How to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less
The average cost for a wedding in the United States is almost $30,000. Even here in our small Midwest town the average is $20,000. You may be wondering how you can have your dream wedding for less. It is possible though it will take planning and compromise.
Let's talk about what for most girls is the most important aspect of the entire wedding. This can be the area where your idea of a dream wedding for less gets completely blown.
The Dress. The most important piece of apparel you will ever wear for eight hours. Of course you want to look beautiful at your wedding. Of course you want everyone to gasp in adoration when you walk in. The beauty you want to be on your wedding day does not have to cost thousands of dollars.
Have you ever been to a wedding where people asked who the dress was made by? Personally, I don't even know who made my wedding dress. Do not pay for the name on the dress. An excellent way to find your perfect dress is to go in with a budget. For example, ask the sales representative to only bring you dresses under five hundred dollars. If you do not even see that three thousand dollar dress you won't miss it!
The wedding ceremony location is also important but at times, can be the cheapest part of the wedding budget.
If you attend a church, or if your parents or family members do, you can often have the ceremony for free or for a nominal amount.
If you do not wish to have your ceremony in a church then you can often have the ceremony where you are having the reception. Other places can be just as beautiful, a local park or a friend or family members back yard can be excellent places to have your ceremony and may even be free!
The Wedding Party
Having ten people stand up for each of you may seem like a great idea but you have to buy gifts for each of these people. Paring down your wedding party to just one or two can cut your gift costs.
Gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen do not have to be very expensive. If you pay for the bridesmaid dresses or rent the groomsmen's suits then the gift could be very small; perhaps simple necklaces for the bridesmaids (the costume type jewelry worn for proms and weddings) and sunglasses for the men.
Another way to save money for your wedding is to enlist your friends in paying for parts of the wedding. Instead of receiving gifts from your wedding party have them supply alcohol for the reception. At a recent wedding I attended each member of the wedding party brought gifts such as the guest book, throw-away cameras for the tables, or made a scrapbook afterwards of the entire day. These kinds of gifts work great for couples that have already been living together and do not need small appliances or dishware.
Photography is one of the most important factors in a wedding, and like the dress can blow your budget of a dream wedding for less. It is important to have wonderful images of your wedding so that years later you can look over your memories.
There are a few options when it comes to choosing the photography for your wedding. Depending on your budget you may choose to have or not have a photographer at all. If your budget allows for a photographer then ask to see their work and call the references they give. Read the contract over thoroughly and be sure you will be getting the shots you want in both color images and black and white images. Before the wedding let the photographer know what images are most important to you, such as the typical family poses or candid reception shots.
If you choose to do without a professional photographer then set up friends or family members who are not directly involved in the wedding to become your photographers for the day. Choose more than one person from the bride and groom's side so that you get various views of the wedding. Some of our favorite images of our wedding came from pictures friends or family took on their personal cameras.
The reception seems to becoming more and more important to the wedding day. This is the area in which most of the time will be spent and much of the cost.
A meal is often expected at a wedding reception. The fancier your dinner, the higher the price you will pay. One way to get around this is to arrange a potluck of sorts where close friends or family members bring dishes for you.
Another option is to serve lighter foods. Small sandwiches, a salad, and potato chips can be relatively cheap and will fill everyone up.
The cake is also important but can be expensive and is often not eaten. Cakes are not as cookie cutter as they used to be and don't even have to be cakes anymore! One way to get away with the look but not the cost of a tiered cake is to ice Styrofoam cake rounds to appear like the cake you want but serve a sheet cake. The cake decorator will charge a lot less to just ice the rounds than to make and ice an actual cake.
Another great idea for a cake is to not have a cake at all but instead have a cupcake cake. Cupcakes are placed on cupcake tiers and flowers can be placed around the cupcakes. Cupcakes are much cheaper than an actual cake and because they are single serving, the cupcakes seem to be disappear much faster than the normal cake found at a wedding.
Music is found at almost every wedding. A live band may be the ideal but unless you personally know a band, can be the most expensive. A DJ becomes the other option. An amateur DJ can be just as good as a professional and can be found for much cheaper. Just make sure you go over the play list before the wedding!
As you plan your wedding look at what you can and cannot live without and adjust your budget accordingly. If you have to have a three course meal at your reception, then try to find a free place to have your ceremony or have your sister's best friend who is practicing photography to take your pictures. Compromise is huge when you are working with a budget. As you can see there are many ways you can get your dream wedding for less you just have to work at it!
Article Supplied By:
M. Kaye Hash, Co-owner and photographer of the nature photography and eco-friendly gifts website www.naturesthumbprint.com. She is a contributing editor and co-webmaster at www.mccallsfloormart.com. Melissa has a degree in Art History from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has been freelance writing and taking pictures since she was young. Melissa is also an avid animal lover and she raises four dogs of her own.