Planning a wedding can get very stressful, especially when you start adding up the seemingly unending list of expenses. In reality most brides have a limit on their wedding budget. Just because you may not have an unending budget to work with doesn't mean you are limited as to how beautiful your wedding day can be. So how does one have it all and still have enough money left over for a honeymoon? It may not seem possible, but we have come up with some helpful tips to keep in mind while planning your big day. Read on for our suggestions.
Your wedding dress
Rent your wedding dress instead of purchasing one.
Buy your dress from a consignment shop instead of getting a new one.
Visit a bridal outlet store. You can usually find some fantastic bargains without having to pay the full retail price. (Look for your veil and other bridal accessories here too.)
Make your dress. If you have a sewing talent, use it! Or if you have a seamstress in the family, have them make one for you. Just remember that certain extravagant fabrics can get costly too.
Buy a bridesmaid's dress. This is a great alternative and you can usually order many of the styles in white.
Borrow your wedding dress from your mom, an aunt, or a good friend.
Be sure to choose flowers that are in season and grown locally. It will be cheaper if the flowers are easily available to the florist.
Use silk flowers and arrange them yourself. Keep in mind some silk flowers can run just as expensive as the real thing. Be a smart shopper and use the simpler variety.
Buy from a flower wholesaler.
Choose simpler, less exotic flowers or use more of the simpler ones in the bouquets and arrangements to help fill them out.
Avoid having your wedding on or near a holiday. Flower prices will be more expensive at these times.
Try minimizing the amount of flowers and greenery you use at the ceremony. You could save money by eliminating the use of arrangements at the end of the pews.
Rent the parish hall or community center. This will be much cheaper than a banquet facility.
Call your local parks and recreation department. Many parks have a community center for public use at a reasonable price (and a beautiful setting).
A small reception could take place at a family member's home. Or if someone you know has a beautiful spacious backyard, you could have your reception outside (weather permitting of course!). Just keep in mind the fees for renting tables, chairs, etc.
Look in the phonebook for facilities used by the local community service groups or clubs (Lions, Elks, Kiwanis, etc).
Have family members prepare the food for the reception.
Buy trays of prepared food from one of the local grocery stores. Be sure to buy extra trays to have on stock in case the food should run low.
Have a cake, punch, and champagne reception instead of having a lunch or dinner reception. Remember to plan the reception at the appropriate time of day so that the guests will not be expecting a meal. Late afternoon is best.
Choose a simple buffet instead of having a sit down dinner.
If having a sit down dinner, choose less extravagant entrees. Chicken will be cheaper than beef or seafood dishes.
Remember that having a fancy hors d'oeuvres reception can be just as expensive as a full meal. Keep the hors d'oeuvre's menu simple.
Find a reasonable photographer and book your date with them as far in advance as possible.
Visit bridal shows and preview all of the albums the photographers have out on display and get referrals from other Brides before making a decision.
Buy some disposable cameras and place them at each table at the reception. You can use these pictures to fill out your album, and the guests will have a lot of fun taking the snapshots.
Hire a student musician. Check with the local colleges and universities.
Use a DJ rather than a live band. (Be sure to discuss all details with the DJ before the wedding day.)
If there is a musician in the family, have them sing or play music at the ceremony as their gift to the both of you.
Hire a smaller band or fewer musicians. Fewer band members will be less expensive.
Be sure to reserve your date with any music professional far in advance. You should get the best rate this way.
Buy thermographed invitations rather than engraved.
Buy your invitations through a mail order catalog instead of going through a stationery store. The prices in these catalogs are hard to beat and there are many of these catalogs to choose from.
Order through a discount printing service.
Stay on the simpler side when ordering invitations (eliminate getting lined envelopes or other fancy embellishments).
Skip ordering the reception cards and have the reception information printed on the bottom of the invitation (in smaller print). This could save you a lot of money.
Choose a less expensive weekend getaway instead of a week or two-week trip.
If you live in a coastal state, plan a trip up or down the coast and scout out some reasonable Bed and Breakfasts to lodge at. Reserve the rooms far in advance.
If you both enjoy the outdoors you could plan a camping, hiking, or rafting trip.
Planning on taking a cruise? Look for an all-inclusive package to get the best deal.
Look for package deals when honeymooning to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc. You can find some great deals this way.
Use your credit card for purchases in foreign countries in order to receive the best exchange rate.