The average wedding costs somewhere around $20,000. Maybe this doesn’t surprise you, or maybe it bowls you over. Personally, I think this is a bit ridiculous. Of course, it is the most special day of your life, and a once in a lifetime experience (at least, that is the idea – I certainly like to think so). But it does not have to rival a celebrity’s budget to be special. It is a day for celebrating love, and certainly that celebration should be abundant, but not at such a painful expense.
If you are reading this, I congratulate you on your recent engagement, and invite you to shamelessly steal these tips on achieving your dream wedding on a budget – because I don’t believe a budget has any right to steal your dream wedding.
eBay. Maybe you are cautious of purchasing something for such a special occasion without being able to size it up in person. A valid enough concern, but it doesn’t hurt to look. You may just find something you can’t live without, for a great price. I found my wedding dress on eBay. It was stunning, cheap, unique, and I had to have it. It was made according to my custom size when I ordered it, and when it arrived it fit like a charm. The dress itself, admittedly, was not quite as stunning as the picture – but every dress goes through alterations for your special day. I had already ruled out size alterations, so I simply put it through alterations to glam it up. Voila.
Get married barefoot. Some might find this tacky – others, romantic. After all, people in Hawaii get married barefoot all the time, and if you’ve got a fancy-shmancy floor-length gown – often the case – then who’s going to see your feet anyway? Going barefoot under your gown adds a scandalous bit of comfort amid the primped and preened atmosphere. A little secret won’t hurt anyone – it may even lend itself to delight. Why not indulge in simple pleasures, even on your wedding day?
Look into vacation rentals instead of wedding venues. There are quite a few grand, estate-style getaways, which may be expensive for a vacationer just looking for a weekend stay, but if it’s a wedding you’re talking about, it’s much, much cheaper than a venue.
Buy silk flowers, on sale. Maybe going ‘fake’ was never your style, and if you feel it’s important to have real flowers, that’s fine – just don’t rule out silk until you’ve looked. I was determined to have real flowers at my wedding. I didn’t want to lose that luscious authenticity. The problem arose when I couldn’t find real flowers that reflected the colors I wanted. So I shopped around for silk flowers, just to see what I could find. I actually hit the jackpot at JoAnn’s, and came away with a bouquet twice as stunning as what I hoped for – and I get to keep it forever! Coupons and sales provide some really good deals. Ebay also has some stunning flower arrangements.
Go for unique rings, rather than million-dollar ones. They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and of course you want your ring to be special, and maybe reflect a bit of what you’re worth to your spouse. After all, a wedding is a big deal, and this is something you’ll wear forever. It ought to be precious. But nowhere does it say you have to pile on the diamonds for it to be special. Go for it – invest in a diamond; but pay more attention to design, and other elements that will flatter the specific person you are buying it for. Maybe you like the classic look, but it can be very rewarding to spend time looking for something truly unique, and personalizing it. I looked for something Celtic, to reflect my heritage. Also, buy plain or CZ bands. Once you have the main piece – the main attraction – the wedding band is just symbolic. It doesn’t need to break the bank.
Ice the cake yourself. Buy a plain cake from a local bakery or grocery store – or a couple of them – and stack them and ice them yourself (if stacking, make sure to invest in supports to insert). Or have someone else in your circle of help do it. There are a good many people who have iced quite a few cakes in their lives. It is not hard. And if you decorate it with roses, ivy, or other similar ornamentation, it will look fantastic. No need for fancy, artistic frosting.
Use a playlist instead of a DJ or live band. You know what songs you want, right? Make a playlist on an iPod or MP3 Player and get one of the groomsman or ushers to see to hooking that puppy up. The music will be spectacular, since you picked it out yourself. Just dance!
Create a website for the two of you, where guests can RSVP to invites and get easy access to your wedding registries. There are quite a few places on the web that host these kinds of websites, designed specifically for this purpose.
As you can see, there are endless ways to cut wedding costs. All you have to do is tap into a little bit of creativity, and have fun with it. You can have an extremely cheap, fantastic wedding. Make an experience out of it – not just a shopping spree with a good excuse. Good luck, and best wishes to the two of you!