Wednesday, July 10, 2013

33 Cool 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. 

The average cost of a wedding in the United States costs over $20,000. If you’re planning your big day, don’t let that number scare you! There are loads of creative methods to implement your wedding ideas without sacrificing what matters most to you.

One of the best ways to save is with your wedding venue. A wedding venue could be many things, but for most weddings, it means a place for the ceremony and a place for the reception. Planning the wedding venue is really the first step in planning a wedding – everything else hinges on the location.
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.  You can still have a fabulous wedding without breaking the bank. A wedding should be memorable but memories don’t have to be expensive.  So start off your wedding planning right by making the most cost-effective decision. Here are 33 cool ways to do just that.

  1. Negotiate - Get offers from at least 3 companies.
  2. Pay in full - Ask for a discount if you pay in full.
  3. Off-Season - Get married in November or January, to reduce costs and save money if you go on a honeymoon. 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.
  4. Party Later - Have a small reception and a party later with 50 people or less.
  5. All-Inclusive Package – get an all-inclusive package at the wedding reception site.
  6. Shorten the Reception – instead of having a 4 hour reception have a 2 hour reception.
  7. Don’t Waste Space – ensure the space you rent is appropriate for the number of guests that you will have.
  8. Bouquets – Use a long-stemmed bouquet, elbow bouquets or create your own. Choose seasonal or local flowers and keep arrangements simple or choose flowers that have larger buds to save money.
  9. Be Creative – If you are creative with arts and crafts make your own decorations.
  10. Biker wedding – wear leather, guests can ride on their motorcycle down the aisle instead of sitting in chairs.
  11. Double - Consider having a double wedding with another couple to reduce costs.
  12. Budget - Keep budget at $10,000 or less.
  13. Vendor - Use newer or recently opened businesses for services. Stick to your budget, be firm with prices with 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.
  14. Food - Eat standing up instead of a sit-down dinner or have a buffet where guests can get the food themselves. Have potluck wedding if you are having a small number of guests. Guests can bring their favorite dish.  Purchase food in season. Use a caterer that does not specialize in catering weddings. Select inexpensive items such as chicken, pasta or macaroni and cheese and provide no more than 2 meal options.
  15. Alcohol - Offer a cash bar or bring your own alcohol and pay a corkage charge to have the alcohol served.
  16. Music - Use a band instead of a DJ unless you can find a great up-and-coming DJ. Be your own DJ and use your iPod, iPad or MP3 player for music instead of hiring a DJ.
  17. Desert - Buy individual cupcakes instead of a wedding cake or buy a smaller cake to prevent leftovers.
  18. Invitations - Use office supply stores such as FedexKinkos or Staples to make invitations. Keep designs simple to reduce costs. Use one envelope instead of 2 when mailing invitations; this also eliminates using of a postage paid return envelope. 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.
  19. 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. 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.
  20. Official - Get a non-clergy person to officiate the wedding.  A friend or relative can register online for a small fee up to $40 and receive a certificate in the mail.
  21. Guest List - Limit guest list to 100 or less.
  22. Venue - Your wedding venue should be the location for your wedding and reception. Use a hall for the reception and try to find own that lets you use your own caterer. Use a hall that is not normally use for weddings. 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.
  23. Wedding planner - Be the planner. Plan your wedding instead of using a wedding planner. Get family and friends to help with the planning.
  24. Barter - Use bartering to reduce costs with sites such as
  25. Wedding Dress - Buy latest year’s style, a non-designer dress, off-the-rack dress or a non-white dress, at consignment shops, designer or sample sales, eBay,  have your dress made, rent a dress, or a consider a used gown.
  26. Bridesmaids Dresses - Let the bridesmaids pick their own dresses and colors or buy regular cocktail or evening dresses.
  27. Toast - Skip buying champagne for the toast.  Guests can toast with whatever they are drinking.
  28. Spouse - Your spouse and groomsmen can buy nice suits instead of tuxedos for the wedding.
  29. Rent - Rent items instead of buying them such as tents, furniture, accessories, etc.
  30. 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. Consider going to a department makeup counter to get a makeup to save money.
  31. Optics - 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. Get pictures taken or video but don’t spend money on both.
  32. Limousine - Save money by renting a town car or old fashioned car for your bridal parties.
  33. 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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