography is our top priority.
2.) Limiting Head Count--My ideal wedding would have about 50 people in attendance, but unfortunately that's not the case. MSW suggests omitting children and coworkers and when it comes to couples only invite spouses, fiances and live-ins.
3.) Embrace the Off-Season--That is exactly what my fiance and I did. We noticed having our wedding in the peak "leaf season" of the Fall would cost us about $10k more than we had budgeted for. MSW says that you can possibly save as much as 15% off of high-season rates for moving your wedding up a few weeks or back.
4.) Think Out-of-the-Banquet-Hall--Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty is quoted on MSW suggesting Brides and Grooms pick a venue that already has a chic ambience like a restaurant. Luckily, Highlands Country Club is absolutely gorgeous without any decorations. All I have to do is add some flare to the tables and we're good to go.
5.) Take Up Hunting--While I wish that bargain hunting was my full time job, it's my go-to hobby for anything and everything. With the wedding, I can find everything from fabric and trim, to veils and antique Mason jars on eBay, Etsy, Craigslist and even at my local flea market for half the price and twice the charm. Martha and I think alike.
6.) Buy In-Season--MSW suggests to stay seasonal and local when it comes to special vendors, especially florists. Look up what flowers are in season for the month you are getting married and make arrangements with your local florist or have a Flower Party with your Bridal Party and have a go at it making your own bouquet. EXTRA tip from MSW= Pick bigger bulbs, the bigger the flower the less stems you'll need helping your all over bottom line.
7.) Sign Up for Spam--If you're eyeing one particular designer that is just a tad out of your budget, sign up for newsletters and alerts from the website. Odds are you'll be privy to time-sensitive insider info such as sample sales and trunk shows.
8.) Hook Up Your iPod--MSW suggests hiring a live act for the dancing portion of the event and firing up your MP3 player for the rest. My fiance and I are having ONLY an iPod for the whole thing and our friends band at the "after party". We will also have a Host who will introduce the respective parties and cue the important dances.
9.) Buy Your Own Booze--BYOB isn't usually an option for swanky affairs like some weddings, but if your venue is lax in that department ask if you can purchase your own alcohol, so you can return any bottles your guests don't drink.
10.) Lose the Limo--Personally I hate limos. MSW says that transportation can be a huge cost and if you don't really care who sees you show up, it shouldn't be a hassle to borrow a friends SUV or even drive your own car to your wedding. Price out all different options including fun sports cars like a new Chevy Camero or Corvette for a cool spin on the limo.