Saturday, May 16, 2009

On the Cheap: Weddings

“Yes I will”, Squeal, kiss, hug… Now I gotta find a dress, a florist, photographer…a band…oh and the cake… And the wheels come to a screeching halt Weddings cost money, lots on money. The average American wedding is running around $40K. So you don’t have $40 grand waiting to be dropped on a party but you still want to make your day special well here are a few ideas.

Check out I was there the other day picking up some craft stuff and wonder of wonders there were two, mark it two isles of wedding “stuff”. There were invitations, Cake pans, doilies, fake bouquets, and tiaras. About the only thing you probably can’t find at a wal-mart are the minister & the church. Scratch that I heard about a couple that worked at Wal-Mart & got married there. Anyway you get the idea if you are on a budget it can be tastefully done if you draw from a variety of services.

Pre-wedding idea:
  • Throw a “pitch in party”. That’s where friends and family help build decorations, etc for your wedding.
  • Do it outside the popular months in your area. EX: not in June
  • Contain the wedding guest list (limit children to immediate family & or first cousins).
  •  Have your wedding close to a major holiday. Many churches will already be decorated w/flowers (EX: Christmas or Easter).
  • Use seasonal flowers that your florist would have on hand.
  • If the church will allow you, move the flowers from church to the reception. (Keep in mind many florists DO NOT like to do this or WILL NOT do this.
  •  If you are skilled, order the flowers on line and make the arrangements yourself.
  • Skip the wedding party bouquets and have the ladies wear wrist corsages, etc.
  •  If there is another wedding on the same day… coordinate with the other bride.
  • Pick a non-traditional location (i.e. garden, observatory, B&B, las Vegas, light house, cruise, Public garden, park, museum, castle, on lake or river or beach, historic building, historic church). Gardens are good because no additional flowers are necessary.
  • Use the same place for the ceremony & reception (ex: A relative’s large back yard; one of my girlfriends got married at the Orchid Society in Florida, beautiful.)
  • Rent tables /chairs/covering/volcano candle holders, etc. from the same place and get a bundle discount.
  • Have a friend do your make up or got to the makeup counter at the mall (be sure to do a test run first).
  • Make your own invitations on line or buy from wal-mart, office depot or office max, etc. You can get creative with paper, rubber stamps & calligraphy pen.
  • Try a student photographer, etc. (do a test first).
  • Open a new credit card with miles and use that for payment so you can see how much you are spending. (An added bonus, you can use the points for the honeymoon.)
  • Set up an online blog or website to share information. (You can even make it interactive.)
  •  Save on postage & printing: forego the RSVP card and have people RSVP on line

For the Wedding:
  • Get married on a Weekday or Sunday. Quite often facilities have higher prices on popular days.

For the reception:
  • Forgo traditional place cards. Rap place cards w/string around napkins or tuck in fork prongs. Or, place names in a small photo frame for them to take home. (Think dollar store.)
  • Skip the open bar.
  • Brunch or lunch meals are simpler, less expensive and people tend to drink less.
  • Be your own DJ. Make a play list on your iPod and hook it up to a sound system at the reception location.
  • Put a volcano holder & candle one on each table then buy rose petals and sprinkle on the table. Or, fill a Champaign glass with glass marbles & metallic confetti, tie balloons to the glass. Then sprinkle the table with confetti.
  •  Serve the same dish to all the guest or choose a buffet line.
  • Have cupcakes instead of wedding cake or a faux cake with a real slice of cake tucked in. Then have them serve regular sheet cake to the guest.

  • Honeymoon locally; US virgin islands; Montreal or Nova Scotia, Canada; Hawaii; Cruise: Boston, MA; Miami, FL; Galveston, TX; Arizona; NY; Nantucket, MA; Newport, RI

Destination wedding: Many destination weddings offer perks to the couple. For example, some two rooms for the wedding couple including the honeymoon suite. Free wedding cake, etc.

A few last tips:
1. Shop sample sales or online and retail stores for a wedding dress or if you are creative make it yourself.
2. If you decide to have kids at your wedding think about giving them favors (Ex: crayons & coloring book).
3. Keep up with your local bridal expo to get IDEAS.

Until next time, when we can chit-chat again!

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