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Wedding Budgeting

December 19th, 2011 at 08:45 am

In today's economy it can be difficult to see how you can have the wedding you want without going into massive debt trying to pay for it all. The key to having a wedding you'll be happy with while avoiding an empty wallet is effective budgeting. Effective is the key word there. It doesn't matter how meticulously you've planned your expenses if you don't stick to the plan.

The first step toward working within a reasonable budget is to create your budget in the first place. Figure out who's going to be paying for the wedding; will it be the bride's parents, both sets of parents, you or some other combination? When you figure out how much each contributor can and will put into the wedding, you can start to plan your individual items and look for savings when you need to. Having a hard limit for your wedding is a crucial step because it gives you boundaries and forces you to be creative with your planning.

Discounts

Don't neglect the value of free coupons and bulk discounts. Saving a few cents per wedding favor or invitation could add up to hundreds of dollars in the end. Every time you find a way to save money without sacrificing too much time or compromising your wishes will be worth it in the end.

The Dress

Purchasing a dress from a bridal salon can end up costing more money than you're comfortable spending, but is that the only way? Definitely not! If you have a love for vintage clothing, try looking for classic dresses at consignment shops or antique stores that you can have altered to fit. Though it's not for everyone, if you or a close friend or family member is handy with a sewing machine, you can consider making your dress yourself. Even if you buy your dress at a bridal store, you can take it somewhere else to have it altered if the store is asking too much for alterations.

Favors

Providing wedding favors for your guests is a popular tradition that nearly everyone follows. If you want to provide fun wedding favors but don't want to spend a lot of money on them, consider combining them with your décor. Floral centerpieces, candles and fun thrift store jewelry can make excellent little takeaways from your wedding. Also, consider buying items in bulk and finding stores that are going out of business.

Food

Traditional catering options can be expensive. Even if the caterer only charges $9 per person, with even 100 guests you're looking at close to $1000 just for the food. There are a few methods for dealing with this conundrum, however. Try having your wedding in the early afternoon and serving appetizers and desserts. If your wedding and reception take place between lunch and dinnertime, your guests probably won't be that hungry and you can save some cash on food. Another technique that's certainly not for everyone is asking your guests or a few close friends to contribute to the meal by bringing their favorite dish or baking cupcakes for the guests. Depending on how inclined your guests or friends are to bring food in lieu of a gift, you could end up saving money and sharing in some of your guests' favorite recipes!

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