Stretching Your Wedding Budget: Top Tips from Experienced Mothers of the Bride
A wedding can cost a great deal of money, tens of thousands of dollars. Whether you are looking forward to your own wedding, or that of a daughter or son, it pays to sit down together and be clear about who is paying for what, and how much can realistically be afforded.
Once you have a budget in place, you can start to look for ways to make it go further.
You will find a great deal of options when it comes to dressing the bride (and her mother) for the day. If there is an heirloom dress it could appeal to the bride’s romantic sense, and be adapted at a fraction of the price of a new dress.
The same goes for pre-owned dresses, which are usually available in pristine condition after a single wearing.
Choosing your venue is a major part of the fun…and of the stress.
Shop around. There are many venues that would love to host your wedding. Make a shortlist and visit a few. Look at the price and the ambiance, but also consider the professionalism and flexibility that the managers demonstrate.
Consider moving the date. Saturdays in spring and summer are expensive. Try moving your wedding to a different day of the week. Look at different seasons—autumn and even winter weddings can have their own magic and be much cheaper.
Haggle. The further ahead you book, the better the deal you are likely to get. Managers like to get dates in their diary, so don’t be afraid to ask for reductions.
The Guests and Their Food
The fewer people you invite, the less it is going to cost. Have a hard look at your guest list, and consider it in terms of concentric circles. Work out the cost of each extra circle and be realistic about where to stop.
An elegant meal that is sufficient for the average appetite is all that is needed. If you are providing all the drinks, just offer acceptable wine, with the option of soft drinks or beer, and a glass of champagne for the toasts.
Special gifts for children are appreciated, but favors can prove a waste of money unless they are truly memorable. Handmade ones are both economical and attractive.
The Willing Helpers
You may be able to save big expenses if you can find friends who have skills they would offer for the cost of materials. Photographers, musicians, cake makers, and flower arrangers may be more than happy to provide their services as a wedding gift.
Add to that all the things you can do yourself, like hand-written cards and homemade decorations, and you can significantly bring down the cost.
Don’t forget what the day is about. It is easy to get so involved in the costs and complexities of the wedding that you arrive at the day unable to relax and appreciate its significance. Knowing that your wedding is within budget is just one way to help you get the most from the day.
Jade Stokes writes about all sorts of wedding topics for a growing number of blogs and websites. Her helpful articles are written from her firsthand experiences.
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