They say that every little girl spends hours upon hours dreaming of her wedding day. I am not entirely sure that is true, in fact I would bet some girls do not give it a moment’s thought until they are in their twenties. No matter when you start thinking about your wedding you probably dream of being fun and romantic, what you probably never think about is the cost. Once you have gotten the ring and set a date you will probably think of nothing but the cost. Weddings can range anywhere from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on what you want and where you shop.
If you are on a tight budget or just choose not spend a fortune on your wedding there are many easy ways to save money. All you have to do is be determined and know what is really important to you. If you have always dreamt of a designer wedding gown then you should have it, but you will probably have to make budget cuts elsewhere. If you have spent years fantasizing about a multi-tiered, fancy wedding cake then you also have to find a way to fit it into your budget, probably sacrificing other expensive items. Regardless of what is on your wish list the tips listed here can help you get the wedding of your dreams without a budget nightmare.
Tips For A Successful Wedding On A Budget
Look for alternative venues – Renting a hall or even a church for a wedding can be very expensive, so perhaps you can find a less expensive place to have your wedding. Maybe in a park or on the beach, even a friends backyard would all be cheap and lovely. I had a friend who held her wedding in the back of a social services shelter where she worked. Most people did not know it, but behind the office space facade was a sweet little chapel with an ornate wood alter and pews. She simply made a donation to the shelter and they gave her free reign to have her service there. She saved money and donated to a good cause at the same time.
Enlist students to help with the reception – If there is a vocational school in your area they probably have loads of students hankering for a chance to hone their skills. There you can find everything from caterers, to wedding cake decorators, cosmetologists, florists, even photographers who would be willing to do your wedding for lots less then professionals charge. In most cases their work is even overseen by an instructor so you need not worry about their inexperience ruining your big day.
Get commercial with your wedding – There is nothing wrong with asking for a discount from your caterer, florist, photographer, or DJ in exchange for letting them set up a small display or hand out business cards at your event. Sometimes photographers will give you a big discount if you allow them to sell your wedding pictures as stock images. You might flip through a magazine one day and see your own face staring back at you.
Become a do it yourself bride and groom – There are loads of wedding items that you, your partner, family, and attendants can make yourself. Invitations can be made on a home computer that look just as nice as the expensive ones you buy at the store. You can search craft stores and find simple ways to make centrepieces, wedding favours, even a garter. All of these little items add up to big savings, just be careful when you do your shopping. The same friend mentioned before had all of her attendants fill little pumpkins for her fall wedding with a candy mix she had found at the bulk foods store. Imagine our surprise when we discovered little candy skull and crossbones in the mix, not exactly what you want at your wedding. You can also skip the DJ and make CD’s of the music you want played at your wedding, then all you need is a decent stereo to play them and a groomsmen willing to switch CD’s as necessary.
Buy personalised gifts for your attendants – Everyone who has ever been in a wedding probably appreciated the champagne flute or beer stein with your special date engraved on it, however it is not the most practical thing to have around the house and can be quite costly. Instead, buy them a book that you know they will like or a CD from their favourite artist. Make the gift something they will enjoy for a long time and not just commemorative of your special day.
Do not be afraid of second hand shopping – A vintage wedding dress would be an excellent find, and probably make you look fabulous on the big day. You might even find a dress for sale that was never worn or is simply not that old to begin with, then you’ll just have to spend a little bit of money on alterations if they are even necessary. Second hand shops are also great places to find unique centrepieces or wedding decor. You can save a fortune shopping second hand and no one has to know about your frugal deeds.
Register for wedding services – This is a new trend that is quickly catching on everywhere. Instead of registering for standard wedding gifts, register for wedding services. Many of your friends and family members would rather donate $100 for flowers or your dress then for a set of dishes you will rarely use.
Planning a wedding is both a magical and stressful time. You can and should have the wedding of your dreams, even if your funds are low. All you have to do is decide what is truly important and then be willing to cut some corners and seek out good deals and your wedding will be all that you want it to be.
Timothy Ng is a personal finance writer, and has a real passion for encouraging people to compare balance transfer credit cards to ensure they get the best deal. Check out his comprehensive guide to 0 balance transfer 12 months credit cards where he provides an in-depth overview and analysis, to long-term balance transfer credit cards.