Here are some money saving tips that FB would
like to share with you. Use a couple of tips to save a few bucks
or use more and save $1000+.
* For specific information and tips on the services
below, see the other articles in this section and in the Vendor
Tips section of FB.
The Most Important Money
You will save yourself an enormous amount
of money if you get married during the off-season months of
January, February, March and November.
Getting married on any other of the week other
There is no official name for this disease
but many brides get it.
1st Symptom - around 3 months before your
wedding, you'll begin to second-guess your decisions.
2nd Symptom - You'll get scared and think
about what you can do to make your wedding better or more
3rd Symptom - Then you'll ask friends,
family, co-workers and anyone that will listen to you,
about what they think of your new ideas.
4th Symptom - and most dangerous
make a few phone calls and start up-grading a few of your
The Cure - stick to your original budget.
As the wedding draws near, your emotions take over
Vendors are well aware of the disease. That's
why every contract allows for you to upgrade a package at
any time but there are rarely loopholes for downgrading.
The Wedding Attire Search
If finances don't allow you to purchase a
designer wedding dress, consider renting. Look at it this
way, if you're the type who wouldn't even consider wearing
your mother's dress, why do you need one collecting dust in
Never mind buying an expensive silk gown.
Stick to polyester blends. They're cheaper, don't wrinkle
as much and are easier to clean.
The more beading and detail on the gown, the
Most of the big bridal shops have huge sales
once a year, usually held at hotels or other big venues.
To take care of the something old-new-borrowed-blue,
look to family and friends for items you can use.
Go shopping for bridesmaids' dresses during
prom season and after New Years. There's nothing written in
stone that says you have to buy your bridesmaids dresses at
a wedding shop, and generally your prices will be a bit cheaper
Shop for those pretty little wedding shoes
in the summer, when white shoes are on the shelves of every
shoe and department store, or you'll have to buy them in a
bridal shop and pay their prices. Shop in the afternoon, your
feet swell during the day and they'll also be swollen on your
wedding day. FB prime advice ... try "Payless".
Men's Tuxedo rentals are pretty much all the
same price no matter where you go. The thing to check on is
the condition of the suits and accessories.
Unless you plan on keeping your bouquet on
display in your home, don't bother with a duplicate to toss.
Instead of tossing your whole bouquet, just
pick one flower to throw. We all know what condition the bride's
bouquet is in after 30 women (or more) start clawing at it.
Silk flowers save you a lot of money and they're
already preserved. The Bride can have fresh flowers, but there
really isn't any need for everyone else to go fresh.
If you're using flowers in your centrepieces,
decorations or large altar arrangements, go with silk. Would
be nice if your guests could actually use the centrepieces
that they just won again. You could re-use the decorations
and larger arrangements at home, party accents or resell them
on the Babbling Brides Board to another FB.
I Have No Idea How To Decorate!
To decorate the head table and save money
buy vases, line them up and place the bouquets in them on
the table and place votives in between.
Before shopping for candles and candleholders
anywhere else, be sure to check out a couple of dollar stores.
Dollar stores and chains like Wal-Mart and
Zeller's also carry many items that can be used to decorate
your ceremony or reception locations.
When decorating the church or reception venue
use silk flowers.
Check with your florist or garden centre to
see if you can rent plants, some places do.
Kill 2 birds with one stone and use your guest
favours/bomboniere as your centrepieces. Buy a raised cake
plate and display the favours on each table. Your MC can make
an announcement explaining.
How Can I Cut Corners on the Invitations?
To make your invitations more personal and
less expensive, do them yourself. There are a number of paper
stores and websites availabile where you can find original
ideas and ways to make your own invitations.
Order your invitations over the Internet instead
of a printing shop (it's a little cheaper). Mail order is
Order a plain invitation from a company and
decorate it yourself. All you need is a hole-puncher and some
ribbon and/or parchment paper.
I Don't Want to Spend a Fortune on
Please, go to a DOLLAR STORE first and check
out their selection of party favours.
Some bomboniere stores decorate the gift for
free and some don't, so make sure you ask.
Instead of buying a trinket that will be tossed
into a drawer, make a donation to a charity. This is a new
trend that many brides are choosing. Pick a cause that means
something to you. Your MC can say something like: "Instead
of favours, the couple has decided to make a donation in their
name to the Lung Cancer Society. The bride's grandfather passed
3 years ago from this disease." Donations always get
a round of applause
ever see anyone clap for a candy
Wedding Cakes too expensive? No Problem!
