100 Money Saving Tips for Your Wedding

 

 

Everything Wedding by BrideStLouis.com

Your wedding budget should not be something you are paying off for the next 5 years! There is a lot of pressure from family and friends to spend lots of money and I am here to tell you that you don’t have to! Make your budget something you are comfortable with and not what your family and friends tell you. Choose what’s important to you – and cut back on the less important items.

  1. Keep your guest list small. This is one of the best ways to save on your wedding costs. If you are having 50 guests or less, there are places like Tuscany Gallery (www.TuscanyGalleryandEvents.com) that can host your wedding ceremony & reception for a very modest price, and it’s beautiful.
  2. Consider a different time of day for your wedding, such as morning or afternoon.
  3. Consider a buffet or family-style meal rather than a plated meal. You can also opt for a cocktail hour with appetizers rather than a formal dinner.
  4. Stick with flowers that are in season. Or buy flowers from wholesale places like Sam’s and make a casual arrangement yourself. Today’s silk flowers are beautiful and look very real.
  5. Consider getting married during off-peak wedding season. June and October tend to be the most popular month for weddings here in our area.
  6. Print your own invitations at home.
  7. Purchase handmade items directly from the designer on places like Etsy and cut out the middle man.
  8. Consider a wedding location that isn’t a traditional “wedding” location, such as a park, municipal building or school.
  9. Have less formal food options. Everyone loves comfort food and snacks! A new trend is to bring in a food truck. Also consider food stations, such as a hot dog station, taco bar, or salad station where guests can create and choose what appeals to them.
  10. Consider a wedding dress that is not from a traditional bridal store. Browse a major retailer or online store for white dresses at a good price. SIGN UP NOW for the 3nd “Annual Run for the Dress” event being held on July 28th, 2019 at the Trigg Banquet Center, where thousands of dresses are sold here in St. Louis for 50% to 70% off the retail price. (CLICK HERE to register for the RUN for the Dress.) Just need more information? Go to www.RunfortheDress.com or www.Facebook.com/RunfortheDress.
  11. Think about saving money for your maids. Bridesmaid dresses can also be found at a discount store or outlet or have your bridal party wear something they already own all in the same color. Bridesmaids, Mothers and Flower Girl dresses are also available at the Run for the Dress event on July 28, 2019.
  12. Shop sample sales or go dress shopping while there are sales. This could mean shopping way ahead of time to get a good price.
  13. Consider doing your own hair or makeup. Or go to a makeup store and have a professional teach you how to apply a good look.
  14. Instead of buying something, consider renting it, with things such as a tuxedo. Or, consider a more relaxed look like casual dressy attire.
  15. Add a line on your RSVPs for your guests to request a song, that way you will play some songs your guests want to hear and you can keep the dance floor busy. Consider making your own playlist with these songs, get a speaker system and do away with a DJ. Hire a harpist for the ceremony.
  16. Consider not having favors to cut down on costs or limit them to one per couple instead of one per person.
  17. Helium Balloons make for wonderful décor to add color to any basic banquet room.
  18. Use coupons to find deals on craft items, wedding supplies and accessories. Michaels many times has 40% off coupons. You might have to make multiple purchases over several trips to get everything, but it’s a great way to save a lot.
  19. Ask friends to help out with anything they can contribute. Maybe one of them could even officiate the wedding. But don’t ask friends/family to be your photographer. You really want GOOD photography because those photos will be keepsakes forever.
  20. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to the wedding budget. The last thing you want is for him to go and splurge on something he wanted while you promised to make cutbacks on things you wanted. Marriage is all about compromise,
  21. Make the candy buffet yourself – buy wholesale candy and collect containers from friends.
  22. Buy your own alcohol for the reception.
  23. Local, seasonal food options are usually always cheaper for dinner.
  24. A small indulgence can be included for a modest amount. Splurge on a new perfume to capture the day’s memories. Your mind will be brought back to your wedding every time you smell the fragrance.
  25. Ask a cake baker who is just starting out to make your cake instead of a large bakery.26.Think about hiring a music student or someone early in their career for live music.
