10 ways to save when planning your wedding.

1.      Set a detailed budget for your entire wedding. You must must must have an actual number – if you don’t, you will end up spending more. Once you have that number, create categories and start divvying up the cash (i.e. decorations, flowers, dress, gifts, ect). Think through every aspect of your wedding so you don’t forget anything. Little things like thank you notes, hairspray, and guest book pens can easily slip past even the most budget conscious bride. Write everything down. The biggest lie a bride will tell herself is “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember.”
2.      Always be prepared. Ok so this one’s a Boy Scout motto but it still applies! Whenever you’re out picking up milk or socks or whatever, always take time to peruse the clearance isle. You never know when the perfect vase or tablecloth will drop in price.
3.      Have an IDEA for decorations. Know the overall look you would like to have with your decorations but don’t get hung up on specifics. If you are only looking for a certain vase (and you need 30 of them), you will most likely end up spending more money than you would prefer. Sometimes a simple change in brand or shape can help you save.
4.      Make your own invitation. For those of you who aren’t super crafty, this may seem like a lot; it’s not. Stores like Michaels, Target, Hobby Lobby, and even Wal-Mart have packets for printing your own invitations. You’ve looked into these you say? And they’re expensive you say? Refer back to #2- always be prepared! It’s true, sometimes these packets can be up to $50 a piece. And when you need 5 or 6 packets, that’s not so cheap. However, if you take to time to scout out the stores, you’ll see that those packets go on sale frequently- sometimes up to 90% off. Or, if you’re really confident, skip the prepackaged invitations and simply design it yourself on your computer. There are also a lot of websites that all you need to do is type out your information and they will print everything for you.
5.      Plan an afternoon wedding. This one is going to save you a lot. Having and afternoon wedding means your guests will not be expecting and entire meal at the reception. This opens up a whole new realm of savings when it comes to food. Hors d’oeuvres and cake, candy buffet, popcorn bar, cup cakes, the possibilities are endless.
6.      Use flowers that are in season. I’m not saying to scrap you’re favorite flowers all together if they’re not in season. But using seasonal flowers as fillers can save a lot of money in the long run. After choosing what flowers you want, research the flowers that will be in season at the time of your wedding and dream away. You might even luck out and find your favorites will be at their cheapest on your wedding date. Also, if you use only one type of flower, you’ll save because you’re florist will only need to make one bulk order instead of multiple orders.
7.      Find the wedding dress sales. Research your local bridal salons and figure out when their sale dates are. Sample sales can save you up to 70% on a wedding gown, veil, and shoes. And don’t bypass the bigger bridal stores just because they’re bigger- larger companies can offer better discounts.
8.      Have and off peak wedding. If possible, plan a November, January, February (not the 14th) or March wedding. When there’s less competition for dates, you have an advantage in price negotiations. Often times venues and vendors will reduce the price up to 30% during off peak times.
9.      Add the finishing touches to your cake yourself. Or have your personal assistant do it. The cost of a wedding cake is all about labor. The more sugar flowers and flowing lace fondant, the more expensive you’re cake is going to be. By ordering a simple cake and adding your own lace, satin, or flowers, you’ll definitely save. Or you could have a smaller more decadent cake for cutting and a sheet cake in the kitchen for serving.

10.  Serve signature cocktails. Depending on your beliefs and preferences, this may not even be an issue. But, if it is a part of your wedding, alcohol is where weddings tend to hemorrhage money. Most reception sites charge for every opened bottle, empty or not. Offer a limited bar, or a signature cocktail to cut down on cost. Or skip the drinks altogether and simply provide champagne for toasts. 

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