How to Have a Low Cost Wedding in Missouri

How to Have a Low-Cost Wedding in Missouri

 

The average wedding and reception in 2020 cost right around $15,000. This is lower than the average for the past 5 years at $18,000 (pre-COVID) according to the Wedding Report.  The average household income in Missouri is $55,500.  That would mean that the average couple would be spending over 27% of their income on their wedding. The dreams of a beautiful, unforgettable wedding are sometimes not within the financial means for the couple.  So, how can you get everything you dreamed of without causing a financial strain?

The first step is to take a serious look at all of the expenses involved with a wedding.  Then find a realistic, frugal way to cut back on the expense without altering your dream for the perfect wedding.

Below you will find frugal (not cheap) ways to keep your wedding on a budget and not cause a financial strain on yourself.

Start Planning Early – The more time you have to plan your wedding, the better equipped you will be to know prices up front, and be able to compare without feeling pressured to purchase.

Trim down that guest list – Do you really need over 300 people at your wedding?  Make your wedding a small intimate affair.  Try to keep your guest list under 75 people.  This will save you money everywhere.

How to Plan a Low-Cost Wedding in Missouri

 

Wedding Gown – The average wedding gown will cost around $1600.  Plus that cost does NOT include alterations that will need to be done to the gown.  So, do your research…first decide what type of gown you want.  Then go to the boutiques, try on different shapes and styles. Make sure to shop around, one store might have the same dress for a fraction of the cost.  Also, ask about buying off the rack discounts.  Some retailers will sell a dress off the rack for a lower price because they do not have to order the gown in for you.  Also, you could look altering a gown that a family member or friend has.  That could be your something borrowed!

Another great option is to come to our July 24, 2022 RUN For the Dress.  This is a one day only event where you can select off the rack from HUNDREDS of dresses – all NEW Designer dresses.  It is the BIGGEST and BEST NEW Designer Bridal Gown Sale in the Midwest.  You don’t actually “RUN” but you do want to get there early!  Our Run for the Dress event is like a Mini Pop Up Bridal Shop with many different, local bridal shops all together, hundreds of dresses, dressing rooms and mirrors.  Not only dresses but lots of accessories too – jewelry, belts, flower girl dresses, and other special touches.

Wedding Help instead of Wedding Gift –Make a list of things that you want a PROFESSIONAL to have control of, like photography.  Photography is so very important because it is the ONE THING that you will have after the wedding…forever!   Please don’t be one of those brides who after their wedding, tell me they are sorry they didn’t hire a professional photographer.    Help can be in the form of decorating your venue, helping make DIY floral arrangements and table centerpieces.

Cake and/Or  Dessert – The average cost for a simple 3 – Tier Wedding cake starts at $300.  That cake will only feed about 65 people.  If you definitely want to have the traditional wedding cake, look at purchasing it from your local grocery store instead of a Cake Designer.  This can save you a lot of money.  Or how can you have an amazing dessert table, without blowing your budget?  The answer is simple:  Ask for dessert donation.  Your relatives and friends would be happy to help create a dessert table with their homemade desserts.

Another option is to buy a FAKE Cake for display, then serve the sheet cake in the back kitchen.  Just check out “Fake Cakes” on Etsy.

Dessert Suggestions for a Low Cost Wedding in Missouri

 

Venue – According to WeddingWire, the average cost for a venue in Missouri is $6000. With that in mind, try thinking of something different for your wedding day.  A public park is the perfect place to look into for your wedding.  Contact your local Park and Recreation offices to see what they have to offer.  Send us an email (events@bridestlouis.com) and we will send you our compiled list of low-cost venues. 

Minimal Flowers – On average $1,500 is spent on Wedding Flowers.  That is a lot of money!  So try keeping your flowers simple!  Small bouquets, use greenery, use plants for simple arrangements and if you want beautiful, colorful flowers – think about using wildflowers.  Also, to keep the cost down, make sure you know what flowers are in season and only use those flowers – it can cost a lot to buy flowers that are not in season during your wedding.

BYOB – A wedding bartender typically cost $30 per hour, and that does NOT include the cost of the alcohol.  Make sure to check with your venue, but purchasing the alcohol yourself and having a friend or family member tend the bar can save you over $1000.  Again, check with your venue to see if this is a viable option.

BYOB to save money on your wedding

 

 

So, when you are planning the most important and exciting day – keep these simple tips in mind and you will be able to have a dream wedding at a frugal price.

