For most people, a wedding is one of the most expensive things they ever do. Getting married is cheap, but having a wedding can be very costly. Fortunately, the amount of money you spend on your nuptials is largely up to you. As long as you set a realistic budget and stick to it (and that’s the hard part), it’s quite possible to have a beautiful wedding that represents your personality and makes your dreams come true.
It’s important to understand that saving money isn’t just about leaving things out. You don’t have to omit flowers altogether, just reduce the number or the type in order to lower the total bill. That’s just one example. You’ll never get your wedding planned by nitpicking one little item at a time. Instead, you need to think about the big picture in several big areas.
Let’s begin at the end. Your wedding is something that you want people to remember, and the best way to do that is to include them. We’ve all attended countless weddings where we signed, sat, hugged, snacked, and left. They all blur together in our memory.
If you don’t want your guests to feel that way, let them be part of your grand exit. Wedding sparklers are an affordable and incredibly fun way not just to involve people but to create a beautiful backdrop and unique lighting for the final snapshots of your big day.
Looking for something a little loftier? The ever-popular sky lanterns are a very fun way to wrap up the reception. Kids and adults alike enjoy watching them drift away, symbolic of how your marriage is floating toward the stars.
This is an area with a lot of latitude. Everything from finger foods to a full-blown meal is on the table, literally and figuratively. The first thing you need to decide is the scope, and after that, the price range.
Sit-down meals don’t have to feature filet mignon and lobster tail. In fact, the real way to add flair to your reception meal is to let it reflect your tastes. Remember that certain menu items are standard fare for such events, even if they are high-end items.
So if you’re a southerner with a yen for fried chicken, serve it. If you or your spouse can claim Scottish ancestry, put out Shepherd’s Pie. Serve the items that you like, not the ones that some chef whips up in an audition for your services. Your menu will come out cheaper and more personal.
Calm down, calm down. No one is advocating a wedding in a thrift store frock. But you can simultaneously save money and add style by going with a dress that might be a little off the beaten path. For starters, you can shop off the beaten path.
There are plenty of online retailers who will provide dresses at a much lower price than in-store purchases. Some even carry the same dresses as brick-and-mortar retailers, so you can check out the style and fit, then buy from the cheaper online source. It just makes good sense to get the same dress for less money!
But there are other ways to infuse more of you into a less expensive dress. It’s obviously true that Mom’s dress from 1984 won’t exactly cut the mustard at a modern wedding, but letting a skilled dress shop do an update to it will help preserve it, save money, and give a very sweet nod to Mom.
It’s no fun to start your married life with worries or regrets about what it cost to establish your union. If you’re fine with your budget, relax and enjoy it. But don’t assume that you have to go broke to have a unique and personal wedding because you just don’t. You can look great, have an incredible party, and create memories without blowing your nest egg.