Tips for a Low-Cost Wedding

Everyone is pinching pennies these days. Gas prices are going through the roof, and it seems to make more sense to deposit money into a Coinstar than to leave it sitting idle in your car’s cup holder. So what if you’re planning a wedding? And what if you’re planning a wedding on a tight budget? If you need some ideas of where you can cut costs but still have the event of your dreams, drop your change and read on.

Now, this first idea may have you wrinkling up your nose and crossing your arms, but if you want to save money, this is a valid tip: get married on a weekday. Most wedding venues are booked solid months (if not years) in advance for Saturday nights, and following in a close second place are Sundays. Let’s not forget about the other five days of the week. If you’re flexible with the day you put on your invites, you may be able to save yourself a chunk of change. That reminds me…digital invites. Don’t discount this idea if you don’t have the money to spend on fancy, embossed invitations. Hop online to Evite or Paperless Post, and you’d be surprised how cutesy you can get even in cyberspace.

Still there? Good. I’m glad that first idea didn’t send you back to the Coinstar because I have more ideas for you. Next up: the food. This can be a major budget-suck if you’re not careful, but if you can get on board the buffet train, rationalize the idea of a potluck or BBQ, again, there are significant savings to be found. People love food, but they wedding buffetwon’t necessarily remember that four-course meal at your wedding 15 years from now anyway. Going along with this thought is moving your wedding outdoors somewhere. Find a park or other outdoor area (winter brides need not apply), and trade the expense of decorations for the beauty of nature.

Now for your ensemble: your dress and shoes. Yes, this is your wedding day. And yes, you’ve earned the right to feel like a million bucks. The good news here is that you don’t have to spend a million bucks to look fab. Trunk shows, sample sales, or even buying a used dress and/or shoes can often lead to a dramatic bulge in your budget. Even better: borrow something if you can. This is one day in your life, and the chances of you wearing your wedding dress ever again are slim to none, so don’t break your bank or lose your sanity in this department.

Lastly, as I head out, let’s talk about how you’re planning to leave your wedding with your new honey. Limos are an obvious choice, but there’s a reason why Joe Schmo’s Limos gave a mu-wah-hah-hah-hah-hah laugh when you called him for pricing. He was counting their impending profit hand-over-fist while he talked to you. Limos are expensive. There’s no two ways about it. This is yet another time when asking around can pay off big time. Does a friend or family member have a cool old car that you can borrow? What about your  neighbor’s Harley, or the tandem bicycle you saw them riding the other day? It’s time to get creative. If I knew of anyone getting married in the near future, I’d gladly loan them our bright blue dune buggy that’s just sitting downstairs in the garage. Can you imagine how cute that would look with a white wedding dress and veil wafting in the wind as it drove away?

Get those thinking caps on, and with these few pieces of advice, you can refocus your attention on what’s important: that you’re marrying the love of your life and your wedding will be amazing no matter what!

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