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Some Cash Savers for your Day

Joined: 6/5/2009
Posts: 10
Money seems to be on everyone's mind - more so than usual! However, people are still getting married, so I have been finding more and more brides on a budget. You don't have to sacrifice your dream wedding simply because you can't drop $50,000! However, when brides are on a budget they tend to try to make their dream wedding COMPLETELY homemade, and so the STRESS they endure ends up being worse than the payout! Here are a FEW things you can do to help cut your costs (and keep things low stress):

Centerpieces - Florals are amazing, but considering doing a non-floral centerpiece to grab the attention of your guests. Use a large hurricane glass, use decorative rocks and stones in your colors on the bottom, fill with water and float tea lights. Birdcages as well as decorative candle-holders add an air of romance to your table. More modern? Use a large vase in the middle and fill with a favorite fruit that coordinates with your colors! Lemons, Limes, Red apples, Granny Smiths, Cranberries, pomengranites... all are great choices. Have an accent color? Use a bow around the base, or thread through the fruit to give that contrast you are looking for.

Flowers - The best way to save money here is to find a florist that communicates. This way you know what you're paying for and you can work with them to create bouquets and floral pieces that incorporate seasonal selections to lower cost. Plus, if your pieces come out more costly than what you had originally intended, talk with them to find alternatives to lower costs. Communication and compromise is VITAL in keeping prices manageable with flowers! Also, think of floral alternatives! What about a bouquet of lollipops for your flower girl? How about pins or crafted ribbons and wire for the groomsmens? Or instead of the $25 corsages for moms and grandmas, how about the gift of a bracelet, each suited to the individual? (if you are patient and do the hunting, you easily find very pretty jewelry for under $15)

The Reception - Keep it to beer & wine, let the guests pay for liquor, or keep the bar all cash and instead offer a decorative fountain of a single mixed drink that matches your theme in color. You would be amazed what colors can be created for your event.

The Cake - Do you want the beautifully ornate three tiered fondant cake but simply don't have $700 to spend on it? Here's a great option: Have a cake shop create a FALSE cake. There are many variations on how to do this, most couples opt to have a real anniversary tier on top, fake middle sections, and then a three-quarters fake bottom (this leaves JUST enough real cake for you to cut!). What do guests eat? The sheet cakes that your favorite bakery make that are in the kitchen.

The Placecards - Most people do individual cards for their assigned seating at a reception. For weddings of more than 75, this can cost a lot for any of the following: Paper, printing, folding, placecard holders, picture frames, and TIME TO CREATE. Let's also keep in mind any flubs that might happen in the printing process. Instead, save yourself some time and stress and create one large menu style board to display as your guests come in. You can either list the board by table number, or alphabetically.

The Dress - Make sure you go shopping on a low stress day, with fun people who understand that you want the dress that YOU want. Too many brides have bought gowns that mom loves, or that sister-in-law didn't hate, or just so they could get their group of 20 to stop arguing. That is NOT a reason to buy a gown and you will regret it later. If you find yourself in that situation, it's better to just make a comeback appointment at the salon and come back either on your own or with a trusted friend. Otherwise, you'll be hoping someone buys that long-sleeved taffeta gown off Craigslist quick so you can go and grab the silk gown of your dreams. Also, consider things gowns with features like corset backs, or detachable sleeves so that you can customize your gown and lower alteration costs.

The Stress - You may think it's a great idea to create your lists of things to do and hand it to mom, Aunt Harriet, or your unwilling Maid of Honor but in the end you may end up having to chase after them to do their "duties" as much as you have to keep an eye on your vendors. Many brides save time, money, and stress by hiring a wedding planner.

Yes, money. Many do-it-yourself brides have a tendency to overbuy, not read contracts, and book vendors that simply impress them. Wedding Planners are meant to save you money by helping you overcome these bridal flubs. How many brides have you spoken to that really wanted that top notch photographer, paid top dollar, but didn't notice the line in the contract that stated the company could switch out their photographer at any time? Instead of getting a Shawn Shannon, you end up with Joe Schmo that got an internship last week.

When in doubt, get someone to do it for you. Hair, make-up, planning, invitations, cake, etc. The stress of creating your own wedding cake, doing your hair yourself for the day, having Mom make your gown, trying to get the printer to match Coral perfectly... it all sounds wonderful and sometimes it CAN work... but often times you'll find yourself behind schedule, not getting the look you want, and overall, not enjoying your day.

Of course, enjoying your day is the reason you tried to save money to begin with. I hope some of these things have been helpful and if there are any questions, comments, suggestions, please do send them my way.
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