Busting the Wedding Budget – Tips for Saving Money on Your Wedding

save money on wedding

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By Carrie Carter of T Carter Music

Many women, prior to engagement, have a mental picture of their wedding day;  the flowers, the dress, the music, the location and finally…the man.  The minute we get engaged all those years of mental planning must now become reality.  What one thing is most often missing from all of the mental wedding planning?  The price tag.  Your wedding will not only be one of the happiest days of your life, but it could potentially be the most expensive day too.  How can you have that dream wedding without digging yourself into a financial hole? Read on…

wedding budget

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There is one question that must be answered before any other planning can be done:   How big is the wedding going to be?  A smaller guest list is going to much more budget friendly.  Please do not mistake smaller for less.  Not inviting acquaintances from work, old friends from elementary school and your mom’s long lost uncle will substantially cut down your numbers.  (if you’re only inviting these folks from the past in the hopes you’ll garner more gifts, forget it. Modern day wedding etiquette states that those invited who haven;t had contact with the bride or groom or are no longer close aren’t obligated to attend or send a gift!)By limiting the invitations to family and close friends, you will have more time to spend with the people you really care about and less time catching up with your 2nd grade teacher.

small wedding

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Deciding on a smaller wedding allows you to make some cost effective choices regarding location.  A smaller wedding opens up many creative locations that could not accommodate a large wedding.  State or local parks can be a very intimate wedding ceremony location for a beautiful summer or fall wedding.  Some parks even have a small amphitheater, perfect for exchanging wedding vows.   If you have a close friend or relative with a home that would be a charming location for your wedding, approaching them with a smaller number of guests would probably make them feel more comfortable about hosting a wedding reception.  Another alternative could be in the garden area of an intimate bed and breakfast.

save on wedding flowers

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Wedding flowers can consume a large portion of your wedding budget.  There are some choices you can make to alleviate this expense.  A fall wedding could be creatively decorated using potted mums which could be taken home and used in your garden after the wedding.  If you are getting married in the summer, choose wildflowers as an alternative to traditional bouquets.  You pick them yourself the morning of your wedding or buy some at your local grocery store or market.  Put bundles together for you and your bridesmaids and tie a ribbon around them that coordinates with your wedding décor.  Then buy a bundle for the groom and groomsmen.  Make boutonnieres by cutting off a few flowers and joining them using florist’s tape.   Getting married at a time when your church may be already decorated for a season or holiday would cut down on the cost church wedding decorations.  Some churches are decorated beautifully for Christmas and Easter.  At an evening wedding, using candles instead of bridesmaid’s bouquets, if carefully done, would be a lovely and inexpensive touch.

church wedding decorations

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Wedding music can also be an unexpected budget eater.   Save your money for more important portions of your wedding by considering these cost cutter tips.  Instead of hiring a professional pianist or harpist, contact a local university with an excellent music program and, set up an audition for students who would be interested in playing for your wedding at a fraction of the cost.  If live music costs too much, you can also search the Internet for classical wedding music CDs that would brilliantly serenade you down the aisle.

save money wedding dress

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Wedding dresses are envisioned many times over the years, but growing up we may not have realized that the big names in designer wedding dresses would cost you more than your first car.  If having the newest style that graces the cover of many bridal magazines is important, then you need to be prepared to burn some plastic (as in your ATM card being swiped).  If you are open to exploring a little, you may be able to find your perfect dress in the least expected place.   Even wedding dresses can be bought and sold on EBay.  Check it out.  Make sure they have a money back guarantee, so if the dress in not as it was described, you can return it without hassle.  (read more about how to buy wedding dresses online safely) Many major formal wear stores have end of the year trunk sales and clearance sales that you could take advantage of.   If your mother suggests her dress, try not to quickly shoot her down.  If she wouldn’t mind…take it to a professional seamstress and see if she can alter the dress to more suit your style.  If you happen to spend more on a dress than you anticipated, wearing a veil is always optional.  They can be very expensive and sometimes just mess up your beautiful hairstyle.

wedding saving money

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Creating a memorable and personal wedding should be a pleasure for you no matter your budget.  All of your guests are eager to see the love you and your husband share more than anything.   With a little thought, creativity, and some help from your bridesmaids, you can focus more on the event than the cost.  Enjoy your wedding day and may you enjoy a blessed life with your beloved.

Do you have some tips that helped you save a bundle? Share them by posting a comment and help other brides and grooms to host a budget wedding with excellence!

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About the Author
Team Wedding, founded in January 2000, is a network of wedding related directories and niche wedding websites designed to alleviate wedding planning stress and to give brides and grooms the one-stop-shop experience they need in this busy, modern world. Top Wedding Sites, is the Internet’s first directory of the top ranked wedding sites, voted on by brides, grooms and others interested in hosting a wedding. Plan your wedding fast, easy and in the comfort of your own home, office or anywhere you can get an internet connection.

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  1. Tara Jerich

    Great advice on the wedding flowers! I’ve been telling brides to buy their flowers at Sam’s Club or other types of warehouses. You get a lot (you can’t have too many flowers). Arrange ahead of time and put them in the fridge for a few days (in water). The wedding day is way too busy to worry about fussing with the flowers.
    Tara Jerich of WeddingPhotosHouston.com

  2. Graham - Wedding Cars

    Excellent advice. Save on wedding suppliers by choosing to host the ceremony out of season or during midweek. With the wide choice of wedding locations now, there are plenty to suit all budgets. Graham

  3. Anne - To Tuscany

    Some great tips here and I’ve got one more: a wedding abroad. If you invite only the very closest friends and family members, this is a feasible option and quite often cheaper too. On top of that, everyone gets a holiday so, cheap doesn’t mean boring!

    I just wrote an article with top ten tips on getting married in Tuscany, Italy, which includes a cost comparison between an Irish wedding and a Tuscan wedding – the latter being much cheaper! (Irish: 28,000 Euros and Tuscan: 14,670 euros) Just click on my name to see it.

    A great way to save money on your wedding in Tuscany is to rent a hamlet: a collection of private villas all on the same grounds, great for accommodating different families. Some even have a chapel on the grounds where the ceremony can be held and enough space to hold the reception as well.

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