We did a few things to cut costs and ensure we had all the niceties we wanted. Here are our secrets:
1. Centerpiece Vases: I found our blue mason Ball jars on Craigslist at a fair price — it was far less than spending $5-8 plus shipping per jar (through eBay). Total cost: under $120
2. Table linens: I wanted chaircovers, tablecloths and cloth napkins, but I really didn’t want to spend $9.50 per tablecloth to rent. So I purchased them. Tablecloths were about $12 each to purchase (before shipping), chaircovers were $3 each (or would be $2.95 to rent), napkins were $7.00 to buy a dozen or $8.40 to rent a dozen. Then, after the wedding, I washed EVERYTHING, and put it on Craigslist and another site. Sure, it was a pain in the butt to wash everything, but I ended up spending almost the same as I would have spent renting, except I’m getting a chunk of it back!
3. Centerpieces: I wanted something that fit the casual theme of our wedding, I wanted to use the Ball jars. I spoke with several florist who wanted to upcharge me for providing my own vessels, and also a few who increased their prices as soon as I mentioned “wedding” instead of “party.” With that in mind, I decided to let my awesome aunt do the arrangements for me. My sister and I ran to Trader Joe’s and purchased a dozen bundles of the same gorgeous arrangements, and my aunt divided them up between jars, trimming and arranging as she went. Instead of the $800 budget I’d allocated (and found to be on the “low” side for many florists), we spent under $200 for the flowers in our centerpieces.
4. DIY bouts, corsages: We could have, and maybe should have ordered the bouts and corsages. But we didn’t. I did a few trials, and the night before the wedding, my friend Michelle and I put them all together. Sure, they weren’t the most gorgeous ever, but they looked good, and they were fun, and we saved a bundle on it.
5. Negotiate with vendors: We tried to negotiate with most of our vendors… some were more than willing, others weren’t really able to budge. However, it was worth a try and certainly made a difference for us.
1. grooms wardrobe (with alterations) – Burberry suit, burberry shirt, Saks 5th Ave. shoes, Jos. A Bank tie, alterations = $820 (he wears suits to work, so he can wear it all again) – we saved a bunch because the groom’s suit was a $1,400 suit, and we got it at Saks Off Fifth — and I had a 40% off coupon, same with his Saks shoes (coupon cut the cost)
2. bride’s wardrobe (with alterations) – since I had to scrap the previous dress due to my expanding waistline, I had to get a dress that would contain me 🙂 BCBG dress (BCBG), shoes (Famous Footwear – lol), undergarments (VS), custom bolero (etsy) – $600
I’d be happy to give you the full breakdown of what we really spent, just send me an e-mail. I understand that many people are truly interested, but others seem to like to knock down other people’s weddings. I’d like to avoid that, which is why I’m not posting every detail here.
As I’ve said before, we did it OUR WAY and focused specifically on spending what we could afford, not what we could pay off later — so while I don’t judge others who do it that way, that wasn’t something with which we felt comfortable doing.