Hi! I’m Bee, the founder of Weddingbee.com, one of eHarmony’s wedding planning sites. Weddingbee features blogs, forums, resources and inspiration to help you plan your big day. And it is updated and read obsessively by real brides across the US.
With the current state of the economy, one of the most popular topics on our site continues to be creative ways to cut back on your wedding budget. Couples are concentrating on the areas of the wedding that are the most important to them, and cutting back on the aspects that aren’t as important. Here are some ways Weddingbee brides have saved big bucks without sacrificing the weddings of their dreams.
1) DIY Flowers and decor. Instead of hiring florists, many couples are opting to buy flowers from online wholesalers or local supermarkets to create their own bouquets and centerpieces. Sticking to flowers that are in season, or using inexpensive blooms en masse like carnations or baby’s breath, are other ways couples are getting creative with their floral budgets. Florists are often responsible for the overall decor of a wedding, and couples are taking charge in that area as well by using inexpensive paper lanterns, bud vases to hold single blooms that make a big impact, and candles in bulk (http://www.weddingbee.com/2007/07/24/diy-details-centerpieces/) to cut back on the use of expensive fresh flowers.
This real DIY bouquet project (http://www.weddingbee.com/2009/04/23/i-heart-fabric/) shows us that DIY decor can look luxe and beautiful!
2) Honeymoon registry. Many couples on a tight budget may not be able to afford a honeymoon after the expense of a wedding, so lately we’ve been seeing an increase in honeymoon registries over the traditional brick and mortar registry. Guests of weddings are able to contribute towards a flight, or purchase a specific activity like scuba diving—it’s a wonderfully practical alternative to the traditional wedding gift for a couple who might not have otherwise been able to go on a honeymoon.
3) Purchasing used items. The classifieds section on Weddingbee is more active than ever! We’re seeing couples purchase used items for their weddings, the most popular product being wedding dresses, and then selling those items after their own weddings to recoup some of the costs! Not only are they going green, but they’re saving money in the process!
4) Friendors. Couples are asking their friends and family members to contribute their talents towards the wedding. Maybe you have a graphic designer cousin who can design invitations, or a musician friend who can play the guitar during your ceremony — many brides and grooms are discovering that they have a much more talented circle than they realized!
5) Destination weddings. This is a trend that is here to stay! Having a destination wedding instantly lowers your guest list, which is the single biggest cost in a wedding. Take a cue from this savvy Weddingbee bride (http://www.weddingbee.com/2009/01/20/dw-in-the-dr-planning-the-reception/) who hosted her reception dinner at one of the all inclusive restaurants included in the cost of the resort where everyone was staying. Judging from her gorgeous pictures, it doesn’t take a million bucks to have a wedding that looks like it cost a million bucks!
Good luck and happy planning!