Save without scrimping on your wedding day

By Today's Bride on May 16, 2013

There is no one savings plan that applies to every bride and gr oom because everyone saves money in their own way.

Here's how to tailor an individual budget that works for you.

List the 10 most important things that are non-negotiable. It may be having a top photographer, a live band or an over-the-top wedding cake. It may include airfare for a great friend who lives far away.

Then list 10 items that are traditionally included in a wedding budget but don't really matter to you.

Cara Davis, author of Cheap Ways to Tie the Knot suggests some thoughts to get you started.

1. Save-the-dates. Skip the printed postards. Use e-vites, Facebook, email and phone.

2. Professional wedding planner. If you're well organized, you might have fun planning your own wedding.

3. Relatives twice removed. Whittle that guest list down to the must-haves.

4. Large bridal party. It's going to cost you: bouquets, attendants' gifts, luncheon and more.

5. Professional hair & makeup. This may be on your non-negotiable list, but if you have a talented friend, you might consider asking her to do your hair and makeup in lieu of giving you a wedding gift.

6. Matchy-Matchy dresses. Don't even pretend you will find a magical dress that flatters all your bridesmaids. Choose a theme or colour and let each find their own dress that flatters their figure and their wallet.

7. Buying or renting tuxes. Not really a necessity. How about suits, white shirts, similar ties?

8. Wedding registry. Even if your place is fully furnished, you should still register. This is your chance to upgrade to better small appliances, for example. That done, then think outside the box to other categories, from luggage to hobbies to home office.

9. The evening dinner. Nobody is coming to your wedding for the Cornish game hen, so simplify. How about a self-serve brunch at 11 a.m.? A dessert buffet at 2 p.m.? Or a cocktail part at 5 p.m.?

10. Party favours. Most favours end up in the trash. Why not have something inexpensive but mouthwatering like a truffle, or invite your guests to fill little treat bags at a candy station?

Arriving in a horse and buggy may be important to you, but having a wedding cake may not. Only you can decide which items are negotiable and which are not.

Once you've created your list, it will be invaluable in making each decision as you move forward.

Originally published in Today's Bride magazine, Spring/Summer 2013.

By Today's Bride| May 16, 2013
Categories:  Ideas|Planning|Budget

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