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Thread: money saving tips for weddings

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    Anna
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    anyone have good tips on how to save money when planning weddings?
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    Smart Canuck
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    That's a very broad question because preferences (and budgets) in having a wedding can change from one person to the next. What kind of wedding are you planning in having? It can be anything from the white dress/church/reception extravangaza to an intimate dinner with family and friends. So first, decide what you'd like and decide what's really important.

    For example, it's a tradition in my family that we treat the guests to a really nice dinner. Because it was expensive, and we could afford only so much, we had a short wedding ceremony in my MIL's backyarn with a small dinner party at an upscale restaurant. A big dress wasn't important to me. Instead I bought a long summer dress on sale.

    A collegue of mine held her wedding at a resort by the river and for food, they rented a chip and hot-dog for the day. Guest paid for their own drink. A very casual affair, she wore a simple white sheath, bridemaids wore summer dresses. The groom and groomsmen wore khaki chinos and casual white shirts.

    Another friend held her elaborate wedding ceremony with the white dress and the bridemaids at a swanky hotel. Afterwards, she had a party at her house. She offered drinks and hors d'oeuvres.

    I even attended a wedding last year where the guests provided the food a la potluck style.

    Like I said, many formulas. So tells us what you're envisionning and we'll take it from there.
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    Mastermind Natalka's Avatar
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    Love to help, but as previous poster said, we need some sort of guidelines to go on.

    When's the wedding?

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    Senior Canuck maribel's Avatar
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    What parts are you looking to save money on? I have many ideas, but some may not apply

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    Anna
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    wedding is at a fancy hotel in september. 200 people.

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    Smart Canuck matrix82's Avatar
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    Have your supper catered at a local firehall, masonic lodge etc. Often it is much cheaper than local banquet halls and can be very lovely.

    Cater your own wedding like have a barbeque

    Silk flowers or potted plants instead of cut flowers.

    Family or friend as a photographer

    Have a family or friend make the cake

    Have only a best man and maid of honor instead of a larger wedding party

    Use your own vehicle or get driven by a friend instead of renting a car/limo

    Sew your own wedding dress

    Elope or stay common-law :D
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    One Awesome Domestic Diva MrsSunshine's Avatar
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    Thought i'd add my own comments to these.. and offer a little extra too...

    Quote Originally Posted by matrix82 View Post
    Have your supper catered at a local firehall, masonic lodge etc. Often it is much cheaper than local banquet halls and can be very lovely.
    - many churches also offer their halls too, call your local College etc to see if they have a Culinary school willing to 'practise' with your event.

    Cater your own wedding like have a barbeque

    Silk flowers or potted plants instead of cut flowers.- the $ is awesome for this, they carry a wide range (or even Michael's with the 50% off coupons). if your want live you can go simple and buy potted plants cut them off at the base and wrap them with ribbon, even make corsages for $4-6!. Sometimes one or two stems makes more of an impact then a huge bouquet that is only held for a few minutes. Simple cut flowers can still look quite pretty in pictures.

    Family or friend as a photographer-- make sure you invest is good photograher if anything is splurged on this would be it. sit down ahead of time and put your ideas in writing, look through magazines, books etc to get ideas of pics you want. ALSO be prepared JIC for bad weather have an alternate place for pictures. some hotels/ etc may offer a space for a small nominal fee.

    Have a family or friend make the cake- for this you can also consider a culinary school, or even have a variety of cupcakes and a small cake for you to cut. if you wish. i find cupcakes are SO much easier. one real cake for pictures and then everyone else can help themselves.. you can have different flavors too.. you can also do cake pops.

    Have only a best man and maid of honor instead of a larger wedding party--consider the cost of their outfits, etc when making the decision on how many you want in your party, do you want them to pay for it all, consider dresses that can be worn again/rental suits, if your paying for it. well totally up to you.

