Were you married by a Justice of the Peace? Are you sewing your own wedding gown? Plan on using an iPod instead of a band? Giving money to charity instead of giving out wedding favors? We love online communities, and on this ivillage message board you can meet lots of lovely brides who are finding new ways of saving money. And if you google “frugal wedding” you’ll find that there is a multitude of people who think just like you!
“I was watching the news the other day,” says cmamy, “And they were doing a story on weddings and their costs. It seems the national average for a wedding is $28,000 and they were featuring a couple who had trimmed the costs and had managed to have a wedding for only $14,000. To me, this is still high.” No kidding, especially since this couple managed to tie the knot for under $200!
OK, so maybe most brides want something a bit more elaborate on their wedding day than champagne and cake for two. But the fact is that spending thousands of dollars on a wedding is something that is less appealing than ever to couples marrying today. Even brides who can afford to splurge are realizing that money can be more wisely spent.
Fro example one message board bride says that she and her husband sometimes watch “platinum weddings” and think, “For that amount of money I could get a new house, fix this one up to rent, replace our cars, and sock away some for later in the golden years!”
“Money doesn’t always buy wedding happiness,” and weddings don’t have to be expensive to be beautiful and memorable. Less is the new more.
Jo Ann Woodward of Schwartz & Woodward Event Planning (Houstan Chronicle) thinks that brides are learning to create a realistic budget and manage their money better. “They are picking and choosing and prioritizing what is really important to them.” Although some brides are reluctant to “cut corners,” the most common thing brides are cutting is the size of the guest list.
Other couples are choosing to give charity rather than wasting money on themselves. When Lisa Jones look back, she says she gets sick just thinking about all that money spent on one day. “I tried to calm myself down by remembering that the memories will last a lifetime, but it was still overwhelming, given how many people are suffering in the world. So I decided I had to use my wedding for greater good.”
One idea is to cut the wedding favors and make a charitable donation instead. You can leave a placard at each table saying, “In lieu of wedding favors, the bride and groom have made a donation to (charity name).”
Other ideas include sending left-over meals to a soup kitchen, and donating your flowers to a hospital or nursing home. Knowing that your hard earned money is going to a worthy cause will make you feel better than the poshest of wedding can ever do.
Saving your sanity and planning for the future is a worthy cause too. “If you spend less money, it’s less stress,” says new bride Mairi Cox. “When you’re in the mind-set already and you’re counting gas and everything, you just realize how everything adds up. You kind of realize well, if we don’t have 100 bouquets of flowers it will be fine. It just puts it in perspective.”