Move over bridezilla. There’s a new bride in town. She’s turning the big, fat, expensive white wedding on its head. And she’s not letting the gloomy economy get in her way.

She’s a recessionista bride.

A recessionista bride knows how to have a fabulous wedding for only a fraction of the $30,000 that the ‘so-called average’ bride spends.


1. A Small Guest List. A recessionista bride scales back her guest list. She invites only the people who matter to her. If she hasn’t seen her friend Sally Nevercalls  in five years, chances are she’s not on the list. And she doesn’t invite people simply out of obligation. (Just because she was invited to her hairdresser’s wedding last year doesn’t mean she has to return the favor.) Co-workers and distant relatives are often left off of the list.

2. DIY. With a few clicks of the mouse, a recessionista bride learns how to make everything from centerpieces for her reception to wedding favours. And if she’s not the crafty type she sources out the projects to friends and family – or she posts her projects on Etsy’s Alchemy – a site that connects buyers with artisans who meet requests for custom items.

3. Haggling. A recessionista bride saves money by negotiating with vendors. She realizes vendors are hungrier for clients than they were last year, and she’s not afraid to ask them for a better price or to throw in a few extras.

4. Flexibility. A recessionista bride knows that Saturday evening is the most sought after timeslot for a wedding – and the most expensive, so she’s willing to have her wedding on a Friday night or Sunday – or even during the week.

5. Second-hand. She scours Craigslist, eBay and Kijiji for gently-used wedding items. If she’s into the vintage look, she’ll check out the wedding dresses on sites such as She also uses Craigslist to seek out photographers, bartenders and other wedding professionals who are willing to work within her budget. (She’s a savvy bride who always checks out references and runs fast if she detects event the slightest hint of unprofessionalism.)

6. Prioritizing. A recessionista bride knows her priorities. She splurges only on the things that really matter to her. If she’s a foodie and a decadent meal is important to her, then she’s willing to cut back on wedding items that made her ‘b’ list.  That might mean she uses an iPod instead of a deejay, or prints her own invitations instead of having custom letterpress stationery.

7. Resourcefulness. She makes use of the many talents among her relatives and circle of friends. If her aunt is a piano player, she’ll ask her to play at the wedding ceremony. If her sister-in-law is a graphic designer, she’ll hire her to design the invitations. A recessionista bride realizes that getting her loved ones involved will not only cut costs, it will maker her wedding more meaningful.

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2 Comments  |  Filed Under: Budget Brides, DIY Wedding, Small Wedding Ideas, Wedding Planning

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  1. Posted by Craig Sumsky on March 24th, 2009 at 8:22am

    Number three is such a harsh term. I (as a vendor) agree that we are hungry for work, but instead of haggling try the honest approach... explain to your vendor your financial limitations. Any vendor who is unsympathetic is not the vendor for you. If you find a vendor you like just give them your price range, you might find they are happy to oblige.
  2. Posted by Kaitlin on May 24th, 2012 at 6:26am

    Second hand really is a great way to go when you're trying to save money on your big day. When it comes to bridal gowns in particular, many have never even been yet are offered at a fraction of the price. What's not to love?!
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