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How to Make Your Wedding Affordable



Joined: 7/8/2013
Posts: 1
Sara
<p>My first taste of weddings, in depth, was my best
friend’s. She decided she was going to have the wedding of a lifetime, and she succeeded. It was truly something to remember. To embrace the culture of her groom and her own she had everything from Chinese dragon dancers to Mexican pastries. The lavish seven course dinner reception, the mariachi band, the chevron printed wedding cake all added up. By the time her wedding and honeymoon cruise were paid for they had spent every cent they had ever saved, plus some from their parents.</p>

<p>As a part of the wedding party I got the inside scoop on the trials and tribulations of a big wedding. It just
cemented into place my idea that I wanted to keep my wedding small, simple and affordable. My fiancé, however, wanted a big one. After months of civil debate he changed his mind a bit. It wasn’t my influence at all. He ended up being a groomsman in one of his friend’s weddings and got the inside scoop on how hard and expensive a big wedding is. And it wasn’t even that big!</p>

<p>The thing that disturbed both of us was how stressed the bride and groom were on their big day. In both weddings they were so consumed by tradition and keeping everything going that they did not enjoy their wedding. We agreed that we did not want to feel that way on our day. So, we came to a compromise. The ceremony itself would be kept small while the reception would be large. However the reception also had to stay affordable and that meant no sit down meals.</p>

<p>Here are some things that we did to keep our wedding
affordable and fun for us:</p>

<p><b>1. Ignore tradition</b> – There are just some things that are ‘done’ at weddings that don’t need to be. Having more than one bridesmaid or groomsman is one that could be ruled out right away for us. We both have few close friends and saw no need in buying multiple dresses, gifts, shoes, purses, socks, ties or what have you. My fiancé wore a nice suit and his groomsman wore a suit in a similar color that he already had. My bridesmaid had a beautiful dress she’d worn as part of another wedding and happily wore it again. Giving away the bride is another tradition we changed up.My brother walked me up the aisle and then sat down. No big deal. Toasts and speeches at the reception were another thing we decided not to do. This was supposed to be a happy day, not a stressful one.</p>

<p><b>2. Affordable Venues</b> – Another choice we made was to have the ceremony in my fiancé’s church. Not only did they charge a small sum but the seating was already provided. All we had to do was decorate a bit and we were in business. However they did not allow dancing so we moved the reception to another location. This was a good thing because those that were not invited to the ceremony did not feel left out. For the reception we chose an outdoor space with a large covered area in case of rain. The food table and stereo were safely covered as were the picnic tables. They even came with their own trash cans for easy clean up. The dance area was a large open field and allowed for plenty of space. Renting the outdoor area was affordable and allowed us an infinite amount of room and free parking. The kids had plenty to explore too so there was no fit throwing. Of course we also got married
at a time of the year where this was doable, so…</p>

<p><b>3. Simple Décor</b> – The decorations I chose had to be simple and affordable because I was on the clean-up crew after my friend’s wedding and I hated to see all that money being tossed away. My ideas were simple. Pale ribbons festooned the aisle of the church. A bouquet of pastel colored flowers I’d put together myself was simple and affordable. White rose petals decorated the floor and showed the path I had to walk down. After the ceremony my brother had no problem sweeping up the petals and picking up the ribbons in just a few minutes to get the church back into shape. At the outdoor space more ribbons formed a small canopy over the dance area. Small bouquets decorated the tables. White Christmas lights (bought at a deep discount after December) gave the area a warm glow.</p>

<p><b>4. Free Help</b> – Another big expense that we managed to get around was the help. Setting up food, decorating, directing traffic, and so on were handled in two ways. The first is that my fiancé and I, our families and friends did everything we could ahead of time. We decorated the chapel as soon as they would let us and festooned the outdoor space the night before. Secondly when we picked our groomsman and bridesmaid we made sure that they knew their partners would have a job too. The prospective mates had no ties to us personally so they didn’t mind missing the ceremony to get the food ready to go and the music set up.</p>

<p><b>5. Music Selection</b> – A big argument that came up was about music. We knew that dancing would be a big part of our reception, but what music could we have? I wanted my bridesmaid’s ex-DJ husband to set up a playlist and just go fully computer, but my fiancé wanted a sting quartet. Finally we agreed to compromise. He hired the quartet for an hour at an affordable price. We did the big dances and then they left. I rented a couple speakers and set up a playlist as the aforementioned ex-DJ spouse watched and made sure the songs flowed when it was his turn.</p>

<p><b>6. Feeding the Masses</b> – At the reception we cut
down on the food expense in a sneaky way. We had our wedding early in the morning so that we served brunch. Snack-y breakfast foods like mini pancakes and quiche were affordable to buy or make and didn’t require cooling or heating. It also meant that alcohol consumption (had we offered any) would have been pretty low compared to a night wedding. Since we chose to make our reception a drink free zone (for many reasons) that cut costs even further. Liters of Coke, jugs of orange juice, and bottles of water made everyone happy. Another way to cut down on food costs is to have your reception after lunch but before dinner. Then you can just serve snacks and appetizers to keep everyone satisfied. The wedding cake was not a big deal either. My mother made the cake and spent far too much time worrying about the smoothness of the frosting. It was decorated with a few pastel flowers and looked perfect. When we ran out of that cake we had a backup sheet cake from the grocery store to serve. Cake is cake, right?</p>

