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  1. #1
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    Default Planning a wedding on college budget


    My daughter is planning on getting married in about 6 months. They are both still in collage. I'm looking for ideas on low cost wedding. Wedding dress, flowers etc. Also they are looking into catering to keep the cost low. Any ideas on low cost hall for the reception or is catering a better choice. They are planing on inviting family and a few close friends, which will be about 75 people. We live near Rockford, which is 80 miles from Chicago.

    Thank you,

    Melissa from IL

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    Re: Planning a wedding on collage budget


    - I had 6 weeks to plan my wedding, my husband was overseas in the
    military, so we had a little notice he was coming home for a 2 week
    visit. Anyways, we had the wedding at a friends big house, my best
    friends grandpa was a preacher, and the friend that owned the house
    used to own a bakery. The only real cost we had were the wedding
    dress, flowers, and his plane tickets home. We spent under $1000. I
    also helped many others in my family save money by finding a local
    park or old historic mill(I live in southern Missouri and there are a
    lot of mills close by) that has a beautiful view and usually at
    little cost. Is there a Davids Bridal in your area? They usually have
    big sales where every dress in the store in on sale for $99, Both my
    sisters get their dresses there, beautiful dresses regularly over
    $300. Both weddings were during the summer time so I can't remember
    when the bis sale is, it's every year though. I don't know if you
    have any one that is real crafty or creative, but Wal-Mart sells
    almost every thing you need for the decorations, the bouquet, and the
    cake. You can buy the stuff and find someone, who knows what to do
    with them, for a cheaper price than professionals. Churches will
    usually let you use there banquet areas also. Depending on the type
    of wedding and the level of formality the want you could even have a
    local country club or restaraunt cater.
    The main thing you need to do is find out what the are wanting,
    a traditional wedding very formal or a more informal personal
    wedding. Then, descide what your budget is. And make sure to use your
    resources you already have. Got a friend with a bakery? Ask them to
    make tha cake, they may even say it's their gift to the couple. I
    even have a friend that owned a cleaning service that professionally
    preserved my dress as a gift to us.

    Good luck.~~~~Rebecca

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    Re: Budget101.com : Re: Planning a wedding on collage budget


    Oh, I almost forgot - if you get married the same day as another couple, you can share the decorations at the church. Maybe you could coordinate and contact the other couple. Split the costs.

    I know a few people who got married when the church was already decorated for another event (Spring/Summer/Thanksgiving (lots of fall foliage, leaves, pumpkins, cornucopias, etc.); Christmas) and the couple did not have to decorate at all.

    We originally planned an outdoor wedding reception, but had to move it indoors. Good thing though - it rained buckets on our wedding day! Who knows the weather months in advance when you book though?

    Herlean

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    Re: Budget101.com : Re: Planning a wedding on college budget


    If you have time to go to the "Bridal Shows" before the wedding - where all of the vendors, etc. come out of the woodwork peddling their things, go and sign up for the giveaways. We got a lot of ideas from visiting and we won a few things too. We did get a lot of junk mail too, but in the end, it was worth it for the things we gained from it.

    Get a Post Office Box, then get your name on some pre-printed labels (you can make them at home), and every time you need to sign up for something, put one of these labels on it. You do not have to give out your home address or home phone number.

    If you are truly interested in what they are offering, take their card, make notes in a notebook you carry with you and then YOU CALL THEM.

    ****

    Another thing, write down every thing you "want" and prioritize. You can have a lovely wedding, the full "princess for a day treatment" if you emphasize what you really want and trim elsewhere.

    Order your invitations through the mail or make them at home. Make the inserts yourself. Make your own favors. Invite your wedding party and relatives to help out. People will ask what you need - say "I need 100 Hershey Kisses wrapped in tulle & tied with a ribbon"; or "I need 100 sugar cookies cut out in the shape of a heart/star/etc., baked and frosted." You get the picture.


    For picture frames, you can pick up wooden ones, plain and then paint them to coordinate with your wedding colors. Spray paint and then spray lacquer over them in a well ventilated area, then let them dry before adding your pictures.

