Real Life Money Saving Tips for the Bride on a Budget
Weddings can be expensive for the bride and groom no matter how you slice it. If you have tens of thousands of dollars available that you want to spend on a wedding, more power to you! If you want to save as much as possible - while still having a beautiful and memorable wedding, read on.
- Consider Alternative Wedding Venues There are lots of places to have a wedding and reception that won't cost you thousands of dollars. You may have to forego the reception hall in favor of a more un-traditional space, though. Many couples find that aside from all the moolah they save, having a wedding in a unique place can allow for more creative freedom, as there are often less stringent rules.
- Keep It Intimate Frankly put: the more people you invite, the more it will cost. Think about having a small wedding and reception where only your family and very close friends will be in attendance. The less space, food, and entertainment you have to pay for, the more money you'll have to begin your new life together with. You could even hold a party later to celebrate with friends who you weren't able to invite to the wedding.
- Have a Mini-Moon Instead of doing the extravagant tropical honeymoon, take a quick mini-vacation after the wedding. You could hole up in a local hotel (with strict instructions to friends and family that you are not to be disturbed) for a weekend. Or take a road trip to a fun destination within a few hundred miles of your hometown. You could even get a discount flight to the coast nearest you for some less expensive beach frolicking.
- Postpone the Honeymoon You could skip the honeymoon altogether and use the money toward the wedding, or - better yet - as a down payment on a house or something along such practical lines. Gift each other with the "honeymoon you never had" down the road when you are in a better financial position. It will give you something to look forward to once the excitement of the wedding has subsided.
- Do a Dry Wedding Alcohol is expensive - especially if your venue requires the use of a bartender. Nixing booze from the menu will save you big bucks, and it will also seriously minimize the risk of bad speeches and inappropriate dancing. If you are determined to get your wedding-day groove on, hold an after-party in a local bar or restaurant where you can let loose with some of your closer friends.You won't have to foot the bill, or be responsible for everyone's behavior.
- Fake Your Bling Instead of spending a load of cash on wedding bands, use fakes for the ceremony and replace them with the real thing later. You can free up a lot of wedding money if you get a fake (read: cheap) wedding set. Nobody will know except for you - and then you can look forward to getting each other better ones as an anniversary present one day.
- Falsify Your Flowers Florals can easily be one of the most expensive parts of a wedding. Many brides on budgets have had stunningly beautiful ceremonies and receptions using fake flowers. They are far less expensive, you don't have to worry about them wilting or dying, and you can sell or reuse them afterward. If you're really pinching pennies, there are lots of very cute alternatives to flowers like crepe paper pomander balls and vintage button bouquets.
- Skip The Pricey Dress Many brides have donned stunning gowns that didn't set them back thousands - or even hundreds - of dollars. Think about finding a used dress; they've usually only been worn once and are offered at very steep discounts. You can also use a white or light-colored formal gown or bridesmaid dress as your wedding gown. Just don't be surprised when everyone wonders where you got your unique and beautiful dress!
- Forego Favors Most guests don't really care whether you have favors. The wedding industry would like you to believe otherwise, but it's the truth. Really. While they can be a nice touch if you have the extra cash to spend, your hard-earned dough could be better used on another aspect of the wedding. Nobody will lose any sleep if there are no favors at your wedding reception.
- DIY the DJing Nothing against DJs, of course, but many couples these days are doing their own wedding and reception music. This saves hundreds of dollars, and many people find that they prefer going this route. You can be sure that every song played is one that you actually like, and there's no fear of "cheesy DJ syndrome" happening at your reception. It's just one more way that you can really personalize your wedding.
Most importantly, remember to step back and remember why you're doing all of this: because you want to get married to the one you love. As long as that is accomplished, your day will be a success. Sit down at the outset of planning and set a budget together. Pick an aspect or two of the wedding that you aren't willing to compromise on, and also decide what things you are willing to be flexible about. Try not to let wedding planning woes overshadow the joy of your union. The strength and durability of a marriage is not determined by the amount of money spent on the wedding.