Thursday, August 6, 2009

21 tips for a cheaper wedding

Weddings can be hideously expensive. It seems as soon as you say "wedding" the price doubles or triples. Combine that with the fact that people seem to think that because the Jones' spent $40,000, we should too. That's how much a wedding costs right? WRONG!! Oh, so terribly, terrribly wrong. Weddings do not need to be expensive at all. Here's a few tips on making a wedding cheaper, without compromising what you want. Stay tuned, because I will be doing more, with things like centrepieces, reception, gifts, bridal showers, invites, the works.

1.) Buy a dress from ebay. No, you don't have to buy second hand, although I have seen plenty of gorgeous dress for a fraction of the original price. I mean, they have only been worn once. But you can buy new for around $300, instead of $2000. Look for sellers who have sold LOTS of dresses and have 100% positive feedback. A 99% feedback on someone who has sold thousands of dresses is not good enough. You want 100%.

2.) Do things yourself. My mother in law hired some books on flower arranging and has made wonderful displays for different functions. She loves it and has a real talent at it. It is amazing what books are out there and the information that is online, means things like that are easy to learn.

3.) Ask the bridal party to pay for their own. This might sound harsh, or you don't want to, but if your are reasonable with things, such as not asking them to buy $500 dresses, most bridal parties are accomodating.

4.) Buy shoes you can dye later. Pretty much no one wheres their white wedding shoes, but I know of planty of people who have dyed their shoes and worn them a lot after the wedding. It means you get proper use out of your shoes.

5.) Instead of fake nails, either manicure yourself well or buy the fake stick on ones. I know of few people who can tell the diffence if you put them on properly. (I will do that in a later post for you all.) And since my sister got her fake nail caught in the sheet and ripped off on her wedding night, ending up in emergency and needing surgery, I am no longer a huge fan of acrylic nails. (True story!)

6.) Jewellery. Search for a wholesale jeweller for the rings. There are ones around and they are much cheaper than the ones at the plaza's and big shopping centres and they are better quality.

7.) Another jewellery tip, is for your jewellery on the day, no one is going to know if they are real or fake. You can get excellent fake necklaces for next to nothing on eBay or at markets.

8.) Cut out alcohol. We had none at ours and it made the reception so much cheaper, and more memorable. Why? No one was drunk. It is your special day, you do not want people getting smashed off their face on your money. You do not want to go home smelling of beer and wine, because it was spilt on your dress and you absolutely do not want your husband getting blind and not ending up in the hotel with you. (Yes, it HAS happened!)

9.) Do the music yourself. You can download music on to your ipod and attatch it to speakers. This does 2 things. 1 - cuts out the cost of a dj, usually $600+ and ensures you have the exact music you want. Unlike my wedding where, we gave the list and he played gangster rap type stuff. So much so, that my husband went down and threatened to bash him if he did not play our list (He was my husbands cousin, and there is a long story behind that! lol.) Mind you, as much as we were horrified, all those in around our age group thought our wedding music was the best ever!

10.) Book mid week. We got married on a Wednesday. Unconventioal I know, but it meant we had our pick of wedding venues, got a slight discount and had extra's thrown in, as places rarely have weddings mid week. This is an especially good idea if your family is spread out and will be travelling anyway. A lot of our guest were going to have to take time off work, no matter when we held it. It also meant honeymoon flights and accommodation was cheaper, as all these things are cheaper mid week.

11.) Try a cocktail type wedding. Having an afternoon wedding with nibblies in a garden is a lot cheaper than a full on 3 course sit down reception. It also means ceremony and reception are in the same place and guest can nibble whilst photo's are taken.

12.) Check out the local photography students. Most will do your wedding for you either free as an assignment or very cheaply. And since they will be getting graded on it, they do a really good job. Plus you can normally get the negatives and all, in comparison to only being able to buy the pictures from the photographer.

13.) Or try out a photographer who will do them on a disc and give it to you instead of an album. This can save you thousands, and means you can get pictures printed as you can afford them.

14.) Buy flowers from the markets for you bouquet.

15.) Go buffet. These do not need to be tacky RSL Club style. Buffets can be lovely, and you can pick exactly what food you want.

16.) Check out outlets for the men. We got our suits for $70, shirts for $30, and the groomsmen had their shirts open, no ties. It was cheaper than hiring and I know one of the groomsmen used it as his wedding suit the following year.

17.) Wedding favours can be combined with the name setting. Think little picture frames, tea light candles, a single rose on a plate with the name tage etc...

18.) Wedding centrepieces are easy to make yourself and can be done very cheaply. If the wedding venue has candlebra's and you feel they are boring, why not get ivy from someones garden to twist around them? We cut $500 from our recption doing this.

19.) Do not invite every man and their dog. So many people have 100 - 500 people, when realistically, 10 years from now, you wont see 1/2 of them. Unless of course, you are like me and are either from or marrying someone from a large family or a culture where you would offend otherwise.

20.) Elope. Seriously. I considered it and still wish I had.

21.) Decorate your own cake or find someone who does it as a hobby. By removing the cake from teh reception package you can save $500+. Just check they will do exactly as you ask, and check their other work.

I have more, but will break it up so it is not so hard to read!

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