10 Tips For The Bargain Bride To Be

My husband and I are headed to another wedding this morning. Over the last three years, we’ve attended around 35 weddings and known over 60 couples who have gotten married. Marriage is a beautiful thing and it’s more important than the wedding day. No one wants to start off their lives together in debt because they couldn’t afford their wedding. The wedding doesn’t have to break the bank for it to be beautiful, fabulous and everything you’ve ever dreamed of!

Here are a few money saving wedding tips for wise brides on a budget:

1. Set a budget with the groom and stick to it. Write out how much you plan to spend on your dress, flowers, invitations etc. Don’t let vendors talk you into spending more than you planned.

2. Don’t be an impulse shopper. Plan your wedding in enough time so that you can shop around and compare vendors. You may find what you love for a lesser price if you keep looking.

3. It’s all about who you know! Do you know someone who does hair and makeup very well? Invitations and programs? Floral arrangements or favors? Utilize your friends and family that have the gifts and talents that you need, it can save you money! I’m sure they would be honored to help out and be apart of your special day.

4. Look for churches and reception halls that include multiple things in their wedding packages. Our church’s package includes pew flowers, silk flower arrangements in the from of the chapel and a big beautiful wedding arch. Our hall included all the linens, napkins, chair covers, center pieces, decorations and the caterer. Your goal is to find venues that save you time and money.

5. Research discount wedding stores near you that sale silk flowers, runners, vases etc at a good sale price. Opportunities to save money feels great and cuts down on the stress of planning the big day.

6. The coordinator is a very very important job! Try to avoid paying hundreds of dollars for one by assigning that job to someone you know whose orderly, fast, assertive, punctual and a people person. The person I wanted to coordinate our wedding charged $500 so I had to say no thank you. We were blessed with a 3 person wedding team, from our church, who gave us a super duper discount much less than the lady who wanted $500.

7. Flowers and centerpieces can be very costly. Research flowers that are in season and inexpensive but beautiful. Roses are great but the bridesmaids don’t need to have them in their bouquets if you can’t afford it! Same thing goes for the centerpieces. You can use candles, silk flowers or many other simple but elegant ideas. Use the internet and research the looks like you like the most.

8. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Ask other brides what they did to save money. Attend others weddings and get ideas for your own. It’s ok to use some of the same vendors as other brides. If your friend loved her florist, bridal boutique or photographer etc ask her for their information.

9. It’s important to pick a good photographer to capture the special day. We interviewed a few photographers and compared their prices, albums and packages. You can find a photographer within your budget, just keep looking. Ask to see their portfolio, inquire about how many hours and photographers their packages include.

10. Learn to negotiate with vendors and venues so that you can get more for your money. If you don’t ask you won’t receive! My husband is a good negotiator and therefore we were able to get good discounts!

Remember, it’s not about the wedding day or night, it’s about the marriage! Marriage is for life and it’s a awesome thing!! Enjoy your wedding planning and day but if everything doesn’t go as planned (and it won’t) it’s ok. At the end of the day you will be married!!

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com

STOP You Don’t Need It: 11 $ Saving Tips


 Stop Paying For Things You Don’t Need

I was researching ways to save money online and I came across this article by Mary Hunt. I was glad to see that we have implemented a few of her tips already. We all need to be good stewards over our money and make sure that we aren’t throwing it away. My husband and I pay our tithes, bills, attempt to put money in the savings (learning to do better in that area) and have money left over to bless others and ourselves. I hate when I feel like I wasted my money on something and therefore, I’m always looking for ways to cut corners and save money. I hope this article is helpful to you.


1. Extended Warranties

 Generally, they’re not worth the money. (The only thing I now have a warranty on is my laptop computer, and that’s because I practically beat it to death.) If a new gadget or appliance is going to fail, research tells us it will do so during the manufacturer’s warranty period or long after the extended warranty has expired. That makes extended warranties, which can cost anywhere from $5 to hundreds of dollars, a big profit center for retailers and a pretty useless expense for consumers.

Get Smart: If you’re worried about a breakdown, take the money you’d spend on a warranty and stash it into a special savings account. If your item fails, you’ll have the money to repair it. If not (which is more likely), in three or five years when everything’s gone well, you’ll have stashed away a nice little nest egg.

2. Gym Fees

The sales pitch is compelling and the promise of better health is hard to deny. But getting roped into a legal obligation to pay a big monthly fee for the next two or three years—whether you use the gym or not—makes no sense.

Get Smart: Find a gym or health club that requires no contract (you pay by the month if and when you desire). Or don’t pay at all: There’s a big wonderful world out there where you can walk, jog or run for free!

