Wedding on a Shoestring

by Kate Fournier
(Bangor, Maine)

Some of my favorite budget friendly tips that I've used for my wedding...

Print your own invitations. I bought kits at a local craft store when they were on sale, and these kits come with invitations, RSVP cards, and all the envelopes that you need. You get a website to go to that will help you fill out the template, and you can choose font and ink color. For 150 invitations and ink, this cost me $70.00.

My fiance and I are having our ceremony at a park in our town. It's beautiful landscaping, has a fountain, and a gazebo. With all the park has there will be no need to decorate anything, and since we're getting married in September, the leaves on the trees will be starting to change.

My fiance also has a family friend that he's known all his life that is a judge who is going to be marrying us. this makes the total cost of our ceremony $10.00 as we're just going to be playing music from a CD player.

Check out flowers online. I know it can be iffy ordering flowers online, but I found a website that has great customer testimonies, great selection, and wedding kits. For 100 roses plus greenery to make bouquets for $219.00. All I had to do was buy floral tape, pearl headed pins, and ribbon at Wal*Mart, all for $15.00.

I'm making my own favors. I purchased small bottles of bubbles, a big roll of tulle, some ribbon, and printable favor tags. The tags give you a website to go to just like the invitations I bought. The greatest thing about these favors is that they'll personalize, and they were only $30 for 100 of them!

If you have enough time to plan, catch things on sale. I purchased 600 white christmas lights on white wire for $3.60 after christmas this year! These are the same exact lights as "Wedding Lights" that you can purchase for $4.00 for a strand of 50! Once December rolled around all the fall decorations at craft stores go on sale, such as autumn leaf garlands, plastic pumpkins, and silk flowers. Like I said, if you have the time to shop clearances, this is definately the way to go.

My maid of honor's mother, whom I'm very close to and have known for ages, is a hair dresser, and I've asked her to do my hair as a wedding gift.

When my best friend got married a year ago, I asked her how much she spent on all the things I've mentioned for comparison sake as she went the traditional route (getting a florist, church wedding, all our decorations), and I spent $717 less than she did, just on these few things. That's money in the bank, or you could put that towards something else in the wedding.

Don't forget to contact lots of different vendors or venues, and don't hesitate to tell them what their competition is offering, I've found I've gotten a few prices reduced this way.

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