Originally Posted by Sehausle
A few ways I was able to cut budget costs...I mean no offense to any other bride, this is just my humble opinion : )
1) Buy a Suit Vs. Rent a tux...not a fan of the linen look on men. Suits are always on sale (Men's Warehouse had a 40% off sale this month) so this saved us big time.
2) Buy "Off the Rack" or plan to sell back - I bought my dress way in advance and asked for the off-the-rack price. They didn't want to lose their only sample so they gave me the off-the-rack price but I am getting a brand new dress which saved me $200-300 dollars. I also did a ton of shopping around until I spotted the best price (know your style number). I am also selling my dress afterward , I did some research and found that it's a fairly popular style and I have a color-size that have been sold before for about $1,000 (lots of pre owned wedding dress sites to compare)...my dress was over 1300 originally, I paid about 1100 if I get a buyer that means I paid $100 for my dress- not bad!
3) Vistaprint- Use retailmenot.com to get awesome deals - we bought 70 invitations, stickers for our favors, and address labels for $60!
4) Be creative in your favors- Remember those stickers? They were actually the envelop seals but I changed it to say Welcome to Mexico 2013 (with our names and date) , I will add them to small white cake boxes ($6 from Amazon.com) and use them for people to take their cake back with them to the hotel room as our package comes with both dessert and cake. Another idea, writing a nice personalized letter to each guest...it takes time but it's free and is a beautiful keepsake on nice stationary. Who wants trinket or a koozie with someones name on them...my junk drawer is full of them. We did also opt for a small wine stopper favor, but you could get away with these two things and no one would be the wiser.
5) Think Less is More. Is that neon orange or turquoise table runner going to stand the test of time? A lot of people use all these silly props but they look a little cheap and tacky (in my opinion). Keep it simple, classic, chic and elegant. Plus, who wants to carry all that stuff with them? You're in a beautiful location, let that stand out. A paper lantern doesn't come close to matching the natural beauty of your surroundings skip it and save.
6) Skip the Photographer. We opted for a really nice engagement session with a local photographer we knew ($200 for over 300 beautiful artsy photos). We will have our resort photographer focus on pictures of us and family. We have some good photographer guests so we are going to ask them to take lots of photos of things like my wedding shoes, cake, and table decor that really do not have to be professional. Think about it, when is the last time you looked at your parents wedding photos - did you even notice the table decor? Nope, just the couple shot...This was a tough decision for me, but in the end it will save us thousands.
7) While your at it skip programs- Unless they double as fans and your wedding is in July at the height of heat-misery...otherwise, they will blow away or be thrown away. I promise.
8) OOT bags with food or drinks for an all inclusive are just silly (again just my opinion). Guests have a plethora of water, your personalized bottle is only cute to you and maybe your maid of honor. Food is literally everywhere (snacks included), plus no one has room for all that stuff in their luggage unless they check bags. Were doing a small weekend welcome baggy with some essentials (tums, advil etc.) things people might actually use and is just a small token of thanks for coming, but really even that's not necessary.
9) Use a good Travel Agent. Ours (Apple) allowed us to pay for the trip portion up until 2 mos prior...doing it a little at a time is much easier than one lump sum.
Just keep it simple, keep it organized (excel is awesome), and stick to a budget. Set aside a little each month, and do not touch that fund if possible. Your new marriage does not need the stress of debt, and your wedding will be absolutely amazing because your with the ones you love.
Good luck : )
Thanks for all the advice
Most of these I had already handled. We completely changed our wedding and are just having under 30 people come. We will do a big reception back home, with all the speeches, dances, etc. here, and keep Mexico small and intimate. I am just going to pay for the photographer for a couple of hours (since we are not having a reception there).
I an undecided about the table runners, etc. but I am thinking more along your lines- just a few candles to make it intimate, and that's it. A while table cloth is fine with me.
We aren't doing any actual favours- we are donating to a charity instead (as FI works in the not-for-profit industry), so it only makes sense to do that. Plus, no one really does anythign with favours, so at least this way, the money isn't wasted, and goes to someone in need.
We won't be putting food/drinks in our OOT bags- they will be more "oh sh*t" kits, and fun stuff (squirt guns, cheap sunglasses, etc.).
FI will be buying a suit- he hates tux's anyways. I bought my dress at a sample sale, so it only cost $680 and my mom and grandma paid for it.
Can't use vista print very much- shipping to Canada is ridiculous. So I can only use it when the sales make it worth it.
Our TA is free, and has gotten us a good deal. Our invites are actually going to go out in a few weeks, with everyone putting down a $150 deposit. Full payment to be made by January (yes, 9 months ahead), but otherwise the prices are supposed to go up. If people choose to not go along with this deal, then they risk paying more, but that is their choice! They could also pay less/ same and just pay later on is all as well!
Ohh, I am ms. organized. I have a whole binder to keep me on track, excel is my second love. We are putting away money every month (though May seems to be a bad month for us- too many birthday's/anniversaries/ parties....) so, we didn't do so well this month. However, we did secure our TA, and 30 spots on the plane for our guests, so it was still an accomplishment this month!
Thanks for all the advice again! Appreciate you taking the time to help out a fellow bride!
Good luck to you as well!!