Sunday, April 21, 2013

30 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

Weddings in America are a transition stage of living with your parents to moving in with your spouse to start a new life.  A wedding is an official form of recognizing a union between a man and a woman. The final transition symbol is when the bride is taken from the arm of her father or parents and given into the arms of her husband.

Weddings are a happy occasion to celebrate with family and friends.  Many weddings are stressful and can brides-to-be a range of emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety, and joy. A wedding should be memorable but memories don’t have to be expensive. 

The average cost of a wedding in the United States over $20,000 and unfortunately many wedding end in divorce.  Going into debt as soon as you get married is a bad way to start off a marriage.  Many couples go into debt paying for a wedding and instead could have used the money as a down payment on a home.  There are plenty of creative methods to save money on your wedding. You can still have a fabulous wedding without breaking the bank. Here are 30 ways to save money on wedding costs.

  1. Budget. Create a budget of $10,000 or less and stick to it.
  2. Spouse. Your spouse and groomsmen can buy nice suits instead of tuxedos for the wedding.
  3. Wedding Dress. Buy latest year’s style, a non-designer dress, at consignment shops, designer or sample sales, eBay,  off-the-rack dress or a non-white dress, have your dress made, rent a dress, or a consider a used gown.
  4. Bridesmaids Dresses. Let the bridesmaids pick their own dresses and colors or buy regular dresses.
  5. Rent.  Rent items instead of buying them such as tents, furniture, accessories, etc.
  6. All-Inclusive Package. Get an all-inclusive package at the wedding reception site.
  7. New Place.  Find a new place or recently opened venue.
  8. Be Creative. If you are creative with arts and crafts make your own decorations.
  9. Flowers. Use a long-stemmed bouquet, create your own, purchase local or seasonal flowers or comparison shop online to find deals on wholesale orders.
  10. Party Later. Have a small reception and a party later with 50 people or less.
  11. Don’t Waste Space. Ensure the space you rent is appropriate for the number of guests that you will have.
  12. Venue. Your wedding venue should be the location for your wedding and reception. Use a hall that is not normally use for weddings and try to find one that lets you use your own caterer. You can also have a wedding at an art gallery, hotel, in a park, backyard, church, beach, community clubhouse or recreation center. Get at least 3 quotes.
  13. Reception. Instead of having a 4 hour reception have a 2 hour reception.
  14. Food. Use a caterer that does not specialize in catering weddings. Eat standing up instead of a sit-down dinner or have a buffet where guests can get the food themselves. Have a potluck wedding if you are having a small number of guests. Select inexpensive items such as chicken, pasta or macaroni and cheese and provide no more than 2 meal options.
  15. Desert. Buy individual cupcakes instead of a wedding cake or buy a smaller cake to prevent leftovers.
  16. Alcohol. Offer a cash bar or bring your own alcohol and pay a corkage charge to have the alcohol served.
  17. Music. Use a band instead of a DJ. You can also be your own DJ and use your iPod, iPad or MP3 player for music.
  18. Invitations. Use office supply stores such as Kinkos to make invitations or hire a graphics designer student. Avoid engraving are choose free or local cost fonts and keep designs simple to reduce costs. Use one envelope instead of 2 when mailing invitations. Use online event websites such as Evite to send invitations. Use postcards for RSVPs instead of a folded card and matching envelope.  If your wedding is the same place as the reception don’t use a reception card. Send postcards for guests to RSVP.
  19. Guest List. Reduce the guest list to 100 or less.
  20. Planner. Plan your wedding instead of using a wedding planner. Get family and friends to help with the planning.
  21. Time. If you have a night wedding, have hors d'oeuvres instead of a full meal. Have your wedding at lunchtime or use a food truck to save on food costs. Get married during the week instead of on the weekend or on a Friday or Sunday night.  Saturdays are the most expensive. You can also have a morning wedding.
  22. Date.  Schedule the wedding during off-peak times such as October, November or January through March. April through October are peak seasons for weddings so choose a time outside of those months. Avoid getting married near a holiday when prices are higher.
  23. Toast. Skip buying champagne for the toast.  Guests can toast with whatever they are drinking.
  24. Makeup. Wash your face thoroughly that morning and get a facial at least 3 days prior to getting your makeup done for your wedding. Ask the makeup artist to leave a touchup case behind for you to save money.
  25. Drinks.  Offer a cash bar or limited bar to keep costs low.
  26. Flowers.  Spend money on your bouquet but choose seasonal or local flowers and keep arrangements simple or choose flowers that have larger buds to save money.
  27. Photographer.  Get referrals from friends or family or look for inexpensive packages. Spend money on the most important pictures and consider hiring an intern and student for additional pictures.
  28. Limousine. Save money by renting a town car or old fashioned car for your bridal parties.
  29. Vendors. Connect with vendors on social media or via email to get notifications about deals and specials. Also, call vendors to ask about discounts or specials that may not be advertised, to negotiate a lower price for goods or services or donate services. Ask friends to donate services such as photography or event planning instead of buying a gift. Be firm with prices with vendors and ask for a discount if you pay in full.
  30. Cost. When buying goods or services for your wedding, don’t mention that it’s for your wedding, some vendors tend to increase prices when they know customers are buying products and services for a wedding such as tailor, hairdresser, barber, spa, etc.

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