100 Money Saving Tips for Your Wedding

 

 

Everything Wedding by BrideStLouis.com

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.

  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.

 

So – what are your ideas? Send us details about what you are doing to stretch the budget and photos too (if you have them).  If we publish your ideas on our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/BrideStLouis) we will send you 2 FREE tickets to our August 4th Bridal Show.  Send to bride@BrideStLouis.com.

Making the Most of a Bridal Show

Wedding Planning and Bridal Shows by BrideStLouis

 

Bridal Shows can be fun and exciting, as you put together the pieces of your wedding day.  And they are indoors…where it’s warm!  So you can warm your body and excite your spirit.

Many brides tell me that they are thoroughly overwhelmed the first time they attend a bridal show, so I thought it might be good to lay out a few guidelines to help you make the most of your time.

Before you go – print several sheets of adhesive address labels with your name, contact information, AND wedding date.  Quickly peel off a label and stick it on an inquiry sheet at any booth that you would like to receive additional information.

Bring your checkbook – you just might want to book or hold a date.  High demand dates can go quickly.  Is your wedding date in May, June or September, October? If you find a vendor you like, and they are available, you better book it now.  Photographers book sometimes a year out, and so do venues.  They can only host one event on any one day, so don’t take a chance and find them booked next time you inquire.

Bring family or friends you trust, and whose opinion matters.  But be careful of the size of your group.  Too many opinions – and you could be overwhelmed with indecision.

Invite your groom – but take him only if he wants a voice in this part of the wedding planning.  If this is not his thing, don’t torture him!

Know what you are looking for and what’s your budget.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

Many vendors will have special SHOW specials.  This is a great time to take advantage of these show specials to help stretch the budget.  Be sure to ask questions about their service.  And service is what the top professional vendors provide – that’s what puts them in demand.  Weddings are a very personal service, and without GOOD service, you could have problems.  Not a way to remember a wedding.

Whether your wedding is a few months away or an entire year, a bridal show will help you pull everything together.

Reason #5 to come to the Cake & Champagne Tasting Event & Bridal Show – Great Wedding Professionals

 

Reason #5 to come to the Cake and Champagne Tasting Event and Bridal Show – Visit our Wedding Professionals!

  • Travel Companies
  • DJs
  • Venues
  • Hotels
  • BAKERIES!!!
  • Photographers
  • Formal Wear
  • Photo Booths
  • Videographers
  • Artists
  • Home Ownership Realtors/Lenders
  • Gift
  • Beauty

First of all, Complete Weddings & Events will be our Master of Ceremonies keeping the night swinging with great music and awarding gifts.  Anna from Physical Memories will be creating a video of our event – see her in action and check her booth out as well to schedule a high lite video of your wedding.  Also, we have photographers – Aurora Photography, and Patrick Pope Photography here.  Have you scheduled your honeymoon?   Talk to Vista Travel.  And, of course, Holiday Inn Airport West, wants to share with you information about their great venue.  And – there are many more that you can visit with as well.

Be sure to stop by and see Nancy and let her show you our new sister web site, VenuesofStLouis.com.  Everyone who likes our page will receive a complimentary gift.

Some of the bakers include McArthur’s Bakery, Cupcake Amore, Susie G’s, Sweets to Remember, Sweetology, Nothing Bundt Cake and New Day Gluten Free.

So, it’s a great time to come and have a fun night – sip champagne, eat cake, and just relax.

 

Reason #4 to come to the Cake & Champagne Tasting Event this THURSDAY Evening – Prizes!

Reason #4 to come to the Cake & Champagne Bridal Show and Tasting Event:

REASON #4 Win Prizes

Hopefully you have been reading the little informational tidbits (Reasons#1 thru #3) about champagne and cake because we will be giving out gifts based of your recall of various facts.  In addition, some of the vendors will be having drawings for prizes at their booth space.