 

100 Money Saving Tips for Your Wedding

 

Your wedding budget should not be something you are paying off for the next 5 years! There is a lot of pressure from family and friends

to spend lots of money and I am here to tell you that you don’t have to! Make your budget something you are comfortable with and not

what your family and friends tell you. Choose what’s important to you – and cut back on the less important items.

Everything Wedding by BrideStLouis.com

 

  1. Keep your guest list small. This is one of the best ways to save on your wedding costs. If you are having 50 guests or less, there are places like Tuscany Gallery (www.TuscanyGalleryandEvents.com) that can host your wedding ceremony & reception for a very modest price, and it’s beautiful.
  2. Consider a different time of day for your wedding, such as morning or afternoon.
  3. Consider a buffet or family-style meal rather than a plated meal. You can also opt for a cocktail hour with appetizers rather than a formal dinner.
  4. Stick with flowers that are in season. Or buy flowers from wholesale places like Sam’s and make a casual arrangement yourself. Today’s silk flowers are beautiful and look very real.
  5. Consider getting married during off-peak wedding season. June and October tend to be the most popular month for weddings here in our area.
  6. Print your own invitations at home.
  7. Purchase handmade items directly from the designer on places like Etsy and cut out the middle man.
  8. Consider a wedding location that isn’t a traditional “wedding” location, such as a park, municipal building or school.
  9. Have less formal food options. Everyone loves comfort food and snacks! A new trend is to bring in a food truck. Also consider food stations, such as a hot dog station, taco bar, or salad station where guests can create and choose what appeals to them.
  10. Consider a wedding dress that is not from a traditional bridal store. Browse a major retailer or online store for white dresses at a good price. SIGN UP NOW for the 3nd “Annual Run for the Dress” event being held on July 28th, 2019 at the Trigg Banquet Center, where thousands of dresses are sold here in St. Louis for 50% to 70% off the retail price. (CLICK HERE to register for the RUN for the Dress.) Just need more information? Go to www.RunfortheDress.com or www.Facebook.com/RunfortheDress.
  11. Think about saving money for your maids. Bridesmaid dresses can also be found at a discount store or outlet or have your bridal party wear something they already own all in the same color. Bridesmaids, Mothers and Flower Girl dresses are also available at the Run for the Dress event on July 28, 2019.
  12. Shop sample sales or go dress shopping while there are sales. This could mean shopping way ahead of time to get a good price.
  13. Consider doing your own hair or makeup. Or go to a makeup store and have a professional teach you how to apply a good look.
  14. Instead of buying something, consider renting it, with things such as a tuxedo. Or, consider a more relaxed look like casual dressy attire.
  15. Add a line on your RSVPs for your guests to request a song, that way you will play some songs your guests want to hear and you can keep the dance floor busy. Consider making your own playlist with these songs, get a speaker system and do away with a DJ. Hire a harpist for the ceremony.
  16. Consider not having favors to cut down on costs or limit them to one per couple instead of one per person.
  17. Helium Balloons make for wonderful décor to add color to any basic banquet room.
  18. Use coupons to find deals on craft items, wedding supplies and accessories. Michaels many times has 40% off coupons. You might have to make multiple purchases over several trips to get everything, but it’s a great way to save a lot.
  19. Ask friends to help out with anything they can contribute. Maybe one of them could even officiate the wedding. But don’t ask friends/family to be your photographer. You really want GOOD photography because those photos will be keepsakes forever.
  20. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to the wedding budget. The last thing you want is for him to go and splurge on something he wanted while you promised to make cutbacks on things you wanted. Marriage is all about compromise,
  21. Make the candy buffet yourself – buy wholesale candy and collect containers from friends.
  22. Buy your own alcohol for the reception.
  23. Local, seasonal food options are usually always cheaper for dinner.
  24. A small indulgence can be included for a modest amount. Splurge on a new perfume to capture the day’s memories. Your mind will be brought back to your wedding every time you smell the fragrance.
  25. Ask a cake baker who is just starting out to make your cake instead of a large bakery.26.Think about hiring a music student or someone early in their career for live music.
  26. Think about hiring a music student or someone early in their career for live music.Consider cupcakes or small desserts instead of cake.
  1. Depending on your views, you could choose not to serve alcohol or limit the number of bar hours.
  2. Although the up-front costs of a wedding planner may seem high, they are often great at scoring deals and working with vendors.
  3. Search out antique stores for unique décor items.
  4. If you’re paying for things for the wedding on a credit card, make sure you’re getting something back in return with a cash-back rebates or loyalty points.
  5. Fill your centerpieces and bouquets with greenery or fresh flowers from local wholesale places.
  6. Skip the champagne and opt for white wine or sparkling wine instead.
  7. Simplify your invitations and keep them down to one page instead of a fold-out with ribbon, to save on postage.
  8. Cut down on photographer costs by only having one photographer instead of a second or third shooters.
  9. Alternatively, ask the photography company if an assistant or associate could be your main photographer instead. They may charge a lower rate.
  10. Attend a bridal show or wedding fair to score deals on vendors. At our August 4, 2019 Bridal Show “Love is in the Air” you can save over $2500.00 on your wedding with vendors who have put together amazing deals.  Plus, you might win a fabulous Hot Air Balloon Ride. CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets now and save on your entry fee.
  11. If you’re going to splurge, make sure it’s on something you and your guests will enjoy, such as food or photography.
  12. Go for a single type of flower or a less expensive flower (exotics come with a price) for your bouquet.
  13. Your guests still need to be fed, but don’t overdo it on the food. More than three courses for a sit down meal might be excessive for some people.
  14. Have a small display cake as your wedding cake and a larger sheet cake in the back that can be switched out when the cake is cut. No one will know the difference!
  15. Plan things like the cake cutting and first dance earlier in the night, so you can limit the hours of photography needed.
  16. The same thing goes for DJ services. Have an iPod hooked up for the ceremony and cocktail hour and have the DJ work the reception only to cut back on hours.
  17. Use decorations that you already have at home instead of buying, such as candles, lanterns or frames.
  18. Cocktails and shots usually cost more with bar service, so have beer and wine only for the bar.
