Category Archives: Inexpensive wedding

Tips for a Less Expensive Wedding – #2 The Money Chat

#2 Have the “Money Chat” with Whoever is Footing the Bill

DO NOT start off your marriage with a power struggle!  Sure, you want your wedding day to reflect you, but keep in mind that there are many people around you who may want to be a part of this process; and if they happen to be paying for some part of it, that’s probably only fair!  After all, it makes sense that they’d want to have some say how their support is put to use.  Your “parents” (be they grandparents, the uncle that raised you, or your soon to be in-laws), as well as chosen attendants, are a part of your life now—and hopefully will be for a long time to come!  It may seem like a frightening thought, but sitting down with everyone that will be helping out financially can relieve a WHOLE lot of stress later.  Really.  Have a civil chat about who is paying for what so that no surprise “necessities” crop up the week before the big day.

To make having a chat with everyone about the cost of your wedding a little bit easier, I came across some great advice on the internet ( here, here, and here ), which I compiled into one easy pdf for you to peruse:   Who Pays for What  Print it off and check off or change things as needed!  Hopefully it will help in the planning process!

If you are like me, you may look at that list and laugh at how complicated it is.  You may be able to instantly cut several of these traditional costs.  On the other hand, maybe you (or your parents) are very traditional and will want to do all of these things.  Can you see why it is VITAL to have a conversation with all the involved parties (you, your spouse-to-be, your parents, their parents, the best man, and the maid/matron of honor) to figure out who is going to pay for what!?  I know it seems like an uncomfortable subject to broach, but it can be a big step in establishing a trusting and respectful relationship with all of these people!



I actually didn’t want a reception.  My parents handed me the $2,000 cash they’d intended to use toward a reception and told me to do whatever I wanted with it instead.  Unfortunately, because my husband is the youngest in his large Argentine family, his parents weren’t about to let him get off the hook that easily.  It was pretty easy, though, to compromise.  They offered to cover the food (a huge part of any Argentine celebration), and we covered the rest.  We easily cut some of those traditions that weren’t meaningful to us, including many of the “Pre-Wedding” events and even things like bridesmaids’ dresses—his cousins in Buenos Aires are always getting a chuckle out of American weddings where everyone wears the same outfit…  We opted to set the bridal party off with matching corsages/boutonnieres, instead.  We also cut many of the ceremony costs and reception center costs because in my native Utah, our religious facilities are free for wedding use.  Knowing ahead of time who would cover what saved hours of headache for everyone involved!

Tips for a Less Expensive Wedding – Intro and #1

I am a notorious cheapskate.  I regularly shop thrift stores and love the thrill of finding great stuff for a better deal.  Also, I managed to do my whole wedding and reception for $2,000, with change left over to spend on the honeymoon.  (Yes, seriously.)  And the best part?  People still—almost seven years after the event—compliment me on how fun and amazing our reception was!  I’m sure there are a few brides and grooms out there who could use a little budgeting savvy, so I’m sharing some pointers on how to get what you want on your big day, without exceeding the “what you have to work with” limit!  Over the next several weeks, we’ll talk about cutting wedding expenses by:

#1 Prioritizing

#2 Having the “Money Chat” with Whoever is Footing the Bill

#3 Setting a Realistic Budget

#4 Calling in Favors

#5 Being Creative

#6 Doing it Yourself

and #7 Incorporating New Traditions (and Editing Out Some of the Old!)

I’ve decided to liven up each tip by using examples from my own wedding and from that of my very best friend, Julianna.  Her wedding and reception came in a little pricier than mine–at around the $6,500 mark–and we have nearly opposite styles (as you will see); but both of us had fantastic wedding days, full to the brim with our own unique personalities and tastes, without breaking the bank!



Tip #1    Prioritize!

Is your dream wedding incomplete without an abundance of fresh flowers?  Or maybe you’ve always wanted that one photographer who just captures each moment in perfection?  However you best express your style, your wedding is the ideal opportunity to “put your money where your mouth is”!  I put this tip very, very first, because even before you know how much you have to spend, you will already know where you want to put it!  Sit down with your spouse-to-be as soon into the planning as possible and figure out what little things you want to make the big things in your special day.

Julianna always wanted THAT DRESS.  The one that was as unique and stylish as she was.  Made for her.  Literally.  So, a huge chunk of her personal wedding budget (roughly 25%) went to hunting down a local seamstress that was willing to work closely with her on the whole process.  Her dress was made from cream-colored taffeta and is dripping with gorgeous detailing and pleated ruffles at the neck- and hem-lines.  It is truly one-of-a-kind and was a dream come true for her:  worth every penny!  (Images copyright Brittany Anderson.)

>Have an Inexpensive Offbeat Wedding


     Like most brides out there, one of your major concerns is probably making your wedding memorable and unique while staying within your budget.  You can actually have a unique yet cheap wedding by saying goodbye traditional type of wedding and daring to be different.  Here are two easy tips for you:

1. Make Do-It-Yourself handmade invitations. If you’re artistically inclined then lucky you! You can design them and personally select materials to use. Making your handmade invitations make them extra special because they have your personal touch. But, if you’re someone who isn’t so creative person yet wants a handmade invitation that is not a problem!  There are several websites that can help you with that. The best example is EARMARK Invitations.

Would you believe that the price of these beautiful handmade invitations ranges from $1 to $3 only? There are not just ‘pocket friendly’ but certainly eco-friendly too.

2. If your mother insists that you wear her wedding dress, give in to her request. If you find her dress downright ugly then beautify it! Bring new life to that old dress by having it restructured, or use some of its fabric to make a new dress. You can also buy a ‘pre-loved’ wedding dress.

      If you really want a brand new one, then research on the internet. If it is possible pick a dress that you can probably wear again on a different occasion. A practical bride-to-be wouldn’t spend so much on something she can only use once.  Have you heard of Chameleon Dresses? They are simply convertible dresses.

This elegant wedding dress by Isadora Clothing can be worn as a one shoulder style and can be converted to a halter neck. This single dress can be converted into different ones! They can provide convertible dresses even for your bridesmaids.

The best thing about these gorgeous reversible dresses is that they are very affordable.  Did you know that the average cost of a wedding dress is $500? Yikes! But these Chameleon Dresses are below $300! Isn’t that fantastic?

     Your wedding dress does not have to cost a lot.  What matters is you like it and look gorgeous in it.A tight budget shouldn’t restrict you from having a beautiful wedding. Tradition should not hold you back from turning your dream wedding into a reality. After all, it’s YOUR day, celebrate it the way YOU want it to.  🙂