And the Winners Are …

Congratulations to the four couples above — each will receive $10,000 to go toward their weddings thanks to the clever recessionista wedding tips they entered in the DexKnows wedding contest! Read the winning entries below, selected by the voting public, or if you haven’t already, check out all 40 finalists’ tips in our category devoted to them.

And to all participants in the contest: Thanks for entering and we want to see your weddings! After the big day has come and gone, feel free to send us pictures of your recessionista tip in action (and a brief explanation of the tip — there were 1,200, so I’m going to need my memory refreshed) to We’d love to feature the final product of some of these creative ideas we’ve been reading about.

And without further ado, here are the four winning recessionista tips, clockwise from the top left:

Nichole & Vince: Sweet Pea Love

For my wedding I decided to make a “unique” invitation. Going through wholesale shops on the internet I can purchase sweet pea seeds, little moss starter pods for the seeds, and even little individual greenhouses for them as well! So, on green friendly paper I typed out the instructions on when and how to plant the seeds. On a separate little envelope, there were sealed instructions not to open until the sweet pea bloomed (about 50 days after planting). When the sweet pea bloomed, then they would open the invitation and see that they were invited to the wedding. At the wedding, the favors would be hand painted terra cotta pots as wedding favors that they can plant their sweet pea. I figure these will cost me about $.95/$1.25 per invitation with postage.

Jarrod & Amanda: CREATE A BLOG!!

This idea is a little out there but budgets can be type and money can run out fast. I came up with an innovative way to make some extra money so that I can plan a chic wedding on a budget. I created a blog titled, “Weddings Without Wallets.” This blog is all about everything I’m learning, reading and experience while planning a wedding on a tight budget. It incorporates funny stories, ideas, creative thoughts, requests for input and more for my followers to read and then comment on. I’ve added an ‘AdSense’ account so that I get money toward my wedding every time someone views my page or clicks on an ad! I’ve already made WAY more money than I was expecting to and it’s all gone toward my wedding budget. The money has already come in handy and has helped us in planning our budget wedding! Check it out:

Tim & Michelle: Tuscany Transformed

Tim and I are bringing family and friends, food, music and wine together – in the same quaint Italian, Tuscan style restaurant where we had our first date. At $13pp, we will enjoy an intimate lunch/reception, with the old world setting villa ambiance. Therefore relieving our budget of additional decor.

I found my dream dress on sale for $99. Don’t be afraid to start high-end and shop their sales.

Our ceremony will take place outside at a golf course and I’ve asked my son’s school jazz band to perform. For a donation to the school, talented young musicians will add a fresh and novel touch.

But I wanted to add a personal touch and found inspiration from our first date. I knew it was something special then and saved the wine cork. It started a tradition we kept up. We are making vintage inspired place cards by taking regular paper stock that we have stained sienna with a teabag. I gently burned the edges with a lighter. We cut a slit in each cork and slide in the cards. Each one holds a memory we are sharing.

Joey & Julie: Le French Picnic

Like many of you out there we are also planning a wedding on a tight budget! This is one of the most important days of our lives and we don’t want to compromise elegance or class. You can add a European Flair by having a French Picnic theme. In planning this for our wedding we have been able to save several thousand dollars in several areas. First off we rented out a city park that was $25 for the entire day. You can find out more about your local parks through the Recreation and Parks Dept. in your area. Then we got nice picnic blankets that will seat 6-8 people. By doing this we were able to cut the cost of renting chairs and tables. Next we are making picnic baskets which will have an assortment of French Picnic items such as assorted fruits, cheeses, french bread, cured meats, tomatoes and most importantly…. Wine! This helped eliminate the cost of catering an expensive meal for every single guest! This idea has really given our wedding a unique and special ambiance that is sure to be a success and something our guests have never seen before!

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