A Frugal Renewal: Retying The Knot Without Untying Your Budget
There is a big trend right now in Hollywood: wedding vow renewal ceremonies.
From superstars like Mariah Carey, Salma Hayek, and Heidi Klum, to reality TV stars like Tori Spelling and the "Real Housewives," couples are getting hitched again, and again, and again. Who would have thought that renewing vows would be so très chic?
While it is always fun to get a glimpse inside Hollywood life and these hot couple's happy times, you are more likely an average Joe and Jill. It may be nice to talk about renewing wedding vows, but finances can cause cold feet at the altar. However, renewing wedding vows can be a satisfying and joyful occasion without added budgetary strains. Here are some tips for renewing your vows on a budget.
First and foremost, decide on a budget so you can then make rational decisions on where to spend your money. Determine what's most important to you and your spouse, and try to include the most important items first. Decide whether or not you will be hosting the ceremony and/or reception. The size of your guest list may decide for you.
Once you've reached a decision on the budget, work on the ceremony. A crucial detail and budget cruncher is always location. The cheapest option is keeping it local. Some couples choose to renew their vows at their local church. Personally, I prefer something a little less formal and more exotic or meaningful. I don't necessarily mean somewhere in the Caribbean or South Pacific (although that would be very nice). It can be as simple as a state park, garden, the restaurant where you had your first date, or your own house.
Renewing your vows is not an official ceremony, so ask a close friend, relative, or a clergy-person to perform the ceremony. This will not only cut costs, but make the ceremony more personal and special for you and your spouse.
If you are interested in a wedding that's more honeymoonesque , look for places that offer packages on travel, such as a bed and breakfast, a cruise, an all-inclusive resort, or an air-plus-hotel packaged deal. Even better, look for a packaged wedding deal to help take the stress and cost out of arranging the renewal ceremony and reception yourself. Many wedding sites and resorts offer packages for both the budget-minded and the non-budget minded. Prices usually start at $80 to $90 and include an official, vows, and a certificate.
Do your research ahead of time and find out when the off-season is for your destination. Not only are standard rates lower, but there are also more promotions. If you want to take a cruise, look for deals in the spring and fall when there is less demand for bookings. For example, Travelocity is offering a three-night cruise (in late November) to the Bahamas for $189 plus 15% off all shore excursions.
Save even more by watching the travel discounters for additional coupons or promo codes. It's like getting a double discount. If travel in the off-season is not an option, then look for coupons for early booking discounts. The best place to find early booking discounts is to go right to the source: the resort's website.
Now that you've decided on travel, think about your invitations. If you are really on a budget, you could just do an evite online or through Facebook. If you want something a little more formal, try designing them yourself either online or with Microsoft Word. Export it into a standard format and then upload it to an online printer such as Vistaprint or Overnight Prints. Take advantage of the discounted pricing and double up the savings with a 20% off coupon. You'll have professional invitations without the extra cost.
Don't forget the photographer or videographer! This is probably one of the most important things. It doesn't mean you have to hire a professional. Ask a friend to document the special occasion for you. If you do choose to have a professional, try to find one that will give you all of the pictures digitally for one set price.
Last, but not least, you need to decide on what to wear during the ceremony. If you are not wearing your original wedding dress or tuxedo, then look for discount or closeout dresses. Sites like eDressMe offer closeout prices on designer dresses. For even more of a discount, look for coupons to apply to your order.
Beyond these decisions, the rest is just icing on the cake! Just remember to make it meaningful and have fun.
This is a guest post by Sok Verdery. Sok is the CEO of CouponShack.com, a leading coupon website that helps consumers save money and get the best deals at their favorite stores.