At a significant $100 off her monthly membership for three months, Ryan was ready to be a temporary bride.
Although she isn’t actually engaged, she purchased a cheap-yet-realistic-looking fake diamond ring, set up a wedding page on The Knot and developed a backstory for her fiancé.
Aside from the cheap exercise classes, she booked free wedding dress fittings at high-end bridal shops. While she didn’t get the complimentary bubbly she was expecting, she did get to try on designer dresses and be gushed over.
Another surprising freebie? Ryan found her fake ring and engagement story made it easier to make small talk with normally taciturn New Yorkers.
“As it turns out, once you’ve got a ring on your finger, people are simply nicer to you in general,” Ryan wrote.
Plus married friends offered free wedding planning advice, which she says she squirreled away for when she’s actually a bride (you know, for real this time).
Not everyone feels comfortable putting some cubic zirconia on for the wedding discounts. But legitimate brides (and the confident fake ones) can score some pretty great freebies. Here’s a sampling.
Brides has a good roundup of all the perks you get registering at different stores. Free wine glasses from Crate & Barrel for instance. And lots of discounts.
The Balance also highlights free registry gifts you can receive. Some are for just registering with a store, others for buying a certain amount or type of item, and some you receive as completion bonuses.
There are many sites that offer free printable wedding stationery designs that help you save on design and printing costs. The Krazy Coupon Lady has several suggestions including some cute designs from Wedding Chicks.
Why not time that wedding hair or makeup trial before a night out? They’re not always free but they may be discounted or free if you book with the beauty professional you’re trying out. And sometimes salons offer group discounts when you bring in a certain number of bridesmaids or other bridal party members.
Food and drink
Free food! Book or check out a caterer, reception venue menu, baker, or local wine or beer vendor and you’re likely getting a free or discounted tasting. After all, how can you figure out whether you like red velvet better than lemon chiffon? Or pinot gris versus chenin blanc?
Of course, there are wedding freebies that often aren’t worth the cost-savings, like using a family member as your photographer, caterer, planner or DJ. Free can backfire big time, so choose your deals wisely.