The wedding industry is a multibillion dollar industry, and when it’s your turn to say “I Do” it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to have the biggest and the best wedding.
My advice? Save it for the honeymoon.
The Wedding Dress
At the end of the day, no one is going to care if you were in a $99 bridal store special or a $5000 custom-made gown with real diamonds. It may take a little more time in the dressing room to find the perfect dress for your body, but buying off the rack – or if you’re really trying to save, renting the wedding dress – is one of the best ways to save money. Saving money on the veil is even easier. Rather than paying $200-500 for a store-bought veil, buy the materials for less than $40 and make one.
The Wedding Flowers
Whether you work with a florist or put together your own floral arrangements, consider silk. Silk arrangements can be used later to adorn your new home. If you love the idea of real roses, save them for the bridal bouquet – but be sure to make a smaller silk bouquet for throwing. Boutonnieres and corsages can be simple – and inexpensive – carnations wrapped in a ribbon that is in the colors of the wedding.
While forgoing a professional photographer may not have been something a couple would have considered even five years ago, the advances of digital photography have made it possible to have most of your photos taken by friends and family with digital cameras from which you can make inexpensive prints using an online service.
It’s amazing how nice a wedding hall can look with tulle, balloons, and Christmas lights. For less than $75, you can have everything you need to create magic. Centerpieces for the tables can be simple candles, and wedding favors can be simple, handmade mementos that let people take something home to remember the special occasion.
Like photography, the ability to obtain excellent quality video from a home video camera has never been better. You can ask family members and friends to capture video, splice it together, and share the entire thing on YouTube with no more than a few clicks of the mouse and free software.
While not every cost is avoidable, even the more expensive wedding items such as the cost of renting a hall and catering can be minimized with some creativity. Perhaps someone you know owns a beautiful home that would make the perfect backdrop for the wedding. It never hurts to think creatively while planning. The more money you save on the wedding, the better the honeymoon and your future, debt-free life can be.