Are you faced with planning a wedding on a shoestring budget? Considering the state of today's economy, you can rest assured that you're not alone. Many brides-to-be are in the same boat. You can have a champagne wedding on a shoestring budget.
The good news is this: there are many things you can do that will actually help you save money on your wedding. You can still have a beautiful day, without spending thousands of dollars in the process.
Tip number one. Develop a budget. Be honest with yourself and your fiance about how much you can reasonably spend for your wedding. You can do some preliminary estimates by going to websites and seeing how much a three tiered wedding cake costs, a dramatic bridal bouquet, centerpieces, invitations, and so forth. Once you set a budget limit, stick to it. It's easy to get carried away and decide that the darling tissue paper liners for the save the date cards are a must have and add only $100 to the total cost of the invitations. The problem is that if you keep adding $100 here and there you'll end up thousands over budget.
Tip number two. Decide what's important to you. If you've always dreamed of a beautifully embroidered wedding gown with yards of lace then cut back in other areas. Or find a wedding gown that fulfills your dream but is second hand. Because most dresses are only worn once, opting for a 'gently used' gown is almost like purchasing a new one... for a whole lot less.
Many bridal shops carry at least a small selection of used wedding dresses. You can also utilize online resources such as eBay. You will probably be surprised at the number of 'designer' gowns that are currently up for grabs, for a fraction of the price.
Tip number three. Determine what you truly want. You might think that a sit down formal dinner is the only alternative for your wedding but what you really want is to share a wonderful meal with friends and family. There are alternatives to that sit down dinner. A buffet is a great idea and cuts costs, or what about an elegant boxed lunch picnic? Or perhaps consider a selection of appetizers instead of a full meal.
Tip number four. Offer your guests the opportunity to help pay for your wedding as their wedding gift. Several of your friends could decide to pay for or supply the wine for your wedding. Others could participate in paying for the wedding cake, music, photographer, and so forth. This isn't as crass as asking for cash donations directly and it makes your guests feel they made more of a contribution to your happy day than just showing up.
Tip number five. Research, research, RESEARCH! There are many websites that provide information on low-cost weddings. Take the time to visit several of them. Chances are you will run across MANY great ideas that you may not have thought of on your own.
The websites don't necessarily have to be geared specifically toward weddings. Even sites such as Better Homes & Gardens and Redbook often feature wedding related articles.
Follow these tips and you can have a beautiful wedding on a shoestring budget.