Tie the knot, host a fun-filled affair for your guests, and avoid breaking the bank. Here are effective tips for saving money on many aspects of your wedding--from your gorgeous wedding dress to your spectacular honeymoon destination.
Wedding Dress and Accessories
Wear your dream wedding dress and still keep your budget in check. Here are effective tips to help you stretch your budget for your wedding gown and accessories. Consider renting a gorgeous wedding gown instead of buying one. You can then walk the aisle wearing a breathtaking dress from an upscale bridal shop and have pictures to show for it. If renting is not an option and you'd rather pay good money to own your wedding gown, then stick to simple, timeless designs that flatter your body shape. Take note that elaborate styles are more expensive. The more embellishments and fabric needed to make the wedding dress, the higher the price tag. Take time to shop around. Once you've zeroed in on a particular dress, call up other bridal stores so you can compare prices. You may even be offered free fittings or a beautiful veil to go with the dress. The important thing is to spend time comparing different bridal shop offerings. This enables you to find the absolute best deal. Another great way to save money and still snatch up the perfect wedding dress is to check out out-of-season sales. Most designers offer their off-season gowns at discounted prices to make way for their new offerings. One of those out-of-season bridal gowns may be the wedding dress you've been looking for. Buy a pair of shoes that can be worn again. Have the shoes dyed after the wedding to turn them into your go-to evening shoes. As for jewelry and headpieces, make them your "something borrowed" items. Close friends and family would love to lend you the right pieces to go with your hair style and dress.
Wedding Stationery Your choice of stationery carries your wedding's first impression to your guests. The design, colors, font styles, printing process, and paper stock communicates the overall tone and importance of your special day. The cost of beautiful and intricate wedding invitations and insert pieces, however, can be pretty steep. TheWeddingReport.com estimates the average price of 150 invitations and corresponding response cards to be $245. This does not include the postage, save- the-dates, menu cards, place cards, and other requisite paper items. But you can certainly stretch your wedding stationery budget without skimping on quality. Here are ways to do that.
Upscale heavy stock, 100-percent-cotton paper, and handmade paper impart luxury and elegance, but they are expensive. Look for modestly priced textured linen stock, and then invest on letterpress or engraved lettering instead of cheaper methods like digital and offset printing. Simulate the luxurious feel of a beautifully done wedding invitation by accenting it with shimmer card stock specialty papers. Use them as backing layers for menu cards and the like. Another cost-cutting strategy is to use thinner paper for your insert pieces. To save on postage and stationery costs, forgo the traditional response cards and opt for RSVP postcards. Keep in mind that the following factors can increase the price of your wedding stationery: envelopes with decorative liners, custom colors, rounded corners which necessitate an extra step to produce, and details like pockets and additional layers.
Wedding Flowers The cost of flowers can take a huge chunk off your wedding budget. But there are ways to save money without sacrificing the quality of your floral display. Here are ways to get the most out of your budget for wedding flowers. One, choose flowers that are in season, and then ask the florist to use more greenery. Bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages can contain more leaves than flowers and still look gorgeous. Two, think beyond flowers. For your tabletop arrangements, rent bonsai or topiary, which are unique and contemporary-looking options. You can also mix a few flowers with colorful balloons and ribbons for your table centerpieces. Another elegant, low-cost alternative involves candles encircled with small blossoms, greenery, or ivy garlands. Three, pay to have the florist use the same flowers in your wedding ceremony for the reception venue. Transporting and setting up the flowers in another location can incur an additional fee, but it is likely to be much lower than buying more flowers to cover both sites. Four, be creative and bring out your DIY spirit. Ask your bridesmaids, friends, and family members for help. Buy flowers in bulk from the farmer's market or the grocery store then turn them into gorgeous floral arrangements. However, research and practice before the big day, because creating stunning flower arrangements can be difficult for the untrained. Also, check Pinterest for spectacular ideas on wedding bouquets and other flower arrangements. And finally, save money by sourcing ready-made flower arrangements from places other than florists' shops. Fresh floral displays in containers may be available in your local farmer's market. Make the necessary arrangements to buy the flower displays you like in bulk.
Wedding Reception Save money on food and wine for your wedding reception and still serve good-quality meals to your guests. Here are tips for stretching your food and wine budget. Cocktail party and afternoon tea are far more affordable options than the typical $100-per-person sit-down meal. A cocktail reception, in particular, allows you to offer a fantastic fare at a fraction of the cost it takes to host a sit-down meal. You can also opt for punch in a cocktail reception instead of the pricey topnotch liquor. Another less expensive idea is to have a breakfast or brunch reception.
There are many budget-friendly reception ideas for casual outdoor weddings. A barbecue-style party is just one of them. Grilled, skewered, and finger foods do not mean eschewing culinary perfection. You can always serve a gourmet BBQ fare to your guests. Or have a picnic-style or potluck catered. Wine and champagne can take up a huge chunk off your wedding reception budget. So, consider asking if you can bring your own champagne and wine. Even on top of corkage fees, you can still save a lot of money if you buy your own. Stock up on drinks in bulk during the festive season when lots of deals are ongoing. If you absolutely can't forego having an open bar on your wedding reception, then consider reducing the options to exclude having mixed drinks straight from the bar. Mixed drinks are expensive, because people tend to down them faster and consume more than when they are only presented with bottles of beer or carafes of wine.
Honeymoon Go to your dream honeymoon destination without getting seriously mired in debt. After all, you've just spent a whole lot of money for your wedding. Here are tips to help you save money on your honeymoon. Book early. This is your surest chance to get hefty discounts. Look into whatever miles you have accumulated in the past. Then call up prospective resorts and hotels for any deals they can give you. And don't shy away from wielding your newlywed status because there may be special upgrades and offers available for newlyweds. Consider doing a house swap. You and your spouse might be thrilled with the idea of staying at someone else's home. This translates to major savings because you are only going to pay for your food and flights. Take a look at websites like HomeExchange.com to get an idea of what this entails. If you are headed for a popular and expensive honeymoon destination, explore alternate locales that offer the same picturesque views for less money. For instance, if you are going to Hawaii, consider the more affordable Oahu instead of the prime areas like Maui and Kauai. Do you want a European honeymoon but the price tags of Paris, Rome, and Venice are way out of your budget? Then look into Montenegro. If you want an affordable honeymoon destination with white sandy beaches and ancient ruins, consider the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
Or you can simply stay at home. Treat your honeymoon as an intimate shut-in time for you and your significant other. This means giving your smartphones and your constant postings on social media a rest. Be cut off from the rest of the world, and have a wonderful time just by being together.