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    Planning a Budget-Friendly Wedding

    By writingmommy     

    Congratulations! You are getting married! What a wonderful time for you and your significant other. There are many plans to be made and lots of money to be spent. Perhaps you are trying to plan a wedding on a tight budget? Worried? Are you afraid you may not get to have your dream wedding because you donít have a ďdream weddingĒ budget? Never fear. Gorgeous weddings can be planned with a limited budget; you just have to know where to look and what do to.

    First, I recommend not hiring a wedding planner. Anyone can plan a wedding, as long as you have organizational skills and know what you want, why pay someone else for something you can do yourself? Sure, it may be more work for you, but wedding planners are not a necessity, they are a luxury, especially if you are planning a budget friendly wedding.

    Have you booked a church yet? Many churches, especially if you are a member will marry you free of charge; you often just have to consent to taking a marriage class. You also must tip the minister for his or her services, but that is a minimal fee. If you arenít a member of a church, call around and ask different churches what they charge for non-members to get married there. Many churches may charge a high fee, while others may charge a very small fee. If you find a church that charges a minimal fee, go and check it out. You must do some research in order to find what church fits best for you.

    Not getting married in a church? Still hopeful you can wed somewhere else other than a church and not have it end up too expensive? There is hope. Many parks have beautiful nature areas that allow weddings, but beware: there will be a fee. Community centers also offer reception areas for a lower price, and as a bonus, you can not only get married there, but have your reception there also! My point is: research, research, research! Call around and get quotes from whatever type of venue you are choosing to get married in. If one place is just too expensive, then move on to another place. Try not to get your hopes up on just one specific location, or you may be disappointed if you canít afford it.

    Once you have found where you want to wed, letís talk about the reception. If you choose to be married and have a reception in the same place, that would take care of your reception choices. However, most weddings take place at a different location than the reception. The reception location is another budget buster, if you let it. Again, you will need to research places. Get quotes from several different reception sites. Find out how much each charges for a sit-down dinner, a hors díoeuvres dinner, or how much for you or someone you know to cater the food into the reception area. Compare these quotes and decide which one is right for you. Some areas may offer specials for weddings; make sure you ask. Another thing that may surprise some, country clubs often hold receptions for non-members. This is where I had my wedding reception: a country club. It was much cheaper than any other place we had priced, and we werenít even members!

    Now that you have the ceremony and the reception ideas out of the way, letís talk dresses. There are so many ways to save money on the brideís dress. First, donít be afraid to comb consignment stores for wedding dresses. Many consignment stores have like-new dresses at less than half the price of those found in bridal shops. How about checking EBay out? I know, it can be a bit scary to bid on and win something you have never tried on, but wedding dresses can be taken in if you find a great tailor. EBay is a great place to look for wedding dresses if you are trying to save money!

    As for the groomís tuxedo: most tuxedo shops offer a free groom tuxedo if a certain number of groomsmen rent tuxedos through them. This is another great money saver! A free groom tuxedo!

    What about that cake? Now, if you arenít crafty with baking, then baking and decorating your own cake may not be for you. Do you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who decorates cakes? If so, contact them! Wedding cakes can be a budget breaker. If you have connections, use them. Donít be afraid to ask for discounts. It is your money! Grocery stores also make beautiful wedding cakes. If you donít have any wedding cake connections, call your local grocery store and get a price quote from them. You may be pleasantly surprised at the price and the results. Another place to look is the at-home mom who decorates cakes on the side. Many of these women will bake, decorate and set up your cake for a very reasonable price. Look at local community bulletin boards for advertisements for this type of business.

    What about decorations? Many reception sites come equipped with different types of centerpieces, it is just up to the bride or groom to add to them to their liking. For example: Many reception sites offer different candleholders and decorations to put the holders on. You would be responsible for purchasing the candles and adding any other types of personal touches of your own. Perhaps you want to add flowers around the candleholders on each table? Then it is up to you to create the look you want, at your own expense. Not sure if you are crafty enough to make decorations yourself? Check out craft stores, they often have wedding ideas that you can do on your own and are very affordable.

    Flowers. These are perhaps the most expensive part of the wedding. Many people on a budget often purchase their own fresh flowers and make their own bouquets, etc. This is a great idea for those on a budget. Purchase some pretty ribbon, and arrange your own flowers, tie with the ribbon and viola! Instant bouquet! This is great for those that have an eye for flowers. What about those on a budget that donít have that eye? One very reasonable, and very surprising place that creates wedding flowers is your local grocery store. I highly recommend checking out a local grocery store for prices on flowers. It could save you a bundle, and you may end up with beautiful flowers to boot!

    Weddings on a budget may seem an impossible task. It can be done! If a budget seems to be getting in the way of your happy day, never fear! You can have that dream wedding, even if the budget isnít so dreamy! It is up to you to start planning a wedding, doing the research and finding what will and wonít work for your individual needs. You can have the wedding of your dreams, even on a budget!

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