And each of our bakers is hoping that you give then your vote for “Best Tasting Cake”.  When you check in at the registration table you will receive a BALLOT to cast your vote.  All cakes will be color coded with a color ribbon:  red, blue, green, aqua…etc.  and you vote by color.  About 8pm we close voting and will count the votes, with the best tasting cake award given out about 8:15pm.

Cake, Champagne, More Cake, and Prizes……what’s not to LOVE about the Cake & Champagne Bridal Show and Tasting Event.

2018 Cake and Champagne Bridal Show

Reason #3 to come to the 2018 Cake & Champagne Tasting Event & Bridal Show – Eat Lots of Cake!

 

There are 8 Great Reasons to come to the Cake and Champagne Tasting Event and Bridal Show which is being held on Thursday Evening, November 15th, 2018 at The Holiday Inn Airport West, 3400 Rider Trail South, Earth City, Missouri 63045.  Here is….

 

Reason #3:  Eat Lots of Cake!

 

Wedding Cakes have lots of old traditions.  Test your bridesmaids to see how much they know about these traditions.

 

  1. Saving the top layer

Lots of couples still freeze the top layer of their wedding cake and enjoy it together on their one-year anniversary. But couples didn’t originally save it for their anniversary — they’d save it for their first child’s christening.

In “the olden days,” married couples often had children much earlier than couples do today. It certainly wasn’t unusual to have a child within the first year of marriage. And as wedding cakes grew taller, the top layer was often left over. Religious newlyweds quickly recognized the leftover confection as a perfect dessert for the (undoubtedly upcoming) christening.

Of course, couples eventually started putting off having children, and that frozen layer only stays edible for so long. Now, the one-year mark is the more common occasion for devouring the sweets.

  1. Cutting the cake together

Well, obviously you have to cut the cake to serve it, but we’re talking about the big event of cutting wedding cake. This tradition hasn’t endured just because it’s an adorable photo op! Slicing the cake is the first task or activity the newlyweds do together, so it’s a special moment.

Historically, the cake was cut by the bride alone (as a symbol of losing her virginity…uh, awkward). But as cakes became bigger and more intricate, it became more difficult for the bride to do it alone, so she’d enlist the help of her new hubby. While we’re pretty sure a bride could totally manage to cut a cake on her own, most couples continue to cut the cake to carry on the sweet tradition.

Also, worth noting: The cake cutting is typically the last “event” of the night, so it gives your guests a cue that it’s OK to head out.

  1. Smashing cake in each other’s faces

Not everybody is into the idea of smearing frosting all over their partner’s face, but its silly nature has kept this tradition going! Turns out that messy food traditions have been in place for years.

For example, in Yorkshire, the bride would eat a small piece of bride’s cake (which was more of a pastry than the cakes we think of today). Then, she’d throw the rest of the cake over her head to ensure a life of wanting nothing (and to ensure a huge mess to clean up). In even older times, the groom would break bead over the bride’s head and guests would pick up the crumbs.

It’s not totally clear how we got from picking up crumbs and throwing cake to smearing frosting across someone’s face, but one thing’s for sure — brides and grooms have always played with their food!

  1. Serving a creative groom’s cake

Grooms got a little jealous of the bride’s cake, so by the 17th century, the desserts were made in pairs — a bride’s cake and a groom’s cake, which was typically a small fruitcake. But instead of being served at the reception, the groom’s cake was cut up, packaged and given to guests as favors.

The tradition of groom’s cakes actually died out in the U.K. after a while, but resurged in the U.S. more recently. Of course, groom’s cakes now aren’t fruitcakes but more creative creations.

  1. White wedding cakes

These days, white frosting and cake are far from required for weddings, but white was the norm for quite a while.

There’s the whole white symbolizing virginity and innocence thing, but the real reason was more for practicality than tradition or symbolism. Icing is made of sugar…and sugar is white. But as time went on, a whiter-than-white frosting became a status symbol — a more refined (and expensive) sugar resulted in a purer white.

Another fun tidbit: “Royal icing” got its name from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s cake in 1804, which was decorated in white.

