This is a guest post from Timothy Ng.
Most of us find that being frugal for our wedding is tough. You want to have the fairy tale, with lots of candles, the perfect venue, and a guest list of pretty much everyone you ever met in your entire life. Of course, when you start adding up the cost to have that kind of wedding you quickly find out that it will cost as much as your first home. Do not let that stop you from having your dream wedding. Instead, look at ways to save money on big and little things. You will quickly find that there are ways to cut costs without cutting a lot of corners for your special day.
How to Save Money On Your Wedding
The invitations: Invitations are a huge expense when it comes to both big and small weddings. They are also usually the first thing you have to spend money on, so kick off your planning smart. If you have a computer program that makes cards, you can easily make beautiful invitations on your computer instead of going to a card designer. It will save piles of cash. Also, instead of spending extra money for a mailed-in RSVP, ask your guests to e-mail it to you. This saves you the cost of the extra stamp and the RSVP card. Also, pare down your guest list from everyone you know to those people who you really want to share the day with. Make it intimate.
The dress: It is easy to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding dress, but you absolutely do not have to do that. Look for sales and special deals or purchase a dress that is slightly damaged and have it repaired, just make sure you get a cost estimate before you buy the dress. You might also consider renting a wedding dress, just make sure the company is reputable and that they will allow you to make small adjustments to the dress in the days prior to your wedding. If you or someone you know is a seamstress you will save even more money by having your dress made. On top of saving money, your dress will be one of a kind.
The venue: Most church weddings come with a small fee for its use. If you do not want to have a church wedding, there are loads of other inexpensive and lovely options like the beach or a public park. You may have to pay a small fee for the use of a pavilion or it might be completely free.
The flowers: Flowers are expensive so think outside the box on this one. Instead of purchasing everything from a flower shop, consider going to a wholesaler and buying the flowers there. Then you can spend less money to have them arranged or enlist the help of a creative friend to arrange them for you.
The cake: Like flowers, wedding cakes are another big expense. Consider checking into your local culinary school to see if they have students willing to make your cake for the experience and a smaller fee. Don’t worry about getting an ugly cake as the work will be overseen by an instructor who will not let your day be ruined by lopsided towers of cake. Another option is to look at cake alternatives, like cupcakes which are loads of fun and lots less money.
The reception: Like the wedding venue the reception will cost you a fee for its use. However, you might be able to cut costs by having the wedding and reception in the same place. If the place you choose allows you to bring in your own catering services you might be able to get the food for much less money than the venue charges. You might consider having your family provide the food themselves, which saves loads of money and makes it all more personal anyway. If you must have it catered, keep it simple. Fillet is nice but chicken works just as well. Or you can skip a full meal and do just appetizers, especially if the reception is not over the dinner hour.
Wedding favours and gifts: Wedding favours and gifts are the perfect opportunity to be creative. Instead of just buying these things, make them yourselves. Favours are easy and can be a lot of fun to make. You can also make your attendant gifts or buy something inexpensive and personalise it with photos or a special note. Have fun with this part of your wedding and your favours and gifts will be both memorable and budget friendly.
The honeymoon: It can be tempting to spend a lot of money on a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon, but unless you can really afford it, do not give in. A honeymoon is about spending time alone together. You have the rest of your lives to travel to exotic places and see the world. Spend less money on this trip and simply enjoy those first days of marriage.
One of the other ways to save money on your wedding is to make the wedding itself a gift. This is a new concept, but a reasonable one. Instead of registering for typical wedding gifts like and dinnerware, register for your wedding expenses. People can register to pay for a portion of the flowers or for the candles. Whatever little costs you think are reasonable can be added to your registry. You might be surprised how happy people are to make their gift actually being part of your wedding day by paying for something. The key to a frugal wedding is deciding which things are important to you and where you want to spend the bulk of your money. If having an expensive gown is your thing, then budget for it. If you want fancy flowers then spend less on other wedding favours, it is that simple. You do not have to sacrifice your wedding fantasies to save money, you just have to get creative.
Timothy Ng is a regular writer and part of the team at Credit Card Finder, a 100% free Australian credit card comparison and application service. Learn about wedding finance tips and more practical ideas for credit card financing.