Don't worry if your budget cannot stretch for the most expensive custom-made gown, elegant invitation cards, or the top photographer, it doesn't mean that your wedding will be any less unique or special than anyone else's. There's no doubt about it, weddings can be expensive. The average cost of a wedding today is $20,000 - $25,000, and weddings are estimated to be a $25.3 billion industry. But don't worry if your budget cannot stretch for the most expensive custom-made gown, elegant invitation cards, or the top photographer, it doesn't mean that your wedding will be any less unique or special than anyone else's.
You just need a bit of guidance and a few tips to help you achieve the dream of your big day. Here are a few suggestions with tips on how to save on some of the more expensive aspects of a wedding.
Do you really need a hand-made wedding dress with beads and diamantes? This is where the big cost is and there are several options in cutting the cost. Why not opt for a second-hand wedding dress? It's probably only been worn once anyway and you can get a once expensive dress for half the price. Consider buying an evening gown/cocktail dress from a department store or look into renting your wedding dress for the day.
This is where the cost of a wedding can get out of hand. The wedding reception is normally the biggest expense, but one of the easiest to cut down on costs. Statistics show that an average of 189 guests attend a wedding, this is a lot. Try and keep your guest list to a minimum, do you really need to invite family members who you have never seen for years? Instead of a three-course meal why not opt for a hot and cold buffet (even cater for yourself)? Instead of holding the reception in an expensive hotel suite or wedding reception, why not consider having it at someone's home or a club, or even book a restaurant. Keep an open bar to a minimal and only serve beer, wine and soft drinks.
The obvious choice is to shop around for the best rates, but consider hiring a photographer for the ceremony only and ask a family member or friend to take snap photos of the reception. Or you could go one step further and ask them to take the photographs for the whole day and not bother with the expense of a photographer at all.
Invitations & Stationery
If you're on a budget and looking for cheaper wedding stationery items, then you might like to consider print-at-home stationery. There are many online stationer's that will offer this service free of charge. You pay for the paper and envelopes, then use their software to print directly from your own PC. With sophisticated customization tools you'll be able to enter your own text and preview it before you print so as not to make any costly mistakes. Alternatively, you can buy software and do-it-yourself from your PC.
A few more quick tips...
Flowers can be another great expense, but also an unnecessary one. Why not buy wholesale flowers, or pick flowers from your garden (or a friends or relatives). Buy plain gold or white gold wedding bands as these are the cheapest. Get a friend to make your wedding cake for you and opt for a smaller tier cake and it doesn't have to be a fruit cake -- try a sponge, chocolate or carrot cake! Make your favors and centerpieces yourself. Accessories for these can be found at little outlet stores or online. Lastly, instead of a limousine why not rent a car or borrow a luxury car from a friend or relative?
Weddings are expensive if you want them to be. But if you want to keep money aside for a deposit on a house or a honeymoon to remember, then there are many cost cutting ideas. All you need is a little imagination, and some help from friends and family and you too can have a luxury wedding with all the trimmings.
About The Author Claire Bowes is a freelance writer and owner of the Wedding Planning Online website.