As tradition shows, a bride’s family paid for the cost of a wedding while the groom incurred the expense of the honeymoon.
These days it’s not uncommon to find couples paying for their own wedding with their own money.
However, you don’t have to spend a fortune or go into lifelong debt just to have a beautiful wedding. Determine what your budget is and stick to it. Keep track of all of your expenses and receipts in a folder or binder so that you can stay organized and accurately keep track of where your money is going.
Here are a few more helpful wedding planning tips to help you build a memorable wedding without going broke:
THE WEDDING DRESS
• Avoid overly elaborate dresses because they’re always more expensive.
• Choose a floor sample dress, if possible, and have it dry cleaned, if necessary.
• Look for a dress during prom and homecoming season or consider wearing a bridesmaid dress. You could find a beautiful white or cream colored dress that would be perfect for a wedding at a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding dress.
• Look at consignment shops and in classified ads. Wedding dresses are generally worn only once so purchasing a gently used dress at a huge cost savings could be the way to go when you are working with a small budget.
• Try to keep the number of guests down. You and the groom should make a first draft of the guest list and carefully consider who can be removed from the list.
• Offer a cash bar instead of an open bar. Or just provide wine and beer to keep the costs down.
• Hold the ceremony and reception at the same location. You can truly cut the cost of the location for the ceremony, decorations and transportation to the reception site this way.
• Purchase your flowers at wholesale and pay a professional florist just for the labor to arrange them.
• If you have the time, arrange the flowers yourself. Bouquets made of all roses with a little eucalyptus filler, then tied with ribbon makes a stunning bouquet and you don’t need to be a professional in order to put this together.
• Find a photographer with reasonable hourly rates and pay them only for the time it takes to do your formal poses. Then you can designate friends or family to take the candid shots throughout the rest of the reception.
• Put disposable cameras at each table with a note asking guests to take pictures to help you capture memories. Friends and family always love doing this!
• Print your own invitations using your home computer. Visit your local arts and crafts store or search online and purchase a do-it-yourself invitation kit. You would be surprised at how easy these are and how nicely they turn out.
OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
• Make your own wedding favors. Wrap Jordan almonds, butter mints, or other candies in lace and tie them up with ribbon pre-printed with your names and wedding date.
• Keep the number of chosen bridesmaids and groomsmen to a minimum or choose not to have them at all. This will keep the rehearsal dinner cost down, as well as eliminate the need to buy groomsmen and bridesmaid gifts.
Just because you’re planning a wedding on a budget doesn’t mean it has to look like it. With a little homework, and creativity, you can have a beautiful, memorable wedding that looks like you’ve spent a fortune!