costs $500-$700. A Chinese baker costs about $175 to feed 200
people and the cake looks just as good.
Don't skimp on your photographer. Don't have your family take
photos instead of a professional. I've seen weddings where the
brother of the bride took photos and they were OK. This is one of
the most important/memorable days of your life and you want
beautiful memories not OK ones.
Don't have a calligrapher write your invitation envelopes.
People will throw away the envelopes anyway and the US Postal
service will stamp all over the envelope.
Have fewer bridesmaids. More bridesmaids equals more costs for
flowers, for bridesmaids' gifts, etc.
Have your wedding and reception at the same locations. This
saves lots of money on rental fees.
Print unique invitations at PIP printing or Kinko's and save
LOTS of $$$. I saw this beautiful invitation wrapped in cellophane
and with a silk flower. The store wanted to charge $20 each. I
made them for $4 each (The price of most invitations). Click
here for a picture.
- Placecards for guests in a gold picture frame.
- Candelabra floral centerpieces instead of just flowers.
- Bride and groom leave in an antique car e.g. Rolls Royce.
- Have your hair and makeup done by a professional.
- Have a scroll with the menu at each placesetting.
- Write your own vows.
- Program acknowledging participation of honor attendants.
More Wedding Tips (Written after
- You MUST GET a videographer. Else you will forget the wedding
and all that hard work you put in. Don't tape the rehearsal dinner
unless you plan some meaningful speeches. If your family is not
one for speeches, don't expect them to change on the night of your
- You can skimp on flowers. No one can tell the difference
between a $30 bouquet and a $150 one. Also, people really cannot
tell the difference between a $30 centerpiece and a $150 one (Only
you will know.) Spend the money on something else. I had $150
centerpieces with candelabras and not even the bridesmaids could
tell me what the flowers were afterwards!
- Don't waste money on expensive cake! Pay $300 max for 200
- Keep a log of all your gifts and who they are from. Write down
who you have sent thank you notes to. Write thank you notes as the
gifts arrive (before the wedding). After the wedding you have 1
month to finish your thank you notes (or so Miss Manners
- If you want to have lots of memorable photos, have disposable
cameras available at the ceremony/reception and ask guests to give
the cameras back to you. You can develop the film and have lots of
pictures. My favorite picture
was taken by a guest (Christine Pham). Your photographer can't be
everywhere taking photos from different angles, but your guests
- Try to spend time with guests the week before in leisure
- Don't ride in a convertible, no matter how beautiful the car
is unless your hair is down or you don't mind the wind blown look
in your photos.
- Find a makeup person and try at least 1 month before the
wedding to see if you will react to the makeup, same thing goes
for your facial. I had a nasty allergic reaction to my
- If you are not changing your name, tell all people that might
be making announcements e.g. the DJ, Band, relatives who might
give speeches, hotel personnel, etc.
- Go over your itinerary with your parents. I gave my parents a
copy and assumed they know what it meant. However, they went home
to rest in between the ceremony and the reception, and dinner was
delayed because we had to wait for them.
- On your wedding day, realize that things may go wrong or not
exactly as planned and enjoy yourself despite any mishaps.
- Have a great wedding!
- Tell all hotels that you are honeymooners, because then you
will receive special treatment e.g. free champagne.
If you have any questions or tips to add, please contact me, Sophia,