  26. Think about hiring a music student or someone early in their career for live music.Consider cupcakes or small desserts instead of cake.
  1. Depending on your views, you could choose not to serve alcohol or limit the number of bar hours.
  2. Although the up-front costs of a wedding planner may seem high, they are often great at scoring deals and working with vendors.
  3. Search out antique stores for unique décor items.
  4. If you’re paying for things for the wedding on a credit card, make sure you’re getting something back in return with a cash-back rebates or loyalty points.
  5. Fill your centerpieces and bouquets with greenery or fresh flowers from local wholesale places.
  6. Skip the champagne and opt for white wine or sparkling wine instead.
  7. Simplify your invitations and keep them down to one page instead of a fold-out with ribbon, to save on postage.
  8. Cut down on photographer costs by only having one photographer instead of a second or third shooters.
  9. Alternatively, ask the photography company if an assistant or associate could be your main photographer instead. They may charge a lower rate.
  10. Attend a bridal show or wedding fair to score deals on vendors. At our August 4, 2019 Bridal Show “Love is in the Air” you can save over $2500.00 on your wedding with vendors who have put together amazing deals.  Plus, you might win a fabulous Hot Air Balloon Ride. CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets now and save on your entry fee.
  11. If you’re going to splurge, make sure it’s on something you and your guests will enjoy, such as food or photography.
  12. Go for a single type of flower or a less expensive flower (exotics come with a price) for your bouquet.
  13. Your guests still need to be fed, but don’t overdo it on the food. More than three courses for a sit down meal might be excessive for some people.
  14. Have a small display cake as your wedding cake and a larger sheet cake in the back that can be switched out when the cake is cut. No one will know the difference!
  15. Plan things like the cake cutting and first dance earlier in the night, so you can limit the hours of photography needed.
  16. The same thing goes for DJ services. Have an iPod hooked up for the ceremony and cocktail hour and have the DJ work the reception only to cut back on hours.
  17. Use decorations that you already have at home instead of buying, such as candles, lanterns or frames.
  18. Cocktails and shots usually cost more with bar service, so have beer and wine only for the bar.
  19. Opt for the house wines instead of a specialty brand.
  20. Having larger tables instead of many smaller ones means less centerpieces and decorations.
  21. Consider emailing save-the-dates instead of mailing them.
  22. Design a centerpiece that doesn’t use flowers, such as something with lanterns, candles or jars.
  23. Purchase an umbrella that matches your wedding colors or style just in case it rains. Umbrellas can make for some pretty great photos if it does end up raining. (And rain is considered Good Luck!)
  24. An elopement or small destination wedding may be a less expensive option than a traditional reception. You don’t have to leave town to elope.
  25. Not having a wedding party, ring bearer or flower girl means less costs for outfits, gifts and flowers.
  26. A smaller wedding party also equals less cost–and sometimes less hassle. Again, less costs for gifts and flowers.
  27. Do you know someone else having a wedding? See if you can purchase some of their decorations and centerpieces.
  28. Avoid using the word “wedding” when talking to some vendors unless it is absolutely necessary. Sometimes, “wedding” costs come with a premium.
  29. Only invite people to your wedding you are close to, you know well or who you have seen in the last five years.
  30. Buy wedding items in bulk instead of smaller sizes. For example, some vendors may give you a lower price for each item once you buy more than 50.
  31. Save money on rehearsal dinner, bachelorette or bridal shower food, by opting for an at-home celebration instead of going to a restaurant. Tuscany Gallery also hosts Bridal Shows.
  32. Have the servers serve the wine instead of leaving it on the table, so the wine consumption is staggered throughout the night.
  33. Factor additional costs, such as shipping, taxes, fees and tips when you create your budget, so you make sure to stay in budget.
  34. Buttercream icing is usually a cheaper choice for cakes than fondant. Better yet, a naked cake looks just as nice.
  35. Browse online marketplaces for used wedding items or search a bridal swap listing service. Search for wedding resale sites on Facebook.
  36. Once you are done with your wedding items, sell them to make some extra cash.
  37. Limit the meal options to one option with a vegetarian option instead of three or four different–and more expensive choices. More choices equal more money.
  38. Ask your photographer if they will add videography to your package instead of hiring an additional videographer.
