Have money in your pocket after your wedding day
How to Reduce Wedding Expenses
by Pam Hutzler
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How to Reduce Wedding Expenses
Most young girls dream of their wedding day. Like in the movie Bride Wars, some even have it planned in detail before they even meet Mr. Right. But, a wedding day takes more than a dream to become a reality. There's the dress, the chapel, the food, the flowers, and, unfortunately, the cost to think about. In fact, according to CNN Money, in 2016, newlyweds (and their families) spent an average of $35,329 on weddings and related events. So, what's a frugal bride-to-be to do? If you're planning a wedding and you're afraid that your fairytale is fading, try some of these ways to have a dreamy wedding for less.
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Keep It Real
Look at any of the poplar bridal magazines and you'll quickly see that they are touting that only the best of the best of everything is acceptable for your special day. In an attempt to keep it real, let me say that's simply not the case. Your guests will not care if the cloth napkins at the reception table carry a designer name. And, your bouquet does not have to contain rare roses or exotic orchids to be beautiful. In other words, it's easy to get caught up in the hype, but every item that you select doesn't have to be "bridal magazine perfect" to be perfect for your day.
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Type "Wedding Rentals" into your browser and you'll likely find a multitude of local options that may include vases, lanterns, candy buffet jars, chair covers, sashes, linens, and even photo booths. It'll probably surprise you that even your dress and his tux can be rented. So, don't buy. Rent instead. As an added bonus, you won't have to store the items after the wedding.
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Let Friends and Family Help
Do you have a favorite aunt or dear friend who makes beautiful cakes or is great at decorating on a dime? Or maybe you have an up-and-coming musician or photographer in the family who's just looking for their big break? Take the time to think of the skills that your friends and family possess. Then ask for their help for a discounted price or in lieu of a wedding present.
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Get Creative with Your Cake
With the national average cost of wedding cakes and desserts being $437 in 2012, it's a good place to look for frugal ways to "slice" the cost down to size. There are so many acceptable alternatives to the traditional wedding cake. In fact, there are too many to list here. Here are just a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. Serve full-size cupcakes instead of a cake serving. Stay away from mini-cupcakes because it's too easy for a guest to grab two, three... or five. Pies made with seasonal fruits are an affordable choice for a rustic wedding. Go ahead and have a small professional wedding cake on display, but then add sheet cakes made by friends and family to feed the masses. If you simply must have the traditional cake, consider embellishing your cake with fresh flowers or chocolate-covered berries for inexpensive whimsy.
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Say "Yes" to the Inexpensive Dress
Every bride wants to be beautiful as she walks down the aisle to her groom, but it's simply not necessary to pay full retail to make your radiance a reality. If renting a dress is not an option for you, then consider buying used or buy last year's fashions or discontinued styles when retailers are looking to fill the space with the latest trends. Also, remember that there are options online. For example, a website called Once Wed buys and sells used wedding dresses online that start at less than $100.
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Save on Flowers
It's easy to spend a bundle on wedding flowers when you consider that you may want flowers for the bride, the ends of the aisles, the centerpieces, and more. Fortunately, here again, there are creative ways to save on blooms. Check out florists and also grocery stores that have a floral department. Let them know that you're price shopping. It may motivate them to give you a better deal.
Also, if you stick with in-season flowers, your costs will come way down. For example, if you're planning an April wedding, beautiful tulips are in season. Or maybe a winter wedding is on the horizon. Then consider roses, evergreens, Casablanca lilly, or acashia.
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Save the Groom
No, you don't want a cut-rate or rental groom. He's the one that you'll be sharing your life with. But you should make sure to talk about your financial future before the wedding. A frank financial discussion now will help you avoid arguments later and will make it more likely that you'll be looking back fondly to your wedding day on your 25th or 50th anniversary!
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Enjoy the Moment
Here's one last saving suggestion that's the most important of all. Keep your focus on what you're doing, not on the things around you. When you're focused on marrying your beloved, it really doesn't matter if you have a full-priced gown and a six-tiered cake or last year's dress and a cupcake table. What matters is that you made it to your special day with your Prince Charming. Dreams do come true.
Take the Next Step:
- Get off to a good financial start together by getting on the same financial page.
- Discover more smart tips for planning a dream wedding on a small budget by visiting the Dollar Stretcher Library.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
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