|“Ring Boy” by Arthur Sarnoff
Every girl dreams of finding the person that makes them feel on top of the world. You fantasize about this person taking you on a romantic outing- maybe a walk in the local park and dinner, or a quiet night at home with candles and wine- during which they pull a tiny box from their pocket. Eyes go wide and your heart begins to race at a million miles a minute. Is this it? Are they going to ask you the one question every girl longs to hear someday?
Will. You. Marry. Me?
The words are so simple and carry such a huge weight. Marriage is something to be honored, treasured…after you have the wedding of your dreams. But sometimes, the wedding you’ve imagined can really hurt your wallet. The obvious choice for cutting costs is cutting pieces of your dream, be it the perfect dress you wanted, the choice of venue that would’ve complimented your dress impeccably or worse…the guest list. No girl wants to cut anything out of her dream wedding. So how do you have it all? How do you have that perfect wedding day without breaking the bank?
There are a few ways to cut costs without compromising any part of your big day that I’m personally using currently as I plan my own dream wedding. I’m sure as I continue to plan, I’ll have page after page with tips of how to cut costs, but for now I’ll share the ways I’ve saved thus far.
Save The Dates
After you’ve picked a date, you’ll be compiling a guest list and getting ready to send out Save The Dates. There are a couple of ways you can get these for free. Yes, free. I got my Save The Dates for zero dollars. It just so happens that I have an eleven month old son and we participate in “Pampers Rewards” (free to sign up and you get an initial 100 points just for creating an account!). So, I racked up our pampers points and traded the points in for 25 free 4×8 photo cards from Shutterfly (I did that three times for a total of 75 free Save The Dates).
Another way for you to get Save The Dates for free is to use Facebook. Social media is booming! Almost everyone has a Facebook page these days and there’s no reason not to take advantage of that when you’re trying to budget your big day. And think of the money you’ll save on postage!
As a general rule of thumb, you can expect 20% of the people you invite to not attend the wedding. So something I did when I was compiling our guest list was put everyone under one of three categories. Must Be There, I’d Really Like It If They Came, and It Would Be Nice. It can feel odd putting the people in your life in categories like this, especially since you wouldn’t have invited them to the wedding in the first place unless you wanted them there. But there’s some benefit in doing it in a sense that it’s a way to prepare yourself for when some people tell you they can’t make it.
This is also a good way to asses how many plates you can pay for and make it easier to cut some people out if you need to (although the goal is not to cut anyone).
When looking for a venue, try to look for places that are all inclusive. That means they’ll take care of the venue, food, flowers, your cake, a DJ, etc! This not only makes it easier and less stressful for you (the bride) but it can cut down your costs significantly. By looking for places like this, I found five venues that are all inclusive for well under $5,000. Considering all of the aspects of the wedding that are included in this price, having my wedding at one of these venues will keep my entire wedding costs under $10,000 dollars.
I’m obviously new at this, so I don’t know how good that is, but from what I’ve seen on Bridezillas and heard from friends who’ve gotten married, that is seriously cheap. That makes me very happy!
Don’t you know a guy, who knows a guy? Asking friends for leads on things like an officiant, a photographer or a DJ could really save your some money in the end. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a Godmother who is also an ordained minister and she’s volunteered to officiate for us for free. Do your research! You never know who your friends might know that can help you save money on your big day by volunteering their services or giving you a discount.
As I continue to plan my dream wedding, I’m confident that I will be able to save even more money. So, ladies, do not give up on that dream wedding, because you can have your cake and eat it, too. Pun totally intended!
About the Author
Amanda Fernandez is a mom, writer, blogger, Fantasy Football enthusiast, coupon lover, total book nerd movie fanatic, and Shakespeare geek. On her blog, Much Ado About Mommy, she discusses all of her passions and gives tips and advice to help other moms and wives. You can keep up with Amanda on Facebook, Instagram, and Google Plus!