This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
We have a great week covering the basics of savings on weddings! To finish off the week, I’m going to share the real wedding of a Southern Savers reader, Ellen.
This is her story:
We got married Oct 2014 for about $4,000 total. This included venue, flowers, reception, clothing for bride/groom/wedding party/two dads, all of it, even photography.
We purchased suits from JcPenney during a suit sale combined with discounted gift cards from cardpool.com and/or raise.com. Bridesmaid dresses came from JcPenney as well on sale for $28 plus some sort of coupon and a discounted gift card.
Our photographer was about $,1000 for 6 hours plus engagement pictures were our free military discount.
My dress was a bridesmaid dress ordered in ivory from Pearl’s Place in LA. As a general rule if you order by phone you get a discount for not needing to take up their consultants time. You need a style number, designer, and your measurements. My dress was $151 shipped.
Since we outfitted the bridal party we did not buy gifts. Their gift was a suit or a dress. At least one of my bridesmaids has already worn her dress two other times (throw in the fact that she’s pregnant and it makes it a double win since it can be worn with or without a baby bump).
I purchased tablecloths online from tablelinensdirect.com and donated them to the church since the church was running low on linens. My caterer was willing to work within my budget. A friend did the make up for me and my bridesmaids for a discounted price since we had known each other for several years.
I made the centerpieces for the reception. I also made all flowers including bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres using craft store coupons, coffee filters, dollar tree candle sticks, and silk flowers for the bouquets from our local flower outlet (Caffco Outlet). A friend made our cake as a gift and decorated using my leftover crafting supplies.
You don’t need to start off in debt. I remember few things from the weddings I attended in 2014 (4 other than my own). We used our church for wedding and reception, but there were fees included with that. Pinterest is a huge influence on making people feel like they must go bigger, but it is also a great source of DIY information. You just have to remove the pressure. Everytime someone told me, “You have to …”, I replied with, “I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to.”
While there are somethings I would have loved to have had, they weren’t needed and we got married with a beautiful ceremony and reception with the people who mattered the most. One of our biggest accomplishments was trimming the guest list. Our rule for that was that if we had not heard from them since we had been engaged (Dec 2013 to when we needed to send invitations) that we did not need to invite them to the wedding. This applied to friends as well as family (distant cousins and aunts and uncles).
Other ways to save: