5 ways to avoid becoming an extravagant Bridezilla
The following is a guest post by Evelyn Luo.
Bam, bam, bam…that’s the sound your heart made the first time you laid eyes on your special guy. So, obviously, you want a wedding day that will make his heart skip a beat! However, it’s tough to plan the wedding of your dreams if you also happen to be on a tight budget. Considering that the current, average U.S. wedding runs a tab of a about, oh $25,000, it shouldn’t be a surprise that brides (and grooms) are looking for ways to trim fat from more than just their physical bridal figure—but their financial figure too!
You can still have your dream wedding on a budget if you’re willing to put in some serious time and planning. First, I would suggest sitting down with your spouse to be (and your families if they are involved in the wedding financials) to set a wedding budget. This figure will help keep your costs from spiraling out of control once you get into shopping for venues, decorations, flowers, photography, and wedding gowns.
Second, prioritizing your wedding planning into categories—such as:
- A list for “top priorities” for things like a wedding gown, venue, photography, food, and favors
- And a list for “lower priorities” for things like an open bar, a chocolate fountain, an extravagant SUV limo…you know…the things you’d like to have, but don’t really, truly need to make your day special.
If you’re willing to compromise some extravagances in the name of love, you can still have a beautiful wedding without starting married life in debt. Here are a few more wedding planning tips for budget conscious brides:
1. Wedding venue
One easy way to cut costs when it comes to the ceremony and the reception is to consider combining the two. For instance, instead of booking an expensive chapel or resort for your ceremony, then moving to another expensive hotel or hall for your reception, combine the two into a local park, backyard garden, or economic community-style setting. Believe me, the money you save on renting a facility will be huge, and you can then put that towards other things—such as a gown, food, décor, and photography.
2. Your bridal gowns
Many brides have a picture perfect image of a white princess gown for their wedding day! However, that image doesn’t have to carry a 10-thousand dollar designer price tag! Get inventive when it comes to your wedding gown (as well as your bridesmaid’s dresses). For instance, you can find stunning dresses in the following places:
- Used—either at a vintage store or online.
- Borrowed—via a stylish friend with a similar figure.
- Homemade/replica—via a family member or up and coming designer.
- Sample sale—bridal stores sell last year’s dresses at ½ the price.
- Also look for bridesmaid’s dresses at stores selling prom dresses! The 2013 styles for prom are priced much lower than bridal store dresses.
3. Wedding flowers and decorations
A high-end florist can smell a bride from a mile away—and they quote their services quite high because of it! Instead, look to fresh markets and grocery store that offer floral services and price out the cost of prom bouquets instead of bridal bouquets. Also, choose flowers according to season (i.e., roses are always available and much cheaper), as buds in season are much cheaper than sourcing out of season. If you’re not set on fresh flowers, silk flowers arranged yourself won’t wilt in pictures and make better keepsakes. You can also use your bridal bouquets as table centerpieces at your reception. Or make centerpieces from materials your find at local arts and crafts stores.
4. Food and drink
Caterers do well for a reason, and catering a wedding with a full dinner and open bar can be your most expensive wedding cost. To save try these ideas:
- Host a BBQ style wedding—and roast a ham, pig, a bunch of turkeys, and serve buffet style.
- Ask friends or family to help donate the reception food “pot luck” style.
- Look to a local family restaurant for a food quote—usually they are much cheaper than caterers.
- If you want an open bar, consider serving only an alcoholic and non-alcoholic punch.
- Or serve only domestic beer and liquor.
5. Wedding photography
Pictures of your special day will be cherished for a lifetime, so it makes sense that you’ll want to splurge a little on quality photography. However, to save you can:
- Ask a family member to donate the photography funds as a wedding gift
- Everyone knows a photographer, ask them to provide their skills as your wedding gift
- Look for talented photography students at the local university who are looking to make extra cash or collect samples for their portfolios
What tips do you have for saving on weddings?
About the author: Evelyn Luo is a writer that has turned her love of shopping into a freelance career as a contributing writer for Style Cynics, a fashion and celebrity gossip site that features the latest star buzz and the hippest and hottest styles.