Life in Transition

Navigating Personal Finances During Life Transitions

Wedding Trimmings Part II

Last week, I talked about how to cut costs on the wedding dress, venue, and reception.  Today I will talk about invitations, flowers, and music.

As I looked through wedding websites and, I fell in love over and over again with fancy, pretty invitation designs.  Yes, I am a sucker for all things pretty.  Unfortunately, pretty also meant pricey, and with invitations, most people who get them would eventually throw them away.  So, to me it did not make sense to spend a ton of money in this area.  For my own wedding stationery, I designed  everything on photoshop, and uploaded the design to an online printing service such as PrintRunner and PsPrint.  Right now, if I order 100 invitations to be printed and shipped to Louisville, KY using PrintRunner, each invitation would only be $0.38 (I would have to buy the envelopes separately).  That is much cheaper than  buying pre-designed invitations, or printing out your own designs (ink is expensive).  Another option is using Staples or Kinko’s copy and print services.

I know not everyone has photoshop or a similar program on their computer.  Check and see if a friend or family member has it, or check to see if it is available at the library.  If you do plan on buying  invitations the typical way, make sure that the invitation is the regular 5×7-in size.  Bulking invitations and non-traditional shapes (like a 6×6-in square invitations) require extra postage.

Tips to trim stationery costs: Use an online printing service or a copy-and-print center, save on postage by opting for a more traditional size.

Flowers are expensive, so it’s best to use them sparingly.  For the bouquets, I used fake flowers, since you really can’t tell the difference between the real or fake in pictures.  I didn’t feel comfortable with a DIY attempt, so I found an online florist who specializes in silk flower bouquets . Etsy is also a good place to look, but there are vendors who charge as much as a florists using real flowers would charge.  Silk flowers arrangements are still expensive, so making your own will save you even more money.  For decorations, I stuck with one bloom, the peony (yes, I have expensive taste but luckily they are in season during my wedding), and I bought them in bulk through a wholesaler.  I plan on buying vases and making a few simple flower arrangements.

Tips to trim floral costs: Use silk flowers for bouquets, and buy live flowers in bulk. Overall, use flowers sparingly and rely more on candles for decorating.

Music is an area where we enlisted our friends for help.  My roommate is a talented harpist, so she will play for my wedding as a gift.  One of my fiance’s good friends will sing during the ceremony.  For the reception, we are making a playlist on Spotify, and getting a free one month trial of Spotify Premium to eliminate commercials.  So, essentially, we’re not spending any money in this category.

Tips to trim music costs: Mobilize the help of your musically inclined friends and family, if you don’t have any, hook up an ipod or laptop to speakers and make a playlist using iTunes and Spotify.

Next up: Photography, Cake, Jewelery, and Officiant

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2 thoughts on “Wedding Trimmings Part II

  1. I’m working on a $7K budget, so we’re definitely trimming costs where we can. The flowers is a big one – I plan to head to a flower market the day before the wedding and just buying whatever’s cheapest and prettiest.

    • I wish there was a flower market near-by. There was a flower stand at the farmer’s market near where I work that sold flowers that I wanted for my wedding. I called the owner recently hoping to buy some of his locally-grown flowers in bulk. Unfortunately, they couldn’t guarentee that the flowers were going to bloom in time for the wedding so I went with an online wholesaler instead. Still expensive, but less than what I would pay a florist.

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