Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How to Become a Budget-Savvy Bride (Tips 1-5)

Planning a wedding can be the most exciting, romantic and enjoyable time of your life-- it certainly has been for me, but it can also put you and your husband-to-be in debt from the get-go. The average cost of a wedding in the United States is $24, 066. Let me repeat that. Twenty Four Thousand and Sixty Six dollars. And many of us will end up spending more than that.There are multitudes of ways to cut costs and still have a beautiful wedding. Follow these tips and you too can be a budget savvy bride!

Budget Bride Tip #1- Start Early!

Even before our first kiss, I knew my fiance and I would end up engaged someday. When he proposed, I was on cloud 9. I'd never been so happy. We decided to make our engagement a long one in order to have a little more stability before we settle down. This has worked out wonderfully as far as wedding planning goes because I feel very little pressure to get things done 'in time'. We have years to organize everything, but I've already done the bulk of the planning. I've  made more lists than you can imagine, and thought through every detail that can be done in advance. 

Not only will this greatly reduce the level of stress the week of the wedding, but it will also greatly reduce the cost. If you have plenty of time to plan then you can wait around for semi-annual sales, buy when you happen to have coupons, and sometimes get a discount for booking early. It's never to early to save! Leaving things to the last minute often means that they will cost more.

Budget Bride Tip #2- The Comeback of Carnations (and buying in bulk).

Buying in bulk may be the most money saving trick any bride can come up with. Ordering flowers online can be more risky, because you can't sure of what you'll end up with, but if you do your research and find a place with a good reputation you should be happy with what you get. It's extremely easy to make centerpieces and bouquets on your own, if you need help there are plenty of youtube videos to watch for instruction.

I understand the stigma that goes with carnations ("oh, they're so cheap looking"), but carnations are making a serious comeback these days! Check out these centerpieces made entirely out of, you guessed it, carnations! A budget-savvy bride could save a bundle from using carnations instead of a more expensive peony or hydrangea.

Budget Bride Tip #3- DIY (duh!)

There couldn't be a more obvious way to save money, do-it-yourself! Don't try to do everything on your own, that will just lead to stress-- but taking one or two large tasks and leaving the rest to professionals is often manageable. Never underestimate yourself. If you can bake a cake, then you can bake a wedding cake (assuming you want a simple design). If you can use a computer and printer, then you can make your own invitations. Although your budget may be tight, the sky is the limit when it comes to creativity ladies!

Budget Bride Tip #4- Get a Planner

Having a wedding planner may seem like a luxury that a budget-savvy bride cannot afford, but the truth is that the right planner will be able to help you score discounts by using vendors that work often with him or her. A planner will also be able to give advice on where to buy the cheapest (fill in the blank)-- but most importantly they will help keep you on budget!

Budget Bride Tip #5- Timing is Everything

Consider having your ceremony in the morning, followed by a brunch or lunch reception. This will save you some serious cash simply because you won't have to serve a full dinner, and no one will expect a full bar at one in the afternoon. Baby quiche appetizers and belgian waffles are delicious and cost no where near the price of king shrimp appetizers and filet mignon! If the reception finishes by four o' clock, then you can even have an after party and still come in under budget. Check out these baby blueberry pancake apps! Adorable and delicious.

Check back in for Budget-Savvy Bride Tips 6-10 later this week! 

Happy planning ladies!

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