April 27, 2010 § Leave a comment
Invitations & Other Stationery
- Make your invites smaller: less paper + smaller envelopes = less cost overall
- Go easy on the paper weight: a heavy paper will add extra weight, which means more postage
- Use a reply postcard: save on the cost of reply envelopes and postage
- Limit the number of enclosures: put maps and hotel information on your wedding website
- Keep your envelope under 1 oz: using standard first-class stamps saves on postage. Plus, you can use a designer stamp, like the lovely King & Queen of Hearts “Love” stamps.
- Choose colored papers and print your design in one-color: a great way to save money on ceremony programs, favor stickers/cards, menu cards, and other materials that are less prominent than the Invitation.
TIP: if you are using a fancy paper ,such as translucents, run a test on your printer (or at the local copy shop) before you buy a ream of paper!
- Use leftovers: if you’re working with a print vendor, ask for the leftover paper stock and use it for favor cards, menu cards, etc.
- Make your own favors: buy materials wholesale (search for retail/gift packaging vendors) and assemble them yourself, recruiting bridesmaids or friends for help.
I spent half the cost of pre-made favor boxes by assembling my own—plus they looked cooler!
- Decide what is important to you, and put your money in those areas: are you all about the music? Book a killer DJ and omit the fancy chair and linen rentals.
Are you all about the food? Hire an award-winning caterer and DIY your flowers and table arrangements to save money.
Attire & Accessories
- Buy your dress off-the-rack: many shops sell sample dresses, designer overstocks, and once-wed dresses for half the cost of new. Also a great option if your wedding date is less than 6 months away. Some shops I visited are Weddings 826 (Chicago) and WhiteExchange.
TIP: be ready to make a quick purchase, fabulous styles are grabbed quickly at these stores!
- Buy bridesmaid dresses off-the-rack: a great solution for a small wedding party. Beautiful bridesmaid options can be found at J. Crew, Ann Taylor, White House Black Market & Banana Republic (note that some stores offer limited sizes).
TIP: color palettes change often at retail stores. Looking for brighter dress colors? Start shopping early in the year before darker fall/winter palettes are introduced.
- Buy bridesmaid dresses online: this can be practical when bridesmaids live in different cities—and they are usually cheaper and faster than bridal shops. My girls bought their dresses from Netbride and received them earlier than expected.
- Barter with a local business: do you own a business or provide a service? Offer to do work in trade for your wedding accessories. A local business in need of your service/product may find this to be a perfect arrangement.
TIP: if you offer to barter your services, make sure it doesn’t interfere with your wedding planning, or you will add additional stress!
- Buy wedding party gifts direct from an artist: troll local art shows or online marketplaces like Etsy and 1000 Markets. They offer a wealth of gift ideas for gals and guys—sometimes for less than buying from typical wedding gift websites. You’ll have a unique gift AND support an up-and-coming artist. Search for an artist in your own city and you can even save on shipping!
TIP: Buying for your whole wedding party? Ask for a quantity discount.