    Use silk flowers. I remember wanting Tulips and the florists told me what it would cost to get them that time of year, I about flipped. Using silk, we got the gorgeous bouquets I wanted (incl. tulips in various colors) and the cost was so much easier on our budget.

    Herlean

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    Re: Planning a wedding on collage budget


    See about getting a sponser. Some places will give a discount or
    even some things free if you put their name on a "Thank You to
    David's Bridal for the Bride's and Bride's Maid's dresses, Country
    Dance Hall for hosting the reception..." etc. It is advertisement
    for them.

    Kelly

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    There is a book:
    Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget (Bridal Bargains) by Denise Fields and Alan Fields
    I used this when I got married, although that was 15 years ago. It's full of fantastic ideas. See if your library carries it, or you can get it used from Amazon for as little as $1.
    Good luck!
    Deb

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    RE: Budget101.com : Planning a wedding on collage budget


    First of all, CONGRATULATIONS your daughter and her other half.



    I planned a wedding on a very tight budget and have also helped a couple of friends with theirs. Go to the arts are crafts store in your area and look at everything. You can print your own invitations, make your own wedding favors and even the bride and groom glass? you can make. I made glasses with my wedding parties names on them as well as mom & dads and even the band and it was probably less than $50-75 for all. That was about 20 glasses. You can make a photo collage for people to look at with your photos from birth to present as well as together, simply add your new name on it and put it on an easle. That will help familys get an idea of the others. You can even make scrolls for people to write their thoughts and use fake wedding rings, which are like 50 for $2 or so and place them at each seat with a couple of cute pens and then make a special container to put them in and you have just made a wedding capsule that you can open in 5,10,15 or 20 years. That is just the tip of the iceberg for ideas that you can do. Hope this all helped. Check on the internet or ask people that are into crafts about making them for you with the colors that you chose, and send it to you. Sometimes depending on the time issue that you have to work with, it might be worth the couple of extra dollars to have them made. That goes for anything with a wedding. You can even make your own ring pillow, bird seed bag holder and even a stand for your guest sign in book. Well I hope I have helped. Talk to you later, and good luck!

    Brandy h

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    RE: Budget101.com : Planning a wedding on collage budget


    My husband's grandmother did a gorgeous counted cross stitch scene on our wedding pillow. My Mom sewed the cover onto a pillow afterwards. We love it. It came out so nice. We sat with Grandma and chose a pattern, then she modified the colors to go with our wedding colors.

    For our guest book, we went to the local bookstore and chose a blank book with a pretty cover.

    We ordered our wedding candle out of a catalog online. It is one of those "shells" that you put other votives inside and keep re-using it. It is really beautiful.

    Our cake topper, we got at the Lenox outlet. They have great prices. It is a white statue. Now, it is in a display cabinet. We did not use the "traditional" bride & groom.

    For our glasses, we got two beautiful ones on sale, something like 75% for the pair.

    Herlean

    Herlean

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    Re: Budget101.com : Planning a wedding on collage budget


    My wedding was on a low budget also.

    For her dress try second hand stores or you could make one fairly cheap. We
    rented a hall
    and had a dj (our biggest expenses). Because we didn't do it over a meal we
    were allowed to
    bring in our own food. I had baking trays set up and other light snacks. I
    also had the
    added bonus my mom made everything, from the food to the flowers, to my dress
    and table
    decorations. WE bought alot at the dollar store and second hand stores as well.

    I hope your daughter has a beautiful day on her special day.

    Patty

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    Re: Planning a wedding on collage budget


    My husband and I had a very low cost wedding. We got married on a Friday night which made it easier to rent a hall. We basically had a lot of help from our family and friends as far as the wedding was concerned. We bought artificial flowers and our friend made them into corsages, butonierres(sp?) and each bridesmaid carried a single rose. (artificial)

    Another friend offered to make the pew bows and paid for them as her wedding gift. The centerpieces were a glass bowl with a flower floating in it. We had candles and confetti decorations. Another friend made rose heart soaps for the favors and gave that for her wedding gift to us.

