The Back Pocket
Wedding Budgeting Tips
Your wedding dress: Start shopping right away. You won't feel rushed or pressured into buying something, and you'll be able to shop smart. Simple plain dresses are usually less expensive then the ones with lace, pearls/beads etc. You could buy a plain dress and add lace, beads etc. yourself. Or get someone to do it for you. Rent or borrow a dress. If you like your mother`s, sister`s or friends dress ask them if you could borrow it. But don`t be offended if they refuse as a wedding dress is very sacred to most women.
Look around second hand shops/charity shops. You`ll be surprised at the amount they get given, and they are usually inexpensive. The venue: Book the ceremony/reception well in advance you may be able to negotiate a better price then you would if you left it to the last minute. Have your wedding on off-peak months. November to April rates will probably be reduced. Christmas weddings are more expensive though so if you are planning a Christmas wedding you will have to cut your finances. Instead of a grand ballroom or banquet hall, think less-expensive venues, like publicly owned buildings and parks, registry office, the church or temple hall, the backyard, the beach, a restaurant's private room. You may have to get a permit to marry in a public place, but it will be less than a private banquet room. Catering: Look around for caterers. Get different quotes before you decide on one.
Choose cheaper entrees, like prawns instead of lobster, vegetables like broccoli instead of asparagus will cut the cost, too. Cut down on courses. If you're having a cocktail hour, do you really need an appetizer course? Do you need soup and salad? Instead of waiter service, have a buffet bar. Think ethnic! Mexican, Indian, Italian, or Chinese food is fun and much cheaper per person than the traditional wedding menu. See if your favorite restaurant caters. If you are having a themed wedding create your menu around the theme. Have the wedding cake only as dessert and eliminate any other sweets (eclairs, pastries, etc. Consider a wedding breakfast or brunch (omelettes, muffins, pancakes, French toast), or a tea (a variety of tea flavors, finger sandwiches, scones and jams, etc.) to save money.
The more tiers and decorations your cake has the more expensive it will be. Buy your own drink it will work out a lot cheaper then paying the caterers or venues prices. Photos: Compare hourly fees and package deals to see which is more cost-effective for you. Give disposable cameras as wedding favours. Then you can get copies of the days events from family and friends. Have a professional photographer take the formal pictures and shoot the ceremony; have guests take all reception photos. Visit your local college`s photography department and check out some of the students' portfolios. They will do your photography a lot cheaper and just as good as a professional Ask friends and family to video the big day for you. Flowers: Use flowers that are in season and/or locally grown they're less expensive than out-of-season flowers that must be shipped to your area. Have bouquet with just a few large flowers, like orchids, tulips, lilies, or sunflowers, tied with a ribbon.
If you are marrying at Christmas or Easter, your church may already be decked out beautifully. Arrange to share the cost of ceremony decorations with the couple marrying directly before or after you that day. Use silk or dried flowers instead of fresh ones in table centerpieces. Music: DJs are less expensive than live bands. Ask a family member or friends child to sing at the reception. Hire music for the evening reception only. People are usually to busy chatting to notice any way. Ask at the local college/university for young musicians. Invitations: Send invitations that are light enough when completely assembled to require only a single stamp for mailing.
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