Monday, November 10, 2008

Extreme Broke-ocity

Waaaaay back in August (wow, is it really November already?), I did a post about my looming school debt and came up with some creative ways that I might make some money.

Well, now I have another huge hole to bury money in: my wedding.

After meeting with my wedding planner, and then having her tell me how much everything I wanted would probably cost me, I'm now realizing exactly what line of business I should be in.

Seriously when did parties get so expensive?

And when I ask people for advice on how to save money, the first thing they tell me is to drop the wedding planner. Which would be fine, except she's gonna be the smallest bill of this whole shindig, and it's worth my sanity to give her a couple hundred bucks to take care of everything for me.

So, loyal readers, where else could I save some money?
Or how can I make some money between now and then to pay for all this?
Well, this is what I came up with:

Top Ten Ways to Save or Make Money for a Wedding

10. Instead of giving gifts to your wedding party, say "isn't being with us on our special day gift enough?" Smile innocently.
9. Sell raffle tickets beforehand and hold drawings every five minutes during the ceremony. Each winner gets a piece of the wedding day decor.
8. Instead of flowers carry a bouquet of used glowsticks that you picked up at the club from your bachelorette party! Turn the lights down in the church and walk down the aisle to your favorite techno music for an added effect.
7. Don't bother hiring a band or DJ, simply ask your groomsmen to sing. Not only does this save you money, it also insures that people will not linger at your reception.
6. Three words: Groomsmen dunking booth.
5. Four more words: Bridesmaid bikini car wash.
4. Place a large friend at the door to your reception and enforce a cover charge for entrance.
3. Instead of a honeymoon suite after the wedding, opt for a freezing butt-cold night camping under the stars. You're cuddling out of love AND necessity!
2. Sell ad space on my wedding dress. With a lengthy train, there's plenty of space available and there will be about 200 people who will see your ad!
1. Take the money and elope, bringing down the full force of mother and mother-in-law hellfire. Yeah, now that I've written it, it's not that funny...

What do you think?

Note to Self: *sigh* Back to making actual money...


nicedaydesigns said...

Some great ideas really, and if you do all of them your wedding might make front page news.

I've had lots of friends do weddings on a strict budget it's very do-able. One very easy tip is make your own wedding invitations. Buy blank cards at a craft store, usually 50 for $10, go to get a cool photo for the front, print them as digital photos(not at a printers ,it's way cheaper), and type up the message for the inside, print them out yourself at home. Some glue to put it all together and you saved yourself $400!

bobbinoggin said...

for wedding reception music, i just made a compilation of three cds of music. that way, everything was in the order i'd like it. i had my "first dance" music. etc. etc. then all we needed was a cd player. no band or dj needed.

it worked seamlessly and didn't seem tacky at all.

Peter Parkour said...

Justice Of The Peace!

Danielle said...

Back home, we would have a social before a wedding - it was basically a big party that you sold tickets for. You rented a community centre, sold raffle tickets for prizes donated by friends and family and local businesses, and (if it was acceptable in your social circles) sold drinks. Every cent that was earned went back to the lucky couple, and it made a big dent in the costs of the wedding. I have no idea what sort of rules there are here for that kind of thing, but it was always a fun time, and a great way to include all of those folks who don't make the cut for the wedding invites (irritating co-workers, great-aunt Sally's hairdresser, etc).

pure evyl said...

I really need my truck washed.

Franco said...

wow I wish I could help you but I've never gone through a weedding.
here's an article:

if I were you I would really tell the planner to help you with a budget, they can really help.
going budget is totally IN now so at least you are following the trends.

Maki said...

I really like all your list, especially #6, 5, 4 & 3!!! So clever and funny, MJ!!!

Actually, I used to tell my bridemaids how lucky they were to be in my wedding. LOL..

So nice to see you back:D

~alison said...

Wow! It is overwhelming. Your list is fantastic. Are you having a seated dinner at the reception? perhaps a wine and beer only reception.

K Trainor said...

As an old fogey who has been married 19 years (today, as a matter of fact), I tell you this:

Risk the hellfire. They'll get over it and you'll save 20 grand. In two decades you won't care if you had the big shindig or not. You still got the man. ;0)

Sarah - Leohubby said...

My parents helped some...but we paid for a lot over a year. Like I said, tax checks will come, and you can use that to buy items.
We printed the invites and the program. I had friends do the music - for free. The church let me use their flowers, for free.
For wedding gits, ask for money. Seriously - as your parents and his parents to help in advance, so that you can start your life debt free. We did put some on credit cards, and then used the money we received to pay it off. It also paid for our honey moon - which was reserved on a credit card, but paid for by cash.
There are ways to get it done....Just use your head, and see what you can do yourself...
And gifts aren't necessary for bridal parties....we didn't do them either - explaining that we were broke...and no one said a thing.
My sister did a gift with her photographer - they were allowed a professional photo with their partner/spouse...and it came in a photo album with a picture of the bride and groom, and it was $20. And if that is a problem - don't have that many in the bridal party...
Good luck.

Aubrey said...

I would cash in on your family/friends and their talents. Is someone a really good photographer? Have them take the pictures and then order prints and photobooks from whatever website you normally do. Do you know someone who bakes cakes? Save lots of money on the wedding cake that way. Have a buffet style meal instead of having it served, that way you don't have to pay waitstaff. Make the bouquets instead of ordering them, that way you have less flowers to get from the florist.
Those are all things that my wedding or my sisters' weddings featured, and they all worked fantastically.
Good luck!

the Grit said...

Hi MJ,

Instead of a reception have a hay ride. You can get away with cheaper food and you won't need a band. Or, make the reception a bowling party. That way all you have to pay for is three games per person, and you could probably get a discount. Or, take everyone roller skating.

Then again, there's always Chucky Cheese.

the Grit

Rachel said...

Keep it simple. A lot of women and I am speaking generally focus on the wedding instead of the marriage.
My hubby and I went to Jamaica and got married ($2500 including food, alcohol, airfare and the wedding service with cake etc) and came back and had a party...informal and people had a great time.
We are going on 10 years together!
Do what you can afford and include the groom in the plans!

Sornie said...

Have a cover charge at the reception. Five bucks a head should start to make a dent in the debt.

kweenmama said...

I'm thinkin' the groomsmen dunking booth sounds like a lot of fun!

Hub and I printed our own wedding invites, complete with our picture and a listing of all seven kids. It saved us a bunch of money. If you know people who can help with photography, the cake, the flowers--by all means use them!

And have fun with all of it. The plan is to do this only once, right? So enjoy it!

colbymarshall said...

Here's my best thought for raising wedding money: beg shamelessly from family. And friends. And neighbors. Oh wait...I'm one of those friends. Nevermind. Back to your plan :-)