Decide on a theme and color scheme as far in advance as possible. Try going with a seasonal theme. Do you dream of blue and silver, and love ice sculptures, white lights, and snowflakes? Try a winter theme.
Now set a date based upon your colors and theme.
Pick out a dress. Look online at different bridal stores. Go for a dress from the last season that is on clearance. Order the size you feel is needed and take it to be altered if needed. You will save hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars. I bought a dress from a winter collection for my spring wedding and got it for $150. You couldn’t tell it was from a winter collection as it was sleeveless. It was gorgeous, and didn’t even need to be altered. Pick out flower girl and bridesmaid dresses the same way. (you may be able to request that the bridal party purchase their own dress, or offer to help those for whom this would be difficult)
Have your wedding at your own church or at the church of a relative. If you want an outdoor wedding, try a beach or park area that has no fee. You’ll save a bundle. Churches have reception areas that you can use for a free reception. Beaches and garden areas may not need lots of flowers to adorn the area, so they are great choices too.
Collect table decorations and wedding favors little by little for the coming months to offset the cost. Use inexpensive, seasonal items that match your wedding decor. For example, tiny maple syrup bottles for an autumn wedding or packages of seeds tied in raffia for a spring wedding.
Use your family and friends to help you plan the wedding and cut out the expense of a professional planner. It is more hassle, but much cheaper. Meet with those willing to help, and delegate. Have someone help with flowers, let two or three be responsible for directing the wedding, and have 4 or 5 help with the reception.
Have a friend who is a great baker? Ask her to bake your wedding cake. You can even have each layer iced smooth or covered with white fondant, and simple add real flowers for a beautiful, professional looking cake.
Don’t know anyone? Wal Mart makes beautiful wedding cakes for less than many expensive bakeries and they are really good.