Budget strategies for your wedding

katebos1

You don’t have to break your piggy bank to have a beautiful and meaningful wedding day. Here are some methods to help you save cash without looking cheap.

Remember: To have a successful wedding day, you only need three things: a bride, a groom, and people who you love. Everything else is optional.

1. Guest list
With the above in mind, the first thing to do is to slash your guest list. Your wedding is a celebration, but it is also a very intimate moment. Do you really need to invite primary/secondary/JC/Polytechnic/university acquaintances, relatives or business associates with whom you (or your parents) barely know or spent time with?

When budgeting is a concern, keep your guest list to immediate family and the closest of friends. Not only will this save cash, but you will enjoy spending this meaningful day with the people you value the most.

2. THE dress
Let’s be real: many of us spend a good chunk of our time dreaming of the beautiful frock we will wear on our wedding day. But gorgeous doesn’t necessarily mean exorbitant price tags.

Also, don’t buy an expensive veil. You would be spending upwards of $200 for fabric that really only costs a few dollars per yard. Buy the fabric and have one made — you’ll save hundreds of dollars. Or skip the veil and wear a beautiful jeweled comb or flowers in your hair.

3. The reception
Your reception will probably be the most expensive chunk of your day, barring your honeymoon. To cut costs, consider these tweaks.

a) Have your wedding on a week day. Hold anything but a dinner party — brunch, cocktails or even a lunch garden picnic will save you tons of cash over a full dinner.

b) For the music, opt for your iPod or iPhone. Playlist weddings are becoming increasingly popular, because couples can choose exactly the music they want to hear, no matter how obscure or alternative it may be. With live DJs asking upwards of a few hundred bucks for a few hours, and bands costing in the thousands, using an iPod can save you a pretty penny, and be completely personalized.

Really love the idea of live music? Hire musicians from a local music school to play at your ceremony. They are just as skilled and far less expensive.

c) Wedding flowers can easily run you in the thousands. To cut costs, make sure you order only blooms that are in-season. Order loose stems and make the arrangements yourself. This is not nearly as difficult as it sounds! You might also try ordering flowers without mentioning they’re for a wedding, because sometimes the simple mention of matrimony can bump the price up a couple notches. Just say you’re buying flowers for a party.

d) Most guests toss wedding favors anyway so cross it out of your to-buy list. If you really want to leave something, bake yummy treats yourself.

e) Do you really need a video? Who remembers the video we view in between dishes at the wedding reception anyway? Chances are you will only watch a wedding video once or twice, yet spend thousands on its production. Add this money into your still photography budget instead.

Lastly, here’s a real life documentation of a couple’s challenge to plan a wedding for US$1000. View it here!