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Budget Wedding Planning for Smart Brides

Updated on December 22, 2009

The Most Important Day of Your Life can be an expensive affair. Getting the wedding that you want without breaking the bank is the challenge of most couples. Here are some tips for planning a fabulous wedding on a budget.

1. Create a budget.

This seems obvious, but many couples fail to take this first step, assuming that they will manage expenses as they come. Instead, create a budget before you spend a penny. If either of your parents are contributing, find out how much they plan to spend and incorporate those funds. Decide how much you are willing to spend on the venue, cake, entertainment, and other categories. Be disciplined and stick to your budget. If you find that you need more funds for a certain category, develop a plan for cutting funds from another aspect of the wedding.

2. Pick a venue that will require minimal décor.

The expense of decorating a large, empty space can be staggering. Choose a venue that will require minimal extra decorating. Venues in natural settings, museums, historical societies, or already highly decorated spaces will save you money in the long run, even if they are slightly more expensive than places you would have to decorate yourself. Also choose a venue that is as all-inclusive as possible and will provide tables, chairs, linens, parking attendants, etc. When comparing costs of venues, take into account the “extra” costs you will incur for venues that do not offer anything more than use of the space itself.

3. Cut out the little things

Weddings are filled with “extras”—things that are not essential to the wedding and may not actually enhance your guests’ experience. For instance, will your guests ever really use the tiny box wedding favor with your initials on it? Will your wedding really be made better by having personalized coat tags? You can save a great deal by cutting out a lot of these little things.

4. Schedule your wedding on a weekday or in the afternoon

Venue rentals and catering expenses are almost always less expensive on weekdays and in the afternoons. So getting married on a Friday afternoon instead of Saturday night can save you hundreds. Consult with your close friends and family to determine if they might be available for a wedding at a non-traditional time. Plus, getting married on Friday may give you more time for your honeymoon!

Image Credit: eMill, Flickr

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