  39. When considering your guest list, make a rule about whether people can bring plus ones or not. Otherwise, costs can add up for additional guests.
  40. When deciding whether to allow kids or not, remember that kids’ meals are often cheaper. Or, you can choose a no-children wedding.
  41. Borrow wedding items from a friend or family member or use family heirlooms in your accessories instead of buying.
  42. We’re not saying you should haggle for wedding contracts, but in some situations, it might be wise to ask if there is a way to lower the price.
  43. Do your research and shop around for vendors and wedding items before you buy. The lower price is not always the best deal. Personal service always trumps a slightly lower cost.
  44. Read contracts carefully before you sign, in case you run into any hairy situations where a vendor drops out, doesn’t deliver or overcharges you.
  45. Have your photographer and videographer only cover the ceremony.
  46. Less is more, so cut out things you don’t think you necessarily need. Try a wedding venue that already has decorative elements or doesn’t need many decorations.
  47. Some venue packages may be a good deal, but some require you to use their vendors exclusively, which may come at a price. Check to see if you can use your own. Check our blog page, http://www.bridestlouis.com/category/catering, for venues that allow you to hire your own catering companies.
  48. Create an easy wedding website and online RSVPs instead of traditional paper invitations.
  49. Serve the meal family style. Not only can you save money by serving food this way, but the interactive nature of family style eating will also encourage a wonderfully intimate atmosphere for your guests.
  50. Don’t get married on Saturday, the most popular and expensive day of the week for weddings.
  51. Cut down the passed appetizers to 1-2 a person per hour instead of 3-4. Or set out a few nibbles on the tables instead. Keep in mind, caterers may try to up-sell you.
  52. It is alright to say no or “we don’t need that” when discussing contracts. Don’t feel pushed into something you don’t actually want.
  53. Having a farm or country wedding, roast a pig and bring in the sides yourself.
  54. Carefully evaluate wedding trends. Popular items may cost more because everyone else wants them.
  55. It is important to thank your wedding party, however an expensive gift for each person adds up. A hand written note or personal thank you may be enough. Or perhaps buy them something affordable they can use every day.
  56. Create handwritten place cards and escort cards instead of having them professionally printed.
  57. Go through each budget item and see how you can trim each item down to the bare necessity. Really think about how necessary some of the costs are.
  58. Guests coming in from out of town? Make them a list of activities and locations they may enjoy. Create a personal welcome basket yourself with some snacks and other goodies.
  59. Keep receipts of everything you buy for the wedding and track each item, so you know how much you are spending.
  60. Have a signature drink. Having a signature cocktail passed around to guests during the cocktail hour is a nice way to personalize your wedding and save on alcohol costs. Guests will appreciate the gesture, you’ll be able to stick to your booze budget, and you’ll be on trend.
  61. Consider a wedding location that is not in a major city. Some downtown costs may be more expensive for you and your guests.
  62. Instead of response cards with your invitations, ask guests to email or phone you with their RSVP.
  63. Take advantage of free printables for your wedding stationery.
  64. We know shoes are a big deal. If you’re wearing a long dress, chances are people won’t really see them anyway. So why break the budget on them?
  65. Borrow a nice car or truck from a friend instead of renting a limo.
  66. Take your honeymoon at a time when you can get a better vacation deal instead of right after the wedding.
  67. Find a dress that fits instead of a size off the rack to cut down on alteration costs.
  68. Buying a smaller dress you hope to fit into by the wedding is never a good idea. If you do need alterations, making a dress fit smaller is cheaper than making the dress bigger.
  69. Enter wedding blog giveaways and contests for a chance to win free wedding things.
  70. Having a shorter time to plan a wedding means you will be more ruthless when it comes to things you need vs. want.
  71. Buy flowers, food items and candy at the grocery store or a bulk food store instead of a specialty store.
  72. Leave an empty vase on the head table and use your bridal bouquet as a centerpiece.
  73. Ask a hotel for a discounted rate for booking a block of rooms.
  74. Have the ceremony and reception at one place to cut down on costs of transportation, rentals and decorations.

