Getting married is a major life event. While your wedding can be an exciting experience, it is often a difficult and stressful experience as well. Planning a wedding is not easy, nor is it cheap. Many couples spend years saving up for a wedding.
However, even if you spend all your time planning and saving, it is easy to end up going over budget.
Weddings are supposed to be beautiful and special and deeply personal. Luckily, they do not need to cost a fortune to be perfect.
You can have the most incredible wedding imaginable on a strict budget. Rather than spending all your money on one day, start out your marriage with more money in your pocket to give you and your new spouse the best leg up as you begin your life together.
Instead of figuring out what type of wedding you want and then calculating how much it costs, try a better approach. First, figure out how much money you have to spend on your wedding. Then, design your wedding to fit within your budget. For the best results, look at each part of your wedding to see how you can maximize your savings.
Paying to book the venue for your wedding can be one of the greatest expenses you have, but your venue does not have to be pricey. There are plenty of places where you can hold your wedding for a reasonable fee.
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For a no-cost venue, hold it in the backyard of your home or a friend’s home. Do you know someone who owns a restaurant or club? See if you could make use of the space on a day or time it is normally closed for business. Alternatively, ask if you can book a venue in full or partial exchange for bartering a special talent or skill you possess.
One easy way to save a ton of money on your wedding dress is to buy your dress off the rack or from a website rather than special-ordering one. You can also offer to pay cash in exchange for a discount. If you aren’t set on owning thee dress for life, you can rent a wedding dress rather than buy one. You can even borrow the wedding dress from a friend who is the same size as you. Even if you need to get it slightly altered to fit like you want, it is still cheaper than buying a new dress.
Save money on food for your wedding by hiring lower-cost catering options. Instead of hiring an Italian restaurant for your Italian-themed wedding, for example, hire a pizza truck. Instead of a steak house, consider a burger bar.
A Latin American wedding can serve burritos and enchiladas for a fraction of the cost of hiring a Spanish caterer. As for appetizers, try finding a friend who cooks to prepare them for you. Asking a friend to cook for your wedding can count as his or her wedding present to you.
You can still capture every precious moment of your special day without taking out a second mortgage to pay the photographer. One easy way to save on photos is to invite all your guests to snap away with their smartphones and upload their pictures to a website you have set up for the occasion. Another popular option is distributing disposable cameras to guests and asking them to take as many photos as possible.
This method doesn’t necessarily mean giving up the beautiful, posed wedding photos. You can still hire a professional photographer to get those choice couple and family shots before the big event begins and pay far less for just one or two hours of time rather than the whole day or night.
Alcohol can be a huge expense at weddings, but it does not have to be. You can limit the alcoholic beverages available to wine and beer, or better yet, have a “dry” wedding with no alcohol at all. If you or your guests are big drinkers, you could opt for a cash bar, offering only soft drinks and non-alcoholic beverages for free, but making alcoholic beverages available to purchase.
Finally, if you select a venue like your own backyard, you can bulk-purchase alcohol yourself. In addition, you may ask guests to prepare their own drinks, saving you the cost of a bartender and bottle-opening fees.
Rather than paying a bunch of money to a band or DJ to play at your wedding, make your own mix on your phone or digital music player. All you need is to rent some decent speakers and possibly a mixing deck.
Generally, you do not even need to pay anyone to man the music station. You can simply press start and let the music play while everyone enjoys themselves on the dance floor.
You can have flowers decorating your wedding without a bouquet covering every spare surface. Get rid of the big floral arches over the dais and, instead, be more selective in your placement. Pick the spots where people will focus on and set your bouquets there.
To spread out your floral decor across more space, try single-stem vases. Buy your flowers from the local supermarket, flower mart or flower shop the day of the wedding to save more on your floral decor. Even though you are forced to pick from the available selection, the price you pay for the flowers is far less than what you would pay a florist to design your floral decorations ahead of time.
While wedding rings are one item many people are averse to skimping on, there are ways to reduce your cost and still obtain a precious symbol you and your spouse can cherish forever. For instance, you can collect all your old jewelry and bring it down to a jeweler. Ask what kind of trade-in value you can get for those items, whether in cash or direct trade.
Alternatively, see if there is an elderly member of your family who is willing to hand down his or her wedding ring as an heirloom to bring you good fortune in your marriage. Finally, you can try selecting a cheaper material that will still last. For instance, rather than selecting platinum or gold rings, select a cheaper material like stainless steel or cobalt.
Technically, a wedding is not over when it the day is out — you still have the honeymoon. There are many affordable vacations you can take for your honeymoon.
Domestic travel is almost always less expensive than international travel. You can even stay in your backyard, so to speak. Take a staycation and explore the best your local area has to offer!
If it is a bolder, more exotic honeymoon trip you seek, consider adding the honeymoon to your wedding gift registry. Set specific goals for guests to pay for, such as travel costs, lodging, food and any activities you already have planned.
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