Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Budget Wedding: Don't Break the Bank

In this day in age, many couples are paying for their wedding instead of the traditional times when the couple's parents paid. In many soon-to-be households, both halves of the couple are working at least one job(and sometimes two) and much of the income is going toward wedding expenses. With credit card bills, student loans, rent/mortgage, and other financial obligations, a wedding can pose a huge financial strain on many couples. But fear not! You can have the wedding of your dreams on your realistic budget! Here are some practical budget savers to keep you from BREAKING THE BANK!

Tip 1: Research, research, research! Do not buy the first item you see. Always look around and search for a less expensive price or alternative. For example, you find a $5000 Vera Wang gown that you must have. Before you buy, Check the internet, many bridal salons cater specifically to internet bargain hunters who are looking for lower prices. Online auction sites are also an option. Check another boutique that may be having a sale on the same gown you have your eye on. Check a discounted bridal shop; many of them carry famous maker knock offs for half the price...and the only difference is the tag in the back of the dress.

Tip 2: Choose your date wisely. Consider your date and how important it is to have the wedding on this date. Also consider if it's important to have a Saturday wedding. If the date is not that important you may want to look into having a Sunday or week day wedding. Many vendors offer significant discounts and are more willing to negotiate their prices if you hold your wedding on an "off" day as opposed to a Saturday. Saturdays are many vendors' busiest day for weddings and they tend to be slow on other, off-peak days, so many times they are more willing to lower their rates on an off day, to ensure business on a normally slow day.

Tip 3: Use your resources! Do you have an aunt that arranges floral centerpieces as a hobby? Consider asking her to do your bouquets and floral arrangements at cost, simply meaning, you buy all of the materials. Does your best friend DJ college parties? Ask him to let his gift to you be his services at the reception. Vendors charge for their materials AND their actual service. It is a lot like taking your car to the maintenence shop, they charge for the supplies as well as an hourly labor charge. Why not ask the people you love to help you out and instead of paying big bucks for impersonal services?

Tip 4: Choose your location wisely. Many traditional ceremony and reception sites charge very expensive amounts to use their building. Because churches, halls, temples and other places of worship are charging high prices -for members and non members - to hold weddings in their buildings....especially more elborate and historic buildings. Having your ceremony at an alternative location may save money. Consider going to a local state park or botannical gardens. Try asking a friend who has a large yard if you can hold your wedding there or call the local beach authorities and make arrangements. Having your ceremony and reception in the same location will keep you from paying two separate fees, thus saving you money.

Tip 5: Start early! When you book services early some vendors may give you a discount if you offer a deposit. This is done because you are now a "guaranteed service". Starting early also allows you enough time to execute tip #1....research!

A wedding day is just the first day of a new couple's life together. Don't bust your budget trying to pay for the wedding. Get the most out of your wedding day....with out breaking the bank!