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Wedding Budget: Little Ways to Save Big

With the cost of weddings on the rise – and the average American wedding costing approximately $27,000 – you probably want to know some quick and easy ways to save money when planning your big day. You are able to save a lot of money if you do not have the traditional image of a wedding as part of your plan. For instance, you can cut the showy formalities like bridesmaids dresses (your friends will most likely thank you) and even corsages. A backyard reception can be just as fun – and more intimate – than one in a restaurant or banquet hall, where the space will cost you. Try balancing the kind of wedding you envision with the kind of honeymoon you want. You can have a small, backyard wedding which will equal more money left for a lavish honeymoon; or a large extravagant wedding with a weekend away at a bed-and-breakfast. Saving for a house? Postpone the honeymoon – go away in a year and celebrate your first wedding anniversary instead.

To avoid post-marital bankruptcy, check out the following list of suggestions for keeping costs down. Decide what is crucial, what is alluring, and what is superfluous.

Find a good printer. The invitation is one of the first things that your guests will see that is connected to your wedding – but it is not the most important part of your wedding. It should be nice, but do not go overboard; people are going to remember your wedding day, not what your invitation looked like.
Do-it-yourself. DIY invites are becoming very popular. Sometimes the most creative projects cost the least to make.

Fun and memorable, not fancy. Favours are meant to be parting gifts; they do not need to be extravagant purchases. Something edible is always appreciated, and it is affordable.

Be flexible. Consider being flexible with the time or day – this will help you save some money. Saturday night is the most sought-after time to wed, and as a result, reception halls have jacked up their prices. If you can swing your reception for a Friday night, Saturday morning or afternoon, or Sunday, you will not only save money, but you may also have a larger selection of dates.
Do not overlook the obvious. If you are having a less traditional reception, and your guest list isn’t too long, you can think about having your reception in more familiar, cozy places. Is your cousin’s backyard perfect for a barbeque? Does a friend own a small restaurant? How about the local park in your neighbourhood?

Something borrowed. Wedding transportation is always a great area to save. Have a friend with a nice car? See if they will lend it to you for the day – it’ll save you lots of money instead of having to rent a Bentley or horse-drawn carriage.

Wholesale, fresh flowers. By buying wholesale flowers you are able to save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars – plus you get the opportunity to design and create your arrangements and bouquets exactly how you want them.

Consider dinner alternatives. Along with the menu, discuss the cost of service (and tipping), liquor, the wedding cake, overtime, and insurance when you meet prospective vendors. Also, a bunch, luncheon, or appetizer reception will probably cost less than a formal sit-down dinner. Or you could try serving dinner buffet or family-style. Both options, in many cases, will save you money and could allow you to showcase a family members cooking style if they feel up to it.

DJ’s vs. live bands. DJ’s tend to be less money than live bands. If you really want to save money in this area, and you are having a more intimate reception, rent speakers to plug into a high-quality stereo. You can have fun switching back and forth between his and her playlists.

Just record the ceremony. Taping only the ceremony, instead of the reception too, will save you some money. Do not skimp on a photographer though; you’ll want photo memories of your special day.