 

So – what are your ideas? Send us details about what you are doing to stretch the budget and photos too (if you have them).  If we publish your ideas on our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/BrideStLouis) we will send you 2 FREE tickets to our August 4th Bridal Show.  Send to bride@BrideStLouis.com.

Treating Your Bridesmaids (Your Best Friends) Right

 

Your bridesmaids are very special friends in your life. So much so, that you want them to take a special place on your wedding day. Bridesmaids end up spending a lot of time, money, and effort on the wedding and deserve some special thanks and consideration.  Learn how to personalize your bridesmaid requests and thank them on your wedding day

A.)  How to personalize your Bridesmaid Requests

This is an exciting time for everyone involved, and here are some simple ways to make it a special moment no one will forget.  Rather than just calling or emailing your friends, ask them to be a part of your wedding with:

Customized gifts: You can add a label asking, “Will you be my Bridesmaid?” to a token of appreciation to give when asking your bridesmaids if they will be in your wedding. Bottles of wine, tote bags, wine/champagne glasses, chocolate – the possibilities are endless! If you are crafty you can customize gifts with paint or decals.

Personalized notes: Something special that money can’t buy is a personalized note for each of your bridesmaids. You can write everyone a letter about what they mean to you, memories of your friendship, and why you want them there on your special day.

B.) As a “Thank You” on the wedding day consider:

Matching robes: This is a functional gift that can be used after the wedding and will make everyone feel pampered and special before the reception even begins. Also, everyone in matching robes can make for some adorable photo opportunities!

Comfy shoes: Your girls are going to be standing and running around a lot to make sure the wedding is perfect; their aching feet will definitely appreciate the thoughtful gesture!  They also will appreciate Flip Flops for when they kick off their shoes.

Personalized bags, bracelets, or reusable water bottles: Not only are these items functional, but also fashionable. You can order customized bags with your bridesmaid’s names, or with a phrase like “Bride Tribe”, “Team Bride”, etc. You can also put an expression, phrase, quote, or initials so they can serve as gifts that will actually be used post-wedding.

C.) Be Considerate of Your Bridesmaids

Sometimes, consideration for your bridesmaids’ time and feelings goes farther than physical gifts.

Mismatch bridesmaid dresses: A fun option to give your bridesmaids some freedom is to do mismatch dresses. Choose a color pallet for the dresses and provide a picture of the colors you are going for and some possible guidelines. Then, let your brides choose their own dresses. This is perfect for a bridal party with a wide variety of tastes and body types!

Bridestlouis Blog Post of Bridesmaids

Be upfront about costs: Let everyone know from the start how much they will be spending on the bachelorette party/trip and wedding. Also, not everyone has been involved in a wedding before; let them know what is expected of them so there are no surprises.

No matter your budget, you can create a thoughtful, unforgettable experience for your bridesmaids. These are the girls who have been standing right by your side and will be there with you as your transition into married life.

Your Guide to Purchasing Alcohol for Your Wedding

Your Guide to Serving Alcohol at Your Wedding by BrideStLouis

How to Save on Open Bar Costs:
Open bars are fun, but they get expensive fast. Cut down on the open bar cost by only keeping it open during certain times. For example, you could have a cocktail hour during the reception, and then switch over to just beer and wine during dinner. Or you could set up a DIY drink station where people can make their own cocktails or pour their own wine or beer. Another way to reduce open bar costs is to ask friends and family members to take turns tending bar, rather than hiring a professional.

