Thursday, May 24, 2012

10 Painless Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

What bride hasn't fantasized about her future wedding? We daydream about extravagant dresses, delicious cuisine, flowing drinks, dazzling rings...but the thought of paying all of this off afterwards is enough to ground us back to reality. However, with some creativity and time, you can slash costs without sacrificing your overall wedding style. Here are some saving shortcuts that my fiancé Corey and I (or other couples we know) have successfully used.

wedding and credit card1. Do yourself a favor and skip favors.

Giving out favors is a wedding tradition, but it's one that Corey and I are likely skipping. When I look back at every wedding I've ever been to, I don't recall bringing home a single favor (and that doesn't mean the bride and groom didn't offer them). Say goodbye to cheesy tchotchkes—we promise your guests won't miss them!

2. Rethink your entrées.

Everyone looks forward to the wedding meal, but don't feel pressured to shell out for notoriously decadent (and pricey) fare. I learned in a recent issue of BG that serving a combination platter with two different dishes can help couples save more than 40 percent on catering costs.
Photo Credit: iStock

3. Invite Mother Nature to the party.

Choose an under-the-radar locale to say your vows. Parks, wineries and historic homes with gardens can be surprisingly affordable and serve as memorable, gorgeous backdrops for your wedding day.

4. Bulk up and your bank account will thank you.

Purchasing flowers in bulk at stores like Sam's Club or Costco can save you hundreds. Scout out the local wholesale shops in your area to see which one is offering the best deals. I plan on using this idea for my own wedding!

5. Don't forget to budget for the perfect fit.

One thing I’m learning the hard way is that alterations can be astronomical. When selecting your dress, try to find a sample that fits you almost perfectly—the less alterations you need, the better. If the dress is too short or long, ask the consultant if they can order a petite or long version free of charge, which save you from having it hemmed. Gowns with a corset are also an affordable option because they adjust to your figure, so you're less likely to have alterations done in the waist and bust.

6. When it comes to savings, think social.

Many vendors update their Twitter and Facebook pages even more frequently than their official website, so "friend" and "like" them to scout out special deals they may offer. Set up Google alerts to enter contests for free engagement shoots, wedding videos, and other special prices.

7. If Etsy can do it, so can you!

If you’re like me, you’ve browsed Etsy retail listings with adorable wedding items before and thought, "Wow, I bet I could do that myself," but you've never actually tried. Why not give it a shot and save a couple of bucks? Check out our how-to instructions for popular DIY crafts such as brooch bouquets.
Plus, upload your creations to the BG Facebook page, and you might be featured in an upcoming story!

8. Search for almost-new treasures.

If you’re not up for a DIY birdcage veil, why not go the used route? Bridal stores sell veils for up to hundreds of dollars and I, for one, was shocked by those prices. Enter my wonderful mother, who was able to snag a beautiful veil for me right off eBay…and for less than $50! You can also try, an online marketplace for once-worn gowns, accessories and décor.

9. Revamp your RSVPs.

Postage for wedding invitations can cost more than a pretty penny. Ditch the little RSVP card once and for all and have guests send you their responses online.

10. Sweet wedding cake alternatives.

Traditional wedding cakes will always have a special place in our hearts, but I've found that cupcakes and other kinds of desserts can be significantly more affordable (and just as tasty). Plus, you can order several different flavors to ensure everyone's happy. Some more fun options: rainbow cake in a jar, miniature pies and macarons.


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