Thanks to wedding savings, we gained a son-in-law, not a lot of debt!
6 Great Ways to Save Money on a Wedding
by Buck Weber
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Last month our beautiful daughter was married to a fine young man we are proud to call our son-in-law. During the reception, I remember looking around the room at all of the happy guests visiting and dancing and thought, "I can't believe we actually pulled this off." By we I mean my wife, with her planning the thing and telling me what to do. She did such an amazing job that I asked if she would write this post and share several ways she saved money on our daughter's wedding. The following wedding savings ideas are by the lovely Lady Lon.
- Call in any and all favors. I have always been willing to help my friends out because we have the favor system. I was able to call upon a friend to run the kitchen at my daughter's wedding. In turn, I will run the kitchen at her daughter's wedding that is scheduled for next summer. This works, of course, for a wedding that isn't being catered. I was able to contact other friends and family members and request help because of the help I have given them in the past or due to upcoming help I will be giving them. I also had someone who was willing to help as a wedding gift to the bride and groom, which is an awesome barter gift.
- Make the food yourself for the reception dinner to avoid the cost of catered food. I spent $500 for the food served during the buffet style dinner. We had three choices of entrees, including meatballs, pulled pork, and pulled beef for sandwiches. We also had three salad choices, three veggie trays, and chips. I made the meats and called upon family and friends to make the salads. I bought most of the ingredients and invited the friends and family who were making the salad over to my house to do the work. That way I could have the finished product available at my convenience to transport to the reception hall. I enlisted the help of my neighbors' extra refrigerator in their basement for extra food storage. The food served equaled roughly $4 per head, and that even included the snacks served to the guests while waiting for the wedding party's pictures to be taken.
- Grow your own flowers and make your own bouquets. If you have enough time to plan this, it will save you a lot of money. My daughter was fortunate enough to have had a part-time job in a floral shop so we were able to use her training to make all the bouquets and boutonnieres. We did not have time to grow our own; instead, we went to three floral shops and priced the flowers we wanted. The most expensive flowers were the hydrangeas, and after pricing them, we decided to exclude this flower. On the way home, we spotted a lot of hydrangea bushes in our neighborhood. Without telling me, my daughter went on a walk and talked to a few neighbors and told of the cost of this particular flower. They were more than happy to allow her to harvest some of their flowers. So the day before her wedding my daughter went flower cutting.
- We asked our family and friends if anyone knew of "budding" photographers. We were fortunate to find someone who was breaking into the field and we were able to get a great reduction on the price. The photographer did a great job, and in return for the price break, some of my daughter's pictures will be on the photographer's business website.
- One thing that we really wanted for the reception was a DJ. Due to another part-time job that my daughter had in high school, working at a local bowling alley, we were able to get a discount rate on the DJ she knew from there. It pays to remember all of your friends and acquaintances from the past.
- We had an open bar at the reception. After doing the calculations, we decided to get one of the kegs of beer in can quantity. That way, if the alcohol equivalent of the keg was not used, we could take the cans home. This worked in our favor because we did over buy, but it was not wasted due to being in cans.
Buck Weber has been experimenting with making and saving money in the real world and online. His blog serves as a list of ideas he has discovered and/or tried. Visit The Buck List here.
Take the Next Step:
- Visit the TDS Library for more wedding savings ideas.
- Discuss "Frugal Wedding Without it Looking Cheap" in The Dollar Stretcher Community.
- No need to forego your favorite beauty treatments just because you're on a tight budget. Check out the TDS Guide to Beauty on a Budget and learn the tricks to pampering yourself for pennies.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
We're still paying off last Christmas and worry how we'll afford the holidays this year without charging it again! Tell us: Yes, we could use help getting out of the debt trap we're in! or No, debt is not a problem for us but I'm always looking for ways to trim my family's expenses further!