Buying a cake made with different flavoured
tiers will save you money as you wouldn't necessarily require
a dessert table.
To get away with not paying a cake cutting
fee at your venue, purchase their sweet table but serve your
wedding cake for dessert. This means you'll have to do your
cake cutting as soon as your wedding party does their entrance.
The staff will take the cake away and have it cut and plated
in time for dessert.
If you're having a dessert table, you really
don't need to buy an elaborate wedding cake, try renting.
Buy a plain wedding cake and decorate it yourself
with silk or fresh flowers.
What about my Hair & Makeup?
Try to hire one person or company that does
both hair and makeup.
Only the bride needs a trial.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to
$100 for hair and $30 to $85 for makeup. Know that the more
women you have that need these services, the cheaper the cost
If hair accessories are going to be put in
anyone's hair, make sure you buy them yourself. If you leave
this up to the hair stylist it'll cost more.
If you have sensitive skin, we suggest that
you do not go for a facial the week before your wedding. You
don't want to be all broke out for the big day.
Please get your nails done and make sure the
groom's hands are also manicured. More than likely you'll
be getting a picture that shows your hands and the wedding
bands. People will be constantly asking to see your rings.
Lastly, try to find a makeup and hair vendor
that will do a trial a few months before the wedding. It gives
you time to work out any areas you are not happy with and
makes the wedding day process much quicker
Using a Caterer & choosing a Reception
Hire a caterer that supplies everything you
need, plates, glassware, table cloths, etc.
Make sure you're only charged for the services
that you need. Some caterers have packages that include decorating
and other items. If your venue is decorated already you won't
need the extras. Extras should be deducted from the bill or
replaced with something else you want.
Pick fruits and vegetables that are in season.
Stick to serving food that everyone is familiar
with. Fancy food is expensive.
Buffets generally cost a good deal less and
give your guests the opportunity to get up and mingle with
the other guests, and they can pick exactly what they would
like to eat.
Make sure to read your contract and check
to see if the gratuity is included. This goes for all services.
Booking a venue that allows you to buy your
own liquor is more work but saves you money.
Depending on your culture and where you live
in Canada, having a cash bar is totally acceptable. This can
be a huge money saver.
Consider only serving wine and domestic beers.
Liquor (vodka, rum, rye, scotch) plus all
the different mixes you'll need adds to your expenses.
Liqueurs like Grand Marnier, Sambucca, etc.
can put a real strain on the liquor budget.
Do you really need that Champagne toast?
Common sense tip - the more guests the more
cash you're going to put out.
Holding your reception in a hotel has a lot
of good points. They usually decorate, have professional services,
i.e. DJ, can cater well to large groups, and most likely will
include the honeymoon suite, with discounted rooms for out-of-town
If you're having a wedding with 75 guests
or under, consider having your reception at your favourite
restaurant. You will already know the staff and how the food
Order child meals for kids under 11.
Order a teen meal (same as adults but no liquor)
for ages 12 to 17.
Your reception is the biggest expense. It's
also where you can save the most money if you shop around
and plan well!
Photographers charge too much!
Photographers equipment and workflow costs alone are huge.
Then there are batteries, flash cards, an assistant, wear and tear on their vehicle, insurance coverage, and the hours of
work on and after the wedding that they factor into their pricing. On top of that you then pay for the creative talent of the photographer. You can save money on enlargements
and albums but don't penny pinch when it comes to the photographer.
After your wedding day, the only things you have left are your
pictures and your video. These are the only 2 services that
last a lifetime and can be passed down to the next generation.
Biggest tip - hire a photographer that gives
you your digital high resolution files, that way you can make as many copies of
pictures from your wedding day as you want without having
to order them from your photographer.
If you choose a photographer that does not
give you your files, always find out how long they keep
your files for, and ask if you can obtain them when they
are ready to discard them. Most photographers in general don't
keep digital negatives past 3 years. Be prepared that some photographers still may charge a fee for providing your with the files. If its 3 years after your wedding, you can prepare for that fee and remember again that its the only memories of your wedding day.
$1000.00 for a photographer is a great price
but if they charge $40.00 for an 8 X 10, where's the savings.
