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100 Ways to Save Money Planning Your Wedding: Part 1
Cool brides no better than to say the "W" word!
The 'W' word
1. All-right folks, you need to know the one golden rule of money-saving wedding-planning. Never-ever say the "W-word" when buying things for your wedding if it's not already a given that that's why your after them (for instance the wedding venue people will know it's for a wedding obviously). When buying clothing, favors, flowers etc the word 'wedding' cannot show up in your chat transcript. Forget that word altogether! Trust me, you'll save mega-bucks with this one tip alone!
2. Found the One/ You are the One?? Now it's time to find the ring!
The buying of the rings for many newly engaged couples is the moment the nostalgic imaginings of a dreamy wedding turns to eminent fear of the daunting bill about to pile up before you in the name of realizing that dream. Rings can be very expensive- and we also know from the number one rule of wedding planning that the minute the W-word is mentioned the cost of any you want to buy is going to shoot up!
Even Super Glam Kate rocks a vintage ring!
Think vintage. Vintage rings are beautiful and will attract awe from new acquaintances long after the engagement period necessities of every girl you know examining your new bling with delight! They're not just much better value for your money either! Second-hand does not mean second-rate. Kate Moss, Scarlet Johansson and Lara Stone will tell you that as they all proudly wear stunning engagement rings on their fingers.
So where to find these vintage beauties?? Vintage and antique shops will normally boast an impressive collection. It's also worth scouring eBay*, but be sure to read sellers ratings and ask any questions you may have. Ebay is a great source of anything for your wedding because of their fantastic Buyer Protection Program. You won't find a safer buy on the internet. With vintage rings do look out for loose stones – any of these will need to be fixed before wearing to avoid the disappointment of losing your new precious gem!
3. Another great source of inexpensive wedding bands or engagement rings is thefamily heirlooms. Most families will have rings that have been inherited/ passed-down in the family. If not their may be a family member who would be willing do gift you one of their rings to you. This could be an especially sentimental contribution for a family member or friend as it will become such a meaningful symbol in your lives together. They could be invited to give this in place of a wedding gift.
4. Another idea is to check-out any loyalty schemes you are part of where you could trade in points for jewelry vouchers or buy direct from the store awarding the points. This is an especially good idea to make use of around about sale time when jewelry prices will be already slashed thus making the most of your points. If your loyalty scheme offers special periods of doubling points value etc then be all-over this offer for the rings or anything you need for your wedding!
The next big thing on the list in normally the wedding venue
5. Whether you want to get married in a religious setting or at the town hall-or any other endless number of places- you will need to consider the cost of venue usage and the officiator's fees. Shop around a lot on this one. Firstly, because the actual ceremony where you say the "I do's" is going to be one of the most important and precious moments of your whole life- you don't want anything to take away from the beauty of that. Secondly, these costs will vary hugely and there will be different things on offer.
Consider my friend Gill for instance who got married in June this year- the most expensive time of the year to get married! She booked a room in a castle for the ceremony (plenty of castles in Scotland where we live- but you will have stately homes and the sort available to you too). It turned out way cheaper for her to use their wedding room- which was beautifully decadent and romantic- and she got an amazing backdrop for her wedding photos for free as she got her pictures taken on the grounds of the castle! That's bang for your buck! Not only that, but they allowed her to use the landscaped garden area to have the afternoon reception in and she was allowed to bring her own food and champagne! Huge savings!
So the moral of the story is shop around, then shop around some more. Consider getting married in weird and wonderful places as well as looking at the traditional options.
6. Don't rule out marrying in a family/friend's home- especially if someone close to you has a nice garden big enough for the amount of people you wan to have at your ceremony. This will mean all you have to pay for is the officiator's fee, and if there is a minister or person you personally know who you want to conduct the ceremony, all the better, as you will wither get it cost-free or for a very reasonable price. Also, if you do get married in a friend or relatives home you can provide your own post-wedding reception free of charge and bring in your own catering and drinks. Huge savings and a beautifully intimate day to remember! As with the idea of getting a ring from someone close to you, this offering of a place to wed by a loved one is a valuable gift to offer for your wedding and it would probably be their honor to be able to offer it to you. Consider your children will probably play one day in the garden you got married in. Priceless.
7. Don't forget about the good old packaged-deal. Many venues which offer catering/ reception services for weddings also offer a room to have the wedding ceremony in too. This is often either free of charge when booking the reception or at a considerably reduced price. If it is not offered ask anyway. These venues almost always have this facility.
The After-Party/ Wedding Reception
This part is normally the most expensive part of the whole wedding budget. It normally costs thousands.
8. Again the key here is to shop around and keep on shopping till you have a pretty good ides of what's out there and what you can afford. Again, do a very thorough internet search. Ask friends and family if they have had/ heard of any good deals on wedding parties.
9. Be prepared to haggle. You will realize pretty early on in your internet search that venues offer pretty much the same thing for very different prices and they also offer various different extras to make their package sound better value. This is because they are trying to win you because they are very aware of the competition. Use this! Regardless of how fancy venues are, they do not have anything substantially better to offer than any other. You need to write to as many venues as you can and tell them that you their venue is one of a number of venues you are considering hosting your wedding party at and point out to them that you have noted a competitor (don't name them because they will try tell you specifically why they have more to offer than that competitor) offers a similar package or one with more extras for a better price than they do and ask if they can match it/ close the gap/ offer more extras that will make it worth your while to go with them for your big day. It is especially helpful if you know of someone who had a celebration there in recent times as personal connections/ referral is always especially successful.
10.An extra special idea for those of you who want to have a more intimate wedding dinner- or an excuse to have a more intimate wedding dinner (ie smaller number of people and therefore waaay less costly) is to have your wedding dinner in the restaurant you had one of your first dates in/ got engaged in/ has been a special place for the two of you. This is a truly heartwarming way to spend your special day and a wonderful way to limit guest invites to only the people who really mean the most to you. Others can be invited to come for a drink and some of your wedding cake later, or you can go to a venue you have booked-out for a dance afterwards. This approach also saves a huge amount of time and stress over the toughest part of wedding planning!
Part 2 of this Wedding Money Saving series!
- 100 Ways to Save Money Planning Your Wedding: Part 2
Article 2 of 10 in a series on 100 ways to save money on planning your wedding. Today's article has tips on cutting the costs of the wedding cake. photgraphy and carefully choosing a cheaper date
Erm...no, that's not what I mean by intimate gathering in 'your' restaurant...
More Like this... :)
So there you go- the first 10 tips of my 100 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding series. I will post the next 10 within the next 48 hours and it will include how to save on the the cost of the wedding cake, as well as how to get the most amazingwedding photography package ever!! and I'll be telling you how timing, timing, timing may be way more important than location, location, location- so if you DO want an uber- luxurious venue for your wedding tune in for my next 10 tips wedding hub hub!
Lots of Love