    We had an hors'orderve (sp?) and dessert reception. We had pizza (real Italian not Dominoes LOL), chicken and shrimp kabobs and other stuff like that. For dessert we had a candy bar (instead of a salad bar) with all different kinds of candies. I had a friend make a whole bunch of little chocolates for it.

    My husband and I both like icecream cake so we actually had 3 round cakes from Dairyqueen at our cake table (brought out at the last minute of course) and then sheet icecream cakes to accomodate our guests. Dairyqueen did a great job of decorating our cakes. Our colors were red, white and gold. They did red roses on the white cake and we gave them gold leaves to attach to the roses....they looked beautiful. We bought a gold cross with two rings at the center for our main cake topper.

    My dress was the most expensive thing at $483 at David's Bridal but part of that was bought with my $300 tax back from George W. Bush in 2002.

    We had a coffee bar at our wedding courtesy of my mother-in-law who had a coffee shop at the time. We had four friends help out with the serving at our wedding which was really just setting up the buffet and then serving the icecream cake. My parents and family helped out at the end by cleaning up and mopping.

    Basically, I would say find out what talents your family and friends have and then see if they'll apply them to the wedding. Also, a wedding can be done cheaper if you have on a different day then a traditional wedding day or you have a different type of meal like a brunch or something to that effect. We had a friend get married at a local city park who did a beautiful brunch and only invited 30 people.

    Hope that helps, Michele

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    Re: Budget101.com : Planning a wedding on collage budget


    I got my dress at JCPenney's outlet. My dress had never been tried on by anybody else. I considered renting my gown as well. It costs the same amount of money either way in our area.

    Try going to a David's Bridal to try on dresses - they have lots of the different styles, so you can see what she likes best. Don't buy it there though - it costs a fortune!!!!!

    We got some videos from the library and made all of the bouquets and buttoneires (sp.)

    The bridesmaids and jr. bridesmaids dresses came from Chadwick's of Boston. I had several different size ladies in ages 7 - 40 in our wedding party and the same dress fit them all - it was a Spring party dress, not a "bridesmaid" dress, so they got to easily wear it again. It was dry clean, but quite affordable. At the time, the dresses were about $50-60 each.

    I had each person wear shoes that they would be comfortable in all day.

    Are you associated with any organizations that could get you a location less expensively? Some people go with Knights of Columbus, your church hall, a high school gymnasium or auditorium, etc. All less expensive than a hotel. Some colleges let you use one of their halls if you are a student, alumni or an employee.

    Decorate it yourself with silk flowers, tulle, balloons, streamers, etc.

    Everyone in the wedding party drove their own car. We did not rent a limo. We did rent a nice car (it was brand spanking new) from the rental car company and my parents drove us to the reception. We took our own car from my parents home to our hotel after the reception. Much more comfortable for getting into and out of in my wedding gown.

    We ordered invitation samples out of the back of the bridal catalogs. You can also make them yourself.

    I typed up and printed our programs on our home computer, using some decorative stationery from the office store.

    My husband to be and I drove from the local hotels to the church and reception location a few times and wrote down EVERY SINGLE TURN for our guests. We mailed this with the invitations.

    Remember: On the wedding day, DO NOT CALL THE BRIDE or THE BRIDE/GROOM'S FAMILY FOR DIRECTIONS. They are busy getting ready for the ceremony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!

    It is good to have another person take the directions and follow them to see how clear they are. Remember, you live in your hometown. Great Aunt Beth has no clue that you turn left at the third light past McDonald's by the old train tracks.
    Put it in the directions! REMEMBER: She can't call you for help. You will be BUSY that day!

    I wore regular white leather shoes (pumps) and I also had a pair of white flats. Both can be easily dyed later to another color at a shoe shop for daily/work wear. I did not bother with fancy satin/dyeable shoes. You can get them pretty inexpensively at your local Payless shoe store though.