Selecting the Right Wine:
The first rule of choosing wine is that it’s your wedding, so choose your favorite ones. Once you select a few favorites, you can choose some other varieties to match your menu.

Chicken: Choose a light to medium white wine such as an oaked chardonnay or riesling, or a light to medium red such as a zinfandel or pinot noir. A rosé is also a fine choice.

Fish: Light whites such as sauvignon blanc or riesling are ideal.Beef: Opt for a red such as a pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, merlot or shiraz.

Pork: Serve a juicy, light-bodied red such as a grenache, pinot noir or zinfandel, or a high-acidity white such as a sauvignon blancor riesling.

Make sure you store your wine at proper temperatures. Whites and rosés should be refrigerated for a few hours prior to serving so they’re served at around 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerate reds for around 15 minutes in advance so they’re served at 60 to 65 degrees. Keep sparkling whites and champagne refrigerated beforehand, and store them on ice between pours so they stay around 45 degrees.

Selecting the Right Beer:
Your goal when choosing beer is to keep everyone happy. A good rule of thumb is to offer five or six different types of beer. Make sure you have at least two staple domestics and at least one local or craft brew for the more adventurous beer enthusiasts. You may also want to consider a seasonal option and a cider.  Session beers are great for weddings, as they’re low in alcohol so they can be consumed over the course of a few hours. You may also want to have one light, hoppy beer such as an IPA or pale ale, and a darker beer such as a porter or a stout so you can cover both ends of the spectrum. Finally, you really can’t go wrong with a Belgian white. Belgian beers tend to appeal to casual sippers and beer snobs alike.

It’s no secret that planning a wedding is a daunting task. From the guest list to the menu, every detail matters, and that includes your beer and wine purchase. Fortunately setting up the perfect wedding bar is one of the easier tasks to check off your list, thank to this handy guide.  Count on guests consuming two drinks in the first hour of your event and one drink during each following hour. Are you serving wine, beer and spirits? The general rule of thumb is 50% of your guests will prefer wine, 30% will prefer beer and 20% will prefer mixed drinks.  Simply offering wine and beer? Plan on 60 percent of your guests drinking wine and 40% drinking beer.

Here’s your handy guide :

ServingWineandBeeandSpirits Chart Wine and Beer Chart

Living Coral – Pantone Color of 2019 – Great for Any Wedding

Wedding Planning and Decor by BrideStLouis

Pantone announced that Living Coral (Pantone 16-1546) is the Pantone Color of the Year for 2019.  It is such an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.  And it’s perfect for your spring/summer or fall wedding.  This color can be incorporated without busting your budget.  It’s great for bouquets, table runners, and it blends with so many other colors as well.

Wedding Planning and Decor by BrideStLouis.com

Living Coral is bold and brilliant and when paired with these complimentary colors provides a dazzling portrait of color splashed across the sky as the sun rises and sets – adding feelings of pleasurable warmth.

Wedding Planning and Decor by BrideStLouis.com

Love a blue color?  Pair Living Coral with these complimentary colors that can suggest the blue of the sea and the kaleidoscope of colorful sea life.

Wedding Planning and Decor by BrideStLouis.com

Living Coral might just be the color for your wedding.  What do you think?

Here are some flowers that are perfect if you choose Living Coral compliments of Flower Muse.

Wedding Planning and Decor by BrideStLouis.com

12 Great Tips from Previous Brides about their Big Day

Wedding Planning by BrideStLouis

 

We recently had a wonderful opportunity to speak with brides who not long ago tied the knot, and we asked them what they recommend (as well as not recommend) the day of the wedding or just a few days before the wedding. Here are some of their suggestions:

Watch what you eat. If you know that certain foods can cause stomach upset, avoid those the day before the wedding. There is nothing worse than getting sick on your wedding day.