  1. Lots of tiers

While we love small wedding cakes (one or two tiers can be adorable), traditionally, wedding cakes had up to seven tiers.

That’s a tradition that likely stems from a different baked good. In medieval times, spiced buns were stacked as high as possible in a giant pile. If the newlyweds could kiss over the tower of pastries, they’d be in for a lifetime of prosperity. As wedding sweets moved from buns to cake, chances are that nobody wanted to do away with the towering display of dessert.

Who knew that dessert could be so symbolic? Of course, some of the symbolism has worn off over the years, so if any of the weird roots make you uncomfortable, just know that most people won’t relate the tradition to its unusual origins. And like all wedding traditions, none of these is mandatory! Want a purple cake? Go for it!

Source:  Kirstin Doherty

*****

PLEASE JOIN US!

Save $3.00 NOW by purchasing your ticket in advance at www.BrideStLouis.com for just $5.00. At the door tickets available the day of our event for $8.00.  Brides get a FREE COMPLIMENTARY TICKET when you register on line – apply the promo code “2marry”!

 

This is an event not to miss!

Thursday Evening – November 15th, 2018

Time:  6pm to 8:30pm

Place:  Holiday Inn Airport West

3400 Rider Trail South, Earth City, MO 63045

(Located just off Highway 70 at the Earth City Expressway)

 (You can register right on the HOME PAGE)

What Everyone Needs to Know When Planning a Wedding

I’ve seen a fairly large number of weddings, and I can guarantee you that there has never been a perfect wedding.   But here are seven things that are KEY to a GREAT WEDDING.

Here’s the crazy thing about most weddings.  You and your partner will share very little time together on the most important day of your lives!   First, you get ready for the ceremony, then have the ceremony, and finally spent a lot of the reception dancing with parents and friends and thanking guests for coming.  I highly recommend that you PLAN some alone time for you and your spouse immediately after the ceremony.  Take a walk, go to a room alone, or just some place where the two of you can really share time just with one another.  The Wedding Timeline should allow plenty of time for your together time and photos of just the two of you.

Don’t try to do everything yourself!  The night before the wedding you don’t want to be making place cards, finishing centerpieces or arranging bouquets.  In fact, you should have all your décor and decorations READY 30 days before the wedding!  Those last few days before your wedding you want to enjoy.  Delegate and use your family and friends.  The bridesmaids and groomsmen are there as well to assist you, so don’t hesitate to ask them to take responsibility for a last-minute task.

Don’t invite too many wedding guests.  Sure, I’ve seen empty spaces at tables where guests have RSVP’d and then failed to arrive.  However, if you have invited 300 guests, received 290 “yes” responses, but the reception venue can only legally accommodate 275, you might have to turn 10 people away.  That’s really bad.  And I think most couples don’t realize this.  Keeping the guest list shorter also helps control the budget – that’s the easiest way to cut expenses.  And quite honestly, you want to be spending your day with those who TRULY care about YOU…not a second cousin removed that has only met you once!

Don’t blow the budget!  Make a budget and keep track of your expenditures.  Don’t forget the hidden extras like tips and delivery fees.  I’ve heard of grooms who had to make a trip to the bank to get money to pay the DJ, or else there would be no music!  It costs a lot of money to have a wedding, so make sure you have all the major items budgeted for.

Photography is one of the MOST IMPORTANT items on your budget.  Your photos will be your special “take away” from the day – and images that bring back memories of your special day are just really priceless!

 

Create some WOW at your reception.  Do you want your wedding reception something that family and friends will be talking about for years?  You don’t have to spend a fortune.  You just need to add some extra pizazz and show guests that you really appreciate them.  Little things can make a big difference.  For example, serve pre-ceremony cocktails or serve wine/sparkling grape juice during the ceremony, have an “after party”, or hire special entertain for the reception.  Perhaps a singer, bagpiper to make a grand entrance, or a piano player to play requests!

Your wedding day goes fast, so just go with the flow and enjoy your day.