@WPGBride17 Congrats on your upcoming wedding!! My husband and I were on a budget too so I definitely understand where you are coming from. Here are some of the areas we saved on:
STD & Invitations: I used Paperless Post for our invitations. We skipped the Save the Dates as we had all of the information right away and our booking deadline was fairly soon after our invites went out. I love invitations but they can be really costly or too time consuming to do DIY (not the most skilled in that area lol). We thought Paperless Post was a nice compromise, they still had the look of a beautiful invite without the cost. You pay for the "postage" and it depends on the type of invite. I think we paid $40 total.
Other Private Events: We skipped doing a welcome dinner and instead did informal welcome drinks at one of the bars. We also opted for an informal farewell breakfast on the last day at the buffet. My husband and I just got there early to get a section of tables.
Cocktail Hour: We decided to just do an informal cocktail hour, letting our guests know which bar they could go to between the ceremony and reception for drinks. We didn't think it was worth paying the extra money for hors d'oeuvres and the bar service when some guests may want a break between events anyway. To our surprise we qualified for a free cocktail hour so we had it anyway but we wouldn't have paid extra for it.
Menu choice: We wanted really good food, it was important to us but we didn't want to pay an arm and leg for it and we also didn't feel like at an all inclusive with free room service that we need to over feed our guests. Our plated menu options at Azul Fives were cheaper than the buffet options so we saved a lot per person that we. We also had all of our kids at our wedding order off of the children's menu which was free of charge.
Flowers: I chose to get real touch flowers for my bridal bouquet (which I LOVED) and it is a great keepsake now. My bridesmaids carried custom clutches instead of flowers which also doubled as part of their bridesmaid gifts. I thought this was a little more unique and practical. My girls loved having a purse for the night! My husband and groomsmen went without boutonnieres and to be honest, I didn't miss them...although I'm not a big flower person.
Dress: I went custom for my dress and ended up saving a ton of money!! Although this is an area I would say not to purposely skimp on as you do want to feel amazing on your big day but it is possible to save in this category.
Wedding bands: I got my wedding band at an independent jeweller where my husband got my engagement ring and saved a ton of money. My husband also decided to go with a ring that wasn't gold - also huge savings and he loves it! Again you want to love your wedding bands as you'll be wearing them everyday but just another way to save if you can.
Decor: I got very little from the resort and brought the rest from home. I only ordered a couple of floral arrangements for the ceremony and then had them transfer them all to the reception to be used for the centrepieces. We definitely saved a lot by using the same items for both parts of the day.
Photography: This is an area we didn't want to cut costs on. We really wanted to save in other areas to be able to afford great photography, so we went with an outside vendor and paid the outside vendor fee. That being said we went with a smaller package. We thought we'd rather had better quality for a shorter amount of time rather than all day coverage with just a mediocre photographer. We only did a 4 hour package from 2-6pm. We had a jam packed schedule but got it all in. I did my hair and make up before they got there but we still had getting ready photos, a first look, family/bridal party pics before the ceremony, ceremony and then ended the package with our first dance that kicked off our reception.
Videography: We were originally going to not have videography but the more I thought about it the more I wanted it. We ended up splurging and used some wedding money to pay for it.
DJ: We skipped the DJ and used our own playlist. We used a program called QLAB but Wedding DJ app is even more popular with the brides on here.
Paper products: I printed my menus, welcome packages, thank you letters etc all at work. I know not everyone can do this but it saves you a lot if you can do it.
Guestbook: Originally we were going to do a video guestbook in conjunction with polaroid pictures...well we didn't really set up the video guestbook properly (totally my fault and not the hotel) and I forgot to give the camera and polaroid film to the wedding department (again my fault)...so we accidentally ended up without a guestbook and I have to say I really don't mind. It didn't bother me the day after when I realized or now. I think we may have looked at it once in a while but it really isn't a must have for me.
Those are all the areas I can think of right now...I'll let you know if I can think of more. Happy planning!
Edited by snswedding2016, 18 March 2016 - 04:30 PM.