I've had many conversations with friends about how expensive weddings are! We all want to have the dream wedding but find that it's just so expensive!! Ladies! Don't rush to buy things without shopping around and looking for bargains! I had a dream wedding (in my opinion) and saved LOTS of money! Here are some of the things I did to help save money that I hope will inspire you to do the same!

We all dream about looking absolutely stunning on our wedding day and vow that no matter how much the dress costs, we will do it. Like most of you, I began by looking for wedding dress styles online. Once I found a style or "theme" that I liked, I began going to wedding shops and boutiques only to find the style of dress I want is WAY out of my budget. So I began searching on Craigslist. Yes, Craigslist. I know, I know some of you may be thinking "who wants a used wedding dress" but guess what... not ALL dresses on Craigslist are used! I searched for local wedding shops that were having sales or going out of business. One of the best places to look is Brides Against Breast Cancer: www.bridesagainstbreastcancer.org/. They sell brand new wedding dresses for a fraction of the original price. Yes, you have to sort through and try on lots of dresses, but that is part of the fun! They also sell veils, shoes, undergarments, and much more! I found my dream dress at a boutique in Lake Oswego that was going out of business. The women had about 100 dresses left and she was selling them all for really cheap. My wedding dress was a Pronovias: http://www.pronovias.us/ and I only paid $350.00 for it! I also got my shoes from the same place for $10.00 (Kenneth Cole Wedding Shoes!)

Here are some pictures of my dress. I absolutely LOVED it and felt so good wearing it knowing I saved so much money:

I love the way the train is not completely attached to the back of the dress:

My veil was also a smashing deal. I got it from someone on Craigslist for $20.00. The veil had Swarovski Crystals placed randomly on it. The person I bought the veil from gave me the cute umbrellas for myself and my bridesmaids for only a few dollars each! She also gave me a FREE money collection box :)

To save more money I had my sister watch some Youtube videos on how to style long hair and I had her practice a few times before the wedding day.

My entire look: dress, shoes, veil, hair, makeup, etc cost me about $700.00. I had alterations done on the dress so that is what brought me up to that amount.

Since I saved so much money on these items, I was able to splurge a little more on my ceremony/reception. The things I didn't go "cheap" on were my photographer, florist, and rentals (although I did get a good deal on my rentals). Here are some pictures of my beautiful wedding:

My husband designed and printed our agendas:

I purchased this bird cage from Craigslist as well for $25.00. It was at our guest table:

Guest Table:

Hanging crystals created by my lovely sister in-law Jenn.

The tables were alternating between the silver urns, black vases, and candles (we used the silver urns for the ceremony and brought them to the reception to save money on flowers and rentals!)

I loved the Chiavari chairs. I was able to rent them at 50% off because my sister in-law Jenn is a wedding coordinator and she was able to get me a huge discount on my rentals. That's another tip ladies, look at your connections! How can the people you know help you!

I told my husband I wanted some lighting for the backdrop but didn't want to pay as much as the rental company was asking so he went to Lowe's and bought some cheap lights and cheap bulbs and created lighting!

We rented a screen and borrowed a projector from my husbands work. The screen was only $20.00 for 3 days! We were able to enjoy a slide show of us growing up and how we met. We also setup some speakers that my husband had so we could have music playing in the background.

We paid $250.00 for our wedding cake from Safeway. Believe it or not, our wedding cake was a HUGE hit. We still have people asking us where our cake was from because it tasted so good! The cake itself only serves about 150-200 people but you can order sheet cakes for only $75.00 each that serve another 175 people. Why spend thousands of dollars on a wedding cake when you can get one at a great price that tastes great and still looks amazing!

Here are some random pictures of our wedding day:

I hope this post inspires you to think twice before paying full price for anything on your wedding day! So remember:

*Craigslist is your friend: You can find just about anything you are looking for on Craigslist: wedding dress, shoes, veil, etc etc etc
*Look for wedding shops that are closing down or having seasonal sales and BUY EARLY. Don't wait until the last minute to buy your dress. If you can buy the floor model do it. It's cheaper and usually in great condition. My dress was the floor model and it was flawless.
*Don't spend $1000's on your wedding cake, you will probably only have one bite anyways! Go to a place like Safeway or even a local bakery.
*CONNECTIONS: Do you have friends who are great at hair, makeup, photography, decorating, flowers, etc??? Then ask them for help! Most people would love to help out (that is my experience)

Before ending this post I would like to put up a list of resources that I used on my wedding day and give credit to some amazing people who made my special day happen:

*Falcusan Photography: http://www.falcusanphotography.com/ (our photographer)
*Fleurology: http://fleurology.blogspot.com/ (Our amazing florist, Liz)
*West Coast Events: http://www.wcep.com/ (where we got our rentals from)
*Jennifer Pacurar: Soiree Sisters Events - she was my coordinator
*Stephanie Radulescu: My sister and hairstylist!

I have lots more ways I saved money so if you have any questions let me know! I would be happy to share my ideas!


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