    We made my purse with a pattern. Simplicity and McCalls and Butterick have lots of patterns for purses, garters, hankies, etc.

    One way to save money on a reception is to (1) Get married on any other day than Friday night or anytime Saturday and (2) ask a restaurant if you can use their banquet room, esp. if they don't usually serve crowds during the week. Your wedding will be their "Lunch/Dinner Crowd" that day. Also less expensive than a hotel, even with the staff.

    We splurged on our wedding rings, a pro photographer and our honeymoon. Everything else we were as economical as possible. Our rings are still treasured as they should be. We wanted real nice photos of our wedding day. We actually hung them up, not just left them stored away in an album. Our honeymoon - we got married in June, but did not go until October. (I was in college and went during a break - it was also "off season" and costs thousands less because of it.)

    If you want those little disposable cameras on the table for candid shots, get the regular Fuji disposable ones - not the ones in white "wedding" wrap. It is the same camera, just less expensive because you are not using the "fancy" one. The pictures on Fuji disposables are nice. It is good film. They can develop the pics all at once or a couple each month. We asked our guests to take pictures of the other guests at their table and leave the cameras in a box we decorated and left on the gift table. It worked out great.

    We chose the verses/poetry/Bible passages for our "Thank You" scrolls and printed them at home as well.

    We bought candies in bulk and little bowls for each table at the reception and filled them ourselves. We also wrapped some for favors. Just buy a couple of spools of ribbon at the local craft/fabric store and spend an evening or two doing that.

    Food:
    (1) Taste your cake samples.
    (2) Taste the food samples/choices.
    (3) Make time to eat at the reception! Don't be rushed. Those people are their for the couple. They got paid before the event most likely. Don't let them crowd you or rush you. Remember the day. Savor it. We did. It was amazing.
    (4) If your daughter and her fiance are not drinkers - skip the champagne. My DH doesn't like it. We had sparkling cider. We DID NOT have an open or cash bar. I have also known people who have had champagne just for the couple getting married and the wedding party, and gave sparkling cider to the rest of the guests.

    It has been many, many years. If you need any other ideas, let me know. I will try to help. We had a great, beautiful wedding and did not spend thousands and thousands on it.

    Herlean

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  23. #12
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    Re: Budget101.com : Planning a wedding on collage budget


    I just got married again this past June.
    Some of the things my husband and I did to save money.

    1. We both wore "non-traditional" wedding outfits.

    2. We printed all the invitations ourselves, just got the kits from Staples and I spent about 8 hours doing them because I was very *careful* about the setup, etc. Just printing them up haphazardly makes them look cheap.

    3. You can find wording for Invitations online...find what you like and use it or alter it just enough so it's personal to you.

    4. We had a morning wedding with a Lucheon after.

    5. We got married on a Thursday.

    6. We had the Luncheon at a Buffet Restaurant ( a very nice one). Why pay a caterer when you can eat at a buffet restaurant and people can have what they like for a fraction of the cost? It's an Italian Buffet chain here, very nice, classy looking.

    7. We got very expensive rings but were lucky and got them during an 80% off sale. D

    8.We used our own car and never rented a limo or anything.

    9. We did have real flowers for the boquets, etc. but had them made at the local flower shop in the Supermarket...gorgeous and a fraction of the cost of a florist elsewhere.

    Our "non-traditional" in the Western sense of wedding outfits was that I wore a Sari (or Saree both are correct spellings) and my husband wore the "Prince coat" style of outfit.

    My husband's parents come from Sri Lanka (and although they are of the British class and my MIL never wore a Sari herself the Sari is a traditional dress still there for a wedding).

    A friend of the family taught me how to put it on. It was crepe silk and his aunt made the blouse underneath for me. (she's a Bridal seamstress and makes, alters, all kinds of bridal wear including Sri Lankan and/or Indian).

    My sari because we bought it from a friend of her's ( who owns a Sari shop) was beautiful and the friend discounted it. My sari cost about $150.00 and my husband's outfit $190.

