Brides Series: 22 Brides Share Wedding Advice for Future Brides

Last week I shared with you lovely people my guide on how to save money on your wedding and still make it awesome. This week, 22 brides share weddings advice for future brides out there! Check out these incredible tips below. These weddings range from 50 people to 550 people, so I think we’ve got it all covered.

Brides Series: 22 Brides Share Wedding Advice for Future Brides

Lindsey Mueller Photography

  1. I’d say figure out what is important to you and what you want to be able to look back on, and don’t sweat the rest. Pick one or two things to invest in—not everything has to be top of the line. Also, pick two or three types of alcohol that you like and buy them in bulk for your bar. You don’t have to have a full bar for people to have fun! (150 people)
  2. I recommend using new-ish or nontraditional vendors (apart from photography). We used a film student friend for simple videography, a band I found in a Waco bar, and a girl who was just starting her paper business for all my invitations, programs, and menus. You can save a ton of money AND help awesome vendors get some exposure! Plus, we saved a tonnnn of money between the three of those things. (225 people)
  3. A few things from my point of view. A couple should consider the wedding traditions that they really want versus just doing what they think a wedding is supposed to be. If you use vendors that have a good reputation but are still building their brand, typically that results in lower prices. For flowers, work with a florist who incorporates locally grown product. This saves you money and is sustainable in a variety of ways! (110 people)
  4. I would say to get either you or a friend with design talent to design and make your invitations because those add up quickly, and it’s special to be able to add your creative side to them! Along with that, I say limit what you send out because technically you don’t need a save the date, RSVP cards can be replaced with online RSVPs, and you can eliminate programs since most people just throw them away, sadly. (280 people)

    Brides Series: 22 Brides Share Wedding Advice for Future Brides

    Lindsey Mueller Photography

  5. We really saved money by taking time to research everything, and we didn’t go with big brand name vendors for the florist, band, or photography! Our photographers were “newer,” but we loved their work and style, so we went with them. The florist was a recommendation from our wedding coordinator. She was SUPER reasonably priced and really wanted to make our vision happen, but had a small business, not a big name. With our coordinators, we had two people who helped mainly towards the end of the engagement with rehearsal, picking up things for the wedding week of, organizing schedules/vendors, and then with vendor recommendations at the beginning of planning at $1,500 instead of a planner. So, I guess to sum that up, do A LOT of research on your own and trust the “younger” talented people in the wedding industry. We also saved big time because we didn’t do any type of party favor, and we didn’t have any extra entertainment at the wedding (like a photo booth or extra dessert section). We wanted the band to be incredible, and that’s where our focus and money went. (185 people)
  6. Two things come to mind. One is as you make a budget and look at the different categories, rank the items that are most important to you and the groom. Don’t spend money, or at least not as much, on the aspects of it that don’t matter to you. I thought it was silly to spend a lot of money on party favors, when it’s something people would just throw away, so we didn’t give out party favors. The other is to remember and focus on the marriage and not the wedding. (200 people)
  7. Pick the top three things that matter most to you & your fiancé: for example, apparel (dress & suit/tux), venue, florals. So when the questions arise as to what to spend money on, you already have your priorities set. Dream dress costs $500 more than you wanted? Cut $500 from food/decor/reception gifts, etc. I know that’s not really a way to SAVE money, but isn’t spending money well important as well? I would also say a big way to save money is to not just get the least expensive thing, because sometimes it ends up costing more in the end. Example: Many brides complain about expensive alterations, so they take their gown to a cheap place, and their bustle ends up missing a button or falling out during their first dance. (175 people)
  8. One thing I did that saved us some money with a few vendors was ask questions. Our photographer had packages in her brochure, but neither were exactly what I wanted. I ended up proposing the price I wanted to pay for the product I wanted, and she agreed to it! I also asked every vendor about an off-season discount, and we literally got our venue for half the price. (300 people)
  9. Let each party (bride and groom) pick the one thing that they want to splurge on. Then cut on the rest. For example, if you decide to use flowers but they aren’t your splurge item, talk to your grocery store instead of a florist to either buy in bulk and arrange them yourself or have them make a few arrangements. Even consider only bouquets and doing something different for the tables. Costco, Central Market, Trader Joe’s, and HEB all offer this service. If cake is important, think about having a small cutting cake decorated and have sheet cake in the back to be served from. Look for vendors (photography, videography, DJ) who are early in their career whose work you like, because many will be significantly less expensive than those who have been doing it for decades or are the standard in town. If able, consider buying alcohol yourself. Specs even lets you bring back unused alcohol. Kegs tend to be less expensive than individual cans/bottles. Check out your local Craigslist or Facebook community for pre-loved decor. We are all looking at the same Pinterest boards, so someone may have already made it in your colors and is now ready to have it out of her house. (150 people)
  10. Make the gifts you give personal. I really liked shopping on Etsy for gifts for my mom and mother-in-law. I got them beautiful glass jewelry boxes. Getting the two moms pretty gifts to say thank you was one of my favorite parts of the whole process. (50 people)