  19. Opt for the house wines instead of a specialty brand.
  20. Having larger tables instead of many smaller ones means less centerpieces and decorations.
  21. Consider emailing save-the-dates instead of mailing them.
  22. Design a centerpiece that doesn’t use flowers, such as something with lanterns, candles or jars.
  23. Purchase an umbrella that matches your wedding colors or style just in case it rains. Umbrellas can make for some pretty great photos if it does end up raining. (And rain is considered Good Luck!)
  24. An elopement or small destination wedding may be a less expensive option than a traditional reception. You don’t have to leave town to elope.
  25. Not having a wedding party, ring bearer or flower girl means less costs for outfits, gifts and flowers.
  26. A smaller wedding party also equals less cost–and sometimes less hassle. Again, less costs for gifts and flowers.
  27. Do you know someone else having a wedding? See if you can purchase some of their decorations and centerpieces.
  28. Avoid using the word “wedding” when talking to some vendors unless it is absolutely necessary. Sometimes, “wedding” costs come with a premium.
  29. Only invite people to your wedding you are close to, you know well or who you have seen in the last five years.
  30. Buy wedding items in bulk instead of smaller sizes. For example, some vendors may give you a lower price for each item once you buy more than 50.
  31. Save money on rehearsal dinner, bachelorette or bridal shower food, by opting for an at-home celebration instead of going to a restaurant. Tuscany Gallery also hosts Bridal Shows.
  32. Have the servers serve the wine instead of leaving it on the table, so the wine consumption is staggered throughout the night.
  33. Factor additional costs, such as shipping, taxes, fees and tips when you create your budget, so you make sure to stay in budget.
  34. Buttercream icing is usually a cheaper choice for cakes than fondant. Better yet, a naked cake looks just as nice.
  35. Browse online marketplaces for used wedding items or search a bridal swap listing service. Search for wedding resale sites on Facebook.
  36. Once you are done with your wedding items, sell them to make some extra cash.
  37. Limit the meal options to one option with a vegetarian option instead of three or four different–and more expensive choices. More choices equal more money.
  38. Ask your photographer if they will add videography to your package instead of hiring an additional videographer.
  39. When considering your guest list, make a rule about whether people can bring plus ones or not. Otherwise, costs can add up for additional guests.
  40. When deciding whether to allow kids or not, remember that kids’ meals are often cheaper. Or, you can choose a no-children wedding.
  41. Borrow wedding items from a friend or family member or use family heirlooms in your accessories instead of buying.
  42. We’re not saying you should haggle for wedding contracts, but in some situations, it might be wise to ask if there is a way to lower the price.
  43. Do your research and shop around for vendors and wedding items before you buy. The lower price is not always the best deal. Personal service always trumps a slightly lower cost.
  44. Read contracts carefully before you sign, in case you run into any hairy situations where a vendor drops out, doesn’t deliver or overcharges you.
  45. Have your photographer and videographer only cover the ceremony.
  46. Less is more, so cut out things you don’t think you necessarily need. Try a wedding venue that already has decorative elements or doesn’t need many decorations.
  47. Some venue packages may be a good deal, but some require you to use their vendors exclusively, which may come at a price. Check to see if you can use your own. Check our blog page, https://bridestlouis.com/category/catering, for venues that allow you to hire your own catering companies.
  48. Create an easy wedding website and online RSVPs instead of traditional paper invitations.
  49. Serve the meal family style. Not only can you save money by serving food this way, but the interactive nature of family style eating will also encourage a wonderfully intimate atmosphere for your guests.
  50. Don’t get married on Saturday, the most popular and expensive day of the week for weddings.
  51. Cut down the passed appetizers to 1-2 a person per hour instead of 3-4. Or set out a few nibbles on the tables instead. Keep in mind, caterers may try to up-sell you.
  52. It is alright to say no or “we don’t need that” when discussing contracts. Don’t feel pushed into something you don’t actually want.
  53. Having a farm or country wedding, roast a pig and bring in the sides yourself.
  54. Carefully evaluate wedding trends. Popular items may cost more because everyone else wants them.
  55. It is important to thank your wedding party, however an expensive gift for each person adds up. A hand written note or personal thank you may be enough. Or perhaps buy them something affordable they can use every day.
  56. Create handwritten place cards and escort cards instead of having them professionally printed.
  57. Go through each budget item and see how you can trim each item down to the bare necessity. Really think about how necessary some of the costs are.
  58. Guests coming in from out of town? Make them a list of activities and locations they may enjoy. Create a personal welcome basket yourself with some snacks and other goodies.
  59. Keep receipts of everything you buy for the wedding and track each item, so you know how much you are spending.
  60. Have a signature drink. Having a signature cocktail passed around to guests during the cocktail hour is a nice way to personalize your wedding and save on alcohol costs. Guests will appreciate the gesture, you’ll be able to stick to your booze budget, and you’ll be on trend.
  61. Consider a wedding location that is not in a major city. Some downtown costs may be more expensive for you and your guests.
  62. Instead of response cards with your invitations, ask guests to email or phone you with their RSVP.
  63. Take advantage of free printables for your wedding stationery.
  64. We know shoes are a big deal. If you’re wearing a long dress, chances are people won’t really see them anyway. So why break the budget on them?
  65. Borrow a nice car or truck from a friend instead of renting a limo.
  66. Take your honeymoon at a time when you can get a better vacation deal instead of right after the wedding.
  67. Find a dress that fits instead of a size off the rack to cut down on alteration costs.
  68. Buying a smaller dress you hope to fit into by the wedding is never a good idea. If you do need alterations, making a dress fit smaller is cheaper than making the dress bigger.
  69. Enter wedding blog giveaways and contests for a chance to win free wedding things.
  70. Having a shorter time to plan a wedding means you will be more ruthless when it comes to things you need vs. want.
  71. Buy flowers, food items and candy at the grocery store or a bulk food store instead of a specialty store.
  72. Leave an empty vase on the head table and use your bridal bouquet as a centerpiece.
  73. Ask a hotel for a discounted rate for booking a block of rooms.
  74. Have the ceremony and reception at one place to cut down on costs of transportation, rentals and decorations.

