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10 Budgeting Tips for the Frugal Minded :)

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Great tips, beautifulbridetobe. Question, for a $10k-$12k budget, how many guests are you expecting? I'm having a hard time determining budget (also need to be frugal) because we plan to invite 200 ... anticipating at least 100 will come. Thanks for your great suggestions!

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Wow I am so frugal too even when it came down to my dress LOL which for the price is gorgeous. I see everyone on here talking about vistaprint how are you getting most of your stuff for free other then shipping?

Originally Posted by Jamaica2012 View Post

I am just like this! I keep trying to remind myself to just say thank you but I always feel like I should brag ;-)




Originally Posted by BeautifulBridetoBe View Post

Frugal-Minded Brides Unite!

In another thread, " how much is your wedding costing you?", we all learned that everyone's budget was different and the last post asked for tips from the frugal-minded to stay on track and on budget.

So Tips for the Frugal-Minded Bride:)

First of all, I pride myself on being frugal. To be frugal, you have to be creative and I think creativity is a wonderful attribute. Having said that, I also like nice things:) I have just learned that nice things do not have to cost a lot.

Our budget was $12,000 - it is now less than $10,000 and dropping. How?

Creative shopping and searching around.

1. Don't buy the first thing you see (even if you need it) if it is not on sale! Wait...unless you absolutely love it and must have it now because there is no chance that you will ever find it again. Shop around. Everytime I go into a store, I check the wedding section, the candle section , the bath and beauty section, the craft section, etc.

2. Shop in the off season. It is winter in Toronto...a perfect time to shop for my wedding shoes because white open-toed heels are on sale from the summer. I just bought a beautiful pair that were originally $100 for $10. I also wanted a pair of white wedge flip flops with rhinestones on them for style and comfort to dance in during the reception...$10. So my shoe budget, that was originally $100is in actuality $20 ...a savings of $80.

3. Think outside the box. Our resort has beautiful centrepieces and flower arrangements, as does yours, I am sure. But our wedding is on the last day of our trip, so to purchase these arrangements makes no sense...we cannot take them with us the next day and they cost $60 per arrangement. So we have opted for pillar candles on the signing table. I just bought these on sale at Michael's for $2.99 per candle and they are lightly scented...so imagine them burning in the sparkle of crystal hurricane vases that look like large wine glasses...very elegant...and $25 for the entire centrepiece. A set of four vases were $18 at Burlington Coat factory. So that is a savings of $35. They will also join us at the reception.

I also bought the really tall, tower vases at a party store for $4.99 each. I saw the same vases in a flower shop for $20 the next day! Instead of having the resort do centrepieces for $50 each, I have decided to use silk flowers mixed with tall grasses and tropical palm leaves and tiny crystals for sparkle. It looks tropical and I'm told you cannot tell it is fake...so all 8 centrepieces will cost under $100 as opposed to the $400 we would have spent at the resort.

4. The Dollar Store is your friend! At our local dollar store, I have found countless items. Beautiful white shells, tiny white organza bags for favours, wedding bubbles, silver kissing bells, etc. I don't think these things should come from anywhere else. They are trinkets that add tiny splashes of festivity to the occassion. You will look so beautiful that who will care if your organza bags did not come from Michael's for $6?

5. Vista Print is your BEST friend! I cannot tell you what a lifesaver VistaPrint has been. We have done our invitations, programs, booking thank-you cards, and fans done by them. And I really take advantage of the FREE products. I will make a large order at once of free items...and then place another free order. I make sure that I only pay shipping costs every time.The quality is great and everything is personalized.

6. For a gown, make sure you check the sale racks. I originally bought my gown for $500 and fell in love with another at David's Bridal on the sale rack fo $99. I bought it too. So I will wear one to the wedding and one to the reception for less than what most people will spend on one gown.

7. Be creative. I am making my own veil. Really, stare at the veil you are buying for over $100...with a needle and thread, you or someone you know can make one for you. I bought my veil comb - 2 tiers of diamond crystals for $4 on sale. Bridal illusion (tulle) cost me $5 for 2 yards and I have splurged on pearls and swarovski crystals for $15. So my veil will be $25...the one I love and am imitating is $225.

8. Start early. The more time you have, the longer you can look around and will not have to make last minute, expensive purchases. You can look in a range of stores, especially those you think have nothing. I have found beautiful things at liquidation stores in my travels. We bought Hallmark wedding candles, vanilla with silver lids that can be engraved for $4.99 at a liquidation store. We thought it would be a nice gift for our parents at the wedding, engraved with their wedding date and ours or scripture. The candles retail for $30 each.

9. Rethink your definition of cheap. I often marvel at people who think that expensive means quality. It doesn't always. And On sale is better than expensive. After all, someone bought my $99 gown for the original price of $900. The gown is no less beautiful beacuse I bought it on sale...it is still worth $900. We will both look beautiful in the gown :) I said before that I like nice things...but I don't like large price tags. There are often less expensive versions if you just take the time to look.

