Saying "I Do" Without Paying So Much Dough.

You plan your wedding your entire life. Well, at least most little girls do. They dream of the white dress and gorgeous flowers. But you know what, they forget to dream about the budget. Guilty. Hel-lo! Weddings are expensive! All those beautiful things you dream of come with a hefty price tag. Anything can be beautiful for the right price, right? wrong.

When you have a family as large as mine, and your guest list starts to crawl into the upper 200s, you have to do something (anything!) to cut down the price so your father doesn’t have a stroke. So today I am sharing some ideas that we have been using. Despite the price cuts and sacrifices, weddings are still expensive though. So I recommend starting a savings account when you think you’ve found that special someone {or even before}!
The Dress:
I had a very specific image in my mind of what kind of dress I wanted. But everyone always told me to make sure by trying on all different kinds of dresses. So I booked an appointment and went to an upper scale dress shop having no intentions of buying. But, at the upper scale salons you get a sales associate who will pay all their attention to you, and when you’re selecting the style you need that. Once I had settled on the style {which was not the one I went in thinking it was :)}, I went to a bargain store. There are a few in our area {Raleigh, NC} but we traveled out to Burlington for The Bridal Mart. I tried on exactly three dresses. The first two were alright, and the third was one that I refused to try on. That is, until my maid of honor reminded me that we’d driven all the way there and I might as well put it on. Well you know what guys, it’s the dress I ended up buying! It had a lovely price tag of under $1000 which isn’t common these days. Bridal Mart has hundreds of dresses with lovely price tags. And better yet, the dresses aren’t common. I have yet to see a photo of someone, ANYONE! in my gown!
The Cake: We have a giant guest list. I mean, HUGE. And every place we’d gone to was quoting any where from $2- $3 a slice {that’s including low end grocery stores}. Uhm, it’s cake. It’s going to be devoured. Over $600 for a cake is just a little ridiculous in my eyes. So we toyed with the idea of having a family member make the cake, but the only issue there was how we were going to get it to the reception hall in one piece the day of the wedding when we have 100 other things to worry about. So that idea was out. My mom had found a woman on Craig’s List the summer before to make a cute Finding Nemo cake for my nephew’s birthday. She happened to ask her if she did wedding cakes, and alas! She does! She does a wonderful job creatively and her cakes taste heavenly! If you’re in the Raleigh area, her name is Jerry Long, and she’s doing our cake to feed 200+ people for under $300! Can’t really beat that!
The Invites: We all know these can cost a pretty penny. And if you’re like me, and you like to keep your pretty pennies, make your own. While this takes a WHOLE lot of effort, it is so worth it. I had looked at so many invites online that were okay, but they just weren’t exactly what I wanted. So I designed the invites myself, but we didn’t want to deal with the whole printing/cutting/hole punching madness, so we figured if the price was right, we’d take them to a printers. Pip Printing off of Creedmoor road has saved our lives! They did all the printing for 165 invites, reception cards, reply cards, directions & hotel information for {get this} $80! That also includes the cost of all the paper! They were also kind enough to spare us the tedious process of measuring and cutting all the paper down to the right size and they hole punched both the bottom & top papers for us so we can just lace them with ribbon. Plus, they are super nice! Melodie will take great care of you!
The Flowers: You spend thousands of dollars on something you will carry for what, a hour at most and then they die. Nope. Not me. The ladies at Michaels craft store probably know my mom’s name and mine by heart by now, but we have taken full advantage of the 60% and 40% coupons we’ve received with every purchase. We have gotten all five bouquets for a really great price, and then they can be used for fun decor around our house as a happy reminder of our wedding day. We also got our “toss away” bouquet at Michaels. Plus it’ll be fun to hand make the bouquets with our personal touches!

About JoElizabeth

I am a writer who loves to explore all different types of relationships. I am most happy when surrounded by my loved ones and furry children. I've never met a stranger, and I talk way too much. My favorite things to do are eat {preferably at a restaurant} with good friends, write, watch DVDs of TV series {especially FRIENDS}, drink lots of coffee and learn.
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One Response to Saying "I Do" Without Paying So Much Dough.

  1. Dora says:

    You can also save money by buying a used wedding dress from at

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