Don't just look at the photo packages or wedding day shoot
costs, ask how much their enlargements and albums are.
If a package includes a couple's album and
2 parent albums, ask how much that same package would cost
without any albums. Sometimes it's worth the savings to buy
your own albums elsewhere and sometimes it's better to take
the albums offered by your photographer.
Unless you're doing a formal shoot at the
bride or groom's house, you don't need a photographer there.
Your wedding party and family will have their cameras out
A great idea is to not have the photographer stay for the reception. Saves a lot of coverage time. If you want to do this, simply do your first dance and cake cutting when you are introduced. The photographer can stay to capture that and leave at the point that you sit down for dinner.
You don't need your photographer to stay until
1am. Once the bouquet and garter tosses have taken place,
there are no more major events to shoot. Your 1st & last
dances look the same on film.
I think I'll just forget about a Video
Some couples think that having a video is a waste of money.
How many times will we actually watch it? As necessary as still
pictures are they can not capture the mood, movement and sounds
of your wedding day like a movie can. One of the biggest misconceptions
is that you have a great memory and you'll remember everything
about your day. You won't, you can't, there are too many things
going on and you're on cloud 9. Keep this in mind.
Go for packages with one camera coverage
Pick a package with limited editing or none
If you can't afford a professional video,
ask a friend or 2 that own their own video cameras to shoot
the day for you. Putting an unfamiliar camera in someone else's
hands is useless. Professionals know what to shoot and how
to shoot it. So, give your friend a list of events that you
want footage of and how you want each shot, for the entire
Pre-Ceremony: Close-up footage for 10-seconds
of the different decorations.(altar arrangements, pew
bows, wreath outside and unity candle)
The guys waiting. Ask the groom what he's
The guests arriving (especially immediate
Do I Have To Pay a Fortune for Transportation?
Shop around, there are so many limousine companies
out there. Prices do vary.
There is no rule anywhere that says, "You
have to have a stretch limousine." The smaller the car
Other than the car and uniformed chauffeur,
you really don't need any other extras.
You can also save money by renting your vehicles
from Budget, Hertz, etc. They all have new model luxury cars,
sports cars and SUVs.
You really don't need the limousine to take
you home after the reception. Late-night pick-ups cost $100.00+
Before the ceremony, have the limo pick up
the bride and her bridesmaids. The groom, groomsmen and parents
can take their own vehicles to the church. After the ceremony,
the bride and groom can take the limo and the bridesmaids
can hop in the groomsmen's cars.
You may already know someone that owns a Cadillac
or Lincoln, a fancy sports car or for fun a Beetle or an antique
car. Give this person a call.
Some couples need more then one limo. If this
is the case for you, compare the cost of 2 to 3 limos vs.
the cost of 1 limo bus or Chartered Bus.
Choosing Your Music Service
Common sense, the least amount of people providing
a service, the cheaper.
Ceremony - An organist is cheaper than
a string duo, which is cheaper than a trio
Reception - A DJ is cheaper than a band
The least amount of extras the cheaper. Lighting,
smoke & bubble machines, other props, costumes, give-aways,
fireworks, the list is endless, all cost money. It's up to
A really expensive package doesn't mean that
your party will last longer or that your non-dancing guests
will feel the need to shake their booty for the first time
in their life. But a crappy DJ or band will ruin your reception.
Do I really need a Wedding Coordinator
Let's face it, the ONLY service you need to get married is an
- Most wedding coordinators can save you money because they
- about all the tips mentioned above plus more
- what to say to and ask your vendors
- They have connections in the industry.
- You really don't need a coordinator at your reception once
the dance floor is open to your guests. That usually happens
- You could hire a wedding consultant to help with the final
stages of your wedding; creating a detailed wedding day itinerary,
making up a checklist for items at the ceremony & reception
locations, and confirming with your vendors. While she won't
be in attendance at your wedding, she has planned the day smoothly
on paper. As long as you follow the times closely (not exactly)
and do the events in the same order as the itinerary states,
you'll be fine.
- You can appoint a friend or family member to be your honorary
coordinator. Give her an itinerary, checklists (ceremony &
reception items, photo and music list) and phone numbers for
all your vendors. The honorary coordinator should be someone
that's organized, the more obsessive-compulsive the better and
not scared to open her mouth when something goes wrong.