Tips for a Thrifty Fall Wedding

We spent this past weekend in Tennessee for Peter’s cousin’s wedding.  Also our 4th wedding anniversary is tomorrow.  I’ve got weddings on the brain.

So to honor my thoughts (and also have fun going through my wedding photos) I thought I’d throw out a few ideas for saving some dough on your big day.  Not that our wedding was as inexpensive as it could have been, or that I am a master of thriftiness, but we did do a few things cheaply and here’s how:

1) Use Your Connections
Now, as a general principal, I’m not a fan of exploiting people, but when thousands of dollars hang in the balance, it’s time to call in a few favors.  By utilizing the skills/connections of friends and family, we were able to save on the chapel, desserts, cake, music and flowers, not to mention that we paid our officiant (pastor and friend) by way of a six pack of good beer.  Sometimes it’s all about who you know…

2) Do As Much As You Can Without Hiring a Professional
Mom made the cake:

My parent’s neighbor (a florist) helped with the flowers:

We also made all of our own paper items (invitations, table numbers, etc) including our programs:

3) Hire a Photographer Who Lets You Have the Rights to Your Pictures
This was our number one criteria in choosing a photographer.  You spend a little bit more initially, but you’ll save loads on albums and prints in the end.  Our photographer’s photo books started at $400, our wedding album I put together on Snapfish… $60.  (As an added bonus, when you go to write a blog post about your wedding, you won’t have to rely entirely on snapshots from your friends.)

4) Consider Items Other Than Flowers for a Perfect Centerpiece
Let’s face it.  Flowers are expensive, especially in Minnesota at the end of October.  Some great fall alternatives to flowers could be leaves, pumpkins or gourds, but if your fiance is stubborn like mine was and refuses to have gourds or anything orange on the tables at the reception, you can always try candles, dime store stemware and cranberries.  Cranberries are festive, look cool in vases and bonus… they float!

5) Shop Online
Since I was planning our wedding from Philadelphia, shopping online made a lot of sense logistically, but in the end it also saved us money on a lot of things like our little bottles of maple syrup we used as favors.

I hope this helps you plan your next big autumnal event.  Feel free to leave your own tips for a budget wedding in the comments section of this post!

6 thoughts on “Tips for a Thrifty Fall Wedding

  1. My daughter got married four years ago at a local wedding chapel. I made the ring pillow of satin, lace and counted cross stitch. The reception was at the daycare where she works and is owned by my daughter in law. All the tiny tables ajust to adult size,rented chairs, we did all the food from apps. to dessert table and chocalate fountian. The cake from a bakery. Family friend made all the favors and center pieces. I did all the flowers that I bought from giant and produce junction. And thank heavens for the dollar. Buy the way we did all this in three weeks. I must we got many raves.

  2. Happy Anniversary!!! I liked the added bonus of a fun fall family field trip to the cranberry farm, not to mention the post-wedding supply of frozen cranberries for cranberry fluff.

  3. I remember your beautiful wedding. I am happy that I got to go. It is wonderful to see that you are both together in your home with two lovely girls . I talked to your Mom the other day. Remember you can alway get away and come and visit us. God bless you. YOUR NEIGHBOR ALWAYS. Diane & Raymond

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