<p><b>7. Photo Splurge</b> – One thing we did splurge on were the photos and video. I actually knew two photographers. One was a friend of the family and the other had done my friend’s wedding. I ended up having the professional shoot the video of the ceremony and take the important pictures afterwards and then let the friend shoot the reception. It ended up working out well and allowed us to get a different view of the wedding with each photographer.</p>

<p><b>8. Invitation Crazy</b> – One thing I have not
mentioned yet that is a big part of weddings is the
invitations. It drives me crazy when a couple sends out an engagement one, then a ‘save the date’, and then the actual invitation. I know that is vogue right now but it seems like overkill to me. In our case we just sent out the invitations with a photo. The photo we included was one we shot ourselves and was very simple. We had two kinds of invitations. One had only the reception time and location and the other had the ceremony info and the reception info. That made it easy to invite only who we wanted to the small ceremony. We used an online printer that did everything for us, even mailed them out. To save stamps and money we asked guests to RSVP online. Before we even mailed anything we announced the date ONLY on
Facebook and called up close family and friends. That way no ‘save the date’ was necessary for people we really wanted to come.</p>

<p><b>9. Registration</b> – The last thing I want to cover is registering for gifts. I am all for it. I do not want ten pickle forks or three toasters or a sheet set in crimson red. I just made sure to stay practical with my registration. I registered at places like Wal-Mart, Target, JC Penny’s, Macy’s and so on. No silver tea sets for me. I knew that as a new couple we would need simple things like towels and cookware. By registering it allowed gift givers the chance to pick out things we would actually like and need without getting the same gift from several different people or in strange patters or colors. Plus even the poorest guest could find something to bring for a gift.</p>

<p>As you can see there are many ways to cut down on the
expense of a wedding. It does not have to be an all-day
affair or a stressful time. Instead focus on what is
important and remember to have fun.</p>

<p>Author Bio</p>
<p>Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance
writer. She is a frequent contributor of <a
href="http://www.nannypro.com/">www.nannypro.com</a>. Learn more about her http://www.nannypro.com/blog/sara-
dawkins/.</p>
Rate this:
Comment by Sara


Joined: 7/8/2013
Posts: 1
<p>My first taste of weddings, in depth, was my best
friend’s. She decided she was going to have the wedding of a lifetime, and she succeeded. It was truly something to remember. To embrace the culture of her groom and her own she had everything from Chinese dragon dancers to Mexican pastries. The lavish seven course dinner reception, the mariachi band, the chevron printed wedding cake all added up. By the time her wedding and honeymoon cruise were paid for they had spent every cent they had ever saved, plus some from their parents.</p>

<p>As a part of the wedding party I got the inside scoop on the trials and tribulations of a big wedding. It just
cemented into place my idea that I wanted to keep my wedding small, simple and affordable. My fiancé, however, wanted a big one. After months of civil debate he changed his mind a bit. It wasn’t my influence at all. He ended up being a groomsman in one of his friend’s weddings and got the inside scoop on how hard and expensive a big wedding is. And it wasn’t even that big!</p>

<p>The thing that disturbed both of us was how stressed the bride and groom were on their big day. In both weddings they were so consumed by tradition and keeping everything going that they did not enjoy their wedding. We agreed that we did not want to feel that way on our day. So, we came to a compromise. The ceremony itself would be kept small while the reception would be large. However the reception also had to stay affordable and that meant no sit down meals.</p>

<p>Here are some things that we did to keep our wedding
affordable and fun for us:</p>

<p><b>1. Ignore tradition</b> – There are just some things that are ‘done’ at weddings that don’t need to be. Having more than one bridesmaid or groomsman is one that could be ruled out right away for us. We both have few close friends and saw no need in buying multiple dresses, gifts, shoes, purses, socks, ties or what have you. My fiancé wore a nice suit and his groomsman wore a suit in a similar color that he already had. My bridesmaid had a beautiful dress she’d worn as part of another wedding and happily wore it again. Giving away the bride is another tradition we changed up.My brother walked me up the aisle and then sat down. No big deal. Toasts and speeches at the reception were another thing we decided not to do. This was supposed to be a happy day, not a stressful one.</p>

<p><b>2. Affordable Venues</b> – Another choice we made was to have the ceremony in my fiancé’s church. Not only did they charge a small sum but the seating was already provided. All we had to do was decorate a bit and we were in business. However they did not allow dancing so we moved the reception to another location. This was a good thing because those that were not invited to the ceremony did not feel left out. For the reception we chose an outdoor space with a large covered area in case of rain. The food table and stereo were safely covered as were the picnic tables. They even came with their own trash cans for easy clean up. The dance area was a large open field and allowed for plenty of space. Renting the outdoor area was affordable and allowed us an infinite amount of room and free parking. The kids had plenty to explore too so there was no fit throwing. Of course we also got married
at a time of the year where this was doable, so…</p>

