Most people love weddings. There is something magical about planning such a special day and being part of the devotion that two people share. However, most people do not love the endless amounts of debt that can result from the occasion.
Tradition states that the bride’s family pays for the entire wedding, while the groom’s family simply pays for the reception. Unfortunately, that tradition does not always work. For countless families, the new economy makes it hard enough to survive, much less fund an extravagant wedding. Conversely, today’s bride may be a college student whose family is struggling to pay tuition and related expenses. In other cases the bride could be a bit older and no longer rely on parental support or maybe she does not have one or both of her parents due to death or family turmoil.
Whatever the situation, it is clear that not every bride has a family who can or will foot the bill for her special day. And why should they have to? Even if someone can afford to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding, is that really a smart financial move? Why can’t the money that would have been spent on a huge wedding be invested in a home or future savings?
Why should a couple or their families spend a fortune on a wedding when they can achieve an equally fabulous experience for less? While it is true that a wedding is the one of the most important days of a couple’s life, there is no reason it has to cost a fortune. Below you will find a variety of money saving tips and ideas that can help you plan a fantastic wedding without breaking the bank. So kick back, relax and get ready to have the fairy tale wedding of your dreams with some money left over for the happily ever after.
While you should probably reconsider baking your own wedding cake if it will be the first thing you have ever cooked besides toast or frozen waffles, using your own talent could be a great way to shave some of the cost off of your big day. Are you a great seamstress who has made her own clothes on multiple occasions? You might consider reworking a second-hand dress into your own special creation. Have you forgotten more about catering than many professionals will ever know? Consider making your own food. Whatever your talent or skill, there may be a way to put it to good use and save a good chunk of change in the process.
Don’t Hire, Recruit
If you do not have skills in a certain arena, but know someone who is, ask for their help. Perhaps you have a friend who is a great photographer or an aunt who is a talented baker, recruit friends and relatives when and where you can. Just be sure you mention what if anything you can afford to pay them. In many cases people are honored to have a special role in your day and will offer their services at no cost, others may simply ask that you pay for the materials, such as the ingredients for your cake or that you return the favor with something you can offer for their next special event. However it works out remember to give them a special gift to show your gratitude.
Plan for a Planner
Although many tasks can easily delegated to friends or family, hiring a professional planner can actually save you money in many ways. How can hiring someone be a money saving tactic? First, wedding planners know how to work within a budget. Second, they know how to negotiate to get the best deal. Finally, they have valuable, working relationships with dealers and vendors that can help you get discounts that are not otherwise available.
Do you really need to secure that exclusive country club or pricey banquet hall to have a memorable event? If not, you can save some serious cash by using your parent’s house, an elegant restaurant or a simple park or beach as your venue. Particularly if you choose an outdoor setting, you can have a beautiful wedding without even having to go all out with décor. With lovely flowers or the ocean as your background, who needs man-made embellishments?
Consider a Resort
Sounds extravagant, right? Well, not if you choose an all-inclusive resort. These tidy little packages include all of the little extras that quickly add up to sabotage your budget.
Minimize Your Stationery
Traditionally there were stacks of stationery that you were supposed to order for your wedding; engagement announcements, save the date cards, bridal shower invitations, bachelorette/bachelor party invitations, bridesmaids’ / groomsmen’s day invitations, bride’s thank you cards, wedding invitations, reception card, weekend events insert, response card, rehearsal dinner invitations, ceremonial programs, reception menus, escort cards, place cards, table cards, thank you cards, wedding announcements, and personal stationery. However, the cost of all of these items can really add up quickly. The best solution is to only order the main items; invitations, thank you cards, place cards, etc. and omit the rest. In fact, many items, such as ceremonial programs are no longer necessary in most cases. If you feel the need to have such items, print them yourself or make digital versions to email to your guests.
‘Tis the Season
Stick with flowers that are in season and locally available. Not only are flowers cheaper when they are in season, but they look more natural. So choose from the ones that nature offers.
Bigger is Better
Another flower trick that you can use to add to the ambiance and save money is to use flowers with bigger, bolder buds. By using larger flowers, you will not need as many, which means more money in your pocket.
Instead of spending a small fortune on extravagant centerpieces, have a get-together with your girlfriends and unleash your creative beasts. By creating your own unique centerpieces you can have a great to distressing with friends and stay under budget.
Be Spam Friendly
Okay, everybody hates to have their email clogged up with tons of coupons and offers they have no intention of using. However, if you create a free email that will be strictly devoted to special offers, you can receive discounts for all sorts of wedding goodies and services.
These are only a few suggestions. There are hundreds of ways you can make your wedding perfect, without going broke; be creative and use the resources you have at your disposal.