Free wedding samples are key to overspending, which many couples face during the most exciting time of their lives.
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Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, which is why many brides- and grooms-to-be overspend way beyond their wedding budgets.
But if you can get deals here and there, receive wedding stuff free, and find cheaper alternatives for your wedding supplies, wouldn’t you take it?
If you’re one of the 2.3 million couples who will get hitched this year, make sure to bookmark this page and see which free wedding samples you can use for your own ceremony or reception.
Free Wedding Magazines and Catalogs
For those just starting out their wedding planning and want to get inspiration, there’s no better way to jump right into it than browsing through magazines and supplier catalogs.
Even if you’re planning to DIY some parts of your wedding, these resources could give you the ideas for themes, decor, cakes, and so on:
- Rocky Mountain Bride Magazine – You can request back issues to match which season your wedding would land and get inspirations from real weddings.
- Ellwed Magazine – This is ideal for those planning a destination wedding. You have to sign up to get a paper copy of their latest magazine, instead of the e-magazine.
- Oriental Trading – This free wedding catalog showcases suppliers offering wholesale and bulk items.
- Things Remembered – You have to sign up with your email to receive a wedding catalog from Things Remembered. Note it takes 2 to 4 weeks to be shipped worldwide, so plan appropriately.
- Allure Bridals – You can’t request catalogs directly, but if you’re near an authorized dealer, you can ask for a catalog there.
- Camille La Vie’s gowns – Those looking for a wedding gown catalog (with dresses under $1,000) should fill out the form and select the catalog they wish to receive. If you don’t want to wait, there’s also a digital version of the catalog that you can access immediately.
- Dunkins Diamonds – If you’re on the hunt for the perfect wedding jewelry, this site ships catalog at home.
- Event Decor Direct – Wholesale decor supplies for weddings and other events.
Note that many wedding magazines have free trial issues.
If you want to get a copy of several wedding mags, you can sign up for the magazines you like, wait for the first one or two issues to reach your home, and then cancel your plan before you get charged.
Or you can visit your local library, browse to your heart’s content, and take a picture of some of the pages you love since you can’t take magazines home. These mags are pretty useful if you’re planning a retro or traditional wedding).
If you’re open to e-magazines as well, here are some resources for quick-access inspirations:
- Bridal Fantasy e-Magazine
- Bridal Guide e-Magazine
- Black Bride e-Magazine
- Chicago Style e-Magazine
- Munaluchi e-Magazine
- New England Bride e-Magazine
- Southern Bride e-Magazine
- The Knot e-Magazine
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Free Wedding Invitation Samples and More
If you’re looking for free wedding invitation samples and free save-the-date samples, this list would be super-useful.
Do note that most printing and design companies only provide a limited number of invites, save-the-dates or thank-you notes, since the freebies are given in hopes that customers buy more. You’re lucky if you’re only planning an intimate wedding and would only require a few.
Sample Wedding Invitations with Your Text Printed
- Shutterfly’s Wedding Invites – Choose to customize the samples with your own text (for a limited number of copies) or get several invite styles at once but without customization options.
- Magnet Street – You’re allowed to personalize the text, colors, and photos of samples you request.
Sample Wedding Invitations with Random Text Printed
Some paper suppliers only give free wedding sample packs so you can see, touch, compare and choose the paper, ink, and other elements of your preferred invitations, save-the-dates, thank-you cards, and other wedding printables.
They have printed text from past work and are only used for inspection before ordering a batch of 50, 75, 100, or more. For example:
- The American Wedding – Gives away up to 5 items free.
- Paper Culture – If you’re looking for eco-friendly invites, this company gives away a free wedding sample pack without the need for a credit card.
- Minted – Not personalized, but includes a mix of invitation types and swatches. Comes with free shipping.
- Shine Wedding Invitations Sample Pack – You can choose the style, but your details won’t be printed. This pack includes invitations, envelopes, enclosure cards, and more.
- Artifact Uprising – Awesome free invitation sample pack for those looking for modern wedding invites.
