Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A financial strategy for weddings that is underrated

So I wanted to focus today's post on paying for weddings. While my mom will be contributing a generous amount to cover our wedding costs (a little more than 1/2), my FH & I will still be left with some hefty bills, including paying for our honeymoon. Enter: Wedding giveaways! Unconventional, yes. But generally speaking, the odds are in your favor, and if you could end up winning lots of things large and small that will save you money. And all the better if you win items or monetary amounts for things that you can only use for the wedding. Better to invest your money in things that you will use again anyway, no?

Also, the internet (Twitter, Facebook) is your friend! Since we are not having a super traditional wedding, I have been trolling the internet for ideas and inspiration. I've found at least 10 wedding blogs that are utterly amazing resources, but the really beautiful thing is that most of these blogs have relationships with vendors, and that means giveaways! I've probably entered about 30 giveaways thus far, and have won 3 of them!

Our biggest win to date is our wedding photography! Huge coup, right? We are getting married in the Hudson Valley, and in my research for photographers from/familiar with the area in last spring, I happened upon the blog of J.Castro Photography and started reading through some archived posts. I took note that last year he offered a contest, and as soon as he announced the 2011 contest, I was in it to win it. And we did! We still paid a deposit, but as the winners, we get that money back in album/print credits! So our wedding photography in the end is costing us between 1/3 and 1/4 of what it would have been.

Another awesome win: invitation design by little birdie studio! I was going to ask one of my graphic designer pals to help on this one, but I won it instead! It will probably preserve our friendship in the end anyway, and despite said designer being on the up & coming side, I couldn't be happier with the results so far! She was supposed to design just the invites but even offered to do our Save the Dates! Sweet!

Lastly, I won a $100 shopping spree to a fantastic etsy shop, Bead Flora Jewels, for fun accessories. I chose to get a custom made, awesome beaded hair piece and an ivory clutch! I may even splurge and buy some shoe clips for the big day too :)

So ladies & germs, the lesson here is just try it out! It's always free to put your name in the hat for these things, and the amount of entries varies greatly so chances are you'll enter something with not too much competition and victory will be yours! But wait? Where might one find out about these giveaways? Here's a short list of some cool giveaways going on now that are just super cool:

A great site that posts all kinds of wedding giveaways, no signing up necessary:

A wonderful lady who has a weekly giveaway on her blog:

A great. ECO-FRIENDLY multi-item giveaway with lots of really useful stuff! And as a bonus, you can buy and sell all kinds of wedding stuff, saving yourself lots of Benjamins :)

A $25 certificate to BonitaJ jewelry's shop, posted on Nutritionist Reviews' blog:

I could go on, but Google is your friend!

Happy Tuesday!

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