Calling all bridesmaids! Throw the blushing bride-to-be a shower that's as memorable as the big day. With inventive and inspiring bridal shower themes and ideas -- vintage tea parties, glampouts, mimosa bars, and more -- your girl will be glowing all the way to the alter.View Slideshow
Setting and keeping your wedding budget feels like a big hurdle, but it doesn't have to be. From wedding flowers to reception venues, there are budget savers at every step of wedding planning. Check out our tips to plan a wedding on a budget with ease.
Ceremony and reception locations can be huge wedding budget busters. Our tips for a budget venue? First, skip the at-home wedding. Renting tents, tables, and chairs will cost way more than an all-inclusive site. Second, consider hosting your ceremony and reception in the same spot. A swap from chairs to tables will cost less than two locations.
Budget Wedding Tip: The less formal your wedding, the less expensive it will be. If you're OK with casual fare in a borrowed space, you'll save a lot more.
Even though Saturday is the most popular day to walk down the aisle, consider hosting a Friday or Sunday wedding. Wedding vendors will often give deals on off-days.
Budget Wedding Tip: Be sure to consider your guests' schedules for an off-day wedding. Friday weddings should be in the evening, and Sunday nuptials should finish early in the day.
The average cost per guest is about $200. That means limiting your guest list is crucial to cutting wedding costs. Start with these tips:
Food is an important part of any wedding, even more so if you're planning a wedding on a budget. Ways to save:
Dream of a beautiful designer wedding dress but don't want the large price tag? Check out designer sample sales; you can get amazing discounts. Also, consider buying your wedding dress right off the rack. Even though it has been tried on a few times, most dresses are wedding-ready after a quick spot clean.
Budget Wedding Tip: Ask about alteration costs before you buy. You might get a better deal with a tailor.
Keep your wedding budget in check by arranging your own wedding flowers. With a few snips of stems and basic flower arranging skills, transform grocery-store bouquets into beautiful arrangements. Then personalize them with creative containers that match your wedding decorations, like this modern, wide-neck vase.
Save big bucks on a wedding cake by making your own wedding desserts. From cupcakes to brownies, dress up classic desserts with piped frosting, glimmering sprinkles, or, like these mini white chocolate cakes, curls of chocolate.
Budget Wedding Tip: Your reception venue might charge a cake-cutting fee if you bring in outside baked goods. Weigh the costs before using an outside vendor for your cake.
Weddings on a budget are made that much more fun with cocktails! Save by serving a single signature drink. This easy idea is a way to add to your wedding theme and will keep costs down.
Budget Wedding Tip: Another way to save on drinks is serving just beer and wine. Most people like one of the two, and you can get cases or kegs to save costs.
Save on flowers and food by choosing in-season items. Sourcing local produce and blooms means smaller transportation costs and a lower bill for you. Ask your florist to suggest a list of in-season flowers to fit your color scheme.
Make your wedding flowers work twice as hard by using them a couple times throughout your wedding. Here, we repurposed the bride's bouquet as a centerpiece at the head table.
Store-bought wedding favors can get pricey, no matter how small your guest list. Check out these easy and creative ideas to thank your guest for joining you on your big day.
Borrowing your mom's or grandma's wedding dress will save you heaps of cash, and you may get better quality out of the deal. Vintage dresses often have better construction than mass-produced modern gowns.
The Internet puts designing your own invitations within reach. Check out wedding sites or blogs for inspriation, and then download free fonts to get the look.
Budget Wedding Tip: Use standard envelopes to save on postage.
Personalize your wedding with your own tunes. Save money on a DJ or band by setting up your iPod with your favorite wedding playlist. Then connect your playlist to the reception space's sound system.
Budget Wedding Tip: If a band or DJ is a must, be sure to clarify the amount of time and equipment they'll need. Extra set-up time and sound equipment means a higher bill for you.
Save your guests a few bucks by blocking off a set of rooms at a local hotel. Ask the hotel if they'll give you a discounted rate because you'll be booking so many rooms.
From your honeymoon to your vendors, there are tons of hidden discounts that will help maintain your wedding budget. Many hotels offer honeymoon packages which is a great way to save. As for your vendors, bridal stores will often offer deals when you purchase your bridesmaids dresses or rent tuxes at their store. It never hurts to ask the question: Do you have a discount for weddings?