Sometimes the best way to come up with cheap wedding ideas is sit around with your fiancé and some friends and do some brainstorming.
Your friends know you best and have a good sense of what is possible given your specific circumstance. But if you are looking for a place to start, here are some cheap wedding ideas that you can expand on.
Even the most inexpensive wedding has a budget. Knowing your budget and deciding what is important to you before you start will help with the numerous decisions that will be making. Even brides on a tight budget know that having one spot to keep their notes, appointments, guest lists and seating arrangements to name just a few will save time and money in the end. Use my printable wedding checkist or printable wedding planner can help you keep on track and keep records of your wedding expenses.
The wedding invitation is usually the first correspondence you have with your friends and family that you are planning a wedding. The style and wording of the invite will convey the theme of your wedding so ensure it portrays the image you are looking for. Purchase some blank white note cards from a stationery store and a couple of scrapbooking stamps (find inexpensive ones at a dollar store). Enlist a friend to do calligraphy or run them through your computer.
Also LightintheBox have inexpensive wedding invitations in bulk packages. They are also often on special.
Another way to minimalize your wedding expenses is to either make your own diy wedding favors - or buy some cheap, but cute ones. These below are all less than $4. There are so many to choose from, but I like the ones which do double up to be something practical and useful for the guests to take home rather than just a few jelly beans you eat on your way home.
Depending on the dress you are choosing, the theme and location of your wedding, your groom may look perfectly handsome in a smart business suit. Choose one he’ll wear again or possibly a suit he already owns. Make sure it fits well and have it dry cleaned before your special day.
Your choice of dress may partly depend on whether this is your first wedding or not. Second time brides tend to be less extravagant but still want to look beautiful. If you like a bargain, other cheap wedding ideas include non-traditional wedding gowns. Try prom dresses, evening gowns or even gowns typically sold to bridesmaids. If you want a traditional wedding gown, decide how much you want to spend. You may get a brand new gown that you love on your budget. If you're open to a gently used dress, check E-bay, local classifieds and possibly a bridal rental store. Keep in mind that a previously owned dress will not include alterations. Be prepared to alter as required.
Another great option is to make your own wedding gown or have one made for you. You'll get exactly want you want and save hundreds of dollars.
Make your own hand tied bouquet. Purchase cut flowers and wide satin ribbon in a color that coordinates with your theme. This will need to be done the day of the wedding so ensure you have scheduled enough time. Boutonnieres and corsages can be done at home too – you may need florists tape and of course some long pins. Practice in advance so you know what you are doing. By using silk flowers all your floral arrangements can be done well in advance of wedding day.
Cheap wedding ideas for the venue can include getting married in the home of a family or friend, tying the knot outdoors in a public garden, at your local town hall or out of town in a small community center.
Most of your wedding budget will be spent on the reception so it also lends itself to the one item where the most money can be saved. Most venues will require that you use their catering services – know the contract details before you sign. If you can bring in your own food, this has the potential to save you thousands.
Go for a pot luck with your friends and relatives all bringing a dish. You can supply the main course and have all the extras provided by those who love you and are happy to help. Alternately, you can provide all the food. Pick a menu that is simple to prepare ahead of time and ensure you have enough refrigeration for everything that will be required. Hire your friends' teenage children as servers. Brew your own beer or make your own wine to serve at the reception.
Also a finger food wedding reception or a cocktail wedding reception with self catering or hiring a catering company to serve at a hall - is another way to save money.
Load up your MP3 with all your favorites and plug into speakers. You’ll still need someone (maybe your friends' teenage children again) to actually be in charge of playing and stopping the music as required. A DJ is also a good alternative to a live band – check around for pricing.
Ask your friends and relatives for a recommendation and suggest that in lieu of a wedding gift, you receive the services of a photographer for your special day. Just about everyone has a digital camera – ask all your guests to take loads and loads of photos and send them to you. Instead of a wedding book, create a scrapbook using a combination of photos and items such as ribbons or flowers.
Other cheap wedding ideas include getting married mid week to take advantage of savings from everything from photographers to venues. Also planning your special day in the winter or off wedding season will help with tremendous savings.
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