    Use your own vehicle or get driven by a friend instead of renting a car/limo- there are also buses(city, school/greyhound), lots of different options here, antque vehicles, horse and carriage. if your not worried about this option maybe just a friend with a nice vehicle to get you there.

    Sew your own wedding dress- OR check out your local Kijiji there are SO many dresses on their for next to nothing.

    Elope or stay common-law :D
    - um on a side note part of us wish we'd done that. but for us we couldn't.

    Decorations- consider garage sales/etc for cheap ideas. flowers, vases, stones, etc. tulle. these can also be found on Kijiji when many ppl don't want to have it sit around in their homes. sell cheap!.

    Dj. ask a friend to hook up their computers/ipods. unless you want the 'MC' experience.
    If i think of anything else i'll post.
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    When I planned my wedding I was told about a place in Toronto that was nonprofit that takes donations to help out others for weddings and proms/grads. It is called the brides project. I know that my cousin used it. She supplied the materials and they made her veil really cheap. You can get all kinds of things from dresses to decorations. I don't know if there is a place like this near you. We also both used the same bakery for our cakes. The small family runs businesses are cheaper than fancy bakeries and our cakes still looked wonderful. They also catered my wedding and a couple of the girls I worked with used them as well as they had the best prices and good food. There was a bridal store that has a sample sale for one month out of the year. Maybe you could call around to stores in your area to see if they have anything like this. I made all of my invitations from Michaels, using the coupons of course. I had my wedding on a Tuesday as the next day was Canada day. This made things like photographers cheaper as they are not usually booked. Hope this helps.

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    Make your own invites / thank you and reply cards.

    Rather than take away gifts make a donation to your favourite charity.

    Have a faux cake with a tier that you can cut for the photo op and one to freezer for your first anniversary if that's your thing. I can't remember the last time I was at a wedding that actually served the wedding cake.

    Don't over feed your guests. I find a lot of food goes to waste because people are just way too full. Last wedding I went to I was fed pasta twice. Once for the pasta course and again for my vegetarian main. There was no way I could eat all that was put in front of me.

    Congrats on the upcoming wedding.

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    Smart Canuck matrix82's Avatar
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    I wish this thread was here when I got married a few years ago. Some great advice .
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    Mastermind Natalka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odzzy View Post
    wedding is at a fancy hotel in september. 200 people.
    Ooo, coming up soon - congrats!

    Ours was that size, too, in a hotel ballroom.
    Biggest money saver for us was that we got to bring in our own booze for the bar; we only used the hotel's beer. We also had bottles of red and white wine at each table. It was a huge savings for us, because we had a full open bar an hour for cocktails, then another six or seven hours for the reception.

    We didn't hire a videographer - we got video from two people and put it together.
    We had a professional photographer only for portraits at the studio; BIL did photos at church and reception. Note: we had a Ukrainian Catholic ceremony and he was familiar with it, so he knew what parts were important.

    We didn't have a 'wedding cake' - we had a variety of cheesecakes and lots of dainties for dessert.
    My mom made traditional wedding fruitcake, which was pieced and wrapped, and we passed out in the receiving line later in the night.

    We didn't have to pay for the use of the church, since we were members. Also, didn't have to pay for officiants, since one priest was my husband's brother, and the other two priests were friends.

    No skimping on food for the reception! We had a big buffet for supper, then a midnight lunch.



    A great site here - check out the blog and forums for lots of ideas and discussions

    http://www.mycanadianwedding.com/

    This is hosted in Vancouver, but lots of frugal ideas here

    http://vancitybride.com/

    Other sites for ideas

    http://www.slice.ca/weddings/
    http://ruffledblog.com/wedding-ideas/
    http://ruffledblog.com/diy-ideas/

    http://www.bridecraft.com/index.html
    http://www.theringbearer.ca/wedding_style.php?v=main
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    Smart Canuck
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    Quote Originally Posted by odzzy View Post
    wedding is at a fancy hotel in september. 200 people.
    Do they have any restrictions with having your wedding there? I know in my area, the cost of renting a banquet hall takes into account what services you're buying from them. If they cater the event, the price of the hall is significantly reduced. In other words, the more you bring in yourself, the higher the cost of the hall rental and/or services. Keep this in mind.

