Believe it or not, you can plan a wedding without piling up a ton of debt. With these suggestions and guidelines, it is possible to have a dream wedding on a budget without having to cut corners. All it takes is a little discipline and a willingness to adhere to the budget.
The first thing to do is make a list of all the necessary things for the wedding. This includes the dress, the tux, guests, cake, flowers, reception decorations, food, music, drinks, photographers, and whatever else you feel the bare essentials. Next, sit down with your fiance, and decide on the five most important things on this list. Five sounds like a very small number, but this will help you get all of the ‘little details’ under control. Believe me, things can snowball if you do not have a solid plan.
Your fist thought might be to eliminate a wedding planner. In many cases this is true, but a planner may be able to offer some great suggestions on how to stick to a budget. Once you start planning, you can quickly see that this is a bit overwhelming. There are hundreds of photographers, caterers, etc. in each city. It may help you to work on someone else to know the ropes, and can help you find the best quality work in the most reasonable prices.
Having your wedding during the “off season” can help save money too.
The most popular months for weddings are May and October. Most locations will lower prices during the months that are slower to fill up their calendars. Ask for the price list for the entire year, and also find out the dates that are open and don’t have your heart set on a date.
Keep your eyes on the ‘Off The Rack’ sales and you can get clothes, which are usually very expensive, at high discount rates, only because brides tried them on to check the size. Another option is to wear your mother or grandmother’s dress. Some changes could be made for a perfect fit, and to update it a bit. You can choose to go with a dress that would normally be regarded as bridesmaids’ dresses. Call around to bridal shops in your area to see if they carry the style, then go and try it on. Sometimes it looks very, very different from the photos. This is one option which could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. And do not forget, you will only wear the dress once.
This next tip may be the largest and perhaps the most difficult of them all. Cut your guest list. You can do this in a few ways, such as most attend the wedding ceremony and only a few for the dinner, then return for the remainder of the reception. You also have a very small, formal ceremony and reception dinner just for very close family and friends, and follow it very informal reception, such as a picnic the next day.
There are a few ways to save on the reception. You do not have to serve a three or four-course meal. A buffet is very acceptable way to keep the guests happy and still save a significant amount of money. Another nice way is to have a dessert only reception.
And last but not least, do as many things yourself as possible. There is a lot of simple things you can do it yourself. Make the decorations on the table at the bottom of a hurricane glass with glass gems and a floating candle on top of the water. Gather your favorite crystals and set them on tables scattered around rose petals and votive candles among them. This is very cheap, but elegant. You can also make your own invitations. There are many companies selling software which provides you with beautiful graphics, fonts, and techniques.
The best advice though is that this is all about your marriage. All these things wedding details are just for this one day. Yes,it’s a special day, but it’s only one day. Do not get too overwhelmed with it all! Just relax, have a good time and enjoy the day.