 

 

10 Tips to Stay on Budget for Your Wedding

Saying “I DO” can be a budget buster.  Here are some tips and hints to save on your celebration:

BrideStLouis is Best for Wedding Planning in St. Louis

  1. Keep the wedding guest list under 100.
  2. Limit the wedding party – keeping it small. This cuts down on the cost of attendant bouquets and gifts to each member in the wedding party.
  3. Consider having the ceremony and reception at the same site – thereby paying only one site fee and possibly fewer total hours. This can also save on transportation costs – no need for a party bus.
  4. Find a venue that allows you to bring your own food.  This blog post lists those that we can recommend:  https://bridestlouis.com/venues-that-allow-outside-caterers
  5. Why not an early morning or early afternoon wedding. You can eliminate a lot of alcohol and possibly a band or DJ.
  6. If your event is small and intimate, create your own personal playlist and purchase a blue tooth speaker.
  7. Try “off season” times like December and January. Vendors will usually work with you on a special price as this is a slower time for them.
  8. If you really want a popular month like May, June, September or October go for a Friday or Sunday to save money.
  9. When shopping for your wedding dress, ask about off the rack “inventory” dresses. Many bridal shops have a good selection of discounted, previous year’s styles that are beautiful.
  10. Set up a wedding checking account and make deposits monthly. Use only that money for the wedding allowing you to see what you are spending, and a better way to stay on top of the budget.