Editable, Print-it-yourself Wedding Invitations
- The Budget Savvy Bride – This website is one of the best resources for free, downloadable and printable wedding invites, thank-you cards, and save-the-dates.
- Canva – This award-winning website is perfect for non-artsy people since it lets you drag and drop designs like a pro.
- Wedding Chicks – You’re able to edit all elements from this web-based suite, then you could just save the entire thing once you’ve perfected your invites.
- The Knot – This everything-wedding site regularly publishes a list of blogs and designers giving away free wedding-related stuff, such as these 21+ wedding templates you can print yourself.
- Offbeat Bride – One of my favorite blogs for non-traditional weddings, Offbeat Bride also publishes their own lists regularly like The Knot.
- ChicFetti – Help guests find their seats quickly with chic table numbers. You don’t need to design these yourself – there are TONS of free templates you could print yourself.
Would you rather send electronic invites instead?
We have a list of cool ecards you could check out.
If you’re mailing your invites, don’t miss my post on free address labels, so you no longer have to worry about that, too!
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Free Wedding Decorations
Planning a backyard wedding, but want to light up the yard with fairy lights?
It's a giant box of free samples and it comes right to your door at no cost.
Click here and get yours.
Want fancy name tags for your guests at the reception, but your caterer didn’t include this detail? If you’re interested in wedding decor, check out how you can receive FREE:
- Flowers: One of the easiest ways to save money from buying wedding flowers for decor is to choose a venue outdoors, particularly with a backdrop that you can showcase their garden. However, if this isn’t possible, you can:
- Go for fabric flowers. There are plenty of DIY fabric flower tutorials around, but none of them is as perfect as the version given free by the Love Notes Blog.
- DIY paper flowers: Etsy has a lot of vendors selling paper flowers that can give you a deal of free samples before your order, but if you have time to DIY this, here’s a list of paper flower tutorials for you.
- Grow your own flowers (here are some free seeds)
- Wedding centerpieces: Have you seen wooden lanterns before? If you have some woodworking skills, this one is definitely a pretty awesome project to follow.
- Favor boxes or labels: Looking for packaging for your guests, bridesmaid, or groomsmen gifts? Look for packaging companies that offer free samples for any box you like. While some companies such as Eco-Enclose are generous in the number of samples included, you do have to shoulder shipping costs.
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Free Big-Ticket Wedding Stuff
Here’s how you can try to score a free:
- wedding dress: Barter for a wedding dress, borrow one from someone you know, hunt for a wedding gown listed on FreeCycle, or win a wedding dress from the Bridal Guide sweepstakes. For military brides, don’t forget to check the free wedding dress program via Brides Across America.
- wedding cake: If you have a bit of baking experience, check the Icing Artist’s video on how she turned her $20 grocery-bought cake into a gorgeous 3-tiered cake. She also has a Winter wedding cake version.
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Where do You Go from Here?
Here are several recommendations you can follow:
- If you’re just starting your planning, make sure you have a couple of free notebooks and free pens: you’ll need them for your to-do lists.
- You should also join communities (such as The Wedding Savvy Bride’s community) and be on the lookout for newly-wed brides who may be giving away free wedding stuff that they no longer need.
- If you’re planning a destination wedding, check out how you could get free flights if you’ll need to ride a plane or how you could get free gas cards if you’re going on a road trip on your way to the wedding venue.
- Use social media. There are wedding planning-related groups on Facebook you can join and take inspiration from. If you’re lucky, you could even get some free wedding stuff from fellow bride-to-be’s and groom-to-be’s who are planning their weddings (or have just recently gotten hitched).
- Look up local bridal shows and expos in your area. These events are known for giving away free wedding samples and swag from vendors.
Of course, it’s always easier to get the EXACT wedding item your heart desires if you have the money to pay for it.
If you don’t, you can always learn how to get free gift cards (here’s one for Target gift cards) by doing regular stuff online and off, then use your own money to purchase your wedding stuff without hurting your finances.