3. Fast-Food Runs

 You know how ridiculous it is to spend $3 or $4 for coffee—over and over, day after day. But how about the other snacks and food purchases that can cause your bank account to evaporate? A morning egg sandwich here, an afternoon bag of chips there…before you know it, you’ve spent $20 or more a week.

Get Smart: Before you leave the house in the morning, figure out how much cash you’ll need for the day, then take only that amount with you. Bring your own snacks and pack a brown-bag lunch to reduce costs even more.

4. Cell Phone Apps and Ringtones

OK, so it’s cool to have ringtones, apps and games on your cell. And sure, $2 to $3 a pop or $10 a month may not seem like a lot of money for so much fun. But watch out. You can blow through a lot of cash in no time.

Get smart: Make a hard-and-fast rule that you do not pay for ringtones, apps or games—then find them for free. They’re out there; you just have to search for the ones that work on your particular phone and with your service provider. Check out Phonezoo.com or Myxer.com. You can even make your own ringtones for free, using MP3s you already own.

5. Fees (Late, Over Limit or Worse):

Not paying attention to your bills is a big mistake these days, when banks are doing all they can to boost their profits. Getting your credit card payment in late can mean a $39 whack on the wrist. Being sloppy with your bank account and bouncing a check can cost you around $27.

Get smart: Find your inner private detective. Go over every statement and question every entry. Don’t know what it is? Find out! Get bold! If you’re charged a fee for something silly like allowing your balance to drop a few bucks below the agreed-upon minimum or sending your payment a day late, call customer service. Explain that this is so not like you, as evidenced by your clean record. Then ask them to waive the fee or reverse the charge if it has already been assessed to your account.

6. Landline

Extras Have you looked at your home phone bill lately? I mean really carefully? You could be paying for features you never use: call forwarding, call waiting, who knows what else. Those add-ons could be costing you $15 a month or more.

Get smart: Can’t find a recent bill? Pick up the phone and call customer service. If you use your mobile phones more often than your home landline, consider canceling the bells and whistles to get your home service down to the bare minimum.

7. Rental Car Insurance

Saying yes can add anywhere from $9 to $30 or more per day to the cost of the car. That’s a waste if you carry insurance on your cars at home, or if you pay with a credit card that offers rental car insurance as a perk. Your existing auto policy may be all you need if it includes third-party liability, collision and comprehensive coverage for rentals (most do!).

Get smart: Before you even get to the car rental counter, call your insurance agent to make sure you’re covered. Check your credit card’s terms and conditions, too.

8. Computer Software

You got a great deal on that new computer, so why go broke loading it up with software? Before you spend a dime, take a look at all the freeware out there. You’ll find programs written by enthusiasts and distributed with no strings attached: games, graphics, office suites, fonts, every kind of desktop tool and gadget imaginable.

Get smart: Check out FreewareHome.com, an index site that lists more than 5,500 programs that really are free. No request for money in the documentation, no nag screens asking for payment or donations, no time limits!

9. Unlimited Texting

Most cell phone plans include a certain number of texts with the basic service. Texting is fun, but it can get out of control in a big hurry. Upgrading to an unlimited plan can add $15 (about $180 per year per phone on your cell plan) just so you can engage in a lot of meaningless chatter. How dumb is that?

Get Smart: Forget the upgrades. Scale back to a limited number of text messages for you and the kids, too. A little self-discipline could be a good thing for everyone involved.

10. Bottled Water

You’ve got to hand it to the bottled water industry. They’ve managed to convince otherwise rational people to pay around 800 times more to purchase water in a bottle rather than get it from the tap. These days a 16-oz bottle of “spring” water goes for about a dollar, which works out to about $8 a gallon—twice the cost of milk, and roughly on par with soft drinks. Home delivery is less per gallon, but still around $40 a month, according to online averages. However, 16 8-oz glasses of tap water cost about a penny. Bottom line: You’ve heard it before, but now you have to do it. Lay off the bottled water!

Get Smart: The next time you feel thirsty, turn on the tap. Don’t like the taste of your tap water? Invest in a filter pitcher or install an inexpensive faucet filter. You’ll still come out ahead.

11. Music Downloads

Unless you’ve got money to burn, paying 99¢ or more per tune can add up. But not to worry. There are plenty of ways to get free music downloads, all totally legal and easy to access.

Get Smart: Check out the free classical catalog at ClassicCat.net. Or take advantage of the free downloads section at Rhapsody.com. Want country? At CountryWeekly.com, click on “Free Music Downloads” under “Music.” At Amazon.com, click on “Digital Downloads” from the left hand menu, then “MP3 Downloads.” On the left under “Browse MP3s,” there’s a Most Popular category. There you’ll see an option for “Free Songs & Special Deals.”


Questions: Which tips are you doing? Which tips do you want to consider trying? Was this article helfpul?

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support.