<p><b>3. Simple Décor</b> – The decorations I chose had to be simple and affordable because I was on the clean-up crew after my friend’s wedding and I hated to see all that money being tossed away. My ideas were simple. Pale ribbons festooned the aisle of the church. A bouquet of pastel colored flowers I’d put together myself was simple and affordable. White rose petals decorated the floor and showed the path I had to walk down. After the ceremony my brother had no problem sweeping up the petals and picking up the ribbons in just a few minutes to get the church back into shape. At the outdoor space more ribbons formed a small canopy over the dance area. Small bouquets decorated the tables. White Christmas lights (bought at a deep discount after December) gave the area a warm glow.</p>

<p><b>4. Free Help</b> – Another big expense that we managed to get around was the help. Setting up food, decorating, directing traffic, and so on were handled in two ways. The first is that my fiancé and I, our families and friends did everything we could ahead of time. We decorated the chapel as soon as they would let us and festooned the outdoor space the night before. Secondly when we picked our groomsman and bridesmaid we made sure that they knew their partners would have a job too. The prospective mates had no ties to us personally so they didn’t mind missing the ceremony to get the food ready to go and the music set up.</p>

<p><b>5. Music Selection</b> – A big argument that came up was about music. We knew that dancing would be a big part of our reception, but what music could we have? I wanted my bridesmaid’s ex-DJ husband to set up a playlist and just go fully computer, but my fiancé wanted a sting quartet. Finally we agreed to compromise. He hired the quartet for an hour at an affordable price. We did the big dances and then they left. I rented a couple speakers and set up a playlist as the aforementioned ex-DJ spouse watched and made sure the songs flowed when it was his turn.</p>

<p><b>6. Feeding the Masses</b> – At the reception we cut
down on the food expense in a sneaky way. We had our wedding early in the morning so that we served brunch. Snack-y breakfast foods like mini pancakes and quiche were affordable to buy or make and didn’t require cooling or heating. It also meant that alcohol consumption (had we offered any) would have been pretty low compared to a night wedding. Since we chose to make our reception a drink free zone (for many reasons) that cut costs even further. Liters of Coke, jugs of orange juice, and bottles of water made everyone happy. Another way to cut down on food costs is to have your reception after lunch but before dinner. Then you can just serve snacks and appetizers to keep everyone satisfied. The wedding cake was not a big deal either. My mother made the cake and spent far too much time worrying about the smoothness of the frosting. It was decorated with a few pastel flowers and looked perfect. When we ran out of that cake we had a backup sheet cake from the grocery store to serve. Cake is cake, right?</p>

<p><b>7. Photo Splurge</b> – One thing we did splurge on were the photos and video. I actually knew two photographers. One was a friend of the family and the other had done my friend’s wedding. I ended up having the professional shoot the video of the ceremony and take the important pictures afterwards and then let the friend shoot the reception. It ended up working out well and allowed us to get a different view of the wedding with each photographer.</p>

<p><b>8. Invitation Crazy</b> – One thing I have not
mentioned yet that is a big part of weddings is the
invitations. It drives me crazy when a couple sends out an engagement one, then a ‘save the date’, and then the actual invitation. I know that is vogue right now but it seems like overkill to me. In our case we just sent out the invitations with a photo. The photo we included was one we shot ourselves and was very simple. We had two kinds of invitations. One had only the reception time and location and the other had the ceremony info and the reception info. That made it easy to invite only who we wanted to the small ceremony. We used an online printer that did everything for us, even mailed them out. To save stamps and money we asked guests to RSVP online. Before we even mailed anything we announced the date ONLY on
Facebook and called up close family and friends. That way no ‘save the date’ was necessary for people we really wanted to come.</p>

<p><b>9. Registration</b> – The last thing I want to cover is registering for gifts. I am all for it. I do not want ten pickle forks or three toasters or a sheet set in crimson red. I just made sure to stay practical with my registration. I registered at places like Wal-Mart, Target, JC Penny’s, Macy’s and so on. No silver tea sets for me. I knew that as a new couple we would need simple things like towels and cookware. By registering it allowed gift givers the chance to pick out things we would actually like and need without getting the same gift from several different people or in strange patters or colors. Plus even the poorest guest could find something to bring for a gift.</p>

<p>As you can see there are many ways to cut down on the
expense of a wedding. It does not have to be an all-day
affair or a stressful time. Instead focus on what is
important and remember to have fun.</p>

<p>Author Bio</p>
<p>Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance
writer. She is a frequent contributor of <a
href="http://www.nannypro.com/">www.nannypro.com</a>. Learn more about her http://www.nannypro.com/blog/sara-
dawkins/.</p>
Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013 11:19:14 AM
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