DIY tips to save on your wedding
From the save-the-date to the tabletop, we'll help you reduce the cost of your nuptials with these do-it-yourself suggestions.
This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.
A typical 150-guest wedding costs $25,000 on average, according to The Knot's Wedding Budget 101 guide. That's enough to pay for a new car, cover the down payment on a new house, or fund (at least partially) a college education.
Still, no bride wants to sacrifice her entire dream wedding in the name of frugality. So what's a girl to do? Compromise. Pick what you don't want to scrimp on, budget for that, and then DIY everything else to keep costs down. Here's a bunch of ideas to get you started:
The Knot says 2% to 3% of your wedding costs go toward stationery. It doesn't sound like a lot, but for a typical $25,000 wedding it breaks down to $500 to $750 spent on paper.
Start your wedding off on the frugal foot with homemade invitations and save-the-date cards. Start by asking your friends and family for their unwanted craft supplies. I've done this a few times and ended up with an arsenal of stock papers, markers and stickers.
For everything else, shop around. Online, check Etsy's Craft Supplies section, Overstock.com's Crafts & Sewing section, and discounts sites like CreateForLess. Offline, Michaels, Jo-Ann and Hobby Lobby run regular sales on paper craft supplies, and you can get discounts through email by signing up for their newsletters:
Once you have your tools, you can find design inspiration at:
- Oh So Beautiful Paper DIY Ideas -- a large collection with instructions.
- Meridian Bride -- ideas with DIY videos.
- Wedding Chicks -- a collection of free printable invitations.
The wedding soundtrack accounts for 8% to 10% of costs, or $2,000 to $2,500 for a $25,000 wedding, according to The Knot. My friend recently paid less than $500 for her ceremony and reception music by eliminating the third party. Instead of hiring a band or a DJ, she bought an iPod, put her own soundtrack together, and enlisted a family member to keep it playing. Here are some tips to pull it off:
- Use an MP3 player. CDs scratch too easily. Check Craigslist and eBay for discounted players or borrow one.
- Make separate playlists to keep things organized. My friend had a playlist for the ceremony, one for the reception, and one for important dances like the father and daughter dance.
- For song ideas, check out the music lists on WeddingWire, Project Wedding and Brides.
The reception represents a large chunk of your total expense. The Knot says it's 48% to 50% on average, or $12,000 to $12,500 for a $25,000 wedding. Make your own decorations and you'll slash the reception costs. Here are a few ideas from around the Web:
Setting the scene:
Now, here are a few more ideas to help cut costs:
- Pick DIY ideas that use what you already own, like a large collection of old books, records, magazines or lace swatches.
- Shop flea markets for odds and ends. Flea markets are a great source for buttons, bottle caps, twine and other odd bits.
- Ask your local Freecycle community. For a friend's wedding I needed a few hundred buttons to make place holders. I figured it was a long shot, but I posted an ad on Freecycle anyway. An hour later, I had my buttons.
The biggest part of your reception costs is probably going to be food and drink, especially if you hire a catering company. It'll take some work, but making most (if not all) of the food yourself will save a ton of money. Here are some ideas:
- Cookie buffet. Cover a buffet table with different kinds of cookies on platters you already own (or can borrow) for a cheap dessert table.
- Wedding party potluck. Have each member of the wedding party bring their own home-cooked dish.
- Heart-shaped fruit. Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon. Serve them on toothpicks as appetizers or on the tables as finger food.
- Cheese plates. Stock up on inexpensive cheeses and crackers at a warehouse club. Serve buffet style or on individual platters.
More on Money Talks News:
With all the time invested in the work force along with economic and family problems and so much more,I think the retirement age should be reduced o 59! .......
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Redrawn lines between full- and part-timers at Sodexo decide who is eligible for coverage.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'