What Aren’t You Paying For?

When bridal budgets are brought up, every vendor can tell you precisely why their service is the single one that should never be considered for slashing. Caterers, bakers, dressmakers, photographers, gown salons, beauty salons, tanning salons, hairdressers, musicians, florists, limo rental companies, jewelers, linen rentals, favor manufacturers… every single one can tell you why failure to pay top dollar for their service will ruin your wedding.

Chances are you agree utterly with at least one of these service providers. You may even agree with most of them.

But the cold, hard fact is that chances are you can’t pay for every single one of them. That’s where priorities come in. And I’m curious as to what your individual priorities are.

So what are you utterly ignoring? What are you cutting out? Have you decided get a $50 eBay dress? Are you saving money by putting all the music on your iPod and borrowing speakers? Nixing champagne from the reception? Cutting the invitation list to the bone? Showing up to the ceremony in your own compact car? Serving homemade chocolate chip cookies instead of a four-tier, fondant-covered cake?

I want to know what real world brides in 2010 are doing to save a bit of cash. What are your economies?

9 Responses to “What Aren’t You Paying For?”

  1. Jo says:

    Well, we knew from the start what we will and will not be economisng on ๐Ÿ™‚ Getting hitched next April here in the UK – my mum is a fabulous cook and is making the cake. It will be a Creole fruit cake, plus a madeira sponge for those who hate fruit. My dad will be driving me to the venue in one of his refurbished ’50s cars. My mum is also making the table decorations (live potted flowers which people can take home and plant as a living memento) as she is creative as well – don’t you just hate her already! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    We wanted to spend some money on the things that really last – the rings, the photographs and the memories of having a small number of people we really love as guests rather than hundreds we barely know. Can’t wait…!

  2. Toyouke says:

    My sister printed her own programs on her color printer, then bought some ribbon and had me help her tie the bows on. Also, one of her favors was a pair of inexpensive chopsticks with an origami flower. She bought a bunch of paper and we (her, me, and Mom) folded flowers, put them on wire, and wound them around the chopsticks. It looked very nice and probably took more time than money. But if you have a color printer and some nice fonts on your computer, printing your own programs is probably a good way to save some money.

  3. I’ll be cutting out all the stuff that doesn’t affect whether my guests have a good time — the garter toss, the bouquet toss (and with it, the very expensive bouquet), the party favors that nobody knows what to do with then they get home.

    The next big think I hope we can save on is the bartenders and full-bar. I’ve learned from experience that some kegs and lots of wine bottles make for happy guests, without all the frou-frou.

    And if I can score that 50 dollar eBay dress, I’ll go for it!

  4. Twistie says:

    @Jo: Actually, I don’t hate your mum. I feel quite fond of her already. Having someone that creative and energetic in your corner when you’re getting married can be tremendously useful. And yay for having a classic car enthusiast in the family! I arrived at my wedding in my father’s compact Nissan, but Mr. Twistie and I headed off to our new life together in his classic Mustang.

    @Toyuke: Indeed, a good home color printer is an excellent friend to have when trying to save money on a wedding. And the favors sound charming.

    @Lisa in Berlin: Absolutely! We found that a couple decent beers and a tasty budget champagne were plenty to keep people in a party mood. Best of luck with that eBay dress!

  5. Zee says:

    FH and I decided that photography was the most important, but we are cutting back on other things. For instance, we are having a late afternoon wedding, so the food and alcohol will be light; just hors d’ouevres and rum slushies. Not much is being spent on decorations either; I am making a few strands of bunting, and for flowers our neighbors are donating the flowers from their hydrangea bushes. My dress we found at Timeless Bride, a vintage dress boutique, for quite a reasonable price. Beyond the photography, the only things we’re paying a “normal” wedding price for is the cakes and the venue, but everything else we are trimming the budget for one way or another.

  6. Blossom says:

    lets see, instead of a cake we had a platter of doughnuts which everyone loved may i add. i held a fan which cost $7.00 instead of an expensive bouquet. some friends drove us in their nice cars and we held the reception at my parents house. so lots of money saved.

  7. La Petite Acadienne says:

    I went for the eBay dress, but mine was $100. I also did my own hair and makeup, and my headpiece was a sparkly headband from a costume jewelry shop.

    Where we splashed out was on the photography. I figured that I had only one chance to have perfect wedding photos, and that a good photographer would be able to make my cheap-ass dress look like a Vera Wang. And he did — the photographs were absurdly stunning, and I don’t regret one penny spent on them.

  8. kate says:

    Does it count if I was a 2008 bride? ๐Ÿ™‚ We didn’t have flowers, for the most part (just corsages/bouttonieres for the special relatives). We bought print-’em-yourselve invites on eBay. I don’t think anyone noticed our economizing on either of those scores. And no one saw me get into a Jeep Wrangler after the reception, in my big dress, or I’m sure there would be a video on YouTube. It was entertaining for all involved. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Linda says:

    I’m at the beginning of my wedding planning, so I’m taking notes on everyone’s comments ๐Ÿ˜‰ So far I’m just focused on the jewelry and going from there. Fortunately, I’m a jeweler, so I’m making everything (including the rings). If I were a seamstress, I’d be all set!