see all cities »

Press Releases

How to Plan the Wedding of Your Dreams for One-Tenth the Cost: Tips for Big Wedding Savings from

OTTAWA, ON. – April 23, 2013 Community Angel Lisa Higgs is sharing the tips that allowed her to create her dream wedding last summer for a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding. With creativity, utilizing the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) and buying used items, Lisa was able to have a memorable and environmentally friendly wedding with 100 guests for $2,500, about one-tenth the cost of the average wedding budget of $27,800 (recent survey by The Knot).

Here are some highlights and tips for different elements of a wedding to help brides and grooms plan to save and create lasting memories of a successful and affordable wedding day:

Invitations – cost $0 instead of $500

– The easiest way to save a ton of trees and a ton of cash – go digital”
– Digital invitations are still beautiful, but they’re 100% free and 100% green
– There are dozens of beautiful wedding evite websites, and most of them manage your RSVPs too!
– Nobody keeps the wedding invitation, and everybody has email

Venue – cost $1,000 instead of $5,000

– This is where you have a chance to save a big chunk of your typical wedding budget
– Free or cheap venues are usually more intimate, unique and meaningful
– Think big backyards, family members with large homes or local restaurants
– Have the ceremony, dinner and reception all at the same venue
– All the standards (tables, chairs, etc.) can be rented economically from a party store

Rings – cost $0 instead of $1,000

– This is a wonderful opportunity to use a family heirloom as your wedding ring – 100% free and 100% green
– Another option is to find a beautiful and unique vintage ring in the estate jewellery section at your local jeweller or from a private seller – it will probably be the same cost or cheaper than a new ring, it’s green and your ring will be unique and timeless

Flowers – cost $25 instead of $2,500

– Lots of water and energy are used to grow flowers for decorations and they often die before the honeymoon ends
– Crafty brides can DIY bouquets and boutonnieres for pennies, and they’ll last forever
– Even if you avoid the green route and still use fresh flowers, putting together the bouquets and boutonnieres yourself is not difficult and will slash your florist bill

Dress and Clothes  cost $300 (for bride and groom together!) instead of $1,500 or more

– The wedding industry actually has this one right, at least for the guys – renting suits is a cheap and green option
– Second-hand and vintage wedding dresses can be bought at some bridal stores, bridal fairs, or online classified sites such as are full of recent dresses that have only been worn once
– The second greenest option, and the best for your budget, is to buy a dress you will wear again. Buy a beautiful, unique white dress (or not white) from any store that doesn’t have the word “Bridal” in its title, and you’ll be spending one or two hundred dollars, not one or two thousand
– A wedding dress is, after all, just a white dress and even then, the only reason we wear white wedding dresses today in Western weddings is because Queen Victoria happened to wear a white one in 1840 and the craze took off (arguably the initial seed of the wedding industry)
– Guys can wear suits instead of tuxedos and be able to wear them again 

Photography and DJ  cost $150 instead of $3,000

– This is a great place to save a lot of money and involve your friends and family in your wedding instead of hiring strangers
– Do you have a photographer friend? Ask them if they will be the wedding photographer as a wedding gift
– Another budget option is to hire a professional photographer for one hour to get the crucial formal portraits, then ask all your guests to freely snap away during the rest of the wedding and share the photos with you
– Why hire a stranger to DJ, when everyone knows a friend that has a great music collection? A laptop with iTunes, borrowed or used speakers purchased online, along with microphone and light rentals and you have an instant party 

Food and Drink  cost $1,000 instead of $10,000

– When you avoid a typical venue, you avoid the typical expensive caterers that you are contractually obligated to hire by the venue
– If you have the wedding on private property, liquor laws usually allow you to stock and serve your own bar
– You can DIY the food, BBQs are the easiest and you’ll have a long lineup of uncles volunteering to be chefs. Wedding desserts are easy because surely you know friends and family who like to bake cakes and cookies
– Renting dishes from a party store or buying used online is cheap and green

Centrepieces – cost $0 instead of $500

– A centrepiece is, literally, just something interesting set in the middle of a dining table. Only the wedding industry says it has to be expensive. Your personality can really shine here
– What objects can you find cheap or free that you can use as a centrepiece that reflect your tastes and interests? Jars with tea lights, stacks of books, framed photographs, interesting glassware, candle lanterns, anything decorative you already collect. Shop thrift stores and online classified sites for free and inexpensive items 

Wedding Favours – cost $10 instead of $200

– Wedding favours are often the least green aspect of weddings. They are typically cheap, plastic, individually-wrapped things that quickly end up in the garbage
– The cheapest and greenest option is to have no wedding favours at all, would anyone really miss them?
– For the green option, try to offer something that people will use (such as a framed photograph), or something they will eat (with minimal packaging) to avoid waste
– To save money, wedding favours are a good area for DIY and can be 100% recyclable such as paper origami
– Don’t personalize your wedding favours with names and dates; this way if you end up with dozens of extras in the end you can sell or give them away

 Wedding Cakes – cost $0 instead of $500

– Another opportunity for huge savings with little effort
– Who bakes your favourite homemade cake? Ask them to bake you one as a wedding gift. With your cake toppers in it, it will be the most beautiful, personal, and tasty wedding cake you’ve ever had
– Other bakers on your guest list can be asked to bake a variety of cakes, cupcakes, or cookies to be offered as the wedding dessert

Wedding Gifts

Involve your friends and family in your wedding, just like simpler times. Instead of wedding gifts, ask for the gift of their time or skill in providing desserts, cooking, photographing, DJing, making wedding favours, etc.

When the wedding is over, you can continue to save money and save the environment by selling or giving away everything you don’t need anymore, from centrepieces to dishes to dresses, so they can be used again by another couple

Suggested Tweet to share this news on Twitter:

Tips for #wedding #savings from @usedottawa

About was founded in 2003 with the vision that an effective, free, online marketplace for the sale of used goods would reduce landfill content, benefit the environment and save people money. It is now Canada’s biggest Canadian-owned online classified network with local city sites across the country, including UsedVictoria, UsedVancouver, UsedOttawa, UsedPEI and more. Our network of over 55 websites has now become the most efficient platform for buyers to connect with private and commercial sellers to find what they want in their local community.

Media Contacts:

Lacey Sheardown,
250-381-3633 ext. 3291

Scott Ledingham/PR MediaNow