After years and years of being the bridesmaid, my turn finally came 4 years ago. By the time I got engaged I had probably attended over 50 weddings as an adult guest and I can’t even remember how many weddings I’d actually been in.
All those years of hoping and longing for the day it would be my turn weren’t lost as I took lots of great notes about what I did and did not like about different weddings. I kept programs, menus, and favors. I took pictures of table settings and dresses, centerpieces and flowers. I knew that one day, when I finally got married I’d know exactly how I wanted my wedding to be.
On thing I love to do is save money. In fact, my two favorite words are “sale” and “clearance” so when we got engaged, I looked for all kinds of ways to save money. We designed our own wedding programs and used a website to create our save the date cards and invitations. Of course, I’ve always Googled coupons for any site where I am considering ordering something.
Below are some of the ways we saved the most money:
We had a short engagement!
Here in New Jersey the typical engagement is over a year long. Being a Southern girl who was, ahem, a few years older than the typical bride, I wasn’t interested in waiting another year to become Jackson’s Mrs. Our engagement was only four months and four days long. This meant we had to find good deals and make decisions quickly. We didn’t have time to keep adding on more and more things to our wedding.
We got married on a Friday.
Listen, I’m the first one to get annoyed by a Friday wedding. It means that I must take at least half a day off work, if it’s a local wedding. However, this was the biggest, most memorable day of my life and I needed to make sure it was good for Jackson and me.
Turned out, with our venue, getting married on a Friday was about 20% cheaper per person less than getting married on a Saturday. Also, since our engagement was short, they had one Friday open in the time-frame we wanted, and they wanted to fill it. They told us if we took that date we’d get another 15% off.
We bought our candle stick centerpieces and then sold them after the wedding. I had a 3.5 hour daily commute for work, so I spent my whole commute each day searching the internet for all the things I could buy online. We got married at a venue with a view of NYC and floral centerpieces would have been way too expensive and they would have been over-kill for that room. With all the lights of the city flickering we decided that adding candles to our tables would be the prettiest. Of course, the elegant, three-tiered, glass, floating-candle sticks cost $75 per table to rent but I found them online to purchase for $30 per table! After the wedding we sold them all and made our money back.
We used SimuLinen Disposable Dinner Napkins!
I know what you’re thinking… disposable dinner napkins do not go with a venue overlooking NYC, and elegant glass candlestick centerpieces. This is probably the most shocking thing you’ll discover. Cloth napkins at venues, or provided by caterers, are NOT nice napkins. Their napkins are typically cheap polyester that do not absorb a thing and are rough to the touch. Add to their lack of elegance, the price for renting these cloth napkins can break the bank! On the contrary, SimuLinen’s Signature Colored Dinner Napkins are thick, durable, absorbent and far softer on your mouth. They also come in 21 different colors so there will definitely be one to match your color scheme, AND they are quite reasonably priced.
What I learned from my wedding planning days was that the best ways to save money came from thinking outside the box (purchasing glass candlesticks I could later sell). I didn’t settle for what was expected (Friday night wedding) and I dared to venture away from the norm (disposable dinner napkins). To this day friends still tell us ours was one of the most beautiful and fun weddings they’ve ever attended.
What are ways you’ve saved money for your wedding? Share in the comments so others can use your ideas!