Guest blogger Nikki Murray is getting ready to celebrate her third wedding anniversary this September. And though she's an old married pro by now, the money-saving strategies she employed on her wedding day can still be helpful to those tying the knot today. She writes from her home in Clarence.
Getting married can be one of the most exciting times in anyone’s life, but it can also be one of the most nerve-racking. In today’s economy, many brides are getting married with a firm budget in mind. I spent the year prior to my wedding in search of the best way to get the things I wanted, while saving as much money as possible. I was able to discover different ideas and interesting ways to save both time and money, just by using the Internet and local resources.
Ø eBay is a bride’s best friend – I can’t emphasize this enough! I chose a stunning Anne Barge dress online…and then realized it was $3000. So I went on ebay and found a company called Blue Catalog , which makes replica dresses. The company makes dresses like the original, made to your measurements by email request. I paid $100 plus $60 shipping for my dress, and was told countless times on my wedding day how no one could believe I got it online. There are also dresses on eBay that brides wound up not using for whatever reason, as well as at SellMyWeddingDress.com.
Ø Shoes, veils, garters, aisle runners, and centerpieces can all be bought online as well. In many cases, people running cottage industries out of their homes provide hand-tailored options costing a fraction of the retail price. I paid $35 for my veil, $5 for my hair comb (retailed for $135 at a local bridal store) and $20 for my shoes. I chose Moroccan lanterns and red votives for my centerpieces as an alternative to flowers, and have since used them to decorate my home and back patio.
Ø Flowers - I purchased my flowers through Maureen’s Buffalo Wholesale Florist on Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo For my entire wedding party, parents, grandparents and two display sprays with lilies and roses, I paid about 40% of what I would have if I had gone through a conventional florist.
Ø Invitations – Benders Parable Christian Store on Sheridan Drive in Williamsville had the best selection of invitations, as well as the least costly printer option.
Ø Rehearsal dinner – My caterer backed out on Wednesday, and my rehearsal dinner was Friday! Needless to say, I was frantic, but wound up contacting Wegmans Catering. They were a lifesaver! I was able to get a fantastic meal, with sides, and all of the plates, napkins and accoutrements for less than $200! They were able to have everything ready for me when I needed it, and were more than accommodating when they realized I was calling 48 hours before the event.
Ø Bridal party gifts – I visited AmericanBridal.com for my girls’ necklaces, which cost less than $20 each. They also have groomsman gifts, and if you sign up for their email newsletter, there are sales and codes which get you even greater savings.
To all the prospective brides out there in Buffalo and beyond, I hope what I’ve listed is helpful and that you have a fantastic time scouring all of the amazing bargains available! Good luck hunting and happy wedding days to you all!
--Nikki Murray, Clarence