Budget Weddings For Dummies
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When you’re planning a wedding on a budget, you want to get the best value for your dollar. You aren’t interested in anything that looks cheap; you want your fairytale wedding for less. If you follow these tips, your guests will never imagine that they’ve been invited to a budget wedding:

  • Choose a budget-friendly wedding date and time: Getting married on a weekday, on a Sunday, in the morning, or on a Saturday in November or January will save money on everything from the ceremony and reception venues to the band or DJ you hire.

  • Don’t go overboard on invitations: Buy for the number of households, not the total number of guests. Otherwise, you end up wasting money on unused invitations.

  • Find a less-expensive wedding dress: Search online retailers, borrow a dress, rent a gown, or buy a bridesmaid’s dress in white, cream, or ivory.

  • Create your own wedding playlist: Recorded music is the least expensive way to have the melodies you want for your ceremony. It’s also the easiest way to mix and match the styles and songs that best suit you as a couple. Put the playlist on your MP3 player and check whether you have access to the sound system at your ceremony site.

  • Skip pew or chair decorations: Guests won’t miss them, and you’ll save money.

  • Pick something other than flowers: Ditch the bouquet idea altogether and carry a fan, a small parasol, a loved one’s Bible, a rosary, or even a fancy clutch or evening bag. Or opt for a bouquet made of feathers, crystals, candy, antique buttons, or origami.

  • Serve only beer and wine. This common compromise doesn’t violate any etiquette rules. As a variation, you can serve beer, wine, and a signature drink. This variation gives your guests more drink choices but still keeps expenses down.

  • Do without the wedding cake: You can serve alternative desserts — like cookies, bars, brownies, cheesecake, pies, or tarts — in any number of ways: as a dessert buffet, as centerpieces on your tables, or as butler-passed treats.

  • Forgo favors: You can make a donation to a charity in your guests’ names for less than you’d pay for some favors.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Meg Schneider (Cleveland, NY) is an award-winning journalist who planned her own wedding for less than $5,000.

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