Every woman dreams of their big day. Most of us want to be glamorous and feel like the bell of the ball but not everyone can dish out the kind of coins that BET did for Gucci Mane and girl boss Keyshia Ka’oir’s nuptials this week.
375.5k Likes, 2,263 Comments – Keyshia Ka’oir Davis (@keyshiakaoir) on Instagram: “You may now kiss the Bride !! #1017”
After spending a whopping $75K on their wedding cake, $1K per wedding invite and Gucci Mane’s $9K tuxedo the wedding totaled almost $2 million dollars. I don’t know about you, but that’s not practical for the average couple.
African Americans are the #1 consumers in America, and yet the wedding industry doesn’t target us and media discourages us “unwanted black women” from even thinking marriage is a possibility with their damning statistics. Now that some us have achieved the impossible and are headed towards marital bliss, where are our makeup representatives at bridal expos? Where are the wedding singers that can give me Fred Hammond and Avant in a single ceremony? Although there are exquisite up and coming sites like Munaluchi, which caters to brides of color, vendors of color have yet to make a huge break into the wedding industry.
However, despite the lack of representation I have found 9 A-MAZING ways to cut costs so that your big day won’t completely leave you for broke.
1. Choose the Good Ole’ Boy clubs
There are venues where brown people have traditionally feared to tread. Country clubs and Golf Resorts, formerly reserved for the wealthiest of society, are seeing the wealth in opening their doors to host your ceremony and reception. It brings in astronomical revenue for a venue that survives only by avid golfers and donations. Their prices are some of the lowest in the industry and they usually throw in amazing money saving perks included colored linen, centerpieces, escort and table cards, exclusive use of the club and free rounds of golf. In addition, their already affordable pricing drops lower on certain times of the day!
2. Choose an Odd day
Fridays, Sundays and week days provide incredible discounts on the price per person for your reception
3. Think Logically about Invites
The industry thrives on greed and decadence. The truth is the majority of your invites, except for the ones given to your mom, nanna and great aunt Connie, will find their way to a landfill. Stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby often have 50% off of one item coupons in which you can purchase two sets of DIY invites, inserts, and RSVP cards for the price of one. Personalize them with lace or burlap for added opulence.
HINT: You do not need an invite for every person on your guest list. Remember to think about who is married and/or living together when purchasing invites.
4. Go to Local Wedding Expos
Wedding Expos are fantastic resources of information but you have to make sure you go to the right one. Choose the remote, suburban expos near your town on a random night during the week. Why? Because the giveaways are phenomenal and the competition is scarce!
During my first wedding expo, I was one of only seven would-be brides on a cold Tuesday night. Our names were placed in a raffle to win a honeymoon to a resort of our choice for eight days and seven nights. The first girl whose name was called left before the drawing and the second named pulled was my own! I won a honeymoon saving my fiancé and I more than $4,000.
5. Ask Around
Everyone has a side hustle! Photography, fashion, hairstyling etc. The majority of your vendors can be contracted for half the price of the industry vendors just by asking family, friends, and coworkers. Our custom designed cake was made by an arts teacher at a local vocational school. She was a graduate of a prestigious culinary arts school and was elated to bake our cake for only $200.
6. Trunks Shows
On the line of wedding expos, trunk shows, which allow you to try and buy top designers for slashed prices, is the way to go for saving savvy brides!
7. Consider Unique Arrangements
Floral arrangements can be a large expense! Consider buying your flowers whole sale or from the grocery store. You can also cut costs by using preserved flowers. However, some people are tossing out the flower idea altogether! Brooch bouquets are gorgeous and sentimental. Brides collect old costume and heirloom brooches from the nearest and dearest women in their families and have them crafted into a wedding bouquet, which can later be stored in their new home! My mother carried a white and gilded page Bible down the aisle. Candles are becoming increasing popular as table centerpieces. The options of adding cost effective but sentimental arrangements to your wedding are endless.
8. Birthday & Christmas Gifts
Asking family for gift cards for any other celebratory occasion is a fantastic way to save. The gift cards can be repurposed for the wedding or better yet, your honey moon! Simple gifts such as postage stamps go a lonnnng way! Essentially, they are wedding gold and will let you cross items of your wedding budget.
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9. Look for Practical favors
A coworker told me, “I hate favors. Who wants you and your husband’s face plastered on something and sitting in their house?!” I began to realize that some of the best gifts can be repurposed. While on a Dollar Tree trip, I saw pairs of glass votive candle holders inscribed with celebratory words like “Joy, Peace, Live, Love.” For 100 guests, I only paid $50.00 for favors.
What are some ways you’ve cut costs or found DIY projects? Do you also feel like there’s a lack of resources for brides of color?