When my son got married a few years ago, the father of the bride, who is a very good friend of mine, said “How in the world am I going to pay for this?” Although my wife and I helped out a small bit, he actually paid for 90% of the wedding. It has been a long tradition that the family of the bride pick up the cost for most of the wedding expenses. Many jokes have been made about eloping and going to Vegas. Weddings today are very costly and the expenses are rising.
Little girls begin making plans for their weddings when they are very young. They focus on a Princess type wedding. Little thought goes into what the actual cost is going to be. Many girls know what they want and since they usually don’t have to pay, they could care less. Sometimes though, the bride to be is involved in the planning as well as the cost. If that happens to you, here are some cost saving ideas.
Time and Location; When and where are very important. Many places see you coming and jack up the price at a hall or restaurant. If the wedding is on a busy weekend, when they have to hire extra workers, the cost is higher. Try to study the situation ahead of time. Pick a time when the hall or restaurant is less used. Get a signed contract with the total cost for usage. Know if you are responsible for cleanup. If you really want to save, why not try an outdoor wedding? Have the reception in the same place as the wedding. There are many parks with flower gardens that are excellent locations. You might even include in your invitation to bring their lawn chairs with them. Again time is important. Make sure the weather isn’t too hot, cold or windy.
The Dress; This has to be just right. You can buy them or rent them. Have you thought about having it made? There are people that specialize in making a gown. They will work with you and sometimes they are cheaper because they need the business. This can be challenging and a lot of fun designing your own dress.
Hair and Makeup; You can shop around for a bargain or you can have a friend(s) help you on this part of your planning. Lip- gloss and blush can do wonders in accenting your look. Sometimes “Great Clips” has specials for future brides. Many locations now have practice days to see what you really like.
Flowers; You can save money if you know of someone that specializes in this area. If the wedding is outdoors, what you need will be limited. Don’t get me wrong, you will need them. Sometimes assigning this job to a friend, can take off a lot of unwanted pressure. You just simply work with your friend on what you want and then let them take over.
Pictures; These can be very expensive. Again if you got a friend that is a photographer, you can save some big bucks. However, even your friend has to pay for supplies. Talk to friends that have already went through this experience for ideas. Sometimes there are novices just starting out. These people will have new fresh ideas and might be a little bit cheaper in cost. You may want to put disposable cameras on the tables. This will get your guests involved as well. Some even have a friend video tape the wedding.
Invitations; You can save money by making your own. Craft stores are great places to look for your supplies. I had a friend who had her friends hand deliver the invitations. They got this idea from the movie “The Count of Monte Cristo”. They did have to mail some. However they did save money on postage. They would knock on a door and say, ” “Mr. and Mrs. so and so request your presence at the wedding of their daughter.” They would hand them the invitation and leave. It sort of gave a personal touch.
Cake; You might think about having a friend make your cakes for you. This could save you money. Don’t over do it. Small pieces of cake are fine. How many times have you been to a wedding and seen large pieces simply left setting on the tables?
Limos; Instead of renting a luxury car, why not try something different. Try using “classic cars” Find a friend(s) that has some nice vehicles from the past to ride in. If the wedding is in the same location as the reception, you may not even need a vehicle.
Tuxedo’s: As long as they all look the same, leave this expense to the grooms men. However, you help in picking them out.
Wedding Rings; Look alike bands are nice. Check around the different stores. Keep in mind that these are marked up 300 to 800%. Sometimes you can find something that is just as nice at Penny’s or Macy’s. Remember though that these will be with you the rest of your life. so you want to get something that is durable and has a guarantee to it.
Wedding Shows: There are many places that have these set up to assist you with your planning. Keep in mind though that many businesses finance these to attract clients. They serve you champaign while they try to intice you to the many ideas that they present. Sometimes though you might run across a bargain.
You can have a very nice wedding and save money at the same time. You just have to take time to plan and prepare. It is always good to get the advice of others, too.