Don’t get a sunburn! Plan a relaxing day – but stay out of the sun if you tend to burn. All your photos will have you looking like a lobster!

Don’t party or drink too much! Get good rest before your big day. There is nothing worse than having a hangover the next day and trying to be happy.

Be sure to enjoy some “quiet time” right before your wedding. This is a big day and it’s nice to have time to reflect on the importance of this day. This includes not greeting people right before the wedding – there will be plenty of time after the ceremony.

Don’t worry about the choices you have made – it’s done. Go with the flow. You selected your hair, dress, and all the details because they looked good! You will look great! Smile – and enjoy the day!

DO drink WATER. Lots of water. It’s great for your complexion.

Remember that all things might not go as planned. No wedding is perfect. (Last year, I attended a wedding where the officiant forgot to do the ring exchange!)

The biggest surprise for many brides is that they do not have much time to sit and eat at their reception. Many brides and grooms ordered room service later just because they didn’t really get to eat.

The wedding day will fly by fast. No matter how many people tell you this, most brides tell us that they can’t believe how fast the day went. Really relax and enjoy every moment of the day and truly soak in the wonderful feeling of your day.

Spend more time with your new hubby. I spent the morning with my mom, the day with my bridesmaids, and really didn’t spend enough time with my husband during the reception. It was “our” day, but looking back, it really wasn’t.

Have a plan for the end of the reception. Designate someone to take home all your gifts, card box, and other mementos. If you are changing out of your gown before going to the hotel, have someone take it home for you.

Don’t sweat the small stuff and embrace the moments.

Personalizing Your Vows

Wedding Planning by BrideStLouis.com

 

Wedding vows today no longer necessarily follow the standard “love, honor, cherish…” verbiage.  Couples use their vows to express their feelings and commitments to one another.

Here are some examples:

I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

I, (name), take you, (name), to be my [opt: lawfully wedded] (husband/wife), my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

I (name), take you (name) to be my (husband/wife), my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.

In the presence of God and these our friends I take thee to be my husband/wife, promising with Divine assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful husband/wife so long as we both shall live.

I, (name), take you, (name), to be my friend, my lover, the (mother/father) of my children and my (husband/wife). I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and in times of triumph. I promise to cherish and respect you, to care and protect you, to comfort and encourage you, and stay with you, for all eternity.

I, [name], choose you [name] to be my [husband/wife], to respect you in your successes and in your failures, to care for you in sickness and in health, to nurture you, and to grow with you throughout the seasons of life.

I, (name), take you, (name), to be my partner, loving what I know of you, and trusting what I do not yet know. I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the (man/woman) you will become, and falling in love a little more every day. I promise to love and cherish you through whatever life may bring us.

And some addition readings might include:

Today we come together not to mark the start of a relationship, but to acknowledge and strengthen a bond that already exists.  Marriage is a commitment to the best that (name) and (name) can find and develop within each offer.   It offers opportunities for sharing and growth no other human relationship can equal, a physical and emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.  A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.

Marriage is the ongoing process of shaping and reshaping your lives together. It is the commitment to always listen to each other, to respect and value the other as your equal, to be honest with each other and to treat each other with kindness and thoughtfulness.

When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.  Marriage is a promise which takes a lifetime to fulfill.

Today, as I give myself to you, my commitment is strong and forever.  All that I am and all that I have, I offer you in love and joy.  Because of you, I laugh, I smile, and I dare to dream.  Today I fully and unconditionally give you my all.  To be by your side through thick and thin.  I vow to hold you when we go to sleep and kiss you when we wake up.  As I give you my hand to hold so I give you my life to keep.

Work with your officiant as he or she may have specific words that you cannot deviate from for a religious ceremony of he/she may have additional samples of vows.  Feel free to add your own embellishments, loving words, and inside jokes.