A dream wedding… that’s what every girl wants. Unfortunately those can be expensive, especially if you insist on having them Hollywood style. Still, it is nice to have the trimmings at your wedding; and contrary to what you may think, you can always have your dream wedding without shelling out as much as you would expect.
You should start by looking at your guest list. If you’re working to a tight budget the fewer the guests, the smaller the expense. You could opt for an intimate wedding and only have your family and closest friends on your guest list.
Okay, your parents might insist that you have to invite an old family friend; your co-workers might ask you if it’s okay for them to bring their boyfriends. And then there’s the common etiquette dilemma of “having” to invite an entire group of people (rather than the few members you really like) because they would be “offended”. But, it’s your wedding day, remember, and you’ve got the final say on who attends, so you should be firm about this.
Here are some ways to get your guest list (and the cost of your reception) under control:
- Divide your total head count into three: a third to the bride’s parents, a third to the groom’s parents, and a third to the bride and groom.
- Trim those friends that you haven’t seen in years. You won’t have any chance to really talk to them during the wedding anyway.
- Don’t invite co-workers unless they’re really your friends (i.e. you go out with them regularly, and would probably be just as close even if any one of you changed jobs). Ask one person out of courtesy and you’ll have to ask all.
- Discourage guests from bringing kids or dates. A tactful way of doing this is to print seating cards (“we have reserved __ seats for you at Table __”) and insert them in with your wedding invitations.
- Switch places. Ask yourself, “Would I be hurt if they didn’t invite me to their wedding?”. If the answer is no, then cut them from your list.
Your guest list should always be your first stop when you’re trying to manage your wedding budget, but there are other ways you can cut your wedding costs too…
Nowadays brides can get married in almost any decent outfit, so why not go for a suit or get a wedding dress that you can use again? Remember that the radiant bride is beautiful no matter what she wears. Your entourage can also provide their own dresses; just give them the theme to follow.
On the other hand, you might want to have matching sets for you and your entourage, so why not rent your gowns? Some shops carry full sets since usually the outfits are one time only clothes. Let the joy of some other happy bride spill over onto you. Even the groom and groomsmen can rent their tuxedos or wedding suits at a fraction of the price that it would usually cost to buy them.
Your friends are a treasure you should definitely be thankful for on your special day and they can do a lot to lighten your costs. Some of them might be good with pictures. Ask your friends to bring their cameras and take pictures of your wedding for you. A friend who is skilled in make-up and hair styles can take the place of a professional artist. Maybe they can even lend you a fancy car for the trips you need to make during the day instead of having to hire a limousine. You could even make your invitations yourself. There are a lot of software programs you can use for your graphics nowadays too.
Doing these things will not only lower your expenses, they will also bind you closer to your friends. Don’t forget that it isn’t how much you spend or how fancy your wedding is that counts. Keep it simple and from the heart; that’s what will make it memorable for you and your wedding guests!
To learn how to slash the cost of your wedding by 50-80%, with bargains like $2,000 wedding dresses for under $100, and headpieces, veils and tiaras for 1/5th of the normal price, check out Erica Yoon’s Amazing Wedding Planning website…