contributed by Kyla
When I was young and realized that my dolls needed new clothes, I would creatively cut, color and find materials around the house. The idea of spending money when I could invent fabulous outfits seemed unnecessary. My love of being creative and saving money followed me into my adulthood and allowed me to have a 100 people sit down wedding reception for under $5000.
Rent a hall and stay away from hotels or places that are typically "wedding." Be creative. Call art galleries, museums or anywhere that expresses you and your partner's personalities. Use friend's and family's talents. Do you have an aunt or friend that is a great cook? Get them to make food as a wedding present and have a buffet style dinner at the venue you have chosen. If this is not possible, local cooking schools and colleges cater inexpensively, and you can get a beautiful wedding cake for as little as $150. We made a little country hall look like a five-star hotel. A local garden centre lent us trees and plants for decorating. We rented chair covers, and friends lent us arches and many other decorations. It is amazing what you can borrow.
If alcohol is on the menu, see if you can make it or buy it wholesale. We made all of our wine and got discount beer kegs from a local bar. Give things multiple purposes. The wine bottles doubled as table numbers. Make pretty labels on the wine bottles and put them on each table. Save your money to spend on a nice bouquet and then buy the same flowers from somewhere like Safeway. Put each flower in small vases from the dollar store. We used Gerber daisies. It looked like all the flowers came from a florist and we saved lots of money.
I got a beautiful Jade Daniels dress for $300 from a second hand bridal store. Craigslist and other used websites are also places to look to save money on a wedding dress. Local dry cleaners often sell them if people don't pick them up. Buy bridesmaid dresses from a non-wedding store. You can get beautiful matching dresses for half the price. If you have only one bridesmaid, have them wear a dress they already have. Another option is black dresses with matching jewelry. eBay is a great place to save money on wedding favours. I ordered butterfly wine corks for $1.50 each. If you are crafty, make bags of your favourite candy or flower seeds. You could set up your own candy bar. Place the candy in clear containers from the dollar store and buy bulk candy from Costco. Have brightly coloured candy scoops and bags for people to come up and make their own bag. It is also a fun way to get people talking. You don't need to spend a lot of money to have a great wedding. Finances shouldn't stop you from tying the knot.Kyla lives in B.C. with her husband. When she isn't teaching, she is looking for ways to save money.
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