Princess Bride Without the Price Tag

Princess Buttercup & Inigo Montoya

Getting married or planning a lavish event?  Unfortunately, most of us have to deal with that pesky thing called a “budget”.  Thankfully, the lovely Smart Cookie ladies have helped us out by providing some easy tips on saving money while still giving your event that “wow” factor that everyone craves, including Ms. Kate Middleton!

The Lovely Smart Cookies

“April has arrived and royal watchers are counting the days to the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  While most of us only dream of the lavish royal affair that is estimated to set Will and Kate back a cool $20 million. The real-world bride is realistically doing all she can just to keep her wedding budget under the $20,000.  But whether you are a coupon queen or pricey princess here are our favorite tricks to helps you celebrate in style without the price tag.

The Dress

Gown fit for a Princess

Buying your dream dress can sometimes take up as much as 30 per cent of your bridal budget.  That is why buying “nearly new” is a trend many brides-to-be are moving towards.  Purchasing a previously worn dress can save up to 80% and still get you the designer dress you love. is the Craigslist equivalent for all things wedding.  You can purchase used dresses for brides and bridesmaids, even order table runners, candles… Anything former brides are looking to unload.  And the good news is, most are in exceptional condition and are on average 60 per cent less than retail.

The Venue

Castle fit for a Queen

Renting venues and hotels will always be most expensive on weekends and major holidays.  So if you hare hosting many out of town guests, consider having your wedding take place on a Thursday or Friday.  This will not only provide them more affordable travel dates, but venue rental can be up to 40 per cent less.  Also remember to negotiate a room discount rate that matches the corporate rate offered by the hotel.  This will also save up to an additional 15 per cent on your hotel stay.

The Details

Gorgeous Centerpiece

Freelance florists, makeup artists, hair stylists, photographers, and aestheticians can be found for less than the cost of approaching an established business directly.   Many nine to fivers are budding freelancers, just looking for an opportunity to gain experience.   Be sure to ask free consultation before any commitment is made just to make sure you like the style of their work before you purchase.

Save on your centerpiece by saving on flower costs and using candles as a decoration theme for your reception.   A beautiful centerpiece can be created using candles and old mason jars.  These won’t wither like flowers at the end of the night and look beautiful in photographs.

Save on pre-wedding services by using social shopping websites like,  and  From tanning, to eyelash extensions to pedicures for your bridesmaids.   You can receive deep discounts.  An example of a great wedding deal was offered by Groupon Toronto where a candid photo-booth rental was reduced to $599, a 50 per cent discount!  Monitoring discounts on these websites can bring your wedding in under budget without eliminating any of your essential needs.

With a little research and a lot of creativity, you can make every dollar count and have the fabulous wedding you’ve always wanted.”

For more money-saving tips, check out the Smart Cookies site –