Weddings can be beautiful without depleting your bank account and being in debt for years.

 

Results of the American Wedding Study 2016 – Some Interesting Findings

Wedding Study 2016 presented by BrideStLouis.com

I thought it would be good to share with you the results of the American Wedding Study 2016 published by Conde Nast.  They have been conducting this American Wedding Study for over 20 years.

Their study shows that today’s couples are spending more of their own money to have the wedding they want and they are seeking ideas and inspiration at a greater scale than ever before.  Couples prioritize personalizing their wedding as they are choosing to spend more in details that demonstrate their style.  The average price of “the dress” is now $1517, up from $1380 in 2014.  Couples are scaling back in other areas such as the number of guests – down to 135 from 142 in 2014.

In addition, 73% or paying for or contributing to the cost and since couples are investing their money, they have the freedom to spend it how they want without as much pressure from parents and traditions.  Couples are also taking the honeymoon and mini-moon and sometime putting their own twist on it by inviting family and friends on the vacation for a “buddymoon”.  The practice of including a “man of honor” is also on the rise.

And something we have noticed, couples are not adhering to the traditional “marriage first, children second” timeline.  By the time they marry 33% already have children.

Here are their findings on Key Expenses:

Average Wedding Cost is $26,522.

Average Reception price tag is $11,380.

Engagement Rings $5135

Photography $2099

Video $1533

Reception Music $1508

Wedding Bands $1725

Wedding Cake $417

Additional – the majority of couples set a wedding budget but 35% spend more than intended.  To save money on their dream wedding more couples choose Friday and Sunday dates.

70% use social media (Like BrideStLouis) to find wedding inspiration and their wedding style.

So – what do you think?   Tell us how you are prioritizing your wedding and what is important to you.

Friends, Family & Your Wedding

McKay_sm-239

We all have friends and relatives who are offering to help with your wedding as their gift to you.  There are several areas where a donation of someone’s expertise or talents would not only save you money but would add a meaningful, personal touch to your big day.  Here are some etiquette tips regarding accepting your loved ones’ offer to help:

1.) Be sure they are qualified to do the job well.  If you are not quite sure they can measure up to the job, thank them, and tell them you already have someone helping with that task.

2.) If someone offers to help, tell them you would be happy to accept their services as a wedding gift.

3.) Tell them how much it means to you to have them contributing to make your day special.

4.) Always send a written thank you after the wedding.

The best parts of any wedding celebration are the personal touches added by the bride and groom such as creating and saying your own vows, your decorations and theme, personal photos, and other special items.  Always add your personality and passions to your wedding.

Tip #142 – Washi Tape – Perfect for the DIY Bride

 

kids-washi-masking-tapeJapanese Washi tape is perfect for the DIY Bride. These masking tapes are made of washi paper so they are semi transparent, have a nice feel and easy to use. Washi tape can be reused since they are removable and repositionable. Lots of colors and styles. With an endless choice of colors and patterns, not to mention the low price tag, Washi tape is the perfect DIY tool to add some flair to anything.

Here are some ideas for easily incorporating Wwashi-three-colorsashi tape into your wedding decor that anyone with a pair of scissors can pull off.

 

  • Create your own invitations and favor boxes for a personalized and affordable option. Print your invitation wording on cardstock and lay strips of washi tape. Do several strips for a striped look!
  • With a twist of your wrist you can add eye-catching stripes to solid colored paper straws. Simple start the tape slightly above the top of the straw and unroll as you twist the straw. Cut off the extra at the top and bottom to make a clean edge.
  • Take plain cardboard favor boxes and seal them closed by wrapping the washi tape around the box several times. Add a round label with your names and wedding date on the top, or write your names right on the tape with a gold or silver pen.

Be sure to share with us your creative projects.