    We only went away for a night and a day but we went somewhere lovely and had a day at the spa in the hotel to "treat" ourselves.

    All told I think we paid less than 2K for a lovely intimate wedding ( less than 30 people showed) about 32 were invited. A great meal and a "getaway". Much less but much more enjoyed than my first wedding with 10K of debt and over 200 invited of which only 165 showed.


    Sincerely, Sherrilee
    flyingkitty@gmail.com

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    Re: Budget101.com : Planning a wedding on collage budget


    As a native New Yorker, the one and only wedding I've ever been to
    that didn't have favors was in Iowa.

    However, although favors are mandatory around here, I MUCH prefer the
    cheapest kind, and will never understand why people spend a fortune
    on ugly porcelain atrocities I wouldn't want in my basement. If you
    give favors, things like seeds (e.g., "to grow as our love will") and
    bookmarks are the cheapest possible favors, and among the
    nicest. You could also print little booklets of your favorite
    recipes. ANY of these things are a thousand times nicer and more
    popular than the ugly expensive atrocities.

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    Re: Budget101.com : Planning a wedding on collage budget


    If someone already suggested this, forgive me.

    Have an evening wedding and instead of flowers, use candles. Each bridesmaid can carry a single taper, wrapped in fabric at the bottom that drapes over their hands to prevent dripping burns. Keep the lights low, or even use a back yard and put dollar store pillars and votive everywhere for a stunning effect. If you have the wedding inside, make sure to get unscented candles or your guest will be passing out from the fumes.

    If you do go with flowers, get them from Costco. They have gorgeous flowers for way better than any flower wholesaler. The Costco here sells 25 roses for $15. They also have mixed flower bouquets for around the same price that would she could lay across her arm. You would only need to take off the plastic, rubber band the stems and wrap with a wide ribbon. You can secure the ribbon with corsage pins or hot glue. Buy them the day of the wedding to ensure freshness.

    Teri Woods
    Wife of 1 and Mother of 5

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    Re: Budget101.com : Planning a wedding on collage budget


    We also paid for our entire wedding ourselves. It was my second and my husbands first. I have seen alot of ideas and tips that we used but I will run down our list anyways:

    I made my own dress (cost me $45) and my Maid of honors dress plus the dresses that my DDs wore. I only paid for my dress. My maid of honor paid for her pattern and material I let her choose basically whatever she wanted. My mom paid for the material for my kids dresses.

    My husband got his tux for free when the best man paid for his own Tux

    We got married on a Friday night at dusk by a justice of the peace

    we had the ceremony at my moms...we ended up using her living room because it was raining

    Everyone stood for the ceremony except a few elderly people which means we didn't have to rent chairs.

    We used silk flowers on the stairs and in bouquets (went to a wholesale club to buy them and they were dirt cheap) and had real flowers on candlelabras. We made our own bouquets and head pieces.

    We rented tablecloth, napkins, dishes and silverware...then worked out a deal with the candlelabras and Candles since it was a candlelit ceremony.

    We got our rings on sale and because my husband bought a more expensive ring mine was free.

    We printed our own invitations on pretty notecards cheaper than the card stock and it was exactly what I wanted. RSVPs were by email or phone and regrets only.

    We had only Champagne and Cake and no "real reception". We bought our cake from Walmart...it was 2 tiers and my SIL added fresh flowers to the tiers and around it on the table so it was the center piece. We opened all our gifts after the cake.

    A friend of ours took all the pics on her 35 MM camera and had them developed as our wedding gift. We gave disposal cameras as favors so others could take whatever pics they wanted.

    When people asked what we wanted we told them money. My parents have a time share and they gave us a week in the mountains as a honey moon. We used the money we got for sight seeing in the mountains and for a hotel room after the ceremony. We had 2 little kids at the time and we took them for 4 days of our honeymoon and had a family vacation.

    Our whole wedding was beautiful and exactly what we wanted and only cost $750!
    Congrats to your daughter!

    Holly

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