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10 Money Saving tips for your wedding

Congratulations! You are engaged! Doesn’t it feel great?

As the realization of this new relationship status sinks in, you might be super-excited to start wedding planning and that’s when the bombshell drops—crazy wedding expenses! Yes, weddings are expensive. Everything from the venue to the photographer and food can have you straining your bank accounts down to the last penny.

Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can cut expenses and make the most of what you can afford. After all, you do not want to start your marriage in debt. So, here are 10 money saving tips that every couple should consider. This will help you cut a few corners and save some money while budgeting your dream wedding.

1.Venue

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Three aspects of the wedding usually fall into one account—food, beverages and venue. Together, these three components will consume almost fifty per cent of your total budget. The easiest way to reduce expenses on venue rates is to book a single venue for both the ceremony and reception. This will not only eliminate the rental charge for an entire site, it will also allow you to save on transportation from one site to the other. Two birds with one stone! If you want to further cut charges, consider hosting the wedding during the off-peak season or on a weekday, when prices will be drastically slashed. An advantage of doing so is also that it will be easier to obtain the venue booking as the competition will be very less on these days. Saturday nights are usually the most expensive option. Get married a day early, or a day late, and you will appreciate how much easier this will be on your pocket. Another intelligent idea we found on Buzzfeed is to host your wedding on a day preceding a public holiday, so everyone gets to have fun late into the night as they are off work the next day, and you still get to save yourself some money.

2.Guest-list

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Three words—Snip! Snip! Snip!

Be ruthless with cutting names off your guest list and your wedding expenses will be reduced drastically. Rather than hosting a huge wedding where you don’t know half the people and have to skimp on the service due to budget constraints, isn’t it better to have a lavish affair with the few people who really matter to you? A direct approach to reducing your wedding guest head count is to omit children and colleagues from the list. Also, not everyone needs to have an invite with a plus-one. Limit the plus-ones to spouses, serious partners and live-ins only. Well, if your parents are paying for the wedding, they may want to invite a few extra people, so handle this as is appropriate in your case.

3.Food and drink

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Skip the traditional formal dinner and opt for a wedding brunch or lunch instead. Perfect for a casual wedding, you could cut costs this way. Now, if you want a sit-down plated meal, choose a three course meal over a five-course meal, and it will still go down well. And you can minimize costs by choosing to have your reception at a hotel, instead of at a rented venue. This way you will not have to bring too many things in like utensils, seating arrangements, table linen etc, as it will all be available at the restaurant. You can always find the right dishes to serve on their menu. Most good restaurants have beautiful chairs and tables, and there is no doubt that they are perfect places to dine at. So, help your budget by taking this route. When you choose a restaurant that looks stylish and matches the theme of your wedding, half your job is taken care of. When serving beverages, stay away from the idea of an open bar. Serve beer and wine instead of liquor and add one cocktail drink to complete the list.

4.Wedding Cake—don’t make it, fake it

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Well, maybe not the entire cake, but at least the extra tiers! Remember that each tier will add several dollars to the cost and unless you have so many guests at your wedding, why let it all go to waste? Most bakers can create faux wedding cakes which look exactly like the real thing. They usually use Styrofoam layers and cover it with icing and decorations, so it looks like the real deal. So, you can get the look, but for much less cost. There are several other ways to make the most of your cake budget, the details of which we have covered in a previous article dedicated to the subject. Here are some of the ideas in a flash:

  • Use a smaller couture cake for display and sheet cakes in the kitchen for the actual service
  • Limit the expensive flavors to one or two tiers alone, while using standard flavors for the remaining tiers
  • Choose standard shapes like circle and square instead of topsy-turvy and fancy shapes to reduce cake costs
  • Decorate with economical options like real flowers, ribbons and easy DIY toppers
  • Go for butter-cream frosting instead of fondant and cut the price by almost fifty per cent
  • Use half or three-quarter servings in place of full serving sizes to eliminate wastage and cut costs
  • Serve cake alongside other desserts in the buffet, instead of at the table. Then, only those who want it will have it and you can reduce the overall order this way

