Planning An Impressive Wedding On A Shoestring Budget

by Deborah Collins © 2007, All Rights Reserved


It was a day you'll never forget. He dropped to one knee, presented you with a stunning engagement ring and you gleefully accepted with a resounding, "Yes!" The rush of adrenaline is relived each time you announce, "We're getting married!" The excitement, however, can quickly diminish when the reality of wedding expenses hits home.


According to, U. S. couples spend approximately $30,000 on their weddings. To make matters worse, that figure doesn't include the honeymoon, engagement ring, bridal consultants or wedding planner. Is it really possible to plan a memorable wedding without breaking the bank? Absolutely! These guidelines will help make your wedding day a success - from the wedding favors to the dress - without blowing your budget.

Designer Dresses At Knock-Off Prices

One of the most important items in planning a wedding is choosing the right dress. You want a dress that looks breathtaking as you walk down the aisle. One that will leave a lasting impression on everyone in attendance With designer gowns costing thousands of dollars, how do you find a dress that's both breathtaking and affordable? One suggestion is to attend Filene's "Running of the Brides." This event began in 1947 and is held in major cities across the country. They offer famous designer wedding gowns that range in price from $249 to $699. These sales are a fantastic way to buy the dress of your dreams at a fraction of the cost.


Another possibility is to shop online for consignments. Many brides put their dresses up for sale after the ceremony. You can find gorgeous dresses that cost much less than you'd pay for them in a salon or department store. If you're the sentimental type, your mother, aunt or sister would probably be thrilled to loan you their dress. You many even start a new family tradition.

Endless Options for Affordable Flowers

Popular flowers for bridal bouquets are roses, lilies and gardenias. While these flowers are indeed beautiful, they can also be quite expensive. Once again, check online when looking for flowers.


There are a number of companies that ship fresh flowers at much more reasonable rates than local florists. There are also packages that can be ordered which include the bridal bouquet, rose petals for the flower girl, bridesmaid's flowers and boutonnieres for the groom and groomsmen. If this is still out of range, try substituting carnations for roses. Carnations are dainty and frilly, come in a rainbow of colors, and cost about half the price of roses. Your florist can also offer an abundance of ideas that meet your budget.


Another popular option is silk flowers. Better-quality silk bouquets are hard to distinguish from the real thing and can cost as little as $20. Silk flowers never die, so they can be easily stored as keepsakes. Silk flowers also alleviate allergens that might annoy those in attendance.

An Impressive Reception On A Shoestring

Most couples allocate almost half the wedding budget to the reception. However, you can throw a fabulous reception without going overboard financially. Here are some smart strategies that can save big bucks without looking cheap.


Evening weddings are typically more formal and offer a reception with a sit down dinner. One cost-saving tip is to stay away from steak and lobster, and substitute chicken or pasta. Not only are these items less expensive, they are also healthier.


Alcohol is another significant expense. Instead of going for a full, open bar, try keeping it simple. Offer guests two or three impressive wines that go well with your meal. If the sit-down dinner strains your financial plans, try moving your wedding time to early afternoon. Receptions held at that time typically offer hors d'oeuvres instead of a meal, which can reduce your cost tremendously.

Memorable Wedding Favors

Who said distinctive wedding favors have to cost a fortune? There are countless options when it comes to finding personalized, unique wedding favors, your guests will adore.

While personalized napkins and matches are reception mainstays, you might also want to add personalized votive candles, Hershey kisses, and chocolate bars. Guests always appreciate gourmet coffee and tea selections, as well as individual-sized honey jars that bear the names of you and your groom. These are creative ways to offer guests a memorable - albeit thrifty - keepsake of your special day.


Following these simple suggestions can help you relax and enjoy your wedding day while still keeping your budget in tact And with all the money you save, you might just be able to extend your honeymoon!





Deborah Collins is Creative Consultant for specializing in creative, personalized wedding favors for every budget. Visit them today at to browse their huge selection of affordable wedding favors that will make your special day memorable.