A wedding is a very special occasion but it can also be a financially challenging event. Many couples are puzzled about how to trim their initial wedding budget and still have a lovely wedding. If you are one of those couples facing the problem of how to cut cost but still make that “special day” wonderful, here’s a guide to help you keep the expenses down.
Research every aspect of the wedding and the financial outlay required. Decide on exactly who is paying for what and stay within the range of financial commitment. This includes the cost of the wedding ring and how many guests you can afford to invite. After making the initial wedding budget, revise it again, and narrow it down to strict expense priorities. Traditionally the bride’s parents pay for the reception and the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner, but there are other nontraditional options that can be considered. In lieu of the traditional wedding gifts from gift registries, ask family members or close friends to pay for floral arrangements or contribute financially towards catering. Friends or relatives can also “give” a honeymoon to a couple by helping pay for the trip through an online honeymoon registry.
Solicit friends and relatives (especially newly weds) to help you organize and plan the wedding without hiring an expensive wedding consultant. If you allocate plenty of time to shop around for bargains and discounts, you can save yourself a lot of money and frustration. One easy option is to utilize the Internet. There is a plethora of web sites that can help couples plan and research for their wedding. Through the Internet you can compare catering costs, choose floral arrangements, subscribe to e-newsletters, read wedding blogs, find local vendors, register for gifts, select a ceremony and reception venue, and get online help with budgeting. You can also create your own wedding web page with photos for uninvited family and friends. If you do decide to hire a wedding consultant, get referrals, compare fees, and review the contract carefully to ensure that everything necessary to make the wedding successful is included.
Eliminate table favors and make centerpieces and other decorations yourself. Reduce the size of the bridesmaid’s bouquets and use “in season” flowers. Order one limousine for the bride and rent cars or vans for the attendants. Instead of hiring a DJ for the reception, use technology to find a less expensive route. Compile a playlist of favorite songs, record them on an MP3 player, and plug into the sound system at the reception site.
Instead of renting a costly venue for the reception, research other options. If you are a church member, have a fellowship dinner style wedding. Ask the church to join you for the wedding ceremony and reception, with the request for members and guests to bring a dish. The reception can be held in the fellowship hall of the church cost free. If you are not a church member you can still rent the church and fellowship hall. Another option could be to have an outdoor wedding under a tent at a park or at a relative’s home. A picnic style wedding at a scenic park is another alternative. Rent all the reception equipment yourself. Timing the reception for the late evening hours (8:00 p.m.), can give you the opportunity to serve inexpensive finger foods and avoid a “sit down dinner”. Traditionally an evening wedding is a formal affair, but those parameters are changing.
Wedding attire is another costly item for both the bride and groom. Instead of purchasing an expensive bridal gown from a bridal shop, consider hiring an accomplished seamstress sew a copy of a designer gown for the bride. If the date for your ceremony is after the traditional wedding season, look for bargains online, or at local bridal shops. Order bridesmaid dresses from formal attire online sites keeping in mind the reusability of the dress. Ordering online makes it easier for the bridesmaids since they can choose their exact size and not pay for alterations. Instead of tuxedos the groomsmen can wear matching off-the-rack suits.
Rather than an expensive, exotic, overseas honeymoon, plan an American get-away. There are plenty of domestic spots and places close to home that delight honeymooners. As you enjoy the honeymoon, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you had a dream wedding on a cost cutting budget and you won’t need many years to pay off the debt.