    Brides Series: 22 Brides Share Wedding Advice for Future Brides

    Lindsey Mueller Photography

  11. My suggestion is to buy a dress from a consignment shop. I bought mine from a consignment shop, and it still had the original tags on it! There will be a limited selection, but then you are getting to choose from one-of-a-kind pieces, vintage, you name it. It will be cheaper too! Brides may think that a consignment dress cannot be THE dress, but it so can be! People aren’t going to look at a bride as she comes down the aisle and say ugh she bought her dress secondhand! They are thinking about the beaming bride! The boutique that I purchased my dress from is called Second Summer Bride. This boutique only accepts dresses by interview and inspection of the dress. So it isn’t a dumping ground, rather a well-curated bridal gown boutique! (500 people)
  12. Something I did was buy flowers at a local flower wholesaler and make our own bouquets. In Austin, there’s Austin Flower Co, and you can order flowers through them. I had a friend who was great at arranging! I also used my bridesmaids’ bouquets as centerpieces for the reception. (275 people)
  13. I would say we probably saved money in our favors because we just did a popcorn bar and ordered cute bags off Etsy. It saved money because we didn’t have to buy individual favors but could just buy popcorn in bulk! I’ve also heard of people doing candy bars! (150 people)
  14. Let’s talk about the dress. I personally designed my own dress like described above, spent $100 on the materials for it, and had my friend who is a textiles and apparel major make it for me; she is a best friend from high school, so she did it for free. So long story short: I paid $100 for my wedding dress, which was my dream dress because I designed it myself and picked all the fabric! Guys, I did my research and when it comes to the least expensive flowers, go to Costco!! Get lots of different bouquets and have your bridesmaids put them together the night before or the morning of with pretty ribbon for bouquets and centerpieces. You can also charge everything for your wedding on a credit card and use your points to go on your honeymoon. Regarding your registry, Target and most shops give you a discount on whatever you don’t receive on your registry. Take advantage of that and look for that perk when deciding where you want to register. (120 people)
  15. This is specific, but I would say design/print your own save-the-dates, programs, menus, and table cards. I love stationary, but the costs add up quickly, so I spent money on the invites then found templates and asked friends with Photoshop experience to help with the rest. (275 people)
  16. I saved by buying flowers in bulk and having my mom and mother-in-law do them! I loved it because I got to choose each type of flower I wanted specifically, and saved money where I needed to. For example: I wanted peonies, but they were just going out of season and a little pricier per flower. So, I just used peonies for my bouquet and the cake, and chose carnations for the tables and bridesmaids. (250 people)

    Brides Series: 22 Brides Share Wedding Advice for Future Brides

    Lindsey Mueller Photography

  17. For my sister’s wedding, my dad did all the food and catering to save money, and it did, but he did not get to enjoy the wedding at all—he was so stressed and busy the whole time! So that’s one place not to DIY. My mother-in-law did do our food for the rehearsal dinner, though, and it went well! (300 people)
  18. We ordered flowers in bulk from Costco because I enjoy the hands-on feel of flower arranging. Everyone kept asking how they could help, so I thought making arrangements would be fun to do together! It was a blast and a great way to relax. I realize this isn’t for everyone because some peeps just want that to be taken care of or would be worried they wouldn’t turn out okay, but it worked for us! We had the boutonnieres and my bouquet arranged professionally because they are more intricate! (230 people)
  19. We really reused our flowers. We used the bridesmaid bouquets for the rehearsal dinner tables, the wedding ceremony, and on the reception tables. Also, for decorations, wait for 50% sales at Hobby Lobby. That’s where we got our candles and holders. (160 people)
  20. My biggest tip is to stop and pause throughout your wedding day. Use these moments to soak in the big day. I told my husband that I wanted him to stop me a couple of times during the wedding so that we could both just acknowledge what all was going on around us. That was the best thing because now I actually remember our wedding day. (550 people)
  21. I think one of the biggest ways to save is to make your own flower arrangements and bouquets—I didn’t do this, but we did with my best friend’s wedding, and they turned out well. Does add a little bit of stress though. Another idea: have your wedding off season, during the day, or on Friday/Sunday, as rates for the venue are much less. One thing I did do to save money was to just get a plain white cake and then add some flowers the day of myself. (220 People)
  22. You can save money on invitations by ordering them online and not getting super-thick paper or envelopes. Decide what details are important to you and to your soon-to-be spouse, and then cut costs on the other things and make up for spending on what you really want. (300 people)

Comment below with any additional tips you may have!
Check out these additional posts in the Bride Series:

How to Choose Your Bridesmaids

Don’t Skip the Wedding Videographer 

Cheers,
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TheHonestShruth

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