10. NO STRESS! I don't believe that weddings have to be stressful if you are organized and keep track of your spending. Stress equals spending. In the beginning, I took too many people with me to buy my dress and ended up almost choosing an expensive one that I didn't like too much because they loved it and they said " So what if it's expensive? You only get married once!" By myself, I found an elegant gown for $99. Slowly taking your time to find just what you want will yield great rewards. A relaxed bride with fewer stress-related skin breakouts will spend less on facials and foundation :)

Any other tips?

Choose an all-inclusive resort. It covers everything and neither you or your guests have to worry about the bar tab or the cost of the salmon. It allows everyone to relax.

Make a list of all you need to buy and keep it in your purse. There are 121 items on mine. It goes something like this: bridal purse, jewelled hair pins, white pashmina in case I get cold, candle holder for unity candle, etc. So when I am in Walmart, I can look for a candle holder. Right after New Years is a great time to buy the purse and diamond hair pins...they will have loads of stock available that was for the holiday season....but not at holiday prices.

In closing, I am not trying to be cheap...I am being careful. I have read that money is the number one cause of marital distress. Why start this way? At the same time, I want my dream wedding. I believe that God took care of the decor...we are getting married in tropical splendour. So my part is only to enhance the beauty and and have a great time. There are cost effective ways to do things..we just have to find them.

Feel free to add to this list :)


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You just sign up on their site for their promotions & you will receive emails from them. I think I get about 4-5 emails a week from them promoting FREE items. For example 250 free business cards, or 50 free postcards. 

Originally Posted by FleetMac bride View Post

Wow I am so frugal too even when it came down to my dress LOL which for the price is gorgeous. I see everyone on here talking about vistaprint how are you getting most of your stuff for free other then shipping?




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I didn't know they did OOT bags!  Thanks for the tip!

Originally Posted by rae12vb View Post

Did anyone get their OOT bags from Vista print?  I am trying to order $20 bags and it's costing me about $120!!! 


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Just wanted to pass along this site where I bought my fiance's wedding band that saved us hundreds from what we originally budgeted for his ring: http://www.tungstenfashions.com/


They are Tungsten Carbibe bands that are priced at $69.99 normally I think. They have a sale right now where they are $54.99. The sale goes through tomorrow, but they have that sale price every once in a while. And even if they aren't on sale, $70 is a GREAT price!! The ring I got was very sturdy and of great quality and fit perfectly, plus they have a lifetime guarantee for size exchanges or if it breaks or fractures.


One of my bridesmaids' father is a jeweler and we had him check it out. He said that's a great deal. Lots of their suppliers couldn't even come close to the price for the same exact thing


Also, super quick shipping. I bought mine on a Friday afternoon, and it was at my house Monday around noon. Couldn't believe it!

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Love the tips! Too bad we can't put a sticky up of all the helpful sites everyone has posted so we have one place to go and look for everything :).


Something I have noticed from going to bridal shows, bigger bridal shows=bigger companies=more expensive (Very Obvious in hindsight. New companies can't afford the price for a booth at a big bridal show).


I went to a small bridal show in my city, and had way more vendors I have used/considered using because their prices are much more reasonable. A lot of the vendors at the smaller bridal show are just starting out in business, plus a lot of brides don't think to go to the smaller bridal shows because the 'best' vendors, the most popular ones, are at the big name bridal shows. The small bridal show I went to I actually one a couple prizes. Less brides=better chance of winning a draw :P.


Do a google search for 'budget template' I found a great one that you open in excel and it has all the approximate percentages of how much you should spend on each category (Flowers, Reception, Transportation, etc). You type in your budget at the top and the formula's are written in the spreadsheet so it does the work for you :D. I found it really handy when I was trying to cut costs in certain areas so I could up our price for a photographer, I didn't have to keep on pulling out the calculator and doing the work, the spreadsheet did it for me :P.


Love the dollar store! Have found nearly all my beachy/centrepiece things there. Vistaprint is also great! Was wary at first because the price was so great so we ordered the return labels when they had a deal advertising they were free. We got them in a tuquoise colour with a cute beach background, and they are VERY CUTE and very nice! Paid under $5 for 140 I think it was.


Something else I have started doing. Ask your vendors if they offer discounts if you pay in full. Most will say no, but it doesn't hurt to ask does it? We saved $50 on our dj because we paid in full. $50 doesn't seem like a lot, but that's $50 that can go to something else :). Whenever something is under $500 we try to pay in full, so we don't have to worry about paying them later. I can't stand the idea of having a big bill hanging over our head on our wedding day. Our goal is to have everyone paid for by January, so we have six months to just relax and work on finishing touches before our wedding :).


Love this forum!!!

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