5.Rent your wedding dress or buy it second-hand

If you are not keen on having a brand new wedding dress, opt for a rented one or seek one out second-hand. Vintage wedding dresses are a happening trend, and you can max out on this now. Second hand wedding dresses can be found for as low as half the original cost, even when there is little to no damage to them. There are websites dedicated to this, and you will find plenty of choices to select from. The other option is to rent your wedding dress from a consignment shop or bridal boutique like Best for Bride. Here, you can mostly find the gown in the style you want to wear for a fraction of the original cost and not worry about what to do with it later. With the option to also rent matching accessories like wedding jewelry, veils and headbands, you can achieve the perfect bridal look without hurting your bank balance. All you have to do is place your order in time, collect you dress on the appointed day and enjoy your wedding in it. Return it after the wedding, and worry no more about what to do with your wedding dress. It couldn’t be easier. The third option is to repurpose your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown with the help of a talented tailor. Not only will this not cost as much as a brand new wedding gown, it will also give your family heirloom new life. Sentimental and sensible, isn’t that smart? Now, your groom could also rent his tux and the two of you could divert the money saved into a well-deserved treat like your honeymoon.

6.Make the most of sample sales and trunk shows

If there is time left for your wedding, you needn’t go wedding gown shopping already. Keep your eyes and ears open for sales and trunk shows and you could pick up a dress at a better bargain. Or, browse through the sale and clearance section of websites like Best for Bride and make your pick from the dresses listed there. If you aren’t too particular about wearing a specific gown on your big day, why not make the most of your wedding budget by choosing the best choice within your means from these listings? The same could apply to your bridesmaids dresses too. Look for any bulk discounts and use it when choosing the dress. They will appreciate your concern, and nobody at your wedding need know that these were picked up at a sale.

7.Try alternate bouquets

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Cut flowers are expensive and not environment-friendly, so spare the pain and still have fabulous wedding bouquets and décor with alternatives to original flowers. Bridal and bridesmaid bouquets using silk flowers and paper flowers are very beautiful and attractive. Similarly, you can vary your décor using fruits, candles and other easy-to-find accessories and still have a fantastic and unique wedding design. You could even consider succulents and potted plants for your wedding décor, and these could be used again either in your new home or gifted to the party guests to take home with them. Now, if you must have flowers, go for the seasonal and local variety and you can save some cash this way too. Ask your florist for what is within your budget and leave her to weave her magic with it. Or, if you are up for the challenge, make your bouquets on the day with what you find at your local grocery store. The price of the flowers you get there will be far less than at a flower shop, and this means you can find more flowers for your budget. Imagination is key, and it is not difficult to create splendid centerpieces, bouquets, aisle decorations and even venue décor using craft supplies from thrift stores, provided you know how to work around them. You can also use the same flowers that were used at the ceremony venue for the reception, and cut down on associated costs. All it takes is a quick move of the pieces from the first location to the second, and I am sure nobody is going to mind it.

8.Go bargain hunting for your wedding favors

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Personalized wedding favors created exclusively for your wedding are stylish and special, but not absolutely essential. The true meaning of wedding favors is to gift your wedding guests a small and sweet memento for their valuable presence at your wedding. This can be anything you deem fit for this purpose. It can be homemade cookies, brownies you had your baker add to your cake package or preserves that you bought on sale.

It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be in fancy packaging! It just has to be thoughtful and your guests will appreciate the gesture. Our suggestion is not to be too specific with your ideas and there will be hundreds of bargains out there, waiting to be snatched. Visit the sales and discount sections of wedding favor websites, and book a deal that falls within budget. This will give you a good bargain for the money you can spare. You can always customize it with a few craft supplies that can be found on sale, and you will easily have a personalized wedding favor in no time. Consider printing out your own monogram or wedding stationery using free fonts available online, and you can also save on expensive labels and tags for your wedding needs.

9.Hire and buy local

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When choosing a caterer, booking your band or buying flowers think local and it will save you loads. Plus, you will already know what is best in the area and can make a wise and informed decision accordingly. Go with seasonal fare for your menu and the cost of your food will go down. Should your band have to travel from out-of-town for the reception, remember that you will be paying for their effort to travel this far for your function. Go with the local favorite instead, and you are certainly going to get a better bargain. Like we mentioned earlier, flowers that are flown in from elsewhere will cost more. So, think of whether it is actually worth the added cost. Wouldn’t you be able to achieve a similar effect by substituting it with something local? If so, isn’t that better?

10.Choose your transportation wisely

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You do not need a limo, vintage car or even horse and chariot to drive you away from the venue. You can make a grand entrance or get away in any other car dressed up for the event. All you need is to use your creativity to dress up the car with some wedding paraphernalia, add a “Just Married” sign and you are good to go.

Hopefully, you now have enough tips to have a great wedding day without it costing you dearly. For more wedding tips and advice, continue visiting us on Best for Bride—your one-stop destination for everything bridal.

