Every bride-to-be wants a perfect wedding. She dreams of feeling like Cinderella in her beautiful white dress and her handsome prince walking her down the aisle and then celebrating afterwards at their elegant reception. But, then the worries of finances set in and crush the dream of having the perfect wedding. Believe it or not, you can have the wedding of your dreams even on a tight budget. I am living proof!
I've been married now for two years, and my family still talks about how beautiful my wedding was. Nobody believes me that it only cost us $6000 AND we had everything paid off the day of the wedding!
How does one go about planning this? It really was quite easy.
Pick one "big ticket item" for your wedding.
Decide what item you want to stand out the most. For example, I wanted to have the ultimate reception, so I allowed a lot of my budget to go to this. Another bride may decide that the ceremony is what she wants to stand out or maybe the pictures. In all honesty, a lot of money is wasted on things that guests won't notice or remember and the money spent on them could be going to things that would be noticed. For example, we all would like to go into extra detail like having heart shaped butter or potpourri in the bathroom. But in the long run, you will be more happy that you were able to rent the bigger reception hall by cutting out some little "not-so-noticable" items.
Network your sources for deals.
This helped us a lot. Ask friends and relatives to ask friends to ask friends to find services for a discount. We saved a ton of money this way. We found out that one of my bridesmaid's grandma made cakes on the side and she agreed to make an $800 cake for only $200- which, I have to add was three feet tall! (I proudly display it on my website) We also found our DJ and rehearsal dinner caterers this way too- all offered discounts.You might think, I know none of my friends know any caterers, photographers, etc. but you would be surprised. Everyone is connected to someone who can help you with a situation.
Take time to look for deals.
I know, who has time? You still haven't found your dress, the flowers, the food. But, you will thank yourself later. I found most of my decorations on ebay and I actually had fun doing it. Ebay has become the place for deals and a lot easier then going to a million stores. I found my wedding flowers on ebay. Yes, I went with silk flowers instead of real. They are a heck of a lot cheaper, they still were pretty, and I was able to use them afterwards.(my bouquet sits in a vase on my dresser and the other flowers from the reception decorate the rest of my house as a reminder of my special day.
Do it yourself.
Even though you may be busy trying to put your wedding details together, making your own decorations, ring pillow, etc. will save you money and time in the long run. I remember looking everywhere to try to find the perfect matching accessories for my flower girl's attire like headband, flower basket, gloves, etc. I finally decided to make them myself and with the help of my bridesmaids and ended up spending less on the material ( I used 40% off coupons from Michaels for supplies) I wished that I had thought of it sooner and saved two weeks of my time!
Pay in cash.
I cannot stress this enough! The convenience of "just charge it" can make it easy to buy a lot of unnecessary wedding items that at the time, is easy to tell yourself that you will quickly pay it off. But then, end up regretting it later when it adds up to thousands. We planned it so we didn't have to use a card at all. How? We saved our tax refund to use for big purchases and paid in cash for the little things as we went. Picking up small purchases here and there won't break you and the satisfaction of knowing that it's paid and done with REALLY cuts done on the stress.
The final (and best) advice I can give for having the wedding you dreamed of is don't sweat the small stuff. A happy bride is a beautiful bride and that s really the most important and rich part of any perfect wedding!