Friday, January 9, 2009

Frugal Fridays

I decided that instead of just crying about not having any money I would research tips on saving money and still having a day that reflects the two lovebirds that are being celebrated. SO new weekly column - Frugal Fridays. I'm going to share other people's how-tos on pinching pennies and my favorite money saver of the week.

Penny Pincher of the Week: Mrs. Tulip over at the Wedding Bee has some great notes regarding her own budget wedding:

"Tip: Charity-owned venues can be relatively inexpensive. And your fees support a charity, so it’s win-win!

Tip: If you know a licensed officiant, or if your state grants temporary licenses or allows the Internet-ordained, consider having someone you know officiate. You won’t have to pay a stranger, and the ceremony can be even more touching when the officiant knows you personally.

Tip: eBay, secondhand stores, sample sales…work every discount source you can think of! Borrowed items are good too- they save you the purchase money and bring a special bit of luck and good cheer from the lender.

Tip: Consider a
beauty school for hair and/or makeup, or a retail cosmetics counter for your makeup. They don’t charge the exorbitant fees of official “wedding” beauticians.

Tip: Friends and family are happy to pitch in. Really! Also, if you want someone to handle the day-of details but can’t afford to pay, consider trading services with another bride-to-be.

Tip: Don’t forget the bridal party in your money-saving plans! Consider inexpensive bridesmaids’ gowns from eBay, Internet sales, or mall stores. And do your groomsmen really need to rent a tux, or would same-color suits do just as well?

Tip: DIY does not always mean less expensive. DIY if you enjoy it; but if you’re most interested in saving money, the cost comparisons may surprise you. Also, consider “non-wedding” items for objects like your guestbook and thank-you cards. Anything made specifically for weddings can come with a substantial markup.

Tip: Consider a restaurant venue. You won’t have to pay a site fee or rent seating, linens, glassware, etc. Rather than a pricey multi-tier wedding cake, try a number of smaller cakes or a dessert buffet. Don’t feel you need to serve an unlimited bar — beer, wine, and a signature drink or two (plus yummy nonalcoholic options, of course!) leave guests just as happy.

Tip: Look for someone who is talented but just starting out. (Punam Bean is well-known now, but we were the second or third wedding she’d ever booked.) If your locale is unusually expensive, consider flying someone in from elsewhere; we actually imported an NYC photographer for less than the cost of established DC locals. The
WPJA website is one excellent resource for finding photographers all over the country

Tip: This is an area where it’s easy to put things together yourself. It’s hard to go wrong with flowers — they look pretty no matter what you do to them! Silk flowers are sometimes less expensive than real (depending on flower type), can be put together far ahead of time, and can be re-used or re-sold after the event.

Tip: Make full use of decor elements that are already at your venue. Avoid “wedding markup” by re-purposing everyday materials (for example, we used sari fabric as an aisle runner). Resist the urge to make impulse purchases. Buy second-hand decorations from other brides. And if all else fails, look for double-duty items that you can re-sell, donate to charity, or use in your home after the wedding.

Tip: If you’re on a budget, there’s never any reason to pay full price for a hotel. Commit to finding a certain class of hotel (say, four-star) rather than a specific property, and then check out
Travelzoo, Expedia Special Deals, Priceline, and Hotwire to see what’s on offer."

Read the rest of the post here to see her breakdown of what she spent for this less than 10K and GORGEOUS wedding!

Money Saver Idea of the Week: How amazing are these leaf favors??? I'm sure they are painstaking to make but so worth it!

"Apparently, in France, it is a custom to give guests almond dragees as wedding favors, but you don’t have to be French to love this fabulous favor idea. It’s simple, it’s green and it’s extremely budget friendly! 30 minutes picking leaves at the park, a sharp knife, some chocolate covered almonds and a paint pen - VOILA.(see
Parisian Party for more detailed instructions)."


AmyJean said...

Great tips ! :)


Amanda said...

A big thing that we're doing to keep costs down (and include family members, win win situation) is enlisting the help of family and friends to help out. My uncle is making our wedding cakes, a good friend is playing officiant, the future sister-in-law volunteered to do my makeup, etc.

I'm lucky to have such a hands-on family!

I feel that on our wedding day we can rejoice in knowing that it won't just be mine and my fiance's special day, but everyone who helped to make it happen as well.