Meeting the Giveaway Finalists, Part X

More than 1,200 participants shared their recessionista wedding tips for throwing a budget-friendly — yet stylish — wedding in the DexKnows Wedding Giveaway. Celebrity wedding planner Yifat Oren has whittled the number down to 40 finalists. Now it’s up to you to determine which four couples will get $10,000 each to go toward their wedding.

This is my last post spotlighting the finalists, but the voting period goes until May 28. You can peruse all the entries here. Vote for your favorite and find out the winners on June 2!

Rich & Tyler: Ichibana – I just wanna save a buck!

I’m using a type of flower arrangement called ichibana. It’s modern and chic and involves very few flowers! A little spray of blossoms will go a long way at our garden wedding.

I also created a logo for our wedding on powerpoint and then had it made into a custom stamp online for $8! I plan to personalize everything with it to save on expensive customization.

Finally, we’re going cheap and bountiful on wines. Instead of a wedding shower, we are holding a blind wine tasting of 5 white and 5 red wines under $10. The ones our friends choose as best will be served at the wedding!

Shawna & Brendan: Favoring the Written Word

Wedding favors are typically manufactured, generic, and expensive. Instead of going this route, my fiance and I scoured library sales for hardcover books with titles that reminded us of each person on our guest list.

We are stripping the books down to their natural fabric cover, writing a personal inscription in each, and wrapping them with paper raffia attaching a typewritten tag identifying the guest and table number. These double-duty favors and escort cards will be displayed on a bookshelf salvaged from Craigslist in the foyer of our reception hall. As we obtained entire boxes of books for $3 and under, we spent just about $30 on the supplies for all 185 favors/escort cards that we need.

This project undoubtedly takes time, but it has given us a wonderful opportunity to express how much each guest means to us. Also, through the process of choosing books and writing inscriptions, we have been able to share memorable stories about people in our lives with one another.

Although this wedding tip is particularly appropriate for English teachers like us, anyone who loves reading, vintage, or the written word can make this project a meaningful part of their wedding!

Caroline & Pete: Zazzle your way to seamless favors, seating & table cards

Looking for a unique and memorable wedding reception with a theme that goes beyond “colors”, I stumbled upon Here, one can find a plethora of digital images to suit any theme (however tasteful or in your face) to produce customized paper-based products for favors, place cards and table numbers that look seamless as if handled by a high-priced design firm.

I am incorporating a vintage circus theme and found old circus posters (think line tamers, contortionists, clowns and big tops) which I am printing 1) on round stickers and placing them on the inside of colored bottlecaps which I will string on silver rings purchased from a craft store to make unique wine charms, which will act as favors and table identifiers for guests (extra bonus, these can be attached to a board so no need for a place card table, flowers etc. etc.) and 2) replicating the images on postcards to identify tables (as opposed to the old Table 1,2,3 standby). The image and product opportunities are endless, cost-effective and will tastefully pull together any theme in a unique way!

Brett & Kendi: Cheerful Pops of Color!

Your budget should never stop your personality!

We’re keeping our wedding costs down by having an abundance of DIY projects! I am creating fabric table runners in bright, cheerful patterns to add a pop of color to the regular inexpensive white table linens. We’re putting together the bridal and bridesmaid bouquets; you’d be shocked to find out just how easy it is to wrap a bunch of yellow tulips together to make a stand-out bouquet. We’re putting vases out for the bridesmaids to put their flowers in after the ceremony in time for the reception, why spend more money on centerpieces when you already have gorgeous bouquets?

Our wedding is on a Sunday afternoon; by having it on a Sunday we lowered the cost on all our vendors and can serve lunch instead of dinner, which saves money. We’re serving fresh lemonades at our wedding instead of a traditional bar, by taking a few minutes and sugaring the rims of all the glasses our inexpensive lemonade just became a special treat!

In the end guests will remember the feeling of love and welcoming created by infusing the details with your own personality.


  1. So honored to be one of the finalists featured in this post! This contest has been such a great way to showcase all the ways a wedding can be amazing without breaking the bank. Thanks for all of your votes!

  2. I don’t think it is fair that not all the entries where featured on here. These people all now have an unfair advantage. I hope this is taken under consideration during the final judging!

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