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Preserve your wedding memories forever with a wedding treasure box

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Isn’t it interesting how your wedding day—one you looked forward to for months, and planned to the minutest detail—gets over in no time? Wedding days can seem so busy, that you later feel it passed too soon. Once it’s over, your photos and wedding video will help you recollect all that happened to a certain extent. Nevertheless, for the sentimentalists among you, a memory box is a treasure trove that will allow you to relive every special moment of your wedding.

After all, your wedding is not just about the day you got married. The excitement of the event is complete only when you consider all that went into the wedding planning, right from the very day you were engaged. Many of you reading this post will most probably will planning your wedding. So, start putting together your treasure box immediately, and you will save every detail that will help you remember your wedding day, once it’s over.

Here is a list of all that should go into your memory box; the various treasures you can hold on to and preserve your wedding memories for ever.

From your engagement

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The minute you agreed to be together for ever—that magical moment has to be treasured forever. If you had an engagement shoot, add a picture of it into your treasure box. I like this idea on the Hitched website, of making a journal with the details of how you were proposed to, so you have a crystal clear reminder of how it was for the later years.

Did you host an engagement party? If so, save a sample invite and a few pictures highlighting the event. Another detail that will remind you of the beautiful moment is a picture of the place where the proposal took place. Make sure you get a snapshot of it as early as possible. You never know if it will change over time and you will lose the visual element of that special moment.

You can also hold on to any special love notes, cards or tags from the gifts your beloved gifted you during your engagement. These will bring back the wonderful memories of the time you spent as an engaged couple.

Reminders of the wedding venue

How did your search for the perfect wedding venue go? Did you settle on the first one that you saw, or did you search for days to find the appropriate one? Save a venue brochure and all those memories of finding the place you were wed at, will stay with you. Save a picture of what stands out at the venue, the unique altar design or the perfect view of the outdoors from the window, and it will be a precious keepsake. If you had an outdoor wedding; at the beach or in a garden, pick a few mementos from nature itself, and save them forever. This could be pretty pebbles, shells or pine cones, that can conjure up the images of the day.

Invitations and Save-the-date cards

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This is something every bride normally does, even without any instruction. Every bride will save a copy of her wedding invitation for herself. While you do this, it will be a good idea to save any of the other stationery that you customized for your wedding day. Since you will be choosing the menu cards, wedding programs, table place cards and other details with so much effort, why not save a copy of each for your treasure trove.

Memories of your bachelorette party and bridal shower

Invites to both events, your bachelor party favors and any other physical items that will remind you of the big celebration you had. If your friends and family splurged on cake toppers, party buntings, customized napkins and more, you could borrow one of each to put into your treasure box. It will serve as wonderful reminders of the fun you had at these celebrations. Similarly, pick out a memento from your rehearsal dinner too. It could be anything like a menu card or a picture of the two of you on the day.

Food and drink

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Think of the time you spent in choosing the perfect menu for your wedding reception? It certainly deserves special mention in your bridal box of memories. Drop in a copy of your wedding menu and beverage list, and also add a few pictures of the fare that was served on the day. I think it would be wonderful to add in few comments on why you chose certain dishes or small notes on what everyone especially loved. You can also save a wine bottle stopper or the champagne bottle corker to remind you of the toasts at your reception.

The special wedding dress moment

One of the most important decisions a bride makes for her wedding, is choosing her wedding dress. I’m sure it would have taken you hours of research, planning and shopping to finalize the one dress in which you were to get married. Plus, it is usually one of the most exciting and enjoyable parts of wedding shopping. Remind yourself of this over the years to come, by saving the tags from your gown into your treasure box, as well as a fabric scrap from the inside of the gown.

If you have a picture of yourself on the day you said “Yes” to the dress, this goes into your box too. Take a look at all the smiling brides who got their dress from Best for Bride. We make sure their shopping day is preserved forever with a wonderful photo keepsake from this special day. Make sure you get yours too.

Also, don’t forget to send your wedding dress to be cleaned and preserved professionally, soon after the wedding. This will be the most precious reminder of your wedding day, and you want to make sure that it is in top condition when you pass it on to the next generation as an heirloom. Read more about wedding gown preservation here.

