Here Comes The Savvy Budget Bride: 5 Steps To Your Dream Wedding


You can have the day of your dreams without a nightmare price tag.

By Teri Storelli, The Discount Dame for GALTime

Planning your wedding? Save your sanity (and your money) with these budget friendly tips.

5 Tips for Saving $ While Saying I Do

1. Timing is Everything
Did you know you could save a quarter of your reception hall and catering fees simply by having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday? If you are looking to have your reception at the ballroom of your favorite hotel or special event center, they will cut a big chunk right of the fee off the top — just for occupying the hall on a day other than Saturday.

Want to knock that reception sticker price down even farther? Plan you special day for the off season (November through January); the father of the bride will thank you.

2. Trade About Is Fair Play
Do you know someone who's gotten married in the past year or two? They might have some left over centerpieces or an aisle runner you can re-purpose and make your own. Put an ad out on Craig's List, troll eBay or even check out Bravo Bride where you can purchase wedding items from recently married brides at great discounts.

3. Green is Chic
Why spend money on things that you're going to the bouquet. Opting for eco-friendly paper flowers is one way to cut your decor budget by more than 75 percent. Opting to up-cycle wine corks into place card holders can save you around $172.50 vs. buying them. Instead of buying brand new vases, hit your local second hand stores where you can find glass pieces to mix and match. This will give your budget a break and add to your tables' visual interest.

4. Budgets Are Meant To Be Broken
If you've hired a wedding planner, or if your planning it yourself, give your budget some room to grow. If you have $10,000 to spend, shave $3,000 off the top immediately and make your wedding budget $7,000. Odds are, if you plan on spending $10,000 you will spend at least $12,000, which is more than you have. But if you go over your $7,000 budget, you'll still have $3,000 to cushion your budget fall. So what if you don't go over budget? Use your extra funds for your honeymoon or tuck it away for a rainy day.

5. DIY and Save
Custom printed invitations can run you hundreds of dollars. Instead opt for print at home designs. Stores like Michael's and Target have a great selection in a variety of color schemes and styles that come with easy to use templates so you can create professional looking invites at home. Do me a favor, don't buy pre-made favors. No wedding guest should have to chip a tooth on a Jordan Almond again.

The key is to think of things you are known for as a couple. Are you coffee addicts? Make pretty bags of bulk coffee beans and spoons dipped in chocolate for mixing into coffee with your thank you message on the lid. These will cost you less than a $1 per person. Are you two into hiking? Make map of your favorite trail and a satchel of homemade trail mix (great recipes for gourmet trail mixes can be found online). This will cost you pennies per guest. Favors can really tell a story about who you are as a couple and add a truly personal touch in a very inexpensive way.

Now Take a Vow of Frugality
Frugal planning shouldn't start and end with your wedding. Now that you've tied the knot for less, it's time to merge your finances and see where you can trim some fat. Make a "His & Hers" list of all your bills and expenses. You can see what you can combine, what you can do away with and what you can find discounts for, now that your married. Car insurance companies that offer multi-car discounts and cell phone family plans are much more affordable than separate plans, so take advantage of these savings.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.