    I've seen some good suggestions, but it really depends on what you expect, want, and what's downright important.

    A friend photographed my wedding and I got what i paid for. None of the pictures have a full body picture of me, i.e. none where you can see my whole wedding dress. They're all upper body pictures.

    In my area, apparently the best deal for flowers are at Loblaws, and they do a fabulous job i hear. Shop around.

    See if you can buy your dress on sale - either end of season, shop floor models, dresses partially paid but never picked up. Renting is a good option as well.

    Make your own party favours. I bet Pinterest has lots of ideas! The dollar store is your friend.

    Make your own accessories, i.e. veil, tiara, garter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gourmetsue View Post
    Have a faux cake with a tier that you can cut for the photo op and one to freezer for your first anniversary if that's your thing. I can't remember the last time I was at a wedding that actually served the wedding cake.
    Most likely because there's a cake cutting and serving fee if you don't buy the cake from the caterer/hotel. I think it's like $2 a piece. That's one area where it's hard to save. Myself I like the new trend of offering cupcakes.

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    The only tip that I can give you is be realistic. Workout what you can realistically afford. You don't want to have credit bills after your honeymoon. It's such a headache, trust me.
    Last edited by curtnicole; Thu, Mar 28th, 2013 at 08:04 AM.

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    Contradiction in progress sweet sparrow's Avatar
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    Probably the biggest expense is high expectations. If there are certain things that are non-negotiable (especially from parents or relatives), you're stuck.

    We had a few splurges, but ours was a smallish wedding (110 people or so) but it still ran well over the five figure mark. We had it on a Saturday in Toronto so everyone could attend ($$$$$). Our next wedding we've been invited to is in winter on a Tuesday, so they're cutting down on the numbers that can show up, and the reception is the most expensive part. My mother is of the camp that it's rude to invite people to a wedding on a day everyone needs to take off work. Besides, there may be someone important that may not be able to attend, so that was out of the question for us.

    Our key was that our friends were involved as much as possible. Four friends kindly lent me the use of their wedding dresses and I chose the one that required the least amount of adjusting. I had to make three more dress changes before the end of the night and borrowed another, bought one on crazy clearance, and one other was a gift. Jewelery, tiara, veil, etc. was all borrowed.

    My mother made the three tier cake, while another friend decorated it. Her only experience was that she had decorated her own wedding cake a few years ago. I'm not for fussy frills, so I was so impressed with my rolled fondant cake with the prominent cascade of giant pink cymbidium orchids and satin ribbon. It was an even better version of the Martha Stewart picture I had given her. My face literally looked like this when I saw it:

    Another friend made the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. Again, this was another friend who had made these at her own wedding and they were more stunning than the professional ones I had seen. Flowers used to decorate the church were moved to the reception venue (reduce, reuse, recycle!). My friend who decorates for weddings at one of Toronto's most famous wedding locations made the decorations for the car and the church and used some borrowed tulle from a previous wedding.

    Extremely talented friends sang and played the classical music at the church service and helped me put together the programs and bombonnieres. DH made the invitations, reply cards, etc. Actually, this portion cost about as much as the expensive professional ones since this was his splurge area (heavy, sturdy cardstock, colour change glimmer paper, professional printers, etc.).

    It was one of the best days of our lives, mainly because we had so many loved ones who put so much work into making it special for us. I don't any sum of money could have made it any better.

    My mother negotiated the cost of the 10 (or was it 11 or 12?) course meal. She had them throw in the cake cutting and extra plates required for it and we were allowed to bring all our own drinks (alcohol, pop, etc.), while the venue provided complimentary tea and water.
    Last edited by sweet sparrow; Thu, Mar 28th, 2013 at 10:51 AM.

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