Wedding accessories

Unlike the wedding dress, brides usually find use for their wedding accessories on another occasion, except perhaps the tiara and veil. If you have any accessories that you will not be using in the near future, save them into your treasure box. If you have customized your ensemble with interesting bridal accessories like shoe stickers, flowers or brooches, these can be saved as well. Another good item to store is your wedding perfume. If you chose a special new scent for your special day, how about putting it into your wedding box, and saving it for those special moments that are to come in the years.

Bouquets, boutonnieres and other floral creations

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Imagine opening up a box, and the scent of potpourri wafting through your senses. Spellbinding, isn’t it? Make this possible by saving the flowers from your wedding in your treasure box. You can always have your wedding bouquet preserved professionally through freeze-drying and add it to your art work at home, and relish its beauty everyday. Read all about it on this article at Keepsake Floral.

However, if you do not want to opt for this expensive method, you can still hold on to your wedding flowers by drying them out and adding them to your memory box. Simply hang them in a dry ventilated place, till they dry completely, and then store them safely in a polythene bag. Or, you can make potpourri out of it, as detailed here.

Don’t forget to save pictures of your bouquet, the centerpieces and floral décor at the venue to remind you of the floral details that transformed your venue into a work of art. You can also press the larger blooms between the pages of a heavy book and add these to your collection.

Reminders of the ceremony

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Capture the moment you got married by saving something used at the altar. Flowers used to decorate the altar, a candle that flickered beside you, the ring pillow or even your groom’s boutonniere would be a befitting addition to your wedding treasures.

Save your wedding favors

While you give your guests a keepsake from your wedding to take home and save, don’t forget to set one aside for yourself. If it is an edible favor, you cannot store it as such. In this case, save the packaging, and a picture of how the favors looked when they were given away. Non-edible favors like wine glasses, key chains, candles, photo frames or mirrors can be saved as such.

Wedding cake

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The traditional practice of saving the top tier of the wedding cake, and savoring it on the first wedding anniversary is still popular. All you need to remember is to freeze it safely soon after the wedding, and make sure that the flavors you choose aren’t ones that spoil easily. However, you need your wedding cake memories to stay with you for much longer than your first anniversary. For this, save a copy of the drawing your baker created for your wedding cake. If there were non-edible items on it, like ribbons, figurines or flowers, box it.

Guest book and well-wishes

Your guest book is a valuable possession and deserves it’s rightful place in your treasure box. You can also make use of our beautiful petal wishes kit to save your well-wishers blessings for the future. This interesting novelty from Best for Bride, allows you to collect wishes from your favorite people on petals, and then snap them all together to form a beautiful flower. It makes a wonderful keepsake that you can frame or store for later, so try it out.

Wedding entertainment

The entire ambiance of your wedding reception is set by the music you chose for the evening. Create a CD of the songs that your DJ or band played at your wedding, and also save a written copy of the playlist. If you had a band playing at the wedding, don’t forget to include a picture of them performing at the event. Also, add in the details of all the important dances like your first dance, the mother-son dance and father-daughter dance.

Wedding cards, gift tags and notes

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Your wedding gifts will arrive beautifully wrapped and with tags on them. Don’t just throw away them. You can create a mini-scrapbook with the tags and notes. If you used special stationery to write your thank you notes on, save a card for yourself too. Put the wedding cards you received into your memory box, and on a later day, you will have a delightful time looking through them and remembering the people who made your day so special.

From your honeymoon

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The getaway after the wedding is not to be forgotten easily. This is the time you enjoy your newly wed status as husband and wife. Assuming that you go on a honeymoon to a destination away from home, make sure that you pick a few things to stuff into your wedding treasure box. Collect shells from the beach, toiletry bottles from the hotel you stayed at or a souvenir. Also add a stash of photos from the days you spent there, and it will make a beautiful finale to the great celebration that was your wedding.

Once your wedding is over, you will be surprised at how much time you seem to have, all of a sudden.. After all that hectic wedding planning, this may seem a welcome respite. Use this time to linger over the beautiful days that led up to your wedding. Pull out your wedding memory box, sit back and run through the various treasures you’ve so lovingly put inside. Sort through it, enjoy it and relive the precious moments associated with each keepsake, it will make you smile with all your heart.

Make sure you make a list of all that you intend to save from your wedding, so you do not miss collecting them when the time comes. Delegate the responsibility of taking charge of things at the venue to a trusted friend, so you get it all even if you are too occupied on the day to collect it yourself. Add it to your bridesmaids list of duties, so it isn’t forgotten.

For more wedding planning tips, advice and all your wedding related needs, continue visiting us on Best for Bride. We have every aspect of your wedding covered.