Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cut Out of Control Wedding Expenses

Heard the tales of million dollar weddings and Daddy had to take out a loan to pay for his Princess’s wedding? It doesn’t have to be that way. Keep in mind that the average wedding has more than a 50% chance of  ending in divorce. My stepfather a wedding photographer often has couples who never even pick up their album since the wedding didn’t even last the two months it took for him to complete it. Keep all this in mind, when planning your wedding, or your daughter’s.

Set a realistic budget. Many weddings can cost only $5000 or less. Here is a secret to remember no one really cares about the wedding besides the couple, and maybe their mothers. That’s it, really. Thousands spent on the reception, flowers, or even a dress, are a real waste if you were hoping to impress. Most people resent taking an entire day to attend your wedding.

Destination weddings are only fun for the couple. No one is thrilled at spending hundreds, even thousands of dollars to rush in for a weekend of waiting around for a couple to make their formal vows. Nope, that’s money they could have spent on their own vacation. Skip the destination wedding and the fancy venues.

The special invitations get thrown away. Why not go with Smilebox invite that allows you to insert your own photos and send as many invites as you want for $30 annual fee. You can then use then for all your other special occasions at no extra charge.

Who doesn’t have an ugly bridesmaid dress tucked in their closet that they only wore once. More considerate brides are allowing their bridesmaids to pick their dress, with only small stipulations on color. This allows the bridesmaid to pick out something she could wear again.

As for tuxes, is this a must? A well-made suit serves the purpose. A military groom looks extra spiffy in his dress uniform. Google tux rental and you can find some coupons for discounts.

Most brides spent the majority of their money on the own dress. Be careful on this. I attended two weddings. Both brides wore a Vera Wang inspired dress. One cost $125, the other five thousand, and it was on sale. The difference was one was handmade from a pattern by a professional seamstress. I could not tell the difference.

Venues can cost a lot. Your own church should not charge you to use it. Looking for something outdoors, check your state parks, your own backyard, or a botanical garden. Manny small wedding chapels, often have an outdoor chapel too. There is always a beach wedding, but keep in mind it is still a public beach. Maybe you have a relative or neighbor who has a beautiful yard. You can ask. It could be that they would be thrilled to showcase their yards.

Many brides are now making their own flowers with silk flowers. These can be picked up in bulk at flea markets or at Hobby Lobby or Ben Franklin store. You can enlist the help of your bridesmaids or family.

The rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be a catered affair. It can be a simple dinner hosted by a family member, a pitch-in, or even a cook-out depending on the weather. Here is a shocker for some people; you don’t have to have a sit down dinner at your reception. What most people complain about is waiting around at the reception and you get plenty of that with sit down dinners. You can do a variety of things to cut costs.

Many table decorations that are actually quite nice are available at store like The Party Factory, DEALS, or even The Dollar Tree. Make sure to include mints, nuts, or other munchies on each table. Disposable cameras are good to allow guests to take candid shots of the reception. The cameras are left for the couple to develop.

People usually like to have some fun at the party so a DJ is a good bet. Ask around. Find out who does the school dances. The cost will be in the hundreds as opposed to the thousands.

As for the food, consider doing it yourself or at least your family doing it. Go to Gordon Food Service to pick up all the finger food your caterer will charge five times the price for. It just involves heating and placing on serving trays. You probably can get a few relatives, church ladies, or friends to help you with this.

It will take some planning on your part, but it’s all do-able.

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