Plan your dream wedding without spending a fortune

You want a beautiful wedding with memories you’ll always cherish. You want the dress, the flowers, the food, the decor. You want friends and family to have a great time. What you don’t want is to start off your marriage saddled with debt. Some couples plan an extravagant wedding, often charging lots of things on their credit cards, thinking they’ll make the money back in wedding gifts. Bad idea!

“It almost never works out that way, and then you’ll be left with massive credit card debts and monthly minimum charges that can stretch you thin, starting off your marriage with money fights,” says Sharon Naylor, author of 1,000 Best Wedding Bargains.

If you want to plan your wedding on a budget, but not sacrifice your dream wedding, Naylor and Christina Friedrichsen, (author of Intimate Weddings: Planning a Small Wedding that Fits Your Budget and Style) have some important tips for planning your wedding.

Here are ways to plan your dream wedding on a budget, compliments of

  • Create a budget: Decide how much you want to spend total, and stick to it! Figure out what is most important to you, what you want to splurge on, what you can cut back on, and what you can do without.
  • Shop online: There are many online resources that can help brides find ways to cut costs. You can research wedding vendors and wholesalers online to compare prices. Then, try to beat those prices by being creative and doing things yourself, such as bouquets and centerpieces.
  • Cut back on frills: New wedding trends include brunch or lunch weddings, which can cost far less than a formal dinner. Skip an elaborate dessert course and just serve cake. Instead of an open bar offering mixed drinks, offer guests wine, beer, and wine coolers. For a rehearsal dinner, keep it casual, such as a backyard BBQ.
  • Save on Beauty: Do your hair and makeup yourself, or ask a friend to help you. Check bridesmaids dresses for gowns- you might find just the style and color you want, at a significant price cut.
  • Don’t overdo it! If you serve only soup and pasta, don’t serve dessert, and have a cash bar, chances are your guests will be a little offended. You don’t want your guests leaving hungry and disgruntled. Naylor suggests that there are some things you shouldn’t skimp on, such as food, entertainment, photographs and dress alterations. Remember that while there’s no need to go all-out in order to impress your guests, a wedding is a time for celebration, and you want those dear to have a good time and share your happiness.

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